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Or paint the curse, that nark'd the Theban's 3 reign,
A bed incestuous, and a father flain.
With kind concern our pitying eyes o'erflow,
Trace the sad tale, and own another's woe..

To Rome remov'd, with wit secure to please,
The comick fifters kept their native ease.
With jealous fear declining Greece beheld
Her own Menander's art almost excell'd :
But every Můse essay'd to raise in vain
Some labour'd rival of her tragick ftrain;
Illyssus' laurels, though transferr’d with toil,
Droop'd their fair leaves, nor knew th' unfriendly foil.

As arts expir’d, refifless Dullness rose;
Goths, priests, or Vandals, — all were learning's foes.
Till Julius * first recali'd each exil'd maid,
And Cofmo own'd them in the Etrurian fhade :
Then deeply skill'd in love's engaging theme,
The foft Provencial pass’d to Arno's stream :
With graceful ease the wanton lyre he strung ;
Sweet flow'd the lays, — but love was all he sung.
The gay description could not fail to move;
For, led by nature, all are friends to love.

But heaven, ftill various in its works, decreed
The perfect boast of time should last fucceed.
The beauteous union must appear at length,
Of Tuscan fancy, and Athenian strength :
One greater Muse Eliza's regn adorn,
And even a Shakspeare to her fame be borri.

Yet ah! so bright her morning's opening ray,
In vain our Britain hop'd an equal day:
No second growth the western isle could bear;
At once exhausted with too rich a year.
Too nicely Jonson knew the critick's part;
Nature in him was almost lost in art.

3 The Oedipus of Sophocles.
* Julius II. the immediate predecessor of Leo X.

Of softer mold the gentle Fletcher came,
The next in order, as the next in name.
With pleas'd attention 'midit his scenes we find
Each glowing thought, that warms the female mind;
Each melting figh, and every tender tear,,
The lover's wishes, and the virgin's fear.
His every strain the Smiles and Graces own;"
But stronger Shakspcare felt for man alone :
Drawn by his pen, our ruder passions stand
Th’unrivallid picture of his early hand.

With gradual steps, and flow, exacter France
Saw Art's fair empire o'er her shores advance :
By length of toil a bright perfection knew,
Correctly bold, and just in all the drew :
Till laté Corneille, with Lucan's ? fpirit fir'd,
Breath'd the free strain, as Rome and He inspir'd;
And classick judgment gain’d to sweet Racine
The temperate ftrength of Maro's chafter line,

But wilder far the British laurel spread,
And wreaths lefs artful crown our poe'ts head.
Yet He alone to every scene could give
The historian's truth, and bid the manners live.
Wak'd at his call I view, with glad surprize,
Majestick forms of mighty monarchs rise.
There Henry's trumpets spread their loud alarms,
And laurell'd Conquest waits her hero's arms.
Here gentler Edward claims a pitying sigh,
Scarce born to honours, and so foon to die!
Yet shall thy throne, unhappy infant, bring
No beam of comfort to the guilty. king:

's Their chara&ers are thus diftinguished by Mr. Dryden.

6 About thc time of Shakspeare, the poet Hardy was in great Jepute in France. He wrote, according to Fontenelle, fix hundred plays. The French poets after him applied themselves in general to the corre& improvement of the stage, which was almost totally disregarded by those of our own country, Jonson excepted. 7 The favourite author of the elder Çoracille. VOL. II,

Dd

The time shall come, when Gloiter's heart shall bleed
In life's last hours, with horror of the deed :
When dreary visions shall at last present
Thy vengeful image in the midnight tent :
Thy hand unseen the secret death shall bear,
Blunt the weak fword, and break the oppreslive fpear.

Where'er we turn, by fancy charm’d, we find
Some sweet illusion of the cheated mind.
Oft, wild of wing, she calls the soul to rove
With humbler nature, in the rural grove ;
Where swains contented own the quiet scene, ,
And twilight fairies tread the circled green:
Dress’d by her hand, the woods and vallies smile,
And Spring diffusive decks the inchanted ille.

