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ENCOMIUMS ON DRYDEN.
ON MR. DRYDEN'S RELIGIO LAICI.
BY THE EARL OF ROSCOMMON.
gone, you slaves, you idle vermin go, Fly from the scourges, and your master know; Let free, impártial men, from Dryden learn Mysterious secrets, of a high concern, And weighty truths; solid convincing sense, Explain'd by unaffected eloquence. What can you (reverend Levi) here take ill? Men still had faults, and men will have them still; He that hath none, and lives as angels do, Must be an angel; but what's that to you?
While miglity Lewis finds the Pope too great, And dreads the yoke of his imposing seat, Our sects a more tyrannic pow'r assume, And would for scorpions change the rods of Rome; That church detain'd the legacy divine; Fanatics cast the pearls of heav'n to swine: What then have thinking honest men to do, But choose a mean between the usurping two?
Nor can the’ Egyptian patriarch blame thy Muse, Which for his firmness does his heat excuse; Whatever councils have approv'd his creed, The preface, sure, was his own act and deed.
Our church will have that preface read you'll say: 'Tis true; but so she will the' Apocrypba; And such as can believe them, freely may.
But did that God (so little understood) Whose darling attribute is being good, From the dark womb of the rude chaos bring Such various creatures, and make man their king: Yet leave his favourite man, his chiefest care, More wretched than the vilest insects are?
O! how much happier and more safe are they? If helpless millions must be doom'd a prey To yelling furies, and for ever burn In that sad place from whence is no return; For unbelief in one they never knew, Or for not doing what they could not do! The very fiends know for what crime they fell, And so do all their followers that rebel: If then a blind, well-meaning, Indian stray, Shall the great gulf be show'd him for the way?
For better ends our kind Redeemer died, Or the fall'n angels' rooms will be but ill supplied.
That Christ, who, at the great deciding day,
To what stupidity are zealots grown,
FROM ADDISON'S ACCOUNT
OF THE ENGLISH POETS.
But see where artful Dryden next appears,
ON ALEXANDER'S FEAST:
OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC.
Froin Pope's Essay on Criticism.
Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise,
CHARACTER OF DRYDEN.
FROM GRAY'S PROGRESS OF POESY.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit Wakes thee now! though he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,