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Calendar to his Eclogues is very beautiful: fince by this, befides that general moral of innocence and fimplicity, which is common to other authors of pastoral, he has one peculiar to himself; he compares human Life to the feveral Seafons, and at once expofes to his readers a view of the great and little worlds, in their various changes and aspects. Yet the fcrupulous divifion of his Paftorals into Months, has oblig'd him either to repeat the fame description, in other words, for three months together; or when it was exhausted before, entirely to omit it: whence it comes to pafs that fome 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 these 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 defcription, in refpect of the feveral feasons, as Spenfer's: That in order to add to this variety, the feveral times of the day are obferv'd, the rural employments in each feason or time of day, and the rural scenes or places proper to fuch employments; not without fome regard to the several 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 leisure to study, fo I hope I have not wanted care to imitate.
Sir WILLIAM TRUMBAL.
IRST in thefe fields I try the fylvan strains,
And Albion's cliffs refound the rural lay.
You, that too wife for pride, too good for pow'r,
Enjoy the glory to be great no more,
And carrying with you all the world can boast,
O let my Muse her slender reed inspire,
Daphnis and Strephon to the fhades retir❜d,
Hear how the birds, on ev'ry bloomy fpray, 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 fo clear, And lavish nature paints the purple year?
Sing then, and Damon fhall attend the ftrain, While yon' flow Oxen turn the furrow'd plain.
Here on green banks the blufhing vi'lets glow;
And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines,
Where twelve bright Signs in beauteous order lie?
Then fing by turns, by turns the Mufes fing, Now hawthorns bloffom, now the daifies fpring, Now leaves the trees, and flow'rs adorn the ground; Begin, the vales fhall echo to the found.
Infpire me, Phœbus, in my Delia's praife With Waller's ftrains, or Granville's moving lays! A milk-white bull fhall at your altars ftand, That threats a fight, and spurns the rising sand.