wife, Tis more to guide than spur the Muses steed. Might he return, and bless once more our eyes, New Blackmores and new Milbourns must arise; Nay should great Homer lift his awful head, Zoilus again would start up from the dead. 'Tis more to guide, than spur the Muse's steed; Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed; The winged courser, like a gen'rous horse, Shows most true mettle when you check his course. Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill. Be Homers works your study and delight, Read them by day, and meditate by night; Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims bring, And trace the Muses upward to their spring. Some ne'er advance a judgment of their own, But catch the spreading notion of the town; They reason and conclude by precedent, And own stale nonsense which they ne'er invent. Be silent always when you doubt your sense; And speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence: Some positive, persisting fops we know, Who, if once wrong, will needs be always so; But you, with pleasure own your errors past, And make each day a critic. Pope argued that human nature is ever the same. . All the Nine inspire, And bless their critic with a poet's fire. Be Homer's works your study and delight, Read them by day, and meditate by night; Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims bring, And trace the Muses upward to their spring; Still with itself compar'd, his text peruse; And let your comment be the Mantuan. On whose honour'd brow The poet's bays and critic's ivy grow: Cremona now shall ever boast thy name, As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!
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Artist cant go beyond his intention, he is limited within his desires. The mighty Stagirite first left the shore, Spread all his sails, and durst the deeps explore: He steer'd securely, and discover'd far, Led by the light of the Monian Star. Then Criticism the Muses handmaid proved, To dress her charms, and make her more beloved: But following wits from that intention strayd, Who could not win the mistress, wood the maid; Against the poets their own arms they turnd, Sure to hate most the men. So pleas'd at first, the tow'ring Alps we try, Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky; Th' eternal snows appear already past, And the first clouds and mountains seem the last; But those attain'd, we tremble to survey The growing labours. What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind; Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence, And fills up all the mighty void of sense! When first young Maro in his boundless mind A work t' outlast immortal Rome design'd, Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law, And but from Nature's fountains scorn'd to draw: But when t' examine ev'ry part he came, Nature and Homer were, he found, the. Meanly they seek the blessing to confine, And force that sun but on a part to shine; Which not alone the southern wit sublimes, But ripens spirits in cold northern climes; Which from the first has shone on ages past, Enlights the present, and shall.
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