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Of Orpheus now no more let poets tell:
TO THE TRAGEDY OF BRUTUS, Altered from Shakspeare by the Duke of Buckingham: at whose desire these two Chorusses were composed, to supply as many wanting in his Play. They were set many years afterwards by the famous Bononcini, and performed at Buckingham-house.
CHORUS OF ATHENIANS.
YE shades, where sacred truth is sought;
In vain your guiltless laurels stood
War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades,
Oh heaven-born sisters! source of art!
Moral truth and mystic song.
To what new clime, what distant sky,
Say, will ye bless the bleak Atlantic shore?
When Athens sinks by fates unjust,
Perhaps e'en Britain's utmost shore
Ye gods! what justice rules the ball?
Still, when the lust of tyrant power succeeds,
CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND VIRGINS
OH tyrant Love! hast thou possess'd
The prudent, learn'd, and virtuous breast?
And arts but soften us to feel thy flame.
Why, virtue, dost thou blame desire,
Love's purer flames the gods approve;
And sterner Cassius melts at Junia's eyes
A vapour fed from wild desire;
Chaste as cold Cynthia's virgin light,
Oh source of every social tie,
What tender passions take their turns,
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns,
Hence, guilty joys, distastes, surmises;
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine:
Purest Love's unwasting treasure,
Day of ease, and nights of pleasure,
ODE ON SOLITUDE.
Written when the Author was about twelve Years ora
HAPPY the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own groun
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
Bless'd, who can unconcernedly find
Quiet by day.
Sound sleep by night: study and ease,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
The dying Christian to his Soul.
Hark! they whisper: angels say,
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly.
AN 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. 19 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 judgment, 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 licenses, and the use of them by the ancients, ver. 140 to 180. Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them, ver. 181, &c.
'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill
But of the two, less dangerous is the offence
"Tis with our judgments as our watches; none Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets as true genius is but rare,
True taste as seldom is the critic's share;