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with that language. The Anacreontics of Scaliger, however, scarcely deserve the
as they glitter all over with conceits, and, though often elegant, are always labored. The beautiful fictions of Angerianus 2 preserve more happily than any others the delicate turn of those allegorical fables, which, passing so frequently through the mediums of version and imitation, have generally lost their finest rays in the transmission. Many of the Italian poets have indulged their fancies upon the subjects; and in the manner of Anacreon, Bernardo Tasso first introduced the metre, which was afterwards polished and enriched by Chabriera and others.
To judge by the references of Degen, the German language abounds in Anacreontic imitations; and Hagedorn 3 is one among many who have assumed him as a model. La Farre, Chaulieu, and the other light poets of France, have also professed to cultivate the muse of Teos; but they have attained all her negligence, with little of the simple grace that embellishes it. In the delicate bard of Schiras 4 we find the kindred spirit of Anacreon: some of his gazelles, or songs, possess all the character of our poet.
We come now to a retrospect of the editions of Anacreon. To Henry Stephen we are indebted for having first recovered his remains from the obscurity in which, so singularly, they had for many ages reposed. He found the seventh ode, as we are told, on the cover of an old book, and communicated it to Victorius, who mentions the circumstance in his “ Various Readings.” Stephen was then very young; and this discovery was considered by some critics of that day as a literary imposition. In 1554, however, he gave Anacreon to the world, accompanied with annotations and a Latin version of the greater part of the odes. The learned still hesitated to receive them as the relics of the Teian bard, and suspected them to be the fabrication of some monks of the sixteenth century. This was an idea from which the classic muse recoiled; and the Vatican manuscript, consulted by Scaliger and Salmasius, confirmed the antiquity of most of the poems. A very inaccurate copy of this MS. was taken by Isaac Vossius, and this is the authority which Barnes has followed in his collation. Accordingly he misrepresents almost as often
1 Thus too Albertus, a Danish poet:
Fidii tui minister
See the “Danish Poets" collected by Rostgaard. These pretty diminutives defy translation. A beautiful Anacreontic by Hugo Grotius, may be found Lib. i. Farraginis.”
2 To Angerianus Prior is indebted for some of his happiest mythological subjects.
3“ L'aimable Hagedorn vaut quelquefois Anacréon." --- DORAT: “Idée de la Poësie Allemande.
4 See Toderini on the learning of the Turks, as translated by de Cournard. Prince Cantemir has made the Russians acquainted with Anacreon. See his Life, prefixed to a translation of his Satires, by the Abbé de Guasco.
5 Robertullus, in his work “De Ratione corrigendi," pronounces these verses to be the triflings of some insipid Græcist. 6 Ronsard commemorates this event:
Je vay boire à Henrie Étienne
Ode xv. book 5.
Who rescued from the gloom of night
And brought his living lyre to light.
as he quotes; and the subsequent editors, relying upon his authority, have spoken of the manuscript with not less confidence than ignorance. The literary world, however, has at length been gratified with this curious memorial of the poet, by the industry of the Abbé Spaletti, who published at Rome, in 1781, a facsimile of those pages of the Vatican manuscript which contained the odes of Anacreon.1
A catalogue has been given by Gail of all the different editions and translations of Anacreon. Finding their number to be much greater than I could possibly have
pportunity of consulting, I shall here content myself with enumerating only those editions and versions which it has been in my power to collect; and which, though very few, are, I believe, the most important.
"The edition by Henry Stephen, 1554, at Paris; the Latin version is attributed by Colomesius to John Dorat.2
The old French translations, by Ronsard and Belleau, the former published in 1555, the latter in 1556. It appears from a note of Muretus upon one of the sonnets of Ronsard, that Henry Stephen communicated to this poet his manuscript of Anacreon, before he promulgated it to the world.3
The edition by Le Fèvre, 1660.
A translation in English verse, by several hands, 1713, in which the odes by Cowley are inserted.
The edition by Barnes; London, 1721.
A collection of Italian translations of Anacreon, published at Venice, 1736, consisting of those by Corsini, Regnier, Salvini, Marchetti, and one by several anonymous authors.5
A translation in English verse, by Fawkes and Doctor Broome, 1760.6
The edition by Degen, 1786, who published also a German translation of Anacreon, esteemed the best.
A translation in English verse, by Urquhart, 1787.
1. This manuscript, which Spaletti thinks as old as the tenth century, was brought from the Palatine into the Vatican library ; it is a kind of anthology of Greek epigrams.
2 “Le même (M. Vossius) m'a dit qu'il avoit possédé un A nacréon, où Scaliger avoit marqué de sa main, qu' Henri Étienne n'était pas l'auteur de la version latine des odes de ce poète, mais Jean Dorat.” – Paulus COLOMESIUS, “Particularités."
