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ample, to the great improvement of the English Ode. There is certainly a pleasure in beholding any thing that has art and difficulty in the contrivance ; especially, if it appears so carefully executed, that the difficulty does not shew itself, till it is sought for ; and that the feeming easiness of the work, first sets us upon the enquiry. Nothing can be called beautiful without proportion. When symmetry and harmony are wanting, neither the eye nor the ear can be pleased. Therefore certainly poetry, which includes painting and music, should not be destitute of them ; and of all poetry, especially the Ode, whose end and essence is harmony.
Mr. Cowley, in his Preface to his Pindaric Odes, speaking of the music of numbers, says, “ which some. “ times (cfpecially in Songs and Odes) almost without
any thing else makes an excellent poet.”
Having mentioned Mr. Cowley, it may very well be expected, that something should be faid of him, at a time when the imitation of Pindar is the theme of our discourse. But there is that great deference due to the memory, great parts, and learning of that gentleman, that I think nothing should be objected to the latitude he has taken in his Pindaric Odes. The beauty of his verses, are an atonement for the irregularity of his stanzas; and though he did not imitate Pindar in the ftriétness of his numbers, he has very often happily copied him in the force of his figures, and sublimity of his stile and sentiments.
Yet I must beg leave to add, that I believe those irre. gular Odes of Mr. Cowley may have been the princi
pal, though innocent occasion, of so many deformed poems fince, which, instead of being true pictures of Pindar, have (to use the Italian painters term) been only caricatures of him, resemblances that for the most part have been either horrid or ridiculous.
For my own part, I frankly own my error, in having heretofore miscalled a few irregular stanzas a Pindaric Ode; and possibly, if others, who have been under the fame mistake, would ingenuously confess the truth, they might own, that, never having consulted Pindar himself, they took all his irregularity upon trust; and finding their account in the great ease with which they could produce Odes without being obliged either to nieasure or design, remained fatisfied; and it
be, were not altogether unwilling to neglect being undeceived.
Though there be little (if any thing) left of Orpheus but his name, yet if Pausanias was well informed, we may be assured, that brevity was a beauty which he moft industriously laboured to preserve in his Hymns, notwithstanding, as the same author reports, that they were but few in numbor.
The shortnefs of the following Ode will, I hope, aone for the length of the Preface, and in some meafure for the defects which may be found in it. It confifts of the fame number of stanzas with that beautiful Ode of Pindar, which is the first of his Pythics ; and though I was unable to imitate him in any other beauty, I resolved to endeavour to copy his brevity, and take the advantage of a remark he has made in the
laft Strophé of the same Ode; which take in the para-
“ Qui multa paucis ftringere commode
1. DAUGHTER of Memory, immortal Muse,
Calliope ; what poet wilt thou chuse,
Of Anna's name to sing?
Thy lyre, thy voice, and tuneful art ;
Striving to rise in vain :
To celebrate bright Virtue's praise.
And next Alcides' guardian arm,
That harp which on Cyllene's shady hill,
With more than mortal skill
By sweet persuasion won,
Latona's son, to thine
Indulgent, gave the gift divine :
Who sings of Anna's name.
Witness sweet Spenser's lays :
As Spenser sweet, as Milton strong,
With golden towers thy front adorn ;
With chearful ray the ruddy morn. Thy
Thy lovely form, and fresh-reviving state,
Then, bless thy better fate,
Arm’d troops and hoftile bands
Thy happier clime is free,
Fair Capital of Liberty !
His foaming billoivs beat;
And tumults of a world in wars,
Thus Anna’s mighty mind,
And moy'd with forrows not her own,