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In Imitation of



N reading feveral paffages of the prophet Ifaiah,

eities attending it, I could not but obferve a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not feem furprising, when we reflect, that the Eclogue was taken from a Sibylline prophecy on the fame fubje&t. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line by line, but selected fuch ideas as beft agreed with the nature of paf. toral poetry, and difpofed them in that manner which ferved most to beautify his piece. I have endeavour. ed the fame in this imitation of him, though without admitting any thing of my own; fince it was written with this particular view, that the reader, by comparing the feveral thoughts, might see how far the images and defcriptions of the Prophet are fuperior to those of the Poet. But as I fear i have prejudiced them by my management, I fhall fubjoin the paffages of Ifaiah, and those of Virgil, under the fame difadvantage of a literal tranflation.





In Imitation of VIRGIL'S POLLIO.


E Nymphs of Solyma! begin the fong:

To heav'nly themes fublimer ftrains belong.
The moffy fountains, and the fylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids,
Delight no more-O thou my voice infpire
Who touch'd Ifaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the Bard begun :
A Virgin fhall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!



VER. 8. A Virgin fhall conceive — All crimes shall ceafe, etc.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 6.

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Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna ;
Jam nova progenies cœlo demittitur alto.
Te duce, qua manent fceleris veftigia noftri,
Irrita perpetua folvent formidine terras -
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.

"Now the Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new progeny is fent down from high heaven. By means "of thee, whatever reliques of our crimes remain, fhall be wip"ed away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He shall go"vern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his Father."

ISAIAH, Ch. vii. ver. 14. "Behold a Virgin shall conceive and "bear a Son.-Chap. ix. ver. 6, 7. Unto us a Child is born, unto 66 us a Son is given; the Prince of Peace: of the increase of his government, and of his peace, there shall be no end: Upon the "throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order and to eft.blish "it, with judgment and with juftice, for ever and ever."

From a Jeffe's root behold a branch arife,
Whofe facred flow'r with fragrance fills the fkies :
Th' Athereal fpirit o'er its leaves fhall move,
And on its top descends the myftic Dove.
Ye Heav'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in foft filence fhed the kindly fhow'r!


The fick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From forms a fhelter, and from heat a fhade.

All crimes fhall ceafe, and ancient fraud fhall fail:
Returning a Juftice lift aloft her fcale;

Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,

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And white rob'd Innocence from heav'n defcend. 20
Swift fy the years, and rife the expected morn!
Oh fpring to light, aufpicious Babe, be born!
See Nature hafles her earlieft wreaths to bring,
With all the incenfe of the breathing spring:

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See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forefts on the mountains dance:
See fpicy clouds from lowly Saron rife,
And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the skies!


VER. 23. See Nature baftes, etc.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 18.

At tibi prima, puer, nullo munufcula cultu,
Errantes hederas paffim cum baccare tellus,
Mixtaque ridenti colocafia fundet acantho
Ipfa tibi blandos fundent sunabula flores.


"For thee, O Child, fhall the earth, without being tilled, produce her early offerings; winding ivy, mixed with Baccar, and "Colocaffia with fmiling Acanthus. Thy cradle fhall pour forth "pleafing flowers about thee."

ISAIAH, Ch. xxxv. ver. 1. "The wilderness and the folitary "place fhall be glad, and the defert fhall rejoice and bloffom as "the rofe. Ch. lx. ver. 13. "The glory of Lebanon fhall come "unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of thy fanctuary."

a Ifai. xi. ver. 1. Ch. ix. ver. 7.

b Ch. xlv. ver. 8.

c Ch, xxv. ver. 4.

e Ch, xxxv. ver. 2.

Hark! a glad voice the lonely defert chears;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears:
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye vallies, rife;
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be fmooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films fhall purge the visual ray,
And on the fightlefs eye-ball pour the day:
'Tis he th' obftructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new mufic charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb fhall fing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.


VER. 29. Hark!_a glad voice, etc.]

Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 46.

Aggredere ô magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
Cara deûm foboles, magnum Jovis incrementum
Ipfa lætitia voces ad fydera jactant

Intonfi montes, ipfæ jam carmina rupes,

Ipfa fonant arbufta, Deus, Deus ille Menalca!

E. v. ver. 6z.




"O come and receive the mighty honours: the time draws "nigh, O beloved offspring of the Gods, O'great encreafe of Jove! "The uncultivated mountains fend fhouts of joy to the stars, the very rocks fing in verfe, the very fhrubs cry out, A God, a "God!"

ISAIAH, Ch. xl. ver. 3, 4. "The voice of him that 'cryeth in "the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord! make ftraight "in the defert a high way for our God! Every valley fhall be ex"alted, and every mountain and hill fhall be made low, and the "crooked fhall be made ftraight, and the rough places plain." Ch. iv. ver. 23. "Break forth into finging, ye mountains! Q "foreft, and every tree therein for the Lord hath redeemed " Ifrael."

f Ch, xl, ver. 3, 4. g Ch. xliii. ver, 18. Ch. xxxv. ver. 5, 6.

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