Слике страница
[blocks in formation]

Now sleeping flocks on their soft fleeces lie,
The moon, ferene in glory, mounts the sky,
While filent birds forget their tuneful lays,
Oh sing of Daphne's fate, and Daphne's praise !



Behold the groves that shine with silver frost,
Their beauty wither’d, and their verdure lost.
Here shall I try the sweet Alexis' strain,
That call’d the list’ning Dryads to the plain?
Thames heard the numbers as he flow'd along,
And bade his willows learn the moving fong.

REMARKS. Letters, dated Sept. 9, 1706. “ Your laft Eclogue being on the same subject with mine, on Mrs. Tempest's death, I should take it very kindly in you to give it a little turn, as if it were to the memory of the same lady.” Her death having happened on the night of the great storm in 1703, gave a propriety to this eclogue, which in its general turn alludes to it. The scene of the Pastoral lies in a grove, the time at midnight.

P. I do not find any lines that allude to the great storm of which. the Poet speaks.

VER. 9. Jbine with silver frost,] The image is a fine one, but improperly placed. The idea he would raise is the deformity of Winter, as appears by the following line : but this imagery contradicts it. It should have been--glare with hoary froll, or some such expression: the fame inaccuracy in ver. 31, where he uses pearls, when he should have said tears.

W. The alteration here proposed by Warburton, seems to be very injudicious and inelegant; and much resembles an alteration he wished to make in Love's Labour Lolt; which was, to read

to paint the meadows much bedight, instead of the present reading,

to paint the meadows with delight.

IMITATIONS. VER. 13. Thames heard, &c.]

“ Audiit Eurotas, juffitque ediscere lauros." Virg.

P. So


So may kind rains their vital moisture yield, 15 And swell the future harvest of the field. Begin ; this charge the dying Daphne gave, And said, “ Ye shepherds sing around my grave !" Sing, while beside the shaded tomb I mourn, And with fresh bays her rural shrine adorn.



Ye gentle Muses, leave your crystal spring, Let Nymphs and Sylvans cypress garlands bring; Ye weeping Loves, the stream with myrtles hide, And break your bows, as when Adonis dy'd; And with your golden darts, now useless grown, 25 Inscribe a verse on this relenting stone: “ Let nature change, let heav'n and earth deplore, “ Fair Daphne’s dead, and love is now no more!"

'Tis done, and nature's various charms decay, See gloomy clouds obscure the chearful day! 30 Now hung with pearls the dropping trees appear, Their faded honours scatter'd on her bier.

VARIATIONS. VER 29. Originally thus in the MS.

'Tis done, and nature's chang'd fince you are gone;

Behold the clouds have put their mourning on. Which are very bad lines indeed.

[ocr errors]

REMARKS. Ver. 29. 'Tis done,] Thomson uses these very words at the end of his Winter. 'Tis done! Gc.

Ver. 23, 24, 25.

66 Inducite fontibus umbras
Et tumulum facite, et tumulo fuperaddite carmen."


G 3


See, where on earth the flow'ry glories lie,
With her they flourish'd, and with her they die.
Ah what avail the beauties nature wore?

35 Fair Daphne's dead, and beauty is no more!

For her the flocks refuse their verdant food, The thirsty heifers fhun the gliding flood, The silver fwans her hapless fate bemoan, In notes more sad than when they fing their own; In hollow caves sweet echo filent lies,

41 Silent, or only to her name replies ; Her name with pleasure once she taught the shore, Now Daphne's dead, and pleasure is no more!

No grateful dews descend from ev'ning skies, 45 Nor morning odours from the flow'rs arise ; No rich perfumes refresh the fruitful field, Nor fragrant herbs their native incense yield. The balmy Zephyrs, silent since her death, Lament the ceasing of a sweeter breath ;

50 Th’industrious bees neglect their golden store! Fair Daphne's dead, and sweetness is no more!

No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sings, Shall list’ning in mid-air suspend their wings; No more the birds shall imitate her lays, 55 Or hush'd with wonder, hearken from the sprays ! No more the streams their murmurs shall forbear, A sweeter music than their own to hear,

REMARKS. VER. 41. sweet echo] This expression of sweet echo is taken from Comus; as is another expreffion, loose traces, Third Paft. v. 62. And he recommends these poems in high terms to Sir W. Trumball (see the Letters) fo early as the year 1704.



But tell the reeds, and tell the vocal shore,
Fair Daphne's dead, and music is no more! 60

Her fate is whisper’d by the gentle breeze,
And told in sighs to all the trembling trees ;
The trembling trees, in ev'ry plain and wood,
Her fate remurmur to the silver flood;
The filver flood, so lately calm, appears
Swell’d with new passion, and o'erflows with tears;
The winds, and trees, and floods, her death deplore,
Daphne, our grief! our glory now no more!

But see! where Daphne wond'ring mounts on high Above the clouds, above the starry sky!

70 Eternal beauties grace the shining scene, Fields ever fresh, and groves for ever green! There while you rest in Amaranthine bow'rs, Or from those meads select unfading flow'rs, Behold us kindly, who your name implore, 75 Daphne, our Goddess, and our grief no more!

Ver. 70. Above the clouds,] In Spenser's November, and in
Milton's Lycidas, is the same beautiful change of circumstances :
in the latter most exquisite, from line 165.

Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more
Where other


and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the inexpreffive nuptial song
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.

IMITATIONS. Ver. 69, 70.

6 miratur limen Olympi, Sub pedibusque videt nubes et fydera Daphnis.” Virg. P.


How all things listen, while thy Muse complains !
Such filence waits on Philomela's strains,
In some still ev’ning, when the whisp'ring breeze
Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees. 8.
To thee, bright goddess, oft a lamb shall bleed,
If teeming ewes increase my fleecy breed.
While plants their shade, or flow'rs their odours give,
Thy name, thy honour, and thy praise shall live!

But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews ;
Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse;
Sharp Boreas blows, and Nature feels decay,
Time conquers all, and we must Time obey.

Ver. 83. Originally thus in the MS.

While vapours rise, and driving fnows defcend,
Thy honour, name, and praise, shall never end.

REMARKS. VER. 85. unwholesome dews ;] Observe how the melody of those four verses is improved, by the pure iambic foot at the end of each line, except the second,

unwholesomě dēws


obey, Ver. 87.) If, according to some critics, pleasing images alone are proper to be exhibited in pastoral poetry, it must be unsuitable, to the intent of this sort of poetry, to lay the scene in the severities of winter.


66 illius aram Saepe tener noftris ab ovilibus imbuet agnus. Virg." P. VER. 86. “ folet effe gravis cantantibus umbra, Juniperi gravis umbra." Virg.

P. Ver. 88. Time conquers all, &c.]

« Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus amori." Vid. etiam Sannazarii Ecl. et Spenser's Calendar,

« ПретходнаНастави »