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As if Britannia now were sunk so low,
To beg that peace she wonted to bestow?
Be far that guilt! be never known that shame!
That England should retract her rightful claim,
Or, ceasing to be dreaded and ador'd,
Stain with her pen the lustre of her sword.
Or dost thou give the winds afar to blow
Each vexing thought, and heart-devouring woe,
And fix thy mind alone on rural scenes;
To turn the leveli'd lawns to liquid plains,
To raise the creeping rills from humble beds,
And force the latent springs to lift their heads,
On watery columns, capitals to rear,
That mix their flowing curls with upper air?
Or dost thou, weary grown, these works neglect,
No temples, statues, obelisks, erect,

But catch the morning breeze from fragrant

Or shun the noontide ray in wholesome shades?
Or slowly walk along the mazy wood,
To meditate on all that's.wise and good?
For Nature, bountiful, in thee has join'd
A person pleasing with a worthy mind;

Not given thee form alone, but means, and art,
To draw the eye, or to allure the heart.
Poor were the praise in fortune to excel,
Yet want the way to use that fortune well.
While thus adorn'd, while thus with virtue crown'd,
At home in peace, abroad in arms renown'd;
Graceful in form, and winning in address;
While well you think, what aptly you express;
With health, with honour, with a fair estate,
A table free, and eloquently neat,

What can be added more to mortal bliss?
What can he want who stands possest of this?
What can the fondest wishing mother more
Of Heaven attentive for her son implore?
And yet a happiness remains unknown,
Or to philosophy reveal'd alone;

A precept which, unpractis'd, renders vain
Thy flowing hopes, and pleasure turns to pain.
Should hope and fear thy heart alternate tear,
Or love, or hate, or rage, or anxious care,
Whatever passions may thy mind infest,
(Where is that mind which passions ne'er molest?)
Amidst the pangs of such intestine strife,
Still think the present day the last of life;
Defer not till to morrow to be wise,
To morrow's Sun to thee may never rise.

Or should to Morrow chance to cheer thy sight
With her enlivening and unlook'd for light
How grateful will appear her dawning rays!
As favours unexpected doubly please.

Who thus can think, and who such thoughts pur


Content may keep his life, or calmly lose :
All proofs of this thou may'st thyself receive,
When leisure from affairs will give thee leave.
Come, see thy friend, retir'd without regret,
Forgetting care, or striving to forget;
In easy contemplation soothing time

With morals much, and now and then with rhyme:
Not so robust in body, as in mind,
And always undejected, though declin'd;
Not wondering at the world's new wicked ways,
Compar'd with those of our fore-fathers' days;
For virtue now is neither more or less,
And vice is only varied in the dress.
Believe it, men have ever been the same,
And all the golden age is but a dream.



LEAVE, leave the drawing-room,
Where flowers of beauty us'd to bloom;
The nymph that's fated to o'ercome,
Now triumphs at the Wells.
Her shape, and air, and eyes,
Her face, the gay, the grave, the wise,
The beau, in spite of box and dice,
Acknowledge, all excels.

Cease, cease, to ask her name,
The crowned Muse's noblest theme,
Whose glory by immortal Fame
Shall only sounded be.
But if you long to know,

Then look round yonder dazzling row;
Who most does like an angel show,
You may be sure 'tis she.
See near those sacred springs,
Which cure to fell diseases brings,
(As ancient fame of Ida sings)

Three goddesses appear!
Wealth, glory, two possest;
The third with charming beauty blest,
So fair, that Heaven and Earth confest
She conquer'd every where.

Like her, this charmer now
Makes every love-sick gazer bow;
Nay, even old age her power allow,
And banish'd flames recall.
Wealth can no trophy rear,
Nor Glory now the garland wear:
To Beauty every Paris here
Devotes the golden ball.

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seems to be altogether forgotten, or unknown, by our English writers.

There is nothing more frequent among us, than a sort of poems entitled Pindaric Odes; pretending to be written in imitation of the manner and style of Pindar, and yet I do not know that there is to this day extant, in our language, one ode contrived after his model. What idea can an English reader have of Pindar, (to whose mouth, when a child, the bees brought their honey, in omen of the future sweetness and melody of his songs) when be shall see such rumbling and grating papers of verses, pretending to be copies of his works?

The character of these late Pindaries is, a bundle of rambling incoherent thoughts, expressed in a like parcel of irregular stanzas, which also consist of such another complication of disproportioned, uncertain, and perplexed verses and rhymes. And I appeal to any reader, if this is not the condition in which these titular odes appear.

On the contrary, there is nothing more regular than the odes of Pindar, both as to the exact observation of the measures and numbers of his stanzas and verses, and the perpetual coherence of his thoughts. For though his digressions are frequent, and his transitions sudden, yet is there ever some secret connection, which, though not always appearing to the eye, never fails to communicate itself to the understanding of the reader.

The liberty which he took in his numbers, and which has been so misunderstood and misapplied by his pretended imitators, was only in varying the stanzas in different odes; but in each particular ode they are ever correspondent one to another in their turns, and according to the order of the ode.

All the odes of Pindar which remain to us, are songs of triumph, victory, or success, in the Grecian games: they were sung by a chorus, and adapted to the lyre, and sometimes to the lyre and pipe: they consisted oftenest of three stanzas; the first was called the strophe, from the version or circular motion of the singers in that stanza from the right hand to the left. The second stanza was called the antistrophé, from the contraversion of the chorus; the singers, in performing that, turning from the left hand to the right, contrary always to their motion in the strophé. The third stanza was called the epode, (it may be as being the after-song) which they sung in the middle, neither turning to one hand nor the other.

What the origin was of these different motions and stations in singing their odes, is not our present business to inquire. Some have thought, that, by the contrariety of the strophé and antistrophé, they intended to represent the contrarotation of the primum mobile, in respect of the secunda mobilia; and that, by their standing still at the epode, they meant to signify the stability of the Earth. Others ascribe the institution to Theseus, who thereby expressed the windings and turnings of the labyrinth, in celebrating his return from


The method observed in the composition of these odes, was therefore as follows: The poet having made choice of a certain number of verses to con stitute his strophé, or first stanza, was obliged to observe the same in his antistrophé, or second

stanza; and which accordingly perpetually agreed whenever repeated, both in number of verses and quantity of feet: he was then again at liberty to make a new choice for his third stanza, or epode; where, accordingly, he diversified his numbers, as his ear or fancy led him: composing that stanza of more or fewer verses than the former, and those verses of different measures and quantities, for the greater variety of harmony, and entertainment of the ear.

But then this epode being thus formed, he was strictly obliged to the same measure as often as he should repeat it in the order of his ode, so that every epode in the same ode is eternally the same in measure and quantity, in respect to itself; as is also every strophé and antistrophe, in respect to each other.

The lyric poet Stesichorus (whom Longinus reckons amongst the ablest imitators of Homer, and of whom Quintilian says, that if he could have kept within bounds, he would have been nearest of any body, in merit, to Homer) was, if not the inventor of this order in the ode, yet so strict an observer of it in his compositions, that the three stanzas of Stesichorus became a common proverb to express a thing universally known, ne tria quidem Stesichori nôstri; so that when any one had a mind to reproach another with excessive ignorance, he could not do it more effectually than by telling him, "he did not so much as know the three stanzas of Stesichorus ;" that is, did not know that an ode ought to consist of a strophé, an antistrophé, and an epode. If this was such a mark of ignorance among them, I am sure we have been pretty long liable to the same reproof; I mean, in respect of our imitations of the odes of Pindar.

My intention is not to make a long preface to a short ode, nor to enter upon a dissertation of lyric poetry in general: but thus much I thought proper to say, for the information of those readers whose course of study has not led them into such inquiries.

I hope I shall not be so misunderstood, as to have it thought that I pretend to give an exact copy of Pindar in this ensuing ode; or that I look upon it as a pattern for his imitators for the future: far from such thoughts, I have only given an instance of what is practicable, and am sensible that I am as distant from the force and elevation of Pindar, as others have hitherto been from the harmony and regularity of his numbers.

Again, we having no chorus to sing our odes, the titles, as well as use of strophé, antistrophé, and epode, are obsolete and impertinent: and certainly there may be very good English odes, without the distinction of Greek appellations to their stanzas. That I have mentioned them here, and observed the order of them in the ensuing ode, is therefore only the more intelligibly to explain the extraordinary regularity of the com position of these odes, which have been repre sented to us hitherto, as the most confused structures in nature.

