Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

uttering of base coin, words not of the appear to us the most elegant and pleas. better age ; to say nothing of small lar- ing; and we cannot but assign the place cenies and petty thests, the stripping of honour to the accomplished prelate other people's children of their fine and whom we have already named. There well-fitting clothes, and dressing them in are two short pieces of Dr. Butler's, with mean and unseemly rags-inadequate the exception of one word, excellent, versions of beautiful originals; the ab- combining the ease of original composiduction of rich and elegant epithets, and tion with close faithfulness of translamarrying them to worthless and unsuita. tion. Perhaps some of our readers may ble substantives; with sundry instances never have happened to meet with the of contempt of court, in introducing un- original of the first, which strikes us as seasonable and indifferent jokes.

well deserving preservation. It is by A., We must begin, however, by pointing i. e, Dr. David Moir of Musselburgh out some of those copies of verses which MOUNT ST. BERNARD.

SCRIPTUM IN MONTE BERNARDI. • Where these rude rocks on Bernard's summit • Hæc ubi saxa vides Bernardi in monte, viator, nod,

Pennini quondam templa fuere Jovis, Once heavenward sprung the throne of Pen- Hospitium vetus, et muliis memorabile sæclis, nine Jove,

Nunc colitur veri sanctior ara Dei.
An ancient shrine of hospitable Love, Scilicet his olim voluit sibi ponere sedem
Now burns the altar to the Christians' God. Religio, et notis gaudet adesse jugis;
Here peaceful Piety, age on age, has trod Utque prius blanda venientes voce salutat,
The waste; still keeps her vigils, takes her Deque viâ fessis alma ministrat opem,
rest;

Et fractas reparat vires, reficitque medela,
Still as of yore salutes the coming guest, Et fovet Alpino membra perusta gelu.
And cheers the weary as they onward rove, Aut quos obruerit subitâ nix lapsa ruinâ,
Healing each way-worn limb; or oft will start, Eripit ex altá mole, vetatque mori.
Catching the storm-lost wanderer's sinking Temperat et Boreæ rabiem, mollitque pruinas,
cry;

Et facit æterno vere lepere nives.' Speed the rich cordial to his ebbing heart;

Chafe his stiff limbs, and bid him not to die. So tasked to smoothe stern winter's drifting wing, And garb the eternal snows in more eternal

spring. The word medela, we apprehend, is not used by any writer of the better ages. The second is from Coleridge's pretty epigram, ascribed, we know not why, to Donne: • Erę sin could blight or sorrow fade,

• Ante malum quam te culpâ maculaverat, ante Death came with friendly care;

Quam poterat primum carpere cura decus, The opening bud to heaven conveyed,

In cælos gemmam leni mors transtulit iciu, And bade it blossom there.'

Inque suo jussit sese aperire solo.'

We shall find presently some of the fanciful tone of Mr. Tennyson's poem, and cleverest of the comic verses bearing the quietly dropped its affectations. He has same signature.

not, perhaps, quite subdued it to classical Of the younger candidates for honour, purity : it still reads considerably below we cannot but distinguish Lord Lyttleton. the Virgilian age. We must be considerOf his compositions we should perhaps ed, indeed, as quoting Lord Lyttleton, prefer that from the Deserted Village 'to not Mr. Tennyson, who, however, might the one which we select; we quote this, study with advantage how much his lan. however, for the sake of variety, an ex. guage must be filtered, and its exuberance ample of hexameter verse. The transla- strained off, before it can be transfused tor has caught very happily the wild and into classical verse :

•ENONE.

• ENONE. O mother Ida, many-fountained Ida,

Me miseram exaudi scatebroso e culmine Dear mother Ida, hearken ere I die.

mater! Aloft the mountain-pine was dewy dark,

Ida, meam, genitrix, mors advenit, accipe vocem. And dewy dark aloft the mountain-pine; Desuper Eoo montanus rore madebat Beautiful Paris, evil-hearted Paris,

Tracius, et in dubio stillabant lumine pinus, Leading a jet-black goat, white horned, white Cum Paris heu! nimium pulchri sub tegmine hooved,

vultos Came up from reedy Simois all alone.

