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Or thither *, where beneath the show'ry west,
Hence, at each found, imagination glows ! The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid : Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here ! Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,
Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness dows ! No flaves revere them, and no wars invade : Melting it Aows, pure murmuring, strong and Yet frequent now, at midnight folemn hour,
clear, The rifred mounds their yawning cells unfold, And fills th' impaffion'd heart, and wins th' And forth the Monarchs stalk with sovereign power, harmonious ear! In pageant robes; and, wreath'd with Teeny
All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail ! And on their twilight tombs aerial council hold.
Ye splendid friths and lakes, which, far away, X.
Are by smooth Annan * fillid or past’ral Tay to But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,
Or Don's I romantic springs, at distance, hail ! On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting The time shall come, when I, perhaps, may tread tides,
Your lowly glens *, o'erhung with spreading Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides.
broom ; Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace ! Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led ; Then to my ear transmit some gentle song,
Or o'er your mountains creep, in awful gloom ! Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain, Then will I dress once more the faded bower,
Their hounded walks the rugged cliffs along, Where Jonson † lat in Drummond's claffic And all their prospect but the wintery main.
Thade ; With sparing temperance at the needful time, Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric Aower, They drain the scented spring; or, hunger-preft, And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's Along th’ Atlantic rock, undreading, climb,
laid ! And of its eggs despoil the Solan's † nest.
Meantime, ye powers that on the plains which bore Thus, blest in primal innocence they live,
The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains I, attend!Suffic'd, and happy with tha: frugal fare
Where'er Home dwells, on hill, or lowly moor, Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.
To him I lose, your kind protection lend, Hard is their shallow soil, and blake and bare ; And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there !
absent friend ! XI. Nor need’ft thou blush that such false themes engage
Thy gentle mind, of fairer Thores poffeft;
For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd in elder time, th' historic page.
S O N G. There, Shakespeare's felt, with ev'ry garland The Sentiments borrowed from SHAKESPEARI. crown'd,
OUNG Damon of the vale is dead,
Ye lowland hamlets moan :
A dewy turf lies o'er his head,
And at his feet a stone. Before the Scot, afflicted, and aghaft!
His Mroud, which death's cold damps destroy, The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line,
Of snow-white threads was made : Thro’ the dark cave in gleamy pageant paft.
All mourn’d to see so sweet a boy
In earth for ever laid.
Which, pluck'd before their time,
Bestrew'd the boy, like him to waste,
But will he ne'er return, whose tongue
Could tune the rural lay? From sober truth, are still to Nature true,
Ah, no! his bell of peace is rung, And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view,
His lips are cold as clay. Th' heroic Muse employ'd her Talfo's art !
They bore him out at twilight hour, How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke,
The youth who lov'd so well:
Ah me! how many a true-love shower
Each maid was woembut Lucy chief,
Her grief o'er all was tried, To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung!
Within his grave she dropp'd in grief, Prevailing poet! whose undoubtias mind,
And o'er her lov'd-oné died. Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung!
† Three rivers in Scotland. * Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near fixty
* Vallies. of the arcient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings + Ben Jonson paid a visit on foot, in 1619, to are interred.
the Scotch poet Drummond, at his seat of Haw+ An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of thornden, within four miles of Edinburgh. which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the | Barrow, it seems, was at the Edinburgh uni. Hebrides, chiefly subfift.
versity, which is in the county of Lothian.
Ο Ν Τ Η Ε
OR I EN TAL
EC LOGU ES.
HE genius of the pastoral, as well as of every other respectable species of poetry,
had its origin in the East, and from thence was transplanted by the Muses of Greece; but whether from the continent of the lesser Afia, or from Egypt, which, about the æra of the Grecian paftoral, was the hospitable nurse of letters, it is nct easy to determine. From the subject, and the manner of Theoc.itus, one would incline to the latter opinion, while the history of Bion is in favour of the former.
However, though it should still remain a doubt through what channel the paftoral travelled westward, there is not the least shadow of uncertainty concerning its oriental origin.
In those ages, which, guided by facred chronology, from a comparative view of time, we call the early ages, it appears from the most authentic historians, that the chiefs of the people employed themselves in rural exercises, and that astronomers and legislators were at the same time shepherds. Thus Strabo informs us, that the history of the creation was communicated to the Egyptians by a Chaldean shepherd.
