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deed, probable, that the veneration with which Ho. mer was read, produced many suppositious beauties: for though it is certain, that the sound of many of his verses very justly cor: esponds with the things expressed, yet, when the force of his imagisation, which


him full possession of every objeet, is considered, together with the flexibility of his language, of which the syllables might be often contracted or dilated at pleasure, it will seem un. likely that such conformity should happen less free quently even without design.

It is not however to be doubted, that Virgil, who wrote amidst the light of criticism, and who owed so much of his success to art and labour, endeavoured, among other excellencies, to exhibit this similitude; nor has he been less happy in this than in the other graces of versification. This felicity of bis numbers was, at the revival of learning, displayed with great elegance by Vida, in his Art of Poetry.

Haud satis est illis utcunque claudere versum.-
Omnia sed numeris vocum concordibus aptant,
Atque sono quacunque canunt imitantur, & apta
Ferborum fucie, fi quasito carminis ore.
Nam diversa opus est veluti dare versibus ora,
Hic melior motuque pedum, & pernicibus ulis,
Blolte viam tacito lapsu per levia radit :
Ille autem membris, ac mole ignavius ingens
Facedit, tardo molimine subsidendo.
Ecce aliquis subit egregio pulcherrimus ore,
Cui lætum membris Venus omnibus aflat honorem.
Contra alius rudis, informes ostendit & artus,
Hirsutumque supercilium, ac caudam sinuosan,
Ingratus visu, sonitu illætavilis ipso.-
Ergo wbi jum nautæ spumas salis ære ruentes
hicubuere mari, videus spumare, reductis
Convulsum remis, tostrisque stridentibus æquor.
Tunc longe sale sara sonant, tunc f freta ventia
Jneipiunt agitata tumescere: littore fluctus

Illidunt rauco, atque refracta remurmurat unda
Ad scopulos, cumulo insequitur præruptus aquæ mons. :
Cum vero ex alto speculatus cærula Nereus
Leniit in morem stagni, placidæque paludis,

Labitur uncta vadis abies, nutat uncta carina.-
Verba etiam res eriguas angusta sequuntur,
Ingentesque juvant ingentia : cuncta gigantem
Vasta decent, vultus immanes, pectoru luta,
Et magni membrorum artus, magna ossa lacertique.
Atque adeo, siquid geritur molimine magno,
Adde moram, & pariter tecum quoque verba laborent
Segnia i seu quundo vi multa gleba coactis

Æternum frangenda bidentibus, æquore seu cum
Cornua velatarum obvertimus antennarun.
At moru si fuerit damno, properare jubeba.
Si se forte cava extulerit mala vipera terra,
Tolle pioras, cape sura manu, cape robora, pastor
F'erte citi flammas, date tela, repellite pesten,
Ipse etiam versus ruat, in præcepsque feratur,
Immenso cum præcipituns ruit Oceano nor,
Aut cum perculsus graviter procumbit humi bos,
Cumque etiam requies rebus datur, ipsa quoque utira
Carming paulisper cursu cessare videbis
In medio interruptu : quiérunt cum freta ponti,
Postquam auræ posuere, quiescere protinus ipsuiz
Cernere erit, mediisque incæptis sistere versum.
Quid dicam, senior cum telum imbelle sinc ictu
Invalidus jacit, d. defectis viribus æger?
Num quoque tum versus segni pariter pede languets
Sanguis hebet, frigent effætæ in corpore vires.
Fortem autem juvenem deceat prorumpere in arces,
Evertisse domos, præfractaque quadrupeduntum
Pectora pectoribus perrumpere, sternere turres
Ingentes, totoque ferum dare funera campo.
*Tis not enough his verses to complete,
In measure, number, or determin'd feet.
To all, proportion'd terms he must dispense,
And make the sound a picture of the sense;
The correspondent words exactly frame,
The look, the features, and the mien the same:

With rapid feet and wings, without delay,
This swiftly flies, and smoothly skims away:
This blooms with youth and beauty in his face,
And Venus breathes on ev'ry limb a grace;

That, of rude form, his unconth members shows,
Looks horrible, and frowns with his rough brows;
His monstrous tail, in many a fold and wind,
Voluminous and vast, curls up behind;
At once the image and the lines appear
Rude to the eye, and frightful to the car.
Lo! when the sailors steer the pond'rous ships,
And plough, with brazen beaks, the foamy deeps,
Incumbent on the main that roars around,
Leneath the lab'ring oars the waves resound;
The prows wide echoing thro' the dark profound.
To the loud call each distant rock replies;
Tost by the storm the towʼring surges Fise ;
While the lioarse occan beats the sounding shore,
Dash'd from the strand, the flying waters roar.

