« EelmineJätka »
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Here fabled Chiefs in darker ages born,
Or Worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn, 70.
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And Legiflators seem to think in ftone.
Strikes, and beholds a fudden Thebes afpire!
Heroes and Worthies. Thofe whofe ftatues are after mentioned, were the first names of old Greece in arms and arts. P.. VER. 81. There great Alcides, etc.] This figure of Hercules is drawn with an eye to the pofition of the famous ftatue of Farnefe. P.
Cythæron's echoes anfwer to his call,
And half the mountain rolls into a wall:
There might you fee the length'ning fpires afcend, The domes fwell up, the wid'ning arches bend, 90 The growing tow'rs, like exhalations rife,
And the huge columns heave into the fkies.
The Eaftern front was glorious to behold,
With di'mond flaming, and Barbaric gold.
VER. 96. And the great founder of the Perfian name :] Cyrus was the beginning of the Perfian, as Ninus was of the Affyrian Monarchy. The Magi and Chaldæans (the chief of whom was Zoroafter) employed their ftudies upon magic and aftrology, which was in a manner almost all the learning of the ancient Afian people. We have scarce any account of a moral philofopher except Confucius, the great law-giver of the Chinese, who lived about two thoufand years ago. "P.
Of Talismans and Sigils knew the pow'r, 105
Who taught that useful science, to be good..
VER. 110. Egypt's priests, etc.] The learning of the old Ægyptian Priefts confifted for the most part in geometry and aftronomy: they alfo preferved the Hiftory of their nation. Their greatest Hero upon record is Sefoftris, whose actions and conquefts may be feen at large in Diodorus, etc. He is faid to have caused the Kings he vanquished to draw him in his Chariot. The posture of his ftatue, in these verses, is correspondent to the description which Herodotus gives of one of them remaining in his own time. P.
VER. 119. Of Gothic ftructure was the Northern fide,] The Architecture is agreeable to that part of the world. The learn
There huge Coloffes rofe, with trophies crown'd,
And Odin here in mimic trances dies.
There on rude iron columns, fmear'd with blood,
These and a thousand more of doubtful fame,
ing of the northern nations lay more obfcure than that of the reit; Zamolxis was the difciple of Pythagoras, who taught the immortality of the foul to the Scythians. Odin, or Woden, was the great legiflator and hero of the Goths. They tell us of him, that being fubject to fits, he perfuaded his followers, that during thofe trances he received infpirations, from whence he dictated his laws: he is said to have been the inventor of the Runic characters. P.
VER. 127. Druids and Bards, etc.] Thefe were the priests and poets of those people, so celebrated for their savage virtue. Those heroic barbarians accounted it a dishonour to die in their beds, and rushed on to certain death in the prospect of an afterlife, and for the glory of a fong from their bards in praise of their actions. P.
VER. 132. The wall in luftre, etc.]
Which o'er each object cafting various dyes,
Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall, 135
The Temple shakes, the founding gates unfold, Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold: Rais'd on a thousand pillars, wreath'd around With laurel-foliage, and with eagles crown'd: 149 Of bright, tranfparent beryl were the walls, The freezes gold, and gold the capitals: As heav'n with ftars, the roof with jewels glows, And ever-living lamps depend in rows. Full in the paffage of each fpacious gate,
The fage Hiftorians in white garments wait;
VER. 152. The youth that all things but himself fubdu'd ;] Alexander the Great: the Tiara was the crown peculiar to the Afian Princes his defire to be thought the fon of Jupiter Ammon, caused him to wear the horns of that God, and to represent the fame upon his coins; which was continued by several of his fucceffors. P.