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•You'd write as smooth again on glass,
And run on ivory so glib,

As not to stick at fool or ass,
Nor stop at flattery or fib.

Athenian queen! and sober charms!
I tell you, fool, there's nothing in't:
'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms;
In Dryden's Virgil see the print.

Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies,

I'll list you in the harmless roll

Of those that sing of these poor eyes.'



Sent to the Earl of Oxford, with Dr. Parnell's
Poems, published by our Author, after the said
Earl's Imprisonment in the Tower and Retreat
into the Country, in the Year 1721.

SUCH were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung,
Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh, just beheld, and lost! admir'd, and mourn'd!
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd!
Blest in each science, blest in every strain !
Dear to the muse! to Harley dear-in vain!
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For Swift and him, despis'd the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Dext'rous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear),

Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days,
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays,

Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate;
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.

And sure, if aught below the seats divine
Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine :
A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried,
Above all pain, and passion, and all pride,
The rage of power, the blast of public breath,
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.

In vain to deserts thy retreat is made; The muse attends thee to thy silent shade: "Tis hers the brave man's latest steps to trace, Re-judge his acts, and dignify disgrace. When interest calls off all her sneaking train, And all th' oblig'd desert, and all the vain; She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell, When the last lingering friend has bid farewel. Ev'n now she shades thy evening-walk with bays (No hireling she, no prostitute to praise); Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray, Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day, Through fortune's cloud one truly great can see, Nor fears to tell that Mortimer is he.


Secretary of State in the Year 1720.

A SOUL as full of worth as void of pride,

Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide; Which nor to guilt nor fear its caution owes, And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows: A face untaught to feign; a judging eye,

That darts severe upon a rising lie,

And strikes a blush through frontless flattery:

All this thou wert; and being this before,
Know, kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed---a minister, but still a man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Asham'd of any friend, not ev'n of me:
The patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of you.


With Mr. Dryden's Translation of Fresnoy's Art of Painting.

This Epistle, and the two following, were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.


HIS verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse This, from no venal or ungrateful muse. Whether thy hand strike out some free design, Where life awakes, and dawns at every line; Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass, And from the canvass call the mimic face: Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire Fresnoy's close art, and Dryden's native fire: And reading wish, like theirs our fate and fame, So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name; Like them to shine through long succeeding age, So just thy skill, so regular my rage.

Smit with the love of sister-arts we came, And met congenial, mingling flame with flame; Like friendly colours found them both unite, And each from each contract new strength and light.

How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
While summer-suns roll unperceiv'd away!
How oft our slowly growing works impart,
While images reflect from art to art!

How oft review; each finding like a friend
Something to blame, and something to commend!
What flattering scenes our wandering fancy

Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought!
Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly,
Fir'd with ideas of fair Italy.

With thee on Raphael's monument I mourn,
Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn:
With thee repose where Tully once was laid,
Or seek some ruin's formidable shade:
While fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew.
Here thy well-studied marbles fix our eye;
A fading fresco here demands a sigh:
Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare,
Match Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air,
Carracci's strength, Correggio's softer line,
Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears
This small well-polish'd gem, the work of years!
Yet still how faint by precept is express'd
The living image in the painter's breast!
Thence endless streams of fair ideas flow,
Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow;
Thence beauty, waking all her forms, supplies
An angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed,
Those tears eternal that embalm the dead;
Call round her tomb each object of desire,
Each purer frame inform'd with purer fire:
Bid her be all that cheers or softens life,
The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife:
Bid her be all that makes mankind adore ;
Then view this marble, and be vain no more!

Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage ; Her modest cheek shall warm a future age. Beauty, frail flower that every season fears, Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years. Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise, And other beauties envy Worsley's eyes; Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow, And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.

Oh, lasting as those colours may they shine, Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; New graces yearly like thy works display, Soft without weakness, without glaring gay; Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains; And finish'd more through happiness than pains! The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe an air divine on every face; Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul; With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, And these be sung till Granville's Myra die : Alas! how little from the grave we claim ! Thou but preserv'st a face, and I a name.




With the Works of Voiture.

gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine, And all the writer lives in every line:

His easy art may happy nature seeni,
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,

Who without flattery pleas'd the fair and great;

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