Of Lyric Tell June his fire and crimson dies,

he seems to have had a psalm of David in his view, Of Lyric Poetry. By Harriot's blush, and Harriot's eyes,

which says, that “the heavens declare the glory of God, Poetry. Eclips’d and vanquisb’d, fade away ;

and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
Tell August, thou canst let him see

The spacious firmament on high,
A richer, riper fruit than he,

With all the blue ethereal sky,
A sweeter flow'r than May.

And spangled heav’ns, a shining frame, A pastoral The ensuing ode, written by Mr Collins on the death

Their great original proclaim :
and elegiac of Mr Thomson, is of the pastoral and elegiac kind, and TH' unwearied sun, from day to day,

both picturesque and pathetic. To perceive all the beau Does his Creator's pow'r display,
ties of this little piece, which are indeed many, we must And publishes to ev'ry land
suppose them to have been delivered on the river Thames

The work of an Almighty hand.
near Richmond.

Soon as the ev’ning shades prevail,
In yonder grave a Druid lies,

The moon takes up the wond'rous tale,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave ;

And nightly to the list'ning earth
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise

Repeats the story of her birth :
To deck its poet's silvan grave!

While all the stars that round her burn,
In yon deep bed of whisp’ring reeds

And all the planets in their turn,
# The harp
His airy harp * shall now be laid,

Confirm the tidings as they roll, of Æolus. That be, whose heart in sorrow bleeds,

And spread the truth from pole to pole.
May love through life the soothing shade.

What tho’in solemn silence all
Then maids and youths shall linger here,

Move round the dark terrestrial ball ?
And, while its sounds at distance swell,

What tho' no real voice or sound
Shall sadly seem io pity's ear

Amid their radiant orbs he found?
To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.

In reason's ear they all rejoice,
Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore,

And utter forth a glorious voice,
When Thames in summer wreaths is drest,

For ever singing, as they shine,
And oft suspend the dashing oar,

The hand that made us is divine.”
To bid his gentle spirit rest!

The following pastoral hymn is a version of the 23d
And oft as ease and health retire

Psalm by Mr Addison ; the peculiar beauties of which
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,

have occasioned many translations ; but we have seen | Rich The friend shall view yon whitening spiret,

none that is so poetical and perfect as this. And in mond And ’mid the varied landscape weep.

justice to Dr Boyce, we must observe, that the music church. But thou, who own'st that earthy bed,

he has adapted to it is so sweet and expressive, that we Ab! what will ev'ry dirge avail ?

know not which is to be most admired, the poet or the.
Or tears, which love and pity shed,

That mourn beneath the gliding sail ?
Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye,

The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimm’ring near?

And feed me with a shepherd's care ;
With him, sweet bard, may fancy die,

His presence shall my wants supply,
And joy desert the blooming year.

And guard me with a watchful eye ;
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide

My noon-day walks he shall attend,
No sedge-crown’d sisters now attend,

And all my midnight hours defend.
Now waft me from the green hill's side,

When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend.

Or on the thirsty mountain pant,
And see, the fairy valleys fade,

To fertile vales and dewy meads
Dim night has veil'd the solemn view !

My weary wand'ring steps he lçads;
Yet once again, dear parted shade,

Where peaceful rivers soft and slow
Meek nature's child, again adieu !

Amid the verdant landscape flow.
The genial meads, assign’d to bless

Tho' in the paths of death I tread,
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom ;

With gloomy borrors overspread,
Their binds, and shepherd girls, shall dress,

My stedfast heart shall fear no ill :
With simple hands, thy rural tomb.

For thou, O Lord, art with me still;
Long, long, thy stone and pointed clay

Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes ;

And guide me through the dreadful shade.
( vales and wild woods, shall lie say,

Tho' in a bare and rugged way, 128

Through devious lonely wilds I stray,
In yonder grave your Druid lies!

Thy bounty shall my pains beguile :
Under this species of the ode, notice ought to be ta-

The barren wilderness shall smile,
ken of those written on divine subjects, and which are

With sudden greens and herbage crown'd; usually called hymns. Of these we have many in our

And streams shall murmur all around. language, but none perhaps that are so much admired as Mr Addison's. The beauties of the following hymn are III. We are now to speak of those odes which are the subtoo well known, and too obvious, to need any commen of the sublime and noble kind, and distinguished from lime ode. dation ; we shall only observe, therefore, that in this others by their elevation of thought and diction, as well hymn (intended to display the power of the Almighty) by the variety or irregularity of their numbers as the


The hymn.


17 sea.

of Lyric frequent transitions and bold excursions with which they Smiles in the bud, and glistens in the flow'r OL Lyric Poetry are enriched.

That crowns each vernal bow'r;

To give the young student an idea of the sudden and Sighs in the gale, and warlles in the throat
frequent transitions, digressions, and excursions, which Of every bird that bails the bloomy spring,
are admitted into the odes of the ancients, we cannot

Or tells his love in many a liquid note,
do better than refer him to the celebrated song or ode Whilst envious artists touch the rival string,
of Moses; which is the oldest that we know of, and

Till rocks and forests ring ;
was penned by that divine author immediately after the Breathes in rich fragrance from the sandal grove,
children of Israel crossed the Red sea.

Or where the precious musk-deer playful rove ;
At the end of this song, we are told, that “ Miriam In dulcet juice, from clust'ring fruit distils,
the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her And burns salubrious in the tasteful clove :
hand, and all the women went out after her with time

Safe banks and verd'rous hills
brels and with dances. And Miriam answered them,

Thy present influence fills:
Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed glori. In air, in floods, in caverns, woods, and plains,
ously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the Thy will inspirits all, thy sovereign Maya reigns.

Blue crystal vault, and elemental fires,
From this last passage it is plain, that the ancients That in th' ethereal fluid blaze and breathe ;
very early called in music to the aid of poetry; and that Thou, tossing main, whose spaky branches wreathe
their odes were usually sung, and accompanied with This pensile orb with intertwisting gyres;
their lutes, barps, lyres, timbrels, and other instruments: Mountains, whose lofty spires,
nay, so essential, and in such reputation, was music held Presumptuous, rear their summits to the skies,
by the ancients, that we often find in their lyric poets, And blend their em'rald hue witb sapphire light;
addresses or invocations to the harp, the lute, or the - Smooth meads and lawns, that glow with varying
lyre ; and it was probably owing to the frequent use

made of the last-mentioned instrument with the ode, Of dew-bespangled leaves and blossoms bright,
that this species of writing obtained the name of Lyric Hence! vanishi from my sight

Delusive pictures! unsubstantial shows !
This ode, or hymn, which some believe was composed My soul absorbid one only Being knows,
by Moses in Hebrew verse, is incomparably better than Of all perceptions one abundant source,
any thing the heathen poets have produced of the kind, Whence ev'ry object, ev'ry moment flows :
and is by all good judges considered as a master-piece Suns hence derive their force,
of ancient eloquence. The thoughts are noble and sub Hence planets learn their course ;
lime: the style is magnificent and expressive: the figures But suns and fading worlds I view no more ;
are bold and animated : the transitions and excursions God only I perceive; God only I adore (F).
are sudden and frequent : but they are short, and the
poet, having digressed for a moment, returns immedi We come now to the Pindaric ode, which (if we ex The Pin.
ately to the great object that excited his wonder, and cept the hymns in the Old Testament, the psalms of daric ode,
elevated his soul with joy and gratitude. The images King David, and such hymns of the Hindoos as that
fill the mind with their greatness, and strike the imagi- just quoted) is the most exalted part of lyric poetry;
nation in a manner not to be expressed.

and was so called from Pindar, an ancient Greek poet,
If there be any thing that in sublimity approaches to who is celebrated for the boldness of his flights, the im-
it, we must look for it in the east, where perhaps we petuosity of his style, and the seeming wildness and ir-
shall find nothing superior to the following Hindoo regularity that runs through his compositions, and which
hymn to Narrayna, or the spirit of God," taken, as are said to be the effect of tbe greatest ait. See Pin.
Sir William Jones informs us, from the writings of the DAR.
ancient Bramins.

