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A fecond Life to thy Great Dead,
Thy kind Inspirtng Numbers Gave; Had we that Power, che Tears We thed
Had fell to wet some other Graye.
Thine, like cach Fabled Hero's Age,
Thy self with Virtue didst Infpire; And acting well on Life's frail Stage,
Dost with the fame Applause retire.
An EPISTLE to FLAVIA, On the Sight of two Pindarick Odes on the
Spleen and Vanity. Written by a Lady her Friend.
VLAVIA, to you with Safety I commend
This Verfe, the secret Failing of your friend To your good Nature I fecurely truft,
anz Who know, that to conceal, is to be juft. The Mufe, like wretched Mgids by Love undone, From Friends, Acquaintance and the Light would run;
Conscious of Folly, fears attending Shame,
Sure, in the better Ages of old Time, Nor Poetry nor Love was thought a Crime; From Heay’n they both che Gods beft Gifts were fent; Divinely perfect both, and innocent. Then were bad Poets and loose Loves not known; None felt a Warmth which they might blush to own. Beneath cool Shades our happy Fathers day, And spent in pure untainted Joys the Day : Artless their Loves, artless their Numbers were, While Nature simply did in both appear, Nor could the Censor or the Critick fear. Pleas'd to be pleas’d, they took what Heaven beftow'dy Nor were too curious of the given Good. At length, like Indians fond of fancy'd Toys, We loft being happy, to be thought more wife. In one curs’d Age, to punish Verse and Sinj Criticks and Hangmen, both at once, came in. Wit and the ws had both the fame ill Fate, And partial Tyrants fway'd in either State. IH-narur'd Censure would be sure to damn An Alien-wit of independent Fame,... While Bays grown old, and hardend in Offence; Was fuffer'd to write on in Spite of Sense
Back'd by his Friends, th' Invader brought along
? A Crew of foreign Words into our Tongue, To ruin and enslåve the free-born English Song ; Still the prevailing Faction propt his Throne, And to four Volumes let his Plays run on ; Then a lewd Tide of Verfe, with vicious Rage, Broke in upon the Morals of the Age. The Stage ( whose Art was once the Mind to move To noble Daring, and to vertuous Love) Precept, with Pleasure mix’d, no more profeft, But dealt in double Meaning bawdy Jeft : The shocking Sounds offend the blushing Fair, And drive 'em from the guilty Theatre. Ye wretched Bards! from whom these Ills have sprung, Whom the avenging Powers have spar'd too long, Well may you fear the Blow will surely come, Your Sodom has no Ten to avert its Doom; Unlefs the fair ARDELIA will alone To Heav'n for all the guilty Tribe atone ; Nor can Ten Saints do more than such a One. Since the alone of the Poetick Crowd To the false Gods of Wit has never bow'd, The Empire, which the fayes, shall own her Sway, And all Parnasus her bless’d Laws obey.
Say, from what facred Fountain, Nymph divine The Treasures flow, which in thy Verfe do shine? With what strange Inspiration art thou bleft, What more than Delpbick Ardor Warms thy Breaft?
Our sordid Earth ne'er bred so bright a Flame;
IF PINDAR's Name to those bless’d Mansions reach, And mortal Muses may immortal teach, In Verse like his, the heay’nly Nation raise Their tuneful Voices to their Maker's Praise. Nor Nall celestial Harmony disdain, For once, to imitate an earthly strain, Whose Fame secure, no Rival e'er can fear, But those above, and fair ARDELIA here. She who undaunted could bis Raptures view, And with bold Wings his sacred Heights pursue 7 Safe thro' the Ditbyrambick Stream Mhe steerd, Nor the rough Doep in all its Dangers fear'd: Not so the rest, who with successless Pain Th' unnavigable Torrent tryd in vain.
SO CLELIA leap'd into the rapid Flood,