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In wars renew'd, uncertain of success;
Sure of a share, as umpires of the peace.

A patriot both the king and country serves:
Prerogative, and privilege, preserves:
Of each our laws the certain limit show;
One must not ebb, nor t'other overflow:
Betwixt the prince and parliament we stand;
The barriers of the state on either hand :
May neither overflow, for then they drown the land.
When both are full, they feed our bless'd abode;
Like those that water'd once the paradife of God.

Some overpoise of fway, by turns, they share ;
In peace the people, and the prince in war:
Consuls of moderate power in calms were made;
When the Gauls came, one sole dictator sway'd.

Patriots, in peace, assert the people's right;
With noble stubborness resisting might :
No lawless mandates from the court receive, ,
Nor lend by force, but in a body give.
Such was your generous grandsire; free to grant
In parliaments, that weigh'd their prince's want :
But so tenacious of the common cause,
As not to lend the king against his laws.
And in a loathsome dungeon doom'd to lie,
In bonds retain's his birthright liberty,
And fham'd oppreffion, till it set him free.

O true descendant of a patriot line,
Who, while thou shar'ft their lustre, lend'At them thine,
Vouchsafe this picture of thy foul to fee;
'Tis so far good, as it resembles thee,

The

The beauties to th' original I owe;
Which when I miss, my own defects I show:
Nor think the kindred Muses thy disgrace :
A poet is not born in every race.
Two of a house few ages can afford;
One to perform, another to record.
Praise-worthy actions are by thee embrac'd;
And 'tis my praise, to make thy praises laft.
For ev’n when death diffolves our human frame,
The soul returns to heaven from whence it came;
Earth keeps the body, verse preserves the fame.

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EPISTLE THE FOURTEENTH.

TO SIR GODFREY KNELLER, PRINCIPAL PAINTER

TO HIS MAJESTY.

ONCE

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

L 4

Shadows are but privations of the light;:
Yet, when we walk, they shoot before the fight;
With us approach, retire, arise, and fall;
Nothing themselves, and yet expressing all.
Such are thy pieces, imitating life
So near, they almoft conquer in the strife;
And from their animated canvass came,
Demanding fouls, and loosen'd from the frame.

Prometheus, were he here, would cast away
His Adam, and refuse a foul to clay ;
And either would thy noble work inspire,
Or think it warm enough without his fire.

But vulgar hands may vulgar likeness raise;
This is the least attendant on thy praise :
From hence the rudiments of art began;
A coal, or chalk, first imitated man:
Perhaps the shadow, taken on a wall,
Gave outlines to the rude original;
Ere canvass yet was strain’d, before the grace
Of blended colours found their use and place, .
Or cypress tablets first receiv'd a face..

By flow degrees the godlike art advanc'd ;
As man grew polifh'd, picture was inhanc'd:
Greece added posture, fhade, and perspective;
And then the mimic piece began to live.
Yet perspective was lame, no distance true,
But all came forward in one common view :
No point of light was known, no bounds of art;:
When light was there, it knew not to depart,

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But glaring on remoter objects play'd;
Not languish'd, and insensibly decay'd.

Rome rais'd not art, but barely kept alive,
And with old Greece unequally did strive :
Till Goths.and Vandals, a.rude northern race, .
Did all the matchless monuments deface...
Then all the Muses in: one ruin lie,
And rhyme began t' enervate poetry. -
Thus, in a stupid military state,
The pen and pencil find an equal fate.
Flat faces, such as would disgrace a skreen,.
Such as in Bantam’s embassy were seen,
Unrais'd, unrounded, were the rude delight
Of brutal nations, only born to fight.

Long time the sister arts, in iron sleep, -
A heavy fabbath did supinely keep::
At length, in Raphael's age, at once they rife,
Stretch all their limbs, and open

all their

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

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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.

Likeness

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