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Or Virtue, or Religion turn to sport,
To please a lewd, or unbelieving Court.
Unhappy Dryden !-In all Charles's days,
Rofcommon only boasts unspotted bays;
And in our own (excuse fome Courtly ftains)
No whiter page than Addison remains.
He, from the taste obfcene reclaims our youth,
And fets the Paffions on the fide of Truth,
Forms the foft bofom with the gentleft art,
And pours each human Virtue in the heart.
Let Ireland tell, how Wit upheld her cause,
Her Trade supported, and fupplied her Laws;
And leave on SWIFT this grateful verfe ingrav❜d,
The Rights a Court attack'd, a Poet fav'd.
Behold the hand that wrought a Nation's cure,
Stretch'd to relieve the Idiot and the Poor,
Proud Vice to brand, or injur'd Worth adorn,
And * ftretch the Ray to Ages yet unborn.

Not but there are, who merit other palms;





Hopkins and Sternhold glad the heart with Pfalms: The Boys and Girls whom charity maintains, 231 Implore your help in these pathetic strains :


VER. 230. Sternhold.] One of the verfifiers of the old finging pfalms. He was a Courtier, and Groom of the Robes to Hen. VIII. and of the Bedchamber to Edward VI. Fuller, in his Church History, fays he was esteemed an excellent Poet.


Difceret unde preces, vatem ni Mufa dediffet?

Pofcit opem chorus, et praefentia numina fentit ;
Coeleftes implorat aquas, docta prece blandus;
Avertit morbos, metuenda pericula pellit';
Impetrat et pacem, et locupletem frugibus annum.

d Carmine Dî fuperi placantur, carmine Manes.


Agricolae prifci, fortes, parvoque beati,

Condita poft frumenta, levantes tempore fefto
Corpus et ipfum animum fpe finis dura ferentem,
Cum fociis operum pueris et conjuge fida,
Tellurem porco, Silvanum lacte piabant,

Floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis aevi.

Fefcennina hunc inventa licentia morem

f Verfibus alternis opprobria ruftica fudit;
Libertafque recurrentes accepta per annos
Lufit amabiliter: donec jam faevus apertam
In rabiem coepit verti jocus, et per honeftas
Ire domos impune minax. doluere cruento

Dente laceffiti: fuit intactis quoque cura


VER. 241. Our rural Ancestors, etc.] This is almost literal; and fhews, that the beauty and fpirit, fo much ad

How could Devotion touch the country pews,
Unless the Gods beftow'd a proper Mufe?

Verfe chears their leifure, Verfe affifts their work, 235
Verse prays for peace, or fings down Pope and Turk,
The filenc'd Preacher yields to potent ftrain,

And feels that grace his pray'r befought in vain
The bleffing thrills thro' all the lab'ring throng,
And Heav'n is won by Violence of Song.


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Our rural Ancestors, with little blest, Patient of labour when the end was reft, Indulg'd the day that hous'd their annual grain, With feafts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain : The joy their wives, their fons, and servants fhare, Eafe of their toil, and part'ners of their care: The laugh, the jeft, attendants on the bowl, Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and open'd ev'ry foul: With growing years the pleasing Licence grew, And f Taunts alternate innocently flew. But Times corrupt, and Nature, ill-inclin❜d, Produc'd the point that left a fting behind; Till friend with friend, and families at ftrife, Triumphant Malice rag'd thro' private life.


Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th' alarm, 255 Appeal'd to Law, and Juftice lent her arm,


mired in thefe Poems, owe lefs to the liberty of imitating, than to the superior genius of the imitator,

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VER. 259. Most warp'd to Flatt'ry's fide, etc.] Thefe two lines (notwithstanding the reference) are an addition to the Original. They feemed neceffary to compleat the Hiftory of the rife and progrefs of Wit; and, if attended to, will be feen to make much for the argument the Poet is upon, 'viz. the recommendation of Poetry to the protection of the Magiftrate. And is, therefore, what Horace would have chofen to fay, had he reflected on it.

VER. 263. We conquer'd France, etc.] The inftance the Poet here gives, to answer that in the Original, is not fo happy. However, it might be faid with truth, that our

At length, by wholfome dread of ftatutes bound,
The Poets learn'd to please, and not to wound:
Moft warp'd to Flatt'ry's fide; but fome, more nice,
Preferv'd the freedom, and forbore the vice. 260
Hence Satire rofe, that juft the medium hit,

And heals with Morals what it hurts with Wit.

* We conquer'd France, but felt our Captive's charms;

Her Arts victorious triumph'd o'er our Arms;
Britain to foft refinements lefs a foe,

Wit grew polite, and Numbers learn'd to flow.
Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join
The varying verfe, the full-refounding line,.
The long majestic March, and Energy divine.
Tho' ftill fome traces of our " ruftic vein
And fplay-foot verfe, remain'd, and will remain.
Late, very late, correctnefs grew our care,
When the tir'd Nation" breath'd from civil war.


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Intrigues on the Continent brought us acquainted with the provincial Poets, and produced Chaucer. Only I wonder, when he had fuch an example before him, of a Bard who fo greatly polished the rufticity of his age, he did not use it to paraphrase the sense of

Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus
Munditiae pepulere:

VER. 267. Waller was smooth;] Mr. Waller, about this time with the Earl of Dorfet, Mr. Godolphin, and others, tranflated the Pompey of Corneille; and the more correct French Poets began to be in reputation. P.

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