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The late famous Aftrologer.
BENEATH this ftone the world's just wonder lies,
Who, while on earth, had rang'd the fpacious fkies; Around the stars his active foul had flown,
And feen their courses finish'd ere his own :
Now he enjoys those realms he could explore,
And finds that heaven he knew fo well before.
He through more worlds his victory pursued
Than the brave Greek could wish to have fubdued;
In triumph ran one vaft creation o'er,
Then stop'd,—for Nature could afford no more.
With Cæfar's speed, young Ammon's noble pride,
He came, faw, vanquish'd, wept, return'd, and died.
To the Right Honourable PHILIP, Earl STANHOPE, Viscount MAHON, and Baron ELVASTON, this Tranflation is dedicated, by his Lordship's humble Servant and Chaplain,
IVE me, ye facred Mufes, to impart The hidden fecrets of your tuneful art 3 Give me your awful myfteries to fing, Unlock, and open wide, your facred spring; While from his infancy the Bard I lead, And fet him on your mountain's lofty head; Direct his courfe, and point him out the road To fing in epic ftrains an hero or a God.
What youth, whofe generous bofom pants for praife,
Will dare with me to beat thofe arduous ways?
O'er high Parnaffus' painful fteeps to go,
And leave the groveling multitude below:
Where the glad Mufes fing, and form the choir,
While bright Apollo ftrikes the filver lyre,
Approach thou firft, great Francis, nor refuse
To pay due honours to the facred Mufe;
While Gallia waits for thy aufpicious reign,
'Till age compleats the monarch in the man ;
Meantime the Mufe may bring fome small relief,
To charm thy anguish, and fufpend thy grief;
While guilty fortune's ftern decrees detain
Thee and thy brother in the realms of Spain;
Far, far transported from your native place,
Your country's, father's, and your friend's embrace!
Such are the terms the cruel Fates impose
On your great father, ftruggling with his woes,
Such are their hard conditions :---They require
The fons, to purchafe, and redeem the fire.
But yet, brave youth, from grief, from tears abstain,
Fate may relent, and heaven grow mild again;
At laft perhaps the glorious day may come,
The day that brings our royal exile home;
When, to thy native realms in peace reftor'd,
The ravish'd crowds fhall hail their paffing lord;
When each transported city shall rejoice,
And nations bless thee with a public voice;
To the throng'd fanes the matrons fhall repair;
Abfolve their vows, and breathe their fouls in prayer.
Till then, let every Mufe engage thy love,
With me at large o'er high Parnaffus rove,
Range every bower, and sport in every grove.
First then obferve, that verfe is ne'er confin'd
To one fixt measure, or determin'd kind;
Though at its birth it fung the Gods alone,
And then religion claim'd it for her own;
In facred ftrains addrefs'd the deity,
And spoke a language worthy of the sky;
New themes fucceeding Bards began to chuse,
And in a wider field engag`d the Muse ;
The common bulk of subjects to rehearse
In all the rich varieties of verse,
Yet none of all with equal honours shine
(But thofe which celebrate the power divine)
To thofe exalted measures, which declare
The deeds of heroes, and the fons of war.
From hence pofterity the name beftow'd
On this rich prefent of the Delphic God;
Fame fays, Phæmonoe in this measure gave
Apollo's anfwers from the Pythian cave.
But ere you write, confult your frength, and chufe
A theme proportion'd justly to your Muse.
For though in chief these precepts are bestow'd
On him who fings an hero or a God;
To other themes their general ufe extends,
And ferves in different views to different ends.
Whether the lofty Mufe with tragic rage
Would proudly stalk in bufkins on the stage;
Or in foft elegies our pity move,
And fhew the youth in all the flames of love;
Or fing the fhepherd's woes in humble ftrains,
And the low humours of contending fwains:
Thefe faithful rules fhall guide the Bard along
In every measure, argument, and song.
Befure (whatever you propofe to write)
Let the chief motive be your own delight,
And well-weigh'd choice; ---a task injoin'd refufe,
Unless a monarch fhould command your Mufe.
(If we may hope thofe golden times to fee,
When Bards become the care of majesty !)
Free and spontaneous the fmooth numbers glide,
Where choice determines, and our wills prefide;
But, at command, we toil with fruitless pain,
And drag th' involuntary load in vain.
Nor, at its birth, indulge your warm defire,
On the first glimmering of the facred fire;
Defer the mighty task; and weigh your power
And every part in every view explore ;
And let the theme in different profpects roll
Deep in your thoughts, and grow into the foul.
But ere with fails unfurl'd you fly away,
And cleave the bofom of the boundless fea;
A fund of words and images prepare,
And lay the bright materials up with care,
Which, at due time, occafion may produce,
All rang'd in order for the Poet's use.
Some happy objects by meer chance are brought
From hidden causes to the wandering thought;
Which if once loft, you labour long in vain
To catch th' ideal fugitives again.
Nor muft I fail their conduct to extol,
Who, when they lay the bafis of the whole,
Explore the antients with a watchful eye,
Lay all their charms and elegancies by,
Then to their ufe the precious fpoils apply.
At first without the least restraint compose,
And mould the future poem into profe;
A full and proper feries to maintain,
And draw the juft connection in a chain ;