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Ennius to translate the 'Hedyphagetica. It is true that his finished and harmonious verse can preach no gospel to an age like the present, when the freshness of youth has passed away, and criticism and analysis have taken the place of simple and unreflecting enjoyment. But this is no disparagement to him, when we reflect that he was one of those whom the gods love, and who are taken early, and it is as impossible to imagine what he might have produced when the fervency of youth had passed away, as it is to estimate the force which Byron might have displayed, had he attained the years of a Goethe. A man so hardworking and conscientious as the elaborate care bestowed on the finish of his poems proves Catullus to have been, might in time have become something more than the mere literary artist, something higher than the inspired singer of mere natural beauty. But as it is, his verse will always find its most powerful echo in the breasts of the young, though indeed from amid jarring creeds and discordant theories of society, and all the rush and turmoil of modern life, it is refreshing and good for all men to pass to the simple joys of the antique world, to have sight of Proteus rising from the sea, and hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn,' and revel in the pure and delicate pictures called up by the magic verse of the poet. It is through these pictures, with their brilliant though tender colouring, that the name of Catullus will, as he in the confidence of
genius expected, live through all the lapse of hoary time, and hence it is that he will be ever reckoned among the number of those bright-gleaming men of whom, as Pericles said, the whole world becomes the tomb.
CARMEN 1.—TO CORNELIUS NEPOS.
To whom shall I this volume new,
Address, if not to thee,
The trifles penned by me.
And thou their merit too did'st own,
Did'st in three volumes dare
Jove, what a task was there !
And so whate'er its value be,
Such as it is I give;
CARMEN II.-TO LESBIA'S SPARROW.
Sparrow, my Lesbia's sweet joy,
CARMEN III.—ELEGY ON LESBIA'S SPARROW.
Mourn, mourn ye Loves and winged Desires,