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if I reserve some of my time to save my soul; and that some wise 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 business
Caring for nothing but what Ease requir'd;
Too dully serious for the Muse's sport,
And from the Critics safe arriv'd in Port;
I little thought of launching forth agen,
Amidst advent'rous Rovers of the Pen;
And after so much undeserv'd success,
Thus hazarding at last to make it less.
Encomiums suit not this censorious time,
Itself a subject for satiric rhyme ;
Ignorance honour'd, Wit and Worth defam'd,
Folly triumphant, and ev'n Homer blam'd!
But to this Genius, join'd with so much Art,
Such various Learning mix'd in ev'ry part,
Poets are bound a loud applause to pay;
15 Apollo bids it, and they must obey.
And yet so wonderful, sublime a thing,
As the great ILIAD, scarce could make me fing;
Except I jusly could at once commend
A good Companion, and as firm a Friend,
One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed
Can all desert 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 Pastorals.
N those more dull, as more cenforious days,
When few dare give, and fewer merit praise,
A Muk sincere, that never Flatt'ry knew,
Pays what to friendship and defert is due.
Young, yet judicious; in your verse are found
Art strength’ning Nature, Sense improv'd by Sound.
Unlike those Wits, whose numbers glide along
So smooth, no thought e'er interrupts the song :
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 moft mufically dull:
So purling streams with even murmurs creep,
And hush the heavy hearers into sleep.
As smoothest speech is most deceitful found,
15 The smoothest numbers oft are empty found. But Wit and Judgment join at once in you, Sprightly as Youth, as Age confummate too: Your strains are regularly bold, and please With unforc'd care, and unaffected ease, 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' disgraceful 'tis their clothes to wear. 25 Some in a polish'd style write Pastoral, Arcadia speaks the language of the Mall. Like some fair Shepherdess, the Sylvan Muse Should wear those flow'rs her native fields produce ; And the true measure of the shepherd's wit Should, like his garb, be for the Country fit:
Yet muf his pure and unaffected thought
More nicely than the common swain's be wrought.
So, with becoming art, the Players dress
In filks the shepherd, and the shepherders ;
Yet still unchang’d the form and mode remain,
Shap'd like the homely ruffet of the swain.
Your rural Muse appears to justify
The long-loft graces of fimplicity :
So rural beauties captivate our sense
With Virgin charms, and native excellence.
Yet long her Modesty those charms conceald,
'Till by mens Envy to the world reveald;
For Wits industrious to their trouble feern,
And needs will envy what they mult esteem. 45
Live and enjoy their spite! nor mourn that fate,
Which would, if Virgil liv'd, on Virgil wait;
Whose Muse did once, like thine, in plains delight
Thine shall, like his, foon take a higher fight;
So Larks, which firit from lowly fields arise,
Mount by degrees, and reach at last the skies.
To Mr. P OPE, on his Windsor-Forest.
H AIL! facred Bard! a Mufe unknown before
Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic shore.
To our dark world thy shining page is shown,
And Windsor's gay retreat becomes our own.
The Eaftern pomp had jut bespoke our care, 5
And India pour'd her gaudy treasures here:
A various fpoil adorn’d our naked land,
The pride of Persia glitter'd on our strand,
And China's Earth was cast on co.nmon fand:
Tofs'd up and down the glossy fragments lay,
And drefs'd the rocky shelves, 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 lasting glories than the East can give. 15
Where'er we dip in thy delightful page, What pompous scenes our busy thoughts engage ! The pompous scenes in all their pride appear, Fresh in the page, as in the grove they were. Nor half so true the fair Lodona shows The fylvan state that on her border grows, While she the wond'ring shepherd entertains With a new Windsor in her wat’ry plains; Thy juster lays the lucid wave furpass, The living scene is in the Muse's glass. :25
Nor sweeter notes the echoing Forests 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 30
Can paint the grove, and add the Music too.
With vast variety thy pages skine ;
A new creation starts in ev'ry line.
How sudden trees rise to the reader's sight,
And make a doubtful scene of made and light, 35
And give at once the day, at once the night!
And here again what sweet confusion reigns,
In dreary deserts mix'd with painted plains!
And fee! the deserts cast a pleasing gloom,
And Ihrubby heaths rejoice in purple bloom :
Whilft fruitful crops rise by their barren fide,
And bearded groves display their annual pride.