« EdellinenJatka »
The God appear'd: he turn’d his azure eyes Where Windsor-domes and pompous turrets rise ; Then bow'd and spoke; the winds forget to roar, And the hush'd waves glide softly to the shore.
Hail, facred Peace! hail long-expected days, 355 That Thames's glory to the stars shall raise !
Tho' PARALLEL PASSAGES. VER. 351. His azure eyes.] Milton has green-eyed Neptune ; and Virgil, of Proteus, Geor. iv. " Ardentes oculos intorsit lumine glauco.”
Warton's Edition of Milton, p. 311. VER. 354.] “ And roll themselves asleep upon thie shore.”
Dryden's Ann. Mir.
STEVENS, NOTES. It may be said, however, that all the epithets, in a description of this fort, cannot be equally significant ; but surely something more Atriking should have been given as circumstantially characteristic of such rivers as the Isis and Thames, than that they were
or wind. ing” and “ fruitful”—or of the Kennet, when it was renowned for “ silver eels.”
The expression “ fullen Mole” is from Milton. The Mole finks through its sands, in dry fummers, into an invisible channel under ground at Mickleham, near Dorking, Sury.
VER. 350.] Our poet was not deterred, from the censure which Addison paffed in his Campaign, on railing and personifying rivergods, from giving us this fine description, in which Thames appears and speaks with suitable dignity and importance. How much fuperior is this picture to that of Boileau's Rhine ; who repre. sents the Naiads as alarming the God with an account of the march of the French Monarch ; upon which the River God alsumes the appearance of an old experienced commander, Aies to a Dutch fort, and exhorts the garrison to dispute the intended pas. fage. The Rhine, marching at their head, and observing Mars and Bellona on the fide of the enemy, is so terrified with the view of thcle fuperior divinities, that he molt gallantly runs away, and
Tho' Tiber's streams immortal Rome behold,
Ver. 363. Originally thus in the MS.
Let Venice boaft her Tow'rs amidst the Main,
leaves the great hero Louis XIV. in quiet poffeffion of his banks. -So much for a true court poet, who would not have dared to write the eight last lines of this speech of Thames, from v. 415. The lines of Addison in the Campaign were ; Gods may
defcend in factions from the skies, And rivers from their oozy beds arise. I cannot forbear mentioning, that the very first composition that made the young Racine known at Paris was his Ode from the Nymph of the Seine to the Queen, which ode, by the way, was corrected by Chapelain, at that time in high vogue as a critic, and by him recommended to the court.
The shady empire shall retain no trace
371 Of war or blood, but in the sylvan chace; The trumpet sleep, while chearful horns are blown, And arms employ'd on birds and beasts alone. Behold! th' ascending Villas on my side 375 Project long shadows o’er the crystal tide; Behold! Augusta's glitt'ring spires increase, And Temples rise, the beauteous works of Peace. I see, I fee, where two fair cities bend Their ample bow, a new Whitehall ascend ! There mighty Nations shall enquire their doom, The World's great Oracle in times to come; There Kings shall sue, and suppliant States be seen Once more to bend before a British QUEEN. Thy trees, fair Windsor! now shall leave their woods,
385 And half thy forests rush into thy floods,
Now shall our feets the bloody Cross display
Pope. The original lines were rejected, probably as tog nearly resembling a paffage in Comus,
“ And the gilded car of vlay
His glowing axie doth allay
NOTES. Ver. 378. And Temples rije,] The fifiy new Churches. Popi.
Ver. 380. a new Whitehall] “ Several plates of the intended palace of Whitehall have been given, but, I believe, from no
Bear Britain's thunder, and her Cross display,
395 And Phoebus warm the rip’ning ore to gold. The time shall come, when free as seas or wind Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind,
finished design of Inigo Jones. The four great sheets are evi. dently made up from general hints, nor could such a source of invention and talte, as the mind of Inigo, ever produce so much sameness. The strange kind of cherubims on the towers at the end are preposterous ornaments, and whether of Inigo or not, bear no relation to the reit. The great towers in the front are too near, and evidently borrowed from what he had seen in Gothic, not in Roman buildings. The circular court is a pic. turesque thought, but without meaning or utility." WALPOLE.
VER. 385. Thy trees, fair Windfor!] This return to the trees of Windsor Foreit, his original subject, is maiterly and judicious ; and the whole speecta of Thames is highly animated and poeti. cal, forcible and rich in diction, as it is copious and noble in imagery.
VER. 391.] Here is almost a prophecy of those discoveries of new islands and continents which this country of late years has had the honour to make.
WARTON. Ver. 398. Unbounded Thames, &c.] A with that London may be made a Free Port.
Whole nations enter with each swelling tide,
To hear the favage youth repeat
Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves, says Mr. Gray, most beautifully in his ode; dusky loves is more accurate than sable ; they are not negroes.