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Dr. JOHN DONNE, Dean of ST. PAUL's,
Quid vetat et nofmet Lucili fcripta legentes
SATIRES of Dr.
THE manly Wit of Donne, which was the character of his genius, fuited beft with Satire; and in this he excelled, thongh he wrote but little; fix fhort poems being all we find amongst his writings of this fort. Mr. Pope has embellished two of them with his wit and harmony. He called it verfifying them, because indeed the lines have nothing more of numbers than their being compofed of a certain quantity of fyllables. This is the more to be admired, because, as appears by his other poems, and especially from that fine fragment, called the Progrefs of the Soul, his Verfe did not want harmony. But, I suppose, he took the fermoni propiora of Horace too seriously; or rather, was content with the character his master gives of Lucilius,
"Emunctae naris durus componere verfus."
Having spoken of his Progress of the Soul, let me add, that Poetry scarce ever loft more than by his not pursuing and finish. ing that noble defign; of which he has only given us the introduction. With regard to his Satires, it is almost as much to be lamented that Mr. Pope did not give us a Paraphrafe, in his manner, of the Third, which treats the nobleft fubject not only of this, but perhaps of any fatiric poet. To fupply this lofs, though in a very small degree, I have here inferted it in the verfification of Dr. Parnell. It will at least serve to fhew the force of Dr. Donne's genius, and of Mr. Pope's; by removing all that was ruftic and shocking in the one, and by not being able to reach a fingle grace of the other.
Ompassion checks my fpleen, yet Scorn denies
Is not Religion (Heav'n-defcended dame) As worthy all our foul's devoutest flame, As Moral Virtue in her early sway,
When the best Heathens faw by doubtful day?
Alas! Religion proper means prepares,
Oh! if thy temper fuch a fear can find, This fear were valour of the nobleft kind.
Dar'st thou provoke, when rebel fouls aspire,
Or for fome Idol of thy Fancy draw
Some loose-gown'd dame; O courage made of ftraw!
And leave, for wars forbid, th' appointed field?
Well, gentle friend, but where may she be found?
By Faith Implicite blind Ignaro led,
Thinks the bright Seraph from his Country fled,
And feeks her feat at Rome, because we know
She there was feen a thoufand years ago;