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DAVID GARRICK, Esq.
T is fcarcely poffible that any one should
entertain a more humble opinion of the following little Production, than fhe who prefents it to you. It is a trifle which, the con. feffes, has but a very flender claim to your protection; but fhe confiders that your Name. will be an ornament to her Book, as your Friendship has been an honour to its Author.
Where merit is inconteftible, and characters are decided by the concurring fuffrage of mankind, praise becomes almost impertinent. It is abfurd to be industrious in proving truths fo felf-evident, that no one ever thought of controverting them.
I may be accused of advancing a startling propofition, when I declare that you are an enemy to the Mufes; but if it be allowed that defcription and invention are the very foul of Poetry I fhall be juftified by the world
in general, who conftantly behold you difplaying talents which cannot be defcribed, and exhibiting excellences which leave nothing to be imagined.
Whatever reason I may find to regret my having ventured thefe little Poems into the world, I fhall at least have no common pleafure in recollecting one circumstance attending them, fince they furnish me with an occa. fion of affuring you with what esteem and admiration
I am, SIR,
Your most obedient,
and very humble Servant,
BRISTOL, Dec. 14. 1775
SIR ELDRED OF THE BOWER,
O noftra Vita. ch'e fi bella in vifta!
Quel ch'en molt anni a grand penas' acquista!
HERE was a young and valiant Knight,
And never did a worthier wight
The rank of knighthood claim.
Where gliding Tay her ftream fends forth,
SIR ELDRED's caftle ftood.
The youth was rich as youth might be
And many a noble feat had he
He did not think, as fome have thought,
He better thought, a noble fire,
The faireft anceftry on earth
Sir ELDRED's heart was good and kind
A crowd of virtues grac'd his mind,
When merit raised the fufferer's name,
He shower'd his bounty then;
And those who could not prove that claim, He fuccour'd ftill as men.
But facred truth the Mufe compels
And yet the Mufe reluctant tells
The fault of ELDRED's heart:
Tho' kind and gentle as the dove,
Yet if the paffions ftorm'd his foul,
The whirlwind rage difdain'd controul,
And bore his virtues down.