« ElőzőTovább »
Asserts his own, by sympathy of parts.
Me panegyric verse does not inspire,
Who never well can praise what I admire;
Nor in those lofty trials dare appear,
But gently drop this counsel in your ear.
Go on, to gain applauses by desert,
Inform the head, whilst you dissolve the heart;
Inflame the soldier with harmonious rage,
Elate the young, and gravely warn the sage;
Allure with tender verse the female race,
And give their darling passion courtly grace;
Describe the Forest still in rural strains,
With vernal sweets fresh breathing from the plains.
Your tales be easy, natural, and gay,
Nor all the poet in that part display;
Nor let the critic there his skill unfold,
For Boccace thus, and Chaucer tales have told.
Soothe, as you only can, each diff'ring taste,
And for the future charm as in the past.
Then should the verse of ev'ry artful hand
Before your numbers eminently stand;
In you no vanity could thence be shown,
Unless, since short in beauty of your own,
Some envious scribbler might in spite declare,
That for comparison you placed them there.
But envy could not against you succeed,
'Tis not from friends that write, or foes that read;
Censure or praise must from ourselves proceed.
Fair Tree! for thy delightful Shade
'Tis just that some Return be made;
Sure, some Return is due from me
To thy cool Shadows, and to thee.
When thou to Birds dost Shelter give,
Thou Music dost from them receive;
If Travellers beneath thee stay,
Till Storms have worn themselves away,
That Time in praising thee they spend,
And thy protecting Pow'r commend:
The Shepherd here, from Scorching freed,
Tunes to thy dancing Leaves his Reed;
Whilst his loved Nymph, in Thanks, bestows
Her flow'ry Chaplets on thy Boughs.
Shall I then only Silent be,
And no Return be made by me?
No; let this Wish upon thee wait,
And still to flourish be thy Fate,
To future Ages may'st thou stand
Untouch'd by the rash Workman's hand;
Till that large Stock of Sap is spent,
Which gives thy Summer's ornament;
Till the fierce Winds, that vainly strive
To shock thy Greatness whilst alive,
Shall on thy lifeless Hour attend,
Prevent the Axe, and grace thy End;
Their scattered Strength together call,
And to the Clouds proclaim thy Fall;
Who then their Ev'ning-Dews may spare,
When thou no longer art their Care;
But shalt, like ancient Heroes, burn,
And some bright Hearth be made thy Urn.
EXERT thy Voice, sweet Harbinger of Spring!
This Moment is thy Time to sing,
This Moment I attend to Praise, And set my Numbers to thy Lays. Free as thine shall be my Song;
5 As thy Music, short, or long. Poets, wild as thee, were born,
Pleasing best when unconfined,
When to Please is least designed, Soothing but their Cares to rest;
Cares do still their Thoughts molest,
And still th' unhappy Poet's Breast,
Like thine, when best he sings, is plac'd against a
She begins, Let all be still !
Muse, thy Promise now fulfil !
15 Sweet, oh! sweet, still sweeter yet
Can thy Words such Accents fit,
Canst thou Syllables refine,
Melt a Sense that shall retain
Still some Spirit of the Brain,
Till with Sounds like these it join.
'Twill not be! then change thy Note;
Let division shake thy Throat.
Hark! Division now she tries;
Yet as far the Muse outflies.
Cease then, prithee, cease thy Tune;
Trifler, wilt thou sing till June ?
Till thy Bus'ness all lies waste,
And the Time of Building 's past !
Thus we Poets that have Speech,
Unlike what thy Forests teach,
If a fluent Vein be shown
That's transcendent to our own,
Criticize, reform, or preach,
Or censure what we cannot reach.
In such a Night, when every louder Wind
Is to its distant Cavern safe confined;
And only gentle Zephyr fans his Wings,
And lonely Philomel, still waking, sings; 5 Or from some Tree, famed for the Owl's delight,
She, hollowing clear, directs the Wand'rer right:
In such a Night, when passing Clouds give place,
Or thinly veil the Heav'ns' mysterious Face;
When in some River, overhung with green,
The waving Moon and trembling Leaves are seen;
When freshened Grass now bears itself upright,
And makes cool Banks to pleasing Rest invite,
Whence springs the Woodbind, and the Bramble-Rose,
And where the sleepy Cowslip sheltered grows;
Whilst now a paler Hue the Foxglove takes,
Yet checkers still with red the dusky brakes
When scattered Glow-worms, but in Twilight fine
Shew trivial Beauties watch their Hour to shine;
Whilst Salisb'ry stands the Test of ev'ry Light,
In perfect Charms, and perfect Virtue bright:
When Odours, which declined repelling Day,
Thro’ temp'rate Air uninterrupted stray;
When darkened Groves their softest Shadows wear,
And falling Waters we distinctly hear;
When thro' the Gloom more venerable shows
Some ancient Fabric, awful in Repose,
While Sunburnt Hills their swarthy Looks conceal,
And swelling Haycocks thicken up the Vale:
When the loosed Horse now, as his Pasture leads,
Comes slowly grazing thro’ the adjoining Meads,
Whose stealing Pace, and lengthened Shade we fear,
Till torn up Forage in his Teeth we hear:
When nibbling Sheep at large pursue their Food,