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Where Heaven's free fubje&s might their rights Strain out the laft dull dropping of their fenfe,



Left God himself should seem too abfolute :
Pulpits their facred fatire learn'd to fpare,
And Vice admir'd to find a flatterer there!
Encourag'd thus, Wit's Titans brav'd the fkies,
And the prefs groan'd with licens'd blafphemies.
Thefe Monsters, Critics! with your darts engage,
Here point your thunder, and exhauft your rage!
Yet hun their fault, who, fcandaloufy nice,
Will needs mistake an author into vice;
All feems infected that th' infected spy,

As all looks yellow to the jaundic'd eye.

Asd rhyme with all the rage of impotence!
Such fhameless Bards we have and yet 'tis

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There are as mad, abandon'd Criticks too.
The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue ftill edifes his ears
And always liftening to himself appears.
All books he reads, and all he reads affails,
From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales:
With him, moft authors fteal their works, or buy's
Garth did not write his own Difpenfary.

LEARN then what MORALS Critics ought to Name a new Play, and he's the Poet's friend,"


Fortis but half a judge's task, to know.

'Tis not enough, tafte, judgment, learning, join;
In all you fpeak, let truth and candour fhine;
That not alone what to your fenfe is due
All may alley, but feek your friendship too. 565
Be fent always, when you doubt your fenfe;
And fpeak, though fure, with feeming diffidence:
Some pofitive, perfitting fops we know,
Who, if once wrong, will needs be always fo;
But you, with pleature, own your errors paft,
And make each day a critique on the lat.

'Tis not enough your counfel ftill be true; Blunt truths more mischief than nice falfehoods do;

Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos'd as things forget. Without good-breeding truth is difapprov❜d; 576 That only makes fuperior fenfe belov'd.

Be niggards of advice on no pretence; For the worst avarice is that of fenfe.

Nay fhow'd his faults-but when would Poets 'mend?

No place fo facred from such tops is barr'd,
Nor is Paul's church more fafe than Paul's church-

Nay, fly to Altars; there they'll talk you dɛad;
For Fools rufh in where Angels fear to tread. 625
Distrustful fense with modeft caution speaks,
It ftill looks home, and fort excursions makes:
But rattling nonfenfe in full vollies breaks,
And, never fhock'd, and never turn'd afde,
Burfts out, refftlefs, with a thundering tide. 630

But where's the man, who counsel can beftow, Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know ? Unbiaf'd, or by favour, or by fpite; Not dully prepoffefs'd, nor blindly right; Though learn'd, well-bred; and though wellbred, fincere; 635

Modeftly bold, and humanly fevere :
Who to a friend his faults can freely fhow,
And gladly praife the merit of a foe?

With mean complacence, ne'er betray your trust, Bleft with a taite exact, yet unconfin'd;
For be fo civil as to prove unjuk.

Fear not the anger of the wife to raise;

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Those best can bear reproof, who merit praife.

'Twere well might Critics ftill this freedom take:

But Appius reddens at each word you speak, 585
And ftares tremendous, with a threatening eye,
Like fome ferce tyrant in old tapestry.
Fear most to tax an honourable fool,
Whofe right it is, uncenfur'd, to be dull!
Such, without wit, are Poets when they please,
As without learning they can take degrees,
Leave dangerous truths to unfuccefsful fatires,
And Battery to fulfome dedicators,
Whom, when they praife, the world believes no



Than when they promise to give fcribbling o'er.
Tis beft fometimes your cenfure to reftrain, 596
And charitably let the dull be vain:

Your Llence there is better than your fpite,
For who can rail fo long as they can write?
Still humming on, their drow y courfe they keep,
And lafted fo long, like tops, are la'd afleep.
Kale reps but help them to renew the race,
As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace.
What crowds of thefe, impenitently bold,
In founds and jingling fyllables grown old, o
Still run on poets, in a raging vein,

Ev'n to the dregs and fqueezings of the brain,


A knowledge both of books and human kind; 640 Generous converse, foul exempt from pride; And love to praife, with reafon on his fide?

Such once were Critics; fuch the happy few Athens and Rome in better ages knew: The mighty Stagyrite firft left the fhore, Spread all his fails, and durft the deeps explore; He fteer'd fecurely, and difcover'd far,



Led by the Light of the Mæonian Star.
Poets, a race long unconfin'd and free,
Still fond and proud of favage liberty,
Receiv'd his laws; and stood convinc'd 'twas fit,
Who conuer'd Nature, should pre1 de o'er Wit.
Horace ftill charms with graceful negligence,
And without method talks us into fenfe,
Will, like a friend, familiarly convey
The trueft notions in the easiest way.
He, who fupreme in judgment, as in wit,
Might boldly cenfure, as he boldly writ,
Yet judg'd with coolness, though he fung with


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Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine infpire, And blefs their Critic with a Poet's fre. An ardent Judge, who, zealous in his truft, With warmth gives fentence, yet is always juft; Whofe own example ftrengthens all his laws; And is himself that great Sublime he draws.


Thus long fucceeding Crit cs justly reign'd, Licenfe reprefs'd, and useful laws ordain'd. Learning and Rome alike in empire grew, And Arts ill follow'd where her Eagles fiew; From the fame foes, at last, both felt their doom, And the fame age faw, Learning fall, and Roine. 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 Erafmus, that great injur'd name, (The glory of the Priesthood, and the fhame!) 'Stem'd the wild torrent of a barbarous age, And drove thofe holy Vandals off the stage.



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,
Shakes off the duft, and rears his reverend head.
Then Sculpture and her fifter-arts revive;
Stones leap d to form, and rocks began to live;
With fweeter notes each rising 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 fall ever boat thy naine,
As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!
But foon, by impious arms from Latium


Their ancient bounds the banish'd Mufes pafs'd;
Thence Arts o'er all the northern world advance,
But Cr tic-learning flourish'd most 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 ftill defy'd the Romans, as of old.


Yet fome there were among the founder few
Of those who lefs prefum'd, and better knew, 720
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."
Such was Rofcommon, not more learn'd than

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 Walf-the Mufe's judge and friend,

Who justly knew to blame or to commend; 730
To failings mild, but zealous for defert;
The clearest head, and the fincereft heart.
This humble praife, lamented flade! receive,
This praife at leaft a grateful Mufe may give ; --
The Mufe, whofe early voice you taught to fing,
Preferib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender

(Her guide now loft) no more attempts to rife, But in low numbers thort excurf.ons tries:. Content, if hence th' unlearn'd their wants may view,

The learn'd reflect on what before they knew: 740
Careless of cenfure, nor too fond of fame;
Still pleas'd to praife, yet not afraid to blame;
Averfe alike, to flatter or offend;

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

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And the prefs'd watch return'd a filver found, Belinda ftill her downy pillow preft,'. Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the baliny reft:20 'Twas he had fummon'd to her lent bed. The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head, A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau: (That ev'n in flumber caus'd her cheek to glow) Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,25 | And thus in whispers faid, or feem'd to fay: Faireft of mortals, thou diftinguish'd care Of thoufaed bright Inhabitants of Air! If e'er one Vifon touch thy infant thought, Of all the Nurfe nd all the Prieft have taught; 30 Of airy Elves by moo: light fhadows feen, The lver token, and the circled green, Cr virgins vifted by Angel-powers,

With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly flowers;


Hear, and believe! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some fecret truths, from learned pride conceal'd,
To Maids alone and Children are reveal'd:
What though no credit doubting Wits may give?
The Fair and Innocent fhall ili believe.
Know then, unnumber'd Spirits round thee fly,
The light Militia of the lower fky:
Thefe, though unfeen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the Box, and hover round the Ring.
Think what an equipage thou haft in air,
And view with fcorn two Pages and a Chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in Woman's beauteous mould;
Thence, by a foit tranfition, we repair
From earthly vehicles to thefe of air.
Think not, when Woman's tranfient breath is fled,
That all her vanities at once are dead;
Succeeding vanities the ftill regards,


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I faw, alas! fome dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning fun defcend;
But heaven reveals not what, or how, or where ;
Warn3d by the Sylph, oh pious raid, beware!
This to difele fe is all thy guardian can :
Beware of all, but moft beware of Man!

He faid; when Shock, who thought fe fept too long,

Leap'd up, and wak'd his miftrefs with his tongue. 'Twas then, Belinda, if report lay true,

Thy eyes first open' on a Billet-doux ;
Wounds, Charms, and Ardors, were no fooner


60 But all the Viñon vanish d from thy head.

Her joy in gilded Chariots, when alive,
And love of Ombre, after death furvive.
For when the Fair in all their pride expire,
To their firft Elements their fouls retire:
The fprites of fiery Termagants in Flame
Mount up, and take a Salamader's name.
Soft yielding minds to Water glide away,
And fip, with Nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver Prude finks downward to a Gnome,'
In fearch of mischief ftill on Earth to roam.
The light Coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
Aud fport and flutter in the fields of Air,


Know farther yet; whoever fair and chafe Rejects mankind, is by fome Sylph embrac'd: For, fpirits, freed from mortal laws, with cafe Affume what fexes and what fhapes they pleafe. What guards the purity of melting Maids, In courtly balls, and midnight mafquerades, Safe from the treacherous friend, the daring fpark,


The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, When kind occafion prompts their warm defres, When mufe foftens, and when dancing fires?

