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To make it natural with refpect to the prefent age, fome knowledge in rural affairs fhould be discovered, and that in fuch a manner, as if it was done by chance rather than by defign; left by too much pains to feem natural that fimplicity be deftroyed from whence arifes the delight; for what is fo engaging in this kind of poefy proceeds not fo much from the idea of a country life itself, as in expofing only the best part of a fhepherd's life, and concealing the misfortunes and miferies which fometimes attend it. Be. fides, the fubject must contain fome particular beauty in itself, and each eclogue prefent a fcene or profpect to our view enriched with variety: which variety is in a great measure obtained by frequent comparisons drawn from the moft agreeable objects of the country; by interrogations to things inanimate; by fhort and beautiful digreffions ; and by elegant turns on the words, which render the numbers more sweet and pleasing. To this let me add, that the connections must be negligent, the narrations and deferiptions fhort, and the periods concise.

Riddles, parables, proverbs, antique phrafes, and superftitious fables are fit materials to be intermixed with this kind of poem. They are here, when properly applied, very ornamental; and the more fo, as they give our modern compofitions the air of the ancient manner of writing.

The ftyle of the Pafloral ought to be humble, yet pure; neat, but not florid; eafy, and yet lively: and the numbers fhould be fmooth and flowing.

This poem in general fhould be short, and ought never much to exceed an hundred lines; for we are to confider that the ancients made these fort of compofitions their amufement, and not their bufinefs: but however short they are, every eclogue must contain a plot or fable, which must be fimple and one; but yet fo managed as to admit of fhort digreffions. Virgil has always obferved this-I fhall give you the plot or argument of his first Pastoral as an example.

Melibacus, an unfortunate Shepherd, is introduced with Tityrus, one in more fortunate circumstances; the former addreffes the complaint of his fufferings and banishment to the latter, who enjoys his flocks and folds in the midst of the public calamity, and therefore expresses his gratitude to the benefactor

from whom this favour flow'd: but Melibus accufes fortune, civil wars, and bids adieu to his native country. This is therefore a dialogue.

But we are to obferve, that the poet is not always obliged to make his eclogue allegorical, and to have real perfons reprefented by the fictitious characters introduced; but is in this refpect entirely at his own liberty.

Nor does the nature of the poem require it to be always carried on by way of dialogue; for a fhepherd may with propriety fing the praises of his love, complain of her inconftancy, lament her abfence, her death, &c. and addrefs himself to groves, hills, rivers, and fuch like rural objects, even when alone.

We shall now give examples from each of thofe authors who have eminently distinguish'd themselves by this manner of writing, and introduce them in the order of time in which they were written.

Theocritus, who was the father or inventor of this kind of poetry, has been defervedly efteemed by the best critics and by fome, whofe judgement we cannot difpute, prefer'd to all other Paftoral writers. We shall infert his third Idyllium, not because it is the best, but because it is within our compass, and we are favoured with an elegant verfion of it by Mr. FAWKES; who will foon oblige the public with an entire tranflation of this favourite author.

AMARYLLIS: Or the third Idyllium of THEOCRITUS.

To Amaryllis, lovely Nymph, I fpeed,

Mean while my goats upon the mountains feed:
◇ Tityrus tend them with affiduous care,
Lead them to cryftal fprings, and pastures fair,
And of the ridgling's butting horns beware.
Sweet Amaryllis, have you then forgot,
Our fecret pleasures in the confcious grott ?
Where in my folding arms you lay reclin'd;
Bleft was the shepherd, for the nymph was kind.
I whom you call'd your Dear, your Love fo late,
Say, am I now, the object of your hate?
Say is my form difpleafing to your fight
This cruel love will furely kill me quite.
Lo! ten large apples, tempting to the view,
Pluck'd from your favourite tree, where late theygrew.15


Accept this boon, 'tis all my present store;
To-morrow will produce as many more.
Mean while these heart-confuming pains remove,
And give me gentle pity for my love.
Oh was I made by fome transforming power
A bee to buzz in your fequefter'd bower!
To pierce your ivy fhade with murmuring found,
And the light leaves that compass you around.
I know thee, love, and to my forrow find,
A god thou art, but of the favage kind
A lionefs fure fuckled the fell child,




