Friend the Author,
Opinion of his POEM.
ASK me not, Friend, what I Approve or Blame,
Perhaps I know not why I Like, or Damn;
I can be Pleas'd; and I dare own I am.
I read Thee over with a Lover's Eye,
Thou hast no Faults, or I no Faults can spy;
Thou art all Beauty, or all Blindness I.
Criticks, and aged Beaux of Fancy chast,
Who ne'er had Fire, or else whose Fire is past,
Must judge by Rules what they want Force to Taste.
I wou'd a Poet, like a Mistress, try,
Not by her Hair, her Hand, her Nose, her Eye;
But by some Nameless Pow'r, to give me Joy.
The Nymph has G———n's, C———l's, C———l's Charm,
If with resistless Fires my Soul she warms
With Balm upon her Lips, and Raptures in her Arms.
Such is thy Genius, and such Art is thine,
Some secret Magick works in ev'ry Line;
We judge not, but we feel the Pow'r Divine.
Where all is Just, is Beauteous, and is Fair,
Distinctions vanish of peculiar Air.
Lost in our Pleasure, we Enjoy in you
Lucretius, Horace, S———d, M———gue.
And yet 'tis thought, some Criticks in this Town,
By Rules to all, but to themselves, unknown
Will Damn thy Verse, and Justify their own.
Why, let them Damn: Were it not wond'rous hard
Facetious M———, and the City B———
So near ally'd in Learning, Wit, and Skill,
Shou'd not have leave to Judge, as well as Kill?
Nay, let them write; Let them their Forces join,
And hope the Motly Piece may Rival thine.
Safely despise their Malice, and their Toil,
Which Vulgar Ears alone will reach, and will defile.
Be it thy Gen'rous Pride to please the Best,
Whose Judgment, and whose Friendship is a Test.
With Learned H——— thy healing Cares be join'd,
Search thoughtful R———e to his inmost Mind:
Unite, restore your Arts, and save Mankind.
Whilst all the busie M———ls of the Town
Envy our Health, and pine away their own.
When e'er thou wou'dst a Tempting Muse engage,
Judicious W———h can best direct her Rage.
To S———s, and to D———t too submit,
And let their Stamp Immortalize thy Wit.
Consenting Phœbus bows, if they Approve,
And Ranks thee with the foremost Bards above:
Whilst these of Right the Deathless Laurel send,
Be it my Humble Bus'ness to Commend
The faithful, honest Man, and the well-natur'd Friend.