« ElőzőTovább »
Imperial wonders rais’d on nations spoild,
Ambition sigh’d: she found it vain to trust
shore, Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more! Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design, And all her triumphs slirink into a coin. A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps, 25 Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps. Now scantier limits the proud arch confine, And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine; A small Euphrates through the piece is rollid, And little eagles wave their wings in gold.
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and ages bears each forin and name: In one short view subjected to our cye, Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie. With sharpen'd sight pale antiquaries pore, TH' inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years! To gain Pescennius one employs bis schemes, One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams. Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd, Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd;
And Curio, restless by the fair one's side,
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine: 45
Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame? In living medals see her wars enrolld,
55 And vanquish'd realms supply recording gold? Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face; There warriors frowning in historic brass: Then future ages with delight shall see How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agrce; 60 Or in fair series laurell'd bards be shewn, A Virgil there, and here an Addison: Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine) On the cast ore another Pollio shine; With aspect open shall erect his head,
65 And round the orb in lasting notes be read, “ Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honour clear; Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; 70 Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, And prais'd, unenvied, by the Muse he lov'd.” .
TO MR. JERVAS,
ART OF PAINTING*
*This epistle, and the two following, were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.
Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came,
wrought, Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought ! Together o'er the Alps, methinks we fly, 25 Fir'd with ideas of fair Italy. . . With thee on Raphael's monument I mourn, Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn : With thee repose where Tully once was laid, Or seek some ruin's formidable shade. While fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view, And builds imaginary Rome anew, Here thy well-studied marbles fix our eye: A fading fresco here demands a sigh: Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare, 35 Match Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air, Carracci's strength, Correggio's softer line, Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears This small well-polish'd gem, the work of years*! 40
* Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.
Yet still low faint by precept is exprest
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed
Yet still her charıns in breathing paint engage, 55
O! lasting as those colours may they shine! Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; New graces yearly like thy works display, 65 Soft without weakness, without glaring gay; Led by some rule chat guides, but not constrains, And finish'd more through happiness than pains. The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe au air divine on every face; Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul: With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vic,
75 And these be sung till Granville's Myra die: Alas! how little froin the grave we claim! Thou but prcserv'st a face, and I a name,
TO MISS BLOUNT,
Let the strict life of graver mortals be
Too much your sex is by their furms confin'd, Severe to all, but most to womankind; Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide; Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride; By nature yielding, stubborn but for fame, 35 Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame.