1700
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

An Epistle to a Friend concerning Poetry.

An Epistle to a Friend concerning Poetry. By Samuel Wesley.

Rev. Samuel Wesley


Edmund Spenser is praised for improving on Chaucer's versification, though Samuel Wesley finds fault with Spenser's stanza and archaisms. The middle of the poem is given over to a long catalogue of British poets; near the end is a fine digression in which the allegorical figure of Envy arises to corrupt Britain by means of the unreformed stage. Alexander Pope obviously read Wesley's poem with care when composing his own Essay on Criticism, borrowing and improving both thoughts and expressions.

John Nichols: "His poetry, which is far from being excellent, incurred the censure of Garth; but he made ample amends for it by the goodness of his life, and the Dissertations on Job" Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 7:99.

Hoxie Neale Fairchild: "A rather mediocre 'art of poetry' with remarks on contemporary writers. The religious and moral element, however, is so large as to make the poem in part a contribution to the 'reformation of manners' movement" Religious Trends in English Poetry (1939) 1:114-15.

See also Wesley's criticisms of Spenser's design in "Essay on Heroic Poetry" in Life of our Blessed Saviour (1693).



As Brother Prynne of old from Mount Orgueil,
So I to you from Epworth and the Isle:
Harsh Northern Fruits from our cold Heav'ns I send,
Yet, since the best they yield, they'll please a Friend.

You ask me, What's the readiest way to Fame,
And how to gain a Poet's sacred Name?
For Saffold send, your Choice were full as just,
When burning Fevers fry your Limbs to Dust!
Yet, lest you angry grow at your Defeat,
And me as ill as that fierce Spark should treat
Who did the Farrier into Doctor beat;
You to my little Quantum, Sir, are free,
Which I from HORACE glean or NORMANBY;
These with some grains of Common Sense unite,
"Then freely think, and as I think I write."

First poize your Genius, nor presume to write
If Phoebus smile not, or some Muse invite:
Nature refuses Force, you strive in vain,
She will not drag, but struggling breaks the Chain.
How bright a Spark of Heav'nly Fire must warm!
What Blessings meet a Poet's Mind to form!
How oft must he for those Life-Touches sit,
Genius, Invention, Memory, Judgment, Wit?
There's here no Middle-State, you must excel;
Wit has no Half-way-House 'twixt Heav'n and Hell.
All cannot All things, lest you mourn too late,
Remember Phaeton's unhappy Fate!
Eager to guide the Coursers of the Day,
Beneath their Brazen Hoofs he trampled lay,
And his bright Ruines mark'd their flaming Way.

You'll ask, What GENIUS is, and Where to find?
'Tis the full Power and Energy of Mind:
A Reach of Thought that skims all Nature o'er,
Exhausts this narrow World, and asks for more:
Through every Rank of Beings when't has flown,
Can frame a New Creation of its own:
By Possible and Future unconfin'd:
Can stubborn Contradictions yoke, and bind
Through Fancy's Realms, with Number, Time and Place,
Chimaera-Forms, a chin, an airy Race;
Then with a secret conscious Pride surveys
Th' Enchanted Castles which't had Power to raise.

As Genius is the Strength, be WIT defin'd
The Beauty and the Harmony of Mind:
Beauty's Proportion, Air, each lively Grace
The Soul diffuses round the Heav'nly Face:
'Tis various, yet 'tis equal, still the same
In Alpine Snows, or Ethiopian Flame;
While glaring Colours short-liv'd Grace supply,
Nor Frost nor Sun they bear, but scorch and die.

Nor these alone, tho much they can, suffice,
JUDGMENT must join, or never hope the Prize:
Those Headstrong Coursers scowr along the Plains,
The Rider's down, if once he lose the Reins:
Soon the Mad Mixture will to all give Law,
And for the Laurel Wreaths present thee Wreaths of Straw.
Judgment's the Act of Reason; that which brings
Fit Thoughts to Thoughts, and argues Things from Things,
True, Decent, Just, are in its Balance try'd,
And thence we learn to Range, Compound, Divide.

A Cave there is wherein those Nymphs reside
Who all the Realms of Sense and Fancy guide;
Nay some affirm that in the deepest Cell
Imperial Reason's self does not disdain to dwell:
With Living Reed 'tis thatch'd and guarded round,
Which mov'd by Winds emit a Silver Sound:
Two Crystal Fountains near its Entrance play,
Wide scatt'ring Golden Streams which ne'er decay,
Two Labyrinths behind harmonious Sounds convey:
Chiefly, within, the Room of State is fam'd
Of rich Mosaick Work divinely fram'd:
Of small Extent to view, 'twill all things hide,
Heav'n's Azure Arch it self not half so wide:
Here all the Arts their sacred Mansion chuse,
Here dwells the MOTHER of the Heav'n-born Muse:
With wond'rous mystic Figures round 'tis wrought
Inlaid with FANCY, and anneal'd with Thought:
With more than humane Skill depicted here
The various Images of Things appear;
What Was, or Is, or labours yet to Be
Within the Womb of Dark Futurity,
May Stowage in this wondrous Storehouse find,
Yet leave unnumber'd empty Cells behind:
But ah! as fast they come, they fly too fast,
Not Life or Happiness are more in haste:
Only the First Great Mind himself can stay
The Fugitives, and at one Glance survey;
But those whom he disdains not to befriend,
Uncommon Souls, who nearest Heav'n ascend
Far more, at once, than others comprehend:
Whate'er within this sacred Hall you find,
Whate'er will lodge in your capacious Mind
Let Judgment sort, and skilful Method bind;
And as from these you draw your antient Store
Daily supply the Magazine with more.
Furnish'd with such Materials he'll excel
Who when he works is sure to work 'em well;
This ART alone, as Nature that bestows,
And in Perfection both, th' accomplish'd Verser knows.
Knows to persuade, and how to speak, and when;
The Rules of Life, and Manners knows and Men:
Those narrow Lines which Good and Ill divide;
And by what Balance Just and Right are try'd:
How Kindred-Things with Things are closely join'd;
How Bodies act, and by what Laws confin'd,
Supported, mov'd and rul'd by th' Universal Mind.
When the moist Kids or burning Sirius rise;
Through what ambiguous Ways Hyperion flies,
And marks our Upper or the Nether Skies.
He knows those Strings to touch with artful Hand
Which rule Mankind, and all the World command:
What moves the Soul, and every secret Cell
Where Pity, Love, and all the Passions dwell.
The Music of his Verse can Anger raise,
Which with a softer Stroak he smooths and lays:
Can Emulation, Terror, all excite,
Compress the Soul with Grief, or swell with vast Delight.
If this you can, your Care you'll well bestow,
And some new Milton or a Spencer grow;
If not, a Poet ne'er expect to be,
Content to Rime, like D—y or like me.

