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French an idea os pastoral romance, hat copied thia thought of our author; and, indeed, it becter suited such languid unnatural compositions as the .Mt rci, than the serious sensibility os the elegiac muse.
Ver. II. OSowley hat imitated thia; or rather, such conceits were in his way.
How happy here, should I
From deserts, solitude.
How much more truly does Prior represent the contentment which lovers feel in one another's company?
My conqueror now, my lovely Abra held
It ligh'd and griev'd, impatient of her stay; "1 Rcturn'd, she chas'd those sighs, that grief away; ( Her absence made the night, her presence made C the day. J
The pastoral writers often ascribe still greater force to the charms os their Galateas and Phyllises, perhaps very impertinently.
Ver. is- Thus finely imitated by Croxal:
Were I invited to a nectar feast
I" Alone—your company—to drink some tea."
I Let who would meet the beauty of the sky.
THE POEMS OF SULPICIA.
Soifi of the best modern commentators contend, that the little poems which compose this fourth book, are not the work of Tibullus. Their chief arguments are derived from the language and sentiment; in both which.it is said,and with more justice than is common on such occaGons, that they bear no resemblance to our poet's productions.
But if the following little pieces are not the compoCtion of Tibullus, to whom shall we impute them? Shall we, with Caspar Barthius, and Broekhufius, ascribe them to Sulpicia, the wife cf Calenus, who flourished in the reign of Domitian r This opinion is by no means improbable, for we know from Martial and hidonius Apolinaris, that Sulpicia was eminent in tbose days for her poetry.
Omnes Sulpiciam legant purll.c,
Tales egregiæ jocos suisse.
Udo crediderim Numæ sub antro.
Hac condiscipula, vcl hac magistra
Esses doctior & pudica Sappho:
Sed tecum paritcr simulque visam
Durus Sulpiciam Phaon amarct.
Fruftra: namque ea nec Tonantis uxor,
Nec Bacchi, nec Apollinis puclU,
Erepto sibi viverct Caleno.
, Mart. Lit. x. Ep. 35.
But to this proof, it is objected by Vulpius, that as the following pieces are of a strain different from those celebrated by Martial, so they could not be written by the wise of Calenus, but are Tibullus's; and that the Sulpicia they praise, was the daughter of Serviu* Sulpicius, the famous lawyer, some of whose epistles to Cicero, are still extant: Fur, flie who is called Sulpicia in this book, adds he, certainly lived in the reign of Augustus, as Horace himself mentions Cerinthus, and Messala is named in the eighth poem. To this ic may be answered, that it cannot be proved, that Sulpicia had never been in love before she married Calenus; or had never composed any other poems, besides those of the conjugal kind, so much extolled" by Martial? Nay, have we not our own testimony, that she wtote some thousands of pieces?
Cetera quin ctiam, quot denique millia lust '.
they abound with striking beauties; and that, upon the whale, those critics do Do great injury to Tibullus, who still ascribe them to that poe
As Sulpicia and Cerinthus perfectly understood one another, we must not expect in their poems I hose sillies and transitions of passion, that frantic ind despondent air, so observable in Tibullus : for I
1 these are the natural emanations of a heated fancy and a distracted heart. But the poem* before us abound in what the moderns denominate gallant flattery. Most of them show the poet and happy lover. They give us lit tre anecdotes of their passion, and make us regret we have Ho more.
GrREAT god of war ! Sulpicia, lovely maid,
l o grace your calends, is in pomp array'J.
f beauty warm* you, quit th' etherial height,
\'en Cytherea will indulge the sight:
iut while you gaze o'er all her matchless charms,
Beware your hands should meanly drop your arms!
iVhen Cupid would the gods with love surprise.
lights his torches at her radiant eyes. \ secret grace her every act improves, ^nd pleasing follows wheresoe'er she moves: If) f loose her hair upon her bosom plays; Jnnunmber'd charms that negligence betrays: )r if "tis plaited with a labour'd care, llike the labmir'd plaits become the fair. Vhether rich Tyrian robes her charms invest, •r all in snowy white the nymph is drest, ill, all she graces, still supremely fair, till charms spectators with a fond despair. i thousand dresses thus Vertumnus wears, ind beauteous equally in each appears. ao
The richest tints and deepest Tyrian hue, "othee, O wonderous maid! are solely due:
0 thee th' Arabian husbandman should bring
<nd come, bright PWœbus! with thy plausive lyre!
"his solemn festival harmonious praise,
'o theme so much deserves harmonious lays. 30
Whether, fierce churning boars! in meads ye stray,
•r haunt the shady mountain's devious way; Vhct not your tusks, my lovM Cerinthus Ipare!
Cupid! 1 consign him to your care. Vhat madness'tis, fliaijg'd trackless wilds to bear, Ind wound, with pointed thorns, your tender
O ! why to savage beasts your charms oppose? •'• 'th toils and bipod-hounds why their haunts en
close? * rhe lust of game decoys you far away; Ife blood-hounds perish, and ye toils decay! 10
Yet, yet could 1 with lov'd Cerinthus rove through dreary desarts, and the thorny grove:
1 he cumbrous meshes on my shonlders bear, And face the montten with my barbed spear;
(Could track the bounding stags through tainted
O ! without me ne'er taste the joys of love,
Come, Phœbus! with your loosely floating hair,
S'ill persevere to love th' inchanting maid:
O come! what honour will be yours, to save
Ok my account, to grief a ceaseless prey, Dost thou a sympathetic anguish prove 2
1 would not wiih to live another day.
If my recovery did not charm my love: For what were life, and healrh, and bloom to me, Were they displeasing,beauteous youth! to thee.
