Слике страница


[ocr errors]

digies, or portents This is likewise mentioned | daffodil, or asphodelos. Quintilian, in his fikti by Pausanias

book denies the fables of Ælop to have been writΘειοι λογοι

divine speeches; which Maximus ten originally by him, but fays the first author of Tyrrus tak... tice of in his fixteenth differtation thum was Hefiod, and Plutarch informs us that Μεγαλα βα

or remarkable actions. Æfor was his disciple: but this opinion, though Wintherait of His ok in the cighth book countenanced by fome, is exploded by others. of Irena

When we refice on th: number of titles, the KUKc; the marriage of Ceyx. We have pot nis to which are irreparably lost, we should

prom both by Athenæus, aad consider them as so many monuments to raise our Plus! Sy map fracs.

concern for the loss of so much treasure never to Of as stil.labuse of this great poet, we fee be retrieved. Let us turn our thoughts from that nothire but the titles remaining, excepting some melancholy theme, and view the poet in his liv. fragments p.cserved by Pau'anias, Plutarch, Poly. I ing writings; let us read him ourselves, and incite bius, & We are told that our poet composed our countrymen to a taste of the poli eness of fome other works, of which we have not even the Greece. Scaliger, in an epifle to Salmafius, dia titles. We are assured, from diverse passages in vides the state of poetry in Greece into four periPliny, that he wrote of the virtues of herbs; but ods of time: in the first arose Homer and Hefiod; here Fabricius judiciously observes, that he might, on which he has the just observation that conin other poems occasionally trcat of various herbs; cludes my discourse : this, says he, you may not as in the beginning of his works and Days, he improperly call the fpring of poesy; but it is rafpeaks of the wholefumeness of mallows, and the I ther the bloom than infancy.

[ocr errors]


FROM THE GREEK OF DANIEL HEINSIUS. The poet begins with the difference of the two and Menelaus; and such as are recorded by the contentions; and rejecting that which is actended * poet to be in the Trojan war; of whom fonie with disgrace, he advises his brother Perles to pre- perished entirely by death, and some now inhabit fer the other. One is the lover of Arife, and the the illes of the blessed. Next he describes the iron occasion of troubles: the other prompts us on to age, and the injuttice which prevailed in it. He procure the necessaries of life in a fair and honest greatly reproves the judges, and taxe, them with way. After Prometheus had by subtlery stole the corruption, in a short and beautiful fable In the fire clandestinely from Jove (the fire is by the diother part of the book, he sets before our eyes vine Plato, in his aliation to this pafrage, called the consequences of julice and injustice; and the necessaries, or abundance of life; and those are then, in the most fagacious manner, lays down called lubtle, who were folicituus afrer che abund. some of the wifest precepts to Perfes. The part ance of life), the god created a great evil, which which contains the precepts, is chiefly writ in an was Pandora, that is Fortune, who was endowed irregular, free, and easy way; and his frequent with all the gifts of the gods, meaning all the be- repetitions, which custom modern writers have 1.efits of nature: so Fortune may from thence be quite avoided, bear no small marks of his antiquifaid to have the disposal of the comforts of life; ty. He often digresses, that his brother might and from that tiine care and prudence are requir- not be tired with his precepts, because of a too ed in the management of human affairs. Before much laneness. Hence he passes to rules of ecoPrometheus had purloined the fire, all the com- nomy, beginning with agriculture. He points mon necessaries of life were near at hand, and ea- out the proper season for the plough, the harvest, fily aitained; for Saturn hail firli made a golden the viniage, and for felling wood; he shows the age of men, to which the earth yielded all her is uits of industry, and the ill consequences of fruits fpontaneously: the mortals of the golden negligence. He describes the different seasons, a je subnitted to a foft and pleasane death, and and tells us what works are proper to each, were afterwards made demons; and honour at- These are the subjects of the firn part of his Ecotended their names. To this incceeded the fecond, nomy. In procels of time, and the thirft of gain the l'iver age, worse in all things than the first, increasing in nen, every method was tried to the and better than the following; which Jupirer, o procuring liche; men begun to extend their bate, took from the earth, and made happy in commerce over the leas; for which reason the their death. Hence the porc paffts to the third, pott lail down precepts for navigation. He next the brafen age; the men of which, he says were proceeds to a recommendation of divine worship, fierce and cerrible, who ignobly fell by their own che adoration due to the immortal gods, and the folly and civil discordd; nos was their future sate various ways of paving our homage to them. He like to the other, for they defcended to hell. This concludes with a short observation on days, digeneration is followed by a race of heroes, Etco- viúing them into the good, bad, and indifferent cles and Polynices, ani, the rest who were in the first and oldcit Theban war, and Agamcoinon * I luopce Heinfius means Homer.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


THE ARGUMENT. This book contains the invocation to the whole, the general proposition, the story of Prometheus

Epimetheus, and Pandora ; a description of the golden age, silver age, brasen age, the age of herocs, and the iron age; a recommendation of virtue, from the temporal blessings with which good men are attended, and the condition of the wicked, and several moral precepts proper to be observed through the course of our lives. Siso, muses, fing, from the Pierian grove ;

To him alone, to his great will we owe, Begin the fong, and let the theme be Jove ;

That we exist, and what we are below. From him ye fprung, and him ye first thould praise ; Whether we blaze among the tons of fame, From your immortal fire deduce your lays ;

Or live obscurely, and without a name,

Or poble or ignoble, ftill we prove • The fobdiaft Tzetzes tells us, this poem was forf Our lot determin'd by the will of Jove. called the Works and Days of Hefiod, to diftinguish it With ease he lifts the peasant to a crown, from arsiber or tbe fame subje&l, and of the fume title, With she same ease he casts the monarch down; wrote by Orpbeus. How much this may be depended With ease he clouds the brightest name in night, - I canci lay; but Fabricius afures us from Pliny, And calls the meanest to the fairelt light; back 18. obap. 25. tbat Hefiod was the forf wbo laid At will he varies life through ev'ry itace, doren rules for agriculture. It is certain, that of all Unnerves the Itrong, and makes the crooked the picces of tbis nature wbicb were before Virgil, and Atrait. extent is bis days, this was mofi effeemed by bim, otber. Such Jove, who thunders terrible from high, wife be would not bave fowed that respect to our au- Who dwells in mavsions far above the sky. ther spbicb be does quite througb bis Georgic. In one Look down, thou pow's supreme, vouchsafe thine place be proposes bim as a patters in that great work,

aid, sters, addrefjing to his country, be says,

And let my judgment be by justice sway'd; 21 tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis O! hear my vows, and thine aflistance bring, Ingredior, fanctos aulus recludere fonies;

While truths undoubted I to Perles ling. Aluzumque cano, Romana per oppida, carmen.

As here on earth we tread the niaze of life,
Lib. 2..

The minds divided in a double ftrife;
For thee my tuneful accents will I raise, One by the wise is thought deserving fame,
And treai of arts disclos'd in ancient days,

And this attended by the grcatest thame,
Once more unlock for thee the sacred spring,

The d Imal source whence frring pernicious jars, And oli Alcrzan verse in Roman cities fing.

The Traveful fountain of deatruelive wars,

Dryden, which, by the laws of arbitrary face, He begins the Georgic with an explanation of the Whu follow, though by arture taught to hate ; titic of the Works and Days.

From night's black r alms this took its odious Quid faciat latas fegetes, quo fidere terram


31 Vortere, &c.

And one Jove planted in the womb of earth, What makes a plepteous harvest, when to turn

The better trife; by this the foul is fir'd Tbe truity foil, and when to low the corn. To arduous coils, nor with those oils is 'ir'd;

Dryden. One fees nis neighbour with laborious hand, for by Works is meant the artof agriculture, and by Planing his orchard, of manuring land; Days the proper seasons for works. See farther in

He fets anocher with induitrious care, xey Discourse on stas Writings of Helod.

Materials for ebe building art prepare ;

[ocr errors]


Idle himself he sees them hastc to rise,

Next Hermes, artsul god, must form her mind,
Observes their growing wealth with envious eyes, One day to torture, and the next be kind,
With emulation fir'd, beholds their store, 41 With manners all deceitful, and her tongue
And toils with joy who never toil'd before : Fraught with abuse, and with detraction hung.
The artist envies what the artist gains,

Jove gave the mandate; and the gods obey'd.
The bard the rival bara's successful strains. First Vulcan form’d of earth the blushing maid;
Perles altend, my jult decrees observe,

Minerva next perform’d the task aslign'd, Nor from thy honcit labour idly swerve;

With ev'ry female art adorn'd her mind. IIO 'The love of strife, that joys in evils, Thun,

To dress her Suada, and the Graces join; Nor to the forum from thy duty run.

Around her person, lo! the di'monds shine.
How vain the wranglings of the bar to mind, To deck her brows the fair trefs'd seasons bring 1
While Ceres, yellow goddess, is unkind !

A garland breathing all the sweets of spring.
But when propitious she has heap'd your store, Each present Pallas gives it proper place,
For others you may plead, and not before;

And adds to ev'ry ornament a grace.
But let with justice your contentions prove, Next Hermes caught the fair the heart to move,
And be your counsels such as come from Jove; Wich all the false alluring arts of love,
Not as of lace when we divided lands,

Her manners all deceitful, and her tongue
You grasp'd at all with avaricious hands; With falsehoods fruitful, and detraction hung. 120
When the corrupted bench, for bribes well known, / The finish'd maid the gods Pandora call,
Unjustly granted more than was your own. Because a tribute she receivid from all :
Fools, blind to truth: nor knows their erring And thus, 'twas Jove's command, the sex began,

A lovely mischiei to the soul of man.
How much the half is better than the whole, 60 When the great fire of gods beheld the fair,
How great the pleasure wholesome herbs afford, The fatal guile, th' inevitable snare,
How bless'd the frugal, and an honest board! Hermes he bids 10 Epimethus bear.
Would the immortal gods on men bestow

Prometheus mindful of his cheft above,
A'mind, how few the wants of life co know, Had warn'd his brother to beware of Jove,
They all the year from labour free night live To take no present that the god should send, 130
On what the bounty of a day would give,

Let the fair bribe should ill to man portend;
They soon the rudder o'er the smoke would lay, But he, forgetful, cakes his evil fate,
And let the mule and ox at leisure stray :

Accepts the mischief, and repents too late.
This sense to man the king of gods denies, Mortals at first a blissful earth enjoy'd,
In wrath to him who daring rob'd the fkies; 70 With ills untainted, nor with cares annoy'd;
Dread ills the god prepar'd, unknown before, To them the world was no laborious stage,
And the fol'n fire back to bis heav'n he bore; Nor fear'd they then the mileries of age;
But from Prometheus 'twas conceal'd in vain, But soon the fad reversion they behold,
Which for the use of man he tole again,

Alas! they grow in their afflictions old;
And, artful in his fraud, brought from above, For in her hand the nymph a casket bcars, 149
Clos'd in a hollow cane, deceiving Jove :

Full of diseases and corroding cares,
Again defrauded of celestial fire,

Which open'd, they to taint the world begin,
Thus spoke the cloud-compelling god in ire: And hope alone remains entire within.
Son of läpetus, o'er subtle, go,

Such was the faral present from above,
And glory in thy artfal thelc below; 80 And such the will of cloud compelling Jove :
Now of the fire you boaft by stealth retriev'd, And now unnumber'd woes o'er mortals reigo,
And triumph in almighty Jove deceiv'd;

Alike infected is the land and main;
Bur thou too late fall fod the triumph vain, O'er human race distenipers silent stray,
And read thy folly in succeeding pain;

And multiply their trength by night and day : Pofterity the fad effect thall know,

