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Nor Baiæ now, nor Umbria's plain they love,
Illastrious names ! that once in Latium shin’d,
As late on Virgil's tomb fresh flowers I strow'd, While with the inspiring Muse my bosom glow'd, Crown'd with eternal bays my ravish'd eyes Bebeld the poet's awful form arise :
* Stranger,' he said, “whose pious hand has paid
TO MR. POPE,
ON THE PUBLISHING HIS WORKS.
By Simon Harcourt.
[joice! But hark! what shouts, what gathering crowds reUostain'd their praise by any venal voice, Such as the ambitious vainly think their due, When prostitutes or needy flatterers sue, And see the chief! before him lavrels borne ; Trophies from undeserving temples torn; Here Rage, enchain'd, reluctant raves, and there Pale Envy dumb and sickening with despair; Prone to the earth she bends her loathing eye, Weak to support the blaze of majesty. But what are they that turn the sacred page ? Tluvee lovely virgins, and of equal age ! Intent they read, and all enamour'd seem, As be that met his likeness in the stream: The Graces these ; and see how they contend, Who most shall praise, who best shall recommend. The chariot now the painful steep ascends, The pæans cease, thy glorious labour ends. Here fix’d, the bright eternal temple stands, Its prospect an unbounded view commands : Say, wondrous youth, what column wilt thou choose, What laureld arch for thy triumphant Muse? Though each great ancient court thee to bis shrine, Though every laurel through the dome be thine, (From the proud epic, down to those that shade The gentler brow of the soft Lesbian maid) Go to the good and just, an awful train, Thy soul's delight and glory of the fane : While through the earth thy dear remembrance flies, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.'
I Am inclined to think that both the writers of books, and the readers of them, are generally not a little unreasonable in their expectations. The first seem to fancy that the world must approve whatever they produce, and the latter to imagine that authors are obliged to please them at any rate. Methinks, as on the one hand no single man is born with a right of controlling the opinions of all the rest; so, on the other, the world has no title to demand that the whole care and time of any particular person should be sacrificed to its entertainment: therefore, I cannot but believe that writers and readers are under equal obligations, for as niuch fame or pleasure as each affords the other.
Every one acknowledges, it would be a wild notion to expect perfection in any work of man ; and yet one would think the contrary was taken for granted, by the judgment commonly passed upon poems. A critic supposes he has done his part if he proves a writer to have failed in an expression, or erred in any particular point; and can it then be wondered at if the poets in general seem resolved not to own themselves in any error? For as long as one side will make no allow. ances, the other will be brought to do acknowledgments.
I am afraid this extreme zeal on both sides is ill placed; Poetry and Criticism being by no means