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215

What's long or short, each accent where to place,
And speak in public with some sort of grace.
I scarce can think him such a worthless thing,
Unless he praise fome Monster of a King ; 210
Or Virtue, or Religion turn to sport,
To please a lewd, or unbelieving Court.
Unhappy Dryden !-In all Charles's days,
Roscommon only boafts unspotted bays;
And in our own (excuse some Courtly stains)
No whiter page than Addison remains.
He, w from the taste obscene reclaims our youth,
And sets the Passions on the side of Truth,
Forms the foft bosom with the gentleft art,
And
pours

each human Virtue in the heart.
Let Ireland tell, how Wit upheld her cause,
Her Trade supported, and supplied her Laws ;
And leave on Swift this grateful verfe ingray'd,
“ The Rights a Court attack'd, a Poet fav'd.”
Behold the hand that wrought a Nation's cure, 225
Stretch'd to * relieve the Idiot and the Poor,
Proud Vice to brand, or injur'd Worth adorn,
And y stretch the Ray to ages yet unborn.
Not but there are, who merit other palms;
Hopkins and Sternhold glad the heart with Pfalms :

220

VER. 230. Sternbold.] One of the versifiers of the old finging psalms. He was a Courtier, and Groom of the Robes to Hen. viis. and of the Bedchamber to Edward vi. Fuller, in his Church History, says he was esteemed an excellent Peer,

KZ

Caftis cum ? pueris ignara puella mariti
Disceret unde b preces, vatem ni Musa dedisset?
Poscit opem chorus, et praesentia numina sentit ;
Coeleftes implorat aquas, docta prece blandus;
Avertit morbos, metuenda pericula pellit ;
Impetrat et pacem, et locupletem frugibus annum.
Carmine Di superi placantur, carmine Manes.

e Agricolae prisci, fortes, parvoque beati,
Condita poft frumenta, levantes tempore festo
Corpus et ipsum animum spe finis dura ferentem,
Cum sociis operum pueris et conjuge fida,
Tellurem porco, Silvanum lacte piabant,
Floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis aevi.
Fefcennina

per

hunc inventa licentia morem f Versibus alternis opprobria rustica fudit; Libertasque recurrentes accepta per annos Lusit amabiliter : 9 donec jam faevus apertam In rabiem coepit verti jocus, et per honeftas Ire domos impune minax. doluere cruento Dente laceffiti ; fuit intactis quoque cura

Y

VER. 241. Our rural Ancestors, etc.] This is almost literal; and thews, that the beauty and spirit, so much admired in these

The 2 Boys and Girls whom charity maintains, 231
Implore your help in these pathetic strains :
How could Devotion touch the country pews,
Unless the Gods beltow'd a proper Muse? 234
Verse chears their leisure, Verse assists their work,
Verse prays for Peace, or fings down · Pope and Turk.
The filenc'd Preacher yields to potent strain,
And feels that grace his pray'r besought in vain ;
The blessing thrills thro' all the lab'ring throng,
And Heav'n is won by Violence of Song. 240

Our e rural Ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulg'd the day that hous'd their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain :
The joy their wives, their sons, and servants share,
Ease of their toil, and part'ners of their care: 246
The laugh, the jest, attendants on the bowl,
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and open'd ev'ry soul:
With growing years the pleasing Licence grew,
And' Taunts alternate innocently flew.

250 But Times corrupt, and & Nature, ill-inclin'd, Produc'd the point that left a sting behind ; Till friend with friend, and families at strife, Triumphant Malice rag'd thro' private life. Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th'alarm. Appeal'd to Law, and Juftice lent her arm.

256

Poems, owe less to the liberty of imitating, than to the supe. rior genius of the imitator.

Conditione fuper communi : h quin etiam lex
Poenaque lata, malo quae nollet carmine quemquam
Describi. vertere modum, formidine fuftis
Ad i bene dicendum, dele£tandumque redacti.

k Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes
Intulit agresti Latio. fic horridus ille
Defluxit ' numerus Saturnius, et grave virus
Munditiae pepulere : sed in longum tamen aevum
Manserunt, hodieque manent, m veftigia ruris.
Serus enim Graecis admovit acumina chartis ;
Et poft " Punica bella quietus quaerere coepit,
Quid • Sophocles et Thespis et Aeschylus utile fer-

rent :

VER. 259. Most warp'd to Flatt’ry's side, etc.] These two lines (notwithstanding the reference) are an addition to the Original. They seemed neceffary to compleat the History of the rise and progress of Wit; and, if attended to, will be seen to make much for the argument the Poet is upon, viz. the recommendation of Poetry to the protection of tbe Magistrate. And is, therefore, what Horace would have chosen to say, had he reflected on it.

VER. 263. We conquer'd France, etc.] The instance the Poet bere gives, to answer that in the Original, is not so happy. However, it might be said with truth, that our Intrigues on the Continent brought us acquainted with the Provincial Poets, and poduced Cbaucer. I, only, wonder, when he had such an

At length, by wholsome - dread of statutes bound,
The Poets learn'd to please, and not to wound ;
Most warp'd to i Flatt'ry's fide; but fome, more nice,
Preserv'd the freedom, and forbore the vice. 260
Hence Satire rose, that just the medium hit,
And heals with morals what it hurts with Wit.
* We conquer'd France, but felt our Captive's

charms;
Her Arts victorious triumph'd o'er our Arms;
Britain to soft refinements less a foe,

265 Wit grew polite, and Numbers learn'd to flow. Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join The varying verse, the full-resounding line, The long majestic March, and Energy divine. Tho' ftill fome traces of our m rustic vein

27 lay-foot verse remain'd, and will remain, Late, very late, correctness grew our care, When the tir'd Nation" breath'd from civil war, Exact o Racine, and Corneille's noble fire, Show'd us that France had something to admire. 275

}

example before him, of a Bard who fo greatly polished the rulticity of his age, he did not use it to paraphrase the sense of

Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus

Munditiae pepulere: Ver, 267, Waller was smootb;] Mr. Waller, about this time, with the Earl of Dorset, Mr. Godolphin, and others, translated the Pompey of Corneille ; and the more correct French Poets began to be in reputation.

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