Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



N reading several passages of the prophet Ifaiah,

which foretell the coming of Christ, and the feli. cities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and those ia the l'ollio of Virgil. This will not seem surprising, when we reilet, that the Eclogue was taken from a Sibylline prophecy on the same subject. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line by line, but feJedied such ideas 29 best agreed with the nature of paf. toral poetry, and disposed them in that manner which served most to beautify his piece. I have endeavour. ed the fame in this imitation of him, though withouç admitting any thing of my own; fince it was written with this particular view, that the reader, by compar. ing the several thoughts, might see how far the images and defcriptions of the Prophet are fuperior to those of the Poer. But as I fear i baie prejudiced them by my management, I fall fubjoin the passages of lfaiah, and those of Virgil, under the fame disadvantage of a literal tranlation.





In Imitation of VIRGIL's POLLIO.

Y Nymphs of Solymal begin the long:

To heav'nly themes sublimer trains belong.
The mofy fountains, and the fylvan fhades,
The dreams of Pindus and th’ Aonian maids,
Delight no more thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Ifaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!

Rapt into future times, the Bard begun :
A Virgin Ihall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


Ver. 8. A Virgin Mall conceive -- All crines fall cease, etc.] Virg. Ecl. iv, ver. 6.

Jam dit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna ;
Jam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.
Te duce, li qua manent sceleris veftigia noftri,
Irrita perpetu. solvent formidine terras --

Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus o bem, “ Now the Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns,

now a new proçeny is sent down from high heaven. By means “ of thee, whatever reliques of our crimnes remain, mall be wip" ed away, and free the world from perpetual fears

vern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his Father.”

ISAIAH, Ch. vii, 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 eit.blith " it, with judgment and with justice, for ever and ever.”

He shall goo

From a Jeffe's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flow'r with fragrance fills the skies: is
Th’ A thereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the myftic Dove.
Yes Heav'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft flence shed the kindly show'r !
„The fick and weak the healing plant shall aid, 15
From storms a fhelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail';
Returning d Justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white rob'd Innocence from heav'n descend. 27
Swift Ay the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See Nature hailes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See e lofty Lebanon his head advance,

See nodding forests on the mountains dance :
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rife,
And Carmel's fiow'ry top perfumes the kies'!

Ver. 23. See Nature bafles, etc.] Virg. Ecl. io. ver. 18.

At tibi prima, puer, nullo munuscula cultu,
Errantes hederas paffim cum baccare tellus,
Mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet acantho

Ipfa tibi blandos fundent ounabula fures. " For thee, O Child, fall the earth, without being tilled, pro• duce her early offerings; winding ivy, mixed with Baccar, and Colocasia with smiling Acanthus. Thy cradle shall pour forth « pleasing flowers about thee."

ISAIAH, Ch. XXXV. ver. 1. « The wilderness and the folitary 6 place shall be glad, and the desert thall rejoice and blossom as « the role. Ch. lx. ver. 13. “ The glory of Lebanon shall come “ unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to « beautify the place of thy sanctuary.'

a Ifai. xi. ver. I.

b Ch. xlv, ver, S. d Ch. ix. ver. 7.

e Ch, xxxv. ver. 2.

c Ch. xxv. ver. 4.


Hark! a glad voice the lonely defert chears ;
Prepare the f way! a God, a God appears:
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye vallies, rise;
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay ; 35
Be fmooth, 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 fightless eye-ball pour the day:

40 'Tis he th' obstructed paths of found shall clear, And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear: The : dumb shall fing, the lame his crutch forego, And leap exulting like the bounding roe.


VER. 29. Hark! a glad voice, etc.]
Virg. Ecl. iv, ver. 46.

Aggredere ô magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
Cara deûm foboles, magnum Jovis incrementum
Ipfa lætitia voces ad fydera jactant
Intonfi montes, ipfæ jam carmina rupes,
ipsa sunant arbufta, Deus, Deus ille Menalca !

E. v. ver. 62. come and receive the mighty honours : the time draws " nigh, O beloved offspring of the Gods, O great encrease of Jove! « The uncultivated mountains send fhouts of joy to the stars, o the very rocks fing in verse, the very thrubs cry out, A God, a * God !"

ISAIAH, Ch. xl. ver. 3, 4. “ The voice of him that cryeth in “ the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord ! make straight “ in the desert a high way for our God ! Every valley shall be ex“ alted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the “ crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain."

“ Break forth into singing, ye mountains ! O “ forest, and every tree therein! for the Lord hath redeemed

Ch. iv. ver. 13+


Ch, xl, ver, 3, 4. & Ch. xliii. ver, 18. Ch. xxxv. ver. 5, 6,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »