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The time shall come, when free as seas or wind, By music, minds an equal temper know,
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Music her soft, assuasive voice applies ; Earth's distant ends our glory shall behold,
Or, when the soul is press'd with cares, And the new world launch forth to seek the old Exalts her in enlivening airs. Then ships of uncooth form shall stem the tide, Warriors she fires with animated sounds ; And feather'd people crowd my wealthy side, Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds, And naked youths and painted chiefs admire
Melancholy lifts her head, · Our speech, our colour, and our strange attire!
Morpheus rouses from his bed, Oh, stretch thy reign, fair peace! from shore to Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes, shore,
Listening envy drops her snakes, Till conquest cease, and slavery be no more ;
Intestine war no more our passions wage, Till the freed Indians in their native groves
And giddy factions bear away their rage. Reap their own fruits, and woo their sable loves ;
But when our country's cause provokes to arms Peru once more a race of kings behold,
How martial music every bosom warms!
So when the first bold vessel dared the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian raised his strain, Gigantic pride, pale terror, gloomy care,
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main.
Transported demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflamed with glory's charms : There hateful envy her own snakes shall feel,
Each chief his sevenfold shield display'd
And half unsheathed the shining blade :
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound
To arms, to arms, to arms!
But when through all the infernal bounds,
Which faming Plegethon surrounds, And bring the scenes of opening fate to light;
Love, strong as death, the poet led My humble muse, in anambitious strains,
To the pale nations of the dead, Paints the green forests and the flowery plains,
What sounds were heard, Where peace descending, bids her olive spring,
What scenes appear'd, And scatters blessings from her dove-like wing.
O'er all the dreary coasts ! E'en I more sweetly pass my careless days,
Dreadful gleams, Pleased in the silent shade with empty praise ;
Dismal screams, Enough for me, that to the listening swains
Fires, that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
And cries of tortured ghosts :
But, hark! he strikes the golden lyre :
And see! the tortured ghosts respire.
See, shady forms advance!
Thy stone, O Sisyphus, stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel, DESCEND, ye Nine: descend and sing:
And the pale spectres dance! The breathing instruments inspire ;
The Furies sink upon their iron beds, Wake into voice each silent string,
And snakes uncurl'd hang listening round their heads And sweep the sounding lyre !
By the streams that ever flow, In a sadly-pleasing strain
By the fragrant winds that blow
O'er the Elysian flowers;
By those happy souls, who dwell
In yellow meads of asphodel,
Or amaranthine bowers!
By the bero's armed shades,
Glittering through the gloomy glades;
By the youths that died for love,
Wandering in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life :
He sung, and hell consented
To hear the poet's prayer ;
Stern Proserpine relented,
And gave him back the fair.
Thus song could prevail
O'er death and o'er hell;
A conquest how hard and how glorious !
Antistrophe 1. Though fate had fast bound her
Oh heaven-born sisters! source of art! With Styx nine times round her,
Who charm the sense, or mend the heart; Yet music and love were victorious.
Who lead fair virtue's train along, But soon, too soon the lover turns his eyes :
Moral truth and mystic song! Again she falls, again she dies, she dies !
To what new clime, what distant sky, How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move ?
Forsaken, friendless, shall ye fly? No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love. Say, will ye bless the bleak Atlantic shore ? Now under hanging mountains
Or bid the furious Gaul be rude no more? Beside the falls of fountains,
Strophe 2. Or where Hebrus wanders,
When Athens sinks by fates unjust,
When wild barbarians spurn her dust!
Perhaps e'en Britain's utmost shore
Shall cease to blush with stranger's gore:
See arts her savage sons controul,
And Athens rising near the pole!
Till some new tyrant lifts his purple hand, Now with furies surrounded,
And civil madness tears them from the land Despairing, confounded,
Antistrophe 2. He trembles, he glows,
Ye gods! what justice rules the ball ? Amidst Rhodope's snows;
Freedom and arts together fall; See, wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies ;
Fools grant whate'er ambition craves, Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries- And men once ignorant are slaves.
he dies !
O cursed effects of civil hate, Yet e'en in death Eurydice he sung :
In every age, in every state ! Eurydice still trembled on his tongue:
Still, when the lust of tyrant power succeeds,
Some Athens perishes, some Tully bleeds.
CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND VIRGINS.
Ou tyrant Love! hast thou possess'd
The prudent, learn'd, and virtuous brcast ?
Wisdorn and wit in vain reclaim,
And arts but soften us to feel thy flame.
Love, soft intruder, enters here,
But entering learns to be sincere. And to her Maker's praise confined the sound,
Marcus, with blushes owns he loves, When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,
And Brutus tenderly reproves. The immortal powers incline their ear :
Why, virtue, dost thou blame desire, Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire,
Which nature hath impress'd ? While solemn airs improve the sacred fire;
Why, nature, dost thou soonest fire And angels lean from heaven to hear.
The mild and generous breast ?
Love's purer flames the gods approve;
The gods and Brutus bend to love :
Brutus for absent Porcia sighs,
What is loose love? a transient gust,
Spent in a sudden storm of lust;
A vapour fed from wild desire;
A wandering, self-consuming fire.
But Hymen's kinder flames unite, Allered from Shakspeare by the Duke of Buckingham: And burn for ever one;
at whose desire these two Chorusses were composed, Chaste as cold Cynthia's virgin light, to supply as many wanting in his Play. They were
Productive as the sun. set many years afterwards by the famous Bononcini,
Semichorus. and performed at Buckingham house.
Oh source of every social lie,
United wish, and mutual joy!
What various joys on one attend,
As son, as father, brother, husband, friend.
While thousand grateful thoughts arise ;
Or meets his spouse's fonder eye; And Epicurus lay inspired!
Or views his smiling progeny ; In vain your guiltless laurels stood
What tender passions take their turns. Unspotted long with human blood.
What home-felt raptures move ! War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades, His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns, And steel now glitters in the muses' shades.
With reverence, hope, and love.
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine :
Sacred Hymen! these are thine.
with some taste, but spoiled by false education, ver 19 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 judgment, 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 neces. sary to be studied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, ver. 120 to 138. or licenses, and the use of them by the ancients, ver. 140 to 180. Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them, ver. 181. &c.
ODE ON SOLITUDE.
'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill Written when the Author was about twelve years old. Appear in writing, or in judging ill; HAPPY the man whose wish and care
But of the two, Jess dangerous is the offence A few paternal acres bound,
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this;
Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss ;
A fool might once himself alone expose ; Whose flocks supply him with attire ;
Now one in verse makes many more in prose. Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
'Tis with our judgments as our watches; none
10 In winter fire.
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets as true genius is but rare, Bless'd, who can unconcernedly find
True taste as seldom is the critic's share ; Hours, days, and years, slide soft away,
Both must alike from Heaven derive their light; la health of body, peace of mind,
These born to judge, as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely, who have written well: Together mix'd ; sweet recreation,
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true;
But are not critics to their judgment too?
Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find
Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind : 20 Thus unlamented, let me die,
Nature affords at least a glimmering light ; Steal from the world, and not a stone
The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are drawn right.
But as the slightest sketch, if justly traced,
So by false learning is good sense defaced :
Some are bewilderd in the maze of schools,
And some made coxcombs nature meant but fools. The dying Christian to his Soul.
In search of wit these lose their common sense, VITAL spark of heavenly flame!
And then turn critics in their own defence : Quit, oh quit this mortal frame:
Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write, 30 Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying
Or with a rival's or an eunuch's spite. Oh the pain, the bliss of dying !
All fools have still an itching to deride, Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
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 pass'd; What is this absorbs me quite,
Turn'd critics next, and proved plain fools at last. Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Some neither can for wits nor critics pass, Drowns my spirits, draws my breath? As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass. Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
Those half-learn'd witlings, numerous in our isle, 40 The world recedes ; it disappears !
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, Oh grave! where is thy victory?
Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire.
But you, who seek to give and merit fame,
Be sure yourself and your own reach to know, AN ESSAY ON CRITICISM. Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet, How far your genius, taste, and learning, go;
50 Wrillen in the Year 1709.
And mark that point where sense and dulness meet.
Nature to all things fix'd the limits fit,
And wisely curb'd proud man's pretending wit : „Atroduction. That it is as great a fault to judge ill, as
As on the land while here the ocean gains, to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public, In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains ; ver. 1. That a true taste is as rare to be found as a Thus in the soul while memory prevails, true genius, ver. 9 to 18. That most men are born. The solid power of understanding fails ;
Where beams of warm imagination play,
Be Homer's works your study and delight,
Read them by day, and meditate by night :
60 Thence form your judgment, thence your masins So vast is art, so narrow human wit :
And trace the muses upward to their spring :
Still with itself compared, his text peruse ;
When first young Maro, in his boundless mind 130
Fir follow nature, and your judgment frame And but from nature's fountains scorn'd to draw:
70 Nature and Homer were, he found, the same.
Convinced, amazed, he checks the bold design,
And rules as strict his labour'd work çonfine,
140 In some fair body thus the informing soul
Some beauties yet no precepts can declare,
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
If, where the rules not far enough extend
(Since rules were made but to promote their end, Though meant each other's aid, like man and wise. Some lucky license answer to the full "Tis more to guide, than spur the muse's steed; The intent proposed, that license is a rule. Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed: Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take, The winged courser, like a generous horse, May boldly deviate from the common track ; Shows most true mettle when you check his course. From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
Those rules of old discover'd, not devised, And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art,
Which, without passing through the judgment, gains
90 The heart, and all its ends at once attains.
Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules indites, Which out of nature's common order rise,
But though the ancients thus their rules invade
(As kings dispense with laws themselves have made,
Let it be seldom, and compellid by need;
Due distance reconciles to form and grace.
