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B E A UTI E S
P O P. E.
PASTORAL POETRY. A PASTORAL is an imitation of the action of a shepherd, or one considered under that character. The form of this imitation is dramatic, or narrative, or mixed of both; the fable fimple, the manners not too polite nor too rustic: the thoughts are plain, yet admit a little quickness and passion, but that short and flowing: the expression hum·ble, yet as pure as the language will afford; neat, but not florid; eafy, and yet lively. In short, the fable, manners, thoughts, and expressions, are full of the greatest simplicity in nature.
The complete character of this poem consists in fimplicity, brevity, and delicacy; the two first of which render an eclogue natural, and the last delightful.
Yet it is not sufficient that the sentences only be brief, the whole eclogue should be fo too: for we cannot suppose poetry in those days to have been the business of men, but their recreation at vacant hours.
IBID. p. 5.
We must therefore use some illusion to render a paftoral delightful; and this consists in exposing the best fide only of a shepherd's life, and in concealing its miseries. Nor is it enough to introduce shepherds discourfing together in a natural way; but a regard must be had to the subject; that it contain some particular beauty in itself, and that it be different in every eclogue. Besides, in each of them a designed* scene or prospect is to be presented to our view, which should likewife have its variety. Thịs variety is obtained in a great degree by frequent comparisons, drawn from the most agreeable objects of the country; by interrogations to things inanimate ; by beautiful digressions, but those short; sometimes by insisting a little on circumstances; and, lastly, by elegant turns on the words, which render the numbers extremely sweet and pleasing. As for the num. bers themselves, though they are properly of the heroic measure, they should be the smootheft, the moft easy and flowing imaginable.
IBID. P. 5:
THE SHEPHERD'S LAMENTATION.
SUMMER, V. I. p. 16.
Ye lady beeches, and ye cooling streams, Defence from Phebus', not from Cupid's beams; To you
I mourn ; nor to the deaf I fing;. The woods shall answer, and their echo ring. The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay : Why art thou prouder and more hard than they?" The bleating theep with my complaints agree, They parch'd with heat, and I inflam'd by thee. The sultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains, While in thy heart eternal winter reigns.
IBID. p. 17.
ÆGON'S SONG. NEXT Ægon sung, while Windfor groves admir'd; Rehearse, ye Muses, what yourselves inspir’d.
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain ! Of perjur'd Doris, dying I complain ;