When wise Ulysses, from his native coast
Long kept by wars, and long by tempests toss'd,
Arrived at last, poor, old, disguised, alone,
To all his friends, and ev'n his Queen unknown,
An Essay On Criticism
INTRODUCTION. That it is as great a fault to judge ill as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public. That a true Taste is as rare to be found as a true Genius. That most men are born with some Taste, but spoiled by false education. The multitude of Critics, and causes of them. That we are to study our own Taste, and know the limits of it. Nature the best guide of judgment. Improved by Art and rules, which are but methodized Nature. Rules derived from the practice of the ancient poets. That therefore the ancients are necessary to be studied by a Critic, particularly Homer and Virgil. Of licenses, and the use of them by the ancients. Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them.
Celia, we know, is sixty-five,
Yet Celia's face is seventeen;
Thus winter in her breast must live,
While summer in her face is seen.
Impromptu, To Lady Winchelsea
In vain you boast Poetic Names of yore,
And cite those Sapho's we admire no more:
Fate doom'd the Fall of ev'ry Female Wit,
But doom'd it then when first Ardelia writ.
In Imitation Of Cowley : The Garden
Fain would my Muse the flow'ry Treasures sing,
And humble glories of the youthful Spring;
Where opening Roses breathing sweets diffuse,
In Imitation Of E. Of Dorset : Artemisia
Tho' Artemisia talks, by fits,
Of councils, classics, fathers, wits;
Reads Malbranche, Boyle, and Locke;
Yet in some things methinks she fails,