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VIRST in these fields I try the fylvan strains,


Fair Thames, flow gently from thy facred spring,
While on thy banks Sicilian Muses fing;
Let vernal airs through trembling ofiers play,
And Albion's cliffs resound the rural lay.

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N O T E S.

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These Pastorals were written at the age of fixteen, and then passed through the hands of Mr. Wals, Mr. Wycberley, G. Grane ville, afterwards Lord Lansdown, Sir William Trumbal, Dr. Garth, Lord Hallifax, Lord Somers, Mr. Mainwaring; and others. All these gave our Author the greatest encouragement, and particularly Mr. Walsh, whom Mr. Dryden, in his Postscript to Virgil, calls the best Critic of his age. “ The Author (says he) seems to have “ a particular genius for this kind of Poetry, and a judgment that “ much exceeds his years. He has taken very freely from the « Ancients. But what he has mixed of his own with theirs is no

way inferior to what he has taken from them. It is not flat

tery at all to say, that. Virgil had written nothing so good at his “ Age. His Preface is very judicious and learned." Letter to Mr. Wycherley, Apr. 1705. The Lord Lansdown about the same time, mentioning the youth of our Poet, says (in a printed Letter of the Character of Mr. Wycherley), “ that if he goes on as he has “ begun in his Pastoral way, as Virgil first tried his ftrength, we:

may hope to see English Poetry vie with the Roman," &c.. Notwithftanding the early time of their production, the Author: efteemed these as the most correct in the versification, and musical: in the aumbers, of all his-works. The reason for bis labouring them


You, that too wise for pride, too good for pow'r, Enjoy the glory to be great no more, And carrying with you all the world can boaft, To all the world illustriously are loft! o let my Muse her flender reed inspire, Till in your native shades you tune the lyre : So when the Nightingale to rest removes, The thrush may chant to the forsaken groves, But charm'd to filence, liftens while she fings, 15 And all th' aërial audience clap their wings.

till 1709

NOTES. into fo much softness, was, doubtless, that this sort of poetry derives almoft its whole beauty from a natural ease of thought and smoothness of verse; whereas that of most other kinds confifts in the strength and fulness of both. In a letter of his to Mr. Walla about this time, we find an enumeration of several niceties in Verfification, which perhaps have never been strictly observed in any English poem, except in these Pastorals. They were not printed

Sir William Trumbal.] Our Author's friendship with this gentle.. man commenced at very unequal years : he was under fixteen, but Sir William above fixty, and had lately resigned his employment of Secretary of State to King William,

VIR. 12. in your native foades) Sir W. Trumbal was born in Windsor-forest, to which he retired, after he had resigned the post of Secretary of State to King William III. P.

VER. 17, etc. The scene of this Pastoral a Valley, the Time the Morning. It ftood originally thus :

Daphnis and Strephon to the shades retir'd,
Both warm’d by Love, and by the Muse inspir'd,
Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair,
In flow'ry vales they fed their fleecy care ;
And while Aurora gilds the mountain's fide,
Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.

1 Μ Ι Τ Α Τ Ι Ο Ν S.

VER. 1. Prima Syracosio dignata eft ludere versu,

Noftra ncc erubuit sylvas habitare Thalia. This is the general exordium and opening of the Pastorals, in imi. tation of the sixth of Virgil, which fome have therefore not improbably thought to have been the first originally. In the beginnings of the other three Pastorals, he imitates expressly those which now Aand firft of the three chief Poets in this kind, Spenser, Virgil, Theocritus,

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Soon as the flocks shook off the nightly dews,
Two Swains, whom Love kept wakeful, and the Mure,
Pour'd o'er the whitening vale their fleecy care,
Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair :

20 The dawn now blushing on the mountain's fide, Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.

Hear how the birds, on ev'ry bloomy spray,
With joyous music wake the dawning day!
Why fit we mute, when early linnets fing, 25
When warbling Philomel salutes the spring?
Why fit we fad, when Phosphor shines so clear,
And lavish Nature paints the purple year?