But here perhaps you'll stop me, and complain,
To such Impracticable Heights I strain
A Poet's Notion, that if This be He,
There ne'er was one, nor e'er is like to be.
—But soft, my Friend! may we not copy well
Tho far th' Original our Art excel?
Divine Perfection we our Pattern make
Th' Idea thence of Goodness justly take;
But they who copy nearest, still must fall
Immensely short of their Original;

But Wit and Genius, Sense and Learning join'd,
Will all come short if crude and unrefin'd;
'Tis CONVERSE only melts the stubborn Ore
And polishes the Gold, too rough before:
So fierce the Natural Taste, 'twill ne'er b'endur'd,
The Wine is strong, but never rightly cur'd.

STYLE is the Dress of Thought; a modest Dress,
Neat, but not gaudy, will true Critics please:
Not Fleckno's Drugget, nor a worse Extream
All daub'd with Point and Gold at every Seam:
Who only Antique Words affects, appears
Like old King Harry's Court, all Face and Ears;
Nor in a Load of Wig thy Visage shrowd,
Like Hairy Meteors glimm'ring through a Cloud:
Happy are those who here the Medium know,
We hate alike a Sloven and a Beau.
I would not follow Fashion to the height
Close at the Heels, nor yet be out of Sight:
Words alter, like our Garments, every day,
Now thrive and bloom, now wither and decay.
Let those of greater Genius new invent,
Be you with those in Common Use content.

A different Style's for Prose and Verse requir'd,
Strong Figures here, Neat Plainness there desir'd:
A different Set of Words to both belong;
What shines in Prose, is flat and mean in Song.
The Turn, the Numbers must be vary'd here,
And all things in a different Dress appear.
This every School-Boy lash'd at Eaton knows,
Yet Men of Sense forget when they compose,
And Father DRYDEN's Lines are somtimes Prose.
A vary'd Stile do various Works require,
This soft as Air, and tow'ring that as Fire.
None than th' Epistle goes more humbly drest,
Tho neat 'twou'd be, and decent as the best.
Such as th' ingenious Censor may invite
Oft to return with eager Appetite;
So HORACE wrote, and so I'd wish to write.
Nor creeps it always, but can mount and rise,
And with bold Pinions sail along the Skies.
The self-same Work of different Style admits,
Now soft, now loud, as best the Matter fits:
So Father THAMES from unexhausted Veins,
Moves clear and equable along the Plains;
Yet still of different Depth and Breadth is found,
And humours still the Nature of the Ground.

READING will mend your Style, and raise it higher,
And Matter find to feed th' Immortal Fire:
But if you would the Vulgar Herd excel,
And justly gain the Palm of Writing well,
Wast not your Lamp in scanning Vulgar Lines,
Where groveling all, or One in twenty shines:
With Prudence first among the Antients chuse,
The noblest only, and the best peruse;
Such HOMER is, such VIRGIL's sacred Page,
Which Death defie, nor yield to Time or Age;
New Beauties still their Vigorous Works display,
Their Fruit still mellows, but can ne'er decay.
The Modern Pens not altogether slight,
Be Master of your Language e'er you write!
Immortal TILLOTSON with Judgment scan,
"That Man of Praise, that something more than Man!
Ev'n those who hate his Ashes this advise,
As from black Shades resplendent Lightning flies,
Unwilling Truths break through a Cloud of Lies.
He Words and Things for mutual Aid design'd,
Before at Variance, in just Numbers join'd;
He always soars, but never's out of sight,
He taught us how to Speak, and Think, and Write.

If English Verse you'd in Perfection see,
ROSCOMMON read, and Noble NORMANBY:
We borrow all from their exhaustless Store,
Or little say they have not said before.
Poor Insects of a Day, we toil and strive
To creep from Dust to Dust, and think we live;
These weak imperfect Beings scarce enjoy
E'er Death's rude Hand our blooming Hopes destroy:
With Lynx's Eyes each others Faults we find,
But to our own how few who are not blind?
How long is Art, how short, alas! our Time!
How few who can above the Vulgar climb,
Whose stronger Genius reach the True Sublime!
With tedious Rules which we our selves transgress,
We make the Trouble more who strive to make it less.

But meanly why do you your Fate deplore,
Yet still write on? — Why do a Thousand more,
Who for their own or some Forefathers Crime
Are doom'd to wear their Days in beating Rhime?
But this a Noble Patron will redress,
And make you better write, tho you write less:
Whate'er a discontented Mind pretends,
Distinguish'd Worth can rarely miss of Friends:
Do but excel, and he'll at last arise
Who from the Dust may lift thee to the Skies;
For his own Sake will his Protection grant;
What Horace e'er did yet Mecaenas want?
Or if the World its Favours should refuse,
With barren Smiles alone reward thy Muse;
Be thy own Patron, thou no more wilt need,
For all will court thee if thy Works succeed;
At least the few Good Judges will commend,
And secret growing Praise thy Steps attend.
Who shew'd Columbus where the Indies lay?
True to thy self, charge through, and force to Fame the way!
If Envy snarl, indulge it no Reply,
Write better still, and let it burst and die!
Rest pleas'd if you can please the Wiser Few,
Since to please all is more than Heav'n it self can do.
There are who can whate'er they will believe,
That B—'s too hard for B—y, Three are Five:
That Nature, Justice, Reason, Truth must fall,
With Clear Idea's they'll confound 'em all:
That Parallels may travel till they meet;
Faith they can find in L—, no Sense in STILLINGFLEET.
Disturb'd 'em not, but let 'em still enjoy
Th' unenvy'd Charms of their Eternal Moi.

If to the craggy Top of Fame you rise,
Those who are lab'ring after ne'er despise.
Nor those above on Honour's dazling Seat
Tho disoblig'd, with sawcy Rudeness treat,
Revenge not always is below the Great.
Their Stronger Genius may o'er thine prevail:
Wit, Power and Anger join'd but rarely fail.
Tho Eagles would not chuse to hawk at Flies
They'd snap 'em, should their buzzing Swarms arise
Importunate, and hurt their Sun bright Eyes.
Nor should the Muses Birds at random fly,
And strike at all, lest if they strike they die.

