Page images



TRUE Poetry the Painter's power displays;
True Painting emulates the Poet's lays;
The rival sisters, fond of equal fame,
Alternate change their office and their name;
Bid silent Poetry the canvas warm,
The tuneful page with speaking picture charm.
What to the ear sublimer rapture brings,
That strain alone the genuine Poet sings;
That form alone where glows peculiar grace,
The genuine Painter condescends to trace:
No sordid theme will verse or paint admit,
Unworthy colours, if unworthy wit.


Ur Pictura Poesis erit; similisque Poesi Sit Pictura; refert par æmula quæque sororem, Alternantque vices et nomina; muta Poesis Dicitur hæc, Pictura loquens solet illa vocari. Quod fuit auditu gratum cecinére Poetæ ; Quod pulchrum aspectu Pictores pingere curant : Quæque Poetarum numeris indigna fuêre,


Non eadem Pictorum operam studiumq; merentur:

From you, blest Pair! Religion deigns to claim Her sacred honours; at her awful name


High o'er the stars you take your soaring flight,
And rove the regions of supernal light;
Attend to lays that flow from tongues divine,
Undazzled gaze where charms seraphick shine;
Trace beauty's beam to its eternal spring,
And pure to man the fire celestial bring.


Then round this globe on joint pursuit ye stray, Time's ample annals studiously survey; And from the eddies of Oblivion's stream Propitious snatch each memorable theme.

Thus to each form, in heaven, and earth,

and sea,

That wins with grace, or awes with dignity,

Anbæ quippe sacros ad rcligionis honores Sydercos superant ignes, aulamque tonantis, Ingress, Divûm aspectu, alloquioque fruuntur; Oraque magna Deûm, et dicta observata reportant, Cœlestemque suorum operum mortalibus ignem.

Inde per hunc Orbem studijs coëuntibus errant, Carpentes quæ digna sui, revolutaque lustrant Tempora, quærendis consortibus argumentis.

Denique quæcunq; in cœlo, terrâque, marique Longius in tempus durare, ut pulchra merentur,



To each exalted deed, which dares to claim

an immortal fame,

The glorious meed of
That meed ye grant. Hence, to remotest age,
The Hero's soul darts from the Poet's page; 30
Hence, from the canvas, still, with wonted

He lives, he breathes, he braves the frown of

Such powers, such praises, heaven-born Pair,

To magick colouring, and creative song.

But here I pause, nor ask Pieria's train, 35 Nor Phoebus self to elevate the strain :

Vain is the flow'ry verse, when reasoning sage And sober precept fill the studied page;


Nobilitate suâ, claroque insignia casu,
Dives et ampla manet Pictores atque Poetas
Materies; inde alta sonant per sæcula mundo
Nomina, magnanimis Heroibus inde superstes
Gloria, perpetuoque operum miracula restant:
Tantus inest divis honor artibus atque potestas.
Non mihi Pieridum chorus hic, nec Apollo vo-

Majus ut eloquium numeris, aut gratia fandi

Dogmaticis illustret opus rationibus horrens :


Enough if there the fluent numbers please, With native clearness, and instructive ease. 40


Nor shall my rules the Artist's hand confine, Whom practice gives to strike the free design; Or banish Fancy from her fairy plains, Or fetter Genius in didactick chains: No, 'tis their liberal purpose to convey That scientifick skill which wins its way On docile nature, and transmits to youth, Talents to reach, and taste to relish truth; While inborn Genius from their aid receives Each supplemental art that practice gives.


■ 'Tis Painting's first chief business to explore, What lovelier forms in Nature's boundless store

Cum nitidâ tantum et facili digesta loquelâ,
Ornari præcepta negent, contenta doceri.


Nec mihi mens animusve fuit constringere nodos " Artificum manibus, quos tantùm dirigit usus; Indolis ut vigor inde potens obstrictus hebescat, Normarum numero immani, Geniumq; moretur : Sed rerum ut pollens ars cognitione, gradatim Naturæ sese insinuet, verique capace

Transeat in Genium; Geniusq; usu induat artem. b Præcipua imprimis artisque potissima pars est,

a I. Of the Beautiful..

I. De Pulchro.


« EelmineJätka »