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Let Thebes, nor Rome,

Jove mark'd for man
So fam'd, presume

A scanty span,
To triumph o'er a Northern Isle ;

But lent him wings to fly his doom :
Late Time shall know

Wit scorps the grave;
The North can glow,

To wit he gave If dread Augustus deiga to smile.

The life of gods! immortal bloom !
The work is done!

Since years will fiy,
The distant Sun

And pleasures die,
His smile supplies ! exalts my voice!

Day after day, as years advance ;
Through Earth's wide bound

Since, while life lasts,
Shall George resound,

Joy suffers blasts, My theme, by duty, and by choice.

Frown, frowning Fate, and fickle Chance! The naval crown

Nor life is long;
Is all his own!

But soon we throng,
Our fleet, if war or commerce call,

Like autumn leaves, Death's pallid shore; His will performs

We make, at least, Through waves and storms,

Of bad the best, And rides in triumph round ihe ball.

If in life's phantom, fame, we soar.
Since then the main

Our strains divide
Sublimes my strain,

The laurel's pride ;
To whom should I address my song

With those we lift to life, we live; To wbom but thee?

By fame enrollid The boundless sea,

With heroes bold, And grateful Muse, to George belong.

And share the blessings which we give. Hail, mighty theme!

What hero's praise
Rich mine of faine!

Can fire my lays,
If gods invok d extend their aid i

Like bis, with whom my lay begun ? Hail, subject new!

“ Justice sincere, As Britain's due

And courage clear,
Reserv'd by the Pierian maid.

Rise the two columns of his throne,
Durst Homer's Muse,

“ Huw form'd for sway! Or Pindar's, choose

Who look, obey ; To poiir the billows on his string?

They read the monarch in his port. No, both defraud

Their love and awe
The tuneful god;

Supply the law;
Scarce more sublime, when Jove they sing. And his own lustre makes the court;
No former race,

“ But shines supreine, With strong embrace,

Where heroes flame; This theme to ravish durst aspire ;

In war's bigb-hearted pomp he prides! With virgin charms

By godlike arts My soul it warms,

Enthron'd in hearts, And melts melodious on my lyre.

Our bosum-lord o'er wills presides." Now low, now high,

Our factions end ! My lingers fly,

The nations bend ! and now fresh music spring;

For when Britannia's sons, combin'd Now dance, now creep,

In fair array, Now dive, now sweep,

All march one way; And fetch the sonnd from every string.

They march the terrour of mankind, Now numbers rise,

If equal all Like virgin's sighs;

Who tread the ball, The soft Favonians melt away;

Our bounded prospect, here, would end ; As from the north

But herues prove Now rusbes forth

As steps to Jove, A blast, that thunders in my lay.

By which our thoughts, with ease, ascend. My lays I file

From what we view With curious toil;

We take the clue, Ye Graces ! turn the glowing lines;

Which leads from great to greater things ; On anvils eat

Men doubt no more, Your strokes repeat;

But gods adore, At every stroke the work refines !

When such resemblance shines in kings. Hlow music charms !

On yonder height, How metre warms !

What golden light Parent of actions good and brare!

Triumphant shines, and shines alone ? How vice it tames!

Unrivall'd blaze! And worth inflames!

The nations gaze! And holds proud empire v'er the grave!

'Tis not the Sun, 't is Britain's throace

Now pause,

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Our monarch, lhere,

Attigerint, quantas acies stragemque ciebunt ! Rear'd bigh in air,

Qui Juvenes ! quantas ostentant, aspice, vires. Should teripests rise, disdains to bend;

Ne, pueri! ne tanta animis assuescite bella. Like British oak,

Tuque prior, tu parce, genus qui ducis Olympo, Derides the stroke;

Sidereo flagrans clypeo, et cælestibus armis, His blooming honours far extend !

Projice tela manu, sanguis meus!
Beneath them lies,

Nec te ullæ facies, non terruit ispe Typhous
With lifted eyes,

Arduus, arma tenens; non te Messapus et Ufens, Fair Albion, like an amorous maid ;

Contemptorque Deûm Mezentius. Virg. While interest wings

But to retum. He that has this idea of perfecBold foreign kings

tion in the work he undertakes, however successful To fly, like eagles, to his shade.

he is, will yet be modest ; because to rise up to At his proud foot

that idea, which be proposed for his model, is alThe sea pour'd out,

most, if not absolutely, impossible.

