Gambar halaman

of Stratfield Sea, in Hampshire.


SINCE you vouchfafe to be a patron to these sheets,

as well as to their author, I will not make an ill ufe of the liberty you give me, to addrefs you in this public manner, by running into the common topics of dedications. Should I venture to engage in fuch an extenfive theme as your character, the world would judge the attempt to be altogether unneceffary, because it had long before been thoroughly acquainted with your virtues; befides, I am fenfible, that you as earnestly decline all praife and panegyric, as you eminently deserve them.

I hope, Sir, on another occasion, to present you with the product of my feverer ftudies: In the mean time be pleased to accept of this trifle, as one fmall acknowledgement of the many great favours you have betowed on,

(Honoured Sir,)

Your obliged humble fervant,



Y tranflation of Vida's Art of Poetry having been


more favourably received than I had reason to expect, has encouraged me to publish this little Miscellany of Poems and select Translations. I fhall neither embarrass myself nor my reader with apologies concerning this collection; for whether it is a good or a bad one, all excuses are unnecessary in one cafe, and offered in vain in the other.

An author of a Miscellany has a better chance of pleafing the world, than he who writes on a single subject; and I have sometimes known a bad, or (which is ftill worse) an indifferent Poet, meet with tolerable fuccefs; which has been owing more to the variety of fubjects, than his happiness in treating them.

I am fenfible the men of wit and pleafure will be difgufted to find fo great a part of this collection confist of facred poetry; but I affure these gentlemen, whatever they shall be pleased to object, that I fhall never be ashamed of employing my talents (fuch as they are) in the fervice of my Maker; That it would look indecent in one of my profeffion, not to spend as much time on the pfalms of David, as the hymns of Callimachus; and farther, that if those beautiful pieces of divine poetry had been written by Callimachus, or any heathen author, they might have poffibly vouchfafed them a reading even in my tranflation.


But I will not trespass further on my reader's patience in prose, since I shall have occasion enough for it, as well as for his good-nature, in the following verfes ; concerning which I must acquaint him, that fome of them were written feveral years fince, and that I have precisely observed the rule of our great master Horace— Nonumque prematur in annum. But I may say more justly than Mr. Prior faid of himself in the like cafe, that I have obferved the Letter, more than the Spirit of the precept.

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To Mr. CHRISTOPHER PITT, on his Poems and Tranflations.


ORGIVE th' ambitious fondness of a friend,

For fuch thy worth, 'tis glory to commend ;
To thee, from judgment, such applause is due,
I praise myself while I am praising you;
As he who bears the lighted torch, receives
Himself affiftance from the light he gives.

So much you please, so vaft is my delight,
Thy, ev'n thy fancy cannot reach its height. `
In vain I strive to make the transport known,
No language can describe it but thy own.
Could't thou thy genius pour into my heart,
Thy copious fancy, thy engaging art,
Thy vigorous thoughts, thy manly flow of fenfe,
Thy ftrong and glowing paint of eloquence;
Then fhould'st thou well conceive that happiness,
Which I alone can feel, and you exprefs.

In fcenes which thy invention sets to view,
Forgive me, friend, if I lose fight of you;
I fee with how much fpirit Homer thought,
With how much judgment cooler Virgil wrote;
In every line, in every word you speak,

I read the Roman, and confefs the Greek;
Forgetting thee, my foul with rapture swell'd,

Cries out," how much the ancient bards excell'd !”
But when thy just translations introduce

Mo nearer converfe any Latian Muse,

The feveral beauties you fo well exprefs,
I lose the Roman in the British drefs!
Sweetly deceiv'd, the ancients I contemn,
And with mistaken zeal to thee exclaim,
(By fo much nature, fo much art betray'd)
"What vaft improvements have our moderns made !"
How vain and unsuccessful seems the toil,
To raise fuch precious fruits in foreign foil :
They mourn, tranfplanted to another coaft,
Their beauties languid, and their flavour loft!
But fuch thy art, the ripening colours glow
As pure as those their native suns bestow;
Not an infipid beauty only yield,

But breathe the odours of Aufonia's field.
Such is the genuine flavour, it belies
Their ftranger foil, and unacquainted skies.
Vida no more the long oblivion fears,
Which hid his virtues through a length of years;
Ally'd to thee, he lives again; thy rhymes
Shall friendly hand him down to latest times;
Shall do his injur'd reputation right,

While in thy work with such success unite
His ftrength of judgment, and his charms of speech,
That precepts please, and music seems to teach.
Left unimprov'd I seem to read thee o'er,
Th' unhallow'd rapture I indulge no more;
By thee inftructed, I the task forfake,
Nor for chafte love, the luft of verse mistake;
Thy works that rais'd this frenzy in my foul,
Shall teach the giddy tumult to control :


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