eat honour of our country, have flourished under
your influence and protection. In the meantime, poetry, the eldest
sister of all arts, and parent of most, seems to have resigned her
birthright, by having neglected to pay her duty to your lordship,
and by permitting others of a later extraction to prepossess that
place in your esteem, to which none can pretend a better title.
Poetry, in its nature, is sacred to the good and great: the
relation between them is reciprocal, and they are ever propitious to
it. It is the privilege of poetry to address them, and it is their
prerogative alone to give it protection.
This received maxim is a general apology for all writers who
consecrate their labours to great men: but I could wish, at this
time, that this address were exempted from the common pretence of
all dedications; and that as I can distinguish your lordship even
among the most deserving, so this offering might become remarkable
by some particular instance of respect, which should assure your