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And with your golden darts, now useless grown,
Inscribe a verse on this relenting stone;
• Let Nature change, let heaven and earth deplore;
Fair Daphne's dead, and love is now no more!
'Tis done, and Nature's various charms decay:
See gloomy clouds obscure the cheerful day:
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,
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 remurmar to the silver flood;
The silver flood, so lately calm, appears
Swell'd with new passion, and o’erflows with tears,
The winds, and trees, and floods, her death deplore,
Daphne our grief, our glory now no more!
But see! where Dapbne wondering mounts on bigh,
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!
LYCIDAS. How all things listen, while thy muse complains! Such silence waits on Philonxela'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, If teering ewes increase my fleecy breed. While plants their shade, or flowers their odours give, Thy name, thy honour, and thy praise, shall live!
THYRSIS. But see! Orion sheds unwholesome dewg; Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse; Sharp Boreas blows, and Nature feels decay; Time conquers all, and we must Time obey. Adieu, ye vales, ye mountains, streams, and groves ; Adieu, ye shepherd's rural lays and loves; Adieu, my flocks; farewell, ye sylvan crew : Daphne, farewell! and all the world, adieu !
MESSIAH. A sacred Eclogue in Imitation of Virgil's Pollio.
ADVERTISEMENT. In reading several passages of the prophet Isaiah, which
foretell the coming of Christ, and the felicities attend. ing it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity be. tween many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not seem surprising when we re. flect, that the eclogue was taken from a Sibylliŋe prophecy on the same subject. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line for line; but selected such ideas as best agreed with the nature of pastoral poetry, and disposed them in that manner which served most to beautify his piece. I have endeavoured the same in this imitation of him, though without admitting any thing of my own; since it was written with this particular view, that the reader by comparing the several thoughts, might see how far the images and descriptions
of the prophet are superior to those of the poet.
Ye nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more-O Thou my voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!
From Jesse's' root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: 10
The ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heavens !2 from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick3 and weak the healing plant shall aid, 15
From storm a shelter, and from heat a shade.
(1) Isa. xi. ver. 1. (2) Ch. xlv. ver. 8. (3) Ch. XXV. Ver. 4.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail;
Returning Justicel lift aloft her scale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand, extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend. 20
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring :
See lofty Lebanon2 his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers ;
Prepare the way!3 A God, a God appears! 30
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply;
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies !
Sink down, ye mountains; and ye valleys, rise !
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay; 35
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes ! by ancieni bards foretold :
Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day : 40
'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charın the unfolding ear:
The dumb4 shall sing, the lame bis crutch forego,
And leap exulting, like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear; 45
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine5 chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air ; 50
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects ;
(1) Ch. ix. ver. 7.
(2) Ch. xxxv. ver. 2.
(3) Ch. xl. ver. 3, 4.
(4) Ch. xliii. ver. 18. and ch. xxxv.ver. 5, 6. (5) Ch. xxv. ver. 8. (6) Chi xi. ver. 11.
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms :
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised father of the future age.
No more shall nation? against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more; 60
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a plough-share end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son3
Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, 65
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts' with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
70 On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn: To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed, 75 And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. The lambs6 with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead. The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, And harmless serpents? lick the pilgrim's feet. 80 The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake, Pleased, the green lustre of the scales survey, And with their forky tongue shall innocently play. Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem,8 rise!
85 Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes!
(1) Ch. in. ver. (2) Ch ii. ver. 4. (3) Ch lxv. ve 21, 22. (4) Ch. xxxv. ver. 1, 7. (5) Ch. xli. ver. and ch. Iv. ver. 13. (6) Ch xi. ver. 6, 7, 8. (7) Lxv. ver. 25. (8) Ch. Ix. ver. 1.