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if I reserve some of my time to fave my foul; and that fome wife men will be of my opinion, even if I should think a part of it better spent in the enjoyments of life, than in pleafing the critics.
On Mr. POPE and his Poems.
ITH Age decay'd, with Courts and bus'nefs tir'd,
Caring for nothing but what Eafe requir'd;
Too dully ferious for the Mufe's sport,
And from the Critics fafe arriv'd in Port;
I little thought of launching forth agen,
Amidst advent'rous Rovers of the Pen;
And after fo much undeferv'd fuccefs,
Thus hazarding at last to make it less.
Encomiums fuit not this cenforious time,
Itfelf a fubject for fatiric rhyme;
Ignorance honour'd, Wit and Worth defam'd,
Folly triumphant, and ev'n Homer blam'd!
But to this Genius, join'd with fo much Art,
Such various Learning mix'd in ev'ry part,
Poets are bound a loud applause to pay;
Apollo bids it, and they must obey.
And yet fo wonderful, fublime a thing,
As the great ILIAD, fcarce could make me fing;
Except I juftly could at once commend
A good Companion, and as firm a Friend,
One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed
Can all defert in Sciences exceed.
'Tis great delight to laugh at some mens ways, But a much greater to give Merit praise.
To Mr. POPE, on his Paftorals.
IN thofe more dull, as more cenforious days,
When few dare give, and fewer merit praise,
A Mu fincere, that never Flatt'ry knew,
Pays what to friendship and defert is due.
Young, yet judicious; in your verfe are found
Art ftrength'ning Nature, Senfe improv'd by Sound.
Unlike thofe Wits, whofe numbers glide along
So fmooth, no thought e'er interrupts the fong:
Laboriously enervate they appear,
And write not to the head, but to the ear:
Our minds unmov'd and unconcern'd they lull,
And are at best most mufically dull:
So purling ftreams with even murmurs creep,
And hush the heavy hearers into fleep.
As fmootheft fpeech is most deceitful found,
The fmoothest numbers oft are empty found.
But Wit and Judgment join at once in you,
Sprightly as Youth, as Age confummate too:
Your ftrains are regularly bold, and please
With unforc'd care, and unaffected eafe,
With proper thoughts, and lively images:
Such as by Nature to the Ancients fhewn,
Fancy improves, and judgment makes your own:
For great mens fashions to be follow'd are,
Altho' difgraceful 'tis their clothes to wear.
Some in a polish'd style write Paftoral,
Arcadia fpeaks the language of the Mall.
Like fome fair Shepherdefs, the Sylvan Muse
Should wear those flow'rs her native fields produce;
And the true measure of the fhepherd's wit
Should, like his garb, be for the Country fit:
Yet muft his pure and unaffected thought
More nicely than the common fwain's be wrought.
So, with becoming art, the Players dress
In filks the fhepherd, and the fhepherdess;
Yet ftill unchang'd the form and mode remain,
Shap'd like the homely ruffet of the fwain.
Your rural Muse appears to justify
The long-loft graces of fimplicity :
So rural beauties captivate our fense
With Virgin charms, and native excellence.
Yet long her Modesty thofe charms conceal'd,
'Till by mens Envy to the world reveal'd;
For Wits induftrious to their trouble feem,
And needs will envy what they must esteem.
Live and enjoy their spite! nor mourn that fate, Which would, if Virgil liv'd, on Virgil wait; Whofe Mufe did once, like thine, in plains delight Thine fhall, like his, foon take a higher flight; So Larks, which firit from lowly fields arife, Mount by degrees, and reach at laft the skies.
To Mr. POPE, on his Windfor-Foreft.
AIL! facred Bard! a Mufe unknown before
Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic fhore.
To our dark world thy fhining page is fhown,
And Windfor's gay retreat becomes our own.
The Eaftern pomp had just bespoke our care,
And India pour'd her gaudy treasures here:
A various fpoil adorn'd our naked land,
The pride of Perfia glitter'd on our strand,
And China's Earth was caft on conmon fand:
Tofs'd up and down the gloffy fragments lay,
And drefs'd the rocky fhelves, and pav'd the painted
Thy treasures next arriv'd: and now we boast A nobler cargo on our barren coast: From thy luxuriant Forest we receive More lafting glories than the Eaft can give. Where'er we dip in thy delightful page, What pompous fcenes our busy thoughts engage! The pompous fcenes in all their pride appear, Fresh in the page, as in the grove they were. Nor half fo true the fair Lodona fhows The fylvan ftate that on her border grows, While fhe the wond'ring fhepherd entertains With a new Windfor in her wat'ry plains; Thy jufter lays the lucid wave surpass, The living scene is in the Mufe's glass. Nor fweeter notes the echoing Forefts chear, When Philomela fits and warbles there, Than when you fing the greens and op'ning glades, And give us Harmony as well as Shades : A Titian's hand might draw the grove, but you Can paint the grove, and add the Mufic too. With vast variety thy pages fhine;
A new creation starts in ev'ry line.
How fudden trees rife to the reader's fight,
And make a doubtful scene of shade and light, 35
And give at once the day, at once the night!
And here again what fweet confufion reigns,
In dreary deserts mix'd with painted plains!
And fee! the deserts cast a pleasing gloom,
And shrubby heaths rejoice in purple bloom :
Whilft fruitful crops rife by their barren fide,
And bearded groves difplay their annual pride.