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Poets are bound a loud applause to pay; I $ Apollo bids it, and they must obey.
And yet so wonderful, sublime a thing, As the great Iliad, scarce could make me sing; Except I justly could at once commend A good Companion, and as firm a Friend. 20 One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed Can all desert in Sciences exceed.
'Tis great delight to laugh at some mens ways, But a much greater to give Merit praise.
To Mr. POP E, on his Pastorals. '•
IN these more dull, as more censorious days,
When few dare give, and fewer merit praise,
A Muse sincere, that never Flatt'ry knew,
Pays what to friendship and desert is due.
Young, yet judicious; in your verse are found 5
Art strength'ningNature, Sense improv'd bySound,
Unlike those Wits, whose numbers glide along
So smooth, no thought e'er interrupts the song;
Laboriously enervate they appear,
And write not to the head, but to the ear: 1 p
Our minds unmov'd and unconcern'd they lull,
And are at best most musically dull:
So purling streams with even murmurs creep,
And hush the heavy hearers into sleep.
As smoothest speech is most deceitful found, 15
The smoothest numbers oft are empty sound.
But Wit and Judgment join at once in you,
Sprightly as Youth, as Age consummate too:
Your strains are regularly bold, and please 1
With unforc'd care, and unaffected ease, 20 >
With proper thoughts, and lively images: }
Such as by Nature to the Antients shewn,
Fancy improves, and judgment makes your own:
For great mens fashions to be follow'd are, '.
Altho' disgraceful 'tis their clothes to wear. 2 5
Some in a polish'd style write Pastoral,
Arcadia speaks the language of the Mall;
Like some fair Shepherdess, the Sylvan Muse,
Should wear those flow'rs her native fields produce;
And the true measure of the shepherd's wit 3 o
Should, like his garb, be for the Country fit: •
Yet must his pure and unaffected thought
More nicely than the common swain's be wrought.
So, with becoming art, the Players dress
In silks the shepherd, and the shepherdess; 3 5
Yet still unchang'd the form and mode remain,
Shap'd like the homely russet of the swain.
Your rural Muse appears to justify
The long lost graces of Simplicity:
So rural beauties captivate our fense 40
With virgin charms, and native excellence.
Yet long her Modesty those charms conceal'-d,
'Till by mens Envy to the world reveal'd;
For Wits industrious to their trouble seem,
And needs will envy what they must esteem. 45
Live and enjoy their spite! nor mourn that fate,
Which would, is Virgil liv'd, on Virgil wait;
'Whose Muse did once, like thine, in plains delight;
Thine shall, like his, soon take a higher flight;
So Larks, which first from lowly fields arise, 50
Mount by degrees, and reach at last the skies.
To Mr. P O P E, on his Windsor-Forest.
HAIL, sacred Bard! a Muse unknown before Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic shore. To our dark world thy shining page is shown, And Windsor's gay retreat becomes our own.
The Eastern pomp had just bespoke our care,
And India pour'd her gaudy treasures here:
A Various spoil adorn'd our naked land,
The pride of Persia glitter'd on our strand,
And China's Earth was cast on common sand:
Toss'd up and down the glossy fragments lay, j o
And dress'd the rocky shelves, and pav'd the
Thy treasures next arriv'd: and now we boast
A nobler cargo on our barren coast;
From thy luxuriant Forest we receive
More lasting glories than the East can give. 15
Where-c'er we dip in thy delightful page,
What pompous scenes our busy thoughts engage!
The pompous scenes in all their pride appear,
Fresh in the page, as in the grove they were.
Nor half so true the fair Lodona shows 20
The sylvan state that on her border grows,
While slie the wond'rirrg shepherd entertains
With a new Windsor in her wat'ry plains j
Thy juster lays the lucid wave surpass,
The living scene is in the Muse's glass. 25
Nor sweeter notes the echoing Forests chear,
When Philomela sits and warbles there.
Vol. I. B
Than when you sing the greens aud op'ning glades,
And give us Harmony as well as Shades:
A Titian s hand might draw the grove, but you
Can paint the grove, and add the Music too. 31
With vast variety thy pages shine •,
A new creation starts in ev'ry line.
How sudden trees rise to the reader's sight,
And make a doubtful scene of made and light,
And give at once the day, at once the night!
And here again what sweet confusion reigns,
In dreary deserts mix'd with painted plains!
And fee! the deserts cast a pleasing gloom,
And shrubby heaths rejoice in purple bloom: 40
Whilst fruitful crops rise by their barren side,
And bearded groves display their annual pride.
Happy the man, who strings his tuneful lyre, Where woods, and brooks, and breathing fields
inspire! Thrice happy you! and worthy best to dwell 45 Amidst the rural joys you sing so well. I in a cold, and in a barren clime, Cold as my thought, and barren as my rhyme, Here on the Western beach attempt to chime.