Imatges de pàgina
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Nectens aut Paphiâ myrti aut Parnasside lauri
Fronde comas, at ego securâ pace quiescam.
Tum quoque, si qua fides, si præmia certa bonorum,
Ipse ego cælicolûm semotus in æthera divům,
Quò labor et mens pura vehunt atque ignea virtus,
Secreti hæc aliquâ mundi de parte videbo,
Quantum fata sinunt; et, totâ mente serenum
Ridens, purpureo suffundar lumine vultûs,
Et simul æthereo plaudam mihi lætus Olympo.

MANSO.

Once more the Muses to your praise aspire,
O Manso! dear to the Phæbean quire;
Graced by the God, and made his chosen pride
Since his own Gallus and Mæcenas died.
My Muse would throne you, were her power so great,
With bays and ivy clustring round your state.
Friendship once mingled your's and Tasso's fame;
And stamp'd his deathless pages

with

your name.
Marino next, the tender and refined,
Her child to you the conscious Muse assign’d:
He own'd you for a father, when his tongue
The Assyrian Goddess and her lover sung:
While on the languid tale the Ausonian maidens hung.
And your's were too the latest vows he breathed;
To you alone his ashes he bequeathed.
Nor

you the manes of your friend deceived:
The docile brass his pleasing form received.
Struck we behold him smiling from the grave;
And feel your pious potency to save.
Nor thus confined, your hallow'd cares contend
To snatch entire from death each tuneful friend.
Proudly with fate successful war to wage,
You bid them live, immortal in your page:
Their fortunes, virtues, talents you define,
Till all the man comes out in your design;

Like him whose hand Æolian Homer drew,
To buried genius sensitively true.
Hail then! from Clio and your Phæbus hail !
Crown'd be your locks with wreaths that never fail!
Hail, honour'd sire! in homage to your worth
A youth salutes you from the distant north.
Nor you this offering of a Muse despise,
Who, scarcely nursed beneath her arctic skies,
With basty step has traced the Hesperian shore,
Your towns, your arts, your manners to explore.
We too can boast our swans, whose liquid throats
Cheer the dull darkness with their dulcet notes;
Where silver Thames, in proud diffusion spread,
Pours his full flood on ocean's azure head.
We too can boast that Tityrus of yore,
To

your gay clime the Muse of Britain bore.

Phæbus avows us, and not rude our strain,
Though our night pause beneath the stormy wain.
We too have bow'd to Phæbus, and of old,
Our blushing orchards and our fields of gold,
If ancient lore be true, have heap'd his shrine,
Brought by the fathers of the Druid line.
(The hoary Druid, in harmonious praise,
Hymn'd the blest Gods, and sung heroic days.)
Hence, round the festal altar, band in hand,
The Grecian maids, on Delos' flowery strand,
To Loxo, Upis the prophetic fair,
And Hecaërge with the golden hair,
Whose painted breasts their British birth betray,
Swell the glad chorus and exalt the lay.

Blest Sire! where'er Torquato's victor Muse
Her glorious track to fame o'er earth pursues;
Where'er extends Marino's mild renown,
Your name and worth and honours shall be known.
In the same car of triumph as you ride,
Still shall you share the plaulit and the pride:
Deck'd with their crowns, in all their pomp of state,
Shall pass with them through fame's eternal gate.

Succeeding times shall say, the God of song
Dwell’d, with his minstrel maids, your train among,
A willing inmate; not as once, from heaven
By Jove's stern wrath to serve Admetus driven,
He press'd with haughty step the regal floor,
Though great Alcides there had trod before.
Indignant still he watch'd the bleating plains:
But oft, to shun the rudeness of the swains,
Tired would he seek mild Chiron's learned cave,
(Which vines o'erhang, and lucid fountains lave,
By Peneus' bank,) and there diffusely laid,
Fann'd by soft breezes in the whispering shade,
Would sing, indulgent to his friend's desire,
And cheat his tedious exile with the lyre.
Then rocks would move, the stream forget to flow;
Great Pelion's summits with their forests bow;
Trees, quick with ear, confess the sweet controll;
And fawning pards submit their savage soul. .
Heaven-loved Old Man! to gild your

natal day
Jove, sure, and Phæbus shot their purest ray,
With Maia's son; for no less honour'd birth
Could suit the soul that grasp'd Torquato's worth.
Hence years to you the youth of Æson bring :
Your age is winter, but it buds like spring.
With its full pride of hair your head is fraught,
And keen and forceful strikes your manly thought.
Oh! might a friend, endow'd like you by heaven,
To adorn the bard and judge the strain be given,
Whene'er my Muse shall sound the British strings,
And wake again to song her native kings;
Hail her great Arthur who, from mortals far,
Now

pants for his return and burns for war; Record the hero-knights who sheathed the sword, Link'd in strong union round the mighty board; And break, (if daring genius fail not here,) The Saxon pbalanx with the British spear. Then when, not abjectly discharged, my trust Of life was closed, and dust required its dust,

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Oh might that friend, with dewy eyelids near,
Catch my last sigh, and tell me I was dear.
Then my pale limbs, resolved in death's embrace,
Beneath an humble tomb devoutly place;
And haply too arrest my fieeting form
In marble, from the sculptor's chisel warm
And full of soul; while round my temples play
The Paphian myrtle and Parnassian bay.
Meantime, composed in consecrated rest,
I share the eternal sabbath of the blest.
If faith deceive not,-if the mighty prize
Be fix'd for ardent virtue in the skies;
There, where the wing of holy toil aspires,
Where the just mingle with celestial quires,
There, as my fates indulge, I may behold
These pious labours from my world of gold:
There, while a purple glory veils my face,
Feel my mind swell to fit her heavenly place:
And, smiling at my life's successful fight,
Exult and brighten in etheriai light."

* Mr. W. Gifford, the author of the Baviad, whose probity of heart and benevolence of manners conciliate as powerfully in private life as his poetic and critical talents strike in public, was so kind as to read the manuscripts of this translation, and of that of the Damon. The alterations which he suggested were few, and, excepting in one place in the Damon which shall be noticed, only of single words. The reader perhaps may wish that these suggestions had been more numerous, and of greater comprehension.

At a period long subsequent to the publication of this work, i succeeded in procuring a copy of Mr. J. Sterling's poems, among which I was induced, by Mr.Todd and Mr. Hayley, to expect an excellent translation of the Mansus.-Mr. Sterling seems to be a man of learning and taste; and bis little volume contains some pieces which may be perused with pleasure by the poetic reader: but his translation of the Mansus has disappointed me, and is unquestion

From a passage in this poem, we may discover that the project of some great poetic

ably a very unsuccessful attempt. As it omits, or only suggests a hint of some of the finest passages of the original, it must be pronounced to be imperfect; and while the whole of it is deficient in force, many of its lines are peculiarly weak and distinguished from prose only by the rhyme with which they are closed. Some of the verses however are good; and it may perhaps be placed, with respect to merit, by the side of Dr. Langhorne's translation of the Damon,-apother composition which is so luckless as to experience Mr. Hayley's praise.

If I had a right to make so free with my readers time, I would submit to them the whole of Mr. Sterling's version, that they might determine for themselves on its value: but as this must not be done, I will content myself with transcribing one of its passages, premising that the following eight verses are to supply the place of no less than twenty-one beautiful lines of the original, from “ Fortunate senex," to Mulcenturque novo maculosi carmine lynces."

“O happy sage, thy name shall ever live:

Remotest climes the meed of praise shall give;
Wheree'er Torquato shall be haird divine;
Wheree'er Marino's growing fame shall shine.
Cinthius himself thy festive board has graced :
The laurella Muses round their God were placed:
And wit refined, and manly sense were there;
With bright-eyed fancy, fairest of the fair.

In a note annexed to his translation, Mr. S. has anticipated me in the censure of Mr. Warton's comment on “ Mycalen qui Datus ad altam;" the erroneousness of which is so palpable as to be obvious to any reader who has passed the threshold of classical literature. Why should Mr. S. falsify the quantity of the penalt in Mycale, in the following very poor lines?

“ Born near sublime Mycale, history's sire,

Thus paints with eloquence the Homeric lyre."

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