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Our learned Coke, from whom we scribblers draw
All the wise Dictums of poetic law,
Lays down this truth, from whence my maxim

follows, (See Horace, Ode Dec. Sext.--the case Apollo's) “ The God of Verse disclaims a plodding wretch, Nor keeps his bow for ever on the stretch."

However great my thirst of honest fame, I bow with rev'rence to each letter'd name ; To worth, where'er it be, with joy submit,, But own no curst monopolies of wit. Nor think, my friend, if I but rarely quote, And little reading shines through what I've wrote, 'That I bid peace to ev'ry learned shelf, Because I dare form judgments for myself. -Oh! were it mine, with happy skill to look Up to the one, the UNIVERSAL Book ! Open to all—to him, to me, to you, -For NATURE's

open in the general view Then would I scorn the antients' vaunted store, And boast my thefts, where they but robb'd before.

Mean while with them, while Grecian sounds

impart Th' eternal passions of the human heart,

Bursting the bonds of ease and lazy rest,
I feel the flame mount active in my breast;
Or when, with joy, I turn the Roman page,
I live, in fancy, in th' AUGUSTAN age !
Till some dull Bavius' or a Mævius' name,
Damn'd by the Muse to everlasting fame,
Forbids the mind in foreign climes to roam,
And brings me back to our own fools at home.

TO * * * *

About to publish a Volume of Miscellanies.

WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1755.

SINCE now, all scruples cast away,
Your works are rising into day,
Forgive, though I presume to send
This honest counsel of a friend.

Let not your verse, as verse now goes,
Be a strange kind of measur'd prose;
Nor let your prose, which sure is worse,
Want nought but measure to be verse.
Write from your own imagination,
Nor curb your Muse by Imitation :
For copies shew, howe'er exprest,
A barren genius at the best.
-But Imitation's all the modem
Yet where one hits, ten miss the road.

The mimic bard with pleasure sees Mat. Prior's unaffected ease :

Assumes his style, affects a story,
Sets
every

circumstance before ye,
The day, the hour, the name, the dwelling,
And mars a curious, tale in telling:
Observes how easy Prior flows,
Then runs his numbers down to prose.

Others have sought the filthy stews To find a dirty slip-shod Muse. Their groping genius, while it rakes The bogs, the common-sew'rs, and jakes, Ordure and filth in rhyme exposes, Disgustful to our eyes and noses ; With many a dash—that must offend us, And much

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* Hiatus non deflendus. O Swift! how would'st thou blush to see, Such are the bards who

copy

Thee?

This Milton for his plan will chuse:
Wherein resembling Milton's Muse ?
Milton, like thunder, rolls along
In all the majesty of song;
While his low mimics meanly creep,
Not quite awake, nor quite asleep;

Or, if their thunder chance to roll,
"Tis thunder of the mustard bowl.
The stiff expression, phrases strange,
The epithet's preposterous change;
Forc'd numbers, rough and unpolite,
Such as the judging ear affright,
Stop in mid verse. . , Ye mimics vile!
Is't thus ye copy Milton's style ?
His faults religiously you trace,
But borrow not a single gráce.

How few, (say, whence can it proceed ?) Who copy Milton, e'er succeed ! But all their labours are in vain : And wherefore so ?-The reason's plain. Take it for granted, 'tis by those Milton's the model mostly chose, Who can't write verse, and won't write prose.

Others, who aim at fancy, chuse
To woo the gentle Spenser's Muse.
This poet fixes for his theme
An allegory, or a dream ;
Fiction and truth together joins
Through a long waste of flimsy lines;
Fondly believes his fancy glows,
And image upon image grows;.

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