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O'er Idalia's velvet green
Now in circling troops they meet :
Glance their many-twinkling feet. Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay. With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins ber easy way: O’er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills await! Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain, Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate! The fond complaint, my song, disprove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he giv’n in vain the heav'nly muse? Night and all her sickly dews,
Ver. 42. Man's feeble race what ills await] To compensate the real and imaginary ills of life, the muse was given to mankind by the same Providence that sends the day, by its cheerful presence, to dispel the gloom and terrors of the night.
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
II. 2. In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shiv'ring native's dull abode. And oft, bencath the od'rous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat, In loose numbers wildly sweet, Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursue, and gen'rous shame, Th’unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Ver. 54. In climes beyond the solar road] Extensive influence of poetic genius over the remotest and most uncivilized nations : its connection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally attend on it. (See the Erse, Norwegian, and Welsh fragments, the Lapland and American songs, &c.]
“Extra anni solisque vias—"
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves In lingering lab'rinths creep,
How do your tuncful echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of anguish! Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breath'd around;
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought,oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coasta
Ver. 66. Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep] Progress of Poetry from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England. Chaucer was not unacquainted with the writings of Dante or of Petrarch. The Earl of Surry and Sir Thomas Wyatt had travelled in Italy, and formed their taste there. Spenser imitated the Italian writers ; Milton improved on them : but this. school expired soon after the Restoration, and a new one arose on the French model, which has subsisted ever since.
Gray has been long dead, the Poets of the present day rather imitate the Italian and early English Poets than the French.
Ver. 84. In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid] “Nature's darling,” SHAKSPEARE.
Wbat time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
He pass’d the flaming bounds of place and time:
[ing pace. With necks in thunder cloath'd, and long-resound
Ver. 95. Nor second He, that rode sublime] Milton.
Ver. 99. The living throne, the sapphire blaze] “For the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And above the firmament, that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone. This was the appearance of the glory of the Lord.” EZEK. I. 20, 26, 28.
Ver. 106. With necks in thunder cloath'd] “Hast thou cloathed bis neck with thunder?" JOB.—This verse and the foregoing
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? Though he inherit Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear,
Through the azure deep of air:
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray,
Yet shall be mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, Beneath the Good how far,.but far above the Great.
are meant to express the stately march and sounding energy of Dryden's rhymes.
Ver. 111. But ah! 'tis heard no more] We have had in our language no other odes of the sublime kind than that of Dryden on St. Cecilia's Day; for Cowley, wbo had merit, yet wanted judgment, style, and harmony, for such a task. That of Pope is not worthy of so great a man. Mr. Mason indeed, of late days, has touched the true chords, and with a masterly band, in some of bis choruses; above all in the last of Carac
“Hark! heard ye not yon footstep dread?” &c. Ver. 115. That the Theban eagle bear] Acos argós ögrexa Señor. OLYMP. 11. 159. Pindar compares himself to that bird, and his eneinies to ravens that croak and clamour in vain below, while it pursues its flight, regardless of their noise.