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chall discover to the prejudice of these writings; not|putation, depreciated no dead author I was obliged to, 80 much as wishing so irrational a thing, as that every bribed no living one with unjust praise, insulted no body should be deceived merely for my credit. Howo adversary with ill language; or, when I could not at. ever, I desire it may therein be considered, that there tack a rival's works, encouraged reports against his are very few things in this Collection which were morals. To conclude, if this volume perish, let it no wniten under the age of five and twenty; so that serve as a warning to the critics not to take too much my youth may be made (as it never fails to be in exe- pains for the future to destroy such things as will die eations) a case of compassion; that I never was so of themselves; and a memento mori to some of my concerned about my works as to vindicate them in vain contemporaries the poets, to teach them, that, prine, believing, if any thing was good, it would de- when real merit is wanting, it avails nothing to have fend itself, and what was bad could never be defend- been encouraged by the great, commended by the ed; that I used no artifice to raise or continue a re- eminent, and favoured by the public in general.
Nov. 10, 1716.
PASTOR A LS.
A DISCOURSE ON PASTORAL. sertations the critics have made on the subject, with
out omitting any of their rules in my own favour. WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1704.
You will also find some points reconciled, about
which they seem to differ; and a few remarks, which, Rura mibi, et rigui, placeant in vallibus amnes ;
I think, have escaped their observation. Flamina amem, sylvasque, inglorius ! VIRGIL.
The original of poetry is ascribed to that age which
succeeded the creation of the world; and as the The Pastorals were written at the age of sixteen, and then keeping of flocks seems to have been the first em
passed through the hands of Mr. Walsh, Mr. Wycherley, G. Granville, (afterwards lord Lansdowne) Sir William ployment of mankind, the most ancient sort of poetry Trumbal, Dr. Garth, lord Halifax, lord Somers, Mr. was probably pastoral. It is natural to imagine, that Maynwaring, and others. All these gave our author the the leisure of those ancient shepherds admitting and greatest encouragement, and particularly Mr. Walsh, inviting some diversion, none was so proper to that whor Mr. Dryden, in his Postscript to Virgil, calls the solitary and sedentary life as singing; and that in their best critic of his age. “The author, (says he) seems to songs they took occasion to celebrate their own have a particular genius for this kind of poetry, and a felicity. From hence a poem was invented, and afterjudgment which much excoeds his years. He has taken wards improved to a perfect image of that happy very freely from the ancients; but what he has mixed of his own with theirs, is no way inferior to what he has time; which, by giving us an esteem for the virtues taken from them. It is not fiattery at all to say, that of a former age, might recommend them to the preVirgil had writen nothing so good at his age. His Pre- sent. And since the life of shepherds was attended: face is very judicious and learned.” Letter to Mr. Wycher with more tranquillity than any other rural employleg, April, 1705. The lord Lansdowne about the same ment, the poets chose to introduce their persons, time, mentioning the youth of our Poet, says, (in a printed from whom it received the name of Pastoral. Letter of the Character of Mr. Wycherley) "that if he
A pastoral is an imitation of the action of a shepgoes on as he has begun in his Pastoral way, as Virgil herd, or one considered under that character. The first tried hie strength, we may hope to see English poetry form of this imitation is dramatic, or narrative, or vie with the Roman," &c. Notwithstanding the early time of their production, the author esteemed these as the mixed of both ; the fable simple, the manners not too most correct in the versification, and musical in the num-polite, nor too rustic: the thoughts are plain, yet adbers, of all his works. The reason for his labouring them mit a little quickness and passion, but that short and into so much softness, was, doubtless, that this sort of flowing: the expression humble, yet as pure as the poetry derives almost its whole beauty from a natural language will afford; neat, but not florid; easy, and ease of thought, and smoothness of verse; whereas that yet lively. In short, the fable, manners, thoughts, of most other kinds consists in the strength and fuloess of both. In a letter of his to Mr. Walsh about this time,
and expressions, are full of the greatest simplicity in We fiad an enumeration of several niceties in versification, which perhaps have never been strictly observed in any
The complete character of this poem consists in English poem except in these Pastorals. They were not simplicity, brevity, and delicacy; the two first of printed till 1709.
which render an eclogue natural, and the last de
lightful A DISCOURSE ON PASTORAL POETRY.* If we could copy nature, it may be useful to take THERE are not, I believe, a greater number of any this idea along with us, that pastoral is an image of Bort of versés, than of those which are called Pasto- what they call the Golden Age. So that we are not tals, nor a smaller than those which are truly so. It to describe our shepherds as shepherds at this day therefore seems necessary to give some account of really are, but as they may be conceived then to have this kind of poem; and it is my design to comprise in been, when the best of men followed the employthis short paper the substance of those numerous dis- ment. To carry this resemblance yet further, it
would not be amiss to give these shepherds some
skill in astronomy, as far as it may be useful to that • Written at sixteen years
sort of life. And an air of piety to the gods should
shine through the poem, which so visibly appears in |priety of style; the first of which perhaps was the all the works of antiquity; and it ought to preserve fault of his age, and the last of his language. some relish of the old way of writing : the connection Among the moderns, their success has been greatshould be loose, the narrations and descriptions est who have most endeavoured to make these short, and the periods concise : yet it is not sufficient ancients their pattern. The most considerable genius that the sentences only be brief; the whole eclogue appears in the famous Tasso and our Spenser. Tasso should be so too: for we cannot suppose poetry in in his Aminta has as far excelled all the pastoral those days to have been the business of men, but writers, as in his Gierusalemme he has outdone the their recreation at vacant hours.
epic poets of his country. But as his piece seems to But with respect to the present age, nothing more have been the original of a new sort of poem, the conduces to make these composures natural, than pastoral comedy, in Italy, it cannot so well be conwhen some knowledge in rural affairs is discovered. sidered as a copy of the ancients. Spenser's CalenThis may be made to appear rather done by chance dar, in Mr. Dryden's opinion, is the most complete than on design, and sometimes is best shown by in- work of this kind which any nation has produced ference; lest by too much study to seem natural, we ever since the time of Virgil; not but that he may be destroy that easy simplicity from whence arises the thought imperfect in some few points. His eclogues delight: for what is inviting in this sort of poetry are somewhat too long if we compare them with the proceeds not so much from the idea of that business, ancients. He is sometimes too allegorical, and treats as the tranquillity of a country life.
of matters of religion in a pastoral style, as the We must therefore use some illusion to render a Mantuan had done before him. He has employed pastoral delightful; and this consists in exposing the the lyric measure, which is contrary to the practice best side only of a shepherd's life, and in concealing of the old poets. His stanza is not still the same, its miseries. Nor is it enough to introduce shepherds nor always well chosen. This last may be the readiscoursing together in a natural way; but a regard son his expression is sometimes not concise enough; must be had to the subject, that it contain some par- for the tetrastic has obliged him to extend his sense to ticular beauty in itself, and that it be different in every the length of four lines, which would have been eclogue. Besides, in each of them a designed scene more closely confined in the couplet. or prospect is to be presented to our view, which In the manners, thoughts, and characters, he comes should likewise have its variety. This variety is ob- near to Theocritus himself; though, notwithstanding tained in a great degree by frequent comparisons, all the care he has taken, he is certainly inferior in drawn from the most agreeable objects of the country; his dialect ; for the Doric had its beauty and proby interrogations to things inanimate; by beautiful priety in the time of Theocritus ; it was used in part digressions, but those short; sometimes by insisting of Greece, and frequent in the mouths of many of a little on circumstances; and, lastly, by elegant turns the greatest persons : whereas the old English and on the words, which render the numbers extremely country phrases of Spenser were either entirely obsosweet and pleasing. As for the numbers themselves, lete, or spoken only by people of the lowest conthough they are properly of the heroic measure, they dition. As there is a difference betwixt simplicity should be the smoothest, the most easy and flowing and rusticity, so the expression of simple thoughts imaginable.
