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the reader. Under this head, it would be unpardonable to omit a capital, and, I think, one of the most excellent examples extant, of the beauty here intended, in the third Georgic of Virgil.* The poet having mournfully described a steer struck with a pestilence, and falling down dead in the middle of his work, artfully reminds us of his former services;
Quid labor aut benefacta juvant? Quid vomere terras
This circumstance would have been sufficient, as it raised our pity from a motive of gratitude ; bụt with this circumstance, the tender Virgil was not content; what he adds, therefore, of the natural undeviating temperance of the animal, who cannot have contracted disease by excess, and; who for ; that reason deserved a better fate, is moving beyond compare; 15!
-Atqui non Massica Bacchi
Frondjbus, et victu pascuntur simplicis herbæ ;
* Ver. 525. * By the epithet GRAVES, Virgil insinuates, after his manner, the difficulty and laboriousness of the work.
:Pocula sunt fontes liquidi, atque'exercita cursu
Flamina, nec somnos abrumpit curą salubres.
. i 10
Of English poets, perhaps, none have excelled the ingenious Mr. Dyer in this oblique instruction, into which he frequently steals imperceptibly, in his little descriptive poem entitled ĠRONGAR HILL, where he disposes every object so as it may give occasion for some observațion on human life. Denham himself is not superior to Mr. Dyer in this particular. After painting a landscape very extensive and diversified, "he adds, I'. 'V' cap.1.4) : ? 7.)
12 ! T: 1. Thus is Nature's vesture wrought, Lin 4,5 Sots: To instruct our wandering thought ;, Corrv
Thus she dresses green and gay,
) 40 ، ( !! ، Another view from this favouritel spot, gives him an opportunity for sliding into the following moralities :
و ترازو ( ده
irrel fin jupiA. +9093. 1949 illi 1,5191 * How close and small the hedges lie! What streaks of meadows cross the eye !
1. A step,
* In this light also his poem on the Ruins of Rome deserves *g perusaf 2-Dødslegs Miscell. Wel vic sapage 1782 9 His Fleece,
370 9ds 1o 30029o rod. bas vulvafti bvhich
The unexpected insertion of such reflections, imparts to us the same pleasure that we feel, when, in wandering through a wilderness or grove, we suddenly behold, in the turning of the walk, a statue of some VIRTUE or MUSE.
It may be observed in general, that description of the external beauties of nature, is usually the first effort of a young genius, before he hath studied manners and passions. Some of Milton's most early, as well as most exquisite pieces, are his Lycidas, L'Allegro, and Il Penseroso ; if we may except his Ode on the Nativity of Christ, which is, indeed, prior in the order of time, and D%
which I had the pleasure of reading in manuscript, with Dr. Akenside, is written in a pure and classical taste, and with many happy imitations of Virgil.
in which a penetrating critic might have discovered the seeds of that boundless imagination, which afterwards was to produce the Paradise Lost. This ode, which; by the way, is not sufficiently read nor admired, is also of the descriptive kind; but the objects of its description are great, and striking to the imagination; the false deities of the Heathen forsaking their temples on the birth of our Saviour; divination and oracles at an end; which facts, though, perhaps, not historically true, are poetically beautiful.
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
From haunted spring, and dale
With flower-enwoven tresses torn,
Tlie lovers of poetry (and to such only I write) will not be displeased at my presenting them also with the following: image, which is so
* On the morning of Christ's Nativity. Newton's edition, octavo. Vol. ii. page 28, 29, of the Miscellaneous Poems.
strongly conceived, that, methinks, I see at this instant the dæmon it represents :
And sullen Moloch fled,
Hath left in shadows dread,
In vain with cimbals ring
They call the griesly king,
Attention is irresistibly awakened and engaged by that air of solemnity and enthusiasm that reigns in the following stanzas ;
The oracles are dumb';+
No voice, or hideous hum,
No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Such is the power of true poetry, that one is almost inclined to believe the superstitions here alluded to, to be real; and the succeeding circumstances make one start, and look around :
* See also verses written at a Solemn Music, and on the Passion, in the same volume ; and a vacation exercise, page 9. in all which are to be found many strokes of the sublime.
+ Page 28.