Imatges de pÓgina


N reading several passages of the Prophet Isaiah, which

foretell the coming of Christ and the felicities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity between many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not seem surprising, when we reflect, that the Eclogue was taken from a Sibylline prophcey on the same subject. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line by line, but selected such ideas as best agreed with the nature of paftoral poetry, and disposed them in that manner which ferved moft to beautify his piece. I have endeavoured the same in this imitation of him, tho' without admitting any thing of my own; since it was written with this particular view, that the reader, by comparing the several thoughts, might see how far the images and descriptions of the Prophet are superior to those of the Poet. But as I fear I have prejudiced them by my management, I shall subjoin the passages of Isaiah, and those of Virgil, under the same disadvantage of a literal translation.

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YENymphs of folyma : begin the song:

To heav'nly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the fylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th'Aonian maids,
Delight no more thou my voice inspire,

Who touch'd Ifaiah's hallow'd lips with fire !

Rapt into future times, the Bard begun,
A Virgin fhall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!




Vin. 8. A Virgin foall conceive All crimes shall cease, &c.)
VIRG. E. 4. ver. 6. Jam redit & Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,

Jam nova progenies coelo demittitur alto---
Te duce, fi qua manenc sceleris veftigia noftri,
Irrita perpetua solvent formidine terras

Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem. Now obe Virgin returns, now the kingdom of Saturn returns, now a new Progeny is fell down from bigb beaven. By means of tbee, wbatever reliqües of our crimes main, shall be wiped away, and free tbe world from perpetual fears. He shall govern obe carib in peace, witb the virtues of bis Father.

Isaiah, Ch. vii, ver. 14. Behold a Virgin fhall conceive, and bear a Son.Ch. ix. ver. 6, 7. Unto us a Cbild is born, unto us a Son is given; 'ebe Prince of

Feace :

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From * Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flow'r with fragrance fills the skies ;
Th’Æthereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye + heav'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly show'r !
The fick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail;
Returning || Justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-rob’d Innocence from heav'n deseend.
Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected inorn;,
Oh! spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty ** Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance;
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the skies !





Peace: of tbe increase of bis government, and of bis peace, tbere shall be no end : upon tbe tbrone of David, and upon bis kingdom, to order and to Bablish it, witá judgment, and witb justice, for ever and

VER. 23. See Nature baftes, &c.]
VIRG. E. 4. ver. 18. At tibi prima, puer, nullo munuscula cultu,

Errantes hederas paslim cum baccare tellus,
Mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet

Ipfa tibi blandos fundent cunabula fiores. For thee, O Child, fball be eartb, without being rilled, produce ber early offer ings; winding ivy mixed with Baccar, and Colocasia wish fmiling diantbus. Tkyo predle pall pour fortb pleasing flowers about ebee,

ISAIAH, chap. xxxv. ver. 1. The wilderness and the folitary place fball be gled, and obe dejare mali rejvice and blofom as tbe rose. Ch. Ix. ver. 13. Ibe glory of Lebanon fball come unto ibee, ibe fir-tree, tbe pine-tree, and the box sogeiber, 'to beautify be place of by San&iuary.

* Laiah, ch. xi. ver. 1,
+ Ch. xlv. ver. 8.
# Ch. xxv. ver. 4.
4 C. ix, ver. 7.
Chap. XXX, ver.


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Hark! a glad voice the lonely desart chears;
Prepare the * way! a God, a God appears :
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies !
Sink down ye mountains, and ye vallies rise,
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth ye rocks, ye rapid floods give way !
The Saviour comes ! by ancient bards foretold;
Hear + him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the fightless eye-ball pour the day :
'Tis he th’ obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No figh, no murmur the wide world shall hear,
From ev'ry face he wipes off ev'ry tear,
In adamantine chains shall Death be bound,

And Hell's grim Tyrant feel th' eternal wound.



VER. 29. Hark! a glad voice, &c.]
VIRG. E. 4. ver. 46. Aggredere ô magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores,

Cara deûm foboles, magnum Jovis incrementum
Ipsi lætitia voces ad fydera jactant
Intonsi montes, ipfæ jam carmina rupes,
Ipsa fonant arbusta, Deus, deus ille Menalca !

E. s. ver. 62 Ob come, and receive the migbry bonours: the time draws nigb, 0 beloved offspring of tbe Gods, Ogreat encrease of Joue! Tbe uncultivated mountains fend foouts of joy to obe pars, tbe very recks fing in verse, the very frubs cry out, A God!.. God!

ISAIAH, ch. xl. ver. 3, 4. The voice of bim that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye tbe way of the Lord ! make Arait in the dejart a bigb way for our : God! Every valley shall be exalted, and every moumain and bill fall be made low, and ebe crooked fåll be made frait, and the rougb places plain. Chap. iv. ver. 23 Break foreb into finging, ye mountains! O forest, and everg sree sberein / for iba Lord batb redeemed Ifrael.

# Ch. xl. ver. 3, 4.
† Ch. xlii. ver. 18. Ch. XXXV. ver. 5, 6,
1 Chw xxv. ver. 8.


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As the good * Shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks fresheft pafture and the purest air,
Explores the loft, the wand'ring sheep direets,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects,
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his band, and in his bosom warms;
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engagey
The promis'd + father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rife,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful

Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into soythes shall bend,
And the broad faulchion in a plow-share end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful' || fon
Shall finish what his short-liv'd fire begun !
Their vines-a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren ** desarts with surprise
Sees lillies fpring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murm’ring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragons late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods,




VIR.67. The swain in barren defarts, &e.).
VIRG. E. 4. ver. 28. Molli paulatim flavescit campus arista,

Incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva,

Et duræ quercus fudabunt rofcida mella. The field fhall grow yellow with ripend ears, and the red grape shall bong upon tbe wild brambles, and the bard caks pell difill borey like dew.

IS AT A#, ch. *xxv. ver. 7. The parcbed ground fall become a pool, and ebe tbinfty land Springs of water: in the babitarions wbere dragons lay, pell be grass, and reeds, and rushes. Ch. lv. ver. 13. Infiead of the eborn foal come up ibe fir-tree, and infead of tbe briar fall come up tbe myrtle-sree.

* Ch. xl. ver. 11.
+ Ch ix, ver, 6.

Ch. ii. ver. 4.

Ch. Ixv. ver. 21, 22. ** Ch. XXXV


T. I, 7.

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