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ON THE

PROLOGUE

· E LE GY STOKEN AT THE COURT AT WHITEHALL,

EARL OF ROCHESTER. KING CH AR LES II.

BY MRS. WHARTON.
BY TUE LADY ELIZABETH HOWARD.
IT has of late took up a trick t' appear

EEP waters silent roll; so grief like mine

BEFORE

W , at ,

D

And poets share the fate by which we fall,
When kindly we attempt to plcase you all.
'Tis hard your scorn should against such prevail,
Whole ends are to divert you, though they fail.
You men would think it an ill-natur'u jest,
Should we laugh at you when you do your best.
'Then rail not here, though you see reason for 't ;
if wit can find itself no better sport,
Wit is a very foolish thing at court.
Wit's business is to please, and not to fright;
'Tis no wit to be always in the right;
You'll find it none, who dare be so to-night.
Few so ill-bied will venture to a play,
To spy out faults in what we women fay.
For us, no mat: ur what we speak, but how :
How kindly can we say-I hate you now!
And for the men, if you'll laugh at them, do;
They mind themselves so much, they'll ne'er mind

you. But why do I dcscend to lose a prayer On those small saints in wit ? the god sits there!

Stop then, stop your vain source, weak springs of

grief, Let tears flow from their eyes whom tears rebere. They from their heads show the light trouble thare, Could my heart weep, its forrows 'twould declare: When drops of blood, my heart, thou'st loft ; tay

pride, The cause of all thy hopes and fears, thy guide! He would have led thee right in Wisdom's way, And 'twas thy fault whene'er thou went'it aftraj: And since thou it: ay'd'rt when guided and led ca, Thou wilt be surely loft now left alone. It is thy Elegy I write, got his : He lives immortal and in highest bliss, But thou art dead, alas! my heart, thou 'rt dead:

1:2 He lives, that lovely soul for ever fled, But thou 'mongit crouds an earth are buried. Great was thy loss, which thou can ne'er expraks, Nor was th' insensible dul nation's less; He civiliz'd the rude, and taught the young, Made fools grow wise ; such artsul magic hung Upon his useful kind instructing tongue. His lively wit was of himself a part, Not, as in other men, the work of art; For, though his learning like his wit was great, Yet sure all learning came below his wit; As God's immediate gifts are better far Than those we borrow from ear likeness bere, He was--but I want words, and ne'er can tell, Yet this I know, he did mankind excell.

He was what no man ever was before, Nor can indulgent nature give us more, For, to makc him, the exhausted all her store.

}

TO THE KING, TO you (Great SIR) my message hither tends, From Youth and Beauty, your allies and friends; See my credentials written in my face, They challenge your protection in this place ; And hither come with such a force of charms, As may give check ev'n to your prosperous arms. Millions of Cupids hovering in the rear, Like angels following fatal troops, appear : All waiting for the slaughter which draws nigh, Of those boid gazers who this night must die. Nor can you 'scape our soft captivity, From which old age alone must let you free. Then tremble at the fatal consequence, Since 'tis well known, for your own part, great

Prince, 'Gainst us you still have made a weak defence. Be generous and wise, and take our part; Reniember we have eyes, and you a heart ; Else you may find, too late, that we are things Born to kill vassals, and to conquer kings. But oh to what vain conqueft I pretend ! While Love is our commander, and your friend. Our victory your empire more aflurcs, For Love will ever make the triumph yours.

* See Mr. Waller's verses on the Elegy borz printed; and verses also on Mrs. Wharton's " Paraphrase on the Lord's Prayer." Waller's te cantos of Divine Poesy were occasioned upon “ light of the 53d chapter of lfaiah, turned iro. “ verse by Mrs. Wharton.” Her Verles to “ Mr. Waller" are mentioned by Ballard; as1 her translation of “ Penclope to Ulysses" is printed in Tonson's edition of Ovid's Epistles. For further particulars of this lady, see * Selea Cal. “ lection of Miscellaneous Poems, 1780," rol! p. 51. vol. II. p. 319.

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É A R Í OF R'OS COM M O N.

