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Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem,
To copy nature, is to copy them.

Some beauties yet, no precepts can declare,
For there's a happiness as well as care.
Mufic resembles poetry, in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master-hand alone can reach.

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+ If where the rules not far enough extend,
(Since rules were made but to promote their end)
Some lucky licence answers to the full

Th' intent propos'd, that licence is a rule.
Thus Pegasus a nearer way to take,
May boldly deviate from the common track.
Great wits fometimes may gloriously offend,
And rife to faults true criticks dare not mend;
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And fnatch a grace beyond the reach of art,
Which, without paffing thro' the judgment, gains
The heart, and all its end at once attains.
In profpects thus fome objects please our eyes,
Which out of nature's common order rife,
The shapeless rock, or hanging precipice.
But care in poetry muft ftill be had,

It asks discretion ev'n in running mad:







+ Neque tam fancta funt ifta præcepta, fed hoc quicquid eft, utilitas excogitavit; non negabo autem fic utile eft plerumque ; verum fi eadem illa nobis aliud fuadebit utilitas, hanc, relictis magiftrorum autoritatibus, fequemur. QUINT. lib. 2. cap. 13. And

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Hinc veterum difcas præcepta vererier, illos
Sectator, fic naturam fectaberis ipfam.

At vero virtus reftat jam plurima, nullo
Describenda modo, nullâque parabilis arte,
Nam felix tam fortuna eft, quam cura canendi.
Muficam in hoc reddit divina poefis, utramque
Multæ ornant veneres, quas verbis pingere non eft,
Quafque attingere nil nifi fumma peritia poffit.
Regula quandocunque minus diffufa videtur
(Quum tantum ad propriam collinet fingula metam)
Si modo confiliis inferviat ulla juvandis
Apta licentia, lex enim ifta licentia fiat.
Atque ita quo cituis procedat, calle relicto
Communi mufæ fonipes benè devius erret:
Accidit interdum, ut fcriptores ingenium ingens
Evehat ad culpam egregiam, maculafque micantes
Quas nemo criticorum audet detergere figat;
Accidit ut linquat vulgaria clauftra furore
Magnanimo, rapiatque folutum lege decorem,
Qui, quum judicium non intercedat, ad ipsum
Cor properat, finefque illic fimul obtinet omnes.
Haud aliter fi forte jugo fpeculamur aprico,
Luminibus res arrident, quas Dædala tellus
Parcior oftentare folet, velut ardua montis
Afperitas, fcopulive exefi pendulus horror.
Cura tamen femper magna eft adhibenda poefi,
Atque hic cum ratione infaniat author, oportet:







And tho' the antients thus their rules invade,

(As kings dispense with laws themselves have made) 165
Moderns beware! or if you must offend
Against the precept, ne'er tranfgrefs its end.
Let it be feldom, and compell'd by need,
And have, at least, their precedent to plead.
The critic else proceeds without remorse,
Seizes your fame, and puts his laws in force.

I know there are, to whofe prefumptuous thoughts
Those freer beauties, even in them, feem faults.
Some figures monftrous, and miss-shap'd appear,
Confider'd fingly, or beheld too near,
Which, but proportion'd to their light, or place,
Due distance reconciles to form and grace.
A prudent chief not always muft difplay
His pow'rs in equal ranks, and fair array ;
But with th' occafion, and the place comply,
Conceal his force, nay, fometimes feem to fly.
Those oft are ftratagems which errors seem,
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.

Still green with bays each ancient altar ftands,
Above the reach of facrilegious hands;
Secure from flames, from envy's fiercer rage,
Destructive war, and all-devouring age.

Sce, from each clime the learn'd their incenfe bring;
Hear in all tongues confenting peans ring!






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Et, quamvis veteres pro tempore jura refigunt,
Et leges violare fuas regalitèr audent,

Tu caveas, moneo, quifquis nunc fcribis, & ipfam
Si legem frangas, memor ejus refpice finem.
Hoc femper tamen evites, nifi te gravis urget
Nodus, præmonftrantque authorum exempla priorum.
Ni facias, criticus totam implacabilis iram
Exercet, turpique notâ tibi nomen inurit.

Sed non me latuêre, quibus fua liberiores
Has veterum veneres vitio dementia vertit.
Et quædam tibi figna quidem monftrofa videntur,
fe vel perpendas, propiorave luftres,
Quæ rectâ cum conftituas in luce locoque,
Formam conciliat distantia justa venustam.
Non aciem femper belli dux callidus artis
Inftruit æquali serie ordinibufque decoris,
Sed fe temporibufque locoque accomodat, agmen
Celando jam, jamque fugæ fimulachra ciendo.
Mentitur fpeciem erroris fæpe aftus, & ipse
Somniat emunctus judex, non dormit Homerus.

Afpice, laurus adhuc antiquis vernat in aris,
Quas rabidæ violare manus non amplius audent;
Flammarum a rabie tutas, Stygiæque veneno
Invidiæ, Martifque minis & morfibus ævi.
Docta caterva, viden! fert ut fragrantia thura ;
Audin ut omnigenis refonant præconia linguis !




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In praise so just let ev'ry voice be join'd,
And fill the general chorus of mankind!
Hail, bards triumphant! born in happier days,
Immortal heirs of univerfal praife!
Whose honours with increase of ages grow,
As ftreams roll down enlarging as they flow !
Nations unborn your mighty names fhall found,
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found!
Oh! may fome fpark of your celestial fire
The laft, the meaneft of your fons infpire,
(That on weak wings from far pursues your flights,
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes)
To teach vain wits a fcience little known,
T'admire superior sense and doubt their own.

Of all the causes which confpire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and mifguide the mind;
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever nature has in worth deny'd,
She gives, in large recruits of needful pride ;
For as in bodies, thus in fouls we find,
What wants in blood and spirits, fwell'd with wind:
Pride, where wit fails, fteps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of fenfe!
If once right reafon drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with refistless day;








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