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To thee from Latian realms this verfe is writ,
For now no more these climes their influence boast,
Has felt the worst severity of Fate:
As late on Virgil's tomb fresh flow'rs I ftrow'd,
Of thee more worthy were the task, to raise A lafting Column to thy Country's Praise, To fing the land, which yet alone can boast That Liberty corrupted Rome has loft; Where Science in the arms of Peace is laid, And plants her Palm beneath the Olive's fhade. Such was the Theme for which my lyre I ftrung, Such was the People whofe exploits I fung; Brave, yet refin'd, for Arms and Arts renown'd, With diff'rent bays by Mars and Phoebus crown'd, 70 Dauntless oppofers of Tyrannic Sway, But pleas'd, a mild AUGUSTUS to obey.
If thefe commands fubmiffive thou receive, Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live; Envy to black Cocytus fhall retire, And howl with Furies in tormenting fire; Approving Time fhall confecrate thy Lays, And join the Patriot's to the Poet's Praise. GEORGE LYTTELTON.
Difcourfe on PASTORAL.'
Written in the Year MDCCIV.
Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
HERE are not, I believe, a greater number of
ΤΗ any fort of verfes than of those which are called
Paftorals ; nor a smaller, than of those which are truly fo. It therefore feems neceffary to give fome account of this kind of Poem, and it is my defign to comprize in this short paper the fubftance of those numerous differtations the Critics have made on the subject, without omitting any of their rules in my own favour. You will alfo find fome points reconciled, about which they feem to differ, and a few remarks, which, I think, have escaped their obfervation.
The original of Poetry is afcribed to that Age which fucceeded the creation of the world: and as the keeping of flocks feems to have been the first employment of mankind, the most ancient fort of poetry was probably pastoral. It is natural to imagine, that the leisure of those ancient fhepherds admitting and inviting fome diverfion, none was so proper to that folita y and fedentary life as finging; and that in their fongs they took occafion to celebrate their own felicity. From hence a Poem was invented, and afterwards improved to a perfect image of that happy time; which,
a Written at fixteen years of age.