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me dryly plain, without Invention's Aid,
rite dull Receits how Poems may be made.
hefe loft the Senfe, their Learning to display,
nd those explain'd the Meaning quite away [fteer,
You then whofe Judgment the rightCourse wou'd
Know well each ANCIENT's proper Character;
His Fable, Subject, Scope in ev'ry Page;
Religion, Country, Genius of his Age:
Without all thefe at once before your Eyes,
Cavil you may, but never Criticize.
Be HOMER'S Works your Study, and Delight,
Read them by Day, and meditate by Night;
Thence form your Judgment, thence your Notions
And trace the Mufes upward to their Spring.[bring,
Still with It Self compar'd, his Text peruse;
And let your Comment be the Mantuan Muse.
*When first young Marofung of Kings andWars,
Ere warning Phoebus touch'd his trembling Ears,
Perhaps he feem'd above the Critick's Law,
And but from Nature's Fountains fcorn'd to draw:

Virgil Eclog. 6. Cum canerem Reges & Pralia, Cynthius aurem Vellis


But when t'examine ev'ry Part he came,
Nature and Homer were, he found, the fame:
Convinc'd, amaz❜d, he checkt the bold Design,
And did his Work to Rules as strict confine,
As if the Stagyrite o'erlook'd each Line.
Learn hence for Ancient Rules a juft Efteem;
To copy Nature is to copy Them.


Some Beauties yet, no Precepts can declare, For there's a Happiness as well as Care. Musick resembles Poetry, in each

Are nameless Graces which no Methods teach,
And which a Master-Hand alone can reach.
+ If, where the Rules not far enough extend,
(Since Rules were made but to promote their End)
Some Lucky LICENCE anfwers to the full
Th'Intent propos'd, that Licence is a Rule:
Thus Pegafus, a nearer way to take,
May boldly deviate from the common Track.
Great Wits fometimes may gloriously offend,
And rife to Faults true Criticks dare not mend;

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+ Neque tam fancta funt ifta Pracepta, fed hoc quicquid eft, Utilitas excogitavit; Non negabo autem fic utile effe plerunque; verum fi eadem illa nobis aliud fuadebit utilitas, hanc, relictis magiftrorum autoritatibus, fequemur. Quintil. 1. 2. cap. 13.


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From vulgar Bounds with brave Disorder part,
And fnatch a Grace beyond the Reach of Art,
Which, without paffing thro' the Judgment, gains
The Heart, and all its End at once attains.
In Prospects, thus, fome Objects please our Eyes,-
Which out of Nature's common Order rife,
The shapeless Rock, or hanging Precipice,
But Care in Poetry muft ftill be had,
It asks Difcretion ev'n in running Mad:
And tho' the Ancients thus their Rules invade,
(As Kings dispense with Laws Themselves have
Moderns, beware! Or if you must offend [made)
Against the Precept, ne'er tranfgrefs its End;
Let it be feldom; and compell'd by Need;
And have, at least, Their Precedent to plead.
The Critick elfe proceeds without Remorse,
Seizes your Fame, and puts his Laws in force.

I know there are,to whofe prefumptuous Thoughts
Thofe Freer Beauties, ev'n in Them, feem Faults.
Some Figures monftrous and mif-fhap'd appear,

Confider'd fingly, or beheld too near,



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Which, but proportion'd to their Light, or Place,
Due Distance reconciles to Form and Grace.
A prudent Chief not always must display
His Pow'rs in equal Ranks, and fair Array,
But with th' Occafion and the Place comply,
Conceal his Force, nay feem fometimes to Fly.
Thofe oft are Stratagems which Errors feem,
Nor is it Homer Nods, but We that Dream.

Still green with Bays each ancient Altar stands, Above the reach of Sacrilegious Hands; Secure from Flames, from Envy's fiercer Rage, Destructive War, and all-devouring Age. See,from eachClime theLearn'd theirIncense bring; Hear, in all Tongues confenting Peans ring! In Praise fo juft, let ev'ry Voice be join'd, And fill the Gen'ral Chorus of Mankind! Hail Bards Triumphant! born in happier Days; Immortal Heirs of Univerfal Praise! Whose Honours with Increase of Ages grow, As Streams roll down, enlarging as they flow! Nations unborn your mighty Names fhall found, And Worlds applaud that must not yet be found! Oh

Oh may fome Spark of your Coeleftial Fire
The laft, the meaneft of your Sons infpire,
(That on weak Wings,from far, purfues yourFlights;
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes)
To teach vain Wits a Science little known,
T'admire Superior Senfe, and doubt their own!

Of all the Causes which conspire to blind Man's erring Judgment, and mifguide the Mind, What the weak Head with strongest Byafs rules, Is Pride, the never-failing Vice of Fools. Whatever Nature has in Worth deny'd,

She gives in large Recruits of needful Pride; S For as in Bodies, thus in Souls, we find [Wind: What wants in Blood and Spirits, fwell'd with Pride, where Wit fails, fteps in to our Defence, And fills up all the mighty Void of Senfe! If once right Reafon drives that Cloud away, Truth breaks upon us with refiftlefs Day; Trust not your felf; but your Defects to know, Make use of ev'ry Friend- and ev'ry Foe.


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