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Y translation of Vida's Art of Poetry having been more favourably received than I had reafon to expect, has encouraged me to publish this little Mifcellany of Poems and felect Tranflations. I fhall neither embarrass myself nor my reader with apologies concerning this collection; for whether it is a good or a bad one, all excufes are unneceffary in one cafe, and offered in vain in the other.
An author of a Mifcellany has a better chance of pleafing the world, than he who writes on a fingle subject; and I have fometimes known a bad, or (which is till worfe) an indifferent Poet, meet with tolerable fuccefs; which has been owing more to the variety of fubjects, than his happinefs 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 (such as they are) in the service of my Maker; That it would look indecent in one of my profession, 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 possibly vouchfafed them a reading even in my tranflation.,
But I will not trefpafs further on my reader's patience in profe, fince I fhall have occafion enough for it, as well as for his good-nature, in the following verses; concerning which I must acquaint him, that fome of them were written feveral years fince, and that I have precifely obferved the rule of our great mafter HoraceNonumque prematur in annum. But I may fay 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.
To Mr. CHRISTOPHER PITT, on his Poems and Tranflations.
ORGIVE th' ambitious fondness of a friend,
So much you please, fo vaft is my delight,
In fcenes which thy invention fets to view,
I read the Roman, and confefs the Greek;
Cries out, "how much the ancient bards excell'd !”
To nearer converse any Látian Muse,
The feveral beauties you fo well exprefs,
But breathe the odours of Aufonia's field.
While in thy work with fuch fuccefs unite