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Let him by just degrees and fteps proceed,
Sing with the swains, and tune the tender reed :
He with success an humbler theme may ply,
And, Virgil-like, immortalize a fly:
Or fing the mice, their battles and attacks,
Against the croaking natives of the lakes:
Or with what art her toils the spider fets,
And spins her filmy entrails into nets.
And here embrace, ye teachers, this advice
Not to be too inquifitively nice,
But, till the foul enlarg'd in strength appears,
Indulge the boy, and spare his tender years ;
Till, to ripe judgment and experience brought,
Himself difcerns and blufhes at a fault;
For if the critics eyes too ftrictly pierce,
To point each blemish out in every verse,
Void of all hope the ftripling may depart,
And turn his ftudies to another art.
But if refolv'd his darling faults to fee,
A youth of genius should apply to me,
And court my elder judgment to peruse
Th' imperfect labours of his infant Mufe ;
Ifhould not fcruple, with a candid eye,
To read and praife his poem to the sky;
With feeming rapture on each line to paufe,
And dwell on each expreffion with applaufe.
But when my praises had inflam'd his mind,
If fome lame verse limp'd flowly up behind;
One, that himself, unconfcious, had not found,
By numbers charm'd, and led away by found;
I fhould not fear to minifter a rag,
And give him ftronger feet to keep ** up;
Teach it to run along more firm and fure;
Nor would I show the wound before the cure,
For what remains: the moet I eriom
To form no glorious icheme, no great denen,
Till free from butinets be retires stone,
And flies the giddy tambit of the town i
Seeks rural pleafores, and enjoys the cjudes,
And courts the thoughtful silence or the Saare,
Where the fair Dryads haunt their arsye mocky
With all the orders of the fyivan
Here in their foft retreats the bett
Serene, and bloft with cheart:: 70er
No guilty schemes of west. t. tat.
No cares, no profpects, titur 1.
No fcenes of grandeur gister star
Here they the fort of unVEVA.
And taste the pleature
From a rock's milt we
Who dares a youth t 44 UN
By deeds or warts -- The are
Afaults the da ing monk of beske
Some have com, we kw. ***
On the big M...ie woo taught thum Tườ
And paid, we ra 573 to grande
34 zVgp4 From that high fotior to the faced barsd Uainierid, mortais, let the poets lyc
Or dread the impending rengeance of the By,
The gods ftill liften'd to their constant prayer,
And made the poets their peculiar care.
They, with contempt, on fortune's gift look down,
And laugh at kings who wear an envy'd crown.
Rais'd and tranfported by their foaring mind,
From their proud eminence they view mankind
Loft in a cloud; they see them toil below,
All busy to promote their common woe.
Of guilt unconfcious, with a fteady foul,
They fee the lightnings flafh, and hear the thunders roll.
When, girt with terrors, Heaven's Almighty Sire
Launches his triple bolts, and forky fire,
When o'er high towers the red destroyer plays,
And ftrikes the mountains with the pointed blaze;
Safe in their innocence, like Gods, they rife,
And lift their fouls ferenely to the skies.
Fly, ye profane ;---the facred Nine were given
To bless these lower worlds by bounteous heaven:
Of old, Prometheus, from the realms above,
Brought down these daughters of all-mighty Jove,
When to his native earth the robber came,
Charg'd with the plunder of ethereal flame.
As due compaffion touch'd his generous mind,
To fee the favage ftate of human kind;
When, Jed to range at large the bright abodes,
And fhare th' ambrofial banquets of the Gods;
In many a whirl he faw Olympus driven,
And heard th' eternal harmony of heaven.
Turn'd round and round the concert charm'd his ears
With all the mufic of the dancing spheres;
The facred Nine his wondering eyes behold,
As each her orb in just divisions roll'd ;
The thief beholds them with ambitious eyes,
And, bent on fraud, he meditates the prize;
A prize! the noblest gift he could bestow
(Next to the fire) on human race below;
At length th' immortals reconcil'd refign'd
The fair celeftial fifters to mankind;
Though bound to Caucasus with solid chains,
Th' afpiring robber groan'd in endless pains;
By which deterr'd, for ages lay fupine
The race of mortals, nor invok'd the Nine:
Till heaven in verfe fhew'd man his future ftate,
And open'd every diftant scene of fate.
First, the great father of the Gods above
Sung in Dodona and the Libyan grove;
Next, to th' enquiring nations Themis gave,
Her facred answers from the Phocian cave;
Then Phoebus warn'd them from the Delphic dome,
Of future time, and ages yet to come;
And reverend Faunus utter'd truths divine
To the first founders of the Latian line.
Next the great race of hallow'd prophets came,
With them the Sibyls of immortal fame,
Infpir'd with all the God; who rapt on high
With more than mortal rage unbounded fly,
And range the dark receffes of the sky.
Next, at their feafts, the people fung their lays
(The fame their prophets fung in former days);
Their theme an hero, and his deathlefs praile.
What has to man of nobler worth been given,
Than this the best and greatest boon of heaven?
Whatever power the glorious gift bestow'd,
We trace the certain footsteps of a god;
By thee infpir'd, the daring poet flies,
His foul mounts up, and towers above the skies
Thou art the fource of pleafure, and we see
No joy, no transport, when debarr'd of thee;
Thy tuneful deity the feather'd throng
Confefs in all the measures of their fong.
Thy great commands the savages obey,
And every filent native of the fea :
Led by thy voice, the starting rocks advance,
And listening forests mingle in the dance.
On thy fweet notes the damn'd rejoice to dwell,
Thy ftrains fufpended all the din of hell;
Lull'd by the found, the Furies rag`d no more,
And Hell's infernal porter ceas'd to roar.
Thy powers exalt us to the realms above,
To feaft with Gods, and fit the guests of Jove
Thy prefence foftens anguish, woe, and strife,
And reconciles us to the load of life;
Hail, thou bright comfort of these low abodes,
Thou joy of men and darling of the Gods.
As priest and poet, in these humble lays,
I boldly labour to refound thy praise;
To hang thy fhrines, this gift I bring along,
And to thy altars guide the tender throng.