The odes of Pindar were held in such high estima

tion by the ancients, that it was fabled, in honour of Spirit of spirits, who, through every part

their sweetness, that the bees, while he was in the cradle, Of space expanded, and of endless time,

brought boney to his lips : nor did the victors at the Beyond the reach of lab'ring thought sublime, Olympic and other games think the crown a sufficient : Bad'st uproar into beauteous order start;

reward for their merit, unless their achievements were
Before heav'n was, thou art.

celebrated in Pindar's songs; most wisely presaging,
Ere spheres beneath us roll'd, or spheres above, that the first would decay, but the other would endure
Ere earth in firmamental æther burg,
Thon sat’st alone, till, through thy mystic love, This poet did not always write his odes in the same
Things unexisting to existence sprung,

measure, or with the same intention with regard to their
And grateful descant sung.

being sung. For the ode inscribed to Diagoras (tbe Omniscient Spirit, whose all-ruling pow'r

concluding stanza of which we inserted at the beginning Bids from each sense bright emanations beam; of this section) is in heroic measure, and all the stanzas Glows in tbe rainbow, sparkles in the stream, are equal : there are others also, as Mr West observes,



for ever.

(F) For the philosophy of this ode, which represents the Deity as the soul of the world, or rather as the only Being (the to sy of the Greeks), see METAPhysics, No 269. and Philosophy, No 6.

Of Lyric made up of strophes aad antistrophes, without any epode; beauty, strength, courage, riches, and glory, resulting or Lyric
Poetry and some composed of strophes only, of different lengths from his many victories in the games. Lut lest he Poetry.

and measures': but the greatest part of his odes are di should be too much putied up with ihese praises, be re-
vided into strophe, antistrophe, and epode ; in order, as minds him at the same time of his mortality, and tells
Mr Congrere conjectures, to their being sung, and ad him that his clothing of flesh is perishable, that he
dressed by the performers to different parts of tbe au must e'er long be clothed with earth, the end of all
dience. " They were sung (says he) by a chorus, and things; and yet, continues he, it is but justice to praise
adapted to the lyre, and sometimes to the lyre and pipe. and celebrate the worthy and deserving, who from good
Thev consisted oftenest of three stanzas. 'The first was citizens ought to receive all kinds of honour and com.
called the strophe, from the version or circular motion mendation; as Aristagoras, for instance, who hath ren-
of the singers in that stanza from the right hand to the dered both himself and his country illustrious by the
Jeft. The second stanza was called the antistrophe, from many victories he hath obtained, to the number of six-
the contraversion of the chorus; the singers in performing teen, over the neighbouring youth, in the games ex-
that, turning from the left band to the right, contrary al hibited in and about his own country. From whence,
ways to their motion in the strophe. The third stanza was says the poet, I conclude he would have come off vic-
called the epodle (it may be as being the after-song), which torious even in the Pythian and Olympic games, had

they sung in the middle, neither turning to one hand he not been restrained from engaging in those famous * Vid. Pref. nor the other. But Dr West's * friend is of opinion, lists by the too timid and cautious love of bis parents. to Wesl so that the performers also danced one way while they were Upon which be falls into a moral reflection upon the Pindar

singing the strophe, and danced back as they sung the an vanity of man's hopes and sears; by the former of which
tistrophe, till they came to the same place again, and then they are oftentimes excited to altempts beyond their
standing still they sung the epode. He has translated a strength, which accordingly issue in their disgrace; as,
passage from the Scholia on Hephæstion, in proof of bis on the other hand, they are frequently restrained, by
opinion; and observes, that the dancing the strophe and unreasonable and ill-grounded fears, from enterprises, in
antistrophe in the same space of ground, and we may sup wbich they would in all probability bave come off with
pose the same space of time also, shows why those two honour. This reflection he applies to Aristagoras, by
parts consisted of the same length and measure. saying it was very easy to foresee what success he was

As the various measures of Pindar's odes have been like to meet with, who both by father and mother was
the means of so far misleading some of our moderu poets, descended from a long train of great and valiant men.
as to induce then to call compositions Pindaric odes, But here again, with a very artful turn of flattery to his
that were not written in the method of Pindar, it is ne father Arcesilas, whom he had before represented as
cessary to be a little more particular on this head, and strong and valiant, and famous for his victories in the
to give an example from that poet, tbe more effectually games, he observes that every generation, even of a
to explain his manner; which we shall take from the great and glorious family, is not equally illustrious any
translation of Dr. West.

more than the fields and trees are every year equally

fruitful; that the gods had not given mortals any cer-
The eleventh NEMEÁN ODE.

tain tokens by which they might foreknow when the
This ode is ascribed to Aristagoras, upon occasion rich years of virtue should succeed; whence it comes to
of his entering on his office of president or governor of pass, that men, out of self-conceit and presumption, are
the island of "Tenedos: so that, although it is placed perpetually laying schemes, and forming enterprises,
among the Nemean odes, it has 110 sort of relation to without previously consulting prudence or wisdom,
those games, and is indeed properly an inauguration ode, whose streams, says be, lie remote and out of the com-
composed to be sung by a chorus at the sacrifices and nion road. From all which he infers, that it is better
the feasts made by Arista goras and his colleagues, in to moderate our desires, and set bounds to our avarice
the town-ball, at the time of their being invested with and ambition ; with which moral precept he concludes
the magistracy, as is evident from many expressions in the ode.
the first strophe and antistrophe.


Daughter of Rhea ! thou, whose holy fire
Pindar opens this ode with an invocation to Vesta

Before the awful seat of justice flames !
(the goddess who presided over the courts of justice, and Sister of heaven's almighty sire!
whose statue and altar were for that reason placed in the Sister of Juno, wbo coequal claims
town-halls, or Prytanæums, as the Greeks called them), With Jove to share the empire of the gods !
beseeching her to receive favourably Aristagoras and his O virgin Vesta! to thy dread abodes,
colleagues, who were then coming to offer sacrifices to Lo!. Aristagoras directs his pace!
ber, upon their entering on their office of Prytans or Receive and near thy sacred sceptre place
magistrates of Tenedos , wbich office continuing for a Him, and his colleagues, who, with honest zeal,
year, he begs the goddess to take Aristagoras under O'er Tenedos preside, and guard the public weal. -
her protection during that time, and to conduct him to

the end of it without trouble or disgrace. From Ari-

usual in all stagoras, Pindar turns himself in the next place to his And lo! with frequent offprings, they adore

solemn safather Arcesilas, whom he pronounces happy, as well Thee *, first invok'd in every solemn pray’r!

crifices and upon account of his son's merit and honour, as upon To thee unnux'd libations pour,

prayers to

begin with his own great endowments and good fortune : such as And fill with od'rous fumes the fragrant air.

in oking Around Vesta.

* It was

Of Lyric Around in festive songs the hymning choir


or Lyric Poetry. Mix the melodious voice and sounding lyre,

While still, prolong'd with hospitable love,

But who could err in prophesying good
Are solemniz'd the rites of genial Jove:

of him, whose undegenerating breast
Then guard Lim, Vesta, through his long career, Swells with a tide of Spartan blood,
And let him close in joy his ministerial year. From sire to sire in long succession trac'd

Up to Pisander; who in days of yore

From old Amyclæ to the Lesbian shore
But bail, Arcesilas! all hail

And Tenedos, colleagu'd in high command
To thee, bless'd father of a son so great!

With great Orestes, led th’ Æolian band ?
Thou whom on fortune's highest scale

Nor was his mother's race less strong and brave,
The favourable hand of heav'n bath set,

Sprung from a stock that grew on fair * Ismenus' wave.

