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NOTES

O N

and

THEOCRITUS.

IDYLLIUM the FIRST.

LINE I.

YON' breezy Pine, whofe foliage fhades the springs,

In many a vocal whifper fweetly fings.

Αδυ τι το Ψιθυρισμα και απίτυς, αιπολε, την,
Α πολι ταις παγαισι, μελίσδεταί.

In this first line, there is an inimitable sweetness. The word Yupio finely expreffes the whispering of the pine-tree. It properly fignifies to whifper foftly in the ear. Elupiodones adu, Εψιθυρίσδομες and αλληλοις Ψιθυριζον are to be thus underftood, in the fecond and twenty-feventh Idyllia. In VIRGIL's Imitations, we have argutumque nemus pinofque loquentes,

Sæpe levi fomnum fuadebit inire fufurro.

These lines correfpond with the above; but the following verses from POPE's Eloifa (which FAWKES hath adduced in comparison) express a melancholy murmur, inftead of a gentle whispering. They move with flow folemnity; not with dactyl lightness. They do not lull to repofe; but awaken to fear.

The

The darkfome pines that o'er yon' rocks reclin'd
Wave high, and murmur to the hollow wind.

The first two lines in THEOCRITUS may be regarded as echoes to the fenfe; but in our author, a fentence containing a very vulgar idea, not unfrequently flows in fuch a cadence of melody, as to leave the delufive impreffion of an elegant fimplicity on the mind. Thus, happily, the found predominates over the sense, at thofe places, where the latter might otherwife difguft, by its rudeness or rufticity,

LINE 12.

Sweeter thy warblings, than the streams that glide
Down the smooth rock, fo mufical a tide.

It is impoffible for any tranflation to do justice to the original line. It expreffes the smooth lapfe of a water-fall, with a wonderful diftin&tness.

Την απο τας πέτρας καταλείβεται υψόθεν ύδως.

HOMER'S verfe

Κατα δε ψυχρον ρεεν ύδως

rodev Ex TεTρns, &c. Odyff. b. 17, becomes mufical by tranfpofition.

LINE 15.

A ftall-fed lamb awaits the shepherd-swain.

The dramatis persone of the pastoral Idyllia are the BUBULCI, UPILIONES, and CAPRARII. To the first was affigned the care of oxen; to the second, that of fheep; and to the third, the care of goats. The rank of these characters was in the order in which we have mentioned them. WARTON.

LINE 23.

'Tis PAN we fear: from hunting he returns.

The Goatherds worshipped PAN as their preceptor in the art of finging and playing on the pipe; while the Neatherds and Shepberds were the difciples of APOLLO and the MUSES. The Shep

berd

herd THYRSIS having invited the Goatherd to his paftoral feat, and defired him to play upon the pipe; the Goatherd answered, ⚫ he could not do this at noon, while PAN, whom he reverenced as his god, was afleep; but THYRSIS might do it with impunity, because he did not lie under the fame obligations.' The Shepherd accordingly invokes the MUSES, and intreats them to be propitious to his lay. The Shepherd THYRSIS had promised an he-goat to PAN; and a fhe-goat to the Goatherd, the votary of PAN. In return, the Goatherd had affigned the MUSES a fheep, and THYRSIS, the fervant of the MUSES, a lamb from the fold. Such is the diftinction of character, in THEOCRITUS; and fo accurately is it preserved. WARTON.

LINE 24.

As all in filence hush'd the noonday burns.

The ancients believed, (fays Mr. WARTON after DACIER, on that paffage in Horace, Caretque

Ripa vagis taciturna ventis)

that their gods were accustomed to fleep at mid-day. Hence they attributed to that feafon a peculiar filence and ferenity. Our Goatherd therefore refuses to grant the request of THYRSIS, from an apprehenfion, that he should disturb the noonday flumbers of his guardian deity. In one of the hymns of CALLIMACHUS, TIRESIAS is ftruck blind, as a punishment for his intrufion on PALLAS and the nymph CHARICLON, while they were bathing at the hour of noon at that folemn period, when the mountain was hushed in meridian ftillnefs. To enter a temple at noonday, was prohibited among the ancients, from a perfuafion that their deities were then asleep. The Pythagoreans and Ægyptian fages forbad any one to speak as he paffed at this hour the gates of their temples: the divinity was to be worshipped in filence. Thus are we to understand ELIJAH- And it came to pass at

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noon, that ELIJAH mocked them, and faid,—" Cry aloud: for "he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing; or he is

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on a journey; or, peradventure, he fleepeth, and must be "awaked." This fuperftitious notion of the Gentiles feems to

be

be alluded to in the Pfalms. He who repofes his truft in God, is faid not to be afraid of Δαιμονι8 μεσαμβρινε, as the Septuagint interpreters have rendered it. Thus alfo LUCAN:

• Non illum cultu populi propiore frequentant,
Sed ceffere Deis, medio cum Phœbus in axe eft,
• Aut cælum nox atra tenet; pavet ipfe facerdos
Acceffum, dominumque timet deprendere luci."'

WARTON.

Mr. WARTON's notion relative to the Pythagoreans hath been juftly excepted againft, by an anonymous critic; who adds, that the fuperftition here defcanted on, feems to have prevailed among the Druids.

• Non fub borá meriḍei Druidarum lucos impune intrares.”

LINE 37.

O'erlaid with wax it ftands.

A defcription of the KHPOгPADIA, as HEINSIUS informs us. It was much in fashion (at the time THEOCRITUS flourished) both among the Egyptians and Sicilians.

To beautify the prows of their fhips, fays POTTER, the ancients ufed feveral colors, annealing them by wax melted in the fire; which art was called, from the wax, Kngoyçxçıα, from the fire Eyxavorin. It is defcribed by VITRUVIUS, b. 7, c. 9, and

mentioned by OVID:

Picta coloribus uftis

Caruleam matrem concava puppis habet.

The painted fhip with melted wax anneal'd,
Hath TETHYS for its deity.'

LINE 39.

My large two-handled cup, rich-wrought and deep.

Mr. WARTON obferves, that this cup was a moft capacious veffel, which the Sicilian fhepherds ufed to fill with milk, wine, or other beverage; when they meant to indulge to excefs.

THEOCRITUS

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