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EARL OF ORRERY.
BY JAMES DALACOURT, B. A.
WHAT various styles to different strains belong,
What time to rise, and when to sink in song;
To thee, best judge of this refin'd delight,
O! born to genius, lo the Muses write;
'Tis yours, my Lord, to bid each art excell,
And smile on merit which you grace so well;
To make mankind a nobler Broghill see,
And find their long-lost Halifax in thee:
Few now remain to say who sung before,
Parnell is dead-and Addison no more!
The few remaining, Time will sweep away,
And Pope and Swift must shortly follow Gay;
These only left of all the tuneful choir,
Garth, Steele, Rowe, Congreve, Wycherley, and
These only left, the world's great loss declare,
And serve to shew us what those wonders were.
On you, my Lord, the Muses turn their eyes;
On Orrery the letter'd world relies;
Their ancient honors let a Boyle restore,
And be whate'er was Orrery before :
O! chief in Courts to lay the Peer aside,
Weed Vice from dignity, from titles Pride,
Great without grandeur, generous without views,
For ever bounteous, and yet ne'er profuse;
No less by nature noble than by name,
The bloom of breeding, and the flower of fame:
Approv'd a patron at thy natal hour;
Think'st thou to 'scape the praises in their power?
Though from Britannia's strains, and Albion's shore,
You fly to deserts but to blaze the more ;
They'll search you out, discover where you shine,
Proclaim your worth, and frustrate your design.
So in the bloom the diamond darts its light, Though thick encircled with surrounding night; 'The kindling darkness breaks before the ray, And on the eye-ball bursts the brilliant day.
Sage Temple writes, a spark of native fire,
Excells whatever learning can acquire ;
In poetry this observation's true,
Without some genius fame will ne'er ensue :
Such for a while may climb against the hill,
But then, like Sisyphus, are falling still;
I own, by reading we may feed the flame,
But first must have that heat from whence it came;
Else, like dry pumps whose springs their moisture
We may pour in, but will have no return;
To such, indeed, those rules are ill applied,
For such were never on the Muses side.
Come then, my friend, who like with me to rove
The flowery mountain, and the laurel grove,
Where god Apollo guards the limpid fount,
And the glad Muses climb the vocal mount;
You whom the voice invites to taste their charms,
Whom verse transports, and tuneful fancy warms;
Before you press the Sirens to your heart,
Attend a while the precepts I impart.
First let your judgment for your fancy choose
Of all the Nine the most unblemish'd Muse:
Soft yet sublime, in love yet strictly coy,
Prone to be grave, yet not averse to joy;
Where taste and candor, wit and manners meet,
Bold without bombast, daring but discreet;
Correct with spirit, musical with sense,
Not apt to give, nor slow to take offence;
First to commend when others thoughts are shown,
But always last delighted with her own.
When this is done, let Nature be your guide;
Rise in the spring, or in the river glide;
In every line consult her as you run,
And let her Naiads roll the river on:
Unless, to please our nice corrupted sense,
Art be call'd in, and join'd with vast expence ;
Then rivers wander through the vale no more,
But boil in pipes, or spout through figur'd ore;
The neighbouring brooks their empty channel mourn,
That now enrich some artificial urn.
Thus ever suit your numbers to your theme,
And tune their cadence to the falling stream;
Or should the falling stream incline to love,
Let the words slide, and like its murmurs move:
Poor were the praise to paint a purling rill,
To make it music is the Muse's skill;
Without her voice the spring runs silent by,
Dumb are the waters, and the verses dry;
While chill'd with ice the cool waves creep along,
And all the fountain freezes in the song.
But if a storm must rattle through the strain,
Then let your lines grow black with gathering rain;
Through Jove's aerial hal] loud thunders sound,
And the big bolt roars through the dark profound:
But should the welkin brighten to the view,
The sun breaks out, and gilds the style anew ;
Color your clouds with a vermilion dye,
And let warm blushes streak the western sky;
Till evening shuts in sober suited gray,
And draws her dappled curtains o'er the day.
Let Vesper then pursue the purple light, And lead the twinkling glories of the night; The moon must rise in silver o'er the shades, Stream through your pen, and glance along the meads:
While Zephyr softly whispers in the lines,
And pearly dew in bright description shines;
The little warblers to the trees repair,
Sing in their sleep, and dream away their care;
While closing flowrets nod their painted heads,
And fold themselves to rest upon their rosy beds.
But if Aurora's fingers stain the lay,
Let fancy waken with the rising day;
Let Sol's fierce coursers whirl the fiery team,
And from their nostrils blow a flood of flame:
Be sultry noon in brighter yellow drest,
And bend a rainbow on her burning breast;
Let the rich dyes in changing colors flow,
And lose themselves in one poetic glow.
So the fair Indian crown its gloss assumes, Dispos'd in tufts of party-color'd plumes; The transient tincture drinks the neighbouring hue, As if from each th' alternate colors grew, Where every beauty's by a former made, And lends a lustre to the following shade.
Thus may a simile come in with grace, And add new splendors to the showery piece;