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Loaded and bleft with all the affluent store,
WHILE thus the constant pair alternate faid,
The Queen of Beauty ftopt her bridled doves;
Now, Mars, she said, let Fame exalt her voice :
The swift-wing'd power, shall take her trump again,
Renown'd for truth, let all thy sons appear.;
Mars (mild, and bow'd: the Cyprian Deity
“ Te non paventis funera Galliæ,
Compositis venerantur armis."
E FACE. W IEN I first thought of writing upon this occa
fion, I found the ideas so great and numerous: that I judged them more proper for the warmth of a Ode, than for any other sort of poetry: I therefore let Horace before me for a pattern, and particularly his! famous ode, the fourth of the fourth book,
Qualem ministrun fulminis alitem, &c.” which he wrote in praise of Drusus after his expedi:ion 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 subject and my own imaginarion 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 impossible not to have a mind to follow our great countryman Spenser ; which I have done (as well at least as I could) in the manner öf my expression, and the turn of my number : having only added one verse to his stanza, which I thought made the number more harmonious; and avoided such of his words as I found too obsolete. I have however retained some few of them, to make the colouring look ' more like Spenser's. Bebeft, 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 lefs handsome, though for once she appears in a farthingale. I have also, in Spenser's manper, used Cæsar for the emperor, Boya for Bavaria, Bavar for that prince, Ifter for Danube, Iberia for Spain, &c. That noble
of the Ode which I just now men, rioned,
“ Gens, quæ cremato fortis ab Ilio
“ Jactata Tuscis æquoribus, &c." where Horace praifes the Romans as being descended from Æneas, I have turned to the honour of the Brirish nation, descended froin Brute, likewise a Trojan. That this Brute, fourth or fifth from Æneas, settled in
England, and built London, which is called Troja Nova, or Troynovante, is a story which (I think) owes its original, if not to Geoffry of Monmouth, at least to the Monkish writers; yet is not rejected by our great Camden ; and is told by Milton, as if (at least) he was pleased with it, though poslibly he does not believe it : however it carries a poetical authority, which is sufficient for our purpose. It is as certain that Brute came into England, as that Æneas went into Italy; and upon the supposition of these facts, Virgil wrote the best poem that the world ever read, and Spenser paid queen Elizabeth the greatest compliment.
I need not obviate one piece of criticism, that I bring
“ From burning Troy, and Xanthus red with blood ?" whereas he was not born, when that city was destroyed. Virgil, in the case of his own Æneas relating to Dido, will stand as a sufficient proof, that a man in his poctical capacity is not accountable for a little fault in chronology.
My two great examples, Horace and Spenser, in many things resemble each other : both have a height of imagination, and a majesty of expresion in describing the subliine; and both know to teinper those talents, and sweeten the description, so as to make it lovely as well as pompous : both have equally that agrecable manner of mixing morality with their story, and that Curiosa Felicitas in the choice of their di&ion, which every writer aims at, and so very few have