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Around from all the neighb'ring ftreets,
The wound it feem'd both fore and fad,
And while they fwore the dog was mad,
But foon a wonder came to light,
STA N Z
WHEN lovely woman ftoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray, What charm can footh her melancholy, What art can wash her guilt away ?
The only art her guilt to cover,
And wring his bofom-is to die.
REV. HENRY GOLDSMITH.
A M fenfible that the friendship between us can acquire no new force from the ceremonies of a Dedication; and perhaps it demands an excufe thus to prefix your name to my attempts, which you decline giving with your own. But as a part of this Poem was formerly written to you from Switzerland, the whole can now, with propriety, be only infcribed to you. It will alfo throw a light upon many parts of it, when the reader understands, that it is addreffed to a man, who defpifing Fame and Fortune has retired early to Happiness and Obfcurity, with an income of forty pounds a year.
I Now perceive, my dear brother, the wisdom of your humble choice. You have entered upon a facred office, where the harvest is great, and the labourers are but few; while you have left the field of Ambition, where the labourers are many, and the harveft not worth carrying away. But of all kinds of ambition, what from the refinement of the times, from different fyftems of criticism, and from the divifions of party, that which purfues poetical fame is the wildest.
POETRY makes a principal amufement among unpolished nations; but in a country verging to the extremes of refinement, Painting and Mufic come in for a fhare. As thefe offer the feeble mind a lefs laborious entertainment, they at firft rival Poetry, and at length
fupplant her; they engrofs all that favour once fhewn to her, and though but younger fifters, feize upon the elder's birth-right.
YET, however this art may be neglected by the powerful, it is still in greater danger from the mistaken efforts of the learned to improve it. What criticisms have we not heard of late in favour of blank verfe, and Pindaric odes, choruffes, anapefts and iambics, alliterative care and happy negligence! Every abfurdity has now a champion to defend it, and as he is generally much in the wrong, fo he has always much to fay; for error is ever talkative.
BUT there is an enemy to this art ftill more dangerous, I mean Party. Party entirely diftorts the judgment, and deftroys the tafte. When the mind is once infected with this difeafe, it can only find pleasure in what contributes to increase the distemper. Like the tyger that seldom defifts from pursuing man after having once preyed upon human flesh, the reader who has once gratified his appetite with calumny, makes ever after, the moft agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such readers generally admire fome half-witted thing, who wants to be thought a bold man, having loft the character of a wife one. Him they dignify with the name of poet; his tawdry lampoons are called fatires, his turbulence is faid to be force, and his phrenzy fire.
WHAT reception a poem may find, which has neither abuse, party, nor blank verse to support it, I cannot tell, nor am I folicitous to know. My aims are right.Without efponfing the caufe of any party, I have attempted to moderate the rage of all. I have endeavour
ed to fhew, that there may be equal happinefs in ftates,