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Nay, fly to altars; there they'll talk you dead; 626
630 And never shock'd, and never turn'd afide, Bursts out, resistless, with a thund'ring tide.
But where's the man, who counsel can bestow,
Such once were Critics; such the happy few, 645 Athens and Rome in better ages knew. The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore, Spread all his fails, and durft the deeps explore ; He steer'd securely, and discover'd far, Led by the light of the Mæonian Star.
Horace still charms with graceful negligence,
Our Critics take a contrary extreme,
See Dionyfius * Homer's thoughts refine,
Fancy and art in gay Petronius meet,
In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find
Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine inspire,
Thus long succeeding Critics justly reign’d,
At length Erasınus, that great, injur'd name,
* Dionycus of Halicarnaffus
But see ! each Muse, in Leo's golden days, Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bäys! 700 Rome's ancient Genius, o'er its ruins spread, Shakes off the duft, and rears his rev’rend head. Then Sculpture and her fifter-arts revive; Stones leap'd to forin, and rocks began to live ; With tweeter notes each rising Temple rung; 705 A Raphael painted, and a * Vida sung. Immortal Vida! on whose honour'd brow The Poet's bays and Critic's ivy grow : Cremona now shall ever boast thy name, As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!
710 But soon by impious arms from Latium chas'd, Their ancient bounds the banish'd Muses país'd; Thence arts o'er all the northern world advance ; But critic learning flourish'd most in France : The rules, a nation born to serve, obeys;
715 And Boileau still in right of Horace sways. But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis'd, And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd, Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold, We still defy'd the Romans, as of old.
720 Yet some there were among the founder few Of those who less presum'd, and better knew, Who durft assert the juster ancient cause, And here restor'd Wit's fundamental laws. Such was the Muse, whose rules and practice tell, 725 Nature's † chief Master-piece is writing well. Such was Roscommon-not more learn'd than good, With manners gen'rous as his noble blood; To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known, And ev'ry author's mcrit but his own.
730 Such late was Walsh,—the Muse's judge and friend, Who justly knew to blame or to commend;
M. Hieronymus Vida, an excellent Latin Poet, who writ an Art of Poetry in verse. He four Med in the time of Leo X. † Essay on Poetry, by the Duke of Buckingham.