« EelmineJätka »
The rock's high fummit, in the temple's shade,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
Four faces had the dome, and ev'ry face
VER. 65. Four faces had the dome, etc.] The Temple is defcribed to be fquare, the four fronts with open gates facing the different quarters of the world, as an intimation that all nations of the earth may alike he received into it. The western front is of Grecian architecture: The Doric order was peculiarly facred to
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the diff'rent quarters of the sky.
Here fabled Chiefs in darker ages born,
Or Worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn, 70
Strikes, and beholds a fudden Thebes aspire!
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 see the length'ning fpires afcend,
The Eastern front was glorious to behold,
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 Chaldeans (the chief of whom was Zoroafter) employed their ftudies upon magic and astrology, which was in a manner almost all the learning of the ancient Afian people. We have fcarce any account of a moral philofophor except Confucius,the great law-giver of the Chinese, who lived about two thousand years ago. P.
Of Talismans and Sigils knew the pow'r,
VER. 110. Egypt's priests, etc.] The learning of the old Ægyptian Priests confifted for the most part in geometry and aftronomy: they alfo preferved the Hiftory of their nation. Their greatest Hero upon record is Sefoftris, whofe 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 correfpondent 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,
ing of the northern nations lay more obfcure than that of the relt; Zamolxis was the disciple 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 inspirations, from whence he dictated his laws: he is faid 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 favage virtue. Thofe heroic barbarians accounted it a dishonour to die in their beds, and rushed on to certain death in the profpect of an afterlife, and for the glory of a song from their bards in praise of their actions. P.
VER. 132. The wall in luftre, etc.]