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IN reading feveral paffages of the prophet Ifaiah, which foretell the coming of Christ, and the felicities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not feem furprifing, when we reflect, that the Eclogue was taken from a Sibylline prophecy on the fame fubject. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line for line; but selected fuch ideas as beft agreed with the nature of paftoral poetry, and difpofed them in that manner which ferved most to beautify his piece. I have endeavoured the fame in this imitation of him, though without admitting any thing of my own; fince it was written with this particular view, that the reader, by comparing the feveral thoughts, might fee how far the images and defcriptions of the Prophet are fuperior to those of the Poet. But as I fear I have prejudiced them by my management, I fhall subjoin the paffages of Ifaiah, and those of Virgil, under the fame disadvantage of a literal translation.
MESS I A H.
IN IMITATION OF VIRGIL'S POLLIO,
Nymphs of Solyma! begin the fong:
To heavenly themes fublimer strains belong.
Ver. 8. A Virgin fhall conceive-All crimes fhall ceafe, &c.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 6.
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna;
"Now the Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Sa"turn returns, now a new progeny is fent down from "high heaven. By means of thee, whatever reliques of
our crimes remain, shall be wiped away, and free the "world from perpetual fears. He fhall govern the earth "in peace, with the virtues of his Father."
From Jeffe's root behold a branch arise,
Whofe facred flower with fragrance fills the skies:
And white-rob'd Innocence from heaven defcend.
ISAIAH, Ch. vii. ver. 14. "Behold a Virgin shall <conceive and bear a Son.-Chap. ix. ver. 6, 7. Un"to us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given; the "Prince of Peace: of the increase of his government, "and of his peace, there fhall be no end: Upon the "throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order " and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, "for ever and ever."
Ver. 23. See Nature hastes, &c.] Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 18,
At tibi prima, puer, nullo munuscula cultu,
*Ifai. xi. ver. 1. + Ch. xlv. ver. 8, §. Ch, ix. ver. 7.