Dryden's VIRGIL Printed for Iacob Tonson


Translated into English Verse; By Mr. DRYDEN.

Adorn'd with a Hundred Sculptures.

Sequiturque Patrem non passibus Aequis.
Virg. Aen. 2.

LONDON, Printed for Jacob Tonson, at the Judges-Head in Fleetstreet, near the Inner-Temple-Gate, MDCXCVII.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE Hugh Lord Clifford, BARON of Chudleigh.

My Lord,

I HAVE found it not more difficult to Translate Virgil, than to find such Patrons as I desire for my Translation. For though England is not wanting in a Learned Nobility, yet such are my unhappy Circumstances, that they have confin'd me to a narrow choice. To the greater part, I have not the Honour to be known; and to some of them I cannot shew at present, by any publick Act, that grate­ful Respect which I shall ever bear them in my heart. Yet I have no reason to complain of Fortune, since in the midst of that abundance I could not possibly have chosen better, than the Worthy Son of so Illustrious a Father. He was the Patron of my Manhood, when I Flourish'd in the opinion of the World; though with small advantage to my Fortune, 'till he awaken'd the remembrance of my Royal Master. He was that Pollio, or that Varus, who introduc'd me to Augustus: And tho' he soon dismiss'd himself from State-Affairs, yet in the short time of his Administration he shone so powerfully upon me, that like the heat of a Russian-Summer, he ripen'd the Fruits of Poetry in a cold Clymate; and gave me wherewithal to subsist at least, in the long Winter which succeeded. What I now offer to your Lordship, is the wretched remainder of a sickly Age, worn out with Study, and oppress'd by Fortune: without other support than the Constancy and Patience of a Christian. You, my Lord, are yet in the flower of your Youth, and may live to enjoy the benefits of the Peace which is promis'd Europe: I can only hear of that Blessing: for Years, and, above all things, want of health, have shut me out from sharing in the happiness. The Poets, who condemn their Tantalus to Hell, had added to his Torments, if they had plac'd him in Elysium, which is the proper Emblem of my Condition. The Fruit and the Water may reach my Lips, but cannot enter: And if they cou'd, yet I want a Palate as well as a Digestion. But it is some kind of pleasure to me, to please [Page] those whom I respect. And I am not altogether out of hope, that these Pa­storals of Virgil may give your Lordship some delight, though made En­glish by one, who scarce remembers that Passion which inspir'd my Author when he wrote them. These were his first Essay in Poetry, (if the Ceiris was not his:) And it was more excusable in him to describe Love when he was young, than for me to Translate him when I am Old. He died at the Age of fifty two, and I began this Work in my great Clymacterique. But ha­ving perhaps a better constitution than my Author, I have wrong'd him less, considering my Circumstances, than those who have attempted him be­fore, either in our own, or any Modern Language. And though this Ver­sion is not void of Errours, yet it comforts me that the faults of others are not worth finding. Mine are neither gross nor frequent, in those Ec­logues, wherein my Master has rais'd himself above that humble Stile in which Pastoral delights, and which I must confefs is proper to the Educa­tion and Converse of Shepherds: for he found the strength of his Genius b [...]times, and was even in his youth preluding to his Georgics, and his Aeneis. He cou'd not forbear to try his Wings, though his Pinions were not harden'd to maintain a long laborious flight. Yet sometimes they bore him to a pitch as lofty, as ever he was able to reach afterwards. But when he was admonish'd by his subject to descend, he came down gently circling in the air, and singing to the ground. Like a Lark, melodious in her mounting, and continuing her Song 'till she alights: still preparing for a higher flight at her next sally, and tuning her voice to better musick. The Fourth, the Sixth, and the Eighth Pastorals, are clear Evidences of this truth. In the three first he contains himself within his bounds; but Addressing to Pollio, his great Patron, and himself no vulgar Poet, he no longer cou'd restrain the freedom of his Spirit, but began to assert his Native Character, which is sublimity. Putting himself under the conduct of the same Cumaean Sybil, whom afterwards he gave for a Guide to his Aeneas. 'Tis true he was sensible of his own boldness; and we know it by the Paulo Majora, which begins his Fourth Eclogue. He remember'd, like young Manlius, that he was forbidden to Engage; but what avails an express Command to a youthful Courage, which presages Victory in the attempt? Encourag'd with Success, he proceeds farther in the Sixth, and invades the Province of Phi­losophy. And notwithstanding that Phoebus had forewarn'd him of Sing­ing Wars, as he there confesses, yet he presum'd that the search of Nature was as free to him as to Lucretius, who at his Age explain'd it according to the Principles of Epicurus. In his Eighth Eclogue, he has innovated nothing; the former part of it being the Complaint and Despair of a for­saken Lover: the latter, a Charm of an Enchantress, to renew a lost Af­fection. But the Complaint perhaps contains some Topicks which are above the Condition of his Persons; and our Author seems to have made his Herdsmen somewhat too Learn'd for their Profession: The Charms are also of the same nature, but both were Copied from Theocritus, and had re­ceiv'd the applause of former Ages in their Original. There is a kind of Ru­sticity in all those pompous Verses; somewhat of a Holiday Shepherd strut­ting in his Country Buskins. The like may be observ'd, both in the Pollio, and the Silenus; where the Similitudes are drawn from the Woods and Meadows. They seem to me to represent our Poet betwixt a Farmer, and a Courtier, when he left Mantua for Rome, and drest himself in his best Habit to appear before his Patron: Somewhat too fine for the place from whence he came, and yet retaining part of its simplicity. In the Ninth Pastoral he Collects some Beautiful passages which were scatter'd in Theo­critus, which he cou'd not insert into any of his former Eclogues, and yet [Page] was unwilling they shou'd be lost. In all the rest he is equal to his Sicilian Master, and observes like him a just decorum, both of the Subject, and the Persons. As particularly in the Third Pastoral; where one of his Shepherds describes a Bowl, or Mazer, curiously Carv'd.

In Medio duo signa: Conon, & quis fuit alter,
Descripsit radio, totum qui Gentibus orbem.

He remembers only the name of Conon, and forgets the other on set pur­pose: (whether he means Anaximander or Eudoxus I dispute not,) but he was certainly forgotten, to shew his Country Swain was no great Scholar.

After all, I must confess that the Boorish Dialect of Theocritus has a secret charm in it, which the Roman Language cannot imitate, though Vir­gil has drawn it down as low as possibly he cou'd; as in the Cujum pecus, and some other words, for which he was so unjustly blam'd by the bad Cri­ticks of his Age, who cou'd not see the Beauties of that merum Rus, which the Poet describ'd in those expressions. But Theocritus may justly be preferr'd as the Original, without injury to Virgil, who modestly con­tents himself with the second place, and glories only in being the first who transplanted Pastoral into his own Country; and brought it there to bear as happily as the Cherry-trees which Lucullus brought from Pontus.

Our own Nation has produc'd a third Poet in this kind, not inferiour to the two former. For the Shepherd's Kalendar of Spencer, is not to be match'd in any Modern Language. Not even by Tasso's Amynta, which infinitely transcends Guarinis's Pastor-Fido, as having more of Nature in it, and being almost wholly clear from the wretched affectation of Learning. I will say nothing of the Pifcatory Eclogues, because no modern Latin can bear Criticism. 'Tis no wonder that rolling down through so many barba­rous Ages, from the Spring of Virgil, it bears along with it the filth and ordures of the Goths and Vandals. Neither will I mention Monsieur Fon­tinelle, the living Glory of the French. 'Tis enough for him to have ex­cell'd his Master Lucian, without attempting to compare our miserable Age with that of Virgil, or Theocritus. Let me only add, for his reputation,

—Si Pergama dextrâ
Defendi possint, etiam hâc defensa fuissent.

But Spencer being Master of our Northern Dialect; and skill'd in Chau­cer's English, has so exactly imitated the Doric of Theocritus, that his Love is a perfect Image of that Passion which God infus'd into both Sexes, before it was corrupted with the Knowledge of Arts, and the Ceremonies of what we call good Manners.

My Lord, I know to whom I dedicate: And cou'd not have been induc'd by any motive to put this part of Virgil, or any other, into unlearned Hands. You have read him with pleasure, and I dare say, with admiration in the Latine, of which you are a Master. You have added to your Natural En­dowments, which without flattery are Eminent, the superstructures of Stu­dy, and the knowledge of good Authors. Courage, Probity, and Humanity are inherent in you. These Vertues have ever been habitual to the Ancient House of Cumberland, from whence you are descended, and of which our Chronicles make so honourable mention in the long Wars betwixt the Ri­val Families of York and Lancaster. Your Forefathers have asserted the Party which they chose 'till death, and dy'd for its defence in the Fields of Bat­tel. You have besides the fresh remembrance of your Noble Father; from whom you never can degenerate.

—Nec imbellem, feroces
Progenerant Aquilam Columbae.

It being almost morally impossible for you to be other than you are by kind; I need neither praise nor incite your Vertue. You are acquainted with the Roman History, and know without my information that Patronage and Cli­entship always descended from the Fathers to the Sons; and that the same Plebeian Houses, had recourse to the same Patrician Line, which had for­merly protected them: and follow'd their Principles and Fortunes to the last. So that I am your Lordship's by descent, and part of your Inheritance. And the natural inclination, which I have to serve you, adds to your paternal right, for I was wholly yours from the first moment, when I had the happi­ness and honour of being known to you. Be pleas'd therefore to accept the Ru­diments of Virgil's Poetry: Coursely Translated I confess, but which yet re­tains some Beauties of the Author, which neither the barbarity of our Lan­guage, nor my unskilfulness cou'd so much sully, but that they appear some­times in the dim mirrour which I hold before you. The Subject is not un­suitable to your Youth, which allows you yet to Love, and is proper to your present Scene of Life. Rural Recreations abroad, and Books at home, are the innocent Pleasures of a Man who is early Wise; and gives Fortune no more hold of him, than of necessity he must. 'Tis good, on some occasions to think beforehand as little as we can; to enjoy as much of the present as will not endanger our futurity; and to provide our selves of the Vertuoso's Saddle, which will be sure to amble, when the World is upon the hardest trott. What I humbly offer to your Lordship, is of this nature. I wish it pleasant, and am sure 'tis innocent. May you ever continue your esteem for Virgil; and not lessen it, for the faults of his Translatour; who is with all manner of Respect, and sense of Gratitude,

My Lord,
Your Lordship's most Humble, and most Obedient Servant, JOHN DRYDEN.

THE LIFE OF Pub. Virgilius Maro.

VIRGIL was born at Mantua, which City was built no less than Three Hundred Years before Rome; and was the Capital of the New Hetruria, as himself, no less An­tiquary, than Poet, assures us. His Birth is said to have hap­pen'd in the first Consulship of Pompey the Great, and Lic. Crassus; but since the Relater of this presently after contradicts himself; and Virgil's manner of Addressing to Octavius, implies a greater difference of Age than that of Seven Years, as appears by his First Pastoral, and o­ther places; it is reasonable to set the Date of it something back­ward: And the Writer of his Life having no certain Memorials to work upon, seems to have pitched upon the two most Illustrious Con­suls he could find about that time, to signalize the Birth of so Eminent a Man. But it is beyond all Question, that he was Born on, or near the Fifteenth of October. Which Day was kept Festival in honour of his Memory, by the Latin, as the Birth-Day of Homer was by the Greek Poets. And so near a resemblance there is, betwixt the Lives of these two famous Epic Writers, that Virgil seems to have fol­low'd the Fortune of the other, as well as the Subject and manner of his Writing. For Homer is said to have been of very mean Parents, such as got their Bread by Day-labour; so is Virgil. Homer is said to be Base Born; so is Virgil. The former to have been born in the open Air, in a Ditch, or by the Bank of a River; so is the latter. There was a Poplar Planted near the place of Virgil's Birth, which suddenly grew up to an unusual heighth and bulk, and to which the Superstitious Neighbourhood attributed marvellous Vertue. Homer had his Poplar too, as Herodotus relates, which was visited with great Veneration. Homer is describ'd by one of the Ancients, to have been of a slovenly and neglected Meen and Habit, so was Virgil. Both were of a very delicate and sickly Constitution: Both addicted to Travel, and the study of Astrology: Both had their Compositions usurp'd by others: Both Envy'd and traduc'd during their Lives. We know not so much as the true Names of either of them with any exactness: For the Criticks are not yet agreed how the word [Virgil] should be Writ­ten; and of Homer's Name there is no certainty at all. Whosoever [Page] shall consider this Parallel in so many particulars; (and more might be added) would be inclin'd to think, that either the same Stars Rul'd strongly at the Nativities of them both, or what is a great deal more probable; that the Latin Grammarians wanting Materials for the for­mer part of Virgil's Life, after the Legendary Fashion, supply'd it out of Herodotus; and like ill Face-Painters, not being able to hit the true Features, endeavour'd to make amends by a great deal of impertinent Landscape and Drapery.

Without troubling the Reader with needless Quotations, now, or afterwards; the most probable Opinion is, that Virgil was the Son of a Servant, or Assistant to a wandring Astrologer; who practis'd Physic. For Medicus, Magus, as Juvenal observes, usually went together; and this course of Life was follow'd by a great many Greeks and Syrians; of one of which Nations it seems not improbable, that Virgil's Father was. Nor could a Man of that Profession have chosen a fitter place to settle in, than that most Superstitious Tract of Italy; which by her ri­diculous Rites and Ceremonies as much enslav'd the Romans, as the Romans did the Hetrurians by their Arms. This Man therefore ha­ving got together some Money, which Stock he improv'd by his Skill in Planting and Husbandry, had the good Fortune, at last, to Marry his Masters Daughter, by whom he had Virgil; and this Woman seems, by her Mothers side, to have been of good Extraction; for she was nearly related to Quintilius Varus, whom Paterculus assures us to have been an Illustrious, tho' not Patrician Family; and there is honou­rable mention made of it in the History of the second Carthaginian War. It is certain, that they gave him very good Education, to which they were inclin'd; not so much by the Dreams of his Mother, and those presages which Donatus relates, as by the early indications which he gave of a sweet Disposition, and Excellent Wit. He passed the first Seven Years of his Life at Mantua, not Seventeen, as Scaliger miscorrects his Author; for the initia aetatis can hardly be supposed to extend so far. From thence he removed to Cremona, a Noble Roman Colony, and afterwards to Milan. In all which places he prosecuted his Studies with great application; he read over, all the best Latin, and Greek Authors, for which he had convenience by the no re­mote distance of Marseils, that famous Greek Colony, which main­tain'd its Politeness, and Purity of Language, in the midst of all those Barbarous Nations amongst which it was seated: And some Tincture of the latter seems to have descended from them down to the Mo­dern French. He frequented the most Eminent Professors of the Epicu­rean Philosophy, which was then much in vogue, and will be always in declining and sickly States. But finding no satisfactory Ac­count from his Master Syron, he pass'd over to the Academick School, to which he adher'd the rest of his Life, and deserv'd, from a great Emperour, the Title of the Plato of Poets. He compos'd at leisure hours a great number of Verses, on various Subjects; and desirous rather of a great, than early Fame, he permitted his Kinsman, and Fel­low-student Varus, to derive the Honour of one of his Tragedies to himself. Glory neglected in proper time and place, returns often with large Increase, and so he found it: For Varus afterwards prov'd a great Instrument of his Rise: In short, it was here that he form'd the Plan, and collected the Materials of all those excellent Pieces which he afterwards finish'd, or was forc'd to leave less perfect by his Death. But whether it were the Unwholsomness of his Native Air, [Page] of which he somewhere complains, or his too great abstinence, and Night-watchings at his Study, to which he was always addicted, as Au­gustus observes; or possibly the hopes of improving himself by Travel, he resolv'd to Remove to the more Southern Tract of Italy; and it was hardly possible for him not to take Rome in his Way; as is e­vident to any one who shall cast an Eye on the Map of Italy: And therefore the late French Editor of his Works is mistaken, when he asserts that he never saw Rome, 'till he came to Petition for his E­state: He gain'd the Acquaintance of the Master of the Horse to Octa­vius, and Cur'd a great many Diseases of Horses, by methods they had never heard of: It fell out, at the same time, that a very fine Colt, which promised great Strength and Speed, was presented to Octavius: Virgil assur'd them, that he came of a faulty Mare, and would prove a Jade, upon trial it was found as he had said; his Judgment prov'd right in several other instances, which was the more surprizing, be­because the Romans knew least of Natural Causes of any civiliz'd Na­tion in the World: And those Meteors, and Prodigies which cost them incredible Sums to expiate, might easily have been accounted for, by no very profound Naturalist. It is no wonder, therefore, that Vir­gil was in so great Reputation, as to be at last Introduced to Octavius himself. That Prince was then at variance with Marc. Antony, who vex'd him with a great many Libelling Letters, in which he reproaches him with the baseness of his Parentage, that he came of a Scrivener, a Ropemaker, and a Baker, as Suetonius tells us: Octavius finding that Virgil had passed so exact a judgment upon the Breed of Dogs, and Horses, thought that he possibly might be able to give him some Light con­cerning his own. He took him into his Closet, where they continu'd in private a considerable time. Virgil was a great Mathematician, which, in the Sense of those times, took in Astrology: And if there be any thing in that Art, which I can hardly believe; if that be true which the Ingenious De le Chambre asserts confidently; that from the Marks on the Body, the Configuration of the Planets at a Nativity may be gathered, and the Marks might be told by knowing the Na­tivity, never had one of those Artists a fairer Opportunity to shew his skill, than Virgil now had; for Octavius had Moles upon his Body, exactly resembling the Constellation call'd Ʋrsa Major. But Virgil had other helps: The Predictions of Cicero, and Catulus, and that Vote of the Senate had gone abroad, that no Child Born at Rome, in the Year of his Nativity, should be bred up; because the Seers assur'd them that an Emperour was Born that Year. Besides this, Virgil had heard of the Assyrian, and Egyptian Prophecies, (which in truth, were no other but the Jewish,) that about that time a great King was to come into the World. Himself takes notice of them, Aen. 6. where he uses a very signifi­cant Word, (now in all Liturgies) hujus in adventu, so in another place, adventante Dea.

At his foreseen approach already quake,
Assyrian Kingdoms, and Moeotis Lake.
Nile hears him knocking at his seven-fold Gates—

Every one knows whence this was taken: It was rather a mistake, than impiety in Virgil, to apply these Prophesies to the Person of Octavius, it being a usual piece of flattery for near a Hundred Years together, to at­tribute them to their Emperours, and other great Men. Upon the whole [Page] matter, it is very probable, that Virgil Predicted to him the Empire at this time. And it will appear yet the more, if we consider that he assures him of his being receiv'd into the Number of the Gods, in his First Pastoral, long before the thing came to pass; which Prediction seems grounded upon his former Mistake. This was a secret, not to be divulg'd at that time, and therefore it is no wonder that the slight Story in Donatus was given abroad to palliate the matter. But certain it is, that Octavius dismissed him with great Marks of esteem, and earnestly recommended the Protection of Virgil's Affairs to Pollio, then Lieutenant of the Cis-Alpine Gaule, where Virgil's Patrimony lay. This Pol­lio from a mean Original, became one of the most Considerable Persons of his time: A good General, Orator, States-man, Historian, Poet, and Favourer of Learned Men; above all, he was a Man of Honour in those critical times: He had join'd with Octavius, and Antony, in re­venging the Barbarous Assassination of Julius Caesar: When they two were at variance, he would neither follow Antony, whose courses he de­tested, nor join with Octavius against him, out of a grateful Sense of some former Obligations. Augustus, who thought it his interest to ob­lige Men of Principles, notwithstanding this, receiv'd him afterwards into Favour, and promoted him to the highest Honours. And thus much I thought fit to say of Pollio, because he was one of Virgil's greatest Friends. Being therefore eas'd of Domestick cares, he pursues his Jour­ney to Naples: The Charming situation of that Place, and view of the beautiful Villa's of the Roman Nobility, equalling the Magnificence of the greatest Kings; the Neighbourhood of the Baiae, whither the Sick resorted for recovery, and the States-man when he was Politickly Sick; whither the wanton went for Pleasure, and witty Men for good Company; the wholesomness of the Air, and improving Conversation, the best Air of all, contributed not only to the re-establishing his Health; but to the forming of his Style, and rendring him Master of that happy turn of Verse, in which he much surpasses all the Latins, and in a less advantageous Language, equals even Homer himself. He propos'd to use his Talent in Poetry, only for Scaffolding to Build a con­venient Fortune, that he might Prosecute with less interruption, those Nobler Studies to which his elevated Genius led him, and which he describes in these admirable Lines.

Me verò primùm dulces ante omnia Musae
Quarum sacra fero ingenti perculsus amore,
Accipiant, caeli (que) vias, & sidera monstrent,
Defectus Solis varios, Lunae (que) labores:
Ʋnde tremor terris, &c.

But the current of that Martial Age, by some strange Antiperistasis drove so violently towards Poetry, that he was at lest carried down with the stream. For not only the Young Nobility, but Octavius, and Pol­lio, Cicero in his Old Age, Julius Caesar, and the Stoical Brutus, a little be­fore, would needs be tampering with the Muses; the two latter had taken great care to have their Poems curiously bound, and lodg'd in the most famous Libraries; but neither the Sacredness of those places, nor the great­ness of their Names, cou'd preserve ill Poetry. Quitting therefore the Study of the Law, after having pleaded but one Cause with indifferent Success, he resolv'd to push his Fortune this way, which he seems to have discontinu'd for some time, and that may be the reason why the [Page] Culex, his first Pastoral, now extant, has little besides the novelty of the Subject, and the Moral of the Fable, which contains an exhorta­tion to gratitude, to recomend it; had it been as correct as his other pieces, nothing more proper and pertinent cou'd have at that time bin addressed to the Young Octavius, for the Year in which he Presented it, probably at the Baiae, seems to be the very same, in which that Prince consented (tho' with seeming reluctance) to the Death of Cicero, under whose Consulship he was Born, the preserver of his Life, and chief instrument of his advancement. There is no reason to question its be­ing genuine, as the late French Editor does; its meaness, in compari­son of Virgil's other Works, (which is that Writers only Objection) confutes himself: For Martial, who certainly saw the true Copy, speaks of it with contempt; and yet that Pastoral equals, at least, the address to the Dauphin which is prefix'd to the late Edition. Octa­vius, to unbend his mind from application to publick business, took frequent turns to Baiae, and Sicily; where he compos'd his Poem call'd Sicelides, which Virgil seems to allude to, in the Pastoral beginning Si­celides Musae; this gave him opportunity of refreshing that Princes Me­mory of him, and about that time he wrote his Aetna. Soon after he seems to have made a Voyage to Athens, and at his return presented his Ceiris, a more elaborate Piece, to the Noble and Eloquent Messala. The forementioned Author groundlesly taxes this as supposititious: For be­sides other Critical marks, there are no less than Fifty, or Sixty Verses, al­ter'd indeed and polish'd, which he inserted in the Pastorals, according to his fashion: and from thence they were called Eclogues, or Select Buco­lics: We thought fit to use a Title more intelligible, the reason of the other being ceas'd; and we are supported by Virgil's own authority, who expresly calls them Carmina Pastorum. The French Editor is again mistaken, in asserting, that the Ceiris is borrow'd from the Ninth of Ovid's Metamorphosis; he might have more reasonably conjectur'd it, to be taken from Parthenius, the Greek Poet, from whom Ovid borrow'd a great part of his Work. But it is indeed taken from neither, but from that Learn'd, unfortunate Poet Apollonius Rhodius, to whom Vir­gil is more indebted, than to any other Greek Writer, excepting Homer. The Reader will be satisfied of this, if he consult that Author in his own Language, for the Translation is a great deal more obscure than the Original.

Whilst Virgil thus enjoy'd the sweets of a Learn'd Privacy, the Troubles of Italy cut off his little Subsistance; but by a strange turn of Human Affairs, which ought to keep good Men from ever despairing; the loss of his Estate prov'd the effectual way of making his Fortune. The occasion of it was this; Octavius, as himself relates, when he was but Nineteen Years of Age, by a Masterly stroke of Policy, had gain'd the Veteran Legions into his Service, (and by that step, out-witted all the Republican Senate:) They grew now very clamorous for their Pay: The Treasury being Exhausted, he was forc'd to make Assign­ments upon Land, and none but in Italy it self would content them. He pitch'd upon Cremona as the most distant from Rome; but that not suffising, he afterwards threw in part of the State of Mantua. Cremona was a Rich and noble Colony, setled a little before the In­vasion of Hannibal. During that Tedious and Bloody War, they had done several important Services to the Common-Wealth. And when Eighteen other Colonies, pleading Poverty and Depopulation, refus'd to contribute Money, or to raise Recruits; they of Cremona voluntarily [Page] paid a double Quota of both: But past Services are a fruitless Plea; Civil Wars are one continued Act of Ingratitude: In vain did the Miserable Mothers, with their famishing Infants in their Arms, fill the Streets with their Numbers, and the Air with Lamentations; the Cra­ving Legions were to be satisfi'd at any rate. Virgil, involv'd in the common Calamity, had recourse to his old Patron Pollio, but he was, at this time, under a Cloud; however, compassionating so worthy a Man, not of a make to struggle thro' the World, he did what he could, and recommended him to Mecaenas, with whom he still kept a private Correspondence. The Name of this great Man being much better known than one part of his Character, the Reader, I presume, will not be displeas'd if I supply it in this place.

Tho' he was of as deep Reach, and easie dispatch of Busi­ness as any in his time, yet he designedly liv'd beneath his true Cha­racter. Men had oftentimes medled in Publick Affairs, that they might have more ability to furnish for their Pleasures: Mecaenas, by the honestest Hypocrisie that ever was, pretended to a Life of Pleasure, that he might render more effectual Service to his Master. He seem'd wholly to amuse himself with the Diversions of the Town, but un­der that Mask he was the greatest Minister of his Age. He would be carried in a careless, effeminate posture thro' the Streets in his Chair, even to the degree of a Proverb, and yet there was not a Cabal of ill dispos'd Persons which he had not early notice of; and that too in a City as large as London and Paris, and perhaps two or three more of the most populous put together. No Man better understood that Art so necessary to the Great; the Art of declining Envy: Being but of a Gentleman's Family, not Patrician, he would not provoke the No­bility by accepting invidious Honours; but wisely satisfi'd himself that he had the Ear of Augustus, and the Secret of the Empire. He seems to have committed but one great Fault, which was the trusting a Secret of high Consequence to his Wife; but his Master, enough Uxorious himself, made his own Frailty more excusable, by generously forgiving that of his Favourite. He kept in all his Greatness exact measures with his Friends; and chusing them wisely, found, by Experience, that good Sense and Gratitude are almost inseparable. This appears in Vir­gil and Horace; the former, besides the Honour he did him to all Poste­rity, return'd his Liberalities at his Death: The other, whom Me­caenas recommended with his last Breath, was too generous to stay behind, and enjoy the Favour of Augustus: He only desir'd a place in his Tomb, and to mingle his Ashes with those of his deceased Bene­factor. But this was Seventeen Hundred Years ago. Virgil, thus powerfully supported, thought it mean to Petition for himself alone, but resolutely solicits the Cause of his whole Country, and seems, at first, to have met with some Encouragement: But the matter cooling, he was forc'd to sit down contented with the Grant of his own Estate. He goes therefore to Mantua, produces his Warrant to a Captain of Foot, whom he found in his House; Arrius who had eleven Points of the Law, and fierce of the Services he had rendred to Octa­vius, was so far from yielding Possession, that words growing betwixt them, he wounded him dangerously, forc'd him to fly, and at last to swim the River Mincius to save his Life. Virgil, who us'd to say, that no Virtue was so necessary as Patience, was forc'd to drag a fick Body half the length of Italy, back again to Rome, and by the way, probab­ly, compos'd his Ninth Pastoral, which may seem to have been [Page] made up in haste out of the Fragments of some other pieces; and natural­ly enough represents the disorder of the Poets Mind, by its disjointed Fashion, tho' there be another Reason to be given elsewhere of its want of Connexion. He handsomly states his Case in that Poem, and with the pardonable Resentments of Injur'd Innocence, not only claims O­ctavius's Promise, but hints to him the uncertainty of Human Great­ness and Glory: All was taken in good part by that Wise Prince: At last effectual Orders were given: About this time, he Com­pos'd that admirable Poem, which is set first, out of respect to Cae­sar; for he does not seem either to have had leisure, or to have been in the Humour of making so solemn an Acknowledgment, 'till he was possess'd of the Benefit. And now he was in so great Reputa­tion and Interest, that he resolved to give up his Land to his Pa­rents, and himself to the Court. His Pastorals were in such E­steem, that Pollio, now again in high Favour with Caesar, desir'd him to reduce them into a Volume. Some Modern Writer, that has a constant flux of Verse, would stand amaz'd how Virgil could employ three whole Years in revising five or six hundred Verses, most of which, probably, were made some time before; but there is more reason to wonder how he could do it so soon in such Perfection. A course Stone is presently fashion'd; but a Diamond, of not many Ka­rats, is many Weeks in Cutting, and in Polishing many more. He who put Virgil upon this, had a Politick good end in it.

The continu'd Civil Wars had laid Italy almost waste; the Ground was Uncultivated and Unstock'd; upon which ensu'd such a Famine, and Insurrection, that Caesar hardly scap'd being Ston'd at Rome; his Am­bition being look'd upon by all Parties as the principal occasion of it. He set himself therefore with great Industry to promote Country-Im­provements; and Virgil was serviceable to his Design, as the good keep­er of the Bees, Georg. 4.

Tinnitusque cie, & matris quate cymbala circum,
Ipsae consident—

That Emperour afterwards thought it matter worthy a publick In­scription ‘Rediit cultus Agris.’ Which seems to be the motive that Induced Macaenas, to put him up­on Writing his Georgics, or Books of Husbandry: A design as new in Latin Verse, as Pastorals, before Virgil were in Italy; which Work took up Seven of the most vigorous Years of his Life; for he was now at least Thirty four Years of Age; and here Virgil shines in his Meridian. A great part of this Work seems to have been rough-drawn before he left Mantua, for an Ancient Writer has observ'd that the Rules of Husbandry laid down in it, are better Calculated for the Soil of Mantua, than for the more Sunny Climate of Naples; near which place, and in Sicily, he finish'd it. But lest his Genius should be depressed by apprehensions of want, he had a good Estate settled upon him, and a House in the Pleasantest part of Rome; the Principal Furniture of which was a well-chosen Library, which stood open to all comers of Learning and Merit; and what recommended the situa­tion of it most, was the Neighbourhood of his Mecaenas; and thus [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] he cou'd either visit Rome, or return to his Privacy at Naples, thro' a Pleasant Rode adorn'd on each side with pieces of Antiquity, of which he was so great a Lover, and in the intervals of them, seem'd almost one continu'd Street of three days Journey.

Caesar having now Vanquish'd Sextus Pompeius, a Spring-tide of Prosperities breaking in upon him, before he was ready to receive them as he ought, fell sick of the Imperial Evil, the desire of being thought something more than Man. Ambition is an infinite Folly: When it has attain'd to the utmost pitch of Humane Greatness, it soon falls to ma­king pretensions upon Heaven. The crafty Livia would needs be drawn in the Habit of a Priestesse by the Shrine of the new God: And this became a Fashion not to be dispens'd with amongst the Ladies: The Devotion was wondrous great amongst the Romans, for it was their Interest, and, which sometimes avails more, it was the Mode. Virgil, tho' he despis'd the Heathen Superstitions, and is so bold as to call Saturn and Janus, by no better a Name than that of Old Men, and might deserve the Title of Subverter of Superstitions, as well as Varro, thought fit to follow the Maxim of Plato his Master; that every one should serve the Gods after the Usage of his own Country, and therefore was not the last to present his Incense, which was of too Rich a Composition for such an Altar: And by his Address to Caesar on this occasion, made an unhappy Precedent to Lucan and other Poets which came after him, Geor. 1. and 3. And this Poem being now in great forwardness, Caesar, who in imitation of his Predecessor Julius, never intermitted his Studies in the Camp, and much less in other places, refreshing himself by a short stay in a pleasant Village of Campania, would needs be entertained with the rehearsal of some part of it. Virgil recited with a marvellous Grace, and sweet Accent of Voice, but his Lungs failing him, Mecaenas him­self supplied his place for what remained. Such a piece of condecension wou'd now be very surprizing, but it was no more than customary a­mongst Friends, when Learning pass'd for Quality. Lelius, the se­cond Man of Rome in his time, had done as much for that Poet, out of whose Dross he would sometimes pick Gold; as himself said, when one found him reading Ennius: (the like he did by some Verses of Varro, and Pacuvius, Lucretius, and Cicero, which he inserted into his Works.) But Learned Men then liv'd easy and familiarly with the great: Augustus himself would sometimes sit down betwixt Virgil and Horace, and say jeastingly, that he sate betwixt Sighing and Tears, allu­ding to the Asthma of one, and Rheumatick Eyes of the other; he would frequently Correspond with them, and never leave a Letter of theirs un­answered: Nor were they under the constraint of formal Superscriptions in the beginning, nor of violent Superlatives at the close of their Let­ter: The invention of these is a Modern Refinement. In which this may be remarked, in passing, that (humble Servant) is respect, but (Friend) an affront, which notwithstanding implies the former, and a great deal more. Nor does true Greatness lose by such Familiarity; and those who have it not, as Mecaenas and Pollio had, are not to be accounted Proud, but rather very Discreet, in their Reserves. Some Play-house Beauties do wisely to be seen at a distance, and to have the Lamps twinckle betwixt them and the Spectators.

But now Caesar, who tho' he were none of the greatest Souldiers, was certainly the greatest Traveller, of a Prince, that had ever [Page] been, (for which Virgil so dexterously Complements him, Aeneid. 6.) takes a Voyage to Aegypt, and having happily finish'd that War, redu­ces that mighty Kingdom into the Form of a Province; over which he appointed Gallus his Lieutenant. This is the same Person to whom Virgil addresses his Tenth Pastoral; changing, in compliance to his Re­quest, his purpose of limiting them to the number of the Muses. The Praises of this Gallus took up a considerable part of the Fourth Book of the Georgics, according to the general consent of Antiquity: But Caesar would have it put out, and yet the Seam in the Poem is still to be dis­cern'd; and the matter of Aristaeus's recovering his Bees, might have been dispatched in less compass, without fetching the Causes so far, or interessing so many Gods and Goddesses in that Affair. Perhaps some Readers may be inclin'd to think this, tho' very much labour'd, not the most entertaining part of that Work; so hard it is for the greatest Masters to Paint against their Inclination. But Caesar was content he shou'd be mention'd in the last Pastoral, because it might be taken for a Satyrical sort of Commendation; and the Character he there stands under, might help to excuse his Cruelty, in putting an Old Servant to death for no very great Crime.

And now having ended, as he begins his Georgics, with solemn mention of Caesar, an Argument of his Devotion to him: He begins his Aeneis, according to the common account, being now turn'd of Forty. But that Work had been, in truth, the Subject of much earlier Medita­tion. Whil'st he was working upon the first Book of it, this p [...]ssage, so very remarkable in History, fell out, in which Virgil had a great share.

Caesar, about this time, either cloy'd with Glory, or terrifi'd by the Example of his Predecessor; or to gain the Credit of Moderation with the People, or possibly to feel the Pulse of his Friends, delibera­ted whether he should retain the Soveraign Power, or restore the Com­monwealth. Agrippa, who was a very honest Man, but whose View was of no great extent, advis'd him to the latter; but Mecaenas, who had throughly studied his Master's Temper, in an Eloquent Oration, gave contrary Advice. That Emperour was too Politick to commit the over-sight of Cromwell, in a deliberation something resembling this. Crom­well had never been more desirous of the Power, than he was afterwards of the Title of King: And there was nothing, in which the Heads of the Parties, who were all his Creatures, would not comply with him: But by too vehement Allegation of Arguments against it, he, who had out-wit­ted every body besides, at last out-witted himself, by too deep dissimula­tion: For his Council, thinking to make their Court by assenting to his judgment, voted unanimously for him against his Inclination; which surpriz'd and troubled him to such a degree, that as soon as he had got into his Coach, he fell into a Swoon. But Caesar knew his People better, and his Council being thus divided, he ask'd Virgil's Advice: Thus a Poet had the Honour of determining the greatest Point that ever was in Debate, betwixt the Son-in-Law, and Favourite of Caesar. Virgil deliver'd his Opinion in Words to this effect. The change of a Popular into an Absolute Government, has generally been of very ill Con­sequence: For betwixt the Hatred of the People, and Injustice of the Prince, it of necessity comes to pass that they live in distrust, and mutual Apprehen­sions. But if the Commons knew a just Person, whom they entirely consided in, it would be for the advantage of all Parties, that such a one should be their Soveraign: Wherefore if you shall continue to administer Justice impartially, as hitherto you have done, your Power will prove safe to your self, and bene­ficial [Page] to Mankind. This excellent Sentence, which seems taken out of Plato, (with whose Writings the Grammarians were not much ac­quainted, and therefore cannot reasonably be suspected of Forgery in this matter,) contains the true state of Affairs at that time: For the Commonwealth Maxims were now no longer practicable; the Romans had only the haughtiness of the Old Commonwealth left, without one of its Vi [...]tues. And this Sentence we find, almost in the same words, in the first Book of the Aeneis, which at this time he was writing; and one might wonder that none of his Commentators have taken notice of it. he Compares a Tempest to a Popular Insurrection, as Cicero had compar'd a Sedition to a Storm, a little before.

Ac veluti magno in populo, cum saepe coorta est
Seditio, saevitque animis ignobile vulgus
Jamque faces, ac saxa volant, furor armae ministrat.
Tum pietate gravem, & meritis si forte virum quem
Conspexere silent, arrectisq [...]e auribus adstant.
Ille regit dictis animos, & pectora mulcet.

Piety and Merit were the two great Virtues which Virgil every where attributes to Augustus, and in which that Prince, at least Po­litickly, if not so truly, fix'd his Character, as appears by the Marmor Anc [...]. and several of his Medals. Franshemius, the Learn'd Supple­mentor of Livy, has inserted this Relation into his History; nor is there any good Reason, why Ruaeus should account it fabulous. The Title of a Poet in those days did not abate, but heighten the Chara­cter of the gravest Senator. Virgil was one of the best and wisest Men of his time, and in so popular esteem, that one hundred Thou­sand Romans rose when he came into the Theatre, and paid him the same Respect they us'd to Caesar himself, as Tacitus assures us. And if Au­gustus invited Horace to assist him in Writing his Letters, and every body knows that the rescripta Imperatorum were the Laws of the Empire; Virgil might well deserve a place in the Cabinet-Council.

And now Virgil prosecutes his Aeneis, which had Anciently the Title of the Imperial Poem, or Roman History, and deservedly; for though he were too Artful a Writer to set down Events in exact Historical order, for which Lucan is justly blam'd; yet are all the most considerable Affairs and Persons of Rome compriz'd in this Poem. He deduces the History of Italy from before Saturn to the Reign of King La­tinus; and reckons up the Successors of Aeneas, who Reign'd at Alba, for the space of three hundred Years, down to the Birth of Romulus; describes the Persons and principal Exploits of all the Kings, to their Expulsion, and the settling of the Commonwealth. After this, he touches promiscuously the most remarkable Occurrences at home and abroad, but insists more particularly upon the Exploits of Augustus; insomuch, that tho' this Assertion may appear, at first, a little surpri­zing; he has in his Works deduc'd the History of a considerable part of the World from its Original, thro' the Fabulous and Heroick Ages, thro' the Monarchy and Commonwealth of Rome, for the space of four Thousand Years, down to within less than Forty of our Saviour's time, of whom he has preserv'd a most Illustrious Prophecy. Besides this, he points at many remarkable Passages of History under seign'd Names: the destruction of Alba, and Veii, under that of Troy: The Star Venus, which, Varro says, guided Aeneas in his Voyage to Italy, in that Verse,

Matre deâ monstrante viam.

Romulus his Lance taking Root, and Budding, is describ'd in that Passage concerning Polydorus, lib. 3.

—Confixum ferrea texit
Telorum seges, & jaculis increvit acutis.

The Stratagem of the Trojans boring Holes in their Ships, and sinking them, left the Latins should Burn them, under that Fable of their being transform'd into Sea-Nymphs: And therefore the Ancients had no such Reason to condemn that Fable as groundless and absurd. Cocles swimming the River Tyber, after the Bridge was broken down behind him, is exactly painted in the Four last Verses of the Ninth Book, under the Character of Turnus. Marius hiding himself in the Morass of Minturnae, under the Person of Sinon:

Limosoque lacu per Noctem obscurus in ulvâ

Those Verses in the Second Book concerning Priam;

Jacet ingens littore truncus, &c.

seem originally made upon Pompey the Great. He seems to touch the Imperious, and Intriguing Humour of the Empress Livia, under the Character of Juno. The irresolute and weak Lepidus is well repre­sented under the Person of King Latinus; Augustus with the Cha­racter of Pont. Max. under that of Aeneas; and the rash Courage (al­ways Unfortunate in Virgil) of Marc Anthony in Turnus; the railing Eloquence of Cicero in his Phillipics is well imitated in the Oration of Drances; the dull faithful Agrippa, under the person of Achates; accordingly this Character is flat: Achates kills but one Man, and himself receives one slight Wound, but neither says nor does any thing very considerable in the whole Poem. Curio, who sold his Coun­try for about Two hundred Thousand Pound, is touch'd in that Verse.

Vendidit hic auro patriam, dominumque potentem.

Livy relates that presently after the death of the two Scipio's in Spain, when Martius took upon him the Command, a Blazing Meteor shone around his Head, to the astonishment of his Souldiers: Virgil trans­fers this to Aeneas.

Laetasque vomunt duo tempora flammas.

It is strange that the Commentators have not taken notice of this. Thus the ill Omen which happen'd a little before the Battel of Thrasi­men, when some of the Centurions Lances took Fire miraculously, is hinted in the like accident which befel Acestes, before the Burning of the Trojan Fleet in Sicily. The Reader will easily find many more such Instances. In other Writers there is often well cover'd Ignorance; in Virgil, conceal'd Learning.

His silence of some Illustrious Persons is no less worth observation. He says nothing of Scaevola, because he attempted to Assassinate a King, tho' a declar'd Enemy. Nor of the Younger Brutus; for he effected what the other endeavour'd. Nor of the Younger Cato, because he was an implacable Enemy of Julius Caesar; nor could the mention of him be pleasing to Augustus; and that Passage

His Dantem jura Catonem,

may relate to his Office, as he was a very severe Censor. Nor would he name Cicero, when the occasion of mentioning him came full in his way; when he speaks of Catiline; because he afterwards approv'd the Murder of Caesar, tho' the Plotters were too wary to trust the Orator with their Design. Some other Poets knew the Art of Speaking well; but Virgil, beyond this, knew the admirable Secret of being eloquently silent. Whatsoever was most curious in Fabius Pictor, Cato the Elder, Varro, in the Aegyptian Antiquities, in the Form of Sacrifice, in the So­lemnities [Page] of making Peace and War, is preserv'd in this Poem. Rome is still above ground, and flourishing in Virgil. And all this he does with admirable brevity. The Aeneis was once near twenty times bigger than he left it; so that he spent as much time in blotting out, as some Moderns have done in Writing whole Volumes. But not one Book has his finishing Strokes: The sixth seems one of the most perfect, the which, after long entreaty, and sometimes threats of Augustus, he was at last prevail'd upon to recite: This fell out about four Years before his own Death: That of Marcellus, whom Caesar design'd for his Successor, hap­pen'd a little before this Recital: Virgil therefore with his usual dexteri­ty, inserted his Funeral Panegyrick in those admirable Lines, beginning,

O nate, ingentem luctum ne quaere tuorum, &c.

His Mother, the Excellent Octavia, the best Wife of the worst Husband that ever was, to divert her Grief, would be of the Auditory. The Poet artificially deferr'd the naming Marcellus, 'till their Passions were rais'd to the highest; but the mention of it put both Her and Augustus into such a Passion of weeping, that they commanded him to proceed no fur­ther; Virgil answer'd, that he had already ended that Passage. Some relate, that Octavia fainted away; but afterwards she presented the Po­et with two Thousand one Hundred Pounds, odd Money; a round Sum for Twenty Seven Verses. Another Writer says, that with a Royal Magnificence, she order'd him Massy Plate, unweigh'd, to a great value.

And now he took up a Resolution of Travelling into Greece, there to set the last Hand to this Work; purposing to devote the rest of his Life to Philosophy, which had been always his principal Passion. He justly thought it a foolish Figure for a grave Man to be over-taken by Death, whilst he was weighing the Cadence of Words, and measuring Verses; unless Necessity should constrain it, from which he was well secur'd by the liberality of that I earned Age. But he was not aware, that whilst he allotted three Years for the Revising of his Poem, he drew Bills upon a failing Bank: For unhappily meeting Augustus at Athens, he thought himself oblig'd to wait upon him into Italy, but being desirous to see all he could of the Greek Antiquities, he fell into a languishing Distemper at Megara; this, neglected at first, prov'd Mortal. The agitation of the Vessel, for it was now Autumn, near the time of his Birth, brought him so low, that he could hardly reach Brindisi. In his Sickness he frequent­ly, and with great importunity, call'd for his Scrutore, that he might Burn his Aeneis, but Augustus interposing by his Royal Authority, he made his last Will, of which something shall be said afterwards. And considering probably how much Homer had been disfigur'd by the Ar­bitrary Compilers of his Works, oblig'd Tucca and Varius to add nothing, nor so much as fill up the Breaks he left in his Poem. He order'd that his Bones should be carried to Naples, in which place he had pass'd the most agreeable part of his Life. Augustus, not only as Executor, and Friend, but according to the Duty of the Pont. Max. when a Funeral happen'd in his Family, took care himself to see the Will punctually executed. He went out of the World with all that calmness of Mind with which the Ancient Writer of his Life says he came into it. Making the Inscrip­tion of his Monument himself; for he began and ended his Poetical Com­positions with an Epitaph. And this he made exactly according to the Law of his Master Plato on such occasions, without the least oftentation.

I sung Flocks, Tillage, Heroes; Mantua gave
Me Life, Brandusium Death, Naples a Grave.
[Page] A short Account of his Person, Manners and Fortune.

HE was of a very swarthy Complexion, which might proceed from the Southern Extraction of his Father, tall and wide-shoulder'd, so that he may be thought to have describ'd himself under the Character of Musaeus, whom he calls the best of Poets.

—Medium nam plurima turba
Hunc habet, atque humeris ex tantem suspicit altis.

His Sickliness, Studies, and the Troubles he met with, made his Hair gray before the usual time; he had an hesitation in his Speech, as many o­ther great Men: It being rarely found that a very fluent Elocution, and depth of judgment meet in the same Person. His Aspect and Behavi­our rustick, and ungraceful: And this defect was not likely to be re­ctify'd in the place where he first liv'd, nor afterwards, because the weakness of his Stomach would not permit him to use his Exercises; he was frequently troubled with the Head-ach, and spitting of Blood; spare of Dyet, and hardly drank any Wine. Bashful to a fault; and when People crouded to see him, he would slip into the next Shop, or by-pas­sage, to avoid them. As this Character could not recommend him to the fair Sex; he seems to have as little consideration for them as Euripi­des himself. There is hardly the Character of one good Woman to be found in his Poems: He uses the Word [Mulier] but once in the whole Aeneis, then too by way of Contempt, rendring literally a piece of a Verse out of Homer. In his Pastorals he is full of invectives against Love: In the Georgics he appropriates all the rage of it to the Females. He makes Dido, who never deserv'd that Character, Lustful and Revengeful to the utmost degree; so as to dye devoting her Lover to destruction; so changeable, that the Destinies themselves could not fix the time of her Death. But Iris, the Emblem of Inconstancy, must determine it. Her Si­ster is something worse. He is so far from passing such a Complement upon Helen, as the grave Old Councellour in Homer does, after nine Years War, when upon the sight of her he breaks out into this Rapture in the presence of King Priam,

None can the cause of these long Wars despise;
The Cost bears no proportion to the Prize:
Majestick Charms in every Feature shine;
Her Air, her Port, her accent is Divine.
However let the fatal Beauty go, &c.

Virgil is so far from this complaisant Humour, that his Heroe falls in­to an unmanly and ill-tim'd deliberation, whether he should not kill her in a Church; which directly contradicts what Deiphobus says of her, Ae­neid 6. in that place where every body tells the truth. He transfers the dogged Silence of Ajax his Ghost, to that of Dido; tho' that be no very natural Character to an injur'd Lover, or a Woman. He brings in the Trojan Matrons setting their own Fleet on Fire; and running after­wards, like Witches on their Sabbat, into the Woods. He bestows in­deed some Ornaments upon the Character of Camilla; but soon abates his Favour, by calling her aspera & horrenda Virgo: He places her in the Front of the line for an ill Omen of the Battel, as one of the Ancients has observ'd; (we may observe, on this occasion, it is an Art peculiar to Vir­gil, to intimate the Event by some preceding Accident.) He hardly ever describes the rising of the Sun, but with some circumstance which fore­signifies the Fortune of the Day. For instance, when Aeneas leaves Africa and Queen Dido, he thus describes the fatal Morning:

Tithoni croceum linguens Aurora cubile.

[And for the Remark, we stand indebted to the curious Pencil of Pollio.] The Mourning Fields (Aeneid. 6.) are crowded with Ladies of a lost Repu­tation: [Page] Hardly one Man gets admittance, and that is Caeneus, for a ve­ry good Reason. Latinus his Queen is turbulent, and ungovernable, and at last hangs her self: And the fair Lavinia is disobedient to the Oracle, and to the King, and looks a little flickering after Turnus. I wonder at this the more, because Livy represents her as an excellent Person, and who behav'd her self with great Wisdom in her Regency during the minority of her Son: So that the Poet has done her Wrong, and it reflects on her Posterity. His Goddesses make as ill a Figure; Juno is always in a rage, and the Fury of Heaven: Venus grows so unreasonably confi­dent, as to ask her Husband to forge Arms for her Bastard Son; which were enough to provoke one of a more Phlegmatick Temper than Vul­can was. Notwithstanding all this raillery of Virgil's, he was certainly of a very Amorous disposition, and has describ'd all that is most delicate in the Passion of Love; but he Conquer'd his natural Inclinations by the help of Philosophy; and refin'd it into Friendship, to which he was extreamly sensible. The Reader will admit of or reject the following Conjecture, with the free leave of the Writer, who will be equally pleas'd either way. Virgil had too great an Opinion of the Influence of the Hea­venly Bodies: An Ancient Writer says, that he was born under the Sign of Virgo, with which Nativity perhaps he pleas'd himself, and would exem­plifie her Vertues in his Life. Perhaps it was thence that he took his Name of Virgil and Parthenias, which does not necessarily signifie Base-born. Do­natus, and Servius, very good Grammarians, give a quite contrary sense of it. He seems to make allusion to this Original of his Name in that Passage,

Illo Virgilium me tempore dulcis alebat,

And this may serve to illustrate his Complement to Caesar, in which he invites him into his own Constellation,

Where, in the void of Heaven, a place is free,
Betwixt the Scorpion, and the Maid for thee.

Thus placing him betwixt Justice and Power, and in a Neighbour Man­sion to his own; for Virgil suppos'd Souls to ascend again to their proper Stars. Being therefore of this Humour, it is no wonder that he refus'd the Embraces of the Beautiful Plotia, when his indiscreet Friend almost threw her into his Arms.

But however he stood affected to the Ladies, there is a dreadful Accu­sation brought against him for the most unnatural of all Vices, which by the Malignity of Humane nature has found more Credit in latter times than it did near his own. This took not its rise so much from the A­lexis, in which Pastoral there is not one immodest Word; as from a sort of ill-nature, that will not let any one be without the imputation of some Vice; and principally because he was so strict a follower of Socra­tes and Plato. In order therefore to his Vindication, I shall take the mat­ter a little higher.

The Cretans were Anciently much addicted to Navigation, insomuch that it became A Greek Proverb, (tho' omitted, I think, by the Industrious Erasmus,) A Cretan that does not know the Sea. Their Neighbourhood gave them occasion of frequent Commerce with the Phaenicians, that accursed People, who infected the Western World with endless Superstitions, and gross immoralities. From them it is probable, that the Cretans learn'd this infamous Passion, to which they were so much addicted, that Cicero remarks, in his Book de Rep. that it was a disgrace for a young Gentleman to be without Lovers. Socrates, who was a great Admirer of the Cretan Constitutions, set his excellent Wit to find out some good Cause, and Use of this Evil Inclination, and therefore gives an Account, wherefore [Page] Beauty is to be lov'd, in the following Passage; for I will not trouble the Reader, weary perhaps already with a long Greek Quotation. There is but one Eternal, Immutable, Ʋniform Beauty; in contemplation of which, our Soveraign Happiness does consist: And therefore a true Lover considers Beauty and Proportion as so many Steps and Degrees, by which he may ascend from the particular to the general, from all that is lovely of Feature, or regular in Propor­tion, or charming in Sound, to the general Fountain of all Beauty and Perfecti­on. And if you are so much transported with the sight of Beautiful Persons, as to wish neither to Eat or drink, but pass your whole Life in looking on them; to what extasie would it raise you to behold the Original Beauty, not fill'd up with Flesh and Blood, or varnish'd with a fading mixture of Colours, and the rest of Mortal Trifles and Fooleries, but separate, unmix'd, uniform, and divine, &c. Thus far Socrates, in a strain, much beyond the Socrate Crētien of Mr. Bal­sac: And thus that admirable Man lov'd his Phoedon, his Charmides, and Theatetus; and thus Virgil lov'd his Alexander, and Cebes, under the feign'd Name of Alexis: He receiv'd them illiterate, but return'd them to their Masters, the one a good Poet, and the other an excellent Gram­marian: And to prevent all possible Misinterpretations, he warily insert­ed into the liveliest Episode in the whole Aeneis, these words,

Nisus amore pio pueri.

And in the Sixth, Quique pii vates. He feems fond of the Words, castus, pius, Virgo, and the Compounds of it; and sometimes stretches the Use of that word further than one would think he reasonably should have done, as when he attributes it to Pasiphaé her self.

Another Vice he is Tax'd with, is Avarice; because he dy'd Rich, and so indeed he did in comparison of modern Wealth; his Estate amounts to near Seventy Five Thousand Pounds of our Money: But Donatus does not take notice of this as a thing extraordinary; nor was it esteem'd so great a Matter, when the Cash of a great part of the World lay at Rome; Antony himself bestow'd at once Two Thousand Acres of Land in one of the best Provinces of Italy, upon a ridiculous Poet, who is nam'd by Ci­cero and Virgil. A late Cardinal us'd to purchase ill flattery at the Ex­pence of 100000 Crowns a Year. But besides Virgil's other Benefactors, he was much in favour with Augustus, whose Bounty to him had no limits, but such as the Modesty of Virgil prescrib'd to it. Before he had made his own Fortune, he setled his Estate upon his Parents and Brothers; sent them Yearly large Sums, so that they liv'd in great Plenty and Re­spect; and at his Death, divided his Estate betwixt Duty and Gratitude, leaving one half to his Relations, and the other to Mecenas, to Tucca and Varius, and a considerable Legacy to Augustus, who had introduc'd a politick Fashion of being in every bodies Will; which alone was a fair Revenue for a Prince. Virgil shews his detestation of this Vice, by pla­cing in the front of the Damn'd those who did not relieve their Rela­tions and Friends; for the Romans hardly ever extended their Liberality further; and therefore I do not remember to have met in all the Latin Poets, one Character so noble as that short one in Homer.


On the other hand, he gives a very advanc'd place in Elysium to good Patriots, &c. Observing in all his Poem, that Rule so Sacred amongst the Romans, That there shou'd be no Art allow'd, which did not tend to the improve­ment of the People in Virtue. And this was the Principle too of our Excel­lent Mr. Waller, who us'd to say that he wou'd raze any Line out of his Poems, which did not imply some Motive to Virtue; but he was un­happy in the choice of the Subject of his admirable vein in Poetry. The [Page] Countess of C. was the Helen of her Country. There is nothing in Pagan Philosophy more true, more just, and regular than Virgil's Ethics; and it is hardly possible to sit down to the serious perusual of his Works, but a Man shall rise more dispos'd to virtue and goodness, as well as most agreeably entertain'd. The contrary to which disposition, may happen sometimes upon the reading of Ovid, of Martial, and several other second rate Poets. But of the Craft and Tricking part of Life, with which Ho­mer abounds, there is nothing to be found in Virgil; and therefore Plato, who gives the former so many good words, perfumes, Crowns, but at last Complementally Banishes him his Commonwealth, wou'd have intreated Virgil to stay with him, (if they had liv'd in the same Age,) and intru­sted him with some important Charge in his Government. Thus was his Life as chast as his Stile, and those who can Critick his Poetry, can never find a blemish in his Manners; and one would rather wish to have that purity of Mind, which the Satyrist himself attributes to him; that friend­ly disposition, and evenness of temper, and patience, which he was Master of in so eminent a degree, than to have the honour of being Author of the Aeneis, or even of the Georgics themselves.

Having therefore so little relish for the usual amusements of the world, he prosecuted his Studies without any considerable interruption, during the whole course of his Life, which one may reasonably conjecture to have been something longer than 52 years; and therefore it is no won­der that he became the most general Scholar that Rome ever bred, unless some one should except Varro. Besides the exact knowledge of Rural Af­fairs, he understood Medicine, to which Profession he was design'd by his Parents. A Curious Florist, on which Subject one wou'd wish he had writ, as he once intended: So profound a Naturalist, that he has solv'd more Phaenomena of Nature upon sound Principles, than Aristotle in his Physics. He studied Geometry, the most opposite of all Sciences to a Poetick Genius, and Beauties of a lively imagination; but this promoted the order of his Narrations, his propriety of Language, and clearness of Expression, for which he was justly call'd the Pillar of the Latin Tongue. This Geometrical Spirit was the cause, that to fill up a Verse he would not insert one superfluous word; and therefore deserves that Character which a Noble and Judicious Critick has given him, *Essay of Poetry. That he never says too little nor too much. Nor cou'd any one ever fill up the Verses he left imperfect. There is one supply'd near the beginning of the First Book; Virgil left the Verse thus.

—Hic illius arma,
Hic currus fuit—

the rest is none of Virgil's.

He was so good a Geographer, that he has not only left us the finest description of Italy that ever was; but besides, was one of the few An­cients who knew the true System of the Earth, its being Inhabited round about under the Torrid Zone, and near the Poles. Metrodorus, in his five Books of the Zones, justifies him from some Exceptions made against him by Astronomers. His Rhetorick was in such general esteem, that Lectures were read upon it in the Reign of Tiberius, and the Subject of Declama­tions taken out of him. Pollio himself, and many other Ancients Comment­ed him. His Esteem degenerated into a kind of Superstition. The known Story of Mr. Cowley is an instance of it. But the sortes Virgilianae were con­demn'd by St. Augustin, and other Casuists. Abienus, by an odd Design, put all Virgil and Livy into Iambick Verse; and the Pictures of those two were hung in the most Honourable place of Publick Libraries, and the Design of taking them down, and destroying Virgil's Works, was look'd upon as one of the most Extravagant amongst the many Brutish Fren­zies of Caligula.

PREFACE TO THE PASTORALS, With a short DEFENCE of VIRGIL, Against some of the Reflections of Mon­sieur Fontanelle.

AS the Writings of greatest Antiquity are in Verse, so of all sorts of Poetry, Pastorals seem the most Ancient; being form'd upon the Model of the First Innocence, and Simplicity, which the Moderns, better to dispence themselves from imitating, have wisely thought fit to treat as Fabulous, and impracticable; and yet they, by obeying the unsophisticated Dictates of Nature, enjoy'd the most valuable Blessings of Life; a vigorous Health of Body, with a constant serenity, and freedom of Mind, whilst we, with all our fanciful Refinements, can scarcely pass an Au­tumn without some access of a Feaver, or a whole Day, not ruffled by some unquiet Passion. He was not then look'd upon as a very Old Man; who reach'd to a greater Number of Years, than in these times an ancient Fami­ly can reasonably pretend to; and we know the Names of several, who saw, and practis'd the World for a longer space of time, than we can read the Account of in any one entire Body of History. In short, they invented the most useful Arts, Pastorage, Tillage, Geometry, Writing, Musick, A­stronomy, &c. Whilst the Moderns, like Extravagant Heirs, made rich by their Industry, ingratefully deride the good Old Gentlemen, who left them the Estate. It is not therefore to be wonder'd at, that Pastorals are fallen into Disesteem, together with that Fashion of Life, upon which they were grounded. And methinks, I see the Reader already uneasie at this Part of Virgil, counting the Pages, and posting to the Aeneis; so delightful an en­tertainment is the very Relation of publick Mischief, and slaughter, now be­come to Mankind: and yet Virgil pass'd a much different judgment on his own Works: He valu'd most this part, and his Georgics, and depended up­on them for his Reputation with Posterity: But Censures himself in one of his Letters to Augustus, for medling with Heroics, the Invention of a de­generating Age. This is the Reason that the Rules of Pastoral, are so little known or studied. Aristotle, Horace, and the Essay of Poetry, take no notice of it. And Mr. Boileau, one of the most accurate of the Moderns, because he never loses the Ancients out of his Sight, bestows scarce half a Page on it. [Page] It is the Design therefore of the few following pages, to clear this sort of Wri­ting from vulgar Prejudices; to vindicate our Author from some unjust Imputations; to look into some of the Rules of this sort of Poetry, and En­quire what sort of Versification is most proper for it, in which point we are so much inferiour to the Ancients; that this Consideration alone, were enough to make some Writers think as they ought, that is, Meanly, of their own Performances.

As all sorts of Poetry consist in imitation; Pastoral is the imitation of a Shepherd consider'd under that Character: It is requisite therefore to be a little inform'd of the Condition, and Qualification of these Shepherds.

One of the Ancients has observ'd truly, but Satyrically enough, that Man­kind is the Measure of every thing: And thus by a gradual improvement of this mistake, we come to make our own Age and Countrey the Rule and Standard of others, and our selves at last the measure of them all. We figure the Ancient Countrey-men like our own, leading a painful Life in Poverty and Contempt, without Wit, or Courage, or Education: But Men had quite different Notions of these things, for the first four Thousand Years of the World; Health and Strength were then in more esteem than the refinements of Pleasure; and it was accounted a great deal more Honourable to Till the Ground, or keep a Flock of Sheep, than to dissolve in Wanton­ness, and effeminating Sloath. Hunting has now an Idea of Quality join'd to it, and is become the most important Business in the Life of a Gentle­man; Antiently it was quite otherways. Mr. Fleury has severely remark'd, that this Extravagant Passion for Hunting is a strong Proof of our Go­thic Extraction, and shews an affinity of Humour with the Savage Ameri­cans. The Barbarous Franks and other Germans, (having neither Corn, nor Wine of their own growth,) when they pass'd the Rhine, and possess'd themselves of Countreys better Cultivated, left the Tillage of the Land to the Old Proprietors; and afterwards did hazard their Lives as freely for their Diversion, as they had done before for their ne­cessary subsistance. The English gave this Ʋsage the Sacred stamp of Fa­shion, and from hence it is that most of our Terms of Hunting are French. The Reader will, I hope, give me his Pardon for my freedom on this Subject, since an ill Accident, occasion'd by Hunting, has kept England in pain, these several Months together, for one of the best, and greatest Peers which she has bred for some Ages; no less Illustrious for Civil Vertues, and Learning, than his Ancestors were for all their Victories in France.

But there are some Prints still left of the Ancient Esteem for Hus­bandry and their plain Fashion of Life in many of our Sir-Names, and in the Escutcheons of the most Ancient Families, even those of the greatest Kings, the Roses, the Lillies, the Thistle, &c. It is general­ly known, that one of the principal Causes of the Deposing of Mahomet the 4th, was, that he would not allot part of the Day to some manual Labour, according to the Law of Mahomet, and Ancient Practice of his Predecessors. He that reflects on this will be the less surpriz'd to find that Charlemaign Eight Hundred Years ago, order'd his Children to be in­structed in some Profession. And Eight Hundred Years yet higher, that Au­gustus wore no Cloaths but such as were made by the Hands of the Empress, and her Daughters; and Olympias did the same for Alexander the Great. Nor will he wonder that the Romans, in great exigency, sent for their Di­ctator from the Plow, whose whole Estate was but of Four Acres; too little a spot now for the Orchard, or Kitchin-Garden of a Private Gentleman. It is commonly known, that the Founders of three the most renown'd Monarchies in the World, were Shepherds: And the Subject of Husbandry has been adorn'd [Page] by the Writings and Labour of more than twenty Kings. It ought not therefore to be matter of surprize to a Modern Writer, that Kings, the Shepherds of the People in Homer, laid down their first Rudiments in tending their mute Subjects; nor that the Wealth of Ulysses consisted in Flocks and Herds, the Intendants over which, were then in equal esteem with Officers of State in latter times. And therefore Eumaeus is call'd [...] in Homer; not so much because Homer was a lover of a Countrey Life, to which he rather seems averse, but by reason of the Dig­nity and Greatness of his Trust, and because he was the Son of a King, stollen away, and Sold by the Phaenician Pyrates, which the Ingenious Mr. Cowley seems not to have taken notice of. Nor will it seem strange, that the Master of the Horse to King Latinus, in the Ninth Aeneid, was found in the homely Employment of cleaving Blocks, when news of the first Skirmish betwixt the Trojans and Latins was brought to him.

Being therefore of such Quality, they cannot be suppos'd so very igno­rant and unpolish'd; the Learning and good breeding of the World was then in the hands of such People. He who was chosen by the consent of all Parties to arbitrate so delicate an affair, as which was the fairest of the three Celebrated Beauties of Heaven; he who had the address to debauch away Helen from her Husband, her Native Country, and from a Crown, understood what the French call by the too soft name of Gallantry; he had Accomplishments enough, how ill use soever he made of them. It seems therefore that Mr. F. had not duly consider'd the matter, when he reflected so severely upon Virgil, as if he had not observ'd the Laws of decency in his Pastorals, in making Shepherds speak to things beside their Character, and above their Capacity. He stands amaz'd that Shepherds should thunder out, as he expresses himself, the formation of the World, and that too according to the System of Epicurus. In truth, says he, page 176. I cannot tell what to make of this whole piece; (the Sixth Past.) I can neither comprehend the Design of the Author, nor the Connexion of the parts; first come the Ideas of Philosophy, and presently after those incoherent Fables, &c. To expose him yet more, he subjoyns, it is Silenus himself who makes all this absurd Discourse. Virgil says in­deed that he had drank too much the day before; perhaps the De­bauch hung in his head when he compos'd this Poem, &c. Thus far Mr. F. who, to the disgrace of Reason, as himself ingenuously owns, first built his House, and then studied Architecture; I mean first Compos'd his Eclogues, and then studied the Rules. In answer to this, we may observe, first, that this very Pastoral which he singles out to triumph over, was recited by a Famous Player on the Roman Theatre, with marvellous applause; insomuch that Cicero who had heard part of it only, order'd the whole to be rehears'd, and struck with admiration of it, con­ferr'd then upon Virgil the Glorious Title of ‘Magnae spes alterae Romae.’ Nor is it Old Donatus only who relates this, we have the same account from another very Credible and Ancient Author; so that here we have the judgment of Cicero, and the People of Rome, to confront the single Opi­nion of this adventrous Critick. A Man ought to be well assur'd of his own Abilities, before he attack an Author of establish'd Reputation. If Mr. F. had perus'd the fragments of the Phaenician Antiquity, trac'd the progress of Learning thro' the Ancient Greek Writers, or so much as Con­sulted his Learned Countrey-Man Huetius, he would have found, (which [Page] falls out unluckily for him) that a Chaldaean Shepherd discover'd to the Aegyptians and Greeks the Creation of the World. And what Subject more fit for such a Pastoral, than that Great Affair which was first noti­fied to the World by one of that Profession? Nor does it appear, (what he takes for granted) that Virgil describes the Original of the World according to the Hypothesis of Epicurus; he was too well seen in Antiquity to com­mit such a gross Mistake; there is not the least mention of Chance in that whole passage, nor of the Clinamen Principiorum, so peculiar to Epicurus's Hypothesis. Virgil had not only more Piety, but was of too nice a Judg­ment to introduce a God denying the Power and Providence of the Deity, and singing a Hymn to the Atoms, and Blind Chance. On the contrary, his Description agrees very well with that of Moses; and the Learn'd Com­mentator D'Acier, who is so confident that Horace had perus'd the Sacred History, might with greater Reason have affirm'd the same thing of Virgil. For, besides that Famous Passage in the Sixth Aeneid, (by which this may be illustrated,) where the word Principio is us'd in the front of both by Mo­ses and Virgil, and the Seas are first mention'd, and the Spiritus intus alit, which might not improbably, as Mr. D'Acier would suggest, allude to the Spirit moving upon the face of the Waters; But omitting this paral­lel place, the successive formation of the World is evidently describ'd in these words,

Rerum paulatim sumere formas;

And 'tis hardly possible to render more literally that verse of Moses,

Let the Waters be gathered into one place, and let the dry Land appear, than in this of Virgil,

Jam durare solum, & discludere Nerea Ponto.

After this the formation of the Sun is describ'd (exactly in the Mosaical order,) and next the production of the first Living Creatures, and that too in a small number, (still in the same method.)

Rara per ignotos errent animalia montes.

And here the foresaid Author would probably remark, that Virgil keeps more exactly to the Mosaick System, than an Ingenious Writer, who will by no means allow Mountains to be coaeval with the World. Thus much will make it probable at least, that Virgil had Moses in his thoughts rather than Epicurus, when he compos'd this Poem. But it is further remarkable, that this passage was taken from a Song attributed to Apollo, who himself too unluckily had been a Shepherd, and he took it from another yet more ancient, compos'd by the first Inventer of Musick, and at that time a Shep­herd too; and this is one of the Noblest Fragments of Greek Antiquity; and because I cannot suppose the Ingenious Mr. F. one of their number, who pretend to censure the Greeks, without being able to distinguish Greek from Ephesian Characters, I shall here set down the Lines from which Virgil took this passage, tho' none of the Commentators have observ'd it.


[Page] So that our Poet here with great Judgment, as always, follows the ancient Custom of beginning their more Solemn Songs with the Creation, and does it too most properly under the person of a Shepherd; and thus the first and best Employment of Poetry was to compose Hymns in Ho­nour of the Great Creator of the Universe.

Few words will suffice to answer his other Objections. He demands why those several Transformations are mention'd in that Poem? And is not Fable then the Life and Subject of Poetry? Can himself assign a more pro­per Subject of Pastoral, than the Saturnia Regna, the Age and Scene of this kind of Poetry? What Theme more fit for the Song of a God, or to imprint Religious awe, than the Omnipotent Power of transforming the Species of Creatures at their pleasure? Their Families liv'd in Groves, near clear Springs; and what better warning could be given to the hopeful young Shepherds, than that they should not gaze too much into the Liquid dangerous Looking-glass, for fear of being stoln by the Water-Nymphs, that is, falling and being drown'd, as Hylas was? Pasiphea's monstrous passion for a Bull, is certainly a Subject enough fitted for Bucolic's? Can Mr. F. Tax Silenus for fetching too far the Transformation of the Sisters of Phaeton into Trees, when perhaps they sat at that very time under the hospitable shade of those Alders or Poplars? Or the Metamorphoses of Phi­lomela into that ravishing Bird, which makes the sweetest musick of the Groves? If he had look'd into the Ancient Greek Writers, or so much as Consulted honest Servius, he would have discover'd that under the Allegory of this drunkenness of Silenus, the refinement and exaltation of Mens Minds by Philosophy was intended. But if the Author of these Reflecti­ons can take such flights in his Wine, it is almost pity that drunkenness shou'd be a Sin, or that he shou'd ever want good store of Burgundy, and Champaign. But indeed he seems not to have ever drank out of Silenus his Tankard, when he made either his Critique, or Pastorals.

His Censure on the Fourth seems worse grounded than the other; it is Entituled in some ancient Manuscripts, The History of the Renovation of the World; he complains that he cannot understand what is meant by those many Figurative Expressions: But if he had consulted the youn­ger Vossius his Dissertation on this Pastoral, or read the Excellent Oration of the Emperour Constantine, made French by a good Pen of their own, he would have found there the plain inerpretation of all those Figurative Expressions; and withall, very strong proofs of the truth of the Chri­stian Religion; such as Converted Heathens, as Valerianus, and others: And upon account of this Piece, the most Learn'd of the Latin Fathers calls Virgil a Christian, even before Christianity. Cicero takes notice of it in his Books of Divination, and Virgil probably had put it in Verse a considerable time before the Edition of his Pastorals. Nor does he appropriate it to Pollio, or his Son, but Complementally dates it from his Consulship. And therefore some one who had not so kind thoughts of Mr. F. as I, would be inclin'd to think him as bad a Catholick as Critick in this place.

I pass by, in respect therefore to some Books he has wrote since, a great part of this, and shall only touch briefly some of the Rules of this sort of Poem.

[Page] The First is, that an air of Piety upon all occasions should be maintain'd in the whole Poem: This appears in all the Ancient Greek Writers; as Homer, &c. And Virgil is so exact in the observation of it, not only in this Work, but in his Aeneis too, that a Celebrated French Writer taxes him for permitting Aeneas to do nothing without the assistance of some God. But by this it appears, at least, that Mr. St. Eur. is no Jansenist.

Mr. F. seems a little defective in this point; he brings in a pair of Shepherdesses disputing very warmly, whether Victoria, (none of the fittest Names for a Shepherdess) be a Goddess, or a Woman. Her great conde­scension and compassion, her affability and goodness, none of the meanest Attri­butes of the Divinity, pass for convincing Arguments that she could not possibly be a Goddess.

Les Déesses toûjours fieres & méprisantes
Ne rassureroiént point les Bergeres tremblantes
Par d'obligeans discours, des souris gracieux;
Mais tu l'as veu; cette Auguste Personne
Qui vient de paroistre en ces lieux
Prend soin de rassurer au moment qu'elle étonne.
Sa bonté descendant sans peine jusqu'à nous.

In short, she has too many Divine Perfections to be a Deity, and there­fore she is a Mortal [which was the thing to be prov'd.] It is directly con­trary to the practice of all ancient Poets, as well as to the Rules of decency and Religion, to make such odious Comparisons. I am much surpriz'd therefore that he should use such an argument as this.

Cloris, as-tu veu des Déesses
Avoir un air si facile & si doux?

Was not Aurora, and Venus, and Luna, and I know not how many more of the Heathen Deities too easie of access to Tithonus, to Anchises, and to Endimion? Is there any thing more Sparkish and better humour'd than Venus her accosting her Son in the Desarts of Lybia? or than the beha­viour of Pallas to Diomedes, one of the most perfect and admirable Pieces of all the Iliads; where she condescends to rally him so agreeably; and not­withstanding her severe Vertue, and all the Ensigns of Majesty, with which she so terribly adorns her self, condescends to ride with him in his Chariot? But the Odysses are full of greater instances of condescension than this.

This brings to mind that Famous passage of Lucan, in which he prefers Cato to all the Gods at once, ‘Victrix causa deis placuit sed victa Catoni.’ Which Brelaeuf has render'd so flatly, and which may be thus Paraphras'd.

Heaven meanly with the Conquerour did comply,
But Cato rather than submit would die.

It is an unpardonable presumption in any sort of Religion to comple­ment their Princes at the expence of their Deities.

[Page] But letting that pass, this whole Eclogue is but a long Paraphrase of a trite Verse in Virgil, and Homer, ‘Nec vox Hominem sonat, O Dea certe.’

So true is that Remark of the Admirable E. of Roscomon, if apply'd to the Romans, rather I fear than to the English, since his own Death.

—one sterling Line,
Drawn to French Wire, would thro' whole pages shine.

Another Rule is, that the Characters should represent that Ancient Inno­cence, and unpractis'd Plainness, which was then in the World. P. Rapine has gather'd many Instances of this out of Theocritus, and Virgil; and the Reader can do it as well himself. But Mr. F. transgress'd this Rule, when he hid himself in the Thicket, to listen to the private Discourse of the two Shep­herdesses. This is not only ill Breeding at Versailles; the Arcadian Shep­herdesses themselves would have set their Dogs upon one for such an unpar­donable piece of Rudeness.

A Third Rule is, That there should be some Ordonnance, some Design, or little Plot, which may deserve the Title of a Pastoral Scene. This is every where observ'd by Virgil, and particularly remarkable in the first Eclogue; the standard of all Pastorals; a Beautiful Landscape presents it self to your view, a Shepherd with his Flock around him, resting securely under a spread­ing Beech, which furnish'd the first Food to our Ancestors. Another in quite different Situation of Mind and Circumstances, the Sun setting, the Hospita­lity of the more fortunate Shepherd, &c. And here Mr. F. seems not a little wanting.

A Fourth Rule, and of great importance in this delicate sort of Writing, is, that there be choice diversity of Subjects; that the Eclogues, like a Beau­tiful Prospect, should Charm by its Variety. Virgil is admirable in this Point, and far surpasses Theocritus, as he does every where, when Judg­ment and Contrivance have the principal part. The Subject of the first Pa­storal is hinted above.

The Second contains the Love of Coridon for Alexis, and the seasonable reproach he gives himself, that he left his Vines half prun'd, (which according to the Roman Rituals, deriv'd a Curse upon the Fruit that grew upon it) whilst he pursu'd an Object undeserving his Passion.

The Third, a sharp Contention of two Shepherds for the Prize of Poetry.

The Fourth contains the Discourse of a Shepherd Comforting himself in a de­clining Age, that a better was ensuing.

The Fifth a Lamentation for a Dead Friend, the first draught of which is probably more Ancient than any of the Pastorals now extant; his Brother be­ing at first intended; but he afterwards makes his Court to Augustrus, by turning it into an Apothesis of Julius Caesar.

The Sixth is the Silenus.

The Seventh, another Poetical Dispute, first Compos'd at Mantua.

[Page] The Eighth is the Description of a despairing Lover, and a Magical Charm.

He sets the Ninth after all these, very modestly, because it was particular to himself; and here he would have ended that Work, if Gallus had not pre­vail'd upon him to add one more in his Favour.

Thus Curious was Virgil in diversifying his Subjects. But Mr. F. is a great deal too Ʋniform; begin where you please, the Subject is still the same. We find it true what he says of himself,

Toûjours, toûjours de l'Amour.

He seems to take Pastorals and Love-Verses for the same thing. Has Humaen Nature no other Passion? Does not Fear, Ambition, Avarice, Pride, a Capricio of Honour, and Laziness it self often Triumph over Love? But this Passion does all, not only in Pastorals, but on Modern Tragedies too. A Heroe can no more Fight, or be Sick, or Dye, than he can be Born without a Woman. But Dramatic's have been compos'd in compliance to the Humour of the Age, and the prevailing Inclination of the great, whose Example has a very powerful Influence, not only in the little Court behind the Scenes, but on the great Theatre of the World. This inundation of Love-Verses 'tis not so much an effect of their Amorousness, as of immoderate Self-love. This being the only sort of Poetry, in which the Writer can, not only without Censure, but even with Commendation, talk of himself. There is generally more of the Passion of Narcissus, than concern for Chloris and Corinna in this whole Affair. Be pleas'd to look into almost any of those Writers, and you shall meet every where that eternal Moy, which the admirable Paschal so judiciously condemns. Homer can never be enough admir'd for this one so particular Quality, that he never speaks of him­self, either in the Iliad, or the Odysses; and if Horace had never told us his Genealogy, but left it to the Writer of his Life, perhaps he had not been a loser by it. This Consideration might induce those great Criticks, Varius and Tucca, to raze out the four first Verses of the Aeneis, in great measure, for the sake of that unlucky Ille ego. But extraordinary Genius's have a sort of Prerogative, which may dispence them from Laws, binding to Subject-Wits. However, the Ladies have the less Reason to be pleas'd with those Ad­dresses, of which the Poet takes the greater share to himself. Thus the Beau presses into their Dressing-Room, but it is not so much to adore their fair Eyes, as to adjust his own Steenzkirk and Peruke, and set his Countenance in their Glass.