With feasts I'll ever grace the sacred morn,
In secret my Cerinthus bc^s the fame,
POEM VI. Accept, O natal queen! with placent air, The incense offer'd by the learned fair. She's rob'd in cheerful pomp, O power divine! She'srob'd to decorate your matron-shrine; Such her pretence; but well her lover knows Whence her gay look, and whence her finery flows.
Thou, who dost o'er the nuptial bed preside,"j O! let not envious night their joys divide, J. But make the bridegroom amorous as the bride !j So shall they tally, matchless lovely pair! A youth all transport, and a melting fair? lo Then let no spies their secret haunts explore , Teach them thy wiles, O love' and guard the door.
Assent, chaste queen! in purple pomp appear; Thrice wine is pour'd and cakes await you, here. Her mother tells her for what boon to pray; Her heart denies it, though her lips obey. She burns, that altar as the flames devour; She burns, and flights the safety in her power. 19 So may the boy, whose chains you proudly wear, Through youth the soft indulgent anguish bear; And when old age has chill'd his every vein, The dear remembrance may he still retain '.
At last the natal odious morn draws nigh, When to your cold, cold villa 1 must go;
There, far, too far from my Cerinthus sigh: Oh why, Meffala! will you plague ine so?
Let studious mortals prite the sylvan scene;
And ancient maidens hide them in the shade; Green tree« perpetually give me the spleen;
For crowds, lor joy, for Rome, Sulpicia'scnadc' 111.
Your too officious kindness gives me pain.
flow fall the hailstone*! hark! how howls the wind! I? Then know, to grace your birth day should I deijt,
My soul, my all, I leave at Rome behind.
Ar last the fair'sdetermin'd not to go;
My Lord! you know the whimsies of the so. Then let us gay carouse, let odours flow;
Your mind no longer with her absence vei: For O! consider, time incessant flics; But evety day's a birth-day to the wife.!
That I, descended of Patrician race,
To prey on garbage, and a stave adore!
Beyond what fiction ever feign'd of yore. Her friends may think Sulpicia is dilgrac'd; No! no! (lie honours your transcendent ui-;-"
If from the bottom of my love-sick heart,
You grasp'd my knees, and yet to let yo« pit—
Fame fays, my mistress loves another swain;
Let other maids, whose eyes less proffcree
But stop, my hand! beware what loose you scrawl, I Know, with a youth of worth, the night I
No—the remembrance charms!—liogonc, gri - | And cannot, cannot, for my foul repent!
NOTES OX SULPICIA'S POEMS.
Ver. a. One of the critics has observed upon this passage, that Venus must either have had great confidence in her own charms; or have been little solicitous what became of her paramour Mirs, to indulge him in this interview.
Ver. 6. When Euryclea, in the Odyssey (lib.xix ) discovers Ulysses (whom she was battling) by the fear in his leg, her joyful surprise is finely imagined, by her being ready to faint, and her dropping the jar of water. Nor less beautiful is the surprise testified by Paris, when by chance he beheld the fair bosom of Helen: Dun stupco vi'us (nam pocula forte ter.ebam)
Tortihs e digitis excidit anfa meis.
£f. Her. I'm. 2tl.
Menage, in his Bird-Catcher and Adonis, gives a no less sine instance of astonishment; but Milton has surpassed them al!, in the picture he has drawn of Adam's consternation and horror, upon heiug told by Eve that Die had eaten of the forbidden fruit, which is a beautiful contrast to the joy which she snowed in narrating the fact:
Thus Eve, with count'nance blithe, her story told,
Sect ix. I. 886.
What the author of this po-m ascribes to the power of beauty, Pindar ascribe* (pcrlups no less truly) to the force of harmony.
X;vrict. f$9u*yZ AfiXAw, dtc. Pytlt. OJ. I.
which the Ute Mr. West has thus poetically rendered:
Hail, goldin lyre! whose heaven invented string
To Pku'ous and the black hair'd nine belongs, Who, in sweet chorus, round t^ieir tuneful king,
Mix v ith thy sounding chords their sacred songs. The darce, gay queen of pleasure '. thee attends;
Thy jocund strains her listening feet inspire: And cath melodious tongue it* v..ice suspend*.
Till thou, great leader of the heavenly choir! With wanton art preluding, viv*!t the si;*n— Swella the full concert then with harmony divine.
DECADE II. Then, of their streaming lightnings all disarm il,
The smouldering thunderbolts of Jove expire: Then, by the music of thy nnmbcrs charm'd,
The birds tierce monarch drops his vengeful ire; Pernh'd on the sceptre of th' Olympian king,
The thrilling darts of harmony he feels;
While gentle sleep his closing eye-iid seals;
But what gave rise to this quotation follows Decade HI.
Ev'n Mars, stern god of violence and war.
Sooths with thy lulling strains his furious breast,
And, driving from his heart each bloody care,
Which image, as well as that of the eagle, are thus imitated by two excellent poets of our own days.
O ! sovereign of the willing soul
And frantic passions hear thy soft controul.
Ode by Gray i
Whit follows, is from Er. Akenfide's Hymn to the Naiads:
With emulation all the sounding choir, And bright Apollo, leader of the song, Their voices through the liquid air exalt, And sweep their lusty wings: those awfal strings, That charm the mind of gods; that sill the courts Of wide Olympus with oblivion sweet Of evils, with immortal rest from cares; Assuage the terrors of the throne of Jove; And quench the formidable thunderbolt Of unrelenting fire, with slacken'd wings, While now the solemn concert breathes aro.ind, Incumbent o'er the sceptre of his lord Sleeps the stern eagle, by the number d notes Poslel's'd, and satiate with the melting tone; Sovereign of birds. The furious god of war, I His darts forgetting, and the rapid wheel*