Turpia corda fovens, altis et cornibus hircum
Insignem et pedibus deducens, cætera nigrum,
Solus arundineâ venit Simoentis ab undà.

vocem.

astrum

auras.

cem.

O mother Ida, hearken ere I die:

· Ida, meam, genitrix, mors advenit, accipe I sate alone: the golden-sandalled morn Rose-hued the scornsul hills: I sate alone Aurea per montes roseo fulgore superbos With down.dropt eyes; white-breasted, like a Ridebat veniens Aurora; ego sola sedebam, star

Triste tuens; illum mox albo pectore, ut Fronting the dawn he came: a leopard skin From his white shoulder drooped: his sunny Dissipat obscuras adverså fronte tenebras, hair

Vidi incandentem. Lateris gestamina pulchri Clustered about his temples like a god's ; Exuviæ pardi pendebant, diaque flavis And his cheek brightened, as the foam-bow Fluctibus undantes velabant tempora crines; brightens

Fulgebantque genæ, qualis cum ventus aquosam When the wind blows the foam, and I called Fert agitans spumam, nitet arcus in ætheris

out, “Welcome, Apollo; welcome home, Apollo: Tunc ego, “Mi tandem salve mihi, dulcis Apollo, Apollo, my Apollo, loved Apollo.”

Exoptate diu, salve mihi, dulcis Apollo!" Dear mother Ida, hearken ere I die.

"Ida, meam, genitrix, mors advenit, accipe voHe, mildly smiliog, in his milk-white palm Close held a golden apple, lightning bright Ille mihi flavum, quem lactea dextra tenebat, With changeful flashes, dropt with dew of Splendore insolito, divini fulguris instar, heaven,

Purique ambrosios expirans roris odores, Ainbrosially smelling. From his lip

Porrexit malum, suavique arrisit amore. Curved crimson, the full-flowing river of speech, Protinus e roseo manantia verba labello Came down upon my heart.

Cor pepulere meum : - - Speciosam candida

frontem, “My own Enone,

• Enone, mea vita, hujusne in cortice mali Beauuful-browed Enone, mine own soul, Inscriptum, “ Capiat quæ sit pulcherrima" Behold this fruit, whose gleaming rind engraven,

cernis ? For the most fair," in aftertimes may breed Hoc gravis a pomo surget cælestibus ira; Deep evil-willedness of heaven, and sere Invidaque incumbent sacratæ numina Trojæ; Heart-burning toward hallowed Ilion; Et mihi venturos animi vitæque colores And all the colour of my after life

Hæc dabit una dies. Hodie cum Pallade et Will be the shadow of to-day. To-day

Herâ, Here and Pallas, and the floating grace

Adveniet, liquidæ mirâ dulcedine formæ, Of laughter-loving Aphrodite, meet

Et lepido risu Cytherea, ubi devia surgit In many-folded Ida, to receive

Ida, venustatis magna ad certamina nostra This meed of beauty, she to whom my hand Decernenda manu ; viridem tu monte sub ipso Awards the palm. Within the green hill-side, Speluncam insideas, ubi desuper alta susurrant Under yon whispering tuft of oldest pine, Pineta, et varios spargit natura la pillos, Is an in-going grotto, strewn with spar, Prætenditque hederas : ibi mox celata videbis And ivy-matied at the mouth, wherein

Me Paridem magnas divarum solvere lites.' Thou unbeholden mayest behold, unheard Hear all, and see thy Paris judge of gods.'

As a contrast to this overflorid piece, English poetry, rendered, in our opinion, we select one from a different school of with peculiar grace and neatness:

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

· My softest verse, my darling lyre,

· Molle meum in thalamo cultæ Lavinia mensæ, Upon Euphelia's toilet lay;

Addiderat carmen dulcisonamque lyram ; When Chloe noted her desire

Quum me blanda Chloe, quod erat, cantare roThat I should sing, that I should play. gavit,

Et non indoctâ verrere fila manu. • My lyre I tune, my voice I raise,

But with my numbers mix my sighs; Solicito chordas, vocemque e pectore mitto; And whilst I sing Euphelia's praise,

Sed gemitus inter carmina triste sonant; I fix my gaze on Chloe's eyes.