AN

ON

HAR

more

When France had breath'd, after inteftine

broils,
2 S S A Y

And peace and conquest crown'd her foreign toils.
There (cultivated by a royal burd)
Learning grew fast, and spread, and bleft the

land; TRANSLATED VERS E. The choicest books that Rome or Greece have

known,
CAPPY that author, whose correct * essay Her excellent translators made her own;

Repairs so well our old Horatian way: And Europe Itill considerably gains,
And happy you, who (by propitious fute) Both by their good example and their pains.
On great Apollo's sacred standard wait,

From hence our generous cinulation came,
And with strict discipline instructed right, We undertook, and we perform'd the samic,
Have learn’d to use your arms before you fight. But now, we thow the world a nobler way,
But since the press, the pulpit, and the stage, And in translated verfe do more than they;
Conspire to censure and expose our age:

Serene and clear, harmonious Horace tlows, Provok'd too far, we resolutely must,

With sweetness not to be exprcft in profe: To the few virtnes that we have, be just. Degrading profe explains his meaning ill, For who have long'd, or who have labour'd And shows the stuff, but not the workman's skill:

| (who have serv'd him more than twenty years) To search the treasures of the Roman store; Scarce know my nafter as he there appears. Or dig in Grecian mines for purer ore?

Vain are our neighbours hopes, and vain their The noblest fruits transplanted in our isle

cares, With carly hope and fragrant blossoms smile. The fault is more their language's than theirs ; Familiar Ovid tender thoughts inspires,

'Tis courtly, florid, and abounds in words And Nature feconds all his soft defires':

Of fofter found than ours perhaps affords; 'Theocritus does now to us bclong ;

But who did ever in French authors see Ard Albion's rocks repeat his rural song.

The comprehensive English energy? Who has not heard how Italy was blett,

The weighty bullion of one sterling line, Above the Medes, above the wealthy East? Drawn to French wire, would through whole pages Or Gallus' song, so tender and so true,

shine. As ev'n Lycoris might with pity view !

I speak my private, but impartial sense, When mourning nymphs attend their Daphnis' With freedom, and (I hope) without offence; hearse,

For I'll recant, when France can fhew me wit,
Who does not weep that reads the moving verse ! As strong as ours, and as succinctly writ.
But hear, oh hear, in what exalted strains "Tis true, composing is the nobler part,
Sicilian Muses through these happy plains But good tracslation is no easy art.
Proclaim Saturnian timcs--our own Apollo For though materials have long since heen found,
reigns !

Yet both your fancy and your hands are bound;
And by improving what was writ before,

lavention labours less, but judgment more. John Sheffield duke of Buckinghamshire.

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The soil intended for Pierian seeds

With nauseous images my fancy fills,
Must be well purged from rank pedantic weeds. And all goes down like oxymel of squills.
Apollo starts, and all Parnassus ihakes,

Inttruct the listening world how Maro fing At the rude rumbling Baralipton makes.

of useful subjects and of lofty things. For none have been with admiration road,

These will such true, such bright ideas mike, But who (beside their learning) were well bred. As merit gratitude, as well as praise :

The first great work (a tak perform'd by few) But foul defcriptions are offensive still, Is, that yourself may to yourself be true : Either for being like, or being ill. No mak, no tricks, no favour, no reserve ; For who, without a qualm, hath ever look'd Diffect your mind, examine every nerve.

On holy garbage, though by Homer cook'd? Whoever vainly on his strength depends,

Whole railing heroes, and whole wounded Godk
Begins like Virgil, but like Mævius ends. Makes some suspect he snores, as well as nods.
That wretch (in spite of his forgotten rhymes) But I offend-Virgil begins to frown,
Condemn'd to live to all succeeding times, And Horace looks with indignation down;
With pompous nonsense and a bellowing found My blushing Muse with conscious fear retires,
Sung lofty llium, tunibling to the ground. And whom they like, implicitly admires.
And (if my Muse can through past ages fee) On sure foundations let your fabric sise,
That noisy, nauseous, gaping fool was he; And with attractive majesty surprise,
Exploded, when with universal scorn,

Not by affected meretricious arts,
The mountains labour'd and a mouse was born. But ftrict harmonious symmetry of parts;

Learn, learn, Crotona’s brawny wrestler cries, Which through the whole infenfibly must pass, Audacious mortals, and be tinely wise!

