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Sacred Eclogue,

In Imitation of



IN reading feveral paffages of the Prophet Ifaiah, which foretell the coming of Chrift and the felicities attending it, I could not but obferve a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and thofe in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not seem furprising, 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 by line, but felected fuch ideas as beft agreed with the nature of paftoral poetry, and difpofed them in that manner which served moft to beautify his piece. I have endeavour'd 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 thofe of the Poet. But as I fear I have prejudiced them by my management, I fhall fubjoin the paffages of Ifaiah, and those of Virgil, under the fame disadvantage of a literal tranflation. P.




In Imitation of VIRGIL'S POLLIO.

Yearly themes fublimer ftrains belong.

E Nymphs of Solyma! begin the fong:



The moffy fountains, and the fylvan fhades,
The dreams of Pindus and th’Aonian maids,
Delight no more-0 thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Ifaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!'
Rapt into future times, the Bard begun :
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!




All crimes fhall

VER. 8. A Virgin shall conceive

ceafe, etc.]

VIRG. E. iv.
v. 6.

Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna;
Jam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.
Te duce, fi qua manent fceleris vestigia nostri,
Irrita perpetua folvent formidine terras-
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.

Now the Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new Progeny is fent down from high heaven. By means of thee, whatever reliques of our crimes remain, hall be wiped away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He hall govern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his Father.

ISAIAH, Ch. vii. v. 14. Behold a Virgin fhall conceive and bear a Son.-Ch. ix. v. 6, 7. Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; the Prince of Peace: of the increase


From Jeffe's root behold a branch arife,

Whofe facred flow'r with fragrance fills the skies:
Th'Æthereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its tops defcends the myftic Dove.
Ye + Heav'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in foft filence shed the kindly show'r!

The fick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From ftorms a fhelter, and from heat a fhade.


All crimes fhall cease, and ancient fraud fhall fail ; Returning | Justice lift aloft her scale;

Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,

And white-rob'd Innocence from heav'n defcend.
Swift fly the years, and rife th' expected morn! 21
Oh spring to light, aufpicious Babe, be born!
See Nature haftes her earliest wreathes to bring,
With all the incenfe of the breathing spring:



of his government, and of his peace, there shall be no end: Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order and to ftablish it, with judgment, and with juflice, for ever and ever. P.

VER. 23. See Nature haftes, etc.]
VIRG. E. iv. v. 18.

At tibi prima, puer, nullo manufcula cultu,
Errantes hederas paffim cum baccare tellus,
Mixtaque ridenti colocafia fundet acantho
Ipfa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores.

For thee, O Child, shall the earth, without being tille, produce her early offerings; winding ivy, mixed with Baccar, and Colocafia with fmiling Acanthus. Thy cradle fball pour forth pleafing flowers about thee.

ISAIAH, Ch. xxxv. v. 1. The wilderness and the fulitary place fhall be glad, and the defart shall rejoice and blofJom

* Ifai xi, v. 1. † Ch. xlv. v. 8. Ch. xxv. v. 4. !!Ch. ix. v. 7.

See* lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance :
See fpicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,⚫

And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely defart chears;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears :
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down ye mountains, and ye valleys rife,





fom as the rofe. Ch. lx. v. 13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of the fanctuary.. P. VER. 29. Hark, a glad Voice, etc.]

VIRG. E. iv. v. 45.

Aggredere o magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
Cara deûm foboles, magnum Jovis incrementum
Ipfi lætitia voces ad fydera jactant

Intonfi montes, ipfæ jam carmina rupes,
Ipfa fonant arbufta, Deus, deus ille Menalca!
E. v. ver. 62.
Oh come and receive the mighty honours: the time draws
nigh, O beloved offspring of the Gods, O great encrease of
Jove! The uncultivated mountains fend fhouts of joy to the
ftars, the very rocks fing in verfe, the very fhrubs cry out,
A God, a God!

ISAIAH, Ch. xl. v. 3, 4. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord! make frait in the defart a high way for our God! Every val ley fhall be exalted, and every mountain and bill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made ftrait, and the rough places plain. Ch. iv. v. 23. Break forth into finging, ye mountains! O foreft, and every tree therein! for the Lord hath redeemed Ifrael. P.

* Ch. xxxv. v. 2.

† Ch. xl. v. 3, 4.

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