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EPISTLES
CRITICAL AND DIDACTIC.

EPISTLE I.

On the

DIFFERENT

STYLES OF POETRY.

TO

HENRY LORD VISC. BOLINGBROKE.

FROM THOMAS PARNELL, D. D.

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I hate the vulgar with untuneful mind;
Hearts uninspir'd, and senses unrefin'd.
Hence, ye prophane: I raise the sounding string,
And Bolingbroke descends to hear me sing.

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When Greece could truth in Mystic Fable shroud,
And with delight instruct the listening crowd,
An ancient Poet (Time has lost his name)
Deliver'd strains on Verse to future fame.
Still, as he sung, he touch'd the trembling lyre,
And felt the notes a rising warmth inspire.
Ye sweetening Graces, in the music throng,
Assist my genius, and retrieve the song

From dark oblivion. See, my genius goes
To call it forth. 'Twas thus the Poem rose.

“ Wit is the Muse's horse, and bears on high. The daring Rider to the Muses' sky: Who, while his ngth to mount aloft he tries, By regions varying in their nature flies.

“ At first, he riseth o'er a land of toil, A barren, hard, and undeserving soil, Where only weeds from heavy labor grow, Which yet the nation prune, and keep for show. Where couplets jingling on their accent run, Whose Point of Epigram is sunk to Pun; Where wings by fancy never feather'd fly, Where lines by measure form'd in Hatchets lie; Where Altars stand, erected Porches gape, And sense is cramp'd while words are par'd to shape; Where mean Acrostics, labor'd in a frame On scatter'd letters, raise a painful scheme; And, by confinement in their work, control The great enlargings of the boundless soul; Where if a warrior's elevated fire Would all the brightest strokes of verse require,, Then straight in Anagram a wretched crew Will pay their undeserving praises too; While on the rack his poor disjointed name Must tell its master's character to Fame. And (if my fire and fears aright presage) The laboring writers of a future age

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