However, though there be no necessity that our triumphal odes should consist of the three aforementioned stanzas; yet if the reader can observe, that the great variation of the numbers in the third stanza (call it epode, or what you please) has a pleasing effect in the ode, and makes him


return to the first and second stanzas with more appetite than he could do, if always cloyed with the same quantities and measures; I cannot see why some use may not be made of Pindar's example, to the great improvement of the English ode There is certainly a pleasure in beholding any thing that has art and difficulty in the contrivance; especially if it appears so carefully executed, that the difficulty does not show itself, till it is sought for; and that the seeming easiness of the work, first sets us upon the inquiry. Nothing can be called beautiful without proportion. When symmetry and harmony are wanting, neither the eye nor the ear can be pleased. Therefore certainly poetry, which includes painting and music, should not be destitute of them; and of all poetry, especially the ode, whose end and essence is harmony.

Mr. Cowley, in his preface to his Pindaric Odes, speaking of the music of numbers, says, "which sometimes (especially in songs and odes) almost without any thing else, makes an excellent poet."

Having mentioned Mr. Cowley, it may very well be expected, that something should be said of him, at a time when the imitation of Pindar is the theme of our discourse. But there is that great deference due to the memory, great parts, and learning, of that gentleman, that I think nothing should be objected to the latitude he has taken in his Pindaric odes. The beauty of his verses is an atonement for the irregularity of his stanzas; and though he did not imitate Pindar in the strictness of his numbers, he has very often happily copied him in the force of his figures, and sublimity of his style and sentiments.

Yet I must beg leave to add, that I believe those irregular odes of Mr. Cowley may have been the principal, though innocent, occasion of so many deformed poems since, which, instead of being true pictures of Pindar, have (to use the Italian painters' term) been only caricatures of him, resemblances that, for the most part, have been either horrid or ridiculous.

For my own part, I frankly own my errour in having heretofore miscalled a few irregular stanzas a Pindaric ode; and possibly, if others, who have been under the same mistake, would ingenuously confess the truth, they might own, that, never having consulted Pindar himself, they took all his irregularity upon trust; and, finding their account in the great ease with which they could produce odes without being obliged either to measure or design, remained satisfied; and, it may be, were not altogether unwilling to neglect being undeceived.

Though there be little (if any thing) left of Orpheus but his name, yet, if Pausanias was well informed, we may be assured that brevity was a beauty which he most industriously laboured to preserve in his hymus, notwithstanding, as the same author reports, that they were but few in number.

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The shortness of the following ode will, I hope, atone for the length of the preface, and, in some measure, for the defects which may be found in it. It consists of the same number of stanzas with that beautiful ode of Pindar, which is the first of his Pythics; and though I was unable to imitate him in any other beauty, I resolved to endeavour

to copy his brevity, and take the advantage of a remark he has made in the last strophé of the same ode; which take in the paraphrase of Sudorius.

Qui multa paucis stringere commode
Novere, morsus hi facile invidos
Spernunt, & auris mensque pura
Omne supervacuum rejectat.


DAUGhter of Memory, immortal Muse,
Calliope; what poet wilt thou choose,
Of Anna's name to sing?

To whom wilt thou thy fire impart,
Thy lyre, thy voice, and tuneful art;
Whom raise sublime on thy ethereal wing,
And consecrate with dews.of thy Castalian spring?

Without thy aid, the most aspiring mind
Must flag beneath, to narrow flights confin'd,
Striving to rise in vain:

Nor e'er can hope with equal lays
To celebrate bright Virtue's praise.

Thy aid obtain'd, ev'n I, the humblest swain,
climb Pierian heights, and quit the lowly


High in the starry orb is hung,

And next Alcides' guardian arm,
That harp to which thy Orpheus sung,.
Who woods, and rocks, and winds, could
charm ;

That harp which on Cyllene's shady hill,
When first the vocal shell was found,

With more than mortal skill
Inventor Hermes taught to sound:
Hermes on bright Latona's son,
By sweet persuasion won,
The wondrous work bestow'd ;
Latona's son, to thine

Indulgent, gave the gift divine:

A god the gift, a god th' invention show'd.
To that high-sounding lyre I tune my strains
A lower note his lofty song disdains

Who sings of Anna's name.

The lyre is struck! the sounds I hear!
O Muse, propitious to my prayer!
O well-known sounds! O Melody, the same
That kindled Mantuan fire, and rais'd Mæonian

Nor are these sounds to British bards unknown,
Or sparingly reveal'd to one alone:
Witness sweet Spenser's lays:
And witness that immortal song,
As Spenser sweet, as Milton strong,
Which humble Boyue o'er Tiber's flood could



And mighty William sing with well proportion'd

Rise, fair Augusta, lift thy head,

With golden towers thy front adorn;
Come forth, as comes from Tithon's bed
With cheerful ray the ruddy Morn.
Thy lovely form, add fresh-reviving state,
In crystal flood of Thames survey ;

Then bless thy better fate,
Bless Anna's most auspicious sway.

