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A L E X I S.


A Shepherd's Boy (he seeks no better name)

Led forth his flocks along the silver Thame,
Where dancing sun-beams on the waters play'd,
And verdant alders form'd a quiv'ring shade.
Soft as he mourn'd, the streams forgot to flow,
The flocks around a dumb compaflion show,


Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, were thus printed in the first edition :

A faithful fwain, whom Love had taught to fing,
Bewail'd his fate beside a Gilver spring ;
Where gentle Thames his winding waters leads

Thro' verdant forests, and thro' flow'ry meads. P. VER. 3. Originally thus in the MS.

There to the winds he plain's his hapless love,
And Amaryllis fill'd the vocal grove.

W. REMARKS. a It is unfortunate that this second pastoral, the worst of the four, should be inscribed to the best judge of all his four other friends to whom they were addrest.

Ver. 2. Thame,] An inaccurate word, instead of Thames.

Ver. 3. The Scene of this Paftoral by the river fide, suitable to the heat of the season; the Time, noon.

P. F 3



The Naïads wept in ev'ry wat'ry bow'r,
And Jove consented in a filent show'r.

Accept, O GARTH, the Muse's early lays,
That adds this wreath of ivy to thy bays;
Hear what from Love unpractis'd hearts endure,
From Love, the sole disease thou canst not cure.

Ye shady beeches, and ye cooling streams, Defence from Phoebus', not from Cupid's beams, To you I mourn, nor to the deaf I sing,

15 The woods shall answer, and their echo ring, The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay, Why art thou prouder and more hard than they?

REMARKS. VEŘ.9. Dr. Samuel Garth, Author of the Dispensary, was one of the first friends of our Poet, whose acquaintance with him began at fourteen or fifteen. Their friendship continued from the year 1703 to 1718, which was that of his death.

P. He was a man of the sweetest disposition, amiable manners, and universal benevolence. All parties, at a time when party violence was at a great height, joined in praising and loving him., I hope I may be pardoned from speaking of his character con amore, from my near connexion with one of his descendants; and yet I trust I shall not be accused of an improper partiality. One of the most exquisite pieces of wit ever written by Addison, is a defence of Garth against the Examiner, 1710.

Ver. 16. The woods shall answer, and their echo ring,] Is a line out of Spenser's Epithalamion.

Ver. 18. Why art thou prouder and more hard than they ?] A line unworthy our Author, containing a false and trivial thought; as is also the 22d line.


IMITATIONS. VER. 8. And Jove consented]

Jupiter et laeto descendet plurimus imbri.” Virg. P. Ver. 15. nor to the deaf I sing.) “ Non canimus surdis, respondent omnia fylvae." Virg. P.


The bleating sheep with my complaints agree,
They parch'd with heat, and I inflam'd by thee. 20
The sultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains,
While in thy heart eternal winter reigns.

Where stray ye, Muses, in what lawn or grove,
While your Alexis pines in hopeless love?
In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides, 25
Or else where Cam his winding vales divides?
As in the crystal spring I view my face,
Fresh rising blushes paint the wat’ry glass ;

VER. 27. Oft in the crystal spring I caft a view,

And equal'd Hylas, if the glass be true;
But since those graces meet my eyes no more,
I shun, &c.


REMARKS. Ver. 27. As in the] This is one of those passages in which Virgil, by too closely copying Theocritus, has violated propriety ; and not attended to the different characters of Cyclops and Corydon. The sea, which is a proper looking-glass for the gigantic son of Neptune, who also constantly dwelt on the shore, was certainly not equally adapted to the face of the little Land-shepherd. The same may be said of the cheese and milk, and numerous herds of Polypheme, exactly suited to his Sicilian fituation, and the rude and savage state of the speaker, whose character is admirably supported through the whole eleventh Idyllium of Theocritus.

Ver. 23. Where ftray ye, Mufes, &c.]

Quae nemora, aut qui vos faltus habuere, puellae
Naïades, indigno cum Gallus amore periret?
Nam neque Parnassi vobis juga, nam neque Pindi
Ulla moram fecere, neque Aonia Aganippe.”

Virg. out of Theocr.

P. VER 27. Virgil again, from the Cyclops of Theocritus,

nuper me in littore vidi, Cum placidum ventis ftaret mare ; non ego Daphnim, Judice te, metuam, fi nunquam fallat imago." P.


F 4

But since those graces please thy eyes no more,
I fhun the fountains which I fought before. 30
Once I was skill'd in ev'ry herb that grew,
And ev'ry plant that drinks the morning dew;
Ah wretched shepherd, what avails thy art,
To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart !
Let other swains attend the rural care,

Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces sheer :
But nigh yon' mountain let me tune my lays,
Embrace my Love, and bind my brows with bays.
That flute is mine which Colin's tuneful breath
Inspir'd when living, and bequeath'd in death : 40
He said; Alexis, take this pipe, the same
That taught the groves my Rofolinda's name:

REMARKS. 2. 35, 36. Care,] The only faulty rhymes, care and sheer, perhaps in these poems, where versification is in general so exact and correct.

VER. 39. Colin] The name taken by Spenser in his Eclogues, where his mistress is celebrated under that of Rosalinda. P.

Ver.42. Rosalinda's] This is the Lady with whom Spenfer fell violently in love, as soon as he left Cambridge and went into the North ; it is uncertain into what family, and in what capacity. Her name is an Anagram, and the letters of which it is composed will make out her true name; for Spenser (says the learned and ingenious Mr. Upton, his best Editor) is an Anagrammatist in many of his names: thus Algrind tranfposed is Archbishop Grindal; and Morrel is Bishop Elmer. He is fupposed to hint at the cruelty and coquettery of his Rosalind in B. 6. of the Fairy Queen, in the character of Mirabella.


VER. 40. bequeath'd in death, &c.] Virg. Ecl. ii.
“ Eft mihi disparibus feptem compacta cicutis

Fiftula, Damoetas dono mihi quam dedit olim,
Et dixit moriens, Te nunc habet ifta fecundum."

P. But

But now the reeds shall hang on yonder tree,
For ever filent, since despis’d by thee.
Oh! were I made by some transforming pow'r 45
The captive bird that sings within thy bow'r!
Then might my voice thy lift'ning ears employ,
And I those kiffes he receives enjoy.

And yet my numbers please the rural throng,
Rough Satyrs dance, and Pan applauds the song :
The Nymphs, forsaking ev'ry cave and spring,

SI Their early fruit, and milk-white turtles bring ! Each am'rous nymph prefers her gifts in vain, On

you their gifts are all bestow'd again. For you the swains their fairest flow'rs design, 55 And in one garland all their beauties join ; Accept the wreath which you deserve alone, In whom all beauties are compriz'd in one.

See what delights in fylvan scenes appear! Descending Gods have found Elysium here. 60 In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray'd, And chaste Diana haunts the forest-shade. Come, lovely nymph, and bless the filent hours, When swains from sheering seek their nightly bow'rs; When weary reapers quit the fultry field,

65 And crown’d with corn their thanks to Ceres yield,

Ver. 60. Descending Gods have found Elyfum bere.]

“ Habitarunt Di quoque fylvas”–Virg.
* Et formosus oves ad flumina pavit Adonis.” Idem.


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