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Page 18. O'er Helicon my bleating lambs I guard,] Hesiod is said to have led the life of a shepherd on mount Helicon, where, as he relates in his Theogony, the Muses appeared to him, and adopted him in their service. V. 24.
19. For thee, sole glory of thy abject race,]
Pindar, whose birth the nymphs and Pan are said to have solemnized with dances: we are likewise told, that in his infancy the bees fed him with their honey. He was born at Thebes, the capital of Beotia, a province remarkable for the dulness of its inhabitants, of which he himself takes notice in his Olympics. ib. Oft fir'd with Bacchanalian rage,
The father of the Grecian stage
In terror clad annoys my rest ;]
Aeschylus, who was reported never to have wrote but when inspir'd by wine: he had a particular genius for terrifying the audience; of which the Chorus of Furies in his Eumenides is a remarkable and well known instance. He was buried near the river Gela, where the tragedians performed dramas at his tomb. ib. With longing taste, with eager lip,
In raptur'd visions oft 1 sip
The honey of the tragic bee;]
Sophocles, who, it is said, was able to check the fury of the winds and sea.
Philostratus de Vita Apollonii Tyanei, lib. viii. p. 393.
20. How oft inspir'd with magic dread, By Fancy to the cave I'm led
Where sits the wise Pierian sage ;]
Euripides, who, we learn from Aul. Gellius, lib. xv. cap. 20. p. 418, was reported to have wrote many of his tragedies in an old melancholy cave.
He was ge
nerally distinguished by the epithet of Wise. ib. With patriot ardor i behold
The mirthful Muse for freedom bold;]
Aristophanes, who is esteemed to have been of singular service to the commonwealth, by representing to his fellow-citizens, the pernicious designs of their leading men.
ib. With simpler strains the Doric Muses charm ;] Theocritus.
ib. As Libya's poet hymns his solemn lays,] Callimachus.
ib. The wanton Teian loves each chaster thought disarm.] Anacreon.
ib. Thus, if at Juno's fond request,] Alluding to a passage in Homer. Iliad E, v. 233.
Page 24. Sleep on, much-injur'd hapless swain,
To curse th' insatiate thirst of gain,
And proud Iberia's bloody son!]
Hernando Cortez. See the History of the Conquest
of Mexico and Peru by the Spaniards.
Page 29. Dr. Grainger, who as this Ode evinces, possessed distinguished talents as a Poet, was for some time Physician to the Army, and whilst in that situation amused himself with the translations of TIBULLUS, which he afterwards published; as well as a tract or two on professional subjects. Having quitted the army he attended Mr. Borryau, a West-Indian, as his private tutor at Cambridge; and afterwards settled in St. Kitt's; whilst there, he wrote a didactic poem of great merit entitled the SUGAR-CANE, and the ballad of BRYAN and PYRENE, which the present BISHOP OF DROMORE inserted in his Reliques of ancient English Poetry. From that publication the Author's corrections of this Ode are taken. Dr. Percy is believed to have been the author of those elegant translations inserted by Dr. Grainger in his edition of Tibullus.
ib. Or at the purple dawn of day,
Tadmor's marble wastes survey;] Alluding to the account of Palmyra, published by Messrs. Wood and Dawkins, and the manner in which they were struck at the sight of these magnificent ruins by break of day.
30. You with the tragic Muse retir'd
The wise Euripides inspir'd,] In the island of
30. You taught the sadly-pleasing air
That Athens sav'd from ruins bare.] See Plutarch
in the life of Lysander.
ib. You gave the Cean's tears to flow,
And unlock'd the springs of woe;] Simonides. 31. With Petrarch o'er Valcluse you stray'd,
When Death snatch'd his long lov'd maid ;] Laura, twenty years, and ten after her death. ib. You strew'd with flowers her virgin urn,
And late in Hagley you were seen,] Monody on the death of Lady Lyttelton, by her husband, the first Lord.
ib. To hear the sweet Complaint, O Young.]
34. Such, such, as on th' Ausonian shore,
Sweet Dorian Moschus trill'd of yore:] See his
ib. No time should cancel thy desert,
More, more, than Bion was, thou wert.] Alluding to the death of a friend.
37. Say, does the learned Lord of Hagley's shade,
ib. Good Allen lives,
of Prior Park.
-] Ralph Allen, Esq.
38. Sydney, what good man envies not thy blow ?]
Algernon Sydney, beheaded at Tower-hill, 7th of December, 1683.
38. Who would not wish Anytus for a foe?] One of the accusers of Socrates.
With awful horror we behold
Th' immense Alcides monstrous mould:
Each tender gentler thought inspires.]
The Hercules of the Farnese and the Venus de Medicis. ib. Behold with thee they die away,
To Roman ignorance a prey,] In the year of Rome 585, the Romans, under the conduct of Paulus Aemilius, in the second Macedonian war, entirely subdued Greece, and led Perseus king of Macedon in triumph. It was not till after this victory that the Romans had any taste for the fine arts
Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes
HORACE, Epist. F. Lib. ii.
44. Again they feel the fatal blow,
And sink beneath the Vandal foc.
In the eighteenth year of Honorius, in the consulship of Veranes and Tertullus, Rome was besieged and taken by the Barbarians, under the conduct of Godigisele, king of the Vandals.
ib. Alas! in vain she strove t'assuage
The enthusiast zealot's bigotrage.] Pope Gregory, who ordered all the ancient statues and paintings to be destroy, that there might be no remains of Heathenism.