Why should we still be lazily content
With thredbare Schemes, and nothing new invent?
All Arts besides improve, Sea, Air and Land
Are every day with nicer Judgment scan'd,
And why should this alone be at a stand?
Or Nature largely to the Ancients gave
And little did for younger Children save;
Or rather we impartial Nature blame
To hide our Sloth, and cover o'er our Shame;
As Sinners, when their Reason's drown'd in Sense,
Fall out with Heav'n, and quarrel Providence.

Yet should you our Galenic Way despise,
And some new Colbatch of the Muses rise;
No Quarter from the College hope, who sit
Infallible at Will's and judg of Sense and Wit:
Keep fair with these, or Fame you court in vain,
A strict Neutrality at least maintain!
Speak, like the wise Italian, well of all;
Who knows into what Hands he's doom'd to fall?

Write oft and much, at first, if you'd write well,
For he who ne'er attempts will ne'er excel;
Practice will file your Verse, your Thoughts refine,
And Beauty give, and Grace to every Line:
The Gnat to fam'd Aeneis led the way,
And our Immortal COWLEY once did play.
Let not the Sun of Life in vain decline,
Or Time run waste; No Day without a Line.
Yet learn by me, my Friend, from Errors past;
O never write, or never Print in Haste!
The worst Excuse Ill Authors e'er advance,
Which does, like Lies, a single Guilt enhance.
Lay by your Work, and leave it on the Loom,
Which if at mod'rate distance you resume,
A Father's Fondness you'll with Ease look through,
And Objects in a proper Medium view.
'Tis Time alone can Strength and Ripeness give;
A Hasty Birth can ne'er expect to live.

Fly low at first, you'll with Advantage rise;
This pleases all, as that will all surprize.

No Work attempt but where your Strength you know,
Be Master of your Subject, Thoughts will flow:
The newer 'tis, the choicer Fruit 'twill yield,
More Room you have to work if large your Field;
The Sponge you oftner than the Pen will want,
And rather Reason see to prune than plant;
Yet where the Thoughts are barren, weak and thin,
New Cyons should be neatly grafted in.

If you with Friend or Enemy are blest,
Your Fancy's Offspring ne'er can want a Test,
Tho Both, perhaps may overshoot the Mark:
First Spite with Envy charges in the Dark;
Unread they damn, and into Passion fall,
'Tis Stuff, 'tis Blasphemy, 'tis Nonsense all;
They sleep (when doz'd before) at every Line,
While your more dang'rous Friend exclaims, — 'Tis fine,
'Tis furiously Delightful, 'tis Divine;
Th' inspiring God's in ev'ry Page confess'd;
A COWLEY or a DRYDEN at the least!
Yet you'll from both an equal Judgment frame
And stand the nearest Candidate for Fame:
What Envy praises, or what Friends dislike,
This bears the Test, and that the Sponge should strike.
Chuse to be absent when your Cause is try'd,
Lest Favour should the partial Judge misguide;
Nor others Thoughts implicitly prefer,
Your Friend's a Mortal, and like you, may err.
Upon the last Appeal let Reason sit,
And here, let all Authority submit.
Divest your self of self whate'er you can,
And think the Author now some other Man.
A thousand trivial Lumber-Thoughts will come,
A thousand Fagot-Lines will crowd for room;
Reform your Troops, and no Exemption grant,
You'll gain in Strength, what you in Numbers want.
Nor yet Infallibility pretend;
He still errs on who thinks he ne'er can mend:
Reject that hasty, that presumptuous Thought!
None e'er but VIRGIL wrote without a Fault;
(Or none he has, or none that I can find,
Who, dazzled with his Beauties, to his Moles am blind.)
Who has the least is happiest, he the best,
Who owns and mends where he has once transgrest.
Nor will good Writers smaller Blots despise,
Lest those neglected should to Crimes arise;
Such Venial Sins indulg'd will mortal prove,
At least they from Perfection far remove.
Nor Critical Exactness here deride,
It looks like Sloth, or Ignorance, or Pride;
Good Sense is spoild in Words unapt exprest,
And Beauty pleases more when 'tis well drest.

Forget not METHOD if the Prize you'd gain,
'Twill cost you Thought, but richly pays the Pain;
What first, what second, or what last to place,
What here will shine, and there the Work disgrace.

Before you build, your Model justly lay,
And ev'ry Part in Miniature survey;
Where airy Terraces shall threat the Skies,
Where Columns tow'r, or neat Pilasters rise;
Where cool Cascades come roaring down the Hill,
Or where the Crystal Nymph a mossie Bason fill:
What Statues are to grace the Front design'd,
And how to throw the meaner Rooms behind.
Draw the Main Strokes at first, 'twill shew your Skill,
Life-Touches you may add whene'er you will.
Ev'n Chance will sometimes all our Art excel,
The angry Foam we ne'er can hit so well.
A sudden Thought, all beautiful and bright
Shoots in and stunns us with amazing Light;
Secure the happy Moment e'er 'tis past,
Not Time more swift, or Lightning flies so fast.

All must be free and easie, or in vain
You whip and spur, and the wing'd Courser strain:
When foggy Clouds hang bellying in the Skies,
Or sleety Boreas through th' Horizon flies;
He then, whose Muse produces ought that's fine,
His Head must have a stronger Turn than mine:
Like Sybils Leaves the Train of Thoughts are rang'd,
Which by rude Winds disturb'd, are nothing if they're chang'd.
Or are there too in Writing softer Hours?
Or is't that Matter nobler Mind o'erpow'rs,
Which boasts her native Liberty in vain,
In Mortal Fetters and a Slavish Chain?
Death only can the Gordian Knot divide,
Tho by what secret wondrous Bands 'tis ty'd,
Ev'n Reason's self must own she can't decide:
For as the rapid Tides of Matter turn
We're fann'd with Pleasure or with Anger burn,
We Love and Hate again, we Joy and Mourn.
Now the swift Torrent high and headstrong grows,
Shoots through the Dykes, and all the Banks o'erflows;
Strait the capricious Waters backward fly,
The Pebbles rake and leave the Bottom dry;
Watch the kind Hour and seize the rising Flood,
Else will your dreggy Poem taste of Mud.
Hence old and batter'd Hackneys of the Stage,
By long Experience render'd Wise and Sage,
With pow'rful Juices restive Nature urge,
Or else with Bays of old, they bleed and purge;
Thence, as the Priestess from her Cave inspir'd,
When to his Cell the rancid God retir'd,
Double Entendres their fond Audience blin'd,
Their boasted Oracles abuse Mankind:
False Joys around their Hearts in Slumbers play,
And the warm tingling Blood steals fast away;
The Soul grows dizzy, lost in Senses Night,
And melts in pleasing Pain and vain Delight.

