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TTTHEN I first thought of writing upon this
V occasion, I found the ideas so great and numerous, that I judged them more proper for the warmth of an ode, than for any other sort of poetry; I therefore fet HORACE before me for a pattern, and particularly his famous ode, the fourth of the fourth book,
Qualem ministrum fulminis alitem, &c.
which he wrote in praise of DRURŠUS after his ex. pedition into GERMANY, and of AUGUSTUS upon his happy choice of that general. And in the following poem, though I have endeavoured to imitate all the great strokes of that ode, I have taken the liberty to go off from it, and to add variously, as the fubject and my own imagination carried me. As to the style, the choice I made of following the ode in latin, determined me in English to the stanza ; and herein it was impoffible not to have a mind to
follow our great countryman SPENSER ; which I have done (as well as I could) in the manner of my expression, and the turn of my number ; having only : added one verfe to his stanza, which I thought made
the number more harmonious; and avoided such of his words, as I found too obsolere. I have however retained some few of them, to make the colour. ing look more like SPENSER'S. Behest, command ; band, army; prowess, strength ; I weet, I know ; I ween, I think; whilom, heretofore ; and two or three more of that kind, which I hope the ladies will pardon me, and not judge my muse less hand, fome, though for once the appears in a farthingale. I have also in SPENSER's manner, used Cæfar for the Emperor, Boya for Bavaria, Bavar for that • Prince, Iter for Danube, Iberia for Spain, &c.
That noble part of the ode which I just now, mentioned,
Gens, quae cremato fortis ab Ilio
· where Horace praises the Romans, as being des
scended from Æneas, I have turned to the honour of the BRITISH nation, descended from BŘUTE, · likewise a TROJAN. That this BRUTE, fourth or
fifth from Æneas, fettled in ENGLAND, and built LONDON, which he called Troja Nova or Troyno• vante, is a story which (I think) owes its original if not to GEOFFR'Y of Monmouth, at least to the Mon. kish writers, yet is not rejected by our great CAM
DEN, and is told by MILTON, as if (at leaft) ke was pleased with it; though possibly he does not believe it; however it carries a poetical authority, which is fufficient for our purpofe. It is as certain that BRUTE came into ENGLAND, as that AENEAS went into ITALY ; and upon the fuppofition of thefe facts, VIRGIL wrote the best poem that the world ever read, and SPENSER paid Queen ELITARBTI the greatest compliment.
I NEED not. obviate one piece of criticifm, that I bring my hero
From burning Troy, and Xanthus red with blood,
whereas he was not born, when that city was deAtroyed. VIRGIL in the case of his own AENEAS relating to Dido, will stand as a sufficient proof, that a man in his poetical capacity is not accountable for a little fault in chronology.
My two great examples, HORACE and SPENSER, in many things resemble cach other: both have a height of imagination, and a majesty of expreffion in describing the sublime; and both know how to temper those talents, and sweeten the description, so as to make it lovely as well as pom pous; both have equally that agreeable manner of mixing mo. rality with their story, and that curiosa felicitas in the choice of their diction, which every writer aims at, and fo very few have reached; both are particularly fine in their images, and knowing in their oum
ber. Leaving therefore our two masters to the confideration and study of those who design to excel in poetry, I only beg. leave to add, that it is long since I have (or at least ought to have) quitted PARNASO SUS, and all the flowery roads on that side of the country; though I thought myself indispensably: obliged, upon the present occalion, to take a little journey into those parts.