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A fecond deluge Learning thus o'er-run,
And the Monks finifh'd what the Goths begun.

At length Erafmus, that great injur'd name,
(The glory of the Priesthood, and the fhame!)
Stem'd the wild torrent of a barb'rous age,
And drove those holy Vandals off the stage.

696

But fee! each Mufe, in LEO's golden days, Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays, Rome's ancient Genius, o'er its ruins fpread, 700 Shakes off the duft, and rears his rev'rend head. Then Sculpture and her fifter-arts revive;

Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live;
With sweeter notes each rifing Temple rung;
A Raphael painted, and a Vida fung.
Immortal Vida: on whose honour'd brow
The Poet's bays and Critic's ivy grow:
Cremona now fhall ever boaft thy name,
As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!

705

709

But

VER. 695. The glory of the Priesthood and the forme,] Our author elfewhere lets us know what he eft ems to be the glory of the Priesthood as well as of a Chriftian in general, where, comparing himself to Erafmus, he fays,

In MODERATION placing all my glory,

and confequently, what he efteems to be the shame of it. The whole of this character belong'd most eminently and almost solely to Erafmus: For the other Reformers, fuch as Luther, Calvin, and their followers, understood fo little in what true Chriflian Liberty confifted, that they carried with them, into the reformed Churches, that very fpirit of perfecution, which had driven them from the church of Rome.

IMITATIONS.

VER. 708. As next in place to Mantua,] Alluding to Mantua væ miferæ nimium vicina Cremone. Virg.

But foon by impious arms from Latium chas'd,
Their ancient bounds the banish'd Mufes pafs'd;
Thence Arts o'er all the northern world advance,
But Critic-learning flourish'd moft in France:
The rules a nation, born to ferve, obeys;
And Boileau ftill in right of Horace fways.
But we, brave Britons, foreign laws defpis'd,
And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd;
Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold,
We still defy'd the Romans, as of old.

Yet fome there were, among the founder few

715

Of those who lefs prefum'd, and better knew, 721
Who durft affert the jufter ancient caufe,
And here reftor'd Wit's fundamental laws,

Such was the Mufe, whofe rules and practice tell,
"Nature's chief Mafter-piece is writing well." 725

Such

VER 724. Such was the Mufe-] Effay on Poetry by the Duke of Buckingham. Our Poet is not the only one of his time who complimented this Elay, and its noble Author. Mr. Dryden had done it very largely in the Dedication to his tranflation of the neid; and Dr. Garth in the firft Edition of his Dispensary says,

The Tyber now no courtly Gallus fees,
But fmiling Thames enjoys bis Normanbys.

Tho' afterwards omitted, when parties were carried fo
high in the reign of Queen Anne, as to allow no com-
mendation to an oppofite in Politics. The Duke was all
his life a fteady adherent to the Church of England Party,
yet an enemy to the extravagant meafures of the Court
in the reign of Charles II. On which account after
having ftrongly patronized Mr. Dryden, a coolness fuc-
ceeded between them on that poet's abfolute attachment
to the Court, which carried him fome lengths beyond
what the Duke could approve of. This Nobleman's

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Such was Rofcommon, not more learn'd than good, With manners gen'rous as his noble blood;

To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And ev'ry author's merit, but his own.

Such late was Walsh—the Muse's judge and friend,
Who justly knew to blame or to commend;
To failings mild, but zealous for defert;

The clearest head, and the fincereft heart.

731

This humble praise, lamented shade! receive,
This praise at least a grateful Muse may give : 735
The Mufe, whofe early voice you taught to fing,
Prefcrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing,
(Her guide now loft) no more attempts to rife,
But in low numbers short excurfions tries:
Content, if hence th' unlearn'd their wants may view,
The learn'd reflect on what before they knew:
Careless of cenfure, nor too fond of fame;
Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame;
Averse alike to flatter, or offend;

Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend.

739

744

true character had been very well marked by Mr. Dryden before,

the Mufe's friend,

Himfelf a Mufe. In Sanadrin's debate

True to his prince, but not a flave of state.

Abf, and Achit.

Our Author was more happy, he was honour'd very young with his friendship, and it continued till his death m all the circumftances of a familiar efteem.

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