Not that the sowrest Critick can reprove
The soft the moving Scenes of Virtuous Love:
Life's Sunny Morn, which wears, alas! too fast;
Pity it e'er should hurt, or should not always last!
Has Bankrupt Nature then no more to give,
Or by a Trick persuades Mankind to live?
No — when with Prudence join'd 'tis still the same
Or ripens into Friendship's nobler Name,
The Matter pure, immortal is the Flame.
No Fool, no Debauchee could ever prove
The honest Luxury of virtuous Love;
Then curs'd are those who that fair Name abuse,
And holy Hymen's sacred Fillets loose;
Who poison Fountains, and infect the Air,
Ruine the Witty, and debauch the Fair;
With nauseous Images their Scenes debase
At once their Country's Ruine and Disgrace.
Weigh well each Thought if all be Just and Right,
For those must clearly think who clearly write.
Nothing obscure, equivocal, or mean,
Much less what is or impious or obscene:
Altho the tempting Serpent play his part,
And wind in glitt'ring Folds around thy Heart;
Reject the trait'rous Charmer, tear him thence,
And keep thy Vertue and thy Innocence.

In wild America's rank Champaign grows
A Tree which Europe oft too dearly knows;
It rises high in cool inchanting Groves,
Whose green broad Leaves the fainting Trav'ler loves;
Fair is the treach'rous Fruit, and charms your Eye,
But ah! beware! for if you taste you die.
Too well alas! it thrives when planted here,
Its deadly Branches shade our Theatre.

Of Measures, Numbers, Pauses next I sing,
And rest the breathless Muse with cautious Wing:
Of Embryo Thoughts, unripen'd yet by Time,
The Rules of Verse, of Quantity and Rhime:
With trembling Steps through Shades unknown I stray,
And mark a rugged and a dubious way;
Yet some small glimm'ring Light will hence be show'd,
And future Trav'lers may enlarge the Road.

Of CHAUCER's Verse we scarce the Measures know,
So rough the Lines, and so unequal flow;
Whether by Injury of Time defac'd,
Or careless at the first, and writ in haste;
Or coursly, like old Ennius, he design'd
What After-days have polish'd and refin'd.
SPENCER more smooth and neat, and none than He
Could better skill of English Quantity;
Tho by his Stanza cramp'd, his Rhimes less chast,
And antique Words affected all disgrac'd;
Yet vast his Genius, noble were his Thoughts,
Whence equal Readers wink at lesser Faults.

From France their Alexandrins we receive
Which more of Liberty and Compass give;
Hence by our dull Translators were they us'd,
Nor CHAPMAN nor old STERNHOLD these refus'd;
They borrow from Hexameters their Feet,
Which with Asclepiads and Iambicks meet;
Yet in the midst we still a Weakness see,
Their Music gives us no Variety.
More num'rous the Pentameter and strong,
Which to our Saxon Fathers did belong.
In this their antient Edda seems to write,
Mysterious Rhimes, and horrid to the sight:
Their Runic Staves in this on Rocks engrav'd,
Which long th' Assaults of Time it self have brav'd.
In this our antient British Bards delight;
And, if I measure his rough Numbers right,
In this old Taliessin us'd to write.
This still Possession keeps, few else we read,
And Right as well as Fact may justly plead;
Altho the French Intruders oft pursue
Their baffled Title, and their Claim renew;
Too oft Impressions on our Armies make,
Cut off our Straglers and our Out-Guards take;
Which lazily our Authors now admit,
And call th' Excursions of Luxuriant Wit;
With Badger-Feet the two-top'd Mount we climb,
And stalk from Peak to Peak on Stilts of Rime.

Sweet WALLER's Dimeter we most approve
For cheerful Songs and moving Tales of Love,
Which for Heroic Subjects wants of Strength,
Too short, as Alexandrins err in Length.

Our Ear's the Judge of Cadence; nicely weigh
What Consonants rebel, and what obey;
What Vowels mixt compose a pleasing Sound,
And what the tender Organs grate and wound.
Nor at thy Reader's Mercy chuse to lie,
Nor let his Judgment want of thine supply:
So easie let thy Verse so smoothly fall,
They must be read aright if read at all.
Nor equal Numbers will for all suffice,
The Sock creeps low, the Tragic Buskins rise:
None knew this Art so well, so well did use
As did the Mantuan Shepherd's Heav'nly Muse:
He marry'd Sound and Sense, at odds before,
We hear his Scylla bark, Charybdis roar;
And when in Fields his Fiery Coursers meet
The hollow Ground shakes underneath their Feet:
Yet nicer Ears can taste a Diff'rence when
Of Flocks and Fields he sings, or Arms and Men.
If I our English Numbers taste aright,
We in the grave Iambic most delight:
Each second Syllable the Voice should rest,
Spondees may serve, but still th' Iambic's best:
Th' unpleasing Trochee always makes a Blot,
And lames the Numbers; or, if this forgot,
A strong Spondaic should the next succeed,
The feeble Wall will a good Buttress need:
Long Writing, Observation, Art and Pain
Must here unite if you the Prize would gain.

Pause is the Rest of Voice, the poor Remains
Of antient Song that still our Verse retains:
The second Foot or third's our usual Rest,
Tho more of Art's in varying oft exprest.
At ev'ry Word the Pause is sometimes made,
And wond'rous Beauty every where displaid:
—But here we guess, and wander in the dark;
How should a hoodwink'd Archer hit the Mark?
The little Glimpse that DRYDEN gives, is more
Than all our careless Writers knew before;
A few Chance Lines may smooth and roundly fly,
But still no Thanks to us, we know not why.
He finds Examples, we the Rule must make,
Tho who without a Guide may not mistake?

"Tho deep yet clear, tho gentle yet not dull,
Strong without Rage, without o'erflowing full."
If we that famous Riddle can unty,
Their brightest Beauties in the Pauses lie,
To Admiration vary'd; next to these
The Numbers justly order'd charm and please:
Each Word, each happy Sound is big with Sense,
They all deface who take one Letter thence.

