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35

Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And Poets once had promis’d they should last.
Some fresh engrav'd appear’d of Wits renown'd;
I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I saw, that other names deface,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place:
Their own, like others, soon their place resign'd,
Or disappear’d, and left the first behind.
Nor was the work impair’d by storms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a sun;
For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by Envy than excess of Praise.
Yet part no injuries of heav'n could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graving steel :

40

45

NOTES.

Ver. 41. Nor was the work impair’d] Does not this use of the heat of the sun appear to be puerile and far-fetched conceit ? What connexion is there betwixt the two sorts of excesses here mentioned ? My purpose in animadverting so frequently as I have done on this species of false thoughts, is to guard the reader, especially of the younger sort, from being betrayed by the authority of so correct a writer as Pope into such specious and false refinements of style. For the same reason the opposition of ideas, in the three last words of the following line, may be condemned :

“ And legislators seem to think in stone."—Warton. The two lines, for fame, &c. destroy the allegory; and the censure of the critic is just. Not so with respect to the other line, And legislators, &c. which presents no “opposition of ideas ;” but on the contrary, a grand and simple image.

IMITATIONS.
“ That had been in much wele
“ And her fames wide y-blow;
“ But well unneth might I know

Any letters for to rede
“ Their names by, for out of drede

They weren almost off-thawen so,
6. That of the letters one or two
“ Were molte away of every name,
“ So unfamous was woxe her fame;

“ But men said what may ever last.”—P. Ver. 41. Nor was the work impaird, &c.]

“ Tho' gan I in myne harte cast,
“ That they were molte away for heate,

And not away with stormes beate.”—P. Ver. 45. Yet part no injuries, &c.]

“ For on that other side I sey
“ Of that hill which northward ley,
“ How it was written full of names
“Of folke, that had afore great fames,

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50

55

The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
Their names inscrib'd unnumber'd ages past
From time's first birth, with time itself shall last;
These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.

So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost)
Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on th’ impassive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent sky:
As Atlas fix'd, each boary pile appears,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear’d by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell’d.
Four faces had the dome, and ev'ry face
Of various structure, but of equal grace:

60

65

NOTES.

Ver. 53. So Zembla's rocks] A real lover of painting will not be contented with a single view and examination of this beautiful winter-piece ; but will return to it again and again with fresh delight. The images are distinct, and the epithets lively and appropriate, especially the words pale, unfelt, impassive, incumbent, gather'd. The reader may consult Thomson's Winter, v. 905.-Warton.

Ver. 65. Four faces had the dome, &c.] The Temple is described to be square, the four fronts with open gates facing the different quarters of the world, as an intimation that all nations of the earth may alike be received into it. The western front is of Grecian architecture : the Doric order was peculiarly sacred to heroes and worthies. Those whose statues are after mentioned were the first names of old Greece in arms and arts.-P.

IMITATIONS.
“ Of old time, and yet they were
“ As fresh as men had writtee hen there
“ The self day, or that houre
“ That I on hem gan to poure:

But well I wiste what it
“ It was conserved with the shade
“(All the writing that I sye)
“Of the castle that stoode on high,

And stood in so cold a place,
“ That heate might it not deface.”—P.

hade ;

70

75

Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the diff'rent quarters of the sky.
Here fabled Chiefs in darker ages born,
Or Worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,
Who cities rais'd, or tam'd a monstrous race;
The walls in venerable order

grace.
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And Legislators seem to think in stone.

Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear’d,
On Doric pillars of white marble rear’d,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold,
And sculpture rising on the roughen'd gold.
In shaggy spoils here Theseus was beheld,
And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield :
There great Alcides stooping with his toil,
Rests on his club, and holds th' Hesperian spoil.
Here Orpheus sings, trees moving to the sound
Start from their roots, and form a shade around :
Amphion there the loud-creating lyre
Strikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire !

80

85

NOTES.

Ver. 81. There great Alcides, &c.] This figure of Hercules is drawn with an eye to the position of the famous statue of Farnese.-P.

It were to be wished, that our author, whose knowledge and taste of the fine arts were unquestionable, had taken more pains in describing so famous a statue as that of the Farnesian Hercules, to which he plainly refers, for he has omitted the characteristical excellencies of this famous piece of Grecian workmanship ; namely, the uncommon breadth of the shoulders, the knottiness and spaciousness of the chest", the firmness and protuberance of the muscles in each limb, particularly the legs, and the majestic vastness of the whole figure, undoubtedly designed by the artist to give a full idea of strength, as the Venus de' Medicis of beauty. These were the “invicti membra Glyconis,” which, it is probable, Horace proverbially alluded to in his first epistle, v. 30. The name of Glycon is to this day preserved on the base of the figure as the maker of it ; and as the virtuosi, customarily in speaking of a picture or statue, call it their Raphael or Bernini, why should not Horace, in common speech, use the name of the workman instead of the work? To mention the Hesperian apples, which the artist fung backwards, and almost concealed as an inconsiderable object, and which therefore scarcely appear in the statue, was below the notice of Pope.—Warton. Ver. 85. Amphion there the loud] It may be imagined that these exLuxuriatque toris animosum pectus.

