« AnteriorContinua »
tress, with her birchen rod, thana Grecian hero * menacing with the sceptre of command.
Next his God
Whom be preferr'd' ll. ii. 480. It would seem by this that the Greeks thought that each man had his peculiar tutelar divinity, as every one is supposed to have his particular faint, in some Roman catholic countries, to whom he applies in cases of great emergency. It is a pity the original does not more strongly countenance the idea, as it would tend to illustrate, in a ftriking manner, the fimilitude that has been pointed out between popery and paganism.
Αλλος δ' αλλων ερεξε θεων αιειγενεταων,
Ευχομενος θανατον γε φυγειν και μαλον Αετος. These instances which we have given, of Mr. Cowper's inventing or adding to the original, do not probably much affect his merit as a translator. He should not, however, have affirmed fo positively that he had abstained from every thing of the kind. The following ones of omission stand nearly in the same predicament.
• Then bore Pontonous to every guest *The brimming cup; they, where they fat, perform’d
Libation due.' Odys. xiii. 66. Pontonous, in Homer, (xiii. 54.) mingles, as well as carries the wine, which is offered in libation to all the heavenly deities.
· Stand forth + O guest, thou also prove thy skill
If any such thou boaft in games like ours.' Odys. viii. 177. The endearing title of father with which Laodamas, consonant to character, addresses Ulyfles, is omitted here, and retained by Pope.
The answer which the hero makes almost immediately after to another youth, who had insulted him, may serve to show that when Homer rises, Mr. Cowper sometimes not only vies with his great original in strength and energy, but, even in eloquence and spirit, though strictly faithful, with Pope's highly-finished and animated paraphrale I.
" To whom Ulyffes, frowning dark, replied, Thou haft ill spoken, fir, and like a man Pope, without deviating from the original, improves the meaning, and concludes the speech in a manner remarkably spirited and fublime.
1. 320. + Vid. Hom. Odys. viii. 144. Odys. viii. 183.
Regardless This appears rather too finisal, as does the well-known expression of ipkos c: Tür being rendered the ivery guard.'
Regardless whom he wrongs. Therefore the Gods
Whose bite hath pinch’d and pain’d me to the proof.' When Ulysses draws his bow, it is faid that,
· Thro' all the rings
τελεήεων δ' εκ ημζρετε παντων
ηλθε θυραξε 1ος χαλκοβαξης. . We prefer the original epithet, which figniñes weighty with brass.' The image of its almost piercing through the door, should certainly have been retained; as it exemplifies the strength of Ulyffes, and, consequently, tends to encourage him, and terrify the suitors. Pope has amplified, but not injudiciously:
· The whizzing arrow vanish'd from the ftring,
Pierc'd thro' and thro’ the folid gate refoands.' xxi. 461. Mr. Cowper mentions it as his chief bons that he has adhered closely to the original.? Many exceptions, might here, likewise, be made. Agamemnon thus rebukes his foldiers.
Oh Greeks! the shame of Argos ! arrowv-doom'd!
Il. iv. 283. The original rather fignifies; • Oh Greeks! brave archers (or thooters of fatal arrows), now deserving reproach, have you no reverence for yourselves? Why thus motionless and stupisied, like hinds, who after they are tired with running over the wide plain, stand still, and have no strength remaining.'
Ας ειοι, Ομοροι, ελεγλεες, και νυ σεβεσθε και
No man in all Phæacia shall by force Detain thee. Jupiter bimilt forbid!' Odys. vii. 393: So Aicinous tells Ulysses is the translation ; but the reason he assigns in Homer is, because such an action would be difplcasing to Jupiter.'
--μη τετο φιλον δει ποτε γενοιτο *
- the blue-eyed Goddess as upborne On eagle's wings vanimed.':. Odys: iii. 469. The original is in the form of an eagle. nedopan. Pallas tells Ulysses :
. But I, who keep Thee in all difficulties am divine. Odys. xx. '; 2. This would induce us to understand the reverse of what is ņeant. She does not keep' but preserve or guard (Quaarow) him in all difficulties. Alcinous fpeaks of Demodocus, the Bard, as one,
- whom the Gods have blest With powers of fong delectable, unmatch'd
By any when his genius once is fired.' Odys. viii. 52. This circumstance is neither mentioned by Homer * nor Pope. When Ajax in the Chades ftalks away in sullen silence, Ulylles says,
angry as he was
The sentiinent in the last line is very different from the boast in that which precedes it; and, in fact, is not countenanced by the original. That merely says,
Ενθα χ' ομως προσαφην κεχoλoμενος η κεν εγω τον Penelope thus excuses herself to Ulysses for having suspected his identity.
• For borror hath not ceased to overwhelm
Odys. xxiii. 225. This is a very lax translation, particularly of the last line,
Αιει γαρ μοι θυμος ενα σηθεσσι φιλοισιν
Ελθων, πολλοι γαρ κακα κέρδεα ελευσιν. Amphiareus is called (Odys. xv. 295.) a Demagogue renown'd.' This word is usually applied to those who incite the people to mutiny: and it would have been more appropriate to Amphiareus, and true to the original, had naogowy been ren. dered the Leader or Defender of his people, Jupiter grants to fome people
• Wisdom which profits many, and which saves
Whole cities oft, tho' reverenc'd but by few.' Il. xiii. 886. The original is not perfectly clear ; but no way resembles this interpretation. It might rather be construed,' who polfelles it best knows its use.
μαλιςα δε κ' αυτος ανεγνω" When Jupiter mentions that Juno ! clashes with his counsels, Evexnav, taken metaphorically, as Mr. Cowper says, from the breaking of a spear against a thield,' we have no objection to the word; but we cannot approve of it when used as fyngnimous, which is often the case, for fight or engage,
-υςερον αυτι μαχισομεθα: : Then will we clash again.' The following pallage is descriptive of some young horses whose mothers had an intrigue with Boreas,
and all so light of foot,
Jl. xx. 283.
Αλλ οτε δη σκιρτωεν επ ευεα γατα θαλασσας,
Ακρον επι ρηγμινος αλος πολιοιο θεεσκον: Lines intended to give an idea of velocity should not have been clogged and stiffened by inversions. They are translated very differently by Virgil (Æn. vii. 808.), and by Pope (Il. xx. 270.)
Ουκ αν επειτ' οδυσει γ' εχισειε βροτος αλλος*
• None then might match Ulysses; leisure, then
Found none to wor.der at his noble form.' 269. We should suspect this translation of being 'the reverse to what was meant. Antenor describes the very aukward appearance of Ulysses when he began to speak : you would at first, says he, have taken him for a fool or madman, but so soon as you had heard his graceful elocution, then you would have thought no one equal to Ulysses: you would not have expressed any surprize at his strange appearance.' • Menelaus
with a lance His throat transpiercing while ereat be rode.' Il. v. 685. The original feems perfectly the reverte-εσαοτ’ εγχει νυξε: he wounded him while standing,' i. e. in his chariot preparing to attack Menelaus. The charioteer is immediately afterwards killed by Antilochus, ás Mr. Cowper renders it,' dashed by a stone.' In another place Ulysses kills a warrior ;
- from his coursers' backs Alighting swift,' Il. xi. 515. The phrase seems to imply that he was dismounting, but we are not to suppose that the art of riding on horseback was known, at least practised by any of the heroes, during the siege of Troy. The phrase in Homer is, nal'17 AW aitarra, and might be rendered, rushing on with or from his horses. A particular pale sage, both in the Iliad and Odyssey, may seem, at first view, to countenance the idea that some did ride on horseback at this time. Hector is described, as
- feats wonderful of spear And horsemanship atchieving. 11. xi. 6o9. The expreffion probably favors a little too much of Astley's equestrian exhibitions, but we believe it thoroughly consonant to the original sense.Feats of horsemanship,' were held in admiration, whether they rode or not, during the fiege. A man is celebrated (Il. xv. 825.) for his expertners in springing from horse to horse, when driving rapidly
a chariot and four-could a pupil of Astley's do more? In the Odyssey, likewise, the Trojans are described as