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Now setting Phæbus shone serenely bright, And fleecy clouds were streak’d with purple light; When tuneful Hylas with melodious moan, 15 Taught rocks to weep, and made the mountains
groan. Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away! To Delia's ear the tender notes convey. As some sad turtle his lost love deplores, And with deep murmurs fills the sounding shores ; Thus, far from Delia, to the winds I mourn, 21 Alike unheard, unpity'd, and forlorn.
Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along ! For her, the feather'd quires neglect their song : For her, the limes their pleasing shades deny; 25 For her, the lilies hang their heads and die. Ye flow’rs that droop, forsaken by the spring, Ye birds that, left by summer, cease to sing, Ye trees that fade when autumn-heats remove, Say, is not absence death to those who love? 30
Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away! Curs'd be the fields that cause my
Delia's stay ; Fade ev'ry blossom, wither ev'ry tree, Die ev'ry flow'r, and perish all, but she,– What have I said? where'er my Delia flies, 35 Let spring attend, and sudden flow’rs arise ;
Ver. 25.] This rich assemblage of very pleasing pastoral images, is yet excelled by Shenstone's beautiful Pastoral Ballad
in four parts.
Let op’ning roses knotted oaks adorn,
Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along !
Ver. 43. Not bubbling] The turn of these four lines is evidently borrowed from Drummond of Hawthwarden, a charming but neglected Poet. He was born 1585, and died 1649. His verses are as smooth as Waller's, whom he preceded many years, having written a poem to King James, 1617; whereas Waller's first composition was to Charles I. 1625. His Sonnets are ex. quisitely beautiful and correct. He was one of our first and best imitators of the Italian Poets, and Milton had certainly read and admired him, as appears by many passages that might be quoted for that purpose. The four lines mentioned above follow;
To virgins flow'rs, to sun-burnt earth the rain,
Are not so pleasing as thy blest return.
The grief was common, common were the cries. I will just add, that Drayton's Pastorals, and his Nymphidia, do not seem to be attended to so much as they deserve.
IMITATIONS. Ver. 37.
66 Aurea duræ
Virg. Ecl. viii. P.
Go gentle gales, and bear my sighs away! Come, Delia, come; ah, why this long delay? Thro' rocks and caves the name of Delia sounds, Delia, each cave and echoing rock rebounds. 50 Ye pow’rs, what pleasing frenzy soothes my mind! Do lovers dream, or is my Delia kind ? She comes, my Delia comes !—Now cease my lay, And cease, ye gales, to bear my sighs away!
Next Ægon sung, while Windsor groves admir’d; Rehearse, ye Muses, what yourselves inspir’d. 56
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain ! Of perjur'd Doris, dying I complain : Here where the mountains, less'ning as they rise, Lose the low vales, and steal into the skies : 60 While lab'ring oxen, spent with toil and heat, In their loose traces from the field retreat: While curling smokes from village tops are seen, And the fleet shades glide o'er the dusky green.
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay! 65 Beneath yon poplar oft we past the day: Oft on the rind I cary'd her am’rous vows, While she with garlands hung the bending boughs: The garlands fade, the vows are worn away ; So dies her love, and so my hopes decay. 70
With him through Lybia's burning plains I'll go,
Ver. 52. “An, qui amant, ipsi sibi somnia fingunt ?”
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain ! Now bright Arcturus glads the teeming grain, Now golden fruits on loaded branches shine, And grateful clusters swell with floods of wine; Now blushing berries paint the yellow grove; 75 Just Gods! shall all things yield returns but love?
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay! The shepherds cry, “Thy flocks are left a prey” Ah! what avails it me, the flocks to keep, Who lost my heart while I preserv'd my sheep. 80 Pan came, and ask'd, what magic caus'd my smart Or what ill eyes malignant glances dart? What eyes but hers, alas, have pow'r to move! And is there magic but what dwells in love! 84
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strains ! I'll fly from shepherds, flocks, and flow'ry plains, From shepherds, flocks, and plains, I may remove, Forsake mankind, and all the world-but love! I know thee, Love ! on foreign mountains bred, Wolves gave thee suck, and savage tigers fed. 90 Thou wert from Ætna’s burning entrails torn, Got by fierce whirlwinds, and in thunder born!
Ver. 82. dart?] It should be darted; the present tense is used for the sake of the rhyme.
Ver. 82. Or what ill eyes]
“ Nunc scio, quid sit Amor: duris in cotibus illum” &c. P.
This from Virgil is much inferior to the passage in Theocritus, from whence it is taken.
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay! Farewell, ye woods, adieu the light of day! One leap from yonder cliff shall end my pains, 95 No more, ye hills, no more resound
strains ! Thus sung the shepherds till th' approach of night, The skies yet blushing with departing light, When falling dews with spangles deck'd the glade, And the low sun had lengthen'd every
Ver. 97. Thus sung] Among the multitude of English Poets who wrote pastorals, Fairfax, to whom our versification is thought to be so much indebted, ought to be mentioned. He wrote ten or twelve Eclogues after the accession of James I. They were like those of Mantuan and Spenser, allegorical, and alluded to the manners and characters of the times, and contained many satirical strokes against the King and his Court. They were lost in the fire that consumed the banqueting house at Whitehall; but it is said that Mr. W. Fairfax, his son, recovered them from his father's papers; the fourth of them was published by Mrs. Cooper in the Muses' Library, 1737.
Ver. 98. 100.] There is a little inaccuracy here ; the first line makes the time after sunset ; the second, before. W.
Ver. 100. And the low sun] Mr. Gray's Evening, described in the two first stanzas of his excellent Elegy, is far more picturesque and poetical. I would propose to read the two first lines of his elegy with a new punctuation, as follows:
The curfew tolls! the knell of parting day!