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THE FOURTH PASTORAL, OR DAPHNE.
To the Memory of Mrs. Tempest.
THYRSIS, the music of that murmuring spring
Behold the groves that shine with silver frost, Their beauty wither'd, and their verdure lost. Here shall I try the sweet Alexis' strain,
That call'd the listening Dryads to the plain?
So may kind rains their vital moisture yield, And swell the future harvest of the field. Begin; this charge the dying Daphne gave, And said, Ye shepherds sing around my grave!' Sing, while beside the shaded tomb I mourn, And with fresh bays her rural shrine adorn.
Ye gentle muses, leave your crystal spring, Let nymphs and sylvans cypress garlands bring; Ye weeping loves, the stream with myrtles hide, And break your bows as when Adonis dy'd;
And with your golden darts, now useless grown,
'Let nature change, let heaven and earth deplore,
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; Th' 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; 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, 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
While plants their shade, or flowers their odours give,
But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews; 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 shepherds' rural lays and loves; Adieu, my flocks; farewel, ye sylvan crew; Daphne, farewel! and all the world adieu!
A sacred Eclogue, in Imitation of Virgil's Pollie.
In reading several passages of the prophet Isaiah, which foretel the coming of Christ, and the felicities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not seem surprising, when we reflect, that the eclogue was taken from a Sibyline 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. But as I fear I have prejudiced them by my management, I shall subjoin the passages of Isaiah, and those of Virgil, under the same disadvantage of a literal translation.
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 th' Aonian maids,
Delight no more---O thou my voice inspire
Ver. 8. A Virgin shall conceive---All crimes shall cease, &c.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 6.
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,
Jam nova progenies cœlo demittitur alto.
Te duce, si qua maneant sceleris vestigia nostri, Irrita perpetua solvent formidine terras... Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.
Now the virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new progeny is sent down from high heaven. By means of thee, whatever reliques of our crimes remain, shall be wiped away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He shall govern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his Father.'
Isaiah, ch. vij. ver. 14. 'Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son--Chap, ix. ver. 6, 7. Unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given; the Prince of Peace: of the increase of his government, and of his peace, there shall be no end: upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order and to establish it, with judgement and with justice, for ever and ever.'
(a) Isa. xi. ver. 1.
(b) Ch. xlv, ver. 8.