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The word peteret implies, that the quitting of her country, and going along with Paris, was an act she desired, as well as consented to; and thus much the ensuing poem makes good.'
Ver. 2. The most celebrated river in Troas : it derived its source from Mount Ida.
Ver. 10. The ancients esteemed the art of husbandry to be of all others the most honourable. The hands of princes sustained at the same time the crook and the sceptre. Paris, the son of Priam, king of Troy, is represented in this poem under the character of a shepherd. In our times the care of flocks and herds is committed to the lowest orders of the people. Shepherd and clown are terms with us nearly synonymous; but we must endeavour to separate from them the ideas of churlishness and ill breeding, when applied, as the ancients applied them, to heroes and kings.
Ver. 24. It was a fiction of the poets, that Peleus, the son of Æacus, and pupil of Chiron, married Thetis, the daughter of Nereus; and that all the gods attended at their nuptials on Mount Pelion, except Eris or Discord, in whose presence agreement and harmony could not long subsist. See on this subject, Catullus de Nupt. Pel. et Thet. and Valerius Flaccus, L. i. v. 129.
Ver. 42. The correspondent lines in the original ought to be placed after v. 33, as Lennep rightly observes: to that place (immediately after the poet's mention of Diana) the translator has restored them.
Ver. 79. Apples were esteemed the symbol of love, and dedicated to Venus. They were also
considered as allurements of love, and were distributed among lovers.
Ver. 267, 268. Ismarus, Pangræa.] Mountains in Thrace. The former is also the name
of a lake.
Ver. 269. Demophoon, son of Theseus, on his return from Troy, passed through Thrace, where he was hospitably received by Phillis, its queen, who fell in love with and married him. He having expressed his desire to visit Athens, his native country, Phillis consented to his departure, upon condition that he would return on a certain day which she should appoint. Demophoon promised to be with her on the appointed day. When the day came, Phillis, tortured with the pangs of an impatient lover, ran nine times to the shore; which from this circumstance was called in Greek Enneados: but unable aux longer to his support absence, she, inca fit of despair, hanged herself. See Ovid's Epist ii. Phillis to Demoph.
Ver. 274. A province and city of Thessaly; the birthplace of Achilles
Ver. 296. Hyacinthus was a young prince of the city Amycle, in Laconia. He had made so extraordinary a progess in literature, that he was considered as a favourite of Apollo. As he was playing with his fellows, he was unfortunately struck on the head by a quoit, and died of the blow. The poets have enlarged on this simple story in the following manner:
The wind which blew the quoit aside, and gave it the fatal direction, they have called Zephyrus; whom they have represented as the rival of Apollo. Zephyrus, having received for his kind
nesses to Hyacinthus the most ungrateful returns, was resolved to punish him for his insolence; and having challenged him one day to a game of quoits, he struck the unfortunate youth a blow on the temples.
Ver. 302. From the blood that was spilled on the ground, Apollo produced a flower, called after the name of his favourite youth. See Ovid's Metam. 1. x.
Ver. 331. Antilochus, mentioned frequently in Hom. II.
Ver. 333. The descendants of Eacus. He was the son of Jupiter and Ægina: his offspring were Phocus, Peleus, Teucer, and Telamon.
Ver. 390. The fiction to which our author in this place, and Virgil, in Æneid vi. allude, is borrowed from b. xix. of Hom. Odyss. It is imagined that this story of the gates of sleep may have had a real foundation, and have been built upon the customs of the Egyptians. See the note on ver. 656, book xix. of Pope's Odyss. Our poet has represented these fanciful gates as opened by Night; and with great propriety.
'The ancients (says Sir Edward Sherburne) painted Sleep like a man heavy with slumber; his under garment white, his upper black; thereby expressing day and night; holding in his hand a horn; sometimes really such, sometimes of ivory, in the likeness of one; through which, they feigned, that he conveyed dreams; true, when the same was of horn, false when of ivory.' Some have assigned, as a reason why true dreams pass through the gate of horn, and false ones through the gate of ivory,-that horn is a fit em
NOTES ON THE RAPE OF HELEN.
blem of truth, as being transparent; and ivory of falsehood, as being impenetrable.
Ver. 448. Virgil, En. vi. 278, calls sleep consanguineus lethi.
Ver. 450. Hence, i. e. by reason of the likeness there is betwixt these two affections.
Ver. 464. The line in the original is obscure, and usually misplaced. It is given to Hermione, but without the least reason. It is here restored to its proper place; and is an observation which comes naturally enough from the mouth of Helen. See Lennep's note on the passage.
Ver. 482. Cassandra was the daughter of Priam, and priestess of Apollo. Apollo gave her the gift of prophecy; but on her refusing to comply with the conditions on which it was given her, he rendered it ineffectual, by ordaining that her predictions should never be believed. Hence it was, that when Paris set sail for Greece in pursuit of Helen, her prophecy, that he should bring home a flame, which should consume his country, was not regarded. Her appearance, therefore, on the present occasion is quite in character; and our poet has shown his judgment by the representation he has given of her.
HYMN TO THE CREATOR,
Translated from the Greek
BY CHARLES WESLEY.
AUTHOR of Being, source of light,
Thee, when morning greets the skies With cheeks and humid eyes; Thee, when sweet declining day Sinks in purple waves away; Thee will I sing, O parent Jove! And teach the world to praise and love.