« AnteriorContinuar »
These taught my youthful steps an early care,
# To tread with caution, and proceed with fear :
Oft in my mind their black aspersions came,
And made me tremble at the love of fame; 44.
Ev’n now I dread their jealousy and spite,
And faint in fancy every line I write.
How long before the Muses can succeed
To please the world is now a task indeed!
All former methods vainly we pursue, –
The world is old, and calls for something new ;
Nothing will take with this judicious age,
But lines well labor'd, and a studied page;
where rich variety relieves the mind, f
And beams of fancy strike the critic blind;-- 42.
Exalted notions which great souls contain,
Thoughts big with life, and bursting from the brain;
Surprising novelties that never tire,
But lead the reader on from fire to fire.
Avoid the harshness of discordant chime,
Sense ill atones for violated rhyme; ->
R R's jar untuneful o'er the quivering tongue,
And serpent S with hissings spoils the song:1
When triplets like the furies join their hands,
Unlock their folds, and break their lawless bands;44,
Else Cerberus like the threefold monster stands.
'Tis true a triplet might succeed by chance,
And ev'n twelve feet judiciously advance;
But those experiments are fatal found,
And seldom us’d but when we call for sound:
All Alexandrines from the page expunge, zo.” That o'er the paper take an unweildly lunge. / y
Compounded epithets had need be few,) co-
But those familiar, and uncommon too;
Some oft like Janus wear a double face, 44-
A mongrel-mixture, and a motley-race;
With those the mountains must be always bleak,
And no kind north wind stir the sleeping lake;
Butlever-fanning breezes cool the morn, I Gr
And Suns red-rising the grey dawn adorn.] a
Others to wild description turn their style, coMake storms blow gently, and black whirlwinds of smile ;
From each dark point the scattering clouds disperse,
And gleams of golden sun-shine gild the verse : ; c.
Without Apollo's necessary aid, - 43.
What is description an eternal shade.
Weak eyes and judgments glaring objećts strike ;1 G-
Both are but dazzled and deceiv'd alike.
But above all avoid that Siren sea,
Where men of wit are often cast away; -
A tempting vice, long mentioned in the schools,
The pride of coxcombs, and the food of fools:
Here vanity holds forth her flattering glass,
And self-conceit adores her swelling face;
Where rival worth in vain pretends to vie, 4%
And every virtue lessens in her eye :
With her own lightnings oft the fair she warms,
And melts the heart of beauty by its charms;
The dart, direéted at the man of wit,
Flies wing’d with quills with which his genius writ;
The shaft that’s pointed at the breast of beaus,
Is fledg'd with feathers or brocaded cloaths ;
And statesmen (who like me are least afraid)
Are caught in nets which they themselves have
To charge with generous thoughts the clearest head, Consult the living, and read o'er the dead; ~43d Where ancient Wisdom grows more wise with age, And hoary seniors dignify the page; co
The ancient's glory, but the modern’s shame.
Supreme of those inspired Plato see, -
A name rever'd by all antiquity:
• ?: Pride of his sect, and honor of his kind;
A worthy Heathen, with a Christian mind,
Whose style and manner moderns like so well, #29
That he alone could Shaftesbury excell.
In those fam'd days of literature and taste,
Aurelian's dread endow’d with every art,
In which the two Minervas claim a part ;
Whose charaćter survives in the sublime,
As the best judge and critic of his time.
How courtier-like gay Horace ridicules, or cr
While he refines on Aristotle's rules,
By Pindar taught to tune th’ Ausonian lyre, 2-2
With Grecian elegance, and Roman fire: - or
In him Alcaeus thunders once again,
Temper’d by Sappho’s more harmonious strain;
While in thick fits her softer lightnings play,
Flash through the lines, and doubly gild the day. -
Read Cicero; consider Plutarch well,
What man he was let Chaeronea tell :
In Arně long this patriot pass'd his days,
Nor could Boeotian climes obscure his praise;
To him the noblest heroes lives were known, Že
Who studied others to improve his own.
The Mantuan swan on Mincio's margin sings,
Or o’er Cremona claps his mourning wings;
To Tyber’s banks and solitudes retires,
And mid his poplars feels poetic fires: __
Courts the cool osier's green refreshing bed, or
Or through the willows shews his silver head;
Or sails with transport down the tuneful tide,
Sweet-warbling Vida swimming by his side: or-
At Naples too they tell those birds are seen, 24.
To keep together on the haunted green;
Brundusium oft with sudden song surprise,
And warble as they journey through the skies,
To mild Parthenope's delightful shore, ar
And lands belov’d by Virgil long before. --
See Heaven descend in Homer's aweful lines,
Where all the god and all the hero shines;
|Behind Achilles lags devouring Death, I &
And the lines run the reader out of breath:
Thunders and lightnings blaze before his eyesya,
Blue streams the sulphur from poetic skies 1
Line after line the flood of light rolls on,
Foams to a fire, and brightens to a sun 1
These are the oracles of Learning now,
Consult those books, and to those Sibyls bow;
These are the lights that call good actions forth,
Revive their value, and emblaze their worth;
By those great souls let Regulus be tried,
And the brave Decii who for freedom died 1 p.
And is there not with whom you may advise,/Z2 A friend to relish and to criticise 2 One who has prov’d how hard it is to please, Not first to blame, nor yet the last to praise; With whose good sense an author might be free, And whose good-nature ne'er was flattery: When such the charaćter, and such that shines, The name of Lawson need not end those lines: Such late was Parnell—oh! too slightly mourn'd, With every Grace, with every Muse adorn'd By Swift belov'd, by Pope lamented most, 3, Lost to the world—to wit and friendship lost— Yet shall he live, while Taste is kept alive, And his lov’d Plato in his verse revive;