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Moses in all th’ Egyptian arts was skill'd,
39 To th’ one the style of Friend he did impart, On th other stamp the likeness of his heart : And Moses, in the old original, Ev'n God the poet of the world doth call. Next those old Greeks Pythagoras did rise, 35 Then Socrates, whom th' oracle call'd Wise. The divine Plato moral virtue shows, Then his disciple Aristotle rose, Who Nature's secrets to the world did teach, Yet that great soul our novelists impeach : 40 Too much manuring fillid that field with weeds, While sects, like locusts, did destroy the seeds, The tree of knowledge, blasted by disputes, Produces sapless leaves instead of fruits.
Proud Greece all nations else barbarians held, Boasting her learning all the world excell'd. Flying from thence *, to Italy it came, And to the realm of Naples gave the name, Till both their nation and their arts did come A welcome trophy to triumphant Rome. Then wheresoe'er her conq'ring Eagles fled, Arts, learning, and civility were spread; And as in this our microcosm the heart Heat, spirit, motion, gives to ev'ry part, So Rome's victorious influence did disperse All her own virtues thro' the universe. Here some digression I must make, t' accuse Thee, my forgetful and ungrateful Muse! Couldst thou from Greece to Latium take thy flight, And not to thy great ancestors do right? I can no more believe old Homer blind, Than those who say the sun hath never shin'd: The age wherein he liv'd was dark, but he Could not want sight who taught the world to see. They who Minerva from Jove's head derive, Might make old Homer's scull the Muses' hive, And from his brain that Helicon distill Whose racy liquor did his offspring fill. Nor old Anacreon, Hesiod, Theocrite, Must we forget, nor Pindar's lofty flight. Old Homer's soul, at last from Greece retir'd, In Italy the Mantuan swain inspir'd..
When great Augustus made war's tempests cease,
At last the ocean shall unlock the bound "Of things, and a new world by Typhis found ; "Then ages far remote shall understand 85 "The Isle of Thule is not the farthest land." Sure God, by these discov'ries, did design That his clear light thro' all the world should shine; But the obstruction from that discord springs The prince of darkness made 'twixt Christian kings: That peaceful age with happiness to crown, 91 From heav'n the Prince of Peace himself came down; Then the true Sun of knowledge first appear'd, And the old dark mysterious clouds were clear'd; The heavy cause of th' old accursed flood 95 Sunk in the sacred deluge of his blood. His passion man from his first fall redeem'd ; Once more to Faradise restor'd we seem'd;
* Vates. + Seneca.
Satan himself was bound, till th' iron chain
Then hell sends forth her furies, Av`rice, Pride,
That project when from Greece to Rome it came,
To possess Peter's chair, that Hildebrand