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innocence and simplicity, which is common to other authors of Pastoral, he has one peculiar to himself; he compares human Life to the several Seasons, and at once exposes to his readers a view of the great and little worlds, in their various changes and aspects. Yet the scrupulous division of his Pastorals into Months, has obliged him either to repeat the same description, 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 reason is evident, because the year has not that variety in it to furnish every month with a particular description, as it may every season.
Of the following Eclogues I shall only say, that these four comprehend all the subjects which the Critics upon Theocritus and Virgil will allow to be fit for pastoral : That they have as much variety of decription, in respect of the several seafans, as Spenser's : That, in order to add to this variety, the several times of the day are observed, the rural employments in each season or time of day, and the rural scenes or places proper to such employments; not without some regard to the several ages of man, and the different passions proper to
But after all, if they have any merit, it is to be attributed to some good old Authors, whose works as I had leisure to study, fo, I hope, I have not wanted care to imitate.
FIRST in these fields I try the fylvan ftrains,
Nor blush to sport on Windsor's blissful plains : Fair Thames, flow gently from thyesacred spring, While on thy banks Sicilian Muses sing; Let vernal airs through trembling osiers play, 5 And Albion's cliffs resound the rural lay.
You that, too wise 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 lost ! O let my Muse 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 silence, listens while she sings, IS And all th' aërial audience clap their wings.
Soon as the flocks shook off the nightly dews, Two Swains, whom Love kept wakeful, and the Muse,
Pour'd o'er the whitening vale their fleecy care,
Hear how the birds, on every bloomy spray,
S T & B + H Ở N.
"VARIATIONS. Ver. 34. The first reading was,
And his own image from the bank surveys.
D AMON. Tlien sing by turns, by turns the Muses sing, Now hawthorns blossom, now the daisies spring, Now leaves the trees, and flowers adorn the ground; Begin, the vales shall every note rebound.
50 No lambs or sheep for victims I'll impart, Thy victim, Love, shall be the shepherd's heart,
STRE PHON. Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain, Then, hid in shades, eludes her eager swain; But feigns a laugh, to fee me fearch around, 55 And by that laugh the willing fair is found.
The sprightly Sylvia trips along the green,
Ver. 49. Originally thus in the MS.
Pan, let my numbers equal Strephon's lays,