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•You'd write as smooth again on glass,
As not to stick at fool or ass,
Athenian queen! and sober charms!
Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
I'll list you in the harmless roll
Of those that sing of these poor eyes.'
EPISTLE TO ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD
AND EARL MORTIMER:
Sent to the Earl of Oxford, with Dr. Parnell's
SUCH were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung,
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,
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate;
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
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.
EPISTLE TO JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.
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,
EPISTLE TO MR. JERVAS,
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,
How oft review; each finding like a friend
Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought!
With thee on Raphael's monument I mourn,
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.
EPISTLE TO MISS BLOUNT;
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,
Who without flattery pleas'd the fair and great;