A fifth Rule, (which one may hope will not be contested) is that the Writer should shew in his Compositions, some competent skill of the Subject matter, that which makes the Character of the Persons introduc'd. In this, as in all other Points of Learning, Decency, and Oeconomy of a Poem, Virgil much excells his Master Theocritus. The Poet is better skill'd in Husbandry than those that get their Bread by it. He describes the Nature, the Diseases, the Remedies, the proper places, and Seasons, of Feeding, of Watering their Flocks; the Furniture, Diet; the Lodging and pastimes of his Shepherds. But the Persons brought in by Mr. F. are Shepherds in Masquerade, and handle their Sheep-Hook as awkardly, as they do their Oaten-Reed. They Saun­ter about with their chers Moutons, but they relate as little to the Business in hand, as the Painter's Dog, or a Dutch Ship, does to the History de­sign'd. One would suspect some of them, that instead of leading out their Sheep [Page] into the Plains of Mont-Brison, and Marcilli, to the flowry Banks of Lig­non, or the Charanthe; that they are driving directly, à la boucherie, to make Money of them. I hope hereafter Mr. F. will chuse his Servants better.

A sixth Rule is, That as the Style ought to be natural, clear, and elegant, it should have some peculiar relish of the Ancient Fashion of Writing. Parables in those times were frequently us'd, as they are still by the Eastern Nations; Philosophical Questions, Aenigma's, &c. and of this we find Instances in the Sacred Writings, in Homer, Contemporary with King David, in Herodotus, in the Greek Tragedians; this piece of Antiquity is imi­tated by Virgil with great judgment and discretion: He has propos'd one Riddle which has never yet been solv'd by any of his Commentators. Tho' he knew the Rules of Rhetorick, as well as Cicero himself; he conceals that skill in his Pastorals, and keeps close to the Character of Antiquity: Nor ought the Con­nexions and Transitions to be very strict, and regular; this would give the Pastorals an Air of Novelty, and of this neglect of exact Connexions, we have instances in the Writings of the Ancient Chineses, of the Jews and Greeks, in Pindar, and other Writers of Dithyrambics, in th [...] Chorus's of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. If Mr. F. and Ruaeus, had consi­der'd this, the one wou'd have spar'd his Critic of the Sixth, and the other, his Reflections upon the Ninth Pastoral. The over-scrupulous care of Connexions, makes the Modern Compositions oftentimes tedious and flat: And by the omis­sion of them it comes to pass, that the Pensees of the incomparable Mr. Pascal, and perhaps of Mr. Bruyere, are two of the most Entertaining Books which the Modern French can boast of. Virgil, in this point, was not only faithful to the Character of Antiquity, but Copies after Nature her self. Thus a Meadow, where the Beauties of the Spring are profusely blended together, makes a more delightful Prospect, than a curious Knot of sorted Flowers in our Gardens; and we are much more transported with the Beauty of the Heavens, and admiration of their Creator, in a clear Night, when we behold Stars of all Magnitudes, promiscuously moving together, than if those glorious Lights were rank'd in their several Orders, or reduc'd into the finest Geometrical Figures.

Another Rule omitted by P. Rapine, as some of his are by me, (for I do not design an entire Treatise in this Preface,) is, that not only the Sentences should be short, and smart, upon which account, he justly blames the Italian, and French, as too Talkative, but that the whole piece should be so too. Vir­gil transgress'd this Rule in his first Pastorals, I mean those which he compos'd at Mantua, but rectifi'd the Fault in his Riper Years. This appears by the Culex, which is as long as five of his Pastorals put together. The greater part of those he finish'd, have less than a Hundred Verses, and but two of them ex­ceed that Number. But the Silenus, which he seems to have design'd for his Master-piece, in which he introduces a God singing, and he too full of In­spiration, (which is intended by that ebriety, which Mr. F. so unreasonably ridicules,) tho' it go thro' so vast a Field of Matter, and comprizes the Mytho­logy of near Two Thousand Years, consists but of Fifty Lines; so that its bre­vity is no less admirable, than the subject Matter; the noble Fashion of handling it, and the Deity speaking. Virgil keeps up his Characters in this respect too, with the strictest decency: For Poetry and Pastime was not the Busi­ness of Mens Lives in those days, but only their seasonable Recreation after necessary Labours. And therefore the length of some of the Modern Italian, and English Compositions, is against the Rules of this kind of Poesy.

[Page] I shall add something very briefly touching the Versification of Pasto­rals, tho' it be a mortifying Consideration to the Moderns. Heroic Verse, as it is commonly call'd, was us'd by the Latins in this sort of Poem, as very Ancient and Natural. Lyrics, Iambics, &c. being Invented afterwards: but there is so great a difference in the Numbers, of which it may be com­pounded, that it may pass rather for a Genus, than Species, of Verse. Who­soever shall compare the numbers of the three following Verses, will quick­ly be sensible of the truth of this Observation.

Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi.

The first of the Georgics, ‘Quid faciat laetas segetes, quo sydere terram.’ and of the Aeneis.

Arma, virumque cano, Trojae qui Primus ab oris.

The Sound of the Verses, is almost as different as the Subjects. But the Greek Writers of Pastoral, usually limited themselves to the Example of the first; which Virgil found so exceedingly difficult, that he quitted it, and left the Honour of that part to Theocritus. It is indeed probable, that what we improperly call rhyme, is the most Ancient sort of Poetry; and Learned Men have given good Arguments for it; and therefore a French Historian commits a gross mistake, when he attributes that Invention to a King of Gaul, as an English Gentleman does, when he makes a Roman Emperour the In­ventor of it. But the Greeks who understood fully the force and power of Numbers, soon grew weary of this Childish sort of Verse, as the Younger Vos­sius justly calls it, and therefore those rhyming Hexameters, which Plutarch observes in Homer himself, seem to be the Remains of a barbarous Age. Virgil had them in such abhorrence, that he would rather make a false Syn­tax, than what we call a Rhime, such a Verse as this Vir precor Ʋxori, frater succurre Sorori.’ Was passable in Ovid, but the nice Ears in Augustus his Court could not pardon Virgil, for▪ ‘At Regina Pyra.’ So that the principal Ornament of Modern Poetry, was accounted deformity by the Latins, and Greeks; it was they who invented the different termina­tions of words, those happy compositions, those short monosyllables, those trans­positions for the elegance of the sound and sense, which are wanting so much in modern Languages. The French sometimes crowd together ten, or twelve Monosyllables, into one disjoynted Verse; they may understand the nature of, but cannot imitate, those wonderful Spondees of Pythagoras, by which he could suddenly pacifie a Man that was in a violent transport of anger; nor those swift numbers of the Priests of Cybele, which had the force to enrage the most sedate and Phlegmatick Tempers. Nor can any Modern put into his own Language the Energy of that single Poem of Catullus, [Page] Super alta vectus, Atys▪ &c.’ Latin is but a corrupt dialect of Greek; and the French, Spanish, and Ita­lian, a corruption of Latine; and therefore a Man might as well go about to persuade me that Vinegar is a Nobler Liquor than Wine, as that the mo­dern Compositions can be as graceful and harmonious as the Latine it self. The Greek Tongue very naturally falls into Iambicks, and therefore the diligent Reader may find six or seven and twenty of them in those accurate Orations of Isocrates. The Latin as naturally falls into Heroic; and therefore the beginning of Livy's History is half an Hexameter, and that of Tacitus an entire one. The Roman Historian describing the glorious effort of a Colo­nel to break thro' a Brigade of the Enemies, just after the defeat at Cannae, falls, unknowingly, into a Verse not unworthy Virgil himself.

Haec ubi dicta dedit, stringit gladium, cuneo (que)
Facto per medios, &c.

Ours and the French can at best but fall into Blank Verse, which is a fault in Prose. The misfortune indeed is common to us both, but we deserve more compassion, because we are not vain of our Barbarities. As Age brings Men back into the state and infirmities of Childhood, upon the fall of their Empire, the Romans doted into Rhime, as appears sufficiently by the Hymns of the Latin Church; and yet a great deal of the French Poetry does hardly deserve that poor title. I shall give an instance out of a Poem which had the good luck to gain the Prize in 1685, for the Subject deserv'd a Nobler Pen.

Tous les jours ce grand Roy des autres Roys l'exemple,
S'ouvre un nouveau chemin au faiste de ton temple, &c.

The Judicious Malherbe exploded this sort of Verse near Eighty Years ago. Nor can I forbear wondering at that passage of a Famous Academician, in which he, most compassionately, excuses the Ancients for their not being so exact in their Compositions, as the Modern French, because they wanted a Dictionary, of which the French are at last happily provided. If Cicero and Demosthenes had been so lucky as to have had a Dictionary, and such a Patron as Cardinal Richelieu, perhaps they might have aspir'd to the ho­nour of Balzac's Legacy of Ten Pounds, Le prix de l'Eloquence.

On the contrary, I dare assert that there are hardly ten Lines in either of those great Orators, or even in the Catalogue of Homer's Ships, which is not more harmonious, more truly Rythmical, than most of the French, or Eng­lish Sonnets; and therefore they lose, at least, one half of their native Beauty by Translation.

I cannot but add one Remark on this occasion, that the French Verse is oftentimes not so much as Rhime, in the lowest Sense; for the Childish re­petition of the same Note cannot be call'd Musick; such Instances are infinite, as in the forecited Poem.

  • 'Epris
  • Mepris

  • Trophee
  • Orphee

  • caché;
  • cherché.

Mr. Boileau himself has a great deal of this [...], not by his own neglect, but purely by the faultiness and poverty of the French Tongue. Mr. F. [Page] at last goes into the excessive Paradoxes of Mr. Perrault, and boasts of the vast number of their Excellent Songs, preferring them to the Greek and Latin. But an ancient Writer of as good Credit, has assur'd us, that Se­ven Lives would hardly suffice to read over the Greek Odes; but a few Weeks would be sufficient, if a Man were so very idle as to read over all the French. In the mean-time I should be very glad to see a Catalogue of but fifty of theirs with *Essay of Poetry. Exact propriety of word and thought.’ Notwithstanding all the high Encomiums, and mutual Gratu­lations which they give one another; (for I am far-from cen­suring the whole of that Illustrious Society, to which the Learned World is much oblig'd) after all those Golden Dreams at the L'Ouvre, that Modern Pieces will be as much valu'd ten, or twelve Ages hence, as the ancient Greek, or Roman, I can no more get it into my head that they will last so long, than I could believe the Learned Dr. H—K. [of the Royal Society,] if he should pretend to shew me a Butterflye that had liv'd a thousand Winters.

When Mr. F. wrote his Eclogues, he was so far from equalling Virgil, or Theocritus, that he had some pains to take before he could understand in what the principal Beauty, and Graces of their Writings do consist.

‘Cum mortuis non nisi larvae luctantur.’

To Mr. Dryden, on his Excellent Translation of VIRGIL.

WHen e're Great VIRGIL's lofty Verse I see,
The Pompous Scene Charms my admiring Eye:
There different Beauties in perfection meet;
The Thoughts as proper, as the Numbers sweet:
And When wild Fancy mounts a daring height,
Judgment steps in, and moderates her flight.
Wisely he manages his Wealthy Store,
Still says enough, and yet implies still more:
For tho'the weighty Sense be closely wrought,
The Reader's left t'improve the pleasing thought.
Hence we despair'd to see an English dress
Should e're his Nervous Energy express;
For who could that in fetter'd Rhyme inclose,
Which without loss can scarce be told in Prose?
But you, Great Sir, his Manly Genius raise;
And make your Copy share an equal praise.
O how I see thee in soft Scenes of Love,
Renew those Passions he alone could move!
Here Cupid's Charms are with new Art exprest,
And pale Eliza leaves her peaceful rest:
Leaves her Elisium, as if glad to live,
To Love, and Wish, to Sigh, Despair and Grieve,
And Die again for him that would again deceive.
Nor does the Mighty Trojan less appear
Than Mars himself amidst the storms of War.
Now his fierce Eyes with double fury glow,
And a new dread attends th' impending blow:
The Daunian Chiefs their eager rage abate,
And tho' unwounded, seem to feel their Fate.
Long the rude fury of an ignorant Age,
With barbarous spight prophan'd his Sacred Page.
The heavy Dutchmen with laborious toil,
Wrested his Sense, and cramp'd his vigorous Style:
No time, no pains the drudging Pedants spare;
But still his Shoulders must the burthen bear.
While thro' the Mazes of their Comments led,
We learn not what he writes, but what they read.
Yet thro' these Shades of undistinguish'd Night
Appear'd some glimmering intervals of Light;
'Till mangled by a vile Translating Sect,
Like Babes by Witches in Effigie rackt:
'Till Ogleby, mature in dulness rose,
And Holbourn Dogrel, and low chiming Prose,
His Strength and Beauty did at once depose.
[...] [...]
[Page] But now the Magick Spell is at an end,
Since even the Dead in you have found a Friend.
You free the Bard from rude Oppressor's Power,
And grace his Verse with Charms unknown before:
He, doubly thus oblig'd, must doubting stand,
Which chiefly should his Gratitude command;
Whether should claim the Tribute of his Heart,
The Patron's Bounty, or the Poet's Art.
Alike with wonder and delight we view'd
The Roman Genius in thy Verse renew'd:
We saw thee raise soft Ovid's Amorous Fire,
And fit the tuneful Horace to thy Lyre:
We saw new gall imbitter Juvenal's Pen,
And crabbed Persius made politely plain:
Virgil alone was thought too great a task;
What you could scarce perform, or we durst ask:
A Task! which Waller's Muse could ne're engage;
A Task! too hard for Denham's stronger rage:
Sure of Success they some slight Sallies try'd,
But the fenc'd Coast their bold attempts defy'd:
With fear their o're-match'd Forces back they drew,
Quitted the Province Fate reserv'd for you.
In vain thus Philip did the Persians storm;
A Work his Son was destin'd to perform.
O had Roscommon
Essay of Translated Verse. pag. 26.
liv'd to hail the day,
And Sing loud Poeans thro' the crowded way;
When you in Roman Majesty appear,
Which none know better, and none come so near:
The happy Author would with wonder see,
His Rules were only Prophecies of thee:
And were he now to give Translators light,
He'd bid them only read thy Work, and write.
For this great Task our loud applause is due;
We own old Favours, but must press for new.
Th' expecting World demands one Labour more;
And thy lov'd Homer does thy aid implore,
To right his injur'd Works, and set them free
From the lewd Rhymes of groveling Ogleby.
Then shall his Verse in graceful Pomp appear,
Nor will his Birth renew the ancient jar;
On those Greek Cities we shall look with scorn,
And in our Britain think the Poet Born.

To Mr. Dryden on his Translation of VIRGIL.

WE read, how Dreams and Visions heretofore,
The Prophet, and the Poet cou'd inspire;
And make 'em in unusual Rapture soar,
With Rage Divine, and with Poetick Fire.
O could I find it now!—Wou'd Virgil's Shade
But for a while vouchsafe to bear the Light;
To grace my Numbers, and that Muse to aid,
Who sings the Poet, that has done him right.
It long has been this Sacred Author's Fate,
To lye at ev'ry dull Translator's Will;
Long, long his Muse has groan'd beneath the weight
Of mangling Ogleby's presumptuous Quill.
Dryden, at last, in his Defence arose;
The Father now is righted by the Son:
And while his Muse endeavours to disclose
That Poet's Beauties, she declares her own.
In your smooth, pompous Numbers drest, each Line,
Each Thought, betrays such a Majestick Touch;
He cou'd not, had he finish'd his Design,
Have wisht it better, or have done so much.
You like his Heroe, though your self were free;
And disentangl'd from the War of Wit;
You, who secure might others danger see,
And safe from all malicious Censure sit:
Yet because Sacred Virgil's Noble Muse,
O'relay'd by Fools, was ready to expire:
To risque your Fame again, you boldly chuse,
Or to redeem, or perish with your Sire.
Ev'n first and last, we owe him half to you,
For that his Aeneids miss'd their threatned Fate,
Was—that his Friends by some Prediction knew,
Hereafter who correcting should translate.
But hold my Muse, thy needless Flight restrain,
Ʋnless like him thou cou'dst a Verse indite:
To think his Fancy to describe, is vain,
Since nothing can discover Light, but Light.
'Tis want of Genius that does more deny;
'Tis Fear my Praise shou'd make your Glory less.
And therefore, like the modest Painter, I
Must draw the Vail, where I cannot express.
Henry Grahme.


NO undisputed Monarch Govern'd yet
With Universal Sway the Realms of Wit:
Nature cou'd never such Expence afford,
Each several Province own'd a several Lord.
A Poet then had his Poetick Wife,
One Muse embrac'd, and Married for his Life.
By the stale thing his appetite was cloy'd,
His Fancy lessned, and his Fire destroy'd.
But Nature grown extravagantly kind,
With all her Treasures did adorn your Mind.
The different Powers were then united found,
And you Wit's Universal Monarch Crown'd.
Your Mighty Sway your great Desert secures,
And ev'ry Muse and ev'ry Grace is yours.
To none confin'd, by turns you all enjoy,
Sated with this, you to another flye.
So Sultan-like in your Seraglio stand,
While wishing Muses wait for your Command.
Thus no decay, no want of vigour find,
Sublime your Fancy, boundless is your Mind.
Not all the blasts of time can do you wrong,
Young spight of Age, in spight of Weakness strong.
Time like Alcides, strikes you to the ground,
You like Antaeus from each fall rebound.
H. St. John.

To Mr. Dryden on his VIRGIL.

TIS said that Phidias gave such living Grace,
To the carv'd Image of a beauteous Face,
That the cold Marble might ev'n seem to be
The Life, and the true Life, the Imag'ry.
You pass that Artist, Sir, and all his Powers,
Making the best of Roman Poets ours;
With such Effect, we know not which to call
The Imitation, which th' Original.
What Virgil lent, you pay in equal Weight,
The charming Beauty of the Coin no less;
And such the Majesty of your Impress,
You seem the very Author you translate.
[Page] 'Tis certain, were he now alive with us,
And did revolving Destiny constrain,
To dress his Thoughts in English o're again,
Himself cou'd write no otherwise than thus.
His old Encomium never did appear
So true as now; Romans and Greeks submit,
Something of late is in our Language writ,
More nobly great than the fam'd Iliads were.
Ja. Wright.

To Mr. Dryden on his Translations.

AS Flow'rs transplanted from a Southern Sky,
But hardly bear, or in the raising dye,
Missing their Native Sun, at best retain
But a faint Odour, and but live with Pain:
So Roman Poetry by Moderns taught,
Wanting the Warmth with which its Author wrote,
Is a dead Image, and a worthless Draught.
While we transfuse, the nimble Spirit flies,
Escapes unseen, evaporates, and dyes.
Who then attempt to shew the Ancients Wit,
Must copy with the Genius that they writ.
Whence we conclude from thy translated Song,
So just, so warm, so smooth, and yet so strong,
Thou Heav'nly Charmer! Soul of Harmony!
That all their Geniusses reviv'd in thee.
Thy Trumpet sounds, the dead are rais'd to Light,
New-born they rise, and take to Heav'n their Flight;
Deckt in thy Verse, as clad with Rayes, they shine
All Glorify'd, Immortal and Divine.
As Britain, in rich Soil abounding wide,
Furnish'd for Use, for Luxury, and Pride,
Yet spreads her wanton Sails on ev'ry Shore,
For Foreign Wealth, insatiate still of more;
To her own Wooll, the Silks of Asia joins,
And to her plenteous Harvests, Indian Mines:
So Dryden, not contented with the Fame
Of his own Works, tho' an immortal Name,
To Lands remote he sends his learned Muse,
The Noblest Seeds of Foreign Wit to chuse.
Feasting our Sense so many various Ways,
Say, Is't thy Bounty, or thy Thirst of Praise?
That by comparing others, all might see,
Who most excell'd, are yet excell'd by thee.
George Granville.


In the Dedicatory Preface to the Marquess of Normanby.

PAg. 7. line 32. read, of Republican Principles in his Heart. p. 9. where Atis is mention'd as having a claim by Succession before Aeneas, my Me­mory betray'd me; for had I consulted Virgil, he calls not the Son of Polites by the name of Atis, but of Priamus. 'Tis true he mentions Atis immedi­ately afterwards, on the account of the Atian Family, from which Julius Cae­sar was descended by his Grandmother, as I have there mention'd. p. 26. towards the bottom of this Page here is a gross Errour, which is easily corrected, by reading Ten Months instead of Three: the Sense will direct you to the place. p. 28. In the quotation of a verse of Virgil's; for contise r. confise. p. 30 f. Ju­turna took his opportunity, r. this opportunity. There are other Errata both in false pointing, and omissions of words, both in the Preface and the Po­em, which the Reader will correct without my trouble. I omit them, be­cause they only lame my English, not destroy my meaning.

Some of the most considerable Errata.

PAstoral 2. l. 43. r. nor scorn the Pipe. Past. 4. l. 36. for Cold r. Gold. Past. 6. l. 72. f. this r. thy. In the same Past. l. 1. f. Scicilian r. Sicili­an. Past. 8. l. 19. read the whole line thus; Scarce from the World the Shades of Night withdrew. Georgic 1. l. 96. after the word Arbute place the Comma; not after the next word Hazle, as it is printed, which destroys the Sense. The whole Verse is to be thus read, The thin-leav'd Arbute, hazle Graffs receives. l. 139. the note of Interrogation is false at the end of the Line, it ought to be a Period. l. 393. f. skins r. skims. Geor. 2. l. 203. and 204. the Rhymes of both are false printed: instead of Wars and pre­pares, r. War and prepare in the singular. l. 296. f. tracts r. tracks. Geor. 4. l. 354. And Worms that shun the Light, r. and Lizards shunning Light. Aeneid 1. l. 79. f. Elus r. Eolus. l. 97. r. Eolus again. l. 640. f. Fate r. Fame. l. 1054. f. Dimede r. Diomede. Aen. 2. l. 2. f. the lofty Couch r. his lofty Couch. Aen. 3. l. 40. f. Horrour r. Terrour. l. 142. blot out the Period at the end of the Verse, and place a Comma. Aen. 4. l. 824. f. pious pious r. pious Prince. Aen 5. l. 188. f. ptwo r. Prow. Aen. 6. l. 488. f. but but r. but once only. l. 747. f. van r. vain. l. 1133. f. three r. two. Aen. 7. l. 43. dele the Period at the end of the Verse. l. 266. f. On, (the first word of the Verse,) r. In. l. 446. f. native Land, r. another Land. l. 549. f. crowns her Lance, r. wreaths her Lance. l. 68. f. fill. r. feed. l. 732. f. reinfor'd r. reinforc'd. l. 946. f. rosie Fields r. dewy Fields. l. 1087. f. yied r. yield. Aen. 8. l. 674. f. lifeless Limbs, r. listless Limbs. Aen. 10 l. 497. blot out the Period at the end of the Verse, and place a Comma. l. 735. f. shall. r. will. l. 864. f. loving Lord r. Sov'raign Lord. l. 924. f. Planks were r. Plank was. l. 1286. f. Sholuder r. Shoulder. l. 1311. f. to his Throat the Sword apply'd, r. to the Sword his Throat apply'd. Aen. 11. l. 120. f. Heads and Hands r. their loaded Hands. l. 528. f. Heros r. Heroes.

Directions to the Binders, how to place the several Parts of this Book in Binding.

  • 1. Title and Dedication to the Lord Clifford.
  • 2. The Life of Virgil, and Preface to the Pastorals.
  • 3. Poems on Mr. Dryden's Translation of Virgil.
  • 4. The Names of the Subscribers to the Cuts of Virgil.
  • 5. The Names of the second Subscribers.
  • 6. The Pastorals.
  • 7. The Dedication to the Earl of Chesterfield, with an Essay on the Georgics.
  • 8. The Georgics.
  • 9. The Dedication to the Marquess of Normanby.
  • 10. The Aeneis.

THE NAMES OF THE SUBSCRIBERS TO THE Cuts of Virgil, Each Subscription being Five Guineas.

  • Page
  • 1 LOrd Chancellor.—1
  • 2 Lord Privy Seal.—6
  • 3 Earl of Dorset.—10
  • 4 Lord Buckhurst.—17
  • 5 Earl of Abingdon.—20
  • 6 Lord Visc. Cholmondely.—26
  • 7 Ld. Herbert of Chirbury.—31
  • 8 Lord Clifford.—35
  • 9 Marq. of Hartington.—41
  • 10 The Hon. Mr. Ch. Mountague.—45

Georgic 1st.
  • 11 Sir Tho Trevor.—49
  • 12 Sir John Hawles.—56
  • 13 Joseph Jeakyl, Esq—61
  • 14 Tho. Vernon, Esq—63
  • 15 Will. Dobyns, Esq—68

Geor. 2d.
  • 16 Sir Will. Bowyer.—71
  • 17 Gilbert Dolbin, Esq—75
  • 18 Geo. London, Esq—80
  • 19 John Loving, Esq—87
  • 20 Will. Walsh, Esq—94

Geor. 3d.
  • 21 Duke of Richmond.—96
  • 22 Sir J. Isham, Bar.—106
  • 23 Sir Tho. Mompesson.—110
  • 24 John Dormer, Esq—113
  • 25 Frederick Tylney, Esq—117

Geor. 4th.
  • 26 Richard Norton, Esq—122
  • 27 Sir Will. Trumbull.—125
  • 28 Sir Barth. Shower,—138
  • 29 Symon Harcourt, Esq—141
  • 30 John Granvill, Esq—146

Aeneid 1st.
  • 31 Prince George of Denmark. 201
  • 32 Princess Ann of Denmark. 210
  • 33 Dutchess of Ormond.—211
  • 34 Countess of Exeter.—214
  • 35 Countess Dowager of Winchel­sea.—227
  • 36 Marchioness of Normanby. 230

Aeneid 2d.
  • 37 Duke of Somerset.—234
  • 38 Earl of Salisbury.—243
  • 39 Earl of Inchiqueen.—247
  • 40 Earl of Orrery.—257
  • 41 Ld. Visc. Dunbar.—261
  • 42 Coun. Dow. of Northampton. 263

Aeneid 3d.
  • [Page]Page
  • 43 Earl of Darby.—267
  • 44 Bp. of Durham.—270
  • 45 Bp. of Ossery.—276
  • 46 Dr. John Mountague.—279
  • 47 Dr. Brown.—286
  • 48 Dr. Guibbons.—293

Aeneid 4th.
  • 49 Earl of Exeter.—296
  • 50 Lady Giffard.—298
  • 51 Lord Clifford.—303
  • 52 John Walkaden, Esq—307
  • 53 Henry Tasburgh, Esq—318
  • 54 Mrs. Ann Brownlow.—326

Aeneid 5th.
  • 55 Duke of St. Albans.—327
  • 56 Earl of Torrington.—332
  • 57 Anth. Hamond, Esq—340
  • 58 Henry St. Johns, Esq—345
  • 59 Steph. Waller, Dr. of Laws. 347
  • 60 Duke of Glocester.—349
  • 61 Edmond Waller, Esq—359

Aeneid 6th.
  • 62 Earl of Denbigh.—362
  • 63 Sir Tho. Dyke, Bar.—370
  • 64 Mrs. Ann Bayner.—371
  • 65 John Lewknor, Esq—374
  • 66 Sir Fleetwood Shepherd.—378
  • 67 John Poultney, Esq—380
  • 68 John Knight, Esq—382
  • 69 Robert Harley, Esq—394

Aeneid 7th.
  • 70 Earl of Rumney.—400
  • 71 Anthony Henley, Esq—404
  • 72 George Stepney, Esq—407
  • Page
  • 73 Coll. Tho. Farringdon.—416
  • 74 Lady Mary Sackvill.—420
  • 75 Charles Fox, Esq—432

Aeneid 8th.
  • 76 Earl of Ailesbury.—434
  • 77 The Hon. Mr. Robert Bruce.—447
  • 78 Christopher Rich, Esq—450
  • 79 Sir Godfry Kneller.—458

Aeneid 9th.
  • 80 Earl of Sunderland.—464
  • 81 Thomas Foley, Esq—468
  • 82 Col. Geo. Cholmondley.—476
  • 83 Sir John Percivall, Bar.—481
  • 84 Col. Christoph. Codrington.—486
  • 85 Mr. John Closterman.—494

Aeneid 10th.
  • 86 Ld. Visc. Fitzharding.—498
  • 87 Sir Robert Howard.—511
  • 88 Sir John Leuson Gore, Bar. 517
  • 89 Sir Charles Orby.—531
  • 90 Tho. Hopkins, Esq—536

Aeneid 11th.
  • 91 Duke of Shrewsbury.—538
  • 92 Sir Walter Kirkham Blount, Bar.—541
  • 93 John Noell, Esq—546
  • 94 Marquiss of Normanby.—549
  • 95 Lord Berkley.—569
  • 96 Arthur Manwareing, Esq 573

Aeneid 12th.
  • 97 Earl of Chesterfield.—578
  • 98 Brigradier Fitzpatrick.—585
  • 99 Dr. Tho. Hobbs.—595
  • 100 Lord Guilford—611
  • 101 Duke of Ormond.—618

The Names of the second SUBSCRIBERS.

  • LOrd Ashley.
  • Sir James Ash, Bar.
  • Sir James Ash, Bar.
  • Sir Francis Andrew, Bar.
  • Charles Adderley, Esq
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  • Earl of Bullingbrook.
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  • Sir John Bolles.
  • Sir Will. Bowes.
  • Will. Blathwayt, Esq Secretary of War.
  • Will. Barlow, Esq
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  • Mich. Bruneau, Esq
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  • Capt. John Berkeley.
  • Mr. Jo. Bowes, Prebend of Durham.
  • Mr. Jeremiah Ball.
  • Mr. John Ball.
  • Mr. Richard Banks.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Barry.
  • Mr. Beckford.
  • Mr. Tho. Betterton.
  • Mrs. Catharine Blount.
  • Mr. Bond.
  • Mr. Bond.
  • Mrs. Ann Bracegirdle.
  • Mr. Samuel Brockenbo-rough.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Brown.
  • Mr. Moses Bruche.
  • Mr. Lancelton Burton.
  • Earl of Clarendon.
  • Lord Hen. Cavendish.
  • Lord Clifford.
  • Lord Coningsby.
  • Lord Cutts.
  • Lady Chudleigh of the West.
  • The Hon. Char. Corn­wallis, Son to the Lord Cornwallis.
  • Sir Walt. Clarges, Bar.
  • Sir Ro. Cotton.
  • Sir Will. Cooper.
  • The Ho. Will. Cheyney.
  • James Calthorp, Esq
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  • Edmond Clifford, Esq
  • Charles Cocks, Esq
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  • Capt. James Conoway.
  • Mr. Will. Claret.
  • Mr. John Clancy.
  • Mr. Will. Congreve.
  • Mr. Henry Cook.
  • Mr. Will. Cooper.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Creed.
  • Dutchess of Devon­shire.
  • Paul Docmenique, Esq
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  • Earl of Essex.
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  • Sir Edm. Fettiplace, Bar.
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  • The Ho. Colon. Finch.
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  • Rich. Francklin, Post­master, Esq
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  • Doctor Fuller, D. of Lincoln.
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  • Sir Richard Haddock.
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  • [Page] Sir Tho. Hussey.
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  • Coll. Will. Parsons.
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  • Earl of Weymouth.
  • Lady Windham.
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  • James Ward, Esq
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  • Mrs. Mary Walter.
  • Mr. Leonard Wessel.
Ec. 1. l. 1

To the Right Honble John Lord Sommers Baron of Eresham Ld High Chancellr: of England &c.

Virgil's Pastorals.

The First Pastoral. OR Tityrus and Meliboeus.

The Argument.

The Occasion of the First Pastoral was this. When Augustus had setled himself in the Roman Empire, that he might reward his Veteran Troops for their past Service, he distributed among 'em all the Lands that lay about Cremona and Mantua: turning out the right Owners for having sided with his Enemies. Virgil was a Sufferer among the rest; who afterwards recover'd his Estate by Mecaenas's Intercession, and as an Instance of his Gra­titude compos'd the following Pastoral; where he sets out his own Good Fortune in the Person of Tityrus, and the Calamities of his Mantuan Neighbours in the Character of Meliboeus.

BEneath the Shade which Beechen Boughs diffuse,
You Tity'rus entertain your Silvan Muse:
Round the wide World in Banishment we rome,
Forc'd from our pleasing Fields and Native Home:
While stretch'd at Ease you sing your happy loves:
And Amarillis fills the shady Groves.
These blessings, Friend, a Deity bestow'd:
For never can I deem him less than God.
The tender Firstlings of my Woolly breed
Shall on his holy Altar often bleed.
He gave my Kine to graze the Flowry Plain:
And to my Pipe renew'd the Rural Strain.
[Page 2]
I envy not your Fortune, but admire,
That while the raging Sword and wastful Fire
Destroy the wretched Neighbourhood around,
No Hostile Arms approach your happy ground.
Far diff'rent is my Fate: my feeble Goats
With pains I drive from their forsaken Cotes.
And this you see I scarcely drag along,
Who yeaning on the Rocks has left her Young;
(The Hope and Promise of my failing Fold:)
My loss by dire Portents the Gods foretold:
For had I not been blind I might have seen
You riven Oak, the fairest of the Green,
And the hoarse Raven, on the blasted Bough,
With frequent Crokes presag'd the coming Blow.
But tell me, Tityrus, what Heav'nly Power
Preserv'd your Fortunes in that fatal Hour?
Fool that I was, I thought Imperial Rome
Like Mantua, where on Market-days we come,
And thether drive our tender Lambs from home.
So Kids and Whelps their Syres and Dams express:
And so the Great I measur'd by the Less.
But Country Towns, compar'd with her, appear
Like Shrubs, when lofty Cypresses are near.
What great Occasion call'd you hence to Rome?
Freedom, which came at length, tho' slow to come:
Nor did my Search of Liberty begin,
Till my black Hairs were chang'd upon my Chin.
Nor Amarillis wou'd vouchsafe a look,
Till Galeatea's meaner bonds I broke.
[Page 3] Till then a helpless, hopeless, homely Swain,
I sought not freedom, nor aspir'd to Gain:
Tho' many a Victim from my Folds was bought,
And many a Cheese to Country Markets brought,
Yet all the little that I got, I spent,
And still return'd as empty as I went.
We stood amaz'd to see your Mistress mourn;
Unknowing that she pin'd for your return:
We wonder'd why she kept her Fruit, so long,
For whom so late th' ungather'd Apples hung.
But now the Wonder ceases, since I see
She kept them only, Tityrus, for thee.
For thee the bubling Springs appear'd to mourn,
And whisp'ring Pines made vows for thy return.
What shou'd I do! while here I was enchain'd,
No glimpse of Godlike Liberty remain'd?
Nor cou'd I hope in any place, but there,
To find a God so present to my Pray'r.
There first the Youth of Heav'nly Birth I view'd;
For whom our Monthly Victims are renew'd.
He heard my Vows, and graciously decreed
My Grounds to be restor'd, my former Flocks to feed.
O Fortunate Old Man! whose Farm remains
For you sufficient, and requites your pains,
Tho' Rushes overspread the Neighb'ring Plains.
Tho' here the Marshy Grounds approach your Fields,
And there the Soyl a stony Harvest yields.
Your teeming Ewes shall no strange Meadows try,
Nor fear a Rott from tainted Company.
Behold yon bord'ring Fence of Sallow Trees
Is fraught with Flow'rs, the Flow'rs are fraught with Bees:
[Page 4] The buisie Bees with a soft murm'ring Strain
Invite to gentle sleep the lab'ring Swain.
While from the Neighb'ring Rock, with Rural Songs,
The Pruner's Voice the pleasing Dream prolongs;
Stock-Doves and Turtles tell their Am'rous pain,
And from the lofty Elms of Love complain.
Th' Inhabitants of Seas and Skies shall change,
And Fish on shoar and Stags in Air shall range,
The banish'd Parthian dwell on Arar's brink,
And the blue German shall the Tigris drink:
E're I, forsaking Gratitude and Truth,
Forget the Figure of that Godlike Youth.
But we must beg our Bread in Climes unknown,
Beneath the scorching or the freezing Zone.
And some to far Oaxis shall be sold;
Or try the Lybian Heat, or Scythian Cold.
The rest among the Britans be confin'd;
A Race of Men from all the World dis-join'd.
O must the wretched Exiles ever mourn,
Nor after length of rowl'ing Years return?
Are we condem'd by Fates unjust Decree,
No more our Houses and our Homes to see?
Or shall we mount again the Rural Throne,
And rule the Country Kingdoms, once our own!
Did we for these Barbarians plant and sow,
On these, on these, our happy Fields bestow?
Good Heav'n, what dire Effects from Civil Discord flow!
Now let me graff my Pears, and prune the Vine;
The Fruit is theirs, the Labour only mine.
Farewel my Pastures, my Paternal Stock,
My fruitful Fields, and my more fruitful Flock!
[Page 5] No more, my Goats, shall I behold you climb
The steepy Cliffs, or crop the flow'ry Thyme!
No more, extended in the Grot below,
Shall see you browzing on the Mountain's brow
The prickly Shrubs; and after on the bare,
Lean down the Deep Abyss, and hang in Air.
No more my Sheep shall sip the Morning Dew;
No more my Song shall please the Rural Crue:,
Adieu, my tuneful Pipe! and all the World adieu!
This Night, at least, with me forget your Care;
Chesnuts and Curds and Cream shall be your fare:
The Carpet-ground shall be with Leaves o'respread;
And Boughs shall weave a Cov'ring for your Head.
For see yon sunny Hill the Shade extends;
And curling Smoke from Cottages ascends.

The Second Pastoral. OR, ALEXIS.

The Argument.

The Commentators can by no means agree on the Person of Alexis, but are all of opinion that some Beautiful Youth is meant by him, to whom Virgil here makes Love; in Corydon's Language and Simplicity. His way of Courtship is wholly Pastoral: He com­plains of the Boys Coyness, recommends himself for his Beauty and Skill in Piping; invites the Youth into the Country, where he promi­ses him the Diversions of the Place; with a suitable Present of Nuts and Apples: But when he finds nothing will prevail, he re­solves to quit his troublesome Amour, and betake himself again to his former Business.

Young Corydon, th' unhappy Shepherd Swain,
The fair Alexis lov'd, but lov'd in vain:
And underneath the Beechen Shade, alone,
Thus to the Woods and Mountains made his moan.
Is this, unkind Alexis, my reward,
And must I die unpitied, and unheard?
Now the green Lizard in the Grove is laid,
The Sheep enjoy the coolness of the Shade;
And Thestilis wild Thime and Garlike beats
For Harvest Hinds, o'respent with Toyl and Heats:
While in the scorching Sun I trace in vain
Thy flying footsteps o're the burning Plain.
The creaking Locusts with my Voice conspire,
They fry'd with Heat, and I with fierce Desire.
How much more easie was it to sustain
Proud Amarillis, and her haughty Reign,
The Scorns of Young Menalcas, once my care,
Tho' he was black, and thou art Heav'nly fair.


To the Right Honble: Thomas Earle of Pembroke and Montgomery, Lord Privy Seale & [...]

Past: 2.
[Page] [Page 7] Trust not too much to that enchanting Face;
Beauty's a Charm, but soon the Charm will pass:
White Lillies lie neglected on the Plain,
While dusky Hyacinths for use remain.
My Passion is thy Scorn; nor wilt thou know
What Wealth I have, what Gifts I can bestow:
What Stores my Dairies and my Folds contain;
A thousand Lambs that wander on the Plain:
New Milk that all the Winter never fails,
And all the Summer overflows the Pails:
Amphion sung not sweeter to his Herd,
When summon'd Stones the Theban Turrets rear'd.
Nor am I so deform'd; for late I stood
Upon the Margin of the briny Flood:
The Winds were still, and if the Glass be true,
With Daphnis I may vie, tho' judg'd by you.
O leave the noisie Town, O come and see
Our Country Cotts, and live content with me!
To wound the Flying Deer, and from their Cotes
With me to drive a-Field, the browzing Goats:
To pipe and sing, and in our Country Strain
To Copy, or perhaps contend with Pan.
Pan taught to joyn with Wax unequal Reeds,
Pan loves the Shepherds, and their Flocks he feeds:
Nor scorns the Pipe; Amyntas, to be taught,
With all his Kisses would my Skill have bought.
Of seven smooth joints a mellow Pipe I have,
Which with his dying Breath Damaetas gave:
And said, This, Corydon, I leave to thee;
For only thou deserv'st it after me.
His Eyes Amyntas durst not upward lift,
For much he grudg'd the Praise, but more the Gift.
Besides two Kids that in the Valley stray'd,
I found by chance, and to my fold convey'd:
[Page 8] They drein to bagging Udders every day;
And these shall be Companions of thy Play.
Both fleck'd with white, the true Arcadian Strain,
Which Thestilis had often beg'd in vain:
And she shall have them, if again she sues,
Since you the Giver and the Gift refuse.
Come to my longing Arms, my lovely care,
And take the Presents which the Nymphs prepare.
White Lillies in full Canisters they bring,
With all the Glories of the Purple Spring,
The Daughters of the Flood have search'd the Mead
For Violets pale, and cropt the Poppy's Head:
The Short Narcissus and fair Daffodil,
Pancies to please the Sight, and Cassia sweet to smell:
And set soft Hyacinths with Iron blue,
To shade marsh Marigolds of shining Hue.
Some bound in Order, others loosely strow'd,
To dress thy Bow'r, and trim thy new Abode.
My self will search our planted Grounds at home,
For downy Peaches and the glossie Plum:
And thrash the Chesnuts in the Neighb'ring Grove,
Such as my Amarillis us'd to love.
The Laurel and the Myrtle sweets agree;
And both in Nosegays shall be bound for thee.
Ah, Corydon, ah poor unhappy Swain,
Alexis will thy homely Gifts disdain:
Nor, should'st thou offer all thy little Store,
Will rich Iolas yield, but offer more.
What have I done, to name that wealthy Swain,
So powerful are his Presents, mine so mean!
The Boar amidst my Crystal Streams I bring;
And Southern Winds to blast my flow'ry Spring.
Ah, cruel Creature, whom dost thou despise?
The Gods to live in Woods have left the Skies.
[Page 9] And Godlike Paris in th' Idean Grove,
To Priam's Wealth prefer'd Oenone's Love.
In Cities which she built, let Pallas Reign;
Tow'rs are for Gods, but Forrests for the Swain.
The greedy Lyoness the Wolf pursues,
The Wolf the Kid, the wanton Kid the Browze:
Alexis thou art chas'd by Corydon;
All follow sev'ral Games, and each his own.
See from afar the Fields no longer smoke,
The sweating Steers unharnass'd from the Yoke,
Bring, as in Triumph, back the crooked Plough;
The Shadows lengthen as the Sun goes Low.
Cool Breezes now the raging Heats remove;
Ah, cruel Heaven! that made no Cure for Love!
I wish for balmy Sleep, but wish in vain:
Love has no bounds in Pleasure, or in Pain.
What frenzy, Shepherd, has thy Soul possess'd,
Thy Vinyard lies half prun'd, and half undress'd.
Quench, Corydon, thy long unanswer'd fire:
Mind what the common wants of Life require.
On willow Twigs employ thy weaving care:
And find an easier Love, tho' not so fair.

The Third Pastoral. OR, PALAEMON.
Menalcas, Damaetas, Palaemon.

The Argument.

Damaetas and Menalcas, after some smart strokes of Country Railery, resolve to try who has the most Skill at a Song; and ac­cordingly make their Neighbour Palaemon Judge of their Perfor­mances: Who, after a full hearing of both Parties, declares him­self unfit for the Decision of so weighty a Controversie, and leaves the Victory undetermin'd.

HO, Groom, what Shepherd owns those ragged Sheep?
Aegon's they are, he gave 'em me to keep.
Unhappy Sheep of an Unhappy Swain,
While he Neaera courts, but courts in vain,
And fears that I the Damsel shall obtain;
Thou, Varlet, dost thy Master's gains devour:
Thou milk'st his Ewes, and often twice an hour;
Of Grass and Fodder thou defraud'st the Dams:
And of their Mothers Duggs the starving Lambs.
Good words, young Catamite, at least to Men:
We know who did your Business, how, and when.
And in what Chappel too you plaid your prize;
And what the Goats observ'd with leering Eyes:
The Nymphs werekind, and laught, and there your safety lies.


To the Right Honble: Charles Sackvill Earle of Dorsett & Midleseoc Lord Chamberlain of his Majts. househould &c.

Past 3.
[Page][Page 11]
Yes, when I crept the Hedges of the Leys;
Cut Micon's tender Vines, and stole the Stays.
Or rather, when beneath yon ancient Oak,
The Bow of Daphnis and the Shafts you broke:
When the fair Boy receiv'd the Gift of right;
And but for Mischief, you had dy'd for spight.
What Nonsense wou'd the Fool thy Master prate,
When thou, his Knave, can'st talk at such a rate!
Did I not see you, Rascal, did I not!
When you lay snug to snap young Damon's Goat?
His Mungril bark'd, I ran to his relief,
And cry'd, There, there he goes; stop, stop the Thief.
Discover'd and defeated of your Prey,
You sculk'd behind the Fence, and sneak'd away.
An honest Man may freely take his own;
The Goat was mine, by singing fairly won.
A solemn match was made; He lost the Prize,
Ask Damon, ask if he the Debt denies;
I think he dares not, if he does, he lyes.
Thou sing with him, thou Booby; never Pipe
Was so profan'd to touch that blubber'd Lip:
Dunce at the best; in Streets but scarce allow'd
To tickle, on thy Straw, the stupid Crowd.
To bring it to the Trial, will you dare
Our Pipes, our Skill, our Voices to compare?
My Brinded Heifar to the Stake I lay;
Two Thriving Calves she suckles twice a day:
[Page 12] And twice besides her Beestings never fail
To store the Dairy, with a brimming Pail.
Now back your singing with an equal Stake.
That shou'd be seen, if I had one to make.
You know too well I feed my Father's Flock:
What can I wager from the common Stock?
A Stepdame too I have, a cursed she,
Who rules my Hen-peck'd Sire, and orders me.
Both number twice a day the Milky Dams;
And once she takes the tale of all the Lambs.
But since you will be mad, and since you may
Suspect my Courage, if I should not lay;
The Pawn I proffer shall be full as good:
Two Bowls I have, well turn'd of Beechen Wood;
Both by divine Alcimedon were made;
To neither of them yet the Lip is laid.
The Lids are Ivy, Grapes in clusters lurk,
Beneath the Carving of the curious Work.
Two Figures on the sides emboss'd appear;
Conon, and what's his Name who made the Sphere,
And shew'd the Seasons of the sliding Year,
Instructed in his Trade the Lab'ring Swain,
And when to reap, and when to sowe the Grain?
And I have two, to match your pair, at home;
The Wood the same, from the same Hand they come:
The kimbo Handles seem with Bears-foot carv'd;
And never yet to Table have been serv'd:
Where Orpheus on his Lyre laments his Love,
With Beasts encompass'd, and a dancing Grove:
But these, nor all the Proffers you can make,
Are worth the Heifar which I set to stake.
[Page 13]
No more delays, vain Boaster, but begin:
I prophecy before-hand I shall win.
Palaemon shall be Judge how ill you rhime,
I'll teach you how to brag another time.
Rhymer come on, and do the worst you can:
I fear not you, nor yet a better Man.
With Silence, Neighbour, and Attention wait:
For 'tis a business of a high Debate.
Sing then; the Shade affords a proper place;
The Trees are cloath'd with Leaves, the Fields with Grass;
The Blossoms blow; the Birds on bushes sing;
And Nature has accomplish'd all the Spring.
The Challenge to Damaetas shall belong,
Menalcas shall sustain his under Song:
Each in his turn your tuneful numbers bring;
In turns the tuneful Muses love to sing.
From the great Father of the Gods above
My Muse begins; for all is full of Jove;
To Jove the care of Heav'n and Earth belongs;
My Flocks he blesses, and he loves my Songs.
Me Phoebus loves; for He my Muse inspires;
And in her Songs, the warmth he gave, requires.
For him, the God of Shepherds and their Sheep,
My blushing Hyacinths, and my Bays I keep.
With pelted Fruit, me Galatea plyes;
Then tripping to the Woods the Wanton hies:
And wishes to be seen, before she flies.
[Page 15] But from my frowning Fair, more Ills I find,
Than from the Wolves, and Storms, and Winter-wind.
The Kids with pleasure browze the bushy Plain,
The Show'rs are grateful to the swelling Grain:
To teeming Ewes the Sallow's tender tree;
But more than all the World my Love to me.
Pollio my Rural Verse vouchsafes to read:
A Heyfar, Muses, for your Patron breed.
My Pollio writes himself, a Bull be bred,
With spurning Heels, and with a butting Head.
Who Pollio loves, and who his Muse admires,
Let Pollio's fortune crown his full desires.
Let Myrrh instead of Thorn his Fences fill:
And Show'rs of Hony from his Oaks distil.
Who hates not living Bavius, let him be
(Dead Maevius) damn'd to love thy Works and thee:
The same ill taste of Sense wou'd serve to join
Dog Foxes in the Yoak, and sheer the Swine.
Ye Boys, who pluck the Flow'rs, and spoil the Spring,
Beware the secret Snake, that shoots a sting.
Graze not too near the Banks, my jolly Sheep,
The Ground is false, the running Streams are deep:
See, they have caught the Father of the Flock;
Who drys his Fleece upon the neighb'ring Rock.
From Rivers drive the Kids, and sling your Hook;
Anon I'll wash 'em in the shallow Brook.
[Page 14]
But fair Amyntas comes unask'd to me;
And offers Love; and sits upon my knee:
Not Delia to my Dogs is known so well as he.
To the dear Mistress of my Love-sick Mind,
Her Swain a pretty Present has design'd:
I saw two Stock-doves billing, and e're long
Will take the Nest, and Hers shall be the Young.
Ten ruddy Wildings in the Wood I found,
And stood on tip-toes, reaching from the ground;
I sent Amyntas all my present Store;
And will, to Morrow, send as many more.
The lovely Maid lay panting in my arms;
And all she said and did was full of Charms.
Winds on your Wings to Heav'n her Accents bear;
Such words as Heav'n alone is fit to hear.
Ah! what avails it me, my Love's delight,
To call you mine, when absent from my sight!
I hold the Nets, while you pursue the Prey;
And must not share the Dangers of the Day.
I keep my Birth-day: send my Phillis home;
At Sheering-time, Iolas, you may come.
With Phillis I am more in grace than you:
Her Sorrow did my parting-steps pursue:
Adieu my Dear, she said, a long Adieu.
The Nightly Wolf is baneful to the Fold,
Storms to the Wheat, to Budds the bitter Cold;
[Page 16]
To fold, my Flock; when Milk is dry'd with heat,
In vain the Milk-maid tugs an empty Teat.
How lank my Bulls from plenteous pasture come!
But Love that drains the Herd, destroys the Groom.
My Flocks are free from Love; yet look so thin,
Their bones are barely cover'd with their Skin.
What magick has bewitch'd the woolly Dams,
And what ill Eyes beheld the tender Lambs?
Say, where the round of Heav'n, which all contains,
To three short Ells on Earth our sight restrains:
Tell that, and rise a Phoebus for thy pains.
Nay tell me first, in what new Region springs
A Flow'r, that bears inscrib'd the names of Kings:
And thou shalt gain a Present as Divine
As Phoebus self; for Phillis shall be thine.
So nice a diff'rence in your Singing lyes,
That both have won, or both deserv'd the Prize.
Rest equal happy both; and all who prove
The bitter Sweets, and pleasing Pains of Love.
Now dam the Ditches, and the Floods restrain:
Their moisture has already drench'd the Plain.

The Fourth Pastoral. OR, POLLIO.

The Argument.

The Poet celebrates the Birth-day of Saloninus, the Son of Pollio, born in the Consulship of his Father, after the taking of Salo­nae, a City in Dalmatia. Many of the Verses are translated from one of the Sybils, who prophesie of our Saviour's Birth.

To the Right Honble. Lionel Cranfeild Sackvill Lord Buck hurst, eldest son of Charles Earle of Dorsett & Midlesex.

Past: 4.
SIcilian Muse begin a loftier strain!
Though lowly Shrubs and Trees that shade the Plain,
Delight not all; Sicilian Muse, pepare
To make the vocal Woods deserve a Consul's care.
The last great Age, foretold by sacred Rhymes,
Renews its finish'd Course, Saturnian times
Rowl round again, and mighty years, begun
From their first Orb, in radiant Circles run.
The base degenerate Iron-off-spring ends;
A golden Progeny from Heav'n descends;
O chast Lucina speed the Mother's pains,
And haste the glorious Birth; thy own Apollo reigns!
The lovely Boy, with his auspicious Face,
Shall Pollio's Consulship and Triumph grace;
Majestick Months set out with him to their appointed Race.
The Father banish'd Virtue shall restore,
And Crimes shall threat the guilty world no more.
The Son shall lead the life of Gods, and be
By Gods and Heroes seen, and Gods and Heroes see.
[Page 18] The jarring Nations he in peace shall bind,
And with paternal Virtues rule Mankind.
Unbidden Earth shall wreathing Ivy bring,
And fragrant Herbs (the promises of Spring)
As her first Off'rings to her Infant King.
The Goats with strutting Dugs shall homeward speed,
And lowing Herds, secure from Lyons feed.
His Cradle shall with rising Flow'rs be crown'd;
The Serpents Brood shall die: the sacred ground
Shall Weeds and pois'nous Plants refuse to bear,
Each common Bush shall Syrian Roses wear.
But when Heroick Verse his Youth shall raise,
And form it to Hereditary Praise;
Unlabour'd Harvests shall the Fields adorn,
And cluster'd Grapes shall blush on every Thorn.
The knotted Oaks shall show'rs of Honey weep,
And through the Matted Grass the liquid Cold shall creep.
Yet, of old Fraud some footsteps shall remain,
The Merchant still shall plough the deep for gain:
Great Cities shall with Walls be compass'd round;
And sharpen'd Shares shall vex the fruitful ground.
Another Typhis shall new Seas explore,
Another Argos land the Chiefs, upon th' Iberian Shore.
Another Helen other Wars create,
And great Achilles urge the Trojan Fate:
But when to ripen'd Man-hood he shall grow,
The greedy Sailer shall the Seas forego;
No Keel shall cut the Waves for foreign Ware;
For every Soil shall every Product bear.
The labouring Hind his Oxen shall disjoyn,
No Plow shall hurt the Glebe, no Pruning-hook the Vine:
Nor Wooll shall in dissembled Colours shine.
[Page 19] But the luxurious Father of the Fold,
With native Purple, or unborrow'd Gold,
Beneath his pompous Fleece shall proudly sweat:
And under Tyrian Robes the Lamb shall bleat.
The Fates, when they this happy Web have spun,
shall bless the sacred Clue, and bid it smoothly run.
Mature in years, to ready Honours move,
O of Coelestial Seed! O foster Son of Jove!
See, lab'ring Nature calls thee to sustain
The nodding Frame of Heav'n, and Earth, and Main;
See to their Base restor'd, Earth, Seas, and Air,
And joyful Ages from behind, in crowding Ranks appear.
To sing thy Praise, wou'd Heav'n my breath prolong,
Insusing Spirits worthy such a Song;
Not Thracian Orpheus should transcend my Layes,
Nor Linus crown'd with never-fading Bayes:
Though each his Heav'nly Parent shou'd inspire;
The Muse instruct the Voice, and Phoebus tune the Lyre.
Shou'd Pan contend in Verse, and thou my Theme,
Arcadian Judges shou'd their God condemn.
Begin, auspicious Boy, to cast about
Thy Infant Eyes, and with a smile, thy Mother single out;
Thy Mother well deserves that short delight,
The nauseous Qualms of ten long Months and Travel to requite.
Then smile; the frowning Infant's Doom is read,
No God shall crown the Board, nor Goodess bless the Bed.

The Fifth Pastoral. OR, DAPHNIS.

The Argument.

Mopsus and Menalcas, two very expert Shepherds at a Song, begin one by consent to the Memory of Daphnis; who is suppos'd by the best Criticks to represent Julius Caesar. Mopsus laments his Death, Menalcas proclaims his Divinity. The whole Ec­logue consisting of an Elegie and an Apotheosis.

SInce on the Downs our Flocks together feed,
And since my Voice can match your tuneful Reed,
Why sit we not beneath the grateful Shade,
Which Hazles, intermix'd with Elms, have made?
Whether you please that Silvan Scene to take,
Where whistling Winds uncertain Shadows make:
Or will you to the cooler Cave succeed,
Whose Mouth the curling Vines have overspread?
Your Merit and your Years command the Choice:
Amyntas only rivals you in Voice.
What will not that presuming Shepherd dare,
Who thinks his Voice with Phoebus may compare?
Begin you first; if either Alcon's Praise,
Or dying Phillis have inspir'd your Lays:


To the Right Honble. James Bertie, Earle of Abingdon, and Baron Norreys of Rycott Cheife Justice, and Justice in Eyre of all his Majts.—Parcks Forests, and Chaces▪ on the South side of Trent: and Ld Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the County of Oxon.

Past: 5: 1.
[Page 20] [...][Page] [...]
[Page] [Page 21] If her you mourn, or Codrus you commend,
Begin, and Tityrus your Flock shall tend.
Or shall I rather the sad Verse repeat,
Which on the Beeches bark I lately writ:
I writ, and sung betwixt; now bring the Swain
Whose Voice you boast, and let him try the Strain.
Such as the Shrub to the tall Olive shows,
Or the pale Sallow to the blushing Rose;
Such is his Voice, if I can judge aright,
Compar'd to thine, in sweetness and in height.
No more, but sit and hear the promis'd Lay,
The gloomy Grotto makes a doubtful day.
The Nymphs about the breathless Body wait
Of Daphnis, and lament his cruel Fate.
The Trees and Floods were witness to their Tears:
At length the rumour reach'd his Mother's Ears.
The wretched Parent, with a pious haste,
Came running, and his lifeless Limbs embrac'd.
She sigh'd, she sob'd, and, furious with despair,
She rent her Garments, and she tore her Hair:
Accufing all the Gods and every Star.
The Swains forgot their Sheep, nor near the brink
Of running Waters brought their Herds to drink.
The thirsty Cattle, of themselves, abstain'd
From Water, and their grassy Fare disdain'd.
The death of Daphnis Woods and Hills deplore,
They cast the sound to Lybia's desart Shore;
The Lybian Lyons hear, and hearing roar.
Fierce Tygers Daphnis taught the Yoke to bear;
And first with curling Ivy dress'd the Spear:
[Page 22] Daphnis did Rites to Bacchus first ordain;
And holy Revels for his reeling Train.
As Vines the Trees, as Grapes the Vines adorn,
As Bulls the Herds, and Fields the Yellow Corn;
So bright a Splendor, so divine a Grace,
The glorious Daphnis cast on his illustrious Race.
When envious Fate the Godlike Daphnis took,
Our guardian Gods the Fields and Plains forsook:
Pales no longer swell'd the teeming Grain,
Nor Phoebus fed his Oxen on the Plain:
No fruitful Crop the sickly Fields return;
But Oats and Darnel choak the rising Corn.
And where the Vales with Violets once were crown'd,
Now knotty Burrs and Thorns disgrace the Ground.
Come, Shepherds, come, and strow with Leaves the Plain;
Such Funeral Rites your Daphnis did ordain.
With Cypress Boughs the Crystal Fountains hide,
And softly let the running Waters glide;
A lasting Monument to Daphnis raise;
With this Inscription to record his Praise,
Daphnis, the Fields Delight, the Shepherd's Love,
Renown'd on Earth, and deify'd above.
Whose Flock excell'd the fairest on the Plains,
But less than he himself surpass'd the Swains.
Oh Heavenly Poet! such thy Verse appears,
So sweet, so charming to my ravish'd Ears,
As to the weary Swain, with cares opprest,
Beneath the Silvan Shade, refreshing Rest:
As to the feavorish Travellor, when first
He finds a Crystal Stream to quench his thirst.
In singing, as in piping, you excell;
And scarce your Master could perform so well.
[Page 23] O fortunate young Man, at least your Lays
Are next to his, and claim the second Praise.
Such as they are my rural Songs I join,
To raise our Daphnis to the Pow'rs Divine;
For Daphnis was so good, to love what-e're was mine.
How is my Soul with such a Promise rais'd!
For both the Boy was worthy to be prais'd,
And Stimichon has often made me long,
To hear, like him, so soft so sweet a Song.
Daphnis, the Guest of Heav'n, with wondring Eyes,
Views in the Milky Way, the starry Skyes:
And far beneath him, from the shining Sphere,
Beholds the moving Clouds, and rolling Year.
For this, with chearful Cries the Woods resound;
The Purple Spring arrays the various ground:
The Nymphs and Shepherds dance; and Pan himself is Crown'd.
The Wolf no longer prowls for nightly Spoils,
Nor Birds the Sprindges fear, nor Stags the Toils:
For Daphnis reigns above; and deals from thence
His Mothers milder Beams, and peaceful Influence.
The Mountain tops unshorn, the Rocks rejoice;
The lowly Shrubs partake of Humane Voice.
Assenting Nature, with a gracious nod,
Proclaims him, and salutes the new-admitted God.
Be still propitious, ever good to thine:
Behold four hallow'd Altars we design;
And two to thee, and two to Phoebus rise;
On each is offer'd Annual Sacrifice.
The holy Priests, at each returning year,
Two Bowls of Milk, and two of Oil shall bear;
And I my self the Guests with friendly Bowls will chear.
[Page 24] Two Goblets will I crown with sparkling Wine,
The gen'rous Vintage of the Chian Vine;
These will I pour to thee, and make the Nectar thine.
In Winter shall the Genial Feast be made
Before the fire; by Summer in the shade.
Damaetas shall perform the Rites Divine;
And Lictian Aegon in the Song shall join.
Alphesibaeus, tripping, shall advance;
And mimick Satyrs in his antick Dance.
When to the Nymphs our annual Rites we pay,
And when our Fields with Victims we survey:
While savage Boars delight in shady Woods,
And finny Fish inhabit in the Floods;
While Bees on Thime, and Locusts feed on Dew,
Thy grateful Swains these Honours shall renew.
Such Honours as we pay to Pow'rs Divine,
To Bacchus and to Ceres, shall be thine.
Such annual Honours shall be giv'n, and thou
Shalt hear, and shalt condemn thy Suppliants to their Vow.
What Present worth thy Verse can Mopsus find!
Not the soft Whispers of the Southern Wind,
That play through trembling Trees, delight me more;
Nor murm'ring Billows on the sounding Shore;
Nor winding Streams that through the Valley glide;
And the scarce cover'd Pebbles gently chide.
Receive you first this tuneful Pipe; the same
That play'd my Coridon's unhappy Flame.
The same that sung Neaera's conqu'ring Eyes;
And, had the Judge been just, had won the Prize.
Accept from me this Sheephook in exchange,
The Handle Brass; the Knobs in equal range.
[Page 25] Antigenes, with Kisses, often try'd
To beg this Present, in his Beauty's Pride;
When Youth and Love are hard to be deny'd.
But what I cou'd refuse, to his Request,
Is yours unask'd, for you deserve it best.

The Sixth Pastoral. OR, SILENUS.

The Argument.

Two young Shepherds Chromis and Mnasylus, having been often promis'd a Song by Silenus, chance to catch him asleep in this Pastoral; where they bind him hand and foot, and then claim his Promise. Silenus finding they wou'd be put off no longer, be­gins his Song; in which he describes the Formation of the Universe, and the Original of Animals, according to the Epicurean Philoso­phy; and then runs through the most surprising Transformations which have happen'd in Nature since her Birth. This Pasto­ral was design'd as a Complement to Syro the Epicurean, who in­structed Virgil and Varus in the Principles of that Philosophy. Si­lenus acts as Tutor, Chromis and Mnasylus as the two Pupils.

I First transferr'd to Rome Scicilian Strains:
Nor blush'd the Dorick Muse to dwell on Mantuan Plains.
But when I try'd her tender Voice, too young;
And fighting Kings, and bloody Battels sung,
Apollo check'd my Pride; and bade me feed
My fatning Flocks, nor dare beyond the Reed.
Admonish'd thus, while every Pen prepares
To write thy Praises, Varus, and thy Wars,
My Past'ral Muse her humble Tribute brings;
And yet not wholly uninspir'd she sings.
For all who read, and reading, not disdain
These rural Poems, and their lowly Strain,
The name of Varus oft inscrib'd shall see,
In every Grove, and every vocal Tree;
And all the Silvan reign shall sing of thee:


To the Right Honble. Hugh Lord Viscount Cholmondely of Kelles in the Kingdom of Ireland and Baron of Wichmalbank in the Kingdom of England.

[Page] [Page 27] Thy name, to Phoebus and the Muses known,
Shall in the front of every Page be shown;
For he who sings thy Praise, secures his own.
Proceed, my Muse: Two Satyrs, on the ground,
Stretch'd at his Ease, their Syre Sylenus found.
Dos'd with his fumes, and heavy with his Load,
They found him snoring in his dark abode;
And seis'd with Youthful Arms the drunken God.
His rosie Wreath was dropt not long before,
Born by the tide of Wine, and floating on the floor.
His empty Can, with Ears half worn away,
Was hung on high, to boast the triumph of the day.
Invaded thus, for want of better bands,
His Garland they unstring, and bind his hands:
For by the fraudful God deluded long,
They now resolve to have their promis'd Song.
Aegle came in, to make their Party good;
The fairest Nais of the neighbouring Flood,
And, while he stares around, with stupid Eyes,
His Brows with Berries, and his Temples dyes.
He finds the Fraud, and, with a Smile, demands
On what design the Boys had bound his hands.
Loose me, he cry'd; 'twas Impudence to find
A sleeping God, 'tis Sacriledge to bind.
To you the promis'd Poem I will pay;
The Nymph shall be rewarded in her way.
He rais'd his voice; and soon a num'rous throng
Of tripping Satyrs crowded to the Song.
And Sylvan Fauns, and Savage Beasts advanc'd,
And nodding Forests to the Numbers danc'd.
Not by Haemonian Hills the Thracian Bard,
Nor awful Phoebus was on Pindus heard,
With deeper silence, or with more regard.
[Page 28] He sung the secret Seeds of Nature's Frame;
How Seas, and Earth, and Air, and active Flame,
Fell through the mighty Void; and in their fall
Were blindly gather'd in this goodly Ball.
The tender Soil then stiffning by degrees,
Shut from the bounded Earth, the bounding Seas.
Then Earth and Ocean various Forms disclose;
And a new Sun to the new World arose.
And Mists condens'd to Clouds obscure the Skie;
And Clouds dissolv'd, the thirsty Ground supply.
The rising Trees the lofty Mountains grace:
The lofty Mountains feed the Savage Race.
From thence the birth of Man the Song pursu'd,
And how the World was lost, and how renew'd.
The Reign of Saturn, and the Golden Age;
Prometheus Theft, and Jove's avenging Rage.
The Cries of Argonauts for Hylas drown'd;
With whose repeated Name the Shoars resound.
Then mourns the madness of the Cretan Queen;
Happy for her if Herds had never been.
What fury, wretched Woman, seiz'd thy Breast!
The Maids of Argos (tho with rage possess'd,
Their imitated lowings fill'd the Grove)
Yet shun'd the guilt of this prepost'rous Love.
Nor sought the Youthful Husband of the Herd;
Tho tender and untry'd the Yoke he fear'd.
Tho soft and white as flakes of falling Snow;
And scarce his budding Horns had arm'd his brow.
Ah, wretched Queen! you range the pathless Wood;
While on a flowry Bank he chaws the Cud:
Or sleeps in Shades, or thro' the Forest roves;
And roars with anguish for his absent Loves.
Ye Nymphs, with toils, his Forest-walk surround;
And trace his wandring Footsteps on the ground.
[Page 29] But, ah! perhaps my Passion he disdains;
And courts the milky Mothers of the Plains.
We search th'ungrateful Fugitive abroad;
While they at home sustain his happy load.
He sung the Lover's fraud; the longing Maid,
With golden Fruit, like all the Sex, betray'd.
The Sisters mourning for their Brother's loss;
Their Bodies hid in Barks, and furr'd with Moss.
How each a rising Alder now appears;
And o're the Po distils her Gummy Tears.
Then sung, how Gallus by a Muses hand,
Was led and welcom'd to the sacred Strand.
The Senate rising to salute their Guest;
And Linus thus their gratitude express'd.
Receive this Present, by the Muses made;
The Pipe on which th' Ascraean Pastor play'd:
With which of old he charm'd the Savage Train:
And call'd the Mountain Ashes to the Plain.
Sing thou on this, thy Phoebus; and the Wood
Where once his Fane of Parian Marble stood.
On this his ancient Oracles rehearse;
And with new Numbers grace the God of Verse.
Why shou'd I sing the double Scylla's Fate,
The first by Love transform'd, the last by Hate.
A beauteous Maid above, but Magick Arts,
With barking Dogs deform'd her neather parts.
What Vengeance on the passing Fleet she pour'd,
The Master frighted, and the Mates devour'd.
Then ravish'd Philomel the Song exprest;
The Crime reveal'd; the Sisters cruel Feast;
And how in Fields the Lapwing Tereus reigns;
The warbling Nightingale in Woods complains.
While Progne makes on Chymney tops her moan;
And hovers o're the Palace once her own.
[Page 30] Whatever Songs besides, the Delphian God
Had taught the Laurels, and the Spartan Flood,
Silenus sung: the Vales his Voice rebound;
And carry to the Skies the sacred Sound.
And now the setting Sun had warn'd the Swain
To call his counted Cattle from the Plain:
Yet still th' unweary'd Syre pursues the tuneful Strain.
Till unperceiv'd the Heav'ns with Stars were hung:
And sudden Night surpriz'd the yet unfinish'd Song.

The Seventh Pastoral. OR, MELIBOEUS.

The Argument.

Meliboeus here gives us the Relation of a sharp Poetical Contest between Thyrsis and Corydon; at which he himself and Daph­nis were present; who both declar'd for Corydon.

To the Right Honble: Henry Lord Herbert Baron of Chirbury. &c.

Past: 7.
BEneath a Holm, repair'd two jolly Swains;
Their Sheep and Goats together graz'd the Plains.
Both young Arcadians, both alike inspir'd
To sing, and answer as the Song requir'd.
Daphnis, as Umpire, took the middle Seat;
And Fortune thether led my weary Feet.
For while I fenc'd my Myrtles from the Cold,
The Father of my Flock had wander'd from the Fold.
Of Daphnis I enquir'd; he, smiling, said,
Dismiss your Fear, and pointed where he fed.
And, if no greater Cares disturb your Mind,
Sit here with us, in covert of the Wind.
Your lowing Heyfars, of their own accord,
At wat'ring time will seek the neighb'ring Ford.
Here wanton Mincius windes along the Meads,
And shades his happy Banks with bending Reeds:
And see from yon old Oak, that mates the Skies,
How black the Clouds of swarming Bees arise.
What shou'd I do! nor was Alcippe nigh,
Nor absent Phillis cou'd my care supply,
To house, and feed by hand my weaning Lambs,
And drain the strutting Udders of their Dams?
Great was the strife betwixt the Singing Swains:
And I preferr'd my Pleasure to my Gains.
[Page 32] Alternate Rhime the ready Champions chose:
These Corydon rehears'd, and Thyrsis those.
Yee Muses, ever fair, and ever young,
Assist my Numbers, and inspire my Song.
With all my Codrus O inspire my Breast,
For Codrus after Phoebus sings the best.
Or if my Wishes have presum'd too high,
And stretch'd their bounds beyond Mortality,
The praise of artful Numbers I resign:
And hang my Pipe upon the Sacred Pine.
Arcadian Swains, your Youthful Poet crown
With Ivy Wreaths; tho surly Codrus, frown.
Or if he blast my Muse with envious Praise,
Then fence my Brows with Amuletts of Bays.
Lest his ill Arts or his malicious Tongue
Shou'd poyson, or bewitch my growing Song.
These Branches of a Stag, this tusky Boar
(The first essay of Arms untry'd before)
Young Mycon offers, Delia, to thy Shrine;
But speed his hunting with thy Pow'r divine,
Thy Statue then of Parian Stone shall stand;
Thy Legs in Buskins with a Purple Band.
This Bowl of Milk, these Cakes, (our Country Fare,)
For thee, Priapus, yearly we prepare.
Because a little Garden is thy care.
But if the falling Lambs increase my Fold,
Thy Marble Statue shall be turn'd to Gold.
Fair Galathea, with thy silver Feet,
O, whiter than the Swan, and more than Hybla sweet;
[Page 33] Tall as a Poplar, taper as the Bole,
Come charm thy Shepherd, and restore my Soul.
Come when my lated Sheep, at night return;
And crown the silent Hours, and stop the rosy Morn.
May I become as abject in thy sight,
As Sea-weed on the Shore, and black as Night:
Rough as a Bur, deform'd like him who chaws
Sardinian Herbage to contract his Jaws;
Such and so monstrous let thy Swain appear,
If one day's Absence looks not like a Year.
Hence from the Field, for Shame: the Flock deserves
No better Feeding, while the Shepherd starves.
Ye mossy Springs, inviting easie Sleep,
Ye Trees, whose leafy Shades those mossy Fountains keep,
Defend my Flock, the Summer heats are near,
And Blossoms on the swelling Vines appear.
With heapy Fires our chearful Hearth is crown'd;
And Firs for Torches in the Woods abound:
We fear not more the Winds, and wintry Cold,
Than Streams the Banks, or Wolves the bleating Fold.
Our Woods, with Juniper and Chesnuts crown'd,
With falling Fruits and Berries paint the Ground;
And lavish Nature laughs, and strows her Stores around.
But if Alexis from our Mountains fly,
Ev'n running Rivers leave their Channels dry.
Parch'd are the Plains, and frying is the Field,
Nor with'ring Vines their juicy Vintage yield.
But if returning Phillis bless the Plain,
The Grass revives; the Woods are green again;
And Jove descends in Show'rs of kindly Rain.
[Page 34]
The Poplar is by great Alcides worn:
The Brows of Phoebus his own Bays adorn.
The branching Vine the jolly Bacchus loves;
The Cyprian Queen delights in Mirtle Groves.
With Hazle, Phillis crowns her flowing Hair,
And while she loves that common Wreath to wear;
Nor Bays, nor Myrtle Bows, with Hazle shall compare.
The towring Ash is fairest in the Woods;
In Gardens Pines, and Poplars by the Floods:
But if my Lycidas will ease my Pains,
And often visit our forsaken Plains;
To him the tow'ring Ash shall yield in Woods;
In Gardens Pines, and Poplars by the Floods.
I've heard: and, Thyrsis, you contend in vain:
For Corydon, young Corydon shall reign,
The Prince of Poets, on the Mantuan Plain.

The Eighth Pastoral. OR, PHARMACEUTRIA.

The Argument.

This Pastoral contains the Songs of Damon and Alphesiboeus. The first of 'em bewails the loss of his Mistress, and repines at the Success of his Rival Mopsus. The other repeats the Charms of some Enchantress, who endeavour'd by her Spells and Magic to make Daphnis in Love with her.

