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How can thy hoofs, so heavy, steer with ease. NONNUS (DIONYS. b. i.) hath imitated this part of Europa's fpeech:
Οφθαλμοι, τι το θαύμα; ποθεν ποσι κυματα τέμνων
This fentiment is put into the mouth of a mariner, astonished at feeing the bull swimming over the broad ocean. Here all is natural. The copy furpaffes the original. For, what can be more improper than thefe expreffions of admiration in EUROPA, though a spectator (as in NONNUS) might exprefs his wonder, with propriety, at the bull's miraculous appearance on the waters? The fears of EUROPA fhould, at firft, have precluded utterance. And, when she began to speak, fhe ought to have spoken in terms of extreme agitation and diftrefs. She feems, however, quite at her eafe-at leisure for fimilies and conjectures; and, in the midst of her pretty failing expedition, indulges her more excurfive fancy with the prospect of an aërial route.
CLAUDIAN'S PROSERPINE, on her way to the infernal regions, begins her speech, fomewhat to the purpose. Her oration, however, is much too long; and, at its close, degenerates into bombastic description.
Courage, dear nymph
PLUTO'S confolatory addrefs to PROSERPINE, in CLAUDIAN,* (fee zd book) is one of the finest passages in all his works.
*See 'POEMS BY GENTLEMEN OF DEVONSHIRE AND CORNWALL," where is a tranflation of Claudian's Rape of Proferpine. Vol. ii. p..115.
IDYLLIUM the THIRD.
Ye flowers, breathe fickly fweets o'er BION's grave.
'HE distress of a modern Greek lady, on the death of her brother, is finely reprefented in M. Guy's entertaining Memoirs. Her expreffions of forrow are in the fame romantic ftrain with the elegy before us: but they affect us with all the force of genuine pathos. The reafon is-the Greek lady's elegy contains particular allufions. The flowers, &c. which she invokes (in fact every thing around her) have an obvious reference to the perfon fhe laments. The garden of the deceased is thus defcribed: The sea was feen from this garden, which was ornamented by beautiful flowers, fruit-trees, and an area full of birds. There was likewife a refervoir of water recruited by the sea, in which all forts of fish were kept. This garden, thefe birds and fish, were the amufement of the Sage who had been just torn from his fifter and friends. Where is my brother? (faid this defpairing fifter, as her eyes wandered over the garden) He is gone-has paffed away like a fhadow. Ye flowers which he cultivated with fo much pleafure; ye have already loft the freshness his hand bestowed! Perish with him! Droop and • wither, even to the root !-Ye fish, fince ye have no longer a mafter nor a friend, to watch over your prefervation, return ye to the great waters! Return and feek uncertain life!—And ye little birds, if ye may furvive your grief, accompany my fighs • with your plaintive fongs! Thou peaceful ocean, whofe surface
begins to be disturbed, art thou also fenfible to my farrows?› Then turning towards her flaves, she faid: Weep, my children,
weep! Ye have loft one who was kinder than a father to you! • My brother is no more! These haunts, which his presence ren• dered fo delightful, must now become the refidence of gloom • and affliction!'
Expand, pale hyacinth, thy letter'd leaf,
The hyacinth bewrays the doleful Ai,
The trees refign'd their fruitage at thy death.
The following lines from GAY's fifth pastoral are a good specimen of the mock elegiac, and no bad burlesque of the above.
Henceforth the morn fhall dewy forrows shed,
Let us, however, compofing our countenances to a becoming gravity, recollect old SPENSER'S numbers, which are meant as a ferious imitation of the Greek elegiaft,
The faded locks fall from the lofty oak,
The flouds do gafp, for dried is their fource,
And flouds of tears flow in their stead perforce,
Their fundry colours torn.
The feeble flocks in field refufe their former food,
The beafts in foreft wail, as they were wood,
Not with more grief the dolphin fill'd the feas.
It is among the ftories of ancient naturalifts, as well as poets, that the dolphin is delighted with mufic. The fiction was not only admitted into poetry, but natural hiftory. PLINY hath recorded feveral examples of the dolphin's mufical ear, and benevolent feelings: See book ix. c. 8.
ÆLIAN hath given us, in his lively manner, many little detached hiftories of the dolphin. He relates in his 12th book, c. 45, the well-known ftory of ARION. In refpect to this paffage, SCHOTTUS affures us, that he saw a fimilar inftance of fishes being allured by mufic.
Quod oculis meis fpectavi.
In the "Electra" of SOPHOCLES, dolphins are described as gamboling round the Grecian fhips. The paffage in our author alludes (according to LONGEPIERRE) to the ftory of HESIOD, which is recorded in PLUTARCH. We are there informed, that a gang of affaffins, having dispatched the poet, threw his body into the fea, which was received by a fhoal of dolphins, and, on the festival of NEPTUNE, conveyed by them to the fhore, near the city of MOLICRIA. Hence the murderers were discovered, and brought to condign punishment.
Or faithful Cerylus
The Cerylus was a very extraordinary bird of antiquitymuch celebrated for conjugal affection. It is faid that when he grew old and feeble, his spouse was accustomed to carry him about on her wings; and that on the death of either, the fur
vivor was observed to hover over the fpot where the dead bird lay, uttering the most miferable cries.
Or MEMNON's fcreaming birds
For an account of thefe birds, fee PLINY, b. x. c. 36, and OVID, Metam. b. xiii. fab. 3.
Terque rogum luftrant, et confonus exit in auras
The introduction of the feather'd race, mourning the death of BION, reminds the tranflator of a very fingular idea in one of the Gothic poets. His blood-thirsty hero, who had been a liberal benefactor to the birds of prey, was fallen in the field of battle→→ and for him' (cries the poet)
Mourned all the hawks of heaven.
And GALATEA, too, bewails thy fate
The poet here alludes, perhaps, to BION's Idyll. on GALATEA of which we have only a small fragment. LONGEPIERRE.
The difcerning reader will fee frequent allufions in this Idyllium to that of BION, on the death of ADONIS.
MELES, musical in woe.
Meles, a river of Ionia, wafhes the walls of Smyrna, where BION was born. Here alfo was fuppofed to have been the birthplace of HOMER.
and every fwain, &c. &c.
This and the five following lines are a translation of fix Greek verfes which were not in the old editions of MoscHUS. MUSURUS