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144

While in more lengthen'd notes and flow,
The deep, majestic, folemn organs blow.
Hark! the numbers foft and clear-
Gently steal upon the ear;
Now louder, and yet louder rife,
And fill with spreading founds the skies;
Exulting in triumph now fwell the bold notes,
In broken air, trembling, the wild mufic floats;
"Till, by degrees, remote and fmall,.

The strains decay,

And melt away,
In a dying, dying fall.

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NOTES.

mufic, and Mr. Gray, whofe mufical feelings were exquifite, with a knowledge of the art, gave him an idea for the overture, which feemed equally proper and striking. In this refpect, as well as many others, he resembled Milton.

The name and the genius of Cowley gave, for many years, a currency and vogue to irregular odes, called Pindaric. One of the beft of which fpecies is that of Cobb, called, the Female Reign; and two of the worlt, Sprat's Plague of Athens, and Bolingbroke's Almahide. Congreve is thought to be the first writer that gave a fpecimen of a legitimate Pindaric ode, with ftrophe, antistrophe, and ode, elucidated with a fenfible and judicious preface on the fubject. But it does not seem to have been observed, that, long before, Ben Johnfon had given a model of this very species of a regular Pindaric ode, addreft to Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morrison, page 233 of his works, folio, in which he entitles each stanza the turne, the counter-turne, and the stand. Though Congreve's ode is not extraordinary, yet the difcourfe prefixed to it has a great deal of learning. Dr. Akenfide frequently mentioned to me, as one of the best of the regular Pindaric odes, Fenton's to Lord Gower, 1716. Mr. Gray was of opinion, that the ftanzas of thefe regular odes ought not to confist of above nine lines each, at the moft.

VER. 7. Let the loud trumpet found, &c.] Our Author, in his rules for good writing, had faid, that the found fhould be an echo

II.

By Mufic, minds an equal temper know,
Nor fwell too high, nor fink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Mufic her foft, affuafive voice applies;

Or, when the foul is prefs'd with cares,
Exalts her in enliv'ning airs.

Warriors fhe fires with animated founds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds:
Melancholy lifts her head,

Morpheus rouzes from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,

Lift'ning Envy drops her fnakes;
Intestine war no more our Paffions wage,
And giddy Factions hear away their rage.

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Amphion thus bade wild diffenfion cease,

And foften'd mortals learn'd the arts of peace,

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NOTES.

to the fenfe. The graces it adds to the harmony are obvious. But we should never have seen all the advantages arifing from this rule, had this ode not been written. In which, one may venture to fay, is found all the harmony that poetic found, when it comes in aid of fenfe, is capable of producing. W.

This panegyric is certainly carried too high: this ode is not the confummation of true poetic harmony.

VOL. I.

35

But

VER. 22.] This stanza much resembles the fifth of Congreve's mufic ode; the second of which, by the way, is uncommonly good. It is remarkable that Pope knew nothing of music, and had no ear for it; as had Milton, Gray, and Mason: the last of whom is an excellent performer and compofer.

VER. 35. Dr. Greene fet this ode to mufic, in 1730, as an exercise for his Doctor's Degree at Cambridge, on which occafion Pope made confiderable alteration in it, and added the following ftanza in this place.

Amphion

III.

But when our Country's cause provokes to Arms,
How martial mufic ev'ry bofom warms!
So when the firft bold veffel dar'd the feas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd his strain,
While Argo faw her kindred trees

Defcend from Pelion to the main.
Transported demi-gods ftood round,
And men grew heroes at the found,
Enflam'd with glory's charms:

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NOTES.

Amphion taught contending kings,
From various difcords, to create
The mufic of a well-tun'd state;
Nor flack, nor ftrain the tender ftrings,
Those useful touches to impart,

That ftrike the fubject's answering heart,
And the foft filent harmony that fprings
From facred union and confent of things.
And he made another alteration, at the fame time, in flanza iv.
v. 51, and wrote it thus ;

Sad Orpheus fought his confort loft;
The adamantine gates were barr'd,

And nought was feen and nought was heard,
Around the dreary coast ;

But dreadful gleams, &c.

VER. 39.] He might have added a beautiful description of the Argo in Apollonius Rhodius; and if he had been a reader of Pindar, he might have looked into the fourth Pythian ode, particularly verfe 315 of Orpheus. Oxford edition, folio, 1697.

VER. 40. While Argo] Few images in any poet, ancient or modern, are more ftriking than that in Apollonius, where he fays, that when the Argo was failing near the coast where the Centaur Chiron dwelt, he came down to the very margin of the fea, bringing his wife with the young Achilles in her arms, that he might fhew the child to his father Peleus, who was on his voyage with the other Argonauts. Apollonius Rhodius, Lib. v. ver. 553.

Each

Each chief his fev'nfold fhield difplay'd,
And half unsheath'd the fhining blade:
And feas, and rocks, and skies rebound
To arms, to arms, to arms!

IV.

But when through all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegeton furrounds,
Love, ftrong as Death, the Poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,

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NOTES.

VER. 48. To arms, to arms,] Which effects of the song, however lively, do not equal the force and fpirit of what Dryden. afcribes to the fong of his Grecian artift; whofe imagery in this paffage is fo alive, so fublime, and fo animated, that the poet himself appears to be strongly poffeffed of the action described, and confequently places it fully before the eyes of the reader.

Mr. St. John, afterwards Lord Bolingbroke, happening to pay a morning visit to Dryden, whom he always refpected, found him in an unusual agitation of fpirits, even to a trembling. On enquiring the caufe, "I have been up all night, (replied the old bard); my mufical friends made me promife to write them an ode for their Feaft of St. Cæcilia: I have been fo ftruck with the fubject which occurred to me, that I could not leave it till I had completed it here it is, finifhed at one fitting." And immediately he fhewed him this ode, which places the British lyric poetry above that of any other nation. This anecdote, as true as it is curious, was imparted by Lord Bolingbroke to Pope, by Pope to Mr. Gilbert Weft, by him to my ingenious friend Mr. Berenger, who communicated it to me. The rapidity, and yet the perfpicuity of the thoughts, the glow and the expreffivenefs of the images, those certain marks of the firft fketch of a mafter, confpire to corroborate the fact. It is not to be understood, that this piece was not afterwards reconfidered, retouched, and corrected.

VER. 49. But when] See Divine Legation, Book ii. sec. 1. Where Orpheus is confidered as a Philofopher, a Legislator, and a Mystagogue. In vol. v. of the Memoirs of Infcriptions, &c. P. 117.

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Fires that glow,

Shrieks of woe,

Sullen moans,

Hollow groans,
And cries of tortur'd ghosts!
But hark! he strikes the golden lyre;

And fee! the tortur'd ghofts refpire,
See, fhady forms advance!
Thy ftone, O Sifyphus, ftands ftill,
Ixion refts upon his wheel,

And the pale spectres dance;

V.

By the streams that ever flow,

By the fragrant winds that blow

O'er the Elyfian flow'rs;

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The Furies fink upon their iron beds,

And fnakes uncurl'd hang lift'ning round their heads.

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p. 117, is a very curious differtation upon the Orphic Life, by the Abbé Fraguier. He was the first critic who rightly interpreted the words of Horace, Cædibus & fædo victû, as meaning an abolition of eating human flesh.

Though the Hymns that remain are not the work of the real Orpheus, yet are they extremely ancient, certainly older than the Expedition of Xerxes against Greece.

VER. 66.] This line is taken from an ode of Cobb.

VER. 68. Dance;] A moft improper, becaufe ludicrous image.

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