While distant realms and neighbouring lands, Attempt not to proceed, unwary Muse,

Arm'd troops and hostile bands

On every side molest :

Thy happier clime is free,

Fair Capital of Liberty!

And plenty knows, and days of halcyon rest.

As Britain's isle, when old vex'd Ocean roars,
Unshaken sees against her silver shores

His foaming billows beat;

So Britain's queen, amidst the jars
And tumults of a world in wars,

Fix'd on the base of her well-founded state, Serene and safe looks down, nor feels the shocks of fate.

But greatest souls, though blest with sweet re-

Are soonest touch'd with sense of others' woes.
Thus Anna's mighty mind,

To mercy and soft pity prone,

And mov'd with sorrows not her own,

Has all her peace and downy rest resign'd,

To wake for common good, and succour human

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Fly, Tyranny; no more be known
Within Europa's blissful bound;

Far as th' unhabitable zone

Fly every hospitable ground.

To horrid Zembla's frozen realms repair,
There with the baleful belda, Night,
Unpeopled empire share,

And rob those lands of legal right.
For now is come the promis'd hour,
When Justice shall have power;
Justice to Earth restor'd!

Again Astrea reigns!

Anna her equal scale maintains,

And Marlborough wields her sure-deciding sword.


Now, couldst thou soar, my Muse, to sing the man
In heights sublime, as when the Mantuan swan
Her towering pinions spread;
Thou should'st of Marlborough sing, whose
Unerring from his queen's command,
Far as the seven-mouth'd Ister's secret head,
To save th' imperial state, her hardy Britons led.

Nor there thy song should end; though all the

Might well their harps and heavenly voices join
To sing that glorious day,

When bold Bavaria fled the field,
And veteran Gauls, unus'd to yield,
On Blenheim's plain imploring mercy lay;

And spoils and trophies won, perplex'd the victor's


But could thy voice of Blenheim sing,
And with success that song pursue;
What art could aid thy wearied wing
To keep the victor still in view?

For as the Sun ne'er stops his radiant flight,
Nor sets, but with impartial ray

To all who want his light
Alternately transfers the day:
So in the glorious round of fame,
Great Marlborough, still the same,
Incessant runs his course:

To climes remote and near

His conquering arms by turns appear, And universal iş his aid and force.

For O! what notes, what numbers could'st thou
Though in all numbers skill'd, [choose,

To sing the hero's matchless deed,
Which Belgia sav'd, and Brabant freed;
To sing Ramillia's day to which must yield
Canna's illustrious fight, and fam'd Pharsalia's

In the short course of a diurnal Sun,
Behold the work of many ages done!

What verse such worth can raise?
Lustre and life, the poet's art

To middle virtue may impart;

But deeds sublime, exalted high like these, Transcend his utmost flight, and mock his distant praise.

Still would the willing Muse aspire,

With transport still her strains prolong;
But fear unstrings the trembling lyre,
And admiration stops her song.

Go on, great chief, in Anna's cause proceed;
Nor sheath the terrours of thy sword,

Till Europe thou hast freed,
And universal peace restor❜d.

This mighty work when thou shalt end,
Equal rewards attend,

Of value far above

Thy trophies and thy spoils;

Rewards ev'n worthy of thy toils,

The queen's just favour, and thy country's love.





-Quemvis mediâ erue turba:

Aut ob avaritiam, aut miserá ambitione laborat.
Hunc capit argenti splendor-

Hic mutat merces surgente à sole, ad eum quo
Vespertina tepet regio: quin per mare præceps

Omnes hi metuunt versus, odêre poetas.
Hor. I. i. Sat. 4.

