Obrázky stránek

What found of brazen wheels, what thunder, scare,
And ftun the reader with the din of war!
With fear my fpirits and my blood retire,
To fee the feraphs funk in clouds of fire;
But when, with eager steps, from hence I rife,
And view the first gay fcenes of Paradife;

What tongue, what words of rapture can exprefs
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 fupport the cause ;
While the clean current, tho' ferene and bright,
Betrays a bottom odious to the fight.

But now, my Muse, a fofter strain rehearse,
Turn ev'ry line with art, and fmooth thy verfe;
The courtly Waller next commands thy lays :
Mufe, tune thy verfe, with art, to Waller's praifo.
While tender airs and lovely dames inspire
Soft melting thoughts, and propagate defire :
So long fhall Waller's strains our paffion move
And Sacchariffa's beauty kindle love.

Thy verfe, harmonious bard, and flatt'ring fong,
Can make the vanquish'd great, the coward ftrong,
Thy verfe can fhow ev'n Cromwell's innocence,
And compliment the ftorm that bore him hence.


Oh had thy Muse not come an age too soon,
But feen great Naffau 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 wouldst rehearse,
In fmoother numbers and a fofter verfe;
Thy pen had well defcrib'd her graceful air,
And Gloriana wou'd have feem'd more fair.
Nor muft Rofcommon pafs neglected by,
That makes e'en rules a noble poetry;

Rules whofe deep fenfe and heav'nly numbers fhow
The beft of critics, and of

poets too.

Nor, Denham, muft we e'er forget thy ftrains,
While Cooper's Hill commands the neighb'ring plains.
But fee where artful Dryden next appears
Grown old in rhime, but charming ev'n in years.
Great Dryden next, whofe tuneful Mufe affords
The fweeteft numbers, and the fittest words.
Whether in comic founds or tragic airs

She forms her voice, fhe moves our smiles or tears.
If fatire or heroic ftrains fhe writes,

Her hero pleases, and her fatire bites.

From her no harsh unartful numbers fall,
She wears all dreffes, and fhe charms in all.


How might we fear our English poetry,
That long has flourish'd, fhou'd decay with thee;
Did not the Mufes other hope appear,
Harmonious Congreve, and forbid our fear:
Congreve! whofe fancy's unexhausted store
Has given already much, and promis'd more.
Congreve shall still preserve thy fame alive,
And Dryden's Mufe fhall in his friend furvive.

I'm tir'd with rhiming, and wou'd fain give o'er,
But juftice 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 fuch as Dorfet's felf might use.
How negligently careful he unreins

His verfe, and writes in loose familiar ftrains;
How Naffau's godlike acts adorn his lines,
And all the hero in full glory fhines!

We fee his army fet in just array,

And Boyn's dy'd waves run purple to the fea.

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 promifcuous in their streams.
But now, to Naffau's fecret councils rais'd,
He aids the hero, whom before he prais'd.


I've done at length; and now, dear friend, receive The last poor present that my Mufe can give. I leave the arts of poetry and verse

To them that practise them with more fuccefs.
Of greater truths I'll now prepare to tell,
And fo at once, dear friend and Mufe, farewel.





Dal Signore GIUSEPPE ADDISON, l'Anno MDCCI. In Verfi Inglesi.


Salve magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus,
Magna virum! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Aggredior, fanctos aufus recludere fontes.

ENTRE, Signor, l'ombre villefche attragonvi,
E di Britannia dagli ufici toltovi

Non piu, ch' a fuoi ingrati figli piaccia
Per lor vantaggio, voftro ozio immolate;
Me in efteri regni il fato invia
Entro genti feconde in carmi eterni,

U la dolce ftagion, e'l vago clima

Fanno, che voftra quiete in verfi io turbi.

*By the Abbot Anton, Maria Salvini Greek profeffor at Flerence.


« PředchozíPokračovat »