should be plain but not clownish. The addition he It is by rules like these that we ought to judge of has made of a calendar to his eclogues, is very pastoral. And since the instructions given for any beautiful ; since by this, besides the general moral of art are to be delivered as that art is in perfection, they innocence and simplicity, which is common to other must of necessity be derived from those in whom it is authors of pastoral, he has one peculiar to himself: acknowledged so to be. It is therefore from the he compares human life to the several seasons, and practice of Theocritus and Virgil (the only undisputed at once exposes to his readers a view of the great and authors of pastoral,) that the critics have drawn the little worlds, in their various changes and aspects. foregoing notions concerning it.
Yet the scrupulous division of his pastorals into Theocritus excels all others in nature and sim- months, has obliged him either to repeat the same plicity. The subjects of his Idyllia are purely pas- description in other words, for three months together; toral; but he is not so exact in his persons, having or, when it was exhausted before, entirely to omit it: introduced reapers and fishermen as well as shep- whence it comes to pass that some of his eclogues herds. He is apt to be too long in his descriptions, (as the sixth, eighth, and tenth, for example) have of which that of the cup in the first pastoral is a re- nothing but their titles to distinguish them. The reason markable instance. In the manners he seems a little is evident, because the year has not that variety in it defective, for his swains are sometimes abusive and to furnish every month with a particular description, immodest, and perhaps too much inclining to rus- as it may every season. ticity; for instance, in his fourth and fifth Idyllia. But of the following eclogues I shall only say, that it is enough that all others learned their excellence these four comprehend all the subjects which the from him, and that his dialect alone has a secret critics upon Theocritus and Virgil will allow to be charm in it, which no other could ever attain. fit for pastoral : that they have as much variety of
Virgil, who copies Theocritus, refines upon his description, in respect of the several seasons, as original; and in all points, where judgment is princi-Spenser’s: that, in order to add to this variety, the pally concerned, he is much superior to his master. several times of the day are observed, the rural emThough some of his subjects are not pastoral in them- ployments in each season or time of day, and the selves, but only seem to be such, they have a wonder- rural scenes or places proper to such employments; ful variety in them, which the Greek was a stranger not without some regard to the several ages of man, to. He exceeds him in regularity and brevity, and and the different passions proper to each age. falls short of him in nothing but simplicity and pro-l But after all, if they have any merit, it is to be as.
tributed to some good old authors, whose works as I
And make my tongue victorious as her eyes ;
Thy victim, Love, shall be the shepherd's heart.
But feigns a laugh, to see me search around,
And by that laugh the willing fair is found.
The sprightly Sylvia trips along the green;
She runs, but hopes she does not run unseen:
While a kind glance at her pursuer flies,
How much at variance are her feet and eyes !
O'er golden sands let rich Pactolus flow, Let vernal airs through trembling osiers play,
And trees weep amber on the banks of Po; And Albion's cliffs resound the rural lay.
Blest Thames's shores the brightest beauties yield. You that, too wise for pride, too good for power, Feed here, my lambs, I'll seek no distant field. Enjoy the glory to be great no more,
Daphnis. And, earrying with you all the world can boast,
Celestial Venus haunts Idalia's
groves ; To all the world illustriously are lost ;
Diana Cynthus, Ceres Hybla loves ; O let my muse her slender reed inspire,
If Windsor shades delight the matchless maid, Till in your native shades you tune the lyre. Cynthus and Hybla yield to Windsor-shade. So when the nightingale to rest removes,
STREPHON. The thrush may chant to the forsaken groves, All Nature mourns, the skies relent in showers, But charm'd to silence, listens while she sings, Hush'd are the birds, and closed the drooping flowers; And all the aërial audience clap their wings. If Delia smile, the flowers begin to spring,
Soon as the flocks shook off the nightly dews, The skies to brighten, and the birds to sing. Two swains, whom love kept wakeful, and the muse,
DAPHNIS. Pour'd o'er the whitening vale their fleecy care, All Nature laughs, the groves are fresh and fair, Fresh as the mom, and as the season fair :
The sun's mild lustre warms the vital air;
Sylvia's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May,
More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day :
STREPHON. Here western winds on breathing roses blow.
