For who have long'd, or who have labour'd more
To fearch the treasures of the Roman store;
Or dig in Grecian mines for purer ore ?
The nobleft fruits tranfplanted in our isle
With early hope and fragrant bloffoms fmile.
Familiar Ovid tender thoughts inspires,
And nature feconds all his foft defires :
Theocritus does now to us belong;
And Albion's rocks repeat his rural fong.
Who has not heard how Italy was blest,
Above the Medes, above the wealthy East ?
Or Gallus' fong, fo tender and fo true,
As ev'n Lycoris might with pity view!
When mourning nymphs attend their Daphnis hearse,
Who does not weep that reads the moving verfe !
But hear, oh hear, in what exalted strains
Sicilian Mufes through thefe happy plains
Proclaim Saturnian times---our own Apollo reigns
When France had breath'd, after inteftine broils,
And peace and conqueft crown'd her foreign toils,
There (cultivated by a royal hand)
Learning grew faft, and fpread, and bleft the land;
The choiceft books that Rome or Greece have known,
Her excellent tranflators made her own:
And Europe ftill confiderably gains,
Both by their good example and their pains.
From hence our generous emulation came,
We undertook, and we perform'd the fame.
But now, we fhew the world a nobler way,
And in tranflated verfe do more than they;