These two observations account for what may Immortal nourishment supplies ; Thence wealth, and state,

seem as strange, as it is infallibly true ; I mean,

they show us why good writers have the lowest, and And power, and—fate,

bad writers the highest, opinion of their own perWhich Europe reads in George's eyes.

formances. They who have only a partial idea of this perfection, as their portion of ignorance or

knowledge of it is greater or less, have proportionON LYRIC POETRY.

able degrees of modesty or conceit. How imperfect soever my own composition may

Nor, though natural good understanding makes be, yet am I willing to speak a word or two, of the a tolerably just judgment in things of this nature,

will the reader judge the worse, for forming to himnature of lyric poetry; to show that I have, at least, some idea of perfection in that kind of poem self a notion of what he ought to expect from the in which I am engaged; and that I do not think piece he has in hand, before he begins his perusal of it. myself poet enough entirely to rely on inspiration is more spiritous, and more remote from prose

The Ode, as it is the eldest kind of poetry, so it for success in it.

To our having, or not having, this idea of perfec-than any other, in sense, sound, expression, and con. tion in the poem we undertake, is chiefly owing the duct. Its thoughts should be uncommon, sublime, merit or demerit of our performances, as also the and moral ; its numbers full, easy, and most har modesty or vanity of our opinions concerning them. monious; its expression pure, strong, delicate, yet And in speaking of it I shall show how it unavoida: unaffected; and of a curious felicily beyond other bly comes to pass, that bad poets, that is, poets in poems; its conduct should be raptumus, somewhat general, are esteemed, and really are, the most vain, abrupt, and immethodical to a vulgar eye. That the most irritable, and most ridiculous set of men apparent order, and connexion, which gives form

and life to some compositions, takes away the very upon Earth. But poetry in its own nature is cer

soul of this. Fire, elevation, and select thought, are tainly

indispensable ; an humble, tame, and vulgar ode —Non hos quæsitum munus in usus. Virg. is the most pitiful errour a pen can commit. He that has an idea of perfection in the work he

Musa dedit Pidibus divos, puerosque deorum. undertakes may fail in it; he that has not, must : and yet he will be vain. For every little degree

And as its subjects are sublime, its writer's genius of beauty, how short or improper soever, will be should be so too; otherwise it becomes the meanest looked on feadly by him ; because it is all pure thing in writing, viz. an involuntary burlesque. ģains, and more than he promised to himself; and

It is the genuine character, and true merit of the because he has no test, or standard in his judgment, ode, a little to startle some apprehensions. Men with which to chastise his opinion of it.

of cold complexions are very apt to mistake a want Now this idea of perfection is, in poetry, more

of vigour in their imaginations, for a delicacy of taste refined than in other kinds of writing; and because in their judgments, and, like persons of a tender more refined, therefore more difficult; and because sight, they look on bright objects, in their natural more difficult, therefore more rarely attained ; and lustre, as too glaring; what is most delightful to a the non-attainment of it is, as I have said, the stronger eye, is painful to them. Thus Pindar, source of uur vanity. Hence the poetic clan are

who has as much logic at the bottom as Aristotle more obnoxious to vanity than others. And from va

or Euclid, to some critics has appeared as mad; nity consequently flows that great sensibility of dis- and must appear so to all who enjoy no portion of respect, that quick resentment, that tinder of the his own divine spirit. Dwarf-understandings, ineamind that kindles at every spark, and justly marks suring others by their own standard, are apt to them out for the genus irritabile among man

think they see a mouster, when they see a man. kind. And from this combustible temper, this se

And indeed it seems to be the amends which Na. rious anger for no very serious things, things looked ture makes to those whom she has not blessed with on by most as foreign to the important points of

an elevation of mind, to indulge them in the comlife, as consequentially fows that inheritance of fortable mistake, that all is wrong, which falls not ridicule, which devolves on them, from generation within the narrow limits of their own comprehen: to generation. As soon as they become authors, sions and relish. they become like Ben Jonson's angry boy, and mind, in ode, as in all compositions, should bear