Virg. Georg. lib. iii. v. 81.

1

Citharon's echoes answer to his call,
And half the mountain rolls into a wall :

NOTES.

“ Sed

pressions are too bold ; and a phlegmatic critic might ask, how it was possible to see, in sculpture, arches bending, and towers growing? But the best writers in speaking of pieces of painting and sculpture, use the present or imperfect tense, and talk of the things as really doing, to give a force to the description. Thus Virgil :

Gallos in limine adesse canebat.” “ Incedunt victæ longo ordine gentes,

Quam variæ linguis, habitu tam vestis et armis.” As Pliny says that Clesilochus painted “ Jovem muliebriter ingemiscentem.” And Homer, in his beautiful and lively description of the shield,

-έν δ' άρα τοίσιν

Αυλοί, φόρμιγγές τε βοήν έχον. And again,

Μυκηθμώ δ' από κόπρου επισσεύοντο νομόνδε,

Παρ ποταμών κελάδοντα.In another place,

Λίνον υπό καλόν άειδε. . Upon which Clarke has made an observation that surprises me : quomodo in scuto Depingi potuit, quem caneret citharista ?”

This passage must not be parted with, till we have observed the artful rest upon the first syllable of the second verse :

“Amphion there the loud-creating lyre

Strikes.”
There are many instances of such judicious pauses in Homer :

Αυτάρ έπειτ' αυτοϊσι βέλος έχεπευκές εφιείς

Βάλλ'.
And in Milton,

As over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook.”

“ Others on the grass

Couch'd.” And of his blindness,

“ But not to me returns

Day.”
In the spirited speech of Satan,

“ All good to me becomes

Bane." These monosyllables have much force and energy ; the Latin language does not admit of such. Virgil, therefore, who so well understood and copied all the secret arts and charms of Homer's versification, has afforded us no examples ; yet, some of his pauses on words of more syllables in the beginning of lines are emphatical :

“ Vox quoque per lucos vulgo exaudita silentes,
Ingens."

“ Hærent infixi pectore vultus

Verbaque."—Warton. Ver. 88. mountain rolls] Dennis idly objected to these lines, because motion cannot be represented in sculpture. But Virgil, in his shield, represents motion ; in one instance, perhaps, he carries the idea too far : Mulcere alternos.

[Motion

There might you see the length’ning spires ascend,
The domes swell up, the wid’ning arches bend, 90
The growing tow’rs like exhalations rise,
And the huge columns heave into the skies.

The Eastern front was glorious to behold,
With di'mond flaming, and barbaric gold.
There Ninus shone, who spread th’ Assyrian fame, 95
And the great founder of the Persian name:
There in long robes the royal Magi stand,
Grave Zoroaster waves the circling wand,
The sage Chaldæans, rob’d in white, appear’d,
And Brachmans, deep in desert woods rever'd. 100
These stopp'd the moon, and callid th' unbodied shades
To midnight banquets in the glimm’ring glades;

NOTES.

Motion may be represented, but not change of motion.-Warton.

Had Warton forgot the description of the woman, represented on the bowl of Theocritus ?- Bowles.

Ver. 96. And the great founder of the Persian name :] Cyrus was the beginning of the Persian, as Ninus was of the Assyrian monarchy. The Magi and Chaldæans (the chief of whom was Zoroaster) employed their studies upon magic and astrology, which was, in a manner, almost all the learning of the ancient Asian people. We have scarce any account of a moral philosopher, except Confucius, the great lawgiver of the Chinese, who lived about two thousand years ago.-P.

Ver. 101. These stopp'd the moon,] These superstitions of the East are highly striking to the imagination. Since the time that poetry has been forced to assume a more sober, and perhaps a more rational air, it scarcely ventures to enter the fairy regions. There are some, however, who think it has suffered by deserting these fields of fancy, and by totally laying aside the descriptions of magic and enchantment. What an exquisite picture has Thomson given us, in his delightful Castle of Indolence !

“ As when a shepherd of the Hebrid isles,
Plac'd far amid the melancholy main,
(Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles,
Or that aërial beings sometimes deign
To stand, embodied, to our senses plain)
Sees on the naked hill, or valley low,
The whilst in ocean Phoebus dips his wain,
A vast assembly moving to and fro,
Then all at once in air dissolves the wond'rous show."

CASTLE OF INDOLENCE, Stan, xxx. b. 1. I cannot at present recollect any solitude so romantic, or peopled with beings so proper to the place and the spectator. The mind naturally loves to lose itself in one of these wildernesses, and to forget the hurry, the noise, and splendour of more polished life ; as in the following beautiful stanza of The Minstrel

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