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But from my branching arms this infant bear,
Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care :
And to his mother let him oft be led,
Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed ;
Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame
Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, 81
To hail this tree, and say with weeping eyes,
Within this plant my hapless parent lies;
And when in youth he seeks the shady woods,
Oh let him fly the crystal lakes and floods, 85
Nor touch the fatal flow'rs; but, warn'd by me,
Believe a goddess shrin'd in ev'ry tree.
My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewell !
If in your breasts or love or pity dwell,
Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel

90
The browzing cattle or the piercing steel.
Farewell! and since I cannot bend to join
My lips to yours, advance at least to mine.
My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
While yet thy mother has a kiss to give. 95
I can no more; the creeping rind invades
My closing lips, and hides my head in shades;
Remove your hands, the bark shall soon suffice
Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.

She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be; 100 And all the nymph was lost within the tree; Yet latent life through her new branches reign'd, And long the plant a human heat retain'd.

VERTUMNUS AND POMONA:

FROM THE FOURTEENTH BOOK OF

OVID'S METAMORPHOSES.

VOL. II.

Of all the paradoxes which the restless vigour of his mind stimulated Warburton to maintain, the following is one of the most striking and unaccountable : “ There is not,” he says (Divine Legation, b. iii. p. 337), “a more extraordinary book than the Metamorphoses of Ovid, whether we regard the matter or the form. The tales appear monstrously extravagant, and the composition irregular and wild. Had it been the product of a dark age and a barbarous writer, we should have been content to have ranked it in the class of our modern Oriental fables, as a matter of no consequence : but when we consider it was wrote when Rome was in its meridian of politeness and knowledge, and by an author who, as appears from his acquaintance with the Greek tragic writers, knew well what belonged to a work or composition, we cannot but be shocked at the grotesque assemblage of its parts. One would rather distrust one's judgment, and conclude the deformity to be only in appearance, which perhaps on examination we shall find to be the case; though it must be owned, the common opinion seems to be supported by Quintilian, the most judicious critic of antiquity, who speaks of our author and his work in these words : “ Ut Ovidius lascivire in Metamorphosi solet, quem tamen excusare necessitas potest, res diversissimas in speciem unius corporis colligentem.” And again, p. 343: “Ovid gathered his materials from the mythological writers, and formed them into a poem on the most grand and regular plan, a popular history of Providence, carried down from the creation to his own times, through the Egyptian, Phænician, Greek, and Roman histories; and this in as methodical a manner as the graces of poetry would allow.”-It was reserved therefore for Dr. Warburton to discover what none of the ancients, not even the penetrating and judicious Quintilian, who lived so much nearer the time of the author, could possibly perceive, the deep meaning, and the accurate method, of the Metamorphoses of Ovid. As Boileau said of some of the forced interpretations of Dacier in his Horace, that they were the Revelations of Dacier, it will not be uncandid or unjust to say, that this remark on Ovid is one of Warburton's Revelations. It is remarkable that the great Barrow preferred Ovid to Virgil, as Corneille did Lucan.

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