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To Mr. Dryden, by Jo. Addison, Efq; row long, great poet, shall thy facred lays
Provoke our wonder, and transcend our praise !
Can neither injuries of time, or age,
Damp thy poetick heat, and quench thy rage ?
Not so thy Ovid in his exile wrote ;
Grief chilld his breast, and check’d his rising thought;
Pensive and fad, his drooping muse betrays
The Roman genius in its last decays.
Prevailing warmth has still thy mind possest,
And second youth is kindled in thy breast.
Thou mak’lt the beauties of the Romans known,
And England boasts of riches not her own:
Thy lines have heighten'd Virgil's majesty,
And Horace wonders at himself in thee.
Thou teacheft Persius to inform our isle
In smoother numbers, and a clearer style ;
And Juvenal, instructed in thy page,
Edges his fatire, and improves his rage.
Thy copy casts a fairer light on all,
And still outshines the bright original.
Now Ovid boasts th' advantage of thy song,
And tells his story in the British tongue ;
Thy charming verse, and fair tranNations show
How thy own laurel first began to grow;
How wild Lycaon, chang’d by angry Gods,
And frighted at himself, ran howling thro' the woods.
O may'st thou still the noble tale proiong,
Nor age, nor sickness interrupt thy fong:
Then may we wond'ring read, how human limbs
Have water'd kingdoms, and dissolv'd in strearns,
Of those rich fruits that on the fertile mould
Turn’d yellow by degrees, and ripen'd into gold :
How some in feathers, or a ragged hide,
Have liv'd a second life, and different natures try'd. : Then will thy Ovid, thus transform’d, reveal
A nobler change than he himself can tell.
UT see where artful Dryden next appears,
Grown old in rhyme, but charming ev'n in years.
Great Dryden next ! whose tuneful mufe affords
The sweetest numbers and the fittest words.
Whether in comic sounds, or tragick airs
She forms her voice, she moves our smiles and tears.
If satire or heroic strains she writes,
Her hero pleases, and her fatire bites.
From her no harsh, unartful numbers fall,
She wears all dresses, and she charins in all :
How might we fear our English poetry,
That long has flourish'd, should decay in thee ;
Did not the muses other hope appear,
Harmonious Congreve, and forbid our fear!
Congreve! whose fancy's unexhausted store
Has given already much, and promis’d more.
Congreve shall still preferve thy fame alive,
And Dryden's muse shall in his friend survive.
On ALEXANDER'S FEAST: Or, The
Power of Musick. An ODE.
From Mr. Pope's Essay on CRITICISM, l. 376,
EAR how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprize,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise !
While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow.
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the world's victor stood subdu'd by sound.
The pow'r of Musick all our hearts allow,
And what Timotheus was is Dryden now.
Ehold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Wide o'er the fields of glory bear :
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder cloath’d, and long-resounding
Hark, his hands the lyre explore !
Bright-ey'd Fancy hov’ring o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn,
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But, ah ! 'tis heard no more ----
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? though he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle beár,
Sailing with supreme dominion
Through the azure deep of air :
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms, as glitter in the muse’s ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the sun :
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate
Beneath the good how far---but far above the great.