'Twas Jove's decree they should in filence rove : When, in pursuit of joy, they gralp their woe. For who is able to contend with Jove ! 151 He spoke, and cold to Mulciber his will,

And now the libject of my verse 1 change ;
And, smiling, bade him his commands fulfil, lo tales of profit and delight I range;
To use his greatest art, his nicest care,

Whence you may pleasure and advantage gain,
To frame a creature exquisitely fair, 90 If in your mind you lay the useful strain.
To temper well the clay with water, then

Soon as the deathless gods were born, and man, To add the vigour and the voice of men,

A mortal race, with voice endow'd, began, To let her firit in virgin lustre shine,

The heav'nly pow'rs from high their work behold, In form a goddess, with a bloom divine :

And the first age they style an age of gold. And next the fire demands Minerva's aid, Men spent a life like gods in Saturn's reign, 160 Ir all her various skill to train the maid,

Nor felt their mind a care, nor body pain; Bids her the secrets of the loom impart,

From labour free, they ev'ry sense enjoy ; To cast a curious thread with happy art.

Nor could che ills of time their peace deltroy ;
And golden Venus was to teach the fair,

In banquets they delight, renov'd from care ;
The wiles of love, and co improve her air, Nor troublesome old age intruded there :
And then, in awful majesty, to fhed

They die, or rather seem to die, they seem
A thousand graceful charms around her head : From bence transported in a plealing dream,

[ocr errors]


Tie fields, as yet untill d, their fruits afford, And there the choicest fruits adorn the fields, And fill a lumptuous, and unenvy'd board : And thrice the fertile year a harvest yields. Thus, crowu'd with happiness their ev'ry day, 170 O! would I had my hours of life began Scrise and joyful, pass'd their lives away.

Before this fifth, this sinful race of man; Włen in the grave this race of men was laid, Or had I not been callid to breathe the day, Sao was a world of holy demons made,

Till the rough iron age had pass'd away : deral (çiri's, by great Jove design'd,

For now, the times are such, the gods ordain, To be on earth the guard ans of mankind; That every moment shall be wing'd with pain; lov:oble to morial eyes they go,

Condemn'd to sorrows, and to toil we live; 240 Ani muš our actions, good, or bad, below; Reft to our labour death alone can give; Th' inimartal (pies with watchful care preside, And yet, amid the cares our lives annoy, And thrice ten thousand round their charges | The gods will grant fonie intervals of joy : glide :

Buc how degen'rate is the human state They can reward with glory, or with gold; 180 Virtue no more diftinguishes the great; A pow'r they by divine permission hold.

No safe reception shall the stranger find; Wore than the firft, a second age appears,

Nor shall the ties of blood or friendship bind; Which the celestials call the silver years.

Nor Mall the parent, when his sons are nigh, The golden age's virtues are no more;

Look with the fondness of a parent's eye, Nature grows weaker than she was before; Nor to the fire the fon obedience pay, 250 Lo frength of body mortals much decay; Nor look with rev’rence on the locks of gray, And taman wisdom seems to fade away.

But O! regardless of the pow'rs divine, An handred years che careful danies employ, With bitter caunts shall load his life's decline. Beore they form’d to man th' unpolish'd boy; Revenge and rapine shall respect command, Who when he reach'd his bloom, his age's prime, The pious, just, and good, neglected stand. Foand, meafur'd by his joys, but short his time. 191 | The wicked shall the better man distress, Men, prone to ill, deny'd the gods their due, The righteous suffer, and without redress; And by their follies, made their days but few, Stri& honesty, and naked truth, shall fail, The altars of the bless'd neglected stand,

The perjur'd villain in his arts prevail. Without the off'rings wbich the laws demand; Hoarse envy shall, unseen, exert her voice, 26. But angry Jove in dust this people laid,

