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The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless ' ferpents lick the pilgrim's feet. 89
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilifk and speckled snake,
Pleas'd the

green

lustre of the scales survey, And with their forky tongue shall innocently play. Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise !

85 Exalt thy tow'ry head, and lift thy eyes!

See,

IMITATIONS.

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" The goats fall bear to the fold their udders diftended with milk : nor fall the herds be afraid of the greatest lions. The serpent ball die, and the herb that conceals poison shall die.

Isaiah, ch. xi. ver. 16, &c. The wo'f ball dwell with the lamb, and the leopard sball lie down with the kid, and the ca f and the young lion and the fatling together : and a little child ball lead them. -- And the lion shall eat Araw like the ox. And the sucking child fball play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child sball put his hand on the den of the cockatrice."

Pope. Ver. 80. From the words occidet et ferpens, it was idly concluded the old serpent, Satan, was meant.

WARTON. Ver. 85. Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise!] The thoughts of Isaiah, which compofe the latter part of the poem, are wonderfully elevated, and much above those general exclama. tions of Virgil, which make the loftieft parts of his Pollio :

“ Magnus ab integro fæclorum nafcitur ordo !

- toto surget gens aurea mundo!
--incipient magni procedere menses !

Aspice, venturo lætentur ut omnia fæclo !” &c.
The reader needs only to turn to the passages of Isaiah, here cited.

Pope,

4 Isaiah, ch. Ixv. ver. 25.

Ch. Ix. ver. 1.

1

See, a long race thy spacious courts adorn ;
See future fons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crouding ranks on ev'ry side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies !

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See barb'rous' nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend ;
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabæan springs !
For thee Idume's fpicy forests blow,

95 And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow. See heav'n its sparkling portals wide display, And break upon thee in a flood of day. . No more the rising " Sun shall gild the morn, Nor ev'ning Cynthia fill her silver horn; 100 But loft, diffolv'd in thy superior rays, One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze

O'erREMARKS. Ver. 87. See the very animated prophecy of Joad, in the seventh scene of Racine's Athaliah, perhaps the most sublime piece of poetry in the French language, and a chief ornament of that which is one of the best of their tragedies. In speaking of these paraphrases from the sacred scriptures, I cannot forbear mentioning Dr. Young's nervous and noble paraphrase of the book of Job, and Mr. Pitt's of the third and twenty.fifth chapters of the same book, and also of the fifteenth chapter of Exodus. '

WARTON. Ver. 100. Cynthia is an improper because a classical word.

WARTON. Ver. 102. One tide of glory,] Here is a remarkable fine effect of versification: The poet rises with his subject, and the correspon. dent periods seem to flow more copious and majestic with the grandeur and sublimity of the theme. s Isai. ch. lx. ver. 4.

: Ch. lx. ver 3. 6.

* Ch. lx, ver. 19, 20.

u Ch. lx. ver.

O'erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine
Reveald, and God's eternal day be thine !
The * seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away ;

106 But fix'd his word, his faving pow'r remains: Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns !

* Isaiah, ch. li. ver. 6. and Ch. liv. ver. 10.

THIS is certainly the most animated and sublime of all our Author's compofitions, and it is manifestly owing to the great original which he copied Haiah abounds in striking and magnifiCent imagery. See Mr. Mason's paraphrase of the r4th chapter of this exalted prophet. Dr. Johnson, in his youth, gave a tranflation of this piece, which perhaps has been praised and magnified beyond its merits.

I find and feel it impossible to conclude these remarks on Pope's Messiah, without mentioning another poem taken also from Isaiah, the noble and magnificent Ode on the Destruction of Babylon, which Dr. Lowth hath given us in the thirteenth of his Prelections on the Poetry of the Hebrews ; and which, the scene, the actors, the fentiinents, and diction, all contribute to place in the first rank of the sublime: these Prelections, abounding in remarks entirely new, delivered in the purest and most expressive language, have been received and read with almoft universal approbation, both at home and abroad, as being the richest augmentation literature has in our times received, and as tending to illustrate and recommend the Holy Scriptures in an uncommon degree,

WARTON. Dr. Johnson's Latin translation of this Poem is certainly inaccurate, and it contains many expressions which, as Dr. Warton observes, are not classical. I have another Latin translation before me, with which I was favoured by Mr. Todd, printed at Naples 1760, and entitled, “ Meflias, Ecloga facra Anglice, ab Alexan. dro Popio, Latine reddita a Gulielmo Bermingham, Presbytero." This translation is in some parts well executed, but in general it is deficient in poetic harmony and effect, and often offends taste and propriety. If Pope has here and there offended, by detailing a great idea, his Translator exceeds him in this respect. It is not sufficient that Lebanon should “ advance his head,” but he is made to leap up,Ariking the stars with his nearer top.

Emicat en Libanus propiore cacumine pulsans

Altra ! Saron also,

Valle Spreta,

roseis petit æthera pennis ! This is doing to Pope, exactly what he has done, in some passages, to the awful sublimity of Isaiah. I do not however speak this in difpraise; for, all things considered, the Messiah is as fine and masterly a piece of composition, as the English language, in the same style of verse, can boast. I have ventured to point out a passage or two, (for they are rare,) where the fublimity has been weakened by epithets; and I have done this, because it is a fault; particularly with young writers, so common.

In the most truly sublime images of scripture, the addition of a sing'e word would often destroy their effect. It is therefore right to keep as nearly as poflible to the very words. No one understood better than Mil. ton, where to be general, and where particular; where to adopt the very expression of scripture, and where it was allowed to para. phrase.

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