Tis but their Sylph, the wife Celestials know, Though Honeur is the word with Men below. Some nymphs there are, too confcious of their face,

For lite predeftiu'd to the Gnomes embrace. 8 Thefe fwell their profpects, and exalt their pride, When offers are difdain'd, and love deny'd : Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain,

While Peers, and Dukes, and all their fweeping train,

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And Garters, Stars, and Coronets appear,
And in fort founds, Your Grace falutes their ear.
'Tis thefe that early taint the female foul,
Inftruct the eyes of young Coquettes to roll,
Teach infant cheeks a bidden bhish to know,
And little hearts to flutter at a Beau.



And now, unveil'd, the Toilet ftands difplay'd, Fach filver vafe in myftic order laid. Firft, rob'd in white, the Nymph intent adores, With head uncover'd, the Cofmetic powers. A heavenly Image in the glafs appears, To that he bends, to that her eyes fe rears; The inferion Pricftefs, at her altar's fide, Trembling, begins the facred rites of Pride. Uunumber'd treafures ope at once, and here The various offerings of the world appear; From each the nicely culls with curious toil, And decks the Goddefs with the glittering fpoil. This caket India's glowing gems unlocks, And all Arabia breathes from yonder box. The Tortoife here and Elephant unite, Transform'd to combs, the fpeckled and the white.


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Oft, when the workl imagine women fray, The Sylphs through my fic mazes guide their way, Through all the giddy circle they purfte,' And old impertinence expel by new. What tender maid but muft a victim fall To one man's treat, but for another's ball?


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On her white breaft a sparkling Crofs fhe wore,
Which Jews might kifs, and Infidels adore,
Her lively looks a fprightly mind difclofe,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those:
Favours to none, to all the fmiles extends;
Oft fhe rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the fun, her eyes the gazers strike,
And, like the fun, they fhine on all alike.
Yet graceful eafe, and fweetnefs void of pride, 15
Might hide her faults, if Belles had faults to hide :
If to her hare fome female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll forget them all.

This Nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Nourish'd two Locks, which graceful hung behind 20


In equal curls, and well confpir'd to deck
With Thining ringlets the fmooth ivory neck.
Love in the fe labyrinths his flaves detains,
And mighty hearts are held in flender chains.'
With hairy fpringes we the birds betray;
Slight lines of hair furprize the finny prey;
Fair treffes man's imperial race infnare,
And Beauty draws us with a fingle hair.

Th' adventurous Baron the bright locks




He faw, he wish'd, and to the prize afpir'd.
Refolv'd to win, he meditates the way,
By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
For when fuccefs a Lover's toil attends,
Few afk, if fraud or force attain'd his ends.
For this, ere Phoebus role, he had implor'd 35
Propitious heaven, and every power ador'd;
But chiefly Love to Lave an altar built,
Of twelve vaft French Romances, neatly gilt.
There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves,
And all the trophies of his former loves.
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre,
And breathes three amorous fighs to raise the fire.
Then proftrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes
Soon to obtain, and long poffefs the prize:
The powers gave car, and granted half his






The reft, the winds difpers'd in empty air.
But now fecure the painted veffel glides,
The fun-beams trembling on the floating tides:
While melting mufic steals upon the sky,
And soften'd founds along the waters die;
Smooth flow the waves, the Zephyrs gently play,
Belinda fmild, and all the world was gay,
All but the Sylph-with careful thoughts oppreft,
Th' impending woe fat heavy on his breaft.
He fummons ftrait his Denizens of air;
The lucid fquadrons round the fails repair:
Soft o'er the fhrouds aërial whispers breathe,
That feem'd but Zephyrs to the train beneath.
Some to the fun their infect wings unfold,
Waft on the breeze, or fink in clouds of gold; 60
Transparent forms, too fine for mortal fight,
Their fluid bodies half diffolv'd in light.
Loofe to the wind their airy garments flew,
Thin glittering textur of the flony dew,
Dipp'd in the richest tinctures of thefkies,
Where light difports in ever-mingling dyes,
While every beam new tranfient colours flings,
Colours that change whene'er they wave their


Amid the circle on the gilded maft,
Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd;
His purple pinions opening to the fun,
He rais'd his azure wand, and thus begun :

Ye Sylphs and Sylphids, to your chic give ear
Fays, Fairies, Genii, Elves, and Demons, hear!
Ye know the spheres, and various tasks affigu'd
By laws eternal to th' aërial kiad.
Some in the fields of pureft æther play,
And bask and whiten in the blaze of day;
Some guide the courfe of: wondering orbs ch

Or roll the planets through the boundless sky; So
Some, lefs refin'd, beneath the moon's pale light
Purfue the fars that shoot athwart the night,
Or fuck the mifts in groffer air below,

Or dip their pinions in the painted bow,

Or brew fierce tempefts on the wintery main, $5
Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain.
Others on earth o'er human race prefide,
Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide:
Of these the chief the care of Nation's own,
And guard with arms divine the British Throne.
Our humbler province is to tend the Fair,
Not a lefs pleafing, though less glorious care;
To fave the powder from too rude a gale,
Not let the imprison'd effences exhale;

To draw fresh colours from the vernal flowers; 95
To steal from rainbows, ere they drop in showers,
A brighter wash; to curl their waving hairs,
Aflift their blushes, and inspire their airs;
Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
To change a Flounce, or add a Furbelow.