Attend the wretched, and in ill rejoice, Retaule no honours to the gods they paid. At last fair miodefly and justice fly, This second race, when clos'd their life's short span, Rob'd their pure limbs in white, and gain the sky, t'as bappy deene'd beyond the fate of man ; 199 From the wide earth they reach the bleft abodes, Thee lancs were grateful to their children made; And join the grand assembly of the gods, Each paid a rev'rence to his father's shade. While niortal men, abandon'd to their grief, And now a third, a brazen people rise,

Sink in their sorrows, hopeless of relief. Unlike the former, men of monstrous size :

While now my fable from the birds I bring, Strong arms extensive from their shoulders grow, To the great rulers of the earth I fing. Their limbs of equal magnitude below;

High in the clouds a mighty bird of prey 270 Potent in arms, and dreadful at the spear,

Bore a melodious nightingale away; They live injurious, and devoid of fear :

And to the captive, shiv'ring in despair, Os the crude flesh of beasts they feed alone, Thus, cruel, spoke the tyrant of the air. Savage their nature, and their hearts of lone; Why mourns the wretch in my superior power? Their houses brass, of brass the warlike blade, 210 Thy voice avails not in the ravish'd hour; Iros was yet unknown, in brass they trade : Vain are thy cries; as my despotic will, Fericus, robuft, impatient for the fight,

Or I can set thee free, or I can kill. War is their only care, and fole delight,

Unwisely who provokes his abler foc, To the dark shades of death this race descend, Conquest fill fies him, and he strives for woe. By civil discords, an ignoble end! [ed might, Thus spoke th' enslaver with insulting pride. 280 Strong though they were, death quell'd their boaft- 0! Perses, justice ever be thy guide : And fore'd their ttubborn Souls to leave the light. May malice never gain upon thy will,

To these a fourth, a better race succeeds, Malice that makes the wretch more wretched Of godlike heroes, fam'd for marcial deeds;

ftill. Them demigods, at first, their matchless worth 220 The good man, injur'd, to revenge is flow, Proclaim aloud all through the boundless earth, To him the vengeance is the greater woe. Thele, horrid wars, their love of arms defroy, Ever will all injurious courses fail, Semne at the gates of Thebes, and some at Troy. And justice ever over wrongs prevail; These, for the brothers fell, detelted Arife! Right will take place at last, by fic degrees; For beauty those, the lovely Grecian wife! This truth the fool by sad experience fees. To these does Jove a second life ordain,

When suits commence, dishonest strife the cause, Same happy fuid far in the distant main,

Faith violated, and the breach of laws, 29 Where live the hero-shades in rich repat, Ensue; the cries of justice haunt the judge, Remote from mortals of a vulgar cast :

Of bribes the glutton, and of fin the drudge. There in the island of the bless'd they find. 230 Through cities then the holy demon runs, Where Sacurn reigns, an endless calm of mind; Unseep, and mourns the manners of their sons,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Dispersing evils, to reward the crimes

But by reflection better taught, I find 469
Of those who hanish justice from the times. We see the present, to the future blind.
Is there a man whom incorrupt we call,

Trust to the will of Jove, and wait the end,
Who fits alike unprejudic'd to all,

And good shall always your good acts attend.
By him the city flourishes in peace,

300 These doctrines, Perses, trcalure in thy heart,
Her borders lengthen and her fors increase; And never from the ths of justice part :
From him far-seeing Jove will drive afar Never by brutal violence be sway'd;
All civil difcord, and the rage of war.

But be the will of Jove in these obey'd,
No days of famine to the righteous fall,

In there the bruce creation men exceed,
But all is plenty, and delightful all ;

They, void of reason, by each other bleed,
Nucure indulgent o'er their land is seen,

While man by justice should be keep'd in awe,
With oaks high row'ring are their mountainsgreen, Justice of nature, well ordain’d, the law. 371
With heavy mait their arms diffusive bov, Who right espouses through a righteous love,
While from theirtrunks rich streams of honey flow; Shall meet the bounty of the hands of Jove;
Of flocks untainted are their pastures full,


But he that will not be by laws confin'd,
Which fowly Itrut beneath their weight of wool; Whom not the sacrament of oaths can bind,
And fons are born the likeness of their fire, Who, with a willing soul, can justice leave,
The fruits of virtue, and a chalte desire :

