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What though no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
What though no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dress’d,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast;
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year shall blow;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground, now sacred by thy relics made.

So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame.
How loved, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot:
A heap of dust alone remains of thee:
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!

Poets themselves must fall like those they sung, Deaf the praised ear, and mute the tuneful tongue. Even he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays; Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart; Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er, The Muse forgot, and thou be loved no more!

EPISTLES.

TO

ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND

MORTIMER'.

Such were the notes thy once-loved poet sung, Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. Oh, just beheld and lost! admired and mourn'd! With softest manners, gentlest arts, adorn'd! Bless'd in each science! bless’d in every strain ! Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear—in vain!

For him thou oft hast bid the world attend, Fond to forget the statesman in the friend; For Swift and him despised the farce of state, The sober follies of the wise and great; Dexterous the craving, fawning crowd, to quit, And pleased to 'scape from flattery to wit.

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear, (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear) Recall those nights that closed thy toilsome days, Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays; Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate, Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great; Or deeming meanest what we greatest call, Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.

I sent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnell's Poems, published by our author after the Earl's imprisonment in the Tower, and retreat into the country, in the year 1721.

And sure if aught below the seats divine
Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine;
A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried,
Above all pain, all passion, and all pride,
The rage of power, the blast of public breath,
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.

In vain to deserts thy retreat is made,
The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade :
'Tis hers the brave man's latest steps to trace,
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace.
When Interest calls off all her sneaking train,
And all the obliged desert, and all the vain,
She waits, or to the scaffold or the cell,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.
Even now she shades thy evening walk with bays;
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise)
E'en now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sunset of thy various day,
Through fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell that Mortimer is he.

TO

JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.

SECRETARY OF STATE,

1720. A soul as full of worth as void of pride, Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide, Which nor to guilt nor fear its caution owes, And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows. A face untaught to feign; a judging eye, That darts severe upon a rising lie, And strikes a blush through frontless flattery.

All this thou wert; and being this before,
Know kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed minister, but still a man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Ashamed of any friend, not e’en of me:
The patriot's plain but untrod path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be ashamed of you.

TO

MR. JERVAS.

WITH MR. DRYDEN'S TRANSLATION OF FRESNOY'S ART

OF PAINTING'.

This verse be thine, my friend! nor thou refuse
This from no venal or ungrateful Muse.
Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Where life awakes, and dawns at every line,
Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass,
And from the canvass call the mimic face;
Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire
Fresnoy's close art and Dryden's native fire;
And reading wish, like theirs, our fate and fame,
So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name;
Like them to shine through long succeeding age,
So just thy skill, so regular my rage.

Smit with the love of sister-arts we came, And met congenial, mingling flame with flame;

1 This epistle, and the two following, were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.

Like friendly colours found them both unite,
And each from each contract new strength and

light.
How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
While summer-suns roll unperceived away!
How oft our slowly-growing works impart,
While images reflect from art to art!
How oft review: each finding, like a friend,
Something to blame, and something to commend!
What flattering scenes our wandering fancy

wrought, Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought! Together o'er the Alps, methinks we fly, Fired with ideas of fair Italy. With thee on Raphael's monument I mourn, Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn: With thee repose where Tully once was laid, Or seek some ruin's formidable shade. While fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view, And builds imaginary Rome anew, Here thy well-studied marbles fix our eye; A fading fresco here demands a sigh: Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare, Match Raphael's grace with thy loved Guido's air, Caracci's strength, Correggio's softer line, Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.

How finish'd with illustrious toil appears This small well-polish'd gem, the work of years ? ! Yet still how faint by precept is express'd The living image in the painter's breast! Thence endless streams of fair ideas flow, Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow;

? Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.

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