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A nightingale, foon hears him, and draws nigh
(The branching foliage fcreen'd her from the eye)
And deep imbibes the founds: the pleasing strain
Her ear receiv'd, fhe warbles' o'er again;
And, as his fingers play'd, each rising note
Return'd in echos from her lab'ring throat.
His rival the mufician quickly heard,
And strait refolv'd to give th'ambitious bird
Full trial of her fkill. He firft explor'd
The latent energy of ev'ry chord,
And fix'd the num'rous ftrings exactly right,
Then, as a prelude to the future fight,
His fingers with a fov'reign impulse sweep
The founding lyre: diverfify'd and deep
The ftrains arife: again the ftrains are play'd
By the melodious tenant of the fhade,
And with a like variety and strength
She trills her raptures to an equal length,
The earnest of her pow'rs. The artist's stroke,
Soon with a feeming negligence awoke
His harp, that gave an undistinguish'd found;
Then one by one th' elastic strings rebound;
And now o'er all the chords his fingers fly;
The strains in clofe fucceffion mount the sky.
He paus'd. The nightingale renews her art,..
And warbles o'er her leffon part by part:
Now with a careless freedom tunes her throat,
And dwells upon the long-extended note;
And now with artful modulation plays
Her voice, and trills and quavers o'er her lays:
The man admir'd to hear a bird repeat
A tune at once fo complicate and fweet,
And now his vocal inftrument prepares
For bolder mufic, and fublimer airs.
In keen and shrilling strains the strings rebound
Now in the deep majestic base resound:
Now with the hoarfe fonorous ftrains unite
Such as the trumpet's clangors that excite
The rage of armies, and provoke to fight.
The nightingale resumes, and from her throat
The treble's sharp attenuated note
Emits; then fudden finks to ftrains profound
And murmurs in the bafe's folemn found;
And now to bold full numbers fwells her voice,
And emulates the clarion's martial noife.
The tuneful artift in confufion blufh'd,
And indignation ev'ry feature flush'd.
"Once more, he cry'd, my efforts I'll renew;
"Either this mimic fongftrefs I'll fubdue,
"Or break my lute, and fhiver all its chords."
He faid; and as his lips pronounc'd the words,
With all his fkill his inftrument he plies;
Notes upon notes inimitable rife:
Swift o'er the ftrings his agil fingers glance;
Now thefe, now thofe in tuneful numbers dance;
Each chord in turn the quick vibration fhares,
Now foftly fweet, now boldly ftrong the airs:
In rapid multiplicity he plays,
Affumes, and reaffumes the dying lays :
Then with majestic sounds concludes the song;
Majestic founds the ech'ing hills prolong.
He ceas'd, expecting if the rival-bird
Would back return the melody fhe heard ;
The bird, tho' with her toils grown hoarse and tir'd,
Still with a noble emulation fir'd,
With all her might ftrove to repeat the ftrain,
But, ah! with all her might she ftrove in vain ;
For lab'ring to reverberate the fong,
Impetuous, complicate, fublime, and ftrong,
Her utt'rance fail'd: like an envenom'd dart,
Th' inglorious disappointment pierc'd her heart;
Unequal to the ftrife fhe yields her breath,
And on the victor's viol drops in death,
As the dire inftrument her ruin wrought,
She for her laft funereal bed had fought.
* Thou cruel conqu'ror, fwathe in black thy lute, And let it lie for ever, ever mute;
Or if the guilty ftrings are touch'd again,
Solemn and fad be ev'ry future ftrain,
And mourn the lovely Philomela flain t.
* The five last lines are not in STRADA, but added by the Tranflator.
+ Jam Sol à medio pronus deflexerat orbe
Mitius è radiis vibrans crinalibus ignem.
Cum fidicen propter Tiberina fluenta fonanti
Lenibat plectro curas, æftumque levabat
Hic defenfus nigra fcenaque virenti.
Audiit hunc hofpes filvæ philomela propinquæ,
Mufa loci, nemoris firen, innoxia firen.
