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OH that fome genius, whofe poetic vein
Like Montague's could a juft piece sustain,
Would search the Grecian and the Latin store,
And thence prefent thee with the purest ore :
In lafting numbers praife thy whole defign,
And manly beauty of each nervous line!
Shew how your pointed fatire's sterling wit,
Does only knaves or formal blockheads hit;
Who 're gravely dull, infipidly ferene,
And carry all their wifdom in their mien ;
Whom thus expos'd, thus ftripp'd of their disguise,
None will again admire, moft will despise !
Shew in what noble verfe Naffau you fing,
How fuch a poet's worthy fuch a king!
When Somers' charming eloquence you praise,
How loftily your tuneful voice you raise !
But my poor feeble Mufe is as unfit
To praise, as imitate what you have writ.
Artifts alone fhould venture to commend
What Dennis can't condemn, nor Dryden mend:
What muft, writ with that fire and with that ease,
The beaux, the ladies, and the critics, pleafe.
DESIRING MY OPINION OF HIS POEM.
SK me not, friend, what I approve or blame;
Perhaps I know not why I like, or damn;
I can be pleas'd; and I dare own I am.
I read thee over with a lover's eye;
Thou haft no faults, or I no faults can spy ;
Thou art all beauty, or all blindness I.
Critics and aged beaux of fancy chafte,
Who ne'er had fire, or else whofe fire is past,
Muft judge by rules what they want force to tafte.
I would a poet, like a mistress, try,
Not by her hair, her hand, her nofe, her eye;
But by fome nameless power, to give me joy.
The nymph has Grafton's, Cecil's, Churchill's charms,
If with refiftless fires my foul the warms,
With balm upon her lips, and raptures in her arms.
Such is thy genius, and fuch art is thine,
Some fecret magic works in every line;
We judge not, but we feel the power divine.
Where all is juft, is beauteous, and is fair,
Diftinctions vanifh of peculiar air.
Loft in our pleasure, we enjoy in you
Lucretius, Horace, Sheffield, Montague.
And yet 'tis thought, fome critics in this town,
By rules to all, but to themselves, unknown,
Will damn thy verse, and juftify their own.
Why let them damn: were it not wondrous hard
Facetious Mirmil* and the City Bard,
So near ally'd in learning, wit, and skill,
Should not have leave to judge, as well as kill?
Nay, let them write; let them their forces join,
And hope the motley piece may rival thine.
Safely defpife their malice, and their toil,
Which vulgar ears alone will reach, and will defile.
Be it thy generous pride to please the best,
Whofe judgement, and whofe friendship, is a teft.
With learned Hans thy healing cares be join'd;
Search thoughtful Ratcliffe to his inmoft mind;
Unite, reftore your arts, and fave mankind:
Whilst all the busy Mirmils of the town
Envy our health, and pine away their own.
Whene'er thou would'ft a tempting Mufe engage,
Judicious Walth can beft direct her rage.
To Somers and to Dorfet too fubmit,
And let their stamp immortalize thy wit.
Confenting Phoebus bows, if they approve,
And ranks thee with the foremost bards above.
Whilft thefe of right the deathlefs laurel fend,
Be it my humble business to commend
The faithful, honeft man, and the well-natur'd friend.
TO MY FRIEND DR. GARTH, THE AUTHOR OF THE DISPENSARY.
O praise your healing art, would be in vain ;
The health you give, prevents the poet's pen.
Sufficiently confirm'd is your renown,
And I but fill the chorus of the town.
That let me waive, and only now admire
The dazzling rays of your poetic fire:
Which its diffufive virtue does difpenfe,
In flowing verfe, and elevated fense.
The town, which long has swallow'd foolish verfe, Which poetafters every where rehearse,
Will mend their judgement now, refine their taste,
And gather up th' applause they threw in waste.
The play-house shan't encourage false fublime,
Abortive thoughts, with decoration-rhyme.
The fatire of vile fcribblers fhall appear
On none, except upon themfelves, fevere :
While yours contemns the gall of vulgar spite;
And when you feem to fmile the most, you bite.
S when the people of the northern zone
Find the approach of the revolving fun,
Pleas'd and reviv'd, they see the new-born light,
And dread no more eternity of night:
Thus we, who lately, as of fummer's heat,
Have felt a dearth of poetry and wit,
Once fear'd, Apollo would return no more
From warmer climes to an ungrateful shore.
But you, the favourite of the tuneful Nine,
Have made the God in his full luftre shine;
Our night have chang'd into a glorious day;
And reach'd perfection in your first essay.
So the young eagle, that his force would try,
Faces the fun, and towers it to the sky.
Others proceed to art by flow degrees,
Aukward at first, at length they faintly please;
And ftill, whate'er their first efforts produce,
'Tis an abortive, or an infant Mufe:
Whilft yours, like Pallas, from the head of Jove,
Steps out full-grown, with noblest pace to move.
What ancient poets to their fubjects owe,
Is here inverted, and this owes to you:
You found it little, but have made it great,
They could defcribe, but you alone create.