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Long, long, thy store, and pointed clay
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes,
In yonder grave Your Druid lies!
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 pastoral, was the hospitable nurse of letters, it is not easy to determine. From the subjects, and the manner of Theocritus, one would incline to the latter opinion, while the history of Bion is in favour of the former.
However, though it should fill remain a doubt through what channel.the pastoral travelled westward, there is not the leaft fhadow
of uncertainty concerning its Oriental Origin,
IN thofe ages, which, guided by sacred 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 in-. forms us that the history of the creation was communicated to the Egyptians by a Chaldæan 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 attempted 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 off.