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The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes By Samuel Johnson Characters: 697

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03

In Westminster Abbey, 1723.

Kneller, by heav'n, and not a master, taught,

Whose art was nature, and whose pictures thought;

Now for two ages, having snatch'd from fate

Whate'er was beauteous, or whate'er was great,

Lies crown'd with princes' honours, poets' lays,

Due to his merit, and brave thirst of praise.

Living, great nat

ure fear'd he might outvie

Her works; and dying, fears herself may die.

Of this epitaph the first couplet is good, the second not bad, the third is deformed with a broken metaphor, the word crowned not being applicable to the honours or the lays; and the fourth is not only borrowed from the epitaph on Raphael, but of very harsh construction.

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