A prudent chief not always must display
110 His powers in equal ranks, and fair array,
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream. 180
Secure from flames, from envy's fiercer rage,
See from each elime the learn'd their incense bring!
120 In praise so just let every voice be join'd,
And fill the general chorus of mankind. Without all these at once before your eyes, Hail! bards triumphant! born in happier days; Cavil you may, but never criticise.
Immortal heirs of universal praise !
Whose honours with increase of ages grow,
|'Tis not the lip, or eye, we beauty call, As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow; But the joint force and full result of all. Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound, Thus when we view some well-proportion'd dome, And worlds applaud that must not yet be found ! (The world's just wonder, and e'en thine, oh Rome! O may some spark of your celestial fire,
No single parts unequally surprise ; The last, the meanest of your sons inspire, All comes united to the admiring eyes : 250 (That, on weak wings, from far pursues your flights ; No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear : Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes,) The whole at once is bold, and regular. To teach vain wits a science little known,
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
In every work regard the writer's end,
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
2. Imperfect learning, ver. 215. 3. Judging by parts, Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due. and not by the whole, ver. 233 to 288. Critics in wit, As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
260 language, versification, only, 288, 305, 339, &c. 4. To avoid great errors, must the less commit; Being too hard to please, or too apt to admire, ver.384. Neglect the rule each verbal critic lays ; 5. Partiality-too much love to a sect-to the ancients For not to know some trifles, is a praise. or moderns, ver. 394. 6. Prejudice or prevention, ver. Most critics, fond of some subservient art, 408. 7. Singularity, ver. 424. 8. Inconstancy, ver. Still make the whole depend upon a part : 430. 9. Party spirit
, ver. 452, &c. 10. Envy, ver. 466. They talk of principles, but notions prize, Against envy, and in praise of good-nature, ver. 503, &c. When severity is chiefly to be used by the critics, And all to one loved folly sacrifice. ver. 526, &c.
Once on a time, La Mancha's knight, they say,
A certain bard encountering on the way, Or all the causes which conspire to blind
Discoursed in terms as just, with looks as sage, Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind, As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage; 270 What the weak head with strongest bias rules, Concluding all were desperate sots and fools, Is pride; the never-failing vice of fools.
Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules. Whatever nature has in worth denied,
Our author, happy in a judge so nice, She gives in large recruits of needful pride! Produced his play, and begg'a the knight's advice; For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find
Made him observe the subject, and the plot, What wants in blood and spirits, swell’d with wind: The manners, passions, unities; what not? Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence, All which, exact to rule, were brought about, And fills up all the mighty void of sense. 210 Were but a combat in the lists left out. If once right reason drives that cloud away, "What! leave the combat out ?' exclaims the knight. Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.
Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite.' - 280 Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know, Not so, by heaven! (he answers in a rage) Make use of every friend—and every foe.
* Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage.' A little learning is a dangerous thing!
So vast a throng the stage can ne'er contain.'Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring; * Then build a new, or act it on a plain.' There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
Thus critics of less judgment than caprice,
Curious, not knowing, not exact, but nice,
Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
With gold and jewels cover every part, And the first clouds and mountains seem the last : And hide with ornaments their want of art. But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
True wit is nature to advantage dressid, The growing labours of the lengthen's way: 230 What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd; The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes, Something, whose truth convinced at sight we find; Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise ! That gives us back the image of our mind.
300 A perfect judge will read each work of wit As shades more sweetly recommend the light, With the same spirit that its author writ:
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit; Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find For works may have more wit than does them good, Where.nature moves, and rapture warms the mind; As bodies perish through excess of blood. Nor lose, for that malignant dull delight,
Others for language all their care express, The generous pleasure to be charm'd with wit. And value books, as women men, for dress : But, in such lays as neither ebb nor flow,
Their praise is still,—the style is excellent; Correctly cold, and regularly low,
240 The sense, they humbly take upon content. That, shunning faults, one quiet tenor keep; Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep. Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. 310 In wit, as nature, what affects our hearts
False eloquence, like the prismatic glass, Is not the exactness of peculiar parts;
Its gaudy colours spreads on every place;