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What is loose love? a transient gust,
And burn for ever one;
Productive as the sun.
What various joys on one attend,
Whether his hoary sire he spies,
"What home-felt raptures move!
With reverence, hope, and love.
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine :
Sacred Hymen! these are thine..
ODE ON SOLITUDE.
A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire; Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day: Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mix'd; sweet recreation, And innocence, which most does please
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Tell where I lie.
Quit, oh quit, this mortal frame:
Cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
The world recedes ; it disappears !
With sounds seraphic ring:
O death! where is thy sting?
ESSAY ON CRITICISM.
Written in the Year 1709.
Introduction. That it is as great a fault to judge
ill, as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public, ver. 1. That a true taste is as rare to be found as a true genius, ver. 9 to 18. That most men are born with some taste, but spoiled by false education, ver. 10 to 25. The multitude of critics, and causes of them, ver. 26 to 45. That we are to study our own taste, and know the limits of it, ver. 46 to 67. Nature the best guide of judgement, ver. 68 to 87. Improved by art and rules, which are but methodized nature, ver. 88. Rules derived from the practice of ancient poets, ver. 88 to 110. That therefore the ancients are necessary to be studied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, ver. 120 to 138. Of licences, and the use of them by the ancients, ver. 140 to 180. Reverençe due to the ancients, and praise of them, ver. 181, &c.
"T's hard to say, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill;
A fool might once himself alone expose,
'Tis with our judgements as our watches; none
Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find Most have the seeds of judgement in their mind: Nature affords at least a glimmering light; The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are drawn
right. But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd, Is by ill-colouring but the more disgrac'd, So by false learning is good sense defac'd: Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools, And some made coxcombs nature meant but fools. In search of wit these lose their common sense, And then turn critics in their own defence: Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write, Or with a rival's or an eunuch's spite. All fools have still an itching to deride, And fain would be upon the laughing side. If Mævius scribble in Apollo's spite, There are who judge still worse than he can write.
Some have at first for wits, then poets, past; Turn'd critics next, and prov'd plain fools at last. Some neither can for wits nor critics pass, As beavy mules are neither horse nor ass. Those half-learn'd witlings, numerous in our iste, As half-form'd insects on the banks of Nile; Unfinish'd things, one knows not what to call, Their generation's so equivocal: To tell them would a hundred tongues require, Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire.