Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

D'IRST in these fields I try the fylvan strains, T Nor blush to sport on Windsor's blissful plains : Fair Thames, flow gently from thy sacred spring, While on thy banks Sicilian Muses fing;

REMARKS. These Pastorals were written at the age of fixteen, and then past thro' the hands of Mr. Walsh, Mr. Wycherley, G. Granville afterwards Lord Lansdown, Sir William Trumbal, Dr. Garth, Lord Hallifax, Lord Somers, Mr. Mainwaring, and others. All these gave our Author the greatest encouragement, and particularly Mr. Walsh, whom Mr. Dryden, in his Poftcript to Virgil, calls the best Critic of his age. “ The Author (says he) “ seems to have a particular genius for this kind of Poetry, and “ a judgment that much exceeds his years. He has taken very

Let vernal airs thro' trembling ofiers play, 5 And Albion's cliffs resound the rural lay.

You, that too wise for pride, too good for pow's, Enjoy the glory to be great no more,

REMARKS. « freely from the Ancients. But what he has mixed of his “ own with theirs is no way inferior to what he has taken from « them. It is not fattery at all to say that Virgil had written “ nothing so good at his Age. His Preface is very judicious 6 and learned.” Letter to Mr. Wycherley, Ap. 1705. The Lord Lansdown about the same time, mentioning the youth of our Poet, says (in a printed Letter of the Character of Mr. Wycherley) “ that if he goes on as he has begun in the Pastoral way, « as Virgil first tried his strength, we may hope to see English

Poetry vie with the Roman,* &c. Notwithstanding the early' time of their production, the Author esteemed these as the most correct in the versification, and musical in the numbers, of all his works. The reason for his labouring them into so much softness, was, doubtless, that this sort of poetry derives almost its whole beauty from a natural ease of thought and smoothness of verse; whereas that of most other kinds consists in the strength and fulness of both. In a letter of his to Mr. Walk about this time we find an enumeration of several niceties in Verfification, which perhaps have never been strictly observed in any English poem, except in these Pastorals. They were not printed till 1709. P.

Sir William Trumbal.] Our Author's friendship with this gentleman commenced at very unequal years; he was under fixteen, But Sir William above sixty, and had lately resign’d his employment of Secretary of State to King William. P.

IMITATIONS.
Ver. 1. Prima Syracofio dignata eft ludere versu,

Nostra nec erubuit sylvas habitare Thalia. This is the general exordium and opening of the Pastorals, in imitation of the sixth of Virgil, which some have therefore not improbably thought to have been the first originally. In the beginnings of the other three Pastorals, he imitates exprefly those

[ocr errors]

And carrying with you all the world can boast,
To all the world illustriously are lost !

IQ
O let my Muse her slender reed inspire,
Till in your native shades you tune the lyre:
So when the Nightingale to rest removes,
The Thrush may chant to the forsaken groves,
But charm’d to filence, listens while she sings, 15
And all th’ aërial audience clap their wings.

Soon as the flocks shook of the nightly dews,
Two Swains, whom Love kept wakeful, and the

Muse,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

REMARKS. Ver. 12. in your native mades:] Sir W. Trumbal was born in Windfor-forest, to which he retreated, after he had resigned the post of Secretary of State to King William III. P.

VER. 17, etc. The Scene of this Pastoral a Valley, the Time the Morning. It stood originally thus,

Daphnis and Strephon to the shades retir'd,
Both waim'd by Love, and by the Muse inspir’d,
Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair,
In flow'ry vales they fed their fleecy care;
And while Aurora gilds the mountain's side,
Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.

IMITATIONS.
which now stand first of the three chief Poets in this kind,
Spencer, Virgil, Theocritus.

A Shepherd's Boy (he seeks no better name)
Beneath the shade a spreading beach displays,

Thyrsis, the Music of that murm'ring Spring are manifestly imitations of

-A Shepherd's Boy (no better do him call) -Tityre, tu patulæ recubans fub tegmine fagi. -'Adü To Do Yoguenouari á títus, aiaóne, tývo. P. Vol. I.

D

Let vernal airs thro' trembling osiers play, 5 And Albion's cliffs re

You, that too wise for pride, too good for pow's, Enjoy the glory to be great no more,

REMARKS. « freely from the Ancients. But what he has mixed of his “ own with theirs is no way inferior to what he has taken from " them. It is not flattery at all to say that Virgil had written “ nothing so good at his Age. His Preface is very judicious 66 and learned.” Letter to Mr. Wycherley, Ap. 1705. The Lord Lansdown about the same time, mentioning the youth of our Poet, says (in a printed Letter of the Character of Mr. Wycherley) “ that if he goes on as he has begun in the Pastoral way, « as Virgil first tried his strength, we may hope to see English “ Poetry vie with the Roman,", &c. Notwithstanding the early time of their production, the Author esteemed these as the most correct in the versification, and musical in the numbers, of all his works. The reason for his labouring them into so much softness, was, doubtless, that this sort of poetry derives almost its whole beauty from a natural ease of thought and smoothness of verse; whereas that of most other kinds consists in the strength and fulness of both. In a letter of his to Mr. Walsh about this time we find an enumeration of several niceties in Verfification, which perhaps have never been strictly observed in any English poem, except in these Pastorals. They were not printed till 1709. P.

Sir William Trumbal.] Our Author's friendship with this gentleman commenced at very unequal years; he was under sixteen, But Sir William above sixty, and had lately resign’d his employment of Secretary of State to King William. P.

IMITATIONS.
Ver. 1. Prima Syracofio dignata est lydere versu,

Noftra nec erubuit sylvas habitare Thalia. This is the general exordium and opening of the Pastorals, in imitation of the sixth of Virgil, which some have therefore not improbably thought to have been the first originally. In the beginnings of the other three Pastorals, he imitates expresly those

.

And carrying with you all the world can boast,
To all the world illustriously are loft! 10
O let my Muse her slender reed inspire,
Till in your native shades you tune the lyre:
So when the Nightingale to rest removes,
The Thrush may chant to the forsaken groves,
But charm’d to silence, listens while she sings, 15
And all th’ aërial audience clap their wings.

Soon as the flocks shook of the nightly dews,
Two Swains, whom Love kept wakeful, and the

Muse,

REM A R K S. VER. 12. in your native Mades:] Sir W. Trumbal was born in Windfor-forest, to which he retreated, after he had resigned the post of Secretary of State to King William III. P.

Ver. 17, etc. The Scene of this Pastoral a Valley, the Time the Morning. It stood originally thus,

Daphnis and Strephon to the shades retir’d,
Both waim'd by Love, and by the Muse inspir’d,
Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair,
In fow'ry vales they fed their fleecy care;
And while Aurora gilds the mountain's side,
Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.

IMITATIONS.
which now stand first of the three chief Poets in this kind,
Spencer, Virgil, Theocritus. .

A Shepherd's Boy (he seeks no better name)
Beneath the shade a spreading beach displays,

Thyrsis, the Music of that murm'ring Spring, are manifestly imitations of

-A Shepherd's Boy (no better do him call) -Tityre, tu patulze recubans fub tegmine fagi.. -'Asú ti tó foguerou or is á títus, aiñóne, TÁVC. P. Vol. I.

« ZurückWeiter »