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latter. And if our poets would accuftom themselves to contemplate fully every object, before they attempted to describe it, they would not fail of giving their readers more new images than they generally do. *


* A fummer evening, for inftance, after a fhower, has been frequently described: but never, that I can recollect, so justly as in the following lines, whose greatest beauty is that hinted above, a fimple enumeration of the appearances of nature, and of what is actually to be seen at fuch a time. They are not unworthy the correct and pure Tibullus.

Vefpere fub verno, tandem actis imbribus, æther
Guttatim fparfis rorat apertus aquis.
Aureus abrupto curvamine defuper arcus
Fulget, et ancipiti lumine tingit agros.
Continuò fenfus pertentat frigoris aura
Vivida, et infinuans mulcet amænus odor.
Pallentes fparfim accrefcunt per pafcua fungi,
Lætius et torti graminis herba viret.
Plurimus annofâ decuffus ab arbore limax
In putri lentum tramite fulcat iter.
Splendidus accendit per dumos lampada vermis,
Roscida dum tremulâ femita luce micat.

These are the particular circumftances that ufually fucceed a shower at that feason, and yet these are new and untouched by any other writer. The Carmina Quadragefimalia, volume the fecond, printed at Oxford 1748, from whence this is transcribed, (page 14,) contain many copies of exquifite descripsive poetry, in a genuine claffical style. See particularly The

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THESE obfervations on Thomson, which however would not have been fo large, if there had been already any confiderable criticifm on his character, might be ftill augmented by an examination and developement of the beauties in the Loves of the birds, in SPRING, verfe 580. A view of the torrid zone in SUMMER, verfe 626. The rife of fountains and rivers in AUTUMN, verfe 781. A man perishing in the fnows, in WINTER, verse 277, and the wolves defcending from the Alps, and and a view of winter within the polar circle, verfe 809, which are all of them highly finished originals, excepting a few of those blemishes intimated above. WINTER is in my apprehenfion the most valuable of these four poems, the scenes of it, like those of Il Penferofo of Milton, being of that awful, and

Rivers, page 4. The Morning, page 12. The House of Care, from Spenfer, page 16. The Mahometan paradife, page 32. The Trees of different foils, page 63. The Bird's neft, page 82. Geneva, page 89. Virgil's tomb, page 97. The Indian, page 118. The House of Discord, page 133. Columbus firft difcovering the land of the West Indies, page 125. &c.


folemn, and penfive kind, on which a great genius best delights to dwell.

MR. POPE it feems was of opinion, that descriptive poetry is a compofition as abfurd as a feast made up of fauces: and I know many other persons that think meanly of it. I will not presume to say it is equal, either in dignity or utility, to thofe compofitions that lay open the internal conftitution of man, and that IMITATE characters, manners, and fentiments. I may however remind such contemners of it, that, in a sister-art, landschapepainting claims the very next rank to historypainting; being ever preferred to fingle portraits, to pieces of ftill-life, to droll figures, to fruit and flower-pieces; that Titian thought it no diminution of his genius, to spend much of his time in works of the former fpecies; and that, if their principles lead them to condemn Thomfon, they must also condemn the Georgics of Virgil, and the greatest part of the noblest descriptive poem extant, I mean, that of Lucretius.

WE are next to speak of the LYRIC pieces of POPE. He used to declare, that if Mr. Dryden had finished a translation of the Iliad, he would not have attempted one after so great a mafter; he might have said with more propriety, I will not write a mufic-ode after Alexander's Feast, which the variety and harmony of its numbers, and the beauty and force of its images, have confpired to place at the head of modern lyric compofitions. This of Mr. POPE is, however, indifputably the second of the kind, * " propior tamen primo quam


The inferiority of Addifon's ODE, to POPE, on this fubject, is manifeft and remarkable. What profaic tameness and infipidity do we meet with in the following lines?

Cecilia's name does all our numbers grace,
From every voice the tuneful accents fly,

In foaring trebles now it rifes high,

And now it finks and dwells upon the base.

This almoft defcends to burlesque. What follows is hardly rhyme, and furely not poetry:

Confecrate the place and day,

To mufic and Cecilia.

Mufic the greatest good that mortals know.

Mufic can noble hints impart.


tertio," to use an expreffion of Quintilian. The first stanza is almost a perfect concert of itself; every different inftrument is described

There follows in this ftanza, which is the third, a description of a subject very trite, Orpheus drawing the beafts about him. POPE fhewed his fuperior judgment in taking no notice of this old story, and selecting a more new, as well as more ftriking incident, in the life of Orpheus. It was the cuftom of this time, for almost every rhymer to try his hand in an ode on St. Cecilia; we find many despicable rapfodies, fo called, in Tonfon's Miscellanies. We have therefore also preserved another, and an earlier ode, of Dryden on this fubject. One stanza of which I cannot forbear inserting in this note. It was fet to mufic 1687. by I. Baptifta Dragh.

What paffion cannot mufic raise and quell!
When Jubal struck the chorded shell,

His lift'ning brethren stood around,

And wond'ring on their faces fell,
To worship that celeftial found:

Less than a god they thought there could not dwell,

Within the hollow of that shell,

That spoke so sweetly and fo well.

What paffion cannot mufic raise and quell!

This is fo complete and engaging a history-piece, that I knew a person of tafte who was refolved to have it executed, if an artist could have been found, on one fide of his falloon. In which case, said he, the painter has nothing to do, but to substitute colours for words, the defign being finished to his hands. The reader doubtless observes the fine effect of the repetition of the last line; as well as the ftroke of nature, in making these rude Hearers imagine fome god lay concealed in this first musician's inftrument.


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