But little more of Quantity we know
Than what our Accent does, and Custom show:
The Latin Fountains often we forsake,
As they the Greek; nay diff'rent Ages take
A diff'rent Path; Per'fume and En'vy now
We say, which Ages past would scarce allow:
If no Position make our Accent strong
Most Syllables are either short or long.

Primitive Verse was grac'd with pleasing Rhimes,
The Blank a lazy Fault of After-times;
Nor need we other proof of this to plead
With those the sacred Hebrew Hymns can read:
If this to lucky Chance alone be due,
Why Rhime they not in Greek and Latin too?
PINDAR at first his antient Copy trac'd,
And sometimes equal Sounds his Numbers grac'd;
Till with the more than human Labour tir'd,
He drop'd his Rhime, and own'd him uninspir'd.
ORPHEUS and HOMER too, who first did dream
Of num'rous Gods, and left the One Supreme,
Religion both and Poetry did wrong,
Apostatiz'd from Rhime, and lost the Soul of Song.
Yet still some weak and glimm'ring Sparks remain'd,
And still our Great Forefathers this retain'd;
Nor Inundations of Barbarian Rome,
Our antient Rhime could wholly overcome.

Ne'er cramp thy Reason for some paltry Chime,
Nor sacrifice Good Sense to Numbers and to Rhime:
Both may be sav'd and made good Friends; and here
The Poets Art and Happiness appear:
But when some stubborn Word denies to draw
In Numbers, and defies the Muses Law,
Reject it strait, unworthy such a Grace,
Another yoke which better fills the Place:
Much Reading will thy Poverty amend
And Taggs without the help of Crambo lend.

The Double Rhime is antiquated grown,
Or us'd in Satyr or Burlesque alone;
Nor loves our stronger Tongue that tinkling Chime,
The Darling of the French, a Female Rhime.

Now, daring Muse! attempt a stronger Flight,
Beyond a Vulgar Verser's cautious Height,
Beyond thy self, and consecrate to Fame
Those who a Title to the Laurel claim,
And may to after-times embalm thy Name;
Commend the Good, to all but Vice be kind,
And cast the smaller Faults in shades behind;
Who first, who next; the Balance justly hold,
As that which shines above, and flames with Heav'nly Gold.

Great N—by the first, ROSCOMMON gone,
He rules our Empire now of Wit alone:
The Beauties he of Verse exactly knows,
The famous DRYDEN's not more smoothly flows:
Had ORPHEUS half so sweetly mourn'd his Fate,
As VIRGIL sung, or Sh—d did translate;
H' had made the Manes once again relent,
They would again Eurydice have sent:
Death's Temple we with sacred Aw survey,
With Admiration read his Great Essay:
Was Art or bounteous Nature here more kind?
Strong Sense! Uncommon Learning! Thoughts refin'd!
A Godlike Person, and an equal Mind!

The next in Dignity, if not the same,
Is Deathless D—t's lov'd and noble Name:
How did he sing, (listen'd the Heav'nly Quire;)
The Wond'rous Notes of David's Royal Lyre!
Ah! Why no more? must we for ever long
And vainly languish for so sweet a Song?

The next is Tityrus, who not disdains
To read his Name among the tuneful Swains;
Unweary'd in his Prince's glorious Cause,
As he of Faith, Defender of the Laws;
Easie to all but to himself, he shares
His Monarch's Favours, and his Monarch's Cares:
His flowing Language cloaths his massie Sense,
Nor makes with pompous Words a vain pretence,
Sound without Soul, to Wit and Eloquence.
Tho Great, he's still the same he was before:
—I sue for nothing, and I'll say no more.

M—ue left the Muses peaceful Seat,
And bore the Cares and Honours of the Great:
The Pollio he of our Augustan days,
Who Wit rewards with more than hungry Praise;
True Worth his Patronage can never miss,
He has his Prince's Smiles and that has his.

Nor should he pass unprais'd whom all admire,
Who, mixt with Seraphs, rules the Western Quire;
Flowing and pure his unexhausted Vein,
As Silver Thames, which, rolling down the Plain,
Salutes his Sacred Dome.—
But those profane who meanly thus commend,
Th' Immortal Cowley's and the Muses Friend.

Of matchless DRYDEN only Dryden's Skill
Could justly say enough, — of Good or Ill.
Envy must own he has our Tongue refin'd,
And manly Sense with tend'rest Softness join'd:
His Verse would Stones and Trees with Soul inspire,
As did the Theban and the Thracian Lyre:
His youthful Fire within, like Etna, glows,
Tho Venerable Age around his Temples snows:
If from the modern or the antient Store
He borrows ought, he always pays 'em more:
So much improv'd, each Thought, so fine appears,
WALLER or OVID scarce durst own 'em theirs.
The Learned Goth has scowr'd all Europe's Plains,
France, Spain, and fruitful Italy he drains,
From every Realm and every Language gains:
His Gains a Conquest are, and not a Theft;
He wishes still new Worlds of Wit were left:
Thus haughty Rome, when, all the Firm surpass'd,
Her Eagles found our moated World at last;
Touching upon th' unhospitable Coast,
Good Laws bestow'd for our wild Freedom lost;
With Arts of Peace our stubborn Soil manur'd,
And naked Limbs from Frost and Sun secur'd:
—But ah! how dear the Price of all we gain!
What Shoals of Vices with 'em cross'd the Main?
What Pride, what Luxury, a foul, an odious Train?
Who weighs, like Galcacus, the Good with Ill,
Would wish they'd let us been Barbarians still:
Such thankless Pains Ignatian Firebrands take
An honest Pagan spoil, and a bad Christian make.

Blest be kind Heav'n, which wrap'd me in a Gown,
And drew me early from the fatal Town!
And blest Her Name, to endless Ages blest,
Who gave my weary Muse this calm Retreat and Rest.
True to my God, my Country, and my Friend,
Here, may I Life, not wholly useless, spend,
Steal through the World, and smiling meet my End!
I envy not Great Dryden's loftier Strain
Of Arms and Men design'd to entertain,
Princes and Courts, so I but please the Plain:
Nor would I barter Profit for Delight,
Nor would have writ like him, like him to write.
If there's Hereafter, and a last Great Day,
What Fire's enough to purge his Stains away?
How will he wish each lewd applauded Line
Which makes Vice pleasing, and Damnation shine,
Had been as dull as honest Quarles or mine!
With sixty Years of Lewdness rest content!
It mayn't be yet too late, O yet Repent!
Ev'n Thee our injur'd Altar will receive;
While yet there's Hopes fly to its Arms and live!
So shall for Thee their Harps the Angels string,
And the Returning Prodigal shall sing;
New Joys through all the Heav'nly Host be shown
In Numbers only sweeter than thy own.