To hazardous attempts and hardy toile
Ambition some excites;

And some desire of martial spoils
To bloody fields invites;

Others insatiate thirst of gain
Provokes to tempt the dangerous main,
To pass the burning line, and bear

Th' inclemency of winds, and seas, and air;
Pressing the doubtful voyage till India's shore
Her spicy bosom bares, and spreads her shining ora,
Nor widows' tears, nor tender orphans' cries,

Can stop th' invader's force;

Nor swelling seas, nor threatening skies,

Prevent the pirate's course:

Their lives to selfish ends decreed,
Through blood or rapine they proceed;
No anxious thoughts of ill repute

Suspend th' impetuous and unjust pursuit:
But power and wealth obtain'd, guilty and great,
Their fellow-creatures fears they raise, or urge their


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But not for these his ivory lyre
Will tuneful Phoebus string,

Nor Polyhymnia, crown'd amid the choir,
Th' immortal epode sing.

Thy springs, Castalia, turn their streams aside
From rapine, avarice, and pride;
Nor do thy greens, shady Aonia, grow

To bind with wreaths a tyrant's brow.

How just, most mighty Jove, yet how severe,
Is thy supreme decree,

That impious men shall joyless hear
The Muse's harmony!

Their sacred songs, (the recompense

Of virtue and of innocence)

Which pious minds to rapture raise,
And worthy deeds at once excite and praise,
To guilty hearts afford no kind relief;

But add inflaming rage, and more afflicting grief.
Monstrous Typhoeus thus new terrours fill,
He, who assail'd the skies,

And now beneath the burning hill
Of dreadful Etna lies.

Hearing the lyre's celestial sound,
He bellows in th' abyss profound;
Sicilia trembles at his roar,

Tremble the seas, and far Campania's shore; While all his hundred mouths at once respire Volumes of curling smoke, and floods of liquid


From Heaven alone all good proceeds;
To heavenly minds belong

All power and love, Godolphin, of good deeds,
And sense of sacred song!

And thus most pleasing are the Muse's lays

To them who merit most her praise ! Wherefore, for thee her ivory lyre she strings,

And soars with rapture while she sings.

Whether affairs of most important weight
Require thy aiding hand,

And Anna's cause and Europe's fate
Thy serious thoughts demand
Whether thy days and nights are spent
În cares, on public good intent;
Or whether leisure hours invite

To manly sports, or to refin'd delight;
In courts residing, or to plains retir'd,
Where generous steeds contest, with emulation

Thee still she seeks, and timeful sings thy name,
As once she Theron sung,

While with the deathless worthy's fame
Olympian Pisa rung:

Nor less sublime is now her choice:
Nor less inspir'd by thee her voice.

And now she loves aloft to sound

The man for more than mortal deeds renown'd;

Varying anon her theme, she takes delight

And now awhile the well-strain'd coursers

And now, my Muse, prepare [breathe;
Of olive-leaves a twisted wreathi

To bind the victor's hair.
Pallas, in care of human-kind,

The fruitful olive first design'd;

Deep in the glebe her spear she lanc'd, When all at once the laden boughs advanc'd: The gods with wonder view'd the teeming Earth, And all, with one consent, approv'd the beautcous birth.

This done, earth-shaking Neptune next essay'd, In bounty to the world,

To emulate the blue-ey'd maid;

And his huge trident hurl'd
Against the sounding beach; the stroke
Transfix'd the globe, and open broke

The central earth, whence, swift as light, Forth rush'd the first-born horse. Stupendous


Neptune for human good the beast ordains, Whom soon he tam'd to use, and taught to bear the reins.

Thus gods contended (noble strife,

Worthy the heavenly mind!)

Who most should do to soften anxious life,
And most endear mankind,
Thus thou, Godolphin, dost with Marlborough

From whose joint toils we rest derive:
Triumph in wars abroad his arm assures,

Sweet Peace at home thy care secures.



To thee, dear Dick, this tale I send,
Both as a critic and a friend.

I tell it with some variation

(Not altogether a translation)

From La Fontaine; an author, Dick,
Whose Muse would touch thee to the quick.
The subject is of that same kind,

To which thy heart seems most inclin'd:
How verse may alter it, God knows ;
Thou lov'st it well, I'm sure in prose.
So, without preface, or pretence,
To hold thee longer in suspense,
I shall proceed, as I am able,
To the recital of my fable.

A goblin of the merry kind, More black of hue, than curst of mind, To help a lover in distress,

Contriv'd a charm with such success,

The swift-heel'd horse to praise, and sing his rapid That in short space the cruel dame


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Relented, and return'd his flame.
The bargain, made betwixt them both,
Was bound by honour and by oath :
The lover laid down his salvation,
And Satan stak'd his reputation.
The latter promis'd on his part

(To serve his friend, and show his art) That madam should by twelve o'clock, Though hitherto as hard as rock,

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