Judgment, indeed, that masculine power of the learn the art of quarrel. Concordes animæ dum nocte premuntur ;

the supreme sway; and a beautiful imagination, Heu! quantam inter se bellum, si lumina vitæ

as its mistress, should be subdued to its dominion



Hence, and hence only, can proceed the fajrest off

Assumes the God, spring of the human mind,

Affects to nod, But then in ode, there is this difference froin

And seems to shake the spheres, other kinds of poetry; that, there, the imagination, are chosen in the following ode, because the sub like a very beautiful mistress, is indulged in the ap- ject of it is great. pearance of domineering; though the judgment, For the more harmony likewise, I chose the frelike an artful lover, in reality carries its point ; quent return of rhyme ; which laid me under great and the less it is suspected of it, it shows the more difficulties. But difficulties overcome give grace masterly conduct, and deserves the greater com- and pleasure. Nor can I account for the pleasure mendation,

of rhyme in general (of which the modernis are too It holds true in this province of writing, as in war, fond) but from this truth. “The more danger, the more honour.” It must be But then the writer must take care that the dif, very enterprising; it must, in Shakespeare's style, ficulty is overcome. That is, he must make rhyme have hair-breadth 'scapes; and often tread the very consistent with as perfect sense, and expression, as brink of errour: nor can it ever deserve the applause could be expected if he was free from that shackle. of the real judge, unless it renders itself obnoxious Otherwise, it gives neither grace to the work, nor to the misapprehensions of the contrary.

pleasure to the reader, nur, consequently, reputaSuch is Casimire's strain among the moderns, tion to the poet. whose lively wit, and happy fire, is an honour to To sum the whole: Ode should be peculiar, but them. And Buchanan might justly be much ad- not strained ; moral, but not fat; natural, but not mired, if any thing more than the sweetness of his obvious; delicate, but not affected; noble, but not numbers, and the purity of his diction, were his own : ambitious; full, but not obscure; fiery, but not mad; his original, from which I have taken my motto, thick, but not loaded in its numbers, which should through all the disadvantages of a northern prose be most harmonious, without the least sacrifice of translation, is still admirable; and, Cowley says, expression, or of sense. Above all, in this, as in As preferable in beauty to Buchanan, as Judæa is every work of genius, somewhat of an original spi. to Scotland.

rit should be, at least, attempted; otherwise the Pindar, Anacreon, Sappho, and Horace, are the poet, whose character disclaims inediocrity, makes great masters of lyric poetry among Heathen wri- a secondary praise his ultimate ambition; which ters. Pindar's Muse, like Sacharissa, is a stately, has something of a contradiction in it. Originals imperious, and accomplished beauty ; equally dis- only have true life, and differ as much from the daining the use of art, and the fear of any rival ; best imitations, as men from the most animated so intoxicating that it was the highest commenda- pictures of them. Nor is what I say at all incontion that could be given an antient, that he was sistent with a due deference for the great standards not afraid to taste of her charms;

of antiquity; nay, that very deference is an argu

ment for it, for doubtless their example is on my Pindarici fontis qui non expalluit haustus;

side in this matter. And we should rather imitate a danger, which Horace declares he durst not run. their example in the general motives, and funda

Anacreon's Muse is like Amoret, most sweet, na- mental methods of their working, than in their tural, and delicate; all over flowers, graces, and works themselves. This is a distinction, I think, charms; inspiring complacency, nut awe; and she not bitherto made, and a distinction of consequence. seems to have good-nature enough to admit a rival, For the first may make us their equals; the second which she cannot find.

must pronounce us their inferiors even in our utmost, Sappho's Muse, like Lady - is passionately success But the first of these prizes is not so rea. tender, and glowing; like oil set on fire, she is soft. dily taken by the moderns; as valuables too massy and warm,

in excess. Sappho has left us a few for easy carriage are not so liable to the thief. fragments only; Time has swallowed the rest ; but The antients had a particular regard to the choice that little which remains, like the remaining jewel of of their subjects ; which were generally national Cleopatra, after the other was diesolved at ber ban- and great. My subject is, in its own nature, noquet, may be esteemed (as was that jewel) a suffi- ble; most proper for an Englishman ; never more cient ornament for the goddess of beauty herself. proper than on this occasion; and (wbat is strange)

