« ZurückWeiter »
Imperial wonders rais'd on nations spoild,
Ambition sigh'd: she found it vain to trust
shore, Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more! Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design, And all her triumphs shrink into a coin. A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps, Beneath her palm here sad Judea wceps. Now scantier limits the proud arch confine, And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine; A small Euphrates through the piece is roll’d, And little eagles wave their wings in gold.
SO The medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and ages bears each forin and name: In one short view subjected to our cye, Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie. With sharpen'd sight pale antiquaries pore, Th' inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years! To gain Pescennius one employs his schemes, One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams. Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd, Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scourd:
And Curio, restless by the fair one's side,
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine: 45
Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame? In living medals see her wars enrolld,
55 And vanquish'd realms supply recording gold? Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face; There warriors frowning in historic brass: Then future ages with delight shall see How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agrce; 60 Or in fair series laurell'd bards be shewn, A Virgil there, and here an Addison: Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine) On the cast ore another Pollio shine; With aspect open shall erect his head,
65 And round the orb in lasting notes be read, “ Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honour clear; Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; 70 Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, And prais'd, unenvied, by the Muse he lov'd.” .
TO MR. JERVAS,
ART OF PAINTING*
*This epistle, and the two following, were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.
Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came,
wrought, Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought! Together o'er the Alps, methinks we fly, 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. 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, 95 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
* Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.
et still low faint by precept is exprest he living image in the painter's breast ! hence endless streams of fair ideas flow, trike in the sketeh, or in the picture glow; hence beauty, waking all her forms, supplies 45 n angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes. Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed hose tears eternal that embalm the dead; all round her tomb each object of desire, ach purer frame inform’d with purer fire; id her be all that clieers or softens life, 'he tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife; sid her be all that makes mankind adore, 'hen view this marble, and be vain no more!
Yet still her charins in breathing paint engagc, 55 ler modest cheek shall warm a future age. leauty, frail flow'r, that every season fears, Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years. "hus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise, ind other beauties cnvy Worsley's eyes;
60 lach pleasing Blount shall endless siniles bestow, und soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
O! lasting as those colours may they shine! 'rec as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; Tew graces yearly like thy works display, oft without weakness, without glaring gay; ed by some rule chat guides, but not constrains, Ind finish'd more through happiness than pains. 'he kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencii, and one string the lyre. 70 Pet should the Graces all thy figures place, and breathe an air divine on every face; Pet should the Muses bid my numbers roll trong as their charms, and gentle as their soul: Vith Zeuxis Helen thy Bridgewater vie,
75 ind these be sung till Granville's Myra die: Alas! how little froin the grave we claim! Thou but prcserv'st a face, and I a name.
TO MISS BLOUNT, WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE. 1717. In these gay thoughts the loves and graces shine, And all the writer lives in every line; His easy art may happy nature seein; Trifies themselves are elegant in him. Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate, 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. 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, 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.
Let the strict life of graver mortals be A long, exact, and serious 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, And more diverting still than regular; Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace, Though not too strictly bound to time 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 furms confin'd, Severe to all, but most to womankind; Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide; Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride; By nature yielding, stubboru but for fame, Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame.