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Imperial wonders rais’d on nations spoild,
6 Where mix'd with slaves the groaning inartyr toild: Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods, Now drain'd a distant country of her floods; Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey, Statues of men, scarce less alive than they! 10 Some felt the silent stroke of mouldering age, Some hostile fury, some religious rage: Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire, And Papal piety, and Gothic fire. Perhaps, by its own ruins sav'd from flame, 15 Some buried marble half preserves a name : That wame the learn’d with fierce disputes pursue, And give to Titus old Vespasian's due.
Ambition sigb’d: she found it vain to trust The faithless column and the crumbling bust;
30 Huge moles, whose shadow stretch'd from shore to
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, 26 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 rollid, And little eagles wave their wings in gold. SO
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and
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, 33 Thi' 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.
40 Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd, Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd;
Lnd Curio, restless by the fair one's side, ighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine: 45 Couch'd by thy hand, again Romc's glories shine; Ier gods and godlike heroes rise to view, And all her faded garlands bloom anew. Nor blush these stadies thy regard engage; These pleas'd the fathers of poetic rage;
50 The verse and sculpture bore an equal part, And art reflected images to art.
Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
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,
20 How oft review; cach finding, like a friend, Something to blame, and something to commend! What flattering scenes our wandering fancy
wrought, 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
* Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.
Yet still how faint by precept is exprest
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed
Yet still her charins in breathing paint engagc, 55 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;
60 Each pleasing Blount shall endless siniles bestow, And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
0! lasting as those colours may they shine! Free 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 chat guides, but not constrains, And finish'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 froin the grave we claim! Thou but preserv’st a face, and I a name.
TO MISS BLOUNT,
lives in every line;
Let the strict life of graver mortals be
can, at once both please and preach: Let mine an innocent gay farce appear,
25 And more diverting still than regular; Have lumour, 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, stubborn but for fame, 35 Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame.