« PreviousContinue »
[See Mason's Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 99; and Musæ Etonenses,
vol. ii. p. 152.]
Πόταγ', ώ 'γαθές ταν γαρ αοιδάν
Theocritus, Id. I. 63.
As sickly plants betray a niggard earth,
Var. V. 2. Barren] Flinty. MS.
* In a note to his Roman history, Gibbon says:
“ Instead of compiling tables of chronology and natural history, why did not Mr. Gray apply the powers of his genius to finish the philosophic poem of which he has left such an exquisite specimen?" Vol. iii. p. 248. 4to. -- Would it not have been more philosophical in Gibbon to have lamented the situation in which Ĝray was placed; which was not only not favourable to the cultivation of poetry, but which naturally directed his thoughts to those learned inquiries, that formed the amusement or business of all around him ?
So draw mankind in vain the vital airs,
This spacious animated scene survey,
Var. V. 19. But tyranny has] Gloomy sway have.
V. 21. Blooming] Vernal.
V. 9. “ Vitales auras carpis,” Virg. Æn, i. 387. Luke.
V. 14. “ And lavish nature laughs and throws her stores around,” Dryden. Virgil, vii. 76. Luke. V. 21. “ Destroy the promise of the youthful year.”
Pope. Vert. and Pomona, 108. Luke. V. 36. “On mutual wants, build mutual happiness."
Pope. Ep. ii. 112. V. 47. - Bellica nubes," Claudiani Laus Seren. 196. Luke. V. 48. So Claudian calls it, Bell. Getico, 641. “Cimbrica
With sense to feel, with memory to retain,
Say then, through ages by what fate confin'd
away. As oft have issued, host impelling host, The blue-eyed myriads from the Baltic coast.
tempestas.” Pope. Hom. Od. 5, 303, “ And next a wedge to drive with sweepy sway.” See note on Bard, v. 75. V. 50. So Thomson. Liberty, iv. 803 : “ Hence many a people, fierce with freedom, rush'd
From the rude iron regions of the North
To Libyan deserts, swarm protruding swarm. And Winter, 840:
“ Drove martial horde on horde, with dreadful sweep
Resistless rushing o'er the enfeebled South.” V. 51. So Pope. Dunciad, iii. 89:
“ The North by myriads pours her mighty sons."
The prostrate south to the destroyer yields
Var. V. 55. Heav'ns] Skies.
V. 56. Scent] Catch.
“ The fair complexion of the blue-eyed warriors of Germany formed a singular contrast with the swarthy or olive hue, which is derived from the neighbourhood of the torrid zone.'
." Gibbon. Rom. Hist. iii. 337. Ausonius gives them this distinguished feature: “ Oculos cærula, flava comas,” De Bissula. 17. p. 341. ed. Tollii. “ Cærula quis stupuit Germani lumina,” Juv. Sat. xiii. 164.
V. 54. “ Mirantur nemora et rorantes Sole racemos. Statius. v. Plin. Nat. H. 1. xiii. c. ii. l.
V. 56. Milton. Arcades. 32, “ And ye, ye breathing roses of the wood.” Luke.
Unmanly thought! what seasons can control, What fancied zone can circumscribe the soul, Who, conscious of the source from whence she
springs, By reason's light, on resolution's wings, Spite of her frail companion, dauntless goes O’er Libya's deserts and through Zembla's snows? She bids each slumb’ring energy awake, Another touch, another temper take, Suspends th’ inferior laws that rule our clay: The stubborn elements confess her sway; Their little wants, their low desires, refine, And raise the mortal to a height divine.
Not but the human fabric from the birth Imbibes a flavour of its parent earth: As various tracts enforce a various toil, The manners speak the idiom of their soil. An iron-race the mountain-cliffs maintain, Foes to the gentler genius of the plain : For where unwearied sinews must be found With side-long plough to quell the flinty ground, To turn the torrent's swift-descending flood,
V. 57. Claudian, in his poem De Bello Getico, ver. 504, makes the Gothic warriors mention the vines of Italy: “Quid palmitis uber Etrusci,” &c. “ Et dulces rapuit de collibus uvas,” Statii Silv. ii.; and “ Carpite de plenis pendentes viti
" Ovid. Am. i. x. 55. “ Pendet vindemia,” Virg. Georg. ii. 89. V. 66. “ And as these mighty tapers disappear, When day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere."
Dryd. Rel. Laici. Rogers. V. 91. “ And side-long lays the glebe.”
Thomson. Spring. Luke,