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Kills with her melancholy Shade,
Which erst full wantonly have stray'd,
For when the Oak denies her Sray,
No more she twists her Branches round,
Whose sober Rimes in even Tenour flow;
Why sleep the Sons of Genius now?
I And thou, bleft Bard! around whose sacred
Arise, and snatch the Majesty of Song,
Great Pind thoughtens the
* By TASTE, is here meant the modern Affectation of it. # The spirited and truly poetical Dr. Akenfide.
T R A N S L A TI O N;
" UCH is our Pride, our Folly, or our Fate, in That few, but such who cannot write, trans:
late.' So Denham sung, who well the Labour knew; And an Age past has left the Maxim true. Wit as of old, a proud imperious Lord, Disdains the Plenty of another's Board ; And haughty Genius seeks, like Philip's Son, Paths never trod before, and Worlds unknown. Unaw'd by these, whilft Hands impure dispense The sacred Streains of ancient Elcquence, 10 Pedants assume the Talk for Scholars fit, And Blockheads rise Interpreters of Wit.
In the fair Field th' vet’ran Armies stand, A firm, unconquer'd, formidable Band, When lo! Translation comes and levels all; 15 By vulgar Hands the bravest Heroes fall. On Eagle's Wings see lofty Pindar foar ; Cowley attacks, and Pindar is no more.
LINE 18. Cowley attacks, &c. Nothing can be more contemptible than the Translations and Imitation's of Pindar.done by Cowley, which yet have had their Admirers.
O'er Tibur's Swan the Muses wept in vain,
In blest Arabia's Plains unfading blow
The modern Critic, whose unletter'd Pride,
Line 20. See Horace's Epistles, Satires, and Art of Poetry, done into English by S. Dunster, D. D. Prebendary of Sarum.
LINE 21, 22. See their Translations of Homer and Virgil.
Line 31. The modern Critic, &c. Les belles traductions (says Boileau) sont des preuves sans replique en faveur des anciens, qu'on leur donne les Racines pout interpretes, & ils scauront plaire aujourdhui comme autrefois. Certain it is, that the Contempt, in which the Ancients are held by the illiterate Wits of the present Age, is in a great Measure owing to the Number of bad Tranflations.
Line 36. See Adams's Prose Translation of Sophocles.
Concludes that Attic Wit's extremely low;
As well might Vanbrugh ev'ry Stone revile,
But, such, alas ! disdain to borrow Fame, 55 Or live like Dulness in another's Name; And hence the Task for noblest Souls design'd, Giv'n to the Weak, the Tasteless, and the Blind; To fome low Wretch, who, prostitute for Pay, Lets out to Curll the Labours of the Day, Careless who hurries o'er th' unblotted Line, Impatient still to finish, and to dine ;
and me de Louis Xumeris King
Line 39. Extremely low. A favourite Coffeehouse Phrase.
LINE 43. Wotton and Perrault. See Wotton's Discourse on ancient and modern Learning, and · Perrault's Defence of his Siecle de Louis XIV.
LINE 46. Arthur's Fame. See Blackmore's King Arthur, an Heroic Poem...
LINE 60. To Curll, &c. Most of the bad Trans· lations, which we have of eminent Authors, were
done by Garreteers under the Infpection of this Gentleman, who paid them by the Sheet for their hafty Performances.
Or some pale Pedant, whose encumber'd Brain
There are, who timid Line by Line pursue, 75
There are, an Author's Sense who boldly quit, As if alham'd to own the Debt of Wit: 80 Who leave their Fellow-trav'ller on the Shore, Launch in the Deep, and part to meet no more..
Some from Reflection catch the weaken'd Ray, And scarce a Gleam of doubtful Sense convey, Present a Picture's Picture to your View, " 85 Where not a Line is just, or feature true.
LINE 75, 79. There are, &c. The Reader will casily recollect instances to illustrate each of these Re. marks, more especially the last; halfour 'Translations being done from Translations by such as were never able to consult the Original. One of these Gentlemen having Occafion in his version to mention Dionyfius of Halicarnassus, not having the good Fortune to be acquainted with any such Writer, makes Use.of the French Liberty of Curtailing, and without Scruple calls him Dennis of Halicarnuljus. Mistakes as gross as this often occur, though perhaps not many altoge. ther so ridiculous. VOL II.