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the production of a purer taste; and when I
Poi che lasciar' gli avviluppati calli,
Gerusalemme Liberata, Cant. xvi. Stanz. 9.
When through the lab'rinth they had made their way,
Still lakes of silver, streams that murmuring crept,
Herbs, flow'rets gay with many a gaudy dye,
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 :
and from the same source did Milton catch the first hint of that work
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;
O, in your gardens love wild Nature's plan;
Did he a load of foreign splendours fling
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,
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