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BY

WILL I A M H A Y L EY, Esce

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A R G

UM

Ε Ν Τ

OF THE FIRST EPISTLE.

Introduktion.-Design of the Poem to remove prejudices

which obstruct the cultivation of Epic writing.-Origin of Poetry.Honors paid to its infancy.--Homer the firf Poet remaining.--Difficulty of the question why be had no. Successor in Greece.- Remark of a celebrated Writer, that as Criticism flourishes Poetry declines.Defence of Critics.Danger of a bigoted acquiescence in critical Systemsand of a Poet's criticising his own works.Advantages of Friendship and Study of the higher Poets

E P I S T L E I.

PERISH

5

ERISH that critic pride, which oft has hurld

Its empty thunders o'er the Epic world;
Which, eager to extend its mimic reign,
Would bind free Fancy in a servile chain ;
With papal rage the eye of Genius blind,
And bar the gates of Glory on the mind !

Such dark decrees have letter'd Bigots penn'd *,
Yet seiz'd that honor'd name, the Poet's Friend.
But Learning from her page their laws will blot;
Scorn'd be their arrogance! their name forgot!
Th'indignant Bard, abhorring base controul,
Seeks the just Critic of congenial soul.
Say! Mason, Judge and Master of the Lyre !
Harmonious Chief of Britain's living Choir,

IO

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