To the Rigt Honble: Charles Ld Clifford Baron of Lounsbrough in the County of York

past. 8
THE mournful Muse of two despairing Swains,
The Love rejected, and the Lovers' pains;
To which the salvage Linxes listning stood,
The Rivers stood on heaps, and stop'd the running Flood,
The hungry Herd their needful Food refuse;
Of two despairing Swains, I sing the mournful Muse.
Great Pollio, thou for whom thy Rome prepares
The ready Triumph of thy finish'd Wars,
Whither Timavus or th' Illirian Coast,
Whatever Land or Sea thy presence boast;
Is there an hour in Fate reserv'd for me,
To Sing thy Deeds in Numbers worthy thee?
In numbers like to thine, cou'd I rehearse
Thy lofty Tragick Scenes, thy labour'd Verse;
The World another Sophocles in thee,
Another Homer shou'd behold in me:
Amidst thy Laurels let this Ivy twine,
Thine was my earlyest Muse; my latest shall be thine.
Scarce from our upper World the Shades withdrew;
Scarce were the Flocks refresh'd with Morning Dew,
[Page 36] When Damon stretch'd beneath an Olive Shade,
And wildly staring upwards, thus inveigh'd
Against the conscious Gods, and curs'd the cruel Maid.
Star of the Morning, why dost thou delay?
Come, Lucifer, drive on the lagging Day.
While I my Nisa's perjur'd Faith deplore;
Witness ye Pow'rs, by whom she falsly swore!
The Gods, alas, are Witnesses in vain;
Yet shall my dying Breath to Heav'n complain.
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strain.
The Pines of Maenalus, the vocal Grove,
Are ever full of Verse, and full of Love:
They hear the Hinds, they hear their God complain;
Who suffer'd not the Reeds to rise in vain:
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strain.
Mopsus triumphs; he weds the willing Fair:
When such is Nisa's choice, what Lover can despair!
Now Griffons join with Mares; another Age
Shall see the Hound and Hind their Thirst asswage,
Promiscuous at the Spring: Prepare the Lights,
O Mopsus! and perform the bridal Rites.
Scatter thy Nuts among the scrambling Boys:
Thine is the Night; and thine the Nuptial Joys.
For thee the Sun declines: O happy Swain!
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strain.
O, Nisa! Justly to thy Choice condemn'd,
Whom hast thou taken, whom hast thou contemn'd!
For him, thou hast refus'd my browzing Herd,
Scorn'd my thick Eye-brows, and my shaggy Beard.
Unhappy Damon sighs, and sings in vain:
While Nisa thinks no God regards a Lover's pain.
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strain.
[Page 37] I view'd thee first; how fatal was the View!
And led thee where the ruddy Wildings grew,
High on the planted hedge, and wet with Morning Dew.
Then scarce the bending Branches I cou'd win;
The callow Down began to cloath my Chin;
I saw, I perish'd; yet indulg'd my Pain:
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strain.
I know thee, Love; in Desarts thou wert bred;
And at the Dugs of Salvage Tygers fed:
Alien of Birth, Usurper of the Plains:
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strains.
Relentless Love the cruel Mother led,
The Blood of her unhappy Babes to shed:
Love lent the Sword; the Mother struck the blow;
Inhuman she; but more inhuman thou.
Alien of Birth, Usurper of the Plains:
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strains.
Old doting Nature change thy Course anew:
And let the trembling Lamb the Wolf pursue:
Let Oaks now glitter with Hesperian Fruit,
And purple Daffodils from Alder shoot.
Fat Amber let the Tamarisk distil:
And hooting Owls contend with Swans in Skill.
Hoarse Tity'rus strive with Orpheus in the Woods:
And challenge fam'd Arion on the Floods.
Or, oh! let Nature cease; and Chaos reign:
Begin with me, my Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strain.
Let Earth be Sea; and let the whelming Tide,
The lifeless Limbs of luckless Damon hide:
[Page 38] Farewel, ye secret Woods, and shady Groves,
Haunts of my Youth, and conscious of my Loves!
From yon high Cliff I plunge into the Main;
Take the last Present of thy dying Swain:
And cease, my silent Flute, the sweet Maenalian Strain.
Now take your Turns, ye Muses, to rehearse
His Friend's Complaint; and mighty Magick Verse.
Bring running Water; bind those Altars round
With Fillets; and with Vervain strow the Ground:
Make fat with Frankincense the sacred Fires;
To re-inflame my Daphnis with Desires.
'Tis done, we want but Verse. Restore, my Charms,
My lingring Daphnis to my longing Arms.
Pale Phoebe, drawn by Verse from Heav'n descends:
And Circe chang'd with Charms Ulysses Friends.
Verse breaks the Ground, and penetrates the Brake;
And in the winding Cavern splits the Snake.
Verse fires the frozen Veins: Restore, my Charms,
My lingring Daphnis to my longing Arms.
Around his waxen Image, first I wind
Three woollen Fillets, of three Colours join'd:
Thrice bind about his thrice devoted head,
Which round the sacred Altar thrice is led.
Unequal Numbers please the Gods: my Charms,
Restore my Daphnis to my longing Arms.
Knit with three knots, the Fillets, knit 'em streight;
And say, These Knots to Love I consecrate.
Haste, Amaryllis, haste; restore, my Charms,
My lovely Daphnis to my longing Arms.
As Fire this Figure hardens, made of Clay;
And this of Wax with Fire consumes away;
Such let the Soul of cruel Daphnis be;
Hard to the rest of Women; soft to me.
Crumble the sacred Mole of Salt and Corn,
Next in the Fire the Bays with Brimstone burn.
And while it crackles in the Sulphur, say,
This, I for Daphnis burn; thus Daphnis burn away.
This Laurel is his Fate: Restore, my Charms,
My lovely Daphnis to my longing Arms.
As when the raging Heyfar, through the Grove,
Stung with Desire, pursues her wand'ring Love;
Faint at the last, she seeks the weedy Pools,
To quench her thirst, and on the Rushes rowls:
Careless of Night, unmindful to return,
Such fruitless Fires perfidious Daphnis burn.
While I so scorn his Love; Restore, my Charms,
My lingring Daphnis to my longing Arms.
These Garments once were his; and left to me;
The Pledges of his promis'd Loyalty:
Which underneath my Threshold I bestow;
These Pawns, O sacred Earth! to me my Daphnis owe.
As these were his, so mine is he; my Charms,
Restore their lingring Lord to my deluded Arms.
These poys'nous Plants, for Magick use design'd,
(The noblest and the best of all the baneful Kind,)
Old Moeris brought me from the Pontick Strand:
And cull'd the Mischief of a bounteous Land.
Smear'd with these pow'rful Juices, on the Plain,
He howls a Wolf among the hungry Train:
[Page 40] And oft the mighty Negromancer boasts,
With these, to call from Tombs the stalking Ghosts:
And from the roots to tear the standing Corn;
Which, whirld aloft, to distant Fields is born.
Such is the strength of Spells; restore, my Charms,
My lingring Daphnis to my longing Arms.
Bear out these Ashes; cast 'em in the Brook;
Cast backwards o're your head, nor turn your look:
Since neither Gods, nor Godlike Verse can move,
Break out ye smother'd Fires, and kindle smother'd Love.
Exert your utmost pow'r, my lingring Charms,
And force my Daphnis to my longing Arms.
See, while my last endeavours I delay,
The waking Ashes rise, and round our Altars play!
Run to the Threshold, Amaryllis, hark,
Our Hylas opens, and begins to bark.
Good Heav'n! may Lovers what they wish believe;
Or dream their wishes, and those dreams deceive!
No more, my Daphnis comes; no more, my Charms;
He comes, he runs, he leaps to my desiring Arms.

The Ninth Pastoral. OR, LYCIDAS, and MOERIS.

The Argument.

When Virgil, by the Favour of Augustus, had recover'd his Patri­mony near Mantua, and went in hope to take Possession, he was in danger to be slain by Arius the Centurion, to whom those Lands were assign'd by the Emperour, in reward of his Service against Brutus and Cassius. This Pastoral therefore is fill'd with complaints of his hard Usage; and the Persons introduc'd, are the Bayliff of Virgil, Moeris, and his Friend Lycidas.

To the Right Honble. Marquiss of Hartington the Duke of William Lord Eldest Son to His Grace the Duke of Devonshire.

Past: [...]
HO Moeris! whether on thy way so fast?
This leads to Town.
O Lycidas, at last
The Time is come I never thought to see,
(Strange Revolution for my Farm and me)
When the grim Captain in a surly Tone
Cries out, pack up ye Rascals, and be gone.
Kick'd out, we set the best Face on't we cou'd,
And these two Kids, t' appease his angry Mood,
I bear, of which the Furies give him good.
Your Country Friends were told another Tale;
That from the sloaping Mountain to the Vale,
And dodder'd Oak, and all the Banks along,
Menalcas sav'd his Fortune with a Song.
Such was the News, indeed, but Songs and Rhymes
Prevail as much in these hard Iron Times,
[Page 42] As would a plump of trembling Fowl, that rise
Against an Eagle sousing from the Skies.
And had not Phoebus warn'd me by the croak
Of an old Raven, from a hollow Oak,
To shun debate, Menalcas had been slain,
And Moeris not surviv'd him, to complain.
Now Heav'n defend! cou'd barb'rous Rage induce
The Brutal Son of Mars, t' insult the sacred Muse!
Who then shou'd sing the Nymphs, or who rehearse
The Waters gliding in a smoother Verse!
Or Amaryllis praise, that Heav'nly Lay,
That shorten'd as we went, our tedious Way.
O Tity'rus, tend my Herd, and see them fed;
To Morning Pastures, Evening Waters led:
And 'ware the Lybian Ridgils butting Head.
Or what unfinish'd He to Varus read;
Thy Name, O Varus (if the kinder Pow'rs
Preserve our Plains, and shield the Mantuan Tow'rs,
Obnoxious by Cremona's neighb'ring Crime,)
The Wings of Swans, and stronger pinion'd Rhyme,
Shall raise aloft, and soaring bear above
Th' immortal Gift of Gratitude to Jove.
Sing on, sing on, for I can ne're be cloy'd,
So may thy Swarms the baleful Eugh avoid:
So may thy Cows their burden'd Bags distend,
And Trees to Goats their willing Branches bend.
Mean as I am, yet have the Muses made
Me free, a Member of the tuneful trade:
At least the Shepherds seem to like my Lays,
But I discern their Flatt'ry from their Praise:
[Page 43] I nor to Cinna's Ears, nor Varus dare aspire;
But gabble like a Goose, amidst the Swan-like Quire.
'Tis what I have been conning in my Mind:
Nor are they Verses of a Vulgar Kind.
Come, Galatea, come, the Seas forsake;
What Pleasures can the Tides with their hoarse Murmurs make?
See, on the Shore inhabits purple Spring;
Where Nightingales their Love-sick Ditty fing;
See, Meads with purling Streams, with Flow'rs the Ground,
The Grottoes cool, with shady Poplars crown'd,
And creeping Vines on Arbours weav'd around.
Come then, and leave the Waves tumultuous roar,
Let the wild Surges vainly beat the Shore.
Or that sweet Song I heard with such delight;
The same you sung alone one starry Night;
The Tune I still retain, but not the Words.
Why, Daphnis, dost thou search in old Records,
To know the Seasons when the Stars arise?
See Caesar's Lamp is lighted in the Skies:
The Star, whose Rays the blushing Grapes adorn,
And swell the kindly ripening Ears of Corn.
Under this influence, graft the tender Shoot;
Thy Childrens Children shall enjoy the Fruit.
The rest I have forgot, for Cares and Time
Change all things, and untune my Soul to Rhime:
I cou'd have once sung down a Summer's Sun,
But now the Chime of Poetry is done.
My Voice grows hoarse; I feel the Notes decay,
As if the Wolves had seen me first to Day.
But these, and more than I to mind can bring,
Menalcas has not yet forgott to sing.
[Page 44]
Thy faint Excuses but inflame me more;
And now the Waves rowl silent to the Shore.
Husht Winds the topmost Branches scarcely bend,
As if thy tuneful Song they did attend:
Already we have half our way o'recome;
Far off I can discern Bianor's Tomb;
Here, where the Labourer's hands have form'd a Bow'r
Of wreathing Trees, in Singing waste an Hour.
Rest here thy weary Limbs, thy Kids lay down,
We've Day before us yet, to reach the Town:
Or if e're Night the gath'ring Clouds we fear,
A Song will help the beating Storm to bear.
And that thou may'st not be too late abroad,
Sing, and I'll ease thy Shoulders of thy Load.
Cease to request me, let us mind our way;
Another Song requires another Day.
When good Menalcas comes, if he rejoyce,
And find a Friend at Court, I'll find a Voice.

The Tenth Pastoral. OR, GALLUS.

The Argument.

Gallus a great Patron of Virgil, and an excellent Poet, was very deep­ly in Love with one Citheris, whom he calls Lycoris; and who had forsaken him for the Company of a Souldier. The Poet therefore supposes his Friend Gallus retir'd in his heighth of Melancholy into the Solitudes of Arcadia (the celebrated Scene of Pastorals;) where he represents him in a very languishing Condition with all the Rural De­ities about him, pitying his hard Usage, and condoling his Misfortune.

To the Right Hon••e. Charles Montague Esqr: one of the Lords Commrs. of his Majts. Treasury, Chancellor, and under Treasurer of his Majts. Excheqr. and one of his Majts. Most Honble. Privy Councill.

Past: 10.
THY sacred Succour, Arethusa, bring,
To crown my Labour: 'tis the last I sing.
Which proud Lycoris may with Pity view;
The Muse is mournful, tho' the Numbers few.
Refuse me not a Verse, to Grief and Gallus due.
So may thy Silver Streams beneath the Tide,
Unmix'd with briny Seas, securely glide.
Sing then, my Gallus, and his hopeless Vows;
Sing, while my Cattle crop the tender Browze.
The vocal Grove shall answer to the Sound,
And Echo, from the Vales, the tuneful Voice rebound.
What Lawns or Woods withheld you from his Aid,
Ye Nymphs, when Gallus was to Love betray'd;
To Love, unpity'd by the cruel Maid?
Not steepy Pindus cou'd retard your Course,
Nor cleft Parnassus, nor th' Aonian Source:
Nothing that owns the Muses cou'd suspend
Your Aid to Gallus, Gallus is their Friend.
For him the lofty Laurel stands in Tears;
And hung with humid Pearls the lowly Shrub appears.
[Page 46] Maenalian Pines the Godlike Swain bemoan;
When spread beneath a Rock he sigh'd alone;
And cold Lycaeus wept from every dropping Stone.
The Sheep surround their Shepherd, as he lyes:
Blush not, sweet Poet, nor the name despise:
Along the Streams his Flock Adonis fed;
And yet the Queen of Beauty blest his Bed.
The Swains and tardy Neat-herds came, and last
Menalcas, wet with beating Winter Mast.
Wond'ring, they ask'd from whence arose thy Flame;
Yet, more amaz'd, thy own Apollo came.
Flush'd were his Cheeks, and glowing were his Eyes:
Is she thy Care, is she thy Care, he cries?
Thy false Lycoris flies thy Love and thee;
And for thy Rival tempts the raging Sea,
The Forms of horrid War, and Heav'ns Inclemency.
Sylvanus came: his Brows a Country Crown
Of Fennel, and of nodding Lillies, drown.
Great Pan arriv'd; and we beheld him too,
His Cheeks and Temples of Vermilion Hue.
Why, Gallus, this immod'rate Grief, he cry'd:
Think'st thou that Love with Tears is satisfi'd?
The Meads are sooner drunk with Morning Dews;
The Bees with flow'ry Shrubs, the Goats with Brouze.
Unmov'd, and with dejected Eyes, he mourn'd:
He paus'd, and then these broken Words return'd.
'Tis past; and Pity gives me no Relief:
But you, Arcadian Swains, shall sing my Grief:
And on your Hills, my last Complaints renew;
So sad a Song is onely worthy you.
How light wou'd lye the Turf upon my Breast,
If you my Suff'rings in your Songs exprest?
Ah! that your Birth and Bus'ness had been mine;
To penn the Sheep, and press the swelling Vine!
[Page 47] Had Phyllis or Amyntas caus'd my Pain,
Or any Nymph, or Shepherd on the Plain,
Tho Phyllis brown, tho black Amyntas were,
Are Violets not sweet, because not fair?
Beneath the Sallows, and the shady Vine,
My Loves had mix'd their pliant Limbs with mine;
Phyllis with Myrtle Wreaths had crown'd my Hair,
And soft Amyntas sung away my Care.
Come, see what Pleasures in our Plains abound;
The Woods, the Fountains, and the flow'ry ground.
As you are beauteous, were you half so true,
Here cou'd I live, and love, and dye with only you.
Now I to fighting Fields am sent afar,
And strive in Winter Camps with toils of War;
While you, (alas, that I shou'd find it so!)
To shun my sight, your Native Soil forgo,
And climb the frozen Alps, and tread th' eternal Snow.
Ye Frosts and Snows her tender Body spare,
Those are not Limbs for Ysicles to tear.
For me, the Wilds and Desarts are my Choice;
The Muses, once my Care; my once harmonious Voice.
There will I sing, forsaken and alone,
The Rocks and hollow Caves shall echo to my Moan.
The Rind of ev'ry Plant her Name shall know;
And as the Rind extends, the Love shall grow.
Then on Arcadian Mountains will I chase
(Mix'd with the Woodland Nymphs) the Salvage Race.
Nor Cold shall hinder me, with Horns and Hounds,
To thrid the Thickets, or to leap the Mounds.
And now methinks o're steepy Rocks I go;
And rush through sounding Woods, and bend the Parthian Bow:
As if with Sports my Sufferings I could ease,
Or by my Pains the God of Love appease.
[Page 48] My Frenzy changes, I delight no more
On Mountain tops, to chace the tusky Boar;
No Game but hopeless Love my thoughts pursue:
Once more ye Nymphs, and Songs, and sounding Woods adieu.
Love alters not for us, his hard Decrees,
Not tho beneath the Thracian Clime we freeze;
Or Italy's indulgent Heav'n forgo;
And in mid-Winter tread Scythonian Snow.
Or when the Barks of Elms are scorch'd, we keep
On Meroes burning Plains the Lybian Sheep.
In Hell, and Earth, and Seas, and Heav'n above,
Love conquers all; and we must yield to Love.
My Muses, here your sacred Raptures end:
The Verse was what I ow'd my suff'ring Friend.
This while I sung, my Sorrows I deceiv'd,
And bending Osiers into Baskets weav'd.
The Song, because inspir'd by you, shall shine:
And Gallus will approve, because 'tis mine.
Gallus, for whom my holy Flames renew,
Each hour, and ev'ry moment rise in view:
As Alders, in the Spring, their Boles extend;
And heave so fiercely, that the Bark they rend.
Now let us rise, for hoarseness oft invades
The Singer's Voice, who sings beneath the Shades.
From Juniper, unwholsom Dews distill,
That blast the sooty Corn; the with'ring Herbage kill;
Away, my Goats, away: for you have browz'd your fill.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE PHILIP Earl of Chesterfield, &c.

My Lord,

I Cannot begin my Address to your Lordship, better than in the words of Virgil,

—Quod optanti, Divum promittere Nemo
Auderet, volvenda Dies, en, attulit ultrò.

Seven Years together I have conceal'd the longing which I had to appear be­fore you: A time as tedious as Aeneas pass'd in his wandring Voyage, before he reach'd the promis'd Italy. But I consider'd, that nothing which my meanness cou'd produce, was worthy of your Patronage. At last this happy Occasion offer'd, of Presenting to you the best Poem of the best Poet. If I balk'd this opportunity, I was in despair of finding such another; and if I took it, I was still uncertain whether you wou'd vouchsafe to accept it from my hands. 'Twas a bold venture which I made, in desiring your permis­sion to lay my unworthy Labours at your feet. But my rashness has suc­ceeded beyond my hopes: And you have been pleas'd not to suffer an Old Man to go discontented out of the World, for want of that protection, of which he had been so long Ambitious. I have known a Gentleman in disgrace, and not daring to appear before King Charles the Second, though he much desir'd it: At length he took the confidence to attend a fair Lady to the Court; and told His Majesty, that under her protection he had presum'd to wait on him. With the same humble confidence I present my self before your Lordship, and attending on Virgil hope a gracious reception. The Gentleman succeeded, because the powerful Lady was his Friend; but I have too much injur'd my great Author, to expect he should intercede for me. I wou'd have Translated him, but according to the litteral French and Italian Phrases, I fear I have traduc'd him. 'Tis the fault of many a well-meaning Man, to be officious in a wrong place, and do a prejudice, where he had endeavour'd to do a service. Virgil wrote his Georgics in the full strength and vigour of his Age, when his Judgment was at the height, and before his Fancy was declining. He had, (according to our homely Say­ing) his full swing at this Poem, beginning it about the Age of Thirty Five; and scarce concluding it before he arriv'd at Forty. 'Tis observ'd both of him, and Horace, and I believe it will hold in all great Poets; that though they wrote before with a certain heat of Genius which inspir'd them, yet that heat was not perfectly digested. There is requir'd a continuance of warmth to ripen the best and Noblest Fruits. Thus Horace in his First and Se­cond [Page] Book of Odes, was still rising, but came not to his Meridian 'till the Third. After which his Judgment was an overpoize to his Imagination: He grew too cautious to be bold enough, for he descended in his Fourth by slow degrees, and in his Satires and Epistles, was more a Philosopher and a Critick than a Poet. In the beginning of Summer the days are almost at a stand, with little variation of length or shortness, because at that time the Diurnal Motion of the Sun partakes more of a Right Line, than of a Spiral. The samè is the method of Nature in the frame of Man. He seems at Forty to be fully in his Summer Tropick; somewhat before, and somewhat after, he finds in his Soul but small increases or decays. From Fifty to Threescore the Ballance generally holds even, in our colder Clymates: For he lo­ses not much in Fancy; and Judgment, which is the effect of Observation, still increases: His succeeding years afford him little more than the stubble of his own Harvest: Yet if his Constitution be healthful, his Mind may still retain a decent vigour; and the Gleanings of that Ephraim, in Com­parison with others, will surpass the Vintage of Abiezer. I have call'd this somewhere by a bold Metaphor, a green Old Age; but Virgil has given me his Authority for the Figure.

Jam Senior; sed Cruda Deo, viridis (que) Senectus.

Amongst those few who enjoy the advantage of a latter Spring, your Lordship is a rare Example: Who being now arriv'd at your great Cly­macterique, yet give no proof of the least decay in your Excellent Judg­ment, and comprehension of all things, which are within the compass of Hu­mane Ʋnderstanding. Your Conversation is as easie as it is instructive, and I cou'd never observe the least vanity or the least assuming in any thing you said: but a natural unaffected Modesty, full of good sense, and well digested. A clearness of Notion, express'd in ready and unstudied words. No Man has complain'd, or ever can, that you have discours'd too long on any Subject: for you leave us in an eagerness of Learning more; pleas'd with what we hear, but not satisfy'd, because you will not speak so much as we cou'd wish. I dare not excuse your Lordship from this fault; for though 'tis none in you, 'tis one to all who have the happiness of being known to you. I must confess the Criticks make it one of Virgil's Beauties, that having said what he thought convenient, he always left somewhat for the imagina­tion of his Readers to supply: That they might gratifie their fancies, by find­ing more, in what he had written, than at first they cou'd; and think they had added to his thought, when it was all there before-hand, and he only sav'd himself the expence of words. However it was, I never went from your Lordship, but with a longing to return, or without a hearty Curse to him who invented Ceremonies in the World, and put me on the nec [...]ssity of withdrawing, when it was my interest as well as my desire, to have given you a much longer trouble. I cannot imagine (if your Lordship will give me leave to speak my thoughts) but you have had a more than ordinary vi­gour in your Youth. For too much of heat is requir'd at first, that there may not too little be left at last. A Prodigal Fire is only capable of large remains: And yours, my Lord, still burns the clearer in declining. The Blaze is not so fierce as at the first, but the Smoak is wholly vanish'd; and your Friends who stand about you, are not only sensible of a chearful warmth, but are kept at an awful distance by its force. In my small Obser­vations of Mankind, I have ever sound, that such as are not rather too full of Spirit when they are young, degenerate to dullness in their Age. So­briety in our riper years is the effect of a well-concocted warmth; but where [Page] the Principles are only Phlegm, what can be expected from the waterish Matter, but an insipid Manhood, and a stupid old Infancy; Discretion in Leading-strings, and a confirm'd ignorance on Crutches? Virgil in his Third Georgic, when he describes a Colt, who promises a Courser for the Race, or for the Field of Battel, shews him the first to pass the Bridge, which trem­bles under him, and to stem the torrent of the flood. His beginnings must be in rashness; a Noble Fault: But Time and Experience will correct that Er­rour, and tame it into a deliberate and well-weigh'd Courage; which knows both to be cautious and to dare, as occasion offers. Your Lordship is a Man of Honour, not only so unstain'd, but so unquestion'd, that you are the li­ving Standard of that Heroick Vertue; so truly such, that if I wou'd flatter you, I cou'd not. It takes not from you, that you were born with Principles of Generosity and Probity: But it adds to you, that you have cultivated Nature, and made those Principles, the Rule and Measure of all your Actions. The World knows this, without my telling: Yet Poets have a right of Recording it to all Posterity. ‘Dignum Laude Virum, Musa vetat Mori.’ Epaminondas, Lucullus, and the two first Caesars, were not esteem'd the worse Commanders, for having made Philosophy, and the Liberal Arts their Study. Cicero might have been their Equal, but that he wanted Cou­rage. To have both these Vertues, and to have improv'd them both, with a softness of Manners, and a sweetness of Conversation, few of our Nobility can fill that Character: One there is, and so conspicuous by his own light, that he needs not

Digito monstrari, & dicier Hic est.

To be Nobly Born, and of an Ancient Family, is in the extreams of For­tune, either good or bad; for Virtue and Descent are no Inheritance. A long Series of Ancestours shews the Native with great advantage at the first; but if he any way degenerate from his Line, the least Spot is visible on Er­mine. But to preserve this whiteness in its Original Purity, you, my Lord, have, like that Ermine, forsaken the common Track of Business, which is not always clean: You have chosen for your self a private Greatness, and will not be polluted with Ambition. It has been observ'd in former times, that none have been so greedy of Employments, and of managing the Publick, as they who have least deserv'd their Stations. But such only merit to be call'd Patriots, un­der whom we see their Country Flourish. I have laugh'd sometimes (for who wou'd always be a Heraclitus?) when I have reflected on those Men, who from time to time have shot themselves into the World. I have seen many Successions of them; some bolting out upon the Stage with vast applause, and others hiss'd off, and quitting it with disgrace. But while they were in action, I have constantly observ'd, that they seem'd desirous to retreat from Business: Greatness they said was nauseous, and a Crowd was troublesome; a quiet privacy was their Ambition. Some few of them I believe said this in earnest, and were making a provision against future want, that they might enjoy their Age with ease: They saw the happiness of a private Life, and promis'd to themselves a Blessing, which every day it was in their power to possess. But they deferr'd it, and linger'd still at Court, because they thought they had not yet enough to make them happy: They wou'd have more, and laid in to make their Solitude Luxurious. A wretched Philosophy, which Epicurus never taught them in his Garden: They lov'd the prospect of this [Page] quiet in reversion, but were not willing to have it in possession; they wou'd first be Old, and made as sure of Health and Life, as if both of them were at their dis­pose. But put them to the necessity of a present choice, and they preferr'd continu­ance in Power: Like the Wretch who call'd Death to his assistance, but refus'd it when he came. The Great Scipio was not of their Opinion, who indeed sought Honours in his Youth, and indur'd the Fatigues with which he purchas'd them. He serv'd his Country when it was in need of his Cou­rage and his Conduct, 'till he thought it was time to serve himself: But dismounted from the Saddle, when he found the Beast which bore him, be­gan to grow restiff and ungovernable. But your Lordship has given us a bet­ter Example of Moderation. You saw betimes that Ingratitude is not con­fin'd to Commonwealths; and therefore though you were form'd alike, for the greatest of Civil Employments, and Military Commands, yet you push'd not your Fortune to rise in either; but contented your self with being capable, as much as any whosoever, of defending your Country with your Sword, or assisting it with your Counsel, when you were call'd. For the rest, the re­spect and love which was paid you, not only in the Province where you live, but generally by all who had the happiness to know you, was a wise Exchange for the Honours of the Court: A place of forgetfulness, at the best, for well deservers. 'Tis necessary for the polishing of Manners, to have breath'd that Air, but 'tis infectious even to the best Morals to live always in it. 'Tis a dangerous Commerce, where an honest Man is sure at the first of being Cheated; and he recovers not his Losses, but by learning to Cheat others. The undermining Smile becomes at length habitual; and the drift of his plausible Conversation, is only to flatter one, that he may betray another. Yet 'tis good to have been a looker on, without venturing to play; that a Man may know false Dice another time, though he never means to use them. I commend not him who never knew a Court, but him who forsakes it be­cause he knows it. A young Man deserves no praise, who out of melan­choly Zeal leaves the World before he has well try'd it, and runs headlong into Religion. He who carries a Maidenhead into a Cloyster, is sometimes apt to lose it there, and to repent of his Repentance. He only is like to en­dure Austerities, who has already found the inconvenience of Pleasures. For almost every Man will be making Experiments in one part or another of his Life: And the danger is the less when we are young: For having try'd it early, we shall not be apt to repeat it afterwards. Your Lordship therefore may properly be said to have chosen a Retreat; and not to have chosen it 'till you had maturely weigh'd the advantages of rising higher with the hazards of the fall. Res non parta labore, sed relicta, was thought by a Poet, to be one of the requisites to a happy Life. Why shou'd a reasonable Man put it into the power of Fortune to make him miserable, when his Ancestours have taken care to release him from her? Let him venture, says Horace, Qui Zonam perdidit. He who has nothing, plays securely, for he may win, and cannot be poorer if he loses. But he who is born to a plentiful Estate, and is Ambitious of Offices at Court, sets a stake to Fortune, which she can seldom answer: If he gains nothing, he loses all, or part of what was once his own; and if he gets, he cannot be certain but he may refund.

In short, however he succeeds, 'tis Covetousness that induc'd him first to play, and Covetousness is the undoubted sign of ill sense at bottom. The Odds are against him that he loses, and one loss may be of more consequence to him, than all his former winnings. 'Tis like the present War of the Chri­stians against the Turk; every year they gain a Victory, and by that a Town; but if they are once defeated, they lose a Province at a blow, and endanger the safety of the whole Empire. You, my Lord, enjoy your quiet in a Gar­den, [Page] where you have not only the leisure of thinking, but the pleasure to think of nothing which can discompose your Mind. A good Conscience is a Port which is Land-lock'd on every side, and where no Winds can possibly invade, no Tempests can arise. There a Man may stand upon the Shore, and not only see his own Image, but that of his Maker, clearly reflected from the undisturb'd and silent waters. Reason was intended for a Blessing, and such it is to Men of Honour and Integrity; who desire no more, than what they are able to give themselves; like the happy Old Coricyan, whom my Au­thor describes in his Fourth Georgic; whose Fruits and Salads on which he liv'd contented, were all of his own growth, and his own Plantation. Virgil seems to think that the Blessings of a Country Life are not compleat, without an improvement of Knowledge by Contemplation and Reading.

O Fortunatos nimium, bona si sua norint

'Tis but half possession not to understand that happiness which we possess: A foundation of good Sense, and a cultivation of Learning, are requir'd to give a seasoning to Retirement, and make us taste the blessing. God has bestow'd on your Lordship the first of these, and you have bestow'd on your self the second. Eden was not made for Beasts, though they were suffer'd to live in it, but for their Master, who studied God in the Works of his Creation. Neither cou'd the Devil have been happy there with all his Knowledge, for he wanted Innocence to make him so. He brought Envy, Malice, and Ambition into Paradise, which sour'd to him the sweetness of the Place. Wherever inordinate Affections are, 'tis Hell. Such only can enjoy the Country, who are capable of thinking when they are there, and have left their Passions behind them in the Town. Then they are prepar'd for Solitude; and in that Solitude is prepar'd for them ‘Et secura quies, & nescia fallere vita.’

As I began this Dedication with a Verse of Virgil, so I conclude it with another. The continuance of your Health, to enjoy that Happiness which you so well deserve, and which you have provided for your self, is the sin­cere and earnest Wish of

Your Lordship's most Devoted, and most Obedient Servant, JOHN DRYDEN.


VIRGIL may be reckon'd the first who introduc'd three new kinds of Poetry among the Romans, which he Copied after three the Greatest Masters of Greece. Theo­critus and Homer have still disputed for the advantage over him in Pastoral and Heroicks, but I think all are Unanimous in giving him the precedence to Hesiod in his Georgies. The truth of it is, the Sweetness and Rusticity of a Pastoral cannot be so well exprest in any other Tongue as in the Greek, when rightly mixt and qualified with the Doric Dialect; nor can the Majesty of an Heroick Poem any where appear so well as in this Language, which has a Natural greatness in it, and can be often render'd more deep and sonorous by the Pronunciation of the Ionians. But in the middle Stile, where the Writers in both Tongues are on a Level: we see how far Virgil has excell'd all who have written in the same way with him.

There has been abundance of Criticism spent on Virgil's Pastorals and Aeneids, but the Georgics are a Subject which none of the Criticks have sufficiently taken into their Consideration; most of 'em passing it over in silence, or casting it under the same head with Pastoral; a division by no means proper, unless we suppose the Stile of a Hus­bandman ought to be imitated in a Georgic as that of a Shepherd is in Pastoral. But tho' the Scene of both these Poems lies in the same place; the Speakers in them are of a quite different Character, since the Precepts of Husbandry are not to be deliver'd with the simplicity of a Plow-Man, but with the Address of a Poet. No Rules therefore that relate to Pastoral, can any way affect the Georgics, which fall un­der that Class of Poetry which consists in giving plain and direct In­structions to the Reader; whether they be Moral Duties, as those of Theognis and Pythagoras; or Philosophical Speculations, as those of Aratus and Lucretius; or Rules of Practice, as those of Hesiod and Virgil. Among these different kinds of Subjects, that which the Georgics goes upon, is I think the meanest and the least improving, but the most pleasing and delightful. Precepts of Morality, besides the Natural Corruption of our Tempers, which makes us averse to them, are so abstracted from Ideas of Sense, that they seldom give an [Page] opportunity for those Beautiful Descriptions and Images which are the Spirit and Life of Poetry. Natural Philosophy has indeed sensible Objects to work upon, but then it often puzzles the Reader with the Intricacy of its Notions, and perplexes him with the multitude of its Disputes. But this kind of Poetry I am now speaking of, addresses it self wholly to the Imagination: It is altogether Conversant among the Fields and Woods, and has the most delightful part of Nature for its Province. It raises in our Minds a pleasing variety of Scenes and Landskips, whilst it teaches us: and makes the dryest of its Pre­cepts look like a Description. A Georgic therefore is some part of the Science of Husbandry put into a pleasing Dress, and set off with all the Beauties and Embellishments of Poetry. Now since this Sci­ence of Husbandry is of a very large extent, the Poet shews his Skill in singling out such Precepts to preceed on, as are useful, and at the same time most capable of Ornament. Virgil was so well acquainted with this Secret, that to set off his first Georgic, he has run into a set of Precepts, which are almost foreign to his Subject, in that Beau­tiful account he gives us of the Signs in Nature, which precede the Changes of the Weather.

And if there be so much Art in the choice of fit Precepts, there is much more requir'd in the Treating of 'em; that they may fall in after each other by a Natural unforc'd Method, and shew themselves in the best and most advantagious Light. They shou'd all be so finely wrought together into the same Piece, that no course Seam may discover where they joyn; as in a Curious Brede of Needle-Work, one Colour falls away by such just degrees, and ano­ther rises so insensibly, that we see the variety, without being able to distinguish the total vanishing of the one from the first appearance of the other. Nor is it sufficient to range and dispose this Body of Precepts into a clear and easie Method, unless they are deliver'd to us in the most pleasing and agreeable manner: For there are several ways of conveying the same Truth to the Mind of Man, and to chuse the pleasantest of these ways, is that which chiefly distinguishes Poetry from Prose, and makes Virgil's Rules of Husbandry pleasanter to read than Varro's. Where the Prose-writer tells us plainly what ought to be done, the Poet often conceals the Precept in a description, and represents his Country-Man performing the Action in which he wou'd instruct his Reader. Where the one sets out as fully and distinctly as he can, all the parts of the Truth, which he wou'd communicate to us; the other singles out the most pleasing Circumstance of this Truth, and so conveys the whole in a more diverting manner to the Understanding. I shall give one Instance out of a multitude of this nature, that might be found in the Georgics, where the Reader may see the different ways Virgil has taken to express the same thing, and how much pleasanter every manner of Expression is, than the plain and direct mention of it wou'd have been. It is in the Second Georgic where he tells us what Trees will bear Grafting on each other.

Et saepe alterius ramos impune videmus,
Vertere in alterius, mutatam (que); insita mala
Ferre pyrum, & prunis lapidosa rubescere corna.
—Steriles Platani malos gessere valentes,
Castaneae fagos, ornus (que); incanuit albo
Flore pyri: Glandem (que); sues fregere sub ulmis.
[Page] —Nec longum tempus: & ingens
Exijt ad Coelum ramis felicibus arbos;
Miratur (que) novas frondes, & non sua poma.

Here we see the Poet consider'd all the Effects of this Union be­tween Trees of different kinds, and took notice of that Effect which had the most surprize, and by consequence the most delight in it, to express the capacity that was in them of being thus united. This way of Writing is every where much in use among the Poets, and is par­ticularly practis'd by Virgil, who loves to suggest a Truth indirectly, and without giving us a full and open view of it: To let us see just so much as will naturally lead the Imagination into all the parts that lie conceal'd. This is wonderfully diverting to the Understanding, thus to receive a Precept, that enters as it were through a By-way, and to apprehend an Idea that draws a whole train after it: For here the Mind, which is always delighted with its own Discoveries, only takes the hint from the Poet, and seems to work out the rest by the strength of her own faculties.

But since the inculcating Precept upon Precept, will at length prove tiresom to the Reader, if he meets with no other Entertainment, the Poet must take care not to encumber his Poem with too much Business; but sometimes to relieve the Subject with a Moral Reflection, or let it rest a while for the sake of a pleasant and pertinent digres­sion. Nor is it sufficient to run out into beautiful and diverting di­gressions (as it is generally thought) unless they are brought in aptly, and are something of a piece with the main design of the Georgic: for they ought to have a remote alliance at least to the Subject, that so the whole Poem may be more uniform and agreeable in all its parts. We shou'd never quite lose sight of the Country, tho' we are sometimes entertain'd with a distant prospect of it. Of this nature are Virgil's Descriptions of the Original of Agriculture, of the Fruit­fulness of Italy, of a Country Life, and the like, which are not brought in by force, but naturally rise out of the principal Argument and De­sign of the Poem. I know no one digression in the Georgics that may seem to contradict this Observation, besides that in the latter end of the First Book, where the Poet launches out into a discourse of the Battel of Pharsalia, and the Actions of Augustus: But it's worth while to consider how admirably he has turn'd the course of his narration into its proper Channel, and made his Husbandman concern'd even in what relates to the Battel, in those inimitable Lines,

Scilicet & tempus veniet, cum finibus illis
Agricola in curvo terram molitus aratro,
Exesa inveniet scabra rubigine pila:
Aut gravibus rastris galeas pulsabit inanes,
Grandia (que) effossis mirabitur ossa sepulchris.

And afterwards speaking of Augustus's Actions, he still remembers that Agriculture ought to be some way hinted at throughout the whole Poem.

—Non ullus Aratro
Dignus honos: squalent abductis arva colonis:
Et curvae rigidum falces conflantur in Ensem.

[Page] We now come to the Stile which is proper to a Georgic; and indeed this is the part on which the Poet must lay out all his strength, that his words may be warm and glowing, and that every thing he de­scribes may immediately present it self, and rise up to the Reader's view. He ought in particular to be careful of not letting his Subject debase his Stile, and betray him into a meanness of Expression, but every where to keep up his Verse in all the Pomp of Numbers, and Dignity of words.

I think nothing which is a Phrase or Sayingin common talk, shou'd be admitted into a serious Poem: because it takes off from the Solemnity of the expression, and gives it too great a turn of Familiarity: much less ought the low Phrases and Terms of Art, that are adapted to Hus­bandry, have any place in such a Work as the Georgic, which is not to appear in the natural simplicity and nakedness of its Subject, but in the pleasantest Dress that Poetry can bestow on it. Thus Virgil, to deviate from the common form of words, wou'd not make use of Tempore but Sidere in his first Verse, and every where else a­bounds with Metaphors, Grecisms, and Circumlocutions, to give his Verse the greater Pomp, and preserve it from sinking into a Plebeian Stile. And herein consists Virgil's Master-piece, who has not only excell'd all other Poets, but even himself in the Language of his Georgics; where we receive more strong and lively Ideas of things from his words, than we cou'd have done from the Objects themselves: and find our Imaginations more affected by his Descriptions, than they wou'd have been by the very sight of what he describes.

I shall now, after this short Scheme of Rules, consider the different success that Hesiod and Virgil have met with in this kind of Poetry, which may give us some further Notion of the Excellence of the Geor­gics. To begin with Hesiod; If we may guess at his Character from his Writings, he had much more of the Husbandman than the Poet in his Temper: He was wonderfully Grave, Discreet, and Frugal, he liv'd altogether in the Country, and was probably for his great Prudence the Oracle of the whole Neighbourhood. These Principles of good Husbandry ran through his Works, and directed him to the choice of Tillage, and Merchandise, for the Subject of that which is the most Celebrated of them. He is every where bent on Instruction, avoids all manner of Digressions, and does not stir out of the Field once in the whole Georgic. His Method in describing Month after Month with its proper Seasons and Employments, is too grave and fim­ple; it takes off from the surprize and variety of the Poem, and makes the whole look but like a modern Almanack in Verse. The Reader is carried through a course of Weather, and may beforehand guess whe­ther he is to meet with Snow or Rain, Clouds or Sunshine in the next Description. His Descriptions indeed have abundance of Nature in them, but then it is Nature in her simplicity and undress. Thus when he speaks of January; the Wild-Beasts, says he, run shivering through the Woods with their Heads stooping to the ground, and their Tails clapt between their Legs; the Goats and Oxen are almost flead with Cold; but it is not so bad with the Sheep, because they have a thick Coat of Wooll about 'em. The Old Men too are bitterly pincht with the Weather, but the young Girls feel nothing of it, who sit at home [Page] with their Mothers by a warm Fire-side. Thus does the Old Gentle­man give himself up to a loose kind of Tattle, rather than endeavour after a just Poetical Description. Nor has he shewn more of Art or Judgment in the Precepts he has given us, which are sown so very thick, that they clog the Poem too much, and are often so minute and full of Circumstances, that they weaken and un-nerve his Verse. But after all, we are beholding to him for the first rough sketch of a Georgic: where we may still discover something venerable in the An­tickness of the Work; but if we wou'd see the Design enlarg'd, the Fi­gures reform'd, the Colouring laid on, and the whole Piece finish'd, we must expect it from a greater Master's hand.

Virgil has drawn out the Rules for Tillage and Planting into Two Books, which Hesiod has dispatcht in half a one; but has so rais'd the natural rudeness and simplicity of his Subject with such a significancy of Expression, such a Pomp of Verse, such variety of Transitions, and such a solemn Air in his Reflections, that if we look on both Poets toge­ther, we see in one the plainness of a down-right Country-Man, and in the other, something of a Rustick Majesty, like that of a Roman Dictator at the Plow-Tail. He delivers the meanest of his Precepts with a kind of Grandeur, he breaks the Clods and tosses the Dung about with an air of gracefulness. His Prognostications of the Weather are taken out of Aratus, where we may see how judiciously he has pickt out those that are most proper for his Husbandman's Observation; how he has enforc'd the Expression, and heighten'd the Images which he found in the Original.

The Second Book has more wit in it, and a greater boldness in its Metaphors than any of the rest. The Poet with a great Beauty ap­plies Oblivion, Ignorance, Wonder, Desire and the like to his Trees. The last Georgic has indeed as many Metaphors, but not so daring as this; for Humane Thoughts and Passions may be more natu­rally ascrib'd to a Bee, than to an Inanimate Plant. He who reads over the Pleasures of a Country Life, as they are describ'd by Virgil in the latter end of this Book, can scarce be of Virgil's Mind, in prefer­ring even the Life of a Philosopher to it.

We may I think read the Poet's Clime in his Description, for he seems to have been in a sweat at the Writing of it.

—O Quis me gelidis sub Montibus Haemi
Sistat, & ingenti ramorum protegat umbr â!

And is every where mentioning among his chief Pleasures, the cool­ness of his Shades and Rivers, Vales and Grottos, which a more Nor­thern Poet wou'd have omitted for the description of a Sunny Hill, and Fire-side.

The Third Georgic seems to be the most labour'd of 'em all; there is a wonderful Vigour and Spirit in the description of the Horse and Chariot-Race. The force of Love is represented in Noble Instances, and very Sublime Expressions. The Scythian Winter-piece appears so very cold and bleak to the Eye, that a Man can scarce look on it without shivering. The Murrain at the end has all the expressiveness [Page] that words can give. It was here that the Poet strain'd hard to out­do Lucretius in the description of his Plague; and if the Reader wou'd see what success he had, he may find it at large in Scaliger.

But Virgil seems no where so well pleas'd, as when he is got among his Bees in the Fourth Georgic: And Ennobles the Actions of so trivial a Creature, with Metaphors drawn from the most important Concerns of Mankind. His Verses are not in a greater noise and hurry in the Battels of Aeneas and Turnus, than in the Engagement of two Swarms. And as in his Aeneis he compares the Labours of his Trojans to those of Bees and Pismires, here he compares the Labours of the Bees to those of the Cyclops. In short, the last Georgic was a good Prelude to the Aeneis; and very well shew'd what the Poet could do in the descrip­tion of what was really great, by his describing the Mock-grandeur of an Insect with so good a grace. There is more pleasantness in the little Platform of a Garden, which he gives us about the middle of this Book, than in all the spacious Walks and Water-works of Rapin's. The Speech of Proteus at the end can never be enough admir'd, and was indeed very fit to conclude so Divine a Work.

After this particular account of the Beauties in the Georgics, I shou'd in the next place endeavour to point out its imperfections, if it has any. But tho' I think there are some few parts in it that are not so Beauti­ful as the rest, I shall not presume to name them, as rather suspecting my own Judgment, than I can believe a fault to be in that Poem, which lay so long under Virgil's Correction, and had his last hand put to it. The first Georgic was probably Burlesqu'd in the Author's Life­time; for we still find in the Scholiasts a Verse that ridicules part of a Line Translated from Hesiod. Nudus Ara, sere Nudus—And we may easily guess at the Judgment of this extraordinary Critick, who­ever he was, from his Censuring this particular Precept. We may be sure Virgil wou'd not have Translated it from Hesiod, had he not dis­cover'd some Beauty in it; and indeed the Beauty of it is what I have before observ'd to be frequently met with in Virgil, the delivering the Precept so indirectly, and singling out the particular circumstance of Sowing and Plowing naked, to suggest to us that these Employments are proper only in the hot Season of the Year.

I shall not here compare the Stile of the Georgics with that of Lucre­tius, which the Reader may see already done in the Preface to the Se­cond Volume of Miscellany Poems; but shall conclude this Poem to be the most Compleat, Elaborate, and finisht Piece of all Antiquity. The Aeneis indeed is of a Nobler kind, but the Georgic is more perfect in its kind. The Aeneid has a greater variety of Beauties in it, but those of the Georgic are more exquisite. In short, the Georgic has all the perfection that can be expected in a Poem written by the greatest Poet in the Flower of his Age, when his Invention was ready, his Imagination warm, his Judgment settled, and all his Faculties in their full Vigour and Maturity.

Virgil's Georgics.

The First Book of the Georgics.

The Argument.

The Poet, in the beginning of this Book, propounds the general Design of each Georgic: And after a solemn Invocation of all the Gods who are any way related to his Subject, he addresses himself in particu­lar to Augustus, whom he complements with Divinity; and after strikes into his Business. He shews the different kinds of Tillage proper to different Soils, traces out the Original of Agriculture, gives a Catalogue of the Husbandman's Tools, specifies the Employ­ments pecultar to each Season, describes the changes of the Weather, with the Signs in Heaven and Earth that fore-bode them. Instan­ces many of the Prodigies that happen'd near the time of Julius Caesar's Death. And shuts up all with a Supplication to the Gods for the Safety of Augustus, and the Prefervation of Rome.

To Sr Thomas Trevor of the Inner Temple Knight His Majestys Attorny Generall.

Geor: 1 L. 1▪
WHat makes a plenteous Harvest, when to turn
The fruitful Soil, and when to sowe the Corn;
The Care of Sheep, of Oxen, and of Kine;
And how to raise on Elms the teeming Vine:
The Birth and Genius of the frugal Bee,
I sing, Mecaenas, and I sing to thee.
Ye Deities! who Fields and Plains protect,
Who rule the Seasons, and the Year direct;
Bacchus and fost'ring Ceres, Pow'rs Divine,
Who gave us Corn for Mast, for Water Wine.
Ye Fawns, propitious to the Rural Swains,
Ye Nymphs that haunt the Mountains and the Plains,
Join in my Work, and to my Numbers bring
Your needful Succour, for your Gifts I sing.
[Page 50] And thou, whose Trident struck the teeming Earth,
And made a Passage for the Coursers Birth.
And thou, for whom the Caean Shore sustains
Thy Milky Herds, that graze the Flow'ry Plains.
And thou, the Shepherds tutelary God,
Leave, for a while, O Pan! thy lov'd Abode:
And, if Arcadian Fleeces be thy Care,
From Fields and Mountains to my Song repair.
Inventor, Pallas, of the fat'ning Oyl,
Thou Founder of the Plough and Plough-man's Toyl;
And thou, whose Hands the Shrowd-like Cypress rear;
Come all ye Gods and Goddesses, that wear
The rural Honours, and increase the Year.
You, who supply the Ground with Seeds of Grain;
And you, who swell those Seeds with kindly Rain:
And chiefly thou, whose undetermin'd State
Is yet the Business of the Gods Debate:
Whether in after Times to be declar'd
The Patron of the World, and Rome's peculiar Guard,
Or o're the Fruits and Seasons to preside,
And the round Circuit of the Year to guide.
Pow'rful of Blessings, which thou strew'st around,
And with thy Goddess Mother's Myrtle crown'd.
Or wilt thou, Caesar, chuse the watry Reign,
To smooth the Surges, and correct the Main?
Then Mariners, in Storms, to thee shall pray,
Ev'n utmost Thule shall thy Pow'r obey;
And Neptune shall resign the Fasces of the Sea.
The wat'ry Virgins for thy Bed shall strive,
And Tethys all her Waves in Dowry give.
Or wilt thou bless our Summers with thy Rays,
And seated near the Ballance, poise the Days:
Where in the Void of Heav'n a Space is free,
Betwixt the Scorpion and the Maid for thee.
[Page 51] The Scorpion ready to receive thy Laws,
Yields half his Region, and contracts his Claws.
Whatever part of Heav'n thou shalt obtain,
For let not Hell presume of such a Reign;
Nor let so dire a Thirst of Empire move
Thy Mind, to leave thy Kindred Gods above.
Tho' Greece admires Elysium's blest Retreat,
Tho' Proserpine affects her silent Seat,
And importun'd by Ceres to remove,
Prefers the Fields below to those above.
But thou, propitious Caesar, guide my Course,
And to my bold Endeavours add thy Force.
Pity the Poet's and the Ploughman's Cares,
Int'rest thy Greatness in our mean Affairs,
And use thy self betimes to hear our Pray'rs.
While yet the Spring is young, while Earth unbinds
Her frozen Bosom to the Western Winds;
While Mountain Snows dissolve against the Sun,
And Streams, yet new, from Precipices run.
Ev'n in this early Dawning of the Year,
Produce the Plough, and yoke the sturdy Steer,
And goad him till he groans beneath his Toil,
'Till the bright Share is bury'd in the Soil.
That Crop rewards the greedy Peasant's Pains,
Which twice the Sun, and twice the Cold sustains,
And bursts the crowded Barns, with more than promis'd Gains.
But e're we stir the yet unbroken Ground,
The various Course of Seasons must be found;
The Weather, and the setting of the Winds,
The Culture suiting to the sev'ral Kinds
Of Seeds and Plants; and what will thrive and rise,
And what the Genius of the Soil denies.
This Ground with Bacchus, that with Ceres suits:
That other loads the Trees with happy Fruits.
[Page 52] A fourth with Grass, unbidden, decks the Ground:
Thus Tmolus is with yellow Saffron crown'd:
India, black Ebon and white Ivory bears:
And soft Idume weeps her od'rous Tears.
Thus Pontus sends her Beaver Stones from far;
And naked Spanyards temper Steel for War.
Epirus for th' Elean Chariot breeds,
(In hopes of Palms,) a Race of running Steeds.
This is the Orig'nal Contract; these the Laws
Impos'd by Nature, and by Nature's Cause,
On sundry Places, when Deucalion hurl'd
his Mother's Entrails on the desart World:
Whence Men, a hard laborious Kind, were born.
Then borrow part of Winter for thy Corn;
And early with thy Team the Gleeb in Furrows turn.
That while the Turf lies open, and unbound,
Succeeding Suns may bake the Mellow Ground.
But if the Soil be barren, only scar
The Surface, and but lightly print the Share,
When cold Arcturus rises with the Sun:
Lest wicked Weeds the Corn shou'd over-run
In watry Soils; or lest the barren Sand
Shou'd suck the Moisture from the thirsty Land.
Both these unhappy Soils the Swain forbears,
And keeps a Sabbath of alternate Years:
That the spent Earth may gather heart again;
And, better'd by Cessation, bear the Grain.
At least where Vetches, Pulse, and Tares have stood,
And Stalks of Lupines grew (a stubborn Wood:)
Th' ensuing Season, in return, may bear
The bearded product of the Golden Year.
For Flax and Oats will burn the tender Field,
And sleepy Poppies harmful Harvests yield.
[Page 53] But sweet Vicissitudes of Rest and Toyl
Make easy Labour, and renew the Soil.
Yet sprinkle sordid Ashes all around,
And load with fat'ning Dung thy fallow Ground.
Thus change of Seeds for meagre Soils is best;
And Earth manur'd, not idle, though at rest.
Long Practice has a sure Improvement found,
With kindled Fires to burn the barren Ground;
When the light Stubble, to the Flames resign'd,
Is driv'n along, and crackles in the Wind.
Whether from hence the hollow Womb of Earth
Is warm'd with secret Strength for better Birth,
Or when the latent Vice is cur'd by Fire,
Redundant Humours thro' the Pores expire;
Or that the Warmth distends the Chinks, and makes
New Breathings, whence new Nourishment she takes;
Or that the Heat the gaping Ground constrains,
New Knits the Surface, and new Strings the Veins;
Lest soaking Show'rs shou'd pierce her secret Seat,
Or freezing Boreas chill her genial Heat;
Or scorching Suns too violently beat.
Nor is the Profit small, the Peasant makes;
Who smooths with Harrows, or who pounds with Rakes
The crumbling Clods: Nor Ceres from on high
Regards his Labours with a grudging Eye;
Nor his, who plows across the furrow'd Grounds,
And on the Back of Earth inflicts new Wounds:
For he with frequent Exercise Commands
Th' unwilling Soil, and tames the stubborn Lands.
Ye Swains, invoke the Pow'rs who rule the Sky,
For a moist Summer, and a Winter dry:
For Winter drout rewards the Peasant's Pain,
And broods indulgent on the bury'd Grain.
[Page 54] Hence Mysia boasts her Harvests, and the tops
Of Gargarus admire their happy Crops.
When first the Soil receives the fruitful Seed,
Make no delay, but cover it with speed:
So fenc'd from Cold; the plyant Furrows break,
Before the surly Clod resists the Rake.
And call the Floods from high, to rush amain
With pregnant Streams, to swell the teeming Grain.
Then when the fiery Suns too fiercely play,
And shrivell'd Herbs on with'ring Stems decay,
The wary Ploughman, on the Mountain's Brow,
Undams his watry Stores, huge Torrents flow;
And, ratling down the Rocks, large moisture yield,
Temp'ring the thirsty Fever of the Field.
And lest the Stem, too feeble for the freight,
Shou'd scarce sustain the head's unweildy weight,
Sends in his feeding Flocks betimes t'invade
The rising bulk of the luxuriant Blade;
E're yet th'aspiring Off-spring of the Grain
O'retops the ridges of the furrow'd Plain:
And drains the standing Waters, when they yield
Too large a Bev'rage to the drunken Field.
But most in Autumn, and the show'ry Spring,
When dubious Months uncertain weather bring;
When Fountains open, when impetuous Rain
Swells hasty Brooks, and pours upon the Plain;
When Earth with Slime and Mud is cover'd o're,
Or hollow places spue their wat'ry Store.
Nor yet the Ploughman, nor the lab'ring Steer,
Sustain alone the hazards of the Year:
But glutton Geese, and the Strymonian Crane,
With foreign Troops, invade the tender Grain:
And tow'ring Weeds malignant Shadows yield;
And spreading Succ'ry choaks the rising Field.
[Page 55] The Sire of Gods and Men, with hard Decrees,
Forbids our Plenty to be bought with Ease:
And wills that Mortal Men, inur'd to toil,
Shou'd exercise, with pains, the grudging Soil.
Himself invented first the shining Share,
And whetted Humane Industry by Care:
Himself did Handy-Crafts and Arts ordain;
Nor suffer'd Sloath to rust his active Reign.
E're this, no Peasant vex'd the peaceful Ground;
Which only Turfs and Greens for Altars found:
No Fences parted Fields, nor Marks nor Bounds
Distinguish'd Acres of litigious Grounds:
But all was common, and the fruitful Earth
Was free to give her unexacted Birth.
Jove added Venom to the Viper's Brood,
And swell'd, with raging Storms, the peaceful Flood:
Commission'd hungry Wolves t' infest the Fold,
And shook from Oaken Leaves the liquid Gold.
Remov'd from Humane reach the chearful Fire,
And from the Rivers bade the Wine retire:
That studious Need might useful Arts explore;
From furrow'd Fields to reap the foodful Store:
And force the Veins of clashing Flints t' expire
The lurking Seeds of their Coelestial Fire.
Then first on Seas the hollow'd Alder swam;
Then Sailers quarter'd Heav'n, and found a Name
For ev'ry fix'd and ev'ry wandring Star:
The Pleiads, Hyads, and the Northern Car.
Then Toils for Beasts, and Lime for Birds were found,
And deep-mouth Dogs did Forrest Walks surround:
And casting Nets were spread in shallow Brooks,
Drags in the Deep, and Baits were hung on Hooks.
Then Saws were tooth'd, and sounding Axes made;
(For Wedges first did yielding Wood invade.)
[Page 56] And various Arts in order did succeed,
(What cannot endless Labour urg'd by need?)
First Ceres taught, the Ground with Grain to sow,
And arm'd with Iron Shares the crooked Plough;
When now Dodonian Oaks no more supply'd
Their Mast, and Trees their Forrest-fruit deny'd.
Soon was his Labour doubl'd to the Swain,
And blasting Mildews blackned all his Grain.
Tough Thistles choak'd the Fields, and kill'd the Corn,
And an unthrifty Crop of Weeds was born.
Then Burrs and Brambles, an unbidden Crew
Of graceless Guests, th' unhappy Field subdue:
And Oats unblest, and Darnel domineers,
And shoots its head above the shining Ears.
So that unless the Land with daily Care
Is exercis'd, and with an Iron War,
Of Rakes and Harrows, the proud Foes expell'd,
And Birds with clamours frighted from the Field;
Unless the Boughs are lopp'd that shade the Plain,
And Heav'n invok'd with Vows for fruitful Rain,
On other Crops you may with envy look,
And shake for Food the long abandon'd Oak.
Nor must we pass untold what Arms they wield,
Who labour Tillage and the furrow'd Field:
Without whose aid the Ground her Corn denys,
And nothing can be sown, and nothing rise.
The crooked Plough, the Share, the towr'ing height
Of Waggons, and the Cart's unweildy weight;
The Sled, the Tumbril, Hurdles and the Flail,
The Fan of Bacchus, with the flying Sail.
These all must be prepar'd, if Plowmen hope
The promis'd Blessing of a Bounteous Crop.
Young Elms with early force in Copses bow,
Fit for the Figure of the crooked Plough.


To Sr Iohn Hawles▪ of Lincolns Inn in the County of Midlesex Knt: His Majestyes Solicitor Genll:

Geor. 1. L. 240.
Of eight Foot long a fastned Beam prepare,
On either side the Head produce an Ear,
And sink a Socket for the shining Share.
Of Beech the Plough-tail, and the bending Yoke;
Or softer Linden harden'd in the Smoke.
I cou'd be long in Precepts, but I fear
So mean a Subject might offend your Ear.
Delve of convenient Depth your thrashing Floor;
With temper'd Clay, then fill and face it o're:
And let the weighty Rowler run the round,
To smooth the Surface of th' unequal Ground;
Lest crack'd with Summer Heats the flooring flies,
Or sinks, and thro' the Crannies Weeds arise.
For sundry Foes the Rural Realm surround:
The Field Mouse builds her Garner under ground,
For gather'd Grain the blind laborious Mole,
In winding Mazes works her hidden Hole.
In hollow Caverns Vermine make abode,
The hissing Serpent, and the swelling Toad:
The Corn devouring Weezel here abides,
And the wise Ant her wintry Store provides.
Mark well the flowring Almonds in the Wood;
If od'rous Blooms the bearing Branches load,
The Glebe will answer to the Sylvan Reign,
Great Heats will follow, and large Crops of Grain.
But if a Wood of Leaves o're-shade the Tree,
Such and so barren will thy Harvest be:
In vain the Hind shall vex the thrashing Floor,
For empty Chaff and Straw will be thy Store.
Some steep their Seed, and some in Cauldrons boil
With vigorous Nitre, and with Lees of Oyl,
O're gentle Fires; th' exuberant Juice to drain,
And swell the flatt'ring Husks with fruitful Grain.
[Page 58] Yet is not the Success for Years assur'd,
Tho chosen is the Seed, and fully cur'd;
Unless the Peasant, with his Annual Pain,
Renews his Choice, and culls the largest Grain.
Thus all below, whether by Nature's Curse,
Or Fates Decree, degen'rate still to worse.
So the Boats brawny Crew the Current stem,
And, slow advancing, struggle with the Stream:
But if they slack their hands, or cease to strive,
Then down the Flood with headlong haste they drive.
Nor must the Ploughman less observe the Skies,
When the Kidds, Dragon, and Arcturus rise,
Than Saylors homeward bent, who cut their Way
Thro' Helle's stormy Streights, and Oyster-breeding Sea.
But when Astrea's Ballance, hung on high,
Betwixt the Nights and Days divides the Sky,
Then Yoke your Oxen, sow your Winter Grain;
'Till cold December comes with driving Rain.
Lineseed and fruitful Poppy bury warm,
In a dry Season, and prevent the Storm.
Sow Beans and Clover in a rotten Soyl,
And Millet rising from your Annual Toyl;
When with his Golden Horns, in full Cariere,
The Bull beats down the Barriers of the Year;
And Arg [...]s and the Dog forsake the Northern Sphere.
But if your Care to Wheat alone extend,
Let Maja with her Sisters first descend,
And the bright Gnosian Diadem downward bend:
Before you trust in Earth your future Hope;
Or else expect a listless lazy Crop.
Some Swains have sown before, but most have found
A husky Harvest, from the grudging Ground.
Vile Vetches wou'd you sow, or Lentils lean,
The Growth of Egypt, or the Kidney-bean?
[Page 59] Begin when the slow Waggoner descends,
Nor cease your sowing till Mid-winter ends:
For this, thro' twelve bright Signs Apollo guides
The Year, and Earth in sev'ral Climes divides.
Five Girdles bind the Skies, the torrid Zone
Glows with the passing and repassing Sun.
Far on the right and left, th' extreams of Heav'n,
To Frosts and Snows, and bitter Blasts are giv'n.
Betwixt the midst and these, the Gods assign'd
Two habitable Seats for Humane Kind:
And cross their limits cut a sloping way,
Which the twelve Signs in beauteous order sway.
Two Poles turn round the Globe; one seen to rise
O're Scythian Hills, and one in Lybian Skies.
The first sublime in Heav'n, the last is whirl'd
Below the Regions of the nether World.
Around our Pole the spiry Dragon glides,
And like a winding Stream the Bears divides;
The less and greater, who by Fates Decree
Abhor to dive beneath the Southern Sea:
There, as they say, perpetual Night is found
In silence brooding on th' unhappy ground:
Or when Aurora leaves our Northern Sphere,
She lights the downward Heav'n, and rises there.
And when on us she breaths the living Light,
Red Vesper kindles there the Tapers of the Night.
From hence uncertain Seasons we may know;
And when to reap the Grain, and when to sow:
Or when to fell the Furzes, when 'tis meet
To spread the flying Canvass for the Fleet.
Observe what Stars arise or disappear;
And the four Quarters of the rolling Year.
But when cold Weather and continu'd Rain,
The lab'ring Husband in his House restrain:
[Page 60] Let him forecast his Work with timely care,
Which else is huddl'd, when the Skies are fair:
Then let him mark the Sheep, or whet the shining Share.
Or hollow Trees for Boats, or number o're
His Sacks, or measure his increasing Store:
Or sharpen Stakes, or head the Forks, or twine
The Sallow Twigs to tye the stragling Vine:
Or wicker Baskets weave, or aire the Corn,
Or grinded Grain betwixt two Marbles turn.
No Laws, Divine or Human, can restrain
From necessary Works, the lab'ring Swain.
Ev'n Holy-days and Feasts permission yield,
The Meads to water, and to fence the Field,
To Fire the Brambles, snare the Birds, and steep
In wholsom Water-falls the woolly Sheep.
And oft the drudging Ass is driv'n, with Toyl,
To neighb'ring Towns with Apples and with Oyl:
Returning late, and loaden home with Gain
Of barter'd Pitch, and Hand-mills for the Grain.
The lucky Days, in each revolving Moon,
For Labour chuse: The Fifth be sure to shun;
That gave the Furies and pale Pluto Birth,
And arm'd, against the Skies, the Sons of Earth.
With Mountains pil'd on Mountains, thrice they strove
To scale the steepy Battlements of Jove:
And thrice his Lightning and red Thunder play'd,
And their demolish'd Works in Ruin laid.
The Sev'nth is, next the Tenth, the best to joyn
Young Oxen to the Yoke, and plant the Vine.
Then Weavers stretch your Stays upon the Weft:
The Ninth is good for Travel, bad for Theft.
Some Works in dead of Night are better done;
Or when the Morning Dew prevents the Sun.

[Page] [Page]

To Joseph Jekyll of the middle Temple Esq

Geo: 1. l. 390
Parch'd Meads and Stubble mow, by Phoebe's Light;
Which both require the Coolness of the Night:
For Moisture then abounds, and Pearly Rains
Descend in Silence to refresh the Plains.
The Wife and Husband equally conspire,
To work by Night, and rake the Winter Fire:
He sharpens Torches in the glim'ring Room,
She shoots the flying Shuttle through the Loom:
Or boils in Kettles Must of Wine, and Skins
With Leaves, the Dregs that overflow the Brims.
And till the watchful Cock awakes the Day,
She sings to drive the tedious hours away.
But in warm Weather, when the Skies are clear,
By Daylight reap the Product of the Year:
And in the Sun your golden Grain display,
And thrash it out, and winnow it by Day.
Plough naked, Swain, and naked sow the Land,
For lazy Winter numbs the lab'ring Hand.
In Genial Winter, Swains enjoy their Store,
Forget their Hardships, and recruit for more.
The Farmer to full Bowls invites his Friends,
And what he got with Pains, with Pleasure spends.
So Saylors, when escap'd from stormy Seas,
First crown their Vessels, then indulge their Ease.
Yet that's the proper Time to thrash the Wood
For Mast of Oak, your Father's homely Food.
To gather Laurel-berries, and the Spoil
Of bloody Myrtles, and to press your Oyl.
For stalking Cranes to set the guileful Snare,
T' inclose the Stags in Toyls, and hunt the Hare.
With Balearick Slings, or Gnossian Bow,
To persecute from far the flying Doe.
Then, when the Fleecy Skies new cloath the Wood,
And cakes of rustling Ice come rolling down the Flood.
Now sing we stormy Stars, when Autumn weighs
The Year, and adds to Nights, and shortens Days;
And Suns declining shine with feeble Rays:
What Cares must then attend the toiling Swain;
Or when the low'ring Spring, with lavish Rain,
Beats down the slender Stem and bearded Grain:
While yet the Head is green, or lightly swell'd
With Milky-moisture, over-looks the Field.
Ev'n when the Farmer, now secure of Fear,
Sends in the Swains to spoil the finish'd Year:
Ev'n while the Reaper fills his greedy hands,
And binds the golden Sheafs in brittle bands:
Oft have I seen a sudden Storm arise,
From all the warring Winds that sweep the Skies:
The heavy Harvest from the Root is torn,
And whirl'd aloft the lighter Stubble born;
With such a force the flying rack is driv'n;
And such a Winter wears the face of Heav'n:
And oft whole sheets descend of slucy Rain,
Suck'd by the spongy Clouds from off the Main:
The lofty Skies at once come pouring down,
The promis'd Crop and golden Labours drown.
The Dykes are fill'd, and with a roaring sound
The rising Rivers float the nether ground;
And Rocks the bellowing Voice of boiling Seas rebound.
The Father of the Gods his Glory shrowds,
Involv'd in Tempests, and a Night of Clouds.
And from the middle Darkness flashing out,
By fits he deals his fiery Bolts about.
Earth feels the Motions of her angry God,
Her Entrails tremble, and her Mountains nod;
And flying Beasts in Forests seek abode:
Deep horrour seizes ev'ry Humane Breast,
Their Pride is humbled, and their Fear confess'd:

[Page] [Page]

To Thomas Vernon of Hanbury in Worcester - Shire Esq

Geo: 1 L 475
While he from high his rowling Thunder throws,
And fires the Mountains with repeated blows:
The Rocks are from their old Foundations rent;
The Winds redouble, and the Rains augment:
The Waves on heaps are dash'd against the Shoar,
And now the Woods, and now the Billows roar.
In fear of this, observe the starry Signs,
Where Saturn houses, and where Hermes joins.
But first to Heav'n thy due Devotions pay,
And Annual Gifts on Ceres Altars lay.
When Winter's rage abates, when chearful Hours
Awake the Spring, and Spring awakes the Flow'rs,
On the green Turf thy careless Limbs display,
And celebrate the mighty Mother's day.
For then the Hills with pleasing Shades are crown'd,
And Sleeps are sweeter on the silken Ground:
With milder Beams the Sun securely shines;
Fat are the Lambs, and luscious are the Wines.
Let ev'ry Swain adore her Pow'r Divine,
And Milk and Honey mix with sparkling Wine:
Let all the Quire of Clowns attend the Show,
In long Procession, shouting as they go;
Invoking her to bless their yearly Stores,
Inviting Plenty to their crowded Floors.
Thus in the Spring, and thus in Summer's Heat,
Before the Sickles touch the ripening Wheat,
On Ceres call; and let the lab'ring Hind
With Oaken Wreaths his hollow Temples bind:
On Ceres let him call, and Ceres praise,
With uncouth Dances, and with Country Lays.
And that by certain signs we may presage
Of Heats and Rains, and Wind's impetuous rage,
The Sov'reign of the Heav'ns has set on high
The Moon, to mark the Changes of the Skye:
[Page 64] When Southern blasts shou'd cease, and when the Swain
Shou'd near their Folds his feeding Flocks restrain.
For e're the rising Winds begin to roar,
The working Seas advance to wash the Shoar:
Soft whispers run along the leavy Woods,
And Mountains whistle to the murm'ring Floods:
Ev'n then the doubtful Billows scarce abstain
From the toss'd Vessel on the troubled Main:
When crying Cormorants forsake the Sea,
And stretching to the Covert wing their way:
When sportful Coots run skimming o're the Strand;
When watchful Herons leave their watry Stand,
And mounting upward, with erected flight,
Gain on the Skyes, and soar above the sight.
And oft before tempest'our Winds arise,
The seeming Stars fall headlong from the Skies;
And, shooting through the darkness, guild the Night
With sweeping Glories, and long trails of Light:
And Chaff with eddy Winds is whirl'd around,
And dancing Leaves are lifted from the Ground;
And floating Feathers on the Waters play.
But when the winged Thunder takes his way
From the cold North, and East and West ingage,
And at their Frontiers meet with equal rage,
The Clouds are crush'd, a glut of gather'd Rain
The hollow Ditches fills, and floats the Plain,
And Sailors furl their dropping Sheets amain.
Wet weather seldom hurts the most unwise,
So plain the Signs, such Prophets are the Skies:
The wary Crane foresees it first, and sails
Above the Storm, and leaves the lowly Vales:
The Cow looks up, and from afar can find
The change of Heav'n, and snuffs it in the Wind.
[Page 65] The Swallow skims the River's watry Face,
The Frogs renew the Croaks of their loquacious Race.
The careful Ant her secret Cell forsakes,
And drags her Egs along the narrow Tracks.
At either Horn the Rainbow drinks the Flood,
Huge Flocks of rising Rooks sorsake their Food,
And, crying, seek the Shelter of the Wood.
Besides, the sev'ral sorts of watry Fowls,
That swim the Seas, or haunt the standing Pools:
The Swans that sail along the Silver Flood,
And dive with stretching Necks to search their Food.
Then lave their Backs with sprinkling Dews in vain,
And stem tke Stream to meet the promis'd Rain.
The Crow with clam'rous Cries the Show'r demands,
And single stalks along the Desart Sands.
The nightly Virgin, while her Wheel she plies,
Foresees the Storm impending in the Skies,
When sparkling Lamps their sputt'ring Light advance,
And in the Sockets Oyly Bubbles dance.
Then after Show'rs, 'tis easie to descry
Returning Suns, and a serener Sky:
The Stars shine smarter, and the Moon adorns,
As with unborrow'd Beams, her sharpen'd Horns.
The filmy Gossamer now flitts no more,
Nor Halcyons bask on the short Sunny Shoar:
Their Litter is not toss'd by Sows unclean,
But a blue droughty Mist descends upon the Plain.
And Owls, that mark the setting Sun, declare
A Star-light Evening, and a Morning fair.
Tow'ring aloft, avenging Nisus flies,
While dar'd below the guilty Scylla lies.
Where-ever frighted Scylla flies away,
Swift Nisus follows, and pursues his Prey.
[Page 66] Where injur'd Nisus takes his Airy Course,
Thence trembling Scylla flies and shuns his Force.
This punishment pursues th' unhappy Maid,
And thus the purple Hair is dearly paid.
Then, thrice the Ravens rend the liquid Air,
And croaking Notes proclaim the settled fair.
Then, round their Airy Palaces they fly,
To greet the Sun; and seis'd with secret Joy,
When Storms are over-blown, with Food repair
To their forsaken Nests, and callow Care.
Not that I think their Breasts with Heav'nly Souls
Inspir'd, as Man, who Destiny controls.
But with the changeful Temper of the Skies,
As Rams condense, and Sun-shine rarifies;
So turn the Species in their alter'd Minds,
Compos'd by Calms, and disoompos'd by Winds.
From hence proceeds the Birds harmonious Voice:
From hence the Cows exult, and frisking Lambs rejoice.
Observe the daily Circle of the Sun,
And the short Year of each revolving Moon:
By them thou shalt foresee the following day;
Nor shall a starry Night thy Hopes betray.
When first the Moon appears, if then she shrouds
Her silver Crescent, tip'd with sable Clouds;
Conclude she bodes a Tempest on the Main,
And brews for Fields impetuous Floods of Rain.
Or if her Face with fiery Flushing glow,
Expect the ratling Winds aloft to blow.
But four Nights old, (for that's the surest Sign,)
With sharpen'd Horns if glorious then she shine:
Next Day, nor only that, but all the Moon,
Till her revolving Race be wholly run;
Are void of Tempests, both by Land and Sea,
And Saylors in the Port their promis'd Vow shall pay.
[Page 67] Above the rest, the Sun, who never lies;
Foretels the change of Weather in the Skies:
For if he rise, unwilling to his Race,
Clouds on his Brows, and Spots upon his Face;
Or if thro' Mists he shoots his sullen Beams,
Frugal of Light, in loose and stragling Streams:
Suspect a drisling Day, with Southern Rain,
Fatal to Fruits, and Flocks, and promis'd Grain.
Or if Aurora, with half open'd Eyes,
And a pale sickly Cheek, salute the Skies;
How shall the Vine, with tender Leaves, defend
Her teeming Clusters, when the Storms descend?
When ridgy Roofs and Tiles can scarce avail,
To barr the Ruin of the ratling Hail.
But more than all, the setting Sun survey,
When down the Steep of Heav'n he drives the Day.
For oft we find him finishing his Race,
With various Colours erring on his Face;
If fiery red his glowing Globe descends,
High Winds and furious Tempests he portends.
But if his Cheeks are swoln with livid blue,
He bodes wet Weather by his watry Hue.
If dusky Spots are vary'd on his Brow,
And, streak'd with red, a troubl'd Colour show;
That sullen Mixture shall at once declare
Winds, Rain, and Storms, and Elemental War:
What desp'rate Madman then wou'd venture o're
The Frith, or haul his Cables from the Shoar?
But if with Purple Rays he brings the Light,
And a pure Heav'n resigns to quiet Night:
No rising Winds, or falling Storms, are nigh:
But Northern Breezes through the Forrest fly:
And drive the rack, and purge the ruffl'd Sky.
[Page 68] Th' unerring Sun by certain Signs declares,
What the late Ev'n, or early Morn prepares:
And when the South projects a stormy Day,
And when the clearing North will puff the Clouds away.
The Sun reveals the Secrets of the Sky;
And who dares give the Source of Light the Lye?
The change of Empires often he declares,
Fierce Tumults, hidden Treasons, open Wars.
He first the Fate of Caesar did foretel,
And pity'd Rome, when Rome in Caesar fell.
In Iron Clouds conceal'd the Publick Light:
And Impious Mortals fear'd Eternal Night.
Nor was the Fact foretold by him alone:
Nature her self stood forth, and seconded the Sun.
Earth, Air, and Seas, with Prodigies were sign'd,
And Birds obscene, and howling Dogs divin'd.
What Rocks did Aetna's bellowing Mouth expire
From her torn Entrails! and what Floods of Fire!
What Clanks were heard, in German Skies afar,
Of Arms and Armies, rushing to the War!
Dire Earthquakes rent the solid Alps below,
And from their Summets shook th' Eternal Snow.
Pale Specters in the close of Night were seen;
And Voices heard of more than Mortal Men.
In silent Groves, dumb Sheep and Oxen spoke;
And Streams ran backward, and their Beds forsook:
The yawning Earth disclos'd th' Abyss of Hell:
The weeping Statues did the Wars foretel;
And Holy Sweat from Brazen Idols fell.
Then rising in his Might, the King of Floods,
Rusht thro' the Forrests, tore the lofty Woods;
And rolling onward, with a sweepy Sway,
Bore Houses, Herds, and lab'ring Hinds away.


To William Dobyns of Lincolns Inn Esq.

Geo 1: 625.
Blood sprang from Wells, Wolfs howl'd in Towns by Night,
And boding Victims did the Priests affright.
Such Peals of Thunder never pour'd from high;
Nor Light'ning flash'd from so serene a Sky.
Red Meteors ran along th' Etherial Space;
Stars disappear'd, and Comets took their place.
For this, th' Emathian Plains once more were strow'd
With Roman Bodies, and just Heav'n thought good
To fatten twice those Fields with Roman Blood.
Then, after length of Time, the lab'ring Swains,
Who turn the Turfs of those unhappy Plains,
Shall rusty Piles from the plough'd Furrows take,
And over empty Helmets pass the Rake.
Amaz'd at Antick Titles on the Stones,
And mighty Relicks of Gygantick Bones.
Ye home-born Deities, of Mortal Birth!
Thou Father Romulus, and Mother Earth,
Goddess unmov'd! whose Guardian Arms extend
O're Thuscan Tiber's Course, and Roman Tow'rs defend;
With youthful Caesar your joint Pow'rs ingage,
Nor hinder him to save the sinking Age.
O! let the Blood, already spilt, atone
For the past Crimes of curst Laomedon!
Heav'n wants thee there, and long the Gods, we know,
Have grudg'd thee, Caesar, to the World below.
Where Fraud and Rapine, Right and Wrong confound;
Where impious Arms from ev'ry part resound,
And monstrous Crimes in ev'ry Shape are crown'd.
The peaceful Peasant to the Wars is prest;
The Fields lye fallow in inglorious Rest.
The Plain no Pasture to the Flock affords,
The crooked Scythes are streightned into Swords:
And there Euphrates her soft Off-spring Arms,
And here the Rhine rebellows with Alarms:
[Page 70] The neighb'ring Cities range on sev'ral sides,
Perfidious Mars long plighted Leagues divides,
And o're the wasted World in Triumph rides.
So four fierce Coursers starting to the Race,
Scow'r thro' the Plain, and lengthen ev'ry Pace:
Nor Reigns, nor Curbs, nor threat'ning Cries they fear,
But force along the trembling Charioteer.

The Second Book of the Georgics.

The Argument.

The Subject of the following Book is Planting. In handling of which Argument, the Poet shews all the different Methods of raising Trees: Describes their Variety; and gives Rules for the management of each in particular. He then points out the Soils in which the several Plants thrive best: And thence takes oc­casion to run out into the Praises of Italy. After which he gives some Directions for discovering the Nature of every Soil; pre­scribes Rules for the Dressing of Vines, Olives, &c. And con­cludes the Georgic with a Panegyric on a Country Life.

To Sr: William Bowyer Baronet of Denham Court in the County of Bucks.

