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If crystal streams, with pleasing murmurs creep, 355
The reader's threat'ned, 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 slow length along.
Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow,
And praise the easy vigour of a line
Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join.
True case in writing comes from art not chance,

365
As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance,
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows, 370
But when loud billows lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives, some rock’s vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move ilow,
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,

375 Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main. Hear how * Timotheus various lays surprize, And bid alternate passions fall and rise!

* Alexander's feast, or the power of music; an ode by Mr. Dryden.

While

380

Rivulus ut molli serpit per lævia lapsu,
Lector, non temerè expectes, post murmura, fomnos.
Tum demum qua latè extremum ad distichon, ipfa
Magnificum fine mente nihil, SENTENTIA splendet, 375
Segnis Hypermeter, audin? adeft, et claudicat, instar
Anguis faucia terga trahentis, prorepentisque.
Hi proprias stupeant nugas, tu discere tentes,
Quæ tereti properant venâ, vel amabilè languent.
Istaque fac laudes, ubi vivida Denhamii vis
Walleriæ condita fluit dulcedine mufæ.
Scribendi numerosa facultas provenit arte,
Ut soli incessu faciles fluitare videntur,
Plectro morigeros qui callent fingere gressus.
Non solum asperitas teneras cave verberet aures, 385
Sed vox quæque expressa tuæ fit mentis imago.
Lenè edat Zephyrus suspiria blanda, politis
Lævius in numeris labatur læve Auentum;
At reboat, furit, æftuat æmula musa, sonoris
Littoribus cum rauca horrendum impingitur unda: 390
Quando est faxum Ajax vasfâ vi volvere adortus,
Tardè incedat versus, multum perque laborem.
Non ita five Camilla cito falis æquora rasit,
Sive levis levitèrque terit, neque flectit aristas.
Audin! Timothei cælestia carmina, menti

395 Dulcibus alloquiis varios suadentia motus!

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380

While at each change the son of Lybian Jove,
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now fierce his eyes with sparkling fury glow!
Now fighs steal out, and tears begin to flow;
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the world's victor stood subdu'd by found!
The pow'r of music all our hearts allow,
And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.

385

390

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

395

Some the French writers, some our own despise;
The ancients only, or the moderns prize.
(Thus wit, like faith, by each man is apply’d
To one small sect, and all are damn'd beside,)

400

Meanly

3

Audin! ut alternis Lybici Jovis inclyta proles
Nunc ardet famam, solos nunc spirat amores,
Lumina nunc vivis radiantia volvere flammis,
Mox furtim suspiria, mox effundere Aletum!
Dum Perfæ, Græcique pares sentire tumultus
Discunt, victricemque lyram rex orbis adorat.
Musica quid poterit corda ipfa fatentur, et audit
Timotheus noftras merita cum laude Drydenus.

400

405

410

Tu servare modum ftudeas benè cautus, et istos
Queis aut nil placuisse potest, aut oninia, vites.
Exiguas naso maculas suspendere noli,
Namque patent nullo stupor atque superbia mentis
Clariùs indicio; neque mens est optima certè,
Non secus ac stomachus, quæcunque recusat et odit
Omnia, difficilisque nihil tibi concoquit unquam.
Non tamen idcirco vegeti vis ulla leporis
Te tibi surripiat; mirari mentis ineptæ eft,
Prudentis vero tantum optima quæque probare.
Majores res apparent per nubila visæ,
Atque ita luminibus ftupor ampliat omnia densis.

His Galli minus arrident, illisque poetz
Nostrates, hodierni aliis, aliisque vetusti.
Sic * fidei fimile, ingenium sectæ arrogat uni
Quisque suæ; folis patet illis janua cæli

415

420

Chriftianæ scilicet.

K 2

Scilicet

Meanly they seek the blessing to confine,
And force that sun but on a part to fhine,
Which not alone the fouthern wit sublimes,
But ripens spirits in cold northern climes,
Which from the first has fhone on ages past,
Enlights the present, and fhall warm the last.
(Tho' each

may

feel increases and decays,
And see now clearer and now darker days)
Regard not then if wit be old or new,
But blame the false and value ftill the true.

405

410

Some ne'er advance a judgment of their own, But catch the speading notion of the town; They reason and conclude by precedent, And own stale nonsenfe, which they ne'er invent. Some judge of authors names, not works, and then 415, Nor praise, nor blame the writings, but the men. Of all this servile herd, the worst is he Who in proud dulness joins with quality, A constant critic at the great man's board, To fetch and carry nonsense for my

lord.

420 What woful stuff this madrigal wou'd be, In some starved hackney sonneteer, or me? But let a lord once own the happy lines, How the wit brightens, how the style refines!

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