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In wars renew'd, uncertain of success;
A patriot both the king and country serves:
Some overpoise of fway, by turns, they share ;
Patriots, in peace, assert the people's right;
O true descendant of a patriot line,
The beauties to th' original I owe;
EPISTLE THE FOURTEENTH.
TO SIR GODFREY KNELLER, PRINCIPAL PAINTER
TO HIS MAJESTY.
NCE I beheld the fairest of her kind,
And still the sweet idea charms my mind :True, she was dumb; for nature gaz'd so long, Pleas'd with her work, that she forgot her tongue; But, smiling, said, She still shall gain the prize; I only have transferr’d it to her eyes. Such are thy pictures, Kneller: such thy skill, That nature seems obedient to thy will; Comes out, and meets thy pencil in the draught; Lives there, and wants but words to speak her thought. At least thy pictures look a voice; and we Imagine sounds, deceiv'd to that degree, We think ’tis somewhat more than just to fee.
Shadows are but privations of the light;:
Prometheus, were he here, would cast away
But vulgar hands may vulgar likeness raise;
By flow degrees the godlike art advanc'd ;
But glaring on remoter objects play'd;
Rome rais'd not art, but barely kept alive,
Long time the sister arts, in iron sleep, -
eyes. Thence rose the Roman, and the Lombard line: : One colour'd best, and one did best design. Raphael's, like Homer's, was the nobler part, But Titian's painting look'd like Virgil's art.
Thy genius gives thee both; where true design, , Postures unforc'd, and lively colours join. Likeness is ever there; but still the best,
proper thoughts in lofty language drest: . Where light, to shades descending, plays, not strives, Dies by degrees, and by degrees revives. Of various parts a perfect whole is wrought: Thy pictures think, and we divine their thought.
Shakespeare, thy gift, I place before my fight: With awe, I ask his blessing ere I write ; With reverence look on his majeftic face; Proud to be less, but of his godlike race. His soul inspires me, while thy praise I write, And I, like Teucer, under Ajax fight: Bids thee, through me, be bold; with dauntless breast Contemn the bad, and emulate the best. Like his, thy criticks in th' attempt are loft : When most they rail, know then, they envy most. In vain they snarl aloof; a noisy croud, Like women's anger, impotent and loud. While they their barren industry deplore, Pass on secure, and mind the goal before. Old as she is, my Mufe shall march behind, Bear off the blast, and intercept the wind. Our arts are fifters, though not twins in birth: For hymns were sung in Eden's happy earth: But oh, the painter Muse, though laft in place, Has seiz'd the blessing first, like Jacob's race. Apelles' art an Alexander found; And Raphael did with Leo's gold abound; But Homer was with barren laurel crown'd. Thou hadft thy Charles a while, and so had I ; But pass we that unpleasing image by. Rich in thyself, and of thyself divine; All pilgrims come and offer at thy shrine. A graceful truth thy pencil can command; The fair themselves go mended from thy hand.