Dumque audit falsam de se Lavinia laudem,

Totus adorato figor in ore Chloes.
Fair Chloe blushed, Euphelia frowned ;

I sung and gazed; I played and trembled; Erubuit formosa Chloe ; Lavinia frontem
And Veous to the Loves around

Contraxit; cecini contremuique simul ; Remarked how ill we all dissembled.' Et Venus ipsa suo ridens clamavit Amori,

En tria facundis prodita corda genis!

[ocr errors]

To this elegant version of Prior we find own verse. He has by no means usurped attached the signature of another young to himself a disproportionate share of the nobleman, Lord John Manners; and we volume, nor overloaded it with his own observe by the same hand a not less hap- compositions. py translation of Cowper's 'Shrubbery,' of his serious pieces we prefer those

that are brief: we shall, therefore, give We should not do justice to Mr. Drury, two or three of these rather than one of nor show our gratitude for the amusement his longer and more sustained efforts. which his collection has afforded us, if William Spencer's very pretty verses are we did not select some specimen of his turned with much grace :

page 182.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The following is rather longer, but well done; except, perhaps, that it is somewhat drawn out :

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

In the third stanza, we would suggest present Provost of Eton, whom, to say quos sevimus una, as preserving a the truth, we like much better in his sethonght which should not be lost. rious than his playful mood.

We must not omit a specimen of the

[ocr errors]

none

"FIDELE'S GRAVE.

FIDELES TUMULUS. • With fairest flowers • Tuum, Fidele, floribus pulcherrimis, Whilst summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele, Dum durat æstas, incolamque me vident I'll sweeten thy sad grave: thou shalt not lack Hæc rura, funus contegam; pallentium The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose; Tui instar oris, primularum copia nor

Haud deerit, aut colore venas æmulans The azure harebell, like thy veins; no, nor Hyacinthus, aut odora frons cynosbati: The leaf os eglantine, which, not to slander, Quæ, nec calumniamur, haud erat tuo Out-sweetened not thy breath: the ruddock Odora quamvis, spiritu fragrantior. would

Tibi hæc vetustæ more mansuetudinis With charitable bill (O bill, sore shaming (O mos pudori prodigis hæredibus Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie Inhumata patrum qui relinquunt corpora !) Without a monument) bring thee all this; Rubecularum vilis hospitalitas Yea, and furred moss beside, when flowers are Afferret : imo plura : narnque mortuis

His omnibus, cubile musco sterneret, To winter-ground thy corse.'

Brumâque te curaret, ut viresceres.' Since the days when the author of the exquisite beauty of the original, but the Pursuits of Literature brandished his sa- peculiar cast of its beauty, which defies tiric rod over the seventh form boys,'who translation, especially into a dead language. had ventured to translate Gray's Elegy into where the excellence of a poem consists Greek, the same passion seems always entirely in the grandeur, boldness, or to have prevailed, and still prevails, of grace of the thoughts, those thoughts may accomplishing this, in either language we find an adequate expression in another are persuaded, hopeless task. Besides an tongue; and beautiful images may be reattempt to render this poem into Latin presented by beautiful images, if not preelegiacs, in Mr. Drury's volume, we have cisely the same, yet with a close analogy: before us another recently printed by the even peculiar forms of language, though Rev. William Hildyard. How many more more rarely, may be rendered, if not by have passed before us, and flitted into the equivalent, yet by what we may call shades of oblivion, we do not pretend to kindred or congenial terms-familiar, by recollect. We cannot congratulate either familiar, refined by refined, and even reof our present translators on their suc- condite phrases by phrases equally remote sess; but we are disposed to examine the from ordinary use. But where the beaugeneral causes of failure in all who have ty consists in the perfect balance and harmade the attempt, rather than to assume mony between the thought and the lanthe ungracious office of pointing out the guage, and where the versification is in defects (except so far as to illustrate our keeping with the same general expression; views) of these two recent productions. where there is at once consummate art and

