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The fteer and lion at one crib fhall meet,

And harmless a ferpents lick the pilgrim's feet.
The fmiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested bafilifk and speckled snake,
Pleas'd the green luftre of the scales furvey,
And with their forky tongue fhall innocently play.
Rife, crown'd with light, imperial' Salem, rise !
Exalt thy tow'ry head, and lift thy eyes!



"The goats fhall bear to the fold their udders diflended with milk: nor fhall the herds be afraid of the greatest lions. The serpent shall die, and the herb that conceals poifon fhall die."

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Ifaiah, ch. xi. ver. 16, &c. "The wolf fhall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard fhall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together: and a little child fhall lead them.

-And the lion fhall eat fraw like the ox. fball play on the hole of the afp, and the weaned on the den of the cockatrice."

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And the fucking child

child fhall put his hand


VER. 80. From the words occidet et ferpens, it was idly concluded the old ferpent, Satan, was meant. WARTON.

"Magnus ab integro fæclorum nafcitur ordo!

-toto furget gens aurea mundo!

VER. 85. Rife, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise !] The thoughts of Ifaiah, which compofe the latter part of the poem, are wonderfully elevated, and much above those general exclamations of Virgil, which make the loftieft parts of his Pollio:

-incipient magni procedere menfes !

Afpice, venturo lætentur ut omnia fæclo!" &c.

9 Ifaiah, ch. lxv. ver. 25.

The reader needs only to turn to the paffages of Isaiah, here cited.


Ch. lx. ver. 1.


See, a long race thy fpacious courts adorn;
See future fons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crouding ranks on ev'ry side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
See barb'rous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
See thy bright altars throng'd with proftrate kings,
And heap'd with products of " Sabæan fprings!
For thee Idume's fpicy forests blow,
And feeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow.
See heav'n its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day.
No more the rifing Sun fhall gild the morn,
Nor ev'ning Cynthia fill her filver horn
But loft, diffolv'd in thy fuperior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze







VER. 87. See the very animated prophecy of Joad, in the seventh fcene of Racine's Athaliah, perhaps the most fublime piece of poetry in the French language, and a chief ornament of that which is one of the beft of their tragedies. In fpeaking of thefe paraphrafes from the facred fcriptures, I cannot forbear mentioning Dr. Young's nervous and noble paraphrafe of the book of Job, and Mr. Pitt's of the third and twenty-fifth chapters of the fame book, and alfo of the fifteenth chapter of Exodus. WARTON. VER 100. Cynthia is an improper because a claffical word.


VER. 102. One tide of glory,] Here is a remarkable fine effect of verfification: The poet rifes with his fubject, and the correspon dent periods feem to flow more copious and majestic with the grandeur and fublimity of the theme.

Ifai. ch. lx. ver. 4.
u Ch. lx. ver. 6.

: Ch. lx. ver 3.
w Ch, lx. ver. 19, 20.


O'erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine
Reveal'd, and God's eternal day be thine!
The seas fhall wafte, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to duft, and mountains melt away;
But fix'd his word, his faving pow'r remains:
Thy realm for ever lafts, thy own MESSIAH reigns!

Ifaiah, ch. li. ver. 6. and Ch. liv. ver. 10.


THIS is certainly the moft animated and sublime of all our Author's compofitions, and it is manifeftly owing to the great original which he copied. Haiah abounds in striking and magnificent imagery. See Mr. Mafon's paraphrafe of the 14th chapter of this exalted prophet. Dr. Johnfon, in his youth, gave a tranflation of this piece, which perhaps has been praised and magnified beyond its merits.

I find and feel it impoffible to conclude these remarks on Pope's Meffiah, without mentioning another poem taken also from Isaiah, the noble and magnificent Ode on the Destruction of Babylon, which Dr. Lowth hath given us in the thirteenth of his Prelections on the Poetry of the Hebrews; and which, the scene, the actors, the fentiments, and diction, all contribute to place in the first rank of the fublime: these Prelections, abounding in remarks entirely new, delivered in the purest and most expreffive language, have been received and read with almost universal approbation, both at home and abroad, as being the richeft augmentation literature has in our times received, and as tending to illuftrate and recommend the Holy Scriptures in an uncommon degree.


Dr. Johnson's Latin translation of this Poem is certainly inaccurate, and it contains many expreffions which, as Dr. Warton obferves, are not claffical. I have another Latin translation before me, with which I was favoured by Mr. Todd, printed at Naples. 1760, and entitled, "Meffias, Ecloga facra Anglice, ab Alexandro Popio, Latine reddita a Gulielmo Bermingham, Presbytero."

This tranflation is in fome parts well executed, but in general it is deficient in poetic harmony and effect, and often offends taste and propriety. If Pope has here and there offended, by detailing a great idea, his Tranflator exceeds him in this refpect. It is not fufficient that Lebanon fhould "advance his head," but he is made to "leap up,” ftriking the stars with his nearer top. Emicat en Libanus propiore cacumine pulfans

Aftra !

Saron alfo,

Valle fpreta,

-rofeis petit æthera pennis!

This is doing to Pope, exactly what he has done, in fome paffages, to the awful fublimity of Ifaiah. I do not however speak this in difpraise; for, all things confidered, the Meffiah is as fine and masterly a piece of compofition, as the English language, in the fame ftyle of verse, can boast. I have ventured to point out a paffage or two, (for they are rare,) where the fublimity has been weakened by epithets; and I have done this, because it is a fault, particularly with young writers, fo common. In the most truly fublime images of fcripture, the addition of a fing'e word would often deftroy their effect. It is therefore right to keep as nearly as poffible to the very words. No one understood better than Milton, where to be general, and where particular; where to adopt the very expreffion of scripture, and where it was allowed to para. phrafe,

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