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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 them 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 fo 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 neede ed it so much in his Moral Essays.
In his descriptions, both of life and nåture, the post- and the philosopher happily co-opea
rate; truth is recommended by elegance, and elegance fustained by truth.
In the structure and order of the poem, not only the greater parts are properly consecutive, 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 insert, as a specimen from Prince Arthur, the fong of Mopas mentioned by Molineux.
But that which Arthur with moft pleafure
Were noble ftrains, by Mopas fung the bard,
Who to his harp in lofty verse began,
And through the secret maze of Nature ran.
He the great Spirit fung, that all things fillid,
That the tumultuous waves of Chaos still'd;
Whose nod dispos’d the jarring seeds to peace,
And made the wars of hoftile 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
His hand directed all the tuneful fpheres,
He turn’d their orbs, and polish'd all the stars.
He fill'd the Sun's vaft lamp with golden light,
And bid the silver Moon adorn the night.
He spread the airy Ocean without shores,
Where birds are wafted with their feather'd oars.
Then fung the bard how the light vapours rise
From the warm carth, and cloud the smiling skies.
He sung how some, chill'd in their airy flight,
Fall scatter'd down in pearly dew by night.
How some, rais'd higher, fit in secret fteams
On the reflected points of bounding beams;
Till, chill?d with cold, they shade th' etherial plain,
Then on the thirsty earth descend în rain.
How some, whose parts a flight contexture show,
Sink hovering through the air, in fleecy snow.
How part is spun in filken threads, and clings
Entangled in the grass in glewy strings.
How others ftamp to stones, with rushing found
Fall from their crystal quarries to the ground.
How soine are laid in trains, that kindled fly
In harmless fires by night, about the sky.
How some in winds blow with impetuous force,
And carry ruin where they bend their course:
While some conspire to form a gentle breeze,
To fan the air, and play among the trees.
How some, enrag?d, grow turbulent and loud,
Pent in the bowels of a frowning cloud;
That cracks, as if the axis of the world
Was broke, and heaven's bright towers were
He sung how earth’s wide ball, at Jove's command,
Did in the midst on airy columns stand.
And how the soul of plants, in prison held,
And bound with Nuggish fetters, lies concealid,
Till with the Spring's warm beams, almost releast
From the dull weight, with which it lay opprest;
Its vigour spreads, and makes the teeming earth
Heave up, and labour with the sprouting birth:
The active spirit freedom seeks in vain,
It only works and twists a stronger chain.
Urging its prison'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 moves
Hence grows the cedar, hence the swelling vine
Does round the elm its purple clusters twine.
Hence painted flowers the smiling gardens bless,
Bath 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 affume.
With what rare art the wondrous structure's
From one crude mäss to such perfection brought ;
That no pare useless, none misplac'd we see,
Nóne are forgót, and more would monftrods be"