1726 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Dyer

Aaron Hill, "To the Author of the foregoing Verses, a Painter, on his attempting a Lady's Picture" Richard Savage, Miscellaneous Poems and Translations (1726) 58-59.



Soul of your honour'd Art! — What Man can do,
In copying Nature, may be reach'd by you.
Your peopling Pencil a new World can give,
And, like Deucalion, teach the Stones to live.
From your creating Hand a War may flow,
And your warm Strokes with breathing Action glow.

But from that Angel-Form to catch the Grace,
And kindle up your Canvas with her Face!
All unconsum'd, to snatch the living Fire,
And limn th' Ideas that those Eyes inspire;
Strong to your burning Circle, to confine
That awe mix'd Sweetness, and that air Divine!
That sparkling Soul, that lightens from within,
And flashes unspoke Meanings, thro' her Skin.

This if you can — (Hard Task! and yet unprov'd)
Then shall you be ador'd, as now belov'd.
Then shall your Heav'n-aspiring Colours find
The Art to picture Thought, and paint the Wind!
To transfuse Qualities — lame Sense supply,
And strike caught Whispers to the list'ning Eye!
Then shall you give Air Shape, imprison Space,
And mount the Painter to the Maker's Place.