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Per nostros juro, Catharina fidelis, amores,
Per sanctam juro, flebilis umbra, fidem, Divitiis memet, quas lotus continet orbis,
Amplexus longe præposuisse tuos. Heu! breve quam spatium nobis, Catharina, dabatur ?
Ah! cito tristitiæ lurida venit hyems!
Nec vacuum in vita noster habebat amor.
O! si deliciis par mea Musa foret!
Nec fama mulier te prior ulla foret.
Te fide dulcisona, te trepidante lyra,
Musaque, me demum morte tacente, tacet.
Cederet Ophelia tum, Catharina, tuo. Contendant alii bellis extendere famam,
Et decoret magnum palma relata ducem, Divitis. locuples nitidoque superbiat ostro,
Magnaque constructas fama sequatur opes :
Cum cineri uxoris sit mea mista cinis :
Et sola amplexu diripienda nece.
Æternet nostrum connubialis amor.
Qui magis est nymphæ captus amore suæ.
Quem tulit ad manes Eurydiceus amor.
Per tumidas media nocte ferebat aquas.
Non tibi, Adoni, Venus, quam Catharina mihi.
Nec Thysbe, forma, moribus, ore, fide.
Promissam thalamis, Quintiliane, meis !
Quam visa incessu est alliciente dea!
Dulcior alloquiis, blanda Thalia, tuis. Vita egomet cunctos longe præcurrere visus,
Heu! nimium læta sorte superbus eram.
Carpere, deliciis ebrins usque novis.
Talia lætitiis inferiora meis.
Conjuge sat felix, dives amore satis.
Qui querulo fractos obsecrat ore cibos.
Celatasque habeam, quas tenet æquor, opes,
Direpta misero conjuge, pauper ero.
His opibus, lethi tempus adusque fruar.
Mens mea divina religione caret.
Speras ? sit firma spes manifesta fide.
Tristis es ? en ! miseris certa parata quies.
Victaque erit plena cuncta querela fide.
Nam tabulis animi sæcla futura nitent.
ON THE GREEK PASTORAL POET$.
No. IV.- Continued from No. XXXVI. p. 298.]
SECT. XV.-The subjects of Theocritus arranged. As I do not intend to descend into more particular and verbal criticisms on the Idyllia of Theocritus in the present Essay, it may not be improper to give a general sketch of the nature of his subjects, which may be ranged under a very few classes.
The passion of love in some shape or other forms the groundwork of the first Class. In the first İdyllium, or Thyrsis, the shepherd Thyrsis and a goatherd meet. After some conversation, the goatherd promises Thyrsis a reward, particularly a Cissybium, the sculpture of which is elegantly described, if he would sing the celebrated song of Daphnis dying through love and despair. This beautiful song makes the greater part of the Idyllium,'
The second Idyllium, or Pharmaceutria, contains an account of the enchantments, to which Simætha had recourse in order to recover the affections of her lover, who had deserted her. It relates also how she first fell in love, and the terrible effects it had on her : love appears in its distraction in this Idyllium.
In the third Idyllium, or Comàstes, a disconsolate and almost despairing lover, a goatherd goes to prevail on his obdurate mistress with songs and dancing, to pity him.
In the tenth Idyllium, or the Reapers, Milo observes that Battus performed his work in a very slow and careless manner, and is informed that love was the cause. Battus then sings a song in praise of his mistress. Milo afterwards sings the song of Lytierses, to direct and encourage reapers.
The eleventh Idyllium, or the Cyclops, describes the passion of Polyphemus for the sea-nıymph Galatea, and how he consoled himself for her scorn by music and poetry.
The fourteenth Idyllium, or Thyonichus, describes the jealousy, and invincible love of Thyonichus, after his wife had left him, and gone off with another man.
The eighteenth is an Epithalamium for Helen, when she was married to Menelaus.
The subject of the nineteenth is Cupid stung by a bee, imitated from Anacreon.
A herdsman slighted by a saucy city-girl affords our amusement in the twentieth Idyllium. The lady is pleasant and satirical in ber repartees. However, the rustic afterwards consoles himself by praising his own person and accomplishments to the skies.
T'he twenty-seventh is a history of a scene of ante-nuptial connexion between a shepherd and shepherdess.
In the thirtieth, the boar who gored Adonis, is conducted to Venus to be punished, but is pardoned in consequence of his declaration that he had done it unintentionally.
' That great poet Stesichorus is said to have been the first who attempted this subject of Daphnis.