With vital heat to animate the mass : "Tis Ithat call, remember Milo's end,

A pure, an active, an auspicious fiame, Wedg'd in that timber, which he trove to rend. And bright as heaven, from whence the bk Eng Each poee with a different talent writes,

came ; One praises, one infructs, another bitcs.

But few, oh few souls, præordain'd by fate, Horace did ne'er aspire to Epic bays,

The race of Gods, have reach'd that cory": Nor lofty Maro stoop to Lyric lays.

height. Examine how your humour is inclind,

No Rebel-Titan's facrilegious crime,
And which the ruling paslion of your mind; By heaping hills on hills can hither climb:
Then, seek a poet who your way does bend, The grizly ferryman of hell deny'd
And choose an author as you choose a friend, Æneas entrance, till he knew his guide :
United by this sympathetic bond,

How juftly then will impions mortals fal,
You grow familiar, ilitimate, and fond;

Whose pride would four to heaven without Your thoughts, your words, your styles, your souls

call! agree,

Pride (of all others the mot dangerous fault) No longer his interpreter, but he.

Proceeds from want of fenfe, or want of thought. With how much ease is a yoang Muse betray'd! The men, who labour and digest things meit, How nice the reputation of the maid!

Will be much apter to defpond than boast : Your early, kind, paternal care appears,

For if your author be profoundly good, By chafte instruetion of her tender years.

'Twill cost you dear before he's nnderstood. The first impression in her insane-breast

How many ages fince has Virgil writ! Will be the deepest, and should be the best. How few are they who understand him yet! Let not autterity breed servile fear,

Approach his altars with religious fear, No wanton sound offend her virgin ear.

No vulgar deity inhabits there : Secure from foolish pride's affected Itate,

Heaven shakes not nrore at Jove's imperial nod, And fpecions flattery's more perniciou s hait, Than poets should before their Mantuan God, Habitual innocence adorns her thoughts,

Hail mighty Maro! may that facred name But your neglect muft anfwer for her faults. Kindle my breast with thy celestial fiame; Immodest words admit no defence;

Sublime ideas and apt words infuse, For want of decency is want of fense.

The Mufe inftrua my voice, and chou inspire the What moderate fop would rake the Park or stews,

Musc! Who among troops of faultless nymphis may What I have instanc'd only in the best, choose ?

Is, in proportion, true of all the reft. Variety of such is to be found:

Take pains the genuine meaning to explore, Take then a subject proper to expound:

There sweat, there strain, tug the laborious car; But moral, great, and worth a poet's voice, Search every comment that your care can find, For men of tense despise a trivial choice :

Some here, fome there, may hit the poet's mind; And such applause it mutt expect to meet, Yet be not blindly guided by the throng; As would some painter busy in a street,

The multitude is always in the wrong: To copy bulls and bears, and every fign,

When things appear unnatural or hard, That calls the staring fots to nasty wine.

Consult your author, with himself compar'd; Yet 'tis not all to have a subject good,

Who knows what blesing Phobus may befton, It must delight us when 'tis underftood.

And future ages to your labour owe? He that brings fulsome objects to my view, Such secrets are not casily found out, (As many old have done, and many new) But, once discover'd, leave no room for double

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Truth stamps convi&tion in your ravish'd breast, For, greedy of physicians frequent fees,
And peace and joy attend the glorious guest. From femnale mellow praise he takes degrees;

Truch Atill is one; truth is divinely bright, Struts in a new unlicens'd gown, and then
No cloudy doubts obscure her native light; From saving women falls to killing men.
While in your thoughts you find the least debate, Another such had left the nation thin,
You may confound, but never can translate. In spite of all the children he brought in.
Your style will this through all disguises show, His pills as thick as hand-granadoes flew;
For none explain more clearly than they know. And where they fell, as certainly they few;
He only proves he underitando a text

His name struck every where as great a damp; Whose exposition leaves it unperplex'd.

As Archimedes through the Roman camp. They who too faithfully on names inlist,

With this, the doctor's pride began to cool; Racher create than diffipate the mist;

For smarting foundly may convince a fool. And grow unjust by being over-nice,

But now repentance came too late for grace; (For superstitious virtue turns to vice.)

