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To the Memory of WILLIAM SHENSTONE, Efq.
OME, shepherds, we'll follow the hearse,
And see our lov'd CORYDON laid:
Yet let the sad tribute be paid.
In sooth, he was gentle and kind;
The graces that glow'd in his mind.
On purpose he planted yon trees,
That birds in the covert might dwell ; He cultur’d the thyme for the bees,
But never would rifle their cell. Ye lambkins that play'd at his feet,
Go bleat, and your master bemoan: His music was artless and sweet,
His manners as mild as your own,
No verdure shall cover the vale,
No bloom on the blossoms appear ; The sweets of the forest shall fail,
And winter discolour the year. No birds in our hedges shall fing,
(Our hedges fo vocal before) Since he that should welcome the spring, Can greet
season no more.
His PHYLLIS was fond of his praise,
poets came round in a throng; They liften'd, and envy'd his lays,
But which of them equall'd his song? Ye fhepherds, henceforward be mute,
For lott is the paftoral ttrain ; So give me my Corydon's flute,
And thus-let me break it in twain.
HE poet's rapturous descriptions of
beauty, with the expression of his warm sensations and emotions, are the subjects of this class of fong-writing.
Its models exist in the classical remains
of Lyric poetry, and all the praise the moderns can here expect, must arise from imitating with success these examples of perfection.
The sublime and beautiful of nature, were first combined with the elegance and refinement of art, by the Grecians: and this superiority in their poetry, and the other fine arts, entitled them to distinguish the rest of the world from themselves, as Barbarians.
Their Roman conquerors, first by their arms, and then by their borrowed arts, obtained a share in the honourable exclusion. Among these people, even simple nature was graceful, and ornament was elegant and magnificent. Glaring splendor reigned in the East, and terrible sublimity in the North, but grace and dignity belonged to Greece and Rome alone. Fancy, in her wildest flights, could in them restrain herself within the liinits of
harmony and proportion. Even superstition here wore a graceful aspect. While the Deities of other nations were present to their minds in the horrid forms of cruel rage and gigantic deformity, they gave divinity to the sublime and beautiful conceptions of their poets and painters. These they embodied with suitable fymbols and attributes; and the enthusiastic votary worshipped the God of his own enraptured imagination. There is no circumftance in which the genius of these people shows itself more strongly than in the character of these fancy-formed divinities. Besides those particularly distinguished by the title of the Graces, there were many whose attributes expressed the different shades and variations of whatever is elegant and graceful. Their Venus was the abstract idea of all these united-she was grace and beauty itself, and parent of every thing lætum et amabile--gladsome