Obrazy na stronie

the production of a purer taste; and when I
further add, that it forms, as it were, a very
apposite prelude to the close of the first book of
the earlier editions of " Les Jardins," which in-
troduces a celebration of the Paradise of Milton,
an episode of which the greater part has been
admirably rendered by our anonymous transla-
tor. Tasso may be considered, indeed, in the
following stanza, as the very parent and herald
of the art he has so beautifully described:

Poi che lasciar' gli avviluppati calli,
In lieto aspetto il bel giardin s'aperse.
Acque stagnanti, mobili cristalli,
Fior varj, e varie piante, erbe diverse,
Apriche collinette, ombrose valli,
Selve e spelonche in una vista offerse.
E quel, che'l bello e'l caro accresce all' opre,
L'arte, che tutto fa, nulla si scopre.

Gerusalemme Liberata, Cant. xvi. Stanz. 9.

When through the lab'rinth they had made their way,
Before their eyes the lovely garden lay.

Still lakes of silver, streams that murmuring crept,
Hills, on whose sloping brows the sunbeams slept,
Luxuriant trees, that various forms display'd,
And valleys, grateful with refreshing shade,

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Herbs, flow'rets gay with many a gaudy dye,
And woods, and arching grottoes met their eye.
What more than all enhanc'd those beauties rare,
Though art was all in all, no signs of art were there.

From these lines, most assuredly, did Spenser learn to

call in Art

Only to second Nature, and supply

All that the nymph forgot, or left forlorn :

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and from the same source did Milton catch the first hint of that work

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where not nice Art in curious knots, But Nature boon pour'd forth on hill and dale Flowers worthy of Paradise; while all around Umbrageous grots, and caves of cool recess, And murmuring waters down the slope dispers'd, Or held, by fringed banks, in crystal lakes, Compose a rural seat of various view.†

And from the forced display of art which De Lille has just been recording in the regal gar

Mason's English Garden, Book i. 1. 445.

+ English Garden, Book i. 1. 453.; see also, Paradise Lost, Book iv. 1. 241 to 264, part of which passage is here inserted.

dens of France, does he turn, with all a lover's yearning, to this exquisitely natural picture of our inspired countryman. It is a passage which seems to breathe fresh charms from the graceful simplicity of its English dress. Tired of the glare of obtrusive splendour, the poet cal's for what may touch the answering heart, and he tells us,

Aimez donc des jardins la beauté naturelle;
Dieu lui-même aux mortels en traça le modèle.
Regardez dans Milton, quand ses puissantes mains
Préparent un asile au premier des humains,
Le voyez-vous tracer des routes régulières,
Contraindre dans leur cours des ondes prisonnières?
Le voyez-vous parer d'etrangers ornemens
L'enfance de la terre et son premier printems?
Sans contrainte, sans art, de ces douces prémices
La nature épuisa les plus pures délices.

Chant i.

O, in your gardens love wild Nature's plan;
For God himself the model gave to man!
When Milton's hands the bless'd asylum wove,
Where our first parents wander'd rich in love;
Did he with frigid rules each path restrain?
Did he in fetters vile the waves enchain?

Did he a load of foreign splendours fling
O'er earth's soft infancy, and earliest spring?
No! artless, unconfined, there Nature bland
With loveliest fancies deck'd the laughing land.

He then hastens to transplant some of the most beautiful features of Milton's Eden, and concludes the episode with a picture worthy of the divine poet whom he is indirectly eulogising, and tinted, indeed, with the very colours of that matchless artist :

C'est là que les yeux pleins de tendres rêveries, Eve à son jeune époux abandonna sa main, Et rougit comme l'aube, aux portes du matin. Tout les félicitoit dans toute la nature, Le ciel par son éclat, l'onde par son murmure. La terre, en tressaillant, ressentit leurs plaisirs; Zéphir aux antres verds redisoit leurs soupirs; Les arbres frémissoient, et la vose inclinée Versoit tous ses perfums sur le lit d'hyménée. Chant i.

There blushing like the rising morn, while love Beam'd from each eye, Eve sought the nuptial grove And to her youthful lover's longing arms

Obsequious yielded all her virgin charms.

The genial hour exulting Nature hails,

Their sighs ecstatic swell the gentle gales,
Murmur the waves, fair smile the heav'ns above,
And joyful earth congratulates their love;
Whisper the groves, the rose inclines her head,
And flings fresh odours o'er the bridal bed.

In the editions subsequent to that from which the version whose merits we are considering was made, there occurs, immediately after the episode of Milton's Eden, a long description of Blenheim, occupying more than a hundred lines, and including several very beautiful passages; but of this digression, the only notice that can at present be taken, is, on my part, to lament that it had not been inserted in time to fall beneath the pen of the anonymous translator.

The specimens, indeed, which have already been given of the occasional merits of his version, must, I should imagine, unite the regrets of the reader of the original with my own, that he had it not in his power to exert his talents in the transfusion of these supplementary lines; regrets which will be heightened as we advance further in the work, not only from the recurrence of similarly situated passages in the re

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