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And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines, 35 And swelling clusters bend the curling vines : Four figures rising from the work appear, The various seasons of the rolling year; And what is that, which binds the radiant sky, Where twelve fair signs in beauteous order lie? 40
DAMON. Then sing by turns, by turns the Muses sing, Now hawthorns blossom, now the daisies spring, Now leaves the trees, and flow’rs adorn the ground; Begin, the vales shall ev'ry note rebound.
Inspire me, Phoebus, in my Delia's praise,
Ver. 38. The various seasons, &c.] The subject of these Pastorals engraven on the bowl is not without its propriety:-Warburton.
My friend Mr. William Collins, author of the Persian Eclogues and Odes, assured me that Thomson informed him, that he took the first hint and idea of writing bis Seasons, from the titles of Pope's four Pastorals. So that these Pastorals have not had only the merit of setting a pattern for correct and musical versification ; but have given rise to some of the truest poetry in our language.-Warton.
Ver. 41. sing by turns,] Amabæan verses, and the custom of vying in extempore verses, by turns, was derived from the old Sicilian shepherds, and spread over all Italy ; and is, as Mr. Spence observes, exactly like the practice of the Improvisatori at present in Italy.--Warton.
Ver. 46. Granville) George Granville, afterwards Lord Lansdown,
Ver. 36. And clusters lurk beneath the curling vines.-P. This line was probably rejected from its resembling too nearly Dryden. The “Grapes in clusters lurk beneath the vines.” Dryden's Translation of Virgil's Eclogues.--Bowles.
Ver. 35, 36.
“ Lenta quibus torno facili superaddita vitis,
Diffusos edera vestit pallente corymbos.” Virg. The Shepherd's hesitation at the name of the Zodiac imitates that in Virgil,
“Et quis fuit alter,
Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos,
A milk-white Bull shall at your altars stand,
O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize,
Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain,
O'er golden sands let rich Pactolus flow, And trees weep amber on the banks of Po;
known for his poems, most of which he composed very young, and proposed Waller as his model.-P.
Ver 49. Originally thus in the MS.
Pan, let my numbers equal Strephon's lays,
But if I conquer and augment my fold,
Thy Parian statue shall be chang’d to gold.-Warburlon.
Let rich Iberia golden fleeces boast,
Blest Thames's shores, &c.-P.
Go, flow'ry wreath, and let my Silvia know,
Ver. 47. A milk-white Bull] Virg.
Et fugit ad salices, sed se cupit ante videri.”—P.
Bright Thames's shores the brightest beauties yield,
STREPHON. All nature mourns, the skies relent in show'rs, Hush'd are the birds, and clos’d the drooping flow’rs; If Delia smile, the flow’rs begin to spring, The skies to brighten, and the birds to sing.
All nature laughs, the groves are fresh and fair,
Sylvia's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May, More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day;
Then die ; and dying teach the lovely maid
Go, tuneful bird, that pleas'd the woods so long,
For Heav'n alone is worthy such a lay.-Warburton.
All nature mourns, the birds their songs deny,
“ Aret ager, vitio moriens sitit aëris herba,” &c.
Ev’n spring displeases, when she shines not here;
Nay tell me first, in what more happy fields
Cease to contend; for, Daphnis, I decree The bowl to Strephon, and the lamb to thee. Blest Swains, whose Nymphs in ev'ry grace excel; Blest Nymphs, whose Swains those graces sing so well! Now rise, and haste to yonder woodbine bow'rs, A soft retreat from sudden vernal show'rs; The turf with rural dainties shall be crown'd, While op'ning blooms diffuse their sweets around. 100 For see! the gath’ring flocks to shelter tend, And from the Pleiads fruitful show'rs descend.
Ver. 86. A wondrous Tree that sacred Monarchs bears ; ] An allusion to the Royal Oak, in which Charles II. had been hid from the pursuit after the battle at Worcester.-P.
Ver. 99. was originally,
The turf with country dainties shall be spread,
Ver. 90. The Thistle springs, to which the Lily yields :] Alludes to the device of the Scots Monarchs, the Thistle, worn by Queen Anne ; and to the arms of France, the Fleur de lys. The two riddles are in imitation of those in Virg. Ecl. iii.
“ Dic quibus in terris inscripti nomina Regum
Nascantur Flores, et Phyllida solus habeto.”—P.
THE SECOND PASTORAL,
TO DR. GARTH.
A SHEPHERD's Boy (he seeks no better name)
Accept, O GARTH! the Muse's early lays,
Ver. 3. The Scene of this Pastoral by the river-side, suitable to the heat of the season ; the Time, noon.-P.
Ver. 9. Dr. Samuel Garth, author of the Dispensary, was one of the
A faithful swain, whom Love had taught to sing,
Thro' verdant forests, and thro' flow'ry meads.-P.
There to the winds he plain’d his hapless love,
Ver. 1. Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar, January :
A shepherd's boy (no better do him call),
Led forth his flock, that had been loug ypent.— Bowles.
* Jupiter et læto descendet plurimus imbri.” Virg.-P.