Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons by Edmond Waller.
Waller, Edmund, 1606-1687.
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Vpon the Earl of Roscommon's Translation of Horace De Arte Poetica: And of the Use of Poetry.
ROme was not better by her Horace taught,
Than we are here to comprehend his thought▪
The Poet writ to Noble Piso there,
A Noble Piso do's instruct us here,
Gives us a pattern in his flowing Style,
And with rich Precepts do's oblige our Isle;
Britain, whose Genius is in Verse exprest
•old and Sublime, but negligently drest.
Horace will our superfluous Branches 〈◊〉
Give us new Rules, and set our Harp in tune;
Page 256 Direct us how to back the winged Horse,
Favour his flight, and moderate his force.
Thô Poets may of Inspiration boast;
Their Rage ill govern'd, in the Clouds is lost.
He that proportion'd wonders can disclose,
At once his Fancy and his Judgment shows.
Chaste moral writing we may learn from hence;
Neglect of which no Wit can recompence:
The Fountain which from Helicon proceeds,
That sacred stream should never water weeds;
Nor make the Crop of thorns and thistles grow,
Which Envy or perverted Nature sow.
Well sounding Verses are the Charm we use,
Heroick Thoughts, and Vertue to infuse;
Things of deep sence we may in Prose unfold,
But they move more, in lofty Numbers told;
By the loud Trumpet, which our Courage aids,
We learn that sound, as well as sence, perswades.
Page 257 The Muse's Friend unto himself severe;
With silen• pity looks on all that E•r;
But where a brave, a publick Action shines;
That he rewards with his Immortal Lines.
Whether it be in Council or in Fight;
His Countries Honour is his chief delight:
Praise of great Acts he seatters, as a seed,
Which may the like, in coming Ages breed.
Here taught the fate of Verses, always priz'd
With admiration, or as much despis'd;
Men will be less indulgent to their Faults,
And patience have so cultivate their thoughts:
Poets lo•e hal• the praise they should have got,
Could it be known what they discreetly blot:
Finding new Words, that to the Ravisht Ear
May like the Language of the Gods appear;
Such as of old, wife Bards employ'd, to make
Unpolisht Men their wild Retreats forsake;
Page 258 Law giving Heroes, fam'd for taming Brutes,
And raising Cities with their charming Lutes:
For rudest minds with Harmony were caught,
And civil Life was by the Muses taught.
So wandring Bees would perish in the Air,
Did not a sound proportion'd to their Ear,
Appease their Rage, invite them to the Hive,
Unite their Force, and teach them how to thrive,
To rob the Flowers, and to forbear the Spoil;
Preserv'd in Winter by their Summers Toil,
They give us Food, which may with Nectar vie,
And Wax, that do's the absent Sun supply.