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His turns too closely on the reader press :
O'er-flows the heav'ns with one continu'd light;
Th' unnumber'd beauties of thy verse with blame;
But wit like thine in any shape will please.
In Sprat's successful labours and thy own.
But Milton, next, with high and haughty stalks,
No vulgar hero can his muse ingage ;
Nor earth's wide scene confine his hallow'd rage.
verse. Parts of his criticism are admirable; but the unfortunate line"He more had pleased us," has been severely ridiculed.-G.
Cowley had great merit, but nature had formed him to manage Anacreon's lute, and not Pindar's lyre
Shakes heaven's eternal throne with dire alarms,
With fear my spirits and my blood retire,
A vision so profuse of pleasantness.
Oh had the poet ne'er profan'd his pen,
To varnish o'er the guilt of faithless men;
* I wonder what these laws could be. Nobody understood the critic's nicest laws, better than Milton, or observed them with more respect. The observation might be true of Shakspeare; but, by illhap, we do not so much as find his name in this account of English poets.
↳ A vision so profuse of pleasantness. A prettily turned line. The expression (originally Milton's, P. L. iv. 243. viii. 286) pleased our poet so much, that we have it again in the letter from Italy-profuse of bliss, and
© Serene and bright. This is a strange description of Milton's language, if he means the language of his prose works. The panegyric seems made at random.
But now my muse a softer strain rehearse,
Thy verse, harmonious bard, and flatt'ring song,
Nor must Roscommon pass neglected by,
The best of criticks, and of poets too.
Nor, Denham, must we e'er forget thy strains,
While Cooper's Hill commands the neighb'ring plains.
Thy verse can show. Of this and the four next lines, Johnson says, "What is this but to say, that he who would compliment Cromwell had been the proper poet for King William?"-G.
But see where artful Dryden next appears
Her hero pleases, and her satire bites.
From her no harsh unartful numbers fall,
She wears. all dresses, and she charms in all.
I'm tir'd with rhyming, and would fain give o'er,
But justice still demands one labour more:
For wit, for humour, and for judgment fam'd;
In numbers such as Dorset's self might use.
1 The noble Montague. It is of Montague that Pope says,--" he was fed with dedications," and Tickell, that he rewarded them all.-G.
a Whether in comic sounds or tragick airs. A writer in fashion, like the stoical wise man, is every thing he has a mind to be. Dryden's comeies are very indifferent, and his tragedies still worse.
b Congreve shall still. Another poet in fashion: but it is not safe to phecy of such. All he had of Dryden's muse was only his quaint and il-applied wit.
How negligently graceful he unreins
We see his army set in just array,
And Boyne's dy'd waves run purple to the sea.
Nor rapid Xanthus' celebrated flood,
Shall longer be the poet's highest themes,
Tho' gods and heroes fought promiscuous in their streams.
But now, to Nassau's secret councils rais'd,
He aids the hero, whom before he prais'd.
I've done at length; and now, dear friend, receive
The last poor present that my muse can give.
To them that practise 'em with more success.
1 I leave the arts, &c. These lines have found a place in the twelfth chapter of "The art of sinking in poetry." "Let verses run in this manner, just to be a vehicle to the words. (I take them from my last cited author, who, though otherwise by no means of our rank, seemed, once in his life, to have a mind to be simple, &c.) "—G.
2 Of greater truths. Addison, at this time, thought of taking orders.