Say, Daphnis, say, in what glad soil appears, l'l stake yon lamb, that near the fountain plays, A wondrous tree that sacred monarchs bears : And from the brink his dancing shade surveys. Tell me but this, and I'll disclaim the prize, DAPHNIS.
And give the conquest to thy Sylvia's eyes.And I thig bowl, where wanton ivy twines,
DAPHNIS. And swelling clusters bend the curling vines :
Nay, tell me first, in what more happy fields Pour figures
rising from the work appear, The thistle springs, to which the lily yields : The various seasons of the rolling year;
And then a nobler prize I will resign ; And what is that which binds the radiant sky,
For Sylvia, charming Sylvia, shall be thine.
Cease to contend; for, Daphnis, I decree,
A soft retreat from sudden vernal showers : Inspire me, Phæbus, in my Delia's praise, The turf with rural dainties shall be crown'd, With Waller's strains, or Granville's moving lays! While opening blooms diffuse their sweets around. A milk-white bull shall at your altar stand, For see! the gathering flocks to shelter tend, That threats a fight, and spurns the rising sand. And from the Pleiads fruitful showers descend.
THE SECOND PASTORAL; OR, ALEXIS.
To Dr. Garth.
Come, lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bowers; When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown’d with corn their thanks to Ceres yield.
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.
But your Alexis knows no sweets but you.
Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade;
Where'er you tread, the blushing flowers shall rise,
And winds shall waft it to the powers above.
But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat,
To closer shades the panting flocks remove.
A SHEPHERD's boy (he seeks no better name) Led forth his flocks along the silver Thame, Where dancing sun-beams on the waters play'd, And verdant alders form’d a quivering shade. Soft as he mourn'd, the streams forgot to flow, The flocks around a dumb compassion show, The Naiads wept in every watery bower, And Jove consented in a silent shower. Accept, O Garth, the muse's early lays, That adds this wreath of ivy to thy bays; Hear what from love unpractised hearts endure, From love, the sole disease thou canst not cure.
Ye shady beeches, and ye cooling streams, Defence from Phæbus', not from Cupid's beams, To you I mourn; nor to the deaf I sing; The woods shall answer, and their echo ring. The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay: Why art thou prouder and more hard than they? The bleating sheep with my complaints agree, They parch'd with heat, and I inflam'd by thee, The sultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains, While in thy heart eternal winter reigns.
Where stray ye, muses, in what lawn or grove, While your Alexis pines in hopeless love ? In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides, Or else where Cam his winding vales divides? As in the chrystal spring I view my face, Fresh rising blushes paint the watery glass ; But since those graces please thine eyes no more, I shun the fountains which I sought before. Once I was skill'd in every herb that grew, And every plant that drinks the morning dew; Ah, wretched shepherd! what avails thy art, To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart !
Let other swains attend the rural care, Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces shear : But nigh yon mountain let me tune my lays, Embrace my love, and bind my brows with bays. That flute is mine which Colin's tuneful breath Inspired when living, and bequeathed in death : He said: 'Alexis, take this pipe, the same That taught the groves my Rosalinda's name.' But now the reed shall hang on yonder tree, For ever silent, since despis'd by thee. O! were I made by some transforming power, The captive bird that sings within thy bower! Then might my voice thy listening ears employ, And I those kisses he receives enjoy.
And yet my numbers please the rural throng,
See what delights in sylvan scenes appear !
THE THIRD PASTORAL; OR, HYLAS AND
To Mr. Wycherley. Beneath the shade a spreading beech displays, Hylas and Ægon sang their rural lays : This mourn'd a faithless, that an absent love ; And Delia's name and Doris' fill'd the grove. Ye Mantuan nymphs, your sacred succours bring; Hylas' and Ægon's rural lays I sing.
