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Who haunt Parnaffus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as fome to Church repair,
Not for the doctrine, but the mufic there.
Thefe equal fyllables alone require,

Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire;

While expletives their feeble aid do join ;

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345

And ten low words oft creep in one dull line :
While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of ftill expected rhymes;
Where-e'er you find "the cooling western breeze,"
In the next line, it " whispers thro' the trees :"
If crystal streams "with pleafing murmurs creep,"
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with " fleep:"
Then, at the last and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needlefs Alexandrine ends the fong,
356
That, like a wounded fnake, drags its flow length

along.

Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow; And praise the eafy vigour of a line,

360 Where Denham's ftrength, and Waller's sweetness join.

True

VER. 345. Tho' oft the ear, etc.] Fugiemus crebras vocalium concurfiones, que vaftam atque biantem orationem reddunt. Cic. ad Heren. lib. iv. Vide etiam Quintil. lib. ix. c. 4.

P.

IMITATIONS.

VER. 346. While expletives their feeble aid do join,

And ten low words oft creep in one dull line.] From Dryden, "He creeps along with ten little words in every "line, and helps out his numbers with [for] [to] and [unto] and all the pretty expletives he can find, while "the fenfe is left half tired behind it." Efay on Dram. Poetry.

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True eafe in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The found must seem an Echo to the sense: 365
Soft is the ftrain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the fmooth ftream in fmoother numbers flows;
But when loud furges lafh the founding fhoar,
The hoarfe, rough verfe fhould like the torrent roar :
When Ajax ftrives fome rock's vaft weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow;

Not

VER. 364. 'Tis not enough no barfbnefs gives offence;

The found muft feem an Echo to the fenfe :] The judicrous introduction of this precept is remarkable. The Poets, and even some of the best of them, have been so fond of the beauty arifing from this trivial precept, that, in their practice, they have violated the very End of it, which is the encrease of harmony; and, fo they could but raise an Echo, did not care whofe ears they offended by its diffonance. To remedy this abufe therefore, the poet, by the introductory line, would infinuate, that Harmony is always prefuppofed as observed; tho' it may and ought to be perpetually varied, fo as to produce the

effect here recommended.

VER. 365. The found must feem an Echu to the fense :] Lord Rofcommon fays,

The found is still a comment to the fenfe. They are both well expreffed: only this fuppofes the fenfe to be affifted by the found; that, the found affifted by the fenfe.

IMITATIONS.

VER. 366. Soft is the ftrain, etc.]

Vida Poet. 1. iii. v. 403.

Tam filata canunt, etc.
VER. 368. But when loud furges, etc]
Tum longe fale faxa fonant, etc.
VER. 370. When Ajax firives, etc.]

Vida ib. 388.

Atque ideo fi quid geritur molimine magno, etc.

Vida ib. 417.

Not fo, when swift Camilla fcours the plain,

372

Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and fkims along the

main.

Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays furprize,

And bid alternate paffions fall and rise!

375

While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now fighs fteal out, and tears begin to flow:
Perfians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the World's victor ftood fubdu'd by Sound!
The pow'r of Mufic all our hearts allow,
And what Timotheus was, is DRYDEN now.
Avoid Extremes; and fhun the fault of fuch,
Who ftill are pleas'd too little or too much.
At ev'ry trifle fcorn to take offence,

That always fhows great pride, or little sense;
Those heads, as ftomachs, are not fure the beft,
Which nauseate all, and nothing can digeft.

385

Yet let not each gay Turn thy rapture move; 390
For fools admire, but men of fense approve :

As things feem large which we thro' mifts defcry,
Dulness is ever apt to magnify.

Some foreign writers, fome our own defpife;
The Ancients only, or the Moderns prize.

395

Thus

VER. 374. Hear how Timotheus, etc.] See Alexander's Feast, or the Power of Mufick; an Ode by Mr. Dryden. P.

IMITATIONS.

VER. 372. Not fo, when fawift Camilla, etc.]

At mora fi fuerit damno, properare jubebo, etc.

I

Vida ib. 420.

400

Thus Wit, like Faith, by each man is apply'd
To one fmall fect, and all are damn'd befide.
Meanly they seek the bleffing to confine,
And force that fun but on a part to shine,
Which not alone the fouthern wit fublimes,
But ripens fpirits in cold northern climes;
Which from the firft has fhone on ages paft,
Enlights the present, and fhall warm the last;
Tho' each may feel encreases and decays,
And fee now clearer and now darker days.
Regard not then if Wit be old or new,
But blame the false, and value still the true.
Some ne'er advance a Judgment of their own,
But catch the spreading notion of the Town;
They reason and conclude by precedent,

405

410

415

And own ftale nonsense which they ne'er invent.
Some judge of authors names, not works, and then
Nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men.
Of all this fervile herd, the worst is he
That in proud dulnefs joins with Quality.
A conftant critic at the great man's board,
To fetch and carry nonfenfe for my Lord.
What woful stuff this madrigal would be,
In some starv'd hackney fonnetteer, or me?
But let a Lord once own the happy lines,
How the wit brightens! how the style refines !

420

Before

VER. 402. Which from the firft, etc.] Genius is the fame in all ages; but its fruits are various; and more or lefs excellent as they are checked or matured by the influence of Government or Religion upon them. Hence in fome parts of Literature the Ancients excel; in others, the modern; juft as those accidental circumstances influenced them.

Before his facred name flies ev'ry fault,
And each exalted stanza teems with thought!
The Vulgar thus thro' Imitation err;

As oft the Learn'd by being fingular;

425

So much they scorn the croud, that if the throng
By chance go right, they purpofely go wrong:
So Schifmatics the plain believers quit,

And are but damn'd for having too much wit.
Some praise at morning what they blame at night;
But always think the laft opinion right.

A Mufe by these is like a mistress us'd,

431

This hour fhe's idoliz'd, the next abus'd;
While their weak heads like towns unfortify'd,
"Twixt sense and nonsense daily change their fide.
Ask them the cause; they're wiser still, they say;
And still to-morrow's wifer than to-day.
We think our fathers fools, fo wife we grow ;
Our wiser fons, no doubt, will think us fo.
Once School-divines this zealous ifle o'er-fpread;
Who knew most Sentences, was deepest read;
Faith, Gofpel, all, feem'd made to be difputed,
And none had fenfe enough to be confuted:
Scotifts and Thomifts, now, in peace remain,
Amidft their kindred cobwebs in Duck-lane.

439

445

If

VER. 444. Scotifs and Thomifts] Thefe were two parties amongst the schoolmen, headed by Duns Scotus. and Thomas Aquinas, of different opinions, and from that difference denominated Realifts and Nominalifts; they were perpetually difputing on the immaculate conception, and on fubjects of the like importance.

VER. 444. Scotifts] So denominated from Johannes Duns Scotus. He fuffered a miferable reverse of fortune at Oxford in the time of Henry VIII. That grave Antiquary

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