And meagre Famine star'd him in the face: Let Crassus's * ghost and Labienus tell

Pain would he to the wives be reconcil'd, How twice in Parthian plains their legions fell. But found no husband left to own a child. Since Rome hath been so jealous of her fame. The friends, that got the brats, were poifou'd That few know Pacorus' or Monæses' name. Words in one language elegantiy us’d,

In this fad case, what could our vermin do? Will hardly in another be excus'd.

Worry'd with debts and past all hope of bail, And some that Rome admir'd in Cæsar's time, Thi’unpity'd wretch lies rotting in a jail: May neither suit our genius nor our clime. And there with basket-alms, farce kept alive, The genuine fenfe, intelligibly told,

Shews how mistaken talents ought to thrive. Shews a translator both discreet and bold.

I pity, from my soul, unhappy men, Excursions are inexpiably bad;

Conpeli'd by want to proftitute their pen; And 'tis much safer to leave out than add. Who must, like lawyers, either ftarve or plead, Abitruse and mystic thoughts you must exprefs And Collow, right or wrong, where guineas lead! With painful care, but secming casiness;

But you, Pompilian, weaithy, pamper'd heirs, For truth tipes brightest through the plainest Who to your country owe your swords and cares, dress.

Lei no vain hope your easy inind seduce, Th' Ænean Muse, when the appears in sate, For rich ill poets are without excuse. Makes all Jove's thunder on her verses wait. 'Tis very dangerous, tampering with a Moses Yet writes fometimes as soft and moving things The profit 's small, and you have much to lose; As Venus fpeaks, or Philumeta fings.

For though true wit adorns your birth or place, Your author always will the bett advise,

Degenerate lines degrade th' attainted race. Fall when he falls, and when he riles rise.

No poet any pallion can excite, Affected noise is the most wretched thing,

But what they feel transport them when they That to contempt can empty fcriblers bring.

write, Vowels and accents, regularly plac'd,

Have you been led through the Cumæan cave, On even fyllables (and itill the last).

And heard th' impatient maid divinciy rave? Though gross innumerable faults abound,

I hear her now; i lec her rolling eyes : In spite of nonsense, never fail of sound.

And panting; Lo! the god, the god, she cries; But this is meant of even verse alone,

With words not hers, and more than human sound As being most harmonious and most known : She makes th' obedient ghosts peep trembling For if you will unequal numbers try,

through the ground. There accents on odd syllables must lie.

But, though we must obey when heaven comWhatever filter of the learned Nine

mands, Does to your fuit a willing ear incline,

And man in vain the sacred call withstands, Urge your success, deserve a lafting name, Eeware what spirit rages in your breast; She'll crown a grateful and a constant fiame. For ten inspir'd, ten thousand are pofleft. But, if a wild uncertainty prevail,

Thus make the proper use of cach extreme, And turn your vecring heart with every gałe, And write with fury, but correct with phlegm. You lose the fruit of all your former care, As when the cheerful hours too frcely pass, For the fad prospect of a juft despair.

And sparkling wine siniles in the tempting glass, A quack (coo fcandaloully mean to name) Your pulfe advises, and begins to beat Had, by man-midwifery, got wealth and fame : Through every swelling vein a loud retrcat; As if Lucina had forgot her trade,

So when a Mure propitiously invites, The labouring wife invokes his furer aid.

Improve her favours, and indulge her Aights; Well-feafon'd bowls the godip's spirits raise, But when you find that vigorous heat abate, Who, while lae guzzles, chats the doctor's praise; Leave off, and for another summons wait. And largely, what the wants in words, supplies, Before the radiant fun, a glimmering lamp, With maudlin-eloquence of trickling eyes.

Adulterate metals to the iterling stamp, Best what a thougheless aninial is man!

Appear not meaner, than mere human lines, (How very adive in his owo trepan!)

Compar'd with those whose inspiration Thines;

Thele nervous, bold; those languid and remiss; * Hor. 3 04. vi.

There, cold falutes; but here a lover's kils.

}

i Son

Thus have I seen a rapid headlong tide,

• Lcd our exalted fouls through heavenly catepe, With foaming waves the passive Soane divide; And mark'd the ground where proud apoftare Whose lazy waters without motion lay,

" thrones While he, with eager force, urg'd his impetuous Defy'd Jehovah! Here, 'twixt host and hoft, way.

