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These, were my breast inspir'd with equal flame,
Like them in beauty, fhould be like in fame.
Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain,
Here earth and water seem to strive again;
Not Chaos-like together crush'd and bruis’d,
But, as the world, harmoniously confus’d:

Where

REMARKS.

VER. 9. inspir'd with equal flame,] That is (as I understand it), if the Poet were inspired with Milton's poetical flame, then these groves, which resemble the groves of Eden, and which, though vanisb’d, revive in his song--these groves (of Windsor) should be like in fame, as in beauty. Dr. Warton thinks there is an inconsistency, but I must confess I do not perceive it; at least, I think there is no expression here used but such as is fairly allowable in Poetry VER. 10. Like them in beauty, should be like in fame] 66 Like him in birth thou should it be like in fame.

As thine his fate, if mine had been his fame.” DENHAM.

NOTES.

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fore must evidently' fail, as he could not describe what his phy. fical infirmities prevented his obferving. For the same reason, Johnson, as a critic, was not a proper judge of this sort of Poetry,

Before this descriptive poem on Windsor-Forett, I do not recollect any other professed compofition on local scenery, except the Poems of the Authors already mentioned. For Milton's Allegro, though in part perhaps taken from real scenery, cannot be claffed with poems written professedly on particular spots. Denham's is certainly the best, prior to Pope's: his description of London at a distance, is sublime :

“ Under his proud survey the City lies,

And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise,
Whose state and wealth, the bus'ness and the crowd,
Seems at this distance but a darker cloud."

Where order in variety we see,

15 And where, tho' all things differ, all agree. Here waving groves a chequer'd scene display, And part admit, and part exclude the day; As some coy nymph her lover's warm address Nor quite indulges, nor can quite repress. There, interspers’d in lawns and op’ning glades, Thin trees arise that shun each other's shades. Here in full light the russet plains extend: There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills afcend.

Ev'n

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REMARKS. Ver. 17. Here waving groves, &c.] This descriptive passage is not touched with the hand of a great Painter ; the distances, the objects, the light, and shade, are not sufficiently marked :-all is in light, except where it is said,

There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills ascend;" which is well contrasted with the line before,

“ Here in full light the ruffet plains extend." An old oak, or foine particular tree, more circumstantially de. fcribed, might have been brought into the fore ground ; --- but a candid Critic is only to examine what is done, not what might be done. Let me be however excused for saying this, as I am convinced that, in all poetical delineations of rural scenery, the great principles of painting should be kept in mind ; and it is fingular, that in a Poem on a Forest, the majestic oak, the deer, and many other interesting and characteristic circumstances, should be all thrown in the distant ground, whilst objects much less appropriate, the fiber, the fowler, &c. are brought forward.

NOTES. Ver. 15.] Evidently from Cooper's Hill: « Such was the discord which did first disperse

Form, order, beauty, thro' the universe,” WARTON. Ver. 19.] It is a falfe thought, and gives, as it were, fentiment to the groves.

WARTON.

Ev’n the wild heath displays her purple dyes, 23
And 'midst the desert fruitful fields arise,
That crown’d with tufted trees and springing corn,
Like verdant isles the fable waste adorn.
Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
The weeping amber, or the balmy tree,

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While by our oaks the precious loads are born,
And realms commanded which those trees adorn.
Not proud Olympus yields a nobler fight,
Tho' Gods assembled grace his tow’ring height,

Than

VARIATIONS.
VER. 25. Originally thus:

Why should I fing our better suns or air,
Whose vital draughts prevent the leach's care,
While through fresh fields th' enliv’ning odours breathe,
Or spread with vernal blooms the purple heath? POPE,

NOTES. VER. 33. Not proud Olympus, &c.] Sir J. Denham, in his Cooper's Hill, had faid,

“ Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears,

But Atlas only, which supports the spheres." The comparison is childish, as the taking it from fabulous history destroys the compliment. Our Poet has shewn more judgment; he has made a manly ufe of as fabulous a circumstance by the artful application of the mythology,

“ Where, in their blessings, all those Gods appear," &c. Making the nobility of the hills of Windsor-Forest to confift in fupporting the inhabitants in plenty.

WARBURTON, This appears an idle play on the word “supporting.” Warton.

The whole passage is indeed puerile, and the making the hills nobler than Olympus with all its Gods, because the Gods appear'd in their blessings on the humbler mountains of Windsor, is a thought only to be excused in a very young writer.- This, howe ever, Warburton calls a “ beautiful turn of wil !!!

Than what more humble mountains offer here, 35
Where, in their blessings, all those Gods appear.
See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd,
Here blushing Flora paints th' enamel'd ground,
Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand; 40
Rich Industry fits smiling on the plains,
And peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns.

Not thus the land appear'a in ages past,
A dreary defert, and a gloomy waste,
To savage beasts and savage laws a prey,

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And kings more furious and severe than they ;
Who claim'd the skies, dispeopled air and floods,
The lonely lords of empty wilds and woods:
Cities laid waste, they storm'd the dens and caves,
(For wiser brutes were backward to be flaves,) 50
What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd,
And ev’n the elements a Tyrant sway'd ?
In vain kind seasons swell’d the teeming grain,
Soft show'rs distill’d, and suns grew warm in vain ;

The

VARIATIONS.

VER. 49. Originally thus in the MS.

From towns laid waste, to dens and caves they ran
(For who first stoop'd to be a Nave was man).

NOTES. Ver. 37.] The word crown'd is exceptionable; it makes Pan erowned with flocks.

WARTON.' VER. 45. savage luws] The Forest Laws. See the account of them in Blackstone's excellent Lectures; the killing a deer, boar, or kare, was punished with the loss of the delinquent's eyes. Wartox.

57, &c.

The swain with tears his frustrate labour yields, 55
And familh'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields.
What wonder then, a beast or subject slain
Were equal crimes in a despotic reign?
Both doom'd alike, for sportive Tyrants bled,
But while the subject starv'd, the beast was fed. 60
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man:
Our haughty Norman boasts that barb'rous name,
And makes his trembling flaves the royal game. 64
The fields are ravifh'd from th' industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes :

The
VARIATIONS.
Ver.

No wonder savages or subjects fain

But subjects ftarv'd, while savages were fed. It was originally thus, but the word “ savages” is not properly applied to beasts, but to men ; which occafioned the alteration.

Pore. NOTES. VER. 65. The fields are ravib'd, &c.] Alluding to the deAtruction made in the New Forest, and the tyrannies exercised there by William I.

PoPE. I have the authority of three or four of our best antiquarians to fay, that the common tradition of villages and parishes, within the

compass IMITATIONS. Ver. 65. The fields are ravisb'd from thinduftrious frains,

From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes:] Translated from

“ Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva colonis," an, old monkish writer, I forget who.

Pope. In Camden's Britannia, first edition, in the account of Somersetshire it is said of Edgar, “ Templa Deo, Templis Monachos, Monachis dedit agros."

WARTON.

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