Class II.—The Amabæan Idyllia. The fourth Idyllium, or Shepherds, is a dialogue between Battus a shepherd, and Corydon a neatherd.
The fifth contains a rustic dialogue between the goatherd Comatas, and the shepherd Lacon; which is followed by their contest in singing. Comatas is the conqueror.
In the sixth Idyllium, Daphnis and Damoetas drive their herds together, and sing alternately the passion of Polyphemus for Galatea. This also is a contest in singing. They come off upon equal terms.
In the seventh Idyllium, Theocritus, when going to celebrate the rites of Ceres with Antigenes and Phrasidamus, meets with Lycidas a Cretan goatherd, famous for Bucolic Poetry. After a friendly dialogue, they sing each his song. This appears to be intended as a trial of skill in music and poetry. There follows a most luxuriant description of the scene where the rites of Ceres were performed.
The eighth Idyllium is a contest in singing, after the manner of the modern Improvisatori in Italy, between the shepherd Menalcas and the neatherd Daphnis. The prize is decreed to Daphnis.
The ninth Idyllium is also a contest in singing, between the herdsman Daphnis and the shepherd Menalcas. They both receive a prize, Daphnis a tine club, and Menalcas a conch,
The thirteenth Idyllium, or Hylas, is a relation of the rape of Hylas by the Nymphs, and of the sorrow of Hercules for his loss, after a fruitless search.
The fifteenth, or Sicilian Women, contains a very natural description in dialogue, of the humors of two Sicilian women, in Alexandria, going to see the solemnity of Adonis's Festival, which was celebrated by Arsmoë the queen of Piolemy Philadelphus, A Grecian songstress rehearses the magnificence of the pomp, and celebrates Adonis.
The sixteenth, or Hiero, is addressed to Hiero the last tyrant of Sicily, and is written in a high strain of poesy and moral reflection. It complains of the ingratitude of princes and great men to.poels, to whom her es have been chiefly indebted for their fanse.
The seventeenth is a panegyric on. Prolemny Philadelphus, for his noble exvaction, immense treasures, numerous cities, nupificence to learned men, &c.
The twenty-second is a long Hymn in praise of Castor and Pollux. The beginning of it is particularly sublime, and as such has been already quoted in this Essay. The first part of the hymnu
contains an animated description of the pugilistic combat between Pollux and Amycus king of the Bebryciáns. The second part contains an account of the pursuit of Lynceus and [das after Castor and Pollux, who had carried off Phoebe and Talaira, the daughters of Leucippus, who had been betrothed to Lynceus and Idas. Castor kills. Lynceus, and Idas is slain by lightning.
The twenty-fourth, or Young Hercules, relates in noble language, how Hercules, when only ten months old, slew two monstrous serpents, whicb Juno had sent to devour him. It then relates the prophecy of Tiresias, and gives an account of the education of Hercules.
The twenty-fifth Idyllium, or Hercules the Lion-killer, which wants the beginning, is the longest and perhaps the noblest performance of Theocritus now.extant. · Hercules visits Augeas king of Elis, a great pastoral and as it were patriarchal monarch. The first part of this Idyllium is entirely pastoral, containing noble descriptions of meadows, pastures, hills, vales, corn-lands, vineyards, rivers, shepherds, berdsmen, and their stalls and dogs, flocks and herds innumerable.-The second part relates, in the most animated and picturesque manner, how he had slain the Nemean lion.
The twenty-sixth contains an account how : Pentheus was torn to pieces by his own mother Agave and his aunts, for slighting the rites of Bacchus ; a savage subject, though it has had its admirers.
The twenty-eighth, or Distaff, is elegant and airy. Theocritus going to visit his friend Nicias, the Milesian physician, carries with him an ivory distaff, as a present for his wife Theugevis.
A few detached Idyllia. The twenty-first Idyllium is an unique, aud may be considered as a Piscatory Eclogue. It is beautiful for simplicity of sentiment and character.
The twelfth, the twenty-third, and twenty-ninth Idyllia cannot be here described, on account of the nefarious nature of their subject, though they contain some beautiful passages. The morals of his age and country must be the sole apology for Theocritus, for describing such an amazing and inconceivable perversion of natural sentiment. Perhaps however the twelfth may imply nothing more than the celebrated Cretan Friendship.'
SECT. XVI.--Of Moschus and Bion. Of the Greek Pastoral Poets that succeeded Theocritus, Bion and Moschus are the only two of whom we have any remains. If we however believe those verses to be genuine, which have been inserted where there was a chasm in the Elegy of Moschus