From these circumstances it is evident not only that such shepherds were capable of all the dignity and elegance peculiar to poetry, but that whatever poetry they attempt. ed would be of the pastoral kind; would take its subjects from those scenes of rural fimplicity in which they were conversant, and, as it was the offspring of Harmony and Nature, would employ the powers it derived from the former to celebrate the beauty and benevolence of the latter.
Accordingly we find that the most ancient poems treat of agriculture, astronomy, and other objects within the rural and natural systems.
What constitutes the difference between the Georgic and the Paftoral, is love and the colloquial or dramatic form of composition peculiar to the latter': this form of composition is sometimes dispensed with, and love and rural imagery alone are thought fufficient to diftinguish the pastoral. The tender passion, however, seems to be effential to this species of poetry, and is hardly ever excluded from those pieces that were intended to come under this denomination : even in those eclogues of the Amoebean kind, whose only purport is a trial of skill between contending shepherds, love has its' usual share, and the praises of their respective mistresses are the general subjects of the competitors.
It is to be lamented that scarce any oriental compositions of this kind have survived the ravages of ignorance, tyranny, and time; we cannot doubt that many such have been extant, pofsibly as far down as that fatal period, never to be mentioned in the world of letters without horror, when the glorious monuments of human ingenuity perished in the ashes of the Alexandrian library.
Those ingenious Greeks whom we call the parents of paftoral poetry were, probably, no more than imitators, that derived their harmony from higher and remoter sources
, and kindled their poetical fires at those then unextin; ... Ihed lamps which burned within the tombs of oriental genius.
It is evident that Homer has availed himself of those magnificent images and descriptions fo frequently to be met with in the books of the Old Testament; and why may
not Theocritus, Moschus, and Bion, have found their archetypes in other casters writers, whose names have perished with their works? yet, though it may not be illiberal to admit such a suppofițion, it would certainly be invidious to conclude, what the malignity of cavillers alone could suggest with regard to Homer, that they destroyed the sources from which they borrowed, and, as it is fabled of the young of the pelican, drained their supporters to death.
As the Septuagint-translation of the Old Testament was performed at the request, and under the patronage, of Ptolemy Philadelphus, it were not to be wondered if Theocritus, who was entertained at that prince's court
, had borrowed some of his paftoral imagery from the poetical passages of those books.--I think it can hardly be doubted that the Sicilian poet had in his eye certain expressions of the prophet Isaiah, when he wrote the following lines:
Νυν τα μεν φορεοίίε βατοι, φορεοίίε δ' ακανθαι.
και τως κυνας αλαφος έλκου.
And the bold deer shall drag the trembling hound. The cause, indeed, of these phænomena is very different in the Greek from what it is in the Hebrew poet; the former employing them on the death, the latter on the birth, of an important person : but the marks of imitation are nevertheless obvious.
It might, however, be expected, that if Theocritus had borrowed at all from the sacred writers, the celebrated Epithalamium of Solomon, fo much within his own walk of poetry, would not certainly have escaped his notice. His Epithalamium on the marriage of Helena, moreover, gave him an open field for imitation; therefore, if he has any obligations to the royal bard, we may expect to find them there. The very opening of the poem is in the spirit of the Hebrew song:
Ουτω δη πρωϊζα κατιδραβες, ω φιλε γαμορε ;
Aως αν ελλoισα καλον διεφαινε προσωπον, ,
'Ελενα διαφαινετ εν ημίν,
Η καπω κυπαρισσος, η αρματι Θεσσαλος ίππος. This description of Helen is infinitely above the style and figure of the Sicilian partoral—" She is like the rising of the golden morning, when the night departeth, and $ when the winter is over and gone. She resembleth the cypress in the garden, the “ horse in the chariots of Theffaly." These figures plainly declare their origin; and others, equally imitative, might be pointed out in the same Idyllium.
This beautiful and luxuriant marriage pastoral of Solomon is the only perfect form of the criental eclogue that has survived the ruins of time, a happiness for which it is, probably, more indebted to its facred character than to its intrinsic merit. Not that it is by any means deftitute of poetical excellence : like all the eastern poetry, it is kold, wild, and unconnected in its figures, allusions, and parts, and has all that graceful and magnificent daring which characterises its metaphorical and comparative imagery.
In consequence of these peculiarities, so ill adapted to the frigid genius of the North, Mr. Collins could make but little use of it as a precedent for his oriental eclogues ; and even in his third eclogue, where the subject is of a fimilar naiure, he has chosen jather to follow the mode of the Doric and the Latin paftoral.
