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Draw monarchs chain’d, and Cressi's glorious field, 305
In what an exquisite strain does Gray speak of this monarch, and his son!
Mighty victor, mighty lord,
Low on his funeral couch he lies !
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled ?
The Bard, strophe 2. I have sometimes wondered that Pope did not mention the building of Windsor Castle by Edward III. His architect was William of Wykeham, whose name, it must not be wondered at, if I seize every opportunity of mentioning with veneration and gratitude. Yet, perhaps, he was ratber the supervisor and comptroller of the work, than the actual architect, as he had singular talents for business, activity, and management of affairs.Warton.
Ver. 307.] “ Without much invention, (says Mr. Walpole, vol. i. p. 59,) and with less taste, Verrio's exuberant pencil was ready at pouring out gods, goddesses, kings, emperors, and triumphs, over those public surfaces, on which the eye never rests long enough to criticise, aud where one should be sorry to place the works of a better master ; I mean ceilings and staircases. He received, in all, for his various works, the sum of 6,8451."Bowles.
Ver. 311. Henry mourn,] Henry VI.-P.
How could he here omit the mention of Eton College, founded by this unfortunate King, and the Chapel of King's College in Cambridge. But Gray has made ample amends for this omission, by his most beautiful ode on the prospect of this neighbouring college, from which so many ornaments and supports of state and church have proceeded.-Warton.
Ver, 314. once-fear'd Edward sleeps :] Edward IV.-P.
When Brass decays, when Trophies lie o’erthrown,
Whom not th' extended Albion could contain, 315
Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known,
Ver. 316.] See an account of Belerium, so called from Bellerus, a Cornish giant, that part
wall lled the Land's End, in Warton's, edition of Milton's Poems, p. 28.-Warton.
Cape Cornwall is called by geographers Promontorium Bolericum, but by Diodorus Siculus, v. 21, Belerium. The same place is intended in Milton's Lycidas, v. 160.
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.—Wakefield. Ver. 319. Make sacred Charles's] Vigneul-Marville, v. 1, p. 152, relates a fact concerning this unhappy Monarch that I do not find mentioned in any history : which he says Lord Clarendon used to mention when he retired to Rouen in Normandy ; that one of the first circumstances that gave
disgust to the people of England, and to some of the nobility, was a hint thrown out by Charles I. at the beginning of his reign, that he thought all the ecclesiastical revenues that had been seized and distributed by Henry VIII. ought to be restored to the church.-Warton,
Ver. 321. Originally thus in the MS.
Oh fact accurst! oh sacrilegious brood,
Gods! what new wounds, &c.
Till Anna rose and bade the Furies cease ;
Ver. 328. The world obey'd, and all was Peace !)
Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, Peace.” Milton. VOL. II.
In that blest moment, from his oozy bed Old father Thames advanc'd his rev'rend head
330 His tresses dropp'd with dews, and o'er the stream His shining horns diffus'd a golden gleam; Gravid on his urn appear'd the moon, that guides His swelling waters, and alternate tides ; The figur'd streams in waves of silver rolld, 335 And on her banks Augusta rose in gold. Around his throne the sea-born brothers stood, Who swell with tributary urns his flood : First the fam'd authors of his ancient name, The winding Isis and the fruitful Thame;
340 The Kennet swift, for silver eels renown'd; The Lodden slow, with verdant alders crown'd; Cole, whose dark streams his flow'ry islands lave; And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave:
COMPOSITIS VENERANTUR ARMIS.
Ver. 329.] It may gratify a curious reader to see an extract of a letter of Prior to Lord Bolingbroke, written from Paris, May 18, 1713, concerning a medal that was to be struck on the Peace of Utrecht, so highly celebrated in this passage : communicated to me by the favour of the late Duchess Dowager of Portland.
“ I dislike your medal, with the motto, I will have one of my own design ; the Queen's bust surrounded with laurel, and with this motto,
FELICI, PACIFICÆ : Peace in a triumphal car,
and the words,
PAX MISSA PER ORBEM. This is ancient, this is simple, this is sense.
Rosier shall execute it, in a manner not seen in England since Simonds's time."-Warton.
From shore to shore exulting shouts he heard,
Ver. 341. The Kennet swift, for silver eels renown'd;]
The crystal Trent, for fords and fish renown'd.”— Drayton.
The blue, transparent Vandalis appears ;
345 The gulphy Lee his sedgy tresses rears; And sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood; And silent Darent, stain'd with Danish blood.
High in the midst, upon his urn reclin’d, (His sea-green mantle waving with the wind) 350 The God appear’d: he turn'd his azure eyes Where Windsor-domes and pompous turrets rise ; Then bow'd and spoke; the winds forget to roar, And the hush'd waves glide softly to the shore.
“Hail, sacred Peace! hail, long-expected days, 355 That Thames's glory to the stars shall raise ! Tho' Tiber's streams immortal Rome behold, Tho' foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold,
Ver. 350.] Our poet was not deterred, from the censure which Addison passed in his Campaign, on raising and personifying river-gods, from giving us this fine description, in which Thames appears and speaks with suitable dignity and importance. How much superior is this picture to that of Boileau's Rhine ; who represents the Naiads as alarming the God with an account of the march of the French Monarch ; upon which the River God assumes the appearance of an old experienced commander, flies to a Dutch fort, and exhorts the garrison to dispute the intended passage. The Rhine, marching at their head, and observing Mars and Bellona on the side of the enemy, is so terrified with the view of these superior divinities, that he most gallantly runs away, and leaves the great hero, Louis XIV. in quiet possession of his banks.-So much for a true court poet, who would not have dared to write the eight last lines of this speech of Thames, from v. 415. The lines of Addison in the Campaign were ;
Gods may descend in factions from the skies,
And rivers from their oozy beds arise. I cannot forbear mentioning, that the very first composition that made the
young Racine known at Paris, was his Ode from the Nymph of the Seine to the Queen, which ode, by the way, was corrected by Chapelain, at that time in high vogue as a critic, and by him recommended to the court.-Warton.
PARALLEL PASSAGES. Ver. 348. stain'd with Danish blood.]
“ And the old Lee brags of the Danish blood." --Drayton. Ver. 351. his azure eyes] Milton has green-eyed Neptune ; and Virgil, of Proteus, Geor. iv. “ Ardentes oculos intorsit lumine glauco.”
Warton's Edition of Milton, p. 311.-Bowles. Ver. 354. “ And roll themselves asleep upon the shore.".
Dryden's Ann. Mir.- Stevens.
From heav'n itself tho' sev’nfold Nilus flows,
375 Project long shadows o'er the crystal tide; Behold! Augusta's glittring spires increase, And Temples rise, the beauteous works of Peace. I see, I see, where two fair cities bend Their ample bow, a new Whitehall ascend ! 380 There mighty Nations shall inquire their doom, The World's great Oracle in times to come;
Ver. 378. And Temples rise,] The fifty new churches.-P. Ver. 380. a new Whitehall] “ Several plates of the intended palace of Whitehall have been given, but, I believe, from no finished design of Inigo Jones. The four great sheets are evidently made up from general hints, nor could such a source of invention and taste, as the mind of Inigo, ever produce so much sameness. The strange kind of cherubims on the towers at the end are preposterous ornaments, and whether of Inigo or not, bear no relation to the rest. The great towers in the front are too near, and evidently borrowed from what he had seen in Gothic, not in Roman buildings. The circular court is a picturesque thought, but without meaning or utility."-Walpole.
Ver. 363. Originally thus in the MS.
Let Venice boast her Tow'rs amidst the Main,