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The father, now, within his spacious hands, Encompass’d all the mingled mass of seas and
lands; And, having heav'd aloft the ponderous sphere, He launch'd the world to float in ambient air.
Of his irregular poems, that to Mrs. Arabella Hunt seems to be the best: his ode for Cecilia's Day, however, has some lines which Pope had in his mind when he wrote
His Imitations of Horace are feebly paraphrastical, and the additions which he makes are of little value. He sometimes retains what were more properly omitted, as when he talks of vervain and gums to propitiate
Of his Translations, the fatire of Juvenal was written very early, and may therefore be forgiven, though it have not the massynefs and vigour of the original. In all his versions strength and sprightliness are wanting: his Hymn to Venus, from Homer, is perhaps the best. His lines are weakened with expletives, and his rhymes are frequently
His petty poems are seldom worth thie cost of criticism: sometimes the thoughts are false, and sometimes common. In his verses on lady Gethin, the latter part is an imitation of Dryden's ode on Mrs. Killigrew; and Doris, that has been so lavishly flattered by Steele, has indeed some lively stanzas, but the expression might bé mended; and the most striking part of the character had been already shewn in Love for Love. His Art of Pleasing is founded on a vulgar but perhaps impracticable principle, and the staleness of the sense is not concealed by any novelty of illustration or elegance of diction.
This tissue of poetry, from which he seems to have hoped a lasting name, is totally neglected, and known only as it is appended to his plays.
While comedy or while tragedy is regarded, his plays are likely to be read; but, except what relates to the stage, I know not that he has ever written a stanza that is sung, or a couplet that is quoted. The general character of his Miscellanies is, that they shew little wit, and little virtue.
Yet to him it must be confessed that we are indebted for the correction of a national error, and the cure of our Pindarick madness. He first taught the English writers that Pindar's odes were regular; and though certainly he had not the fire requisite for the higher species of lyrick poetry, he has thewn us that enthusiasm has its rules, and that in mere confufion there is neither grace nor greatness,