* Ismenus

was a river Thy manly form with beauty hath refin'd,


of Baotia, And match'd that beauty with a valiant mind.

of which Yet let not man too much presume,

Tho' for long intervals obscur'd, again

country was Tho' grac'd with beauty's fairest bloom ; Oft-times the seeds of lineal worth appear.


pus, the an. Tho’ for superior strength renown'd;

For neither can the furrow'd plain

cestor of ATho' with triumphal chaplets crown'd:

Full harvests yield with each returning year; ristagoras Let him remember, that, in flesh array'd,

Nur in each period will the pregnant bloom

by the mo. Soon shall he see that mortal vestment fade;

Invest the smiling tree with rich perfume.

ther's side, Till lost, imprison’d in the mould’ring urn,

So, barren often, and inglorious, pass
To earth, the end of all things, he return.

The generations of a noble race;

While nature's vigour, working at the root,

In after-ages swells, and blossoms into fruit.
Yet should the worthy from the public tongue

Receive their recompense of virtuous praise ;
By ev'ry zealous patriot sung,

Nor hath Jove giv’n us to foreknow
And deck'd with ev'ry flow'r of heav'nly lays.

When the rich years of virtue shall succeed :

Yet bold and daring on we go,
Such retribution in return for fame,

Contriving schemes of many a mighty deed ;
Such, Aristagoras, thy virtues claim,

While hope, fond inmate of the human mind,
Claim from thy country; on whose glorious brows

And self-opinion, active, rash, and blind,
The wrestler's chaplet still unfaded blows;

Hold up a false illusive ray,
Mix'd with the great Pancratiastic crown,

That leads our dazzled feet astray
Which from the neighb'ring youth thy early valour won.

Far from the springs, where, calm and slow,

The secret streams of wisdom flow.

Hence should we learn our ardour to restrain,
And (but bis timid parents' cautious love,

And limit to due bounds the thirst of gain.
Disturbing ever his too forward hands,

To rage and madness oft that passion turns,
Forbade their tender son to prove

Which with forbidden flames despairing burns.
The toils of Pythia or Olympia's sands),

131 + A river, Now by the Gods I swear, his valorous might

From the above specimen, and from what we have Distinupon whose Had 'scap'd victorious in each bloody fight;

already said on this subject, the reader will perceive, guishing banks the And from Castalia t, or where dark with shade

that odes of this sort are distinguished by the bappy

characters Pythian

of it. The mount of Saturn I rears its olive head,

transitions and digressions which they admit, and the games were exhibited. Great and illustrious home had he return'd;

surprising yet natural returns to the subject. This reA small While, by his fame eclips'd, his vanquish'd foes bad quires great judgment and genius; and the poet who hill planted


would excel in this kind of writing, should draw the with olives,

plan of his poem, in manner of the argument we have that over

EPODE II. looked the

above incerted, and mark out the places where those stadium at Then his triumphal tresses bound

elegant and beautiful sallies and wanderings may be Olympia. With the dark verdure of th’ Olympic grove,

made, and where the returns will be easy and proper.
With joyous banquets bad he crown'd

Pindar, it is universally allowed, had a poetical and
The great quinquennial festival of Jove;

fertile imagination, a warm and enthusiastic genius, a
And cheer'd the solemn pomp with choral lays, bold and figurative expression, and a concise and sen-
Sweet tribute, which the muse to virtue pays.

tentious style: but it is generally supposed that many But, such is man's prepost'rous fate!

of those pieces which procured him such extravagant Now, with o'er-weening pride elate,

praises and extraordinary testimonies of esteem from Too far he aims his shaft to throw,

the ancients are lost; and if they were not, it would be And straining bursts his feeble bow:

perhaps impossible to convey them into our language ; Now pusillanimous, depress’d with fear,

for beauties of this kind, like plants of an odoriferous He checks his virtue in the mid career;

and delicate nature, are not to be transplanted into anAnd of his strength distrustful, coward fies

other clime without losing much of their fragrance or The contest, tho' empow’rd to gain the prize.

essential quality.

