Слике страница

So truth, while only one fupply'd the state, Grew fcarce, and dear, and yet fophifticate. Still it was bought, like emp'ric wares, or charms,


Hard words feal'd up with Ariftotle's arms.
Columbus was the first that shook his throne,
And found a temperate in a torrid zone:
The feverish air fann'd by a cooling breeze,
The fruitful vales fet round with fhady trees;
And guiltless men, who danc'd away their time,
Fresh as their groves, and happy as their clime.


raised to the memory of fome brave commander; and others maintain that it was erected to the honour of Hengift, the Saxon general; but this ftructure is probably more ancient.

Sammes, in the antiquities of Britain, conjectures it to have been a work of the Phoenicians; and the famous Inigo Jones, in a treatife called "Stonehenge Reftored," attempts to prove, that it was a temple of the Tufcan order, built by the Romans, and dedicated to the god Cœlum, or Terminus, in which he is confirmed by its having been open at top. Dr. Charlton, physician in ordinary to King Charles the Second, wrote a treatife called "Stonehenge reftored to the Danes," attempting to prove that this was a Danish monument, erected either for a burialplace, as a trophy for fome victory, or for the election and coronation of their kings. And foon after the publication of Dr. Charlton's treatife, Mr, Webb, fon-in-law of Inigo Jones, published a vindication of the opinions of his father-in-law upon this fubject. But antiquaries have fince agreed, that it was an ancient temple of the Druids, built, as Dr. Stukely thinks, before the Belgæ came to Britain, and not long after Cambyfes invaded Egypt, where he committed fuch horrid outrages among the priests and inhabitants in general, that they difperfed themselves to all quarters of the world, and fome, no doubt, came into Britain. At this time, the Doctor conjectures the Egyptians introduced their arts, learning, and religion, among the Druids, and probably had a hand in this very work, being the only one of the Druids where the ftones are chiffeled: all their other works confitting of rude ftones, not touched by any tool.


Had we ftill paid that homage to a name,
Which only God and nature justly claim;
The western feas had been our utmost bound,
Where poets ftill might dream the fun was


And all the ftars that fhine in fouthern skies, Had been admir'd by none but favage eyes. 20

Among the afferters of free reafon's claim, Our nation's not the leaft in worth or fame. The world to Bacon does not only owe Its present knowledge, but its future too. Gilbert fhall live, till loadftones ceafe to draw, Or British fleets the boundlefs ocean awe. 26 And noble Boyle, not lefs in nature seen, Than his great brother read in ftates and men.

Ver. 25. Gilbert fhall live,] Dr. William Gilbert was phyfician both to Queen Elizabeth and King James. In the year 1600, he published a very curious differtation on the magnet. Antiquarians are much divided in opinion concerning the æra of the firft difcovery of the loadstone. The Chinese boast of having difcovered it many centuries ago, but did not apply it to any ufeful purposes. It is remarkable that Dante mentions it in the Inferno. But the Abbé Tirabofchi, in his excellent Hiftory of Italian Literature, vol. viii. p. 180, obferves, that the most ancient work, after the poem of Guyot de Provins, in which any mention is made of the loadftone in Europe, is in the Eaftern Hiftory of the Cardinal Jaques de Vitry, who died in 1224. It may be found in the 89th chapter of the Collection of Bongars. Adamas in Indiâ reperitur-ferrum occultâ quadâm naturâ ad fe trahit. Acus ferrea poftquam adamantem contigerit, ad ftellam feptentrionalem femper convertitur, unde valde neceffarius eft navigantibus in mari." We may obferve, that this author attributes to the diamond the virtues of the loadftone. Dr. J. WARTON. Ver. 27. And noble Boyle,] Every lover of fcience, religion, and virtue, will perpetually venerate the name of the Hon. Ro

The circling ftreams, once thought but pools,

of blood


(Whether life's fuel, or the body's food) From dark oblivion Harvey's name fhall fave; While Ent keeps all the honour that he gave. Nor are you, learned friend, the leaft renown'd; Whofe fame, not circumfcrib'd with English



