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No single parts unequally surprize,
All comes united to th' admiring eyes ;

250 No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear ; The Whole at once is bold, and regular.

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be.
In every work regard the writer's end,

255
Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit: 260
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know some trifles, is a praise.
Most Critics, fond of some subservient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:
They talk of principles, but notions prize, 265
And all to one lov'd folly facrifice.
Once on a time, La Mancha's Knight, they say,
A certain Bard encountering on the way,
Discours d in terms as juft, with looks as fage,
As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage ; 270
Concluding all were desperate fots and fools,
Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules.

Our

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 259. As men of breeding, oft the men of wit.
Ver. 265. They talk of principles, but parts they prize.
Ver. 270. As e'er could Dennis of the laws o'th' stage.
Ver. 272. Ed. 1. That durit, &c.

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Our Author, happy in a judge so nice,
Produc'd his play, and begg'd the Knight's advice :
Made him observe the subject, and the plot, 275
The manners, passions, unities ; what not ?
All which, exact to rule, were brought about,
Were but a combat in the lists left out.
“ What! leave the combat out?" exclaims the night
Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite.

280 “ Not so by heaven (he answers in a rage) “ Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage." So vast a throng the stage can ne'er contain. " Then build a new, or act it in a plain.”

Thus Critics, of less judgment than caprice, 285 Curious, not knowing, not exact but nice, Form short ideas; and offend in arts (As most in manners) by a love to paits.

Some to Conceit alone their taste confine, And glittering thoughts struck out at every line ; 290 Pleas'd with a work where nothing's just or fit; One glaring Chaos and wild heap of wit. Poets like painters, thus unskill'd to trace The naked nature and the living grace, With gold and jewels cover every part,

295 And hide with ornaments their want of art. True Wit is Nature to advantage dress’d, What oft was thought, but ne'er fo well express'd; Something, whose truth convinc'd at fight we find, That gives us back the image of our mind. 300

As VARIATION. Ver. 298. Ed. 1.

What oft was thought, but ne'er before express’d.

As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit.
For works may have more wit than does them good,
As bodies perifh through excess of blood.

Others for Language all their care express, 305
And value books, as women men, for dress :
Their praise is still, – the style is excellent :
The sense, they humbly take upon content.
Words are like leaves ; and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found, 310
False eloquence, like the prismatic glass,
Its gaudy colours spreads on every place;
The face of Nature we no more survey,
All glares alike, without distinction gay :
But true expression, like th' unchanging sun, 315
Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon,
It gilds all objects, but it alters none.
Expression is the dress of thought, and still
Appears more decent, as more suitable;
A vile conceit in pompouś words express’d 320
Is like a clown in regal purple drest:
For different styles with different subjects fort,
As several garbs, with country, town, and court.
Some by old words to Fame have made pretence,
Ancients in phrase, mere moderns in their sense ; 325
Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style,
Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned smile.

Unlucky,

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VARIATION.

Ver. 320. Ed. 1.

A vile conceit in pompous style express'd.

330

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340

Unlucky, as Fungosa in the play,
These fparks with awkward vanity display
What the fine gentleman wore yesterday;
And but fo mimic ancient wits at best,
As

apes our grandfires in their doublets drest.
In words, as fashions, the fame rule will hold;
Alike fantastic, if too new or old :
Be not the first bý whom the new are try'd 335
Nor yet the last to lay the old afide.

But most by numbers judge a poet's fong ;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong:-
In the bright Muse though thousand charms conspire,
Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire ;
Whọ haunt Parnafsus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds ; as some to church repair,
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
These, equal fyllables alone require,
Though oft the ear the open vowels tire ;

343
While expletives their feeble aid do join ;
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line :
While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of still expected rhymes ;
Where'er

you

find “the cooling western breeze," 350
In the next line it “ whispers through the trees :"
If crystal streams “ with pleasing murmurs creepy":
The reader 's threatend (not in vain) with “ Deep :"
Then at the last and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, 355.

A needless
VARIATION.
Ver. 338. Ed. 1. And smooth or rough, with such, &co,

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A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That, like a wounded snake, drags its flow length along.
Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow;
And praise the easy vigour of a line,

360
Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join,
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The found must seem an Echo to the sense : 365
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the founding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some rock’s vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move now:
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o’er th’ unbending corn, and skims along the main,
Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprize,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise!

373 While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove Now burns with glory, and then melts with love ; Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow, Now lighs steal out, and tears begin to flow : Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found, 380 And the world's victor stood subdued by found! The power

of Music all our hearts allow, And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.

Avoid

VARIATIONS,

Ver. 353, 364. These lines are added.
Ver. 368. But when loud billows, &c.

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