Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

STREP HON.

O'er golden fands let rich Pactolus flow, And trees weep amber on the banks of Po; Bright Thames's fhores the brightest beauties yield, Feed here my lambs, I'll feek no distant field.

DAPHNI S.

Celestial Venus haunts Idalia's groves;
Diana Cynthus, Ceres Hybla loves;
If Windfor-fhades delight the matchlefs maid,
Cynthus and Hybla yield to Windsor-shade.

STREP HON.

All nature mourns, the skies relent in fhow'rs, Hufh'd are the birds, and clos'd the drooping flow'rs;

VARIATIONS.

VER. 61. It ftood thus at first,

Let rich Iberia golden fleeces boast,

[ocr errors]

Her purple wool the proud Affyrian coaft,
Bleft Thames's fhores, &c.

VER. 61. Originally thus in the MS.

Go, flow'ry wreath, and let my Sylvia know,
Compar'd to thine how bright her Beauties fhow;
Then die; and dying teach the lovely Maid
How foon the brighteft beauties are decay'd.

DAPHNIS.

Go, tuneful bird, that pleas'd the woods fo long,
Of Amaryllis learn a fweeter fong;

To Heav'n arifing then her notes convey,
For Heav'n alone is worthy fuch a lay.
VER. 69, &c. These verses were thus at first :

All nature mourns, the birds their fongs deny,
Nor wafted brooks the thirty flow'rs fupply;
If Delia fmile the flow'rs begin to spring,
The brooks to murmur, and the birds to fing.

IMITATIONS.

65

P.

W.

P.

VER. 69. All nature mourns,]

"Aret ager, vitio moriens fitit aëris herba," &c.
Phyllidis adventu noftrae nemus omne virebit." Virg. P.

If Delia fmile, the flow'rs begin to fpring,.
The skies to brighten, and the birds to fing.

If Sylvia smiles new glories gild the shore,
And vanquish'd nature feems to charm no more.

DAPHNI S.

All nature laughs, the groves are fresh and fair, The Sun's mild luftre warms the vital air;

[ocr errors]

75

STREPH ON.

In spring the fields, in autumn hills I love, At morn the plains, at noon the fhady grove, But Delia always; abfent from her fight,

Nor plains at morn, nor groves at noon delight. 80

DAPHNI S.

Sylvia's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May, More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day; Ev'n spring displeases, when fhe fhines not here; But bleft with her, 'tis fpring throughout the year.

F

STREP HON.

Say, Daphnis, fay, in what glad foil appears, 85 A wondrous Tree that facred Monarchs bears; Tell me but this, and I'll disclaim the prize, And give the conqueft to thy Sylvia's eyes.

REMARKS.

VER. 86. A wondrous Tree that facred Monarchs bears;] An allufion to the Royal Oak, in which Charles II. had been hid from the pursuit after the battle at Worcester. P.

This is one of the moft trifling and puerile conceits in any of our author's works; except what follows of the Thistle and the Lily.

VOL. I.

Nay

DAPHNI S.

Nay tell me first, in what more happy fields The Thistle springs, to which the Lily yields: And then a nobler prize I will refign;

For Sylvia, charming Sylvia fhall be thine.

DAMON.

00

Cease to contend, for, Daphnis, I decree,
The bowl to Strephon, and the lamb to thee:
Blest Swains, whose Nymphs in ev'ry grace excel;
Bleft Nymphs, whofe Swains thofe graces fing fo well!
Now rise, and hafte to yonder woodbine bow'rs, 97
A foft retreat from fudden vernal show'rs;
The turf with rural dainties fhall be crown'd,
While op'ning blooms diffuse their sweets around.
For fee! the gath'ring flocks to shelter tend,
And from the Pleiads fruitful fhow'rs defcend.

VARIATIONS.

[ocr errors]

VER. 99. was originally,

The turf with country dainties fhall be spread,

And trees with twining branches fhade your head. P.

REMARKS.

VER. 93. Ccafe to contend,] An author of strong fense, but not of equal taste and feeling, and who preferred the dungeons of the Strand to the valleys of Arcadia, fays, "That every intelligent reader fickens at the mention of the crook and the pipe, the fheep and the kids." This appears to be an unjust and harsh condemnation of all Paftoral Poetry. And the fame author depreciates and defpifes the Amynta of Taffo, and the Paftor Fido of Guarini, two pieces of exquifite poetry, and which have gained a lafting applaufe.

IMITATIONS.

VER. 90. The Thifle fprings, to which the Lily yields:] Alludes to the device of the Scots Monarchs, the Thistle worn by Queen Anne; and to the arms of France, the Fleur de lys. The tworiddles are in imitation of those in Virg. Ecl. iii.

"Dic quibus in terris infcripti nomina Regum
Nafcantur Flores, & Phyllida folus habeto."

P.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

A mixture of British and Grecian ideas may juftly be deemed a blemish in thefe Paftorals: and propriety is certainly violated, when he couples Pactolus with Thames, and Windfor with Hybla. Complaints of immoderate heat, and wifhes to be conveyed to cooling caverns, when uttered by the inhabitants of Greece, have a decorum and confiftency, which they totally lofe in the character of a British fhepherd: and Theocritus, during the ardors of Sirius, must have heard the murmurings of a brook, and the whispers of a pine, with more home-felt pleasure, than Pope could poffibly experience upon the fame occafion. We can never completely relifh, or adequately understand any author, especially any ancient, except we keep in our eye, his climate, his country, and his age. Pope himself informs us, in a Note, that he judiciously omitted the following verse,

And lift'ning wolves grow milder as they hear,

on account of the abfurdity, which Spenfer overlooked, of introducing wolves into England. But on this principle, which is certainly a juft one, may it not be afked why he should speak, the fcene lying in Windfor Foreft, of the fultry Sirius, of the grateful clusters of grapes, of a pipe of reeds, the antique fiftula, of thanking Ceres for a plentiful harvest, of the facrifice of lambs, with many other inftances that might be adduced to this purpose. That Pope however was fenfible of the importance of adapting images to the scene of action, is obvious from the following example of his judgment; for in translating

Audiit Eurotas, juffitque edifcere Lauros,

he has dexterously dropt the laurels appropriated to Eurotas, as he is fpeaking of the river Thames, and has rendered it,

Thames heard the numbers, as he flow'd along,
And bade his Willows learn the moving fong.

In the paffages which Pope has imitated from Theocritus, and from his Latin Tranflator Virgil, he has merited but little applause. It may not be unentertaining to see how coldly and unpoetically Pope has copied the fubfequent appeal to the Nymphs on the death of Daphnis, in comparison of Milton on Lycidas, one of his juvenile, but one of his most exquifite pieces.

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorfelefs deep
Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas?

F 2

For

For neither were ye playing on the steep
Where your
old bards, the famous Druids lie;
Nor on the fhaggy top of Mona high,

Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard ftream.

LYCIDAS.

The mention of places remarkably romantic, the fuppofed habitations of Druids, Bards, and Wizards, is far more pleafing to the imagination, than the obvious introduction of Cam and Ifis, as feats of the Muses.

« ZurückWeiter »