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{pring 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 an

cient poems treat of agriculture, astronomy, and other objects within the rural and natural systems.

What constitutes the difference between the Georgic and the Pastoral is love and the colloquial, or dramatic form of compofition peculiar to the latter : this form of compofition is sometimes dispensed with, and love and rural imagery alone are thought fufficient to distinguish the pastoral. The tender pallion, 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 Ameebean kind, whose only purport is a trial of skill between contending shepherds, love bas 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 ori. ental compositions of this kind have survived the ravages of ignorance, tyranny and time ; we cannot doubt that many such have been extant, possibly as far down as that fatal period, never to be mentioned in the world of letters without horrour, when the glorious mor numents of human ingenuity perished in the alhes of the Alexandrian library.

Those ingenious Greeks whom we call the parents of paftoral poetry were, probably, no more than imitators of imitators, that derived their harmony from higher and remoter four

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ces, and kindled their poetical fires at those then urtextinguished 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 Theocritusy Mofchus and Bion have found their archetypes in other eastern writers, whose names have perished with their works? yet, though it may not be illiberal to admit such a supposition, it would, certainly, be invidious to conclude what the malignity of cavillers alone could suggeft with regard to Homer, that they destroyedthe fources 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 Phliladelphus, it were not to be wondered if Theocritus, who was entertained at that prince's court, had borrowed some part of his pastoral 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, φορεουτε δάκανθαι
“A δε καλα ναρκισσG- επ αρκευθοισι κόμασαι
Παντα εναλλα γενoιντο, και α πιτυς όχιας ενειμαι

και τως κυνας ωλαφος έλκου. .

Let vexing brambles the blue violet bear,
On the rude thorn Narcissus dress his hair
All, all revers'd-The pine with pears be

And the bold deer shall drag the trembling


the cause, indeed, of these phoenomena 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 impor. tant person: but the marks of imitation are nevertheless obvious.

It might, however, be expected that if Theocritus had borrowed at all from the facred writers, the celebrated paftoral Epithalamium of Solomon, so 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 δε πρωϊζα κατεδραθες, ω φιλε γαμερε;


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