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Such was your gen'rous grandfire; free to grant
In parliaments, that weigh'd their prince's want :
But fo tenacious of the common cause,
As not to lend the king against his laws.
And, in a loathsome dungeon doom'd to lie,
In bonds retain'd his birth-right liberty,
And sham’d oppression, till it fet him free.

O true descendent of a patriot line,
Who, while thou shar'ft their lustre, lend'It them thine,
Vouchsafe this picture of thy soul to see ;
'Tis so far good, as it resembles thee :
The beauties to th’original I owe;
Which when I miss, my own defects I show :
Nor think the kindred muses thy disgrace:
A

poet is not born in ev'ry race.
Two of a house few ages can afford;
One to perform, another to record.
Praise-worthy actions are by thee embrac'd ;
And 'tis my praise, to make thy praises last.
For ev’n when death diffolves our human frame,
The soul returns to heaven from whence it came;
Earth keeps the body, verse preserves the fame,

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EPISTLE the FOURTEENTH.

Τ Ο

Sir GODFREY KNELLER,

Principal PAINTER to his MAJESTY.

to

And still the sweet idea charms my mind :
True, she was dumb; for nature gaz'd so long,
Pleas'd with her work, that she forgot her tongue į
But, smiling, said, She still shall gain the prize;
I only have transferr'd it

her

eyes.
Such are thy pictures, Kneller: such thy skill,
That nature seems obedient to thy will;
Comes out, and meets thy pencil in the draught;
Lives there, and wants but words to speak her thought.
At least thy pictures look a voice; and we
Imagine sounds, deceiv'd to that degree,
We think 'tis somewhat more than just to see.

Shadows are but privations of the light;
Yet, when we walk, they shoot before the fights
With us approach, retire, arise, and fall;
Nothing themselves, and yet exprefling all.
Such are thy pieces, imitāting life
So near, they almost conquer in the strife;
And from their animated canvass came,
Demanding fouls, and loosen'd from the frame.

Prometheus, were he here, would caft away
His Adam, and refuse a soul to clay ;

And

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And either would thy noble work inspire,
Or think it warm enough, without his fire.

But vulgar hands may vulgar likeness raise ;
This is the least attendant on thy praise:
From hence the rudiments of art began;
A coal, or chalk, firit imitated man:
Perhaps the shadow, taken on a wall,
Gave outlines to the rude original;
Ere canvass yet was strain’d, before the grace
Of blended colours found their use and place,
Or cypress tablets first receiv'd a face.

By flow degrees the godlike art advanc'd;
As man grew polith's, picture was in hanc'd:
Greece added posture, shade, and perspective;
And then the mimic piece began to live.
Yet perspective was lame, no distance true,
But all came forward in one common view:
No point of light was known, no bounds of art;
When light was there, it knew not to depart,
But glaring on remoter objects play'd;
Not languilh’d, and insensibly decay'd.

Rome rais’d not art, but barely kept alive,
And with old Greece unequally did ftrive:
Till Goths, and Vandals, a rude northern race,
Did all the matchless monuments deface.
Then all the Muses in one ruin lie,
And rhime began t'enervate poetry.
Thus, in a stupid military state,
The pen and pencil find an equal fate.
Flat faces, such as would disgrace a skreen,
Such as in Bantam's embassy were seen,
Unrais'd, unrounded, were the rude delight
Of brutal nations, only born to fight,

Long time the fifter arts, in iron sleep,
A heavy fabbath did supinely keep:

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At length, in Raphael's age, at once they rile,
Stretch all their limbs, and open all their eyes.

Thence rose the Roman, and the Lombard line:
One colour'd beft, and one did best design.
Raphael's, like Homer's, was the nobler part,
But Titian's painting look'd like Virgil's art.

Thy genius gives thee both; where true design,
Postures unforc'd, and lively colours join.
Likeness is ever there; but ftill the best,
Like proper thoughts in lofty language dreft:
Where light, to shades descending, plays, not ftrives,
Dies by degrees, and by degrees revives.
Of various parts a perfect whole is wrought:
Thy pictures think, and we divine their thought.

Shakespear, thy 4 gift, I place before my fight;
With awe, I ask his blessing ere I write;
With rev’rence look on his majestic face;
Proud to be less, but of his godlike race.
His foul inspires me, while thy praise I write,
And I, like Teucer, under Ajax fight:
Bids thee, thro’ me, be bold; with dauntless breast
Contemn the bad, and emulate the best.
Like his, thy critics.in th' attempt are loft:
When most they rail, know then, they envy moft.
In vain they snarl aloof; a noisy croud,
Like womens anger, impotent and loud.
While they their barren industry deplore,
Pass on secure, and mind the goal before.
Old as she is, my muse shall march behind,
Bear off the blaft, and intercept the wind.
Our arts are fifters, tho' not twins in birth;
For hymns were sung in Eden's happy earth :
But oh, the painter muse, thoʻlast in place,
Has seiz'd the blessing first, like Jacob's race.

4 Shakespear's picture drawn by Kneller and given to the author.

Apelles'

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Apelles' art an Alexander found;
And Raphael did with 5 Leo's gold abound;
But Homer was with barren laurel crown'd.
Thou hadst thy Charles a while, and so had I;
But pass we that unpleasing image by.
Rich in thyself, and of thyself divine ;
All pilgrims come and offer at thy hrine.
A graceful truth thy pencil can command;
The fair themselves go mended from thy hand.
Likeness appears in every lineament;
But likeness in thy work is eloquent.
Tho' nature there her true resemblance bears,
A nobler beauty in thy piece appears.
So warm thy work, fo glows the gen'rous frame,
Flesh looks less living in the lovely dame.
Thou paint'st as we describe, improving still,
When on wild nature we ingraft our skill;
But not creating beauties at our will.

But poets are confin'd in narrower space,
To speak the language of their native place:
The painter widely stretches his command;
Thy pencil speaks the tongue of every land.
From hence, my friend, all climates are your own,
Nor can you forfeit, for

you

hold of none.
All nations all immunities will give
To make you theirs, where'er you please to live;
And not seven cities, but the world would strive.

Sure some propitious planet then did fmile,
When first you were conducted to this ifle:
Our genius brought you here, t'inlarge our fame;
For your good stars are ev'ry where the same.
Thy matchless hand, of ev'ry region free,
Adopts our climate, not our climate thee.

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5 Pope Leo X. employ'd Raphael at Rome, and gave him farge fums of money. The Vatican was painted by Raphael and Michael Angelo.

Great

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