Colomesius, however, seems to have relied too implicitly on Vossius; almost all these Particularités begin with “M. Vossius m'a dit.”
3 “La fiction de ce sonnet comme l'auteur même m'a dit, est prise d'une ode d’Anacréon, encore non imprimée, qu'il a depuis traduit, Lù uèv bian, yenidwv.”
4 The author of “Nouvelles de la Répub. des Lett.” bestows on this translation much more praise than its merits appear to me to justify.
5 I find in Haym's “ Notizia de' Libri rari,” Venice, 1670, an Italian translation by Cappone, mentioned.
6 This is the most complete of the English translations.
Quick from his glowing brows he drew I saw the smiling bard of pleasure,
His braid, of many a wanton hue; The minstrel of the Teian measure;
I took the wreath, whose inmost twine 'T was in a vision of the night,
Breathed of him and blushed with wine. 3 He beamed upon my wondering sight. I hung it o'er my thoughtless brow, I heard his voice, and warmly prest
And ah! I feel its magic now: 4 The dear enthusiast to my breast.
I feel that even his garland's touch His tresses wore a silvery dye,
Can make the bosom love too much. But beauty sparkled in his
eye; Sparkled in his eyes of fire, 2
ODE II. Through the mist of soft desire.
Give me the harp of epic song, His lip exhaled, whene'er he sighed, Which Homer's finger thrilled along; The fragrance of the racy tide;
But tear away the sanguine string,
For war is not the theme I sing.
3 I took the wreath whose inmost twine
Breathed of him, etc. 1 This ode is the first of the series in the Philostratus has the same thought in one of Vatican manuscript, which attributes it to no his 'Epwtiká, where he speaks of the garland other poet than Anacreon. They who assert which he had sent to his mistress. Ei de Bovdel that the manuscript imputes it to Basilius, have τι φίλω χαρίζεσθαι, τα λείψανα αντιπέμψον, been mislead by the words Τού αυτού βασιλικώς μηκέτι πνέοντα ρόδων μόνον αλλά και σου. “If in the margin, which are merely intended as a thou art inclined to gratify thy lover, send him title to the following ode. Whether it be the back the remains of the garland, no longer breathproduction of Anacreon or not, it has all the ing of roses only, but also of thee!” Which pretty features of ancient simplicity, and is a beautiful conceit is borrowed (as the author of the "Obimitation of the poet's happiest manner.
server” remarks) in a well-known little song of 2 Sparkled in his eyes of fire,
Ben Jonson's: -
“But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent it back to me; “How could he know at the first look (says Baxter) that the poet was pidevvos [fond of the
Since when it looks and smells, I swear, marriage-bed]?” There are surely many tell
Not of itself, but thee!” tales of this propensity; and the following are
4 And ah! I feel its magic now: the indices which the physiognomist gives, de- This idea, as Longepierre remarks, occurs in scribing a disposition perhaps not unlike that of an epigram of the seventh book of the “AnthoAnacreon : 'Οφθαλμοί κλυζόμενοι, κυμαίνοντες logia”: εν αυτοίς, εις αφροδίσια και ευπάθειαν επτοηνται,
'Εξότε μοι πίνονται συνεστάουσα Χαρίκλω ούτε δε άδικοι ούτε κακούργοι, ούτε φύσεως φαύλης, ούτε άμουσοι. - ADAMANTIUs.
λάθρη τους ιδίους αμφέβαλε στεφανους,
πυρ όλούν δάπτει με. eyes that are humid and fluctuating show a propensity to pleasure and love; they bespeak, too,
While I unconscious quaffed my wine, a mind of integrity and beneficence, a generosity
’T was then thy fingers slily stole of disposition, and a genius for poetry.”
Upon my brow that wreath of thine, Baptista Porta tells us some strange opinions
Which since has maddened all my soul. of the ancient physiognomists on this subject,
5 Proclaim the laws of festal rite. their reasons for which were curious, and per- The ancients prescribed certain laws of drinkhaps not altogether fanciful. Vide “ Physiog- ing at their festivals, for an account of which see nom. Johan. Baptist. Portæ.”
the commentators. Anacreon here acts the sym
I’m monarch of the board to-night;
I care not for the glittering wain,
Then, give the harp of epic song, Which Homer's finger thrilled along; But tear away the sanguine string, For war is not the theme I sing.
ODE III.1 LISTEN to the Muse's lyre, Master of the pencil's fire ! Sketched in painting's bold display, Many a city first portray; Many a city, revelling free, Full of loose festivity. Picture then a rosy train, Bacchants straying o'er the plain; Piping, as they roam along, Roundelay or shepherd-song. Paint me next, if painting may Such a theme as this portray, All the earthly heaven of love These delighted mortals prove.