The scenery and subjects then of the following eclogues alone are oriental; the style and colour are purely European ; and, for this reason, the author's preface, in which he intimates that he had the originals from a merchant who traded to the East, is omit ted, as being now altogether superfluous.
With regard to the merit of these eclogues, it may juftly be asserted, that in fimpli city of description and expression, in delicacy and softness of numbers, and in natural and unaffected tenderness, they are not to be equalled by any thing of the pastoral kind in the English language.
THIS eclogue, which is entitled Selim, or the Shepherd's Moral, as there is nothing dramatic in the subject, may be thought the least entertaining of the four : but it is by no means the leat valuable. The moral
which the intelligent shep herd delivers to his fellow-swains and the virgins, their companions, are such as would infallibly promote the happpiness of the paftoral life.
In personating the private virtues, the poet has observed great propriety, and has formed their genealogy with the most perfect judgment, when he represents them as the daughters of Truth and Wisdom. The characteristics of Modesty and Chastity are extremely happy and peinturesque :
" Come thou whose thoughts as limpid springs are clear,
A filken veil conceals her from the view." The two fimilies borrowed from rural objects are not only much in character, but per fectly natural and expreslive. There is, notwithstanding, this defect in the former, that it wants a peculiar propriety; for purity of thought may as well be applied to Chastity as to Modesty; and from this instance, as well as from a thousand more, we may see the neceflity of diftinguishing, in characteristic poetry, every object by marks and attributes peculiarly its own.
It cannot be objected to this eclogue, that it wants both those effential criteria of the paftoral, love and the drama ; for though it partakes not of the latter, the former ftill retains an interest in it, and that too very material, as it professedly consults the virtue and happiness of the lover, while it informs what are the qualities
that must lead to love.
ALL the advantages that any species of poetry can derive from the novelty of the fubject and scenery, this eclogue poffeffes. The rout of a camel-driver is a scene that fcarce could exist in the imagination of an European, and of its attendant diftreffes he could have no idea. These are very happily and minutely painted by our descriptive poet. What fublime fimplicity of expreffion! what nervous plainness in the opening of the poem!
“ In filent horror o'er the boundless waste
The driver Hassan with his camels past.” The magic pencil of the poet brings the whole scene before us at once, as it weré by enchantment, and in this single couplet we feel all the effect that arises from the terrible wildness of a region unenlivened by the habitations of men. The verses that deIcribe so minutely the camel-driver's little provifions, have a touching influence on the
imagination, and prepare the reader to enter more feelingly into his future apprehenfions of diftress :
" Bethink thee, Hafsan, where shall Thirst afruage,
When fails this cruise, his unrelenting rage !" It is difficult to say whether his apostrophe to the "mute companions of his toils," is more to be admired for the elegance and beauty of the poetical imagery, or for the tenderness and humanity of the sentiment. He who can read it without being affected, will do his heart no injustice, if he concludes it to be destitute of sensibility :
“ Ye mute companions of my toils, that bear
And faint and fickly winds for ever howl around.” Yet in these beautiful lines there is a slight error, which writers of the greatest genius very frequently fall into-It will be needless to observe to the accurate reader, that in the fifth and fixth verses there is a verbal pleonasm where the poet speaks of the green delights of verdant vales. There is an oversight of the same kind in the ManHers, an Ode; where the
In watchet weeds This fault is indeed a common one, but to a reader of taste it is nevertheless disguftful; and it is mentioned here as the error of a man of genius and judgment, that men of genius and judgment may guard against it.
Mr. Collins speaks like a true poet, as well in sentiment as expression, when, with regard to the thirst of wealth, he says,
" Why heed we not, while mad we hafte along,
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold?" But however juft these sentiments may appear to those who have not revolted from nature and fimplicity, had the author proclaimed them in Lombard-ftreet, or Cheapfide, he would not have been complimented with the understanding of the bellman.A striking proof, that our own particular ideas of happiness regulate our opinions concerning the sense and wisdom of others!
It is impoffible to take leave of this most beautiful eclogue, without paying the tribute of admiration fo juftly due to the following nervous lines. " What if the lion in his
Fills the wild yell, and leads them to their prey. This, amongft many other passages to be met with in the writings of Collins, shews that his genius was perfectly capable of the grand and magnificent in description, not