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Hark! a glad voice the lonely defert cheers;
of Nebaioth fhall minifter unto thee *."" In imitating this paffage, Pope has omitted the different beafts that in fo picturesque a manner characterise the different countries which were to be gathered together on this important event; and fays, only in undiftinguishing terms,
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
See thy bright altars throng'd with proftrate kings;
VER. 31. A God, a God!-] The repetition is in the true fpirit of Poetry, "Deus, Deus ipfe ;"-the whole paffage in deed is finely worked up, from " Lofty Lebanon" to the magnificent and powerful appeal, "HARK! A GLAD VOICE," &c. It must be however observed, that the line
ƒ Isaiah, ch. xl. ver. 3, 4.
"See nodding forefts on the mountains dance,"
is too particular; it brings the image too close, and, by exhibiting the action ftronger than poetical propriety and fublimity required, deftroys the intended effect. In images of this fort, the greatest care should be taken just to present the idea, but not to detail it otherwise it becomes, in the language of Shakespear, like
"AMBITION that q'ER-LEAPS itself."
VER. 29. Hark! a glad voice, &c.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 46.
+ Meff. v. 94.
Ecl. v. ver. 62.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
VER. 35. With heads declin'd, &c.] This line is faulty, for the fame reafon as given in the remark on "nodding forefts ”—The action is brought too near, and for that reafon the image no longer appears grand. Dr. Warton obferves, "the Prophet is fometimes particular where Pope is general, and vice verfâ:" the fact is, one of the greatest proofs of poetical judgment is knowing upon what occafions it is neceffary to be general, and when it is more proper to be particular and specific.
VER. 39. He from thick films fhall purge the visual ray,] The fenfe and language fhew, that by vifual ray, the poet meant the fight, or, as Milton calls it, indeed fomething lefs boldly, though
“Oh come and receive the mighty honours: the time draws nigh, O beloved offspring of the Gods, O great encrease of Jove! The uncultivated mountains feud fhouts of joy to the flars, the very rocks fing in verfe, the very fhrubs cry out, a God, a God!"
Ifaiah, ch, xl. ver. 3, 4. "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord! make ftraight in the defert a high way for our God! Every valley fhall be exalted, and every mountain and hill fhall be made low, and the crooked fhall be made ftraight, and the rough places plain" Ch. iv. ver. 23. "Break forth into finging, ye mountains! O forefl, and every tree therein! for the Lord hath redeemed Ifrael."
8 Ifai. ch. xliii. ver. 18. ch. xxxv. ver. 5,6.
'Tis he th' obftructed paths of found shall clear,
No figh, no murmur the wide world fhall hear,
In adamantine chains fhall Death be bound,
more exactly, the vifual nerve. However, no critic would quarrel with the figure which calls the inflrument of vifion by the name of the cause. But though the term be noble and fublime, yet the expreffion of thick films is faulty; and he fell into it by a common neglect of the following rule of good writing, "That when a figurative word is ufed, whatfoever is predicated of it ought not only to agree in terms to the thing to which the figure is applied, but likewife to that from which the figure is taken." Thick films agree only with the thing to which it is applied, namely, to the fight or eye; and not to that from which it is taken, namely a ray of light coming to the eye. He fhould have faid thick clouds, which would have agreed with both. But these inaccuracies are not to be found in his later poems. WARBURTON.
It is remarkable, that this observation bears a close resemblance to what Concanen says of this paffage, p. 23. of his Supplement to the profound. 1728. WARTON.
VER. 45. No figh, no murmur the wide world shall hear,] I wonder Dr. Warton had not here pointed out the force and the beauty of this most comprehenfive and striking line.
VER. 46 From ev'ry face, &c.] This line was thus altered by Steele. WARTON.
i Ch. xl. ver. LI.
"The Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.”—Ifai. Thence Milton in Lycidas,
"And wipe all tears for ever from his eyes."
Ifai. ch. xxv. ver. 8.
Explores the loft, the wand'ring sheep directs,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bofom warms;
See lilies fpring, and fudden verdure rise ;
Incultifque rubens pendebit fentibus uva, Et duræ quercus sudabunt roscida mella.” * Ifaiah, ch. ix. ver. 6.
1 Ch. ii. ver. 4.
Ch. lxv. ver. 21, 22.
n Ch. xxxv. v. I. 7.
VER. 53. HE, is redundant.
VER. 56. The promis'd father of the future age.] In Isaiah ix. it is the everlasting Father; which the LXX render, The Father of the world to come; agreeably to the style of the New Testament, in which the kingdom of the Meffiah is called the age of the world to come; Mr. Pope, therefore, has, with great judgment, adopted the fenfe of the LXX, which his commentator has not obferved. WARTON.
VER. 67. The Swain in barren deferts] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 28. "Molli paulatim flavefcet campus arifta,
And start, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
To leaflefs fhrubs the flow'ring palms fucceed,
VER. 77. The words of Ifaiah are, "The wolf fhall dwell with the lamb," but Pope, by carrying the image farther, and making the wolf graze with the lamb, has inadvertently given an inconsistency to the paffage. This was written before I had seen Mr. Stevens's remark, who, quoting the paffage, asks, "whether wolves are graminivorous?"
• Ifai. ch. xli. ver. 19. and Ch. lv. ver. 13. VOL. I.
"The fields fhall grow yellow with ripen'd ears, and the red grape fhall hang upon the wild brambles, and the hard oak shall diftil honey like dew."
Isaiah, ch. xxxv. ver. 7." The parched ground fhall become a pool, and the thirfly lands fprings of water: In the habitation where dragons lay, fball be grafs, and reeds and rusbes.”—Ch. lv. ver. 13. “ In. ftead of the thorn fhall come up the fir-tree, and inftead of the briar Shall come up the myrtle-tree." POPE.
VER. 77. The lambs with wolves, &c.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 21. "Ipfæ lacte domum referent diftenta capella
Ubera, nec magnos metuent armenta leones---
P. Ch. xi. ver. 6, 7, 8,