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He has presum’d to swell the round,
Or colours on the draught to lay,
'Tis thus (he order'd me to say)
Thus write the painters of this isle :
Let those of Co remark the style.
She said ; and to his hand restor'd
The rival pledge, the missive board.
Upon the happy line were laid
Such obvious light, and easy shade,
That Paris' apple stood confest,
Or Leda's egg, or Cloe's breast.
Apelles view'd the finish'd piece:
And live, said he, the arts of Greece!
Ilowe'er Protogenes and I
May in our rival talents vie!
Howe'er our works may have express'd
Who truest drew, or colour'd best,
When he beheld my flowing line,
He found at least I could design :
And from his artful round, I grant,
That he with perfect skill can paint.
The dullest genius cannot fail To find the moral of my tale : That the distinguish'd part of men, With compass, pencil, sword, or pen, Should in life's visit leave their name, In characters, which may proclaim, That they with ardour strove to raise At once their arts, and country's praise ; And in their working took great care, That all was full, and round, and fair.
DEMOCRITUS AND HERACLITUS.
DEMOCRITUS, dear droll, revisit earth,
And with our follies glut thy heighten'd mirth :
Sad Heraclitus, serious wretch, return,
In louder grief our greater crimes to mourn.
Between you both I unconcern'd stand by;
Hurt, can I laugh ? and honest, need I cry?
To me 'twas given to die : to thee 'tis given
To live : alas ! one moment sets us even.
Mark ! how impartial is the will of Heaven !
I GUALTERUS DANISTONUS AD AMICOS.
Dum studeo fungi fallentis munere vitæ,
Adfectoque viam sedibus Elysiis,
1 These verses were written by Dr. Archibald Pitcairne, a celebrated Scotch physician, who died in the year 1713. Walter Daniston was a schoolmaster and Latin poet, very intimate with the author. The title, as given by Mr. Prior,
Arctoa florens Sophiâ, Samiisque superbus
Discipulis, animas morte carere cano.
Has ego corporibus profugas ad sidera mitto;
Sideraque ingressis otia blanda dico;
Qualia conveniunt divis, queis fata volebant
Vitäi faciles molliter ire vias:
Vinaque Coelicolis media inter gaudia, libo ;
Et me quid majus suspicor esse viro.
Sed fuerint nulli forsan, quos spondeo, coeli;
Nullaque sint Ditis numina, nulla Jovis.
Fabula sit terris agitur quæ vita relictis ;
Quique superstes, homo: qui nihil, esto Deus. Attamen esse hilares, et inanes mittere curas
Proderit, ac vitæ commoditate frui,
Et festos agitâsse dies, ævique fugacis
Tempora perpetuis detinuisse jocis.
His me parentum præceptis occupet Orcus,
Et Mors; seu Divum, seu nihil esse velit; Nam Sophia ars illa est, quæ fallere suaviter horas
Admonet, atque Orci non timuisse minas.
is here retained, although in Dr. Pitcairne's works, printed at Edinburgh, 1727, it is entirely different, as are the first four lines of the poem. It does not with certainty appear whether the alterations were made by the author, or by his imitator. In the before-mentioned edition the poem begins in this manner :
JOANNIS Sylvii de seipso carmen.
Dum brevis adnitor momentum fallere vitæ,
Et somni æterni non nimis esse memor;
Demonstro quæ sit Sophiæ natura, quis hospes
Pectoris ; atque animas posse perire nego.
STUDIOUS the busy moments to deceive,
That fleet between the cradle and the grave,
I credit what the Grecian dictates say,
And Samian sounds o'er Scotia's hills convey,
When mortal man resigns his transient breath,
The body only I give o'er to death ;
The parts dissolv'd and broken frame I mourn .
What came from earth I see to earth return.
The immaterial part, the ethereal soul,
Nor can change vanquish, nor can death control.
Glad I release it from its partner's cares,
And bid good angels waft it to the stars.
Then in the flowing bowl I drown those sighs,
Which, spite of wisdom, from our weakness rise.
The draught to the dead's memory I commend,
And offer to the now immortal friend.
But if oppos’d to what my thoughts approve,
Nor Pluto's rage there be, nor power of Jove ;
On its dark side if thou the prospect take ;
Grant all forgot beyond black Lethe's lake:
In total death suppose the mortal lie,
No new hereafter, nor a future sky:
Yet bear thy lot content ! yet cease to grieve:
Why, ere death comes, dost thou forbear to live?
The little time thou hast, ’twixt instant now
And fate's approach, is all the gods allow :
And of this little hast thou aught to spare
To sad reflection, and corroding care ?
The moments past, if thou art wise, retrieve
With pleasant memory of the bliss they gave.
The present hours in present mirth employ,
And bribe the future with the hopes of joy :
The future (few or more, howe'er they be)
Were destin'd erst ; nor can by fate's decree
Be now cut off, betwixt the grave and thee.
THE FIRST HYMN OF CALLIMACHUS.
While we to Jove select the holy victim,
Whom apter shall we sing, than Jove himself,
The god for ever great, for ever king,
Who slew the earth-born race, and measures right
To Heaven's great habitants ? Dictæan hearist
More joyful, or Lycæan, long dispute
And various thought has trac’d. On Ida's Mount,
Or Dicte, studious of his country's praise,
The Cretan boasts thy natal place : but oft
Ile meets reproof deserv'd : for he presumptuous
Has built a tomb for 'thee, who never know'st
To die, but liv’st the same to-day and ever.
Arcadian therefore be thy birth : Great Rhea
Pregnant to high Parrhasia's cliffs retir’d,