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P A S T O R A L S
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1704.
Rura mihi et rigui placeant in valibus amnes,
DISCOURSE ON PASTORAL POETRY.*
There are not, I believe, a greater number of rural employment, the pocts chose to introduce any sort of verses than those which are called their persons, from whom it received the name of Pastorals; nor a smaller, than those which are Pastoral. truly so. Ic therefore seems necessary to give A pastoral is an imitation of the adion of a fomc account of this kind of Poem; and it is my shepherd, or one confidered under that character. design to comprise in this short paper the sub- | The form of this imitation is dramatic, or narraftance of those numerous dissertations the Critics tive, or mixed of both t; the fable simple, the have made on the subject, without omitting any manners not too polite nor too rustic: the of their rules in my own favou You will also thoughts are plain, yet admit a little quickness find some points reconciled, about which they and passion, but that short and flowing : the exseem to differ; and a few remarks, which, 1 pression humble, yet as pure as the language will thirk, have escaped their observation.
afford; neat, but not florid; easy, and yet lively. The original of Poetry is ascribed to that Age In short, the fable, manners, thoughts, and exwhich succeeded the creation of the world; and preslions, are full of the greatest fimplicity in na2s the keeping of flocks seems to have been the ture. first employment of mankind, the most ancient The complete character of this poem consists fort of Poetry was probably Pastoral t. It is na in fimplicity s, brevity, and delicacy; the two tural to imagine, that the leisure of those ancient first of which render an eclogue natural, and the shepherds admitting and inviting fome diver- laft delightful. fon, none was so proper to that solitary and fe If we could copy nature, it may be useful to dantary life as singing; and that in their songs take this idea along with us, that pastoral is an they took occasion to celebrate their own felicity. image of what they call the Golden Age. So From hence a Poem was invented, and after that we are not to describe our shepherds as shepwards improved to a perfect image of that happy herds at this day really are, but as they may be time ; which, by giving us an eftcem for the vir conceived then to have been, when the best of tues of a former age, might recommend them to men followed the employment. To carry this the present. And fince the life of thepherds was resemblance yet further, it would not be amiss to attended with more tranquillity than any other give these Mepherds some skill in astronomy, as • Written at fixteen years of aze.
# Heinsius in Tbeocr. + Fontencil's Discourse on Paftorals.
S Rapin, de Carm. Paf. p. 26
far as it may be useful to that fort of life. And his descriptions, of which that of the cup in the an air of piety to the gods should shine through first pastoral is a remarkable instance. . In the the poem, which fo visibly appears in all the manners he seems a little defective; for his swains
works of antiquity; and it ought to preserve are fometimes abusive and immodelt, and perhaps : Some relish of the old way of writing : the con too much inclining to rusticity; for instance, in
Dection should be loose, the narrations and de- his fourth and fifth Idyllia. But it is enough fcriptions short', and the periods concise : yet it that all others learned their excellence from him, is not sufficient, that the sentences only be brief; and that his dialect alone has a secret charm in it, the whole eclogue should be fo too: for we can: which no other could ever attain. not suppose poetry in those days to have been the Virgil, who copies Theocritus, refines npon his business of men, but their recreation at vacant original: and in all points, where judgment is hours.
principally concerned, he is much superior to his But with respect to the present age, nothing master. Though some of his subjects are not more conduces to make these composures natural, paftoral in themselves, but only seem to be such ; than when some knowledge in rural affairs is they have a wonderful variety in them, which discovered t This may be made to appear ra the Greck was a stranger to *. He exceeds him ther done by chance than on design, and some- in regularity and brevity, and falls short of him times is best shewn by inference; lest by too much in no:hing but simplicity and propriety of Nyle ; ftudy to feem natural, we destroy that easy fim the first of which perhaps was the fault of his age, plicity from whence arises the delight : for what and the last of his language. je inviting in this sort of poetry proceeds not so Among the moderns, their success has been much from the idea of that business, as the tran greatest who have most endeavoured to make quillity of a country life.
