Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

expofe myself, as it is in the power of any other to expose them. In the first place, I thank God and nature, that I was born with a love to poetry; for nothing more conduces to fill up all the intervals of our time, or, if rightly used, to make the whole course of life entertaining: Cantantes licet ufque (minus via lædet.) 'Tis a vast happiness to poffefs the pleasures of the head, the only pleafures in which a man is fufficient to himself, and the only part of him which, to his fatisfaction, hel can employ all day long. The Muses are amica omnium horarum; and, like our gay acquaintance, the best company in the world as long as one expects no real service from them. I confefs there was a time when I was in love with myself, and my first productions were the children of felf love upon innocence. I had made an Epic Poem, and Panegyrics on all the Princes in Europe, and thought myself the greatest genius that ever was. I can't but regret thofe delightful vifions of my childhood, which, like the fine colours we fee when our eyes are shut, are vanished for ever. Many tryals and fad experience have fo undeceived me by degrees, that I am utterly at a lofs at what ratè to value myself. As for fame I fhall be glad of any I can get, and not repine at any I mifs; and as for vanity, I have enough to keep me from hanging myself, or even from wishing those hanged who would take it away. It was this that made

rect: befides that it was as pleasant to me to correct as to write.

At p. vii. 1.9. In the first place I own that I have used my best endeavours to the finishing these pieces. That I made what advantage I could of the judgment of authors dead and living; and that I omitted no means in my power to be informed of my errors by my friends and my ene'mies. And that I expect no favour on account of my youth, business, want of health, or any fuch idle excuses. But the true reason they are not yet more correct is owing to the confideration how short a time they, and I, have to live. A man that can expect but fixty years may be ashamed to employ thirty in measuring fyllables and bringing sense and rhyme together. We spend our youth in purfuit of riches or fame, in hopes to enjoy them when we are old; and when we are old, we find it is too late to enjoy any thing. I therefore hope the Wits will pardon me, if I reserve some of my time to fave my foul; and that fome wife men will be of my opinion, even if I fhould think a part of it better spent in the enjoyments of life than in pleasing the critics.

On Mr. POPE and his Poems,

By His GRACE

JOHN SHEFFIEL D,

Duke of BUCKINGHAM.

WITH

ITH Age decay'd, with Courts and bus'nefs tir'd,

Caring for nothing but what Ease requir'd;
Too dully serious for the Mufe's fport,
And from the Critics fafe arriv'd in Port;
I little thought of launching forth agen,
'Amidft advent'rous Rovers of the Pen;
And after fo much undeserv'd fuccefs,
Thus hazarding at laft to make it less.

Encomiums fuit not this cenforious time,
Itself a Subject for fatiric rhyme;
Ignorance honour'd, Wit and Worth defam'd,
Folly triumphant, and ev'n Homer blam'd!

But to this Genius, join'd with fso much Art,

10

Poets are bound a loud applaufe to pay;
Apollo bids it, and they must obey.

15

And yet fo wonderful, fublime a thing, As the great ILIAD, fcarce could make me fing; Except I justly could at once commend A good Companion, and as firm a Friend. One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed Can all defert in Sciences exceed.

20

'Tis great delight to laugh at some mens ways, But a much greater to give Merit praise.

To Mr. POPE, on his Paftorals.

I

N these more dull, as more cenforious days, When few dare give, and fewer merit praise, A Mufe fincere, that never Flatt'ry knew, Pays what to friendship and desert is due. Young, yet judicious; in your verfe are found 5 Art ftrength'ningNature, Senfe improv'd by Sound, Unlike thofe Wits, whofe numbers glide along So fmooth, no thought e'er interrupts the song: Laboriously enervate they appear,

And write not to the head, but to the ear:

Our minds unmov'd and unconcern'd they lull,
And are at best moft mufically dull:

So purling streams with even murmurs creep,
And hush the heavy hearers into fleep.

As smoothest speech is most deceitful found, 15
The fmootheft numbers oft are empty found.
But Wit and Judgment join at once you,
Sprightly as Youth, as Age confummate too :
Your strains are regularly bold, and please
With unforc'd care, and unaffected ease, 20
With proper thoughts, and lively images:
Such as by Nature to the Antients fhewn,
Fancy improves, and judgment makes your own:
For great mens fashions to be follow'd are,
Altho' difgraceful 'tis their clothes to wear.
Some in a polish'd ftyle write Pastoral,
Arcadia speaks the language of the Mall;
Like fome fair Shepherdefs, the Sylvan Muse,
Should wear those flow'rs her native fields produce;
And the true measure of the shepherd's wit 30
Should, like his garb, be for the Country fit:
Yet muft his pure and unaffected thought
More nicely than the common fwain's be wrought.
So, with becoming art, the Players drefs

25

« AnteriorContinuar »