Imágenes de páginas


As surely charms that voluntary style,
Which careless plays, and seems to mock at toil :
For labour'd lines with cold exactness tire,
'Tis freedom only gives the force and fire
Ethereal; she, with alchymy divine,
Brightens each touch, ennobles every line;
Yet pains and practice only can bestow
This facile power of hand, whose liberal flow
With grateful fraud its own exertions veils :
He best employs his art who best cónceals. 616
*This to obtain, let taste with judgment join'd
The future whole infix upon thy mind;
Be there each line in truth ideal drawn,
Or ere a colour on the canvas dawn;

Æthereus quippe ignis inest et spiritus illis ;
Mente diu versata, manu celeranda repenti.
Arsque laborque operis grata sic fraude latebit:
Maxima deinde erit ars, nihil artis inesse videri.
'Nec prius inducas tabulæ pigmenta colorum, 44
Expensi quàm signa typi stabilita nitescant,

Et menti præsens operis sit pegma

* LXI. The Original must be in the Head, and the Co. py on the Cloth.


1 LXI. Archetypus in mente, Apographus in tela.


Then as the work proceeds, that work submit 615
To sight instinctive, not to doubting wit ;
m The eye each obvious errour swift descries,
Hold then the compass only in the eyes..
Give to the dictates of the Learn'd respect,
Nor proudly untaught sentiments reject,
Severe to self alone; for self is blind,
And deems each merit in its offspring join'd:A
Such fond delusion time can best remove,
Concealing for a while the child we love ; ni
By absence then the eye impartial grown, 625
Will, tho' no friend assist, each errour own;12

• Prævaleat sensus rationi, quæ officit arti Conspicua; inque oculis tantummodo circinus esto. P Utere doctorum monitis, nec sperne superbus 445 Discere, quæ de te fuerit sententia vulgi:

Est cæcus nam quisque suis in rebus, et expers
Judicii, prolemque suam miratur amatque.
Ast ubi consilium deerit sapientis amici,
Id tempus dabit, atque mora, intermissa labori.

[blocks in formation]


• LXII. Circinus in Oculis.

P LXIII. Superbia Pictori nocet plurimum.

But these subdued, let thy determin'd mind
Veer not with every critick's veering wind,
Or e'er submic thy genius to the rules
Of prating fops, or self-important fools;
Enough if from the Learn'd applause be won:
Who doat on random praises, merit none.


9 By Nature's sympathetick power, we see, As is the Parent, such the Progeny :

Ev'n Artists, bound by her instinctive law, 635
In all their works their own resemblance draw:
Learn then "to know thyself;" that precept sage
Shall best allay luxuriant Fancy's rage;
Shall point how far indulgent Genius deigns
To aid her flight, and to what point restrains. 649

Non facilis tamen ad nutus, et inania vulgi
Dicta, levis mutabis opus, geniumque relinques :
Nam qui parte sua sperat bene
posse mereri
Multivaga de plebe, nocet sibi, nec placet ulli.


Cumque opere in proprio soleat se pingere pictor,

(Prolem adeo sibi ferre parem natura suevit,) Proderit imprimis pictori γνωθι σεαυτον,

Ut data quæ genio colat, abstineatque negatis.


• LXIV. Know thyself.

• Nosce teipsum.

But as the blushing fruits, the breathing flowers,
Adorning Flora's and Pomona's bowers.
When forcing fires command their buds to swell,
Refuse their dulcet taste, their balmy smell;

So labour's vain extortion ne'er achieves


That grace supreme which willing Genius gives. • Thus tho' to pains and practice much we owe, Tho' thence each line obtains its easy flow, Yet let those pains, that practice, ne'er be join'd, To blunt the native vigour of the mind.


* When shines the Morn, when in recruited


The spirits flow, devote their active force


Fructibus utque suus nun quam est sapor, atque venustas Floribus, insueto in fundo, præcoce sub anni "Tempore, quos cultus violentus et ignis adegit: Sic nunquam, nimio quæ sunt extorta labore, Et picta invito genio, nunquam illa placebunt. * Vera super meditando, manûs labor improbus

[blocks in formation]


every nicer part of thy design,

y But pass no idle day without a line:

* And wandering oft the crouded streets along, 655 The native gestures of the passing throng

Attentive mark; for many a

many a casual


Th' expressive lines of each impassion'd face That bears its joys or sorrows undisguis'd, May by observant taste be there surpriz❜d. 660 Thus, true to art, and zealous to excel, : Ponder on Nature's powers, and weigh them well;

Explore thro' earth and heaven, thro' sea and skies,

The accidental graces as they rise;

Nec tamen obtundat genium, mentisque vigorem. 465 * Optima nostrorum pars matutina dierum,

Difficili hanc igitur potiorem impende labori.


Nulla dies abeat, quin linea ducta supersit : Perque vias, vultus hominum, motusque notabis Libertate sua proprios, positasque figuras

Ex sese faciles, ut inobservatus, habebis.

[blocks in formation]


LXVII. Singulis diebus aliquid faciendum.

b LXVIII. Affectus inobservati et naturales.

« AnteriorContinuar »