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EPISTLE

TO JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.

A

SECRETARY OF STATE IN THE YEAR 1720.

Soul as full of Worth, as void of Pride,

Which nothing feeks to fhew, or needs to hide,
Which nor to Guilt, nor Fear, its Caution owes,
And boasts a Warmth that from no Paffion flows.
A Face untaught to feign; a judging Eye,
That darts fevere upon a rifing Lie,

And strikes a blush through frontlefs Flattery.
All this thou wert; and being this before,

Know, Kings and Fortune cannot make thee more.
Then fcorn to gain a Friend by fervile ways,
Nor wish to lose a Foe thefe Virtues raife;
But candid, free, fincere, as you began,
Proceed-a Minifter, but ftill a Man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Afham'd of any Friend, not ev'n of Me:
The Patriot's plain, but untrod, path purfue;
If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of You.

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EPISTLE

EPISTLE

TO MR. JERVAS,

With Mr. DRYDEN'S Tranflation of FRESNOY'S Art of Painting.

THIS Epiftle, and the two following, were written fome years before the reft, and originally printed in 1717.

T

HIS Verfe be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
This, from no venal or ungrateful Mufe.
Whether thy hand ftrike out fome free defign,
Where Life awakes, and dawns at every line;

Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass,
And from the canvas call the mimic face:
Read thefe inftructive leaves, in which conspire
Frefnoy's clofe Art, and Dryden's native Fire :
And reading wifh, like theirs, our fate and fame,
So mix'd our studies, and fo join'd our name;
Like them to fhine through long fucceeding age,
So just thy skill, fo regular my rage.

Smit with the love of Sifter-Arts we came,
And met congenial, mingling flame with flame;
Like friendly colours found them both unite,
And each from each contract new ftrength and light.
How oft in pleafing tasks we wear the day,
While fummer-funs roll unperceiv'd away!
How oft our flowly-growing works impart,
While Images reflect from art to art!

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How oft review; each finding like a friend

Something to blame, and fomething to commend!

What flattering scenes our wandering fancy wrought,
Rome's pompous glories rifing to our thought!
Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly,
Fir'd with Ideas of fair Italy.

With thee on Raphael's Monument I mourn,
Or wait infpiring Dreams at Maro's Urn:
With thee repose, where Tully once was laid,
Or feek fome Ruin's formidable fhade:
While Fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew.

Here thy well-ftudied marbles fix our eye;
A fading Fresco here demands a sigh:

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Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare,

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Match Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air,

Carracci's ftrength, Correggio's fofter line,

Paulo's free ftroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illuftrious toil appears

This fmall, well-polifh'd Gem, the work of years! 40
Yet ftill how faint by precept is exprefs'd
The living image in the painter's breast!
Thence endless ftreams of fair Ideas flow,
Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow;
Thence Beauty, waking all her forms, fupplies
An Angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.

Mufe! at that Name thy facred forrows fhed,
Those tears eternal that embalm the dead;
Call round her Tomb each object of defire,
Each purer frame inform'd with

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fire:

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Bid her be all that chears or softens life,
The tender fifter, daughter, friend, and wife:
Bid her be all that makes mankind adore;
Then view this marble, and be vain no more!
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage;
Her modeft cheek shall warm a future age.
Beauty, frail flower that every season fears,
Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years.
Thus Churchill's race fhall other hearts furprize,
And other Beauties envy. Worfley's eyes;
Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow,
And foft Belinda's blush for ever glow.

Oh, lafting as those Colours may they shine,
Free as thy stroke, yet faultlefs as thy line;
New graces yearly like thy works display,
Soft without weakness, without glaring gay;
Led by fome rule, that guides, but not conftrains;
And finish'd more through happiness than pains!
The kindred Arts fhall in their praise confpire,
One dip the pencil, and one ftring the lyre.
Yet should the Graces all thy figures place,
And breathe an air divine on every face;
Yet fhould the Mufes bid my numbers roll
Strong as their charms, and gentle as their foul;
With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie,
And these be fung till Granville's Myra die:
Alas! how little from the grave we claim !
Thou but preferv'ft a Face, and I a Name.

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EPISTLE

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EPISTLE

TO MISS BLOUNT,

WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE.

N thefe gay thoughts the Loves and Graces fhine,
And all the Writer lives in every line;

His eafy Art may happy Nature seem,
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,

Who without flattery pleas'd the fair and great;
Still with efteem no lefs convers'd than read
With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred:
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share,
His time, the Mufe, the witty and the fair,
Thus wifely careless, innocently gay,
Chearful he play'd the trifle, Life, away;
Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath fuppreft,
As smiling Infants sport themselves to rest.
Ev'n rival Wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before;
The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with sighs,
Voiture was wept by all the brightest Eyes:
The Smiles and Loves had died in Voiture's death,
But that for ever in his lines they breathe.

Let the ftrict life of graver mortals be

A long, exact, and ferious Comedy; every fcene fome Moral let it teach,

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And, if it can, at once both please and preach.

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