Of Lyric

Or Lyric

With regard to those compositions which are usually Assumes the god, Poetry. called Pinduric odes, (but which ought rather to be di

Afects to nod, stinguished by the name of irre ular odes), we have And seems to shake the spheres. 132

Chor. With ravish'd ears, Modern in our languaçe that deserve particular commen

&c. many odes comdation : the criticism which Mr Congreve has given us

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung; monly cal on that subject, has too much asperity and too great

of Bacchus ever fair and ever young: led Pinda- latitude ; for if other writers have, by mistaking Pinric.

The jolly god in triumph comes ; dar's measures, given their odes an improper title, it

Sonnd the trumpets, beat the drums : is a crime, one would think, not so dangerous to the

Flush'd with a purple grace, commonwealth of letters as to deserve such severe re

He shows his honest face : proof. Besides which, we may suppose that some of

Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, be comes : these writers did not deviate from Pindar's method

Bacchus, ever fair and young, through ignorance, but by choice, and that as their odes

Drinking joys did first ordaio : were not to be performed with both singing and dan

Bacchus' blessings are a treasure, cing, in the manner of Pindar's, it seemed unnecessary

Drinking is the soldier's pleasure : to confine the first and second stanzas to the sanje exact

Rich the treasure,
number as was done in his strophes and antistrophes.

Sweet the pleasure :
The poet therefore had a right to indulge bimself with

Sweet the pleasure after pain.
more liberty: and we cannot help thinking, that the

Chor. Bacchus blessings, &c.
ode which Mr Dryden has given us, entitled, Alexan-
der's Feast, or the Power of Music, is altogether as Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain,
valuable in loose and wild numbers, as it could have Fought all lois battles o'er again ;
been if the stanzas were more regular, and written in And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew
the manner of Pindar. In this ode there is a wonder-

the slain.
ful sublimity of thought, a loftiness and sweetness of The master saw the madness rise;
expression, and a most pleasing variety of numbers.

His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And wbile he heav'n and earth defy'd,

Chang'd his hand, and check'd his pride.
'Twas at the royal feast, by Persia won

He chose a mournful muse
By Philip's warlike son,
Aloft in awful state,

Soft pity to infuse :

He sung Darius great and good,
The god-like hero sate

By too severe a fate,
On bis imperial throne :

Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
His valiant peers were plac'd around ;

Fallen from his high estate,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound,
(So should desert in arms be crown'd):

And welt'ring in his blood;

Deserted at his utmost need,
The lovely Thais by his side

By those his former bounty fed,
Sat like a blooming eastern bride,

On the bare earth expos'd he lies,
In flow'r of youth and beauty's pride.

With not a friend to close bis

Happy, happy, happy pair!

With downcast looks the joyless victor sat,
None but the brave,

Revolving in his alter'd soul
None but the brave,

The various turns of chance below;
None but the brave deserve the fair.

And now and then a sigh he stole,
Chor. Happy Happy, &c.

And tears began to flow.

Chor. Revolving, &c.
Timotheus, plac'd on high
Amid the tuneful quire,

The mighty master smild to see
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre :

That love was in the next degree:
The trembling notes ascend the sky,

'Twas but a kindred sound to move ;
And heav'nly joys inspire.

For pity melts the mind to love.
The song began from Jove,

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures.
Who left his blissful seats above,

Soon he sooth'd bis soul to pleasures.
(Such is the pow'r of mighty love!)

War, he sung, is toil and trouble ;
A dragon's fiery form bely'd the god :

Honour but an empty bubble,
Sublime on radiant spires he rode,

Never ending, still beginning,
When he to fair Olympia press'd;

Fighting still, and still destroying.
And while he sought her snowy breast:

If the world be worth thy winning,
Then round her slender waist he curld,

Think, O think, it worth enjoying.
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the Lovely Thais sits beside thee,

Take the good the gods provide thee.
The list'ning crowd admire the lofty sound.

The many rend the skies with loud applause ;
A present deity, they shout aronnd

Se love was crown'd, but music won the cause.
A present deity, the vaulted roofs rebound :

The prince, unable to conceal bis pain,
With ravish'd ears

Gaz'd on the fair,
The monarch hears,

Wbo cuus'a bis care,
Vol. XVII, Part I.



[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »