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He, who fupreme in judgment, as in wit,
Might boldly cenfure, as he boldly writ,

Yet judg'd with coolnefs, though he fung with fire;
His precepts teach but what his works inspire.
Our Critics take a contrary extreme,

They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm :
Nor fuffers Horace more in wrong Tranflations
By Wits, than Critics in as wrong Quotations.
See Dionyfius Homer's thoughts refine,

And call new beauties forth from

every line! Fancy and art in gay Petronius please,

The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease.
In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find
The jufteft rules and clearest method join'd:
Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
All rang'd in order, and difpos'd with grace,
But lefs to please the eye, than arm the hand,
Still fit for use, and ready at command.

Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine inspire,
And bless their Critic with a Poet's fire.
An ardent Judge, who, zealous in his trust,
With warmth gives fentence, yet is always juft;

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665

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675

VARIATIONS.

Whofe

Ver. 668. The scholar's learning, and the courtier's ease.

Ver. 673, &c.

Nor thus alone the curious eye to please,

But to be found, when need requires, with ease.

The Mufes fure Longinus did infpire,

And blefs'd their Critic with a Poet's fire.
An ardent Judge, that zealous, &c.

Whofe own example strengthens all his laws;
And is himself that great Sublime he draws.

Thus long fucceeding Critics juftly reign'd,
License repress'd,`and useful laws ordain'd.
Learning and Rome alike in empire grew ;
And Arts ftill follow'd where her Eagles flew;
From the fame foes, at last, both felt their doom,
And the fame age faw Learning fall, and Rome.
With Tyranny, then Superftition join'd,

As that the body, this enflav'd the mind;
Much was believ'd, but little understood,
And to be dull was conftrued to be good;
A fecond deluge Learning thus o'er-ran,
And the Monks finish'd what the Goths began.

At length Erasmus, that great injur'd name,
(The glory of the Priesthood, and the shame!)
Stem'd the wild torrent of a barbarous age,
And drove thofe holy Vandals off the stage.

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685

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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 spread, Shakes off the duft, and rears his reverend head. 700 Then Sculpture and her sister-arts revive;

Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live;

VARIATIONS.

With

Ver. 689. All was believ'd, but nothing understood. Between ver. 690 and 691. the Author omitted these

two:

Vain Wits and Critics were no more allow'd,

When none but Saints had license to be proud.

With fweeter notes each rifing Temple rung;
A Raphael painted, and a Vida fung.
Immortal Vida: on whofe honour'd brow
The Poet's bays and Critic's ivy grow:
Cremona now shall ever boast thy name,
As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!

But foon, by impious arms from Latium chac'd,
Their ancient bounds the banish'd Muses pass'd;
Thence Arts o'er all the northern world advance,
But Critic-learning flourish'd moft in France:
The rules a nation, born to serve, obeys;
And Boileau ftill in right of Horace (ways.

705

710

But we, brave Britons, foreign laws defpis'd,

715

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
Of those who lefs prefum'd, and better knew,
Who durft affert the jufter ancient cause,
And here reftor'd Wit's fundamental laws.
Such was the Muse, whose rules and practice tell,
"Nature's chief Mafter-piece is writing well."
Such was Rofcommon, not more learn'd than good,
With manners generous as his noble blood;
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And every author's merit but his own.

Such late was Walsh-the Mufe's judge and friend,
Who justly knew to blame or to commend;

VARIATION.

Ver. 723, 724. These lines are not in ed. 1.

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730

Το

735

To failings mild, but zealous for defert;
The clearest head, and the fincereft heart.
This humble praife, lamented shade! receive,
This praise at least a grateful Muse may give:
The Mufe, whofe early voice you taught to fing,
Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing,
(Her guide now loft) no more attempts to rise,
But in low numbers fhort 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;
Averfe alike, to flatter or offend;

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

740

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THE

RAPE OF THE LOCK.

AN

HEROI-COMICAL POEM.

Written in the Year M DCC XII.

"Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos; "Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuiffe tuis."

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