And with his brothers nurft him in the wild;
On me his fcorching flames inceffant prey,
Glow in my bones, and melt my foul away.
Ah, nymph, whofe eyes deftructive glances dart, 30
Fair is your face, but flinty is your heart :
With kiffes kind this rage of love appease ;
For me, fond Swain! ey'n empty kiffes please.
Your fcorn diftracts me, and will make me tear
The flow'ry crown I wove for you to wear,
Where roses mingle with the ivy-wreath,
And fragrant herbs ambrofial odours breathe.
Ah me! what pangs I feel, and yet the fair
Nor fees my forrows, nor will hear my prayer.
I'll doff my garments, fince I needs muft die,
And from yon rock, that points its fummit high,
Where patient Alpis fnares the finny fry,
I'll leap, and though perchance I rise again,
You'll laugh to fee me plunging in the main.
By a prophetic poppy-leaf I found
Your chang'd affection, for it
gave no found
Though in my hand ftruck hollow as it lay,
But quickly wither'd like your love away.
An old witch brought fad tiding to my ears,
She who tells fortunes with the fieve and fheers;
For leafing barley in my fields of late,
She told me, I should love, and you should hate!
For you my care a milk white goat supply'd,
Two wanton kids run frifking at her fide;
Which oft the nut-brown maid, Erithacis,
Has beg'd, and paid before-hand with a kiss;
And fince you thus my ardent paflion flight,
Her's they fhall be before to-morrow night.






My right eye itches; may it lucky prove,
Perhaps I foon fhall fee the nymph I love;
Beneath yon pine I'll fing diftinct and clear,
Perhaps the fair my tender notes may hear;
Perhaps may pity my melodious moan;
She is not metamorphos'd into stone.

Hippomenes, provok'd by noble ftrife,
To win a mistress, or to lose his life,
Threw golden fruit in Atalanta's way,
The bright temptation caus'd the nymph to stay ;
She look'd, the languish'd, all her foul took fire,
She plung'd into the gulph of deep defire.

To Pyle from Othry's fage Melampus came,
He drove the lowing herd, yet won the dame;
Fair Pero bleft his brother Bias" arms,
And in a virtuous race diffus'd unfading charms.
Adonis fed his cattle on the plain,

And fea-born Venus lov'd the rural fwain;
She mourn'd him wounded in the fatal chace,
Nor dead difmifs'd him from her warm embrace.
Though young Endymion was by Cynthia bleft,
I envy nothing but his lafting reft.
Jafon flumb'ring on the Cretan plain
Ceres once faw, and bleft the happy fwain
With pleasures too divine for ears profane.

My head grows giddy, love affects me fore;
Yet you regard not; fo I'll fing no more-
Here will I put a period to my care-
Adieu, falfe nymph, adieu ungrateful fair:
Stretch'd near the grotto, when I've breath'd my last
My corfe will give the wolves a rich repast,
As fweet to them, as honey to your taste.

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Beneath the shade which beechen boughs diffufe,
You, Tityrus, entertain your fylvan mufe.








Virgil fucceeds Theocritus, from whom he has in fome places copied, and always imitated with fuccefs. As a fpecimen of his manner we shall introduce his first Pastoral, which is generally allowed to be the most perfect; and our readers will fee that we are obliged to Mr. Dryden for the tranflation.

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Round the wide world in banishment we roam,
Forc'd from our pleasing fields and native home;
While stretch'd at eafe you fing your happy loves,
And Amaryllis fills the fhady groves.


Thefe bleffings, friend, a Deity beftow'd;
For never can I deem him lefs than God.
The tender firflings of my woolly breed
Shall on his holy altar often bleed.
He gave me kine to graze the flow'ry plain,
And fo my pipe renew'd the rural ftrain.

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I envy not your fortune, but admire,

That while the raging fword and wasteful fire
Destroy the wretched neighbourhood around,
No hoftile arms approach your happy ground.
Far diff'rent is my fate, my
feeble goats
With pains I drive from their forfaken cotes:
And this you fee I fcarcely drag along,
Who yeaning on the rocks has left her young,
The hope and promise of my falling fold,
My lofs by dire portents the Gods foretold;
For, had I not been blind, I might have seen
Yon riven oak, the fairest on the green,
And the hoarse raven on the blafted bough
By croaking from the left prefag'd the coming blow.
But tell me, Tityrus, what heav'nly power

Preferv'd your fortunes in that fatal hour?


Fool that I was, I thought imperial Rome

Like Mantua, where on market-days we come :
And thither drive our tender lambs from home.

So kids and whelps their fires and dams exprefs;

And fo the great I measur'd by the lefs:

But country-towns, compar'd with her, appear

Like fhrubs when lofty cypreffes are near.


What great occasion call'd you hence to Rome?



Freedom, which came at length, tho' flow to come:

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