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Printed by Robert FOULIS, and fold by him there ;
please the best, have ever encouraged the Poets to finish their designs with chearfulness. But, conscious of their own inability to oppose a storm of spleen, and haughty ill nature, it is generally an ingenious custom a mongst them to chuse some honourable shade.
WHEREFORE I beg leave to put my Pa. storal under your Ladyship's protection. If my Patroness says, the Shepherds speak as they ought, and that there are several natural flowers that beautify the rural wild; I shall have good reason to think myself fafe from the aukward censure of some pretending Judges that condemn before Examination,
I am sure of vast numbers that will croud into your Ladyship's Opinion, and think it their honour to agree in their sentiments with the Countess of EGLINTOUN, whose Penetration, superior Wit, and sound Judgment shines with an uncommon lustre, while accompanied with the diviner Charms of Goodness and Equality of Mind.
If it were not for offending only your Ladyship, here, Madam, I might give the fullest liberty to my Muse to delineate the finest of Women, by drawing your Ladyship’s Character, and be in no hazard of being deemed a flatterer; since flattery lies noe in paying what is due to Merit, but in praises misplaced.
WERE I to begin with your Ladyship’s honourable Birth and Alliance, the field is ample, and presents us with numberless, great and good Patriots, that have dignified the Names of KENNEDY and MONTGOMERY, Be that the care of the Herauld and Historian: 'Tis personal Merit, and the heavenly Sweetness of the Fair, that inspire the tuneful lays. Here
every Lesbia must be excepted, whose tongues give liberty to the slaves, which their eyes had made captives. Such may be flatter'd; but your Ladyship justly claims our admiration and profoundest respect: For whilft you are poflest of every outward Charm in the most perfect degree, the never-fading Beauties of Wifdom and Piety, which adorn your Ladyship’s Mind, command Devotion.
ALL this is very true, cries one of better sense than good nature ; but what occasion
have you to tell us the Sun shines, when we have the use of our eyes, and feel his influence?—Very true; but I have the liberty to use the Poet's privilege, which is, To speak what every body thinks. Indeed there might be some strength in the reflexion, if the Idalian registers were of as short duration as life: But the Bard, who fondly hopes immortality, has a certain praise-worthy pleasure, in communicating to Pofterity the fame of distinguished Characters--I write this last sentence with a hand that trembles between hope and fear; but if I shall prove so happy as to please your Ladyship in the following Attempt, then all my doubts shall vanish like a morning vapour;
I shall hope to be
classed with Taso and Guarini, and sing with Ovid,
If 'tis allow'd to Poets to divine,
And most devoted Servant,