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But now the reeds shall hang on yonder tree,
And yet my numbers please the rural throng, Rough Satyrs dance, and Pan applauds the song :
50 The Nymphs forsaking ev'ry cave and spring, Their early fruit, and milk-white turtles bring ! Each am'rous nymph prefers her gifts in vain, On
you their gifts are all bestow'd again. For
you the swains their fairest flow'rs design, 55 And in one garland all their beauties join; Accept the wreath which you deserve alone, In whom all beauties are compris’d in one.
See what delights in sylvan scenes appear ! Descending Gods have found Elysium here. 60 In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray'd, And chaste Diana haunts the forest-shade. Come, lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours, When swains from sheering seek their nightly
bow'rs; When weary reapers quit the sultry field, 65 And crown’d with corn their thanks to Ceres yield.
Ver. 60. Descending Gods have found Elysium here.]
“ -- habitarunt Di quoque sylvas”-Virg.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
70 O deign to visit our forsaken seats, The mossy fountains, and the
retreats! Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade, Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade: Where'er you tread, the blushing flow’rs shall rise, And all things flourish where you
your eyes. 76 O! how I long with you pass my days, Invoke the Muses, and resound your praise ! Your praise the birds shall chant in ev'ry grove, And winds shall waft it to the pow’rs above. 80 But would you sing, and rival Orpheus' strain, The wond’ring forests soon should dance again, The moving mountains hear the pow'rful call, And headlong streams hang list’ning in their fall!
But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat, The lowing herds to murm’ring brooks retreat, 86
Ver. 67, 68.] I think these two lines would not have passed without animadversion in any of our great schools.
Ver. 79, 80.
Your praise the tuneful birds to heav'n shall bear,
And list'ning wolves grow milder as tbey hear. So the verses were originally written. But the Author, young as he was, soon found the absurdity which Spenser himself overlooked, of introducing wolves into England. P.
IMITATIONS. Ver. 80. And winds shall waft, &c.] 6. Partem aliquam, venti, divům referatis ad aures l's
To closer shades the panting flocks remove;
IMITATIONS. Ver. 88. Ye gods ! &c.] “Me tamen urit amor ; quis enim modus adsit amori ?''
Idem. P. Virgil, in his Epic, attempted to paint those manners which he had never seen; and in his Pastora , those rustic manners which he was little acquainted with.
THE THIRD PASTORAL'.
HYLAS AND ÆGON.
TO MR. WYCHERLEY2.
BENEATH the shade a spreading Beech displays, Hylas and Ægon sung their rural lays ; This mourn'd a faithless, that an absent Love, And Delia's name and Doris’ filld the Grove. Ye Mantuan nymphs, your sacred succour bring ; 5 Hylas and Ægon's rural lays I sing.
REMARKS. ? This Pastoral consists of two parts, like the virth of Virgil : The Scene, a Hill; the Time, at Sunset. P.
? His intrigues with the Dutchess of Cleveland, his marriage with the Countess of Drogheda, Charles the Second's displeasure on this marriage, his debts and distresses, and other particulars of his life, are well related by Dennis in a letter to Major Pack, 1720. In Dennis's collection of Letters, published in two volumes, 1721, to which Mr. Pope subscribed, Lord Lansdown has drawn his character, as a writer, in an elegant manner; chiefly with a view of shewing the impropriety of an epithet given to him by Lord Rochester, who called him slow Wycherley; for that, notwithstanding his pointed wit, and forcible expression, he composed with facility and haste.
Thou, whom the Nine, with Plautus' wit inspire, The art of Terence, and Menander's fire; Whose sense instructs us, and whose humour
charms, Whose judgment sways us, and whose spirit warms! Oh, skill'd in Nature ! see the hearts of Swains, 11 Their artless passions, and their tender pains.
REMARKS. Ver. 7. Thou, whom the Nine,] Mr. Wycherley, a famous author of Comedies ; of which the most celebrated were the PlainDealer and Country Wife. He was a writer of infinite spirit, satire, and wit. The only objection made to him was, that he had too much. However, he was followed in the same way by Mr. Congreve; though with a little more correctness. P.
Surely with much more correctness, taste, and judgment.
Ver. 8. The art of Terence, and Menander's fire ;] This line alludes to that famous character given of Terence, by Cæsar:
“ Tu quoque, tu in summis, ó dimidiate Menander,
Poneris, et merito, puri sermonis amator :
Comica." So that the judicious critic sees he should have said—with Menander's fire. For what the poet meant, was, that his friend had joined to Terence's art, what Cæsar thought wanting in Terence, namely, the vis comica of Menander. Besides,--and Menander's fire, is making that the Characteristic of Menander which was not. He was distinguished for having art and comic spirit in conjunction, and Terence having only the first part, is called the half of Menander. W.
Ver. 9. Whose sense instructs us,] He was always very careful in his encomiums not to fall into ridicule, the deserved fate of weak and prostitute flatterers, and which they rarely escapé. For sense, he would willingly have said moral ; propriety required it. But this dramatic Poet's moral was remarkably faulty. His plays are all shamefully profligate both in the Dialogue and Action. W.
Ver. 11. Oh, skill'd] Few writers have less nature in them than Wycherley