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To thee from Latian realms this verse is writ,
20 No tuneful voice is heard of joy or love, But mournful filence faddens all the grove.
Unhappy Italy ! whose alter'd state Has felt the worst severity of Fate: Not that Barbarian hands her Fasces broke, 25 And bow'd her haughty neck beneath their yoke ; Nor that her palaces to earth are thrown, Her Cities desert, and her fields unfown; But that her ancient fpirit is decay'd, That facred Wisdom from her bounds is fled, 30 That there the source of Science flows no more, Whence its rich streams fupply'd the world before.
Illustrious Names! that once in Latium shin'd, Born to instruct, and to command Mankind; Chiefs, by whose Virtue mighty Rome was rais'd, 35 And Poets, who those Chiefs sublimely prais'd ! Oft I the traces you have left explore, Your alhes visit, and your urns adore ; Oft kiss, with lips devout, some mouldring stone, With Ivy's venerable shade o'ergrown; Those hallow'd ruins better pleas’d to see Than all the pomp of modern Luxury.
As late on Virgil's tomb fresh flow'rs I ftrow'd,
Great Bard, whose numbers I myself inspire,
Of thee more worthy were the talk, to raise
If these commands submissive thou receive, Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live; Envy to black Cocytus shall retire,
75 And howl with Furies in tormenting fire ; Approving Time shall consecrate thy Lays, And join the Patriot's to the Poet's Praise.
Discourse on PASTORAL.
Written in the Year MDCCIY.
Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
HERE are not, I believe, a greater number of
any sort of verses than of those which are called Pastorals; nor a smaller, than of those which are truly fo. It therefore seem's necessary to give some account of this kind of Poem, and it is my design to comprize in this fort paper the substance of those numerous dissertations the Critics have made on the subject, without omitting any of their roles in my own favour. You will also find some points reconciled, about which they seem to differ, and a few remarks, which, I think, have escaped their observation.
The original of Poetry is ascribed to that Age which succeeded the creation of the world : and as the keeping of Alocks seems to have been the first employment of mankind, the most ancient sort of poetry was probably paftoral. It is natural to imagine, that the leisure of those ancient Shepherds admitting and inviting some diversion, none was so proper to that solitary and sedentary life as singing; and that in their songs they took occasion to celebrate their own felicity. From hence a Poem was invented, and afterwards improved to a perfect image of that happy time; which,
Written at fixteen years of age. b Fontenelle's Disc, on Pastorals,