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Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears;
Ver. 207. Still bears the name] The River Lodon.
Ver. 211. Oft in her glass, &c.] These six lines were added after the first writing of this poem.
Ver. 193, 196.
Ante pedes umbram ; nisi si timor illa videbat.
Crinales vittas atflabat anhelitus oris.”
The wat’ry landskip of the pendant woods,
235 His Sov’reign favours, and his country loves :
Ver. 233. It stood thus in the MS.
And force great Jove, if Jove's a lover still,
To change Olympus, &c.
Happy the man, who to these shades retires,
Happy next him, who to these shades retires, Whom Nature charms, and whom the Muse in
spires : Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please, Successive study, exercise, and ease.
240 He gathers health from herbs the forest yields, And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields : With chemic art exalts the min'ral pow'rs, And draws the aromatic souls of flow'rs : Now marks the course of rolling orbs on high; 245 O'er figur'd worlds now travels with his eye; Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store, Consults the dead, and lives past ages o'er : Or wand'ring thoughtful in the silent wood, Attends the duties of the wise and good, 250 T'observe a mean, be to himself a friend, To follow nature, and regard his end; Or looks on heav'n with more than mortal
eyes, Bids his free soul expatiate in the skies, Amid her kindred stars familiar roam,
255 Survey the region, and confess her home!
Ver. 251. T'observe a mean] This is marked as an imitation of Lucretius in the first, and all editions of Warburton; but erroneously: the passage is in the second book of Lucan, v. 381.
Warton. The passage alluded to is :
Servare modum, finemque tenere,
Such was the life great Scipio once admir’d,
Ver. 263.] Denham, says Dr. Johnson, seems to have been, at least among us, the author of a species of composition that may be denominated Local Poetry, of which the fundamental subject is some particular landscape, to be poetically described, with the addition of such embellishments as may be supplied by historical retrospection, or incidental meditation. Cooper's Hill, if it be maliciously inspected, will not be found without its faults; the digressions are too long, the morality too frequent, and the sentiments such as will not bear a rigorous inquiry. It was first printed at Oxford, in 1633.
Ver. 267. It stood thus in the MS.
Methinks around your holy scenes I rove,
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
Ver. 271. majestic Denham] Pope, by the expression of “majestic," has justly characterized the flow of Denham's couplets. It is extraordinary that Pope, who by this expression seems to have appreciated the general cast of harmony in Cooper's Hill, should have made his own cadences so regular and almost unvaried. Denham's couplets are often irregular, but the effect of the pauses in the following lines was obviously the result of a fine ear. The language truly suits the subject.
But his proud head the airy mountain hides
Whilst winds and storms his lofty forehead beat! Bowles. Ver. 272. There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue.] Mr. Cowley died at Chertsey on the borders of the Forest, and was from thence conveyed to Westminster.
P. Disgusted with the business and bustle of the world, and the intrigues of courts, Cowley thought to have found an exemption of all cares in retiring to Chertsey. Dr. Johnson wrote a Rambler to ridicule his wish to retire to America, and has published a Letter, vol. i. of his Lives, p. 29, which he recommends to the perusal of all who pant for solitude. His house at Chertsey now belongs to Mr. Alderman Clarke.
What sighs, what murmurs, fill’d the vocal shore !