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Or Virtue, or Religion turn to sport,
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 ;
d Carmine Dî fuperi placantur, carmine Manes.
Agricolae prifci, fortes, parvoque beati,
Condita poft frumenta, levantes tempore fefto
Floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis aevi.
Fefcennina hunc inventa licentia morem
f Verfibus alternis opprobria ruftica fudit;
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,
Verfe chears their leifure, Verfe affifts their work, 235
And feels that grace his pray'r befought in vain
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,
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,
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;
Wit grew polite, and Numbers learn'd to flow.
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
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.