Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

85

The moving mountains hear the pow'rful call,
And headlong streams hang listning in their fall.'

But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat,
The lowing herds to murm’ring brooks retreat,"
To closer shades the panting flocks remove;
Ye gods! and is there no relief for love ?'
But soon the sun with milder

rays

descends To the cool ocean, where his journey ends : On me love's fiercer flames for ever prey,' By night he scorches, as he burns by day.'

90

He had Dryden's translation of the passage in Virgil before him :

I Lucan vi. 473:

de

rupe pependit
Abscissa fixus torrens; amnisque cucurrit
Non qua pronus erat,
Strcams have run back at murmurs of her

Cool breczes now the raging heats remove :
Ah, cruel heav'n, that made no cure for

love.-WAKEFIELD.

tongue, And torrents from the rock suspended hung. Rowe. -STEEVENS.

* The line And headlong streams," says Ruffhead, “surely presents a new image and a bold one too.” Bold indeed! Pope has carried the idea into extravagance when he makes the stream not only "listening,” but “hang listening in its headlong fall.” An idea of this sort will only bear just touching; the mind then does not perceive its violence; if it be brought before the eyes too minutely, it becomes almost ridiculous. - BOWLES.

2 In the MS. : But see the southing sun displays bis

beams, See Tityrus leads his herd to silver streams.

3 Virg. Ecl. ii. 68: Me tamen urit amor, quis enim modus

adsit amori?-POPE.

4 The phrase "where his journey ends" is mean and prosaic, nor by any means adequately conveys the sentiment required, which is this, The sun grows milder by degrees, and is at length extinguished in the ocean, but my flames know neither abatement nor intermission.-WAKEFIELD.

5 Variation :

Me love inflamcs, nor will his fires allay.-
POPE.

6 This is certainly the poorest of Pope's pastorals, and it has many false thoughts and conceits. But the ingenuous and candid critic will always bear in mind the early age at which they were written, and the false taste of Cowley at that time prevalent.- BOWLES.

AUTUMN:

THE THIRD PASTORAL

OR

HYLAS AND ÆGON.

TO MR. WYCHERLEY.

BENE ATH the shade a spreading beech displays,
Hylas and Ægon sung their rural lays;
This mourned a faithless, that an absent love,
And Delia's name and Doris' filled the grove.'

I This Pastoral consists of two parts, like the eighth of Virgil : the scene, a hill; the time, at sunset. – POPE.

* Mr. Wycherley, a famous author of comedies ; of which the most celebrated were the Plain-Dealer and Country-Wife. He was a writer of infinite spirit, satire, and wit. The only objection made to him was, that he had too much. However, he was followed in the same way by Mr. Congreve, though with a little more correctness. —POPE.

3 Formed on Dryden's version of Ecl. i. 1 : Beneath the sbado which beechen boughs diffuse.--WAKEFIELD.

* Before the edition of 1736 the couplet ran thus : To whose complaints the list'ning forests

bend, While one his mistress mourns, and one

his friend In keeping with this announcement

the song of Hylas, which forms the first portion of the Pastoral, was devoted to mourning an absent shepherd, and not, as at present, an absent shepherdess. When Pope made his lines commemorative of love, instead of friendship, he did little more than change the name of the man (Thyrsis) to that of a woman (Delia), and substitute the feminine for the masculine pronoun. The extravagant idea expressed in the first line of the rejected couplet is found in Oldham's translation of Moschus :

And trees leaned their attentive branches

down.

There is nothing of the kind in the Greek text.

• From Dryden's version of Ecl. i. 5 : While stretched at ease you sing your

happy loves, And Amaryllis fills the shady groves.WAKEFIELD.

5

10

Ye Mantuan nymphs, your sacred succour bring;
Hylas and Ægon's rural lays I sing.

Thou,' whom the nine, with Plautus' wit inspire,
The art of Terence, and Menander's fire;
Whose sense instructs us,' and whose humour charms,
Whose judgment sways us, and whose spirit' warms !
Oh, skilled in nature ! see the hearts of swains,
Their artless passions, and their tender pains.'

Now setting Phæbus shone serenely bright,
And fleecy clouds were streaked with purple light;
When tuneful Hylas with melodious moan,
Taught rocks to weep, and made the mountains groan.'

Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away!.
To Delia's ear the tender notes convey.
As some sad turtles his lost love deplores
And with deep murmurs fills the sounding shores;

15

20

1

BURTON.