these ancients their pattern. The most considerWe must therefore use fome illusion to render a able genius appears in the famous Taffo, and our pastoral delightful; and this consists in exposing Spenser. Taffo in his Aminta has as far excelled the best fide only of a Mepherd's life, and in con all the pastoral writers, as in his Gierusalemme he ccaling its miseries t. Nor is it enough to intro- has outdone the epic poets of his country. But as duce shepherds discourfing together in a natural his piece seems to have been the original of a new way; but a regard muít be had to the subject, sort of poem, the pastoral comedy, in Italy, it canthat it contain some particular beauty in itself, not so well be considered as a copy of the ancients. and that it be different in every eclogue. Be- Spenser's Calendar, in Mr. Dryden's opinion, is fides, in each of them a designed scenc or prospect the most complete work of this kind which any is to be presented to our view, which should like nation has produced ever since the time of Virwife have its variety ý. This variety is obtained gilt: not but that he may be thought imperin a great degree by frequent comparisons, drawn fed in some few points. His eclogues are somefrom the most agreeable objects of the country; what too long, if we compare them with the anby interrogations to things inanimate; by beauti- cients. He is sometimes too allegorical, and ful digreffions, but those short; sometimes by in treats of matters of religion in a pafloral style, as fisting a little on circumstances; and lastly, by e- the Mantuan had done before him. He has emlegant turns on the words, which render the ployed the lyric measure, which is contrary to numbers extremely sweet and pleasing As for the practice of the old poets. His flanza is not the numbers themselves, though they are proper still the same, nor always well chosen. This last ly of the heroic measure, they should be the may be the reason his expression is sometimes not smootheft, the most casy and flowing imaginable. concise enough: for the tetrasic has obliged
It is by rules like these that we ought to judge him to extend his sense to the length of four of pastoral. And fince the instructions given for lines, which would have been more closely con. any art are to be delivered as that art is in per- fined in the couplet. fection, they must of neceflity be derived from In the nanners, thoughts, and characters, he those in whom it is acknowledged so to be
comes near to Theocritus himself; though, nottherefore from the practice of Theocritus and withstanding all the care he has taken, he is cer, Virgil (the only undisputed authors of pastoral) tainly inferior in his diale&t : for the Doric had that the critics have drawn the foregoing notions its beauty and propricty in the time of Theocriconcerning it.
tus; it was used in part of Greece, and frequent Thcocritus excells all others in nature and sim- in the mouths of many of the greatest persons : plicity, The subjects of his Idyllia are purely whereas the old English and country phrases of paftoral; but he is not so exa& in his perfons, Spenser were either entirely obsolete, or spoken having introduced reapers || aud fishermen as only by people of the lowest condition. As there well as thepherds. He is apt to be too long in is a difference betwixt simplicity and ruficity, fo
the expression of simple thoughts should be plain, Rapin, Reflex. sur l'Art Poet. d' Arif. p. 2. Ro but nut clownish. The addition he has made of fex. xxvii.
a calendar to his eclogues, is very beautiful; + Pref. to Ving. Paft. in Dryd. Virg. # Fontenelle's Difc. of Paftorals.
Rapin, Ref. or Ariji. part ii. R.A. xxvi. ♡ See the forementioned Preface
Pref. to the Ecl. in Dr; den's Virg. | @EPIETAI. Idy!. I. and APIEII, Idyl. xxi.. * D:dication to Virg. Ed.
A DISCOURSE ON PASTORAL POETRY.
13 fince by this, besides the general moral of inno: Of the following eclogues I shall only say, that cence and Simplicity, which is common to other these four comprehend all the subjects which the authors of pastoral, he has one peculiar to himself; critics upon Theocritus and Virgil will allow to he compares human life to the several seasons, be fit for pastoral : That they have as much vaand at once exposes to his readers a view of the riety of description, in respect of the several seagreat and little worlds, in their various changes ons, as Spenser's: That, in order to add to this and aspects. Yet the scrupulous division of his variety, the several times of the day are observed, paftorals into months, has obliged him either to the rural employments in each season or time of repeat the same description, in other words, for day, and the rural scenes or places proper to such three months together; or, when it was exhaust- employmeots; not without some regard to the ed before, entirely to omit it: whence it comes to several ages of man, and the different pallions pass that some of his eclogues (as the fixth, eighth, proper to each age. and tenth, for example) have nothing but their But after all, if they have any merit, it is to be titles to distinguish them. The reason is evident, attributed to some good old authors, whose works because the year has not that variety in it to furo as I had leisure to study, fo, I hope, I have age nish every month with a particular description, as wanted care to imitate. i may every season.
PA S T O R A L S.
THE FIRST PASTORAL, OR DAMON.
