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670

He, who supreme in judgment, as in wit,
Might boldly censure, as he boldly writ,
Yet judg'd with coolness, though he sung with fire;
His precepts teach but what his works inspire. 660
Our Critics take a contrary extreme,
They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm :
Nor suffers Horace more in wrong Translations
By Wits, than Critics in as wrong Quotations.
See Dionysius Homer's thoughts refine,

665 And call new beauties forth from every line !

Fancy and art in gay Petronius please,
The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease.

In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find
The justest rules and clearest method join'd :
Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
All rang d in order, and dispos'd with grace,
But less to please the eye, than arm the hand,
Still fit for use, and ready at command.

Thee, bold Longinus ! all the Nine inspire,
And bless their Critic with a Poet's fire.
An ardent Judge, who, zealous in his trust,
With warmth gives sentence, yet is always just;

Whose
VARIATIONS,
Ver. 668. The scholar's learning, and the courtier's eaf.
Ver. 673, &c.

Nor thus alone the curious eye to please,
But to be found, when need requires, with ease.
The Muses sure Longinus did inspire,
And bless'd their Critic with a Poet's fire.
An ardent Judge, that zealous, &c.

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685

Whose own example strengthens all his laws;
And is himself that great Sublime he draws.

680
Thus long succeeding Critics justly reign'd,
License repress’d, and useful laws ordain'd.
Learning and Rome alike in empire grew;
And Arts still follow'd where her Eagles flew;
From the same foes, at last, both felt their doom,
And the same age saw Learning fall, and Rome.
With Tyranny, then Superstition join'd,
As that the body, this enslav'd the mind;
Much was believ'd, but little understood,
And to be dull was construed to be good; 690
A second deluge Learning thus o'er-ran,
And the Monks finish'd what the Goths began.

At length Erasmus, that great injur'd name, (The glory of the Priesthood, and the shame!) Stem'd the wild torrent of a barbarous age, 695 And drove those holy Vandals off the stage.

But see! each Muse, in Leo's golden days, Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays, Rome's ancient Genius, o'er its ruins spread, Shakes off the dust, and rears his reverend head. 700 Then Sculpture and her sister-arts revive; Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live;

With

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 689. All was believ'd, but nothing understood.

Between ver. 690 and 691. the Author omitted these tvo:

Vain Wits and Critics were no more allow'd,
When none but Saints had license to be proud.-

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With sweeter notes each rising Temple rung ;
A Raphael painted, and a Vida sung.
Immortal Vida: on whose honour'd brow

705
The Poet's bays and Critic's ivy grow:
Cremona now shall ever boast thy name,
As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!

But soon, by impious arms from Latium chac'd,
Their ancient bounds the banish'd Muses pass’d; 710
Thence Arts o'er all the northern world advance,
But Critic-learning flourish'd most in France :
The rules a nation, born to serve, obeys;
And Boileau still in right of Horace sways.
But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despist, 715
And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd;
Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold,
We still defy'd the Roinans, as of old.
Yet some there were, among the founder few
Of those who less presum'd, and better knew, 720
Who durft assert the juster ancient cause, ·
And here restor'd Wit's fundamental laws.
Such was the Muse, whose rules and practice tell,
“ Nature's chief Master-piece is writing well.”
Such was Roscommon, not more learn'd than good,
With manners generous as his noble blood;
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And every author's merit but his own.
Such late was Walsh--the Muse's judge and friend,
Who justly knew to blame or to commend;

To
VARIATION.
Ver. 723, 724. These lines are not in ed. 1.

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730

To failings mild, but zealous for desert;
The clearest head, and the sincerelt heart.
This humble praise, lamented thade ! receive,
This praise at least a grateful Muse may give :
The Mụse, whose early voice you taught to sing, 735
Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing,
(Her guide now loft) no more attempts to rise,
But in low numbers short excursions tries :
Content, if hence th' unlearn'cl their wants may view,
The learn'd reflect on what before they knew : 740
Careless of censure, nor too fond of fame;
Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame ;
Averse alike, to flatter or offened;
Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend.

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RAPE OF THE LOCK * Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuiffe tuis." MART.

THE

AN
HEROI.COMICAL POEM.

Written in the Year mocc XII.
"Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;

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