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IRST in these fields I try the fylvan ftrains, Nor blush to sport on Windfor's blifsful plains: Fair Thames flow gently from thy facred spring, While on thy banks Sicilian Muses fing;


These Paftorals were written at the age of fixteen, and then past thro' the hands of Mr. Walsh, Mr. Wycherley, G. Granville, afterwards Lord Lanfdown, Sir William Trumbal, Dr. Garth, Lord Halifax, Lord Somers, Mr. Mainwaring, and others. Notwithflanding the early time of their production, the Author elteem'd these as the most correct in the verfification, and mufical in the numbers, of all his works. The reason for his labouring them into fo much foftnefs, was, that this fort of poetry derives almost its whole beauty from a natural ease of thought and fmoothnefs of verse; whereas that of most other kinds confifts in the Strength


Let vernal airs thro' trembling ofiers play,
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,
To all the world illuftriously are loft!


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and fulness of both. In a Letter of his to Mr. Walsh about this time, we find an enumeration of feveral Niceties in Verfification, which perhaps have never been ftrictly obferv'd in any English poem, except in these Paftorals. They were not printed till 1709.


VER. 1. Prima Syracofio dignata eft ludere verfu, Noftra nec erubuit fylvas habitare Thalia.

This is the general Exordium and opening of the Paftorals, in imitation of the 6th of Virgil, which fome have therefore not improbably thought to have been the firft originally. In the beginnings of the other three Paftorals, he imitates exprefsly thofe of the three chief Poets in this kind, Theocritus, Virgil, Spenfer

A Shepherd's Boy (he feeks no better name)
Beneath the fhade a fpreading Beach difplays,
Thyrfis, the Mufick of that murm'ring Spring,
are manifeftly imitations of

A Shepherd's Boy (no better do him call)———
Tityre, tu patula recubans fub tegmine fagi.
Αούτι τὸ ψιθύρισμα καὶ ἀπίτυς, αἰπόλε, τῆνα

Olet my Muse her flender reed inspire,
Till in your native fhades you tune the lyre :
So when the Nightingale to rest removes,
The Thrush may chant to the forfaken groves,
But, charm'd to filence, liftens while fhe fings,
And all th' aerial audience clap their wings.

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Soon as the flocks fhook off the nightly dews, Two Swains, whom Love kept wakeful, and the Mufe, Pour'd o'er the whitening vale their fleecy care, Fresh as the morn, and as the feafon fair: The dawn now blushing on the mountain's fide, Thus Daphnis fpoke, and Strephon thus reply'd. DAPHNI S.

Hear how the birds, on ev'ry bloomy fpray, With joyous mufick wake the dawning day! Why fit we mute when early linnets fing, When warbling Philomel falutes the spring?


VER. 12. In your native fhades.] Sir W. Trumbal was born in Windfor-Foreft, to which he retreated after he had refign'd the poft of Secretary of State to King William III.

VER. 17, &c. The Scene of this Paftoral a Vally, the Time the Morning. It ftood originally thus ; Daphnis and Strephon to the fhades retir'd, Both warm'd by Love, and by the Mufe infpir'ds Fresh as the morn, and as the feafon fair, In flow'ry vales they fed their fleecy care; And while Aurora gilds the mountain's fide, Thus Daphnis poke, and Strephon thus reply'd.


Why fit we fad when Phosphor fhines fo clear,
And lavish nature paints the purple year?


Sing then, and Damon shall attend the strain,
While yon' flow oxen turn the furrow'd plain.
Here on green banks the blushing vi’lets glow;
Here western winds on breathing roses blow.
I'll stake yon' lamb, that near the fountain plays,
And from the brink his dancing fhade furveys.


And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines,
And swelling clusters bend the curling vines:
Four figures rifing from the work appear,
The various seasons of the rowling year;

VER. 34. The first reading was,



And his own Image from the bank furveys.
VER. 36. And clusters lurk beneath the curling vines.


35, 36. Lenta quibus torno facili fuperaddita vitis, Diffufos edera veftit pallenti corymbos. Virg.

38. The various Seafons.] The Subject of these Paftorals engraven on the bowl is not without its propriety. The Shepherd's hefitation at the name of the Zodiac, initates that in Vir,

Et quis fuit alter?
Defcripfit radio totam qui gentibus orbem.


And what is that, which binds the radiant sky,
Where twelve bright figns in beauteous order lie?

Then fing by turns, by turns the Muses fing,
Now hawthorns bloffem, now the daifies spring,
Now leaves the trees, and flow'rs adorn the ground;
Begin, the vales shall ev'ry note rebound.


Inspire me, Phœbus, in my Delia's praise
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 fand.


O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize,
And make my tongue victorious as her eyes;
No lambs or sheep for victims I'll impart,
Thy victim, Love, fhall be the shepherd's heart.




VER. 41. Then fing by turns.] Literally from Virgil,
Alternis dicetis, amant alterna Camœnæ :
Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos,
Nunc frondent fylva, nunc formofiffimus annus.

VER. 46. Granville-] George Granville, afterwards Lord Lanfdown, known for his Poems, moft of which he compos'd very young, and propos'd Waller as his model.

VER. 4. A milk-white Bull.] Virg.-Pafcite taurum, Qui cornu petat, & pedibus jam fpargat arenam.


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