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And all like the creation by a word was bred. He was a poet that could speak least truth: So great a verse is thine, which though it will not Sober and grave men scorn'd the name,
Marble monnments to thy praise; [raise Which once was thought the greatest fame. Yet 'tis no matter, cities they must fall,
Poets had nought else of Apollo, but his youth: And houses, by the greatest glutton Time be eaten Few ever spake in rhyme, but that their feet
But thy verse builds a fame for thee, Call : The trencher of some liberal man might mcet. Which fire cannot devour, nor purify,
Or else they did some rotten mistress paint, Which sword and thunder doth defy,
Call her their goddess, or their saint. As round, as full, as the great circle of eternity. Though contrary in this they to their master run,
For the great god of wit, the Sun, [Moon, To thee the English tongue doth owe,
When he doth show his mistress, the white That it need not seek
He makes her spots, as well as beauty to be For elegancy from the round-mouth'd Greek;
shown. To thee, that Roman poets now may hide, Till now the sisters were too old, and therefore In their own Latium, their head:
Extremely fabulous too:
[grew To thee, that our enlarged speech can show, Till you, sir, came, they were despis'd; Far more than the three western daughters born They were all heathens yet,
Out of the ashes of the Roman urn: [init Nor ever into the church could get; Daughters born of a mother, which did yield to ad- And though they bad a font so long, yet never The adulterate seed of several tongues with it;
were baptis'd. More than the smooth Italian, though Nature gave That tongue in poetry a genius to have,
You, sir, have rais'd the price of wit, And that she might the better fit it to't,
By bringing in more store of it: Made the very land a foot:
Poetry, the queen of arts, can now More than the Spanish, though that in one Reign without dissembling too.
You've sbown a poet must not needs be bad; The Moorish, Jewish, Gothish treasures has,
That one may be Apollo's priest, And just as in their kingdom, in their tongue, And be fill'd with his oracles, without being mad: Most quarters of the Earth together throng: Till now, wit was a curse (as to Lot's wife More than the courtly French, though that doth 'Twas to be turn'd to salt) And not trot o'er the tongue its race: (pace,
Because it made men lead a life That has not any thing, so elaborate wit; [it. Which was nought else but one continual fault. Though it by its sliding seems to have more oil in You first the Muses to the Christians brought, Thy soul hath gone through all the Muses' And you then first the holy language taught: track;
In you good poetry and divinity meet, Where never poets feet were seen before,
You are the first bird of Paradise with feet. Hath pass'd those sands where others left their wrecks,
Your miscellanies do appear And saild an ocean through, which some thought Just such another glorious indigested heap had no shore.
As the first mass was, where Thy spirit has discover'd all poetry;
All Heavens and stars enclosed were, Thou found'st no tropics in the poets sky. Before they each one to their place did leap. More than the Sun can do, hast brought a sacred Before God, the great censor, them bestow'd, flower
According to their ranks, in several tribes abroad; To Mount Parnassus; and hast open'd to our Whilst yet Sun and Moon hand
Were in perpetual conjunction :
Whilst all the stars were but one milky way, Which yet hid in the frigid zone did lie.
And in natural embraces lay. Thou hast sail'd the Muses' globes,
Whilst yet none of the lamps of Heaven might Not as the other Drake, or Ca'ndish did, to rob. Call this their own, and that another's light. Thou hast brought home the treasure too,
So glorious a lump as thine, Which yet no Spaniard can claim his due: Which chymistry may separate, but not refine:
Thou hast search'd through every creek, So mixt, so pure, so united does it shine,
Thy mistress shows, that Cupid is not always Which was last known, and has most gold in it.
Such songs tune angels when they love,
(For angels need not scorn such soft desires, For none hereafter will go contrary to you. Seeing thy heart is touch'd with the saine fires),
So when they clothe themselves in fiesh, Poets till now descrv'd excuse, not praise, And their light some human shapes do dress Till now the Muses liv'd in taverns, and the bays (For which they fetch'd stuff from the neighbouring That they were truly trees did show,
air): Because by sucking liquor they did only grow So when they stoop, to like some mortal fair, Verses were counted fiction, and a lye
Such words, such odes as thine they use, The very nature of good poetry.
With such soft straips, love into her heart iufuse.
Thy lóve is on the top, if not above mortality; More majesty; a greater soul is given to him, by Clean, and from corruption free,
you, Such as affections in eternity shall be;
Than ever he in happy Thebes of Greece could Which shall remain unspotted there,
shew. Only to show what once they were: Thy Cupid's shafts all golden are;
Thy David, too-
None but the priest himself doth use
Into the holiest place to go.
Which makes thy pen too much to sweat; Doth seem so great, as those that do fly loyer.
'Tis but an infant yet, Thou stand'st on Pindar's back;
And just now left the teat,
Therefore it is not fit
That it should dare to speak so much at first. And made him live again.
No more, no more, for shame, Pindar has left his barbarous Greece, and thinks Let not thy verse be, as his worth is, infinite: it just
It is enough that thou hast learn'd, and spoke thy To be led by thee to the English shore;
father's name. An honour to him : Alexander did no more,
He that thinks, sir, he can enough praise you, Nor scarce so much, when he did save his house Had need of brazen lungs and forehead too.
When his word did assuage [before,
ON A PIGMY'S DEATH.
BESTRIDE an ant, a Pigmy, great and tall, But thou hast made him once again to live; Was thrown, alas! and got a dreadful fall; Thou didst to him new life and breathing give. Under th' unruly bea t's proud feet he lies, And, as in the last resurrection,
All torn; but yet with generous ardour cries, Thou hast made him rise more glorious, and put “ Behold, base, envious world! now, now laugh on,
For thus 1 fall, and thus fell Phaëton!"
LIFE OF HALIFAX.
BY DR. JOHNSON.
The life of the earl of Halifax was properly that of an artful and active statesman, employed in balancing parties, contriving expedients, and combating opposition, and exposed to the vicissitudes of advancement and degradation; but, in this collection, poetical merit is the claim to attention: and the account which is here to be expected may properly be proportioned not to his influence in the state, but to his rank among the writers of verse.
CHARLES MONTAGUE was born April 16, 1661, at Horton in Northamptonshire, the son of Mr. George Montague, a younger son of the earl of Manchester. He was educated first in the country, and then removed to Westminster, where, in 1677, he was chosen a king's scholar, and recommended himself to Busby by his felicity in extemporary epigrams. He contracted a very intimate friendship with Mr. Stepney; and, in 1682, when Stepney was elected at Cambridge, the election of Montague being not to proceed till the year following, he was afraid lest by being placed at Oxford he might be separated from his companion, and therefore solicited to be removed to Cambridge, without waiting for the advantages of another year.
It seems indeed time to wish for a removal; for he was already a school-boy of one-and-twenty.
His relation, Dr. Montague, was then master of the college in which he was placed a fellow-commoner, and took him under his particular care. Here he commenced an acquaintance with the great Newton, which continued through his life, and was at last attested by a legacy
In 1685, his verses on the death of king Charles made such an impression on the earl of Dorset, that he was invited to town, and introduced by that universal patron to the other wits. In 1687, he joined with Prior in The City Mouse and the Country Mouse, a burlesque of Dryden's Hind and Panther. He signed the invitation to the prince of Orange, and sat in the convention. He about the same time married the countess dowager of Manchester, and intended to have taken orders ; but afterwards altering his purpose, he purchased for 1500l. the place of one of the clerks of the council.