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The fnappifh cur (the paffengers annoy)
Hard by a Sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days
Baskets of fish at Billingfgate did watch,
Cod, whiting, oyfter, mackrel, fprat, or plaice:
With Envy, (fpitting Cat) dread foe to peace;
Her dugs were mark'd by ev'ry Collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bull-dogs at the stall:
VER. 30. Baskets of fifb] How different from thofe enchanting imitations of Spenfer, The Castle of Indolence and the Minstrel !
She scratched, bit, and spar'd ne lace ne band,
Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
All up the filver Thames, or all adown;
Ne Richmond's felf, from whofe tall front are ey'd Vales, fpires, meand'ring ftreams, and Windfor's tow'ry pride.
WALL E R.
POPE has imitated Waller with elegance, efpecially in the verses on a Fan of his own defign; for he defigned with dexterity and taste.
The application of the ftory of Cephalus and Procris is as ingenious as Waller's Phoebus and Daphne. Waller abounds, perhaps to excefs, in allufions to mythology and the ancient claffics. The French, as may be imagined, complain that he is too learned for the ladies. The following twelve lines contain three allufions, delicate indeed; but fome may deem them to be too far-fetched, too much crouded, and not obvious to the lady to whom they were addreffed, on her finging a fong of his compofing:
"Chloris, yourself you so excell,
When you vouchsafe to breathe my thought,
But of his voice, the boy had burn'd."
Here is matter enough compreffed together for Voiture to have fpun out into fifty lines. Were I to name my favourite among Waller's fmaller pieces, it should be his Apology for having loved before. He begins by faying, "That they who never had been used to the surprising juice of the grape, render up their reason to
the first delicious cup." This is fufficiently gallant; but what he adds has much of the fublime, and is like a thought of Milton's: "To man that was i' th' evening made,
Stars gave the first delight;
Then at Aurora, whose fair hand
He gazing tow'rds the Eaft did ftand,
But when the bright Sun did appear,
His wonder was determin'd there,
And could no higher rife."
The English verfification was much fmoothed by Waller; who ufed to own, that he derived the harmony of his numbers from Fairfax's Taffo, who well-vowelled his lines, though Sandys was a melodious verfifier, and Spenfer has perhaps more variety of mufic than either of them. A poet who addreffes his pieces to living characters, and confines himself to the subjects and anecdotes of his own times, like this courtly author, bids fairer to become popular, than he that is employed in higher fcenes of poetry and fiction, which are more remote from common manners. It may be remarked laftly of Waller, that there is no paffion in his love-verses; and that one elegy of Tibullus, fo well imitated by Hammond, and fo unjustly cenfured by Johnfon, excels a volume of the most refined panegyric. It is remarkable that Waller never mentions Milton, whose Comus, and smaller poems, preceded his own; but were unsuitable to the French tafte, on which Waller was formed.
WALL E R.
ON A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE.
FAIR Charmer, cease, nor make
your voice's prize
A heart refign'd the conqueft of your eyes:
We were too bleft with these inchanting lays, 5
This vocal wood had drawn the Poet too.