(A narrow, but a dreadful interval) The privilege that ancient poets claim, • Portentous fight! before the cloudy van Now turn'd to licence by too just a name,

Satan with vast and haughty ftrides advanc'd, Belongs to none but an establish'd fame,

• Came towering arm'd in adamant and gold. Which scorns to take it

'There bellowing engines, with their fiery tubes, Absurd expressions, crude, atortive thoughts, Dispers'd æthereal forms, and down they fell all the lewd legion of exploded faults,

"By thousands, angels on archangels rolld; Base fugitives to that asylum fly,

• Recover'd, to the hills they ran, they flew, And sacred laws with insolence defy.

" Which (with their ponderous load, rocks, waten, Not thus our heroes of the former days,

' woods) Deserv'd and gain'd their never-fading bays; " From their firm seats torn by the shaggy tope For I mistake, or far the greatest part

They bore like frields before them through the of what some call neglect, was study'd art.

' air, When Virgil secms to trifle in a line,

• Till more incens'd they hurl'd them at their las 'Tis like a warning-piece, which gives the sign ' All was confuson, heaven's foundation hook, To wake your fancy, and prepare your sight, " Threatning no less than univerfal wreck, To reach the noble height of fonie unusual flight. · For Michael's arm main promontories flung, I lose my patience, when with saucy pride, ' And over-prest whole legions weak with fir : By untun'd ears I hear his numbers try'd. · Yet they blasphem'd and struggled as they las, Reverse of nature ! shall such copies then

« Till the great ensign of Mefliah blaz’d, Arraign th' originals of Maro's pen!

* And (arm’d with vengeance) God's victorio And the rnde notions of pedantic schools Blafpheme the sacred founder of our rules! (Effulgence of paternal deity) The delicacy of the nicest ear

• Grafping ten thousand thunders in his hand, Finds nothing harsh or out of order there. • Drove th' old original rebels headlong down, Sublime or low, unbended or intense,

. And sent them flaming to the vast abyss.' The sound is still a comment to the sense.

may I live to hail the glorious day, A skilful ear in numbers should preside, And fing loud pæans through the crowded way, And all disputes without appeal decide.

When in triumphant state the British Muse, This ancient Rome and elder Athens found, True to herself, fhall barbarous aid refuse, Before mistaken stops debauch'd the found. And in the Roman majesty appear,

When, by impulse from heaven, Tyrtæus sung, Which none know better, and none come fonet. In droopirg soldiers a new courage sprung; Reviving Sparta now the fight maintain'd, And what two generals lott a poet gain'd. By secret influence of indulgent skies, Empire and poely together rise. True poets are the guardians of a state, And, when they fail, portend approaching fate, EARL OF ROSC O M MOX, For that which Rome to conquer did inspire, Was not the Vestal, but the Muses' fire ;

ON HIS ESSAY ON TRANSLATED VERSI, Heaven joins the bleflings : No declining age E'er felt the raptures of poetic rage.

BY DR. CHETWOOD, 1684. Of many faults, rhyme is (perhaps) the cause ; Too strid to rhyme, we light more useful laws, S when by labouring stars new kingdoms rue For that, im Greece or Rome, was never known, Till by barbarian deluges o’erflown:

A court unform’d, disorder at the bar, Subdued, undone, they did at last obey,

And ev'n in peace the rugged mien of war, And change their own for their invaders' way. Till some wise itatesman into method draws

I grant that from some mosly, idol oak, The parts, and animates the frame with laws; In double rhymes our 'Thor and Woden spoke; Such was the case when Chaucer's early tou And by succession of unlearned times,

Founded the Muses' empire in our foil.
As Bards began, fo Monks rung on the chinies, Spenser improv'd it with his painful hand,

But now that Phæbus and the facred Nine, But lost a noble Mufe in Fairy-land.
With all their beams on our blest island shine, Shakspeare said all that Nature could impart,
Why should not we their ancient rites restore, And Jonson added Industry and Art.
And be, what Ronre or Athens were before ? Cowley and Denham gain'd immortal praise;
Have we forgot how Raphael's numerous And fome, who merit

as they wear the bays • prose

Search'd all the treasuries of Greece and Rome,

And brought the precious spoils in triumph kocke * An essay on blank verfe, out of Paradise Lost, But still our language had some ancient rut; B. VI.

Our flights were often high, but seldom jail.

TO TUE

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