Sing then, and Damon shall attend the strain,
While yon' now oxen turn the furrow'd plain. 30
Here the bright crocus and blue vi'let glow;
Here western winds on breathing roses blow.
I'll lake yon' lamb, that near the fountain plays,
And from the brink his dancing shade surveys.

And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines, 35
And, swelling clusters bend the curling vines :


A Shepherd's Boy (he seeks no better name)-
Beneath the shade a spreading beach displays,

Thyrfis, the Mufic of the murm’ring Spring,
are manifestly imitations of

-A Shepherd's Boy (no better do him call)
--Tityre, tu patulæ recubans sub tegmine fagi.
-Αδύ τι το ψιθύρισμα και α πίτυς, αιπόλε, την,


Ver. 34. The first reading was,

And his own image from the bank surveys.
Ver. 36. And clusters lurk beneath the curling vines,


Four figures rising from the work appear,
The various seasons of the rolling year ;
And what is that, which binds the radiant sky,
Where twelve fair higns in beauteous order lie?

Then fing by turns, by turns the Mufes fing,
Now hawthorns blossom, now the daisies spring,
Now leaves the trees, and flowers adorn the ground;
Begin, the vales shall ev'ry note rebound.

STŘ Ě PHÓ N. Inspiré me, Phoebus, in my Delia's praise, 45 With Waller's strains, or Granville's moving lays ! A milk-white bull fhall at your altars ftand, That threats a fight, aud spurns the rising fand.

DA PHN I S. O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize, And make my tongue victorious as her eyes; 50


VIR, 35, 36. Lenta quibus torno facili supéraddita vitis,
Diffusos édere veftit pallente corymbos.

Virg. VIR. 38. The various seasons] The subject of these Pastorals engraven on the bowl is not without its propriety. The Shepherd's hesitation at the name of the zodiac, imitates that in Virgil,

Et quis fuit alter,
Descripfit radio totum qui gentibus orbem ?
VER. 41. Then fing by turns,] Literally from Virgil,

Alternis dicetis, amant alterna Camænæ :
Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos, .

Nunc frondent fylvą, nunc formofillimus annus.
Ver. 47. A milk-wbite bull] Virg. - Pascite cautum,

Qui cornu petat, et pedibus jam fpargat arenam.


VIR. 49. Originally thus in the MS.

Pan, let my numbers equal Strephon's lays,
Of Parian stone thy ftatue will I raise ;
But if I conquer and augment my fold,
Thy Parian ftatue shall be chang’d to gold.


No lambs or sheep for victims I'll impart,
Thy victim, Love, shall be the shepherd's heart.

Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain,
Then hid in fhades, eludes her eager fwain;
But feigns a laugh, to fee the search around,
And by that laugh the willing fair is found.

The sprightly Sylvia trips along the green,

runs, but hopes she does not run unseen ; While a kind glance at her pursuer flies, How much at variance are her feet and eyes!

O'er golden fands let rich Pactolus flow,
And trees weep amber on the banks of Po;
Bleft Thames's hores the brightest beauties yield,
Feed here my lambs, I'll seek no distant field.



Ver. 46. Granville.-) George Granville, afterwards Lord! Lansdown, known for his poems, moft of which he composed: very young, and proposed Waller as his model. P.


VER. 58. Sbe


but hopes] Imitation of Virgil.
Malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella,
Et fugit ad falices, fed fe cupidante videri.

VIR. 6r. It stood thus at first :

Let rich Iberia golden fleeces boast,
Her purple wool the proud Aflyrian coaft,

Bleft Thames's fhores, &c.
VER. 61. Originally thus in the MS.

Go, flow'ry wreath, and let my Sylvia know,
Compar'd to thine how bright her beauties Ahow :
Then die ; and dying, teach the lovely maid
How soon the brightest beauties are decay’d.

Go, tuneful bird, that pleas'd the woods so long
Of Amaryllis learn a sweeter fung :
To Heav'n arising then her notes convey,
For Heav'o alone is worthy such a lay.

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