Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

that of a lion, would make no scruple of subftituting, in letters, the symbols for the ideas they had been usei to represent.

Here we plainly see the origin of allegorical expresion, that it arose from the ashes of hieroglyphics; and if to the same cause we should refer that figurative boldness of style and imagery which distinguish the oriental writings, we shall, perhaps, conclude more justly, than if we should impute it to the superior grandeur of eastern genius.

From the same fource with the verbal, we

are to derive the sentimental allegory, which is nothing more than a continuation of the metaphorical or symbolical expression of the several agents in an action, or the different objects in a scene,

THE

1

The latter most peculiarly comes under the denomination of allegorical imagery ; and in this species of allegory we include the imperfonation of passions, affections, virtues and vices &c. on account of which, principally, the following odes were properly termed by their author, allegorical.

With respect to the utility of this figurative wriáng, the same arguments that have been advanced in favour of descriptive poetry, will be of weight likewise here. It is, indeed, from impersonation, or, as it is commonly termed, personification, that poetical description borrows its chief powers and graces. Without the aid of this, moral and intellectural painting would be flat and unanimated, and even the scenery of material objects would be dull without the introduction of fictitious

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

THESE observations will be most effectu. ally illustrated by the sublime and beautiful odes that occafioned them in those it will appear how happily this allegorical painting may be executed by the genuine powers of poetical genius, and they will not fail to prove its force and utility by palling through the imagination to the heart,

[ocr errors]

ODE

ODE TO PITY:

B

Y Pella's Bard, a magic name,

By all the griefs his thought could frame, Receive

my

humble rite: Long, Pity, let the nations view Thy sky-wórn robes of tendereft blue,

And eyes of dewy light!

The propriety of invoking Pity through the mediation of Euripides is obvious. That ad. mirable poet had the keys of all the tender paffions, and, therefore, could not but ftand in the highest esteem with a writer of Mr. Collins's sensibility:--He did, indeed, admire him as much as Milton professedly did, and probably for the same reasons; but we do not find that he has copied him so closely as the last mentioned poet has sometimes done,

and particularly in the opening of SamsonAgonistes, which is an evident imitation of the following paffage in the POINIEEAI.

χνος

εμον, ,

Η παροιθε, θυγατερ, ως τυφλώ ποδι
Οφθαλμος ει συ, ναυβαταισιν αςρον ως,
Δευρ' εις το λευρον πεδoν τιθεισ' '
Προβαινει
.

Act III. Sc. I. The “ eyes of dewy light” is one of the happiest, strokes of imagination, and may be ranked among those expreflions which

-give us back the image of the mind.

[ocr errors]

Wild ARUN too has heard thy ftrains,
And Echo, 'midst my native plains,
Been sooth'd with Pity's lute.

There first the wren thy myrtles shed

On gentlest OTWAY's infant head, Sussex, in which county the Arun is a small river, had the honour of giving birth to

OTWAY

« ПредишнаНапред »