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Perhaps ev'n Britain's utmost shore
And Athens rising near the pole!
In every age, in every state!
CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND VIRGINS.
The prudent, learn'd, and virtuous breast?
Love, soft intruder, enters here,
Which nature hath imprest?
The mild and generous breast;
Brutus for absent Porcia sighs,
What is loose love? a transient gust,
And burn for ever one;
Productive as the sun,
What various joys on one attend,
Whether his hoary sire he spies,
'What home-felt raptures move!
With reverence, hope, and love.
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine :
Sacred II ymen! these are thine..
ODE ON SOLITUDE.
Written when the Author was about twelve
A few paternal acres bound,
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire ; Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day: Sound sleep by night ; study and ease,
Together mix'd; sweet recreation, And innocence, which most does please
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Tell where I lie.
Quit, oh quit, this mortal frame:
Cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
The world recedes; it disappears !
With sounds seraphic ring:
o death! where is thy sting?
ESSAY ON CRITICISM.
Written in the Year 1709.
Introduction. That it is as great a fault to judge
ill, as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public, ver. 1. That a true taste is as rare to be found as a true genius, ver. 9 to 18. . That most men are born with some taste, but spoiled by false education, ver. 10 to 25. The multitude of critics, and causes of them, ver. 26 to 45. That we are to study our own taste, and know the limits of it, ver. 46 to 67. Nature the best guide of judgement, ver. 68 to 87. Improved by art and rules, which are but methodized nature, ver. 88.
Rules derived from the practice of ancient poets, ver. 88 to 110. That therefore the ancients are necessary to be studied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, ver. 120 to 138. Of licences, and the use of them by the ancients, ver. 140 to 180. Reverençe due to the ancients, and praise of them, ver. 181, &c.
»TIS hard to say, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill;