Слике страница
PDF
ePub

CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND VIRGINS*.

SEMICHORUS.

OH Tyrant Love! hast thou poffeft

The prudent, learn'd, and virtuous breast? Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim,

And Arts but foften us to feel thy flame.
Love, foft intruder, enters here,
But ent'ring learns to be fincere.
Marcus with blushes owns he loves,
And Brutus tenderly reproves,

Why, Virtue, doft thou blame defire,
Which Nature has imprest,
Why, Nature, doft thou fooneft fire
The mild and gen❜rous breast?

5

10

Love's

NOTES.

• Some of Dryden's fhort lyrical odes and fongs are wonderfully harmonious; and not fufficiently noticed; particularly in King Arthur, A&,III.

"O Sight! the mother of Defire," &c.

The fong alfo of the Syrens in A& IV; and the Incantations in the Third A&t of Edipus, put in the mouth of Tirefias;

Chufe the darkeft part o' th' grove,
Such as ghofts at noon-day love," &c.

Nor muft his firft ode for St. Cecilia's Day be forgotten, in which are paffages almoft equal to any of the fecond: especially its opening, and the second stanza that defcribes Jubal and his brethren. WARTON.

CHORUS.

Love's purer flames the Gods approve ;
The Gods and Brutus bend to love:
Brutus for absent Portia fighs,
And fterner Caffius melts at Junia's eyes.
What is loofe love? a tranfient guft,
Spent in a fudden storm of luft,
A vapour fed from wild defire,
A wand'ring, felf-confuming fire,
But Hymen's kinder flames unite,
And burn for ever one;
Chaste as cold Cynthia's virgin light,
Productive as the Sun,

SEMICHORUS,

Oh fource of ev'ry focial tye,
United wish, and mutual joy!
What various joys on one attend,
As fon, as father, brother, husband, friend?
Whether his hoary fire he spies,
While thousand grateful thoughts arise;
Or meets his fpoufe's fonder eye;

Or views his smiling progeny:

[ocr errors]

" dulces occurrunt ofcula nati

Præripere, et tacitâ pectus dulcedine tangunt.”

15

20

25

30

NOTES,

VER. 31. Or meets] Recalling to our minds that pathetic stroke in Lucretius;

What

Lib. iii. 909.
WARTON.

What tender paffions take their turns,

What home-felt raptures move?
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns,
With rev'rence, hope, and love.

CHORUS.

Hence guilty joys, diftaftes, furmifes,
Hence falfe tears, deceits, disguises,
Dangers, doubts, delays, furprizes;

Fires that fcorch, yet dare not shine :
Pureft love's unwasting treasure,
Conftant faith, fair hope, long leisure,
Days of eafe, and nights of pleasure;
Sacred Hymen! these are thine".

36

40

NOTES.

a These two Chorus's are enough to fhew us his great talents for this fpecies of Poetry, and to make us lament he did not profecute his purpose in executing fome plans he had chalked out; but the Character of the Managers of Playhouses at that time, was what (he faid) foon determined him to lay afide all thoughts of that nature. WAR BURTON. Perhaps there were other reasons which determined Pope to lay afide all thoughts of the Drama.

ODE ON SOLITUDE.

HAPPY
APPY the man, whofe wifh and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whofe herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whofe flocks fupply him with attire,
Whose trees in fummer yield him fhade,
In winter fire.

Bleft,

NOTES.

a This was a very early production of our Author, written at about twelve years old. POPE.

VER. 1. Happy the man, &c.] Might not Pope have feen, when very young, Cotton's pleafing lines on Contentation?

That man is happy in his share

Who is warm clad and cleanly fed,
Whofe neceffaries bound his care,

And honeft labour makes his bed.
Who with his angle and his books

Can think the longest day well-fpent;
And praises God when back he looks,
And finds that all was innocent.

1..

Dr. Warton fays, "These stanzas on Solitude are characteristic of the Author's contemplative and moral turn of mind;" but more probably fuch ideas, those of rural life, innocence, content, &c. as they are the eafieft expreffed, fo are they generally the most obvious, and, as such, would be natural to all young writers.

Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years flide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound fleep by night; ftudy and ease,
Together mixt; fweet recreation :
And innocence, which most does please
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unfeen, unknown,
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

SCALIGER, Voltaire, and Grotius, were but eighteen years old when they produced, the two firft their Edipufes, and the laft his Adamus Exul. But the most extraordinary inftance of early excellence is The Old Batchelor of Congreve, written at nineteen only; as comedy implies and requires a knowledge of life and characters, which are here displayed with accuracy and truth. Mr. Spence informed me that Pope once faid to him, "I wrote things, I am afhamed to fay how foon; part of my epic poem Alcander when about twelve. The scene of it lay in Rhodes, and fome of the neighbouring iflands; and the poem opened under the water, with a defcription of the court of Neptune; that couplet on the circulation of the blood, which I afterwards inferted in the Dunciad,

As man's mæanders, to the vital fpring

Roll all their tides, then back their circles bring,

was originally in this poem, word for word." After he had burnt this very early compofition, Atterbury told him, he much wished some parts of it, as a specimen, had been more carefully preserved. Quintilian,

N 4

« ПретходнаНастави »