It seems to us that it is not merely the perfect ease; every hue of language in

its proper gradation, every word in its who with abundant fertility of imagery, proper place; where all the thoughts, liveliness of conception, and often great words, and numbers are, as it were, tones command of picturesque and musical in the general harmony—then it is that words, contrive to produceno lasting effect, the slightest transposition mars the ef- either leading us through a succession of fect; the slightest substitution forces an thonghts and images pleasing enough in invidious comparison : the least omission themselves, but without coherence, mumakes a void, and a superfluous word is tual dependence, or harmony-or bewilfelt as a clog and a burthen. Even if the dering us in rich and sparkling language, copy could be perfectly like, with no fea- in which we idle away a short time ture lost, no lineament misplaced, we de agreeably enough, but of which nothing mand the life, the expression of the ori. whatever adheres to the memory. ginal. But perfect fidelity is indeed al For the same reason Gray's 'Elegy;' most impossible, from the different idiom like the prose of Plato—and if we did not of the languages, the closer or more dif- remember the versions of Lady Dacre, we fuse forms of speech, the different length should have added the poetry of Petrarch of the correspondent verses; we always -is untranslateable.

This will appear have too much or too little; the version from the comparison of a sew stanzas of is in one place inadequate, in another these versions, selected with no disrespect spun out beyond the proper extent. to the attainments of the authors-(the What is the unspeakable charm of this writer in the 'Arundines,' the Rev. I. H. · Elegy, which has fixed it in the me. Macaulay, is occasionally very neat and mory

of

every lover, we may almost say scholarlike)—but under the conviction every reader, of poetry, since its first that this comparison will illustrate our publication, and even forced reluctant ad- meaning. Take the first stanza: miration from the surly critic, who partly «The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, from prejudice against the man, partly

The lowing berd winds slowly o'er the lea; from mental temperament which could not The ploughman homeward plods his weary appreciate its peculiar excellence, trod

way, rough-shod over the rest of Gray's poetry? And leaves the world to darkness and to me.' There is nothing very profound or origi Here is the version in the 'Arundines nal in the thoughts; they are those which Cami :' might occur under such circumstances to minds of but ordinary strength or culti-· Depositi sonat exequias campana diei,

Incedit lentum per vaga rura pecus; vation : the Janguage, though sometimes Carpit iter, repetique domum defessus arator, wrought out with unsurpassed felicity, is Sublustrique moror vespere solus agris.' more simple and equable than is usual with Gray: the scenery is quiet and do

IV hat sense the translator would give to mestic, neither strikingly picturesque nor the word 'depositi’ we are at a loss to guess, romantic; the imagery is pleasing, but but in no way can it represent parting day, neither very bold, nor at all luxuriant ;

In the second line we lose the 'lowing' even the moral tone has nothing of that herd; and with submission, the transference religious depth and earnestness, which of the wandering, or winding of the herd to some might think inseparable from the the country (vagu rura), is very like nonsubject. It is, we are persuaded, this sense,

How flat for plods his weary way,' wonderful harmony and correspondence the double phrase "carpit iter, repetitque of thought, imagery, language, and domum;' and though the fourth line is cor verse; the exquisite finish, which betrays rect enough, yet how inadequate to the quiet nothing of elaborate or toilsome artifice, melancholy of the original. Mr. Hildyard but which seems to have been cast at is not more fortunate; not one line gives once in the mind of the poet; everything half the slight but happy touches of the poet; in his creation seems to have taken spun. the last adds an image, and that a false one : taneously its proper place; nothing is. Audin' ut occiduæ sonitum campana diei otiose or unnecessary, yet nothing ob Reddii, et a pratis incipit ire pecus; trusive or insubordinate; the language Jam proprios petit ipse lares defessus arator, though perspicuous is suggestive, though

Et passim, extinciis ignibus, omne silet.' suggestive neither vague nor diverting The knell of day, the winding and lowing the imagination into a different train of herd, the slow step of the ploughman, the thought; it is a study, in short, of compo- poet himself

, all are gone ; and the fire is sition, which might be of the greatest use put out exactly when Molly is putting on her to the young poets of the present day, I kettle :

« AnteriorContinuar »