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Hills, vales, and floods appear already cross'd,
Above the rest a rural nymph was fam'd, Thy offspring, Thames ! the fair Lodona nam'd;
Ver. 171. Dr. Johnson seems to have past too severe a censure on this episode of Lodona. A tale in a descriptive poet has certainly a good effect. See Thomson's Lavinia, and the many beautiful tales interwoven in the loves of the Plants. Warlon.
noy's Art of Painting, calls wonderfully fine, and says, “ they would cost him an hour, if he had the leisure, to translate them, there is so much of beauty in the original;” which was the reason, I suppose, why Mr. P. tried his strength with them. Warburton. Ver. 158. And earth rolls back,] He has improved his original,
“ terræque urbesque recedunt." Virg. Warburton. But no imitation of Virgil was here intended. Warlon.
(Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast, The Muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last.) Scarce could the Goddess from her nymph be known,
175 But by the crescent and the golden zone. She scorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care ; A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair ; A painted quiver on her shoulder sounds, And with her dart the flying deer she wounds. 180 It chanc'd, as eager of the chace, the maid Beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd, Pan saw and lov'd, and burning with desire Pursu'd her flight, her flight increas'd his fire. Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly, 185 When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky; Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves, When through the clouds he drives the trembling
doves; As from the God she flew with furious pace, Or as the God, more furious urg'd the chace. 190
Ver. 179.] From the fourth book of Virgil, who copied it from Homer's beautiful figure of Apollo, Iliad, b. i. ver. 46. But, as Dr. Clark finely and acutely observes, even Virgil has lost the beauty and the propriety of the original. Homer says, the arrows sounded in the quiver because the step of the God was hasty and irregular, as of an angry person. Irati describitur incessus, paulo utique inæquabilior.
Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears ;
Ver. 207. Still bears the name] The River Lodon.
Ver. 211. Oft in her glass, 8c.] These six lines were added after the first writing of this poem.
Ante pedes umbram ; nisi si timor illa videbat.
Crinales vittas afflabat anhelitus oris."
The wat’ry landskip of the pendant woods,
225 No lake so gentle, and no spring so clear. Nor Po so swells the fabling Poet's lays, While led along the skies his current strays, As thine, which visits Windsor's fam'd abodes, To grace the mansion of our earthly Gods : 230 Nor all his stars above a lustre show, Like the bright beauties on thy banks below; Where Jove, subdu'd by mortal passion still, Might change Olympus for a nobler hill. · Happy the man whom this bright Court approves,
235 His Sov’reign favours, and his country loves :
VARIATIONS. Ver. 233. It stood thus in the MS.
And force great Jove, if Jove's a lover still,
To change Olympus, &c.
Happy the man, who to these shades retires,
Happy next him, who to these shades retires, Whom Nature charms, and whom the Muse in
spires : Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please, Successive study, exercise, and ease.
240 He gathers health from herbs the forest yields, And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields : With chemic art exalts the min'ral pow'rs, And draws the aromatic souls of flow'rs : Now marks the course of rolling orbs on high; 245 O'er figur'd worlds now travels with his eye ; Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store, Consults the dead, and lives past ages o'er : Or wand'ring thoughtful in the silent wood, Attends the duties of the wise and good, 250 T'observe a mean, be to himself a friend, To follow nature, and regard his end; Or looks on heav'n with more than mortal eyes, Bids his free soul expatiate in the skies, Amid her kindred stars familiar roam,
255 Survey the region, and confess her home!
Ver. 251. T'observe a mean] This is marked as an imitation of Lucretius in the first, and all editions of Warburton ; but erroneously: the passage is in the second book of Lucan, v. 381.
Warton. The passage alluded to is :
Servare modum, finemque tenere,