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Than god-like Homer's elevated song ;
Loud as the torrent, as the billows strong;
Cast o'er this fault a friendly veil, you'll find
A friendly, social, and ingenuous mind.
Witness, ye Naiads, and ye guardian powers,
Who sit sublime on Henry's lofty towers;
Witness if e'er I saw thy open brow,
Sunk in despair, or sadden'd into woe,
Well-natur'd Stavordale—the task is thine
Foremost in pleasure's festive band to shine :
Say, wilt thou pass alone the midnight hour,
Studious the depths of Plato to explore ?
To lighter subjects shall thy soul give way,
Nor heed what grave philosophers shall say?
The god of mirth shall list thee in his train,
A cheerful votry, and the foe of pain.
Whether I Storer sing in hours of joy,
When every look bespeaks the inward boy;
Or when no more mirth wantons in his breast,
And all the man appears in him confest;
In mirth, in sadness, sing him how I will,
Sense and good-nature must attend him still.
OCCASIONED BY THE PRECEDING,
My Lord, your verses, penn'd with so much ease,
The fair, the young, and ev'n the critics please ;
Such solid sense, and grace, and judgment meet,
We add the epithet of Strong to Sweet.
That some are peers by stars and strings we find;
You, by intrinsic nobleness of mind;
Fair Fancy's manly strokes your lines adorn ;
We truly may pronounce you, poet born:
And if in youth your genius we may scan,
How will it glow, and brighten in the man !
True sings the bard, that one well-natur'd deed,
Does all desert in sciences exceed :
And if, my Lord, from what you write, we guess,
Yourself those virtues, which you paint, possess :
The sense of St. John, Fox, and Legge's your
The sweetness of unblameable Buccleugh;
Ophaly's honor, Stavordale's desert,
Storer's good-nature, and Fitzwilliam's heart.
BY MR. STEELE.
[Afterwards Sir Richard. )
When Pleasure's falling to the low delight,
In the vain joys of the uncertain sight;
No sense of Wit when rude spectators know,
But in distorted gesture, farce and show;
How could, great Author, your aspiring mind,
Dare to write only to the few refin'd!
Yet, though that nice ambition you pursue,
'Tis not in Congreve's power to please but few.
Implicitly devoted to his fame,
Well-dress’d Barbarians know his aweful name;
Though senseless they're of mirth, but when they
laugh, As they feel wine, but when, till drunk, they quaff.
On you, from Fate, a lavish portion fell, In every way of writing to excell.
Your Muse applause to Arabella brings,
In notes as sweet as Arabella sings.
Whene'er you draw an undissembled woe,
With sweet distress your rural numbers flow;
Pastora 's the complaint of every swain,
Pastora still the echo of the plain!
Or, if your Muse describe, with warming force,
The wounded Frenchman falling from his horse ;
And her own William, glorious in the strife,
Bestowing on the prostrate foe his life :
You the great act as generously rehearse,
And all the English fury's in your verse.
By your selected scenes and handsome choice, Ennobled Comedy exalts her voice; You check unjust esteem and fond desire, And teach to scorn what else we should admire; The just impression taught by you we bear, The player acts the world, the world the player, Whom still that world unjustly disesteems, Though he alone professes what he seems.
But, when your Muse assumes her tragic part, She conquers and she reigns in every heart; To mourn with her, men cheat their private woe, And generous pity's all the grief they know; The widow, who, impatient of delay, From the town joys must mask it to the play, Joins with your Mourning-Bride's resistless moan, And weeps a loss she slighted when her own.