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Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as some to Church repair,
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
These equal fyllables alone require,
Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire; 345
While expletives their feeble aid do join ;
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line :
While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of ftill expected rhymes;
Where-e'er you find “ the cooling western breeze,”
In the next line, it " whispers thro' the trees :"
If crystal streams “ with pleasing murmurs creep,
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with “ sleep:”
Then, at the last and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That, like a wounded snake, drags its flow length

along. Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know What's roundly smooth, or languishingly.Now; And praise the easy vigour of a line, Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join.

True VER. 345. Tho' oft the ear, etc.] Fugiemus crebras vocalium concurfiones, que vastam atque hiantem orationem reddunt.

Cic. ad Heren. lib. iv. Vide etiam Quintil. lib. ix. C. 4. P.

Ver. 346. While expletives their feeble aid do join,

And ten low words oft creep in one dull line.] From Dryden, “He creeps along with ten little words in every line, and helps out his numbers with [for) (to) and

(unto] and all the pretty expletives he can find, while “ the sense is left half tired behind it.” Elay on Dram. Poetry.




True eafe in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The found must seem an Echo to the sense: 365
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in fmoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lath the founding shoar,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar :
When Ajax strives fome rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow;


VER. 364. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence ;

The found must seem an Echo to the sense :) The judi. cious introduction of this precept is remarkable. The Poets, and even some of the best of them, have been so fond of the beauty arising from this trivial precept, that, in their practice, they have violated the very End of it, which is the encrease of harmony; and, so they could but raise an Echo, did not care whose ears they offended by its dissonance. To reniedy this abuse therefore, the poet, by the introductory line, would infinuate, that Harmony is always presupposed as observed ; tho' it may and ought to be perpetually varied, so as to produce the effect here recommended.

Ver. 365. The found must seem an Echu to the sense :) Lord Roscommon says,

The sound is still a comment to the sense. They are both well expressed: only this supposes the senfe to be assisted by the found ; that, the sound assisted by the sense.

IMITATION S. Ver. 366. Soft is the firain, etc.] Tumfilata canunt, etc.

Vida Poet. I. iii. V. 403. Ver. 368. But when loud færges, etc )

Tum longe fale faxa fonan, ele. Vida ib. 388. Ver. 370. When Ajax sirives, etc.]

Atque ideo fi quid geritur molimine magno, etc.


Vida ib. 417.

Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,

372 Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the

main. Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprize, And bid alternate paflions fall and rise ! 375 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 fighs steal out, and tears begin to flow: Perfians and Greeks like turns of nature found, And the World's victor stood subdu'd by Sound ! The pow'r of Music all our hearts allow, And what Timotheus was, is DRYDEN now.

Avoid Extremes, and shun the fault of such, Who still are pleas’d too little or too much. 385 At ev'ry trifle scorn to take offence, That always shows great pride, or little fenfe; Those heads, as ftomachs, are not sure the best, Which nauseate all, and nothing can digest. Yet let not each gay Turn thy rapture move; 390 For fools admire, but men of sense approve : As things seem large which we thro' mists descry, Dulness is ever apt to magnify.

Some foreign writers, some our own despise ; The Ancients only, or the Moderns prize. 395


Ver. 374. Hear how Timotheus, etc.] See Alexan: der's Feast, or the Power of Musick; an Ode by Mr. Dryden. P.

VER. 372. Not fo, when swift Camilla, etc.)

At mora fi fuerit damno, properare jubebo, etc.

Vida ib. 420.


Thus Wit, like Faith, by each man is apply'd
To one small sect, and all are damn'd beside.
Meanly they seek the blessing to confine,
And force that sun but on a part to shine,
Which not alone the southern wit sublimes, 400
But ripens fpirits in cold northern climes;
Which from the first has shone on ages past,
Enlights the present, and shall warm the last;
Tho' each may feel encreases and decays,
And see now clearer and now darker days. 405
Regard not then if Wit be old or new,
But blame the false, and value still the true.

Some ne'er advance a Judgment of their own,
But catch the spreading notion of the Town;
They reason and conclude by precedent, 410
And own ftale nonsense which they ne'er invent.
Some judge of authors names, not works, and then
Nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men.
Of all this fervile herd, the worst is he
That in proud dulnefs joins with Quality. 415
A constant critic at the great man's board,
To fetch and carry nonsense for my Lord.
What woful stuff this madrigal would be,
In some starv'd hackney sonnetteer, or me?
But let a Lord once own the happy lines, 420
How the wit brightens ! how the style refines !


VER. 402. Which from the firf, etc.] Genius is the same in ali ages; but its fruits are various ; and more or less excellent as they are checked or matured by the influence of Government or Religion upon them. Hence in some parts of Literature the Ancients excel ; in others, the modern ; just as those accidental circumstances ins fluenced them.

Before his facred name flies ev'ry fault,
And each exalted stanza teems with thought!

The Vulgar thus thro' Imitation err;
As oft the Learn'd by being singular ;

425 So much they scorn the croud, that if the throng By chance go right, they purposely go wrong: So Schismatics the plain believers quit, And are but damn’d for having too much wit. Some praise at morning what they blame at night; But always think the last opinion right. 431 A Mufe by these is like a mistress us'd, This hour she's idoliz'd, the next abus'd; While their weak heads like towns unfortify'd,

Twixt sense and nonsense daily change their fide. Ask them the cause; they're wiser still, they say ; And still to-morrow's wiser than to-day. We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow; Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so.

439 Once School-divines this zealous isle o’er-spread ; Who knew moft Sentences, was deepest read; Faith, Gospel, all, seem'd made to be disputed, And none had sense enough to be confuted : Scotists and Thomists, now, in peace remain, Amidst their kindred cobwebs in Duck-lane. 445


Ver. 444. Scotifs and Thomifs] These were two parties amongst the schoolmen, headed by Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas, of different opinions, and from that difference denominated Realiss and Nominalists; they were perpetually disputing on the immaculate conception, and on subjects of the like importance.

VER. 444. Scotifs] So denominated from Johannes Duns Scotus. He suffered a miserable reverse of fortune - at Oxford in the time of Henry VIII. That grave An


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