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His lovely limbs the filver waves divide,
His limbs appear more lovely through the tide,;
Receive a gloffy lustre from the glass,
"He's mine, he's all my own," the Naïad cries;
The more the clapt, and kist the struggling boy.
Around the foe his twirling tail he flings,
And twifts her legs, and writhes about her wings.
To free himfelf, and still refus'd her love.
So pray'd the nymph, nor did the pray in vain :
Laft in one face are both their faces join'd,
A fingle body with a double fex.
'The boy, thus loft in woman, now survey'd
Supple, unfinew'd, and but half a man!
The heavenly parents anfwer'd, from on high,
And ting'd its fource to make his wishes good.
ON SOME OF THE FOREGOING STORIES IN OVID'S METAMORPHOSES.
ON THE STORY OF PHAETON.
HE ftory of Phaeton is told with a greater air of majesty and grandeur than any other in all It is indeed the most important fubject he treats of, except the deluge; and I cannot but believe that this is the conflagration he hints at in the first book;
"Effe quoque in fatis reminiscitur affore tempus "Quo mare, quo tellus, correptaque regia cœli “Ardeat, et mundi moles operosa laboret ;”
(though the learned apply thofe verfes to the future burning of the world) for it fully answers that defcription, if the
"--Cœli miferere tui, circumfpice utrumque, "Fumat uterque polus———”
"Fumat uterque polus”- -comes up to <6 correptaque "Regia coli"-Befides, it is Ovid's cuftom to prepare the reader for a following ftory, by giving fome intimations of it in a foregoing one, which was more particularly neceffary to be done before he led us into fo ftrange a story as this he is now upon.
P. 106. 1. 7. For in the portal, &c.] We have here the picture of the universe drawn in little.
"geona fuis immania terga lacertis." Ægeon makes a diverting figure in it. "-Facies non omnibus una,
"Nec diverfa tamen : qualem decet effe fororem." The thought is very pretty, of giving Doris and her daughters fuch a difference in their looks as is natural to different perfons, and yet such a likeness as showed their affinity.
Terra viros, urbefque gerit, fylvafque, ferafque, "Fluminaque, et nymphas, et cætera numina ruris.” The lefs important figures are well huddled together in the promifcuous defcription at the end, which very well represents what the painters call a groupe.
"-Circum caput omne micantes
"Depofuit radios; propiufque accedere juffit."
P. 107. 1. 27. And flung the blaze, &c.] It gives us a great image of Phoebus, that the youth was forced to look on him at a distance, and not able to approach him until he had lain afide the circle of rays that caft fuch glory about his head. And indeed we may every where obferve in Ovid, that he never fails of a due loftiness in his ideas, though he wants it in his words. And this I think infinitely better than to have fublime expreffions and mean thoughts, which is generally the true character of Claudian and Statius. But this is not confidered by them who run down Ovid in the grofs, for a low middle way of writing. What can be more fimple and unadorned, than his defcription of Enceladus in the fixth book?
"Nititur ille quidem, pugnatque refurgere fæpe, "Dextra fed Aufonio manus eft fubjecta Peloro, "Lava, Pachyne, tibi, Lilibæo crura premuntur, "Degravat Ætna caput, fub quâ refupinus arenas "Ejectat, flammamque fero vomit ore Typhoeus.” But the image we have here is truly great and fublime, of a giant vomiting out a tempeft of fire, and heaving up all Sicily, with the body of an ifland upon his breast, and a vast promontory on either arm.
There are few books that have had worfe commentators on them than Ovid's Metamorphofes. Thofe of the graver fort have been wholly taken up in the Mythologies; and think they have appeared very judicious, if they have fhewn us out of an old author that Ovid is mistaken in a pedigree, or has turned fuch a person into a wolf that ought to have been made a tiger. Others have employed themselves on what never entered into the poet's thoughts, in adapting a dull moral to every story, and making the perfons of his poems to be only nicknames for fuch virtues or vices; particularly the pious commentator, Alexander Rofs, has dived deeper into our Author's design than any of the rest; for he discovers in him the greatest mysteries of the Christian religion, and finds almoft in every page fome typical reprefentation of the world, the flesh, and the devil. But if thefe writers have gone too deep, others have been wholly employed in the furface, moft of them ferving only to help out a school-boy in the conftruing part; or if they go out of their way, it is only to mark out the gnome of the author, as they call