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And wings it with sublime desires,
And fits it to bespeak the Deity.
And seems well pleased and courted with a song.
When time itself shall be no more,
Music shall then exert its power,
Then saints and angels shall agree
In one eternal jubilee:
And God himself with pleasure see
Consecrate the place and day,
To music and Cecilia.
Invade the hallowed bounds,
Nor spoil the fleeting sounds.
But gladness dwell on every tongue ;
And imitate the blest above,
SINCE, dearest Harry, you will needs request
muse-possest, · Henry Sacheverell, whose story is well known.-Yet with all his follies, some respect may seem due to the memory of a man, who had merit in his youth, as appears from a paper of verses under his name, in Dryden's
Miscellanies; and who lived in the early friendship of Mr. Addison. 2 The introductory and concluding lines of this poem are a bad imita
That, down from Chaucer's days to Dryden's times,
Long had our dull forefathers slept supine,
Old Spenser next, warmed with poetic rage,
age; An age that yet uncultivate and rude, Where'er the poet's fancy led, pursued Through pathless fields, and unfrequented floods, To dens of dragons and enchanted woods. But now the mystic tale, that pleased of yore, Can charm an understanding age no more; The long-spun allegories fulsome grow, While the dull moral lies too plain below. We view well-pleased at distance all the sights Of arms and palfreys, battles, fields, and fights, And damsels in distress, and courteous knights ; But when we look too near, the shades decay, And all the pleasing landscape fades away.
Great Cowley then (a mighty genius) wrote, O'er-run with wit, and lavish of his thought : His turns too closely on the reader
press ; He more had pleased us, had he pleased us less. One glittering thought no sooner strikes our eyes With silent wonder, but new wonders rise. As in the milky-way a shining white O’er-flows the heavens with one continued light;
tion of Horace's manner-Sermoni propiora. In the rest, the poetry is better than the criticism, which is right or wrong, as it chances; being echoed from the common voice.
That not a single star can show his rays,
But Milton next, with high and haughty stalks,
describes I more than see,
· Cowley had great merit, but nature had formed him to manage Anacreon's lute, and not Pindar's lyre.
? I wonder what these laws could be. Nobody understood the critic's nicest laws better than Milton, or observed them with more respect. The observation might be true of Shakspeare; but, by ill-hap, we do not so much as find his name in this account of English poets.
With fear my spirits and my blood retire,
But now, my muse, a softer strain rehearse,
line with art, and smooth thy verse ;
Nor must Roscommon pass neglected by, That makes ev'n rules a noble poetry: "A vision so profuse of pleasantness.] A prettily turned line. The expression (originally Milton's, P. L. iv. 243, viii. 286) pleased our poet so much, that we have it again in the letter from Italy-profuse of bliss, and
* Serene and bright.] This is a strange description of Milton's language, if he means the language of his prose works. The panegyric seems
made at random.
Rules, whose deep sense and heavenly numbers show
But see where artful Dryden next appears,
I'm tired with rhyming, and would fain give o'er,
set in just array, And Boyne's dyed waves run purple to the sea. Nor Simois choked with
and blood; Nor rapid Xanthus' celebrated flood,
1 Whether in comic sounds or tragic airs.] writer in fashion, like the stoical wise man, is everything he has a mind to be. Dryden's comedies are very indifferent, and his tragedies still worse.
? Congreve shall still.] Another poet in fashion : but it is not safe to prophesy of such. All he had of Dryden's muse was only his quaint and ill-applied wit.