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These two circumftances are fancied with equal force and propriety; and this supposed prognoftic of the uneafinefs fhe would undergo in the monastic life, is very affecting. But her paffion intruded itself even in the midst of this awful act of devotion; the ftrength of which the reprefents by this particular,

Yet then to thefe dread altars as I drew,

Not on the Cross my eyes were fix'd but You.

Here the gives her fondness leave to expatiate into many luscious ideas;

+ Still on that breaft enamour'd let me lie, Still drink delicious poifon from thy eye, Pant on thy lip, and to thy heart be prest;

And then follows a line exquifitely paffionate, and worthy the fenfibility of Sappho or of Eloifa,

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Give all thou canst !and let me dream the rest das

Suddenly the here checks the torrent of this amorous tranfport

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* V. 115.

+ V. 123.


Ah no-instruct me other joys to prize,
With other beauties charm my partial eyes,
Full in my view fet all the bright abode,
And make my foul quit Abelard for God.

She puts him in mind of his being the father and founder of the monastery, and entreats him to vifit his flock on that account. This topic is taken from the Letters.

+ From the falfe world in early youth they fled,
By thee to mountains, wilds, and defarts led;
You rais'd thefe hallow'd walls; the defart fmil'd,
And paradife was open'd in the wild.

"Nihil hic fuper alienum ædificâfti fundamentum; totum quod hic eft, tua creatio eft. Solitudo hæc feris tantum, five latronibus vacans, nullam hominum habitationem noverat, nullam domum habuerat. In ipfis cubilibus ferarum, in ipfis latibulis latronum, ubi nec nominari deus folet, divinum erexisti tabernaculum, & fpiritûs fancti proprium dedicâfti templum. Nihil ad hoc ædificandum

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ex regum vel principum opibus intulifti, cum plurima poffes & maxima, ut quicquid fieret, tibi foli poffet afcribi.". Which last sentence is finely improved by POPE; being at once heightened with pathos and poetic imagery; and containing an oblique fatire on benefactions raised by avarice, or extorted by fear

* No weeping orphan faw his father's ftores
Our fhrines irradiate or emblaze our floors;
No filver faints by dying misers giv❜n,
Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited heav'n;'
But fuch plain roofs as piety could raise.

No part of this poem, or indeed of any of POPE's productions is fo truly poetical, and contains fuch strong painting, as the paffage to which we are now arrived ;-The defcription of the convent, where POPE'S religion certainly aided his fancy. It is impoffible to read it without being ftruck with a penfive pleasure, and a facred awe, at the folemnity of the fcene; fo picturesque are the epithets.

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* V. 135.

*In thefe lone walls, (their days eternal bound)
Thefe mofs-grown domes with fpiry turrets crown'd,
Where awful arches make a noonday night,
And the dim windows fhed a folemn light;
Thy eyes diffus'd a reconciling ray.

All the circumftances that can amufe and footh the mind of a folitary, are next enumerated in this expreffive manner: and the reader that shall be difgufted at the length of the quotation, I pronounce, has no tafte, either for painting or poetry:

+ The darkfome pines that o'er yon rocks reclin'd
Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind,
The wand'ring streams that shine between the hills,
The grots that echo to the tinckling rills,
The dying gales that pant upon the trees,
The lakes that quiver to the curling breeze;
No more these scenes my meditation aid,
Or lull to reft the vifionary maid.

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The effect and influence, of MELANCHOLY who is beautifully perfonified, on every object that occurs, and on every part of the convent, cannot be too much applauded, or

* V: 141.

+ V. 154.


too often read, as it is founded on nature and experience. That temper of mind cafts a gloom on all things.



* But o'er the twilight groves and dusky caves,
Long-founding iles, and intermingled graves,
Black MELANCHOLY fits, and round her throws
A death-like filence, and a dread repofe;
Her gloomy presence faddens all the scene,
Shades every flower, and darkens every green,
Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,

And breathes a browner horror on the woods.

The figurative expreffions, throws, and breathes, and browner horror, are I verily believe the strongest and boldeft in the English language. The IMAGE of the Goddefs MELANCHOLY fitting over the convent, and as it were expanding her dreadful wings over its whole circuit, and diffufing her gloom all around it, is truely sublime, and strongly conceived.or

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ELOISA proceeds to give an account of the oppofite fentiments, that divide and disturb her foul; these are hinted in the Letters alfo,

V. 163.


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