Thou, whom the Nine with Plautus' wit inspire, The art of Terence and Menander's fire; Whose sense instructs us, and whose humour charms, Whose judgment sways us, and whose spirit warms ! Oh! skill'd in nature ! see the hearts of swains, Their artless passions, and their tender pains.
Now setting Phæbus shone serenely bright,
Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away!
Ind with deep murmurs fills the sounding shores ;
Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along !
For her, the limes their pleasing shades deny:
not absence death to those who love ?
Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away! When falling dews with spangles deck the glade,
THE FOURTH PASTORAL; OR, DAPHNE. Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along!
To the Memory of Mrs. Tempest.
Thyrsis, the music of that murmuring spring Not babbling fountains to the thirsty swain,
Is not so mournful as the strains you sing: Not balmy sleep to labourers faint with pain,
Nor rivers winding through the vales below, Not showers to larks, or sunshine to the bee,
So sweetly warble, or so smoothly flow. Are half so charming as thy sight to me.
Now sleeping flocks on their soft fleeces lie, Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away!
The moon, serene in glory, mounts the sky, Come, Delia, come; ah, why this long delay?
While silent birds forget their tuneful lays, Through rocks and caves the name of Delia sounds : O sing of Daphne's fate, and Daphne's praise ! Delia, each cave and echoing rock rebounds.
THYRSIS. Ye powers, what pleasing frenzy soothes my mind !
Behold the groves that shine with silver frost, Do lovers dream, or is my Delia kind ?
Their beauty wither'd, and their verdure lost:
That call'd the listening Dryads to the plain : Next £gon sang, while Windsor groves admired: Thames heard the numbers as he flow'd along, Rehearse, ye muses, what yourselves inspired.
And bade his willows learn the moving song. Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain!
Lycidas. Of perjured Doris, dying I complain :
So may kind rains their vital moisture yield, Here where the mountains, lessening as they rise,
And swell the future harvest of the field. Lose the low vales, and steal into the skies ; Begin ; this charge the dying Daphne gave, While labouring oxen, spent with toil and heat, And said, 'Ye shepherds, sing around my grave:' In their loose traces from the field retreat; Sing, while beside the shaded tomb I mourn, While curling smokes from village tops are seen,
And with fresh bays her rural shrine adorn. And the fleet shades glide o'er the dusky green.
THYRSIS. Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay! Ye gentle muses, leave your chrystal spring, Beneath yon poplar oft we pass'd the day: Let nymphs and sylvans cypress garlands bring: Oft on the rind I carved her amorous vows, Ye weeping Loves, the stream with myrtles hide, While she with garlands hung the bending boughs; And break your bows as when Adonis died ; The garlands fade, the vows are worn away: And with your golden darts, now useless grown, So dies my love, and so my hopes decay.
Inscribe a verse on this relenting stone; Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain ! Let Nature change, let heaven and earth deplore; Now bright Arcturus glads the teeming grain; Fair Daphne's dead, and love is now no more! Now golden fruits on loaded branches shine,
"Tis done, and Nature's various charms decay: And grateful clusters swell with floods of wine; See gloomy clouds obscure the cheerful day: Now blushing berries paint the yellow grove. Now hung with pearls the dropping trees appear, Just gods! shall all things yield returns but love? Their faded honours scatter'd on her bier.
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay; See where, on earth, the flowery glories lie; The shepherds cry, 'Thy flocks are left a prey.' With her they flourish'd, and with her they die. Ah! what avails it me the flocks to keep,
Ah! what avail the beauties nature wore; Who lost my heart while I preserved my sheep? Fair Daphne's dead, and beauty is no more! Pan came, and ask'd, what magic caused my smart, For her the flocks refuse their verdant food; Or what ill eyes malignant glances dart ?
The thirsty heifers shun the gliding flood :
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strains ! In hollow caves sweet Echo silent lies,
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay! The balmy Zephyrs, silent since her death,
Thus sang the shepherds till the approach of night, No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sings,