O more than all in powerful genius blest, Come, take thine empire o'er the willing breaft! Whate'er the wounds this youthful heart shall feel, Thy fongs support me, and thy morals heal. There every thought the poet's warmth may raise, There native musick dwells in all the lays. O might some verse with happiest skill persuade Expressive Picture to adopt thine aid ! What wondrous draughts might rise from every page! What other Raphaels charm a distant age!

Methinks even now I view some free design, Where breathing Nature lives in every line : Chaste and subdued the modeft lights decay, Steal into shades, and mildly melt away.

And see, where Antony;9 in tears approv'd, Guards the pale relicks of the chief he lov'd : O’er the cold corse the warrior seems to bend, Deep, funk in grief, and mourns his murder'd friend! Still as they prefs, he calls on all around, Lifts the torn robe, and points the bleeding woundo

& Turno tempus erit, magno cùm optaverit emptum

Intadum Pallanta, &c. 9 See the tragedy of Julius Cæfar,

But who is he, ? whose brows exalted bear
A wrath impatient, and a fiercer air ?
Awake to all that injur'd worth can feel,
On his own Rome he turns the avenging steel.
Yet shall not war's insatiate fury fall
(So heaven ordains it) on the destin'd wall.
See the fond mother, ’midst the plaintive train,
Hung on his knees, and proftrate on the plain!
Touch'd to the soul, in vain he strives to hide
The son's affection in the Roman's pride :
O'er all the man confli&ing pallions rise,
Rage grasps the sword, while Pity melts the eyes.

Methinks I fee with Fancy's magick eye,
The fhade of Shakspeare, in yon azure sky.
On yon high cloud behold the bard advance,
Piercing all Nature with a single glance :
In various attitudes around him stand
The Passions, waiting for his dread command.
First kneeling Love before his feet appears,
And musically sighing melts in tears.
Near him fell Jealousy with fury burns,
And into storms the amorous breathings turns ;
Then Hope with heavenward look, and Joy draws near,
While palfied Terror trembles in the rear.
Such Shakspeare's train of horror and delight, &c.

Christopher Smart's Prologue to Othello, 1751.

What are the lays of artfu! Addison,
Coldly correa, to Shakspeare's warblings wild ?'
Whom on the winding Avon's will,ow'd banks
Fair Fancy found, and bore the smiling babe
To a close cavern: (ftill the shepherds shew
The sacred place, whence with religious awe
They hear, returning from the field at eye,
Strange whisp'ring of sweet musick, through the air :)
12 Coriolanus. See Mr. Spence's dialogue on the Odyssey.

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Here, as with honey gather'd from the rock,
She fed the little prattler, and with songs
Oft footh'd his wond'ring ears; with deep delight
On her soft lap he sat, and caught the sounds.
The Enthufiaft, or the Lover of Nature, a Poem, by

the Rev. Joseph Warton.

From the Rev. Thomas Warton's Address to the

Queen on her Marriage.

Here, boldly mark’d with every living hue,
Nature's unbounded portrait Shakspeare drew :
But chief, the dreadful group of human woes
The daring artist's tragick pencil chofe ;
Explor'd the pangs that rend the royal breast,
Those wounds that lurk beneath the tissued veft, ,

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Monody, written near Stratford-upon-Avon.
Avon, thy rural views, thy pastures wild,
The willows that o'erhang thy twilight edge,
Their boughs entangling with the embattled sedge;
Thy brink with watery foliage quaintly fring’d
Thy surface with reflected verdure ting'd;
Sooth me with many a pensive pleasure mild.
But while I muse, that here the Bard Divine
Whose facred duft yon high-arch'd illes inclose,
Where the tall windows rise in stately rows,
Above th’ embowering shade,
Here first, at Fancy's fairy-circled shrine,
Of daisies pied his infant offering made ;
Here playful yet, in stripling years unripe,
Fram'd of thy reeds a shrill and artless pipe:
Sudden thy beauties, Avon, all are fled,
As at the waving of some magick wand;
And holy trance my charmed spirit wings,
And aweful shapes of leaders and of kings,

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