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Go to the good and just, an awful train,
TO MR. POPE.
FROM ROME, 1 7 JO.
Immortal Bard! for whom each muse has wove
The fairest garlands of th'Aonian grove;
Preserv'd, our drooping genius to restore,
When Addison and Congreve are no more;
After so many stars extinct in night, 5
The darken'd age's last remaining light!
To thee from Latian realms this verse is writ,
Inspir'd by memory of ancient wit:
For now no more these climes their influence boast,
Fall'n is their glory, and their virtue lost: 10
From tyrants, and from priests, the Muses fly,
Daughers of Reason and of Liberty.
Nor Baiae now, nor Umbria's plain thev love,
Nor on the banks of Nar or Mincia rove;
To Thames's flow'ry borders they retire, 1;
And kindle in thy breast the Roman fire.
So in the shades, where cheer'd with summer rays,
Melodious linnets warbled sprightly.lays,
Soon as the faded, falling leaves complain
Of gloomy Winter's inauspicious reign, 20
No tuneful voice is heard of joy or leve,
But mournful silence sadiiens all the grove.
Unhappy Italy! whose alter'd state
And bcw'd her haughty neck beneath their yoke;
That there the source of science flows no more,
Illustrious names! that once in Latium shin'd,
Those hallow'd ruins better pleas'd to see
As lale on Virgil's tomb fresh flow'rs I stroiv'd, While with th' inspiring muse my bosom glow'd, Crown'd with eternal bays my ravish'd eyes 4;
Beheld the poet's awful form arise:
"Great Bard, whose-numbers I myself inspire, To whom I gave my own harmonious lyre,
If high exalted on the throne of Wit; "^
Near me and Homer thou aspire to sit.
No more let meaner satire dim the rays 55
That flow majestic from.tlry nobler bays;
In all the flow'ry paths of Pindus stray,
But shun that ihorny, thajt unpleasing way;
Nor, when each soft engaging muse is thine,
Address the least attractive of the Nine. 6a
"Of thee more worthy were the taslf.tq raise
And plants her palm beneath the olive's shade.
"If these commands submissive thou receive, Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live; Envy to black Cocvtus shall retire, 75
And howl with furies in tormenting fire;
PASTORAL POETRY *.
[Written ia the year 1704. ]
P. nra rhihf « rfgol plactint in villibui amr.et,
Flumina imtoi, syHasque, mglorius t vmej.
There are not, I believe, a greater number of any sort of verses than of those which are called Pastorals; nor a smaller, than of those which are truly so. It therefore seems necessary to give some account of this kind of Poem; and it is my design to comprise, in this short paper, the substance of those numerous dissertations the critics have made on the subject, without omitting any of their rules in my own favour: you will also find some points reconciled about which they seem to differ, and a few remarks which, I think, have escaped their observation.
The original of poetry is ascribed to that age which succeeded the creation of the world; and as the keeping of flocks seems to have been the fust employment of mankind, the most ancient sort of poetry wa* probably Pastoral f. It is natural to imagine, that the leisure of those ancient shepherds, admitting and mvit
* Written at sixteen years of age. P.
ihg some diversion, none was so proper to that soli* tary and sedentary life as singing; and that in their songs they took occasion to celebrate their own felicity. From hence a poem was invented, and afterwards improved to a perfect image of that happy time; which, by giving us an esteem far the virtues of a former age, might recommend them to the present. And since the life of shepherds was attended with more tranquillity than any other rural employment, the poets chose to introduce their persons, from whom it received the name of Pastoral.
A Pastoral is an imitation of (he action of a shepherd, or one considered under that character. The form of this imitation is dramatic, or narrative, or mixed of both*; the fable simple, the manners not too polite nor too rustic: the thoughts are plain, yet admit a little quickness and passion; but, that short and flowing: the expression humble, yet as pure as the language will afford; neat, but not florid; easy, and yet lively. In short, the fable, manners, thoughts, and expressions, are full of the greatest simplicity in nature.
The complete character of this Poem consists in simplicity +, brevity, and delicacy; the two first of which render an eclogue natural, and the last delightful.
If we would copy Nature, it may be useful to take this idea along with us, that Pastoral is an image of what they call the Golden Age: so that we are not
» Heinsius jn Theocr. P. .
f Rapin de Carm. Past. p. 1. P.