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Oft startling such as, ftudious, walk below,

And flowly circles through the waving air?

Or who, in speaking of a fummer evening, hath ever mentioned,

The quail that clamours for his running mate?

Or the following natural image, at the fame. time of the year?

Wide o'er the thiftly lawr, as fwells the breeze,
A whitening shower of vegetable down
Amufive floats.

Where do we find the filence and expectation that precedes an April fhower infifted ọn, as in ver. 165 of SPRING, or where,

The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard
By fuch as wander through the forest walks,
Beneath th 'umbrageous multitude of leaves. †


How full, particular and picturesque is this affemblage of circumstances that attend a very keen froft in a night of winter!

Ver. 1645.

+ Ver. 176.


Loud rings the frozen earth, and hard reflects

A double noife; while at his evening watch
The village dog deters the nightly thief;

The heifer lows; the diftant water-fall
Swells in the breeze; and with the hafty tread
Of traveller, the hollow-founding plain
Shakes from afar. *

In no one subject are common poets more confused and unmeaning, than in their defcriptions of rivers, which are generally faid only to wind and to murmur, while their qualities and courses are feldom accurately marked; examine the exactness of the ensuing defcription, and confider what a perfect idea it communicates to the mind.

Around th' adjoining brook, that purls along
The vocal grove, now fretting o'er a rock,
Now scarcely moving through a reedy pool,
Now starting to a fudden stream, and now
Gently diffus'd into a limpid plain;
A various groupe the herds and flocks compofe,
Rural confufion! +

Winter, Ver. 735

+ Summer, Ver. 477.

A groupe

A groupe worthy the pencil of Giacomo da Baffano, and fo minutely delineated, that he might have worked from this sketch;

On the graffy bank

Some ruminating lie; while others ftand
Half in the flood, and often bending fip
The circling furface.

He adds, that the ox in the middle of them,

From his fides

The troublous infects lafhes, to his fides
Returning ftill. *

A natural circumstance, that to the best of my remembrance hath escaped even the natural Theocritus. Nor do I recollect that any poet hath been struck with the murmurs of the numberless infects, that swarm abroad at the noon of a fummer's day; as attendants of the evening indeed, they have been mentioned;

Refounds the living furface of the ground:
Nor undelightful is the ceafelefs hum

**Summer, Ver. 485. et feq.


To him who muses through the woods at noon;
Or drowsy fhepherd, as he lies reclin'd
With half-fhut eyes.

But the novelty and nature we admire in the descriptions of Thomson is by no means his only excellence; he is equally to be praised, for impreffing on our minds the effects, which the fcene delineated would have on the present spectator or hearer. Thus having spoken of the roaring of the favages in the wilderness of Africa, he introduces a captive, who though just escaped from + prifon and flavery under the tyrant of Morocco, is fo terrified and aftonished at the dreadful uproar, that

. The wretch half wishes for his bonds again.

Thus also having described a caravan loft and overwhelmed in one of those whirlwinds that fo frequently agitate and lift up the whole fands of the defart, he finishes his picture by

adding that,

• Summer, Ver. 299.

+ Ver. 925.


In Cairo's crouded ftreet *

Th 'impatient merchant, wondering waits in vain,
And Mecca faddens at the long delay.

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And thus, laftly, in defcribing the peftilence that deftroyed the British troops at the fiege of Carthagena, he has used a circumstance inimitably lively, picturefque, and striking to the imagination; for he fays that the admiral not only heard the groans of the fick that echoed from ship to ship, but that he also penfively ftood, and liftened at midnight to the dashing of the waters, occafioned by throwing the dead bodies into the fea;

Heard, nightly, plung'd into the fullen waves,
The frequent corfe. †

A minute and particular enumeration of cir cumstances judiciously felected, is what chiefly discriminates poetry from hiftory, and renders the former, for that reafon, a more close and faithful representation of nature than the

Summer, Ver. 966.

+ Ver. 1035.


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