Page images
PDF
EPUB

20

30

Like friendly colours found them both unite, 15
And each from each contract new strength and light.
How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
While summer-suns roll unperceiv'd away?
How oft our slowly-growing works impart,
While Images reflect from art to art?
How oft review ; each finding like a friend
Something to blame, and something to commend?

What flatt'ring scenes our wand'ring fancy wrought, Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought ! Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly,

25 Fir'd with ideas of fair Italy. With thee on Raphael's Monument I mourn, Or wait inspiring Dreams at Maro's Urn: With thee repose, where Tully once was laid, Or seek fome Ruin's formidable fhade : While Fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view, And builds imaginary Rome a-new, Here thy well-ftudied marbles fix our eye; A fading Fresco here demands a sigh : Each heav'nly piece unwearied we compare,

35 Match Raphael's grace with thy lov’d Guido's air, Carracci's strength, Correggio's fofter line, Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.

How finish'd with illustrious toil appears This small, weil polish'd Gem, the * work of years ! 40 Yet still how faint by precept is express'd The living image in the painter's breast? Thence endless streams of fair Ideas flow, Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow; Thence Beauty, waking all her forms, supplies

45 An Angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.

Muse! at that Name thy sacred sorrows shed,
Those tears eternal, that embalm the dead :
Call round her Tomb each object of desire,
Each purer frame inform’d with purer fire :

50

* Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem,

Bid

55

бо

Bid her be all that chears or softens life,
The tender fifter, daughter, friend, and wife !
Bid her be all that makes mankind adore ;
Then view this marble, and be vain no more !

Yet ftill her charms in breathing paint engage;
Her modest cheek shall warm a future age.
Beauty, frail flow'r that ev'ry season fears,
Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years.
Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprize,
And other Beauties envy Worsley's cyes ;
Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow,
And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.

Oh lasting as those Colours may they shine,
Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line ;
New graces yearly like thy works display,
Soft without weakness, without glaring gay ;
Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains ;
And finish'd more thro' happiness than pains.
The kindred Arts shall in their praise conspire,
One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre.
Yet should the Graces all thy figures place,
And breathe an air divine on ev'ry face;
Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll
Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul;
With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie,
And these be sung 'till Granville's Myra die
Alas! how little from the grave we claim !
Thou but preserv'ft a Face, and I a Name,

65

70

75

[ocr errors]

EPISTLE

Ε Ρ Ι S T

LE

To Miss B LOUN T,

With the

WORKS of VOITURE.

10

IN

these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces Shine,
And all the Writer lives in ev'ry line ;
His easy Art inay happy Nature seem,
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,

S
Who without flatt’ry pleas’d the fair and great,
Still with eftcem no less convers'd than read;
With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred :
His heart, his mistress and his friend did share,
His time, the Muse, the witty and the fair.
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Chearful he play'd the trifle, Life, away ;
'Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest,
As siniling Infants sport themselves to rest.
Ev’n rival Wits did Voiture's death deplore,

15 And the gay inourn'd who never mourn’d before ; The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with fighs, Voiture was wept by all the brightest Eyes : The Siniles and Loves had dy'd in Voiture's death, But that for ever in his lines they breathe.

20 Let the strict life of graver inortals be A long, exact, and serious Comedy ; In ev'ry scene fome Moral let it teach, And, if it can, at once both please and preach. Let mine, an innocent gay farce appear,

25 And more diverting still than regular, Have Humour, Wit, a native Ease and Grace, Tho' not too strictly bound to Time and Place :

Critics

30

Critics in Wit, or Life, are hard to please,
Few write to those, and none can live to these.

Too much your Sex is by their forms confin’d,
Severe to all, but most to Womankind;
Custom, grown blind with Age, muft be your guide ;
Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride;
By Nature yielding, stubborn but for fame; 35
Made Slavés by honour, and made fools by Shame.
Marriage may all those petty Tyrants chase,
But sets up one, a greater in their place :
Well might you wish for change by those accurft,
But the last Tyrant ever proves the worst.

40 Still in constraint your suff’ring Sex remains, Or bound in formal, or in real chains : Whole years neglected, for some months ador'd, The fawning Servant turns a haughty Lord. Ah quit not the free innocence of life,

45 For the dull glory of a virtuous Wife; Nor let false Shews, nor empty Titles please : Aim not at Joy, but rest content with ease.

The Gods, to curse Pamela with her pray’rs, Gave the gilt Coach and dappled Flanders Mares, 50 The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state, And, to complete her bliss, a Fool for Mate. She glares in Balls, front Boxes, and the Ring, A vain, unquiet, glitt'ring, wretched Thing ! Pride, Pomp, and State but reach her outward part; 55 She fighs, and is no Duchess at her heart. But, Madam, if the fates withstand, and

you Are destin'd Hymen's willing Victim too; Trust not too much your now refiftless charms, Those, Age or Sickness, foon or late difarms : 60 Good humour only teaches charms to last, Still makes new conquests, and maintains the past; Love, rais'd on Beauty, will like that decay, Our hearts may bear its slender chain a day;

[ocr errors][merged small]

65

As flow'ry bands in wantonness are worn,
A morning's pleasure, and at ev’ning torn;
This binds in ties more easy, yet more strong,
The willing heart, and only holds it long.

Thus Voiture's * early care still fhone the saine,
And Monthausier was only chang’d in name :
By this, ev'n now they live, ev'n now they charm,
Their Wit ftill sparkling, and their flames still warm.

Now crown'd with Myrtle, on th' Elysian coast,
Amid those Lovers, joys his gentle Ghost :
Pleas’d, while with smiles his happy lines you view, 75
And finds a fairer Rambouillet in you.
The brightest eyes in France inspir'd his Muse;
The brightest eyes of Britain now peruse;
And dead, as living, 'tis our Author's pride
Still to charm thole who charm the world beside. 80

4

Mademoiselle Pailet.

EPISTLE

« PreviousContinue »