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What sound of brazen wheels, what thunder, scare,
And stun the reader with the din of war!
With fear my spirits and my blood retire,
To see the seraphs sunk in clouds of fire ;
But when, with eager steps, from hence I rise,
And view the first gay scenes of Paradise;
What tongue, what words of rapture can express
A vision so profuse of pleasantness!
Oh had the Poet ne'er profan'd his pen,
To varnish o'er the guilt of faithless men ;
His other works might have deserv'd applause!
But now the language can't support the cause ;
While the clean current, tho' serene and bright,
Betrays a bottom odious to the sight.
But now, my Muse, a softer strain rehearse,
Turn ev'ry line with art, and smooth thy verse;
The courtly Waller next commands thy lays :
Muse, tune thy verse, with art, to Waller's praiso.
While tender airs and lovely dames inspire
Soft melting thoughts, and propagate desire :
So long shall Waller’s strains our passion move
And Saccharissa's beauiy kindle love.
Thy verse, harmonious bard, and flattring song,
Can make the vanquish'd great, the coward strong,
Thy verse can show ev’n Cromwell's innocence,
And compliment the storm that bore hiin hence.
Oh had thy Muse not come an age too soon,
But seen great Nassau on the British throne!
How had his triumphs glitter'd in thy page,
And warm’d thee to a more exalted rage!
What scenes of death and horror had we view'd,
And how had Boyn's wide current reek'd in blood!
Or if Maria's charms thou wouldit rehearse,
In finoother numbers and a softer verse ;
Thy pen had well describ'd her graceful air,
And Gloriana wou'd have seem'd more fair.
Nor must Roscommon pass neglected by,. .
That makes e’en rules a noble poetry;
Rules whose deep sense and heav’nly numbers show
The best of critics, and of poets too.
Nor, Denham, must we e'er forget thy strains,
While Cooper's Hill commands the neighb’ring plains.
But see where artful Dryden next appears
Grown old in rhime, but charming ev’n in years.
Great Dryden next, whose tuneful Mufe affords
The sweetest numbers, and the fittest words.
Whether in comic sounds or tragic airs
She forms her voice, she moves our smiles or tears.
If satire or heroic strains she writes,
Her hero pleases, and her fatire bites.
From her no harsh unartful numbers fall,
She wears all dresses, and she charms in all.
How might we fear our English poetry,
That long has flourish'd, shou'd decay with thee;
Did not the Muses other hope appear,
Harmonious Congreve, and forbid our fear:
Congreve ! whose fancy's unexhausted store
Has given already much, and promis’d more.
Congreve shall still preserve thy fame alive,
And Dryden's Mufe shall in his friend survive.
I'm tir'd with rhiming, and wou'd fain give o'er,
But justice ftill demands one labour more:
The noble Montague remains unnam’d,
For wit, for humour, and for judgment fam'd;
To Dorfet he directs his artful Muse,
In numbers such as Dorset's self might use.
How negligently careful he unreins
His verse, and writes in loose familiar strains ;.
How Nassau's godlike acts adorn his lines,
And all the hero in full glory shines!
We see his army set in just array,
And Boyn's dy'd waves run purple to the sea.
Nor Simois chok'd with men, and arms, and blood;
Nor rapid Xanthus' celebrated flood,
Shall longer be the Poet's highest themes,
Tho’gods and heroes fought promiscuous in their streams.
But now, to Nassau's secret councils rais’d,
He aids the hero, whom before he prais’d.
I've done at length; and now, dear friend, receive The lait poor present that my Muse can give.' I leave the arts of poetry and verse To them that practise them with more success. Of greater truths I'll now prepare to tell, And so at once, dear friend and Muse, farewel.
Dal Signore GIUSEPPE ADDISON, l'Anno
MDCCI. In Versi Inglesi.
E TRADOTTA IN VERSI TOSCANI. *
Salve magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus,
Magna virûm ! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Aggredior, Sanctos ausus recludere fontes.
M ENTRE, Signor, l'ombre villesche attragonvi,
E di Britannia dagli ufici toltovi
Non piu, ch'a suoi ingrati figli piaccia
Per lor vantaggio, vofiro ozio immolate;
Me in esteri regni il fato invia
Entro genti feconde in carmi eterni,
U la dolce stagion, e'l vago clima
Fanno, che vostra quiete in versi io turbi.
* By the Abbot Anton. Maria Salvini Greek professor at Florence,