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Or deeming meanest what we greatest call,
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
In vain to Deserts thy retreat is made ;
E PIS T L E
TO JA MES CRAGGS, Esq.
SECRETARY of STATE.
Soul as full of Worth, as void of Pride,
Secretary of State.] In the Year 1720. P.
To Mr. JER V A S,
With Mr. DRYDEN's Translation of
FRESNOY's Art of Painting.
HIS Verfe be thine, my friend, nor thou
refuse This, from no venal or ungrateful Muse. Whether thy hand strike out some free design, Where Life awakes, and dawns at ev'ry line; Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass, 5 And from the canvas call the mimic face : Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire Fresnoy's close Art, and Dryden's native Fire : And reading with, like theirs, our fate and fame, So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name; Like them to shine thro' long succeeding age, So just thy skill, so regular my rage.
Smit with the love of Sister-Arts we came, And met congenial, mingling flame with flame; Like friendly colours found them both unite,
15 And each from each contract new strength and light.
NOTES. Epifi. 10 114. Jerr'a.] This Epistle, and the two following, were written ivme years before the reft, and originally printed in 1717. P.
How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
? How oft our slowly growing works impart, While Images reflect from art to art?
20 How oft review ; each finding like a friend Something to blame, and something to commend?
What flatering scenes ourwand'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, Qr seek fome Ruin's formidable shade : While fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view, And builds imaginary Rome a new, Here thy well-study'd 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 softer line, Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears This small, well-polish'd Gem, the * work of years! Yet ftill how faint by precept is exprest 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.
NOTES. * Fresnoy employed above twenty Years in finishing his Poem.P. ID 4
Muse! at that Name thy sacred forrows shed,
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage;
60 Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow, And foft 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.
70 Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe an air divine on ev'ry face; Yet should the Muses bid niy numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul; With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, 75 And these be sung 'till Granville’s Myra die : Alas! how little from the grave we claim ! Thou but preserv'st a Face, and I a Name.