A wound immortal shall that man receive;
O'er the wicie seas for wealth they need not roam, His house's honour daily shall decline :
Many and lasting are their joys at home. Fair flourish shall the just from line to line.
Not thus the wicked, who in ill delight,

0! Perses, foolish Perses, bow thine ear
Whole daily acts pervert the rules of righe, To the good counsels of a soul sincere.
To these the wise disposer, Jove, ordains; To wickedness the road is quickly found,
Repeated lofics, and a world of pains :

Short is the way, and on an easy ground.
Famines and plagues are, unexpected, nigh: 320 The paths of vireue must be reach'd by coil,
Their wives are barren, and their kindred die; Arduous and long, and on a rugged soil,
Numbers of these at once are tweep'd away; Thorny che gate, but when ene ep you gain,
And thips of wealth become the ocean's prey. Fair is the future, and the prospect plain,
One finner oft provokes ch'avenger's hand; Far does the man all other meri excel,
And often one man's crimes destroy a land. Who, from his wisJom, thinks in all things well,
Exactly mark, ye rulers of mankind,

Wisely consid'ring, to himself a friend, 390
The ways of truth, nor be to juttice blind; All for the present beft, and for the end :
Consider all ye do, and all ye say,

Nor is the man without his hare of praise,
The holy demons to their god convey,

Who well the dictates of the wise obeys;
Aërial spirits, by great Jove design'd, 330 But he that is not wise himseif, nor can
To be on earth the vuurdians of mankind; Harken to wisdom, is a useless man.
Invisible to mortal eyes they go,

Ever observe, Perfes, of birth divine,
Avd mark our actions, good, or bad, below ; My precepts, and the profit fhall be thine;
Th’immortal spies with watchful care preside, Then famine always Mali avoid thy door,
And thrice ten thoufand round their charges glide. And Ceres, fair-wreath'd goddeis, bless thy
Justice, unspotted maid, deriv'd from Jove,

Renown'd, and reverenc'd by the gods above, The slothful wretch, who lives from labour free,
When mortals violare her facred laws,

Like drones, the robbers of the painful bee, 401
When judges hear the bribe, and not the cause, Has always men, and gods, alike his foes ;
Close by her parent god behold her land, 340

Him famine follows with her train of woes.
And urge the punishment their fins demand. With cheerful zeal your mod'rate toils pursue,
Look in your breasts, and there survey your That your full barns you may in feason view.

The man industrious ftranger is to need,
Think, Oye judges! and reform betimes, A thousand flocks his fertile pastures feed;
Forget the past, nor more false judgments give, As with the drone with him it would not prove,
Turn from your way; hecimes, o curn and live! Him men and gods behold with eyes of love.
Who, full of wiles, his neighbour's harm contrives, To care and labour think it no disgrace, 410
Falle to himself, against himself he strives ; False pride! the portion of the sluggard race :
For he that harbours evil in his mind,

The flothful man, who never work'd before,
Will from his evil thoughts but evil find;

349 Shall gaze with envy on thy growing store,
And lo! the eye of Jove, that all things knows, Like thee to flourish, he will spare no pains ;
Can, when he will, the heart of man disclose; For lo ! the rich virtue and glory gains.
Open the guilty bosom all within,

Strictly observe the wholesome rules I give,
And trace the infant thoughts of fature fin. And, blets'd in all, thou like a god fhale live.

O! when I hear the upright man complain, Ne'er to thy neighbour's goods extend thy cares,
And, by his injuries, the judge arraign,

Nor be neglectful of thinc own affairs.
Je to be wicked is to find success,

Let no degen'rate shame debase thy mind, 420
I cry, and to be just to meet distress.

Shame that is never to the needy kind;
May I nor mine the righteous path pursue,

The man that has it will continue poor;
* intret only ever keep in view :

He must be bold that would enlarge his fose.

« ПретходнаНастави »