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Such was the life great Scipio once admir’d,
Thus Atticus, and TRUMBAL thus retir’d.

Ye sacred Nine ! that all my soul possess,
Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless,
Bear me, oh bear me to sequester'd scenes,
The bow'ry mazes, and surrounding greens :
To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill,
Or where ye Muses sport on COOPER's Hill.
(On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow

265 While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall

flow)
I seem through consecrated walks to rove,
I hear soft music die along the grove:
Led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade,
By god-like Poets venerable made :

270

NOTES.

Ver. 263.] Denham, says Dr. Johnson, seems to have been, at least among us, the author of a species of composition that may be denominated Local Poetry, of which the fundamental subject is some particular landscape, to be poetically described, with the addition of such embellishments as may be supplied by historical retrospection, or incidental meditation. Cooper's Hill, if it be maliciously inspected, will not be found without its faults; the digressions are too long, the morality too frequent, and the sentiments such as will not bear a rigorous inquiry. It was first printed at Oxford, in 1633.

Warton.

VARIATIONS.
Ver. 267. It stood thus in the MS.

Methinks around your holy scenes I rove,
And hear your music echoing through the grove :
With transport visit each inspiring shade,
By god-like Poets venerable made.

Here his first lays majestic DENHAM sung;
There the last numbers flow'd from COWLEY'S

tongue.
O early lost! what tears the river shed,
When the sad pomp along his banks was led ?
His drooping swans on ev'ry note expire, 275
And on his willows hung each Muse's lyre.

NOTES.

Ver. 271. majestic Denham) Pope, by the expression of "majestic,” has justly characterized the flow of Denham's couplets. It is extraordinary that Pope, who by this expression seems to have appreciated the general cast of harmony in Cooper's Hill, should have made his own cadences so regular and almost unvaried. Denham's couplets are often irregular, but the effect of the pauses in the following lines was obviously the result of a fine ear. The language truly suits the subject.

But his proud head the airy mountain hides
Among the clouds ; his shoulders and his sides
A shady mantle clothes ; his curled brows
Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows,

Whilst winds and storms his lofty forehead beat! Bowles. Ver. 272. There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue.] Mr. Cowley died at Chertsey on the borders of the Forest, and was from thence conveyed to Westminster.

Disgusted with the business and bustle of the world, and the intrigues of courts, Cowley thought to have found an exemption of all cares in retiring to Chertsey. Dr. Johnson wrote a Rambler to ridicule his wish to retire to America, and has published a Letter, vol. i. of bis Lives, p. 29, which he recommends to the perusal of all who pant for solitude. His house at Chertsey now belongs to Mr. Alderman Clarke.

Warton.

P.

VARIATIONS.
Ver. 275.

What sighs, what murmurs, fill'd the vocal shore !
His tuneful swans were heard to sing no more.

P.

Since fate relentless stopp'd their heav'nly voice, No more the forests ring, or groves rejoice; Who now shall charm the shades, where COWLEY

strung His living harp, and lofty Denham sung? 280 But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings ! Are these reviv'd ? or is it GRANVILLE sings! 'Tis yours, my Lord, to bless our soft retreats, And call the Muses to their ancient seats; To paint anew the flow'ry sylvan scenes, 285 To crown the forests with immortal greens, Make Windsor-hills in lofty numbers rise, And lift her turrets nearer to the skies ; To sing those honours you deserve to wear, And add new lustre to her silver star.

290 Here noble SURREY felt the sacred rage, SURREY, the GRANVILLE of a former age:

NOTES.

Ver. 282.] The Mira of Granville was the Countess of Newburgh. Towards the end of her life Dr. King, of Oxford, wrote a very seyere satire against her, in three books, 4to, called The Toast.

Warton. Ver. 29). Here noble Surrey.] Henry Howard Earl of Surrey, one of the first refiners of the English poetry; who flourish'd in the time of Henry VIII.

P.

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 290. her silver star.] All the lines that follow were not added to the poem till the year 1710. What immediately followed this, and made the conclusion, were these;

My humble Muse in unambitious strains
Paints the green forests and the flow'ry plains ;
Where I obscurely pass my careless days,
Pleas'd in the silent shade with empty praise,
Enough for me that to the list'ning swains
First in these fields I sụng the sylvan strains.

P.

Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance,
Bold in the lists, and graceful in the dance :
In the same shades the Cupids tun'd his lyre, 295
To the same notes, of love, and soft desire:
Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow, ·
Then fill'd the groves, as heav'nly Mira now.

Oh would'st thou sing what heroes Windsor bore,
What kings first breath'd upon her winding shore,
Or raise old warriors, whose ador'd remains
In weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains !
With Edward's acts adorn the shining page,
Stretch his long triumphs down through ev'ry age,

NOTES.

Ver. 297. Fair Geraldine,) “ The Fair Geraldine, (says Mr. Warton in his Hist. of English Poetry, vol. iii.) the general object of Lord Surrey's passionate sonnets, is commonly said to have lived at Florence, and to have been of the family of the Geraldi of that city. This is a misapprehension of an expression in one of our poet's odes, and a passage in Drayton's Heroic Epistles. She was, undoubtedly, one of the daughters of Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare. · In the History of English Poetry, vol. iii. p. 12. is a poem of the elegiac kind, in which he laments his imprisonment in Windsor Castle.

Warton. Ver. 303. Edward's acts] Edward III. born here. P.

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 !
No pitying heart, no eye afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.

Which

VARIATIONS.
Ver. 300. What kings first breath'd, &c.]

Not to recount those several kings, to whom
It gave a cradle, and to whom a tomb.”

66

Denham.

Draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressi's glorious field,
The lilies blazing on the regal shield :
Then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall,
And leave inanimate the naked wall,
Still in thy song should vanquish'd France appear,
And bleed for ever under Britain's spear.

310 Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn, And palms eternal flourish round his urn.

NOTES.

Which is followed by that striking question,

Is the sable warrior fled ?-
Thy son is gone. He rests among

the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noontide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.

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 rather 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. iž. 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, and 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 6,845l.” 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

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 307. Originally thus in the MS.

When Brass decays, when Trophies lie o’erthrown,
And mould'ring into dust drops the proud stome.

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