How oft review ; each finding like a friend,
Something to blame, and something to commend ?
What flatt'ring scenes our wand'ring fancy wrought,
Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought!
Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly,
Fir'd with ideas of fair Italy.
With thee, o’er Raffaelle's monument I mourn,
Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn:
With thee repose, where Tully once was laid,
Or seek some ruin's formidable shade ;
While fancy brings the vanish'd pile to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew.
Here thy well-study'd marbles fix our eye;
A fading fresco here demands a sigh:
Each heavenly piece unwearied we compare,
Match Raffaelle's grace with thy lov'd Guido's air,
Caracci's strength, Correggio's softer line,
Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears
This small, well-polished gem, the work of years !*
Yet still how faint by precept is exprest
The living image in the Painter's breast ?
Thence endless streams of fair ideas flow,
Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow;
Thence beauty, waking all her form supplies
An Angel's sweetness, or Bridgwater's eyes.
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed,
Those tears eternal that embalm the dead :
Call round her tomb each object of desire,
frame inform’d with purer fire :
Bid her be all that cheers or softens life,
The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife !
Bid her be all that makes mankind adore ;
Then view this marble, and be vain no more !
Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing this poem.