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Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Where life awakes, and dawns at every line,
Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass, S
And from the canvas call the mimic face;
Head these instructive leaves, in which conspire,
Fresnoy's close art, and Dryden's native fire;
And reading wish, like theirs, our fate and fame,
So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name; 10
Like them to shine through long succeeding age;
So just thy skill, so regular my rage.
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came,
And met congenial, mingling flame with flame;
Like friendly colours found them both unite, 15
And each from each contract new strength and light.
How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
While summer-suns roll unperceiv'd away!
How oft our slowly-growing works impart,
While images reflect from art to art! 20
How oft review ; each finding, like a friend,
Something to blame, and something to commend!
What flattering scenes our wandering fancy
Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought!
Together o'er the Alps, methinks we fly, 25
Fir'd with ideas of fair Italy.
With thee on Raphael's monument I mourn,
Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn:
With thee repose where Tully once was laid,
Or seek some ruin's formidable shade. 30
While fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew,
Here thy well-studied marbles fix our eye:
A fading fresco here demands a sigh:
Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare, 35
Match Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air,
Carracci's strength, Correggio's softer line,
Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears
This small well-polish'd gem, the work of years*! 40
* Freanoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.
Vet still how faint by precept is exprcst
Trie living image in the painter's breast!
Thence endless streams of fair ideas flow,
Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow;
Thence beauty, waking all her forms, supplies 45
An angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed
Those tears eternal that embalm the dead;
Call round her tomb each object of desire,
Each purer frame inform'ri with purer fire; SO
Bid her be all that cheers or softens life,
The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife;
Bid her be all that makes mankind adore,
Then view this marble, and be vain no more!
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage, SS
Her modest cheek shall warm a future age.
Beauty, frail flow'r, that every season fears,
Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years.
Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise,
And other beauties envy Worsley's eyes; CO
Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow, And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
O! lasting as those colours may they shine!
Tree as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line;
New graces yearly like thy works display, 65
Soft without weakness, without glaring gay;
Led by some rule that guides, but not constrains,
And fiuish'd more through happiness than pains.
The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire,
One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. 70
Yet should the Graces all thy figures place,
And breathe an air divine on every face;
Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll
Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul:
With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, 75
And these be sung till Granville's Myra die:
Alas! how little from the grave we claim!
Thou but prcserv'st a face, and I a name.
TO MISS BLOUNT,
WITH THE WORKS OF VOITUM. 171T.
In these gay thoughts the loves and graces shine,
And all the writer lives in every line;
His easy art may happy nature seem;
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate, 5
Who without flattery pleas d the fair and great;
Still with esteem no less convers'd than read;
With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred:
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share,
His time, the Muse, the witty, and the fair. 10
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he play'd the trifle life away;
Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling infants sport themselves to rest.
Ev'n rival wits did Voiture's death deplore, IS
And the gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before;
The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with sighs;
Voiture was wept by all the brightest eyes:
The smiles and loves had died in Voiture's death,
But that for ever in his lines they breathe. SO
Let the strict life of graver mortals be
A long, exact, and scfious comedy;
In every scene some moral let it teach,
And, if it can, at once both please and preach:
Let mine an innocent gay farce appear, 25
And more diverting still than regular;
Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace,
Though not too strictly bound to t;me and place.
Critics in wit or life are hard to please;
Few write to those, and none can live to these. 30
Too much your sex is by their forms confin'd,
Severe to all, hut most to womankind;
Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide;
Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride;
By nature yielding, stubborn but«for fame, 35
Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame.
Marriage may all those petty tyrants chase,
But sets up one, a greater, in their place:
Well might you wish for change by those accurst;
But the last tyrant ever proves the worst. 40
Still in constraint your suffering sex remains,
Or bound in formal or in real chains:
Whole years neglected for some months ador'd,
The fawning servant turns a haughty lord.
Ah! quit not the free innocence of life 45
For the dull glory of a virtuous wife;
Nor let false shews nor empty titles please:
Aim not at joy, but rest content with case.
The gods, to curse Pamela with her pray'rs,
Gave the gilt coach and dappled Flanders mares, SO
The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state,
And, to complete her bliss, a fool for mate.
She glares in balls, front-boxes, and the ring,
A vain, unquiet, glittering, wretched thing!
Pride, pomp, and state, but reach her outward part;
She sighs, and is no duchess at her heart. 56
But, madam, if the fates withstand, and you
Are destin'd Hymen's willing victim too,
Trust not too much your flow resistless charms,
Those age or sickness, soon or late, disarms; CO
Good humour only teaches charms to last,
Still makes new conquests, and maintains the past.
Love rais'd on beauty will like that decay;
Our hearts may bear its slender chain a day,
As flowery bands in wantonness are worn, Ci
A morning's pleasure, and at evening torn;
This binds in ties more easy, yet more strong,
The willing heart, and only holds it long.
Thus Voiture's early care* still shone the same, And Monthausier was only chang'd in name: 70
By this ev'n now they rive, ev'n now they charm, Their wit still sparklmg, and their flames still warm.
Now crown'd with myrtle on th' Elysian coast, Amid those lovers joys his gentle ghost;
* Mademoiselle Fault:.
Pleas'd while with smiles his happy lines you view,
And finds a fairer Rambouillet in you. 76
The brightest eyes of France inspired his Muse;
The brightest eyes of Britain now peruse;
And dead, as living, 'tis our author's pride,
Still to charm those who charm the world beside. 80
ON HER LEAVING THE TOWN AFTER THE CORO-
As some fond virgin, whom her mother's care
Drags from the town to wholesome country air,
Just when she learns to roll a melting eye,
And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh;
From the dear man unwilling she must sever, 5
Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever;
Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew,
Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew;
Not that their pleasures caus'd her discontent;
She sigh'd not that they stay'd, but that she went. 10
She went to plain work, and to purling brooks,
Old-fashion'd halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks:
She went from opera, park, assembly, play,
To morning walks, and pray'rs three hours a-day;
To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea, IS
To muse, and spill her solitary tea,
Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,
Count the slow clock, arid dine exact at noon;
Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,
Hum half a tune, tel! stories to the squire;
Up to her godly garret after seven,
There starve and pray, for that's the way to Heav'n.
Some squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack, Whose game is whist, whose treat a toast in sack; Who visits with a gun, presents you birds, 25
Then gives a smackmg buss, and cries—no words! Or with his hounds comes hallooing from the stable, Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table;