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Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain,
The immortal huntress, and her virgin train : 160
Above the rest a rural nymph was famed, Thy offspring, Thames; the fair Lodona named; Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast,
The Muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last. Scarce could the goddess from her nymph be
But by the crescent and the golden zone.
172 The fair Lodona. This episode might have been more fortunate in another period, or in another country: it is too antique for the English taste, and too Grecian for the banks of the Thames. Pan also is a lover in whose passion we have not learned to sympathise.
Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves, When through the clouds he drives the trembling doves;
As from the god she flew with furious pace,
Or as the god, more furious, urged the chase. 190
‘Ah, Cynthia! ah! though banish'd from thy train, Let me, O, let me to the shades repair,
My native shades;-there weep, and murmur
She said, and melting as in tears she lay,
The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps ; 205
207 Still bears the name. The river Lodon.
In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen,
Then foaming pour along, and rush into the
Thou, too, great father of the British floods! With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods; 220 Where towering oaks their growing honors
And future navies on thy shores appear.
Happy the man whom this bright court ap
His sovereign favors, and his country loves: Happy next him, who to these shades retires, Whom nature charms, and whom the Muse in
Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please;
He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
With chemic art exalts the mineral powers,
Or looks on heaven with more than mortal eyes;
Ye sacred Nine! that all my soul possess, Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless, Bear me, O, bear me to sequester'd scenes, The bowery mazes, and surrounding greens; To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill, Or where ye Muses sport on Cooper's-hill. On Cooper's-hill eternal wreaths shall grow 265 While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow.
251 To observe a mean. Warburton's loose recollection here gives Warton a triumph, of which he is never slow to avail himself. Warburton had ascribed the origin of the passage to Lucretius: his critic points it out in Lucan's
-servare modum, finemque tenere, Naturamque sequi, &c.-Book ii. 381.
265 On Cooper's-hill eternal wreaths shall grow. The prediction, unlike other prophecies, was farther from fulfilment the farther it advanced in years. The popularity of Cooper'shill has long decayed, without a hope of revival. Johnson
I seem through consecrated walks to rove;
Led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade,
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue.
O, early lost! what tears the river shed,
When the sad pomp along his banks was led!
No more the forests ring, or groves rejoice;
His living harp, and lofty Denham sung? 280
gives Denham the fame of being at least the English inventor of local poetry.' But no people are less tolerant of description than the English, and the fame expired with the novelty.
2 Cowley's tongue. Cowley, disappointed with life, thought, like other disappointed solicitors of the world's favor, to escape its desires, by leaving it behind. His first determination was to put the Atlantic between him and his cares, and withdraw to America. It may be regretted that he did not fulfil this intention: the pictures of savage life, the struggles of rude civilisation, and the grandeur of nature yet untouched by the hand of man, might have been powerfully delineated by the poet and the philosopher. But Cowley was contented with scorning the world at a shorter distance: he took a house at Chertsey, where he died in 1667, of a boyish frolic, in his forty-ninth year. Cowley's life was imbittered by his political follies: idly attached to the Stuarts, whom no man ever trusted but to be betrayed, or served but to be neglected, he wasted the vigor of his days in hazards, which were repaid only with the cheap panegyric of Charles II.:-that 'when Cowley died, he did not leave a better man behind him in England.'