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'Tis done, and nature's various charms decay,
See gloomy clouds obscure the cheerful day ! 56
Now hung with pearls the dropping trees appear,
Their faded honours scatter'd on her bier.
See where, on earth, the flowery glories lie,
With her they flourish'd, and with her they die.
Ah, what avail the beauties nature wore ?
Fair Daphne's dead, and beauty is no more!
For her the flocks refuse their verdant food,
The thirsty heifers shun the gliding flood,
The silver swans her hapless fate bemoan,
In notes more sad than when they sing their own;
In hollow caves sweet Echo silent lies,57
Silent, or only to her name replies;
Her name with pleasure once she taught the shore,
Now Daphne's dead, and pleasure is no more !
No grateful dews descend from evening skies,
Nor morning odours from the flowers arise;
No rich perfumes refresh the fruitful field,
Nor fragrant herbs their native incense yield.
The balmy Zephyrs, silent since her death,
Lament the ceasing of a sweeter breath ;
The industrious bees neglect their golden store!
Fair Daphne's dead, and sweetness is no more!
No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sings,
Shall, listening in mid air, suspend their wings;
No more the birds shall imitate her lays,
Or, hush'd with wonder, hearken from the sprays:
No more the streams their murmurs shall forbear,
A sweeter music than their own to hear ;
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 ;
56 Originally thus in the MS.,
“'Tis done, and nature's changed since you are gone :
Behold, the clouds have put their mourning on,"
57 [" The cave where Echo lies."-Romeo and Juliet.]
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 58
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 no more!
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,59
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 ! 60
But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews;
Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse ; 61
Sharp Boreas blows, and nature feels decay,
Time conquers all, and we must time obey.62
Adieu, ye vales, ye mountains, streams, and groves ;
Adieu, ye shepherds' rural lays and loves ;
Adieu, my flocks ; farewell, ye sylvan crew;
Daphne, farewell; and all the world adieu ! 63
“Miratur limen Olympi,
Sub pedibusque videt nubes et sidera Daphnis.”—Virg.
Şæpe tener nostris ab ovilibus imbuet agnus."— Virg.
60 Originally thus in the MS.,
“While vapours rise, and driving snows descend,
Thy honour, name, and praise shall never end."
“Solet esse gravis cantantibus umbra,
Juniperi gravis umbra."-Virg.
62 “Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus amori." Vid. etiam Sannazarii Eccl. et Spenser's Calendar.
68 These four last lines allude to the several subjects of the four Pastorals, and to the several scenes of them particularized before in each.
“Non injussa cano: Te nostrae, Vare, myricæ,
Te Nemus omne canet; nec Phæbo gratior ulla est,
Quam sibi quæ Vari præscripsit pagina nomen."-VIRG. ("My pastoral Muse her humble tribute brings;
And yet not wholly uninspir'd she sings:
For all who read, and reading, not disdain
These rural poems, and their lowly strain,
The name of Varus oft inscribed shall see
In every grove and every vocal tree
And all the sylvan reign shall sing of thee:
Thy name, to Phobus and the Muses known,
Shall in the front of every page be shown;
For he who sings thy praise secures his own."-DRYDEN.]
[" This poem was written at two different times: the first part of it, which relates to the country, in the year 1704, at the same time with the Pastorals; the latter part was not added till the year 1713, in which it was published.”—Pope. A difference in style is perceptible, the second portion being more lofty and sustained. Yet the early part contains some of his best descriptive lines, as the picture of the dying pheasant, and that of the fowler in winter,
“Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade,
And lonely woodcocks haunt the watery glade."
Woodcocks still abound near the site of Pope's father's house, at Binfield. The description of "the patient fisher” on the banks of the Thames is no less true to nature. At this period of his life, the poet's solitary rainbles in the Forest had imbued him with a love of nature, and habits of observation, which he soon ceased to cultivate, at least in the same direction, though even his moral and satirical poems derived benefit from his youthful study of the picturesque. In his treatment of his subject, Pope evidently followed Denham's “Cooper's Hill,” and Waller's “Park," no doubt admiring the latter for superior correctness. Cooper's Hill was published as early as 1633, but it was subsequently much improved by the author. It is scarcely necessary to point out Pope's animated apostrophe to Britain, and his prediction as to the future greatness of our country, in which, as of old, he verified the maxim, that poet and prophet are the same. His eulogy on the peace of Utrecht first disclosed his political sentiments; he was the friend of Oxford and Bolingbroke, not of Somers, Marlborough, and Addison. The latter, it is said, was hurt at the conclusion of the poem, and it was impossible that he should not regret the loss of one who might have proved so brilliant an ally to his party.]
THY forest, Windsor! and thy green retreats,
| At once the Monarch’s and the Muse's seats,
Invite my lays. Be present, sylvan maids !1
Unlock your springs, and open all your shades.
GRANVILLE commands; your aid, O Muses, bring!
What Muse for GRANVILLE can refuse to sing ??
The groves of Eden, vanish'd now so long,
Live in description, and look green in song:
1 Originally thus,
“ Chaste Goddess of the woods,
Nymphs of the vales, and Naïads of the floods,
Lead me through arching bowers, and glimmering glades
Unlock your springs—"