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innocence and fimplicity, which is common to other authors of Pastoral, he has one peculiar to himself; he compares human Life to the feveral Seasons, and at once exposes to his readers a view of the great and little worlds, in their various changes and afpects. Yet the fcrupulous divifion of his Paftorals into Months, has obliged him either to repeat the fame defcription, in other words, for three months together; or, when it was exhausted before, entirely to omit it: whence it comes to pass that some of his Eclogues (as the fixth, eighth, and tenth, for example) have nothing but their Titles to distinguish them. The reafon is evident, because the year has not that variety in it to furnish every month with a particular defcription, as it may every season.

Of the following Eclogues I fhall only fay, that thefe four comprehend all the fubjects which the Critics upon Theocritus and Virgil will allow to be fit for paftoral: That they have as much variety of description, in respect of the feveral feafans, as Spenfer's: That, in order to add to this variety, the feveral times of the day are obferved, the rural employments in each feason or time of day, and the rural fcenes or places proper to fuch employments; not without fome regard to the feveral ages of man, and the different paffions proper to

each age.

But after all, if they have any merit, it is to be attributed to fome good old Authors, whofe works as I had leifure to ftudy, fo, I hope, I have not wanted care to imitate.

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IRST in these fields I try the fylvan strains,


Nor blush to fport on Windfor's blissful plains:
Fair Thames, flow gently from thy facred spring,
While on thy banks Sicilian Mufes fing;
Let vernal airs through trembling ofiers play,
And Albion's cliffs refound the rural lay.

You that, too wife for pride, too good for power,
Enjoy the glory to be great no more,
And, carrying with you all the world can boast,
To all the world illustriously are loft!

O let my Mufe her slender reed inspire,
Till in your native shades you tune the lyre:
So when the Nightingale to rest removes,
The Thrush may chant to the forsaken groves,
But charm'd to filence, liftens while fhe fings,
And all th' aërial audience clap their wings.

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Soon as the flocks fhook off the nightly dews, Two Swains, whom Love kept wakeful, and the Muse,


Pour'd o'er the whitening vale their fleecy care,
Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair :

The dawn now blushing on the mountain's fide,
Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus reply'd.


Hear how the birds, on every bloomy spray, With joyous music wake the dawning day! Why fit we mute, when early linnets fing, When warbling Philomel falutes the spring? Why fit we fad, when Phosphor fhines so clear, And lavish Nature paints the purple year?


Sing then, and Damon fhall attend the strain,
While yon' flow oxen turn the furrow'd plain.
Here the bright crocus and blue violet glow;
Here western winds on breathing rofes blow.
I'll stake yon' lamb, that near the fountain plays,
And from the brink his dancing fhade furveys.


And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines,
And fwelling clusters bend the curling vines :
Four figures rifing from the work appear,
The various feafons of the rolling year;

And what is that, which binds the radiant sky,
Where twelve fair figns in beauteous order lie?








Ver. 34. The first reading was,

And his own image from the bank furveys.

Ver. 36. And clufters lurk beneath the curling vines.

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Then fing by turns, by turns the Muses sing, Now hawthorns bloffom, now the daifies fpring, Now leaves the trees, and flowers adorn the ground; Begin, the vales fhall every note rebound.


Infpire me, Phoebus, in my Delia's praife,
With Waller's strains, or Granville's moving lays!
A milk-white bull fhall at your altars ftand,
That threats a fight, and spurns the rising sand.


O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize,
And make my tongue victorious as her eyes;
No lambs or sheep for victims I'll impart,
Thy victim, Love, fhall be the fhepherd's heart.


Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain, Then, hid in fhades, eludes her eager fwain; But feigns a laugh, to fee me fearch around, And by that laugh the willing fair is found.


The fprightly Sylvia trips along the green, She runs, but hopes fhe does not run unfeen; While a kind glance at her purfuer flies, How much at variance are her feet and eyes!


Ver. 49. Originally thus in the MS.

Pan, let my numbers equal Strephon's lays,
Of Parian stone thy ftatue will i raife;
But if I conquer and augment my fold,
Thy Parian statue shall be chang'd to geld.






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