ODE V.4 SCULPTOR, wouldst thou glad my soul, Grave for me an ample bowl, Worthy to shine in hall or bower, When spring-time brings the reveller's
hour. Grave it with themes of chaste design, Fit for a simple board like mine. Display not there the barbarous rites In which religious zeal delights; Nor any tale of tragic fate Which History shudders to relate. No— cull thy fancies from above, Themes of heaven and themes of love. Let Bacchus, Jove's ambrosial boy, Distil the grape in drops of joy, And while he smiles at every tear, Let warm-eyed Venus, dancing near,
ODE IV.2 VULCAN! hear your glorious task; I do not from your labors ask In gorgeous panoply to shine, For war was ne'er a sport of mine. No— let me have a silver bowl, Where I may cradle all my soul; But mind that, o'er its simple frame No mimic constellations flame; Nor grave upon the swelling side, Orion, scowling o'er the tide.
3 While many a rose-lipped bacchant maid,
etc. I have availed myself here of the additional lines given in the Vatican manuscript, which have not been accurately inserted in any of the ordinary editions:
Ποίησον αμπέλους μου
"Έρωτα κ' 'Αφροδίτην. 4 Degen thinks that this ode is a more modern imitation of the preceding. There is a poem by Cælius Calcagninus, in the manner of both, where he gives instructions about the making of a ring:
Tornabis annulum mihi
posiarch, or master of the festival. I have translated according to those who consider kúredda θεσμων as an inversion of θεσμούς κυπέλλων.
1 La Fosse has thought proper to lengthen this poem by considerable interpolations of his own, which he thinks are indispensably necessary to the completion of the description.
2 This ode, Aulus Gellius tells us, was performed at an entertainment where he was present.
With spirits of the genial bed,
I caught the boy, a goblet's tide
As late I sought the spangled bowers,
1 Let Love be there, without his arms, etc. Thus Sannazaro in the eclogue of “Gallicio dell' Arcadia :"
Vegnan li vaghi Amori
A train of naked Cupids came,
Without a dart, without a flame.
2 But ah! if there Apollo toys,
I tremble for the rosy boys. An allusion to the fable that Apollo had killed his beloved boy Hyacinth, while playing with him at quoits. “This (says M. La Fosse) is assuredly the sense of the text, and it cannot admit of any other.
The Italian translators, to save themselves the trouble of a note, have taken the liberty of mak. ing Anacreon himself explain this fable. Thus Salvini, the most literal of any of them:
Ma con lor non giuochi A pollo;
A Giacinto fiaccò il collo. 3 This beautiful fiction, which the commentators have attributed to Julian, a royal poet, the Vatican MS. pronounces to be the genuine offspring of Anacreon.
It has, indeed, all the features of the parent :
et facile insciis
Noscitetur ab omnibus. 4 Where many an early rose was weeping,
I found the urchin Cupid sleeping. This idea is prettily imitated in the following pigram by Andreas Naugerius:Florentes eum forte vagans mea Hyella per
ODE VII.5 The women tell me every day That all my bloom has past away. “Behold, "' the pretty wantons cry, “ Behold this mirror with a sigh; The locks upon thy brow are few, And like the rest, they're withering too !!! Whether decline has thinned my hair, I'm sure I neither know nor care;6
texit odoratis lilia cana rosis, ecce rosas inter latitantem invenit Amorem
et simul annexis floribus implicuit. Luctatur primo, et contra nitentibus alis
indomitus tentat solvere vincla puer : mox ubi lacteolas et dignas matre papillas
vidit et ora ipsos nata movere Deos, impositosque comæ ambrosios ut sentit odores
quosque legit diti messe beatus Arabs; quod
(dixit) mea, quære novum tibi, mater,
A morem, imperio sedés hæc erit apta meo." As fair Hyella, through the bloomy grove, A wreath of many mingled flowerets wove, Within a rose a sleeping Love she found, And in the twisted wreaths the baby bound. Awhile he struggled, and impatient tried To break the rosy bonds the virgin tied; But when he saw her bosom's radiant swell, Her features, where the eye of Jove might dwell ; And caught the ambrosial odors of her hair, Rich as the breathings of Arabian air; “Oh! mother Venus, (said the raptured child, By charms, of more than mortal bloom, beguiled,) “Go, seek another boy, thou 'st lost thine own, Hyella's arms shall now be Cupid's throne!”
This epigram of Naugerius is imitated by Lodovico Dolce in a poem, beginning —
Mentre raccoglie hor uno, hor altro fiore Vicina a un rio di chiare et lucid' onde, Lidia, etc., etc. 5 Alberti has imitated this ode in a poem, beginning
Nisa mi dice e Clori
Tirsi, tu se' pur veglio.
I'm sure I neither know nor care ; Henry Stephen very justly remarks the ele. gant negligence of the expression in the original here:
Εγώ δε τας κόμας μέν,
ουκ οίδα. And Longepierre has adduced from Catullus