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EPISTLE To Sir Richard Fanshare, upon his Translation of

Pastor Fido.


is our pride, our folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write, translate: But what in them is want of art or voice, In thee is either modesty or choice. While this great piece, restor'd by thee, doth stand Free from the blemish of an artless hand, Secure of fame thou justly dost esteem Less honour to create than to redeem. Nor ought a genius less than his that writ Attempt translation ; for transplanted wit All the defects of air and soil doth share, And colder brains like colder climates are : In vain they toil, since nothing can beget A vital spirit but a vital heat. That servile path thou nobly dost decline Of tracing word by word, and line by line : Those are the labour'd births of slavish brains, Not the effect of poetry but pains ; Cheap vulgar arts, whose parrowness affords No fight for thoughts, but poorly sticks at words. A new and nobler way thou dost pursue To make translations and translators too : They but preserve the ashes, thou the Hame, True to his sense, but truer to his fame : Fording his current, where thou find'st it low Lett'st in thine own, to make it rise and flow, Wisely restoring whatsoever grace It lost by change of times, or tongues, or place. Nor fetter'd to his numbers and his times, Betray'st his music to unhappy rhymes. Nor are the nerves of his compacted strength Stretch'd and dissolv'd into unsinew'd length: Yet, after all, (lest we should think it thine) Thy spirit to his circle dost confine.

New names, new dressings, and the modern cast,
Some scenes, some persons alter'd, and out-fac'd
The world, it were thy work ; for we have known
Some thank'd and prais'd for what was less their own.
That master's hand which to the life can trace
The airs, the lines, and features of the face,
May with a free and bolder stroke express
A varied posture or a flattering dress :
He could have made those like who made the rest,
But that he knew his own design was best.


MORPHEUS, the humble god, that dwells

In cottages and smoky cells,
Hates gilded roofs, and beds of down;
And, though he fears no prince's frown,
Flees from the circle of a crown.
Come, I say, tlou pow'rful god,
And thy leaden charming rod,
Dipp'd in the Lethean lake,
O'er his wakeful temples shake,
Lest he should sleep, and never wake.
Nature, alas / why art thou so
Obliged to thy greatest foe?
Sleep, that is thy best repast,
Yet of death it bears a taste,
And both are the same thing at last.


IL PENSEROSO. HENCE, vain deluding joys,

The brood of Folly, without father bred! How little you bested,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys : Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shape possess, As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hov'ring dreams,

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. But hail, thou goddess sage and holy ! Hail, divinest Melancholy ! Whose saintly visage is too bright To hit the sense of human sight; And, therefore, to our weaker view, O'erlaid with black, staid wisdom's hue; Black, but such as in esteem Prince Memnon's sister might beseem ; Or that starr'd Ethiop queen, that strove For other beauties praise above The sea-nymphs, and these powers offended : Yet thou art higher far descended; Thee bright-hair à Vesta, long of yore, To solitary Saturn bore; His daughter she (in Saturn's reign, Such mixture was not held a stain); Oft in glimmering bowers and glade He met her, and in sweet shade Of woody Ida's inmost grove, While yet there was no fear of Jove. Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, Sober and stedfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train,

And sable stole of Cyprus lawn Over thy decent shoulders drawn ; Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step and musing gait, And looks commercing with the skies, Thy 'rapt soul sitting in thine eyes ; There held in holy passion still, Forget thyself to marble, till With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast, And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet, And hear the muses in a ring Ay round about Jove's altar sing; And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure ; But first, and chiefest, with thee bring, Him that yon' soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne, The Cherub Contemplation ; And the mute silence hist along, 'Less Philomel will deign a song In her sweetest, saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of night, While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke, Gently o'er th' accustom'd oak ; Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy ! Thee, chantress of the woods among, I woo to hear thy evening song ; And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wand'ring moon, Riding near her highest noon ; Like one that had been led astray Through the heav'ns' wide pathless way ; And oft, as if her head she bow'd, Stooping thro' a fleecy cloud, Oft on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off curfeu sound;

Over some wide water'd shore, Swinging slow with sullen roar. Or if the air will not permit, Some still removed place will fit, Where glowing embers through the room Teach light to counterfeit a gloom ; Far from all resort of mirth, Save the cricket on the hearth, Or the bellman's drowsy charm, To bless the door from nightly harm. Or let my lamp, at midnight hour, Be seen in some high lonely tower, Where I may oft outwatch the Bear, With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere The spirit of Plato, to unfold What worlds, or what vast regions hold The immortal mind, that hath forsook Her mansion in this fleshly nook ; And of those demons that are found In fire, air, flood, or under ground, Whose power hath a true consent With planet or with element. Sometimes let gorgeous Tragedy In scepter'd pall come sweeping by, Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line, Or the tale of Troy divine; Or what (though rare) of later age, Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage. But O! sad virgin ! that thy power Might raise Musæus from his bower, Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes as, warbled to the string, Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek, And made hell grant what love did seek; Or call up him that left half told The story of Cambriscan bold, Of Camball and of Algarsife, And who had Capacé to wife;

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