CONGREVE from Ireland wond'ring we receive,
Would he the Town's loose way of Writing leave,
More Worth than all their Forfeit Lands will give:
Justness of Thought, a Courtly Style, and clear,
And well-wrought Passions in his Works appear:
None knows with finer Strokes our Souls to move,
And as he please we smile, or weep, or love.
When Dryden goes, 'tis he must fill the Chair,
With Congreve only Congreve can compare.
Yet, tho he natural is as untaught Loves,
His Style as smooth as Cytherea's Doves,
When e'er unbyass'd Judges read him o'er,
He sometimes nodds, as Homer did before:
Some Lines his most Admirers scarce would please,
Nor B—'s Verse alone could raise Disease.

For smooth and well turn'd Lines we T— admire,
Who has in Justness what he wants in Fire:
Each Rhime, each Syllable well-weigh'd and fair,
His Life and Manners scarce more regular.

With Strength and Flame prodigious D—s writes
Of Love's soft Wars, and cruel martial Fights:
Scarce LEE himself strove with a mightier Load,
Or labour'd more beneath th' Incumbent God:
Whate'er of old to Rome or Athens known,
What France or We have glean'd, 'tis all his own.

How few can equal Praise with C—ch obtain,
Who made Lucretius smooth, and chast, and plain?
Courted by Fame he could her Charms despise,
Still woo'd by that false Fair he still denies,
And press'd, for Refuge to the Altar flies;
Like votive Tablets offers up his Bays,
"And leaves to our lewd Town the Drudgery of Plays."

In lofty Raptures, born on Angels Wings
Above the Clouds, above Castalian Springs,
N— inspir'd, of God and Nature sings;
And if one Glance on this poor World he throw,
If e'er he mind the Croud and Buzz below;
Pities our fruitless Pains for Fame and Praise,
And wonders why we drudge for Crowns and Bays.

Could B— be sober, many he'd excel,
Few know the Antients, or could use so well;
But ah! his Genius with his Virtue's fled,
Condemn'd to Want of Grace and Want of Bread.

Ev'n Envy B—re's Subject must confess
Exact and rare, a curious Happiness,
Nor many could the Fable better dress:
Of Words what Compass, and how vast a Store!
His Courage and his Vertue's only more:
More various Scenes of Death his Fights display
Then Aghrim's Field or Landen's fatal Day:
Let beauteous Elda's Tears and Passion prove
His Soul is not unknowing how to love:
Disrob'd of Clouds he view'd the Stagyrite
As Nature he, confess'd to Human sight:
His Rules surveys, and traces to their Springs,
Where the blind Bard of flaming Ilium sings;
Thence with the Mantuan Swan in narrower Rings,
Tho more exact, he, stooping from his height,
Reviews the same fierce Wars, and Gods and Heroes fight:
That beauteous antient Palace he surveys
Which Maro's Hands had only Strength to raise,
Models from thence, and copies every Grace:
Each Page is big with Virgil's Manly Thought,
To follow him too near's a glorious Fault.
He dar'd be virtuous in the World's Despite,
While D—n lives he dar'd a Modest Poem write.

Who can th' ingenious S—y's Praise refuse,
Who serves a grateful Prince, and grateful Muse?
Or P—r read unmov'd, whose every Page
So just a Standard to the opening Age?

Neat S—n's courtly Vein's correct and clear,
Nor shall he miss his Praise and Station here:
Nor should the rest whom I unnam'd must leave,
(Tho such Omission they'll with ease forgive:)
Unknown to me, let each his Works commend,
Since Virtue, Praise, as Shame does Vice, attend.
Poets, like Leaves and Words, their Periods know,
Now fresh and green, now sear and wither'd grow;
Or burnt by Autumn's Heat, and Winter's Cold,
Or a new hasty Birth shoves off the old.
Happy are those, and such are some of ours,
Who blest by bounteous Heav'n's indulgent Show'rs
Bear wholsome Fruit, and not gay pois'nous Flow'rs:
Who would not ev'n a Lawreat's self commence
Or at their Virtue's or their Faith's Expence:
Renounce their Creed to save a wretched Play,
And for a crowded House and full Third Day
At one bold Stroke throw all their Heav'n away.
What gain'd Euripides by all his Sense,
Who madly rail'd against a Providence?
Apostate Poets first seduc'd Mankind,
But ours upon the Pagan Herd refin'd;
They Vertue prais'd at least, which ours abuse,
And more than Paganize the Heav'n-born Muse:
No Signs of Grace, or of Repentance show,
Like Strumpets lash'd, more impudent they grow.

Now learn, my Friend, and freely I'll impart
My little All in this delightful Art:
Of Poetry the various Forms and Kinds,
The widest, strongest Grasp of human Minds:
Not all from all, but some from each I take,
Since we a Garland not a Garden make.

EPIC's the first and best, which mounting sings
In Mighty Numbers worthy mighty Things,
Of High Adventures, Heroes, Gods and Kings:
By lively Schemes the Mind to Vertue forms,
And far beyond unactive Precept warms.
The Subject may be either feign'd or true,
Too Old it should not be, but less too New:
Narration mixt with Action most delights,
Intrigues and Councils, vary'd Games and Fights:
Nothing so long as may the Reader tire,
But all the just well-mingled Scenes admire.
Your Heroe may be virtuous, must be brave;
Nothing that's mean should his great Soul enslave:
Yet Heav'ns unequal Anger he may fear,
And for his suffering Friends indulge a Tear:
Thus when the Trojans Navy scatter'd lay
He wept, he trembled, and to Heav'n did pray;
But when bright Glory beckon'd from afar,
And Honour call'd him out to meet the War;
Like a fierce Torrent pouring o'er the Banks,
Or Mars himself, he thunders through the Ranks;
Death walks before, while he a Foe could find,
Horror and Ruine mark long frightful Lanes behind.