Horace's Muse (like one I shall not presume to hitherto unsung. pame) is correct, solid, and moral; she joins all If I stand not absolutely condemped by my own the sweetness aud majesty, all the sense and the rules; if I have hit the spirit of ode in general; fire of the former, in the justest proportions and de- if I cannot think with Mr. Cowley, that Musie grees; superadding a felicity of dress entirely her alone, sometimes, makes an excellent ode;"

She moreover is distinguishable by this par- Versus inopes rerum, nugaque çanoræ; : ticularity, That she abounds in hidden graces, and if there is any thought, enthusiasın, and picture, secret charms, which none but the discerning can which are as the body, soul, and robe of Poetry; in discover; nor are any capable of doing fall jus- a word, if in any degree I have provided rather tice, in their opinion, to her excellencies, without food for men,than air for wits; I hope smaller fanlta giving the world, at the same time, an incontestable will meet indulgence for the sake of the design, proof of refinement in their own understandings. which is the glory of my country and my king.

But, after all, to the honour of our own country And indeed, this may be said, in general, that I must add, that I think Mr. Dryden's Ode on St. great subjects are above being nice; that dignity, Cecilia's Day inferior to no composition of this and spirit ever suffer from scrupulous exactness, kind. Its chief beauty consists in adapting the and that the minuter cares effeminate a composis numbers møst happily to the variety of the occa- tion. Great masters of poetry, painting, and sta, sjon. Those by which he has chosen to express tuary, in their nobler works, have even affected Majesty, (viz)

the contrary; and justly; for a truly-masculine



air partakes more of the negligent, than of the Who love the shore, neat, both in writings, and in life

Let those adore
Grandis oratio haberet majestatis suæ pondus.

The god Apollo, and his Nine,

Parnassus bill,
A poem, like a criminal, under too severe cor-

And Orpheus' skill; rection, may lose all its spirit, and expire. We

But let Arion's harp be mine. know it was faberrimus, that was such an artist at

The main! the main ! a hair or a nail. “And we know the cause was

Is Britain's reign ;
Quia ponere totum

Her strength, her glory, is her feet;


The main ! the main ! To close: If a piece of this nature wants an apo

Be Briton's strain ; logy, I must own, that those who have strength of As Triton's strong, ás Syren's sweet. mind sufficient profitably to devote the whole of Through nature wide, their time to the severer studies, I despair of imi- Is nought descried tating, I can only envy and admire. The mind is so rich in pleasure, or surprise ; relieved and strengthened by variety; and he that When all-serene, sometimes is sporting with his pen, is only taking How sweet the scene ! the most effectual means of giving a general im- How dreadful, when the billows rise : portance to it. This truth is clear from the know

And storms deface ledge of human nature, and of history; from which

The fluid glass, I could cite very celebrated instances, did I not

In which ere-while Britannia fair fear that, by citing them, I should condemn myself,

Look'd down with pride, who am so little qualified to follow their example Like Ocean's bride, in its full extent,

Adjusting her majestic air.

When tempests cease,

And hush'd in peace

'The flatten'd surges smoothly spread, CONCLUDING WITH A WISH.

Deep silence keep,

And seem to sleep Let the sea make a noise, let the floods clap their Recumbent on their oozy bed ; hands.

Psal. xcviii.

With what a trance Sweet rural scene !

The level glance, Of flocks and green !

Unbroken, shoots along the seas ! At careless ease my limbs are spread;

Which tempt from shore All nature still,

The painted oar; But yonder rill;

And every canvass courts the breeze! And listening pines nod o'er my head :

When rushes forth In prospect wide,

The frowning North The boundless tide!

On blackening billows, with what dread Waves cease to fam, and winds to roar;

My shuddering soul Without a breeze,

Beholds them roll, The curling seas

And hears their roarings o'er my head ! Dance on, in measure, to the shore.

With terrour mark Who sings the source

Yon flying bark! Of wealth and force ?

Now, centre-deep descend the brave; Vast field of commerce and big war:

Now, toss'd on high, Where wonders dwell!

It takes the sky,
Where terrours swell!

A feather on the towering wave!
And Neptune thunders from bis car?
Where? where are they,

Now, spins around
Whom Pæan's ray

In whirls profound; Has touch'd, and bid divinely rave?

