..long, but totally worth it..
Nor would I scruple, with a due regard,
To read sometimes a rude unpolish'd bard.
Among whose labours I may find a line.
Which from unsightly rust I may refine.
And, with a better grace, adopt it into mine.
How often may we see a troubled flood,
Stain'd with unsettled ooze, and rising mud?
Which, (if a well the bord'ring natives sink)
Supplies the thirsty multitude with drink.
The trickling stream by just degrees refines,
Till in its course the limpid current shines;
And taught thro' secret labyrinths to flow,
Works itself clear among the sands below.
For nothing looks so gloomy, but will shine
From proper care, and timely discipline;
If, with due vigilance and conduct, wrought
Deep in the soul, it labours in the thought.
Hence on the ancients we must rest alone,
And make their golden sentences our own.
To cull their best expressions claims our cares.
To form our notions, and our styles on theirs.
See how we bear away their precious spoils.
And with the glorious dress enrich our styles;
Their bright inventions for our use convey,
Bring all the spirit of their words away.
And make their words themselves our lawful prey.
Unsham'd in other colours to be shown,
We speak our thoughts in accents not our own.
But your design with modest caution weigh.
Steal with due care, and meditate the prey.
Invert the order of the words with art,
And change their former site in ev'ry part.
Thus win your readers, thus deceive with grace,
And let th' expresion wear a diff'rent face;
Your self at last, the glorious labour done.
Will scarce discern his diction from your own.
Some, to appear of diffedence bereft.
Steal in broad day, and glory in the theft;
When with just art, design, and confidence.
On the fame words they graft a diff'rent sense;
Preserve th' unvari'd terms and order too.
But change their former spirit for a new.