For worn and old MACHINES few Readers care,
They're like the Pastboard Chaos in the Fair:
If ought surprizing you expect to shew,
The Scenes if not the Persons should be new:
With both does MILTON's wondrous Scheme begin,
The Pandemonium, Chaos, Death and Sin;
Which D—s had with like Success assay'd,
Had not the Porch of Death's Grim Court been made
Too wide, and there th' impatient Reader staid.
And G—h, tho barren is his Theme and mean,
By this has reach'd at least the fam'd Lutrine.
If tir'd with such a plenteous Feast you call
For a far meaner Banquet, Meal and Wall;
The best I have is yours, tho 'tis too long,
And what's behind will into Corners throng.

A Place there is, if Place 'tis nam'd aright,
Where scatter'd Rays of pale and sickly Light,
Fringe o'er the Confines of Eternal Night.
Shorn of their Beams the Sun and Phoebe here
Like the fix'd Stars, through Glasses view'd, appear;
Or those faint Seeds of Light, which just display
Ambiguous Splendor round the milky Way;
The Waste of Chaos, whose Auguster Reign
Does those more barren doubtful Realms disdain:
Here dwell those hideous Forms which oft repair
To breath our upper World's more chearful Air
Bleak Envy, grinding Pain, and meagre Care;
Disease and Death, the Goddess of the place,
Death, the least frightful Form of all their Race;
Ambition, Pride, false Joys and Hopes as vain,
Lewdness and Luxury compose her Train:
How large their Interest, and how vast their Sway
Amid the wide invaded Realms of Day!
Soon would they our frail Race of Mortals end,
Did not kind Heav'n auspicious Succours lend;
Sweet Angel-Forms, Peace, Virtue, Health and Love,
How near ally'd, how like to those above!
These often drive the Air, those Furies chace
And fetter in their own infernal Place:
These lent at once NASSAW and ENGLAND Aid,
And bright MARIA to our Shores convey'd:
Her, all their Pow'r and all their Charms they gave,
To govern what her Heroe came to save.

Nor Envy this, who in her noisome Cell
By Traitors in their swift Descent to Hell,
Her rising Glories heard, then with a Groan
She crawl'd before her Sov'reign's direful Throne:
A Pile of Sculls the odious Fantom bore,
With Bones half-naked mixt, and dropping putrid Gore;
There thus — Shall Heav'n defraud us of our Reign,
And BRITAIN, only BRITAIN break her Chain?
What can we there, while more than mortal Grace
Forbids our Entrance, and secures the Place?
Awhile I gaz'd and viewd her as I fled,
When first she came, till half my Snakes were dead;
And had I tarry'd longer near her Throne,
Had soon some base insipid Vertue grown:
So fast the wide progressive Ills increase,
If longer unoppos'd our Power will cease;
The base degenerate World dissolve to Peace;
Our boasted Empire there will soon be o'er,
And Mortals tremble at our Arms no more.

She said, her Tidings all the Court affright,
And doubled Horror fill'd the Realms of Night:
Till out foul Lewdness leap'd, and shook the Place,
The fulsom'st Fiend of all th' infernal Race;
A crusted Leprosie deform'd her Face;
With half a bloodshot Eye the Fury glar'd,
Yet when for Mischief she above prepar'd,
She painted and she dress'd, those Arts she knew,
And to her self her self a Stranger grew,
(Thus old and batter'd Bawds behind the Scenes,
New rigg'd and dawb'd, pass on the Stage for Queens;)
Nor yet, she cries, of Britain we'll despair
I've yet some trusty Friends in Ambush there,
All is not lost, we've still the Theatre:
I'll batter Virtue thence, nor fear to gain
New Subjects daily from her hated Reign;
Is not Great D— ours and all his Train?
He knows he has new Laurels here prepar'd,
For those he lost above, a just Reward,
For his wide Conquests he'll command the Guard:
Headed by him one Foot we'll scorn to yield,
Tho Virtue's glitt'ring Squadrons drive the Field:
Grant me, Dread Sov'reign! a Detachment hence
We'll not be long alone on our Defence,
But hope to drive the proud Assailants thence.
Bold Blasphemy shall lead our black Forlorn,
With Colours from Heav'n's Crystal Ramparts torn,
And Anti-Thunderrs arm'd; Profaneness next
Their Canon seize, and turn the Sacred Text
Against th' Assailants; brave Revenge and Rage
Shall our main Batt'ry ply, and guard the Stage.
—But most I on dear Ribaldry depend,
We've not a surer or a stronger Friend.
Now shall she broad and open to the Skie,
Now close behind some double Meaning lye;
Now with sulphureous Rivers lave the Trench,
And choak th' Assailants with infernal Stench;
Each nicer Vertue from the Walls repel,
And Heav'n it self regale with the Perfumes of Hell.
This from the World our dreaded Foe will drive,
As murm'ring Bees are forc'd to leave their Hive;
Souls so refin'd such Vapours cannot bear,
But seek their native Heav'n and purer Air:
When She and all her heav'nly Guards are gone
And her bright Heroe absent, all's our own:
If any pious Fools should make a stand,
To stop our Progress through the conquer'd Land,
They soon shall pass for hot-brain'd Visionairs,
We'll run 'em down with Ridicule and Farce.
Must they reform the World! a likely Task!
Tis Vizard all, and them we'll soon unmask.
The rest will tumble in, or if they stay
And loiter in Damnation's ample Way,
I've one Expedient left, which can't but take,
My last Reserve; From yon black brimstone Lake,
Whence two Canals thro subterranean Veins
Are drawn to Sodom and Campania's Plains,
My self I'll fill a Vial, and infuse
My very Soul amid the potent Juice:
This Essence near my Heart I'll with me bear,
And this among my dearest Fav'rites share,
Already tutor'd by the Theatre;
Who pass'd those Bugbears Conscience, Law and Shame
Have there been taught that Virtue's but a Name:
Exalted Souls who vulgar Sins despise;
Fit for some new discover'd nobler Vice;
One Drop of this their frozen Blood shall warm,
And frighted Nature's feebler Guards disarm:
Till their chill Veins with hotter Fevers glow
Than any Etna or Vesuvius know,
Scarce equal'd by their Parent Flames below;
Till wide around the gen'rous Canker spread,
And Vengeance draw on each devoted Head:
Impatient Heav'n it self our Arms shall join,
The Skies again with forky Lightnings shine;
Till glutted Desolation pants for Breath,
And guilty Shades shall croud the Realms of Death.
—She said, the Motion pleas'd, she wings away
And in blue pois'nous Foggs invades the Day:
Part of her direful Threats too true we find,
And Heav'n avert the Plagues that yet remain behind!

