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By those happy fouls who dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,

Or Amaranthine bow'rs;
By the heroes' armed shades,
Glitt'ring through the gloomy glades;
By the youths that dy'd for love,

Wand'ring in the myrtle grove,
Restore, restore Eurydice to life :
Oh take the husband, or return the wife !

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He fung, and hell consented

To hear the Poet's prayer:
Stern Proserpine relented,
And
gave

him back the fair.
Thus song could prevail
O’er death, and o'er hell,

A con

NOTES.

V2R.77.] These images are picturesque and appropriated, . and are such notes as might

Draw iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And make hell

grant

what love did seek. Pope being insensible of the effects of music, enquired of Dr. Arbuthnot, whether Handel really deserved the applause he met with The Dutchess of Queensberry told me, that Gay could play on the flute, and that this enabled him to adapt so happily fome airs in the Beggars' Opera.

WARTON. Ver. 87.] These numbers are of so burlesque, fo low, and ridiculous a kind, and have so much the air of a vulgar drinking song, that one is amazed and concerned to find them in a serious ode. Addison thought this measure exaAly suited to the comic character of Sir Trusty in his Rosamond ; by the introduction of

A conquest how hard and how glorious !

Tho' fate had fast bound her

With Styx nine times round her, Yet Music and Love were victorious.

90

VI.

95

But foon, too soon, the lover turns his

eyes,
Again she falls, again fhe dies, she dies!
How wilt thou now the fatal filters move?
No crime was thine, if ’tis no crime to love.

Now under hanging mountains,
Beside the falls of fountains,
Or where Hebrus wanders,
Rolling in meanders,

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NOTES.

which he has so strangely debased that very elegant opera. It is obfervable, that this ludicrous measure is used by Dryden, in a song of evil spirits, in the fourth act of the State of Innocence.

WARTON. Ver. 97.] These scenes, in which Orpheus is introduced as making his famentations, are not so wild, so savage, and dismal, as those mentioned by Virgil ; and convey not such images of desolation and deep despair, as the caverns on the banks of Strymon and Tanais, the Hyperborean deserts, and the Riphæan folitudes. And to say of Hebrus, only, that it rolls in meanders, is filat and feeble, and does not heighten the melancholy of the place. He that would have a complete idea of Orpheus's anguilh and fituation, must look at the exquisite figure of him (now in the poffeffion of Sir Watkin Williams Wynne) painted by Mr. Dance, a work that does honour to the true genius of the artist, and to the age in which it was produced.

WARTON,

All alone,
Unheard, unknown,
He makes his moan;

And calls her ghost,
For ever, ever, ever lost!

105 Now with Furies surrounded, Despairing, confounded, He trembles, he glows,

Amidst Rhodope's snows : See, wild as the winds, o'er the desert he flies; Hark! Hæmus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries

Ah see, he dies! Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he sung, Eurydice still trembled on his tongue, Eurydice the woods,

115 Eurydice the floods, Eurydice the rocks, and hollow mountains rung.

Music

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NOTES.

Ver. 108.] I am afraid there is a trivial antithesis in these lines betwixt the words snows and glows, unworthy our author.

WARTON. Ver. 112.] The death is expressed with a brevity and abruptness suitable to the nature of the ode. Instead of he sung, Virgil says, vocabat, which is more natural and tender, and adds a mov. îng epithet, that he called miseram Eurydicen. The repetition of Eurydice in two very short lines hurts the ear, which Virgil escaped by interpofing several other words; and the name itself happens not to be harmonious enough to suffer such re. petition.

WARTON.

I 20

VII.
Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And fate's feverest

rage

disarin :
Music can soften pain to ease,
And make despair and madness please :
Our joys below it can improve,

And antedate the bliss above.
This the divine Cecilia found,
And to her Maker's praise confin’d the found.
When the full organ joins the tuneful quire,

Th' immortal pow’rs incline their ear;
Borne on the swelling notes our souls aspire,
While solemn airs improve the sacred fire;

And Angels lean from heav'n to hear. Of Orpheus now no more let Poets tell,

To bright Cecilia greater pow'r is giv'n; His numbers rais'd a shade from hell,

Her's lift the foul to heav'n.

125

130

NOTES. Ver. 131. It is observable that this ode, as well as that of Dryden, concludes with an epigram of four lines; a species of witty writing as flagrantly unsuitable to the dignity, and as foreign to the nature of the lyric, as it is of the epic mufe.

WARTON.

IF we cast a tranfient view over the most celebrated of the modern lyrics, we may observe that the stanza of Petrarch, which has been adop:ed by all his fucceffors, displeases the ear, by its tedious uniformity, and by the number of identical cadences. And, indeed, to speak truth, there appears to be little valuable in Petrarch, except the purity of his diction. His sentiments, even of love, are metaphysical and far-fetched. Neither is there much variety in his subjects, or fancy in his method of treating them. Fulvio Testi, Chiabrera, and Metaitafio, are much better lyric poets. When Boileau attempted an ode, he exhibited a glaring proof of what will frequently be hinted in the course of these notes, that the writer, whose grand characteristical talent is satiric or moral poetry, will never fucceed, with equal merit, in the higher branches of his art. In his ode on the taking Namur, are inftances of the bombastic, of the profaic, and of the puerile ; and it is no small confirmation of the ruling passion of this author, that he could not conclude his ode, but with a severe stroke on his old antagonist Perrault, though the majelly of this species of com. position is so much injured by descending to perfonal satire.

“ We have had (says Mr. Gray) in our language, no other odes of the sublime kind, than that of Dryden on St. Cecilia's Day: for Cowley, who had his merit, yet wanted judgment, style, and harmony, for such a task. That of Pope is not worthy of so great a master. Mr. Mason, indeed of late days, has touched the true chords, and with a masterly hand, in some of his choruses, above all in the last of Caractacus ; “ Hark! heard ye not yon footstep dread ?" &c.

Gray's Works, 4to. page 25.

WARTON. The bard of Gray must be mentioned as ranking next to Dryden's- ode, if it be not superior.

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