Geor: 2. L. 1.
THus far of Tillage, and of Heav'nly Signs;
Now sing my Muse the growth of gen'rous Vines:
The shady Groves, the Woodland Progeny,
And the slow Product of Minerva's Tree.
Great Father Bacchus! to my Song repair;
For clustring Grapes are thy peculiar Care:
For thee large Bunches load the bending Vine,
And the last Blessings of the Year are thine.
To thee his Joys the jolly Autumn owes,
When the fermenting Juice the Vat o'reflows.
Come strip with me, my God, come drench all o're
Thy Limbs in Must of Wine, and drink at ev'ry Pore.
Some Trees their birth to bounteous Nature owe:
For some without the pains of Planting grow.
With Osiers thus the Banks of Brooks abound,
Sprung from the watry Genius of the Ground:
From the same Principles grey Willows come;
Herculean Poplar, and the tender Broom.
But some from Seeds inclos'd in Earth arise:
For thus the mastful Chesnut mates the Skies.
[Page 72] Hence rise the branching Beech and vocal Oke,
Where Jove of old Oraculously spoke.
Some from the Root a rising Wood disclose;
Thus Elms, and thus the salvage Cherry grows.
Thus the green Bays, that binds the Poet's Brows,
Shoots and is shelter'd by the Mother's Boughs.
These ways of Planting, Nature did ordain,
For Trees and Shrubs, and all the Sylvan Reign.
Others there are, by late Experience found:
Some cut the Shoots, and plant in furrow'd ground:
Some cover rooted Stalks in deeper Mold:
Some cloven Stakes, and (wond'rous to behold,)
Their sharpen'd ends in Earth their footing place,
And the dry Poles produce a living Race.
Some bowe their Vines, which bury'd in the Plain,
Their tops in distant Arches rise again.
Others no Root require, the Lab'rer cuts
Young Slips, and in the Soil securely puts.
Ev'n Stumps of Olives, bar'd of Leaves, and dead,
Revive, and oft redeem their wither'd head.
'Tis usual now, an Inmate Graff to see,
With Insolence invade a Foreign Tree:
Thus Pears and Quinces from the Crabtree come;
And thus the ruddy Cornel bears the Plum.
Then let the Learned Gard'ner mark with care
The Kinds of Stocks, and what those Kinds will bear:
Explore the Nature of each sev'ral Tree;
And known, improve with artful Industry:
And let no spot of idle Earth be found,
But cultivate the Genius of the Ground.
For open Ismarus will Bacchus please;
Taburnus loves the shade of Olive Trees.
The Virtues of the sev'ral Soils I sing,
Mecaenas, now thy needful Succour bring!
[Page 73] O thou! the better part of my Renown,
Inspire thy Poet, and thy Poem crown:
Embarque with me, while I new Tracts explore,
With flying sails and breezes from the shore:
Not that my song, in such a scanty space,
So large a Subject fully can embrace:
Not tho I were supply'd with Iron Lungs,
A hundred Mouths, fill'd with as many Tongues:
But steer my Vessel with a steady hand,
And coast along the Shore in sight of Land.
Nor will I tire thy Patience with a train
Of Preface, or what ancient Poets feign.
The Trees, which of themselves advance in Air,
Are barren kinds, but strongly built and fair:
Because the vigour of the Native Earth
Maintains the Plant, and makes a Manly Birth.
Yet these, receiving Graffs of other Kind,
Or thence transplanted, change their salvage Mind:
Their Wildness lose, and quitting Nature's part,
Obey the Rules and Discipline of Art.
The same do Trees, that, sprung from barren Roots
In open fields, transplanted bear their Fruits.
For where they grow the Native Energy
Turns all into the Substance of the Tree,
Starves and destroys the Fruit, is only made
For brawny bulk, and for a barren shade.
The Plant that shoots from Seed, a sullen Tree
At leisure grows, for late Posterity;
The gen'rous flavour lost, the Fruits decay,
And salvage Grapes are made the Birds ignoble prey.
Much labour is requir'd in Trees, to tame
Their wild disorder, and in ranks reclaim.
Well must the ground be dig'd, and better dress'd,
New Soil to make, and meliorate the rest.
[Page 74] Old Stakes of Olive Trees in Plants revive;
By the same Methods Paphian Myrtles live:
But nobler Vines by Propagation thrive.
From Roots hard Hazles, and from Cyens rise
Tall Ash, and taller Oak that mates the Skies:
Palm, Poplar, Firr, descending from the Steep
Of Hills, to try the dangers of the Deep.
The thin-leav'd Arbute Hazle, graffs receives,
And Planes huge Apples bear, that bore but Leaves.
Thus Mastful Beech the bristly Chesnut bears,
And the wild Ash is white with blooming Pears.
And greedy Swine from grafted Elms are fed,
With falling Acorns, that on Oaks are bred.
But various are the ways to change the state
Of Plants, to Bud, to Graff, t' Inoculate.
For where the tender Rinds of Trees disclose
Their shooting Gems, a swelling Knot there grows;
Just in that space a narrow Slit we make,
Then other Buds from bearing Trees we take:
Inserted thus, the wounded Rind we close,
In whose moist Womb th' admitted Infant grows.
But when the smoother Bole from Knots is free,
We make a deep Incision in the Tree;
And in the solid Wood the Slip inclose,
The bat'ning Bastard shoots again and grows:
And in short space the laden Boughs arise,
With happy Fruit advancing to the Skies.
The Mother Plant admires the Leaves unknown,
Of Alien Trees, and Apples not her own.
Of vegetable Woods are various Kinds,
And the same Species are of sev'ral Minds.
Lotes, Willows, Elms, have diff'rent Forms allow'd,
So fun'ral Cypress rising like a Shrowd.

[Page] [Page]

To Gilbert Dolbin of Thindon in Northampton-Shire Esq

Geo: 2 L▪ 145.
Fat Olive Trees of sundry Sorts appear:
Of sundry Shapes their unctuous Berries bear.
Radij long Olives, Orchit's round produce,
And bitter Pausia, pounded for the Juice.
Alcinous Orchard various Apples bears:
Unlike are Bergamotes and pounder Pears.
Nor our Italian Vines produce the Shape,
Or Tast, or Flavour of the Lesbian Grape.
The Thasian Vines in richer Soils abound,
The Mareotique grow in barren Ground.
The Psythian Grape we dry: Lagaean Juice,
Will stamm'ring Tongues, and stagg'ring Feet produce.
Rathe ripe are some, and some of later kind,
Of Golden some, and some of Purple Rind.
How shall I praise the Raethean Grape divine,
Which yet contends not with Falernian Wine!
Th' Aminean many a Consulship survives,
And longer than the Lydian Vintage lives?
Or high Phanaeus King of Chian growth:
But for large quantities, and lasting both,
The less Argitis bears the Prize away.
The Rhodian, sacred to the Solemn Day,
In second Services is pour'd to Jove;
And best accepted by the Gods above.
Nor must Bumastus his old Honours lose,
In length and largeness like the Dugs of Cows.
I pass the rest, whose ev'ry Race and Name,
And Kinds, are less material to my Theme.
Which who wou'd learn, as soon may tell the Sands,
Driv'n by the Western Wind on Lybian Lands.
Or number, when the blust'ring Eurus roars,
The Billows beating on Ionian Shoars.
Nor ev'ry Plant on ev'ry Soil will grow;
The Sallow loves the watry Ground, and low.
[Page 76] The Marshes, Alders; Nature seems t'ordain
The rocky Cliff for the wild Ashe's reign:
The baleful Yeugh to Northern Blasts assigns;
To Shores the Myrtles, and to Mounts the Vines.
Regard th' extremest cultivated Coast,
From hot Arabia to the Scythian Frost:
All sort of Trees their sev'ral Countries know;
Black Ebon only will in India grow:
And od'rous Frankincense on the Sabaean Bough.
Balm slowly trickles through the bleeding Veins
Of happy Shrubs, in Idumaean Plains.
The green Egyptian Thorn, for Med'cine good;
With Ethiops hoary Trees and woolly Wood,
Let others tell: and how the Seres spin
Their fleecy Forests in a slender Twine.
With mighty Trunks of Trees on Indian shoars,
Whose height above the feather'd Arrow soars,
Shot from the toughest Bow; and by the Brawn
Of expert Archers, with vast Vigour drawn.
Sharp tasted Citrons Median Climes produce:
Bitter the Rind, but gen'rous is the Juice:
A cordial Fruit, a present Antidote
Against the direful Stepdam's deadly Draught:
Who mixing wicked Weeds with Words impure,
The Fate of envy'd Orphans wou'd procure.
Large is the Plant, and like a Laurel grows,
And did it not a diff'rent Scent disclose,
A Laurel were: the fragrant Flow'rs contemn
The stormy Winds, tenacious of their Stem.
With this the Medes, to lab'ring Age, bequeath
New Lungs, and cure the sourness of the Breath.
But neither Median Woods, (a plenteous Land,)
Fair Ganges, Hermus rolling Golden Sand,
[Page 77] Nor Bactria, nor the richer Indian Fields,
Nor all the Gummy Stores Arabia yields;
Nor any foreign Earth of greater Name,
Can with sweet Italy contend in Fame.
No Bulls, whose Nostrils breath a living Flame,
Have turn'd our Turf, no Teeth of Serpents here
Were sown, an armed Host, and Iron Crop to bear.
But fruitful Vines, and the fat Olives fraight,
And Harvests heavy with their fruitful weight,
Adorn our Fields; and on the chearful Green,
The grazing Flocks and lowing Herds are seen.
The Warrior Horse, here bred, is taught to train,
There flows Clitumnus thro' the flow'ry Plain;
Whose Waves, for Triumphs after prosp'rous Wars,
The Victim Ox, and snowy Sheep prepares.
Perpetual Spring our happy Climate sees,
Twice breed the Cattle, and twice bear the Trees;
And Summer Suns recede by slow degrees.
Our Land is from the Rage of Tygers freed,
Nor nourishes the Lyon's angry Seed;
Nor pois'nous Aconite is here produc'd,
Or grows unknown, or is, when known, refus'd.
Nor in so vast a length our Serpents glide,
Or rais'd on such a spiry Volume ride.
Next add our Cities of Illustrious Name,
Their costly Labour and stupend'ous Frame:
Our Forts on steepy Hills, that far below
See wanton Streams, in winding Valleys flow.
Our twofold Seas, that washing either side,
A rich Recruit of Foreign Stores provide.
Our spacious Lakes; thee, Larius, first; and next
Benacus, with tempest'ous Billows vext.
Or shall I praise thy Ports, or mention make
Of the vast Mound, that binds the Lucrine Lake.
[Page 78] Or the disdainful Sea, that, shut from thence,
Roars round the Structure, and invades the Fence.
There, where secure the Julian Waters glide,
Or where Avernus Jaws admit the Tyrrhene Tide.
Our Quarries deep in Earth, were fam'd of old,
For Veins of Silver, and for Ore of Gold.
Th' Inhabitants themselves, their Country grace;
Hence rose the Marsian and Sabellian Race:
Strong limb'd and stout, and to the Wars inclin'd,
And hard Ligurians, a laborious Kind.
And Volscians arm'd with Iron-headed Darts.
Besides an Off-spring of undaunted Hearts,
The Decij, Marij, great Camillus came
From hence, and greater Scipio's double Name:
And mighty Caesar, whose victorious Arms,
To farthest Asia, carry fierce Alarms:
Avert unwarlike Indians from his Rome;
Triumph abroad, secure our Peace at home.
Hail, sweet Saturnian Soil! of fruitful Grain
Great Parent, greater of Illustrious Men.
For thee my tuneful Accents will I raise,
And treat of Arts disclos'd in Ancient Days:
Once more unlock for thee the sacred Spring,
And old Ascraean Verse in Roman Cities sing.
The Nature of their sev'ral Soils now see,
Their Strength, their Colour, their Fertility:
And first for Heath, and barren hilly Ground,
Where meagre Clay and flinty Stones abound;
Where the poor Soil all Succour seems to want,
Yet this suffices the Palladian Plant.
Undoubted Signs of such a Soil are found,
For here wild Olive-shoots o'respread the ground,
And heaps of Berries strew the Fields around.
[Page 79] But where the Soil, with fat'ning Moisture fill'd,
Is cloath'd with Grass, and fruitful to be till'd:
Such as in chearful Vales we view from high;
Which dripping Rocks with rowling Streams supply,
And feed with Ooze; where rising Hillocks run
In length, and open to the Southern Sun;
Where Fern succeeds, ungrateful to the Plough,
That gentle ground to gen'rous Grapes allow.
Strong Stocks of Vines it will in time produce,
And overflow the Vats with friendly Juice.
Such as our Priests in golden Goblets pour
To Gods, the Givers of the chearful hour.
Then when the bloated Thuscan blows his Horn,
And reeking Entrails are in Chargers born.
If Herds or fleecy Flocks be more thy Care,
Or Goats that graze the Field, and burn it bare:
Then seek Tarentum's Lawns, and farthest Coast,
Or such a Field as hapless Mantua lost:
Where Silver Swans sail down the wat'ry Rode,
And graze the floating Herbage of the Flood.
There Crystal Streams perpetual tenour keep,
Nor Food nor Springs are wanting to thy Sheep.
For what the Day devours, the nightly Dew
Shall to the Morn in Perly Drops renew.
Fat crumbling Earth is fitter for the Plough,
Putrid and loose above, and black below:
For Ploughing is an imitative Toil,
Resembling Nature in an easie Soil.
No Land for Seed like this, no Fields afford
So large an Income to the Village Lord:
No toiling Teams from Harvest-labour come
So late at Night, so heavy laden home.
[Page 80] The like of Forest Land is understood,
From whence the spleenful Ploughman grubs the Wood,
Which had for length of Ages idle stood.
Then Birds forsake the Ruines of their Seat,
And flying from their Nests their Callow Young forget.
The course lean Gravel, on the Mountain sides,
Scarce dewy Bev'rage for the Bees provides:
Nor Chalk nor crumbling Stones, the food of Snakes,
That work in hollow Earth their winding Tracts.
The Soil exhaling Clouds of subtile Dews,
Imbibing moisture which with ease she spews;
Which rusts not Iron, and whose Mold is clean,
Well cloath'd with chearful Grass, and ever green,
Is good for Olives and aspiring Vines;
Embracing Husband Elms in am'rous twines,
Is fit for feeding Cattle, fit to sowe,
And equal to the Pasture and the Plough.
Such is the Soil of fat Campanian Fields,
Such large increase Vesuvian Nola yields:
And such a Country cou'd Acerra boast,
Till Clanius overflow'd th' unhappy Coast.
I teach thee next the diff'ring Soils to know;
The light for Vines, the heavyer for the Plough.
Chuse first a place for such a purpose fit,
There dig the solid Earth, and sink a Pit:
Next fill the hole with its own Earth agen,
And trample with thy Feet, and tread it in:
Then if it rise not to the former height
Of superfice, conclude that Soil is light;
A proper Ground for Pasturage and Vines.
But if the sullen Earth, so press'd, repines
Within its native Mansion to retire,
And stays without, a heap of heavy Mire;


To George London of his maties: Royall Garden in St James^'s Park Gent.

Geo▪ 2 L [...]
'Tis good for Arable, a Glebe that asks
Tough Teams of Oxen, and laborious Tasks.
Salt Earth and bitter are not fit to sow,
Nor will be tam'd or mended with the Plough.
Sweet Grapes degen'rate there, and Fruits declin'd
From their first flav'rous Taste, renounce their Kind.
This Truth by sure Experiment is try'd;
For first an Ofier Colendar provide
Of Twigs thick wrought, (such toiling Peasants twine,
When thro' streight Passages they strein their Wine;)
In this close Vessel place that Earth accurs'd,
But fill'd brimful with wholsom Water first;
Then run it through, the Drops will rope around,
And by the bitter Taste disclose the Ground.
The fatter Earth by handling we may find,
With Ease distinguish'd from the meagre Kind:
Poor Soil will crumble into Dust, the Rich
will to the Fingers cleave like clammy Pitch:
Moist Earth produces Corn and Grass, but both
Too rank and too luxuriant in their Growth.
Let not my Land so large a Promise boast,
Lest the lank Ears in length of Stem be lost.
The heavier Earth is by her Weight betray'd,
The lighter in the poising Hand is weigh'd:
'Tis easy to distinguish by the Sight
The Colour of the Soil, and black from white.
But the cold Ground is difficult to know,
Yet this the Plants that prosper there, will show;
Black Ivy, Pitch Trees, and the baleful Yeugh.
These Rules consider'd well, with early Care,
The Vineyard destin'd for thy Vines prepare:
But, long before the Planting, dig the Ground,
With Furrows deep that cast a rising Mound:
[Page 82] The Clods, expos'd to Winter Winds, will bake:
For putrid Earth will best in Vineyards take,
And hoary Frosts, after the painful Toyl
Of delving Hinds, will rot the Mellow Soil.
Some Peasants, not t' omit the nicest Care,
Of the same Soil their Nursery prepare,
With that of their Plantation; lest the Tree
Translated, should not with the Soil agree.
Beside, to plant it as it was, they mark
The Heav'ns four Quarters on the tender Bark;
And to the North or South restore the Side,
Which at their Birth did Heat or Cold abide.
So strong is Custom; such Effects can Use
In tender Souls of pliant Plants produce.
Chuse next a Province, for thy Vineyards Reign,
On Hills above, or in the lowly Plain:
If fertile Fields or Valleys be thy Choice,
Plant thick, for bounteous Bacchus will rejoice
In close Plantations there: But if the Vine
On rising Ground be plac'd, or Hills supine,
Extend thy loose Battalions largely wide,
Opening thy Ranks and Files on either Side:
But marshall'd all in order as they Stand,
And let no Souldier straggle from his Band.
As Legions in the Field their Front display,
To try the Fortune of some doubtful Day,
And move to meet their Foes with sober Pace,
Strict to their Figure, tho' in wider Space;
Before the Battel joins, while from afar
The Field yet glitters with the Pomp of War,
And equal Mars, like an impartial Lord,
Leaves all to Fortune, and the dint of Sword;
So let thy Vines in Intervals be set,
But not their Rural Discipline forget:
[Page 83] Indulge their Width, and add a roomy Space,
That their extreamest Lines may scarce embrace:
Nor this alone t'indulge a vain Delight,
And make a pleasing Prospect for the Sight:
But, for the Ground it self this only Way,
Can equal Vigour to the Plants convey;
Which crowded, want the room, their Branches to display.
How deep they must be planted, woud'st thou know?
In shallow Furrows Vines securely grow.
Not so the rest of Plants; for Joves own Tree,
That holds the Woods in awful Sov'raignty,
Requires a depth of Lodging in the Ground;
And, next the lower Skies, a Bed profound:
High as his topmost Boughs to Heav'n ascend,
So low his Roots to Hell's Dominion tend.
Therefore, nor Winds, nor Winters Rage o'rethrows
His bulky Body, but unmov'd he grows.
For length of Ages lasts his happy Reign,
And Lives of Mortal Man contend in vain.
Full in the midst of his own Strength he stands,
Stretching his brawny Arms, and leafy Hands;
His Shade protects the Plains, his Head the Hills commands
The hurtful Hazle in thy Vineyard shun;
Nor plant it to receive the setting Sun:
Nor break the topmost Branches from the Tree;
Nor prune, with blunted Knife, the Progeny.
Root up wild Olives from thy labour'd Lands:
For sparkling Fire, from Hinds unwary Hands,
Is often scatter'd o're their unctuous rinds,
And after spread abroad by raging Winds.
For first the smouldring Flame the Trunk receives,
Ascending thence, it crackles in the Leaves:
At length victorious to the Top aspires,
Involving all the Wood with smoky Fires,
[Page 84] But most, when driv'n by Winds, the flaming Storm,
Of the long Files destroys the beauteous Form.
In Ashes then th' unhappy Vineyard lies,
Nor will the blasted Plants from Ruin rise:
Nor will the wither'd Stock be green again,
But the wild Olive shoots, and shades th' ungrateful Plain.
Be not seduc'd with Wisdom's empty Shows,
To stir the peaceful Ground when Boreas blows.
When Winter Frosts constrain the Field with Cold,
The fainty Root can take no steady hold.
But when the Golden Spring reveals the Year,
And the white Bird returns, whom Serpents fear:
That Season deem the best to plant thy Vines.
Next that, is when Autumnal Warmth declines:
E're Heat is quite decay'd, or Cold begun,
Or Capricorn admits the Winter Sun.
The Spring adorns the Woods, renews the Leaves;
The Womb of Earth the genial Seed receives.
For then Almighty Jove descends, and pours
Into his buxom Bride his fruitful Show'rs.
And mixing his large Limbs with hers, he feeds
Her Births with kindly Juice, and fosters teeming Seeds.
Then joyous Birds frequent the lonely Grove,
And Beasts, by Nature stung, renew their Love.
Then Fields the Blades of bury'd Corn disclose,
And while the balmy Western Spirit blows,
Earth to the Breath her Bosom dares expose.
With kindly Moisture then the Plants abound,
The Grass securely springs above the Ground;
The tender Twig shoots upward to the Skies,
And on the Faith of the new Sun relies.
The swerving Vines on the tall Elms prevail,
Unhurt by Southern Show'rs or Northern Hail.
[Page 85] They spread their Gems the genial Warmth to share:
And boldly trust their Buds in open Air.
In this soft Season (so sweet Poets sing)
The World was hatch'd by Heav'ns Imperial King:
In prime of all the Year, and Holydays of Spring.
Earth knew no Season then, but Spring alone:
On the moist Ground the Sun serenely shone:
Then Winter Winds their blustring Rage forbear,
And in a silent Pomp proceeds the mighty Year.
Sheep soon were sent to people flow'ry Fields,
And salvage Beasts were banish'd into Wilds.
Then Heav'n was lighted up with Stars; and Man,
A hard relentless Race, from Stones began.
Nor cou'd the tender, new Creation, bear
Th' excessive Heats or Coldness of the Year:
But chill'd by Winter, or by Summer fir'd,
The middle Temper of the Spring requir'd.
When Infant Nature was with Quiet crown'd,
And Heav'ns Indulgence brooded on the Ground.
For what remains, in depth of Earth secure
Thy cover'd Plants, and dung with hot Manure;
And Shells and Gravel in the Ground inclose;
For thro' their hollow Chinks the Water flows:
Which, thus imbib'd, returns in misty Dews,
And steeming up, the rising Plant renews.
Some Husbandmen, of late, have found the Way,
A hilly Heap of Stones above to lay,
And press the Plants with Sherds of Potters Clay.
This Fence against immod'rate Rain they found:
Or when the Dog-star cleaves the thirsty Ground.
Be mindful when thou hast intomb'd the Shoot,
With Store of Earth around to feed the Root;
With Iron Teeth of Rakes and Prongs, to move
The crusted Earth, and loosen it above.
[Page 86] Then exercise thy strugling Steers to plough
Betwixt thy Vines, and teach thy feeble Row
To mount on Reeds, and Wands, and, upward led,
On Ashen Poles to raise their forky Head.
On these new Crutches let them learn to walk,
Till swerving upwards, with a stronger Stalk,
They brave the Winds, and, clinging to their Gu
On tops of Elms at length triumphant ride.
But in their tender Nonage, while they spread
Their Springing Leafs, and lift their Infant Head,
And upward while they shoot in open Air,
Indulge their Child-hood, and the Nurseling spare.
Nor exercise thy Rage on new-born Life,
But let thy Hand supply the Pruning-knife;
And crop luxuriant Straglers, nor be loath
To strip the Branches of their leafy Growth:
But when the rooted Vines, with steady Hold,
Can clasp their Elms, then Husbandman be bold
To lop the disobedient Boughs, that stray'd
Beyond their Ranks: let crooked Steel invade
The lawless Troops, which Discipline disclaim,
And their superfluous Growth with Rigour tame.
Next, fenc'd with Hedges and deep Ditches round,
Exclude th' incroaching Cattle from thy Ground,
While yet the tender Gems but just appear,
Unable to sustain th' uncertain Year;
Whose Leaves are not alone foul Winter's Prey,
But oft by Summer Suns are scorch'd away;
And worse than both, become th' unworthy Browze
Of Buffal'os, salt Goats, and hungry Cows.
For not December's Frost that burns the Boughs,
Nor Dog-days parching Heat that splits the Rocks,
Are half so harmful as the greedy Flocks:
Their venom'd Bite, and Scars indented on the Stocks.

[Page] [Page]

To John Loving Esq of Little Ealing in the County of Middlesex.

Geor. 2. l. 530.
For this the Malefactor Goat was laid
On Bacchus's Altar, and his forfeit paid.
At Athens thus old Comedy began,
When round the Streets the reeling Actors ran;
In Country Villages, and crossing ways,
Contending for the Prizes of their Plays:
And glad, with Bacchus, on the grassie soil,
Leapt o're the Skins of Goats besmear'd with Oyl.
Thus Roman Youth deriv'd from ruin'd Troy,
In rude Saturnian Rhymes express their Joy:
With Taunts, and Laughter loud, their Audience please,
Deform'd with Vizards, cut from Barks of Trees:
In jolly Hymns they praise the God of Wine,
Whose Earthen Images adorn the Pine;
And there are hung on high, in honour of the Vine:
A madness so devout the Vineyards fills.
In hollow Valleys and on rising Hills;
On what e're side he turns his honest face,
And dances in the Wind, those Fields are in his grace.
To Bacchus therefore let us tune our Lays,
And in our Mother Tongue resound his Praise.
Thin Cakes in Chargers, and a Guilty Goat,
Dragg'd by the Horns, be to his Altars brought;
Whose offer'd Entrails shall his Crime reproach,
And drip their Fatness from the Hazle Broach.
To dress thy Vines new labour is requir'd,
Nor must the painful Husbandman be tir'd:
For thrice, at least, in Compass of the Year,
Thy Vineyard must employ the sturdy Steer,
To turn the Glebe; besides thy daily pain
To break the Clods, and make the Surface plain:
T'unload the Branches or the Leaves to thin,
That suck the Vital Moisture of the Vine.
[Page 88] Thus in a Circle runs the Peasant's Pain,
And the Year rowls within it self again.
Ev'n in the lowest Months, when Storms have shed
From Vines the hairy Honours of their Head;
Not then the drudging Hind his Labour ends;
But to the coming Year his Care extends:
Ev'n then the naked Vine he persecutes;
His Pruning Knife at once Reforms and Cuts.
Be first to dig the Ground, be first to burn
The Branches lopt, and first the Props return
Into thy House, that bore the burden'd Vines;
But last to reap the Vintage of thy Wines.
Twice in the Year luxuriant Leaves o'reshade
The incumber'd Vine; rough Brambles twice invade:
Hard Labour both! commend the large excess
Of spacious Vineyards; cultivate the less.
Besides, in Woods the Shrubs of prickly Thorn,
Sallows and Reeds, on Banks of Rivers born,
Remain to cut; for Vineyards useful found,
To stay thy Vines, and fence thy fruitful Ground.
Nor when thy tender Trees at length are bound;
When peaceful Vines from Pruning Hooks are free,
When Husbands have survey'd the last degree,
And utmost Files of Plants, and order'd ev'ry Tree;
Ev'n when they sing at ease in full Content,
Insulting o're the Toils they underwent;
Yet still they find a future Task remain;
To turn the Soil, and break the Clods again:
And after all, their Joys are unsincere,
While falling Rains on ripening Grapes they fear.
Quite opposite to these are Olives found,
No dressing they require, and dread no wound;
Nor Rakes nor Harrows need, but fix'd below,
Rejoyce in open Air, and unconcerndly grow.
[Page 89] The Soil it self due Nourishment supplies:
Plough but the Furrows, and the Fruits arise:
Content with small Endeavours, 'till they spring.
Soft Peace they figure, and sweet Plenty bring:
Then Olives plant, and Hymns to Pallas sing.
Thus Apple Trees, whose Trunks are strong to bear
Their spreading Boughs, exert themselves in Air:
Want no supply, but stand secure alone,
Not trusting foreign Forces, but their own:
'Till with the ruddy freight the bending Branches groan.
Thus Trees of Nature, and each common Bush,
Uncultivated thrive, and with red Berries blush.
Vile Shrubs are shorn for Browze: the tow'ring hight
Of unctuous Trees, are Torches for the Night.
And shall we doubt, (indulging easie Sloath,)
To sow, to set, and to reform their growth?
To leave the lofty Plants; the lowly kind,
Are for the Shepherd, or the Sheep design'd.
Ev'n humble Broom and Osiers have their use,
And Shade for Sleep, and Food for Flocks produce;
Hedges for Corn, and Honey for the Bees:
Besides the pleasing Prospect of the Trees.
How goodly looks Cytorus, ever green
With Boxen Groves, with what delight are seen
Narycian Woods of Pitch, whose gloomy shade,
Seems for retreat of thoughtful Muses made!
But much more pleasing are those Fields to see,
That need not Ploughs, nor Human Industry.
Ev'n cold Caucasean Rocks with Trees are spread,
And wear green Forests on their hilly Head.
Tho' bending from the blast of Eastern Storms,
Tho' shent their Leaves, and shatter'd are their Arms;
Yet Heav'n their various Plants for use designs:
For Houses Cedars, and for Shipping Pines.
[Page 90] Cypress provides for Spokes, and Wheels of Wains:
And all for Keels of Ships, that scour the watry Plains.
Willows in Twigs are fruitful, Elms in Leaves,
The War, from stubborn Myrtle Shafts receives:
From Cornels Jav'lins, and the tougher Yeugh
Receives the bending Figure of a Bow.
Nor Box, nor Limes, without their use are made,
Smooth-grain'd, and proper for the Turner's Trade:
Which curious Hands may kerve, and Steel with Ease invade.
Light Alder stems the Po's impetuous Tide,
And Bees in hollow Oaks their Hony hide.
Now ballance, with these Gifts, the fumy Joys
Of Wine, attended with eternal Noise.
Wine urg'd to lawless Lust the Centaurs Train,
Thro' Wine they quarrell'd, and thro' Wine were slain.
Oh happy, if he knew his happy State!
The Swain, who, free from Business and Debate;
Receives his easy Food from Nature's Hand,
And just Returns of cultivated Land!
No Palace, with a lofty Gate, he wants,
T' admit the Tydes of early Visitants.
With eager Eyes devouring, as they pass,
The breathing Figures of Corinthian Brass.
No Statues threaten, from high Pedestals;
No Persian Arras hides his homely Walls,
With Antick Vests; which thro' their shady fold,
Betray the Streaks of ill dissembl'd Gold.
He boasts no Wool, whose native white is dy'd
With Purple Poyson of Assyrian Pride.
No costly Drugs of Araby defile,
With foreign Scents, the Sweetness of his Oyl.
But easie Quiet, a secure Retreat,
A harmless Life that knows not how to cheat,
[Page 91] With homebred Plenty the rich Owner bless,
And rural Pleasures crown his Happiness.
Unvex'd with Quarrels, undisturb'd with Noise,
The Country King his peaceful Realm enjoys:
Cool Grots, and living Lakes, the Flow'ry Pride
Of Meads, and Streams that thro' the Valley glide;
And shady Groves that easie Sleep invite,
And after toilsome Days, a sweet repose at Night.
Wild Beasts of Nature in his Woods abound;
And Youth, of Labour patient, plow the Ground,
Inur'd to Hardship, and to homely Fare.
Nor venerable Age is wanting there,
In great Examples to the Youthful Train:
Nor are the Gods ador'd with Rites prophane.
From hence Astrea took her Flight, and here
the Prints of her departing Steps appear.
Ye sacred Muses, with whose Beauty fir'd,
My Soul is ravish'd, and my Brain inspir'd:
Whose Priest I am, whose holy Fillets wear;
Wou'd you your Virgil's first Petition hear,
Give me the Ways of wandring Stars to know:
The Depths of Heav'n above, and Earth below.
Teach me the various Labours of the Moon,
And whence proceed th' Eclipses of the Sun.
Why flowing Tides prevail upon the Main,
And in what dark Recess they shrink again.
What shakes the solid Earth, what Cause delays
The Summer Nights, and shortens Winter Days.
But if my heavy Blood restrain the Flight
Of my free Soul, aspiring to the Height
Of Nature, and unclouded Fields of Light:
My next Desire is, void of Care and Strife,
To lead a soft, secure, inglorious Life.
[Page 92] A Country Cottage near a Crystal Flood,
A winding Vally, and a lofty Wood.
Some God conduct me to the sacred Shades,
Where Bacchanals are sung by Spartan Maids.
Or lift me high to Hemus hilly Crown;
Or in the Plains of Tempe lay me down:
Or lead me to some solitary Place,
And cover my Retreat from Human Race.
Happy the Man, who, studying Nature's Laws,
Thro' known Effects can trace the secret Cause.
His Mind possessing, in a quiet state,
Fearless of Fortune, and resign'd to Fate.
And happy too is he, who decks the Bow'rs
Of Sylvans, and adores the Rural Pow'rs:
Whose Mind, unmov'd, the Bribes of Courts can see;
Their glitt'ring Baits, and Purple Slavery.
Nor hopes the People's Praise, nor fears their Frown,
Nor, when contending Kindred tear the Crown,
Will set up one, or pull another down.
Without Concern he hears, but hears from far,
Of Tumults and Descents, and distant War:
Nor with a Superstitious Fear is aw'd,
For what befals at home, or what abroad.
Nor envies he the Rich their heapy Store,
Nor with a helpless Hand condoles the Poor.
He feeds on Fruits, which, of their own accord,
The willing Ground, and laden Trees afford.
From his lov'd Home no Lucre him can draw;
The Senates mad Decrees he never saw;
Nor heard, at bawling Bars, corrupted Law.
Some to the Seas, and some to Camps resort,
And some with Impudence invade the Court.
In foreign Countries others seek Renown,
With Wars and Taxes others waste their own.
[Page 93] And Houses burn, and houshold Gods deface,
To drink in Bowls which glitt'ring Gems enchase:
To loll on Couches, rich with Cytron Steds,
And lay their guilty Limbs in Tyrian Beds.
This Wretch in Earth intombs his Golden Ore,
Hov'ring and brooding on his bury'd Store.
Some Patriot Fools to pop'lar Praise aspire,
By Publick Speeches, which worse Fools admire.
While from both Benches, with redoubl'd Sounds,
Th' Applause of Lords and Commoners abounds.
Some through Ambition, or thro' Thirst of Gold;
Have slain their Brothers, or their Country sold:
And leaving their sweet Homes, in Exile run
To Lands that lye beneath another Sun.
The Peasant, innocent of all these Ills,
With crooked Ploughs the fertile Fallows tills;
And the round Year with daily Labour fills.
From hence the Country Markets are supply'd:
Enough remains for houshold Charge beside;
His Wife, and tender Children to sustain,
And gratefully to feed his dumb deserving Train.
Nor cease his Labours, till the Yellow Field
A full return of bearded Harvest yield:
A Crop so plenteous, as the Land to load,
O'recome the crowded Barns, and lodge on Ricks abroad.
Thus ev'ry sev'ral Season is employ'd:
Some spent in Toyl, and some in Ease enjoy'd.
The yeaning Ewes prevent the springing Year;
The laded Boughs their Fruits in Autumn bear.
'Tis then the Vine her liquid Harvest yields,
Bak'd in the Sun-shine of ascending Fields.
The Winter comes, and then the falling Mast,
For greedy Swine, provides a full repast.
[Page 94] Then Olives, ground in Mills, their fatness boast,
And Winter Fruits are mellow'd by the Frost.
His Cares are eas'd with Intervals of bliss,
His little Children climbing for a Kiss,
Welcome their Father's late return at Night;
His faithful Bed is crown'd with chast delight.
His Kine with swelling Udders ready stand,
And, lowing for the Pail, invite the Milker's hand.
His wanton Kids, with budding Horns prepar'd,
Fight harmless Battels in his homely Yard:
Himself in Rustick Pomp, on Holy-days,
To Rural Pow'rs a just Oblation pays;
And on the Green his careless Limbs displays.
The Hearth is in the midst; the Herdsmen round
The chearful Fire, provoke his health in Goblets crown'd.
He calls on Bacchus, and propounds the Prize;
The Groom his Fellow Groom at Buts defies;
And bends his Bow, and levels with his Eyes.
Or stript for Wrestling, smears his Limbs with Oyl,
And watches with a trip his Foe to foil.
Such was the life the frugal Sabines led;
So Remus and his Brother God were bred:
From whom th' austere Etrurian Virtue rose,
And this rude life our homely Fathers chose.
Old Rome from such a Race deriv'd her birth,
(The Seat of Empire, and the conquer'd Earth:)
Which now on sev'n high Hills triumphant reigns,
And in that compass all the World contains.
E're Saturn's Rebel Son usurp'd the Skies,
When Beasts were only slain for Sacrifice:
While peaceful Crete enjoy'd her ancient Lord,
E're sounding Hammers forg'd th' inhumane Sword:


To William Walsh of Abberley in Worcester-shire Esq

Geo: 2. l. 760.
E're hollow Drums were beat, before the Breath
Of brazen Trumpets rung the Peals of Death;
The good old God his Hunger did asswage
With Roots and Herbs, and gave the Golden Age.
But over labour'd with so long a Course,
Tis time to set at ease the smoaking Horse.

The Third Book of the Georgics.

The Argument.

This Book begins with an Invocation of some Rural Deities, and a Compliment to Augustus: After which Virgil directs himself to Mecaenas, and enters on his Subject. He lays down Rules for the Breeding and Management of Horses, Oxen, Sheep, Goats, and Dogs: And interweaves several pleasant Descriptions of a Chariot-Race, of the Battel of the Bulls, of the Force of Love, and of the Scythian Winter. In the latter part of the Book he relates the Diseases incident to Cattel; and ends with the Description of a fatal Murrain that formerly rag'd among the Alps.

THY Fields, propitious Pales, I reherse;
And sing thy Pastures in no vulgar Verse,
Amphrysian Shepherd; the Lycaean Woods;
Arcadia's flow'ry Plains, and pleasing Floods.
5 All other Themes, that careless Minds invite,
Are worn with use; unworthy me to write.
Busiri's Altars, and the dire Decrees
Of hard Euristheus, ev'ry Reader sees:
Hylas the Boy, Latona's erring Isle,
And Pelop's Iv'ry Shoulder, and his Toil
For fair Hippodamé, with all the rest
Of Grecian Tales, by Poets are exprest:
New ways I must attempt, my groveling Name
To raise aloft, and wing my flight to Fame.
I, first of Romans shall in Triumph come
From conquer'd Greece, and bring her Trophies home:
With Foreign Spoils adorn my native place;
And with Idume's Palms, my Mantua grace.
Of Parian Stone a Temple will I raise,
Where the slow Mincius through the Vally strays:


To the most Noble and Illustrious Prince Charles Duke of Richmond and Lenox Earl of Marsh and Darnley Baron of Siterington Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter.

Geo▪ 3 l 1
Where cooling Streams invite the Flocks to drink:
And Reeds defend the winding Waters Brink.
Full in the midst shall mighty Caesar stand:
Hold the chief Honours; and the Dome command.
Then I, conspicuous in my Tyrian Gown,
(Submitting to his Godhead my Renown)
A hundred Coursers from the Goal will drive;
The rival Chariots in the Race shall strive.
All Greece shall flock from far, my Games to see;
The Whorlbat, and the rapid Race, shall be
Reserv'd for Caesar, and ordain'd by me.
My self, with Olive crown'd, the Gifts will bear:
Ev'n now methinks the publick shouts I hear:
The passing Pageants, and the Pomps appear.
I, to the Temple will conduct the Crew:
The Sacrifice and Sacrificers view;
From thence return, attended with my Train,
Where the proud Theatres disclose the Scene:
Which interwoven Britains seem to raise,
And shew the Triumph which their Shame displays.
High o're the Gate, in Elephant and Gold,
The Crowd shall Caesar's Indian War behold;
The Nile shall flow beneath; and on the side,
His shatter'd Ships on Brazen Pillars ride.
Next him Niphates with inverted Urn,
And dropping Sedge, shall his Armenia mourn;
And Asian Cities in our Triumph born.
With backward Bows the Parthians shall be there;
And, spurring from the Fight confess their Fear.
A double Wreath shall crown our Caesar's Brows;
Two differing Trophies, from two different Foes.
Europe with Africk in his Fame shall join;
But neither Shoar his Conquest shall confine.
[Page 98] The Parian Marble, there, shall feem to move,
In breathing Statues, not unworthy Jove.
Resembling Heroes, whose Etherial Root,
Is Jove himself, and Caesar is the Fruit.
Tros and his Race the Sculptor shall employ;
And he the God, who built the Walls of Troy.
Envy her self at last, grown pale and dumb;
(By Caesar combated and overcome)
Shall give her Hands; and fear the curling Snakes
Of lashing Furies, and the burning Lakes:
The Pains of famisht Tantalus shall feel;
And Sisyphus that labours up the Hill
The rowling Rock in vain; and curst Ixion's Wheel.
Mean time we must pursue the Sylvan Lands;
(Th' abode of Nymphs,) untouch'd by former Hands:
For such, Maecenas, are thy hard Commands.
Without thee nothing lofty can I sing;
Come then, and with thy self thy Genius bring:
With which inspir'd, I brook no dull delay.
Cytheron loudly calls me to my way;
Thy Hounds, Taygetus, open and pursue their Prey.
High Epidaurus urges on my speed,
Fam'd for his Hills, and for his Horses breed:
From Hills and Dales the chearful Cries rebound:
For Echo hunts along; and propagates the sound.
A time will come, when my maturer Muse,
In Caesar's Wars, a Nobler Theme shall chuse.
And through more Ages bear my Soveraign's Praise;
Than have from Tithon past to Caesar's Days.
The Generous Youth, who studious of the Prize,
The Race of running Coursers multiplies;
Or to the Plough the sturdy Bullock breeds,
May know that from the Dam the worth of each proceeds:
[Page 99] The Mother Cow must wear a low'ring look,
Sour headed, strongly neck'd, to bear the Yoke.
Her double Dew-lap from her Chin descends:
And at her Thighs the pondrous burthen ends.
Long are her sides and large, her Limbs are great;
Rough are her Ears, and broad her horny Feet.
Her Colour shining Black, but fleck'd with white;
She tosses from the Yoke; provokes the Fight:
She rises in her Gate, is free from Fears;
And in her Face a Bull's Resemblance bears:
Her ample Forehead with a Star is crown'd;
And with her length of Tail she sweeps the Ground.
The Bull's Insult at Four she may sustain;
But, after Ten, from Nuptial Rites refrain.
Six Seasons use; but then release the Cow,
Unfit for Love, and for the lab'ring Plough.
Now while their Youth is fill'd with kindly Fire,
Submit thy Females to the lusty Sire:
Watch the quick motions of the frisking Tail,
Then serve their fury with the rushing Male,
Indulging Pleasure lest the Breed shou'd fail.
In Youth alone, unhappy Mortals live;
But, ah! the mighty Bliss is fugitive;
Discolour'd Sickness, anxious Labours come,
And Age, and Death's inexorable Doom.
Yearly thy Herds in vigour will impair;
Recruit and mend 'em with thy Yearly care:
Still propagate, for still they fall away,
'Tis Prudence to prevent th' entire decay.
Like Diligence requires the Courser's Race;
In early Choice; and for a longer space.
The Colt, that for a Stallion is design'd,
By sure Presages shows his generous Kind,
Of able Body, sound of Limb and Wind.
[Page 100] Upright he walks, on Pasterns firm and straight;
His Motions easy; prancing in his Gate.
The first to lead the Way, to tempt the Flood;
To pass the Bridge unknown, nor fear the trembling Wood.
Dauntless at empty Noises; lofty neck'd;
Sharp headed, Barrel belly'd, broadly back'd.
Brawny his Chest, and deep, his Colour gray;
For Beauty dappled, or the brightest Bay:
Faint white and Dun will scarce the Rearing pay.
The fiery Courser, when he hears from far,
The sprightly Trumpet, and the shouts of War,
Pricks up his Ears; and trembling with Delight,
Shifts place, and paws; and hopes the promis'd Fight.
On his right Shoulder his thick Mane reclin'd,
Ruffles at speed; and dances in the Wind.
His horny Hoofs are jetty black, and round;
His Chine is double; starting, with a bound
He turns the Turf, and shakes the solid Ground.
Fire from his Eyes, Clouds from his Nostrils flow:
He bears his Rider headlong on the Foe.
Such was the Steed in Graecian Poets fam'd,
Proud Cyllarus, by Spartan Castor tam'd:
Such Coursers bore to Fight the God of Thrace;
And such, Achilles, was thy warlike Race.
In such a Shape, old Saturn did restrain
His Heav'nly Limbs, and flow'd with such a Mane.
When, half surpriz'd, and fearing to be seen,
The Leacher gallop'd from his Jealous Queen:
Ran up the ridges of the Rocks amain;
And with shrill Neighings fill'd the Neigb'ring Plain.
But worn with Years, when dire Diseases come,
Then hide his not Ignoble Age, at Home:
In Peace t' enjoy his former Palms and Pains;
And gratefully be kind to his Remains.
[Page 101] For when his Blood no Youthful Spirits move,
He languishes and labours in his Love.
And when the sprightly Seed shou'd swiftly come,
Dribling he drudges, and defrauds the Womb.
In vain he burns, like fainty Stubble Fires;
And in himself his former self requires.
His Age and Courage weigh: Nor those alone,
But note his Father's Virtues with his own;
Observe if he disdains to yield the Prize;
Of Loss impatient, proud of Victories.
Hast thou beheld, when from the Goal they start,
The Youthful Charioteers with beating Heart,
Rush to the Race; and panting, scarcely bear
Th' extreams of feaverish hope, and chilling Fear;
Stoop to the Reins, and lash with all their force;
The flying Chariot kindles in the Course:
And now aloft; and now alow they fly,
Now seem to sink in Earth, and now to touch the Sky;
No stop, no stay, but Clouds of Sand arise;
Spurn'd, and cast backward on the Follower's Eyes.
The hindmost blows the foam upon the first:
Such is the love of Praise, an Honourable Thirst.
Bold Ericthonius was the first, who join'd
Four Horses for the rapid Race design'd;
And o're the dusty Wheels presiding sate;
The Lapythae to Chariots, added State
Of Bits and Bridles; taught the Steed to bound;
To run the Ring, and trace the mazy round.
To stop, to fly, the Rules of War to know:
T' obey the Rider; and to dare the Foe.
To chuse a Youthful Steed, with Courage fir'd;
To breed him, break him, back him, are requir'd
Experienc'd Masters; and in sundry Ways:
Their Labours equal, and alike their Praise.
[Page 102] But once again the batter'd Horse beware,
The weak old Stallion will deceive thy care.
Though Famous in his Youth for force and speed,
Or was of Argos or Epirian breed,
Or did from Neptune's Race, or from himself proceed.
These things premis'd, when now the Nuptial time
Approaches for the stately Steed to climb;
With Food inable him, to make his Court;
Distend his Chine, and pamper him for sport.
Feed him with Herbs, whatever thou can'st find,
Of generous warmth; and of salacious kind.
Then Water him, and (drinking what he can)
Encourage him to thirst again, with Bran.
Instructed thus, produce him to the Faire;
And joyn in Wedlock to the longing Mare.
For if the Sire be faint, or out of case,
He will be copied in his famish'd Race:
And sink beneath the pleasing Task assign'd;
(For all's too little for the craving Kind.)
As for the Females, with industrious care
Take down their Mettle, keep 'em lean and bare;
When conscious of their past delight, and keen
To take the leap, and prove the sport agen;
With scanty measure then supply their food;
And, when athirst, restrain 'em from the flood:
Their Bodies harrass, sink 'em when they run;
And fry their melting Marrow in the Sun.
Starve 'em, when Barns beneath their burthen groan,
And winnow'd Chaff, by western winds is blown.
For Fear the rankness of the swelling Womb
Shou'd scant the passage, and confine the room.
Lest the Fat Furrows shou'd the sense destroy
Of Genial Lust; and dull the Seat of Joy.
[Page 103] But let 'em suck the Seed with greedy force;
And there enclose the Vigour of the Horse.
No more of Coursers yet: We now proceed
To teeming Kine; and their laborious breed.
First let 'em run at large; and never know
The taming Yoak, or draw the crooked Plough.
Let 'em not leap the Ditch, or swim the Flood;
Or lumber o're the Meads; or cross the Wood.
But range the Forrest, by the silver side
Of some cool Stream, where Nature shall provide
Green Grass and fat'ning Clover for their fare!
And Mossy Caverns for their Evening lare:
With Rocks above, to shield the sharp Nocturnal air.
About th' Alburnian Groves, with Holly green,
Of winged Insects mighty swarms are seen:
This flying Plague (to mark its quality;)
Oestros the Grecians call: Asylus, we:
A fierce loud buzzing Breez; their stings draw blood;
And drive the Cattel gadding through the Wood.
Seiz'd with unusual pains, they loudly cry,
Tanagrus hastens thence; and leaves his Channel dry.
This Curse the jealous Juno did invent;
And first imploy'd for Io's Punishment.
To shun this Ill, the cunning Leach ordains
In Summer's Sultry Heats (for then it reigns)
To feed the Females, e're the Sun arise,
Or late at Night, when Stars adorn the Skies.
When she has calv'd, then set the Dam aside;
And for the tender Progeny provide.
Distinguish all betimes, with branding Fire;
To note the Tribe, the Lineage, and The Sire.
Whom to reserve for Husband of the Herd;
Or who shall be to Sacrifice preferr'd;
[Page 104] Or whom thou shalt to turn thy Glebe allow;
To harrow Furrows, and sustain the Plough:
The rest, for whom no Lot is yet decreed,
May run in Pastures, and at pleasure feed.
The Calf, by Nature and by Genius made
To turn the Glebe, breed to the Rural Trade.
Set him betimes to School; and let him be
Instructed there in Rules of Husbandry:
While yet his youth is flexible and green;
Nor bad Examples of the World has seen.
Early begin the stubborn Child to break;
For his soft Neck, a supple Collar make
Of bending Osiers; and (with time and care
Enur'd that easie Servitude to bear)
Thy flattering Method on the Youth pursue:
Join'd with his School-Fellows, by two and two,
Perswade 'em first to lead an empty Wheel,
That scarce the dust can raise; or they can feel:
In length of Time produce the lab'ring Yoke
And shining Shares, that make the Furrow smoak.
E're the licentious Youth be thus restrain'd,
Or Moral Precepts on their Minds have gain'd;
Their wanton appetites not only feed
With delicates of Leaves, and marshy Weed,
But with thy Sickle reap the rankest land:
And minister the blade, with bounteous hand.
Nor be with harmful parsimony won
To follow what our homely Sires have done;
Who fill'd the Pail with Beestings of the Cow:
But all her Udder to the Calf allow.
If to the Warlike Steed thy Studies bend,
Or for the Prize in Chariots to contend;
Near Pisa's Flood the rapid Wheels to guide,
Or in Olympian Groves aloft to ride,
[Page 105] The generous Labours of the Courser, first
Must be with sight of Arms and sounds of Trumpets nurst:
Inur'd the groaning Axle-tree to bear;
And let him clashing Whips in Stables hear.
Sooth him with Praise, and make him understand
The loud Applauses of his Master's Hand:
This from his Weaning, let him well be taught;
And then betimes in a soft Snaffle wrought:
Before his tender Joints with Nerves are knit;
Guiltless of Arms, and trembling at the Bit.
But when to four full Springs his years advance,
Teach him to run the round, with Pride to prance;
And (rightly manag'd) equal time to beat;
To turn, to bound in measure; and Curvet.
Let him, to this, with easie pains be brought:
And seem to labour, when he labours not.
Thus, form'd for speed, he challenges the Wind;
And leaves the Scythian Arrow far behind:
He scours along the Field, with loosen'd Reins;
And treads so light, he scarcely prints the Plains.
Like Boreas in his Race, when rushing forth,
He sweeps the Skies, and clears the cloudy North:
The waving Harvest bends beneath his blast;
The Forest shakes, the Groves their Honours cast;
He flies aloft, and with impetuous roar
Pursues the foaming Surges to the Shoar.
Thus o're th' Elean Plains, thy well-breath'd Horse
Sustains the goring Spurs, and wins the Course.
Or, bred to Belgian Waggons, leads the Way;
Untir'd at night, and chearful all the Day.
When once he's broken, feed him full and high:
Indulge his Growth, and his gaunt sides supply.
Before his Training, keep him poor and low;
For his stout Stomach with his Food will grow;
[Page 106] The pamper'd Colt will Discipline disdain,
Impatient of the Lash, and restiff to the Rein.
Wou'dst thou their Courage and their Strength im­prove,
Too soon they must not feel the stings of Love.
Whether the Bull or Courser be thy Care,
Let him not leap the Cow, nor mount the Mare.
The youthful Bull must wander in the Wood;
Behind the Mountain, or beyond the Flood:
Or, in the Stall at home his Fodder find;
Far from the Charms of that alluring Kind.
With two fair Eyes his Mistress burns his Breast;
He looks, and languishes, and leaves his Rest;
Forsakes his Food, and pining for the Lass,
Is joyless of the Grove, and spurns the growing grass.
The soft Seducer, with enticing Looks,
The bellowing Rivals to the Fight provokes.
A beauteous Heifer in the Woods is bred;
The stooping Warriours, aiming Head to Head,
Engage their clashing Horns; with dreadful Sound
The Forest rattles, and the Rocks rebound.
They fence, they push, and pushing loudly roar;
Their Dewlaps and their Sides are bath'd in Gore.
Nor when the War is over, is it Peace;
Nor will the vanquish'd Bull his Claim release:
But feeding in his Breast his ancient Fires,
And cursing Fate, from his proud Foe retires.
Driv'n from his Native Land, to foreign Grounds,
He with a gen'rous Rage resents his Wounds;
His ignominious Flight, the Victor's boast,
And more than both, the Loves, which unreveng'd he lost.
Often he turns his Eyes, and, with a Groan,
Surveys the pleasing Kingdoms, once his own.


To Sr Iustinian Isham of Lamport in Northampton Shire Barronet

Geo 3. L 340.
And therefore to repair his Strength he tries:
Hardning his Limbs with painful Exercise,
And rough upon the flinty Rock he lies.
On prickly Leaves, and on sharp Herbs he feeds,
Then to the Prelude of a War proceeds.
His Horns, yet sore, he tries against a Tree:
And meditates his absent Enemy.
He snuffs the Wind, his heels the Sand excite;
But, when he stands collected in his might,
He roars, and promises a more successful Fight.
Then, to redeem his Honour at a blow,
He moves his Camp, to meet his careless Foe.
Not with more Madness, rolling from afar,
The spumy Waves proclaim the watry War.
And mounting upwards, with a mighty Roar,
March onwards, and insult the rocky shoar.
They mate the middle Region with their height;
And fall no less, than with a Mountain's weight;
The Waters boil, and belching from below
Black Sands, as from a forceful Engine throw.
Thus every Creature, and of every Kind,
The secret Joys of sweet Coition find:
Not only Man's Imperial Race; but they
That wing the liquid Air; or swim the Sea,
Or haunt the Desart, rush into the flame:
For Love is Lord of all; and is in all the same.
'Tis with this rage, the Mother Lion stung,
Scours o're the Plain; regardless of her young:
Demanding Rites of Love; she sternly stalks;
And hunts her Lover in his lonely Walks.
'Tis then the shapeless Bear his Den forsakes;
In Woods and Fields a wild destruction makes.
Boars whet their Tusks; to battel Tygers move;
Enrag'd with Hunger, more enrag'd with Love.
[Page 108] Then wo to him, that in the desart Land
Of Lybia travels, o're the burning Sand.
The Stallion snuffs the well-known Scent afar;
And snorts and trembles for the distant Mare:
Nor Bits nor Bridles can his Rage restrain;
And rugged Rocks are interpos'd in vain:
He makes his way o're Mountains, and contemns
Unruly Torrents, and unfoorded Streams.
The bristled Boar, who feels the pleasing Wound,
New grinds his arming Tusks, and digs the Ground.
The sleepy Leacher shuts his little Eyes;
About his churning Chaps the frothy bubbles rise:
He rubs his sides against a Tree; prepares
And hardens both his Shoulders for the Wars.
What did the Youth, when Love's unerring Dart
Transfixt his Liver; and inflam'd his heart?
Alone, by night, his watry way he took;
About him, and above, the Billows broke:
The Sluces of the Skie were open spread;
And rowling Thunder rattl'd o're his Head.
The raging Tempest call'd him back in vain;
And every boding Omen of the Main.
Nor cou'd his Kindred; nor the kindly Force
Of weeping Parents, change his fatal Course.
No, not the dying Maid who must deplore
His floating Carcass on the Sestian shore.
I pass the Wars that spotted Linx's make
With their fierce Rivals, for the Females sake:
The howling Wolves, the Mastiffs amorous rage;
When ev'n the fearsul Stag dares for his Hind engage.
But far above the rest, the furious Mare,
Barr'd from the Male, is frantick with despair.
For when her pouting Vent declares her pain,
She tears the Harness, and she rends the Reyn;
[Page 109] For this; (when Venus gave them rage and pow'r)
Their Masters mangl'd Members they devour;
Of Love defrauded in their longing Hour.
For Love they force thro' Thickets of the Wood,
They climb the steepy Hills, and stem the Flood.
When at the Spring's approach their Marrow burns,
(For with the Spring their genial Warmth returns)
The Mares to Cliffs of rugged Rocks repair,
And with wide Nostrils snuff the Western Air:
When (wondrous to relate) the Parent Wind,
Without the Stallion, propagates the Kind.
Then fir'd with amorous rage, they take their Flight
Through Plains, and mount the Hills unequal height;
Nor to the North, nor to the Rising Sun,
Nor Southward to the Rainy Regions run,
But boring to the West, and hov'ring there,
With gaping Mouths, they draw prolifick air:
With which impregnate, from their Groins they shed
A slimy Juice, by false Conception bred.
The Shepherd knows it well; and calls by Name
Hippomanes, to note the Mother's Flame.
This, gather'd in the Planetary Hour,
With noxious Weeds, and spell'd with Words of pow'r▪
Dire Stepdames in the Magick Bowl infuse;
And mix, for deadly Draughts, the poys'nous Juice.
But time is lost, which never will renew,
While we too far the pleasing Path pursue;
Surveying Nature, with too nice a view.
Let this suffice for Herds: our following Care
Shall woolly Flocks, and shaggy Goats declare.
Nor can I doubt what Oyl I must bestow,
To raise my Subject from a Ground so low:
And the mean Matter which my Theme affords,
T'embellish with Magnificence of Words.
[Page 110] But the commanding Muse my Chariot guides;
Which o're the dubious Cliff securely rides:
And pleas'd I am, no beaten Road to take:
But first the way to new Discov'ries make.
Now, sacred Pales, in a lofty strain,
I sing the Rural Honours of thy Reign.
First with assiduous care, from Winter keep
Well fodder'd in the Stalls, thy tender, Sheep.
Then spread with Straw, the bedding of thy Fold;
With Fern beneath, to fend the bitter Gold.
That free from Gouts thou may'st preserve thy Care:
And clear from Scabs, produc'd by freezing Air.
Next let thy Goats officiously be nurs'd;
And led to living Streams; to quench their Thirst.
Feed 'em with Winter-brouze, and for their lare
A Cot that opens to the South prepare:
Where basking in the Sun-shine they may lye,
And the short Remnants of his Heat enjoy.
This during Winter's drisly Reign be done:
'Till the new Ram receives th' exalted Sun:
For hairy Goats of equal profit are
With woolly Sheep, and ask an equal Care.
'Tis true, the Fleece, when drunk with Tyrian Juice,
Is dearly sold; but not for needful use:
For the sallacious Goat encreases more;
And twice as largely yields her milky Store.
The still distended Udders never fail;
But when they seem exhausted swell the Pail.
Mean time the Pastor shears their hoary Beards;
And eases of their Hair, the loaden Herds.
Their Camelots, warm in Tents, the Souldier hold;
And shield the wretched Mariner from Cold.
On Shrubs they brouze, and on the bleaky Top
Of rugged Hills, the thorny Bramble crop.


To the Right Worshipfull Sr. Thomas Mompesson of Bathampton in the County of Wilts, Knight.

Geor: 3. l. 465
Attended with their Family they come
At Night unask'd, and mindful of their home;
And scarce their swelling Bags the threshold overcome.
So much the more thy diligence bestow
In depth of Winter, to defend the Snow:
By how much less the tender helpless Kind,
For their own ills, can fit Provision find.
Then minister the browze, with bounteous hand;
And open let thy Stacks all Winter stand.
But when the Western Winds with vital pow'r
Call forth the tender Grass, and budding Flower;
Then, at the last, produce in open Air
Both Flocks; and send 'em to their Summer fare.
Before the Sun, while Hesperus appears;
First let 'em sip from Herbs the pearly tears
Of Morning Dews: And after break their Fast
On Green-sword Ground; (a cool and grateful taste:)
But when the day's fourth hour has drawn the Dews,
And the Sun's sultry heat their thirst renews;
When creaking Grashoppers on Shrubs complain,
Then lead 'em to their wat'ring Troughs again.
In Summer's heat, some bending Valley find,
Clos'd from the Sun, but open to the Wind:
Or seek some ancient Oak, whose Arms extend
In ample breadth, thy Cattle to defend:
Or solitary Grove, or gloomy Glade:
To shield 'em with its venerable Shade.
Once more to wat'ring lead; and feed again
When the low Sun is sinking to the Main.
When rising Cynthia sheds her silver Dews;
And the cool Evening-breeze the Meads renews:
When Linnets fill the Woods with tunesul sound,
And hollow shoars the Halcyons Voice rebound.
Why shou'd my Muse enlarge on Lybian Swains;
Their scatter'd Cottages, and ample Plains?
Where oft the Flocks, without a Leader stray;
Or through continu'd Desarts take their way;
And, feeding, add the length of Night to day.
Whole Months they wander, grazing as they go;
Nor Folds, nor hospitable Harbour know.
Such an extent of Plains, so vast a space
Of Wilds unknown, and of untasted Grass
Allures their Eyes: The Shepherd last appears,
And with him all his Patrimony bears:
His House and household Gods! his trade of War,
His Bow and Quiver; and his trusty Cur.
Thus, under heavy Arms, the Youth of Rome
Their long laborious Marches overcome;
Chearly their tedious Travels undergo:
And pitch their sudden Camp before the Foe.
Not so the Scythian Shepherd tends his Fold;
Nor he who bears in Thrace the bitter cold:
Nor he, who treads the bleak Meotian Strand;
Or where proud Ister rouls his yellow Sand.
Early they stall their Flocks and Herds; for there
No Grass the Fields, no Leaves the Forests wear.
The frozen Earth lies buried there, below
A hilly heap, sev'n Cubits deep in Snow:
And all the West Allies of stormy Boreas blow.
The Sun from far, peeps with a sickly face;
Too weak the Clouds, and mighty Fogs to chace;
When up the Skies, he shoots his rosie Head;
Or in the ruddy Ocean seeks his Bed.
Swift Rivers, are with sudden Ice constrain'd;
And studded Wheels are on its back sustain'd.
An Hostry now sor Waggons; which before
Tall Ships of burthen, on its Bosom bore.

[Page] [Page]

To John Dormer of Rowshan in the County of Oxford Esq

Geo: 3: L 570.
The brazen Cauldrons, with the Frost are flaw'd;
The Garment, stiff with Ice, at Hearths is thaw'd.
With Axes first they cleave the Wine, and thence
By weight, the solid portions they dispence.
From Locks uncomb'd, and from the frozen Beard,
Long Isicles depend, and crackling Sounds are heard.
Mean time perpetual Sleet, and driving Snow,
Obscure the Skies, and hang on Herds below.
The starving Cattle perish in their Stalls,
Huge Oxen stand enclos'd in wint'ry Walls
Of Snow congeal'd; whole Herds are bury'd there
Of mighty Stags, and scarce their Horns appear.
The dext'rous Huntsman wounds not these afar,
With Shafts, or Darts, or makes a distant War
With Dogs; or pitches Toyls to stop their Flight:
But close engages in unequal Fight.
And while they strive in vain to make their way
Through hills of Snow, and pitifully bray;
Assaults with dint of Sword, or pointed Spears,
And homeward, on his Back, the joyful burthen bears.
The Men to subterranean Caves retire;
Secure from Cold; and crowd the chearful Fire:
With Trunks of Elms and Oaks, the Hearth they load,
Nor tempt th' inclemency of Heav'n abroad.
Their jovial Nights, in frollicks and in play
They pass, to drive the tedious Hours away.
And their cold Stomachs with crown'd Goblets cheer,
Of windy Cider, and of barmy Beer.
Such are the cold Ryphean Race; and such
The savage Scythian, and unwarlike Dutch.
Where Skins of Beasts, the rude Barbarians wear;
The spoils of Foxes, and the furry Bear.
Is Wool thy care? Let not thy Cattle go
Where Bushes are, where Burs and Thistles grow;
[Page 114] Nor in too rank a Pasture let 'em feed:
Then of the purest white select thy Breed.
Ev'n though a snowy Ram thou shalt behold,
Prefer him not in haste, for Husband to thy Fold.
But search his Mouth; and if a swarthy Tongue
Is underneath his humid Pallat hung;
Reject him, lest he darken all the Flock;
And substitute another from thy Stock.
Twas thus with Fleeces milky white (if we
May trust report,) Pan God of Arcady
Did bribe thee Cynthia; nor didst thou disdain
When call'd in woody shades, to cure a Lover's pain.
If Milk be thy design; with plenteous hand
Bring Clover-grass; and from the marshy Land
Salt Herbage for the fodd'ring Rack provide;
To fill their Bags, and swell the milky Tide:
These raise their Thirst, and to the Taste restore
The savour of the Salt, on which they fed before.
Some, when the Kids their Dams too deeply drain,
With gags and muzzles their soft Mouths restrain.
Their morning Milk, the Peasants press at Night:
Their Evening Meal, before the rising Light
To Market bear: or sparingly they steep
With seas'ning Salt, and stor'd, for Winter keep.
Nor last, forget thy faithful Dogs: but feed
With fat'ning Whey the Mastiffs gen'rous breed;
And Spartan Race: who for the Folds relief
Will prosecute with Cries the Nightly Thief:
Repulse the prouling Wolf, and hold at Bay,
The Mountain Robbers, rushing to the Prey.
With cries of Hounds, thou may'st pursue the fear
Of flying Hares, and chace the fallow Deer;
Rouze from their desart Dens, the brisl'd Rage
Of Boars, and beamy Stags in Toyls engage.
With smoak of burning Cedar scent thy Walls:
And fume with stinking Galbanum thy Stalls:
With that rank Odour from thy dwelling Place
To drive the Viper's brood, and all the venom'd Race.
For often under Stalls unmov'd, they lye,
Obscure in shades, and shunning Heav'ns broad Eye.
And Snakes, familiar, to the Hearth succeed,
Disclose their Eggs, and near the Chimny breed.
Whether, to roofy Houses they repair,
Or Sun themselves abroad in open Air,
In all abodes of pestilential Kind,
To Sheep and Oxen, and the painful Hind.
Take, Shepherd take, a plant of stubborn Oak;
And labour him with many a sturdy stroak:
Or with hard Stones, demolish from a-far
His haughty Crest, the seat of all the War.
Invade his hissing Throat, and winding spires;
'Till stretch'd in length, th' unfolded Foe retires.
He drags his Tail; and for his Head provides:
And in some secret cranny slowly glides;
But leaves expos'd to blows, his Back and batter'd sides.
In fair Calabria's Woods, a Snake is bred,
With curling Crest, and with advancing Head:
Waving he rolls, and makes a winding Track;
His Belly spotted, burnisht is his Back:
While Springs are broken, while the Southern Air
And dropping Heav'ns, the moisten'd Earth repair,
He lives on standing Lakes, and trembling Bogs,
And fills his Maw with Fish, or with loquacious Frogs.
But when, in muddy Pools, the water sinks;
And the chapt Earth is furrow'd o're with Chinks;
He leaves the Fens, and leaps upon the Ground;
And hissing, rowls his glaring Eyes around.
[Page 116] With Thirst inflam'd, impatient of the heats,
He rages in the Fields, and wide Destruction threats.
Oh let not Sleep, my closing Eyes invade,
In open Plains, or in the secret Shade,
When he, renew'd in all the speckl'd Pride
Of pompous Youth, has cast his slough aside:
And in his Summer Liv'ry rowls along:
Erect, and brandishing his forky Tongue,
Leaving his Nest, and his imperfect Young;
And thoughtless of his Egs, forgets to rear
The hopes of Poyson, for the foll'wing Year.
The Causes and the Signs shall next be told,
Of ev'ry Sickness that infects the Fold.
A scabby Tetter on their pelts will stick,
When the raw Rain has pierc'd 'em to the quick:
Or searching Frosts, have eaten through the Skin,
Or burning Isicles are lodg'd within:
Or when the Fleece is shorn, if sweat remains
Unwash'd, and soaks into their empty Veins:
When their defenceless Limbs, the Brambles tear;
Short of their Wool, and naked from the Sheer.
Good Shepherds after sheering, drench their Sheep,
And their Flocks Father (forc'd from high to leap)
Swims down the Stream, and plunges in the deep.
They oint their naked Limbs with mother'd Oyl;
Or from the Founts where living Sulphurs boyl,
They mix a Med'cine to foment their Limbs;
With Scum that on the molten Silver swims.
Fat Pitch, and black Bitumen, add to these,
Besides, the waxen labour of the Bees:
And Hellebore, and Squills deep rooted in the Seas,
Receits abound; but searching all thy Store,
The best is still at hand, to launch the Sore:

[Page] [Page]

To Fredrick Filney of Filney Hall in Hant-Shire Esq

Geo 3: L 721
And cut the Head; for till the Core be found,
The secret Vice is fed, and gathers Ground:
While making fruitless Moan, the Shepherd stands,
And, when the launching Knife requires his hands,
Vain help, with idle Pray'rs from Heav'n demands.
Deep in their Bones when Feavers fix their seat,
And rack their Limbs; and lick the vital heat;
The ready Cure to cool the raging Pain,
Is underneath the Foot to breath a Vein.
This remedy the Scythian Shepherds found:
Th' Inhabitants of Thracia's hilly Ground,
And Gelons use it; when for Drink and Food
They mix their cruddl'd Milk with Horses Blood.
But where thou seest a single Sheep remain
In shades aloof, or couch'd upon the Plain;
Or listlesly to crop the tender Grass;
Or late to lag behind, with truant pace;
Revenge the Crime; and take the Traytor's head,
E're in the faultless Flock the dire Contagion spread.
On Winter Seas we fewer Storms behold,
Than foul Diseases that infect the Fold.
Nor do those ills, on single Bodies prey;
But oft'ner bring the Nation to decay;
And sweep the present Stock, and future Hope away.
A dire Example of this Truth appears:
When, after such a length of rowling Years,
We see the naked Alps, and thin Remains
Of scatter'd Cotts, and yet unpeopl'd Plains:
Once fill'd with grazing Flocks, the Shepherds happy Reigns.
Here from the vicious Air, and sickly Skies,
A Plague did on the dumb Creation rise:
During th' Autumnal Heats th' Infection grew,
Tame Cattle, and the Beasts of Nature slew.
[Page 118] Poys'ning the Standing Lakes; and Pools Impure:
Nor was the foodful Grass in Fields secure.
Strange Death! For when the thirsty fire had drunk
Their vital Blood, and the dry Nerves were shrunk;
When the contracted Limbs were cramp'd, ev'n then
A wat'rish Humour swell'd and ooz'd agen:
Converting into Bane the kindly Juice,
Ordain'd by Nature for a better use.
The Victim Ox, that was for Altars prest,
Trim'd with white Ribbons, and with Garlands drest,
Sunk of himself, without the Gods Command:
Preventing the slow Sacrificer's Hand.
Or, by the holy Butcher, if he fell,
Th' inspected Entrails, cou'd no Fates foretel.
Nor, laid on Altars, did pure Flames arise;
But Clouds of smouldring Smoke, forbad the Sacrifice.
Scarcely the Knife was redden'd with his Gore,
Or the black Poyson stain'd the sandy Floor.
The thriven Calves in Meads their Food forsake,
And render their sweet Souls before the plenteous Rack.
The fawning Dog runs mad; the wheasing Swine
With Coughs is choak'd; and labours from the Chine:
The Victor Horse, forgetful of his Food,
The Palm renounces, and abhors the Flood.
He paws the Ground, and on his hanging Ears
A doubtful Sweat in clammy drops appears:
Parch'd is his Hide, and rugged are his Hairs.
Such are the Symptoms of the young Disease;
But in time's process, when his pains encrease,
He rouls his mournful Eyes, he deeply groans
With patient sobbing, and with manly Moans.
He heaves for Breath: which, from his Lungs supply'd,
And fetch'd from far, distends his lab'ring side.
[Page 119] To his rough Palat, his dry Tongue succeeds;
And roapy Gore, he from his Nostrils bleeds.
A Drench of Wine has with success been us'd;
And through a Horn, the gen'rous Juice infus'd:
Which timely taken op'd his closing Jaws;
But, if too late, the Patient's death did cause.
For the too vig'rous Dose, too fiercely wrought;
And added Fury to the Srength it brought.
Recruited into Rage, he grinds his Teeth
In his own Flesh, and feeds approaching Death.
Ye Gods, to better Fate, good Men dispose;
And turn that Impious Errour on our Foes!
The Steer, who to the Yoke was bred to bow,
(Studious of Tillage; and the crooked Plough)
Falls down and dies; and dying spews a Flood
Of foamy Madness, mix'd with clotted Blood.
The Clown, who cursing Providence repines,
His Mournful Fellow from the Team disjoyns:
With many a groan, forsakes his fruitless care;
And in th' unfinish'd Furrow, leaves the Share.
The pineing Steer, no Shades of lofty Woods,
Nor flow'ry Meads can ease; nor Crystal floods
Roul'd from the Rock: His flabby Flanks decrease;
His Eyes are settled in a stupid peace.
His bulk too weighty for his Thighs is grown;
And his unweildy Neck, hangs drooping down.
Now what avails his well-deserving Toil
To turn the Glebe; or smooth the rugged Soil!
And yet he never supt in solemn State,
Nor undigested Feasts did urge his Fate;
Nor day, to Night, luxuriously did joyn;
Nor surfeited on rich Campanian Wine.
Simple his Bev'rage; homely was his Food;
The wholsom Herbage, and the running Flood:
[Page 120] No dreadful Dreams awak'd him with affright;
His Pains by Day, secur'd his Rest by Night.
'Twas then that Buffalo's, ill pair'd, were seen
To draw the Carr of Jove's Imperial Queen
For want of Oxen: and the lab'ring Swain
Scratch'd with a Rake, a Furrow for his Grain:
And cover'd, with his hand, the shallow Seed again.
He Yokes himself, and up the Hilly height,
With his own Shoulders, draws the Waggon's weight.
The nightly Wolf, that round th' Enclosure proul'd
To leap the Fence; now plots not on the Fold.
Tam'd with a sharper Pain. The fearful Doe
And flying Stag, amidst the Grey-Hounds go:
And round the Dwellings roam of Man, their fiercer Foe.
The scaly Nations of the Sea profound,
Like Shipwreck'd Carcasses are driv'n aground:
And mighty Phocae, never seen before
In shallow Streams, are stranded on the shore.
The Viper dead, within her Hole is found:
Defenceless was the shelter of the ground.
The water-Snake, whom Fish and Paddocks fed,
With staring Scales lies poyson'd in his Bed:
To Birds their Native Heav'ns contagious prove,
From Clouds they fall, and leave their Souls above.
Besides, to change their Pasture 'tis in vain:
Or trust to Physick; Physick is their Bane.
The Learned Leaches in despair depart:
And shake their Heads, desponding of their Art.
Tisiphone, let loose from under ground,
Majestically pale, now treads the round:
Before her drives Diseases, and affright;
And every moment rises to the sight:
Aspiring to the Skies; encroaching on the light.
[Page 121] The Rivers and their Banks, and Hills around,
With lowings, and with dying Bleats resound.
At length, she strikes an Universal Blow;
To Death at once whole Herds of Cattle go:
Sheep, Oxen, Horses fall; and, heap'd on high,
The diff'ring Species in Confusion lie.
'Till warn'd by frequent ills, the way they found,
To lodge their loathsom Carrion underground.
For, useless to the Currier were their Hides:
Nor cou'd their tainted Flesh with Ocean Tides
Be freed from Filth; nor cou'd Vulcanian Flame
The Stench abolish; or the Savour tame.
Nor safely cou'd they shear their fleecy Store;
(Made drunk with poys'nous Juice, and stiff with Gore:)
Or touch the Web: But if the Vest they wear,
Red Blisters rising on their Paps appear,
And flaming Carbuncles; and noisom Sweat,
And clammy Dews, that loathsom Lice beget:
'Till the slow creeping Evil eats his way,
Consumes the parching Limbs; and makes the Life his prey.

The Fourth Book of the Georgics.

The Argument.

Virgil has taken care to raise the Subject of each Georgic: In the First he has only dead Matter on which to work. In the second he just steps on the World of Life, and describes that degree of it which is to be found in Vegetables. In the third he advances to Animals. And in the last, singles out the Bee, which may be reckon'd the most sagacious of 'em, for his Subject.

In this Georgic he shews us what Station is most proper for the Bees, and when they begin to gather Honey: how to call 'em home when they swarm; and how to part 'em when they are engag'd in Battel. From hence he takes occasion to discover their different Kinds; and, after an Excursion relates their prudent and politick Admini­stration of Affairs and the several Diseases that often rage in their Hives, with the proper Symptoms and Remedies of each Disease. In the last place he lays down a method of repairing their Kind, supposing their whole Breed lost; and gives at large the History of its Invention.

THE Gifts of Heav'n my foll'wing Song pursues,
Aerial Honey, and Ambrosial Dews.
Maecenas, read this other part, that sings
Fmbattel'd Sqadrons and advent'rous Kings:
A mighty Pomp, tho' made of little Things.
Their Arms, their Arts, their Manners I disclose,
And how they War, and whence the People rose:
Slight is the Subject, but the Praise not small,
If Heav'n assist, and Phoebus hear my Call.
First, for thy Bees a quiet Station find,
And lodge 'em under Covert of the Wind:
For Winds, when homeward they return, will drive
The loaded Carriers from their Ev'ning Hive.
Far from the Cows and Goats insulting Crew,
That trample down the Flow'rs, and brush the Dew:
The painted Lizard, and the Birds of Prey,
Foes of the frugal Kind, be far away.


To Richard Norton of Southwick in Hant-shire Esq.

Geo 4: L 1
The Titmouse, and the Peckers hungry Brood,
And Progne, with her Bosom stain'd in Blood:
These rob the trading Citizens, and bear
The trembling Captives thro' the liquid Air;
And for their callow young a cruel Feast prepare.
But near a living Stream their Mansion place,
Edg'd round with Moss, and tufts of matted Grass:
And plant (the Winds impetuous rage to stop,)
Wild Olive Trees, or Palms, before the buisy Shop:
That when the youthful Prince, with loud allarm,
Calls out the vent'rous Colony to swarm;
When first their way thro' yielding Air they wing,
New to the Pleasures of their native Spring;
The Banks of Brooks may make a cool retreat
For the raw Souldiers from the scalding Heat:
And neighb'ring Trees, with friendly Shade invite
The Troops unus'd to long laborious Flight.
Then o're the running Stream, or standing Lake,
A Passage for thy weary People make;
With Osier Floats the standing Water strow;
Of massy Stones make Bridges, if it flow:
That basking in the Sun thy Bees may lye,
And resting there, their flaggy Pinions dry:
When late returning home, the laden Host,
By raging Winds is wreck'd upon the Coast.
Wild Thyme and Sav'ry set around their Cell,
Sweet to the Taste, and fragrant to the Smell:
Set rows of Rosemary with flow'ring Stem,
And let the purple Vi'lets drink the Stream.
Whether thou build the Palace of thy Bees
With twisted Osiers, or with Barks of Trees;
Make but a narrow Mouth: for as the Cold
Congeals into a Lump the liquid Gold;
[Page 124] So 'tis again dissolv'd by Summer's heat,
And the sweet Labours both Extreams defeat.
And therefore, not in vain, th' industrious Kind
With dawby Wax and Flow'rs the Chinks have lin'd.
And, with their Stores of gather'd Glue, contrive
To stop the Vents, and Crannies of their Hive.
Not Birdlime, or Idean Pitch produce
A more tenacious Mass of clammy Juice.
Nor Bees are lodg'd in Hives alone, but found
In Chambers of their own, beneath the Ground:
Their vaulted Roofs are hung in Pumices,
And in the rotten Trunks of hollow Trees.
But plaister thou the chinky Hives with Clay,
And leafy Branches o're their Lodgings lay.
Nor place them where too deep a Water flows,
Or where the Yeugh their pois'nous Neighbour grows:
Nor rost red Crabs t' offend the niceness of their Nose.
Nor near the steaming Stench of muddy Ground;
Nor hollow Rocks that render back the Sound,
And doubled Images of Voice rebound.
For what remains, when Golden Suns appear,
And under Earth have driv'n the Winter Year:
The winged Nation wanders thro' the Skies,
And o're the Plains, and shady Forrest flies:
Then stooping on the Meads and leafy Bow'rs;
They skim the Floods, and sip the purple Flow'rs.
Exalted hence, and drunk with secret Joy,
Their young Succession all their Cares employ:
They breed, they brood, instruct and educate,
And make Provision for the future State:
They work their waxen Lodgings in their Hives,
And labour Honey to sustain their Lives.
But when thou seest a swarming Cloud arise,
That sweeps aloft, and darkens all the Skies:

[Page] [Page]

To the Right Honble: Sr. William Trumbull Kt. Principall Secretary of State & one of his Maities: Most Honble: Priry Councill.