The Path which Epic treads the TRAGIC Muse
With daring tho unequal Steps pursues;
A little Epic shines through every Scene,
Tho more of Life appears, and less Machine;
More Action, less Narration, more Delight;
We see the Gods descend, and Heroes fight.
While Oedipus is raving on the Stage,
Mild Pity enters and dissolves our Rage;
We low'r our haughty Spirits, our Pride and Hate,
And learn to fear the sad Reverse of Fate.
A Tyrant's Fall, a treach'rous Statesman's End
Clear the Just Gods, and equal Heav'n defend:
Ungrateful Factions here themselves torment,
And bring those very Ills they would prevent:
Nor think the soft Intrigues of Love too mean
To fill the Stage and grace the Tragic Scene!
Who from the World this Salt of Nature takes,
Twice Slaves of Kings, of Life a Desart makes.

The Moral and Pathetick neatly join'd,
Are best for Pleasure and for Use design'd.

Be this in Tragic an Eternal Law;
Bold Strokes and larger than the Life to draw:
Let all be Great; when here a Woman's seen,
Paint her a Fury, or a Heroine:
Slaves, Spendthrifts, angry Fathers, better fit
The meaner Sallies of COMEDIAN Wit;
But Courtly HORACE did their Stage refuse,
Nor was it trod by Maro's heav'nly Muse:
A Walk so low their nobler Minds disdain,
Where sordid Mirth's exchang'd for sordid Gain;
Where, in false Pleasure all the Profit's drown'd,
Nor Authors with just Admiration crown'd:
Hence was the Sock a Task for servile Wit,
Course PLAUTUS hence, and neater TERENCE writ:
Yet if you still your Fortune long to take,
And long to hear the crouded Benches shake;
If you'd reform the Mob, lov'd Vice restrain,
The Pulpits break, and neighb'ring B— drain;
Let Heav'n at least, if not its Priests, be free,
The Bible sures's too grave for Comedy:
If she nor lewdly nor profanely talk
She'll have a cleaner, tho a narrower Walk.
Our Nation's endless Humour will supply
So large a Fund as never can be dry;
Why then should Vice be bare and open shown,
And with such Nauseous Scenes affront the Town?
Why thrive the Lewd, their Wishes seldom crost,
And why Poetic Justice often lost?
They plead they copy Nature. — Don't abuse
Her sacred Name with such a vile Excuse!
She wisely hides what these, like Beasts display,
Ev'n Vice it self, less impudent than they,
Remote in Shades, and far from conscious Day.

From this Retrenchment by strong Reason beat,
They next to poor Necessity retreat:
The Murderers, Bawds and Robbers last pretence
With equal Justice, equal Innocence!
So Crack, in pious Fit, will plead she's poor,
'Tis a hard Choice, Good Sir, to starve or whore!
—Is there no Third, or will such Reas'nings pass
In Bridewel's rigid Court, or save the Lash?
Where the stern Judge, like Radamanth, surveys
The trembling Sinner, and each Action weighs.
A lazy, black, encumber'd Stream rolls by,
Whose thick sulphureous Vapours load the Sky;
Near where, in Caves from Heav'n's sweet Light debar'd,
Shrieks, Groans, and Iron Whips, and Clanks of Chains are heard.

And can't you thrash, or trail a Pike or Pole?
Are there no Jakes in Town, or Kennels foul?
No honester Employment, that you chuse
With such vile Drudgery t' abase the heav'n-born Muse?

The num'rous ODE in various Paths delights,
Love, Friendship, Gods and Heroes, Games and Fights:
Her Age with Veneration is confess'd,
The first great Mother she of all the rest.
This MOSES us'd, and David's Royal Lyre,
This he whom wond'ring Seraphs did inspire,
Whence PINDAR stole some Sparks of heav'nly Fire,
Who now by COWLEY's happy Muse improv'd,
Is understood by some, by more belov'd:
The Vastness of his Thought, the daring Range,
That imperceptible and pleasing Change,
Our jealous Neighbours must themselves confess
The British Genius tracks with most Success;
But still the Smoothness we of Verse desire,
The Regulation of our Native Fire:
This from experienc'd Masters we receive,
Sweet FLATMAN's Works, and DRYDEN's this will give.

If you in pointed SATYR most delight,
Worry not, where you only ought to bite:
Easie your Style, unstudy'd all and clear.
Prosaic Lines are pardonable here.
There are whose Breath would blast the brightest Fame,
Who from base Actions court an odious Name,
With Beauty and with Virtue War proclaim;
Who bundle up the Scandals of the Town,
And in lewd Couplets make it all their own:
Just Shame be theirs who thus debauch a Muse,
To vile Lampoons a noble Art abuse:
As ill be theirs, and half of DATS's Fate,
Who always dully rail against the State.
Kings are but Men, nor are their Councils more,
Those Ills we can't avert we must deplore:
Not many Poets were for Statesmen made,
It asks more Brains than stocks the Rhiming Trade:
(At least, when they the Ministry receive,
To Poets Militant their Muse they leave.)
All sordid Flat'ry hate, it pleases none
But Tyrants grinning on their Iron Throne:
Yet where wer'e rul'd with wise impartial Sway,
The Muses should their grateful Homage pay:
'Tis base alike a Tyrant's Name to raise,
And grudg a Parent Prince our tributary Praise.
No wonder those who by Proscriptions gain
In Marian Days, or Sylla's bloody Reign,
Of the divine Augustus should complain;
Who stoops to wear a Crown's uneasie Weight,
As Atlas under Heav'n, to prop the State:
No Glory strikes his Great exalted Mind,
No Pleasure like obliging all Mankind;
He lets the Factious their weak Malice vent,
Punish'd enough while they themselves torment:
Satiate with Conquest, his dread Sword he sheaths,
And with a Nod disbands ten thousand Deaths.
Who dares Rebellious Arms against him move
While his Praetorian Guard's his Subjects Love?
Admir'd by all the bravest and the best,
Who wear a Roman Soul within their ample Breast:
Tho charm'd with both, which shall they more admire
In Peace his Wisdom, or in War his Fire?
—One Labour yet remains, and that they ask,
Alcides never clear'd a nobler Task;
O Father! banish'd Vertue O restore!
Let Hydra Vice pollute thy Reign no more!
Strike through the Monster-Form, which threatning stands,
Fierce with a thousand Throats, a thousand Hands!
Rescue once more thy Trojans sacred Line
From slavish Chains, so shall thy Temples shine
With Stars, and all Elysium shall be thine.

[pp. 1-28]