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The wond'rous fong with rapture they rehearse; Then afk who wrought that miracle of verse? He anfwer'd with a frown; "I now reveal "A truth, that Envy bids me not conceal: "Retiring frequent to this Laureat vale, "I warbled to the Lyre that fav'rite tale, "Which, unobferv'd, a wand'ring Greek and blind, "Heard me repeat, and treasur'd in his mind; "And fir'd with thirst of more than mortal praise, "From me, the God of Wit, ufurp'd the bays.
"But let vain Greece indulge her growing fame, "Proud with celeftial spoils to grace her name; "Yet when my Arts fhall triumph in the Weft, "And the white Ifle with female pow'r is bleft; "Fame, I foresee, will make reprisals there, "And the Tranflator's Palm to me transfer. "With lefs regret my claim I now decline, "The World will think his English Iliad mine." E. FENTON.
O praife, and ftill with juft refpect to praise
A Bard triumphant in immortal bays,
The Learn'd to fhow, the Senfible commend,
Yet ftill preferve the province of the Friend;
What life, what vigour muft the lines require? 5
What Mufic tune them, what Affection fire?
O might thy Genius in my bofom fhine;
Thou should'st not fail of numbers worthy thine;
The brightest Ancients might at once agree
To fing within my lays, and fing of thee.
Horace himself would own thou doft excell
In candid arts to play the Critic well.
Ovid himself might wish to fing the Dame
Whom Windfor Foreft fees a gliding stream:
On filver feet, with annual Ofier crown'd,
She runs for ever thro' Poetic ground.
How flame the glories of Belinda's Hair,
Made by thy Mufe the Envy of the Fair?
Lefs fhone the treffes Egypt's Princefs wore,
Which sweet Callimachus fo fung before.
Here courtly trifles fet the world at odds;
Belles war with Beaux, and Whims defcend for Gods.
The new Machines, in names of ridicule,
Mock the grave phrenzy of the Chemic fool.
But know, ye Fair, a point conceal'd with art,
The Sylphs and Gnomes are but a Woman's heart.
The Graces ftand in fight; a Satire-train
Peeps o'er their head, and laughs behind the fcene.
In Fame's fair Temple, o'er the boldeft wits
Infhrin'd on high the facred Virgil fits;
And fits in measures such as Virgil's Muse
To place thee near him, might be fond to chufe.
How might he tune th' alternate reed with thee,
Perhaps a Strephon thou, a Daphnis he;
While fome old Damon, o'er the vulgar wife, 35
Thinks he deferves, and thou deferv'ft the Prize.
Rapt with the thought, my fancy feeks the plains,
And turns me fhepherd while I hear the ftrains.
Indulgent nurse of ev'ry tender gale,
Parent of flowrets, old Arcadia, hail!
Here in the cool my limbs at case I spread,
Here let thy poplars whisper o'er my head:
Still flide thy waters, foft among the trees,
Thy afpins quiver in a breathing breeze!
Smile, all ye valleys, in eternal spring,
Be hush'd, ye winds, while Pope and Virgil fing.
In English lays, and all fublimely great,
Thy Homer warms with all his ancient heat;
He shines in Council, thunders in the Fight,
And flames with ev'ry sense of great delight.
Long has that Poet reign'd, and long unknown,
Like Monarchs sparkling on a distant throne;
In all the Majefty of Greek retir'd,
Himfelf unknown, his mighty name admir'd;
His language failing, wrapt him round with night;
Thine, rais'd by thee, recalls the work to light.
So wealthy Mines, that ages long before
Fed the large realms around with golden Ore,
When choak'd by finking banks, no more appear,
And fhepherds only fay, The mines were here:
Should fome rich youth (if nature warm his heart,
And all his projects ftand inform'd with art)
Here clear the caves, there ope the leading vein;
The mines detected flame with gold again
How vaft, how copious, are thy new defigns!
How ev'ry Mufic varies in thy lines!
Still, as I read, I feel my bofom beat,
And rife in raptures by another's heat.
Thus in the wood, when fummer drefs'd the days,
While Windfor lent us tuneful hours of eafe,
Our ears the lark, the thrufh, the turtle bleft,
And Philomela fweeteft o'er the rest:
The shades refound with fong- O foftly tread,
While a whole feafon warbles round my head.
This to my Friend-and when a friend inspires, My filent harp its mafter's hand requires,
Shakes off the duft, and makes these rocks refound
For fortune plac'd me in unfertile ground:
Far from the joys that with my foul agree,
From wit, from learning-very far from thee. 80
Here mofs-grown trees expand the smallest leaf;
Here half an acre's corn is half a fheaf;
Here hills with naked heads the tempeft meet,
Rocks at their fides, and torrents at their feet;
Or lazy lakes unconscious of a flood,
Whose dull brown Naiads ever fleep in mud.
Yet here Content can dwell, and learned Eafe,
A Friend delight me, and an Author please;
Ev'n here I fing, when POPE fupplies the theme,
Shew my own love, tho' not increase his fame. ge
ET vulgar fouls triumphal arches raife,
Or speaking marbles, to record their praise ; And picture (to the voice of Fame unknown) The mimic Feature on the breathing stone; Mere mortals; fubject to death's total sway, Reptiles of earth, and beings of a day! VOL. I. b
'Tis thine, on ev'ry heart to grave thy praife,
A monument which Worth alone can raise;
Sure to furvive, when time fhall whelm in duft
The arch, the marble, and the mimic buft:
Nor 'till the volumes of th' expanded sky
Blaze in one flame, fhalt thou and Homer die:
Then fink together in the world's laft fires,
What heav'n created, and what heav'n inspires.
If aught on earth, when once this breath is fled, With human tranfport touch the mighty dead, Shakespear, rejoice! his hand thy page refines; Now ev'ry fcene with native brightness shines; Juft to thy Fame, he gives thy genuine thought; So Tully publish'd what Lucretius wrote; Prun'd by his care, thy laurels loftier grow, And bloom afresh on thy immortal brow.
Thus when thy draughts, O Raphael! time in-
And the bold figure from the canvass fades,
A rival hand recalls from ev'ry part
Some latent grace, and equals art with art;
Transported we furvey the dubious ftrife,
While each fair image ftarts again to life.
How long, untun'd, had Homer's facred lyre
Jarr'd grating difcord, all extinct his fire?
This you beheld; and taught by heav'n to fing,
Call'd the loud mufic from the founding ftring.
Now wak'd from flumbers of three thousand years,
Once more Achilles in dread pomp appears,
Tow'rs o'er the field of death; as fierce he turns,
Keen flash his arms, and all the Hero burns;