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Milton, in “Comus," has an exquisite song to Echo, which oum


Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen

Within thy aëry shell,
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroider'd vale,

Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well.


Translated by Elton.
Oh my joy, my charm, my treasure,
My love, my pastime, and my pleasure !
Dear pupil! sweet barbarian! thee
Our Latian damsels envying see :
If my young girl's name be found
Somewhat of uncouther sound;
That grating sound let strangers hear;

Ah, Bissula! it charms thy master's ear. Love, it appears, can make the harshest name agreeable ; but one of soft sound is generally thought to awake the gentler feelings. As in a passage in Otway's tragedy of “ Caius Marius":

Lavinia ! O there's music in the name,
That, softening me to infant tenderness,

Makes my heart spring like the first leap of life.
Yet Shakespeare, in oft-quoted words, asks (“Romeo and Juliet,”
Act II. sc. 2):

What's in a name? that which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.

ON DIDO (Epitaphia Heroum, 30).

Translated in Collection of Epigrams," 1735.
Poor Queen! twice doom'd disastrous love to try!

You fly the dying; for the flying die. There is an allusion to Dido's flight, on account of her husband's murder, in the first book of the Æneis, 310, which Dryden translates

Plienician Dido rules the growing State,
Who fled from Tyre, to shun her brother's hate.

At length, in dead of night, the ghost appears
Of her unhappy lord;
Then warns the widow and her household gods

To seek a refuge in remote abodes. And in the fourth book, 630, her death, on account of Æneas' departure, is described:

This said, within her anxious mind she weighs
The means of cutting short her odious days.

Thus will I pay my vows to Stygian Jove,
And end the cares of my disastrous love.


Translated by Elton.
Is there a virtue which the prudent fair
Might wish, that fell not to my Julia's share ?
And hers were virtues, which the strongest kind
Might wish; a manly nobleness of mind.
Good fame and sustenance her distaff wrought;
And skill'd in goodness, she that goodness taught.
Truth more than life she prized : in God above
Her cares were wrapt, and in a brother's love.
A widow in her bloom, the maid austere
Might the chaste manners of her age revere.
She, who had seen six decades swiftly glide,
Died in the mansion where her father died.

Of similar character is an epitaph on a maiden by Marvell, which, though rather long, is too beautiful to be omitted (“ Miscellane us Poems by Andrew Marvell,” 1681, 71):

Enough; and leave the rest to fame;
'Tis to commend her, but to name.
Courtship, which living, she declined
When dead, to offer were unkind.
Where never any could speak ill,
Who would officious praises spill?
Nor can the truest wit, or friend,
Without detracting, her commend;
To say, she lived a virgin chaste
In this age loose and all unlac'd,
Nor was, when vice is so allow'd,
Of virtue or asham'd or proud ;

That her soul was on heaven so bent
No minute but it came and went;
That, ready her last debt to pay,
She summ'd her life up every day;
Modest as morn, as mid-day bright,
Gentle as evening, cool as night;
'Tis true; but all too weakly said;
"Twere more significant, She's Dead.


A.D. 719-A.D. 988.


The following translations of Arabian epigrams are taken from a volume published in 1796, entitled, “Specimens of Arabian Poetry, from the earliest times to the extinction of the Khaliphat, with some account of the authors, by J. D. Carlyle, B.D., F.R.S.E., Chancellor of Carlisle, and Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge." The sentiments of many of the epigrams and poems are exceedingly beautiful, and the English dress in which they are clothed is very graceful.

IBRAHIM BEN ADHAM. A hermit of Syria, equally celebrated for his talents and piety, born about the 97th year of the Hegira, i.e., A.D. 719.

Upon his undertaking a Pilgrimage to Mecca.
Religion's gems can ne'er adorn
The flimsy robe by pleasure worn;
Its feeble texture soon would tear,
And give those jewels to the air.
Thrice happy they who seek th' abode

peace and pleasure, in their God!
Who spurn the world, its joys despise,

And grasp at bliss beyond the skies. The following, by an uncertain author of James I.'s reign, is taken from Ellis' “Specimens of the Early English Poets,” 1803, III, 143:

Happy, oh happy he who, not affecting

The endless toils attending worldly cares,
With mind repos’d, all discontents rejecting,

In silent peace his way to heaven prepares !

Deeming his life a scene, the world a stage,

Whereon man acts his weary pilgrimage. The danger and short-lived happiness of mere pleasure are as expressively as elegantly portrayed in Dr. Johnson's translation of soine French lines written under a print of persons skating:

O'er crackling ice, o'er gulphs profound,

With nimble glide the skaters play;
O'er treach'rous Pleasure's flow'ry ground

Thus lightly skim, and haste away. This translation, which was not the first he made, was repeated by Johnson extempore, after reading one by Mr. Pepys, a friend of Mrs. Piozzi, who tells us in her “ Anecdotes," that the Doctor was exceedingly angry when he found she had asked several of her acquaintances to translate the lines, declaring “it was a piece of trenchery, and done to make everyone else look little when compared to my favourite friends the Pepyses, whose translations were unquestionably the best," as the Doctor acknowledged. The following is the one upon which he founded his extempore :

Swift o'er the level how the skaters slide,

And skim the glittring surface as they go :
Thus o'er life's specious pleasures lightly glide,

But pause not, press not on the gulph below. Though this surpassed Johnson's first translation, that it is not equal to his second all must acknowledge.

A poet and historian, who excelled and delighted in satire. He died
at Bagdad, in the year of the Hegira 302, i.e., A.D. 924.

Poor Cassim! thou art doom'd to mourn

By destiny's decree;
Whatever happen it must turn

To misery for thee.
Two sons hadst thou, the one thy pride,

The other was thy pest;
Ah, why did cruel death decide

To snatch away the best?
No wonder thou should'st droop with woe,

Of such a child bereft;
But now thy tears must doubly flow,

For ah!-the other's left.

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