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Enjoys his garden and his book in quiet;
Of little use the man you may suppose,
than Addison remains. He, from the taste obscene reclaims our youth, And sets the passions on the side of truth, Forms the soft bosom with the gentlest art, And pours each human virtue in the heart. Let Ireland tell, how wit upheld her cause, Her trade supported, and supplied her laws; And leave on Swift this gratetul verse ingravid, “ The rights a court attack', a poet sav'd.” Behold the hand that wrought a nation's cure, 225 Stretch'd to relieve the idiot and the poor,
Proud vice to brand, or injur'd worth adorn,
Our rural aneestors, with little bleste
250 But times corrupt, and nature, ill-inclin’d, Produe'd the point that left a sting behind ; Till friend with friend, and families at strife, Triumphant malice rag'd through private life.
Who felt the wrong, or fear’d it, took th' alarm,
We conquer'd France, but felt our captive's charms ;
265 Wit grew polite, and numbers learn'd to flow. Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join The varying verse, the full resounding line, The long majestic march, and energy divine. Tho' still some traces of our rustic vein,
270 And splay-foot verse, remain’d, and will remain. Late, very late, correctness grew our care, When the tir'd nation breath'd from civil war. Exact Racine, and Corneille's noble fire, Show'd us that France had something to admire. Not but the tragic spirit was our own, And full in Shakespear, fair in Otway shone : But Otway fail'd to polish or refine, And Auent Shakespear scarce effac'd a line. Ev'n copious Dryden wanted, or forgot, 280 The last and greatest art, the art to blot.
Some doubt, if equal pains, or equal fire The humble muse of comedy require.
But in known images of life, I guess
295 O you! whom vanity's light bark conveys On fame's mad voyage by the wind of praise, With what a shifting gale your course you ply, For ever sunk too low, or born too high! Who pants for glory finds bat short repose,
300 A breath revives him, or a breath o'erthrows. Farewell the stage ! if just as thrives the play, The silly bard grows
fat, or falls
away. There still remains, to mortify a wit, The many-headed monster of the pit:
305 A senseless, worthless, and unhonour'd crowd; Who, to disturb their betters mighty proud,
Ver. 287. Congreve] He alludes to the characters of Brisk and Witwood.
Ver. 290. Astrea] A namę taken by Mrs. Behn, authoress of several obscene plays, 6*6.
Clatt'ring their sticks before ten lines are spoke,
325 While all its throats the gallery extends, And all the thunder of the pit ascends ! Loud as the wolves, on Orcas' stormy steep, Howl to the roarings of the northern deep.
Such Vek. 319. Old Edward's armour beams on Cibber's breast.] The Coronation of Henry VIII. and Queen Anne Boleyn, in which he playhouses vied with each other to represent all the pomp. of a coronation. In this noble contention the armour of one of the Kings of England was borrowed from the Tower, to dress the champion.
VER. 328. Orcas' stormy steep,] The farthest northern promon, toty of Scotland, opposite to the Orcades.