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Whether, adopted to some neighb’ring star,
Thou roll’ft above us, in thy wand'ring race,
Or, in procession fix'd and regular,
Mov'd with the heav'ns majestic pace;
Or, call'd to more superior bliss,
Thou tread'ft, with seraphims, the vast abyss :
Whatever happy region is thy place,
Cease thy celestial fong a little space;
Thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine,
Since heaven's eternal year is thine.
Hear then a mortal muse thy praise rehearse,
In no ignoble verse;
But such as thy own voice did practise here,
When thy first fruits of Poefy were given ;
To make thyself a welcome inmate there :
While yet a young probationer,
And candidate of heaven.
If by traduction came thy mind,
Our wonder is the less to find
A foul fo charming from a stock so good;
Thy father was transfus’d into thy blood :
So wert thou born into a tuneful strain,
An early, rich, and inexhausted vein.
But if thy pre-exifting foul
Was formă, at first, with myriads more, It did thro' all the mighty poets roll,
Who Greek or Latin laurels wore, And was that 3 Sapho laft, which once it was before:
If so, then cease thy flight, О heaven-born mind! Thou hast no dro's to purge from thy rich ore : § And was that Sapho laft, &c. Our author here compliments Mrs. Killigrew, with admitting the doctrine of metempsychosis, and fuppofing the soul that informs her body to be the same with that of Sapho's, who lived fix hundred years before the birth of Christ, and was equally renowned for poetry and love. She was called the tenth Mule.
Nor can thy soul a fairer mansion find,
Than was the beauteous frame the left behind : Return to fill or mend the choir of thy celestial kind.
May we presume to say, that, at thy birth,
New joy was sprung in heaven, as well as here on earth.
For sure the milder planets did combine
On thy auspicious horoscope to shine,
And e'en the most malicious were in trine.
Thy brother-angels at thy birth
Strung each his lyre, and tun'd it high,
That all the people of the sky
Might know a poetess was born on earth.
And then, if ever, mortal ears
Had heard the music of the spheres.
And if no clust'ring swarm of bees
On thy sweet mouth distill’d their golden dew,
'Twas that such vulgar miracles
Heaven had not leisure to renew :
For all thy bleft fraternity of love
Solemniz'd there thy birth, and kept thy holy-day above.
O gracious God! how far have we
Prophan'd thy heavenly gift of poefy?
Made prostitute and profligate the Muse,
Debas’d to each obscene and impious use,
Whose harmony was first ordain'd above
For tongues of angels, and for hymns of love ?
O wretched we! why were we hurry'd down
This lubrique and adult’rate age,
(Nay added fat pollutions of our own)
T'increase the streaming ordures of the stage?
What can we say t'excuse our second fall?
Let this thy vestal, heaven, atone for all :
Her Arethufian stream remains unfoil'd,
Unmix'd with foreign filth, and undefil'd;
Her wit 4 was more than man, her innocence a child.
Art she had none, yet wanted none;
For nature did that want supply:
So rich in treasures of her own,
She might our boasted stores defy:
Such noble vigour did her verse adorn,
That it seem'd borrow'd, where 'twas only born.
Her morals too were in her bosom bred,
By great examples daily fed,
What in the best of books, her father's life, she read,
And to be read herself the need not fear;
Each test, and every light, her muse will bear,
Tho' Epictetus 5 with his lamp were there.
E’en love (for love fometimes her muse exprest)
Was but a lambent flame which play'd about her breast:
Light as the vapours of a morning dream,
So cold herself, whilst the such warmth exprest,
'Twas Cupid bathing in Diana's stream,
VI. Born to the spacious empire of the Nine, One would have thought, she should have been content To manage well that mighty government; But what can young ambitious souls confine?
To the next realm she stretch'd her sway,
For Painture near adjoining lay,
A plenteous province, and alluring prey.
A Chamber of Dependencies was fram’d. (As conquerors will never want pretence,
When arm’d, to justify th’offence) And the whole fief, in right of poetry, she claim’d. The country open lay without defence : For poets frequent inroads there had made,
And perfectly could represent
The shape, the face, with every lineament; And all the large domains which the Dumb Sifter sway'd,
All bow'd beneath her government,
Receiv'd in triumph wherefoe'r fhe went, Her 6 pencil drew, whate'er her foul design'd,
6 And oft the happy draught surpass’d the image in her mind,
The fylvan scenes of herds and flocks,
And fruitful plains and barren rocks,
Of shallow brooks that flow'd so clear,
The bottom did the top appear;
Of deeper too and ampler floods,
Which, as in mirrours, shew'd the woods ;
Of lofty trees, with sacred shades,
And perspectives of pleasant glades,
Where nymphs of brightest form appear,
And shaggy satyrs standing near,
Which them at once admire and fear.
The ruins too of some majestic piece,
Boasting the power of ancient Rome or Greece,
Whose statues, freezes, columns broken lie,
And, tho' defac'd, the wonder of the eye ;
What nature, art, bold fi&tion e'er durft frame,
Her forming hand gave feature to the name.
So strange a concourse ne'er was seen before,
But when the peopled ark the whole creation bore.
The scene then chang'd, with bold erected look
Our martial king the fight with rev'rence strook :
For not content t'express his outward part,
Her hand call'd out the image of his heart:
His warlike mind, his foul devoid of fear,
His high-designing thoughts were figur'd there,
As when, by magic, ghosts are made appear.
Our phenix queen was pourtray'd too fo bright,
Beauty alone could beauty take so right:
Her dress, her shape, her matchless grace,
Were all observ'd, as well as heavenly face.
With such a peerless majesty she stands,
As in that day she took the crown from sacred hands;
Before a train of heroines was seen,
In beauty foremost, as in rank, the queen.
Thus nothing to her genius was deny’d,
But like a ball of fire the further thrown,
Still with a greater blaze she shone,
And her bright soul broke out on ev'ry fide.
What next she had design’d, heaven only knows :
To such immod'rate growth her conqueft rose,
That fate alone its progress could oppose.
Now all those charms, that blooming grace,
The well-proportion'd shape, and beauteous face,
Shall never more be seen by mortal eyes;
In earth the much-lamented virgin lies.
Not wit, nor piety could fate prevent;
Nor was the cruel destiny content
To finish all the murder at a blow,
To sweep at once her life, and beauty too ;
But, like a harden'd felon, took a pride
To work more mischievously flow,
And plunder'd first, and then destroy'd.