Flies like the nimble journies of the light; 35
And is, like that, unspent too in its flight.
Whatever truths have been, by art or chance,
Redeem'd from error, or from ignorance,
Thin in their authors, like rich veins of
Your works unite, and ftill difcover more.
Such is the healing virtue of your pen,
To perfect cures on books, as well as men.
Nor is this work the leaft: you well may give
To men new vigour, who make ftones to live.


bert Boyle, feventh fon of Richard, Earl of Cork and Burlington, born in 1677, not only as being the founder of the Royal Society, for which he is here celebrated, but alfo for being the founder of a lecture, which has produced a feries of difcourfes in defence of natural and revealed religion, which, for learning and argument, cannot be paralleled in any age or country. His brother, mentioned in the next line, Earl of Orrery, was a foldier and ftatcfman, and wrote eight tragedies in rhyme, now totally forgotten. Dr. J. WARTON.

Ver. 30. Whether life's fuel,] The merit of the very important difcovery of the circulation of the blood, has been denied to our illuftrious countryman, Dr. Harvey. It has been by fome afcribed to the famous Father Paul. Dr. Wotton gives it to Servetus, who was fo inhumanly burnt by Calvin. Sir George Ent, a celebrated phyfician, is the perfon mentioned, verfe 32. Dr. J. WARTON.

Through you, the Danes, their fhort dominion


A longer conqueft than the Saxons boaft. Stonehenge, once thought a temple, you have found


A throne, where kings, our earthly gods, were crown'd;

Where by their wond'ring fubjects they were feen,

Joy'd with their ftature, and their princely


Our fovereign here above the reft might stand,
And here be chofe again to rule the land.

Thefe ruins fhelter'd once his facred head,
When he from Wor'fter's fatal battle fled;
Watch'd by the genius of this royal place,
And mighty vifions of the Danish race.

quædam divina voluptas Percipit, atque horror!


" I

Ver. 53. These ruins fhelter'd once &c.] In the dedication, made by Dr. Charleton, of his book, concerning Stonehenge, to King Charles II. there is the following memorable paffage, which gave occafion to the fix concluding lines of this poem. have had the honour to hear from that oracle of truth and wifdom, your Majesty's own mouth: you were pleased to visit that monument, and, for many hours together, entertain yourself with the delightful view thereof, when after the defeat of your loyal army at Worcester, Almighty God, in infinite mercy to your three kingdoms, miraculously delivered you out of the bloody jaws of those minifters of fin and cruelty."




Ver. 55. Watch'd by] In furveying this ftupendous work of the most remote antiquity, the mind is feized with that religious awe and fuperftition, moft adapted to awaken and excite poetical enthufiafm:

[ocr errors]

His refuge then was for a temple shown:
But, he reftor'd, 'tis now become a throne.

From his mentioning the genius of the place, and the mighty vifions, one would have expected that our poct would have caught fire, and enlarged on fo promiting a fubject; but he has difappointed us, and given only a hint. Mr. Serjeant, in an elegant Ode on this fubject, has fhewn how fufceptible it was of true poetry; as has the author of the following Sonnet, which I cannot forbear to infert in this place.


Thou nobleft monument of Albion's ifle!
Whether by Merlin's aid from Scythia's fhore,
To Amber's fatal plain Pendragon bore,
Huge frame of giant-hands, the mighty pile,
T'entomb his Britons flain by Hengift's guile:
Or Druid priests, fprinkled with human gore,
Taught mid thy maffy maze their myftic lore:
Or Danish chiefs, enrich'd with favage fpoil,
To Victory's idol vaft, an unhewn fhrine,
Rear'd the rude heap; or, in thy hallow'd round,
Repofe the kings of Brutus' genuine line;
Or here thofe kings in folemn ftate were crown'd.
Studious to trace thy wond'rous origine,
We mufe on many an antient tale renown'd.

Dr. J. WARTon.

« ПретходнаНастави »