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Occasioned by the Author's being suspected of writing the Poein under that title.
Why with such freedom should the town accuse,
EPISTLES CRITICAL, &c.
Looks like the fop that courts a paltry dame,
Ye Female Glories, which exalt our isle, Vouchsafe th'auspicious influence of your smile; To You I call, to you, ye matchless lights, Inspire my numbers, and improve my flights ; Lest I depress your fame with languid lines, And pay unhallow'd vows at sacred shrines. Would you, ye Powers, but look serenely down, I'd soar aloft, and blazon your renown; Then something so divine might raise my voice, And make me scarce inferior to my choice; What ancient story tells the world should scorn, And every Goddess deem in glorious Britain born,
Begin, my Muse, begin with Marlborough’s race : When Valor's sung, the Father claims the place ; And sure when Beauty's power employs our flight, The shining Daughters challenge foremost right,
A SUNDERLAND the coldest Writer warms, So turn'd for conquest, so compleat in charms, There seems detraction in our highest praise, She leaves the Muse behind, and mocks our distant
lays. Not thus Minerva, though a Goddess, shone. O! had her eyes such dazling lustre thrown, - Thence the bold artist had inform’d his clay, Nor sought another sun, nor fallen a vulture's prey,
Could Nature's self her own first form express, She'd charm the world in bright MONTHERMER's
dress : Gods! what engaging bloom sits smiling there! How languishingly sweet her every air ! Her shape, her gesture, all the Nymph, subdues, We look our souls away, and fate with transport
choose. Had Love's fair Goddess been so strong in charms, Rash Diomede had dropt his venturous arms; No shameful victory the Greek had won, But thousand wounds receiv'd, instead of giving one.
Splendor and softness in BridGEWATER meet, There mild appears an attribute with great ; Such humble sweetness gives a dawn of joy, She seems, like Heaven, unwilling to destroy. Who would not serve, where such a victor reigns ? What freedom equal to such gentle chains ? But socn, too soon, mistaken mortals know,
Th’imagin'd bliss concludes in real woe.
GODOLPHIN's form’d among the first to shine, That other conqueror of the conquering line; Nor pride her mien, nor art her aspect knows, Her full renown from single Nature flows; Rich in unpractis'd charms, she scatters chains, And, shunning empire, certain empire gains ; Neglectful, yet secure, with arrows plays; Unmeaning, throws, and, undesiring, slays; She stoops to make no prize her little aim, But emulates her fire, and conquers but for fame.
Bolton's majestic form invades the sight With awful wonder and sublime delight; Here differing deities conspire our fate, Venus and Juno; sweetness dwells with state : High pines are emblems of her graceful size, And bending osiers shew her humble guise. Disease solicits her with impious care, And too too fast her precious spirits wear, Not thus her charms : ev'n yielding, how she reigns, And conquers others, while herself 's in chains ! Great, yet opprest! were Virtue's image seen, Virtue could live but equally serene ; In pain she proves the prowess of her mind,
And only when she dies deceives mankind.
To Seymour, daring Muse, thy numbers raise ; Muse, thy best numbers flag beneath her praise : Lo! sweetest youth, disclaiming artful care, Sports in her face, and revels in her air ; Briskness and innocence their powers unite, And, next her spotless mind, her skin is white. When radiant blushes to her cheeks repair, (Such lovely stains become the brighter fair) Gods ! how that paint of nature tempts our eyes ; How Earth's Aurora far transcends the skies ! But her high merit checks the bold delight, We tremble at the soul, yet riot at the sight.
When Tufton was created, Nature took Such care to furnish out a conquering look, Who did not think her hoard of lustre spent, And eyes design'd hereafter innocent? Nor was she less extravagant in bloom, As if she meant no future charms, and beggar'd all
For beauteous Helen Troy in fires was seen, The world was sacrific'd to Egypt's queen; Behold in ASHBURNHAM a brighter dame, But Virtue stifles such destructive Aame.