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choice, and not of necessity. Therefore, Sir, I shall only call it an Humble Petition that your Majesty will please to pardon this new amour to my old mistress, and my disobedience to his com. mands to whose memory I look up with great reverence and devotion: and making a serious reflection upon that wise advice, it carries much greater weight with it now than when it was given ; for when age and experience has so ripened man's discretion as to make it fit for use, either in private or public affairs, nothing blasts and corrupts the fruit of it so much as the empty airy reputation of being nimis poëta; and therefore I shall take my
leave of the Muses, as two of my predecessors did, saying,
“ Splendidis longum valedico nugis,
COOPER'S HILL. SURE there are poets which did never dreain Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose Those made not poets, but the poets those. And as courts make not kings, but kings the court, So where the Muses and their train resort Parnassus stands; if I can be to thee A poct, thou Parnassus art to me. Nor wonder if (advantag'd in my flight, By taking wing from thy auspicious height) Thro' untrac'd
ways and airy paths I fly, More boundless in my fancy than my eye; My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space That lies between, and first salutes the place Crown'd with that sacred pile, so vast, so high, 15 That whether 'tis a part of earth or sky Uncertain secins, and may be thought a proud Aspiring mountain, or descending cloud; Paul's, the late theme of such a Muse*, whose flight Hasbravely reach'd and soar’dabove thy height; 20 Now shalt thou stand, tho' sword, or time, or fire, Or zcal, more fierce than they, thy fall conspire, Secure, whilst thee the best of poets sings, Preserv'd from ruin by the best of kings.
* Mr. Waller.
Under his proud survey the City lies,
25 And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise, Whose state and wealth, the bus’ness and thecrowd, Seems at this distance but a darker cloud, And is, to him who rightly things esteems, No other in effect than what it seems;
30 Where with like haste, tho' several ways, they run, Some to undo, and some to be undone; While luxury and wealth, like war and peace, Are each the other's ruin and increase; As rivers lost in seas, some secret vein
35 Thence reconveys, there to be lost again. Oh! happiness of sweet retir'd content ! To be at once secure and innocent, Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells, Beauty with strength) above the valley swells 40 Into my eye, and doth itself present With such an easy and unforc'd ascent, That no stupendous precipice denies Access, no horror turns away our eyes; But such a rise as doth at once invite A pleasure and a rev'rence from the sight: Thy mighty master's emblem, in whose face Sat meekness, heighton'd with majestic grace; Such seems thy gentle height, made only proud To be the basis of that poinpous load. 50 Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears, But Atlas only, which supports the splieres. When Nature's hand this ground did thus advance, 'Twas guided by a wiser pow'r than Chance;
Mark'd out for such an use, as if 't were meant 55
Edward III. and the Black Prince. † Queen Philippa.