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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! LYCIDAS.
How all things listen, while thy muse complains! Such silence waits on Philomela's strains, In some still evening, when the whispering breeze Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees. To thee, bright goddess, oft a lamb shall bleed, If teeming ewes increase my fleecy breed. While plants their shade, or flowers their odours give, Thy name, thy honour, and thy praise, shall live!
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 shepherd's rural lays and loves; Adieu, my flocks; farewell, ye sylvan crew: Daphne, farewell! and all the world, adieu!
A sacred Eclogue in Imitation of Virgil's Pollio.
In reading several passages of the prophet Isaiah, which foretell the coming of Christ, and the felicities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity be tween many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollic of Virgil. This will not seem surprising when we reflect, that the eclogue was taken from a Sibylline 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.
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 the Aonian maids,
Delight no more-O Thou my voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!
From Jesse's' root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: 10
The ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heavens !2 from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick3 and weak the healing plant shall aid, 15
From storm a shelter, and from heat a shade.
(1) Isa. xi. ver. 1. (2) Ch. xlv. ver. 8. (3) Ch. xxv
All crimes shall cease, and ancient frands shall fail;
Returning Justice' lift aloft her scale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand, extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend. 2C
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon2 his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way !3. A God, a God appears!
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply;
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains; and ye valleys, rise!
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day.
'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting, like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear; 45
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air;
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
(Ch. ix. ver. 7. ver. 3, 4. (4) Ch (5) Ch. xxv. ver. S.
(2) Ch. xxxv. ver. 2. (3) Ch. xl xliii. ver. 18. and ch. xxxv.ver 5, 6 (6) Ch xi ver. 11
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms:
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised father of the future age.
No more shall nation2 against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a plough-share end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son3
Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun ;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts4 with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys,5 once perplex'd with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn :
To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead
And boys in flowery band's the tiger lead.
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet.
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
Pleased, the green lustre of the scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise! 85
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes!
(1) Ch. ix. ver. 6. (2) Ch. ii. ver. 4. (3) Ch. lxv. ve 21, 22. (4) Ch. xxxv. ver. 1, 7. (5) Ch. xli. ver. and ch. lv. ver. 13. (6) Ch. xi. ver. 6, 7, 8. (7) Ixv. ver. 25. (8) Ch. lx. ver. 1.
See a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
See barbarous nations2 at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabean3 springs!
For thee Idume's spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow:
See heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon them in a flood of day!
No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze,
O'erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine
Reveal'd, and God's eternal day be thine!
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay, 105
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
But fix'd his word, his saving power remains;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns!
THY forest, Windsor! and thy green retreats,
At once the Monarch's and the Muses' seats,
Invite my lays. Be present, sylvan maids!
Unlock your springs, and open all your shades.
To the Right Honourable George Lord Lansdowne
Non injussa cano: te nostræ, Vare, myricæ.
Te nemus omne canet; nec Phobo gratior ulla est,
Quam sibi quæ Vari præscripsit pagina nomen.
(1) Ch. Ix. ver. 4. (2) Ch. Ix. ver. 3. (3) Ch. Ix. ver. (5) Ch. li. ver. 6, and ch. li
(4) Ch lx. ver. 19, 20. ver. 10.