Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

If Colchian, or Assyrian, fill the scene,
Theban, or Argian, note the shades between!

Follow the Voice of Fame; or if you feign, 180 The fabled plan confiftently fustain ! If Homer's hero you bring back to view, Shew your

Achilles such as Homer drew; Active, warm, brave, impetuous, high of soul, Calling to arms! and brooking no controul : 185 Fierce let Medea seem, in horrors clad; Perfidious be Ixion, Ino sad; Io a wand'rer, and Orestes mad!

}

Should you, advent’ring novelty, engage
Some bold Original to tread the Stage,
True to the parent mould in which 'twas caft,
Sustain the character from first to last.

190

Yet hard the talk to touch on untried facts: Safer the Iliad to reduce to acts, Than be the first new regions to explore, 195 And dwell on themes unknown, untold before,

Quit but the vulgar, broad, and beaten round, The publick field becomes your private ground: Nor word for word too faithfully translate; Nor leap at once into a narrow strait,

D4

A copyist

200

Unde pedem proferre pudor vetet aut operis lex. 135

Nec fic incipies, ut scriptor cyclicus olim ; FORTUNAM PRIAMI CANTABO, ET NOBILE BELLUM, Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu ? Parturiunt montes : nascetur ridiculus mus. Quanto rectius hic, qui nil molitur inepte ! 140 DIC MIHI, MUSA, VIRUM, CAPTÆ POST MOENIĄ

TROJA, QUI MORES HOMINUM MULTORUM VIDIT ET URBES, Non fumum ex fulgore, fed ex fumo dare lucem Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat, Antiphaten, Scyllamque, et' cum Cylope Charibdin.

145 Nec reditum Diomedis ab interitu Meleagri, Nec gemino bellum Trojanum orditur ab ovo: Semper ad eventum feftinat; et in medias res, Non secus ac notas, auditorem rapit : et quæ Defperat tractata nitescere pofle, relinquit : 150

Atque

[ocr errors]

A copyist fo close, that rule and line
Curb your free march, and all your steps confine !

210

Be not your opening fierce, in accents bold, Like the rude ballad-monger's chaunt of old; “ The fall of Priam, the great Trojan King! 205 " Of the right noble Trojan War, I fing!" Where ends this Boaster, who, with voice of thunder, Wakes Expectation, all agape with wonder? The mountains labour! hush'd are all the spheres ! And, oh ridiculous! a mouse appears. How much more modestly begins his song, Who labours, or imagines, nothing wrong! “ Say, Muse, the Man, who, after Troy's disgrace, « In various cities mark'd the human race !" Not Aame to smoke he turns, but smoke to light, 215 Kindling from thence a stream of glories bright: Antiphates, the Cyclops, raise the theme; Scylla, Charibdis, fill the pleasing dream. He goes not back to Meleager's death, With Diomed's return to run you out of breath ; 220 Nor from the Double Egg, the tale to mar, Traces the story of the Trojan War: Still hurrying to th’ event, at once he bringsl His hearer to the heart and soul of things;

4

Atque ita mentitur, fic veris falsa remiscet,
Primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum.

Tu, quid ego et populus mecum defideret, audi; Si fautoris eges aulea manentis, et usque Sefluri, donec cantor, Vos plaudite, dicat: 155

Ætatis cujusque notandi sunt tibi mores, Mobilibusque decor naturis dandus et annis,

Reddere qui voces jam scit puer, et pede certo Signat humum; gestit paribus colludere, et iram Colligit ac ponit temerè, et mutatur in horas. 160

Imberbis juvenis, tandem custode remoto, Gaudet equis canibusque et aprici gramine campi; Cereus in vitium flecti, monitoribus asper, Utilium tardus provisor, prodigus æris, Sublimis, cupidusque, et amata relinquere pernix.

165

Converfis ftudiis, ætas animusque virilis

5

Quarit 5o well he feigns, so well contrives to blend Fiction and Truth, that all his labours tend True to one point, persu'd from end to end.

} }

Hear now, what I expect, and all the town, If you

would wish applause your play to crown, And patient fitters, 'till the cloth goes down!

Man's several ages with attention view, His flying years, and changing nature too;

The Boy, who now his words can freely found, And with a steadier footstep prints the ground, 235 Places in playfellows his chief delight, Quarrels, shakes hands, and cares not wrong or right: Sway'd by each fav’rite bauble's short-liv'd pow'r, In smiles, in tears, all humours ev'ry hour.

The beardless Youth, at length from tutor free, 240 Loves horses, hounds, the field, and liberty : Pliant as wax, to vice his easy foul, Marble to wholesome counsel and controul; Improvident of good, of wealth profuse; High; fond, yet fickle ; generous, yet loose. 245

To graver studies, new pursuits inclin'd, Manhood, with growing years, brings change of mind:

Seeks

« ZurückWeiter »