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CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND VIRGINS.

SEMICHORUS.
On Tyrant Love! hast thou poffeft

The prudent, learn'd, and virtuous breast?
Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim,
And Arts but foften us to feel thy flame.
Love, soft intruder, enters here,

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But ent'ring learns to be fincere.
Marcus with blushes owns he loves,
And Brutus tenderly reproves,
Why, Virtue, dost thou blame desire,

Which Nature has imprest,
Why, Nature, dost thou soonest fire
The mild and gen'rous breast?

Love's

IO

NOTES.

* Some of Dryden's short lyrical odes-and fongs are wonderfully harmonious; and not fufficiently noticed ; 'particularly in King Arthur, Act,111.

" O Sight! the mother of Desire," &c. The song alfo of the Syrens in Aa IV; and the Incantations in the Third Act of Edipus, put in the mouth of Tiresias ;

'Chufe the darkest part o'th' grove,

Such as ghosts at noon-day love," &c. Nor must his first ode for St. Cecilia's Day be forgotten, in which are paffages almoft equal to any of the second : especially its opening, and the second stanza that describes Jubal and his brethren.

WARTON

CHORUS

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Love's purer flames the Gods approve ;
The Gods and Brutus bend to love :

Brutus for absent Portia fighs,
And sterner Caffius melts at Junia's eyes.

What is loose love? a transient gust,
Spent in a sudden storm of lust,
A vapour fed from wild desire,
A wand'ring, self-consuming fire.
But Hymen's kinder flames unite,

And burn for ever one;
Chaste as cold Cynthia's virgin light,

Productive as the Sun,

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SEMICHORUS,

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Oh source of ev'ry social tye,
United wish, and mutual joy!

What various joys on one attend,
As fon, as father, brother, husband, friend?

Whether his hoary fire he spies,
While thousand grateful thoughts arise ;
Or meets his fpouse's fonder eye;
Or views his smiling progeny:

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What NOTES, Ver. 31. Or meets] Recalling to our minds that pathetic stroke in Lucretius;

“ dulces occurrunt ofcula nati Præripere, et tacità pectus dulcedine tangunt."

Lib. iii. 909.

WARTON.

What tender passions take their turns,

What home-felt raptures move?
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns,

With rev'rence, hope, and Tove.

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CHORUS.

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Hence guilty joys, distastes, surmises,
Hence false tears, deceits, disguises,
Dangers, doubts, delays, surprizes ;

Fires that fcorch, yet dare not shine:
Purest love's unwasting treasure,
Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure,
Days of ease, and nights of pleasure ;

Sacred Hymen! these are thine *.

NOTES.

a These two Chorus's are enough to shew us his great talents for this species of Poetry, and to make us lament he did not pro. fecute his purpose in executing some plans he had chalked out ; but the Character of the Managers of Playhouses at that time, was whiat (he faid) foon determined him to lay afide all thoughts of that nature.

WAR BURTON. Perhaps there were other reasons which determined Pope to lay afide all thoughts of the Drama.

ODE ON SOLITUDE:

:.

HAPPY

APPY the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air,

In his own ground.

Whole herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks fupply him with attirey Whose trees in summer yield him fhade,

In winter fire.

Blest,

NOTES.

a This was a very early production of our Author, written at about twelve

years
old,

Pope. Ver. 1. Happy the man, &c.] Might not Pope have seen, when very young, Cotton's pleasing lines on Contentation ?

That man is happy in his share

Who is warm clad and cleanly fed,
Whose necessaries bound his care,

And honeit labour makes his bed.
Who with bis angle and his books

Can think the longest day well-spent ;
And praises God when back he looks,

And finds that all was innocent. Dr. Warton says, " These stanzas on Solitude are characteristic of the Author's contemplative and moral turn of mind;" but more probably such ideas, those of rural life, innocence, content, &c. as they are the easiest expressed, so are they generally the most obvious, and, as such, would be natural to all young writers.

Blest, who can unconcern’dly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,

Together mixt; sweet recreation : And innocence, which most does please .

With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,

Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

SCALIGER, Voltaire, and Grotius, were but eighteen years old when they produced, the two first their dipuses, and the last his Adamus Exul. But the most extraordinary instance of early excellence is The Old Batchelor of Congreve, written at nineteen only; as comedy implies and requires a knowledge of life and characters, which are here displayed with accuracy and truth, Mr. Spence informed me that Pope once said to him, “ I wrote things, I am ashamed to say how soon ; part of

my

epic poem Alcander when about twelve. The scene of it lay in Rhodes, and some of the neighbouring islands; and the poem opened under the water, with a defcription of the court of Neptune; that couplet on the circulation of the blood, which I afterwards inserted in the Dunciad,

As man's mæanders, to the vital spring

Roll all their tides, then back their circles bring, was originally in this poem, word for word.” After he had burnt this very early composition, Atterbury told him, he much wished some parts of it, as a specimen, had been more carefully preserved. N 4

Quintilian,

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