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DELIA alone can please and never tire,
Beauty and worth, alone in her, contend,
On her I'll gaze when others loves are o'er,
Nor can that gentle breast the thought withstand.
Oh! when I die, my latest moments fpare,
Nor let thy grief with fharper torments kill; Wound not thy cheeks, nor hurt that flowing hair, Tho' I am dead, my foul fhall love thee ftill. XXI.
Oh quit the room, oh quit the deathful bed,
Let them, extended on the decent bier,
But every species of poetry, however serious, may admit of humour and burlesque. Examples of which we have given in the Epigram, and Epitaph, and we shall conclude this chapter with a burlefque elegy, written by Dr. Savift.
An ELEGY on the fuppofed death of Mr. PARTRIDGE, the Almanack-maker.
Well; 'tis as Bickerftaff has guefs'd,
Some Wits have wonder'd, what analogy,
A lift the coblers temples ties
Befides, that flow-pac'd fign Bootes,
*Partridge was a Cobler,
See his Almanack.
Shews how the art of cobling bears
Thus Partridge, by his wit and parts, At once did practice both these arts: And as the boading Owl (or rather The Bat, because her wings are leather,) Steals from her private cell by night, And flies about at candle-light; So learned Partridge could as well Creep in the dark from leathern cell, And, in his fancy, fly as far To peep upon a twinkling ftar.
Befides, he could confound the Spheres,
Triumphant ftar ! fome pity fhew
Thou, high exalted in thy fphere, May'ft follow ftill thy calling there.
To thee the Bull will lend his hide,
thing in the Paftoral or rural life; and the perfons, or interlocutors, introduced in it, either. fhepherds or other rufticks.
Her braided hair to make thee ends.
Thefe poems are frequently called Eclogues, which fignifies felect or choice pieces; tho' fome account for this name. after a different manner. They are also called Bucolicks from Baxon, a Herdsman.
Of the PASTORA L.
HIS poem takes its name from the Latin word.
"The original of poetry, fays Mr. Pope, is afcribed to "that age which fucceeded the creation of the world: "and as the keeping of flocks feems to have been the first employment of mankind, the most ancient fort of poe"try was probably Pafioral. It is natural to imagine, that the leifure of thofe ancient fhepherds admitting and. inviting fome diverfion, none was fo proper to that foli"tary and fedentary life as finging; and that in their fongs they took occafion to celebrate their own felicity. "From hence a poem was invented, and afterwards improved to a perfect image of that happy time; which by giving us an efteem for the virtues of a former age,
Tibia brachia contrahet ingens
might recommend them to the prefent. And fince the life of fhepherds was attended with more tranquility than any other rural employment, the poets chose to "introduce their perfons, from whom it received the name ❝ of Pafloral."
Scaliger, and Fontenelle are of Mr. Pope's opinion, and fuppofe that Paftorals were the firft poems; but this conclufion feems not to be drawn from nature and reason. As man in the infant ftate of the world, was undoubtedly ftruck with an awful idea of God, arifing from a confideration of his works of creation, so must he be very early led to fupplicate and adore that divine Being on whom he perceived his existence depended; it is more natural, and more rational, therefore, to fuppofe that the firft poems where hymns or odes made in praise of the Deity. We may allow fhepherds indeed to have been the first poets, but we cannot fuppofe that Paftorals were the firft poems; fince it is more reasonable to conclude that the ancients would prefer the praise of the Creator to that of his creatures. But controverfies of this fort are befide our purpose.
This kind of poem, when happily executed, gives great delight; nor is it a wonder, fince innocence and fimplicity generally please: To which let me add, that the scenes of Paftorals are always laid in the country, where both poet and painter have abundant matter for the exercife of genius, fuch as inchanting profpects, purling ftreams, fhady groves, enamelled meads, flowery lawns, rural amuse ments, the bleating of flocks, and the mufick of birds; which is of all melody the most sweet and pleafing, and calls to my mind the wisdom and taste of Alexander, who on being importuned to hear a man that imitated the notes of the Nightingale, and was thought a great curiofity, replied, that he had had the happiness of hearing the Nightingale berfelf.
The character of the Paftoral confifts in fimplicity, brevity, and delicacy; the two firft render an eclogue natural, and the laft delightful. With refpect to nature, indeed, we are to confider, that as a pastoral is an image of the ancient times of innocence and undefigning plainnefs, we are not to defcribe fhepherds as they really are at this day, but as they may be conceiv'd then to have been, when the best of men, and even princes, followed the employment. For this reafon an air of piety fhould run through the whole poem, which is vifible in the writings of antiquity.