[Page 273]


on his erecting a Temple and Statue to SHAKESPEAR.

Viridi in campo signum de marmore ponant
Propter aquam, tardis ingens ubi flexibus errat
Thamesis; et multâ praetexit arundine ripas;
In medio mihi SHAKESPEAR erit, templumque tenebit.
1 WHERE yonder trees rise high in cheerful air,
2 Where yonder banks eternal verdure wear,
3 And opening flow'rs diffusing sweets around
4 Paint with their vivid hues the happy ground;
5 While Thames majestic rolls the meads between,
6 And with his silver current crowns the scene;
7 There GARRICK, satiate of well-earn'd applause,
8 From crowds, and shouting theatres withdraws:
9 There courts the Muse, turns o'er th' instructive page,
10 And meditates new triumphs for the stage.
11 Thine, SHAKESPEAR, chief for thou must ever shine
12 His pride, his boast, unequal'd and divine.
13 There too thy vot'ry to thy merit just,
14 Hath rais'd the dome, and plac'd the honour'd bust,
15 Bidding the pile to future times proclaim
16 His veneration for thy mighty name.
17 A place more fit his zeal could never find
18 Than this fair spot, an emblem of thy mind
19 As hill and dale there charm the wond'ring eye,
20 Such sweet variety thy scenes supply
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21 Like the tall trees sublime thy genius tow'rs,
22 Sprightly thy fancy, as the opening flow'rs,
23 While copious as the tide Thames pours along,
24 Flow the sweet numbers of thy heav'nly song,
25 Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong
26 Look down, great shade, with pride this tribute see,
27 The hand that pays it makes it worthy thee
28 As fam'd Apelles was allow'd alone
29 To paint the form august of Philip's son,
30 None but a GARRICK can, O bard divine!
31 Lay a fit offering on thy hallow'd shrine.
32 To speak thy worth is his peculiar boast,
33 He best can tell it, for he feels it most.
34 Blest bard! thy fame thro' ev'ry age shall grow,
35 Till nature cease to charm, or Thames to flow.
36 Thou too, with him, whose fame thy talents raise,
37 Shalt share our wonder, and divide our praise;
38 Blended with his thy merits rise to view,
39 And half thy SHAKESPEAR'S fame to thee is due:
40 Unless the actor with the bard conspire,
41 How impotent his strength, how faint his fire!
42 One boasts the mine, one brings the gold to light,
43 And the muse triumphs in the actor's might;
44 Too weak to give her own conceptions birth,
45 Till all-expressive action call them forth.
46 Thus the sweet pipe, mute in itself, no sound
47 Sends forth, nor breathes its pleasing notes around;
48 But if some swain with happy skill endu'd,
49 Inspire with animating breath the wood,
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50 Wak'd into voice, it pours its tuneful strains,
51 And harmony divine enchants the plains.
Quod spiro, et placeo, si placeo tuum est HOR.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): To Mr. GARRICK, on his erecting a Temple and Statue to SHAKESPEAR.
Themes: poetry; literature; writing; fame
Genres: heroic couplet; compliment
References: DMI 27901

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. VI. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 273-275. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.006) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.