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Let the loud trumpet sound,
The shrill echos rebound:
Hark! the numbers foft and clear
And fill with spreading sounds the skies;
NOTES. subject. But it does not seem to have been observed, that, long before, Ben Jonson had given a model of this very species of a regular Pindaric ode, addreft to Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morrison, page 233 of his works, folio, in which he entitles each stanza the turne, the counter-turne, and the stand. Though Congreve's ode is not extraordinary, yet the discourse prefixed to it has a great deal of learning. Dr. Akcntide frequently mentioned to me, as one of the best of the regular Findaric odes, Fenton's to Lord Gower, 1716. Mr. Gray was of opinion, that the stanzas of these regular odes ought not to confiit of above nine lines each, at the most.
WA'RTON. VER. 7. Let the loud trumpet found,] Warburton speaks too highly of the imitation of the founds here intended as an echo to the sense. The stanza exhibits too much the appearance of art: ers est celare artem. The great difficulty of giving effect to those passages where the sound is meant to be an echo of the sense, is, in making it appear that the words naturally flow from the subject. The lines “ While in more lengthen’d, &c.” to “ And fill with spreading sounds the skies,” are finely expressed, the harmony appears naturally to proceed with the subject; but the two next lines, “ Exulting in triumph, &c.” give an idea of 21t, and beside they very inadequately represent the lofty variety of the organ. The four concluding lines are beautiful.
'Till, by degrees, remote and finall,
The strains decay,
And melt away,
Nor swell too high, nor fink too low.
Or, when the soul is press’d with cares,
Exalts her in enliv’ning airs.
Melancholy lifts her head,
Liftning Envy drops her snakes ;
Ver. 22.] This stanza much resembles the fifth of Congreve's mulic ode; the second of which, by the way, is uncommonly good. It is remarkable that Pope knew nothing of music, and had no ear for it ; as had Milton, Gray, and Mason. WARTON.
VER. 35.) Dr. Greene set this ode to music in 1730, as an exercise for his Doctor's Degree at Cambridge, on which occafion Pope made confiderable alteration in it, and added the following stanza in this place :
Amphion thus bade wild diffenfion cease,
From various discords, to create
The music of a well-tun'd state;
Those useful touches to impart,
That strike the subject's answering heart,
From sacred union and consent of things.
Sad Orpheus sought his consort loft ;
WARTON. VER. 40. While Argo] Few images in any poet, ancient or modern, are more striking than that in Apollonius, where he says, that when the Argo was failing near the coast where the Centaur Chiron dwelt, he came down to the very margin of the sea, bringing his wife with the
Achilles in her arms, that he might shew the child to his father Peleus, who was on his
with the other Argonauts. Apollonius Rhodius, Lib. i. v. 558.
Transported demi-gods stood round,
Enflam'd with glory's charms :
To arms, to arms, to arms!
Love, strong as Death, the Poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,
Ver. 48. To arms, to arms,] All this is finely worked up: the images are poetical; the effect of music is described by adequate and striking circumstances :
Each chief his fev'nfold shield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade, &c. STANZA IV.] The transition to another key (if I may say so) in this stanza, is judicious, and in the spirit of Poetry and Music.
Ver. 49. But when] See Divine Legation, Book ii. fect. s. where Orpheus is considered as a Philosopher, a Legislator, and a Myftagogue. In vol v. of the Memoirs of Inscriptions, &c. p. 117, is a very curious differtation upon the Orphic Life, by the Abbé Fraguier. He was the first critic who rightly interpreted the words of Horace, Cadibus et fædo vietu, as meaning an abolition of eating human flesh.
Though the Hymns that remain are not the work of the real Orpheus, yet are they extremely ancient, certainly older than the Expedition of Xerxes against Greece.
O'er all the dreary coasts!
See, shady forms advance!
And the pale spectres dance ;
VER. 56.] The short lines here have a bad effect; but the images at the conclusion are forcibly painted, with the exception of the “ pale spectres” that “ dance;" a line, as Dr. Warton observes, very improper, because it gives a ludicrous idea. Ver. 66.] This line is taken from an ode of Cobb.
WARTON. STANZA V. By the fireams, &c.] The modulation and change here are very beautiful.