I'lash at the shock, and gathering in a heap,
The liquid mountains rise, and over-hang the deep.
But when blue Neptune fronı his car surveys,
And calmis at one regard the raging seas,
Stretch'd like a peaceful lake the deep subsides,
And the pitch'd vessel o'er the surface glides.
When things are small, the terras should still be so;
For low words please us when the theme is low.
But when some giant, horrible and grim,
Enormous in his gait, and vast in ev'ry limh,
Stalhs tow'ring on; the swelling words must rise
In just proportion to the monster's size.
If sone large weight his huge arms strive to shove,
The verse too labours; the throng'd words scarce moves
When each stiff clod beneath the pond'rous plough
Crumbles and breaks, th’encumber'd lines njust flow.
Nor less, when pilots catch the friendly gales,
Unfurl their shronds, and hoist the wide-stretch'd sails.
But if the poem suffers from delay,
Let the lines Hy precipitate away;
And when the viper issues from the brake,
Be qnick; with stones, and brands, and fire, attack
His rising crest, and drive the serpent back.
When night descends, or stunn'd by nuni'rous strokes,
And groaning, to the earth drops the vast ox ;
The line too sinks with correspondent sound,
Flat with the steer, and headlong to the ground,
When the wild waves subside, and tenpests ceasen
And hush the roarings of the sea to peace;


So oft we see the interrupted strain
Stopp'd in the midst-and with the silent main
Pause for a space at last it glides again.
When Priam strains his aged arins, to throw
His unavailing jav'line at the foe;
(His blood congeald, and ev'ry nerve unstrung)
Then with the theme complies the artful song;
Like him the solitary numbers flow,
Weak, trembling, melancholy, stiff, and slow.
Not so young Pyrrhus, who with rapid force
Beats down embattled armies in his course.
The raging youth on trembling Ilion falls,
Burns her strong gates, and shakes lier lofty walls;
Provokes his flying courser to the speed,
In full career to charge the warlike steed:
He piles the field with mountains of the slain;
He pours, he storms, he thunders thro' the plain. Pitt.

From the Italian gardens Pope seems to have transplanted this flower, the growth of happier climates, into a soil less adapted to its nature, and less favourable to its increase.

Soft is the strain, when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud billows lash the sounding shore, The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow; Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main. From these lines, laboured with great attention, and celebrated by a rival wit, may be judged what can be expected from the most diligent endeavours after this imagery of sound. The verse intended to represent the whisper of the vernal breeze, must be confessed not much to excel in softness or volubi. lity: and the smooth stream runs with a perpetual clash of jarring consonants. The noise and turba. lence of the torrent is, indeed, distinctly imaged, for it requires very little skill to make our language rough: bat in these lines, which mention the effort of Ajax, there is no particular heaviness, obstruction, or delay. The swiftness of Camilla is rather contrasted than exemplified; why the verse should be lengthened to express speed, will not easily be discovered. In the dactyls used for that purpose by the ancients, two sport syllables were pronounced with such rapidity, as to be equal only to one long; they, therefore, naturally exhibit the act of passing through a long space in a short time, Bat the Alexandrine, by its pause in the midst, is a tardy and stately measure; and the word unbending, one of the most sluggish and slow whích our language affords, cannot much accelerate its mo, tion.

These rules and these examples have taught our present criticks to inquire very studiously and mia nutely into sounds and cadences. It is, therefore, useful to examine with what skill they have proceeded; what discoveries they have made; and whether any rules can be established which may guide us hereafter in such rescarches.

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