TO SIR WILLIAM TRUMBULL,
Furst in these fields I try the sylvan strains,
Four figures rising from the work appear,
And what is that, which binds the radiant sky, Youth at, too wise for pride, too good for Where twelve fair figns in beauteous order lie! 4.
power, Enjoy the glory to be great no more,
Then sing by turns, by turns the muses fing; And, carrying with you all the world can boast, Now hawthorns blossom, now the daisies spring, To all the world illustriously are loft! 10 Now leaves the trees, and flowers adorn the O let my muse her slender reed inspire,
ground; Till in your native fhades you tune the lyre : Begin, the vales shall every note rebound. So when the nightingale to rest removes, The thrush may chant to the forsaken groves, Inspire me, Phæbus, in my Delia's praise, But charm'd to filence, liftens while she sings, With Waller's strains, or Granville's moving lays! And all th' aërial audience clap their wings. A milk-white bull fall at your altars stand,
Soon as the flocks shook off the nightly dews, That threats a fight, and spurns the rising sand. Two swains, whom love kept wakeful, and the muse,
O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize, Pour'd o'er the whitening vale their fleecy care, And make my tongue victorious as her eyes; 50 Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair : 20 No lambs or sheep for victims I'll impart, The dawn now blushing on the mountain's side, Thy victim, Love, shall be the shepherd's heart. Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.
Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain, Hear how the birds, on every bloomy spray, Then, hid in fhades, eludes her cager swain; With joyous music wake the dawning day! But feigns a laugh, to see me search around, Why fit we mute, when early linnets fing, And by that laugh the willing fair is found. When warbling Philomel falute3 the spring ?
DAPHNIS, Why fit we fad, when Phosphor shines so clear, The sprightly Sylvia trips along the green, And lavish nature paints the purple year? She runs, but hopes she does not run unseen ;
While a kind glance at her pursuer flies, Sirg then, and Damon shall attend the strain, How much at variance are her feet and eyes! 63 While yon' flow oxen earn the furrow'd plain. 30 Here the bright crocus and blue violet glow; Here western winds on breathing roses blow,
VARIATIONS. I'll take yon'lamb, that near the fountain plays, Ver. 36. And clusters lurk beneath the curling And from the brink his dancing Made surveys.
Ver. 49. Originally thus in the MS.
Pan, let my numbers cqual Strephon's lays,
Of Parian stone thy flatue will I raise ;
But if I conquer, and augment my fold,
| If Sylvia smiles, now glories gild the shore, O'er goiden sands let rich Pactolus flow, And vanquish'd nature seems to charm no more. And trees weep amber on the banks of Po; Blett Thames's ihores the brightest beauties In spring the fields, in autumn hills I love, yield;
At morn the plains, at noon the shady grove, Feed here my lambs, I'll seek no distant field. But Delia always; abfent from her fight,
Nor plains at morn, nor groves at noon delight. 80 Celestial Venus haunts Idalia's groves; Diana Cynthus, Ceres Hybla loves.
Sylvia's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May, If Windsor shades delight the matchless maid, More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day; Cynthus and Hybla yield to Windsor fhade. Ev'n spring displeases, when the shines not liere;
But, bless'd with her, 'tis fpring throughout the All nature mourns, the kies relent in showers,
year. Hufh'd are the birds, and clos'd the drooping flowers;
70 Say, Daphnis, say, in what glad soil appears, If Delia smile, the flowers begin to spring, A wondrous tree that sacred monarch bears; The kies to brighten, and the birds to fing. Tell me but this, and I'll disclaim the prize,
And give the conquest to thy Sylvia's eyes.
Nay, tell me first, in what more happy fields
And then a nobler prize I will relign;
For Sylvia, charming Sylvia shall be thine.
Cease to contend; for, Daphnis, I decrce
The bowl to Strephon, and the lamb to thee. Bleft Thames's thores, &c.
Bleft swains, whose nymphs in every grace excel; Ver. 61. Originally thus in the MS.
Blest nymphs, whose swains those graces sing lo Go, flowery wreath, and let my Sylvia know,
well! Compar'd to thine how bright her beauties shew: Now rise, and haste to yonder woodbine bowers, Then die; and dying, teach the lovely maid
A fost retreat from sudden vernal showers ; How soon the brightest beauties are decay'd.
The curf with rular dainties shall be crown'd, DAPHNIS.
While opening bloonis diffuse their lweuts a. Go, tuneful bird, that pleas'd the woods so long,
round. Of Amaryllis learn a sweeter song :
For see! the gathering flocks to fheiter tend, To heaven arising then her notes convey,
And from the pleiads fruitful showers descend. For heav'n alone is worthy such a lay.
Ver 69. These verses were thus at first: All nature mourns, the birds their songs deny, Nor watted brooks the thirsty flowers fupply;
Ver. 99. was originally, IfDelia smile, the flowers begin to spring, The curf with country dainties shall be spread, The brooks co murmur, and the birds to ling. And trecs with twining branches shade your head.