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ments of other poems; and except a few lines in which the author touches upon his own misfortunes, there is nothing that seems appropriated to any time or place, or of which any other use can be discovered than to fill
poem. The first and the tenth pastorals, whatever be determined of the rest, are sufficient to place their author above the reach of rivalry. The complaint of Gallus disappointed in his love, is full of such sentiments as disappointed love naturally produces ; his wishes are wild, his resentment is tender, and his purposes are inconstant. In the genuine language of despair, he sooths himself a while with the pity that shall be paid him after his death :
- Tamen cantabitis, Arcades, inquiet,
Yes, O Arcadian swains,
your soft reeds, and teach your rocks my woes,
shade in sweeter rest repose. O that your birth and business had been mine; To feed the flock, and prune the spreading vine.--WARTON.
Discontented with his present condition, and desirous to be any thing but what he is, he wishes himself one of the shepherds. He then catches the idea of rural tranquillity; but soon discovers how much happier he should be in these happy regions, with Lycoris at his side:
Hic gelidi fontes, hic mollia prata, Lycori :
Here cooling fountains roll thro' flow'ry meads,
He then turns his thoughts on every side, in quest of something that may solace or amuse him : he proposes happiness to himself, first in one scene and then in another; and at last finds that nothing will satisfy :
Jam neque Hamadryades rursum, nec carmina nobio
Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori.
But now again no more the woodland maids,
But notwithstanding the excellence of the tenth pastoral, I cannot forbear to give the preference to the first, which is equally natural and more diversified. The complaint of the shepherd, who saw his old companion at ease in the shade, while himself was driving his little flock he knew not whither, is such as, with variation of circumstances, misery always utters at the sight of prosperity:
Nos patriæ fines, & dulcia linquimus arva;
We leave our country's bounds, our much lov'd plains ;
His account of the difficulties of his journey, gives a very tender image of pastoral distress:
En ipse capellas
And lo! sad partner of the general care,
The description of Virgil's happiness in his little farm, combines almost all the images of rural pleasure ; and he, therefore, that can read it with indifference, has no sense of pastoral poetry:
Fortunale senex, ergo tua rura manebunt,
gemere aëria cessabit turtur ab ulmo.
Happy old man! then still thy farms restor’d, Enough for thee, shall bless thy frugal board. What thorough stones the naked soil o'erspread, Or marshy bulrush rear its wat'ry head,
No foreign food thy teeming ewes shall fear,
It may be observed, that these two poems were produced by events that really happened s and may, therefore, be of use to prove, that we can always feel more than we can imagine, and that the most artful fiction must give way to truth.
I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,