Geo: 4. l. 85.
The Motions of their hasty Flight attend;
And know to Floods, or Woods, their airy march they bend.
Then Melfoil beat, and Honey-suckles pound,
With these alluring Savours strew the Ground;
And mix with tinkling Brass, the Cymbals droning Sound.
Streight to their ancient Cells, recall'd from Air,
The reconcil'd Deserters will repair.
But if intestine Broils allarm the Hive,
(For two Pretenders oft for Empire strive)
The Vulgar in divided Factions jar;
And murm'ring Sounds proclaim the Civil War.
Inflam'd with Ire, and trembling with Disdain,
Scarce can their Limbs, their mighty Souls contain.
With Shouts, the Cowards Courage they excite,
And martial Clangors call 'em out to fight:
With hoarse Allarms the hollow Camp rebounds,
That imitates the Trumpets angry Sounds:
Then to their common Standard they repair;
The nimble Horsemen scour the Fields of Air.
In form of Battel drawn, they issue forth,
And ev'ry Knight is proud to prove his Worth.
Prest for their Country's Honour, and their King's,
On their sharp Beaks they whet their pointed Stings;
And exercise their Arms, and tremble with their Wings.
Full in the midst, the haughty Monarchs ride,
The trusty Guards come up, and close the Side;
With Shouts the daring Foe to Battel is defy'd.
Thus in the Season of unclouded Spring,
To War they follow their undaunted King:
Crowd thro'their Gates, and in the Fields of Light,
The shocking Squadrons meet in mortal Fight:
Headlong they fall from high, and wounded wound,
And heaps of slaughter'd Souldiers bite the Ground.
Hard Hailstones lye not thicker on the Plain;
Nor shaken Oaks such Show'rs of Acorns rain.
[Page 126] With gorgeous Wings the Marks of Sov'raign sway,
The two contending Princes make their way;
Intrepid thro' the midst of danger go;
Their friends encourage, and amaze the Foe.
With mighty Souls in narrow Bodies prest,
They challenge, and encounter Breast to Breast;
So fix'd on Fame, unknowing how to fly,
And obstinately bent to win or dye;
That long the doubtful Combat they maintain,
Till one prevails (for one can only Reign.)
Yet all those dreadful deeds, this deadly fray,
A cast of scatter'd Dust will soon alay,
And undecided leave the Fortune of the day.
When both the Chiefs are sund'red from the Fight,
Then to the lawful King restore his Right.
And let the wastful Prodigal be slain,
That he, who best deserves, alone may reign.
With ease distinguish'd is the Regal Race,
One Monarch wears an honest open Face;
Large are his Limbs, and Godlike to behold,
His Royal Body shines with specks of Gold,
And ruddy Skales; for Empire he design'd,
Is better born, and of a Nobler Kind.
That other looks like Nature in disgrace,
Gaunt are his sides, and sullen is his face:
And like their grizly Prince appears his gloomy Race:
Grim, ghastly, rugged, like a thirsty train
That long have travel'd through a desart plain,
And spet from their dry Chaps the gather'd dust again.
The better Brood, unlike the Bastard Crew,
Are mark'd with Royal streaks of shining hue;
Glitt'ring and ardent, though in Body less:
From these at pointed Seasons hope to press
[Page 127] Huge heavy Honey-Combs, of Golden Juice,
Not only sweet, but pure, and fit for use:
T'allay the Strength and Hardness of the Wine,
And with old Bacchus, new Metheglin join.
But when the Swarms are eager of their play,
And loath their empty Hives, and idly stray,
Restrain the wanton Fugitives, and take
A timely Care to bring the Truants back.
The Task is easy: but to clip the Wings
Of their high-flying Arbitrary Kings:
At their Command, the People swarm away;
Confine the Tyrant, and the Slaves will stay.
Sweet Gardens, full of Saffron Flow'rs, invite
The wandring Gluttons, and retard their Flight.
Besides, the God obscene, who frights away,
With his Lath Sword, the Thiefs and Birds of Prey.
With his own hand, the Guardian of the Bees,
For Slips of Pines, may search the Mountain Trees:
And with wild Thyme and Sav'ry, plant the Plain,
'Till his hard horny Fingers ake with Pain:
And deck with fruitful Trees the Fields around,
And with refreshing Waters drench the Ground.
Now, did I not so near my Labours end,
Strike Sail, and hast'ning to the Harbour tend;
My Song to Flow'ry Gardens might extend.
To teach the vegetable Arts, to sing
The Paestan Roses, and their double Spring:
How Succ'ry drinks the running Streams, and how
Green Beds of Parsley near the River grow;
How Cucumers along the Surface creep,
With crooked Bodies, and with Bellies deep.
The late Narcissus, and the winding Trail
Of Bears-foot, Myrtles green, and Ivy pale.
[Page 128] For where with stately Tow'rs Tarentum stands,
And deep Galesus soaks the yellow Sands,
I chanc'd an Old Corycian Swain to know,
Lord of few Acres, and those barren too;
Unfit for Sheep or Vines, and more unfit to sow:
Yet lab'ring well his little Spot of Ground,
Some scatt'ring Potherbs here and there he found:
Which cultivated with his daily Care,
And bruis'd with Vervain, were his frugal Fare.
Sometimes white Lyllies did their Leaves afford,
With wholsom Poppy-flow'rs, to mend his homely Board:
For late returning home he sup'd at ease,
And wisely deem'd the Wealth of Monarchs less:
The little of his own, because his own, did please.
To quit his Care, he gather'd first of all
In Spring the Roses, Apples in the Fall:
And when cold Winter split the Rocks in twain,
And Ice the running Rivers did restrain,
He strip'd the Bears-foot of its leafy growth;
And, calling Western Winds, accus'd the Spring of sloath.
He therefore first among the Swains was found,
To reap the Product of his labour'd Ground,
And squeese the Combs with Golden Liquor Crown'd.
His Limes were first in Flow'rs, his lofty Pines,
With friendly Shade, secur'd his tender Vines.
For ev'ry Bloom his Trees in Spring afford,
An Autumn Apple was by tale restor'd.
He knew to rank his Elms in even rows;
For Fruit the grafted Peartree to dispose:
And tame to Plums, the sourness of the Sloes.
With spreading Planes he made a cool retreat,
To shade good Fellows from the Summer's heat.
But streighten'd in my space, I must forsake
This Task; for others afterwards to take.
Describe we next the Nature of the Bees,
bestow'd by Jove for secret Services:
When by the tinkling Sound of Timbrels led,
The King of Heav'n in Cretan Caves they fed.
Of all the Race of Animals, alone
The Bees have common Cities of their own:
And common Sons, beneath one Law they live,
And with one common Stock their Traffick drive.
Each has a certain home, a sev'ral Stall:
All is the States, the State provides for all.
Mindful of coming Cold, they share the Pain:
And hoard, for Winter's use, the Summer's gain.
Some o're the Publick Magazines preside,
And some are sent new Forrage to provide:
These drudge in Fields abroad, and those at home
Lay deep Foundations for the labour'd Comb,
With dew, Narcissus Leaves, and clammy Gum.
To pitch the waxen Flooring some contrive:
Some nurse the future Nation of the Hive:
Sweet Honey some condense, some purge the Grout;
The rest, in Cells apart, the liquid Nectar shut.
All, with united Force, combine to drive
The lazy Drones from the laborious Hive.
With Envy stung, they view each others Deeds:
With Diligence the fragrant Work proceeds.
As when the Cyclops, at th' Almighty Nod,
New Thunder hasten for their angry God:
Subdu'd in Fire the Stubborn Mettal lyes,
One brawny Smith the puffing Bellows plyes;
And draws, and blows reciprocating Air:
Others to quench the hissing Mass prepare:
With lifted Arms they order ev'ry Blow,
And chime their sounding Hammers in a Row;
With strokes of Anvils Aetna groans below.
[Page 130] Strongly they strike, huge Flakes of Flames expire,
With Tongs they turn the Steel, and vex it in the Fire.
If little things with great we may compare,
Such are the Bees, and such their native Care:
Studious of Honey, each in his Degree,
The youthful Swain, the grave experienc'd Bee:
That in the Field; this in Affairs of State,
Employ'd at home, abides within the Gate:
To fortify the Combs, to build the Wall,
To prop the Ruins lest the Fabrick fall:
But late at Night, with weary Pinions come
The labr'ring Youth, and heavy laden home.
Plains, Meads, and Orchards all the day he plies,
The gleans of yellow Thime distend his Thighs:
He spoils the Saffron Flow'rs, he sips the blues
Of Vi'lets, wilding Blooms, and Willow Dews.
Their Toyl is common, common is their Sleep;
They shake their Wings when Morn begins to peep;
Rush through the City Gates without delay,
Nor ends their Work, but with declining Day:
Then having spent the last remains of Light,
They give thir Bodies due repose at Night:
When hollow Murmurs of their Ev'ning Bells,
Dismiss the sleepy Swains, and toll 'em to their Cells.
When once in Beds their weary Limbs they steep,
No buzzing Sounds disturb thir Golden Sleep.
'Tis sacred Silence all. Nor dare they stray,
When Rain is promis'd, or a stormy Day:
But near the City Walls their Watring take,
Nor Forrage far, but short Excursions make.
And as when empty Barks on Billows float,
With sandy Ballast Sailors trim the Boat;
So Bees bear Gravel Stones, whose poising Weight
Steers thro' the whistling Winds their steddy Flight.
But what's more strange, their modest Appetites,
Averse from Venus, fly the nuptial Rites.
No lust enervates their Heroic Mind,
Nor wasts their Strength on wanton Woman-Kind.
But in their Mouths reside their Genial Pow'rs,
They gather Children from the Leaves and Flow'rs.
Thus make they Kings to fill the Regal Seat;
And thus their little Citizens create:
And waxen Cities build, and Palaces of State.
And oft on Rocks their tender Wings they tear,
And sink beneath the Burthens which they bear.
Such Rage of Honey in their Bosom beats:
And such a Zeal they have for flow'ry Sweets.
Thus tho' the race of Life they quickly run;
Which in the space of seven short Years is done,
Th' immortal Line in fure Succession reigns,
The Fortune of the Family remains:
And Grandsires Grandsons the long List contains.
Besides, not Egypt, India, Media more
With servile Awe, their Idol King adore:
While he survives, in Concord and Content
The Commons live, by no Divisions rent;
But the great Monarch's Death dissolves the Government.
All goes to Ruin, they themselves contrive
To rob the Honey, and subvert the Hive.
The King presides, his Subjects Toil surveys;
The servile Rout their careful Caesar praise:
Him they extol, they worship him alone,
They crowd his Levees, and support his Throne:
They raise him on their shoulders with a Shout:
And when their Sov'raigns Quarrel calls 'em out,
His Foes to mortal Combat they defy,
And think it honour at his feet to die.
Induc'd by such Examples, some have taught
That Bees have Portions of Etherial Thought:
Endu'd with Particles of Heavenly Fires:
For God the whole created Mass inspires;
Thro' Heav'n, and Earth, and Oceans depth he throws
His Influence round, and kindles as he goes.
Hence Flocks, and Herds, and Men, and Beasts, and Fowls
With Breath are quicken'd; and attract their Souls.
Hence take the Forms his Prescience did ordain,
And into him at length resolve again.
No room is left for Death, they mount the Sky,
And to their own congenial Planets fly.
Now when thou hast decreed to seize their Stores,
And by Prerogative to break their Doors:
With sprinkl'd Water first the City choak,
And then pursue the Citizens with Smoak.
Two Honey Harvests fall in ev'ry Year:
First, when the pleasing Pleiades appear,
And springing upward spurn the briny Seas:
Again, when their affrighted Quire surveys
The watry Scorpion mend his Pace behind,
With a black Train of Storms, and winter Wind;
They plunge into the Deep, and safe Protection find.
Prone to Revenge, the Bees, a wrathful Race,
When once provok'd assault th' Agressor's Face:
And through the purple Veins a passage find;
There fix their Stings, and leave their Souls behind.
But if a pinching Winter thou foresee,
And woud'st preserve thy famish'd Family;
With fragant Thyme the City fumigate,
And break the waxen Walls to save the State.
For lurking Lizards often lodge, by Stealth,
Within the Suburbs, and purloyn their Wealth.
[Page 133] And Worms that shun the Light, a dark Retreat
Have found in Combs, and undermin'd the Seat.
Or lazy Drones, without their Share of Pain;
In Winter Quarters free, devour the Gain:
Or Wasps infest the Camp with loud Alarms,
And mix in Battel with unequal Arms:
Or secret Moaths are there in Silence fed;
Or Spiders in the Vault, their snary Webs have spred.
The more oppress'd by Foes, or Famine pin'd;
The more increase thy Care to save the sinking Kind.
With Greens and Flow'rs recruit their empty Hives,
And seek fresh Forrage to sustain their Lives.
But since they share with us one common Fate,
In Health and Sickness, and in Turns of State;
Observe the Symptoms when they fall away,
And languish with insensible Decay.
They change their Hue, with hagger'd Eyes they stare,
Lean are their Looks, and shagged is their Hair:
And Crowds of dead, that never must return
To their lov'd Hives, in decent Pomp are born:
Their Friends attend the Herse, the next Relations Mourn.
The sick, for Air before the Portal gasp,
Their feeble Legs within each other clasp.
Or idle in their empty Hives remain,
Benum'd with Cold, and listless of their Gain.
Soft Whispers then, and broken Sounds are heard,
As when the Woods by gentle Winds are stir'd.
Such stifled noise as the close Furnace hides,
Or dying Murmurs of departing Tides.
This when thou seest, Galbanean Odours use,
And Honey in the sickly Hive infuse.
Thro' reeden Pipes convey the Golden Flood,
T' invite the People to their wonted Food.
[Page 134] Mix it with thicken'd Juice of sodden Wines,
And Raisins from the Grapes of Psythian Vines:
To these add pounded Galls, and Roses dry,
And with Cecropian Thyme, strong scented Centaury.
A Flow'r there is that grows in Meadow Ground,
Amellus call'd, and easy to be found;
For from one Root the rising Stem bestows
A Wood of Leaves, and vi'let-purple Boughs:
The Flow'r it self is glorious to behold,
And shines on Altars like refulgent Gold:
Sharp to the Taste, by Shepherds near the Stream
Of Mella found, and thence they gave the Name.
Boyl this restoring Root in gen'rous Wine,
And set beside the Door, the sickly Stock to dine.
But if the lab'ring Kind be wholly lost,
And not to be retriev'd with Care or Cost;
'Tis time to touch the Precepts of an Art,
Th' Arcadian Master did of old impart:
And how he stock'd his empty Hives again;
Renew'd with putrid Gore of Oxen slain.
An ancient Legend I prepare to sing,
And upward follow Fame's immortal Spring.
For where with sev'n-fold Horns mysterious Nile
Surrounds the Skirts of Egypt's fruitful Isle,
And where in Pomp the Sun-burnt People ride
On painted Barges, o're the teeming Tide,
Which pouring down from Ethiopian Lands,
Makes green the Soyl with Slime, and black prolific Sands;
That length of Region, and large Tract of Ground,
In this one Art a sure relief have found.
First, in a place, by Nature closs, they build
A narrow Flooring, gutter'd, wall'd, and til'd.
[Page 135] In this, four Windows are contriv'd, that strike
To the four Winds oppos'd, their Beams oblique.
A Steer of two Years old they take, whose Head
Now first with burnish'd Horns begins to spread:
They stop his Nostrils, while he strives in vain
To breath free Air, and struggles with his Pain.
Knock'd down, he dyes: his Bowels bruis'd within,
Betray no Wound on his unbroken Skin.
Extended thus, in this obscene Abode,
They leave the Beast; but first sweet Flow'rs are strow'd
Beneath his Body, broken Boughs and Thyme,
And pleasing Cassia just renew'd in prime.
This must be done, e're Spring makes equal Day,
When Western Winds on curling Waters play:
E're painted Meads produce their Flow'ry Crops,
Or Swallows twitter on the Chimney Tops.
The tainted Blood, in this close Prison pent,
Begins to boyl and through the Bones ferment.
Then, wondrous to behold, new Creatures rise,
A moving Mass at first, and short of Thighs;
'Till shooting out with Legs, and imp'd with Wings,
The Grubs proceed to Bees with pointed Stings:
And more and more affecting Air, they try
Their tender Pinions, and begin to fly:
At length, like Summer Storms from spreading Clouds,
That burst at once, and pour impetuous Floods;
Or Flights of Arrows from the Parthian Bows,
When from afar they gaul embattel'd Foes;
With such a Tempest thro' the Skies they Steer;
And such a form the winged Squadrons bear.
What God, O Muse! this useful Science taught?
Or by what Man's Experience was it brought?
Sad Aristaeus from fair Tempe fled,
His Bees with Famine, or Diseases dead:
On Peneus's Banks he stood, and near his holy Head.
And while his falling Tears the Stream supply'd,
Thus mourning, to his Mother Goddess cry'd.
Mother Cyrene, Mother, whose abode
Is in the depth of this immortal Flood:
What boots it, that from Phoebus's Loyns I spring,
The third by him and thee, from Heav'ns high King?
O! Where is all thy boasted Pity gone,
And Promise of the Skies to thy deluded Son?
Why didst thou me, unhappy me, create?
Odious to Gods, and born to bitter Fate.
Whom▪ scarce my Sheep, and scarce my painful Plough,
The needsul Aids of Human Life allow;
So wretched is thy Son, so hard a Mother thou.
Proceed, inhuman Parent in thy Scorn;
Root up my Trees, with Blites destroy my Corn;
My Vineyards Ruin, and my Sheepfolds burn.
Let loose thy Rage, let all thy Spite be shown,
Since thus thou hat'st the Praises of thy Son.
But from her Mossy Bow'r below the Ground,
His careful Mother heard the Plaintive sound;
Encompass'd with her Sea-green Sisters round.
One common Work they ply'd: their Distaffs full
With carded Locks of blue Milesian Wool.
Spio with Drymo brown, and Xanthe fair,
And sweet Phyllodoce with long dishevel'd Hair:
Cydippe with Licorias, one a Maid,
And one that once had call'd Lucina's Aid.
Clio and Beroe, from one Father both,
Both girt with Gold, and clad in particolour'd Cloth.
[Page 137] Opis the meek, and Deiopeia proud;
Nisaea softly, with Ligaea loud;
Thalia joyous, Ephyre the sad,
And Arethusa once Diana's Maid,
But now, her Quiver left, to Love betray'd.
To these, Climene the sweet Theft declares,
Of Mars and Vulcans unavailing Cares:
And all the Rapes of Gods, and ev'ry Love,
From antient Chaos down to youthful Jove.
Thus while she sings, the Sisters turn the Wheel,
Empty the wooly Rock, and fill the Reel.
A mournful Sound, agen the Mother hears;
Agen the mournful Sound invades the Sister's Ears:
Starting at once from their green Seats, they rise;
Fear in their Heart, Amazement in their Eyes.
But Arethusa leaping from her Bed,
First lifts above the Waves her beauteous Head;
And, crying from afar, thus to Cyrene said.
O Sister! not with causeless Fear possest,
No Stranger Voice disturbs thy tender Breast.
'Tis Aristeus, 'tis thy darling Son,
Who to his careless Mother makes his Moan.
Near his Paternal Stream he sadly stands,
With down-cast Eyes, wet Cheeks, and folded Hands:
Upbraiding Heav'n from whence his Lineage came,
And cruel calls the Gods, and cruel thee, by Name.
Cyrene mov'd with Love, and seiz'd with Fear,
Cries out, conduct my Son, conduct him here:
'Tis lawful for the Youth, deriv'd from Gods,
To view the Secrets of our deep Abodes.
At once she wav'd her Hand on either side,
At once the Ranks of swelling Streams divide.
[Page 138] Two rising Heaps of liquid Crystal stand,
And leave a Space betwixt, of empty Sand.
Thus safe receiv'd, the downward track he treads,
Which to his Mother's watry Palace leads.
With wond'ring Eyes he views the secret Store
Of Lakes, that pent in hollow Caverns, roar.
He hears the crackling Sound of Coral Woods,
And sees the secret Source of subterranean Floods.
And where, distinguish'd in their sev'ral Cells,
The Fount of Phasis; and of Lycus dwells;
Where swift Enipeus in his Bed appears,
And Tiber his Majestick Forehead rears.
Whence Anio flows, and Hypanis, profound,
Breaks through th' opposing Rocks with raging Sound.
Where Po first issues from his dark abodes,
And, awful in his Cradle, rules the Floods.
Two Golden Horns on his large Front he wears,
And his grim Face a Bull's Resemblance bears.
With rapid Course he seeks the sacred Main,
And fattens, as he runs, the fruitful Plain.
Now to the Court arriv'd, th' admiring Son
Beholds the vaulted Roofs of Pory Stone;
Now to his Mother Goddess tells his Grief,
Which she with Pity hears, and promises Relief.
Th' officious Nymphs, attending in a Ring,
With Waters drawn from their perpetual Spring,
From earthly dregs his Body purify,
And rub his Temples, with fine Towels, dry:
Then load the Tables with a lib'ral Feast,
And honour with full Bowls their friendly Guest.
The sacred Altars are involv'd in Smoak,
And the bright Quire their kindred Gods invoke.


To Sr Bartholomen Shower of the Midle Temple. Knt.

Go: 4. l. 535.
Two Bowls the Mother fills with Lydian Wine;
Then thus, Let these be pour'd, with Rites divine,
To the great Authors of our wat'ry Line.
To Father Ocean, this; and this, she said,
Be to the Nymphs his sacred Sisters paid,
Who rule the wat'ry Plains, and hold the woodland Shade.
She sprinkl'd thrice, with Wine, the Vestal Fire,
Thrice to the vaulted Roof the Flames aspire.
Rais'd with so blest an Omen, she begun,
With Words like these, to chear her drooping Son.
In the Carpathian Bottom makes abode
The Shepherd of the Seas, a Prophet and a God;
High o're the Main in wat'ry Pomp he rides,
His azure Carr and finny Coursers guides:
Proteus his Name: to his Pallenian Port,
I see from far the weary God resort.
Him, not alone, we River Gods adore,
But aged Nereus hearkens to his Lore.
With sure foresight, and with unerring Doom,
He sees what is, and was, and is to come.
This Neptune gave him, when he gave to keep
His scaly Flocks, that graze the wat'ry deep.
Implore his Aid, for Proteus onely knows
The secret Cause, and Cure of all thy Woes.
But first the wily Wizard must be caught,
For unconstrain'd he nothing tells for naught;
Nor is with Pray'rs, or Bribes, or Flatt'ry bought.
Surprise him first, and with hard Fetters bind;
Then all his Frauds will vanish into Wind.
I will my self conduct thee on thy Way,
When next the Southing Sun inflames the Day:
When the dry Herbage thirsts for Dews in vain,
And Sheep, in Shades, avoid the parching Plain.
[Page 140] Then will I lead thee to his secret Seat;
When weary with his Toyl, and scorch'd with Heat,
The wayward Sire frequents his cool Retreat.
His Eyes with heavy Slumber overcast;
With Force invade his Limbs, and bind him fast:
Thus surely bound, yet be not over bold,
The slipp'ry God will try to loose his hold:
And various Forms assume, to cheat thy sight;
And with vain Images of Beasts affright.
With foamy Tusks he seems a bristly Boar,
Or imitates the Lion's angry Roar;
Breaks out in crackling Flames to shun thy Snares,
A Dragon hisses, or a Tyger stares:
Or with a Wile, thy Caution to betray,
In fleeting Streams attempts to slide away.
But thou, the more he varies Forms, beware
To strain his Fetters with a stricter Care:
'Till tiring all his Arts, he turns agen
To his true Shape, in which he first was seen.
This said, with Nectar she her Son anoints;
Infusing Vigour through his mortal Joynts:
Down from his Head the liquid Odours ran;
He breath'd of Heav'n, and look'd above a Man.
Within a Mountain's hollow Womb, there lies
A large Recess, conceal'd from Human Eyes;
Where heaps of Billows, driv'n by Wind and Tide,
In Form of War, their wat'ry Ranks divide;
And there, like Centries set, without the Mouth abide:
A Station safe for Ships, when Tempests roar,
A silent Harbour, and a cover'd Shoar.
Secure within resides the various God,
And draws a Rock upon his dark Abode.

[Page] [Page]

To Simon Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt in the County of Oxon Esq..

Geo 4: L: 635.
Hether with silent Steps, secure from Sight,
The Goddess guides her Son, and turns him from the Light:
Her self, involv'd in Clouds, precipitates her Flight.
'Twas Noon; the sultry Dog-star from the Sky
Scorch'd Indian Swains, the rivell'd Grass was dry;
The Sun with flaming Arrows pierc'd the Flood,
And, darting to the bottom, bak'd the Mud:
When weary Proteus, from the briny Waves,
Retir'd for Shelter to his wonted Caves:
His finny Flocks about their Shepherd play,
And rowling round him, spirt the bitter Sea.
Unweildily they wallow first in Ooze,
Then in the shady Covert seek Repose.
Himself their Herdsman, on the middle Mount,
Takes of his muster'd Flocks a just Account.
So, seated on a Rock, a Shepherd's Groom
Surveys his Ev'ning Flocks returning Home:
When lowing Calves, and bleating Lambs, from far,
Provoke the prouling Wolf to nightly War.
Th' Occasion offers, and the Youth complies:
For scarce the weary God had clos'd his Eyes;
When rushing on, with shouts, he binds in Chains
The drowzy Prophet, and his Limbs constrains.
He, not unmindful of his usual Art,
First in dissembled Fire attempts to part:
Then roaring Beasts, and running Streams he tryes,
And wearies all his Miracles of Lies:
But having shifted ev'ry Form to scape,
Convinc'd of Conquest, he resum'd his shape:
And thus, at length, in human Accent spoke▪
Audacious Youth, what madness cou'd provoke
A Mortal Man t' invade a sleeping God?
What Buis'ness brought thee to my dark abode?
To this, th' audacious Youth; Thou know'st full well
My Name, and Buis'ness, God, nor need I tell:
No Man can Proteus cheat; but Proteus leave
Thy fraudful Arts, and do not thou deceive.
Foll'wing the Gods Command, I come t'implore
Thy Help, my perish'd People to restore.
The Seer, who could not yet his Wrath asswage,
Rowl'd his green Eyes, that sparkl'd with his Rage;
And gnash'd his Teeth, and cry'd, No vulgar God
Pursues thy Crimes, nor with a Common Rod.
Thy great Misdeeds have met a due Reward,
And Orpheus's dying Pray'rs at length are heard.
For Crimes, not his, the Lover lost his Life,
And at thy Hands requires his murther'd Wife:
Nor (if the Fates assist not) canst thou scape
The just Revenge of that intended Rape.
To shun thy lawless Lust, the dying Bride,
Unwary, took along the River's side:
Nor, at her Heels perceiv'd the deadly Snake,
That kept the Bank, in Covert of the Brake.
But all her fellow Nymphs the Mountains tear
With loud Laments, and break the yielding Air:
The Realms of Mars remurmur'd all around,
And Echoes to th' Athenian Shoars rebound.
Th' unhappy Husband, Husband now no more,
Did on his tuneful Harp his Loss deplore,
And sought, his mournful Mind with Musick to restore.
On thee, dear Wife, in Desarts all alone,
He call'd, sigh'd, sung, his Griefs with Day begun,
Nor were they finish'd with the setting Sun.
Ev'n to the dark Dominions of the Night,
He took his way, thro' Forrests void of Light:
[Page 143] And dar'd amidst the trembling Ghosts to sing,
And stood before th' inexorable King.
Th' Infernal Troops like passing Shadows glide,
And, list'ning, crowd the sweet Musician's side.
Not flocks of Birds when driv'n by Storms, or Night,
Stretch to the Forest with so thick a flight.
Men, Matrons, Children, and th' unmarry'd Maid,
* The mighty Heroes more Majestic shade;
And Youths on Fun'ral Piles before their Parents laid.
All these Cocytus bounds with squalid Reeds,
With Muddy Ditches, and with deadly Weeds:
And baleful Styx encompasses around,
With Nine slow circling Streams, th' unhappy ground.
Ev'n from the depths of Hell the Damn'd advance,
Th' Infernal Mansions nodding seem to dance;
The gaping three-mouth'd Dog forgets to snarl,
The Furies harken, and their Snakes uncurl:
Ixion seems no more his Pains to feel,
But leans attentive on his standing Wheel.
All Dangers past, at length the lovely Bride,
In safety goes, with her Melodious Guide;
Longing the common Light again to share,
And draw the vital breath of upper Air:
He first, and close behind him follow'd she,
For such was Proserpine's severe Decree.
When strong Desires th' impatient Youth invade;
By little Caution and much love betray'd:
A fault which easy Pardon might receive,
Were Lovers Judges, or cou'd Hell forgive.
For near the Confines of Etherial Light,
And longing for the glimm'ring of a sight,
Th' unwary Lover cast his Eyes behind,
Forgetful of the Law, nor Master of his Mind.
[Page 144] Straight all his Hopes exhal'd in empty Smoke;
And his long Toils were forfeit for a Look.
Three flashes of blue Light'ning gave the sign
Of Cov'nants broke, three peals of Thunder joyn.
Then thus the Bride; What fury seiz'd on thee,
Unhappy Man! to lose thy self and Me?
Dragg'd back again by cruel Destinies,
An Iron Slumber shuts my swimming Eyes.
And now farewel, involv'd in Shades of Night,
For ever I am ravish'd from thy sight.
In vain I reach my feeble hands, to joyn
In sweet Embraces; ah! no longer thine!
She said, and from his Eyes the fleeting Fair
Retir'd like subtile Smoke dissolv'd in Air;
And left her hopeless Lover in despair.
In vain, with folding Arms, the Youth assay'd
To stop her flight, and strain the flying Shade:
He prays, he raves, all Means in vain he tries,
With rage inflam'd, astonish'd with surprise;
But she return'd no more, to bless his longing Eyes.
Nor wou'd th' Infernal Ferry-Man once more
Be brib'd, to waft him to the farther shore.
What shou'd He do, who twice had lost his Love?
What Notes invent, what new Petitions move?
Her Soul already was consign'd to Fate,
And shiv'ring in the leaky Sculler sate.
For seven continu'd Months, if Fame say true,
The wretched Swain his Sorrows did renew;
By Strymon's freezing Streams he sate alone,
The Rocks were mov'd to pity with his moan:
Trees bent their heads to hear him sing his Wrongs,
Fierce Tygers couch'd around, and loll'd their fawning Tongues.
So, close in Poplar Shades, her Children gone,
The Mother Nightingale laments alone:
Whose Nest some prying Churl had found, and thence,
By Stealth, convey'd th' unfeather'd Innocence.
But she supplies the Night with mournful Strains,
With one continu'd Tenor still complains;
Which fills the Forrest, and the neighb'ring Plains.
Sad Orpheus thus his tedious Hours employs,
Averse from Venus, and from nuptial Joys.
Alone he tempts the frozen Floods, alone
Th' unhappy Climes, where Spring was never known:
He mourn'd his wretched Wife, in vain restor'd,
And Pluto's unavailing Boon deplor'd.
The Thracian Matrons, who the Youth accus'd,
Of Love disdain'd, and Marriage Rites refus'd:
With Furies, and Nocturnal Orgies fir'd,
At length, against his sacred Life conspir'd.
Whom ev'n the salvage Beasts had spar'd, they kill'd,
And strew'd his mangl'd Limbs about the Field.
Then, when his Head, from his fair Shoulders torn,
Wash'd by the Waters, was on Hebrus born;
Ev'n then his trembling Tongue invok'd his Bride;
With his last Voice, Eurydice, he cry'd,
Eurydice, the Rocks and River-banks reply'd.
This answer Proteus gave, nor more he said,
But in the Billows plung'd his hoary Head;
And where he leap'd, the Waves in Circles widely spread.
The Nymph return'd, her drooping Son to chear,
And bade him banish his superfluous fear:
For now, said she, the Cause is known, from whence
Thy Woe succeeded, and for what Offence:
The Nymphs, Companions of th'unhappy Maid,
This punishment upon thy Crimes have laid;
[Page 146] And sent a Plague among thy thriving Bees.
With Vows and suppliant Pray'rs their Pow'rs appease:
The soft Napaean Race will soon repent
Their Anger, and remit the Punishment.
The secret in an easy Method lies;
Select four Brawny Bulls for Sacrifice,
Which on Lycaeus graze, without a Guide;
Add four fair Heifars yet in Yoke untry'd:
For these, four Altars in their Temple rear,
And then adore the Woodland Pow'rs with Pray'r.
From the slain Victims pour the streaming Blood,
And leave their Bodies in the shady Wood:
Nine Mornings thence, Lethean Poppy bring,
T' appease the Manes of the Poets King:
And to propitiate his offended Bride,
A fatted Calf, and a black Ewe provide:
This finish'd, to the former Woods repair.
His Mother's Precepts he performs with care;
The Temple visits, and adores with Pray'r.
Four Altars raises, from his Herd he culls,
For Slaughter, four the fairest of his Bulls;
Four Heifars from his Female Store he took,
All fair, and all unknowing of the Yoke.
Nine Mornings thence, with Sacrifice and Pray'rs,
The Pow'rs aton'd, he to the Grove repairs.
Behold a Prodigy! for from within
The broken Bowels, and the bloated Skin,
A buzzing noise of Bees their Ears alarms,
Straight issue through the Sides assembling Swarms:
Dark as a Cloud they make a wheeling Flight,
Then on a neighb'ring Tree, descending, light:
Like a large Cluster of black Grapes they show,
And make a large dependance from the Bough.


To the Honble: John Granville second Son to John EARL of BATH one of the Com•s: appointed by Act of Parliamt: for Examining Taking & Stating the Publick Accounts of the Kingdome.

Geor: 4: l. 795.
Thus have I sung of Fields, and Flocks, and Trees,
And of the waxen Work of lab'ring Bees;
While mighty Caesar, thund'ring from afar,
Seeks on Euphrates Banks the Spoils of War:
With conq'ring Arms asserts his Country's Cause,
With Arts of Peace the willing People draws:
On the glad Earth the Golden Age renews,
And his great Father's Path to Heav'n pursues.
While I at Naples pass my peaceful Days,
Affecting Studies of less noisy Praise;
And bold, through Youth, beneath the Beechen Shade,
The Lays of Shepherds, and their Loves have plaid.

TO THE MOST HONOURABLE John, Lord Marquess of Normanby, EARL of MULGRAVE, &c. AND Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

A HEROICK Poem, truly such, is undoubtedly the great­est Work which the Soul of Man is capable to perform. The Design of it, is to form the Mind to Heroick Virtue by Example; 'tis convey'd in Verse, that it may delight, while it instructs: The Action of it is always one, entire, and great. The least and most trivial Episodes, or under-Acti­ons, which are interwoven in it, are parts either necessary, or conve­nient to carry on the main Design. Either so necessary, that without them the Poem must be Imperfect, or so convenient, that no others can be imagin'd more suitable to the place in which they are. There is no­thing to be left void in a firm Building; even the Cavities ought not to be fill'd with Rubbish, which is of a perishable kind, destru­ctive to the strength: But with Brick or Stone, though of less pieces, yet of the same Nature, and fitted to the Cranies. Even the least por­tions of them must be of the Epick kind; all things must be Grave, Majestical, and Sublime: Nothing of a Foreign Nature, like the trifling Novels, which Aristotle and others have inserted in their Poems. By which the Reader is miss-led into another sort of Pleasure, opposite to that which is design'd in an Epick Poem. One raises the Soul and hardens it to Virtue, the other softens it again and unbends it into Vice. One conduces to the Poet's aim, the compleating of his Work; which he is driving on, labouring and hast'ning in every Line: the other slackens his pace, diverts him from his Way, and locks him up like a Knight Errant in an Enchanted Castle, when he should be pursuing his first Adventure. Statius, as Bossu has well observ'd, was ambiti­ous of trying his strength with his Master Virgil, as Virgil had before try'd his with Homer. The Grecian gave the two Romans an Example, in the Games which were Celebrated at the Funerals of Patroclus. Virgil imitated the Invention of Homer, but chang'd the Sports. But both the Greek and Latin Poet, took their occasions from the Subject; though to confess the Truth, they were both Orna­mental, or at best, convenient parts of it, rather than of necessity ari­sing [Page] from it. Statius, who through his whole Poem, is noted for want of Conduct and Judgment; instead of staying, as he might have done, for the Death of Capaneus, Hippomedon, Tideus, or some other of his Seven Champions, (who are Heroes all alike) or more properly for the Tragical end of the two Brothers, whose Exequies the next Suc­cessor had leisure to perform, when the Siege was rais'd, and in the Interval betwixt the Poets first Action, and his second; went out of his way, as it were on propense Malice to commit a Fault. For he took his opportunity to kill a Royal Infant, by the means of a Serpent, (that Author of all Evil) to make way for those Funeral Honours, which he intended for him. Now if this Innocent had been of any Relation to his Thebais; if he had either farther'd or hinder'd the taking of the Town, the Poet might have found some sorry Excuse at least, for de­taining the Reader from the promis'd Siege. I can think of nothing to plead for him, but what I verily believe he thought himself; which was, that as the Funerals of Anchises were solemniz'd in Sicily, so those of Archemorus should be celebrated in Candy. For the last was an I­sland; and a better than the first, because Jove was Born there. On these terms, this Capaneus of a Poet ingag'd his two Immortal Predeces­sours, and his Success was answerable to his Enterprise.

If this Oeconomy must be observ'd in the minutest Parts of an E­pick Poem, which, to a common Reader, seem to be detach'd from the Body, and almost independent of it; what Soul, tho' sent into the World with great advantages of Nature, cultivated with the liberal Arts and Sciences; conversant with Histories of the Dead, and en­rich'd with Observations on the Living, can be sufficient to inform the whole Body of so great a Work? I touch here but transiently, with­out any strict Method, on some few of those many Rules of imitating Nature, which Aristotle drew from Homer's Iliads and Odysses, and which he fitted to the Drama; furnishing himself also with Observa­tions from the Practice of the Theater, when it flourish'd under Aes­chilus, Eurypides, and Sophocles. For the Original of the Stage was from the Epick Poem. Narration, doubtless, preceded Acting, and gave Laws to it: What at first was told Artfully, was, in process of time, represented gracefully to the sight, and hearing. Those Episodes of Homer, which were proper for the Stage, the Poets amplify'd each into an Action: Out of his Limbs they form'd their Bodies: What he had Contracted they Enlarg'd: Out of one Hercules were made in­finite of Pigmies; yet all endued with humane Souls: For from him, their great Creator, they have each of them the Divinae particulam Au­rae. They flow'd from him at first, and are at last resolv'd into him. Nor were they only animated by him, but their Measure and Symetry was owing to him. His one, entire, and great Action was Copied by them according to the proportions of the Drama: If he finish'd his Orb within the Year, it suffic'd to teach them, that their Action being less, and being also less diversify'd with Incidents, their Orb, of consequence, must be circumscrib'd in a less compass, which they reduc'd, within the limits either of a Natural or an Artificial Day. So that as he taught them to amplifie what he had shorten'd, by the same Rule apply'd the contrary way, he taught them to shorten what he had amplifi'd. Tragedy is the minature of Humane Life; an Epick Poem is the draught at length. Here, my Lord, I must con­tract also, for, before I was aware, I was almost running into a long di­gression, to prove that there is no such absolute necessity that the [Page] time of a Stage-Action shou'd so strictly be confin'd to Twenty Four Hours, as never to exceed them, for which Aristotle contends, and the Grecian Stage has practis'd. Some longer space, on some occasions, I think may be allow'd, especially for the English Theater, which re­quires more variety of Incidents than the French. Corneille himself, af­ter long Practice, was inclin'd to think, that the time allotted by the Ancients was too short to raise and finish a great Action: And better a Mechanick Rule were stretch'd or broken, than a great Beauty were omitted. To raise, and afterwards to calm the Passions, to purge the Soul from Pride, by the Examples of Humane Miseries, which befall the greatest; in few words, to expel Arrogance, and introduce Com­passion, are the great effects of Tragedy. Great, I must confess, if they were altogether as true as they are pompous. But are Habits to be in­troduc'd at three Hours warning? Are radical Diseases so suddenly remov'd? A Mountebank may promise such a Cure, but a skilful Physician will not undertake it. An Epick Poem is not in so much haste; it works leisurely; the Changes which it makes are slow; but the Cure is likely to be more perfect. The effects of Tragedy, as I said, are too violent to be lasting. If it be answer'd that for this Reason Tragedies are often to be seen, and the Dose to be repeated; this is tacitely to confess, that there is more Virtue in one Heroick Poem than in many Tragedies. A Man is humbled one Day, and his Pride returns the next. Chymical Medicines are observ'd to Relieve oft'ner than to Cure: For 'tis the nature of Spirits to make swift impressions, but not deep. Ga­lenical Decoctions, to which I may properly compare an Epick Poem, have more of Body in them; they work by their substance and their weight. It is one Reason of Aristotle's to prove, that Tragedy is the more Noble, because it turns in a shorter Compass; the whole Action being circumscrib'd within the space of Four-and-Twenty Hours. He might prove as well that a Mushroom is to be preferr'd before a Peach, because it shoots up in the compass of a Night. A Chariot may be driven round the Pillar in less space than a large Machine, because the Bulk is not so great: Is the Moon a more Noble Planet than Saturn, because she makes her Revolution in less than Thirty Days, and He in little less than Thir­ty Years? Both their Orbs are in proportion to their several Magni­tudes; and, consequently, the quickness or slowness of their Motion, and the time of their circumvolutions, is no Argument of the greater or less Perfection. And besides, what Virtue is there in a Tragedy, which is not contain'd in an Epick Poem? Where Pride is humbled, Vertue rewarded, and Vice punish'd; and those more amply treated, than the narrowness of the Drama can admit? The shining Quali­tiy of an Epick Heroe, his Magnanimity, his Constancy, his Patience, his Piety, or whatever Characteristical Virtue his Poet gives him, raises first our Admiration: We are naturally prone to imitate what we admire: And frequent Acts produce a habit. If the Hero's chief quality be vicious, as for Example, the Choler and obstinate desire of Vengeance in Achilles, yet the Moral is Instructive: And besides, we are inform'd in the very proposition of the Iliads, that this anger was pernicious: That it brought a thousand ills on the Grecian Camp. The Courage of Achilles is propos'd to imitation, not his Pride and Disobedience to his Gene­ral, nor his brutal Cruelty to his dead Enemy, nor the selling his Body to his Father. We abhor these Actions while we read them, and what we abhor we never imitate: The Poet only shews them like Rocks or Quick-Sands, to be shun'd.

[Page] By this Example the Criticks have concluded that it is not necessary the Manners of the Heroe should be virtuous. They are Poetically good if they are of a Piece. Though where a Character of perfect Virtue is set before us, 'tis more lovely: for there the whole Heroe is to be imitated. This is the Aeneas of our Author: this is that Idea of perfection in an Epick Poem, which Painters and Statuaries have only in their minds; and which no hands are able to express. These are the Beauties of a God in a Humane Body. When the Picture of Achilles is drawn in Tragedy, he is taken with those Warts, and Moles, and hard Features, by those who represent him on the Stage, or he is no more Achilles: for his Creatour Homer has so describ'd him. Yet even thus he appears a perfect Heroe, though an imperfect Character of Vertue. Horace Paints him after Homer, and delivers him to be Copied on the Stage with all those imperfections. Therefore they are either not faults in a Heroick Poem, or faults common to the Drama. After all, on the whole merits of the Cause, it must be acknowledg'd that the Epick Poem is more for the Manners, and Tragedy for the Passions. The Passions, as I have said, are violent: and acute Distempers require Medicines of a strong and speedy operation. Ill habits of the Mind are like Chronical Diseases, to be corrected by degrees, and Cur'd by Alteratives: wherein though Purges are sometimes necessary, yet Diet, good Air, and moderate Exercise, have the greatest part. The Matter being thus stated, it will appear that both sorts of Poetry are of use for their proper ends. The Stage is more active, the Epick Poem works at greater leisure, yet is active too, when need requires. For Dialogue is imitated by the Drama, from the more active parts of it. One puts off a Fit like the Quinquina, and relieves us only for a time; the other roots out the Distemper, and gives a healthful habit. The Sun en­lightens and chears us, dispels Fogs, and warms the ground with his daily Beams; but the Corn is sow'd, increases, is ripen'd, and is reap'd for use in process of time, and in its proper Season. I proceed from the greatness of the Action, to the Dignity of the Actours, I mean to the Persons employ'd in both Poems. There likewise Tragedy will be seen to borrow from the Epopee; and that which borrows is always of less Dignity, because it has not of its own. A Subject, 'tis true, may lend to his Soveraign, but the act of borrowing makes the King inferiour, because he wants, and the Subject supplies. And suppose the Persons of the Drama wholly Fabulous, or of the Poet's Invention, yet Heroick Poetry gave him the Examples of that Invention, because it was first, and Homer the common Father of the Stage. I know not of any one advantage, which Tragedy can boast above Heroick Poetry, but that it is represented to the view, as well as read: and instructs in the Clo­set, as well as on the Theatre. This is an uncontended Excellence, and a chief Branch of its Prerogative; yet I may be allow'd to say without partiality, that herein the Actors share the Poet's praise. Your Lord­ship knows some Modern Tragedies which are beautiful on the Stage, and yet I am confident you wou'd not read them. Tryphon the Stationer complains they are seldom ask'd for in his Shop. The Poet who Flou­rish'd in the Scene, is damn'd in the Ruelle; nay more, he is not esteem'd a good Poet by those who see and hear his Extravagancies with delight. They are a sort of stately Fustian, and lofty Childishness. No­thing but Nature can give a sincere pleasure; where that is not imita­ted, 'tis Grotesque Painting, the fine Woman ends in a Fishes Tail.

I might also add, that many things, which not only please, but are [Page] real Beauties in the reading, wou'd appear absurd upon the Stage: and those not only the Speciosa Miracula, as Horace calls them; of Transfor­mations, of Scylla, Antiphates, and the Lestrigons, which cannot be re­presented even in Opera's; but the prowess of Achilles or Aeneas wou'd appear ridiculous in our Dwarf-Heroes of the Theatre. We can be­lieve they routed Armies in Homer or in Virgil, but ne Hercules contraduos in the Drama. I forbear to instance in many things which the Stage cannot or ought not to represent. For I have said already more than I intended on this Subject, and shou'd fear it might be turn'd a­gainst me; that I plead for the pre-eminence of Epick Poetry, because I have taken some pains in translating Virgil; if this were the first time that I had deliver'd my Opinion in this Dispute. But I have more than once already maintain'd the Rights of my two Masters against their Rivals of the Scene, even while I wrote Tragedies my self, and had no thoughts of this present Undertaking. I submit my Opinion to your Judgment, who are better qualified than any Man I know to de­cide this Controversie. You come, my Lord, instructed in the Cause, and needed not that I shou'd open it. Your Essay of Poetry, which was publish'd without a Name, and of which I was not honour'd with the Confidence, I read over and over with much delight, and as much instruction: and, without flattering you, or making my self more Mo­ral than I am, not without some Envy. I was loath to be inform'd how an Epick Poem shou'd be written, or how a Tragedy shou'd be contriv'd and manag'd in better Verse and with more judgment than I cou'd teach others. A Native of Parnassus, and bred up in the Studies of its Fundamental Laws, may receive new Lights from his Contem­poraries, but 'tis a grudging kind of praise which he gives his Benefa­ctors. He is more oblig'd than he is willing to acknowledge: there is a tincture of Malice in his Commendations. For where I own I am taught, I confess my want of Knowledge. A Judge upon the Bench, may, out of good Nature, or at least interest, encourage the Pleadings of a puny Councellor, but he does not willingly commend his Brother Serjeant at the Bar, especially when he controuls his Law, and exposes that ignorance which is made Sacred by his Place. I gave the un­known Author his due Commendation, I must consess, but who can answer for me, and for the rest of the Poets, who heard me read the Poem, whether we shou'd not have been better pleas'd to have seen our own Names at the bottom of the Title Page? perhaps we commended it the more, that we might seem to be above the Censure. We are naturally displeas'd with an unknown Critick, as the Ladies are with a Lampooner, because we are bitten in the dark, and know not where to fasten our Revenge. But great Excellencies will work their way through all sorts of opposition. I applauded rather out of decency than Affection; and was Ambitious, as some yet can witness, to be ac­quainted with a Man, with whom I had the honour to Converse, and that almost daily, for so many years together. Heaven knows if I have heartily forgiven you this deceit. You extorted a Praise which I shou'd willingly have given had I known you. Nothing had been more easie than to commend a Patron of a long standing. The World wou'd joyn with me, if the Encomiums were just; and if un­just, wou'd excuse a grateful Flatterer. But to come Anonymous upon me, and force me to commend you against my interest, was not alto­gether so fair, give me leave to say, as it was Politick. For by con­cealing your Quality, you might clearly understand how your Work [Page] succeeded; and that the general approbation was given to your Merit not your Titles. Thus like Apelles you stood unseen behind your own Venus, and receiv'd the praises of the passing Multitude: the Work was commended, not the Author: And I doubt not this was one of the most pleasing Adventures of your Life.

I have detain'd your Lordship longer than I intended in this Dispute of preference betwixt the Epick Poem, and the Dramae: and yet have not formally answer'd any of the Arguments which are brought by Aristotle on the other side, and set in the fairest light by Dacier. But I suppose, without looking on the Book, I may have touch'd on some of the Objections. For in this Address to your Lordship, I design not a Treatise of Heroick Poetry, but write in a loose Epistolary way, some­what tending to that Subject, after the Example of Horace, in his First Epistle of the Second Book to Augustus Caesar, and of that to the Piso's, which we call his Art of Poetry. In both of which he observes no Method that I can trace, whatever Scaliger the Father, or Heinsius may have seen, or rather think they had seen. I have taken up, laid down, and resum'd as often as I pleas'd the same Subject: and this loose pro­ceeding I shall use thro' all this Prefatory Dedication. Yet all this while I have been Sailing with some side-wind or other toward the Point I propos'd in the beginning; the Greatness and Excellency of an Heroick Poem, with some of the difficulties which attend that work. The Comparison therefore which I made betwixt the Epopee and the Tragedy was not altogether a digression; for 'tis concluded on all hands, that they are both the Master-pieces of Humane Wit.

In the mean time I may be bold to draw this Corollary from what has been already said, That the File of Heroick Poets is very short: all are not such who have assum'd that lofty Title in Ancient or Modern Ages, or have been so esteem'd by their partial and ignorant Admirers.

There have been but one great Ilias and one Aeneis in so many A­ges. The next, but the next with a long interval betwixt, was the Jerusalem: I mean not so much in distance of time, as in Excellency. After these three are entred, some Lord Chamberlain should be ap­pointed, some Critick of Authority shou'd be set before the door, to keep out a Crowd of little Poets, who press for Admission, and are not of Quality. Maevius wou'd be deafning your Lordship's Ears with his ‘Fortunam Priami, Cantabo, & Nobile Bellum.’ meer Fustian, as Horace would tell you from behind, without pressing forward, and more smoak than fire. Pulci, Boyardo, and Ariosto, wou'd cry out, make room for the Italian Poets, the descendants of Vir­gil in a right Line. Father Le Moin with his Saint Louis; and Scudery with his Alaric, for a godly King, and a Gothick Conquerour; and Cha­pelain wou'd take it ill that his Maid shou'd be refus'd a place with Helen and Lavinia. Spencer has a better plea for his Fairy-Queen, had his action been finish'd, or had been one. And Milton, if the Devil had not been his Heroe instead of Adam, if the Gyant had not foil'd the Knight, and driven him out of his strong hold, to wander through the World with his Lady Errant: and if there had not been more Machi­ning Persons than Humane, in his Poem. After these, the rest of our En­glish Poets shall not be mention'd. I have that Honour for them which I ought to have: but if they are Worthies, they are not to be rank'd a­mongst [Page] the three whom I have nam'd, and who are establish'd in their Reputation.

Before I quitted the Comparison betwixt Epick Poetry and Tragedy, I shou'd have acquainted my Judge with one advantage of the former over the latter, which I now casually remember out of the Preface of Segrais before his Translation of the Aeneis, or out of Bossu, no matter which. The stile of the Heroick Poem is and ought to be more lofty than that of the Drama. The Critick is certainly in the right, for the Reason already urg'd: The work of Tragedy is on the Passions, and in Dialogue, both of them abhor strong Metaphors, in which the Epopee delights. A Poet cannot speak too plainly on the Stage: for Volat irrevocabile verbum; the sense is lost if it be not taken flying: but what we read alone we have leisure to digest. There an Author may beautifie his Sense by the boldness of his Expression, which if we understand not fully at the first, we may dwell upon it, 'till we find the secret force and excellence. That which cures the Manners by alte­rative Physick, as I said before, must proceed by insensible degrees; but that which purges the Passions, must do its business all at once, or wholly fail of its effect, at least in the present Operation, and with­out repeated Doses. We must beat the Iron while 'tis hot, but we may polish it at leisure. Thus, my Lord, you pay the Fine of my forget­fulness, and yet the merits of both Causes are where they were, and undecided, 'till you declare whether it be more for the benefit of Mankind to have their Manners in general corrected, or their Pride and hard-heartedness remov'd.

I must now come closer to my present business: and not think of ma­king more invasive Wars abroad, when like Hannibal, I am call'd back to the defence of my own Country. Virgil is attack'd by many Ene­mies: He has a whole Confederacy against him, and I must endeavour to defend him as well as I am able. But their principal Objections being against his Moral, the duration or length of time taken up in the action of the Poem, and what they have to urge against the Manners of his Hero, I shall omit the rest as meer Cavils of Grammarians: at the worst but casual slips of a Great Man's Pen, or inconsiderable faults of an admirable Poem, which the Author had not leisure to review be­fore his Death. Macrobius has answer'd what the Ancients cou'd urge against him: and some things I have lately read in Tanneguy le Fevrè, Valois, and another whom I name not, which are scarce worth an­swering. They begin with the Moral of his Poem, which I have else­where confess'd, and still must own not to be so Noble as that of Ho­mer. But let both be fairly stated, and without contradicting my first Opinion, I can shew that Virgil's was as useful to the Romans of his Age, as Homer's was to the Grecians of his; in what time soever he may be suppos'd to have liv'd and flourish'd. Homer's Moral was to urge the necessity of Union, and of a good understanding betwixt Con­federate States and Princes engag'd in a War with a Mighty Monarch: as also of Discipline in an Army, and obedience in the several Chiefs, to the Supream Commander of the joynt Forces. To inculcate this, he sets forth the ruinous Effects of Discord in the Camp of those Allies, occasion'd by the quarrel betwixt the General, and one of the next in Office under him. Agamemnon gives the provo­cation, and Achilles resents the injury. Both Parties are faulty in the Quarrel, and accordingly they are both punish'd: the Agressor is forc'd to sue for peace to his Inferiour, on dishonourable Conditions; the De­serter [Page] resuses the satisfaction offer'd, and his Obstinacy costs him his best Friend. This works the Natural Effect of Choler, and turns his Rage against him, by whom he was last Affronted, and most sensib­ly. The greater Anger expels the less; but his Caracter is still pre­serv'd. In the mean time the Grecian Army receives Loss on Loss, and is half destroy'd by a Pestilence into the Bargain.

Quicquid delirant Reges plectuntur Achivi.

As the Poet, in the first part of the Example, had shewn the bad effects of Discord, so after the Reconcilement, he gives the good effects of Unity. For Hector is slain, and then Troy must fall. By this, 'tis probable, that Homer liv'd when the Persian Monarchy was grown formidable to the Grecians: and that the joint Endeavours of his Country-men, were little enough to preserve their common Freedom, from an encroaching Enemy. Such was his Moral, which all Criticks have allow'd to be more Noble than that of Virgil: though not adapted to the times in which the Roman Poet liv'd. Had Virgil flourish'd in the Age of En­nius, and address'd to Scipio, he had probably taken the same Moral, or some other not unlike it. For then the Romans were in as much dan­ger from the Carthaginian Commonwealth, as the Grecians were from the Persian Monarchy. But we are to consider him as writing his Poem in a time when the Old Form of Government was subverted, and a new one just Established by Octavius Caesar: In effect by force of Arms, but seemingly by the Consent of the Roman People. The Common­wealth had receiv'd a deadly Wound in the former Civil Wars be­twixt Marius and Sylla. The Commons, while the first prevail'd, had almost shaken off the Yoke of the Nobility; and Marius and Cinna, like the Captains of the Mobb, under the specious Pretence of the Pub­lick Good, and of doing Justice on the Oppressours of their Liberty, reveng'd themselves, without Form of Law, on their private Enemies. Sylla, in his turn, proscrib'd the Heads of the adverse Party: He too had nothing but Liberty and Reformation in his Mouth; (for the Cause of Religion is but a Modern Motive to Rebellion, invented by the Christian Priesthood, refining on the Heathen:) Sylla, to be sure, meant no more good to the Roman People than Marius before him, whatever he declar'd; but Sacrific'd the Lives, and took the Estates of all his Enemies, to gratifie those who brought him into Power: Such was the Reformation of the Government by both Parties. The Se­nate and the Commons were the two Bases on which it stood; and the two Champions of either Faction, each destroy'd the Foundations of the other side: So the Fabrique of consequence must fall betwxt them: And Tyranny must be built upon their Ruines. This comes of altering Fundamental Laws and Constitutions. Like him, who be­ing in good Health, lodg'd himself in a Physician's House, and was over-perswaded by his Landlord to take Physick, of which he dyed, for the benefit of his Doctor. Stavo ben (was written on his Monu­ment) ma, perstar meglio, sto qui.

After the Death of those two Usurpers, the Commonwealth seem'd to recover, and held up its Head for a little time: But it was all the while in a deep Consumption, which is a flattering Disease. Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar, had found the Sweets of Arbitrary Power; and each being a check to the others growth, struck up a false Friendship amongst themselves; and divided the Government betwixt them, [Page] which none of them was able to assume alone. These were the pub­lick Spirited Men of their Age, that is, Patriots for their own Interest. The Commonwealth look'd with a florid Countenance in their Ma­nagement, spread in Bulk, and all the while was wasting in the Vi­tals. Not to trouble your Lordship with the Repetition of what you know: After the death of Crassus, Pompey found himself out-witted by Caesar; broke with him, over-power'd him in the Senate, and caus'd many unjust Decrees to pass against him: Caesar thus injur'd, and un­able to resist the Faction of the Nobles, which was now uppermost (for he was a Marian) had recourse to Arms; and his Cause was just against Pompey, but not against his Country, whose Constitution ought to have been sacred to him; and never to have been Violated on the account of any private Wrong. But he prevail'd, and Heav'n declaring for him, he became a Providential Monarch, under the Title of Perpetual Dicta­tor. He being Murther'd by his own Son, whom I neither dare com­mend, nor can justly blame (though Dante in his Inferno, has put him and Cassius, and Judas Iscariot betwixt them, into the great Devil's Mouth) the Commonwealth popp'd up its Head for the third time, un­der Brutus and Cassius, and then sunk for ever.

Thus the Roman People were grosly gull'd: twice or thrice over: and as often enslav'd in one Century, and under the same pretence of Reformation. At last the two Battles of Philippi, gave the decisive stroak against Liberty; and not long after, the Commonwealth was turn'd into a Monarchy, by the Conduct and good Fortune of Augustus. 'Tis true, that the despotick Power could not have fallen into better Hands, than those of the first and second Caesar. Your Lordship well knows what Obligations Virgil had to the latter of them: He saw, beside, that the Commonwealth was lost without ressource: The Heads of it destroy'd; the Senate new moulded, grown degenerate; and either bought off, or thrusting their own Necks into the Yoke, out of fear of being forc'd. Yet I may safely affirm for our great Author (as Men of good Sense are generally Honest) that he was still of Republick principles in Heart.

Secretisque Piis, his dantem jura Catonem.

I think, I need use no other Argument to justify my Opinion, than that of this one Line, taken from the Eighth Book of the Eneis. If he had not well studied his Patron's Temper, it might have Ruin'd him with another Prince. But Augustus was not discontented, at least that we can find, that Cato was plac'd, by his own Poet, in Elisium; and there giving Laws to the Holy Souls, who deserv'd to be separated from the Vulgar sort of good Spirits. For his Conscience could not but whisper to the Arbi­trary Monarch, that the Kings of Rome were at first Elective, and Go­vern'd not without a Senate: That Romulus was no Hereditary Prince, and though, after his Death, he receiv'd Divine Honours, for the good he did on Earth, yet he was but a God of their own making: that the last Tarquin was Expell'd justly, for Overt-Acts of Tyranny, and Male-Administration; for such are the Conditions of an Elective Kingdom: And I meddle not with others: being, for my own Opinion, of Mon­taigns Principles, that an Honest Man ought to be contented with that Form of Government, and with those Fundamental Constitutions of it, which he receiv'd from his Ancestors, and under which himself was [Page] Born: Though at the same time he confess'd freely, that if he could have chosen his Place of Birth, it shou'd have been at Venice: Which for many Reasons I dislike, and am better pleas'd to have been born an English Man.

But to return from my long rambling: I say that Virgil having ma­turely weigh'd the Condition of the Times in which he liv'd: that an entire Liberty was not to be retriev'd: that the present Settlement had the prospect of a long continuance in the same Family, or those adopted into it: that he held his Paternal Estate from the Bounty of the Conqueror, by whom he was likewise enrich'd, esteem'd and che­rish'd: that this Conquerour, though of a bad kind, was the very best of it: that the Arts of Peace flourish'd under him: that all Men might be happy if they would be quiet: that now he was in possession of the whole, yet he shar'd a great part of his Authority with the Senate: That he would be chosen into the Ancient Offices of the Common­wealth, and Rul'd by the Power which he deriv'd from them; and Prorogu'd his Government from time to time: Still, as it were, threat­ning to dismiss himself from Publick Cares, which he exercis'd more for the common Good, than for any delight he took in greatness: These things, I say, being consider'd by the Poet, he concluded it to be the Interest of his Country to be so Govern'd: To infuse an awful Re­spect into the People, towards such a Prince: By that respect to con­firm their Obedience to him; and by that Obedience to make them Happy. This was the Moral of his Divine Poem: Honest in the Po­et: Honourable to the Emperour, whom he derives from a Divine Extraction; and reflecting part of that Honour on the Roman People, whom he derives also from the Trojans; and not only profitable, but ne­cessary to the present Age; and likely to be such to their Posterity. That it was the receiv'd Opinion, that the Romans were descended from the Trojans, and Julius Caesar from Julus the Son of Aeneas, was enough for Virgil; tho' perhaps he thought not so himself: Or that Aeneas ever was in Italy, which Bochartus manifestly proves. And Ho­mer, where he says that Jupiter hated the House of Priam, and was resolv'd to transfer the Kingdom to the Family of Aeneas, yet mentions nothing of his leading a Colony into a Foreign Country, and setling there: But that the Romans valued themselves on their Trojan Ance­stry, is so undoubted a Truth, that I need not prove it. Even the Seals which we have remaining of Julius Caesar, which we know to be Antique, have the Star of Venus over them, though they were all graven after his Death, as a Note that he was Deifi'd. I doubt not but it was one Reason, why Augustus should be so passionately con­cern'd for the preservation of the Aeneis, which its Author had Con­demn'd to be Burnt, as an Imperfect Poem, by his last Will and Testament; was, because it did him a real Service as well as an Honour; that a Work should not be lost where his Divine Original was Celebra­ted in Verse, which had the Character of Immortality stamp'd upon it.

Neither were the great Roman Families which flourish'd in his time, less oblig'd by him than the Emperour. Your Lordship knows with what Address he makes mention of them, as Captains of Ships, or Leaders in the War; and even some of Italian Extraction are not for­gotten. These are the single Stars which are sprinkled through the Aeneis: But there are whole Constellations of them in the Fifth Book. And I could not but take notice, when I Translated it, of some Favourite [Page] Families to which he gives the Victory, and awards the Prizes, in the Person of his Heroe, at the Funeral Games which were Celebrated in Honour of Anchises. I, Insist not on their Names: But am pleas'd to find the Memmii amongst them, deriv'd from Mnestheus, because Lucretius Dedicates to one of that Family, a Branch of which de­stroy'd Corinth. I likewise either found or form'd an Image to my self of the contrary kind; that those who lost the Prizes, were such as had disoblig'd the Poet, or were in disgrace with Augustus, or Ene­mies to Mecenas: And this was the Poetical Revenge he took. For genus irritabile Vatum, as Horace says. When a Poet is throughly pro­vok'd, he will do himself Justice, however dear it cost him, Ani­mamque, in Vulnere ponit. I think these are not bare Imaginations of my own, though I find no trace of them in the Commentatours: But one Poet may judge of another by himself. The Vengeance we defer, is not forgotten. I hinted before, that the whole Roman People were oblig'd by Virgil, in deriving them from Troy; an Ancestry which they affected. We, and the French are of the same Humour: They would be thought to descend from a Son, I think, of Hector: And we wou'd have our Britain, both Nam'd and Planted by a de­scendant of Aeneas. Spencer favours this Opinion what he can. His Prince Arthur, or whoever he intends by him, is a Trojan. Thus the Heroe of Homer was a Grecian, of Virgil a Roman, of Tasso an Italian.

I have transgress'd my Bounds, and gone farther than the Moral led me. But if your Lordship is not tir'd, I am safe enough.

Thus far, I think, my Author is defended. But as Augustus is still shadow'd in the Person of Aeneas, of which I shall say more, when I come to the Manners which the Poet gives his Hero: I must prepare that Subject by shewing how dext'rously he mannag'd both the Prince and People, so as to displease neither, and to do good to both, which is the part of a Wise and an Honest Man: And proves that it is pos­sible for a Courtier not to be a Knave: I shall continue still to speak my Thoughts like a free-born Subject as I am; though such things, perhaps, as no Dutch Commentator cou'd, and I am sure no French-man durst. I have already told your Lordship my Opinion of Virgil; that he was no Arbitrary Man. Oblig'd he was to his Ma­ster for his Bounty, and he repays him with good Counsel, how to behave himself in his new Monarchy, so as to gain the Affections of his Subjects, and deserve to be call'd the Father of his Country. From this Consideration it is, that he chose for the ground-work of his Poem, one Empire destroy'd, and another rais'd from the Ruins of it. This was just the Parallel. Aeneas cou'd not pretend to be Pri­am's Heir in a Lineal Succession: For Anchises the Heroe's Father, was only of the second Branch of the Royal Family: And Helenus, a Son of Priam, was yet surviving, and might lawfully claim before him. It may be Virgil mentions him on that Account. Neither has he forgotten Atis, in the Fifth of his Aeneis, the Son of Polites, young­est Son to Priam; who was slain by Pyrrhus, in the Second Book. A­tis, then, the Favourite Companion of Ascanius, had a better Right than he; tho' I know he was introduc'd by Virgil, to do Honour to the Family, from which Julius Caesar was descended by the Mothers side. Aeneas had only Married Creusa, Priam's Daughter, and by her could have no Title, while any of the Male Issue were remaining. In this case, the Poet gave him the next Title, which is, that of an Elective King. The remaining Trojans chose him to lead them forth, [Page] and settle them in some Foreign Country. Ilioneus in his Speech to Dido, calls him expresly by the Name of King. Our Poet, who all this while had Augustus in his Eye, had no desire he should seem to succeed by any right of Inheritance, deriv'd from Julius Cae­sar; such a Title being but one degree remov'd from Conquest. For what was introduc'd by force, by force may be remov'd. 'Twas bet­ter for the People that they should give, than he should take. Since that Gift was indeed no more at bottom than a Trust. Virgil gives us an Example of this, in the Person of Mezentius. He Go­vern'd Arbitrarily, he was expell'd: And came to the deserv'd End of all Tyrants. Our Author shews us another sort of Kingship in the Per­son of Latinus. He was descended from Saturn, and as I remember, in the Third Degree. He is describ'd a just and a gracious Prince; solicitous for the Welfare of his People; always Consulting with his Senate to promote the common Good. We find him at the head of them, when he enters into the Council-Hall. Speaking first, but still demanding their Advice, and steering by it as far as the Iniquity of the Times wou'd suffer him. And this is the proper Character of a King by Inheritance, who is born a Father of his Country. Aeneas, tho' he Married the Heiress of the Crown, yet claim'd no Title to it during the Life of his Father-in-Law. Pater arma Latinus habeto, &c. are Virgil's Words. As for himself, he was contented to take care of his Country Gods, who were not those of Latium. Wherein our Divine Author seems to relate to the after practice of the Romans, which was to adopt the Gods of those they Conquer'd, or receiv'd as Members of their Commonwealth. Yet withal, he plainly touches at the Office of the High Priesthood, with which Augustus was invested: And which made his Person more Sacred and inviolable, than even the Tribunitial Power. It was not therefore for nothing, that the most Judicious of all Poets, made that Office vacant, by the Death of Pan­thus, in the Second Book of the Aeneis, for his Heroe ro succeed in it; and consequently for Augustus to enjoy. I know not that any of the Commentatours have taken notice of that passage. If they have not, I am sure they ought: And if they have, I am not indebted to them for the Observation: The words of Virgil are very plain.

Sacra, suosque tibi, commendat Troja Penates.

As for Augustus, or his Uncle Julius, claiming by descent from Ae­neas; that Title is already out of doors. Aeneas succeeded not, but was Elected. Troy was fore-doom'd to fall for ever.

Postquam res Asiae, Priamique evertere Regnum,
Immeritum, visum superis. Aeneis the 3d, line the 1st.

Augustus 'tis true, had once resolv'd to re-build that City, and there to make the Seat of Empire: But Horace writes an Ode on purpose to deter him from that Thought; declaring the place to be accurs'd, and that the Gods would as often destroy it as it shou'd be rais'd. Here­upon the Emperour laid aside a Project so ungrateful to the Roman People: But by this, my Lord, we may conclude that he had still his Pedigree in his Head; and had an Itch of being thought a Divine King, if his Poets had not given him better Counsel.

I will pass by many less material Objections, for want of room to Answer them: What follows next is of great Importance, if the Cri­ticks [Page] can make out their Charge; for 'tis levell'd at the Manners which our Poet gives his Heroe; and which are the same which were emi­nently seen in his Augustus. Those Manners were Piety to the Gods, and a dutiful Affection to his Father; Love to his Relations; Care of his People; Courage and Conduct in the Wars; Gratitude to those who had oblig'd him; and Justice in general to Mankind.

Piety, as your Lordship sees, takes place of all, as the chief part of his Character: And the word in Latin is more full than it can possibly be exprest in any Modern Language; for there it comprehends not on­ly Devotion to the Gods, but Filial Love and tender Affection to Rela­tions of all sorts. As instances of this, the Deities of Troy and his own Penates are made the Companions of his Flight: They appear to him in his Voyage, and advise him; and at last he re-places them in Italy, their Native Country. For his Father he takes him on his Back: He leads his little Son, his Wife follows him; but losing his Foot­steps through Fear or Ignorance, he goes back into the midst of his E­nemies to find her; and leaves not his pursute 'till her Ghost appears, to forbid his farther search. I will say nothing of his Duty to his Fa­ther while he liv'd; his Sorrow for his Death; of the Games instituted in Honour of his Memory; or seeking him, by his Command, even af­ter Death, in the Elysian Fields. I will not mention his Tenderness for his Son, which every where is visible; Of his raising a Tomb for Polydorus, the Obsequies for Misenus, his pious remembrance of Dei­phobus: The Funerals of his Nurse: His Grief for Pallas, and his Re­venge taken on his Murtherer; whom, otherwise by his Natural Com­passion, he had forgiven: And then the Poem had been left imperfect: For we could have had no certain prospect of his Happiness, while the last Obstacle to it was unremov'd. Of the other parts which compose his Character, as a King, or as a General, I need say nothing: The whole Aeneis is one continued Instance, of some one or other of them: And where I find any thing of them tax'd, it shall suffice me, as brief­ly as I can, to vindicate my Divine Master to your Lordship, and by you to the Reader. But herein, Segrais, in his admirable Preface to his Translation of the Aeneis, as the Author of the Dauphin's Virgil justly calls it; has prevented me. Him I follow; and what I borrow from him, am ready to acknowledge to him. For, impartially speaking, the French are as much better Criticks than the English, as they are worse Po­ets. Thus we generally allow that they better understand the ma­nagement of a War, than our Islanders; but we know we are superiour to them, in the day of Battel. They value themselves on their Generals; we on our Souldiers. But this is not the proper place to de­cide that Question, if they make it one. I shall sayperhaps as much of other Nations, and their Poets, excepting only Tasso: and hope to make my Asser­tion good, which is but doing Justice to my Country. Part of which Ho­nour will reflect on your Lordship, whose Thoughts are always just; your Numbers harmonious; your Words chosen; your Expressions strong and manly; your Verse flowing, and your turns as happy as they are easie. If you wou'd set us more Copies, your Example would make all Precepts needless. In the mean time, that little you have Written is own'd, and that particularly by the Poets, (who are a Nation not over-lavish of praise to their Contemporaries,) as a principal Ornament of our Language: But the sweetest Essences are always confin'd in the smal­lest Glasses.

[Page] When I speak of your Lordship, 'tis never a digression, and there­fore I need beg no pardon for it; but take up Segrais where I left him: And shall use him less often than I have occasion for him. For his Pre­face is a perfect piece of Criticism, full and clear, and digested into an exact Method; mine is loose, and, as I intended it, Epistolary. Yet I dwell on many things which he durst not touch: For 'tis dangerous to offend an Arbitrary Master: And every Patron who has the Pow­er of Augustus, has not his Clemency. In short, my Lord, I wou'd not Translate him, because I wou'd bring you somewhat of my own. His Notes and Observations on every Book, are of the same Excellency; and for the same Reason I omit the greater part.

He takes notice that Virgil is Arraign'd for placing Piety before Va­lour; and making that Piety the chief Character of his Heroe. I have said already from Bossu, that a Poet is not oblig'd to make his Heroe a Virtuous Man: Therefore neither Homer nor Tasso are to be blam'd, for giving what predominant quality they pleas'd to their first Chara­cter. But Virgil, who design'd to form a perfect Prince, and would in­sinuate, that Augustus, whom he calls Aeneas in his Poem, was truly such, found himself oblig'd to make him without blemish; thoroughly Virtuous; and a thorough Virtue both begins and ends in Piety. Tasso, without question, observ'd this before me; and therefore split his He­roe in two. He gave Godfrey Piety, and Rinaldo Fortitude; for their chief Qualities or Manners. Homer, who had chosen another Moral, makes both Agamemnon and Achilles vicious: For his design was to in­struct in Virtue, by shewing the deformity of Vice. I avoid repetiti­one of that I have said above. What follows is Translated literally from Segrais.

Virgil had consider'd that the greatest Virtues of Augustus consisted in the perfect Art of Governing his People; which caus'd him to Reign for more than Forty Years in great Felicity. He consider'd that his Emperour was Valiant, Civil, Popular, Eloquent, Politick, and Religious. He has given all these Qualities to Aeneas. But knowing that Piety alone comprehends the whole Duty of Man towards the Gods; towards his County, and towards his Relations, he judg'd, that this ought to be his first Character, whom he would set for a Pattern of Perfection. In reality, they who believe that the Praises which arise from Valour, are superiour to those, which proceed from any other Virtues, have not consider'd (as they ought), that Valour, de­stitute of other Virtues, cannot render a Man worthy of any true esteem. That Quality which signifies no more than an intrepid Courage, may be separated from many others which are good, and accompany'd with many which are ill. A Man may be very Valiant, and yet Impious and Vicious. But the same cannot be said of Piety; which excludes all ill Qualities, and comprehends even Valour it self, with all other Qualities which are good. Can we, for Example, give the praise of Valour to a Man who shou'd see his Gods prophan'd, and shou'd want the Courage to defend them? To a Man who shou'd abandon his Father, or desert his King in his last Necessity?

Thus far Segrais, in giving the preference to Piety before Valour. I will now follow him, where he considers this Valour, or intrepid Courage, singly in it self; and this also Virgil gives to his Aeneas, and that in a Heroical Degree.

Having first concluded, that our Poet did for the best in taking the first Character of his Heroe, from that Essential Vertue on which the [Page] rest depend, he proceeds to tell us, that in the Ten Years war of Troy, he was consider'd as the second Champion of his Country; allowing Hector the first place; and this, even by the Confession of Homer, who took all occasions of setting up his own Countrymen the Grecians, and of undervaluing the Trojan Chiefs. But Virgil, (whom Segrais for­got to cite,) makes Diomede give him a higher Character for Strength and Courage. His Testimony is this in the Eleventh Book.

—stetimus tela aspera contra,
Contulimusque manus: Experto, credite, quantus
In clypeum afsurgat, quo turbine torqueat hastam.
Si duo preterea tales Idaea tulisset
Terra viros; ultro Inachias venisset ad Ʋrbes
Dardanus, & versis lugeret Graecia fatis.
Quicquid apud durae cessatum est moenia Trojae,
Hectoris, Aeeneaeque manu victoria Grajûm
Haesit; & in decumum vestigia rettulit annum.
Ambo animis, ambo insignes praestantibus armis:
Hic pietate prior.

I give not here my Translation of these Verses; though I think I have not ill succeeded in them; because your Lordship is so great a Master of the Original, that I have no reason to desire you shou'd see Virgil and me so near together: But you may please, my Lord, to take notice, that the Latin Author refines upon the Greek; and insinuates, That Homer had done his Heroe Wrong, in giving the advantage of the Duel to his own Country-man: Though Diomedes was manifestly the second Champion of the Grecians: And Ʋlysses preferr'd him be­fore Ajax, when he chose him for the Companion of his Nightly Ex­pedition: For he had a Head-piece of his own; and wanted only the fortitude of another, to bring him off with safety; and that he might compass his Design with Honour.

The French Translator thus proceeds: They who accuse Aeneas for want of Courage, either understand not Virgil, or have read him slightly; otherwise they would not raise an Objection so easie to be An­swer'd: Hereupon he gives so many instances of the Heroe's Valour, that to repeat them after him would tire your Lordship, and put me to the unnecessary trouble of Transcribing the greatest part of the three last Aeneids. In short, more could not be expected from an Amadis, a Sir Lancelot, or the whole round Table, than he performs. Proxima quae­que metit gladio, is the perfect Account of a Knight Errant. If it be re­ply'd, continues Segrais, that it was not difficult for him to undertake and atchieve such hardy Enterprizes, because he wore Enchanted Arms. That Accusation, in the first place, must fall on Homer e're it can reach Vir­gil. Achilles was as well provided with them as Aeneas, though he was in­vulnerable without them: And, Ariosto, the two Tasso's, Bernardo and Tor­quato, even our own Spencer; in a word, all Modern Poets have Copied Homer as well as Virgil: He is neither the first nor last; but in the midst of them; and therefore is safe if they are so. Who knows, says Segrais, but that his fated Armour was only an Allegorical Defence, and signifi'd no more than that he was under the peculiar protection of the Gods; born, as the Astrologers will tell us out of Virgil (who was well vers'd in the Chaldaean Mysteries) under the favourable influence of Jupiter, Venus, and the Sun: But I insist not on this, because I know you believe not [Page] there is such an Art: though not only Horace and Persius, but Augustus himself, thought otherwise. But in defence of Virgil, I dare positively say, that he has been more cautious in this particular than either his Predecessour, or his Descendants. For Aeneas was actually wounded, in the Twelfth of the Aeneis; though he had the same God-Smith to Forge his Arms, as had Achilles. It seems he was no War-luck, as the Scots commonly call such Men, who they say, are Iron-free, or Lead-free. Yet after this Experiment, that his Arms were not impenetrable, when he was Cur'd indeed by his Mother's help, because he was that day to conclude the War by the death of Turnus, the Poet durst not carry the Miracle too far, and restore him wholy to his former Vigour: He was still too weak to overtake his Enemy; yet we see with what Courage he at­tacks Turnus, when he faces and renews the Combate. I need say no more, for Virgil defends himself, without needing my assistance; and proves his Heroe truly to deserve that Name. He was not then a Second-rate Champion, as they would have him, who think Fortitude the first Vertue in a Heroe. But being beaten from this hold, they will not yet allow him to be Valiant; because he wept more often, as they think, than well becomes a Man of Courage.

In the first place, if Tears are Arguments of Cowardise, What shall I say of Homer's Heroe? shall Achilles pass for timorous be­cause he wept? and wept on less occasions than Aeneas? Herein Virgil must be granted to have excell'd his Master. For once both Heroes are describ'd lamenting their lost Loves: Briseis was taken a­way by force from the Grecian: Cerusa was lost for ever to her Hus­band. But Achilles went roaring along the salt Sea-shore, and like a Booby, was complaining to his Mother, when he shou'd have reveng'd his Injury by Arms. Aeneas took a Nobler Course; for having secur'd his Father and his Son, he repeated all his former Dangers to have found his Wife, if she had been above ground. And here your Lord­ship may observe the Address of Virgil; it was not for nothing, that this Passage was related with all these tender Circumstances. Aeneas told it; Dido hear'd it: That he had been so affectionate a Husband, was no ill Argument to the coming Dowager, that he might prove as kind to her. Virgil has a thousand secret Beauties, tho' I have not leisure to remark them.

Segrais on this Subject of a Heroe's shedding Tears, observes that Hi­storians commend Alexander for weeping, when he read the mighty Actions of Achilles. And Julius Caesar is likewise prais'd, when out of the same Noble Envy, he wept at the Victories of Alexander. But if we observe more closely, we shall find, that the tears of Aeneas were al­ways on a laudable Occasion. Thus he weeps out of Compassion, and tenderness of Nature, when in the Temple of Carthage he beholds the Pictures of his Friends, who Sacrific'd their Lives in Defence of their Country. He deplores the lamentable End of his Pilot Palinurus; the untimely death of young Pallas his Confederate; and the rest, which I omit. Yet even for these Tears his wretched Criticks dare condemn him. They make Aeneas little better than a kind of a St. Swithen Heroe, always raining. One of these Censors is bold enough to argue him of Cowardise; when in the beginning of the First Book, he not only weeps, but trembles at an approaching Storm.

Extemplò Aeneae solvuntur frigore Membra:
Ingemit & duplices tendens ad syderas palmas, &c.

But to this I have answer'd formerly; that his fear was not for himself, but for his People. And who can give a Soveraign a better Commendation, or recommend a Heroe more to the affection of the Reader? They were threatned with a Tempest, and he wept; he was promis'd Italy, and therefore he pray'd for the accomplishment of that Promise. All this in the beginning of a Storm, therefore he shew'd the more early Piety, and the quicker sense of Compassion. Thus much I have urg'd elsewhere in the defence of Virgil; and since I have been inform'd, by Mr. Moyl, a young Gentleman, whom I can never sufficiently commend, that the Ancients accounted drowning an accursed Death. So that if we grant him to have been afraid, he had just occasion for that fear, both in relation to himself, and to his Sub­jects. I think our Adversaries can carry this Argument no farther, un­less they tell us that he ought to have had more confidence in the promise of the Gods: But how was he assur'd that he had understood their Oracles aright? Helenus might be mistaken, Phoebus might speak doubtfully, even his Mother might flatter him, that he might prose­cute his Voyage, which if it succeeded happily, he shou'd be the Foun­der of an Empire. For that she her self was doubtful of his Fortune, is apparent by the Address she made to Jupiter on his behalf. To which the God makes answer in these words:

Parce metu, Citherea, manent immota tuorum,
Fata tibi, &c.

Notwithstanding which, the Goddess, though comforted, was not assur'd: For even after this, through the course of the whole Aeneis, she still apprehends the interest which Juno might make with Jupiter against her Son. For it was a moot Point in Heaven, whether he cou'd alter Fate or not. And indeed, some passages in Virgil wou'd make us suspect, that he was of Opinion, Jupiter might deferr Fate, though he cou'd not alter it. For in the latter end of the Tenth Book, he introduces Juno begging for the Life of Turnus, and flatter­ing her Husband with the power of changing Destiny. Tua qui potes, orsa reflectas. To which he graciously answers:

Si mora praesentis lethi tempus (que) caduco
Oratur Juveni, me (que) hoc ita ponere sentis,
Tolle fugâ Turnum, at (que) instantibus Eripe fatis.
Hactenus indulsisse vacat. Sin altior istis
Sub precibus venia ulla latet, totum (que) moveri,
Mutarive putas bellum, spes pascis inaneis.

But that he cou'd not alter those Decrees, the King of Gods himself confesses, in the Book above cited: when he comforts Hercules, for the death of Pallas, who had invok'd his aid, before he threw his Lance at Turnus.

—Trojae sub moenibus altis,
Tot Nati Cecidere Deûm; quin occidit unâ
Sarpedon mea progenies: etiam sua Turnum
Fata manent: metas (que) dati pervenit ad aevi.

Where he plainly acknowledges, that he cou'd not save his own Son, or prevent the death which he foresaw. Of his power to deferr the blow, I once occasionally discours'd with that Excellent Person Sir Robert Howard: who is better conversant than any Man I know, in the Doctrine of the Stoicks, and he set me right; from the concurrent testimony of Philosophers and Poets, that Jupiter cou'd not retard the effects of Fate, even for a moment. For when I cited Virgil as favour­ing the contrary opinion in that Verse, ‘Tolle fugâ Turnum, at (que) instantibus eripe fatis.’

He reply'd, and I think with an exact Judgment, that when Jupi­ter gave Juno leave to withdraw Turnus from the present danger, it was because he certainly fore-knew that his Fatal hour was not come: that it was in Destiny for Juno at that time to save him; and that he himself obey'd Destiny, in giving her that leave.

I need say no more in justification of our Heroe's Courage, and am much deceiv'd, if he ever be attack'd on this side of his Character again. But he is Arraign'd with more shew of Reason by the Ladies; who will make a numerous Party against him, for being false to Love, in forsaking Dido. And I cannot much blame them; for to say the truth, 'tis an ill Precedent for their Gallants to follow. Yet if I can bring him off, with Flying Colours, they may learn experience at her cost; and for her sake, avoid a Cave, as the worst shelter they can chuse from a shower of Rain, especially when they have a Lover in their Company.

In the first place, Segrais observes with much accuteness, that they who blame Aeneas for his insensibility of Love, when he left Carthage, contradict their former accusation of him, for being always Crying, Compassionate, and Effeminately sensible of those Misfortunes which befell others. They give him two contrary Characters, but Virgil makes him of a piece, always grateful, always tender-hearted. But they are impudent enough to discharge themselves of this blunder, by laying the Contradiction at Virgil's door. He, they say, has shewn his Heroe with these inconsistent Characters: Acknowledging, and Ungrateful, Compassionate, and Hard-harted; but at the bottom, Fickle, and Self-interested. For Dido had not only receiv'd his wea­ther-beaten Troops before she saw him, and given them her protection, but had also offer'd them an equal share in her Dominion.

Vultis & his mecum pariter considere Regnis?
Ʋrbem quam statuo, vestra est.

This was an obligement never to be forgotten: and the more to be consider'd, because antecedent to her Love. That passion, 'tis true, produc'd the usual effects of Generosity, Gallantry, and care to please, and thither we referr them. But when she had made all these ad­vances, it was still in his power to have refus'd them: After the In­trigue [Page] of the Cave, call it Marriage, or Enjoment only, he was no lon­ger free to take or leave; he had accepted the favour, and was oblig'd to be Constant, if he wou'd be grateful.

My Lord, I have set this Argument in the best light I can, that the Ladies may not think I write booty: and perhaps it may happen to me, as it did to Doctor Cudworth, who has rais'd such strong Objecti­ons against the being of a God, and Providence, that many think he has not answer'd them. You may please at least to hear the adverse Party. Segrais pleads for Virgil, that no less than an Absolute Com­mand from Jupiter, cou'd excuse this insensibility of the Heroe, and this abrupt departure, which looks so like extream ingratitude. But at the same time, he does wisely to remember you, that Virgil had made Piety the first Character of Aeneas: And this being allow'd, as I am afraid it must, he was oblig'd, antecedent to all other Considerations, to search an Asylum for his Gods in Italy. For those very Gods, I say, who had promis'd to his Race the Universal Empire. Cou'd a Pious Man dispence with the Commands of Jupiter to satisfie his passion; or take it in the strongest sense, to comply with the obligations of his gratitude? Religion, 'tis true, must have Moral Honesty for its ground­work, or we shall be apt to suspect its truth; but an immediate Reve­lation dispenses with all Duties of Morality. All Casuists agree, that Theft is a breach of the Moral Law: yet if I might presume to mingle Things Sacred with Prophane, the Israelites only spoil'd the Egyptians, not rob'd them, because the propriety was transferr'd; by a Revelation to their Law-giver. I confess Dido was a very Infidel in this Point: for she wou'd not believe, as Virgil makes her say, that ever Jupiter wou'd send Mercury on such an Immoral Errand. But this needs no Answer; at least no more than Virgil gives it: ‘Fata obstant, placidas (que) viri Deus obstruit aures.’

This notwithstanding, as Segrais confesses, he might have shewn a little more sensibility when he left her; for that had been according to his Character.

But let Virgil answer for himself; he still lov'd her; and struggled with his inclinations, to obey the Gods.

Curam sub Corde premebat,
Multa gemens; magno (que) animum labefactus Amore.

Upon the whole Matter, and humanely speaking, I doubt there was a fault somewhere; and Jupiter is better able to bear the blame, than either Virgil or Aeneas. The Poet it seems had found it out, and there­fore brings the deserting Heroe and the forsaken Lady to meet together in the lower Regions; where he excuses himself when 'tis too late, and accordingly she will take no satisfaction, nor so much as hear him. Now Segrais is forc'd to abandon his defence, and excuses his Author, by saying that the Aeneis is an imperfect Work, and that Death prevented the Divine Poet from reviewing it; and for that Reason he had condemn'd it to the fire; though at the same time, his two Translators must acknowledge, that the Sixth Book is the most Correct of the whole Aeneis. Oh, how convenient is a Machine sometimes in a Heroick Poem! This of Mercury is plainly one, and Virgil was constrain'd to use it here, or the honesty of his Heroe [Page] wou'd be ill-defended. And the Fair Sex however, if they had the Desertour in their power, wou'd certainly have shewn him no more mercy, than the Bacchanals did Orpheus. For if too much Constancy may be a fault sometimes, then want of Constancy, and Ingratitude after the last Favour, is a Crime that never will be forgiven. But of Machines, more in their proper place: where I shall shew, with how much judgment they have been us'd by Virgil; and in the mean time pass to another Article of his defence on the present Subject: where if I cannot clear the Heroe, I hope at least to bring off the Poet; for here I must divide their Causes. Let Aeneas trust to his Machine, which will only help to break his Fall, but the Address is incompa­rable. Plato, who borrow'd so much from Homer, and yet concluded for the Banishment of all Poets, wou'd at least have Rewarded Virgil, before he sent him into Exile. But I go farther, and say, that he ought to be acquitted, and deserv'd beside, the Bounty of Au­gustus, and the gratitude of the Roman People. If after this, the Ladies will stand out, let them remember, that the Jury is not all agreed; for Octavia was of his Party, and was also of the first Quality in Rome; she was present at the reading of the Sixth Aeneid, and we know not that she condemn'd Aeneas; but we are sure she presented the Poet, for his admirable Elegy on her Son Marcellus.

But let us consider the secret Reasons which Virgil had, for thus framing this Noble Episode, wherein the whole passion of Love is more exactly describ'd than in any other Poet. Love was the Theme of his Fourth Book; and though it is the shortest of the whole Aeneis, yet there he has given its beginning, its progress, its traverses, and its conclusion. And had exhausted so entirely this Subject, that he cou'd resume it but very slightly in the Eight ensuing Books.

She was warm'd with the graceful appearance of the Heroe, she smother'd those Sparkles out of decency, but Conversation blew them up into a Flame. Then she was forc'd to make a Confident of her whom she best might trust, her own Sister, who approves the passion, and thereby augments it, then succeeds her publick owning it; and after that, the consummation. Of Venus and Juno, Jupiter and Mercury I say nothing, for they were all Machining work; but possession ha­ving cool'd his Love, as it increas'd hers, she soon perceiv'd the change, or at least grew suspicious of a change; this suspicion soon turn'd to Jealousie, and Jealousie to Rage; then she disdains and threatens, and again is humble, and intreats; and nothing availing, despairs, curses, and at last becomes her own Executioner. See here the whole process of that passion, to which nothing can be added. I dare go no farther, lest I shou'd lose the connection of my Discourse.

To love our Native Country, and to study its Benefit and its Glory, to be interessed in its Concerns, is Natural to all Men, and is indeed our common Duty. A Poet makes a farther step; for endeavouring to do honour to it, 'tis allowable in him even to be partial in its Cause; for he is not ty'd to truth, or fetter'd by the Laws of History. Homer and Tasso are justly prais'd for chusing their Heroes out of Greece and Italy; Virgil indeed made his a Trojan, but it was to derive the Romans, and his own Augustus from him; but all the three Poets are manifestly partial to their Heroes, in favour of their Country. For Dares Phrygius reports of Hector, that he was slain Cowardly; Aeneas according to the best account, slew not Mezentius, but was slain by him: and the Chronicles of Italy tell us little of that Rinaldo d'Estè [Page] who Conquers Jerusalem in Tasso. He might be a Champion of the Church; but we know not that he was so much as present at the Siege. To ap­ply this to Virgil, he thought himself engag'd in Honour to espouse the Cause and Quarrel of his Country against Carthage. He knew he cou'd not please the Romans better, or oblige them more to Patronize his Poem, than by disgracing the Foundress of that City. He shews her ungrateful to the Memory of her first Husband, doting on a Stranger; enjoy'd, and afterwards forsaken by him. This was the Original, says he, of the immortal hatred betwixt the two Rival Na­tions. 'Tis true, he colours the falsehood of Aeneas by an express Command from Jupiter, to forsake the Queen, who had oblig'd him: but he knew the Romans were to be his Readers, and them he brib'd, perhaps at the expence of his Heroe's honesty, but he gain'd his Cause however; as Pleading before Corrupt Judges. They were content to see their Founder false to Love, for still he had the advantage of the Amour: It was their Enemy whom he forsook, and she might have forsaken him, if he had not got the start of her: she had already for­gotten her Vows to her Sichaeus; and varium & mutabile semper femina, is the sharpest Satire in the fewest words that was ever made on Womankind; for both the Adjectives are Neuter, and Animal must be understood, to make them Grammar. Virgil does well to put those words into the mouth of Mercury. If a God had not spoken them, neither durst he have written them, nor I translated them. Yet the Deity was forc'd to come twice on the same Errand: and the second time, as much a Heroe as Aeneas was, he frighted him. It seems he fear'd not Jupiter so much as Dido. For your Lordship may observe, that as much intent as he was upon his Voyage, yet he still delay'd it, 'till the Messenger was oblig'd to tell him plainly, that if he weigh'd not Anchor in the Night, the Queen wou'd be with him in the Morning. Notum (que) furens quid femina possit; she was Injur'd, she was Revengeful, she was Powerful. The Poet had likewise before hinted, that her People were naturally perfidious: For he gives their Character in their Queen, and makes a Proverb of Punica fides, many Ages before it was invented.

Thus I hope, my Lord, that I have made good my Promise, and justify'd the Poet, whatever becomes of the false Knight. And sure a Poet is as much priviledg'd to lye, as an Ambassador, for the Honour and Interest of his Country; at least as Sir Henry Wootton has defin'd.

This naturally leads me to the defence of the Famous Anachronism, in making Aeneas and Dido Contemporaries. For 'tis certain that the Heroe liv'd almost two hundred years before the Building of Carthage. One who imitates Bocaline, says that Virgil was accus'd before Apollo for this Error. The God soon found that he was not able to defend his Favourite by Reason, for the Case was clear: he therefore gave this middle Sentence; That any thing might be allow'd to his Son Virgil on the account of his other Merits; That being a Monarch he had a dispensing Power, and pardon'd him. But that this special Act of Grace might never be drawn into Example, or pleaded by his puny Successors, in justification of their ignorance; he decreed for the fu­ture, No Poet shou'd presume to make a Lady die for Love two hun­dred years before her Birth. To Moralize this Story, Virgil is the Apollo, who has this Dispensing Power. His great Judgment made the Laws of Poetry, but he never made himself a Slave to them: [Page] Chronology at best is but a Cobweb-Law, and he broke through it with his weight. They who will imitate him wisely, must chuse as he did, an obscure and a remote Aera, where they may invent at plea­sure, and not be easily contradicted. Neither he, nor the Romans had ever read the Bible, by which only his false computation of times can be made out against him: this Segrais says in his defence, and proves it from his Learned Friend Bochartus, whose Letter on this Subject, he has Printed at the end of the Fourth Aeneid, to which I referr your Lordship, and the Reader. Yet the Credit of Virgil was so great, that he made this Fable of his own Invention pass for an Authentick History, or at least as credible as any thing in Homer. Ovid takes it up after him, even in the same Age, and makes an an­cient Heroine of Virgil's new-created Dido; Dictates a Letter for her just before her death, to the ingrateful Fugitive; and very unluckily for himself, is for measuring a Sword with a Man so much superiour in force to him on the same subject. I think I may be Judge of this, because I have Translated both. The Famous Author of the Art of Love has nothing of his own, he borrows all from a greater Master in his own profession; and which is worse, improves nothing which he finds. Nature fails him, and being forc'd to his old shift, he has recourse to Witticism. This passes indeed with his Soft Admirers, and gives him the preference to Virgil in their esteem. But let them like for themselves, and not prescribe to others, for our Author needs not their Admiration.

The Motives that induc'd Virgil to Coyn this Fable, I have shew'd already; and have also begun to shew that he might make this Anacro­nism, by superseding the mechanick Rules of Poetry, for the same Reason, that a Monarch may dispense with, or suspend his own Laws, when he finds it necessary so to do; especially if those Laws are not altoge­ther fundamental. Nothing is to be call'd a fault in Poetry, says Aristotle, but what is against the Art; therefore a Man may be an ad­mirable Poet, without being an exact Chronologer. Shall we dare, continues Segrais, to condemn Virgil, for having made a Fiction against the order of time, when we commend Ovid and other Poets who have made many of their Fictions against the Order of Nature? For what are else the splendid Miracles of the Metamorphoses? Yet these are Beautiful as they are related; and have also deep Learning and in­structive Mythologies couch'd under them: But to give, as Virgil does in this Episode, the Original Cause of the long Wars betwixt Rome and Carthage, to draw Truth out of Fiction, after so probable a manner, with so much Beauty, and so much for the Honour of his Country, was proper only to the Divine Wit of Maro; and Tasso in one of his Discourses, admires him for this particularly. 'Tis not lawful indeed, to contradict a Point of History, which is known to all the World; as for Example, to make Hannibal and Scipio Contempo­raries with Alexander; but in the dark Recesses of Antiquity, a great Poet may and ought to feign such things as he finds not there, if they can be brought to embelish that Subject which he treats. On the other side, the pains and diligence of ill Poets is but thrown away, when they want the Genius to invent and feign agreeably. But if the Fictions be delightful, which they always are, if they be natural, if they be of a piece; if the beginning, the middle, and the end be in their due places, and artfully united to each other, such Works can never fail of their deserv'd Success. And such is Virgil's Episode of [Page] Dido and Aeneas; where the sourest Critick must acknowledge' that if he had depriv'd his Aeneis of so great an Ornament, because he found no traces of it in Antiquity, he had avoided their unjust Cen­sure, but had wanted one of the greatest Beauties of his Poem. I shall say more of this, in the next Article of their Charge against him, which is want of Invention. In the mean time I may affirm in honour of this Episode, that it is not only now esteem'd the most plea­sing entertainment of the Aeneis, but was so accounted in his own Age; and before it was mellow'd into that reputation, which time has given it; for which I need produce no other testimony, than that of Ovid, his Contemporary.

Nec pars ulla magis legitur de Corpore toto
Quam non legitimo faedere, junctus Amor.

Where by the way, you may observe, my Lord, that Ovid in those words, Non legitimo faedere junctus Amor, will by no means allow it to be a lawful Marriage betwixt Dido and Aeneas. He was in Banish­ment when he wrote those Verses, which I cite from his Letter to Augustus. You, Sir, says he, have sent me into Exile for writing my Art of Love, and my wanton Elegies; yet your own Poet was happy in your good graces, though he brought Dido and Aeneas into a Cave, and left them there not over-honestly together. May I be so bold to ask your Majesty, is it a greater fault to teach the Art of unlawful Love, than to shew it in the Action? But was Ovid the Court-Poet so bad a Courtier, as to find no other Plea to excuse himself, than by a plain accusation of his Master? Virgil confess'd it was a Lawful Marriage betwixt the Lovers; that Juno the Goddess of Matri­mony had ratify'd it by her presence, for it was her business to bring Matters to that issue. That the Ceremonies were short we may be­lieve, for Dido was not only amorous, but a Widow. Mercury him­self, though employ'd on a quite contrary Errand, yet owns it a Mar­riage by an innuendo: Palchram (que) Ʋxorius Ʋrbem Extruis—He calls Aeneas not only a Husband, but upbraids him with being a fond Hus­band, as the word Ʋxorius implies. Now mark a little, if your Lord­ship pleases, why Virgil is so much concern'd to make this Marriage (for he seems to be the Father of the Bride himself, and to give her to the Bridegroom) it was to make way for the Divorce which he intended af­terwards; for he was a finer Flatterer than Ovid: and I more than conjecture that he had in his eye the Divorce which not long before had pass'd betwixt the Emperour and Scribonia. He drew this dimple in the Cheek of Aeneas, to prove Augustus of the same Family, by so remarkable a Feature in the same place. Thus, as we say in our home-spun English Proverb, He kill'd two Birds with one stone; pleas'd the Emperour by giving him the resemblance of his Ancestor; and gave him such a resemblance as was not scandalous in that Age. For to leave one Wife and take another, was but a matter of Gallantry at that time of day among the Romans. Neque haec in faedera veni, is the very Excuse which Aeneas makes, when he leaves his Lady. I made no such Bargain with you at our Marriage, to live always drudging on at Carthage; my business was Italy, and I never made a secret of it. If I took my pleasure, had not you your share of it? I leave you free at my departure, to comfort your self with the next Stranger who happens to be Shipwreck'd on your Coast. Be as kind an Hostess as [Page] you have been to me, and you can never fail of another Husband. In the mean time, I call the Gods to witness, that I leave your Shore un­willingly; for though Juno made the Marriage, yet Jupiter Com­mands me to forsake you. This is the effect of what he says, when it is dishonour'd out of Latin Verse, into English Prose. If the Poet argued not aright, we must pardon him for a poor blind Heathen, who knew no better Morals.

I have detain'd your Lordship longer than I intended on this Ob­jection: Which wou'd indeed weigh something in a Spiritual Court; but I am not to defend our Poet there. The next I think is but a Ca­vil, though the Cry is great against him, and has continu'd from the time of Macrobius to this present Age. I hinted it before. They lay no less than want of Invention to his Charge. A capital Crime I must ac­knowledge. For a Poet is a Maker, as the word signifies: And who cannot make, that is, invent, has his Name for nothing. That which makes this Accusation look so strange at the first sight, is, That he has borrow'd so many things from Homer, Appollonius Rhodius, and others who preceded him. But in the first place, if Invention is to be taken in so strict a sense, that the Matter of a Poem must be wholly new, and that in all its Parts; then Scaliger has made out, says Segrais, that the History of Troy was no more the Invention of Homer, than of Virgil. There was not an Old Woman, or almost a Child, but had it in their Mouths, before the Greek Poet or his Friends digested it into this admirable order in which we read it. At this rate, as Solomon has told us, there is no­thing new beneath the Sun: Who then can pass for an Inventor, if Homer, as well as Virgil must be depriv'd of that Glory? Is Versailles the less a New Building, because the Architect of that Palace has imita­ted others which were built before it? Walls, Doors and Windows, Apartments, Offices, Rooms of convenience and Magnificence, are in all great Houses. So Descriptions Figures, Fables, and the rest, must be in all Heroick Poems. They are the Common Materials of Poetry, furnish'd from the Magazine of Nature: Every Poet has as much right to them, as every Man has to Air or Water. Quid prohibetis Aquas? Ʋsus communis aquarum est. But the Argument of the Work, that is to say, its principal Action, the Oeconomy and Disposition of it; these are the things which distinguish Copies from Originals. The Poet, who borrows nothing from others, is yet to be Born. He and the Jews Messias will come together. There are parts of the Aeneis, which re­semble some parts both of the Ilias and of the Odysses; as for Example, Aeneas descended into Hell, and Ʋlysses had been there before him: Ae­neas lov'd Dido, and Ʋlysses lov'd Calypso: In few words, Virgil has imi­tated Homer's Odysses in his first six Books, and in his six last the Ilias. But from hence can we infer, that the two Poets write the same History? Is there no invention in some other parts of Virgil's Aeneis? The disposition of so many various matters, is not that his own? From what Book of Homer had Virgil his Episode of Nysus and Euryalus, of Mezentius and Lausus? From whence did he borrow his Design of bringing Aeneas into Italy, of Establishing the Roman Empire on the Foundations of a Trojan Colony; to say nothing of the honour he did his Patron, not only in his descent from Venus, but in making him so like him in his best Features, that the Goddess might have mistaken Augustus for her Son. He had indeed the Story from common Fame, as Homer had his from the Egyptian Priestess. Aeneadum Genetrix was no more unknown to Lucretius than to him. But Lucretius taught him [Page] not to form his Heroe; to give him Piety or Valour for his Man­ners; and both in so eminent a degree, that having done what was possible for Man, to save his King and Country; his Mother was forc'd to appear to him and restrain his Fury, which hurry'd him to death in their Revenge. But the Poet made his Piety more successful; he brought off his Father and his Son; and his Gods witness'd to his Devotion, by putting themselves under his Protection; to be re-plac'd by him in their promis'd Italy. Neither the Invention, nor the Con­duct of this great Action, were owing to Homer or any other Poet. 'Tis one thing to Copy, and another thing to imitate from Nature. The Copyer is that servile Imitator, to whom Horace gives no better a Name than that of Animal: He will not so much as allow him to be a Man. Raphael imitated Nature: They who Copy one of Raphael's Pie­ces, imitate but him, for his Work is their Original. They Translate him as I do Virgil; and fall as short of him as I of Virgil. There is a kind of Invention in the imitation of Raphael; for though the thing was in Nature, yet the Idea of it was his own. Ʋlysses Travell'd, so did Aeneas; but neither of them were the first Travellers; for Cain went into the Land of Nod, before they were born: And neither of the Poets ever heard of such a Man. If Ʋlysses had been kill'd at Troy, yet Aeneas must have gone to Sea, or he could never have arriv'd in Italy. But the designs of the two Poets were as different as the Cour­ses of their Heroes; one went Home, and the other sought a Home. To return to my first similitude: Suppose Apelles and Raphael had each of them Painted a burning Troy; might not the Modern Painter have succeeded as well as the Ancient, tho' neither of them had seen the Town on Fire? For the draughts of both were taken from the Idea's which they had of Nature. Cities had been burnt before either of them were in Being. But to Close the Simile as I begun it; they wou'd not have design'd after the same manner. Apelles wou'd have distin­guish'd Pyrrhus from the rest of all the Grecians, and shew'd him forcing his entrance into Priam's Palace; there he had set him in the fairest Light, and given him the chief place of all his Figures, because he was a Grecian, and he wou'd do Honour to his Country. Raphael, who was an Italian, and descended from the Trojans, wou'd have made Aeneas the Heroe of his piece: And perhaps not with his Father on his Back; his Son in one hand, his Bundle of Gods in the other, and his Wife fol­lowing; (for an Act of Piety, is not half so graceful in a Picture as an Act of Courage:) He would rather have drawn him killing Androgeos, or some other, Hand to Hand; and the blaze of the Fires shou'd have darted full upon his Face, to make him conspicuous amongst his Tro­jans. This I think is a just Comparison betwixt the two Poets in the Conduct of their several designs. Virgil cannot be said to copy Homer: The Grecian had only the advantage of writing first. If it be urg'd that I have granted a resemblance in some parts; yet therein Virgil has excell'd him: For what are the Tears of Calypso for being left, to the Fury and Death of Dido? Where is there the whole process of her Passion, and all its violent Effects to be found, in the languishing Episode of the Odysses? If this be to Copy, let the Criticks shew us the same Disposition, Features, or Colouring in their Original. The like may be said of the Descent to Hell; which was not of Homer's In­vention neither: He had it from the Story of Orpheus and Eurydice. But to what end did Ʋlysses make that Journey? Aeneas undertook it by the express Commandment of his Father's Ghost: There he was to [Page] shew him all the succeeding Heroes of his Race; and next to Romulus, (mark, if you please, the Address of Virgil) his own Patron Augustus Caesar. Anchises was likewise to instruct him, how to manage the Italian War; and how to conclude it with his Honour. That is, in other words, to lay the Foundations of that Empire which Augustus was to Govern. This is the Noble Invention of our Author: But it has been Copyed by so many Sign-post Daubers; that now 'tis grown fulsom, rather by their want of Skill, than by the Commonness.

In the last place I may safely grant, that by reading Homer, Virgil was taught to imitate his Invention: That is, to imitate like him; which is no more, than if a Painter studied Raphael, that he might learn to design after his manner. And thus I might imitate Virgil, if I were capable of writing an Heroick Poem, and yet the Invention be my own: But I shou'd endeavour to avoid a servile Copying. I would not give the same Story under other Names: With the same Characters, in the same Order, and with the same Sequel: For every common Reader to find me out at the first sight for a Plagiary: And cry, this I read before in Virgil, in a better Language, and in better Verse: This is like merry Andrew on the low Rope, copying lubberly the same Tricks, which his Master is dextrously performing on the high.

I will trouble your Lordship but with one Objection more; which I know not whether I found in Le Fevre or Valois, but I am sure I have read it in another French Critick, whom I will not name, because I think it is not much for his Reputation. Virgil, in the heat of A­ction, suppose for Example, in describing the fury of his Heroe in a Battel, when he is endeavouring to raise our concernments to the high­est pitch, turns short on the sudden into some similitude, which di­verts, say they, your attention from the main Subject, and mispends it on some trivial Image. He pours cold Water into the Caldron when his business is to make it boil.

This Accusation is general against all who wou'd be thought Hero­ick Poets; but I think it touches Virgil less than any. He is too great a Master of his Art, to make a Blott which may so easily be hit. Si­militudes, as I have said, are not for Tragedy, which is all violent, and where the Passions are in a perpetual ferment; for there they deaden where they should animate; they are not of the nature of Dialogue, unless in Comedy: A Metaphor is almost all the Stage can suffer, which is a kind of Similitude comprehended in a word. But this Figure has a contrary effect in Heroick Poetry: There 'tis employ'd to raise the Admiration, which is its proper business. And Admira­tion is not of so violent a nature as Fear or Hope, Compassion or Horrour, or any Concernment we can have for such or such a Person on the Stage. Not but I confess, that Similitudes and Descriptions, when drawn into an unreasonable length, must needs nauseate the Reader. Once I remember, and but once; Virgil makes a Similitude of fourteen Lines; and his description of Fame is about the same number. He is blam'd for both; and I doubt not but he would have contracted them, had he liv'd to have review'd his Work: But Faults are no Precedents. This I have observ'd of his Similitudes in general, that they are not plac'd, as our unobserving Criticks tell us, in the heat of any Action: But commonly in its declining: When he has warm'd us in his Description, as much as possibly he can; then, lest that warmth should languish, he renews it by some apt Similitude, which illustrates his Subject, and yet palls not his Audience. I need give your Lord­ship [Page] but one Example of this kind, and leave the rest to your Obser­vation, when next you review the whole Aeneis in the Original un­blemish'd by my rude Translation. 'Tis in the first Book, where the Poet describes Neptune composing the Ocean, on which Eolus had rais'd a Tempest, without his permission. He had already chidden the Rebellious Winds for obeying the Commands of their Usurping Ma­ster: He had warn'd them from the Seas, He had beaten down the Billows with his Mace; dispell'd the Clouds, restor'd the Sun-shine, while Triton and Cymothoe were heaving the Ships from off the Quick-Sands; before the Poet wou'd offer at a Similitude for illustration.

Ac, veluti magno in populo cùm saepe coorta est
Seditio, saevitque animis ignobile vulgus,
Jamque faces, & saxa volant, furor arma ministrat;
Tum, pietate gravem, ac meritis si forte virum quem
Conspexere, silent, arrectisque auribus adstant:
Ille regit dictis animos, & pectora mulcet:
Sic cunctus pelagi cecidit fragor, aequora postquam
Prospiciens genitor, caeloque invectus aperto
Flectit equos, currúque volans dat lora secundo.

This is the first Similitude which Virgil makes in this Poem: And one of the longest in the whole; for which Reason I the rather cite it. While the Storm was in its fury, any Allusion had been improper: For the Poet cou'd have compar'd it to nothing more impetuous than it self; consequently he could have made no Illustration. If he cou'd have illustrated, it had been an ambitious Ornament out of season, and would have diverted our Concernment: Nunc, non erat hisce locus; and therefore he deferr'd it to its proper place.

These are the Criticisms of most moment which have been made a­gainst the Aeneis, by the Ancients or Moderns. As for the particular Exceptions against this or that passage, Macrobius and Pontanus have an­swer'd them already. If I desir'd to appear more Learned than I am, it had been as easie for me to have taken their Objections and Soluti­ons, as it is for a Country Parson to take the Expositions of the Fathers out of Junius and Tremellius: Or not to have nam'd the Authors from whence I had them: For so Ruaeus, otherwise a most judicious Com­mentator on Virgil's Works, has us'd Pontanus, his greatest Benefa­ctor, of whom, he is very silent, and I do not remember that he once cites him.

What follows next, is no Objection; for that implies a Fault: And it had been none in Virgil, if he had extended the time of his Action beyond a Year. At least Aristotle has set no precise limits to it. Ho­mer's, we know, was within two Months: Tasso I am sure exceeds not a Summer: And if I examin'd him, perhaps he might be reduc'd into a much less compass. Bossu leaves it doubtful whether Virgil's A­ction were within the Year, or took up some Months beyond it. In­deed the whole Dispute is of no more concernment to the common Reader, than it is to a Plough-man, whether February this Year had 28 or 29 Days in it. But for the satisfaction of the more Curious, of which number, I am sure your Lordship is one; I will Translate what I think convenient out of Segrais, whom perhaps you have not read: For he has made it highly probable, that the Action of the Aeneis began in the Spring, and was not extended beyond the Autumn. [Page] And we have known Campaigns that have begun sooner, and have ended later.

Ronsard and the rest whom Segrais names, who are of Opinion that the Action of this Poem takes up almost a Year and half; ground their Calculation thus. Anchises dyed in Sicily at the end of Winter, or beginning of the Spring. Aeneas, immediately after the Interment of his Father, puts to Sea for Italy: He is surpriz'd by the Tempest de­scrib'd in the beginning of the first Book; and there it is that the Scene of the Poem opens; and where the Action must Commence. He is driven by this Storm on the Coasts of Affrick: He stays at Car­thage all that Summer, and almost all the Winter following: Sets Sail again for Italy just before the beginning of the Spring; meets with con­trary Winds, and makes Sicily the second time: This part of the A­ction compleats the Year. Then he celebrates the Aniversary of his Father's Funerals, and shortly after arrives at Cumes, and from thence his time is taken up in his first Treaty with Latinus; the Overture of the War; the Siege of his Camp by Turnus; his going for Succours to relieve it: His return: The raising of the Siege by the first Battel: The twelve days Truce: The second Battel: The Assault of Lauren­tum, and the single Fight with Turnus; all which, they say, cannot take up less than four or five Months more; by which Account we cannot suppose the entire Action to be contain'd in a much less com­pass than a Year and half.

Segrais reckons another way; and his computation is not condemn'd by the learned Ruaeus, who compil'd and Publish'd the Commentaries on our Poet, which we call the Dauphin's Virgil.

He allows the time of Year when Anchises dyed; to be in the latter end of Winter, or the beginning of the Spring; he acknowledges that when Aeneas is first seen at Sea afterwards, and is driven by the Tem­pest on the Coast of Affrick, is the time when the Action is naturally to begin: He confesses farther, that Aeneas left Carthage in the latter end of Winter; for Dido tells him in express terms, as an Argument for his longer stay, ‘Quinetiam Hyberno moliris sydere Classem.’

But whereas Ronsard's Followers suppose that when Aeneas had buried his Father, he set Sail immediately for Italy, (tho' the Tempest drove him on the Coast of Carthage.) Segrais will by no means allow that Sup­position; but thinks it much more probable that he remain'd in Sicily 'till the midst of July or the beginning of August; at which time he places the first appearance of his Heroe on the Sea; and there opens the Action of the Poem. From which beginning, to the Death of Tur­nus, which concludes the Action, there need not be suppos'd above ten Months of intermediate time: For arriving at Carthage in the latter end of Summer, staying there the Winter following; departing thence in the very beginning of the Spring; making a short abode in Sicily the second time, landing in Italy, and making the War, may be reasonably judg'd the business but of three Months. To this the Ronsardians reply, that having been for Seven Years before in quest of Italy, and having no more to do in Sicily, than to interr his Father; after that Office was perform'd, what remain'd for him, but, without delay, to pursue his first Adventure? To which Segrais answers, that the Obsequies of his Father, according to the Rites of the Greeks and [Page] Romans, would detain him for many days: That a longer time must be ta­ken up in the refitting of his Ships, after so tedious a Voyage; and in refreshing his Weather-beaten Souldiers on a friendly Coast. These in­deed are but Suppositions on both sides, yet those of Segrais seem bet­ter grounded. For the Feast of Dido, when she entertain'd Aeneas first, has the appearance of a Summer's Night, which seems already almost ended, when he begins his Story: Therefore the Love was made in Autumn; the Hunting follow'd properly when the Heats of that scorching Country were declining: The Winter was pass'd in jollity, as the Season and their Love requir'd; and he left her in the latter end of Winter, as is already prov'd. This Opinion is fortify'd by the Arrival of Aeneas at the Mouth of Tyber; which marks the Season of the Spring, that Season being perfectly describ'd by the singing of the Birds, saluting the dawn; and by the Beauty of the place, which the Poet seems to have painted expresly in the Seventh Aeneid.

Aurora in roseis fulgebat lutea bigis:
Cùm venti posuere; variae circumque, supraque
Assuetae ripis volucres, & fluminis alveo,
Aethera mulcebant cantu.

The remainder of the Action requir'd but three Months more; for when Aeneas went for Succour to the Tuscans, he found their Army in a readiness to march; and wanting only a Commander: So that ac­cording to this Calculation, the Aeneis takes not up above a Year com­pleat, and may be comprehended in less compass.

This, amongst other Circumstances, treated more at large by Se­grais, agrees with the rising of Orion, which caus'd the Tempest, de­scrib'd in the beginning of the first Book. By some passages in the Pastorals, but more particularly in the Georgicks, our Poet is found to be an exact Astronomer, according to the Knowledge of that Age. Now Ilioneus (whom Virgil twice employs in Embassies, as the best Speaker of the Trojans) attributes that Tempest to Orion in his Speech to Dido.

Cum subito, assurgens fluctu nimbosus Orion.

He must mean either the Heliacal or Achronical rising of that Sign. The Heliacal rising of a Constellation, is when it comes from under the Rays of the Sun, and begins to appear before Day-light. The Achro­nical rising, on the contrary, is when it appears at the close of Day, and in opposition of the Sun's diurnal Course.

The Heliacal rising of Orion, is at present computed to be about the sixth of July; and about that time it is, that he either causes, or pre­sages Tempests on the Seas.

Segrais has observ'd farther, that when Anna Counsels Dido to stay Aeneas during the Winter; she speaks also of Orion; ‘Dum pelago desaevit hyems, & aquosus Orion.’

If therefore Ilioneus, according to our Supposition, understand the Heliacal rising of Orion: Anna must mean the Achronical, which the different Epithetes given to that Constellation, seem to manifest. Ilio­neus calls him nimbosus, Anna aquosus. He is tempestuous in the Sum­mer [Page] when he rises Heliacally, and Rainy in the Winter when he rises A­chronically. Your Lordship will pardon me for the frequent repetition of these cant words; which I cou'd not avoid in this abbreviation of Segrais; who I think deserves no little commendation in this new Criticism. I have yet a word or two to say of Virgil's Machines, from my own observation of them. He has imitated those of Homer, but not Copied them. It was establish'd long before this time, in the Roman Religion as well as in the Greek; that there were Gods; and both Nations, for the most part, worshipp'd the same Deities; as did also the Trojans: From whom the Romans, I suppose, wou'd ra­ther be thought to derive the Rites of their Religion, than from the Grecians; because they thought themselves descended from them. Each of those Gods had his proper Office, and the chief of them their particu­lar Attendants. Thus Jupiter had in propriety, Ganimede and Mercury; and Juno had Iris. It was not then for Virgil to create new Ministers; he must take what he found in his Religion. It cannot therefore be said that he borrow'd them from Homer, any more than Apollo, Dia­na, and the rest, whom he uses as he finds occasion for them, as the Grecian Poet did: But he invents the occasions for which he uses them. Venus, after the destruction of Troy, had gain'd Neptune entirely to her Party; therefore we find him busie in the beginning of the Aeneis, to calm the Tempest rais'd by Aeolus, and afterwards conducting the Tro­jan Fleet to Cumes in safety, with the loss only of their Pilot; for whom he Bargains. I name those two Examples amongst a hundred which I omit; to prove that Virgil, generally speaking, employ'd his Ma­chines in performing those things, which might possibly have been done without them. What more frequent then a Storm at Sea, upon the rising of Orion? What wonder, if amongst so many Ships there shou'd one be overset, which was commanded by Orontes; though half the Winds had not been there, which Aeolus employ'd? Might not Palinurus, without a Miracle, fall asleep, and drop into the Sea, having been over-wearied with watching, and secure of a quiet passage, by his observation of the Skies? At least Aeneas, who knew nothing of the Machine of Somnus, takes it plainly in this Sense.

O nimium Coelo & Pelago confise sereno,
Nudus in ignotâ Palinure jacebis arenâ.

But Machines sometimes are specious things to amuse the Reader, and give a colour of probability to things otherwise incredible. And besides, it sooth'd the vanity of the Romans, to find the Gods so visibly con­cern'd in all the Actions of their Predecessors. We who are better taught by our Religion, yet own every wonderful Accident which befalls us for the best, to be brought to pass by some special Provi­dence of Almighty God; and by the care of guardian Angels: And from hence I might infer, that no Heroick Poem can be writ on the Epicuraean Principles. Which I cou'd easily demonstrate, if there were need to prove it, or I had leisure.

When Venus opens the Eyes of her Son Aeneas, to behold the Gods who Combated against Troy, in that fatal Night when it was surpriz'd; we share the pleasure of that glorious Vision, (which Tasso has not ill Copied in the sacking of Jerusalem.) But the Greeks had done their bu­siness; though neither Neptune, Juno, or Pallas, had given them their Divine assistance. The most crude Machine which Virgil uses, is in [Page] the Episode of Camilla, where Opis by the command of her Mistress, kills Aruns. The next is in the Twelfth Aeneid, where Venus cures her Son Aeneas. But in the last of these, the Poet was driven to a ne­cessity; for Turnus was to be slain that very day: And Aeneas, wound­ed as he was, cou'd not have Engag'd him in single Combat, unless his Hurt had been miraculously heal'd. And the Poet had consider'd that the Dittany which she brought from Crete, cou'd not have wrought so speedy an effect, without the Juice of Ambrosia, which she mingled with it. After all, that his Machine might not seem too violent, we see the Heroe limping after Turnus. The Wound was skin'd; but the strength of his Thigh was not restor'd. But what Reason had our Author to wound Aeneas at so critical a time? And how came the Cuisses to be worse temper'd than the rest of his Armour, which was all wrought by Vulcan and his Journey-men? These difficulties are not easily to be solv'd, without confessing that Virgil had not life enough to correct his Work: Tho' he had review'd it, and found those Errours which he resolv'd to mend: But being prevented by Death, and not willing to leave an imperfect work behind him, he ordain'd, by his last Testament, that his Aeneis should be burn'd. As for the death of Aruns, who was shot by a Goddess, the Machine was not altogether so outragious, as the wounding Mars and Venus by the Sword of Diomede. Two Divinities, one wou'd have thought, might have pleaded their Prerogative of Impassibility, or, at least not to have been wounded by any mortal Hand. Beside that the [...] which they shed, was so very like our common Blood, that it was not to be distinguish'd from it, but only by the Name and Colour. As for what Horate says in his Art of Poetry; that no Machines are to be us'd, unless on some ex­traordinary occasion, ‘Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus.’ That Rule is to be apply'd to the Theatre, of which he is then speak­ing, and means no more than this, that when the Knot of the Play is to be unty'd, and no other way is left, for making the discovery; then and not otherwise, let a God descend upon a Rope, and clear the Bu­siness to the Audience: But this has no relation to the Machines which are us'd in an Epick Poem.

In the last place, for the Dira, or Flying-Pest, which flapping on the Shield of Turnus, and fluttering about his Head, dishearten'd him in the Duel, and presag'd to him his approaching Death, I might have plac'd it more properly amongst the Objections. For the Criticks, who lay want of Courage to the Charge of Virgil's Heroe; quote this Passage as a main proof of their Assertion. They say our Author had not only secur'd him before the Duel, but also in the beginning of it, had given him the advantage in impenetrable Arms, and in his Sword: (for that of Turnus was not his own, which was forg'd by Vulcan for his Father) but a Weapon which he had snatch'd in haste, and by mistake, belonging to his Charioteer Metiscus. That after all this, Jupiter, who was partial to the Trojan, and distrustful of the Event, though he had hung the Ballance, and given it a jog of his hand to weigh down Tur­nus, thought convenient to give the Fates a collatteral Security, by sending the Screech-Owl to discourage him. For which they quote these words of Virgil.

Non me tua turbida virtus,
Terret ait; Dii me terrent, & Jupiter Hostis.

In answer to which, I say, that this Machine is one of those which the Poet uses only for Ornament, and not out of Necessity. Nothing can be more Beautiful, or more Poetical than his description of the three Dirae, or the setting of the Balance, which our Milton has bor­row'd from him, but employ'd to a different end: For first he makes God Almighty set the Scales for St. Michael and Sathan, when he knew no Combat was to follow; then he makes the good Angel's Scale de­scend, and the Devils mount; quite contrary to Virgil, if I have Translated the three Verses, according to my Author's Sense.

Jupiter ipse duas, aequato Examine lances
Sustinet; & fata imponit diversa duorum:
Quem damnet labor, & quo vergat pondere lethum.

For I have taken these words Quem damnet labor, in the Sense which Virgil gives them in another place; Damnabis tu quoque votis; to sig­nifie a prosperous Event. Yet I dare not condemn so great a Genius as Milton: For I am much mistaken if he alludes not to the Text in Daniel, where Belshazzar was put into the Balance, and found too light: This is digression, and I return to my Subject. I said above, that these two Machines of the Balance, and the Dira, were only Orna­mental, and that the success of the Duel had been the same without them. For when Aeneas and Turnus stood fronting each other before the Altar, Turnus look'd dejected, and his Colour faded in his Face, as if he desponded of the Victory before the Fight; and not only he, but all his Party, when the strength of the two Champions was judg'd by the proportion of their Limbs, concluded it was impar pugna, and that their Chief was over-match'd: Whereupon Juturna (who was of the same Opinion) took his opportunity to break the Treaty and renew the War. Juno her self had plainly told the Nymph beforehand, that her Brother was to Fight ‘Imparibus fatis; nec Diis, nec viribus aequis;’ So that there was no need of an Apparition to fright Turnus. He had the presage within himself of his impending Destiny. The Dirae only serv'd to confirm him in his first Opinion, that it was his Desti­ny to die in the ensuing Combat. And in this sense are those words of Virgil to be taken.

Non me tua turbida virtus
Terret ait; Dii me terrent, & Jupiter Hostis.

I doubt not but the Adverb (solùm) is to be understood; 'tis not your Valour only that gives me this concernment; but I find also, by this portent, that Jupiter is my Enemy. For Turnus fled before, when his first Sword was broken, 'till his Sister supply'd him with a better; which indeed he cou'd not use; because Aeneas kept him at a distance with his Spear. I wonder Ruaeus saw not this, where he charges his Author so unjustly, for giving Turnus a second Sword, to [Page] no purpose. How cou'd he fasten a blow, or make a thrust, when he was not suffer'd to approach? Besides, the chief Errand of the Dira, was to warn Juturna from the Field, for she cou'd have brought the Chariot again, when she saw her Brother worsted in the Duel. I might farther add, that Aeneas was so eager of the Fight, that he left the City, now almost in his Possession, to decide his quarrel with Tur­nus by the Sword: Whereas Turnus had manifestly declin'd the Com­bate, and suffer'd his Sister to convey him as far from the reach of his Enemy as she cou'd. I say not only suffer'd her, but consented to it; for 'tis plain, he knew her by these words;

O soror, & dudum agnovi, cùm prima per artem,
Faedera turbasti, teque haec in bella dedisti;
Et nunc nequicquam fallis Dea.—

I have dwelt so long on this Subject, that I must contract what I have to say, in reference to my Translation: Unless I wou'd swell my Preface into a Volume, and make it formidable to your Lordship, when you see so many Pages yet behind. And indeed what I have already written either in justification or praise of Virgil, is against my self; for presuming to Copy, in my course English, the Thoughts and Beautiful Expressions of this inimitable Poet: Who flourish'd in an Age when his Language was brought to its last perfection, for which it was particularly owing to him and Horace. I will give your Lord­ship my Opinion, that those two Friends had consulted each others Judgment, wherein they should endeavour to excel; and they seem to have pitch'd on Propriety of Thought, Elegance of Words, and Harmony of Numbers. According to this Model, Horace writ his Odes and Epods: For his Satires and Epistles, being intended wholly for instruction, requir'd another Style: ‘Ornari res ipsa negat, contenta doceri:’

And therefore as he himself professes, are Sermoni propiora, nearer Prose than Verse. But Virgil, who never attempted the Lyrick Verse, is every where Elegant, sweet and flowing in his Hexameters. His words are not only chosen, but the places in which he ranks them for the sound; he who removes them from the Station wherein their Master sets them, spoils the Harmony. What he says of the Sybill's Prophecies, may be as properly apply'd to every word of his: They must be read, in order as they lie; the least breath discomposes them, and somewhat of their Divinity is lost. I cannot boast that I have been thus exact in my Verses, but I have endeavour'd to follow the Exam­ple of my Master: And am the first Englishman, perhaps, who made it his design to copy him in his Numbers, his choice of Words, and his placing them for the sweetness of the sound. On this last Conside­ration, I have shun'd the Caesura as much as possibly I cou'd. For wherever that is us'd, it gives a roughness to the Verse, of which we can have little need, in a Language which is over-stock'd with Conso­nants. Such is not the Latine, where the Vowels and Consonants are mix'd in proportion to each other: yet Virgil judg'd the Vowels to have somewhat of an over-balance, and therefore tempers their sweet­ness with Caesuras. Such difference there is in Tongues, that the same Figure which roughens one, gives Majesty to another: and that [Page] was it which Virgil studied in his Verses. Ovid uses it but rarely; and hence it is that his Versification cannot so properly be call'd sweet, as luscious. The Italians are forc'd upon it, once or twice in every line, because they have a redundancy of Vowels in their Language. Their Metal is so soft, that it will not Coyn without Alloy to harden it. On the other side, for the Reason already nam'd, 'tis all we can do to give sufficient sweetness to our Language: We must not only chuse our words for Elegance, but for sound. To perform which, a Mastery in the Language is requir'd; the Poet must have a Magazine of Words, and have the Art to mannage his few Vowels to the best advantage, that they may go the farther. He must also know the nature of the Vowels, which are more sonorous, and which more soft and sweet; and so dispose them as his present occasions require: All which, and a thou­sand secrets of Versification beside, he may learn from Virgil, if he will take him for his Guide. If he be above Virgil, and is resolv'd to follow his own Verve (as the French call it,) the Proverb will fall hea­vily upon him; Who teaches himself, has a Fool for his Master.

Virgil employ'd Eleven Years upon his Aeneis, yet he left it as he thought himself imperfect. Which when I seriously consider, I wish, that instead of three years which I have spent in the Translation of his Works, I had four years more allow'd me to correct my Errours, that I might make my Version somewhat more tolerable than it is. For a Poet cannot have too great a reverence for his Readers, if he expects his Labours shou'd survive him. Yet I will neither plead my Age nor Sickness in excuse of the faults which I have made: That I wanted time is all I have to say. For some of my Subscribers grew so clamorous, that I cou'd no longer deferr the Publication. I hope from the Can­dour of your Lordship, and your often experienc'd goodness to me, that if the faults are not too many, you will make allowances with Horace.

Si plura nitent in Carmine, non ego paucis
Offendar macalis, quas aut incuria fudit,
Aut humana parùm cavit Natura.

You may please also to observe, that there is not, to the best of my remembrance, one Vowel gaping on another for want of a Caesura, in this whole Poem. But where a Vowel ends a word, the next begins either with a Consonant, or what is its equivalent; for our W and H aspirate, and our Dipthongues are plainly such: The greatest lati­tude I take, is in the Letter Y, when it concludes a word, and the first Syllable of the next begins with a Vowel. Neither need I have call'd this a latitude, which is only an explanation of this general Rule. That no Vowel can be cut off before another, when we cannot sink the Pronunciation of it: As He, She, Me, I, &c. Virgil thinks it sometimes a Beauty, to imitate the License of the Greeks, and leave two Vowels opening on each other, as in that Verse of the Third Pastoral, ‘Et succus pecori & lac subducitur Agnis.’

But nobis non licet, esse tam disertis. At least if we study to refine our Numbers. I have long had by me the Materials of an English Prosodia, containing all the Mechanical Rules of Versification, wherein [Page] I have treated with some exactness of the Feet, the Quantities, and the Pauses. The French and Italians know nothing of the two first; at least their best Poets have not practis'd them. As for the Pauses, Mal­herb first brought them into France, within this last Century: And we see how they adorn their Alexandrins. But as Virgil propounds a Riddle which he leaves unsolv'd:

Dic quibus in terris, inscripti nomina Regum
Nascantur flores, & Phyllida solus habeto.

So I will give your Lordship another, and leave the Exposition of it to your acute Judgment. I am sure there are few who make Verses, have observ'd the sweetness of these two Lines in Coopers Hill.

Tho' deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong without rage, without o'reflowing, full.

And there are yet fewer who can find the Reason of that sweetness. I have given it to some of my Friends in Conversation, and they have allow'd the Criticism to be just. But since the evil of false quan­tities is difficult to be cur'd in any Modern Language; since the French and the Italians as well as we, are yet ignorant what feet are to be us'd in Heroick Poetry; since I have not strictly observ'd those Rules my self, which I can teach others; since I pretend to no Dicta­torship among my Fellow-Poets; since if I shou'd instruct some of them to make well-running Verses, they want Genius to give them strength as well as sweetness; and above all, since your Lordship has advis'd me not to publish that little which I know, I look on your Counsel as your Command, which I shall observe inviolably, 'till you shall please to revoke it, and leave me at liberty to make my thoughts publick. In the mean time, that I may arrogate nothing to my self, I must acknowledge that Virgil in Latine, and Spencer in English, have been my Masters. Spencer has also given me the boldness to make use sometimes of his Alexandrin Line, which we call, though improperly, the Pindarick; because Mr. Cowley has often employ'd it in his Odes. It adds a certain Majesty to the Verse, when 'tis us'd with Judgment, and stops the sense from overflowing into another Line. Formerly the French, like us, and the Italians, had but five Feet, or ten Syllables in their Heroick Verse: but since Ronsard's time, as I suppose, they found their Tongue too weak to support their Epick Poetry, without the addition of another Foot. That indeed has given it somewhat of the run, and mea­sure of a Trimeter; but it runs with more activity than strength: Their Language is not strung with Sinews like our English. It has the nimble­ness of a Greyhound, but not the bulk and body of a Mastiff. Our Men and our Verses over-bear them by their weight; and Pondere non Nu­mero, is the British Motto. The French have set up Purity for the Standard of their Language; and a Masculine Vigour is that of ours. Like their Tongue is the Genius of their Poets, light and trifling in comparison of the English; more proper for Sonnets, Madrigals, and Elegies, than Heroick Poetry. The turn on Thoughts and Words is their chief Talent, but the Epick Poem is too stately to receive those little Ornaments. The Painters draw their Nymphs in thin and airy Habits, but the weight of Gold and of Embroideries is reserv'd for Queens [Page] and Goddesses. Virgil is never frequent in those Turns, like Ovid, but much more sparing of them in his Aeneis, than in his Pastorals and Georgicks.

Ignoscenda quidem, scirent si ignoscere Manes.

That turn is Beautiful indeed; but he employs it in the Story of Or­pheus and Eurydice, not in his great Poem. I have us'd that License in his Aeneis sometimes: but I own it as my fault. 'Twas given to those who understand no better. 'Tis like Ovid's ‘Semivirum (que) bovem, semibovem (que) virum.’ The Poet found it before his Criticks, but it was a darling Sin which he wou'd not be perswaded to reform. The want of Genius, of which I have accus'd the French, is laid to their Charge by one of their own great Authors, though I have forgotten his Name, and where I read it. If Rewards cou'd make good Poets, their great Master has not been wanting on his part in his bountiful Encouragements: For he is wise enough to imitate Augustus, if he had a Maro. The Triumvir and Proscriber had descended to us in a more hideous form than they now appear, if the Emperour had not taken care to make Friends of him and Horace. I confess the Banishment of Ovid was a Blot in his Escutcheon, yet he was only Banish'd, and who knows but his Crime was Capital, and then his Exile was a Favour? Ariosto, who with all his faults, must be acknowledg'd a great Poet, has put these words into the mouth of an Evangelist, but whether they will pass for Gos­pel now, I cannot tell.

Non fu si santo ni benigno Augusto,
Come la tuba di Virgilio suona;
L'haver havuto, in poesia buon gusto
La proscrittione, iniqua gli perdona.

But Heroick Poetry is not of the growth of France, as it might be of England, if it were Cultivated. Spencer wanted only to have read the Rules of Bossu: for no Man was ever Born with a greater Genius, or had more Knowledge to support it. But the performance of the French is not equal to their Skill; and hitherto we have wanted Skill to perform better. Segrais, whose Preface is so wonderfully good, yet is wholly destitute of Elevation; though his Version is much better than that of the two Brothers, or any of the rest who have attempted Virgil. Hannibal Caro is a great Name amongst the Italians, yet his Translation of the Aeneis is most scandalously mean, though he has taken the ad­vantage of writing in Blank Verse, and freed himself from the shackles of modern Rhime: (if it be modern, for Le Clerc has told us lately, and I believe has made it out, that David's Psalms were written in as errant Rhime as they are Translated.) Now if a Muse cannot run when she is unfetter'd, 'tis a sign she has but little speed. I will not make a digression here, though I am strangely tempted to it; but will only say, that he who can write well in Rhime, may write better in Blank Verse. Rhime is certainly a constraint even to the best Poets, and those who make it with most ease; though perhaps I have as little reason to complain of that hardship as any Man, excepting [Page] Quarles, and Withers. What it adds to sweetness, it takes away from sense; and he who loses the least by it, may be call'd a gain­er: it often makes us swerve from an Author's meaning. As if a Mark be set up for an Archer at a great distance, let him aim as exactly as he can, the least wind will take his Arrow, and divert it from the White. I return to our Italian Translatour of the Aeneis: He is a Foot-Poet, he Lacquies by the side of Virgil at the best, but never mounts behind him. Doctor Morelli, who is no mean Critick in our Poetry, and therefore may be presum'd to be a better in his own Language, has confirm'd me in this Opinion by his Judgment, and thinks with­all, that he has often mistaken his Master's Sense. I wou'd say so, if I durst, but I am afraid I have committed the same fault more often, and more grosly: For I have forsaken Ruaeus, (whom generally I fol­low) in many places, and made Expositions of my own in some, quite contrary to him. Of which I will give but two Examples, be­cause they are so near each other in the Tenth Aeneid. —Sorti Pater aequus utrique. Pallas says it to Turnus just before they Fight. Ruaeus thinks that the word Pater is to be referr'd to Evander the Father of Pallas. But how cou'd he imagine that it was the same thing to Evander, if his Son were slain, or if he overcame. The Poet certainly intended Ju­piter the common Father of Mankind; who, as Pallas hop'd, wou'd stand an impartial Spectatour of the Combat, and not be more favour­able to Turnus, than to him. The Second is not long after it, and both before the Duel is begun. They are the words of Jupiter, who comforts Hercules for the death of Pallas, which was immediately to ensue, and which Hercules cou'd not hinder (though the young Heroe had address'd his Prayers to him for his assistance:) Because the Gods cannot controul Destiny—the Verse follows. ‘Sic ait; at (que) oculos Rutulorum rejicit arvis.’ Which the same Ruaeus thus construes. Jupiter after he had said this; immediately turns his eyes to the Rutulian Fields, and beholds the Duel. I have given this place another Exposition, that he turn'd his Eyes from the Field of Combat, that he might not behold a sight so unpleasing to him. The word Rejicit I know will admit of both sen­ses; but Jupiter having confess'd that he could not alter Fate, and being griev'd he cou'd not, in consideration of Hercules, it seems to me that he shou'd avert his Eyes, rather than take pleasure in the Spectacle. But of this I am not so consident as the other, though I think I have follow'd Virgil's sense.

What I have said, though it has the face of arrogance, yet is in­tended for the honour of my Country; and therefore I will boldly own, that this English Translation has more of Virgil's Spirit in it, than either the French, or the Italian. Some of our Country-men have translated Episodes, and other parts of Virgil, with great Suc­cess. As particularly your Lordship, whose Version of Orpheus and Eurydice, is eminently good. Amongst the dead Authors, the Si­lenus of my Lord Roscommon cannot be too much commended. I say nothing of Sir John Denham, Mr. Waller, and Mr. Cowley; 'tis the utmost of my Ambition to be thought their Equal, or not to be much [Page] inferiour to them, and some others of the Living. But 'tis one thing to take pains on a Fragment, and Translate it perfectly; and another thing to have the weight of a whole Author on my shoulders. They who believe the burthen light, let them attempt the Fourth, Sixth or Eighth Pastoral, the First or Fourth Georgick; and amongst the Aeneids, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Seventh, the Ninth, the Tenth, the Ele­venth, or the Twelfth; for in these I think I have succeeded best.

Long before I undertook this Work, I was no stranger to the Origi­nal. I had also studied Virgil's Design, his disposition of it, his Man­ners, his judicious management of the Figures, the sober retrenchments of his Sense, which always leaves somewhat to gratifie our imaginati­on, on which it may enlarge at pleasure; but above all, the Elegance of his Expressions, and the harmony of his Numbers. For, as I have said in a former Dissertation, the words are in Poetry, what the Co­lours are in Painting. If the Design be good, and the Draught be true, the Colouring is the first Beauty that strikes the Eye. Spencer and Milton are the nearest in English to Virgil and Horace in the Latine; and have endeavour'd to form my Stile by imitating their Masters. I will farther own to you, my Lord, that my chief Ambition is to please those Readers, who have discernment enough to prefer Virgil before any other Poet in the Latine Tongue. Such Spirits as he desir'd to please, such wou'd I chuse for my Judges, and wou'd stand or fall by them alone. Segrais has distinguish'd the Readers of Poetry, ac­cording to their capacity of judging, into three Classes: (He might have said the same of Writers too if he had pleas'd.) In the lowest Form he places those whom he calls Les Petits Esprits: such things as are our Upper-Gallery Audience in a Play-House; who like nothing but the Husk and Rhind of Wit; preferr a Quibble, a Conceit, an Epi­gram, before solid Sense, and Elegant Expression: These are Mobb-Readers: If Virgil and Martial stood for Parliament-Men, we know already who wou'd carry it. But though they make the greatest ap­pearance in the Field, and cry the loudest, the best on't is, they are but a sort of French Hugonots, or Dutch Boors, brought over in Herds, but not Naturaliz'd: who have not Land of two Pounds per Annum in Par­nassus, and therefore are not priviledg'd to Poll. Their Authors are of the same level; fit to represent them on a Mountebank's-Stage, or to be Masters of the Ceremonies in a Bear-Garden. Yet these are they who have the most Admirers. But it often happens, to their mortification, that as their Readers improve their Stock of Sense, (as they may by reading better Books, and by Conversation with Men of Judgment,) they soon forsake them: And when the Torrent from the Mountains falls no more, the swelling Writer is reduc'd into his shallow Bed, like the Mançanares at Madrid, with scarce water to moisten his own Pebbles. There are a middle sort of Readers (as we hold there is a middle state of Souls) such as have a farther insight than the former; yet have not the capacity of judging right; (for I speak not of those who are brib'd by a Party, and know better if they were not corrupted;) but I mean a Company of warm young Men, who are not yet arriv'd so far as to discern the difference betwixt Fustian, or ostentatious Sentences, and the true sublime. These are above liking Martial, or Owen's Epigrams, but they wou'd certainly set Virgil below Statius, or Lucan. I need not say their Poets are of the same Paste with their Admirers. They af­fect greatness in all they write, but 'tis a bladder'd greatness, like that of the vain Man whom Seneca describes: An ill habit of Body, full of [Page] Humours, and swell'd with Dropsie. Even these too desert their Au­thors, as their Judgment ripens. The young Gentlemen themselves are commonly miss-led by their Pedagogue at School, their Tutor at the University, or their Governour in their Travels. And many of those three sorts are the most positive Blockheads in the World. How many of those flatulent Writers have I known, who have sunk in their Re­putation, after Seven or Eight Editions of their Works? for indeed they are Poets only for young Men. They had great success at their first appearance; but not being of God, as a Wit said formerly, they cou'd not stand.

I have already nam'd two sorts of Judges, but Virgil wrote for nei­ther of them: and by his Example, I am not ambitious of pleasing the lowest, or the middle form of Readers.

He chose to please the most Judicious: Souls of the highest Rank, and truest Understanding. These are few in number; but whoever is so happy as to gain their approbation, can nover lose it, because they never give it blindly. Then they have a certain Magne­tism in their Judgment, which attracts others to their Sense. Every day they gain some new Proselyte, and in time become the Church. For this Reason, a well-weigh'd Judicious Poem, which at its first ap­pearance gains no more upon the World than to be just receiv'd, and rather not blam'd, than much applauded, insinuates it self by insensi­ble degrees into the liking of the Reader: The more he studies it, the more it grows upon him; every time he takes it up, he discovers some new Graces in it. And whereas Poems which are produc'd by the vigour of Imagination only, have a gloss upon them at the first, which Time wears off; the Works of Judgment, are like the Dia­mond, the more they are polish'd, the more lustre they receive. Such is the difference betwixt Virgil's Aeneis, and Marini's Adone. And if I may be allow'd to change the Metaphor, I wou'd say, that Virgil is like the Fame which he describes; ‘Mobilitate viget, vires (que) acquirit eundo.’

Such a sort of Reputation is my aim, though in a far inferiour de­gree, according to my Motto in the Title Page: Sequitur (que) Patrem, non passibus aequis; and therefore I appeal to the Highest Court of Ju­dicature, like that of the Peers, of which your Lordship is so great an Ornament.

Without this Ambition which I own, of desiring to please the Ju­dices Natos, I cou'd never have been able to have done any thing at this Age, when the fire of Poetry is commonly extinguish'd in other Men. Yet Virgil has given me the Example of Entellus for my En­couragement: When he was well heated, the younger Champion cou'd not stand before him. And we find the Elder contended not for the Gift, but for the Honour; Nec dona moror. For Dampier has in­form'd us, in his Voyages, that the Air of the Country which produces Gold, is never wholsom.

I had long since consider'd, that the way to please the best Judges, is not to Translate a Poet literally; and Virgil least of any other. For his peculiar Beauty lying in his choice of Words, I am excluded from it by the narrow compass of our Heroick Verse, unless I wou'd make use of Monosyllables only, and those clog'd with Consonants, which [Page] are the dead weight of our Mother-Tongue. 'Tis possible, I confess, though it rarely happens, that a Verse of Monosyllables may sound harmoniously; and some Examples of it I have seen. My first Line of the Aeneis is not harsh: Arms, and the Man I Sing, who forc'd by Fate, &c.’

But a much better instance may be given from the last Line of Ma­nilius, made English by our Learned and Judicious Mr. Creech.

Nor could the World have born so fierce a Flame.

Where the many Liquid Consonants are plac'd so Artfully, that they give a pleasing sound to the Words, though they are all of one Syllable.

'Tis true, I have been sometimes forc'd upon it in other places of this Work, but I never did it out of choice: I was either in haste, or Virgil gave me no occasion for the Ornament of Words; for it seldom happens but a Monosyllable Line turns Verse to Prose, and even that Prose is rugged, and unharmonious. Philarchus, I remember, taxes Balzac for placing Twenty Monosyllables in file, without one dissyllable betwixt them. The way I have taken, is not so streight as Meta­phrase, nor so loose as Paraphrase: Some things too I have omitted, and sometimes have added of my own. Yet the omissions I hope, are but of Circumstances, and such as wou'd have no grace in English; and the Additions, I also hope, are easily deduc'd from Virgil's Sense. They will seem (at least I have the Vanity to think so), not stuck into him, but growing out of him. He studies brevity more than any other Poet, but he had the advantage of a Language wherein much may be comprehended in a little space. We, and all the Modern Tongues, have more Articles and Pronouns, besides signs of Tenses and Cases, and other Barbarities on which our Speech is built by the faults of our Forefathers. The Romans founded theirs upon the Greek: And the Greeks, we know, were labouring many hundred years upon their Lan­guage, before they brought it to perfection. They rejected all those Signs, and cut off as many Articles as they cou'd spare; comprehend­ing in one word, what we are constrain'd to express in two; which is one Reason why we cannot write so concisely as they have done. The word Pater, for Example, signifies not only a Father, but your Father, my Father, his or her Father, all included in a word.

This inconvenience is common to all Modern Tongues, and this alone constrains us to employ more words than the Ancients needed. But having before observ'd, that Virgil endeavours to be short, and at the same time Elegant, I pursue the Excellence, and forsake the Brevity. For there he is like Ambergreace, a Rich Perfume, but of so close and glutinous a Body, that it must be open'd with inferiour scents of Musk or Civet, or the sweetness will not be drawn out into another Language.

On the whole Matter, I thought fit to steer betwixt the two Ex­treams, of Paraphrase, and literal Translation: To keep as near my Author as I cou'd, without losing all his Graces, the most Eminent of which, are in the Beauty of his words: And those words, I must add, are always Figurative. Such of these as wou'd retain their Elegance in our Tongue, I have endeavour'd to graff on it; but most [Page] of them are of necessity to be lost, because they will not shine in any but their own. Virgil has sometimes two of them in a Line; but the scantiness of our Heroick Verse, is not capable of receiving more than one: And that too must expiate for many others which have none. Such is the difference of the Languages, or such my want of skill in chusing words. Yet I may presume to say, and I hope with as much reason as the French Translator, that taking all the Ma­terials of this divine Author, I have endeavour'd to make Virgil speak such English, as he wou'd himself have spoken, if he had been born in England, and in this present Age. I acknowledge, with Segrais, that I have not succeeded in this attempt, according to my desire: yet I shall not be wholly without praise, if in some sort I may be allow'd to have copied the Clearness, the Purity, the Easiness and the Mag­nificence of his Stile. But I shall have occasion to speak farther on this Subject, before I end the Preface.

When I mention'd the Pindarick Line, I should have added, that I take another License in my Verses: For I frequently make use of Triplet Rhymes, and for the same Reason: Because they bound the Sense. And therefore I generally join these two Licenses together: And make the last Verse of the Triplet a Pindarique: For besides, the Majesty which it gives, it confines the sense within the barriers of three Lines, which wou'd languish if it were lengthen'd into four. Spencer is my Example for both these priviledges of English Verses. And Chapman has follow'd him in his Translation of Homer. Mr. Cowley has given in to them after both: And all succeeding Writers after him. I regard them now as the Magna Charta of Heroick Poetry; and am too much an English-man to lose what my Ancestors have gain'd for me. Let the French and Italians value themselves on their Regularity: Strength and Elevation are our Standard. I said before, and I repeat it, that the affected purity of the French, has unsinew'd their Heroick Verse. The Language of an Epick Poem is almost wholly figurative: Yet they are so fearful of a Metaphor, that no Example of Virgil can encourage them to be bold with safety. Sure they might warm them­selves by that sprightly Blaze, without approaching it so close as to singe their Wings; they may come as near it as their Master. Not that I wou'd discourage that purity of diction, in which he excels all other Poets. But he knows how far to extend his Franchises: And advances to the verge, without venturing a Foot beyond it. On the o­ther side, without being injurious to the Memory of our English Pin­dar, I will presume to say, that his Metaphors are sometimes too vio­lent, and his Language is not always pure. But at the same time, I must excuse him. For through the Iniquity of the times, he was forc'd to Travel, at an Age, when, instead of Learning Foreign Lan­guages, he shou'd have studied the Beauties of his Mother Tongue: Which like all other Speeches, is to be cultivated early, or we shall never Write it with any kind of Elegance. Thus by gaining abroad he lost at home: Like the Painter in the Arcadia, who going to see a Skirmish, had his Arms lop'd off: and return'd, says Sir Philip Sydney, well instructed how to draw a Battel, but without a Hand to perform his Work.

There is another thing in which I have presum'd to deviate from him and Spencer. They both make Hemysticks (or half Verses) breaking off in the middle of a Line. I confess there are not many such in the Fairy Queen: And even those few might be occasion'd by his unhappy choice [Page] of so long a Stanza. Mr. Cowley had found out, that no kind of Staff is proper for an Heroick Poem; as being all too lirical: Yet though he wrote in Couplets, where Rhyme is freer from constraint, he frequently affects half Verses: of which we find not one in Homer, and I think not in any of the Grcek Poets, or the Latin, excepting only Virgil; and there is no question but he thought, he had Virgil's Au­thority for that License. But I am confident, our Poet never meant to leave him or any other such a Precedent. And I ground my Opi­nion on these two Reasons. First, we find no Example of a Hemystick in any of his Pastorals or Georgicks. For he had given the last finish­ing Strokes to both these Poems: But his Aeneis he left so uncorrect, at least so short of that perfection at which he aim'd, that we know how hard a Sentence He pass'd upon it: And in the second place, I reasonably presume, that he intended to have fill'd up all those Hemysticks, because in one of them we find the sense imperfect: Quem tibi jam Trojâ— Which some foolish Gramarian, has ended for him, with a half Line of Nonsense. ‘Peperit fumante Crëusa.’ For Ascanius must have been born some Years before the burning of that City; which I need not prove. On the other side we find also, that he himself fill'd up one Line in the sixth Aeneid, the Enthusiasm seiz­ing him, while he was reading to Augustus.

Misenum Aeolidem, quo non praestantior alter
Aere, ciere viros.—

To which he added in that transport. Martemque accendere Cantu. And never was any Line more nobly finish'd; for the reasons which I have given in the Book of Painting. On these Considerations I have shun'd Hemysticks: Not being willing to imitate Virgil to a Fault; like Alexander's Courtiers, who affected to hold their Necks awry, because he cou'd not help it: I am confident your Lordship is by this time of my Opinion; and that you will look on those half lines hereafter, as the imperfect products of a hasty Muse: Like the Frogs and Serpents in the Nile; part of them kindled into Life; and part a lump of un­form'd unanimated Mudd.

I am sensible that many of my whole Verses, are as imperfect as those halves; for want of time to digest them better: But give me leave to make the Excuse of Boccace: Who when he was upbraided, that some of his Novels had not the Spirit of the rest, return'd this Answer, that Charlemain who made the Paladins; was never able to raise an Army of them. The Leaders may be Heroes, but the mul­titude must consist of Common Men.

I am also bound to tell your Lordship, in my own defence: That from the beginning of the first Georgick to the end of the last Aeneid; I found the difficulty of Translation growing on me in every succeeding Book. For Virgil, above all Poets, had a stock, which I may call almost in­exhaustible of figurative, Elegant, and sounding Words. I who in­herit but a small portion of his Genius, and write in a Language so [Page] much inferiour to the Latin, have found it very painful to vary Phra­ses, when the same sense returns upon me. Even he himself, whether out of necessity or choice, has often express'd the same thing in the same words; and often repeated two or three whole Verses, which he had us'd before. Words are not so easily Coyn'd as Money: And yet we see that the Credit not only of Banks, but of Exchequers cracks, when little comes in, and much goes out. Virgil call'd upon me in every line for some new word: And I paid so long, that I was almost Banckrupt. So that the latter end must needs be more burdensom than the begin­ning or the middle. And consequently the Twelfth Aeneid cost me double the time of the first and second. What had become of me, if Virgil had tax'd me with another Book? I had certainly been reduc'd to pay the Publick in hammer'd Money for want of Mill'd; that is in the same old Words which I had us'd before: And the Receivers must have been forc'd to have taken any thing, where there was so little to be had.

Besides this difficulty (with which I have strugled, and made a shift to pass it over) there is one remaining, which is insuperable to all Translators. We are bound to our Author's Sense, though with the la­titudes already mention'd (for I think it not so sacred, as that one Io­ta must not be added or diminish'd on pain of an Anathema.) But Slaves we are; and labour on another Man's Plantation; we dress the Vine-yard, but the Wine is the Owners: If the Soil be sometimes Barren, then we are sure of being scourg'd: If it be fruitful, and our Care succeeds, we are not thank'd; for the proud Reader will only say, the poor drudge has done his duty. But this is nothing to what follows; for being oblig'd to make his Sense intelligible, we are forc'd to untune our own Verses, that we may give his meaning to the Reader. He who Invents is Master of his Thoughts and Words: He can turn and vary them as he pleases, 'till he renders them harmonious. But the wretch­ed Translator has no such priviledge: For being ty'd to the Thoughts, he must make what Musick he can in the Expression. And for this rea­son it cannot always be so sweet as that of the Original. There is a beauty of Sound, as Segrais has observ'd, in some Latin Words, which is wholly lost in any Modern Language. He instances in that Mollis Amaracus, on which Venus lays Cupid in the First Aeneid. If I should Translate it Sweet Marjoram, as the word signifies; the Reader would think I had mistaken Virgil: For those Village-words, as I may call them, gives us a mean Idea of the thing; but the Sound of the La­tin is so much more pleasing, by the just mixture of the Vowels with the Consonants, that it raises our Fancies, to conceive somewhat more Noble than a common Herb; and to spread Roses under him, and strew Lillies over him; a Bed not unworthy the Grandson of the Goddess.

If I cannot Copy his Harmonious Numbers, how shall I imitate his noble Flights; where his Thoughts and Words are equally sub­lime?

Quem quisquis studet aemulari,
—Caeratis ope Dedalaeâ
Nititur pennis, vitreo daturus
Nomina Ponto.

[Page] What Modern Language, or what Poet can express the Majestick Beauty of this one Verse amongst a thousand others!

Aude Hospes contemnere opes, & te quoque dignum
Finge Deo.

For my part I am lost in the admiration of it: I contemn the World, when I think on it, and my self when I Translate it.

Lay by Virgil, I beseech your Lordship, and all my better sort of Judges, when you take up my Version, and it will appear a passable Beauty, when the Original Muse is absent: But like Spencer's false Florimel made of Snow, it melts and vanishes, when the true one comes in sight. I will not excuse but justifie my self for one pretended Crime, with which I am liable to be charg'd by false Criticks, not only in this Translation, but in many of my Original Poems; that I latinize too much. 'Tis true, that when I find an English word, significant and sounding, I neither borrow from the Latin or any other Lan­guage: But when I want at home, I must seek abroad.

If sounding Words are not of our growth and Manufacture, who shall hinder me to Import them from a Foreign Country? I carry not out the Treasure of the Nation, which is never to return: but what I bring from Italy, I spend in England: Here it remains, and here it cir­culates; for if the Coyn be good, it will pass from one hand to another. I Trade both with the Living and the Dead, for the enrichment of our Native Language. We have enough in England to supply our necessi­ty; but if we will have things of Magnificence and Splendour, we must get them by Commerce. Poetry requires Ornament, and that is not to be had from our Old Teuton Monosyllables; therefore if I find any Elegant Word in a Classick Author, I propose it to be Naturaliz'd, by using it my self: and if the Publick approves of it, the Bill passes. But every Man cannot distinguish betwixt Pedantry and Poetry: E­very Man therefore is not fit to innovate. Upon the whole matter, a Poet must first be certain that the Word he wou'd Introduce is Beautiful in the Latin; and is to consider, in the next place, whether it will agree with the English Idiom: After this, he ought to take the O­pinion of judicious Friends, such as are Learned in both Languages: And lastly, since no Man is infallible, let him use this License very sparingly; for if too many Foreign Words are pour'd in upon us, it looks as if they were design'd not to assist the Natives, but to Con­quer them.

I am now drawing towards a Conclusion, and suspect your Lordship is very glad of it. But permit me first, to own what Helps I have had in this Undertaking. The late Earl of Lauderdail, sent me over his new Translation of the Aeneis; which he had ended before I ingag'd in the same Design. Neither did I then intend it: But some Proposals being afterwards made me by my Bookseller, I desir'd his Lordship's leave, that I might accept them, which he freely granted; and I have his Letter yet to shew, for that permission. He resolv'd to have Printed his Work; which he might have done two Years before I cou'd Publish mine: and had perform'd it, if Death had not prevented him. But having his Ma­nuscript in my hands, I consulted it as often as I doubted of my Author's sense. For no Man understood Virgil better than that Learned Noble Man. His Friends, I hear, have yet another, and more Correct Copy of that Tran­slation [Page] by them: which had they pleas'd to have given the Publick, the Judges must have been convinc'd, that I have not flatter'd him. Be­sides this help, which was not inconsiderable, Mr. Congreve has done me the Favour to review the Aeneis; and compare my Version with the Original. I shall never be asham'd to own, that this Excellent Young Man, has shew'd me many Faults, which I have endeavour'd to Cor­rect. 'Tis true, he might have easily found more, and then my Tran­slation had been more Perfect.

Two other Worthy Friends of mine, who desire to have their Names conceal'd, seeing me straitned in my time, took Pity on me, and gave me the Life of Virgil, the two Prefaces to the Pastorals, and the Georgics, and all the Arguments in Profe to the whole Translation. Which perhaps, has occasion'd a Report that the two First Poems are not mine. If it had been true, that I had taken their Verses for my own, I might have glory'd in their Aid; and like Terence, have farther'd the Opinion, that Scipio and Laelius join'd with me. But the same Style being continu'd thro' the whole, and the same Laws of Versifica­tion observ'd, are proofs sufficient, that this is one Man's Work: And your Lordship is too well acquainted with my manner, to doubt that any part of it is anothers.

That your Lordship may see I was in earnest, when I promis'd to hasten to an end, I will not give the Reasons, why I Writ not always in the proper terms of Navigation, Land-Service, or in the Cant of any Profession. I will only say, that Virgil has avoided those proprieties, because he Writ not to Mariners, Souldiers, Astronomers, Gardners, Peasants, &c. but to all in general, and in particular to Men and La­dies of the first Quality: who have been better Bred than to be too nicely knowing in the Terms. In such cases, 'tis enough for a Poet to write so plainly, that he may be understood by his Readers: To avoid impropriety, and not affect to be thought Learn'd in all things.

I have omitted the Four Preliminary Lines of the First Aeneid: Be­cause I think them inferiour to any Four others, in the whole Poem: and consequently, believe they are not Virgil's. There is too great a gap betwixt the Adjective vicina in the Second Line, and the Substan­tive Arva in the latter end of the Third, which keeps his meaning in obscurity too long: And is contrary to the clearness of his Style. ‘Ʋt quamvis avidis’ Is too ambitious an Ornament to be his, and ‘Gratum opus Agricolis,’ Are all words unnecessary, and Independent of what he had said before. ‘Horrentia Martis Arma,’ Is worse than any of the rest. Horrentia is such a flat Epithete, as Tully wou'd have given us in his Verses. 'Tis a meer filler; to stop a vacancy in the Hexameter, and connect the Preface to the Work of Virgil. Our Author seems to sound a Charge, and begins like the clangour of a Trumpet; [Page] Arma, virumque cano; Trojae qui primus ab oris.’

Scarce a word without an R. and the Vowels for the greater part sonorous. The Prefacer began with Ille ego, which He was con­strain'd to patch up in the Fourth line with At nunc, to make the Sense cohere. And if both those words are not notorious botches, I am much deceiv'd, though the French Translator thinks other­wise. For my own part, I am rather of Opinion, that they were ad­ded by Tucca and Varius, than Retrench'd.

I know it may be answer'd by such as think Virgil the Author of the four Lines; that he asserts his Title to the Aeneis, in the be­ginning of this Work, as he did to the two former, in the last lines of the fourth Georgic. I will not reply otherwise to this, than by de­siring them to compare these four Lines with the four others; which we know are his, because no Poet but he alone could write them. If they cannot distinguish Creeping from Flying, let them lay down Vir­gil, and take up Ovid de Ponto in his stead. My Master needed not the assistance of that Preliminary Poet to prove his Claim. His own Ma­jestick Meen discovers him to be the King, amidst a Thousand Cour­tiers. It was a superfluous Office, and therefore I wou'd not set those Verses in the Front of Virgil. But have rejected them to my own Preface.

I, who before, with Shepherds in the Groves,
Sung to my Oaten Pipe, their Rural Loves,
And issuing thence, compell'd the Neighb'ring Field
A plenteous Crop of rising Corn to yield,
Manur'd the Glebe, and stock'd the fruitful Plain,
(A Poem grateful to the greedy Swain.) &c.

If there be not a tolerable Line in all these six, the Prefacer, gave me no occasion to write better. This is a just Apology in this place. But I have done great Wrong to Virgil in the whole Translation: Want of Time, the Inferiority of our Language; the inconvenience of Rhyme, and all the other Excuses I have made, may alleviate my Fault, but cannot justisie the boldness of my Undertaking. What avails it me to acknow­ledge freely, that I have not been able to do him right in any line? For even my own Confession makes against me; and it will always be return'd upon me, Why then did you attempt it? To which, no o­ther Answer can be made, than that I have done him less Injury than any of his former Libellers.

What they call'd his Picture, had been drawn at length, so many times, by the Daubers of almost all Nations, and still so unlike him, that I snatch'd up the Pencil with disdain: being satisfi'd before hand, that I cou'd make some small resemblance of him, though I must be content with a worse likeness. A Sixth Pastoral, a Pharmaceutria, a single Orpheus, and some other Features, have been exactly taken: But those Holiday Authors writ for Pleasure; and only shew'd us what they cou'd have done, if they wou'd have taken pains, to perform the whole.

Be pleas'd, My Lord, to accept, with your wonted goodness, this unworthy Present, which I make you. I have taken off one trouble from you, of defending it, by acknowledging its Imperfections: And though some part of them are cover'd in the Verse; (as Erictho­nius [Page] rode always in a Chariot, to hide his lameness.) Such of them as cannot be conceal'd, you will please to connive at, though in the strictness of your Judgment, you cannot Pardon. If Homer was allow'd to nod sometimes, in so long a Work, it will be no wonder if I often fall asleep. You took my Aureng-zeb into your Pro­tection, with all his faults: And I hope here cannot be so many, because I Translate an Author, who gives me such Examples of Correctness. What my Jury may be, I know not; but 'tis good for a Criminal to plead before a favourable Judge: If I had said Partial, wou'd your Lordship have forgiven me? Or will you give me leave to acquaint the World, that I have many times been oblig'd to your Bounty since the Revolution. Though I never was reduc'd to beg a Charity, nor ever had the Impudence to ask one, either of your Lordship, or your Noble Kinsman the Earl of Dorset, much less of any other, yet when I least expected it, you have both remember'd me. So inherent it is in your Family not to forget an Old Servant. It looks rather like Ingra­titude on my part, that where I have been so often oblig'd, I have ap­pear'd so seldom to return my thanks: and where I was also so sure of being well receiv'd. Somewhat of Laziness was in the case; and somewhat too of Modesty: But nothing of Disrespect, or of Unthank­fulness. I will not say that your Lordship has encourag'd me to this Presumption, lest if my Labours meet with no success in Publick, I may expose your Judgment to be Censur'd. As for my own Enemies I shall never think them worth an Answer; and if your Lordship has any, they will not dare to Arraign you for your want of Knowledge in this Art, till they can produce somewhat betterof their own, than your Essay on Poetry. 'Twas on this Consideration, that I have drawn out my Preface to so great a length. Had I not address'd to a Poet, and a Critick of the first Magnitude, I had my self been tax'd for want of Judgment, and sham'd my Patron for want of Understanding. But neither will you, My Lord, so soon be tir'd as any other, because the Discourse is on your Art; Neither will the Learned Reader think it tedious, because it is ad Clerum. At least, when he begins to be weary, the Church Doors are open. That I may pursue the Allegory with a short Prayer, after a long Sermon:

May you Live happily and long, for the Service of your Country, the Encouragement of good Letters and the Ornament of Poetry; which cannot be wish'd more earnestly by any Man, than by

Your Lordships, most Humble, Most Obliged, and most Obedient Servant. John Dryden.

To his Royall Highness PRINCE GEORGE of DENMARK. &

Virgil's Aeneis.
The First Book of the Aeneis.

The Argument.

The Trojans, after a seven Years Voyage, set sail for Italy, but are overtaken by a dreadful Storm, which Aeolus raises at Juno's Re­quest. The Tempest sinks one, and scatters the rest: Neptune drives off the Winds and calms the Sea. Aeneas with his own Ship, and six more, arrives safe at an Affrican Port. Venus complains to Jupiter of her Son's Misfortunes. Jupiter comforts her, and sends Mercury to procure him a kind Reception among the Carthagini­ans. Aeneas going out to discover the Country, meets his Mother in the Shape of an Huntress, who conveys him in a Cloud to Carthage; where he sees his Friends whom he thought lost, and receives a kind Entertainment from the Queen. Dido by a device of Venus begins to have a Passion for him, and after some Discourse with him, desires the History of his Adventures since the Siege of Troy, which is the Subject of the two following Books.

ARms, and the Man I sing, who, forc'd by Fate,
And haughty Juno's unrelenting Hate;
Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan Shoar:
Long Labours, both by Sea and Land he bore;
And in the doubtful War, before he won
The Latian Realm, and built the destin'd Town:
His banish'd Gods restor'd to Rites Divine,
And setl'd sure Succession in his Line:
From whence the Race of Alban Fathers come,
And the long Glories of Majestick Rome.
O Muse! the Causes and the Crimes relate,
What Goddess was provok'd, and whence her hate:
[Page 202] For what Offence the Queen of Heav'n began
To persecute so brave, so just a Man!
Involv'd his anxious Life in endless Cares,
Expos'd to Wants, and hurry'd into Wars!
Can Heav'nly Minds such high resentment show;
Or exercise their Spight in Human Woe?
Against the Tiber's Mouth, but far away,
An ancient Town was seated on the Sea:
A Tyrian Colony; the People made
Stout for the War, and studious of their Trade.
Carthage the Name, belov'd by Juno more
Than her own Argos, or the Samian Shoar.
Here stood her Chariot, here, if Heav'n were kind,
The Seat of awful Empire she design'd.
Yet she had heard an ancient Rumour fly,
(Long cited by the People of the Sky;)
That times to come shou'd see the Trojan Race
Her Carthage ruin, and her Tow'rs deface:
Nor thus confin'd, the Yoke of Sov'raign Sway,
Should on the Necks of all the Nations lay.
She ponder'd this, and fear'd it was in Fate;
Nor cou'd forget the War she wag'd of late,
For conq'ring Greece against the Trojan State.
Besides long Causes working in her Mind,
And secret Seeds of Envy lay behind.
Deep graven in her Heart, the Doom remain'd
Of partial Paris, and her Form disdain'd:
The Grace bestow'd on ravish'd Ganimed,
Electra's Glories, and her injur'd Bed.
Each was a Cause alone, and all combin'd
To kindle Vengeance in her haughty Mind.
For this, far distant from the Latian Coast,
She drove the Remnants of the Trojan Hoast:
[Page 203] And sev'n long Years th' unhappy wand'ring Train,
Were toss'd by Storms, and scatter'd through the Main.
Such Time, such Toil requir'd the Roman Name,
Such length of Labour for so vast a Frame.
Now scarce the Trojan Fleet with Sails and Oars,
Had left behind the Fair Sicilian Shoars:
Ent'ring with chearful Shouts the wat'ry Reign,
And ploughing frothy Furrows in the Main:
When lab'ring still, with endless discontent,
The Queen of Heav'n did thus her Fury vent.
Then am I vanquish'd, must I yield, said she,
And must the Trojans reign in Italy?
So Fate will have it, and Jove adds his Force;
Nor can my Pow'r divert their happy Course.
Cou'd angry Pallas, with revengeful Spleen,
The Grecian Navy burn, and drown the Men?
She for the Fault of one offending Foe,
The Bolts of Jove himself presum'd to throw:
With Whirlwinds from beneath she toss'd the Ship,
And bare expos'd the Bosom of the deep:
Then, as an Eagle gripes the trembling Game,
The Wretch yet hissing with her Father's Flame,
She strongly seiz'd, and with a burning Wound,
Transfix'd and naked, on a Rock she bound.
But I, who walk in awful State above,
The Majesty of Heav'n, the Sister-wife of Jove;
For length of Years, my fruitless Force employ
Against the thin remains of ruin'd Troy.
What Nations now to Juno's Pow'r will pray,
Or Off'rings on my slighted Altars lay?
Thus rag'd the Goddess, and with Fury fraught,
The restless Regions of the Storms she sought.
Where in a spacious Cave of living Stone,
The Tyrant E'lus from his Airy Throne,
[Page 204] With Pow'r Imperial curbs the strugling Winds,
And sounding Tempests in dark Prisons binds.
This Way, and that, th' impatient Captives tend,
And pressing for Release, the Mountains rend;
High in his Hall, th' undaunted Monarch stands,
And shakes his Scepter, and their Rage commands:
Which did he not, their unresisted Sway
Wou'd sweep the World before them, in their Way:
Earth, Air, and Seas through empty Space wou'd rowl,
And Heav'n would fly before the driving Soul.
In fear of this, the Father of the Gods
Confin'd their Fury to those dark Abodes,
And lock'd'em safe within, oppress'd with Mountain loads:
Impos'd a King, with arbritrary Sway,
To loose their Fetters, or their Force allay.
To whom the suppliant Queen her Pray'rs addrest,
And thus the tenour of her Suit express'd.
O E'lus! for to thee the King of Heav'n
The Pow'r of Tempests, and of Winds has giv'n:
Thy Force alone their Fury can restrain,
And smooth the Waves, or swell the troubl'd Main.
A race of wand'ring Slaves, abhorr'd by me,
With prosp'rous Passage cut the Thuscan Sea:
To fruitful Italy their Course they steer,
And for their vanquish'd Gods design new Temples there.
Raise all thy Winds, with Night involve the Skies;
Sink, or disperse my fatal Enemies.
Twice sev'n, the charming Daughters of the Main,
Around my Person wait, and bear my Train:
Succeed my Wish, and second my Design,
The fairest, Deiopeia, shall be thine;
And make thee Father of a happy Line.
To this the God—'Tis yours, O Queen! to will
The Work, which Duty binds me to fulfil.
[Page 205] These airy Kingdoms, and this wide Command,
Are all the Presents of your bounteous Hand:
Yours is my Sov'raign's Grace, and, as your Guest,
I sit with Gods at their Coelestial Feast.
Raise Tempests at your Pleasure, or subdue;
Dispose of Empire, which I hold from you.
He said, and hurld against the Mountain side,
His quiv'ring Spear, and all, the God apply'd.
The raging Winds rush through the hollow Wound,
And dance aloft in Air, and skim along the Ground:
Then setling on the Sea, the Surges sweep;
Raise liquid Mountains, and disclose the deep.
South, East, and West, with mix'd Confusion roar,
And rowl the foaming Billows to the Shoar.
The Cables crack, the Sailors fearful Cries
Ascend; and sable Night involves the Skies;
And Heav'n it self is ravish'd from their Eyes.
Loud Peals of Thunder from the Poles ensue,
Then flashing Fires the transient Light renew:
The Face of things a frightful Image bears,
And present Death in various Forms appears.
Struck with unusual Fright, the Trojan Chief,
With lifted Hands and Eyes, invokes Relief.
And thrice, and four times happy those, he cry'd,
That under Ilian Walls before their Parents dy'd.
Tydides, bravest of the Grecian Train,
Why cou'd not I by that strong Arm be slain,
And lye by noble Hector on the Plain,
Or great Sarpedon, in those bloody Fields,
Where Simois rouls the Bodies, and the Shields
Of Heroes, whose dismember'd Hands yet bear
The Dart aloft, and clench the pointed Spear?
Thus while the Pious Prince his Fate bewails,
Fierce Boreas drove against his flying Sails,
[...] [...]
[Page 206] And rent the Sheets: The raging Billows rise,
And mount the tossing Vessel to the Skies:
Nor can the shiv'ring Oars sustain the Blow;
The Galley gives her side, and turns her Prow:
While those astern descending down the Steep,
Thro' gaping Waves behold the boiling deep.
Three Ships were hurry'd by the Southern Blast,
And on the secret Shelves with Fury cast.
Those hidden Rocks, th' Ausonian Sailors knew,
They call'd them Altars, when they rose in view,
And show'd their spacious Backs above the Flood.
Three more, fierce Eurus in his angry Mood,
Dash'd on the Shallows of the moving Sand,
And in mid Ocean left them moor'd a-land.
Orontes Barque that bore the Lycian Crew,
(A horrid Sight) ev'n in the Hero's view,
From Stem to Stern, by Waves was overborn:
The trembling Pilot, from his Rudder torn,
Was headlong hurl'd; thrice round, the Ship was tost,
Then bulg'd at once, and in the deep was lost.
And here and there above the Waves were seen
Arms, Pictures, precious Goods, and floating Men.
The stoutest Vessel to the Storm gave way,
And suck'd through loosen'd Planks the rushing Sea.
Ilioneus was her Chief: Alethes old,
Achates faithful, Abas young and bold
Endur'd not less: their Ships, with gaping Seams,
Admit the Deluge of the briny Streams.
Mean time Imperial Neptune heard the Sound
Of raging Billows breaking on the Ground:
Displeas'd, and fearing for his Wat'ry Reign,
He reard his awful Head above the Main:
Serene in Majesty, then rowl'd his Eyes
Around the Space of Earth, and Seas, and Skies.
[Page 207] He saw the Trojan Fleet dispers'd, distress'd
By stormy Winds and wintry Heav'n oppress'd.
Full well the God his Sister's envy knew,
And what her Aims, and what her Arts pursue:
He summon'd Eurus and the western Blast,
And first an angry glance on both he cast:
Then thus rebuk'd; Audacious Winds! from whence
This bold Attempt, this Rebel Insolence?
Is it for you to ravage Seas and Land,
Unauthoriz'd by my supream Command?
To raise such Mountains on the troubl'd Main?
Whom I—But first 'tis fit, the Billows to restrain,
And then you shall be taught obedience to my Reign.
Hence, to your Lord my Royal Mandate bear,
The Realms of Ocean and the Fields of Air
Are mine, not his; by fatal Lot to me
The liquid Empire fell, and Trident of the Sea.
His Pow'r to hollow Caverns is confin'd,
There let him reign, the Jailor of the Wind:
With hoarse Commands his breathing Subjects call,
And boast and bluster in his empty Hall.
He spoke: And while he spoke, he smooth'd the Sea,
Dispell'd the Darkness, and restor'd the Day:
Cymothoe, Triton, and the Sea-green Train
Of beauteous Nymphs, the Daughters of the Main,
Clear from the Rocks the Vessels with their hands;
The God himself with ready Trident stands,
And opes the Deep, and spreads the moving sands;
Then heaves them off the sholes: where e're he guides
His finny Coursers, and in Triumph rides,
The Waves unruffle and the Sea subsides.
As when in Tumults rise th' ignoble Crow'd,
Mad are their Motions, and their Tongues are loud;
[Page 208] And Stones and Brands in ratling Vollies fly,
And all the Rustick Arms that Fury can supply:
If then some grave and Pious Man appear,
They hush their Noise, and lend a list'ning Ear;
He sooths with sober Words their angry Mood,
And quenches their innate Desire of Blood.
So when the Father of the Flood appears,
And o're the Seas his Sov'raign Trident rears,
Their Fury falls: He skims the liquid Plains,
High on his Chariot, and with loosen'd Reins,
Majestick moves along, and awful Peace maintains.
The weary Trojans ply their shatter'd Oars,
To nearest Land, and make the Lybian Shoars.
Within a long Recess there lies a Bay,
An Island shades it from the rowling Sea,
And forms a Port secure for Ships to ride,
Broke by the jutting Land on either side:
In double Streams the briny Waters glide.
Betwixt two rows of Rocks, a Sylvan Scene
Appears above, and Groves for ever green:
A Grott is form'd beneath, with Mossy Seats,
To rest the Nereids, and exclude the Heats.
Down thro' the Cranies of the living Walls
The Crystal Streams descend in murm'ring Falls.
No Haulsers need to bind the Vessels here,
Nor bearded Anchors, for no Storms they fear.
Sev'n Ships within this happy Harbour meet,
The thin Remainders of the scatter'd Fleet.
The Trojans, worn with Toils, and spent with Woes,
Leap on the welcome Land, and seek their wish'd Repose.
First, good Achates, with repeated stroaks
Of clashing Flints, their hidden Fire provokes;
Short Flame succeeds, a Bed of wither'd Leaves
The dying Sparkles in their Fall receives:
[Page 209] Caught into Life, in smoaking Fumes they rise,
And, fed with stronger Food, invade the Skies.
The Trojans, dropping wet, or stand around
The chearful blaze, or lye along the Ground:
Some dry their Corn infected with the Brine,
Then grind with Marbles, and prepare to dine.
Aeneas climbs the Mountain's airy Brow,
And takes a Prospect of the Seas below:
If Capys thence, or Antheus he cou'd spy;
Or see the Streamers of Caicus fly.
No Vessels were in view: But, on the Plain,
Three beamy Stags command a Lordly Train
Of branching Heads; the more ignoble Throng
Attend their stately Steps, and slowly graze along.
He stood; and while secure they fed below,
He took the Quiver, and the trusty Bow
Achates us'd to bear; the Leaders first
He laid along, and then the Vulgar pierc'd:
Nor ceas'd his Arrows, 'till the shady Plain
Sev'n mighty Bodies, with their Blood distain.
For the sev'n Ships he made an equal Share,
And to the Port return'd, Triumphant from the War.
The Jarrs of gen'rous Wine, (Acestes Gist,
When his Trinacrian Shoars the Navy left)
He set abroach, and for the Feast prepar'd;
In equal Portions, with the Ven'son shar'd.
Thus while he dealt it round, the pious Chief,
With chearful Words, allay'd the common Grief.
Endure, and conquer; Jove will soon dispose
To future Good, our past and present Woes.
With me, the Rocks of Scylla you have try'd;
Th' inhuman Cyclops, and his Den defy'd.
What greater Ills hereafter can you bear?
Resume your Courage, and dismiss your Care.
[Page 210] An Hour will come, with Pleasure to relate
Your Sorrows past, as Benefits of Fate.
Through various Hazards, and Events we move
To Latium, and the Realms foredoom'd by Jove.
Call'd to the Seat, (the Promise of the Skies,)
Where Trojan Kingdoms once again may rise.
Endure the Hardships of your present State,
Live, and reserve your selves for better Fate.
These Words he spoke; but spoke not from his Heart;
His outward Smiles conceal'd his inward Smart.
The jolly Crew, unmindful of the past,
The Quarry share, their plenteous Dinner haste:
Some strip the Skin, some portion out the Spoil;
The Limbs yet trembling, in the Cauldrons boyl:
Some on the Fire the reeking Entrails broil.
Stretch'd on the grassy Turf, at ease they dine;
Restore their Strength with Meat, and chear their Souls with Wine.
Their Hunger thus appeas'd, their Care attends,
The doubtful Fortune of their absent Friends:
Alternate Hopes and Fears, their Minds possess,
Whether to deem 'em dead, or in Distress.
Above the rest, Aeneas mourns the Fate
Of brave Orontes, and th' uncertain State
Of Gyas, Lycus, and of Amycus:
The Day, but not their Sorrows, ended thus.
When, from aloft, Almighty Jove surveys
Earth, Air, and Shoars, and navigable Seas,
At length on Lybian Realms he fix'd his Eyes:
Whom, pond'ring thus on Human Miseries,
When Venus saw, she with a lowly Look,
Not free from Tears, her Heav'nly Sire bespoke.
O King of Gods and Men, whose awful Hand,
Disperses Thunder on the Seas and Land;
Disposing all with absolute Command:


To her Royall Highness the Princess Anne of Denmark

AE 1. l. 295


To her Grace Mary Dutchess of Ormond

How cou'd my Pious Son thy Pow'r incense,
Or what, alas! is vanish'd Troy's Offence?
Our hope of Italy not only lost,
On various Seas, by various Tempests tost,
But shut from ev'ry Shoar, and barr'd from ev'ry Coast.
You promis'd once, a Progeny Divine,
Of Romans, rising from the Trojan Line,
In after-times shou'd hold the World in awe,
And to the Land and Ocean give the Law.
How is your Doom revers'd, which eas'd my Care;
When Troy was ruin'd in that cruel War?
Then Fates to Fates I cou'd oppose; but now,
When Fortune still pursues her former Blow,
What can I hope? what worse can still succeed?
What end of Labours has your Will decreed?
Antenor, from the midst of Grecian Hosts,
Could pass secure, and pierce th' Illyrian Coasts:
Where rowling down the Steep, Timavus raves,
And through nine Channels disembogues his Waves.
At length he founded Padua's happy Seat,
And gave his Trojans a secure Retreat:
There fix'd their Arms, and there renew'd their Name,
And there in Quiet rules, and crown'd with Fame.
But we, descended from your sacred Line,
Entitled to your Heav'n, and Rites Divine,
Are banish'd Earth, and, for the Wrath of one,
Remov'd from Latium, and the promis'd Throne.
Are these our Scepters? These our due Rewards?
And is it thus that Jove his plighted Faith regards?
To whom, the Father of th'immortal Race,
Smiling with that serene indulgent Face,
With which he drives the Clouds, and clears the Skies:
First gave a holy Kiss, then thus replies.
Daughter, dismiss thy Fears: To thy desire
The Fates of thine are fix'd, and stand entire.
Thou shalt behold thy wish'd Lavinian Walls,
And, ripe for Heav'n, when Fate Aeneas calls,
Then shalt thou bear him up, sublime, to me;
No Councils have revers'd my firm Decree.
And lest new Fears disturb thy happy State,
Know, I have search'd the Mystick Rolls of Fate:
Thy Son (nor is th' appointed Season far)
In Italy shall wage succesful War:
Shall tame fierce Nations in the bloody Field,
And Sov'raign Laws impose, and Cities build.
'Till, after ev'ry Foe sub du'd, the Sun
Thrice through the Signs his Annual Race shall run:
This is his time prefix'd. Ascanius then,
Now called Julus, shall begin his Reign.
He thirty rowling Years the Crown shall wear:
Then from Lavinium shall the Seat transfer:
And, with hard Labour, Alba-longa build;
The Throne with his Succession shall be fill'd,
Three hundred Circuits more: then shall be seen,
Ilia the fair, a Priestess and a Queen.
Who full of Mars, in time, with kindly Throws,
Shall at a Birth two goodly Boys disclose.
The Royal Babes a tawny Wolf shall drain,
Then Romulus his Grandsire's Throne shall gain.
Of Martial Tow'rs the Founder shall become,
The People Romans call, the City Rome.
To them, no Bounds of Empire I assign;
Nor term of Years to their immortal Line.
Ev' [...] haughty Juno, who, with endless Broils,
Earth, Seas, and Heav'n, and Jove himself turmoils;
At length atton'd, her friendly Pow'r shall joyn,
To cherish and advance the Trojan Line.
[Page 213] The subject World shall Rome's Dominion own,
And, prostrate, shall adore the Nation of the Gown.
An Age is ripening in revolving Fate,
When Troy shall overturn the Grecian State:
And sweet Revenge her conqu'ring Sons shall call,
To crush the People that conspir'd her Fall.
Then Caesar from the Julian Stock shall rise,
Whose Empire Ocean, and whose Fame the Skies
Alone shall bound. Whom, fraught with Eastern Spoils,
Our Heav'n, the just Reward of Human Toyls,
Securely shall reward with Rites Divine;
And Incense shall ascend before his sacred Shrine.
Then dire Debate, and impious War shall cease,
And the stern Age be softned into Peace:
Then banish'd Faith shall once again return,
And Vestal Fires in hallow'd Temples burn;
And Remus with Quirinus shall sustain,
The righteous Laws, and Fraud and Force restrain.
Janus himself before his Fane shall wait,
And keep the dreadful issues of his Gate,
With Bolts and Iron Bars: within remains
Imprison'd Fury, bound in brazen Chains:
High on a Trophie rais'd, of useless Arms,
He sits, and threats the World with vain Alarms.
He said, and sent Cyllenius with Command
To free the Ports, and ope the Punique Land
To Trojan Guests; lest ignorant of Fate,
The Queen might force them from her Town and State.
Down from the Steep of Heav'n Cyllenius flies,
And cleaves with all his Wings the yielding Skies.
Soon on the Lybian Shoar descends the God;
Performs his Message, and displays his Rod:
The surly Murmurs of the People cease,
And, as the Fates requir'd, they give the Peace.
[Page 214] The Queen her self suspends the rigid Laws,
The Trojans pities, and protects their Cause.
Mean time, in Shades of Night Aeneas lies;
Care seiz'd his Soul, and Sleep forsook his Eyes.
But when the Sun restor'd the chearful Day,
He rose, the Coast and Country to survey,
Anxious and eager to discover more:
It look'd a wild uncultivated Shoar:
But whether Human Kind, or Beasts alone
Possess'd the new-found Region, was unknown.
Beneath a hollow Rock his Fleet he hides;
Tall Trees surround the Mountains shady sides:
The bending Brow above, a safe Retreat provides.
Arm'd with two pointed Darts, he leaves his Friends,
And true Achates on his steps attends.
Loe, in the deep Recesses of the Wood,
Before his Eyes his Goddess Mother stood:
A Huntress in her Habit and her Meen;
Her dress a Maid, her Air confess'd a Queen.
Bare were her Knees, and knots her Garments bind;
Loose was her Hair, and wanton'd in the Wind;
Her Hand sustain'd a Bow, her Quiver hung behind.
She seem'd a Virgin of the Spartan Blood:
With such Array Harpalice bestrode
Her Thracian Courser, and outstrip'd the rapid Flood.
Ho! Strangers! have you lately seen, she said,
One of my Sisters, like my self array'd;
Who crost the Lawn, or in the Forest stray'd?
A Painted Quiver at her Back she bore;
Vary'd with Spots, a Linx's Hide she wore:
And at full Cry pursu'd the tusky Boar?
Thus Venus: Thus her Son reply'd agen;
None of your Sisters have we heard or seen,


To ye Right Honble: Anne Countess of Exeter Wife to ye Right Honble: John Earle of Exeter Baron Coecill of Burleigh

AE. 1. l. 435
O virgin! or what other Name you bear
A bove that stile; O more than mortal fair!
Your Voice and Meen Coelestial birth betray!
If, as you seem, the Sister of the Day;
Or one at least of Chast Diana's Train,
Let not an humble Suppliant sue in vain:
But tell a Stranger, long in Tempests tost,
What Earth we tread, and who commands the Coast?
Then on your Name shall wretched Mortals call;
And offer'd Victims at your Altars fall.
I dare not, she reply'd, assume the Name
Of Goddess, or Coelestial Honours claim:
For Tyrian Virgins Bows and Quivers bear,
And Purple Buskins o're their Ankles wear.
Know, gentle Youth, in Lybian Lands you are:
A People rude in Peace, and rough in War.
The rising City, which from far you see,
Is Carthage; and a Tyrian Colony.
Phenician Dido rules the growing State,
Who fled from Tyre, to shun her Brother's hate:
Great were her wrongs, her Story full of Fate;
Which I will sum in short. Sicheus known
For wealth, and Brother to the Punic Throne,
Possess'd fair Dido's Bed: And either heart
At once was wounded with an equal Dart.
Her Father gave her, yet a spotless Maid;
Pigmalion then the Tyrian Scepter sway'd:
One who contemn'd Divine and Humane Laws:
Then Strife ensu'd, and cursed Gold the Cause.
The Monarch, blinded with desire of Wealth;
With Steel invades his Brother's life by stealth;
Before the sacred Altar made him bleed,
And long from her conceal'd the cruel deed.
[Page 216] Some Tale, some new Pretence, he daily coin'd,
To sooth his Sister, and delude her Mind.
At length, in dead of Night, the Ghost appears
Of her unhappy Lord: the Spectre stares,
And with erected Eyes his bloody Bosom bares.
The cruel Altars, and his Fate he tells,
And the dire Secret of his House reveals.
Then warns the Widdow, with her household Gods,
To seek a Refuge in remote abodes.
Last, to support her, in so long a way,
He shows her where his hidden Treasure lay.
Admonish'd thus, and seiz'd with mortal fright,
The Queen provides Companions of her flight:
They meet; and all combine to leave the State,
Who hate the Tyrant, or who fear his hate.
They seize a Fleet, which ready rigg'd they find:
Nor is Pigmalion's Treasure left behind.
The Vessels, heavy laden, put to Sea
With prosprous winds; a Woman leads the way.
I know not, if by stress of Weather driv'n,
Or was their fatal Course dispos'd by Heav'n;
At last they landed, where from far your Eyes
May view the Turrets of new Carthage rise:
There bought a space of Ground, which Byrsa call'd
From the Bulls hide, they first inclos'd, and wall'd.
But whence are you, what Country claims your Birth?
What seek you, Strangers, on our Lybian Earth?
To whom, with sorrow streaming from his Eyes,
And deeply sighing, thus her Son replyes:
Cou'd you with Patience hear, or I relate,
O Nymph! the tedious Annals of our Fate!
Thro' such a train of Woes if I shou'd run,
The day wou'd sooner than the Tale be done!
[Page 217] From ancient Troy, by Force expell'd, we came,
If you by chance have heard the Trojan Name:
On various Seas by various Tempests tost,
At length we landed on your Lybian Coast.
The Good Aeneas am I call'd, a Name,
While Fortune favour'd, not unknown to Fame:
My houshold Gods, Companions of my Woes,
With pious Care I rescu'd from our Foes.
To fruitful Italy my Course was bent,
And from the King of Heav'n is my Descent.
With twice ten Sail I crost the Phrygian Sea;
Fate, and my Mother Goddess, led my Way.
Scarce sev'n, the thin Remainders of my Fleet,
From Storms preserv'd, within your Harbour meet:
My self distress'd, an Exile, and unknown,
Debarr'd from Europe, and from Asia thrown,
In Lybian Desarts wander thus alone.
His tender Parent could no longer bear;
But, interposing, sought to sooth his Care.
Who e're you are, not unbelov'd by Heav'n,
Since on our friendly Shoar your Ships are driv'n:
Have Courage: To the Gods permit the rest,
And to the Queen expose your just Request.
Now take this earnest of Success, for more▪
Your scatter'd Fleet is join'd upon the Shoar;
The Winds are chang'd, your Friends from danger free,
Or I renounce my Skill in Augury.
Twelve Swans behold, in beauteous order move,
And stoop with closing Pinions from above:
Whom late the Bird of Jove had driv'n along,
And through the Clouds pursu'd the scatt'ring Throng:
Now all united in a goodly Team,
They skim the Ground, and seek the quiet Stream.
[Page 218] As they, with Joy returning, clap their Wings,
And ride the Circuit of the Skies in Rings:
Not otherwise your Ships, and ev'ry Friend,
Already hold the Port, or with swift Sails descend.
No more Advice is needful, but pursue
The Path before you, and the Town in view.
Thus having said, she turn'd, and made appear
Her Neck refulgent, and dishevel'd Hair;
Which flowing from her Shoulders, reach'd the Ground,
And widely spread Ambrosial Scents around:
In length of Train descends her sweeping Gown,
And by her graceful Walk, the Queen of Love is known.
The Prince pursu'd the parting Deity,
With Words like these: Ah! whither do you fly?
Unkind and cruel, to deceive your Son
In borrow'd Shapes, and his Embrace to shun:
Never to bless my Sight, but thus unknown;
And still to speak in Accents not your own.
Against the Goddess these Complaints he made;
But took the Path, and her Commands obey'd.
They march obscure, for Venus kindly shrowds,
With Mists, their Persons, and involves in Clouds:
That, thus unseen, their Passage none might stay,
Or force to tell the Causes of their Way.
This part perform'd, the Goddess flies sublime,
To visit Paphos; and her native Clime:
Where Garlands ever green, and ever fair,
With Vows are offer'd, and with solemn Pray'r:
A hundred Altars in her Temple Smoke,
A thousand bleeding Hearts her Pow'r invoke.
They climb the next Ascent, and, looking down,
Now at a nearer Distance view the Town:
The Prince, with Wonder, sees the stately Tow'rs,
Which late were Huts, and Shepherd's homely Bow'rs.
[Page 219] The Gates and Streets; and hears, from ev'ry part,
The Noise, and buisy Concourse of the Mart.
The toiling Tyrians on each other call,
To ply their Labour: Some extend the Wall,
Some build the Citadel; the brawny Throng,
Or dig, or push unweildy Stones along.
Some for their Dwellings chuse a Spot of Ground,
Which, first design'd, with Ditches they surround.
Some Laws ordain, and some attend the Choice
Of holy Senates, and elect by Voice.
Here some design a Mole, while others there
Lay deep Foundations for a Theatre:
From Marble Quarries mighty Columns hew,
For Ornaments of Scenes, and future view.
Such is their Toyl, and such their buisy Pains,
As exercise the Bees in flow'ry Plains;
When Winter past, and Summer scarce begun,
Invites them forth to labour in the Sun:
Some lead their Youth abroad, while some condense
Their liquid Store, and some in Cells dispence.
Some at the Gate stand ready to receive
The Golden Burthen, and their Friends relieve.
All, with united Force, combine to drive
The lazy Drones from the laborious Hive;
With Envy stung▪ they view each others Deeds;
The fragrant Work with Diligence proceeds.
Thrice happy you, whose Walls already rise;
Aeneas said; and view'd, with lifted Eyes,
Their lofty Tow'rs; then ent'ring at the Gate,
Conceal'd in Clouds, (prodigious to relate)
He mix'd, unmark'd, among the buisy Throng,
Born by the Tide, and pass'd unseen along.
Full in the Centre of the Town there stood,
Thick set with Trees, a venerable Wood:
[Page 220] The Tyrians landing near this holy Ground,
And digging here, a prosp'rous Omen found:
From under Earth a Courser's Head they drew,
Their Growth and future Fortune to foreshew:
This fatal Sign their Foundress Juno gave,
Of a Soil fruitful, and a People brave.
Sidonian Dido here with solemn State
Did Juno's Temple build, and consecrate:
Enrich'd with Gifts, and with a Golden Shrine;
But more the Goddess made the Place Divine.
On Brazen Steps the Marble Threshold rose,
And brazen Plates the Cedar Beams inclose:
The Rafters are with brazen Cov'rings crown'd,
The lofty Doors on brazen Hinges sound.
What first Aeneas in this place beheld,
Reviv'd his Courage, and his Fear expel'd.
For while, expecting there the Queen, he rais'd
His wond'ring Eyes, and round the Temple gaz'd;
Admir'd the Fortune of the rising Town,
The striving Artists, and their Arts renown:
He saw in order painted on the Wall,
Whatever did unhappy Troy befall:
The Wars that Fate around the World had blown,
All to the Life, and ev'ry Leader known.
There Agamemnon, Priam here he spies,
And fierce Achilles who both Kings defies.
He stop'd, and weeping said, O Friend! ev'n here
The Monuments of Trojan Woes appear!
Our known Disasters fill ev'n foreign Lands:
See there, where old unhappy Priam stands!
Ev'n the Mute Walls relate the Warrior's Fame,
And Trojan Griefs the Tyrians Pity claim.
He said, his Tears a ready Passage find,
Devouring what he saw so well design'd;
And with an empty Picture fed his Mind▪
[Page 221] For there he saw the fainting Grecians yield,
And here the trembling Trojans quit the Field,
Pursu'd by fierce Achilles through the Plain,
On his high Chariot driving o're the Slain.
The Tents of Rhesus next, his Grief renew,
By their white Sails betray'd to nightly view.
And wakesul Diomede, whose cruel Sword
The Centries slew; nor spar'd their slumb'ring Lord.
Then took the fiery Steeds, e're yet the Food
Of Troy they taste, or drink the Xanthian Flood.
Elsewhere he saw where Troilus defy'd
Achilles, and unequal Combat try'd.
Then, where the Boy disarm'd with loosen'd Reins,
Was by his Horses hurry'd o're the Plains:
Hung by the Neck and Hair, and drag'd around,
The hostile Spear yet sticking in his Wound;
With tracks of Blood inscrib'd the dusty Ground.
Mean time the Trojan Dames oppress'd with Woe,
To Pallas Fane in long Precession goe,
In hopes to reconcile their Heav'nly Foe:
They weep, they beat their Breasts, they rend their Hair,
And rich embroider'd Vests for Presents bear:
But the stern Goddess stands unmov'd with Pray'r.
Thrice round the Trojan Walls Achilles drew
The Corps of Hector, whom in Fight he slew.
Here Priam sues, and there, for Sums of Gold,
The lifeless Body of his Son is sold.
So sad an Object, and so well express'd,
Drew Sighs and Groans from the griev'd Heroes Breast:
To see the Figure of his lifeless Friend,
And his old Sire his helpless Hand extend.
Himself he saw amidst the Grecian Train,
Mix'd in the bloody Battel on the Plain.
[Page 222] And swarthy Memnon in his Arms he knew
His pompous Ensigns, and his Indian Crew.
Penthisilea there, with haughty Grace,
Leads to the Wars an Amazonian Race:
In their right Hands a pointed Dart they wield;
The left, for Ward, sustains the Lunar Shield.
Athwart her Breast a Golden Belt she throws,
Amidst the Press alone provokes a thousand Foes:
And dares her Maiden Arms to Manly Force oppose.
Thus, while the Trojan Prince employs his Eyes,
Fix'd on the Walls with wonder and surprise;
The Beauteous Dido, with a num'rous Train,
And pomp of Guards, ascends the sacred Fane.
Such on Eurota's Banks, or Cynthus's hight,
Diana seems; and so she charms the sight,
When in the Dance the graceful Goddess leads
The Quire of Nymphs, and overtops their Heads.
Known by her Quiver, and her lofty Meen,
She walks Majestick, and she looks their Queen:
Latona sees her shine above the rest,
And feeds with secret Joy her silent Breast.
Such Dido was; with such becoming State,
Amidst the Crowd, she walks serenely great.
Their Labour to her future Sway she speeds,
And passing with a gracious Glance proceeds:
Then mounts the Throne, high plac'd before the Shrine;
In Crowds around the swarming People joyn.
She takes Petitions, and dispenses Laws,
Hears, and determines ev'ry Private Cause.
Their Tasks in equal Portions she divides,
And where unequal, there by Lots decides.
Another Way by chance Aeneas bends
His Eyes, and unexpected sees his Friends:
[Page 223] Antheus, Sergestus grave, Cloanthus strong,
And at their Backs a mighty Trojan Throng:
Whom late the Tempest on the Billows tost,
And widely scatter'd on another Coast.
The Prince, unseen, surpriz'd with Wonder stands,
And longs, with joyful haste to join their Hands:
But doubtful of the wish'd Event, he stays,
And from the hollow Cloud his Friends surveys:
Impatient 'till they told their present State,
And where they left their Ships, and what their Fate;
And why they came, and what was their Request:
For these were sent commission'd by the rest,
To sue for leave to land their sickly Men,
And gain Admission to the Gracious Queen.
Ent'ring, with Cries they fill'd the holy Fane;
Then thus, with humble Voice, Ilioneus began.
O Queen! indulg'd by Favour of the Gods,
To found an Empire in these new Abodes;
To build a Town, with Statutes to restrain
The wild Inhabitants beneath thy Reign:
We wretched Trojans tost on ev'ry Shore,
From Sea to Sea, thy Clemency implore:
Forbid the Fires our Shipping to deface,
Receive th' unhappy Fugitives to Grace,
And spare the remnant of a Pious Race.
We come not with design of wastful Prey,
To drive the Country, force the Swains away:
Nor such our Strength, nor such is our Desire,
The vanquish'd dare not to such Thoughts aspire.
A Land there is, Hesperia nam'd of old,
The Soil is fruitful, and the Men are bold:
Th' Oenotrians held it once, by common Fame,
Now call'd Italia, from the Leaders Name.
[Page 220] To that sweet Region was our Voyage bent,
When Winds, and ev'ry warring Element,
Disturb'd our Course, and far from sight of Land,
Cast our torn Vessels on the moving Sand:
The Sea came on; the South with mighty Roar,
Dispers'd and dash'd the rest upon the Rocky Shoar.
Those few you see escap'd the Storm, and fear,
Unless you interpose, a Shipwreck here:
What Men, what Monsters, what inhuman Race,
What Laws, what barb'rous Customs of the Place,
Shut up a desart Shoar to drowning Men,
And drives us to the cruel Seas agen!
If our hard Fortune no Compassion draws,
Nor hospitable Rights, nor human Laws,
The Gods are just, and will revenge our Cause.
Aeneas was our Prince, a juster Lord,
Or nobler Warriour, never drew a Sword:
Observant of the Right, religious of his Word.
If yet he lives, and draws this vital Air:
Nor we his Friends of Safety shall despair;
Nor you, great Queen, these Offices repent,
Which he will equal, and perhaps prevent.
We want not Cities, nor Sicilian Coasts,
Where King Acestes Trojan Lineage boasts.
Permit our Ships a Shelter on your Shoars,
Refitted from your Woods with Planks and Oars;
That if our Prince be safe, we may renew
Our destin'd Course, and Italy pursue.
But if, O best of Men! the Fates ordain
That thou art swallow'd in the Lybian Main:
And if our young Iulus be no more,
Dismiss our Navy from your friendly Shoar.
That we to good Acestes may return,
And with our Friends our common Losses mourn.
[Page 225] Thus spoke Ilioneus; the Trojan Crew
With Cries and Clamours his Request renew.
The modest Queen a while, with down-cast Eyes,
Ponder'd the Speech; then briefly thus replies.
Trojans dismiss your Fears: my cruel Fate,
And doubts attending an unsetled State,
Force me to guard my Coast, from Foreign Foes.
Who has not heard the story of your Woes?
The Name and Fortune of your Native Place,
The Fame and Valour of the Phrygian Race?
We Tyrians are not so devoid of Sense,
Nor so remote from Phoebus influence.
Whether to Latian Shores your Course is bent,
Or driv'n by Tempest's from your first intent,
You seek the good Acestes Government;
Your Men shall be receiv'd, your Fleet repair'd,
And sail, with Ships of Convoy for your guard;
Or, wou'd you stay, and joyn your friendly Pow'rs,
To raise and to defend the Tyrian Tow'rs;
My Wealth, my City, and my Self are yours.
And wou'd to Heav'n the Storm, you felt, wou'd bring
On Carthaginian Coasts your wand'ring King.
My People shall, by my Command, explore
The Ports and Creeks of ev'ry winding shore;
And Towns, and Wilds, and shady Woods, in quest
Of so renown'd and so desir'd a Guest.
Rais'd in his Mind the Trojan Heroe stood,
And long'd to break from out his Ambient Cloud;
Achates found it; and thus urg'd his way;
From whence, O Goddess born, this long delay?
What more can you desire, your Welcome sure,
Your Fleet in safety, and your Friends secure?
One only wants; and him we saw in vain
Oppose the Storm, and swallow'd in the Main.
[Page 226] Orontes in his Fate our Forfeit paid,
The rest agrees with what your Mother said.
Scarce had he spoken, when the Cloud gave way,
The Mists flew upward, and dissolv'd in day.
The Trojan Chief appear'd in open sight,
August in Visage, and serenely bright.
His Mother Goddess, with her hands Divine,
Had form'd his Curling Locks, and made his Temples shine:
And giv'n his rowling Eyes a sparkling grace;
And breath'd a youthful vigour on his Face:
Like polish'd Iv'ry, beauteous to behold,
Or Parian Marble, when enchas'd in Gold:
Thus radiant from the circling Cloud he broke;
And thus with manly modesty he spoke.
He whom you seek am I: by Tempests tost,
And sav'd from Shipwreck on your Lybian Coast:
Presenting, gracious Queen, before your Throne,
A Prince that ows his Life to you alone.
Fair Majesty, the Refuge and Redress
Of those whom Fate pursues, and Wants oppress.
You, who your pious Offices employ
To save the Reliques of abandon'd Troy;
Receive the Shipwreck'd on your friendly Shore,
With hospitable Rites relieve the Poor:
Associate in your Town a wandring Train,
And Strangers in your Palace entertain.
What thanks can wretched Fugitives return,
Who scatter'd thro' the World in exile mourn?
The Gods, (if Gods to Goodness are inclin'd,)
If Acts of mercy touch their Heav'nly Mind;
And more than all the Gods, your gen'rous heart,
Conscious of worth, requite its own desert!
In you this Age is happy, and this Earth:
And Parents more than Mortal gave you birth.

[Page] [Page]

To the Right Honble: Elizabeth Countess Dowager of Winchelsea &ct.

AE. 1. l: 875.
While rowling Rivers into Seas shall run,
And round the space of Heav'n the radiant Sun;
While Trees the Mountain tops with Shades supply,
Your Honour, Name, and Praise shall never dye.
What e're abode my Fortune has assign'd,
Your Image shall be present in my Mind.
Thus having said; he turn'd with pious hast,
And joyful his expecting Friends embrac'd:
With his right hand Ilioneus was grac'd,
Serestus with his left; then to his breast
Cloanthus and the Noble Gyas prest;
And so by turns descended to the rest.
The Tyrian Queen stood fix'd upon his Face,
Pleas'd with his motions, ravish'd with his grace:
Admir'd his Fortunes, more admir'd the Man;
Then recollected stood; and thus began.
What Fate, O Goddess born, what angry Pow'rs
Have cast you shipwrack'd on our barren Shores?
Are you the great Aeneas, known to Fame,
Who from Coelestial Seed your Lineage claim!
The same Aeneas whom fair Venus bore
To fam'd Anchises on th' Idaean Shore?
It calls into my mind, tho' then a Child,
When Teucer came from Salamis exil'd;
And sought my Father's aid, to be restor'd:
My Father Belus then with Fire and Sword
Invaded Cyprus, made the Region bare,
And, Conqu'ring, finish'd the successful War.
From him the Trojan Siege I understood,
The Grecian Chiefs, and your Illustrious Blood.
Your Foe himself the Dardan Valour prais'd,
And his own Ancestry from Trojans rais'd.
Enter, my Noble Guest; and you shall find,
If not a costly welcome, yet a kind.
[Page 228] For I my self, like you, have been distress'd;
Till Heav'n afforded me this place of rest.
Like you an Alien in a Land unknown;
I learn to pity Woes, so like my own.
She said, and to the Palace led her Guest,
Then offer'd Incense, and proclaim'd a Feast.
Nor yet less careful for her absent Friends,
Twice ten fat Oxen to the Ships she sends:
Besides a hundred Boars, a hundred Lambs,
With bleating cries, attend their Milky Dams.
And Jars of gen'rous Wine, and spacious Bowls,
She gives to chear the Sailors drooping Souls.
Now Purple Hangings cloath the Palace Walls,
And sumptuous Feasts are made in splendid Halls:
On Tyrian Carpets, richly wrought, they dine;
With loads of Massy Plate the Side-boards shine.
And Antique Vafes all of Gold Emboss'd;
(The Gold it self inferiour to the Cost:)
Of curious Work, where on the sides were seen
The Fights and Figures of Illustrious Men;
From their first Founder to the present Queen.
The Good Aeneas, whose Paternal Care
Iulus absence could no longer bear,
Dispatch'd Achates to the Ships in hast,
To give a glad Relation of the past;
And, fraught with precious Gifts, to bring the Boy
Snatch'd from the Ruins of unhappy Troy:
A Robe of Tissue, stiff with golden Wire;
An upper Vest, once Hellen's rich Attire;
From Argos by the fam'd Adultress brought,
With Golden flow'rs and winding foliage wrought;
Her Mother Laeda's Present, when she came
To ruin Troy, and set the World on flame.
[Page 229] The Scepter Priam's eldest Daughter bore,
Her orient Necklace, and the Crown she wore;
Of double texture, glorious to behold;
One order set with Gems, and one with Gold.
Instructed thus, the wise Achates goes:
And in his diligence his duty shows.
But Venus, anxious for her Son's Affairs,
New Councils tryes; and new Designs prepares:
That Cupid should assume the Shape and Face
Of sweet Ascanius, and the sprightly grace:
Shou'd bring the Prefents, in her Nephews stead,
And in Eliza's Veins the gentle Poison shed.
For much she fear'd the Tyrians, double tongu'd,
And knew the Town to Juno's care belong'd.
These thoughts by Night her Golden Slumbers broke;
And thus alarm'd, to winged Love she spoke.
My Son, my strength, whose mighty Pow'r alone
Controuls the Thund'rer, on his awful Throne;
To thee thy much afflicted Mother flies,
And on thy Succour, and thy Faith relies.
Thou know'st, my Son, how Jove's revengeful Wife,
By force and Fraud, attempts thy Brother's life.
And often hast thou mourn'd with me his Pains:
Him Dido now with Blandishment detains;
But I suspect the Town where Juno reigns.
For this, 'tis needful to prevent her Art,
And fire with Love the proud Phoenician's heart.
A Love so violent, so fond, so sure,
That neither Age can change, nor Art can cure.
How this may be perform'd, now take my mind:
Ascanius, by his Father is design'd
To come, with Presents, laden from the Port,
To gratifie the Queen, and gain the Court.
[Page 230] I mean to plunge the Boy in pleasing Sleep,
And, ravish'd, in Idalian Bow'rs to keep;
Or high Cythaera: That the sweet Deceipt
May pass unseen, and none prevent the Cheat,
Take thou his Form and Shape. I beg the Grace
But only for a Night's revolving Space;
Thy self a Boy, assume a Boy's dissembled Face.
That when amidst the fervour of the Feast,
The Tyrian hugs, and fonds thee on her Breast,
And with sweet Kisses in her Arms constrains,
Thou may'st infuse thy Venom in her Veins.
The God of Love obeys, and sets aside
His Bow, and Quiver, and his plumy Pride:
He walks Iulus in his Mother's Sight,
And in the sweet Resemblance takes Delight.
The Goddess then to young Ascanius flies,
And in a pleasing Slumber seals his Eyes;
Lull'd in her Lap, amidst a Train of Loves,
She gently bears him to her blissful Groves:
Then with a Wreath of Myrtle crowns his Head,
And softly lays him on a flow'ry Bed.
Cupid mean time assum'd his Form and Face,
Foll'wing Achates with a shorter Pace;
And brought the Gifts. The Queen, already sate
Amidst the Trojan Lords, in shining State,
High on a Golden Bed: Her Princely Guest
Was next her side, in order sate the rest.
Then Canisters with Bread are heap'd on high;
Th' Attendants Water for their Hands supply;
And having wash'd, with silken Towels dry.
Next fifty Handmaids in long order bore
The Censers, and with Fumes the Gods adore.
Then Youths, and Virgins twice as many, join
To place the Dishes, and to serve the Wine.


To the most Honble. Ursula Marchioness of Normaneby

AE. 1. l 995
The Tyrian Train, admitted to the Feast,
Approach, and on the painted Couches rest.
All on the Trojan Gifts, with Wonder gaze;
But view the beauteous Boy with more amaze.
His Rosy-colour'd Cheeks, his radiant Eyes,
His Motions, Voice, and Shape, and all the God's disguise.
Nor pass unprais'd the Vest and Veil Divine,
Which wand'ring Foliage and rich Flow'rs entwine.
But far above the rest, the Royal Dame,
(Already doom'd to Love's disastrous Flame;)
With Eyes insatiate, and tumultuous Joy,
Beholds the Presents, and admires the Boy.
The guileful God, about his Father long,
With Children's play, and false Embraces hung;
Then sought the Queen: She took him to her Arms,
With greedy Pleasure, and devour'd his Charms.
Unhappy Dido little thought what Guest,
How dire a God she drew so near her Breast.
But he, not mindless of his Mother's Pray'r,
Works in the pliant Bosom of the Fair;
And moulds her Heart anew, and blots her former Care.
The dead is to the living Love resign'd,
And all Aeneas enters in her Mind.
Now, when the Rage of Hunger was appeas'd,
The Meat remov'd, and ev'ry Guest was pleas'd;
The Golden Bowls with sparkling Wine are crown'd,
And through the Palace chearful Cries resound.
From gilded Roofs depending Lamps display
Nocturnal Beams, that emulate the Day.
A Golden Bowl, that shone with Gems Divine,
The Queen commanded to be crown'd with Wine;
The Bowl that Belus us'd, and all the Tyrian Line.
Then, Silence through the Hall proclaim'd, she spoke:
O hospitable Jove! we thus invoke,
[Page 232] With solemn Rites, thy sacred Name and Pow'r!
Bless to both Nations this auspicious Hour.
So may the Tojan and the Tyrian Line,
In lasting Concord, from this Day combine.
Thou, Bacchus, God of Joys and friendly Cheer,
And gracious Juno, both be present here:
And you, my Lords of Tyre, your Vows address
To Heav'n with mine, to ratifie the Peace.
The Goblet then she took, with Nectar crown'd,
(Sprinkling the first Libations on the Ground,)
And rais'd it to her Mouth with sober Grace,
Then sipping, offer'd to the next in place.
'Twas Bitias whom she call'd, a thirsty Soul,
He took the Challenge, and embrac'd the Bowl:
With Pleasure swill'd the Gold, nor ceas'd to draw,
'Till he the bottom of the Brimmer saw.
The Goblet goes around: Iopas brought
His Golden Lyre, and sung what ancient Atlas taught.
The various Labours of the wand'ring Moon,
And whence proceed th' Eclipses of the Sun.
Th' Original of Men, and Beasts; and whence
The Rains arise, and Fires their Warmth dispence;
And fix'd, and erring Stars, dispose their Influence.
What shakes the solid Earth, what Cause delays
The Summer Nights, and shortens Winter Days.
With Peals of Shouts the Tyrians praise the Song;
Those Peals are echo'd by the Trojan Throng.
Th' unhappy Queen with Talk prolong'd the Night,
And drank large Draughts of Love with vast Delight.
Of Priam much enquir'd, of Hector more;
Then ask'd what Arms the swarthy Memnon wore;
What Troops he landed on the Trojan Shore.
The Steeds of Di'mede vary'd the Discourse,
And fierce Achilles, with his matchless Force.
[Page 233] At length, as Fate and her ill Stars requir'd,
To hear the Series of the War desir'd.
Relate at large, my God-like Guest, she said,
The Grecian Stratagems, the Town betray'd;
The fatal Issue of so long a War,
Your Flight, your Wand'rings, and your Woes declare.
For since on ev'ry Sea, on ev'ry Coast,
Your Men have been distress'd, your Navy tost,
Sev'n times the Sun has either Tropick view'd,
The Winter banish'd, and the Spring renew'd.

The Second Book of the Aeneis.

The Argument.

Aeneas relates how the City of Troy was taken, after a Ten Years Siege, by the Treachery of Sinon, and the Stratagem of a wooden Horse. He declares the fixt Resolution he had taken not to survive the Ruins of his Country, and the various Adventures he met with in the De­fence of it: at last having been before advis'd by Hector's Ghost, and now by the Appearance of his Mother Venus, he is prevail'd upon to leave the Town, and settle his Houshold-Gods in another Country. in order to this, he carries off his Father on his Shoulders, and leads his little Son by the Hand, his Wife following him behind. When he comes to the Place appointed for the general Rendevouze, he finds a great Confluence of People, but misses his Wife, whose Ghost after­wards appears to him, and tells him the Land which was design'd for him.

ALL were attentive to the God-like Man;
When from the lofty Couch he thus began.
Great Queen, what you command me to relate,
Renews the sad remembrance of our Fate.
An Empire from its old Foundations rent,
And ev'ry Woe the Trojans underwent:
A Peopl'd City made a Desart Place;
All that I saw, and part of which I was:
Not ev'n the hardest of our Foes cou'd hear,
Nor stern Ulysses tell without a Tear.
And now the latter Watch of wasting Night,
And setting Stars to kindly Rest invite.
But since you take such Int'rest in our Woe,
And Troy's disast'rous end desire to know:
I will restrain my Tears, and briefly tell
What in our last and fatal Night befel.
By Destiny compell'd, and in Despair,
The Greeks grew weary of the tedious War:


To ye most Illustrious Prince Charles Duke of Somerset, Knight of ye most Noble Order of ye Garter.

AE. 2. l: 1.
And by Minerva's Aid a Fabrick rear'd,
Which like a Steed of monstrous height appear'd;
The Sides were planck'd with Pine, they feign'd it made
For their Return, and this the Vow they paid.
Thus they pretend, but in the hollow Side,
Selected Numbers of their Souldiers hide:
With inward Arms the dire Machine they load,
With Iron Bowels stuff the dark Abode.
In sight of Troy lies Tenedos, an Isle,
(While Fortune did on Priam's Empire smile)
Renown'd for Wealth, but since a faithless Bay,
Where Ships expos'd to Wind and Weather lay.
There was their Fleet conceal'd: We thought for Greece
Their Sails were hoisted, and our Fears release.
The Trojans coop'd within their Walls so long,
Unbar their Gates, and issue in a Throng,
Like swarming Bees, and with Delight survey
The Camp deserted, where the Grecians lay:
The Quarters of the sev'ral Chiefs they show'd,
Here Phoenix, here Achilles made abode,
Here join'd the Battels, there the Navy rode.
Part on the Pile their wond'ring Eyes employ,
(The Pile by Pallas rais'd to ruin Troy.)
Thymaetes first ('tis doubtful whether hir'd,
Or so the Trojan Destiny requir'd)
Mov'd that the Ramparts might be broken down,
To lodge the fatal Engine in the Town.
But Capys, and the rest of sounder Mind,
The fatal Present to the Flames design'd;
Or to the watry deep: At least to bore
The hollow sides, and hidden Frauds explore:
The giddy Vulgar, as their Fancies guide,
With Noise say nothing, and in parts divide.
[Page 236] Iaocoon, follow'd by a num'rous Crowd,
Ran from the Fort; and cry'd, from far, aloud;
O wretched Country-men! what Fury reigns?
What more than Madness has possess'd your Brains?
Think you the Grecians from your Coasts are gone,
And are Ulysses Arts no better known?
This hollow Fabrick either must inclose,
Within its blind Recess, our secret Foes;
Or 'tis an Engine rais'd above the Town,
T' o'relook the Walls, and then to batter down.
Somewhat is sure design'd; by Fraud or Force;
Trust not their Presents, nor admit the Horse.
Thus having said, against the Steed he threw
His forceful Spear, which, hissing as it flew,
Pierc'd through the yielding Planks of jointed Wood,
And trembling in the hollow Belly stood.
The sides transpierc'd, return a ratling Sound,
And Groans of Greeks inclos'd come issuing through the Wound.
And had not Heav'n the fall of Troy design'd,
Or had not Men been fated to be blind,
Enough was said and done, t' inspire a better Mind:
Then had our Lances pierc'd the treach'rous Wood,
And Ilian Tow'rs, and Priam's Empire stood.
Mean time, with Shouts, the Trojan Shepherds bring
A captive Greek in Bands, before the King:
Taken, to take; who made himself their Prey,
T' impose on their Belief, and Troy betray.
Fix'd on his Aim, and obstinately bent
To die undaunted, or to circumvent.
About the Captive, tides of Trojans flow;
All press to see, and some insult the Foe.
[Page 237] Now hear how well the Greeks their Wiles disguis'd,
Behold a Nation in a Man compris'd.
Trembling the Miscreant stood, unarm'd and bound;
He star'd, and rowl'd his hagger'd Eyes around:
Then said, Alas! what Earth remains, what Sea
Is open to receive unhappy me!
What Fate a wretched Fugitive attends,
Scorn'd by my Foes, abandon'd by my Friends.
He said, and sigh'd, and cast a ruful Eye:
Our Pity kindles, and our Passions dye.
We chear the Youth to make his own Defence,
And freely tell us what he was, and whence:
What News he cou'd impart, we long to know,
And what to credit from a captive Foe.
His fear at length dismiss'd, he said, what e're
My Fate ordains, my Words shall be sincere:
I neither can, nor dare my Birth disclaim,
Greece is my Country, Sinon is my Name:
Though plung'd by Fortune's Pow'r in Misery,
'Tis not in Fortune's Pow'r to make me lye.
If any chance has hither brought the Name
Of Palamedes, not unknown to Fame,
Who suffer'd from the Malice of the times;
Accus'd and sentenc'd for pretended Crimes:
Because these fatal Wars he would prevent;
Whose Death the wretched Greeks too late lament;
Me, then a Boy, my Father, poor and bare
Of other Means, committed to his Care:
His Kinsman and Companion in the War.
While Fortune favour'd, while his Arms support
The Cause, and rul'd the Counsels of the Court,
I made some figure there; nor was my Name
Obscure, nor I without my share of Fame.
[Page 238] But when Ulysses, with fallacious Arts,
Had made Impression in the Peoples Hearts;
And forg'd a Treason in my Patron's Name,
(I speak of things too far divulg'd by Fame)
My Kinsman fell; then I, without support,
In private mourn'd his Loss, and left the Court.
Mad as I was, I could not bear his Fate
With silent Grief, but loudly blam'd the State:
And curs'd the direful Author of my Woes.
'Twas told again, and hence my Ruin rose.
I threatn'd, if indulgent Heav'n once more
Wou'd land me safely on my Native Shore,
His Death with double Vengeance to restore.
This mov'd the Murderer's Hate, and soon ensu'd
Th' Effects of Malice from a Man so proud.
Ambiguous Rumors thro the Camp he spread,
And sought, by Treason, my devoted Head:
New Crimes invented, left unturn'd no Stone,
To make my Guilt appear, and hide his own.
'Till Calchas was by Force and Threatning wrought:
But why—Why dwell I on that anxious Thought?
If on my Nation just Revenge you seek,
And 'tis t' appear a Foe, t' appear a Greek;
Already you my Name and Country know,
Asswage your thirst of Blood, and strike the Blow:
My Death will both the Kingly Brothers please,
And set insatiate Ithacus at ease.
This fair unfinish'd Tale, these broken starts,
Rais'd expectations in our longing Hearts;
Unknowing as we were in Grecian Arts.
His former trembling once again renew'd,
With acted Fear, the Villain thus pursu'd.
Long had the Grecians (tir'd with fruitless Care,
And weary'd with an unsuccessful War,)
[Page 239] Resolv'd to raise the Siege, and leave the Town;
And had the Gods permitted, they had gone.
But oft the Wintry Seas, and Southern Winds,
Withstood their passage home, and chang'd their Minds.
Portents and Prodigies their Souls amaz'd;
But most, when this stupendous Pile was rais'd.
Then flaming Meteors, hung in Air, were seen,
And Thunders ratled through a Skie serene:
Dismay'd, and fearful of some dire Event,
Eurypylus, t'enquire their Fate, was sent;
He from the Gods this dreadful Answer brought;
O Grecians, when the Trojan Shores you sought,
Your Passage with a Virgin's Blood was bought:
So must your safe Return be bought again;
And Grecian Blood, once more attone the Main.
The spreading Rumour round the People ran;
All fear'd, and each believ'd himself the Man.
Ulysses took th'advantage of their fright;
Call'd Calchas, and produc'd in open sight:
Than bade him name the Wretch, ordain'd by Fate,
The Publick Victim, to redeem the State.
Already some presag'd the dire Event,
And saw what Sacrifice Ulysses meant.
For twice five days the good old Seer withstood
Th' intended Treason, and was dumb to Blood.
Till Tir'd with endless Clamours, and pursute
Of Ithacus, he stood no longer Mute:
But, as it was agreed, pronounc'd, that I
Was destin'd by the wrathful Gods to die.
All prais'd the Sentence, pleas'd the storm should fall
On one alone, whose Fury threatn'd all.
The dismal day was come, the Priests prepare
Their leaven'd Cakes; and Fillets for my Hair.
[Page 240] I follow'd Natur's Laws, and must avow
I broke my Bonds, and fled the fatal blow.
Hid in a weedy Lake all Night I lay,
Secure of Safety when they sail'd away.
But now what further Hopes for me remain,
To see my Friends or Native Soil again?
My tender Infants, or my careful Sire;
Whom they returning will to Death require?
Will perpetrate on them their first Design,
And take the forfeit of their heads for mine?
Which, O if Pity mortal Minds can move!
If there be Faith below, or Gods above!
If Innocence and Truth can claim desert,
Ye Trojans from an injur'd Wretch avert.
False Tears true Pity move: the King Commands
To loose his Fetters, and unbind his hands:
Then adds these friendly words; dismiss thy Fears,
Forget the Greeks, be mine as thou wert theirs.
But truly tell, was it for Force or Guile,
Or some Religious End, you rais'd the Pile?
Thus said the King. He full of fraudful Arts,
This well invented Tale for Truth imparts.
Ye Lamps of Heav'n! he said, and lifted high
His hands now free, thou venerable Sky,
Inviolable Pow'rs, ador'd with dread,
Ye fatal Fillets, that once bound this head,
Ye sacred Altars, from whose flames I fled!
Be all of you adjur'd; and grant I may,
Without a Crime, th' ungrateful Greeks betray!
Reveal the Secrets of the guilty State,
And justly punish whom I justly hate!
But you, O King, preseve the Faith you gave,
If I to save my self your Empire save.
[Page 241] The Grecian Hopes, and all th' Attempts they made,
Were only founded on Minerva's Aid.
But from the time when impious Diomede,
And false Ulysses, that inventive Head,
Her fatal Image from the Temple drew,
The sleeping Guardians of the Castle slew,
Her Virgin Statue with their bloody Hands
Polluted, and prophan'd her holy Bands:
From thence the Tide of Fortune left their Shore,
And ebb'd much faster than it flow'd before:
Their Courage languish'd, as their Hopes decay'd,
And Pallas, now averse, refus'd her Aid.
Nor did the Goddess doubtfully declare
Her alter'd Mind, and alienated Care:
When first her fatal Image touch'd the Ground,
She sternly cast her glaring Eyes around;
That sparkl'd as they rowl'd, and seem'd to threat:
Her Heav'nly Limbs distill'd a briny Sweat.
Thrice from the Ground she leap'd, was seen to wield
Her brandish'd Lance, and shake her horrid Shield.
Then Calchas bad our Host for flight prepare,
And hope no Conquest from the tedious War:
'Till first they sail'd for Greece; with Pray'rs besought
Her injur'd Pow'r, and better Omens brought.
And now their Navy ploughs the wat'ry Main,
Yet, soon expect it on your Shoars again,
With Pallas pleas'd; as Calchas did ordain.
But first, to reconcile the blue-ey'd Maid,
For her stoln Statue, and her Tow'r betray'd;
Warn'd by the Seer, to her offended Name
We rais'd, and dedicate this wond'rous Frame:
So lofty, lest through your forbidden Gates
It pass, and intercept our better Fates.
[Page 242] For, once admitted there, our hopes are lost;
And Troy may then a new Palladium boast.
For so Religion and the Gods ordain;
That if you violate with Hands prophane
Minerva's Gift, your Town in Flames shall burn,
(Which Omen, O ye Gods, on Grecia turn!)
But if it climb, with your assisting Hands,
The Trojan Walls, and in the City stands;
Then Troy shall Argos and Mycenae burn,
And the reverse of Fate on us return.
With such Deceits he gain'd their easie Hearts,
Too prone to credit his perfidious Arts.
What Diomede, nor Thetis greater Son,
A thousand Ships, nor ten years Siege had done:
False Tears and fawning Words the City won.
A greater Omen, and of worse portent,
Did our unwary Minds with fear torment:
Concurring to produce the dire Event.
Laocoon, Neptune's Priest by Lot that Year,
With solemn pomp then sacrific'd a Steer.
When, dreadful to behold, from Sea we spy'd
Two Serpents rank'd abreast, the Seas divide,
And smoothly sweep along the swelling Tide.
Their flaming Crests above the Waves they show,
Their Bellies seem to burn the Seas below:
Their speckled Tails advance to steer their Course,
And on the sounding Shoar the flying Billows force.
And now the Strand, and now the Plain they held,
Their ardent Eyes with bloody streaks were fill'd:
Their nimble Tongues they brandish'd as they came,
And lick'd their hissing Jaws, that sputter'd Flame.
We fled amaz'd; their destin'd Way they take,
And to Laocoon and his Children make:

[Page] [Page]

To the Right Honble: James Earle of Salisbury &

AE. 2. l. 290.
And first around the tender Boys they wind,
Then with their sharpen'd Fangs their Limbs and Bodies grind.
The wretched Father, running to their Aid
With pious Haste, but vain, they next invade:
Twice round his waste their winding Volumes rowl'd,
And twice about his gasping Throat they fold.
The Priest, thus doubly choak'd, their Crests divide,
And tow'ring o're his Head, in Triumph ride.
With both his Hands he labours at the Knots,
His Holy Fillets the blue Venom blots:
His roaring fills the flitting Air around.
Thus, when an Oxe receives a glancing Wound,
He breaks his Bands, the fatal Altar flies,
And with loud Bellowings breaks the yielding Skies.
Their Tasks perform'd, the Serpents quit their prey,
And to the Tow'r of Pallas make their way:
Couch'd at her Feet, they lie protected there,
By her large Buckler, and protended Spear.
Amazement seizes all; the gen'ral Cry
Proclaims Laocoon justly doom'd to die.
Whose hand the Will of Pallas had withstood,
And dar'd to violate the Sacred Wood.
All vote t' admit the Steed, that Vows be paid,
And Incense offer'd to th' offended Maid.
A spacious Breach is made, the Town lies bare,
Some hoisting Leavers, some the Wheels prepare,
And fasten to the Horses Feet: the rest
With Cables haul along th' unweildy Beast.
Each on his Fellow for Assistance calls:
At length the fatal Fabrick mounts the Walls,
Big with Destruction. Boys with Chaplets crown'd,
And Quires of Virgins sing, and dance around.
Thus rais'd aloft, and then descending down,
It enters o're our Heads, and threats the Town.
[Page 244] O sacred City! built by Hands Divine!
O valiant Heroes of the Trojan Line!
Four times he struck; as oft the clashing sound
Of Arms was heard, and inward Groans rebound.
Yet mad with Zeal, and blinded with our Fate,
We hawl along the Horse, in solemn state;
Then place the dire Portent within the Tow'r.
Cassandra cry'd, and curs'd th' unhappy Hour;
Foretold our Fate; but by the Gods decree
All heard, and none believ'd the Prophecy.
With Branches we the Fanes adorn, and wast
In jollity, the Day ordain'd to be the last.
Mean time the rapid Heav'ns rowl'd down the Light,
And on the shaded Ocean rush'd the Night:
Our Men secure, nor Guards nor Centries held,
But easie Sleep their weary Limbs compell'd.
The Grecians had embark'd their Naval Pow'rs
From Tenedos, and sought our well known Shoars:
Safe under Covert of the silent Night,
And guided by th' Imperial Galley's light.
When Sinon, favour'd by the Partial Gods,
Unlock'd the Horse, and op'd his dark abodes:
Restor'd to vital Air our hidden Foes,
Who joyful from their long Confinement rose.
Tysander bold, and Sthenelus their Guide,
And dire Ulysses down the Cable slide:
Then Thoas, Athamas, and Pyrrhus hast;
Nor was the Podalyrian Heroe last:
Nor injur'd Menelaus, nor the fam'd
Epeus, who the fatal Engine fram'd.
A nameless Crowd succeed; their Forces join
T' invade the Town, oppress'd with Sleep and Wine.
Those few they find awake, first meet their Fate,
Then to their Fellows they unbar the Gate.
[Page 245] 'Twas in the dead of Night, when Sleep repairs
Our Bodies worn with Toils, our Minds with Cares,
When Hector's Ghost before my sight appears:
A bloody Shrowd he seem'd, and bath'd in Tears.
Such as he was, when, by foul Treason slain,
Thessalian Coursers drag'd him o're the Plain.
Swoln were his Feet, as when the Thongs were thrust
Through the bor'd holes, his Body black with dust.
Unlike that Hector, who return'd from toils
Of War Triumphant, in Aeacian Spoils:
Or him, who made the fainting Greeks retire,
And lanch'd against their Navy Phrygian Fire.
His Hair and Beard stood stiffen'd with his gore;
And all the Wounds he for his Country bore,
Now stream'd afresh, and with new Purple ran:
I wept to see the visionary Man:
And while my Trance continu'd, thus began.
O Light of Trojans, and Support of Troy,
Thy Father's Champion, and thy Country's Joy!
O, long expected by thy Friends! from whence
Art thou so late return'd for our Defence?
Do we behold thee, weary'd as we are,
With length of Labours, and with Toils of War?
After so many Fun'rals of thy own,
Art thou restor'd to thy declining Town?
But say, what Wounds are these? What new Disgrace
Deforms the Manly Features of thy Face?
To this the Spectre no Reply did frame;
But answer'd to the Cause for which he came:
And, groaning from the bottom of his Breast,
This Warning, in these mournful Words express'd.
O Goddess-born! escape, by timely flight,
The Flames, and Horrors of this fatal Night.
[Page 246] The Foes already have possess'd the Wall,
Troy nods from high, and totters to her Fall.
Enough is paid to Priam's Royal Name,
More than enough to Duty and to Fame.
If by a Mortal Hand my Father's Throne
Cou'd be defended, 'twas by mine alone:
Now Troy to thee commends her future State,
And gives her Gods Companions of thy Fate:
From their assistance happyer Walls expect,
Which, wand'ring long, at last thou shalt erect.
He said, and brought me, from their blest abodes,
The venerable Statues of the Gods:
With ancient Vesta from the sacred Quire,
The Wreaths and Relicks of th' Immortal Fire.
Now peals of Shouts come thund'ring from afar,
Cries, Threats, and loud Laments, and mingl'd War:
The Noise approaches, though our Palace stood
Aloof from Streets, encompass'd with a Wood.
Louder, and yet more loud, I hear th' Allarms
Of Human Cries distinct, and clashing Arms:
Fear broke my Slumbers; I no longer stay,
But mount the Terrass, thence the Town survey,
And hearken what the frightful Sounds convey.
Thus when a flood of Fire by Winds is born,
Crackling it rowls, and mows the standing Corn:
Or Deluges, descending on the Plains,
Sweep o're the yellow Year, destroy the pains
Of lab'ring Oxen, and the Peasant's gains:
Unroot the Forrest Oaks, and bear away
Flocks, Folds, and Trees, an undistinguish'd Prey.
The Shepherd climbs the Cliff, and sees from far,
The wastful Ravage of the wat'ry War.
Then Hector's Faith was manifestly clear'd;
The Grecian Frauds in open light appear'd.
[Page 247] The Palace of Deiphobus ascends
In smoaky Flames, and catches on his Friends.
Ucalegon burns next; the Seas are bright
With splendor, not their own; and shine with Trojan light.
New Clamours, and new Clangors now arise,
The sound of Trumpets mix'd with fighting cries.
With frenzy seiz'd, I run to meet th' Alarms,
Resolv'd on death, resolv'd to die in Arms.
But first to gather Friends, with them t'oppose,
If Fortune favour'd, and repel the Foes.
Spurr'd by my courage, by my Country fir'd;
With sense of Honour, and Revenge inspir'd.
Pantheus, Apollo's Priest, a sacred Name,
Had scap'd the Grecian Swords, and pass'd the Flame;
With Reliques loaden, to my Doors he fled,
And by the hand his tender Grand-son led.
What hope, O Pantheus! whither can we run?
Where make a stand? and what may yet be done?
Scarce had I said, when Pantheus, with a groan,
Troy is no more, and Ilium was a Town!
The fatal Day, th' appointed Hour is come,
When wrathful Jove's irrevocable doom
Transfers the Trojan State to Grecian hands.
The Fire consumes the Town, the Foe commands:
And armed Hosts, an unexpected Force,
Break from the Bowels of the Fatal Horse.
Within the Gates, proud Sinon throws about
The flames, and Foes for entrance press without.
With thousand others, whom I fear to name,
More than from Argos, or Mycenae came.
To sev'ral Posts their Parties they divide;
Some block the narrow Streets, some scour the wide.
The bold they kill, th' unwary they surprise;
Who fights finds Death, and Death finds him who flies.
[Page 248] The Warders of the Gate but scarce maintain
Th' unequal Combat, and resist in vain.
I Heard; and Heav'n, that well-born Souls inspires,
Prompts me, thro' lifted Swords, and rising Fires
To run, where clashing Arms and Clamour calls,
And rush undaunted to defend the Walls.
Ripheus and Iph'itus by my side engage,
For Valour one Renown'd, and one for Age.
Dymas and Hypanis by Moonlight knew
My motions, and my Meen, and to my Party drew;
With young Choroebus, who by Love was led
To win Renown, and fair Cassandra's Bed;
And lately brought his Troops to Priam's aid:
Forewarn'd in vain, by the Prophetic Maid.
Whom, when I saw, resolv'd in Arms to fall,
And that one Spirit animated all;
Brave Souls, said I, but Brave, alas! in vain:
Come, finish what our Cruel Fates ordain.
You see the desp'rate state of our Affairs;
And Heav'ns protecting Pow'rs are deaf to Pray'rs.
The passive Gods behold the Greeks defile
Their Temples, and abandon to the Spoil
Their own Abodes: we, feeble few, conspire
To save a sinking Town, involv'd in Fire.
Then let us fall, but fall amidst our Foes,
Despair of Life, the Means of Living shows.
So fierce a Speech incourag'd their desire
Of Death, and added fuel to their fire.
As hungry Wolves, with raging appetite,
Scour thro' the fields, nor fear the stormy Night;
Their Whelps at home expect the promis'd Food,
And long to temper their dry Chaps in Blood:
So rush'd we forth at once, resolv'd to die,
Resolv'd in Death the last Extreams to try.
[Page 249] We leave the narrow Lanes behind, and dare
Th' unequal Combat in the publick Square:
Night was our Friend, our Leader was Despair.
What Tongue can tell the Slaughter of that Night?
What Eyes can weep the Sorrows and Affright!
An ancient and imperial City falls,
The Streets are fill'd with frequent Funerals:
Houses and Holy Temples float in Blood,
And hostile Nations make a common Flood.
Not only Trojans fall, but in their turn,
The vanquish'd Triumph, and the Victors mourn.
Ours take new Courage from Despair and Night;
Confus'd the Fortune is, confus'd the Fight.
All parts resound with Tumults, Plaints, and Fears,
And grisly Death in sundry shapes appears.
Androgeos fell among us, with his Band,
Who thought us Grecians newly come to Land:
From whence, said he, my Friends this long delay?
You loiter, while the Spoils are born away:
Our Ships are laden with the Trojan Store,
And you like Truants come too late ashore.
He said, but soon corrected his Mistake,
Found, by the doubtful Answers which we make:
Amaz'd, he wou'd have shun'd th' unequal Fight,
But we, more num'rous, intercept his flight.
As when some Peasant in a bushy Brake,
Has with unwary Footing press'd a Snake;
He starts aside, astonish'd, when he spies
His rising Crest, blue Neck, and rowling Eyes;
So from our Arms, surpriz'd Androgeos flies.
In vain; for him and his we compass'd round,
Possess'd with Fear, unknowing of the Ground;
And of their Lives an easy Conquest found.
[Page 250] Thus Fortune on our first Endeavour smil'd:
Choraebus then, with youthful Hopes beguil'd,
Swoln with Success, and of a daring Mind,
This new Invention fatally design'd.
My Friends, said he, since Fortune shows the way,
'Tis fit we shou'd th' auspicious Guide obey.
For what has she these Grecian Arms bestow'd,
But their Destruction, and the Trojans good?
Then change we Shields, and their Devices bear,
Let Fraud supply the want of Force in War.
They find us Arms; this said, himself he dress'd
In dead Androgeos's Spoils, his upper Vest,
His painted Buckler, and his plumy Crest.
Thus Ripheus, Dymas, all the Trojan Train
Lay down their own Attire, and strip the slain.
Mix'd with the Greeks, we go with ill Presage,
Flatter'd with hopes to glut our greedy Rage:
Unknown, assaulting whom we blindly meet,
And strew, with Grecian Carcasses, the Street.
Thus while their stragling Parties we defeat,
Some to the Shoar and safer Ships retreat:
And some oppress'd with more ignoble Fear,
Remount the hollow Horse, and pant in secret there.
But ah! what use of Valour can be made,
When Heav'ns propitious Pow'rs refuse their Aid!
Behold the royal Prophetess, the Fair
Cassandra, drag'd by her dishevel'd Hair;
Whom not Minerva's Shrine, nor sacred Bands,
In safety cou'd protect from sacrilegious Hands:
On Heav'n she cast her Eyes, she sigh'd, she cry'd,
('Twas all she cou'd) her tender Arms were ty'd.
So sad a Sight Choraebus cou'd not bear,
But fir'd with Rage, distracted with Despair;


To the Right Honble. William OBryen Earle of Inchiquin in the Kingdom of Ireland &ct

AE. 2. l: 545.
Amid the barb'rous Ravishers he flew:
Our Leader's rash Example we pursue.
But storms of Stones, from the proud Temple's height,
Pour down, and on our batter'd Helms alight.
We from our Friends receiv'd this fatal Blow,
Who thought us Grecians, as we seem'd in show.
They aim at the mistaken Crests, from high,
And ours beneath the pond'rous Ruin lie.
Then, mov'd with Anger and Disdain, to see
Their Troops dispers'd, the Royal Virgin free:
The Grecians rally, and their Pow'rs unite;
With Fury charge us, and renew the Fight.
The Brother-Kings with Ajax join their force,
And the whole Squadron of Thessalian Horse.
Thus, when the Rival Winds their Quarrel try,
Contending for the Kingdom of the Skie;
South, East, and West, on airy Coursers born,
The Whirlwind gathers, and the Woods are torn:
Then Nereus strikes the deep, the Billows rise,
And, mix'd with Ooze and Sand, pollute the Skies.
The Troops we squander'd first, again appear
From sev'ral Quarters, and enclose the Rear.
They first observe, and to the rest betray
Our diff'rent Speech; our borrow'd Arms survey.
Oppress'd with odds, we fall; Choraebus first,
At Pallas's Altar, by Peneleus pierc'd.
Then Ripheus follow'd, in th'unequal Fight;
Just of his Word, observant of the right;
Heav'n thought not so: Dymas their Fate attends,
With Hypanis, mistaken by their Friends.
Nor Pantheus, thee, thy Mitre nor the Bands
Of awful Phoebus, sav'd from impious Hands.
Ye Trojan Flames your Testimony bear,
What I perform'd, and what I suffer'd there:
[Page 252] No Sword avoiding in the fatal Strife,
Expos'd to Death, and prodigal of Life.
Witness, ye Heav'ns! I live not by my Fault,
I strove to have deserv'd the Death I sought.
But when I cou'd not fight, and wou'd have dy'd,
Born off to distance by the growing Tide,
Old Iphitus and I were hurry'd thence,
With Pelias wounded, and without Defence.
New Clamors from th' invested Palace ring;
We run to die, or disengage the King.
So hot th' Assault, so high the Tumult rose,
While ours defend, and while the Greeks oppose;
As all the Dardan and Argolick Race
Had been contracted in that narrow Space:
Or as all Ilium else were void of Fear,
And Tumult, War, and Slaughter only there.
Their Targets in a Tortoise cast, the Foes
Secure advancing, to the Turrets rose:
Some mount the scaling Ladders, some more bold
Swerve upwards, and by Posts and Pillars hold:
Their left hand gripes their Bucklers, in th' ascent,
While with the right they seise the Battlement.
From their demolish'd Tow'rs the Trojans throw
Huge heaps of Stones, that falling, crush the Foe:
And heavy Beams, and Rafters from the sides,
(Such Arms their last necessity provides:)
And gilded Roofs come tumbling from on high,
The marks of State, and ancient Royalty.
The Guards below, fix'd in the Pass, attend
The Charge undaunted, and the Gate defend.
Renew'd in Courage with recover'd Breath,
A second time we ran to tempt our Death:
To clear the Palace from the Foe, succeed
The weary living, and revenge the dead.
[Page 253] A Postern-door, yet unobserv'd and free,
Join'd by the length of a blind Gallery,
To the King's Closet led; a way well known
To Hector's Wife, while Priam held the Throne:
Through which she brought Astyanax, unseen,
To chear his Grandsire, and his Grandsire's Queen.
Through this we pass, and mount the Tow'r, from whence
With unavailing Arms the Trojans make defence.
From this the trembling King had oft descry'd
The Grecian Camp, and saw their Navy ride.
Beams from its lofty height with Swords we hew;
Then wrenching with our hands, th' Assault renew.
And where the Rafters on the Columns meet,
We push them headlong with our Arms and Feet.
The Lightning flies not swifter than the Fall;
Nor Thunder louder than the ruin'd Wall:
Down goes the top at once; the Greeks beneath
Are piecemeal torn, or pounded into Death.
Yet more succeed, and more to death are sent;
We cease not from above, nor they below relent.
Before the Gate stood Pyrrhus, threat'ning loud,
With glitt'ring Arms conspicuous in the Crowd.
So shines, renew'd in Youth, the crested Snake,
Who slept the Winter in a thorny Brake:
And casting off his Slough, when Spring returns,
Now looks aloft, and with new Glory burns:
Restor'd with pois'nous Herbs, his ardent sides
Reflect the Sun, and rais'd on Spires he rides:
High o're the Grass, hissing he rowls along,
And brandishes by fits his sorky Tongue.
Proud Periphas, and fierce Automedon,
His Father's Charioteer, together run
To force the Gate: The Scyrian Infantry
Rush on in Crowds, and the barr'd Passage free.
[Page 254] Ent'ring the Court, with Shouts the Skies they rend,
And flaming Firebrands to the Roofs ascend.
Himself, among the foremost, deals his Blows,
And with his Axe repeated Stroaks bestows
On the strong Doors: then all their Shoulders ply,
'Till from the Posts the brazen Hinges fly.
He hews apace, the double Bars at length
Yield to his Ax, and unresisted Strength.
A mighty Breach is made; the Rooms conceal'd
Appear, and all the Palace is reveal'd.
The Halls of Audience, and of publick State,
And where the lonely Queen in secret sate.
Arm'd Souldiers now by trembling Maids are seen,
With not a Door, and scarce a Space between.
The House is fill'd with loud Laments and Cries,
And Shrieks of Women rend the vaulted Skies.
The fearful Matrons run from place to place,
And kiss the Thresholds, and the Posts embrace.
The fatal work inhuman Pyrrhus plies,
And all his Father sparkles in his Eyes.
Nor Bars, nor fighting Guards his force sustain;
The Bars are broken, and the Guards are slain.
In rush the Greeks, and all the Apartments fill;
Those few Defendants whom they find, they kill.
Not with so fierce a Rage, the foaming Flood
Roars, when he finds his rapid Course withstood:
Bears down the Dams with unresisted sway,
And sweeps the Cattle and the Cots away.
These Eyes beheld him, when he march'd between
The Brother-Kings: I saw th' unhappy Queen,
The hundred Wives, and where old Priam stood,
To stain his hallow'd Altar with his Blood.
The fifty Nuptial Beds: (such Hopes had he,
So large a Promise of a Progeny.)
[Page 255] The Posts of plated Gold, and hung with Spoils,
Fell the Reward of the proud Victor's Toils.
Where e're the raging Fire had left a space,
The Grecians enter, and possess the Place.
Perhaps you may of Priam's Fate enquire.
He, when he saw his Regal Town on fire,
His ruin'd Palace, and his ent'ring Foes,
On ev'ry side inevitable woes;
In Arms, disus'd, invests his Limbs decay'd
Like them, with Age; a late and useless aid.
His feeble shoulders scarce the weight sustain:
Loaded, not arm'd, he creeps along, with pain;
Despairing of Success; ambitious to be slain!
Uncover'd but by Heav'n, there stood in view
An Altar; near the hearth a Lawrel grew;
Dodder'd with Age, whose Boughs encompass round
The Household Gods, and shade the holy Ground.
Here Hecuba, with all her helpless Train
Of Dames, for shelter sought, but sought in vain.
Driv'n like a Flock of Doves along the skie,
Their Images they hugg, and to their Altars fly.
The Queen, when she beheld her trembling Lord,
And hanging by his side a heavy Sword,
What Rage, she cry'd, has seiz'd my Husband's mind;
What Arms are these, and to what use design'd?
These times want other aids: were Hector here,
Ev'n Hector now in vain, like Priam wou'd appear.
With us, one common shelter thou shalt find,
Or in one common Fate with us be join'd.
She said, and with a last Salute embrac'd
The poor old Man, and by the Lawrel plac'd.
Behold Polites, one of Priam's Sons,
Pursu'd by Pyrrhus, there for safety runs.
[Page 256] Thro Swords, and Foes, amaz'd and hurt, he flies
Through empty Courts, and open Galleries:
Him Pyrrhus, urging with his Lance, pursues;
And often reaches, and his thrusts renews.
The Youth transfix'd, with lamentable Cries
Expires, before his wretched Parent's Eyes.
Whom, gasping at his feet, when Priam saw,
The Fear of death gave place to Nature's Law.
And shaking more with Anger, than with Age,
The Gods, said He, requite thy brutal Rage:
As sure they will, Barbarian, sure they must,
If there be Gods in Heav'n, and Gods be just:
Who tak'st in Wrongs an insolent delight;
With a Son's death t'infect a Father's sight.
Not He, whom thou and lying Fame conspire
To call thee his; Not He, thy vaunted Sire,
Thus us'd my wretched Age: The Gods he fear'd,
The Laws of Nature and of Nations heard.
He chear'd my Sorrows, and for Sums of Gold
The bloodless Carcass of my Hector sold.
Pity'd the Woes a Parent underwent,
And sent me back in safety from his Tent.
This said, his feeble hand a Javelin threw,
Which flutt'ring, seem'd to loiter as it flew:
Just, and but barely, to the Mark it held,
And faintly tinckl'd on the Brazen Shield.
Then Pyrrhus thus: go thou from me to Fate;
And to my Father my foul deeds relate.
Now dye: with that he dragg'd the trembling Sire,
Slidd'ring through clotter'd Blood, and holy Mire,
(The mingl'd Paste his murder'd Son had made,)
Haul'd from beneath the violated Shade;
And on the Sacred Pile, the Royal Victim laid.

[Page] [Page]

To ye Right Honble Roger Earle of Orrery Baron of Broghill &ct

AE. 2. l: 765.
His right Hand held his bloody Fauchion bare;
His left he twisted in his hoary Hair:
Then, with a speeding Thrust, his Heart he found:
The lukewarm Blood came rushing through the wound,
And sanguine Streams distain'd the sacred Ground.
Thus Priam fell: and shar'd one common Fate
With Troy in Ashes, and his ruin'd State:
He, who the Scepter of all Asia sway'd,
Whom Monarchs like domestick Slaves obey'd,
On the bleak Shoar now lies th' abandon'd King,
* A headless Carcass, and a nameless thing.
Then, not before, I felt my crudled Blood
Congeal with Fear; my Hair with horror stood:
My Father's Image fill'd my pious Mind;
Lest equal Years might equal Fortune find.
Again I thought on my forsaken Wife;
And trembl'd for my Son's abandon'd Life.
I look'd about; but found my self alone:
Deserted at my need, my Friends were gone.
Some spent with Toil, some with Despair oppress'd,
Leap'd headlong from the Heights; the Flames consum'd the (rest.
Thus, wand'ring in my way, without a Guide,
The graceless Helen in the Porch I spy'd
Of Vesta's Temple: there she lurk'd alone;
Muffled she sate, and what she cou'd, unknown:
But, by the Flames, that cast their Blaze around,
That common Bane of Greece and Troy, I found.
For Ilium burnt, she dreads the Trojan Sword;
More dreads the Vengeance of her injur'd Lord;
Ev'n by those Gods, who refug'd her, abhorr'd.
Trembling with Rage, the Strumpet I regard;
Resolv'd to give her Guilt the due reward.
Shall she triumphant sail before the Wind,
And leave in Flames, unhappy Troy behind?
[Page 258] Shall she, her Kingdom and her Friends review,
In State attended with a Captive Crew;
While unreveng'd the good old Priam falls,
And Grecian Fires consume the Trojan Walls?
For this the Phrygian Fields, and Xanthian Flood
Were swell'd with Bodies, and were drunk with Blood?
'Tis true a Souldier can small Honour gain,
And boast no Conquest from a Woman slain:
Yet shall the Fact not pass without Applause,
Of Vengeance taken in so just a Cause.
The punish'd Crime shall set my Soul at ease:
And murm'ring Manes of my Friends appease.
Thus while I rave, a gleam of pleasing Light
Spread o're the Place, and shining Heav'nly bright,
My Mother stood reveal'd before my Sight.
Never so radiant did her Eyes appear;
Not her own Star confess'd a Light so clear.
Great in her Charms, as when on Gods above
She looks, and breaths her self into their Love.
She held my hand, the destin'd Blow to break:
Then from her rosie Lips began to speak.
My Son, from whence this Madness, this neglect
Of my Commands, and those whom I protect?
Why this unmanly Rage? Recall to mind
Whom you forsake, what Pledges leave behind.
Look if your helpless Father yet survive;
Or if Ascanius, or Creusa live.
Around your House the greedy Grecians err;
And these had perish'd in the nightly War,
But for my Presence and protecting Care.
Not Helen's Face, nor Paris was in fault;
But by the Gods was this Destruction brought.
Now cast your Eyes around; while I dissolve
The Mists and Films that mortal Eyes involve:
[Page 259] Purge from your sight the Dross, and make you see
The Shape of each avenging Deity.
Enlighten'd thus, my just Commands fulfill;
Nor fear Obedience to your Mother's Will.
Where you disorder'd heap of Ruin lies,
Stones rent from Stones, where Clouds of dust arise,
Amid that smother, Neptune holds his place:
Below the Wall's foundation drives his Mace:
And heaves the Building from the solid Base.
Look where, in Arms, Imperial Juno stands,
Full in the Scaean Gate, with loud Commands;
Urging on Shore the tardy Grecian Bands.
See Pallas, of her snaky Buckler proud,
Bestrides the Tow'r, refulgent through the Cloud:
See Jove new Courage to the Foe supplies,
And arms against the Town, the partial Deities.
Haste hence, my Son; this fruitless Labour end:
Haste where your trembling Spouse, and Sire attend:
Haste, and a Mother's Care your Passage shall befriend.
She said: and swiftly vanish'd from my Sight,
Obscure in Clouds, and gloomy Shades of Night.
I look'd, I listen'd; dreadful Sounds I hear;
And the dire Forms of hostile Gods appear.
Troy sunk in Flames I saw, nor could prevent;
And Ilium from its old Foundations rent.
Rent like a Mountain Ash, which dar'd the Winds;
And stood the sturdy Stroaks of lab'ring Hinds:
About the Roots the cruel Ax resounds,
The Stumps are pierc'd, with oft repeated Wounds.
The War is felt on high, the nodding Crown
Now threats a Fall, and throws the leafy Honours down.
To their united Force it yields, though late;
And mourns with mortal Groans th' approaching Fate:
[Page 260] The Roots no more their upper load sustain;
But down she falls, and spreads a ruin thro' the Plain.
Descending thence, I scape through Foes, and Fire:
Before the Goddess, Foes and Flames retire.
Arriv'd at home, he for whose only sake,
Or most for his, such Toils I undertake,
The good Anchises, whom, by timely Flight,
I purpos'd to secure on Ida's height,
Refus'd the Journey: Resolute to die,
And add his Fun'rals to the fate of Troy:
Rather than Exile and old Age sustain.
Go you, whose Blood runs warm in ev'ry Vein:
Had Heav'n decreed that I shou'd Life enjoy,
Heav'n had decreed to save unhappy Troy.
'Tis sure enough, if not too much for one;
Twice to have seen our Ilium overthrown.
Make haste to save the poor remaining Crew;
And give this useless Corps a long Adieu.
These weak old Hands suffice to stop my Breath:
At least the pitying Foes will aid my Death,
To take my Spoils: and leave my Body bare:
As for my Sepulchre let Heav'n take Care.
'Tis long since I, for my Coelestial Wife,
Loath'd by the Gods, have drag'd a ling'ring Life:
Since ev'ry Hour and Moment I expire,
Blasted from Heav'n by Jove's avenging Fire.
This oft repeated, he stood fix'd to die:
My self, my Wife, my Son, my Family,
Intreat, pray, beg, and raise a doleful Cry.
What, will he still persist, on Death resolve,
And in his Ruin all his House involve!
He still persists, his reasons to maintain;
Our Pray'rs, our Tears, our loud Laments are vain.
Urg'd by Despair, again I go to try
The fate of Arms, resolv'd in Fight to die.

[Page] [Page]

To ye Right Honble, Robt: Ld. Constable Visnt. Dunbar in ye Kingdom of Scotland

AE 2. l. 915.
What hope remains, but what my Death must give?
Can I without so dear a Father live?
You term it Prudence, what I Baseness call:
Cou'd such a Word from such a Parent fall?
If Fortune please, and so the Gods ordain,
That nothing shou'd of ruin'd Troy remain:
And you conspire with Fortune, to be slain;
The way to Death is wide, th' Approaches near:
For soon relentless Pyrrhus will appear,
Reeking with Priam's Blood: The wretch who slew
The Son (inhuman) in the Father's view,
And then the Sire himself, to the dire Altar drew.
O Goddess Mother, give me back to fate;
Your Gift was undesir'd, and came too late.
Did you for this, unhappy me convey
Through Foes and Fires to see my House a Prey?
Shall I, my Father, Wife, and Son, behold
Welt'ring in Blood, each others Arms infold?
Haste, gird my Sword, tho' spent, and overcome:
'Tis the last Summons to receive our Doom.
I hear thee, Fate, and I obey thy Call:
Not unreveng'd the Foe shall see my Fall.
Restore me to the yet unfinish'd Fight:
My Death is wanting to conclude the Night.
Arm'd once again, my glitt'ring Sword I wield,
While th' other hand sustains my weighty Shield:
And forth I rush to seek th' abandon'd Field.
I went; but sad Creusa stop'd my way,
And cross the Threshold in my Passage lay;
Embrac'd my Knees; and when I wou'd have gone
Shew'd me my feeble Sire, and tender Son.
If Death be your design, at least, said she,
Take us along, to share your Destiny.
If any farther hopes in Arms remain,
This Place, these Pledges of your Love, maintain.
[Page 262] To whom do you expose your Father's Life,
Your Son's, and mine, your now forgotten Wife!
While thus she fills the House with clam'rous Cries,
Our Hearing is diverted by our Eyes.
For while I held my Son, in the short space,
Betwixt our Kisses and our last Embrace;
Strange to relate, from young Iulus Head
A lambent Flame arose, which gently spread
Around his Brows, and on his Temples fed.
Amaz'd, with running Water we prepare
To quench the sacred Fire, and shake his Hair;
But old Anchises, vers'd in Omens, rear'd
His hands to Heav'n, and this request preferr'd.
If any Vows, Almighty Jove, can bend
Thy Will, if Piety can Pray'rs commend,
Confirm the glad Presage which thou art pleas'd to send.
Scarce had he said, when, on our left, we hear
A peal of ratling Thunder rowl in Air:
There shot a streaming Lamp along the Sky,
Which on the winged Lightning seem'd to fly;
From o're the Roof the blaze began to move;
And trailing vanish'd in th' Idean Grove.
It swept a path in Heav'n, and shone a Guide;
Then in a steaming stench of Sulphur dy'd.
The good old Man with suppliant hands implor'd
The Gods protection, and their Star ador'd.
Now, now, said he, my Son, no more delay,
I yield, I follow where Heav'n shews the way.
Keep (O my Country Gods) our dwelling Place,
And guard this Relick of the Trojan Race:
This tender Child; these Omens are your own;
And you can yet restore the ruin'd Town.
At least accomplish what your Signs foreshow:
I stand resign'd, and am prepar'd to go.

[Page] [Page]

To ye Right Honble: Mary Countess Dowager of Northampton

AE. 2. l. 985.
He said; the crackling Flames appear on high,
And driving Sparkles dance along the Sky.
With Vulcan's rage the rising Winds conspire;
And near our Palace rowl the flood of Fire.
Haste, my dear Father, ('tis no time to wait)
And load my Shoulders with a willing Fraight.
What e're befalls, your Life shall be my care,
One Death, or one Deliv'rance we will share.
My hand shall lead our little Son; and you
My faithful Consort, shall our Steps purfue.
Next, you my Servants, heed my strict Commands:
Without the Walls a ruin'd Temple stands,
To Ceres hollow'd once; a Cypress nigh
Shoots up her venerable Head on high;
By long Religion kept: there bend your Feet;
And in divided Parties let us meet.
Our Country Gods, the Relicks, and the Bands,
Hold you, my Father, in your guiltless Hands:
In me 'tis impious holy things to bear,
Red as I am with Slaughter, new from War:
'Till in some living Stream I cleanse the Guilt
Of dire Debate, and Blood in Battel spilt.
Thus, ord'ring all that Prudence cou'd provide,
I cloath my Shoulders with a Lion's Hide;
And yellow Spoils: Then, on my bending Back,
The welcome load of my dear Father take.
While on my better Hand Ascanius hung,
And with unequal Paces tript along.
Creusa kept behind: by choice we stray
Through ev'ry dark and ev'ry devious Way.
I, who so bold and dauntless just before,
The Grecian Darts and shock of Lances bore,
At ev'ry Shadow now am seiz'd with Fear:
Not for my self, but for the Charge I bear.
[Page 264] Till near the ruin'd Gate arriv'd at last,
Secure, and deeming all the Danger past;
A frightful noise of trampling Feet we hear;
My Father looking through the Shades, with fear,
Cry'd out, haste, haste my Son, the Foes are nigh;
Their Swords, and shining Armour I descry.
Some hostile God, for some unknown Offence,
Had sure bereft my Mind of better Sence:
For while through winding Ways I took my Flight;
And sought the shelter of the gloomy Night;
Alas! I lost Creusa: hard to tell
If by her fatal Destiny she fell,
Or weary sate, or wander'd with affright;
But she was lost for ever to my sight.
I knew not, or reflected, 'till I meet
My Friends, at Ceres now deserted Seat:
We met: not one was wanting, only she
Deceiv'd her Friends, her Son, and wretched me.
What mad expessions did my Tongue refuse!
Whom did I not of Gods or Men accuse!
This was the fatal Blow, that pain'd me more
Than all I felt from ruin'd Troy before.
Stung with my Loss, and raving with Despair,
Abandoning my now forgotten Care,
Of Counsel, Comfort, and of Hope bereft,
My Sire, my Son, my Country Gods, I left.
In shining Armour once again I sheath
My Limbs, not feeling Wounds, nor fearing Death.
Then headlong to the burning Walls I run,
And seek the Danger I was forc'd to shun.
I tread my former Tracks: through Night explore
Each Passage, ev'ry Street I cross'd before.
All things were full of Horrour and Affright,
And dreadful ev'n the silence of the Night.
[Page 265] Then, to my Father's House I make repair,
With some small Glimps of hope to find her there:
Instead of her the cruel Greeks I met;
The house was fill'd with Foes, with Flames beset.
Driv'n on the wings of Winds, whole sheets of Fire,
Through Air transported, to the Roofs aspire.
From thence to Priam's Palace I resort;
And search the Citadel, and desart Court.
Then, unobserv'd, I pass by Juno's Church;
A guard of Grecians had possess'd the Porch:
There Phaenix and Ulysses watch the Prey:
And thither all the Wealth of Troy convey.
The Spoils which they from ransack'd Houses brought;
And golden Bowls from burning Altars caught.
The Tables of the Gods, the Purple Vests;
The People's Treasure, and the Pomp of Priests.
A ranck of wretched Youths, with pinion'd Hands,
And captive Matrons in long Order stands.
Then, with ungovern'd Madness, I proclaim,
Through all the silent Streets, Creusa's Name.
Creusa still I call: At length she hears;
And suddain, through the Shades of Night appears.
Appears, no more Creusa, nor my Wife:
But a pale Spectre, larger than the Life.
Aghast, astonish'd, and struk dumb with Fear,
I stood; like Bristles rose my stiffen'd Hair.
Then thus the Ghost began to sooth my Grief:
Nor Tears, nor Cries can give the dead Relief;
Desist, my much lov'd Lord, t'indulge your Pain:
You bear no more than what the Gods ordain.
My Fates permit me not from hence to fly;
Nor he, the great Comptroller of the Sky.
Long wandring Ways for you the Pow'rs decree:
On Land hard Labors, and a length of Sea.
[Page 266] Then, after many painful Years are past,
On Latium's happy Shore you shall be cast:
Where gentle Tiber from his Bed beholds
The flow'ry Meadows, and the feeding Folds.
There end your Toils: And there your Fates provide
A quiet Kingdom, and a Royal Bride:
There Fortune shall the Trojan Line restore;
And you for lost Creusa weep no more.
Fear not that I shall watch with servile Shame,
Th' imperious Looks of some proud Grecian Dame:
Or, stooping to the Victor's Lust, disgrace
My Goddess Mother, or my Royal Race.
And now, farewell: the Parent of the Gods
Restrains my fleeting Soul in her Abodes:
I trust our common Issue to your Care.
She said: And gliding pass'd unseen in Air.
I strove to speak, but Horror ty'd my Tongue;
And thrice about her Neck my Arms I flung;
And thrice deceiv'd, on vain Embraces hung.
Light as an empty Dream at break of Day,
Or as a blast of Wind, she rush'd away.
Thus, having pass'd the Night in fruitless Pain,
I, to my longing Friends, return again.
Amaz'd th' augmented Number to behold,
Of Men, and Matrons mix'd, of young and old:
A wretched Exil'd Crew together brought,
With Arms appointed, and With Treasure fraught.
Resolv'd, and willing under my Command,
To run all hazards both of Sea and Land.
The Morn began, from Ida, to display
Her rosy Cheeks, and Phosphor led the day;
Before the Gates the Grecians took their Post:
And all pretence of late Relief was lost.
I yield to Fate, unwillingly retire;
And loaded, up the Hill convey my Sire.

The Third Book of the Aeneis.

The Argument.

Aeneas proceeds in his Relation: He gives an Account of the Fleet with which he sail'd, and the Success of his first Voyage to Thrace; from thence he directs his Course to Delos, and asks the Oracle what place the Gods had appointed for his Habitation? By a mistake of the Oracle's Answer, he settles in Crete; his household Gods give him the true sense of the Oracle, in a Dream. He follows their advice, and makes the best of his way for Italy: He is cast on several Shores, and meets with very surprising Adventures, 'till at length he lands on Sicily: where his Father Anchises dies. This is the place which he was sailing from when the Tempest rose and threw him upon the Carthaginian Coast.

To the Right Honble. William Stanley Earle of Derby &ct Ld of Man & ye Isles

AE. e. l. 2.
WHen Heav'n had overturn'd the Trojan State,
And Priam's Throne, by too severe a Fate:
When ruin'd Troy became the Grecians Prey,
And Ilium's lofty Tow'rs in Ashes lay:
Warn'd by Coelestial Omens, we retreat,
To seek in foreign Lands a happier Seat.
Near old Antandros, and at Ida's foot,
The Timber of the sacred Groves we cut:
And build our Fleet; uncertain yet to find
What place the Gods for our Repose assign'd.
Friends daily flock; and scarce the kindly Spring
Began to cloath the Ground, and Birds to sing;
When old Anchises summon'd all to Sea:
The Crew, my Father and the Fates obey.
With Sighs and Tears I leave my native Shore,
And empty Fields, where Ilium stood before.
My Sire, my Son, our less, and greater Gods,
All sail at once; and tempt the briny Floods.
Against our Coast appears a spacious Land,
Which once the fierce Lycurgus did command:
[Page 268] Thracia the Name; the People bold in War;
Vast are their Fields, and Tillage is their Care.
A hospitable Realm while Fate was kind;
With Troy in friendship and Religion join'd.
I land; with luckless Omens, then adore
Their Gods, and draw a Line along the Shore:
I lay the deep Foundations of a Wall;
And Enos, nam'd from me, the City call.
To Dionaean Venus Vows are paid,
And all the Pow'rs that rising Labours aid;
A Bull on Jove's Imperial Altar laid.
Not far, a rising Hillock stood in view;
Sharp Myrtles, on the sides, and Cornels grew.
There, while I went to crop the Silvan Scenes,
And shade our Altar with their leafy Greens;
I pull'd a Plant; with horror I relate
A Prodigy so strange, and full of Fate.
The rooted Fibers rose; and from the Wound,
Black bloody Drops distill'd upon the Ground.
Mute, and amaz'd, my Hair with Horror stood;
Fear shrunk my Sinews, and congeal'd my Blood.
Man'd once again, another Plant I try;
That other gush'd with the same sanguine Dye.
Then, fearing Guilt, for some Offence unknown,
With Pray'rs and Vows the Driads I attone:
With all the Sisters of the Woods, and most
The God of Arms, who rules the Thracian Coast:
That they, or he, these Omens wou'd avert;
Release our Fears, and better signs impart.
Clear'd, as I thought, and fully fix'd at length
To learn the Cause, I tug'd with all my Strength;
I bent my knees against the Ground; once more
The violated Myrtle ran with purple Gore.
[Page 269] Scarce dare I tell the Sequel: From the Womb
Of wounded Earth, and Caverns of the Tomb,
A Groan, as of a troubled Ghost, renew'd
My Fright, and then these dreadful Words ensu'd.
Why dost thou thus my bury'd Body rend?
O spare the Corps of thy unhappy Friend!
Spare to pollute thy pious Hands with Blood:
The Tears distil not from the wounded Wood;
But ev'ry drop this living Tree contains,
Is kindred Blood, and ran in Trojan Veins:
O fly from this unhospitable Shore,
Warn'd by my Fate; for I am Polydore!
Here loads of Lances, in my Blood embru'd,
Again shoot upward, by my Blood renew'd.
My faultring Tongue, and shiv'ring Limbs declare
My Horror, and in Bristles rose my Hair.
When Troy with Grecian Arms was closely pent,
Old Priam, fearful of the Wars Event,
This hapless Polydore to Thracia sent.
Loaded with Gold, he sent his Darling, far
From Noise and Tumults, and destructive War:
Commited to the faithless Tyrant's Care.
Who, when he saw the Pow'r of Troy decline,
Forsook the weaker, with the strong to join.
Broke ev'ry Bond of Nature, and of Truth;
And murder'd, for his Wealth, the Royal Youth.
O sacred Hunger of pernicious Gold,
What bands of Faith can impious Lucre hold!
Now, when my Soul had shaken off her Fears,
I call my Father, and the Trojan Peers:
Relate the Prodigies of Heav'n; require.
What he commands, and their Advice desire.
All vote to leave that execrable Shore,
Polluted with the Blood of Polydore.
[Page 270] But e're we sail, his Fun'ral Rites prepare;
Then, to his Ghost, a Tomb and Altars rear,
In mournful Pomp the Matrons walk the round:
With baleful Cypress, and blue Fillets crown'd;
With Eyes dejected, and with Hair unbound.
Then Bowls of tepid Milk and Blood we pour,
And thrice invoke the Soul of Polydore.
Now when the raging Storms no longer reign;
But Southern Gales invite us to the Main;
We launch our Vessels, with a prosp'rous Wind;
And leave the Cities and the Shores behind.
An Island in th' Aegean Main appears:
Neptune and wat'ry Doris claim it theirs.
It floated once, till Phoebus fix'd the sides
To rooted Earth, and now it braves the Tides.
Here, born by friendly Winds, we come ashore
With needful ease our weary Limbs restore;
And the Sun's Temple, and his Town adore.
Anius the Priest, and King, with Lawrel crown'd,
His hoary Locks with purple Fillets bound,
Who saw my Sire the Delian Shore ascend,
Came forth with eager haste to meet his Friend.
Invites him to his Palace; and in sign
Of ancient Love, their plighted Hands they join.
Then to the Temple of the God I went;
And thus, before the Shrine, my Vows present.
Give, O Thymbraeus, give a resting place,
To the sad Relicks of the Trojan Race:
A Seat secure, a Region of their own,
A lasting Empire, and a happier Town.
Where shall we fix, where shall our Labours end,
Whom shall we follow, and what Fate attend?
Let not my Pray'rs a doubtful Answer find,
But in clear Auguries unveil thy Mind.


To the Right Honble: Nathanael Lord Bishop of Durham

AE. 3 l: 220
Scarce had I said, He shook the holy Ground:
The Lawrels, and the lofty Hills around:
And from the Tripos rush'd a bellowing sound.
Prostrate we fell; confess'd the present God,
Who gave this Answer from his dark Abode.
Undaunted Youths, go seek that Mother Earth
From which your Ancestors derive their Birth.
The Soil that sent you forth, her Ancient Race,
In her old Bosom, shall again embrace.
Through the wide World th' Eneian House shall reign,
And Childrens Children shall the Crown sustain.
Thus Phoebus did our future Fates disclose;
A mighty Tumult, mix'd with Joy, arose.
All are concern'd to know what place the God
Assign'd and where determind our abode.
My Father, long revolving in His Mind,
The Race and Lineage of the Trojan Kind,
Thus answer'd their demands: Ye Princes, hear
Your pleasing Fortune; and dispel your fear.
The fruitful Isle of Crete well known to Fame,
Sacred of old to Jove's Immortal Name.
In the mid Ocean lies, with large Command;
And on its Plains a hundred Cities stand.
Another Ida rises there; and we
From thence derive our Trojan Ancestry.
From thence, as 'tis divulg'd by certain Fame,
To the Rhaetean Shores old Teucrus came.
There fix'd, and there the Seat of Empire chose,
E're Ilium and the Trojan Tow'rs arose.
In humble Vales they built their soft abodes:
Till Cybele, the Mother of the Gods,
With tinckling Cymbals charm'd th' Idean Woods▪
She, secret Rites and Ceremonies taught,
And to the Yoke, the salvage Lions brought.
[Page 272] Let us the Land, which Heav'n appoints, explore;
Appease the Winds, and seek the Gnossian Shore.
If Jove assists tht passage of our Fleet,
The third propitious dawn discovers Creet.
Thus having said, the Sacrifices laid
On smoking Altars, to the Gods He paid.
A Bull, to Neptune an Oblation due,
Another Bull to bright Apollo slew:
A milk white Ewe the Western Winds to please;
And one cole black to calm the stormy Seas.
E're this, a flying Rumour had been spred,
That fierce Idomeneus from Crete was fled;
Expell'd and exil'd; that the Coast was free
From Foreign or Domestick Enemy:
We leave the Delian Ports, and put to Sea:
By Naxos, fam'd for Vintage, make our way:
Then green Donysa pass; and Sail in sight
Of Paros Isle, with Marble Quarries white.
We pass the scatter'd Isles of Cyclades;
That, scarce distinguish'd, seem to stud the Seas.
The shouts of Saylors double near the shores;
They stretch their Canvass, and they ply their Oars.
All hands aloft, for Creet for Creet they cry,
And swiftly through the foamy Billows fly.
Full on the promis'd Land at length we bore,
With Joy desending on the Cretan Shore.
With eager haste a rising Town I frame,
Which from the Trojan Pergamus I name:
The Name it self was grateful; I exhort
To found their Houses, and erect a Fort.
Our Ships are haul'd upon the yellow strand,
The Youth begin to till the labour'd Land.
And I my self new Marriages promote,
Give Laws: and Dwellings I divide by Lot.
[Page 273] When rising Vapours choak the wholesom Air,
And blasts of noisom Winds corrupt the Year:
The Trees, devouring Caterpillers burn:
Parch'd was the Grass, and blited was the Corn.
Nor scape the Beasts: for Syrius from on high,
With pestilential Heat infects the Sky:
My Men, some fall, the rest in Feavers fry.
Again my Father bids me seek the Shore
Of sacred Delos; and the God implore:
To learn what end of Woes we might expect,
And to what Clime, our weary Course direct.
'Twas Night, when ev'ry Creature, void of Cares,
The common gift of balmy Slumber shares:
The Statues of my Gods, (for such they seem'd)
Those Gods whom I from flaming Troy redeem'd,
Before me stood; Majestically bright,
Full in the Beams of Phoebe's entring light.
Then thus they spoke; and eas'd my troubled Mind:
What from the Delian God thou go'st to find,
He tells thee here; and sends us to relate:
Those Pow'rs are we, Companions of thy Fate,
Who from the burning Town by thee were brought;
Thy Fortune follow'd, and thy safety wrought.
Through Seas and Lands, as we thy Steps attend,
So shall our Care thy Glorious Race befriend.
An ample Realm for thee thy Fates ordain;
A Town, that o're the conquer'd World shall reign.
Thou, mighty Walls for mighty Nations build;
Nor let thy weary Mind to Labours yield:
But change thy Seat; for not the Delian God,
Nor we, have giv'n thee Crete for our Abode.
A Land there is, Hesperia call'd of old,
The Soil is fruitful, and the Natives bold.
[Page 274] Th' Oenotrians held it once; by later Fame,
Now call'd Italia from the Leader's Name.
Jäsius there, and Dardanus were born:
From thence we came, and thither must return.
Rise, and thy Sire with these glad Tidings greet;
Search Italy, for Jove denies thee Creet.
Astonish'd at their Voices, and their sight,
(Nor were they Dreams, but Visions of the Night;
I saw, I knew their Faces, and descry'd
In perfect View, their Hair with Fillets ty'd:)
I started from my Couch, a clammy Sweat
On all my Limbs, and shiv'ring Body sate.
To Heav'n I lift my Hands with pious haste,
And sacred Incense in the Flames I cast.
Thus to the Gods their perfect Honours done,
More chearful to my good old Sire I run:
And tell the pleasing News; in little space
He found his Error, of the double Race.
Not, as before he deem'd, deriv'd from Creet;
No more deluded by the doubtful Seat.
Then said, O Son, turmoil'd in Trojan Fate;
Such things as these Cassandra did relate.
This Day revives within my Mind, what she
Foretold of Troy renew'd in Italy;
And Latian Lands: but who cou'd then have thought,
That Phrygian Gods to Latium should be brought;
Or who believ'd what mad Cassandra taught?
Now let us go, where Phoebus leads the way:
He said, and we with glad Consent obey.
Forsake the Seat; and leaving few behind,
We spread our sails before the willing Wind.
Now from the sight of Land, our Gallies move,
With only Seas around, and Skies above.
[Page 275] When o're our Heads, descends a burst of Rain;
And Night, with sable Clouds involves the Main:
The ruffling Winds the foamy Billows raise:
The scatter'd Fleet is forc'd to sev'ral Ways:
The face of Heav'n is ravish'd from our Eyes,
And in redoubl'd Peals the roaring Thunder flys.
Cast from our Course, we wander in the Dark;
No Stars to guide, no point of Land to mark.
Ev'n Palinurus no distinction found
Betwixt the Night and Day; such Darkness reign'd around.
Three starless Nights the doubtful Navy strays
Without Distinction, and three Sunless Days.
The fourth renews the Light, and from our Shrowds
We view a rising Land like distant Clouds:
The Mountain tops confirm the pleasing Sight;
And curling Smoke ascending from their Height.
The Canvas falls; their Oars the Sailors ply;
From the rude strokes the whirling Waters fly.
At length I land upon the Strophades;
Safe from the danger of the stormy Seas:
Those Isles are compass'd by th' Ionian Main;
The dire Abode where the foul Harpies reign:
Forc'd by the winged Warriors to repair
To their old Homes, and leave their costly Fare.
Monsters more fierce, offended Heav'n ne're sent
From Hell's Abyss, for Human Punishment.
With Virgin-faces, but with Wombs obscene,
Foul Paunches, and with Ordure still unclean:
With Claws for Hands, and Looks for ever lean.
We landed at the Port; and soon beheld
Fat Herds of Oxen graze the flowry Field:
And wanton Goats without a Keeper stray'd:
With Weapons we the welcome Prey invade.
[Page 276] Then call the Gods, for Partners of our Feast:
And Jove himself the chief invited Guest.
We spread the Tables, on the greensword Ground:
We feed with Hunger, and the Bowls go round.
When from the Mountain tops, with hideous Cry,
And clatt'ring Wings, the hungry Harpies fly:
They snatch the Meat; defiling all they find:
And parting leave a loathsom Stench behind.
Close by a hollow Rock, again we sit;
New dress the Dinner, and the Beds refit:
Secure from Sight, beneath a pleasing Shade;
Where tufted Trees a native Arbour made.
Again the Holy Fires on Altars burn:
And once again the rav'nous Birds return:
Or from the dark Recesses where they ly▪
Or from another Quarter of the Sky.
With filthy Claws their odious Meal repeat,
And mix their loathsom Ordures with their Meat.
I bid my Friends for Vengeance then prepare;
And with the Hellish Nation wage the War.
They, as commanded, for the Fight provide,
And in the Grass their glitt'ring Weapons hide:
Then, when along the crooked Shoar we hear
Their clatt'ring Wings, and saw the Foes appear;
Misenus sounds a charge: We take th' Alarm;
And our strong hands with Swords and Bucklers arm.
In this new kind of Combat, all employ
Their utmost Force, the Monsters to destroy.
In vain; the fated Skin is proof to Wounds:
And from their Plumes the shining Sword rebounds.
At length rebuff'd, they leave their mangled Prey,
And their stretch'd Pinions to the Skies display.
Yet one remain'd, the Messenger of Fate;
High on a craggy Cliff Celaeno sate,
And thus her dismal Errand did relate.


To ye Right Reverend Dr: John Hartstonge Bp: of Ossory in Kilkenny Son of Sr. Standish Hartstonge Bart

AE. 3. l. 315.
What, not contented with our Oxen slain,
Dare you with Heav'n an impious War maintain,
And drive the Harpies from their Native Reign?
Heed therefore what I say; and keep in mind
What Jove decrees, what Phoebus has design'd:
And I, the Fury's Queen, from both relate:
You seek th' Italian Shores, foredoom'd by Fate:
Th' Italian Shores are granted you to find:
And a safe Passage to the Port assign'd.
But know, that e're your promis'd Walls you build,
My Curses shall severely be fulfill'd.
Fierce Famine is your Lot, for this Misdeed,
Reduc'd to grind the Plates on which you feed.
She said; and to the neighb'ring Forest flew:
Our Courage fails us, and our Fears renew.
Hopeless to win by War, to Pray'rs we fall:
And on th' offended Harpies humbly call.
And whether Gods, or Birds obscene they were,
Our Vows for Pardon, and for Peace prefer.
But old Anchises, off'ring Sacrifice,
And lifting up to Heav'n his Hands, and Eyes;
Ador'd the greater Gods: Avert, said he,
These Omens, render vain this Prophecy:
And from th' impending Curse, a Pious People free.
Thus having said, he bids us put to Sea;
We loose from Shore our Haulsers, and obey:
And soon with swelling Sails, pursue the wat'ry Way.
Amidst our course Zacynthian Woods appear;
And next by rocky Neritos we steer:
We fly from Ithaca's detested Shore,
And curse the Land which dire Ulysses bore.
At length Leucates cloudy top appears;
And Phoebus Temple, which the Sailor fears.
[Page 278] Resolv'd to breath a while from Labour past,
Our crooked Anchors from the Prow we cast;
And joyful to the little City haste.
Here safe beyond our Hopes, our Vows we pay
To Jove, the Guide and Patron of our way.
The Customs of our Country we pursue;
And Trojan Games on Actian Shores renew.
Our Youth, their naked Limbs besmear with Oyl;
And exercise the Wrastlers noble Toil.
Pleas'd to have sail'd so long before the Wind;
And left so many Grecian Towns behind.
The Sun had now fulfill'd his Annual Course,
And Boreas on the Seas display'd his Force:
I fix'd upon the Temples lofty Door,
The brazen Shield which vanquish'd Abas bore:
The Verse beneath, my Name and Action speaks,
These Arms, Aeneas took from Conqu'ring Greeks.
Then I command to weigh; the Seamen ply
Their sweeping Oars, the smokeing Billows fly.
The sight of high Phaeacia soon we lost:
And skim'd along Epirus rocky Coast.
Then to Chaonia's Port our Course we bend,
And landed, to Buthrotus heights ascend.
Here wond'rous things were loudly blaz'd by Fame;
How Helenus reviv'd the Trojan Name;
And raign'd in Greece: That Priam's captive Son
Succeeded Pyrrhus in his Bed and Throne.
And fair Andromache, restor'd by Fate,
Once more was happy in a Trojan Mate.
I leave my Gallies riding in the Port;
And long to see the new Dardanian Court.
By chance, the mournful Queen, before the Gate,
Then solemniz'd her former Husbands Fate.

[Page] [Page]

To The Honble. Dr: Ion: Mountague Master of Trinity College in Cambridge

AE. 3. l: 415.
Green Altars rais'd of Turf, with Gifts she Crown'd;
And sacred Priests in order stand around;
And thrice the Name of hapless Hector sound.
The Grove it self resembles Ida's Wood;
And Simois seem'd the well dissembl'd Flood.
But when, at nearer distance, she beheld
My shining Armour, and my Trojan Shield;
Astonish'd at the sight, the vital Heat
Forsakes her Limbs, her Veins no longer beat:
She faints, she falls, and scarce recov'ring strength,
Thus, with a falt'ring Tongue, she speaks at length.
Are you alive, O Goddess born! she said,
Or if a Ghost, then where is Hector's Shade?
At this, she cast a loud and frightful Cry:
With broken words, I made this brief Reply.
All of me that remains, appears in sight,
I live; if living be to loath the Light.
No Phantome; but I drag a wretched life;
My Fate resembling that of Hector's Wife.
What have you suffer'd since you lost your Lord,
By what strange blessing are you now restor'd!
Still are you Hector's, or is Hector fled,
And his Remembrance lost in Pyrrhus Bed?
With Eyes dejected, in a lowly tone,
After a modest pause, she thus begun.
Oh only happy Maid of Priam's Race,
Whom Death deliver'd from the Foes embrace!
Commanded on Achilles Tomb to die,
Not forc'd, like us, to hard Captivity:
Or in a haughty Master's Arms to lie.
In Grecian Ships unhappy we were born:
Endur'd the Victor's Lust, sustain'd the Scorn:
Thus I submitted to the lawless pride
Of Pyrrhus, more a Handmaid than a Bride.
[Page 280] Cloy'd with Possession, He forsook my Bed,
And Helen's lovely Daughter sought to wed.
Then me, to Trojan Helenus resign'd:
And his two Slaves in equal Marriage join'd.
Till young Orestes, pierc'd with deep despair,
And longing to redeem the promis'd Fair,
Before Apollo's Altar slew the Ravisher.
By Pyrrhus death the Kingdom we regain'd:
At least one half with Helenus remain'd;
Our part, from Chaon, He Chaonia calls:
And names, from Pergamus, his rising Walls.
But you, what Fates have landed on our Coast,
What Gods have sent you, or what Storms have tost?
Does young Ascanius life and health enjoy,
Sav'd from the Ruins of unhappy Troy!
O tell me how his Mothers loss he bears,
What hopes are promis'd from his blooming years,
How much of Hector in his Face appears?
She spoke: and mix'd her Speech with mournful Cries:
And fruitless Tears came trickling from her Eyes.
At length her Lord descends upon the Plain;
In pomp, attended with a num'rous Train:
Receives his Friends, and to the City leads;
And Tears of Joy amidst his Welcome sheds.
Proceeding on, another Troy I see;
Or, in less compass, Troy's Epitome.
A Riv'let by the name of Xanthus ran:
And I embrace the Scaean Gate again.
My Friends in Portico's were entertain'd;
And Feasts and Pleasures through the City reign'd.
The Tables fill'd the spacious Hall around:
And Golden Bowls with sparkling Wine were crown'd.
Two days we pass'd in mirth, till friendly Gales,
Blown from the South, supply'd our swelling Sails.
[Page 281] Then to the Royal Seer I thus began:
O thou who know'st beyond the reach of Man,
The Laws of Heav'n, and what the Stars decree,
Whom Phoebus taught unerring Prophecy,
From his own Tripod, and his holy Tree:
Skill'd in the wing'd Inhabitants of Air,
What Auspices their notes, and flights declare:
O say; for all Religious Rites portend
A happy Voyage, and a prosp'rous End:
And ev'ry Pow'r and Omen of the Sky,
Direct my Course for destin'd Italy:
But only dire Celaeno, from the Gods,
A dismal Famine fatally fore-bodes:
O say what Dangers I am first to shun:
What Toils to vanquish, and what Course to run.
The Prophet first with Sacrifice adores
The greater Gods; their Pardon then implores:
Unbinds the Fillet from his holy Head;
To Phoebus next, my trembling Steps he led:
Full of religious Doubts, and awful dread.
Then with his God possess'd, before the Shrine,
These words proceeded from his Mouth Divine.
O Goddess-born, (for Heav'n's appointed Will,
With greater Auspices of good than ill,
Fore-shows thy Voyage, and thy Course directs;
Thy Fates conspire, and Jove himself protects:)
Of many things, some few I shall explain,
Teach thee to shun the dangers of the Main,
And how at length the promis'd Shore to gain.
The rest the Fates from Helenus conceal;
And Juno's angry Pow'r forbids to tell.
First then, that happy Shore, that seems so nigh,
Will far from your deluded Wishes fly:
Long tracts of Seas divide your hopes from Italy.
[Page 282] For you must cruise along Sicilian Shoars;
And stem the Currents with your struggling Oars:
Then round th' Italian Coast your Navy steer;
And after this to Circe's Island veer.
And last, before your new Foundations rise,
Must pass the Stygian Lake, and view the neather Skies.
Now mark the Signs of future Ease and Rest;
And bear them safely treasur'd in thy Breast.
When in the shady Shelter of a Wood,
And near the Margin of a gentle Flood,
Thou shalt behold a Sow upon the Ground,
With thirty sucking young encompass'd round;
The Dam and Off-spring white as falling Snow:
These on thy City shall their Name bestow:
And there shall end thy Labours and thy Woe.
Nor let the threatned Famine fright thy Mind,
For Phoebus will assist; and Fate the way will find.
Let not thy Course to that ill Coast be bent,
Which fronts from far th' Epirian Continent;
Those parts are all by Grecian Foes possess'd:
The salvage Locrians here the Shores infest:
There fierce Idomeneus his City builds,
And guards with Arms the Salentinian Fields.
And on the Mountains brow Petilia stands,
Which Philoctetes with his Troops commands.
Ev'n when thy Fleet is landed on the Shore,
And Priests with holy Vows the Gods adore;
Then with a Purple Veil involve your Eyes,
Lest hostile Faces blast the Sacrifice.
These Rites and Customs to the Rest commend;
That to your Pious Race they may descend.
When parted hence, the Wind that ready waits
For Sicily, shall bear you to the Streights:
[Page 283] Where proud Pelorus opes a wider way,
Tack to the Larboord, and stand off to Sea:
Veer Star-board Sea and Land. Th' Italian Shore,
And fair Sicilia's Coast were one, before
An Earthquake caus'd the Flaw, the roaring Tides
The Passage broke, that Land from Land divides:
And where the Lands retir'd, the rushing Ocean rides.
Distinguish'd by the Streights, on either hand,
Now rising Cities in long order stand;
And fruitful Fields: So much can Time invade
The mouldring Work, that beauteous Nature made.
Far on the right, her Dogs foul Scylla hides:
Charibdis roaring on the left presides;
And in her greedy Whirl-pool sucks the Tides:
Then Spouts them from below; with Fury driv'n,
The Waves mount up, and wash the face of Heav'n.
But Scylla from her Den, with open Jaws,
The sinking Vessel in her Eddy draws;
Then dashes on the Rocks: A Human Face,
And Virgin Bosom, hides her Tails disgrace.
Her Parts obscene below the Waves descend,
With Dogs inclos'd; and in a Dolphin end.
'Tis safer, then, to bear aloof to Sea,
And coast Pachynus, though with more delay;
Than once to view mishapen Scylla near,
And the loud yell of watry Wolves to hear.
Besides, if Faith to Helenus be due,
And if Prophetick Phoebus tell me true;
Do not this Precept of your Friend forget;
Which therefore more than once I must repeat.
Above the rest, great Juno's Name adore:
Pay Vows to Juno; Juno's Aid implore.
Let Gifts be to the mighty Queen design'd;
And mollify with Pray'rs her haughty Mind.
[Page 284] Thus, at the length, your Passage shall be free,
And you shall safe descend on Italy.
Arriv'd at Cumae, when you view the Flood
Of black Avernus, and the sounding Wood,
The mad prophetick Sybil you shall find,
Dark in a Cave, and on a Rock reclin'd.
She sings the Fates, and in her frantick Fitts,
The Notes and Names inscrib'd, to Leafs commits.
What she commits to Leafs, in order laid,
Before the Caverns Entrance are display'd:
Unmov'd they lie, but if a Blast of Wind
Without, or Vapours issue from behind,
The Leafs are born aloft in liquid Air,
And she resumes no more her Museful Care:
Nor gathers from the Rocks her scatter'd Verse;
Nor sets in order what the Winds disperse.
Thus, many not succeeding, most upbraid
The Madness of the visionary Maid;
And with loud Curses leave the mystick Shade.
Think it not loss of time a while to stay;
Though thy Companions chide thy long delay:
Tho' summon'd to the Seas, tho' pleasing Gales
Invite thy Course, and stretch thy swelling Sails.
But beg the sacred Priestess to relate
With willing Words, and not to write thy Fate.
The fierce Italian People she will show;
And all thy Wars, and all thy Future Woe;
And what thou may'st avoid, and what must undergo.
She shall direct thy Course, instruct thy Mind;
And teach thee how the happy Shores to find.
This is what Heav'n allows me to relate:
Now part in Peace; pursue thy better Fate,
And raise, by strength of Arms, the Trojan State▪
This, when the Priest with friendly Voice declar'd,
He gave me Licence, and rich Gifts prepar'd:
Bounteous of Treasure, he supply'd my want
With heavy Gold, and polish'd Elephant.
Then Dodonaean Caldrons put on Bord,
And ev'ry Ship with Sums of Silver stor'd.
A trusty Coat of Mail to me he sent,
Thrice chain'd with Gold, for Use and Ornament:
The Helm of Pyrrhus added to the rest,
That flourish'd with a Plume and waving Crest.
Nor was my Sire forgotten, nor my Friends:
And large Recruits he to my Navy sends;
Men, Horses, Captains, Arms, and warlick Stores:
Supplies new Pilots, and new sweeping Oars.
Mean time, my Sire commands to hoist our Sails;
Lest we shou'd lose the first auspicious Gales.
The Prophet bless'd the parting Crew: and last,
With Words like these, his ancient Friend embrac'd.
Old happy Man, the Care of Gods above,
Whom Heav'nly Venus honour'd with her Love,
And twice preserv'd thy Life, when Troy was lost;
Behold from far the wish'd Ausonian Coast:
There land; but take a larger Compass round;
For that before is all forbidden Ground.
The Shore that Phoebus has design'd for you,
At farther distance lies, conceal'd from view.
Go happy hence, and seek your new Abodes;
Bless'd in a Son, and favour'd by the Gods:
For I with useless words prolong your stay;
When Southern Gales have summon'd you away.
Nor less the Queen our parting thence deplor'd;
Nor was less bounteous than her Trojan Lord.
A noble Present to my Son she brought,
A Robe with Flow'rs on Golden Tissue wrought;
[Page 286] A Phrygian Vest; and loads, with Gifts beside
Of precious Texture, and of Asian Pride.
Accept, she said, these Monuments of Love;
Which in my Youth with happier Hands I wove:
Regard these Trifles for the Giver's sake;
Tis the last Present Hector's Wife can make.
Thou call'st my lost Astyanax to mind:
In thee his Features, and his Form I find.
His Eyes so sparkled with a lively Flame;
Such were his Motions, such was all his Frame;
And ah! had Heav'n so pleas'd, his Years had been the same.
With Tears I took my last adieu, and said,
Your Fortune, happy pair, already made,
Leaves you no farther Wish: My diff'rent state,
Avoiding one, incurs another Fate.
To you a quiet Seat the Gods allow,
You have no Shores to search, no Seas to plow,
Nor Fields of flying Italy to chase:
(Deluding Visions, and a vain Embrace!)
You see another Simois, and enjoy
The labour of your Hands another Troy;
With better Auspice than her ancient Tow'rs:
And less obnoxious to the Grecian Pow'rs.
If e're the Gods, whom I with Vows adore,
Conduct my Steps to Tiber's happy Shore:
If ever I ascend the Latian Throne,
And build a City I may call my own,
As both of us our Birth from Troy derive,
So let our Kindred Lines in Concord live:
And both in Acts of equal Friendship strive.
Our Fortunes, good or bad, shall be the same▪
The double Troy shall differ but in Name:
That what we now begin, may never end;
But long, to late Posterity descend.


To Edward Browne Dr. in Physick.

AE. 3. l. 625.
Near the Ceraunean Rocks our Course we bore:
(The shortest passage to th' Italian shore:)
Now had the Sun withdrawn his radiant Light,
And Hills were hid in dusky Shades of Night:
We land; and on the bosom of the Ground
A safe Retreat, and a bare Lodging found;
Close by the Shore we lay; the Sailors keep
Their watches, and the rest securely sleep.
The Night proceeding on with silent pace,
Stood in her noon; and view'd with equal Face,
Her steepy rise, and her declining Race.
Then wakeful Palinurus rose, to spie
The face of Heav'n, and the Nocturnal Skie;
And listen'd ev'ry breath of Air to try:
Observes the Stars, and notes their sliding Course,
The Pleiads, Hyads, and their wat'ry force;
And both the Bears is careful to behold;
And bright Orion arm'd with burnish'd Gold.
Then when he saw no threat'ning Tempest Nigh,
But a sure promise of a settled Skie;
He gave the Sign to weigh; we break our sleep;
Forsake the pleasing Shore, and plow the deep.
And now the rising Morn, with rosie light
Adorns the Skies, and puts the Stars to flight:
When we from far, like bluish Mists, descry
The Hills, and then the Plains of Italy.
Achates first pronounc'd the Joyful sound;
Then Italy the chearful Crew rebound.
My Sire Anchises crown'd a Cup with Wine:
And off'ring, thus implor'd the Pow'rs Divine.
Ye Gods, presiding over Lands and Seas,
And you who raging Winds and Waves appease,
Breath on our swelling Sails a prosp'rous Wind:
And smooth our Passage to the Port assign'd.
[Page 288] The gentle Gales their flagging force renew;
And now the happy Harbour is in view.
Minerva's Temple then salutes our sight;
Plac'd, as a Land-mark, on the Mountains height:
We furl our Sails, and turn the Prows to shore;
The curling Waters round the Galleys roar:
The Land lies open to the raging East,
Then, bending like a Bow, with Rocks compress'd,
Shuts out the Storms; the Winds and Waves complain,
And vent their malice on the Cliffs in vain.
The Port lies hid within; on either side
Two Tow'ring Rocks the narrow mouth divide.
The Temple, which aloft we view'd before,
To distance flies, and seems to shun the Shore.
Scarce landed, the first Omens I beheld
Were four white Steeds that crop'd the flow'ry Field.
War, War is threaten'd from this Forreign Ground,
(My Father cry'd) where warlike Steeds are found.
Yet, since reclaim'd to Chariots they submit,
And bend to stubborn Yokes, and champ the Bitt,
Peace may succeed to Warr. Our way we bend
To Pallas, and the sacred Hill ascend.
There, prostrate to the fierce Virago pray;
Whose Temple was the Land-Mark of our way.
Each with a Phrygian Mantle veil'd his Head;
And all Commands of Helenus obey'd;
And pious Rites to Grecian Juno paid.
These dues perform'd, we stretch our Sails, and stand
To Sea, forsaking that suspected Land.
From hence Tarentum's Bay appears in view;
For Hercules renown'd, if Fame be true.
Just opposite, Lacinian Juno stands;
Caulonian Tow'rs and Scylacaean Strands.
[Page 289] For Shipwrecks fear'd: Mount Etna thence we spy,
Known by the smoaky Flames which Cloud the Skie.
Far off we hear the Waves, with surly sound
Invade the Rocks, the Rocks their groans rebound.
The Billows break upon the sounding Strand;
And roul the rising Tide, impure with Sand.
Then thus Anchises, in Experience old,
'Tis that Charibdis which the Seer foretold:
And those the promis'd Rocks; bear off to Sea:
With haste the frighted Mariners obey.
First Palinurus to the Larboor'd veer'd;
Then all the Fleet by his Example steer'd.
To Heav'n aloft on ridgy Waves we ride;
Then down to Hell descend, when they divide.
And thrice our Gallies knock'd the stony ground,
And thrice the hollow Rocks return'd the sound,
And thrice we saw the Stars, that stood with dews around.
The flagging Winds forsook us, with the Sun;
And weary'd, on Cyclopean Shores we run.
The Port capacious, and secure from Wind,
Is to the foot of thundring Etna joyn'd.
By turns a pitchy Cloud she rowls on high;
By turns hot Embers from her entrails fly;
And flakes of mounting Flames, that lick the Skie.
Oft from her Bowels massy Rocks are thrown,
And shiver'd by the force come piece-meal down.
Oft liquid Lakes of burning Sulphur flow,
Fed from the fiery Springs that boil below.
Enceladus they say, transfix'd by Jove,
With blasted Limbs came tumbling from above:
And, where he fell, th' Avenging Father drew
This flaming Hill, and on his Body threw:
As often as he turns his weary sides,
He shakes the solid Isle, and smoke the Heavens hides.
[Page 290] In shady Woods we pass the tedious Night,
Where bellowing Sounds and Groans our Souls affright
Of which no Cause is offer'd to the sight.
For not one Star was kindled in the Skie;
Nor cou'd the Moon her borrow'd Light supply:
For misty Clouds invovl'd the Firmament;
The Stars were muffled, and the Moon was pent.
Scarce had the rising Sun the day reveal'd;
Scarce had his heat the pearly dews dispell'd;
When from the Woods there bolts, before our sight,
Somewhat, betwixt a Mortal and a Spright.
So thin, so ghastly meagre, and so wan,
So bare of flesh, he scarce resembled Man.
This thing, all tatter'd, seem'd from far t'implore
Our pious aid, and pointed to the Shore.
We look behind; then view his shaggy Beard;
His Cloaths were tagg'd with Thorns, and Filth his Limbs besmear'd:
The rest, in Meen, in habit, and in Face,
Appear'd a Greek; and such indeed he was.
He cast on us, from far, a frightful view,
Whom soon for Trojans and for Foes he knew:
Stood still, and paus'd; then all at once began
To stretch his Limbs, and trembled as he ran.
Soon as approach'd, upon his Knees he falls,
And thus with Tears and Sighs for pity calls.
Now by the Pow'rs above, and what we share
As Nature's common Gift, this vital Air,
O Trojans take me hence: I beg no more,
But bear me far from this unhappy Shore.
'Tis true I am a Greek, and farther own,
Among your Foes besieg'd th' Imperial Town;
For such Demerits if my death be due,
No more for this abandon'd life I sue:
[Page 291] This only Favour let my Tears obtain,
To throw me headlong in the rapid Main:
Since nothing more than Death my Crime demands,
I dye content, to dye by human Hands.
He said, and on his Knees my Knees embrac'd,
I bad him boldly tell his Fortune past;
His present State, his Lineage and his Name;
Th' occasion of his Fears, and whence he came.
The good Anchises rais'd him with his Hand;
Who, thus encourag'd, answer'd our Demand:
From Ithaca my native Soil I came
To Troy, and Achaemenides my Name.
Me, my poor Father, with Ulysses sent;
(Oh had I stay'd, with Poverty content!)
But fearful for themselves, my Country-men
Left me forsaken in the Cyclop's Den.
The Cave, though large, was dark, the dismal Flore
Was pav'd with mangled Limbs and putrid Gore.
Our monstrous Host, of more than Human Size,
Erects his Head, and stares within the Skies.
Bellowing his Voice, and horrid is his Hue.
Ye Gods, remove this Plague from Mortal View!
The Joints of slaughter'd Wretches are his Food:
And for his Wine he quaffs the streaming Blood.
These Eyes beheld, when with his spacious Hand
He seiz'd two Captives of our Grecian Band;
Stretch'd on his Back, he dash'd against the Stones
Their broken Bodies, and their crackling Bones:
With spouting Blood the Purple Pavement swims,
While the dire Glutton grinds the trembling Limbs.
Not unreveng'd, Ulysses bore their Fate,
Nor thoughtless of his own unhappy State:
For, gorg'd with Flesh, and drunk with Human Wine,
While fast asleep the Gyant lay supine;
[Page 292] Snoaring aloud, and belching from his Maw
His indigested Foam, and Morsels raw:
We pray, we cast the Lots, and then surround
The monstrous Body, stretch'd along the Ground:
Each, as he cou'd approach him, lends a hand
To bore his Eyeball with a flaming Brand.
Beneath his frowning Forehead lay his Eye,
(For onely one did the vast Frame supply;)
But that a Globe so large, his Front it fill'd,
Like the Sun's disk, or like a Grecian Shield.
The Stroke succeeds; and down the Pupil bends;
This Vengeance follow'd for our slaughter'd Friends.
But haste, unhappy Wretches, haste to fly;
Your Cables cut, and on your Oars rely.
Such, and so vast as Polypheme appears,
A hundred more this hated Island bears:
Like him in Caves they shut their woolly Sheep,
Like him, their Herds on tops of Mountains keep;
Like him, with mighty Strides, they stalk from Steep to Steep.
And now three Moons their sharpen'd Horns renew
Since thus in Woods and Wilds, obscure from view,
I drag my loathsom Days with mortal Fright;
And in deserted Caverns lodge by Night.
Oft from the Rocks a dreadful Prospect see,
Of the huge Cyclops, like a walking Tree:
From far I hear his thund'ring Voice resound;
And trampling Feet that shake the solid Ground.
Cornels, and salvage Berries of the Wood,
And Roots and Herbs have been my meagre Food.
While all around my longing Eyes I cast,
I saw your happy Ships appear at last.
On those I fix'd my hopes, to these I run,
'Tis all I ask this cruel Race to shun:

[Page] [Page]

To Wm. Gibbons Dr.: in Physick

AE. 3. l. 865.
What other Death you please your selves, bestow.
Scarce had he said, when on the Mountain's brow,
We saw the Gyant-Shepherd stalk before
His following Flock, and leading to the Shore.
A monstrous Bulk, deform'd, depriv'd of Sight,
His Staff a trunk of Pine, to guide his steps aright.
His pondrous Whistle from his Neck descends;
His woolly Care their pensive Lord attends:
This onely Solace his hard Fortune sends.
Soon as he reach'd the Shore, and touch'd the Waves,
From his bor'd Eye the gutt'ring Blood he laves:
He gnash'd his Teeth and groan'd; thro' Seas he strides,
And scarce the topmost Billows touch'd his sides.
Seiz'd with a sudden Fear, we run to Sea,
The Cables cut, and silent haste away:
The well deserving Stranger entertain;
Then, buckling to the Work, our Oars divide the Main.
The Gyant harken'd to the dashing Sound:
But when our Vessels out of reach he found,
He strided onward; and in vain essay'd
Th' Ionian Deep, and durst no farther wade.
With that he roar'd aloud; the dreadful Cry
Shakes Earth, and Air, and Seas; the Billows fly
Before the bellowing Noise, to distant Italy.
The neighb'ring Aetna trembled all around;
The winding Caverns echo to the sound.
His brother Cyclops hear the yelling Roar;
And, rushing down the Mountains, crowd the Shoar:
We saw their stern distorted looks, from far,
And one ey'd Glance, that vainly threatned War.
A dreadful Council, with their heads on high;
The misty Clouds about their Foreheads fly:
Not yielding to the tow'ring Tree of Jove;
Or tallest Cypress of Diana's Grove.
[Page 294] New Pangs of mortal Fear our Minds assail,
We tug at ev'ry Oar, and hoist up ev'ry Sail;
And take th' Advantage of the friendly Gale.
Forewarn'd by Helenus, we strive to shun
Charibdis Gulph, nor dare to Scylla run.
An equal Fate on either side appears;
We, tacking to the left, are free from Fears.
For from Pelorus Point, the North arose,
And drove us back where swift Pantagias flows.
His Rocky Mouth we pass; and make our Way
By Thapsus, and Megara's winding Bay;
This Passage Achaemenides had shown,
Tracing the Course which he before had run.
Right o're-against Plemmyrium's watry Strand,
There lies an Isle once call'd th' Ortygian Land:
Alphëus, as Old Fame reports, has found
From Greece a secret Passage under-ground:
By Love to beauteous Arethusa led,
And mingling here, they rowl in the same Sacred Bed.
As Helenus enjoyn'd, we next adore
Diana's Name, Protectress of the Shore.
With prosp'rous Gales we pass the quiet Sounds
Of still Elorus and his fruitsul Bounds.
Then doubling Cape Pachynus, we survey
The rocky Shore extended to the Sea.
The Town of Camarine from far we see;
And fenny Lake undrain'd by Fates decree.
In sight of the Geloan Fields we pass,
And the large Walls, where mighty Gela was:
Then Agragas with lofty Summets crown'd;
Long for the Race of warlike Steeds renown'd:
We pass'd Selinus, and the Palmy Land,
And widely shun the Lilybaean Strand,
Unsafe, for secret Rocks, and moving Sand.
[Page 295] At length on Shore the weary Fleet arriv'd;
Which Drepanum's unhappy Port receiv'd.
Here, after endless Labours, often tost
By raging Storms, and driv'n on ev'ry Coast,
My dear, dear Father, spent with Age, I lost.
Ease of my Cares, and Solace of my Pain,
Sav'd through a thousand Toils, but sav'd in vain:
The Prophet, who my future Woes reveal'd,
Yet this, the greatest and the worst, conceal'd.
And dire Celoeno, whose foreboding Skill
Denounc'd all else, was silent of this Ill:
This my last Labour was. Some friendly God,
From thence convey'd us to your blest Abode.
Thus to the listning Queen, the Royal Guest
His wand'ring Course, and all his Toils express'd;
And here concluding, he retir'd to rest.

The Fourth Book of the Aeneis.

The Argument.

Dido discovers to her Sister her Passion for Aeneas, and her thoughts of marrying him. She prepares a Hunting-Match for his Entertain­ment. Juno by Venus's consent raises a Storm, which separates the Hunters, and drives Aeneas and Dido into the same Cave, where their Marriage is suppos'd to be compleated. Jupiter dis­patches Mercury to Aeneas, to warn him from Carthage; Aeneas secretly prepares for his Voyage: Dido finds out his Design, and to put a stop to it, makes use of her own, and her Sister's Entreaties, and discovers all the variety of Passions that are incident to a neglect­ed Lover: When nothing wou'd prevail upon him, she contrives her own Death, with which this Book concludes.

BUT anxious Cares already seiz'd the Queen:
She fed within her Veins a Flame unseen:
The Heroe's Valour, Acts, and Birth inspire
Her Soul with Love, and fann the secret Fire.
His Words, his Looks imprinted in her Heart,
Improve the Passion, and increase the Smart.
Now, when the Purple Morn had chas'd away
The dewy Shadows, and restor'd the Day;
Her Sister first, with early Care she sought,
And thus in mournful Accents eas'd her Thought.
My dearest Anna, what new Dreams affright
My lab'ring Soul; what Visions of the Night
Disturb my Quiet, and distract my Breast,
With strange Ideas of our Trojan Guest?
His Worth, his Actions, and Majestick Air,
A Man descended from the Gods declare:
Fear never harbours in a Noble Mind,
But Modesty, with just Assurance join'd.