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In Imitation of VIRGIL'S POLLIO.
E Nymphs of Solyma! begin the fong:
To heav'nly themes fublimer strains belong.
Rapt into future times, the Bard begun:
VER. 8. A Virgin fhall conceive-All crimes fhall cease, etc.] VIRG. E. iv. ✯ 6.
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna;
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.
"Now the Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn re"turns, now a new progeny is fent down from high heaven. By "means of thee, whatever reliques of our crimes remain, fhalt "be wiped away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He "shall govern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his Father. ISAIAH, Ch. vii. 14. "Behold a Virgin fhall conceive and "bear a Son. · Chap. ix. 6, 7. Unto us a Child is born, unto "us a Son is given; the Prince of Peace: of the increase of his
Whose sacred flow'r with fragrance fills the skies:
66 government, and of his peace, there shall be no end: Upon "the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order and to "stablish it, with judgment, and with justice, for ever and ❝ever. P.
VER. 13. Ye Heav'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour, And in foft filence fhed the kindly fhow'r !] His Original fays, "Drop
down, ye heavens, from above, and let the fkies pour down "righteoufnefs: let the earth open, and let them bring forth "falvation, and let righteoufnefs fpring up together."---This is a very noble defcription of divine grace fhed abroad in the hearts of the faithful under the Gospel difpenfation. And the poet understood all its force, as appears from the two lines preceding thefe,--- Th' Ætherial Spirit, etc. The prophet describes this under the image of rain, which chiefly fits the first age of the Gofpel: The poet, under the idea of dew, which extends it to every age. And it was his purpose it should be fo understood, as appears from his expreffion of foft filence, which agrees with the common, not the extraordinary effufions of the Holy Spirit. The figurative term is wonderfully happy. He who would moralize the antient Mythology in the manner of Bacon, must say, that by the poetical nectar, is meant theological grace.
VER. 17. ancient fraud.] i. e. the fraud of the Serpent
a Ifai. xi. 1. Ch. xlv. 8. Ch. xxv. 4. Ch. ix. 7.
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, And white-rob'd Innocence from heav'n defcend. Swift fly the years, and rise th'expected morn! 2 1 Oh spring to light, aufpicious Babe, be born! See Nature haftes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring: See lofty Lebanon his head advance, See nodding forefts on the mountains dance: See fpicy clouds from lowly Saron rise, And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the skies! Hark! a glad voice the lonely defert chears; Prepare the way! a God, a God
IMITATIONS. VER. 23. See Nature haftes, etc.]
VIRG. E. iv.
At tibi prima, puer, nullo munufcula cultu,
"For thee, O Child, fhall the earth, without being tilled, produce her early offerings; winding ivy, mixed with Baccar, "and Colocafia with fmiling Acanthus. Thy cradle fhall pour "forth pleafing flowers about thee.
ISAIAH, Ch. Xxxv. † 1. "The wilderness and the folitary place fhall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and bloffom as "the rofe." Ch. Ix. 13. "The glory of Lebanon fhall come "unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, "to beautify the place of thy fanctuary. P.
VER. 29. Hark, a glad Voice, etc.]
VIRG. E. iv. 46.
Aggredere ô magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
Ch. xxxv. ✈ 2.
Ch. xl. 3, 4
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
Ipfi lætitia voces ad fydera jactant
Intonfi montes, ipfæ jam carmina rupes,
Ipfa fonant arbufta, Deus, deus ille Menalca! E. v. 62. "Oh come and receive the mighty honours: the time draws "nigh, O beloved offspring of the Gods, O great encrease of "Jove! The uncultivated mountains fend fhouts of joy to the "ftars, the very rocks fing in verfe, the very fhrubs cry out, A "God, a God!
ISAIAH, Ch. xl. 3, 4. "The voice of him that cryeth in "the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord! make strait "in the defert a high way for our God! Every valley shall be "exalted, and every mountain and hill fhall be made low, " and the crooked fhall be made firait, and the rough places. plain." Ch. iv. 23. "Break forth into finging, ye mountains! "O foreft, and every tree therein! for the Lord hath redeemed "Ifrael. P.
VER. 39. He from thick films fhall purge the vifual ray,] The fenfe and language fhew, that, by vifual ray, the poet meant the fight, or, as Milton calls it, indeed, fomething lefs boldly, the vifual nerve. And no critic would quarrel with the figure which calls the inftrument of vifion by the name of the caufe. But tho' the term be juft, nay noble, and even fublime, yet the exCh. xlii, 18. Ch. xxxv. 5, 6.
'Tis he th'obstructed paths of found fhall clear,
No figh, no murmur the wide world fhall hear, 45
Feeds from his hand, and in his bofom warms;
No more shall 'nation against nation rise,
preffion of thick films is faulty; and he fell into it by a common neglect of the following rule of good writing, "That when a "figurative word is ufed, whatfoever is predicated of it ought "not only to agree in terms to the thing to which the figure is "applied, but likewife to that from which the figure is taken." Thick films agree only with the thing to which it is applied, namely to the fight or eye; and not to that from which it is taken, Ch. xxv. 8. Ch. xl. 1. *Ch. ix, 6. Ch. ii. † 4.