Wycherley.

them than Wycherley. - WARTON. He was always very careful in

5 Till the edition of 1736 the fol. his encomiums not to fall into ridi- lowing lines stood in place of the cule, the trap which weak and pros.

couplet in the text : titute flatterers rarely escape. For Attend the muse, though low her pumsense,” he would willingly have

bers be, said “moral ;” propriety required

She sings of friendship, and she sings to

thee. it. But this dramatic poet's moral was remarkably faulty. His plays

6 Pope had Waller's Thyrsis and are all shamefully profligate, both in

Galatea in his memory : the dialogue and action. – WAR- Made the wide country ccho to your moan,

The list'ning trees, and savage mountains Warburton's note has more the

groan.-WAKEFIELD. appearance of an insidious attack The groans of the trees and mounupon Pope than of serious commenda- tains are, in Waller's poem, the echo tion ; for if, as Warburton assumes, of the mourner's lamentations, but the panegyric in the text has re- to this Pope has added that the ference to the plays and not to the

"moan” made “the rocks weep," man, it was a misplaced "encomium" which has no resemblance to any. to say that Wycherley “instructed" thing in nature. the world by the “sense,” and 7 The lines from verse 17 to 30 are “swayed” them by the “judgment,” very beautiful, tender, and melodious. which were manifested “in a shame. BUWLES. fully profligate dialogue and action." 8 It was a time-honoured fancy that

3 The reading was “rapture” in the moan" of the turtle-dove was a all editions till that of 1736.

lament for the loss of its mate. Turtur, 4 Few writers have less nature in the Latin name for the bird, is a correct representation of its monotonous note. The poets commonly call it simply the turtle, but since the term, to quote the explanation of Johnson in his Dictionary, is also "used by sailors and gluttons for a tortoise' the description of its “deep murmurs" as filling the sounding shores,” calls up this secondary sense, and gives an air of ludicrousness to

25

Thus, far from Delia, to the winds I mourn,
Alike unheard, unpitied, and forlorn.

Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along !
For her, the feathered quires neglect their song:
For her, the limes their pleasing shades deny;
For her, the lilies hang their heads and die.
Ye flow'rs that droop, forsaken by the spring,
Ye birds that, left by summer, cease to sing,
Ye trees that fade when autumn-beats remove,
Say, is not absence death to those who love ?'

Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away!
Cursed be the fields that cause my Delia's stay;
Fade ev'ry blossom, wither ev'ry tree,'
Die ev'ry flower, and perish all but she.
What have I said ? where'er my Delia flies,
Let spring attend, and sudden flow'rs arise ;
Let op'ning roses knotted oaks adorn,'
And liquid amber drop from ev'ry thorn.

Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along!
The birds shall cease to tune their ev'ning song,

35

10

the passage.

3 Virg. Ecl. viii. 52:

aurea dure
Mala ferant quercus, narcisso foreat alnus;
Pinguia corticibus sudent electra myricæ.
--POPE,
His obligations, are also due to
Dryden's version of Ecl. iv. 21 :
Unlaboured harvests sball the fields adorn,
And clustered grapes shall blush on ev'ry

thorn :
And knotted oaks shall show'rs of honey

weep, And through the matted grass the liquid

gold shall creep. Bowles, in his translation of Theo. critus, Idyll. v., assisted our bard :

On brambles now let violets be born,

And op'ning roses blush on ev'ry thorn,
He seems to have had in view also
the third Eclogue of Walsh :
Upon hard oaks let blushing peaches grow,
And from the brambles liquid amber flow.
-WAKEFIELD.

| This whole passage is imitated
from Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia,
Book iii. p. 712, 8vo ed. :
Earth, brook, flow'rs, pipe, lamb, dove,

Say all, and I with them, Absence is death, or worse, to them that love.-WAKEFIELD.

. Congreve's Mourning Muse of Alexis : Fade all ye flow'rs, and wither all ye

woods.

The winds to breathe, the waving woods to move,
And streams to murmur, ere I cease to love.'
Not bubbling fountains to the thirsty swain,"
Not balmy sleep to lab’rers faint with pain,"
Not show'rs to larks, or sunshine to the bee,
Are half so charming as thy sight to me.'

Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away
Come, Delia, come; ah, why this long delay?
Through rocks and caves the name of Delia sounds,
Delia, each cave and echoing rock rebounds.
Ye pow’rs, what pleasing frenzy soothes my mind !
Do lovers dream, or is my Delia kind ?
She comes, my Delia comes !-Now cease my lay,
And cease, ye gales, to bear my sighs away!

Next Ægon sung, while Windsor groves admired ;
Rehearse, ye muses, what yourselves inspired.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Wakefield remarks that the second
line in this passage is taken from
Dryden's Virg. Ecl. x. 71 :
And climb the frozen Alps, and tread th'

eternal snow.

? Virg. Ecl. v. 46 : Quale sopor fessis in gramine, qualc per

estum Dulcis aquæ saliente sitim restinguere rivo.-POPE.

3 “Faint with pain” is both flat and improper. It is fatigue, and not pain that makes them faint. WAKEFIELD.

6 From Virg. Ecl. viii, 110 :

Parcite, ab urbe venit, jam parcite car

mina, Daphnis.

Stafford's translation in Dryden's Miscellany :

4 The turn of the last four lines is evidently borrowed from Drummond of Hawthornden, a charming but neglected poet.

Cease, cease, my charms,
My Daphnis comes, he comes, he flies into

my arms.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »