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ances, or had ever elevated his views to that ideal perfection which every genius born to excel is condemned always to pursue, and never overtake.
In the first suggestions of his imagination he acquiesced; he thought thein good, and did not seek for better.
The poem on Creation has, however, the appearance of more circumspection; it wants neither harmony of numbers, accuracy of thought, nor elegance of diction: it has either been written with great care, or, what cannot be imagined of so long a work, with such felicity as made care less necessary.
Its two constituent parts are ratiocination and description. To reason in verse, is allowed to be difficult; but Blackmore not only reasons in verse, but very often reasons poetically, and finds the art of uniting ornament with strength, and ease with closeness. This is a skill which Pope might have con. descended to learn from him, when he needed it so much in his Moral Essays.
In his descriptions, both of life and nature, the poet and the philosopher happily co-ope
rate; truth is recommended by elegance, and elegance sustained by truth.
In the structure and order of the poem, not only the greater parts are properly corsecutive, but the didactick and illustrative paragraphs are so happily mingled, that labour is relieved by pleasure, and the attention is led on through a long succession of varied excellence to the original position, the fundamental principle of wisdom and of virtue.
AS the heroick poems of Blackmore are now little read, it is thought proper to infert, as a specimen from Prince Arthur, the song of Mopas mentioned by Molineux.
But that which Arthur with most pleasure
heard, Were noble strains, by Mopas sung the bard, Who to his harp in lofty verse began, And through the secret maze of Nature ran. He the great Spirit sung, that all things fill’d, That the tumultuous waves of Chaos still'd; Whose nod dispos’d the jarring seeds to peace, And made the wars of hostile Atoms cease. All Beings we in fruitful Nature find, Proceeded from the great Eternal Mind; Streams of his unexhausted spring of power, And cherish'd with his influence, endure. He spread the pure cerulean fields on high, And arch'd the chambers of the vaulted sky, Which he, to suit their glory with their height, Adorn’d with globes, that reel, as drunk with
light. His hand directed all the tuneful spheres, He turn'd their orbs, and polish'd all the stars. He fill'd the Sun's vast lamp with golden light, And bid the silver Moon adorn the night.
He spread the airy Ocean without shores,
Till with the Spring's warm beams, almost relealt From the dull weight; with which it lay opprest, Its vigour spreads, and makes the teeming earth Heave
and labour with the sprouting birth: The active spirit freedom seeks in vain, It only works and twists a stronger chain. Urging its prifon's sides to break a way, It makes that wider, where 'tis forc'd to stay : Till, having form'd its living house, it rears Its head, and in a tender plant appears. Hence springs the oak, the beauty of the grove, Whose stately trunk fiercestorms can scarcely move. Hence grows the cedar, hence the swelling vine Does round the elm its purple cluster's twine. Hence painted flowers the siniling gardens bless, Both with their fragrant scent and gaudy dress. Hence the white lily in full beauty grows, Hence the blue violet, and blushing rose. He fung how sun-beams brood upon the earth, And in the glebe hatch such a numerous birth; Which way the genial warmth in Summer storms Turns putrid vapours to a bed of worms; How rain, transform'd by this prolifick power, Falls from the clouds an animated shower, He sung the embryo's growth within the womb, And how the parts their various shapes assume. With what rare art the wondrous structure's
wrought, From one crude mass to such perfection brought; That no part useless, none misplac'd we see, None are forgct, and more would monstrous be.”.