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'Twas thine to decorate the gorgeous scene,
Where Arts were proud to aid the Carian queen.
Richly she rais’d, for widow'd love's relief,
The grand memorial of imperial grief,
The Mausoleum, whose immortal name
Records her sorrow, and preserves her fame.
Of feelings exquisite, to fondness prone,
And pleas’d to make peculiar praise thy own,
Praxiteles! the power that sway'd thee most,
Made it thy joy, thy privilege, thy boast,
To see coy Beauty own thy kind control,
And show each soft emotion of her soul;
While breathing stone accomplish'd thy behest,
And every charm of tender grace express’d;
Till thy fine Work such perfect life display'd,
Venus with pride her marble self survey’d.
Enchanting artist! whose warm heart was seen
Devoting all thy skill to Beauty's queen!
'Twas not thy fate to serve a thankless power ;
Her smile is gratitude, delight her dower.
Love, her young darling, thy dear Art caress’d,
Child of thy genius, sovereign of thy breast!
Thy sportive patroness to thy embrace
Consign’d the fairest of her Grecian race,
Whose wit to beauty could new charms impart,
Pleas’d to inspirit and reward thy art.
This playful fair would secret knowledge seek,
Which her unboasting friend declin’d to speak :
She wish'd to know (a wish in vain express’d)
Which of his happy works he deem'd the best : 230
The best is hers, if she the best will choose,
But self-applause his modest lips refuse,
A fubtle fi&tion aids her strong desire : “ Praxiteles ! thy gallery's on fire !” With fear well feign’d the fond enthusiast cries. Quick, in alarm, the man of art replies : “ Oh, angry Vulcan ! mar each meaner shape, “ But let my Cupid and my Faun escape !" The smiling fair relieves him in a trice, And Cupid, soon her own, repays the fond device *. 240
Of fterner spirit, and with bold design,
Toiling in two congenial arts to shine,
With energetic truth Euphranor wrought
The forceful features of heroic thought;
And ere the youth a vanquish'd world o’errun,
In glory's car he seated Philip's fon *
Hail to that graceful youth! whose fervid mind,
Feeling and taste in early life refin’d;
Who on the soul of cherish'd art impress’d
That zeal for glory which his own confess’d! 3
Let the stern fage chastise with Reason's rod, ..
Ambition’s victim, and Delirium’s god, ..
More pleasing duties to the bard belong,
While tracing Sculpture's march in moral song.
Honour's just tribute to the prince he pays,
Who view'd her beauty with a lover's gaze;
And nobly fav’d it from a quick decline
By liberal care, and bounty's warmth benign:
Who bade her favourite son his power surpass,
And call to life in fame-conferring brass
260 * See NOTE VII.
(A work, where Gratitude with glory blends!) His guardian group, his felf-devoted friends.
Proud of the victor’s praise, and pleas'd to aid A hero's spirit by affection fway’d, With such enchanting skill Lyfippus' hand Rais’d to distinction this devoted band, That as each Macedon their forms beheld, With kindred fire each martial bosom swell’d; Each for their lot would gladly yield his breath, And deem their honor cheaply bought by death. 1. 270
How blest, Lyfippus! was thy signal fate, Whose genius found all graces in the great ! Nature and Fortune feemd for thee to blend, In one bright form, the model, patron, friend. His taste enlighten'd whom his power sustain’d, And in the sculptor's heart the hero reign’d. Hence, for thy godlike Ammon 'twas thy praise Each varying semblance of his form to raise ; Marking of changeful life the gradual course, From childhood's tenderness to manhood's force; 280
With such felicity of latent skill
As labour, led by love alone, can find,
By love, the offspring of a grateful mind.
Ever, Lyfippus ! be thy name rever'd,
By moral dignity of mind endear'd!
Glory, well-pleas’d, thy double worth beheld,
The matchless artist by the man excell’d;
Thy upright spirit, firm in manly sense,
Scorning to favour impious Pride's pretence,
Reprov'd thy friend Apelles, that he strove
To lavish lightning on a fancied Jove;
And to thy ftatue, rationally grand,
Gave the just weapon of a hero's hand.
Thy taste ador’d, with Virtue's temperate flame,
Truth, as the fountain both of art and fame;
Yet no ill-founded rule, no servile fear,
Chain'd thy free mind in Fancy’s fav’rite sphere.
Thy dauntless thought, proportion for its guide,
From life's trite field each brave excursion tried: