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Base fugitives, to that asylum fly.
And sacred laws with insolence defy.
Nor thus our heroes of the former days
Defery'd and gain'd their never-fading bays;
For I mifake, or far the greatest part
Of what some call neglect, was Itudy's art.
When Virgil seems to trifle in a line,
'Tis like a warning-piece, which gives the fige
To wake your fancy, and prepare your sight,
To reach the noble height of some unusual flight.
I lose my patience when, with faucy pride,
By untun'd ears I hear his number tried.
Reverse of nature : fhall such copies then
Arraign th' original of Maro's pen :
And the rude notions of pedantic schools
Blaspheme the sacred founder of our rules?

The delicacy of the nicest ear
Finds nothing harsh or out of order there.
Sublime or low, unheeded or intense ;
The sound is still a comment to the sense.

A skillful ear in' numbers should preside,
And all disputes without appeal decide.
This ancient Rome, and elder Athens found,
Before miltaken stops debauch'd the found.

When, by impulse from Heaven, Tyrtæus fung,
In drooping soldiers a new courage sprung ;
Reviving Sparta now the flight maintain’d,
And whatiwo gen’rals lost, a poet gain’d.
Vol. VI. 21.

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By secret influence of indulgent skies,
Empire and poesy together rise.
True poets are the guardians of the state,
And, when they fail, portend'approaching fate.
For that which Rome to conquest did inspire,
Was not the veftal, but the muse's fire;
Heaven joins the blessings: no declining age
Ere felt the raptures of poetic rage.

Of many faults rhyme is perhaps the cause ;
Too ftrict to rhyme, we flight more useful laws:
For that, in Greece or Rome, was never known,
Till by barbarian deluges o'erflown:
Subdued, undone, they did at last obey,
And change their own for their invader's way.

I grant that, from some molly idol oak,
In double rhymes our Thor and Woden spoke ;
And by fucceffion of unlearned times,
As bards began, so monks rung on the chimes.

But now that Phoebus and the sacred Nine With all their beams on our blest island shine, Why should not we their ancient rites restore, And be what Rome or Athens were before ? ** Have forgot how Raphael's numerous prose 6 Led our exalted fouls thro' heavenly camps, 6. And mark’d the ground where proud apostate thrones « Defied Jehovah! here, 'twixt host and hoft, • (A narrow, but a dreadful interval)

6 Por

An Esay on Blank Verse, out of Paradise Lost, B.VI.

• Portentous fight! before the cloudy van • Satan with vast and haughty ftrides advancd, • Came tow'ring arm'd in adamant and gold. • There bellowing engines, with their fiery tubes, • Dispers’d æthereal forms, and down they fell

By thousands, angels on archangels rolid; • Recover'd to the hills they ran, they flew, • Which (with their ponderous load, rocks, waters,

woods!, From their firm feats torn by the shaggy tops,

They bore like Shields before them through the air, • Til more incens'd they hurld them at their foes, • All was confufion, heaven's foundation fhook, • Threat'ning no less than universal wreck ;

For Michael's arm main promontories flung,

And over-press'd whole legions weak with fin : • Yet they blafphem'd and struggled as they lay, « Till the great ensign of Melliah blaz’d, • And (arm'd with vengeance) God's victorious Son • (Effulgence of paternal deity !) ..Grasping ten thousand thunders in his hand, · Drove th' original rebels headlong down, • And sent them flaming to the vast aby ss.'

O may I live to hail the glorious day, And sing loud pæans through the crowded w ay, When in triumphant state the British Muse, True to herself, fhall barbarous aid refuse, And in the Roman Majesty appear, Which none know better, and none come so near.

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THEN

*HENCE pafling forth, they shortly do arrive

Whereas the Bower of Bliss was situate ;
A place pick'd o'it by choice of best alive,
That nature's work by art can imitate ;
lo which whatever in this wordly flate

Is sweet and pleasing unto living sense,
Or that may daintieft fantasio aggrale,

Was poured forth with plentiful difpenfe,
And made there to abound with lavithi affluence

Goodly it was enclosed round about,
As well their enter'd guests to keep within,

As chose unruly beasts to hold without ;
Yet was the fence thereof but weak and thin:
Nought fearld their force that fortilage to win,

But wisdom's powre and temperance's might,
By which the mightieft things efforced bin :

And .eke the gate was wrought of fubftance light, Rather for pleasure than for battery or fight.

It framed was of pretious yvory, That seem'd a work of admirable wit;

And therein all the famous historie Of Jafon and Medæa was ywrit;

Her

Mer mighty charmes, her furious loving fit,

His goodly conqueil of the golden fleece,
His falsed faith, and love to lightly flit,

The wondred Argo, which invent’rous peece
First thro’the Euxian seas bore all the flow'r of Greece

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Ye might have seen the frothy billowes fry Under the ship, as thorough them she went, That seemed waves were into

yvory, Or yvory into the waves were fent, And other where the snowy substance fprent,

With vermell-like the boyes bloud therein shed':: A piteous fpectacle did represent;

And otherwhiles with gold besprinkeled, It seem'd th' enchanted flame which did Creusa wed..

All this, and more might in this goodly gate
Be read ; that ever open stood to all

Which thither came ; but in the porch there fate
A comely personage of stature tall,
And semblance pleasing more than natural,

That travellers to him seem'd to entice ;
His looser garments to the ground did fall,

And flew about his heels in wanton wise,
Not fit for speedy pace or manly exercise.

The foe of life, that good envies to all, That secretly doth us procure to fall, Through guilesul semblaunce, which he makes us seeg He of this gardin had the governally

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