chapter  11
TO The Unknown DAPHNIS on his Excellent Translation of Lucretius.
Pages 4

I Thou Great Young Man permit amongst the Croud Of those that sing thy mighty Praises Loud, My humbler Muse to bring her Tribute too; Inspir’d by Thy vast Flights of Verse 5 Methinks I should some wonderous thing Reherse Worthy Divine Lucretius, and Diviner You! But I of feebler Seeds design’d, While the slow moveing Atoms strove With Careless Heed to Form my Mind, 10 Compos’d it all of softer Love: In Gentle Numbers all my Songs are drest: And when I would Thy Glories sing, What in Strong Manly Verse should be exprest Turns all to Womanish Tenderness within; 15 Whilst that which Admiration does Inspire, In other Souls, kindles in Mine a Fire. Let them Admire thee on—whilst I this newer way Pay thee yet more than They, For more I ow, since thou hast taught Me more, 20 Than all the Mighty Bards that went before; Others long since have pauld the vast Delight, In Duller Greek and Latine satisfi’d the Appetite: But I unlearn’d in Schools disdain that Mine Should treated be at any feast but Thine. 25 Till now I curst my Sex and Education, And more the scanted Customs of the Nation, Permitting not the Female Sex to tread The Mighty Paths of Learned Heroes Dead. The Godlike Virgil and Great Homers Muse 30 Like Divine Mysteries are conceal’d from us, 26 We are forbid all grateful Theams, No ravishing Thoughts approach our Ear; The Fulsom Gingle of the Times Is all we are allow’d to Understand, or Hear. 35 But as of old when Men unthinking lay, Ere Gods were worship’t, or e’re Laws were fram’d The wiser Bard that taught ’em first t’ obey, Was next to what he taught Ador’d and Fam’d; Gentler they grew, their Words and Manners chang’d; 40 And Salvage now no more the Woods they rang’d: So Thou by this Translation dost advance Our Knowledge from the State of Ignorance; And Equallst Us to Man! Oh how shall We Enough Adore, or Sacrifice enough to Thee! 45 The Mystick Terms of Rough Philosophy Thou dost so Plain and Easily Express, Yet Deck’st ’em in so soft and Gay a Dress, So Intelligent to each Capacity; That They at once Instruct, and charm the Sense 50 With heights of Fancy, Heights of Eloquence; And Reason over all unfetter’d Plays, Wanton and undisturb’d as Summers Breeze That gliding Murmurs o’re the Trees, And no hard Notion meets, or stops its way; 55 It Peirces, Conquers, and Compells As strong as Faiths resistless Oracles, Faith the Religious Souls content, Faith the secure Retreat of Routed Argument. Hail Sacred Wadham! whom the Muses Grace, 60 And from the rest of all the Reverend Pile Of Noble Palaces, design’d thy Space Where they in soft retreat might dwell. They blest thy Fabrick, and they said — do Thou Our Darling Sons contain; 65 We Thee our Sacred Nursery ordain, They said, and Blest, and it was so. And if of old the Fanes of Sylvian Gods Were Worshipt as Divine Abodes; 27 If Courts are held as sacred Things, 70 For being the Awful seats of Kings: What Veneration should be paid To Thee that hast such wondrous Poets made? To Gods for fear Devotion was design’d, And safety made us bow to Majesty: 75 Poets by Nature Aw, and Charm the Mind, Are born, not made or by Religion, or Necessity. The Learned Thirsis did to Thee belong, Who Athens Plague has so divinely sung; Thirsis to Wit, as sacred Friendship true 80 Paid mighty Cowleys memory its due. Thirsis, who while a greater Plague did reign Than that which Athens did depopulate Scattering Rebellious Fury or’e the Plain, That Threatned ruine to the Church and State, 85 Unmoved He stood and fear’d no Threats of Fate, That Loyal Champion for the Church and Crown Still did his Sovereigns Cause espouse, And was above the Thanks of the mad Senate-House. Strephon the Great, whom last you sent abroad, 90 Who writ, and Lov’d and Lookt like any God, For whom the Muses mourn, the Love sick Maids Are languishing in Melancholy shades; The Cupids flag their Wings, their Bows untye, And useless Quivers hang neglected by; 95 And scatter’d Arrows all around them ly: By murmuring Brooks the Careless Deitys are lay’d, Weeping their Rifled Power now noble Strephon’s Dead. Ah Sacred Wadham couldst thou never own But this Delight of all Mankind and thine, 100 For Ages past of Dullness this alone This charming Hero would attone, And make Thee glorious to succeeding time. But thou like Natures self disdainst to be Stinted to singularity. 105 As fast as she, thou dost Produce, And over all the sacred Mistery dost infuse No sooner was fam’d Strephons Glory set, 28 Strephon the soft, the Lovely, Gay and Great; But Daphnis rises like the Morning Star 110 That guides the wandring Traveller from afar Daphnis, whom every Grace, and Muse inspires Scarce Strephons Ravishing Poetick Fires So kindly warm, or so Divinely Cheer. Advance Young Daphnis as thou hast begun, 115 So let thy mighty Race be run; Thou in thy large Poetick Chace Beginst where others end the Race. If now thy gratefull numbers are so strong, If they so Early can such Graces show 120 Like Beauty, so surprising, whilst so young: What Daphnis, will thy riper Judgment do; When thy unbounded Verse in their own streams shall flow? What Wonders will they not produce, When thy immortal fancy’s loose. 125 Unfetter’d, Unconfin’d by any other Muse? Advance Young Daphnis then, and mayst thou prove Still happy in thy Poetry and Love. May all the Groves, with Daphnis songs be Blest, Whilst every Bark, is with thy Disticks drest: 130 May timerous Maids, learn how to love from thence, And the Glad Shepherd Arts of Eloquence: And when to solitudes thou wouldst retreat, May their tun’d Pipes, thy welcome celebrate; Whilst all the Nymphs strow Garlands at thy Feet. 135 May all the purling streams, that murmuring pass The shady Groves, and Banks of Flowers, The low reposing Beds of Grass, Contribute to thy softest Hours. Mayst thou thy muse and mistress there Caress, 140 And may one heighten t’others happiness; And whilst thou thus Divinely dost converse, We are content to know, and to admire thee in thy Verse.