Now, whelm'd; now, pendant near the clouds ; What, none aspire ?

Now, stunn'd, it reels

'Midst thunder's peals ; I snatch the lyre, And plunge into the foaming wave.

And, now, fierce lightning fires the shrouds. The wave resounds!

All ether burns ! The rock rebounds!

Chaos returns ! The Nereids to my song reply!

And blends once more the seas and skies ;
I lead the choir,

No space between
And they conspire

Thy bosom green,
With voice and shell to lift it high!

O Deep! and the blue concave, lies
They spread in air

The northern blast,
Their bosoms fair;

The shatter'd mast,
Their verdant tresses pour behind.

The syrt, the whirlpool, and the rock,
The billows beat

The breaking spout,
With nimble feet,

The stars gone out,
With notes triumpbant swell the wind.

The boiling streight, the monsters shock,

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Let others fear;

Joys felt alone! To Britain dear

Joys ask'd of none ! Whate'er promotes her daring claim;

Which Time's and Fortune's arrows mis; Those terrours charm,

Joys that subsist, Which keep her warm

'l hough Fates resist, In chase of honest gain or fame,

And unprecarious endless bliss ! The stars are bright

The soul refin'd To cheer the night,

Is most inclin'd And shed through shadows temper'd fire !

To every moral excellence ; And Phæbus fames

All vice is dull, With burnish'd beams,

A knave's a fool ; Which some adorę, and all admire.

And Virtue is the cbild of Sense. Are then the seas

The virtuous mind, Outshone by these?

Nor wave, nor wind, Bright Thetys! thou art not outshone;

Nor civil rage, nor tyrant's frown, With kinder beams,

The shaken ball, And softer gleams,

Nor planets' fall, Thy bosom wears them as thy own.

From its firm basis can dethrone. There, set in green,

This Britain knows, Gold-stars are seen,

And therefore glows A mantle rich! thy charms to wrap ;

With generous passions, and expends And when the Sun

Her wealth and zeal His race has

On public weal, run, He falls enamour'd in thy lap.

And brightens both by godlike ends.

What end so great,
Those clouds, whose dyes

As that which late
Adorn the skies,
That silvor snow, that pearly rain;

Awoke the Genius of the main,
Has Phæbus stole

Which towering rose To grace the pole,

With George to close, The plunder of th’ invaded main!

And rival great Eliza's reign?

A voice has flown The gaudy bow,

From Britain's throne Whose colours glow,

To reinflame a grand design; Whose arch with so much skill is bent,

That voice shall rear To Phoebus' ray,

Yon fabrir fair', Which paints so gay,

As Nature's rose at the divine. By thee the watery woof was lent.

When Nature sprung, In chambers deep,

Blest angels sung, Where waters sleep,

And shouted o'er the rising ball ; What unknown treasures pave the floor !

For strains as high
The pearl in rows

As man's can fly,
Pale lustre throws;

These sea-devoted honours call.
The wealth immense, which storms devour.

From boisterous seas, From Indian mines,

The lap of ease With proud designs,

Receives our wounded and our old ; The merchant, swoln, digs golden ore ;

High domes ascend ! The tempests rise,

Stretch'd arches bend ! And seize the prize,

Proud columns swell! wide gates unfold ! And toss him breathless on the shore.

So sleeps the grain, His son complains

In fostering rain, In pious strains;

And vital beams, till Jove descend ; “Ah ! cruel thirst of gold !” he cries ;

Then bursts the root! Then ploughs the main,

The verdures shoot! In zeal fur gain,

And Earth enrich, adorn, defend ! The tears yet swelling in his eyes.

Here, soft-reclin'd Thou watery vast,

From wave, from wind, What mounds are cast

And Fortune's tempest safe ashore, To bar thy dreadful flowings-o'er?

To cheat their care, Thy proudest foam

Of former war Must know its home;

They talk the pleasing shadows o'er. But rage of gold disdains a shore.

In lengthep'd tales, Gold Pleasure buys ;

Our fleet prevails; But Pleasure dies,

In tales the lenitives of age ! Too soon the gross fruition cloys :

And o'er the bowl, Though raptures court,

They fire the soul The sense is short;

Of listening youth, to martial rage. But Virtue kindles living joys;

! Greenwich


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