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IRST in these fields I try the fylvan ftrains,
Nor blush to sport on Windfor's blissful plains:
Fair Thames, flow gently from thy facred fpring,
While on thy banks Sicilian Muses fing;
Let vernal airs through trembling ofiers play,
And Albion's cliffs refound the rural lay.

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Thefe Paftorals were written at the age of fixteen, and then paffed through the hands of Mr. Walb, Mr. Wycherley, G. Granville, afterwards Lord Lanfdown, Sir William Trumbal, Dr. Garth, Lord Hallifax, Lord Somers, Mr. Mainwaring, and others. All thefe gave our Author the greatest encouragement, and particularly Mr. Walsh, whom Mr. Dryden, in his Poftfcript to Virgil, calls the beft Critic of his age. "The Author (fays he) seems to have 86 a particular genius for this kind of Poetry, and a judgment that "much exceeds his years. He has taken very freely from the: "Ancients. But what he has mixed of his own with theirs is no " way inferior to what he has taken from them. It is not flat"tery at all to say, that Virgil had written nothing fo good at his "Age. His Preface is very judicious and learned." Letter to Mr. Wycherley, Apr. 1705.. The Lord Lanfdown about the fametime, mentioning the youth of our Poet, says (in a printed Letterof the Character of Mr. Wycherley), "that if he goes on as he has "begun in his Paftoral way, as Virgil firit tried his ftrength, we: 68 may hope to fee English Poetry vie with the Roman," &c.. Notwithstanding the early time of their production, the Author efteemed these as the most correct in the verfification, and mufical: in the numbers, of all his works. The reason for his labouring them

You, that too wife for pride, too good for pow'r, Enjoy the glory to be great no more,

And carrying with you all the world can boaft,
To all the world illuftriously are loft!
O let my Mufe her flender reed inspire,

Till in your native fhades you tune the lyre:
So when the Nightingale to reft removes,
The thrush may chant to the forfaken groves,
But charm'd to filence, liftens while the fings,
And all th' aërial audience clap their wings.




into fo much foftnefs, was, doubtless, that this fort of poetry derives almoft its whole beauty from a natural ease of thought and fmoothness of verfe; whereas that of moft other kinds confifts in the ftrength and fulness of both. In a letter of his to Mr. Walh about this time, we find an enumeration of feveral niceties in Verfification, which perhaps have never been strictly observed in any English poem, except in thefe Paftorals. They were not printed till 1709.


Sir William Trumbal.] Our Author's friendship with this gentleman commenced at very unequal years: he was under fixteen, but Sir William above fixty, and had lately refigned his employment of Secretary of State to King William.

VER. 12. in your native fhades] Sir W. Trumbal was born in Windfor-foreft, to which he retired, after he had refigned the poft of Secretary of State to King William III. P.

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VER. 17, etc. The fcene of this Paftoral a Valley, the Time the Morning. It flood originally thus:

Daphnis and Strephon to the fhades retir'd,

Both warm'd by Love, and by the Muse infpir'd,
Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair,
In flow'ry vales they fed their fleecy care;
And while Aurora gilds the mountain's fide,
Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.


VER. 1. Prima Syracofio dignata eft ludere verfu, Noftra nec erubuit fylvas habitare Thalia. This is the general exordium and opening of the Paftorals, in imitation of the fixth of Virgil, which fome have therefore not improbably thought to have been the first originally. In the beginnings of the other three Paftorals, he imitates exprefsly thofe which now ftand first of the three chief Poets in this kind, Spenfer, Virgil, Theocritus.

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Soon as the flocks fhook off the nightly dews,
Two Swains, whom Love kept wakeful, and the Mufe,
Pour'd o'er the whitening vale their fleecy care,
Fresh as the morn, and as the feason fair:
The dawn now blushing on the mountain's fide,
Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.


Hear how the birds, on ev'ry bloomy spray,
With joyous mufic wake the dawning day!
Why fit we mute, when early linnets fing,
When warbling Philomel falutes the spring?
Why fit we fad, when Phosphor fhines fo clear,
And lavish Nature paints the purple year?


