LUCRETIUS, agrecably to his uncomfortable system, has presented us with a different, and more horrid picture of this state of nature. The calamitous condition of man is exhibited by images of much energy, and wildness of fancy.

Szcla ferarum
Infestam miseris faciebant fæpe quietem :
Eje&ique domo fugiebant faxoa tecta
Scrigeri suis adventu, validque Leonis,
Atque intempesta cedebant nocte paventes

Hospitibus sxvis inftrata cubilia fronde. He represents afterwards some of these wretched mortals mangled by wild beasts, and running distracted with pain through the woods, with their wounds undrefied and putrifying:

At quos effugium servârat, corpore adeso,
Pofterius tremulas super ulcera tetra tenentes
Palmas, horriferis accibant vocibus Orcum;
Donicum cos vita privârunt vermina fava,

Expertes opis, ignaros quid volnera vellent Pain is forcibly exprefied by the action defcribed in the second line, and by the epithet tremulas.

. Lib. V. ver.


39 The

39. The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undrest,

Unbrib'd, unbloody, stood the blameless priest *.

The effect of alliteration is here felt by the reader. But at what period of time could this be justly said, if we consider the very early institution of sacrifice, according to the scripture-account of this venerable rite?

40. Ab ! bow unlike the man of times to come!

Of half that live the butcher and the tomb;
Who, foe to nature, hears the gen'ral groan,
Murders their species, and betrays his own to

Ovid, on the same topic, has nothing so manly and emphatical. 6 Hears the general groan,” is nobly expressed, and the eircumstance of betraying his own species, is an unexpected and striking addition to the foregoing sentiment. Thomson has

. enlarged on this doctrine, with that tenderness and humanity for which he was so justly beloved, in his Spring, at verse three hundred and thirty. Our poet ascribes the violence of the passions to the use of animal food. Ep. iii. 156.

+ Ep. ii. 161.

But juft difcase to luxury succeeds,
And every deach its own avenger breeds.

41. Thus then to man the voice of nature spate,

« Go from the creatures thy inftru&tions take;
“ Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield
“ Learn from the bcasts the physic of the field +."

The prosopopeia is magnificent, and the occasion important, no less than the origin of the arts of life. NATURE is personified also by Lucretius, and introduced speaking with suitable majesty and elevation; she is chiding her foolish and ungrateful children for their yain and im. pious discontent. Quid tibi tantopere 'ft, mortalis, quod nimis ægris Lu&ibus indulges ? quid mortem congemis, ac fes I Aufer abbịnc lacrymas, baratbro et compesce querelas,


There is an authoritative air in the brevity of this sentence, as also in the concluding line of her speech ; and partiçularly in the very last word. Æque animoque, agedum, jam aliis concede:necesse 'ft 1."

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Ver. 165. + Ep: üi. ver. 171. Lib, üi. ver. · 975:

42. Thy 42. Thy arts of building from the bee receive,

Learn of the molc to plow, the wom to weave

The Romans have left us scarcely any piece of poetry so striking and original, as the beginning and progress of arts at the end of the fifth book of Lucretius f. I Thall at present confine myself to transcribe his beautiful account of the rise of music.

At liquidas avium voces imitarier ore
Ante fuit multo, quam lævia carmina cantu
Concelebrare homines possent, aureisque juvare,
Et zephyri cava per calamorum fibila primum
Agrestes docuere cavas inilare cicutas.
Inde minutatim dulceis didicere querelas,
Tibia quas fundit digitis pulsata canentum,
Avia per nemora, ac sylvas faltusque reperta,

Per loca pastorum deserta, atque otia -dia 1.
43. He from the wond'ring furrow call’d the food,

Taught to command the fire, controul the flood,
Draw forth the monsters of th' abyss profound,
Or fetch the aerial eagle to the ground g.

Ver. 175:

+ The Persians, it is said, distinguish the different degrees of the ftrength of fancy in different poets, by calling shem, painters or sculptors. Lucretius, from the force of bis images, lould be ranked among the latter. He is, in prath, a SCULPTOR-POET. His images have a bold relief. I Lib. v. ver. 1378.

Ver. 2'19.


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A FINER example can perhaps scarce be given of a compact and comprehensive stile *. The manner in which the four clements were subdued is comprised in these four lines alonę. Pope is here, as Quintilian says. of another, densus et brevis et instans Gbi. There is not an useless word in this passage; there are but three cpithets, wondering, profound, aerial; and they are placed precisely with the very substantive that is of most consequence : if there had been epithets joined with the other substantives, it would have weakened the nervoufness of the sentence. This was a secret of versification Pope well understood, and hath often practised with peculiar success.

14. Who first taught fouls endav'd, and realms undone,

Th' ENORMOUS faith of many made for one t.

“ QUAND les sauvages de la Louisiane veulent avoir du fruit, ils coupent l'arbre

• We have here what Dionyfius fays of Alcægs, idy μετα pete denotnto, “ Sweetness with frength.” Edit. Syl

. burg, p. 69. tom. ü.

+ Ver. 241.


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