The Olive, An Heroick Ode: Preface. - Poem by Samuel Boyse
The Reader will easily perceive, that the following Ode is formed upon the same Model with that beautiful one of the late Mr. PRIOR to her Majesty Queen ANNE in the Year 1706. The Difference of the Subjects has indeed given that Gentleman an Advantage I wanted, for Conquests, and the Glory arising from Arms, afford a much larger Field for Description than Times of Peace and Serenity. For the rest I pretend to no sort of Competition with that admirable Author, content to follow his Steps at a Distance; and, while I endeavour to imitate his Beauties, confess with Pleasure I owe my little Talent this Way, principally to the Perusal of his invaluable Remains.
In the short Abridgment of our own History here attempted, I have blindly followed no Author nor Party; and how far I have succeeded in it, I am yet to learn myself; tho' if I may guess at it from the Success which attended the first Edition, I have no Reason to be elated on the Performance. Satire is, I know, the prevailing Taste of the Age, and for that I am not ashamed to own I have neither Genius nor Disposition. If any Thing in this Design pleases those few who judge candidly, and are best capable of judging, it will fully satisfy my Ambition; to such I will only say, I have kept in my Eye faithfully that rule of the ROMAN Master:
Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res
Non secus ac notas, auditorem rapit, et quae
Desperat tractata nitescere posse, — relinquit.
Hor. de Arte Poet.
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