Sing then, and Damon fhall attend the ftrain,
While yon' flow oxen turn the furrow'd plain.
Here the bright crocus and blue vi'let glow;
Here western winds on breathing roses blow.
I'll take yon' lamb, that near the fountain plays,
And from the brink his dancing fhade furveys.

And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines,
And fwelling clusters bend the curling vines :


A Shepherd's Boy (he feeks no better name)-
Beneath the fhade a spreading beach displays,
Thyrfis, the Mufic of the murm'ring Spring, -
are manifeftly imitations of

-A Shepherd's Boy (no better do him call)
-Tityre, tu patulæ recubans fub tegmine fagi.
Αδύ τι τὸ ψιθύρισμα καὶ ὁ πίτυς, αἰπόλε, τήν

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Ver. 34. The firft reading was,

And his own image from the bank furveys.

Ver. 36. And clusters lurk beneath the curling vines.


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Four figures rifing from the work appear,
The various feafons of the rolling year;
And what is that, which binds the radiant sky,
Where twelve fair figns in beauteous order lie?


Then fing by turns, by turns the Mufes fing, Now hawthorns bloffom, now the daifies spring, Now leaves the trees, and flowers adorn the ground; Begin, the vales fhall ev'ry note rebound. ST RỄ PHỔ NG

Infpiré me, Phœbas, in my Delia's praife, 45 With Waller's ftrains, or Granville's moving lays! A milk-white bull fhall at your altars ftand, That threats a fight, aud fpurns the rifing fand.


O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize, And make my tongue victorious as her eyes;


VER. 35, 36. Lenta quibus torno facili fuperaddita vitis,
Diffufos édere veftit pallente corymbos.

Et quis fuit alter,

Defcripfit radio totum qui gentibus orbem?


VER. 38. The various feafons] The fubject of thefe Paftorals engraven on the bowl is not without its propriety. The Shepherd's hefitation at the name of the zodiac, imitates that in Virgil,

VER. 41. Then fing by turns,] Literally from Virgil,
Alternis dicetis, amant alterna Camœnæ :


Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos, .. Nunc frondent fylvæ, nunc formofiffimus annus. VER. 47. A milk-white bull] Virg.—Pafcite taurum, Qui cornu petat, et pedibus jam fpargat arenam.


VER. 49. Originally thus in the MS.

Pan, let my numbers equal Strephon's lays,
Of Parian stone thy ftatue will I raise ;
But if I conquer and augment my fold,
Thy Parian ftatue shall be chang'd to gold.


No lambs or sheep for victims I'll impart,

Thy victim, Love, fhall be the fhepherd's heart.


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Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain, Then hid in fhades, eludes her eager fwain; But feigns a laugh, to fee me fearch around, And by that laugh the willing fair is found.



The fprightly Sylvia trips along the green,
She runs, but hopes fhe does not run unfeen
While a kind glance at her purfuer flies,
How much at variance are her feet and eyes!

O'er golden fands let rich Pactolus flow,
And trees weep amber on the banks of Po;
Bleft Thames's fhores the brightest beauties yield,
Feed here my lambs, I'll feek no distant field.


VER. 6r. It ftood thus at first:

Let rich Iberia golden fleeces boast,
Her purple wool the proud Affyrian coaft,
Bleft Thames's fhores, &c.


VER. 46. Granville.] George Granville, afterwards Lord: Lanfdown, known for his poems, moft of which he compofed: very young, and propofed Waller as his model. P.


VER. 58. She runs, but hopes] Imitation of Virgil.
Malo me Galatea petit, lafciva puella,
Et fugit ad falices, fed fe cupidante videri..

VER. 61. Originally thus in the MS.

Go, flow'ry wreath, and let my Sylvia know,
Compar'd to thine how bright her beauties fhow:
Then die; and dying, teach the lovely maid
How foon the brightest beauties are decay'd.


Go, tuneful bird, that pleas'd the woods fo long,
Of Amaryllis learn a fweeter fong:
To Heav'n arifing then her notes convey,
For Heav'n alone is worthy fuch a lay.



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