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When falling dews with spangles deck'd the glade, And the low sun had lengthen'd ev'ry shade. 100
from his father's papers; the fourth of them was published by Mrs. Cooper in the Muses' Library, 1737.-Warton.
I wonder Dr. Warton should have omitted Browne's Britannia's Pastorals, an almost forgotten work, but containing some images of rural beauty which Milton did not disdain sometimes to copy. See T. Warton's edition of Milton's smaller poems, page 53.-Bowles.
Ver. 98. 100.] There is a little inaccuracy here ; the first line makes the time after sun-set ; the second, before.- Warburton.
THE FOURTH PASTORAL,
TO THE MEMORY OF MRS. TEMPEST,
THYRSIS, the music of that murm’ring spring
Behold the groves that shine with silver frost, Their beauty wither’d, and their verdure lost !
Mrs. Tempest.] This Lady was of an ancient family in Yorkshire, and particularly admired by the Author's friend Mr. Walsh, who having celebrated her in a Pastoral Elegy, desired his friend to do the same, as appears
from of his Letters, dated Sept. 9, 1706. “ Your last Eclogue being on the same subject with mine, on Mrs. Tempest's death, I should take it very kindly in you to give it a little turn, as if it were to the memory of the same lady.” Her death having happened on the night of the great storm in 1703, gave a propriety to this Eclogue, which in its general turn alludes to it. The scene of the Pastoral lies in a grove, the time at midnight.-P.
I do not find any lines that allude to the great storm of which the Poet speaks.—Warton.
See however lines 30 to 35, and 60 to 70, which appear to convey the allusion pointed at by the poet.
Ver. 1. Thyrsis, the music, &c.] 'Adú ti, &c. Theocr. Id. i.
Here shall I try the sweet Alexis' strain,
Let nature change, let heav'n and earth deplore,
"Tis done, and nature's various charms decay, See gloomy clouds obscure the cheerful day!
Ver. 22. Let Nymphs and Sylvans, &c.] This line recalls a pathetic little ballad, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Maid's Tragedy :
Lay a garland on my hearse,
of the dismal yew,
Say I died true.
From my hour of birth :
Softly, gentle earth!-Bowles.
Ver. 29. Originally thus in the MS.
”Tis done, and nature chang’d since you are gone ;
Ver. 13. Thames heard, &c.]
“ Audiit Eurotas, jussitque ediscere lauros.” Virg.-P. Ver. 23, 24, 25. “ Inducite fontibus umbras
Et tumulum facite, et tumulo superaddite carmen.”—P.
Now hung with pearls the dropping trees appear,
35 Fair Daphne's dead, and beauty is no more!
For her the flocks refuse their verdant food, The thirsty heifers shun the gliding flood, The silver swans her hapless fate bemoan, In notes more sad than when they sing their own; 40 In hollow caves sweet Echo silent lies, Silent, or only to her name replies ; Her name with pleasure once she taught the shore, Now Daphne's dead, and pleasure is no more!
No grateful dews descend from ev'ning skies, 45 Nor morning odours from the flow’rs arise; No rich perfumes refresh the fruitful field, Nor fragrant herbs their native incense yield. The balmy Zephyrs, silent since her death, Lament the ceasing of a sweeter breath;
50 Th’ industrious bees neglect their golden store! Fair Daphne's dead, and sweetness is no more!
No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sings, Shall list'ning in mid-air suspend their wings; No more the birds shall imitate her lays,
55 Or hush'd with wonder, hearken from the sprays : No more the streams their murmurs shall forbear, A sweeter music than their own to hear, But tell the reeds, and tell the vocal shore, Fair Daphne's dead, and music is no more!
60 Her fate is whisper'd by the gentle breeze, And told in sighs to all the trembling trees;
Ver. 31. Now hung with pearls, &c.]
Midsummer Night's Dream.—Stevens. Ver. 41. sweet Echo] This expression of sweet Echo is taken from Comus ; as is another expression, loose traces, Third Past., v. 62.
The trembling trees, in ev'ry plain and wood,
But see! where Daphne wond'ring mounts on high Above the clouds, above the starry sky!
70 Eternal beauties grace the shining scene, Fields ever fresh, and groves for ever green! There while you rest in Amaranthine bow'rs, Or from those meads select unfading flow’rs, Behold us kindly, who your name implore, Daphne, our Goddess, and our grief no more!
How all things listen, while thy Muse complains !
85 Arise; the pines a noxious shade diffuse ;
Ver. 70. Above the clouds,] In Spenser's November, and in Milton's Lycidas, is the same beautiful change of circumstances : in the latter most exquisite, from line 165.
Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more-
locks he laves,
Ver. 69, 70,
“miratur limen Olympi, Sub pedibusque videt nubes et sidera Daphnis.” Virg. - P. Ver. 81.
“ illius aram Sæpe tener nostris ab ovilibus imbuet agnus.” Virg.-P. Ver. 86.
“solet esse gravis cantantibus umbra, Juniperi gravis umbra.” Virg.-P.