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The same his table, and the same his bed;
No murder cloath'd him, and no murder fed.
In the same temple, the resounding wood,
All vocal beings hyinn'd their equal God:

155

NOTES. ideas for the reason given above. Plato had said from old tradition, that, during the golden age, and under the reign of Saturn, the primitive language then in use was common to man and beasts. Moral inítructors took advantage of the popular sense of this tradition, to convey their precepts under those fables, which give speech to the whole brute creation. The naturalists understood the tradition to signify, that, in the first Ages, Men used inarticulate sounds, like beasts, to express their wants and sensations; and that it was by flow degrees they came to the use of speech. This opinion was afterwards held by Lucretius, Diodorus Sic. and Gregory of Nyff.

VER. 156. All vocal beings, &c.] This may be well explained by a sublime passage of the psalmift, who, calling to mind the age of innocence, and full of the of those

Chains of Love,
Combining all below, and all above,
Which to one point and to one center bring

Beaft, Man, or Angel, Servant, Lord, or King; breaks out into this rapturous and divine apostrophe, to call back the devious creation to its pristine rectitude (that very state our author describes above) : “ Praise the Lord, “ all his angels; praise him, all ye hosts. Praise ye him, “ sụn and moon; praise him, all ye stars of light. Let “ them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded,

and they were created. Praise the Lord, from the " earth, ye dragons, and all deeps; fire and hail, snow " and vạpour, stormy wind fulfilling his word: Moun

great ideas

The shrine with gore unstain’d, with gold undrest,
Unbrib’d, unbloody, stood the blameless priest ;
Heav'n's attribute was Universal Care,
And man's prerogative to rule, but spare. 160,

NOTES. “ tains and all hills, fruitful trees and all cedars; Beasts " and all cattle, creeping things and flying fowl: kings of “ the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of - the earth. Let them praise the name of the Lord ; “ for his name alone is excellent, his glory is above the « earth and heaven." Psalm cxlviii.

Ver. 158. Uxbrib'd, unbloody, &c.] i. e. The state de. scribed, from ver. 261 to 269, was not yet arrived. For then when superstition was become so extreme as to bribe the Gods with human facrifices (fee ver. 267.) Tyranny became neceffitated to woo the priest for favourable answer :

And play'd the God an engine on his foe. VER. 159. Heav'n's attribute, &c.] The poet supposes the truth of the Scripture account, that Man was created Lord of this inferior world (Ep. i. ver. 230.)

Subjected these to those, and all to thee. What hath misled some to imagine him here fallen into a contradiction, was, I suppose, such paffages as these,

Ak for what end the heav'nly bodies shine, &c. And again,

Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good, &c. But, in truth, this is so far from contradicting what is here said of man's prerogative, that it greatly confirms it, and the Scrip:ųre account concerning it. And because this matter has been mistaken, to the discredit of the poet's religious sentiments, by readers, whom the conduct of certain licentious writers, treating this subject in an abufive way, hath rendered jealous and miftruftful, I fall endeavour to explain it. Scripture says, chat Man was made

Ah! how unlike the man of times to come!
Of half that live the butcher and the tomb;
Who, foe to Nature, hears the gen'ral groan,
Murders their species, and betrays his own.
But just disease to luxury succeeds,

165
And ev'ry death its own avenger breeds;
The Fury-passions from that blood began,
And turn’d on Man a fiercer savage Man.

See him from Nature rising flow to Art! To copy Instinct then was Reason's part; 179 Thus then to Man the Voice of Nature spake “ Go, from the Creatures thy instructions take:

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NOTES.

Lord of All. But this Lord become intoxicated with Pride, the common effect of sovereignty, erected himself, like more partial monarchs, into a tyrant, And as Tys, ranny consists in supposing all made for the use of one; he took those freedoms with all, that are consequent on such a principle. He foun began to consider the whole animal creation as his slaves rather than as his subjects; as being created for no use of their own, but for this only; and therefore treated them with the utmost barbarity: And not so content, to add insult to this cruelty, he endeavoured to philofophize himself into an opinion that animals were mere machines, insensible of pain or pleasure. Thus Man affected to be the Wit as well as Tyrant of the Whole: and it became one who adhered to the Scripture account of Man's dominion, to reprove this abuse of it, and to Thew, that

Heav'n's attribute was Universal Care,

And Man's prerogative to rule, but spare. VER. 171. Thus then to Man, Esc.] The poet represents “Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield; “ Learn from the beasts the phyfic of the field; « Thy arts of building from the bee receive; 175 66 Learn of the mole to plow, the worm to weave; « Learn of the little Nautilus to fail,

Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.

NOTES. the invention of Arts as only lessons learnt of brute animals, guided by insina, in order to humble human arrogance, and raise our idea of infinite wisdom. This he does in a prosopopæia, the most sublime that ever entered into the human imagination:

Thus then to man the Voice of Nature spake :
“ Go, from the creatures thy instructions take, &e.
“ And for those Arts mere Instinct could afford,

“ Be crown'd as Monarchs, or as Gods adorld.” Ver. 173. Learn from the birds, &c.] It is a caution commonly practised among Navigators, when thrown upon a desert coast, and in want of refreshments, to observe what fruits have been touched by the Birds, and to venture on these without further hesitation.

Ver. 174. Learn from the beasts, &c.] See Pliny's Nat. Hip. I. viii. c. 27. where several instances are given of Animals discovering the medicinal efficacy of herbs, by their own use of them, and pointing out to some operations in the art of healing by their own practice.

VER, 177. Learn of the little Nautilus] Oppian Halieut. lib.i. describes this fish in the following manner: “They “ swim on the surface of the fea, on the back of their • Thells, which exactly resemble the hulk of a ship; they

raise two feet like mafts, and extend a membrane between, which serves as a sail; the other two feet they

employ.as oars at the fide. "They are usually seen in " the Mediterranean." P.

“ Here too all forms of social union find, “ And hence let Reafon, late, instruct Mankind : 180 « Here fubterranean works and cities fee: " There towns aërial on the waving tree, « Learn each small People's genius, policies, « The Ant's republic, and the realm of Bees; " How those in common all their wealth bestow, 185 “ And Anarchy without confusion know; " And these for ever, tho'a Monarch reign, " Their sep’rate cells and properties maintain. « Mark what unvary'd laws preserve each state, “ Laws wise as Nature, and as fix'd as Fate. 190 “ In vain thy Reason finer webs shall draw, « Entangle Justice in her net of Law. “ And right, too rigid, harden into wrong; “ Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong. " Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway, 195 66 Thus let the wises make the rest obey ; o And for those Arts mere Instinct could afford, “ Be crown'd as Monarchs, or as Gods ador'd."

V. Great Nature spoke ; observant Men obey'd ; Cities were built, Societies were made :

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 197. In the first Editions,

Who for those Arts they learnt of Brutes before,
As Kings shall crown chem, or as Gods adore.

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