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'Tis done, and Nature's various charms decay:
For her the flocks refuse their verdant food :
No grateful dews descend from evening skies,
No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sings,
3 But tell the reeds, and tell the vocal shore, Fair Daphne's dead and music is no more!
Her fate is whisper'd by the gentle breeze, And told in sighs to all the trembling trees; The trembling trees, in every plain and wood, Her fate remurmur to the silver flood; The silver flood, so lately calm, appears Swell'd with new passion, and o'erflows with tears : The winds, and trees, and floods, her death deplore. Daphne our grief, our glory now no more !
But see ! where Daphne wondering mounts on high, Above the clouds, above the starry sky! Eternal beauties grace the shining scene, Fields ever fresh, and groves for ever green ! There, while you rest in amaranthine bowers, Or from those meads select unfading flowers, Behold us kindly, who your name implore, Daphne, our goddess, and our grief nomore!
LYCIDAS. How all things listen, while thy muse complains ! Such silence waits on Philomela's strains, In some still evening, when the whispering breeze Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees. To thee, bright goddess, oft a lamb shall bleed, If teeming ewes increase my fleecy breed. While plants their shade, or flowers their odours give, Thy name, thy honour, and thy praise shall live !
THYRSIS. Orion sheds unwholesome dews. Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse ; Sharp Boreas blows, and Nature feels decay, Time conquers all, and we must Time obey. Adieu, ye vales, ye mountains, streams, and groves ; Adieu, ye shepherds' rural lays and loves ; Adien, my flocks; farewell, ye sylvan crew; Daphne, farewell ! and all the world, adieu!
A sacred Eclogue, in Imitation of Virgil's Pollio.
ADVERTISEMENT. In reading several passages of the prophet Isaiah, which foretel the coming of Christ, and the felicities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not seen surprising, when we reflect, that the eclogue was taken from a Sibylline prophecy on the same subject. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line for line; but selected such ideas as best agreed with the nature of pastoral poetry, and disposed them in that man ner which served most to beautify bis piece. I have endeavoured the same in this imitation of him, though without admitting any thing of my own; since it was written with this particular view, that the reader,' by comparing the several thoughts, might see how far the images and descriptions of the prophet are superior to those of the poet. But as I fear I have prejudiced them by my management, I shall subjoin the passages of Isaiah, and those of Virgil, under the same disadvantage of a literal translation. YE nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song: To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids, Delight no more—Thou my voice inspire
5 Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begún:
Jam redit et virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem. Now the virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new progeny is sent down from high heaven. By means of thee, whatever reliques of our crimes remain, shall be wiped away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He shall govern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his father.'
Isaiah, ch. vii. ver. 14.—Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son. Chap. ix. ver. 6, 7.- Unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is iven : the Prince of Peace : of the increase of his government, and of his peace, there shall be no end : upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, for ever and ever.'
From Jesse's* root behold a branch arise,
At tibi prima, puer, nullo munuscula cultu,
Ipsa tibi blandos fundent cunabula fiores. For thee, O child, shall the earth, without being tilled, produce her early offerings ; winding ivy, mixed with baccar, and colocassia with smiling acanthus. Thy cradle shall pour forth pleasing flowers about thee.'
Isaiah, ch. xxxv, ver. 1,- The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.' Ch, lx. ver. 13.-The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of thy sanctuary.' Ver. 29. Hark! a glad voice, &c.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 46.
Aggredere ô magnos (aderit jam tempus) honores,
Cara Dellm soboles, magnum Jovis incrementum !
Ipsi lætitiâ voces ad sidera jactant
# Isa. xi. ver. 1.
Ch. xxxv. ver. 2.
+ Ch. xlv. ver. 8.
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply ;
IMITATIONS. ..O come, and receive the mighty honours : the time draws nigh, o beloved offspring of the gods! O great increase of Jove! The uncultivated mountains send shouts of joy to the stars; the very rocks sing in verse; the very shrubs cry out, A God, a God!'
Isaiah, ch. xl. ver. 3, 4.-" The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord ! make straight in the desert a highway for our God! Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.' Ch. xliv. ver. 23. Break forth into singing, ye mountains; forest, and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed'Israel.'
* Ch. xliii. ver. 18. Ch. XXXV. ver. 5, 6. 1 Ch. xl. ver. 11, $ Ch, ix, ver. 6.
+ Ch. xxv. ver. 8.
Ch. ii. ver. 4.