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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 possibly 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 my hero
“ 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 poeti. cal 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 expression in defcribing the sublinie; and both know to temper those ta lents, and sweeten the description, so as to make it lovely as 'well as pompous: both have equally that agreeable manner of mixing morality with their story, and that Curiosa Felicitas in the choice of their diction, which every writer aims at, and so very few have
reached : both are particularly fine in their images, and knowing in their numbers. Leaving therefore our two masters to the confideration and study of those who de. fign to excel in poetry, I only beg leave to add, that it is long since I have (or at least ought to have) quitted Parnassus, and all the flowery roads on that fide the country; though I thought myself indispensably obliged, upon the present occasion, to take a little journey into those parts.
W HEN great Auguftus govern'd ancient Rome,
And sent his conquering bands to foreign wars ;
Abroad when dreaded, and belov'd at home,
He saw his fame increasing with his years ;
Horace, great bard! (so Fate ordain'd) arose,
And, bold as were his countrymen in fight,
Snatch'd their fair actions from degrading prose,
And set their battles in eternal light :
High as their trumpets tune his lyre he strung,
And with his prince's arms he moraliz'd his song:
When bright Eliza rul'd Britannia’s state,
Widely distributing her high commands,
And boldly wise, and fortunately great,
Freed the glad nations from tyrannic bands ;
An equal genius was in Spenser found ;
To the high theme he match'd his noble lays:
He travelld England o'er on fairy ground,
In mystic notes to sing his monarch's praise :
Reciting wondrous truths in pleasing dreams,
He deck'd Eliza's head with Gloriana's beams.
But, greatest Anna! while thy arms pursue
Paths of renown, and climb ascents of fame,
Which nor Augustus, nor Eliza knew;
What poet shall be found to sing thy name?
What numbers shall record, what tongue shall say,
Thy wars on land, thy triumphs on the main ?
O faireft model of imperial sway!
What equal pen shall write thy wondrous reign ?
Who shall attempts and feats of arms rehearse,
Nor yet by story told, nor paralleld by verse ?
Me all too mean for such a task I weet :
Yet, if the Sovereign Lady deigns to smile,
I'll follow Horace with impetuous heat,
And clothe the verse in Spenser's native style.
By these examples rightly taught to fing,
And smit with pleasure of my country's praise,
Stretching the plumes of an uncommon wing,
High as Olympus I my flight will raise ;
And latest times shall in my numbers read
Anna's immortal fame, and Marlborough's hardy deed.
As the strong eagle in the silent wood, Mindless of warlike rage and hostile care, Plays round the rocky cliff or crystal food, Till by Jove's high behests call'd out to war, And charg'd with thunder of his angry king, His bosom with the vengeful message glows ; Upward the noble bird directs his wing, And, towering round his master's earth-born foes, Swift he collects his fatal stock of ire, Lifts his fierce talon high, and darts the forked fire.
Sedate and calm thus victor Marlborough fate,
Shaded with laurels, in his native land,
Till Anna calls him from his soft retreat,
And gives her second thunder to his hand.
Then, leaving sweet repose and gentle ease,
With ardent speed he seeks the distant foe;
Marching o'er hills and vales, o'er rocks and seas,
He meditates, and strikes the wondrous blow.
Our thought flies Nower than our General's fame :
Grasps he the bolt ? we ask-when he has hurl'd the
When fierce Bavar on Judoign's spacious plain
Did from afar the British chief behold,
Betwixt despair, and rage, and hope, and pain,
Something within his warring bosom rollid:
He views that favourite of indulgent Fame,
Whom whilom he had met on Ister's shore ;
Too well, alas ! the man he knows the same,
Whose prowess there repell’d the Boyan power,
And sent them trembling through the frighted lands,
Swift as the whirlwind drives Arabia's scatter'd fands.
His former losses he forgets to grieve :
Abfolves his fate, if with a kinder ray
It now would shine, and only give him leave.
To balance the account of Blenheim's day.
So the fell lion in the lonely glade,
His side still smarting with the hunter's spear,
Though deeply wounded, no way yet dismay'd,
Roars terrible, and meditates new war;
In sullen fury traverses the plain,
To find the venturous foe, and battle him again.
Misguided prince, no longer urge thy fate,
Nor tempt the hero to unequal war; . .
Fam'd in misfortune, and in ruin great,
Confess the force of Marlborough’s stronger star. ;
Those laurel groves (the merits of thy youth),
Which thou from Mahomet didst greatly gain,
While, bold affertor of refiftless truth,
Thy sword did godlike liberty maintain,
Muft from thy brow their falling honours shed,
And their transplanted wreaths must deck a worthier