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'N reading several paffages of the Prophet Isaiah, which

ing it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and thofe in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not seem surprising, when we reflect, that the Eclogue was taken from a Sibylline prophcey on the fame fubject. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line by line, but felected fuch ideas as beft agreed with the nature of paftoral poetry, and difpofed them in that manner which ferved moft to beautify his piece. I have endeavoured the fame in this imitation of him, tho' without admitting any thing of my own; fince it was written with this particular view, that the reader, by comparing the feveral thoughts, might fee how far the images and descriptions of the Prophet are fuperior to thofe of the Poet. But as I fear I have prejudiced them by my management, I fhall fubjoin the paffages of Ifaiah, and those of Virgil, under the fame disadvantage of a literal translation.

MESSIA A H.

A

SACRED ECLOGUE,

In Imitation of VIRGIL'S POLLIO.

YE Nymphs of Solyma! begin the fong:

To heav'nly themes fublimer strains belong.
The moffy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids,
Delight no more thou my voice infpire,
-O
Who touch'd Ifaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the Bard begun,
A Virgin fhall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!

From

Ven. 8. A Virgin fball conceive - All crimes shall cease, &c.]
VIRG. E. 4. ver. 6. Jam redit & Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,
Jam nova progenies cœlo demittitur alto-

Te duce, fi qua manent fceleris vestigia nostri,
Irrita perpetua folvent formidine terras —————
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.

Now he Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new Progeny is feat down from bigh heaven. By means of thee, whatever reliques of our crimes remain, fhall be wiped away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He shall govern the earth in peace, with the virtues of bis Father.

ISAIAH, Ch. vii. ver. 14. Behold a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son.-Ch. ix. ver. 6, 7. Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; the Prince of Feace:

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From * Jeffe's root behold a branch arise,
Whofe facred flow'r with fragrance fills the fkies:
Th' Ethereal fpirit o'er its leaves fhall move,
And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye+heav'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in foft filence fhed the kindly show'r!
The fick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From ftorms a fhelter, and from heat a fhade.
All crimes fhall ceafe, and ancient fraud fhall fail;
Returning | Juftice lift aloft her scale;
Peace o'er'the world her olive wand extend,
And white-rob'd Innocence from heav'n defcend.
Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn;
Oh! fpring to light, aufpicious Babe, be born!
See Nature haftes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incenfe of the breathing spring:
See lofty ** Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forefts on the mountains dance;
See fpicy clouds from lowly Saron rife,
And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the fkies!

VER. 23. See Nature baftes, &c.]

VIRG. E. 4. ver. 18. At tibi prima, puer, nullo munufcula cultu,

1

Errantes hederas paffim cum baccare tellus,
Mixtaque ridenti colocafia fundet acantho-
Ipfa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores.

ΙΟ

15

Peace: of the increase of bis government, and of bis peace, there shall be no end : upon the throne of David, and upon bis kingdom, to order and to fablish it, with judgment, and with juftice, for ever and ever.

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*Ifaiah, ch. xi. ver. 1,
+ Ch. xlv. ver. 8.

Ch. xxv. ver. 4.
Ch. ix. ver. 7.
** Chap. xxxv. ver.

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For thee, O Child, fball the earth, without being tilled, produce ber early offerings; winding ivy mixed with Baccar, and Golocafia with fmiling Acanthus. Tky# cradle fhall pour forth pleasing flowers about thee.

ISAIAH, chap. xxxv. ver. 1. The wilderness and the folitary place shall be glad, and the defart shall rejoice and blossom as the rofe. Ch. Ix. ver. 13. The glory of Lebanon fhall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of thy Sanctuary.

Hark!

*

Hark! a glad voice the lonely desart chears;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears:
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down ye mountains, and ye vallies rife,
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth ye rocks, ye rapid floods give way!
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold;
Heart him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films fhall purge the visual ray,
And on the fightlefs eye-ball pour the day:
'Tis he th' obftructed paths of found shall clear,
And bid new mufic charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb fhall fing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No figh, no murmur the wide world shall hear,
From ev'ry face he wipes off ev'ry tear,
In adamantine chains fhall Death be bound,
And Hell's grim Tyrant feel th' eternal wound.

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35.

Ch. xl. ver. 3, 4.

Ch. xlii. ver. 18. Eh. xxxv. ver, 5, 6, 1 Ch. xxv. ver. 8.

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VER. 29. Hark! a glad voice, &c.]

VIRG. E. 4. ver. 46. Aggredere ô magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
Cara deûm foboles, magnum Jovis incrementum--
Ipfi lætitia voces ad fydera jactant

Intoni montes, ipfæ jam carmina rupes,

Ipfa fonant arbusta, Deus, deus ille Menalca!

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E. 5. ver. 62

Ob come, and receive the mighty bonours: the time draws nigh, O beloved offspring of the Gods, O great encrease of Jove! The uncultivated mountains send shouts of joy to the flars, the very rocks fing 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 firait in the defart a high way for our God! Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and bill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made frait, and the rough places plain. Chap. iv. ver. 27 Break forth into finging, ye mountains! O foreft, and every Lord bath redeemed Ifrael.

tree therein! for the

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As

As the good * fhepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks fresheft pafture and the pureft air,
Explores the loft, the wand'ring fheep directs,
By day o'erfees them, and by night protects,
The tender lambs he raifes in his arms

Feeds from his hand, and in his bofom warms;
Thus fhall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promis'd+ father of the future age.
No more fhall nation against nation rife,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into foythes fhall bend,
And the broad faulchion in a plow-fhare end.
Then palaces fhall rife; the joyful' || fon
Shall finish what his short-liv'd fire begun!
Their vines a fhadow to their race fhall yield,
And the fame hand that fow'd, fhall reap the field.
The fwain in barren ** defarts with furprise
Sees lillies fpring, and fudden verdure rife;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murm'ring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragons late abodes,
The

green reed trembles, and the bulrufh nods.

VIR. 67. The fwain in barren defarts; &c.]·

VIRG. E. 4. ver. 28. Molli paulatim flavefcit campus arista,
Incultifque rubens pendebit fentibus uva,

Et duræ quercus fudabunt rofcida mella.

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* Ch. xl. ver. 11.

+ Ch ix. ver. 6.

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Ch. ii. ver. 4•
Ch. Ixv. ver. 21, 22.

** Ch. xxxv. ver. 1, 7.

60

The field fhall grow yellow with ripen'd ears, and the red grape shall bang upon the wild brambles, and the bard caks shall diftill boney like dew.

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ISAIAH, ch. xxxv. ver. 7. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the tbirfty land fprings of water in the babitations where dragons lay, shall be grafs, and reeds, and rushes. Ch. lv. ver. 13. Inflead of the thorn fball come up the firetree, and infiead of the briar shall come up the myrtle-tree.

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