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Such praise is
That 'tis no longer feign'd, 'tis real love,
Where nature triumphs over wretched art;
We only warm the head, but you
Always you warm ; and if the rising year,
As in hot regions, brings the sun too near,
'Tis but to make your fragrant spices blow,
Which in our cooler climates will not grow.
They only think
With too much fire, who are themselves all phlegm.
Prizes would be for lags of flowest pace,
Were cripples made the judges of the race.
Despise those drones, who praise, while they accuse
The too much vigor of your youthful muse.
That humble style which they your virtue make,
Is in your power ; you need but stoop and take.
Your beauteous images must be allow'd
By all, but some vile poets of the crowd. .
But how should any sign-post dawber know
The worth of Titian or of Angelo ?
Hard features every bungler can command;
To draw true beauty shews a master's hand,
Hether the fruitful Nile, or Tyrian shore,
The feeds of arts and infant science bore, Tis sure the noble plant, translated first, Advanc'd its head in Grecian gardens nurst. The Grecians added verse: their tuneful tongue Made nature first, and nature's God their song. Nor stopt translation here: for conqu’ring Rome, With Grecian spoils, brought Grecian numbers
Enrich'd by those Athenian muses more,
Than all the vanquish'd world could yield before.
'Till barb'rous nations, and more barb'rous times,
Debas'd the majesty of verse to rhimes ;
Those rude at first: a kind of hobbling prose,
That limp'd along, and tinkled in the close.
But Italy, reviving from the trance
Of Vandal, Goth, and Monkish ignorance,
With pauses, cadence, and well-vowell’d words,
And all the graces a good ear affords,
Made rhyme an art, and Dante's polith'd page
Restor'd a silver, not a golden age.
M Then Petrarch follow'd, and in him we fee,
What rhyme improv'd in all its height can be :
At best a pleasing sound, and fair barbarity.
The French pursu'd their steps ; and Britain, last,
In manly sweetness all the rest surpass’d.
The wit of Greece, the gravity of Rome,
BE Appear exalted in the British loom:
The Muses empire is restor’d again,
In Charles his reign, and by Roscommon's pen.
Yet modestly he does his work survey,
And calls a finih'd Poem an Essay;
For all the needful rules are scatter'd here
Truth smoothly told, and pleasantly severe ;
So well is art disguis’d, for nature to appear.
Nor need those rules to give translation light:
His own example is a flame so bright;
That he who but arrives to copy well,
Unguided will advance, unknowing will excel:
Scarce his own Horace could such rules ordain,
Or his own Virgil sing a nobler strain.
How much in him may rising Ireland boast,
How much in gaining him has Britain loft !
Their island in revenge has ours reclaim'd;
The more instructed we, the more we still are
'Tis well for us his generous blood did flow
Deriv'd from British channels long ago,
That here his conqu’ring ancestors were nurst;
And Ireland but translated England first:
By this reprisal we regain our right,
Else must the two contending nations fight;
A nobler quarrel for his native earth,
Than what divided Greece for Homer's birth.
To what perfection will our tongue arrive,
How will invention and translation thrive,
When authors nobly born will bear their part,
And not disdain th’inglorious praise of art! !
Great generals thus, descending from command,
With their own toil provoke the soldiers hand.
How will sweet Ovid's ghost be pleas'd to hear
His fame augmented by an English peer ;
How he embellishes his Helen's loves,
Outdoes his softness, and his sense improves ?
When these translate, and teach translators too,
Nor firstling kid, nor any vulgar vow,
Should at Apollo's grateful altar stand:
Roscommon writes ; to that auspicious hand,
Muse, feed the bull that spurns the yellow sand.
E Roscommon, whom both court and camps com-
True to his prince, and faithful to his friend ;
Roscommon first in fields of honor known,
First in the peaceful triumphs of the gown;
Who both Minervas justly makes his own.
Now let the few belov'd by Jove, and they
Whom infus'd Titan form’d of better clay,
On equal terms with ancient wit
Nor mighty Homer fear, nor sacred Virgil's page:
Our English palace opens wide in state ;
And without stooping they may pass the gate.