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The thoughts of Gods let GRANVILLE's verse recite,
Several elegant imitations have been given of this species of local poetry; the principal seem to be, Grongar Hill; the Ruins of Rome; Claremont, by Garth; Kymber, by Mr. Potter; Kensington Gardens; Catharine Hill; Faringdon Hill; Newdwood Forest; Lewesdon Hill; the Deserted Village, and Traveller, of Goldsmith; and the Ode on the distant Prospect of Eton College.
Pope, it seems, was of opinion, that descriptive poetry is composition as absurd as a feast made up of sauces: and I know many other persons that think meanly of it. I will not presume to say it is equal, either in dignity or utility, to those compositions that lay open the internal conftitution of man, and that imitate characters, manners, and sentiments. I may however remind such contemners of it, that, in a sister art, landscape-painting claims the very next rank to history-painting, being ever preferred to single portraits, to pieces of still-life, to droll figures, to fruit and flower-pieces; that Titian thought it no diminution of his genius, to spend much of his time in works of the former species ; and that, if their principles lead them to condemn Thomson, they must also condemn the Georgics of Virgil, and the greatest part of the noblelt descriptive poem extant; I mean that of Lucretius.
ODE FOR MUSIC
ON ST. CECILIA’S DA Y*.
The breathing instruments inspire,
5 Let the warbling lute complain :
Let the loud trumpet found,
While NOTES. * Our Author, as Mr. Harte told me, frequently and earnestly declared, that if Dryden had finished a translation of the Iliad, he would not have attempted one, after so great a master; he might have said, with even more propriety, I will not write a music ode after Alexander's Feast ; which the variety and harmony of its numbers, and the beauty, force, and energy of its images, have conspired to place at the head of modern Lyric compofitions : always excepting The Bard of Gray, which, being of a more exalted strain than the moral poetry we had been accustomed to, was not, at its first appearance, so much relished as it deserved; but which, I will presume to say, will, in every succeeding year, gain more and more admiration and applause, notwithstanding the unjuft, and I may fay tasteless, animadversions which Dr. Johnson degraded himself by throwing out upon it, in the Lives of the Poets. The subject of Dryden's ode is superior to this of Pope's, because the former is hiftorical, and the latter merely mythological. Dryden's is also more perfect in the unity of the action ; for Pope's is not the recital of one great action, but a description of many of the adventures of Orpheus. We all know, and have felt, the effects of Handel's having set Dryden's ode to music. Mr. Smith, a worthy pupil of Handel, (as Mr. Mason informs us), intended to have fet Mr. Gray's ode to