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No longer now thy Altars blaze,
No Poet offers up his Lays;
Inspir'd with Energy divine,
To worship at thy sacred Shrine.
Since TASTE * with absolute Domain,
Extending wide her leaden Reign,

Kills with her melancholy Shade,
The blooming Scyons of fair Fancy's Tree ;

Which erst full wantonly have stray'd,
In many a Wreath of richest Poesie.

For when the Oak denies her Ştay, The creeping Ivy winds her humble Way;

No more she twists her Branches round,
But drags her feeble Stem along the barren Ground.

Where then shall exil'd Genius go?
Since only those the Laurel claim,
And boast them of the Poet's Name,

Whose fober Rimes in even Tenour flow; Who prey on Words, and all their Flowrets cull, Coldly correct, and regularly dull.

Why sleep the Sons of Genius now?
Why Wartons rests the Lyre unstrung?

I And thou, bleft Bard! around whose sacred Great Pindar's delegated Wreath is hung; [Brow,

Arise, and snatch the Majesty of Song, From Dullness' servile Tribe, and Arts unhallow'd


* By TASTE, is here meant the modern Affectation of it.

The spirited and truly poetical Dr. Akenside.

T R A N.






UCH is our Pride, our Folly, or our Fate,
That few, but such who cannot write, trans:

So Denham sung, who well the Labour knew;
And an Age past has left the Maxim true.
Wit as of old, a proud imperious Lord,

Disdains the Plenty of another's Board ;
And haughty Genius seeks, like Philip's Son,
Paths never trod before, and Worlds unknown.
Unaw'd by these, whilft Hands impure dispense
The sacred Streains of ancient Elcquence,
Pedants assume the Talk for Scholars fit,
And Blockheads rise Interpreters of Wit.

In the fair Field th' vet'ran Armies stand, A firm, unconquer’d, formidable Band, When lo! Translation comes and levels all-; 15 By vulgar Hands the bravest Heroes fall. On Eagle's Wings see lofty Pindar foar ; Cowley attacks, and Pindar is no more.


LINE 18. Cowley attacks, &c. Nothing can be more contemptible than the Translations and Imitations of Pindar done by Cowley, which yet have had their Admirers.

O'er Tibur's Swan the Muses wept in vain,
And mourn'd their Bard by cruel Dunster flain. 20
By Ogilby and Trap great Maro fell,
And Homer dy'd by Chapman and Ozell.

In blest Arabia's Plains unfading blow
Flow’rs ever fragant, Fruits immortal grow-
To Northern Climes th’unwilling Guests convey, 25
The Fruit shall wither, and the Flow'r decay ;
Ev'n so when here the Sweets of Athens come,
Or the fair Produce of imperial Rome,
They pine and ficken in th’ unfriendly Shade,
Their Roses droop, and all their Laurels fade. 30

The modern Critic, whose unletter'd Pride, Big with itself, contełnns the World beside, If haply told that Terence once could charm, Each feeling Heart that Sophocles cou'd warm, Scours ev'ry Stall for Eachard's dirty Page, 35 Or pores in Adams for th' Athenian Stage ; With Joy he reads the servile Mimics o'er, Pleas'd to discover what he guess'd before ;

LINE 20. See Horace's Epistles, Satires, and Art of Poetry, done into English by S. Dunster, D. D. Prebendary of Sarum.

LINE 21, 22. See their Translations of Homer and Virgil.

Line 31. The modern Critic, &c. Les belles traductions (says Boileau) sont des preuves sans replique en faveur des anciens, qu'on leur donne les Racines pout interpretes, & ils scauront plaire aujourdhui comme autrefois. Certain it is, that the Contempt, in which the Ancients are held by the illiterate Wits of the present Age, is in a great Measure owing to the Number of bad Tranflations.

LINE 36. See Adams's Prose Translation of Sophocles,


Concludes that Attic Wit's extremely low;
And gives up Greece to Wotton and Perrault.

40 - Our shallow Language, shallow'r Judges say, Can ne'er the Force of ancient Sense convey.

As well might Vanbrugh ev'ry Stone revile, That swells enormous Blenheim's awkward Pile ; The guiltless Pen as well might Mauro blame, 45 For writing ill, and fullying Arthur's Fame; Successless Lovers blait the Maid they wood, As these a Tongue they never understood;

That Tongue which gaveimmortal Shakespeare Fame, Which boasts a Prior's, and a Thomson's Name; 50 Graceful and chaíte which flows in Addison, With native Charms, and Vigour all its own; In Bolinbroke and Swift, whose Beauties shine, In Rowe's soft Numbers, Jonson’s nervous Lines Dryden's free Vein, and Milton's Work divine.

But, such, alas ! disdain to borrow Fame, 55 Or live like Dulness in another's Name; And hence the Task for noblest Souls design'd, Giv'n to the Weak, the Tastelefs, and the Blind; To fome low Wretch, who, prostitute for Pay, Lets out to Curll the Labours of the Day, 60 Careless who hurries o'er th' unblotted Line, Impatient still to finish, and to dine ;

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LINE 39. Extremely low. A favourite Coffeehouse Phrase.

Wotton and Perrault. See Wotton's Discourse on ancient and modern Learning, and Perrault's Defence of his Siecle de Louis XIV.

LINE 46. Arthur's Fame. See Blackmore's King Arthur, an Heroic Poem.

LINE 6o. To Curll, &c. Most of the bad Translations, which we have of eminent Authors, were done by Garreteers under the Inspection of this Gentleman, who paid them by the Sheet for their hafty Performances.



Or fome pale Pedant, whose encumber'd Brain
O'er the dull Page hath toil'd for Years in vain,
Who writes at last ambitiously to thew
How much a Fool may read, how little know;
Can these on Fancy's Wing with Plato foar?
Can thesė a Tully's active Mind explore ?
Great Nature's secret Springs can these reveal,
Or paint those Passions which they ne'er cou'd feel? 10
Yet will they dare the pond'rous Lance to wield,
Yet will they strive to lift the seven-fold Shield;
The Rock of Ajax ev'ry Child would throw,
And ev'ry Strippling bend Ulysses' Bow.

There are, who timid Line by Line pursue, 75
Anxious to keep th' Original in View
Who mark each Footstep where their Master trod,
And after all their Pains have miss'd the Road.

There are, an Author's Sense who boldly quit, As if asham'd to own the Debt of Wit :

80 Who leave their Fellow-trav’ller on the Shore, Launch in the Deep, and part to meet no more.

Some from Reflection catch the weaken'd Ray, And scarce a Gleam of doubtful Sense convey, Present a Picture's Picture to your View, 85 Where not a Line is just, or Feature true,

LINE 75, 79. There are, &c. The Reader will easily recollect instances to illustrate each of these Remarks, more especially the last; halfour Translations being done from Trandations by such as were never able to consult

the Original. One of these Genitlemen having Occafion in his version to mention Dionyfius of Halicarnafsus, not having the good fortune to be acquainted with any such Writer, makes Use of the French Liberty of Curtailing, and without Scruple calls him Dennis of Halicarnasus. Mistakes as gross as this often occur, though perhaps not many altogether so ridiculous. VOL II.


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