At prope fuccedens ftetit abdita frondibus, alte
Accipiens fonitum, fecumque remurmurat, & quos
Ille modos variat digitis, hæc gutture reddit.
Senfit fe fidicen philomela imitante referri,
Et placuit ludum volucri dare. Plenius ergo
Explorat citharam, tentamentumque futuræ
Præbeat ut pugnæ, percurrit protinus omnes
Impulfu pernice fides. Nec fegnius illa
Mille per excurrens variæ difcrimina vocis
Venturi fpecimen præfert argutula cantus.
Tunc fidicen per fila movens trepidantia dextram,
Nunc contemnenti fimilis diverberat ungue
Depectitque pari chordas & fimplice ductu;
Nunc carptim replicat, digitifque micantibus urget
Fila minutatim, celerique repercutit i&tu.
Mox filet. Illa modis totidem refpondet, & artem
Arte refert. Nunc ceu rudis, aut incerta canendi
Projicit in longum, nulloque plicatile flexu
Carmen init, fimili ferie, jugique tenore
Præbet iter liquidum labenti è pectore voci ;
Nunc cæfim variat, modulifque canora minutís
Delibrat vocem, tremuloque reciprocat ore.
Miratur fidicen parvis è faucibus ire
Tam varium tam dulce melos; majoraque tentans
Alternat mira arte fides; dum torquet acutas,
Inciditque graves operofo verbere pulfat,
Permifcetque fimul certantia rauca fonoris,
Ceu refides in bella viros clangore laceffat.
Hoc etiam philomela canit dumque ore liquenti
Vibrat acuta fonum, modulifque interplicat æquis;
Ex inopinato gravis intonat, & leve murmur
Turbinat introrfus, alternantique fonore
Clarat, & infufcat ceu martia claffica pulfet.
Scilicet erubuit fidicen, iraque calente,
Aut non hoc, inquit, referes citharistria filvæ,
Aut fracta cedam cithara. Nec plura loquutus
Non imitabilibus plectrum concentibus urget.
Namque manu per fila volat, fimul hos, fimul illos
Explorat numeros, chordaque laborat in omni,
Et ftrepit, & tinnit, crefcitque fuperbius, & se
Multiplicat relegens, plenoque choreumata plaudit.
Tum ftetit expectàns fi quid paret æmula contra.
Illa autem, quamquam vox dudum exercita fauces
Afperat, impatiens vinci fimul advocat omnes
Nequidquam vires: nam dum difcrimina tanta
Reddere tot fidium nativa & fimplice tentat
Voce, canaliculifque imitari grandia parvis;
Impar magnanimis aufis, imparque dolori
Deficit, & vitam fummo in certamina linquens
Victoris cadit in plectrum par nacta fepulcrum.
Ufque adeò & tenues anima, ferit æmula virtus.
STRADA Proluf. 6. lib. iii. in Style Claudiano.
§ 3. We may meet with feveral instances of the Enantiofis in the facred Writings. In the 29th and 30th chapters of Job we have the different pictures which JOB draws of himself in the season of his former profperity, and in that of his prefent affliction, and how ftrong a contraft is there between them? In chap. xxix. 2, 7. and the following verses, he fays, "O! that I were as in " months past, as in the days when GoD preferved me. When I went out to the gate through the city; when I prepared my feat in "the street. The young men faw me, and hid " themselves; and the aged arofe, and stood up. "The princes refrained talking, and laid their " hand on their mouth: the nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of $ their mouth. When the ear heard me, then " it blessed me; and when the eye faw me, it gave witness unto me." But in the next chapter, he tells us, verse 1. " But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fa"thers I would have difdained to have set with "the dogs of my flock." And verfe 9. and the following, " And now am I their fong, yea, I " am their by-word. They abhor me, they flee " far from me, and fpare not to fpit in my face. "Because he hath loofed my cord, and afflicted
me; they have also let loose the bridle before
me. Upon my right-hand rife the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction: they mar my path; they fet forward my calamity;