This day, black Omens threat the brightest Fair
That e'er deferv'd a watchful spirit's care;
Some dire difafter, or by force, or flight;
But what, or where, the fates have wrapp'd in

Whether the nymph fhall break Diana's law, 105
Or fome frail China-jar receive a flaw;
Or ftain her honour, or her new brocade;
Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade ;)
Or lofe her heart, or necklace at a ball;

Or whether Heaven has doom'd that Shock must fall.

Hafte then, ye fpirits! to your charge repair:
The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care;
The drops to thee, Brillante, we confign;
And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Do thou, Crifpiffa, tead her favorite Lock; 115
Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock.

To fifty chofen Sylphs, of special note,
We trust th' important charge, the Petticoat:
Oft have we known that feven-fold fence to fail,
Though ftiff with hoops, and arm'd with ribs of

Form a ftrong line about the filver bound,
And guard the wide circumference around.

Whatever fpirit, carelefs of his charge,
His poft neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
Shall feel tharp vengeance foon o'ertake his fins,
Be ftopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins;
Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Or wedg'd whole ages in a bookin's eye :
Gums and Pomatums fhall his fight retirain,
While clogg'd he beats his filken wings in vain;

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Here Britain's ftatesmen oft the fall foredoom
Of foreign Tyrants, and of Nymphs at home;
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Doft fometimes counfel take-and fometimes tea.
Hither the heroes and the nymphs refort,
To taste awhile the pleasures of a Court;
In various talk the inftructive hours they past,
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit laft;
One fpeaks the glory of the British Queen,
And one defcribes a charming Indian fcreen;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
At every word a reputation dies.
Snuff, or the fan, fupply each pause of chat,
With finging, laughing, ogling, and all that.

Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The fun obliquely shoots his burning ray ;
The hungry Judges foon the fentence fign,
And wretches hang, that Jurymen may dine;
The merchant from th' Exchange returns


Now move to war her fable Matadores, In few like leaders of the fwarthy Moors. Spadillo firft, unconquerable Lord!



Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board,
As many more Manillio forc'd to yield,
And march'd a victor from the verdant field.
Him Baito follow'd, but his fate more hard
Gain'd but one trump, and one Plebeian card.
With his broad fabre next, a chief in years,
The hoary Majefty of Spades appears,
Puts forth one manly leg, to fight reveal'd,
The reft, his many-colour'd robe conceal'd.
The rebel Knave, who dares his prince engage,
Proves the juft victim of his royal rage,
Ev'n mighty Pam, that Kings and Queens o'er-

And now'd down armies in the fghts of Lu,
Sad chance of war: now destitute of aid,
Falls undiftinguish'd by the victor Spade!


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Of Afa's troops, and Afric's fable fons, With like confusion different nations fly, Of various habit and of various dye,

The pierc'd battalions difunited fall,


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And the long labours of the toilet ceafe.
Belinda now, whom thirst of fame invites,
Burns to encounter two adventurous Knights,
At Ombre fingly to decide their doom;
And fwells her breaft with conquefts yet to come,
Strait the three bands prepare in arms to join,
Each band the number of the facred nine.
Soon as the spreads her haud, th' aerial guard
Defcend, and fit on each important card;
Firft Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore,
Then each according to the rank they bore;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race, 35
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place.
Behold, four Kings in majeíty rever'd,
With hoary whifl:ers and a forky beard;
And four fair Queens, whofe hands fuftain a

Th' expressive emblem of their softer power; 40
Four Knaves in garbs fuccine, a truly band;
Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
And party-coloured troops, a fhining train,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain.

The fkilful nymph reviews her force with care: Topades be trumps! the aid, and trumps they



In heaps on heaps; one fate o'erwhelms them all. The Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, And wins (oh fhameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts.

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He fprings to vengeance with an eager pace,
And fall like thunder on the proftrate Ace.
The Nymph exulti: g (lls with shouts the sky;
The walls, the woods, and long canals reply 100
O thoughtless mortals! ever blind to fate,
Too foon deie ed, and too foon elate,
Sudden, thefe honours fall be fnatch'd away,
And curs'd for ever this victorious day.

For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd, 105

The berries crackle, and the mill turns round:

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