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"nocte," and in vain ftretching out her feeble arms/ towards him,

Invalidafque tibi tendens, heu! non tua, palmas. *

This lively and pathetic attitude would have shone under the hands of POPE. The reader, I prefume, feels the effect of the judicious placing in the verse, heu! non tua, and of its repetition after tibi. The places in which Orpheus, according to POPE, made his lamentations, are not fo wild, fo favage and difmal, as thofe mentioned by Virgil; to introduce him " befide the falls of foun

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tains," conveys not such an image of defolation and despair, as the caverns on the banks of Strymon and Tanais, the Hyperborean defarts, and the Riphæan folitudes. And to fay of Hebrus, only, that it "rolls in meanders," is flat and frigid, and does not heighten the melancholy of the place. There is an antithefis in the fucceeding lines, "he glows "amid Rhodope's fnows," which I hope the

* Ver. 498.

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poet

poet did not intend, as it would be a trivial and puerile conceit. The death of Orpheus is expreffed with a beautiful brevity and abruptness, suitable to the nature of the ode ;

Hark! Hamus refounds with the Bacchanals cries,
Ah! fee he dies!

Yet ev'n in death Eurydice he fung.

Where instead of fung, Virgil fays vocabat, which is more natural and tender; and Virgil adds a very moving epithet, that he called miferam Eurydicen. I am fenfible POPE

never intended an exact tranflation of the paffages of the Georgics here alleged; I only hint, that in my humble judgment he has omitted fome of the most striking incidents in the story. I have lately feen a manuscript ode, entitled, "On the Ufe and Abuse of Poetry," in which Orpheus is confidered in another, and a higher light, according to ancient mythology, as the first legislator and civilizer of mankind. I fhall here infert a ftanza of it, containing part of what relates to this fubject.

ANTIS TROPHE. II.

Such was wife Orpheus' moral fong,

The lonely cliffs and caves among;

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From hollow oak, or mountain-den,
He drew the naked, gazing men,

Or where in turf-built fheds, or rufhy bowers,
They shiver'd in cold wintry fhowers,
Or funk in heapy fnows;

Then fudden, while his melting mufic ftole
With powerful magic o'er each softening foul,
Society, and law, and facred order rose.

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Father of peace and arts! he first the city built;
No more the neighbour's blood was by his neighbour spilt;
He taught to till, and separate the lands;

He fix'd the roving youths in Hymen's myrtle bands;
Whence dear domestic life began,

And all the charities that foften'd man:

The babes that in their father's faces fmil'd,
With lifping blandishments their rage beguil❜d,

And tender thoughts infpir'd! &c.

--

I am not permitted to transcribe any more, and therefore return to POPE again.

THE beginning of the last stanza of the ode here examined, feems to be a repetition of the

fubject

fubject of the second, the power of mufic over the paffions, which may perhaps be reckoned a blameable tautology; especially as these lines,

Mufic the fierceft grief can charm,
And fate's feverest rage difarm;

Mufic can foften pain to ease,

And make despair and madness please ;

are inferior, I am afraid, to the former on the same subject, which contain beautiful and poetical perfonifications;

Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus roufes from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Liftning Envy drops her fnakes;
Inteftine war no more our paffions wage,
And giddy factions hear away their rage.

It is obfervable that this ode of POPE, and the Alexander's Feast of Dryden, both of them conclude with an epigram of four lines; a fpecies of wit as flagrantly unfuitable to the dignity, and as foreign to the nature, of the lyric, as it is of the epic mufe.

IT is to be regretted, that Mr. Handel has not fet to mufic the former, as well as the latter, of these celebrated odes, in which he has difplayed the combined powers of verse and voice, to a wonderful degree. No poem indeed, affords fo much various matter for a composer to work upon; as Dryden has here introduced and expreffed all the greater paffions, and as the tranfitions from one to the other are sudden and impetuous. Of which we feel the effects, in the pathetic description of the fall of Darius, that immediately fucceeds. the joyous praises of Bacchus. The fymphony, and air particularly, that accompanies the four words, fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen," is ftrangely moving, and confifts of a few

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*

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* The mention of this pathetic air, reminds me of a story of the celebrated Lully, who having been one day accused of never fetting any thing to mufic, but the languid verfes of Quinault, was immediately animated with the reproach, and as it were seized with a kind of enthusiasm; he ran instantly to his harpfichord, and ftriking a few cords, fung in recitative these four lines in the Iphigenia of Racine, which are full of the ftrongest imagery, and are therefore much more difficult to exprefs in mufic, than verfes of mere fentiment,

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