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YON’ breezy Pine, whose foliage shades the springs,
Αδυ τι το Ψιθυρισμα καπιτυς, αιπολε, τηνα,
Α πολι ταις παγαισι, μελισθεται. In this first line, there is an inimitable sweetness. The word 4. Gupious finely expresses the whispering of the pine-tree. It properly signifies to whisper softly in the ear. Expecdoes aov, and αλληλοις Ψιθυριζον are to be thus underfood, in the fecond and twenty-seventh Idyllia. In VIRGIL's Imitations, we have
argutumque nemus pinosque loquentes, and
Sape levi fomnum fuadebit inire susurro. These lines correspond with the above; but the following verses from Pope's Eloisa (which Fawkes hath adduced in comparison) express a melancholy marmur, instead of a gentle whispering. They move with flow solemnity; not with dactyl lightness. They do not lull to repose; but awaken to fear.
The darksome pines that o'er yon' rocks reclin'd
Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind. The first two lines in Theocritus may be regarded as echoes to the sense; but in our author, a sentence containing a very vulgar idea, not unfrequently flows in such a cadence of melody, as to leave the delusive impression of an elegant fimplicity on the mind. Thus, happily, the sound predominates over the sense, at those places, where the latter might otherwise disgust, by its rudeness or rufticity,
Sweeter thy warblings, than the streams that glide
a It is imposible for any translation to do justice to the original line. It expresses the smooth lapse of a water-fall, with a wonderful distinctness.
Την απο τας πετρας καταλειβεται υψοθεν υδας. Homer's verse
Κατα δε ψυχρoν ρεεν υδως Tobey ex Tetpns, &c. Odyff. b. 17, becomes musical by transposition.
15. A stall-fed lamb awaits the shepherd-swain.
The dramatis perfonæ of the pastoral Idyllia are the BUBULCI, UPILIONES, and CAPRARII. To the first was assigned the care of oxen; to the second, that of theep; and to the third, the care of goats. The rank of these characters was in the order in which we have mentioned them.
23. 'Tis Pan we fear: from hunting he returns. The Goatherds worshipped Pan as their preceptor in the art of finging and playing on the pipe; while the Neatherds and Shepe berds were the disciples of APOLLO and the Muses. The Shepherd Thyrsis having invited the Goatherd to his pastoral seat, and desired him to play upon the pipe; the Goatherd answered,
he could not do this at noon, while Pan, whom he reverenced as his god, was asleep; but Thyrsis might do it with impunity, because he did not lie under the fame obligations.' The Shepherd accordingly invokes the Muses, and intreats them to be propitious to his lay. The Shepherd Thyrsis had promised an he-goat to Pan; and a fhe-goat to the Goatherd, the votary of Pan. In return, the Goatherd had assigned the Muses a sheep, and Thyrsis, the servant of the Muses, a lamb from the fold, Such is the distinction of character in THEOCRITUS; and so accurately is it preserved.
As all in silence hush'd the noonday burns.
The ancients believed, (says Mr. Warton after Dacier, on that passage in HORACE,
Caretque Ripa vagis taciturna ventis) that their gods were accustomed to sleep at mid-day. Hence they attributed to that season a peculiar filence and serenity. Our Goatherd therefore refuses to grant the request of Thyrsis, from an apprehension, that he should disturb the noonday numbers of his guardian deity. In one of the hymns of CallimACHUS, Tiresias is struck blind, as a punishment for his intrusion on Pallas and the nymph CHARICLON, while they were bathing at the hour of noon-at that solemn period, when the mountain was hushed in meridian stillness. To enter a temple at noonday, was prohibited among the ancients, from a perfuafion that their deities were then alleep. The Pythagoreans and Ægyptian fages forbad any one to speak as he passed at this hour the gates of their temples: the divinity was to be worshipped in filence. Thus are we to underitand ELIJAH—' And it came to pass at
noon, that ELIJAH mocked them, and said, " Cry aloud: for "he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing; or he is "on a journey; or, peradventure, he feepeth, and must be "awaked.” This superstitious notion of the Gentiles seems to
be alluded to in the Psalms. He who reposes his trust in God, is said not to be afraid of Azidovid LeTim's pove, as the Septuagint interpreters have rendered it. Thus also LUCAN:
· Non illum cultu populi propiore frequentant,
WARTON. Mr. WARTON's notion relative to the Pythagoreans hath been juftly excepted againít, by an anonymous critic; who adds, that the superstition here descanted on, seems to have prevailed among the Druids. • Non fiub borâ meridai Druidarum lucos impune intrares.'
37. O'erlaid with wax it stands. A description of the KHPOSPADIA, as Heinsius informs us. It was much in fashion (at the time Theocritus flourished) both among the Ægyptians and Sicilians.
To beautify the prows of their ships, says Potter, the ancients used several colors, annealing them by wax melted in the fire ; which art was called, from the wax, Kingorgucic, from the fire Εγκαυστικη. EYXAUSTI4. It is described by VITRUVIUS, b. 7, c. 9, and mentioned by Ovid:
Pista coloribus uftis
Hath Tethys for its deity.'
39. My large two-handled cup, rich-wrought and deep.
Mr. Warton observes, that this cup was a moft capacious veffel, which the Sicilian shepherds used to fill with milk, wine, or other beverage; when they meant to indulge to excess.