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IN reading several passages of the Prophet Isaiah,
which forętell the coming of Christ and the felicities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil.' This will not seem sure prising, 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 by line, but selected such ideas as best agreed with the nature of pastorał poetry, and disposed them in that manner which served most to beautify his piece. I have endeavour'd the fame 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 fuperior to those of the Poet. But as I fear I have prejudiced them by my management, I shall subjoin the passages of Isaiah, and those of Virgil, under the same disadvantage of a literal translation. P.
E Nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song:
To heav'nly themes sublimer strains belong.
Rapt into future times, the Bard begun :
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna ;
Te duce, fi qua manent sceleris vestigia noftri,
ISAIAH, Ch. vii. v. 14. Behold a Virgin fall conceive and bear a Son.--Ch. ix. v. 6, 7. Unto us a Child is barn, unto us a Son is given; the Prince of Peace: of the increasi
From * Jeffe's root behold a branch arise,
See IMITATION S. of his government, and of his peace, there mall be no end : Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order and to stablish it, with judgment, and with justice, for ever and ever.
VER. 23. See Nature haftes, etc.)
At tibi prima, puer, nullo manuscula cultu,
Ipsa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores. For thee, O Child, shall the earth, without being riliei, produce her early offerings ; winding ivy, mixed with Baccar, and Colocasia with smiling Acanthus. Thy cradle poall pour forth pleasing frowers about thee.
ISAIAH, Ch. xxxv. v. 1. The wilderness and the folitary place snall be glad, and the defart fhill rejoice and blol
Jom * Isai xi, v. 1. + Ch. xlv. v. 8. # Ch. xxv. V. 4. Ch.ix. V. 7.
See * lofty Lebanon his head advance,
25 See nodding forests on the mountains dance: See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise, And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the skies! Hark! a glad voice the lonely desart chears; Prepare the + way! a God, a God appears:
30 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 valleys rise,
IMITATIONS. fom as the role. Ch. lx. v. 13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of the sanctuary., P.
Ver. 29. Hurk, a glad Voice, etc.)
Aggredere ô magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
E. v. ver. 62. Oh come and receive the mighty honours : the time draws nigb, o beloved offspring of the Gods, Ogreat encrease of Jove! The uncultivated
mountains fend shouts of joy to the fars, the very rocks fing in verse, the very forubs cry out, A God, a God!
ISAIAH, Ch. xl. v. 3, 4. The voice of bim that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord ! make Arait in the defart a high way for our God! Every val. ley fall be exalted, and every mountain and bill fall be made low, and the crooked shall be made Atrait, and the rough places plain. Ch. iv. v.23. Break forth into finging, ye mountains ! O forest, and every tree therein! for the Lord hath redeemed Israel. P.
* Ch. xxxv. v. 2. + Ch. xl. v. 3, 4.