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To ransom her beloved boy; 1
And then the dewy cordial gives
ODE XXII. THE Phrygian rock, that braves the storm, Was once a weeping matron's form;8 And Progne, hapless, frantic maid, Is now a swallow in the shade. Oh! that a mirror's form were mine, That I might catch that smile divine; And like my own fond fancy be, Reflecting thee, and only thee;
1 His mother comes, with many a toy,
Io ransom her beloved boy, etc. In the first idyl of Moschus, Venus thus proclaims the reward for her fugitive child :
ο μανιτάς γέρας εξει, μισθος του, το φίλαμα το Κύπριδος» ήν δ', αγάγης ου γυμνόν το φίλαμα, το δ', ξένε, και πλέον
εξεις. . On him, who the haunts of my Cupid can show, A kiss of the tenderest stamp I 'll bestow; But he, who can bring back the urchin in chains, Shall receive even something more sweet for his
pains. Subjoined to this ode, we find in the Vatican MS. the following lines, which appear to me to boast as little sense as metre, and which are most probably the interpolation of the transcriber:
δόκει και Διόνυσος είσελθών και Παφίη παράχροος
και αυτός "Έρως καν επίειν. 2 Those critics who have endeavored to throw the chains of precision over the spirit of this beautiful trifle, require too much from Anacreontic philosophy. Among others, Gail very sapiently thinks that the poet uses the epithet μελαίνη, , because black earth absorbs moisture more quickly than any other; and accordingly he indulges us with an experimental disquisition on the subject: - See Gail's Notes.
One of the Capilupi has imitated this ode, in an epitaph on a drunkard: – Dum vixi sine fine bibi, sic imbrifer arcus
sic tellus pluvias sole perusta bibit. Sic bibit assiduè fontes et flumina Pontus,
sic semper sitiens Sol maris haurit aquas. Ne te igitur jactes plus me, Silene, bibisse ; et mihi da victas tu quoque, Bacche, manus.
In drinking still unvaried flew;
Or as the rainbow drinks the dew;
Or flushing sun inhales the sea :
And Bacchus was outdone by me!
I cannot omit citing those remarkable lines of Shakspeare, where the thoughts of the ode before us are preserved with such striking similitude:
“I'll example you with thievery. The sun 's a thief, and with his great attraction Robs the vast sea. The moon 's an arrant thief, And her pale fire she snatches from the sun. The sea 's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves The mounds into salt tears. The earth 's a thief, That feeds, and breeds by a composture stolen From general excrements.
“Timon of Athens," act iv. sc. 3. 3 a weeping matron's form. Niobe. Ogilvie, in his “Essay on the Lyric Poetry of the Ancients,” in remarking upon the Odes of Anacreon, says, “In some of his pieces there is exuberance and even wildness of imagination ; in that particularly, which is addressed to a young girl, where he wishes alternately to be transformed to a mirror, a coat, a stream, a bracelet, and a pair of shoes, for the different purposes which he recites; this is mere sport and wantonness.
It is the wantonness, however, of a very graceful Muse ; ludit amabiliter. The compliment of this ode is exquisitely delicate, and so singular for the period in which Anacreon lived, when the scale of love had not yet been graduated into all its little progressive refinements, that if we were inclined to question the authenticity of the poem, we should find a much more plausible argument in the features of modern gallantry which it bears, than in any of those fastidious conjectures upon which some commentators have presumed so far. Degen thinks it spurious, and De Pauw pronounces it to be miserable. Longepierre and Barnes refer us to several imitations of this ode, from which I
Or could I be the robe which holds
So faintly round that neck of snow-
ODE XXIII.3 I OFTEN wish this languid lyre, This warbler of my soul's desire, Could raise the breath of song sublime, To men of fame, in former time. But when the soaring theme I try, Along the chords my numbers die, And whisper, with dissolving tone, “Our sighs are given to love alone!" Indignant at the feeble lay, I tore the panting chords away,
shall only select the following epigram of Dionysius : είθ' άνεμος γενόμην, συ δέ γε στείχουσα παρ'
αυγάς, στηθεα γυμνώσεις, και με πνέοντα λάβοις. είθε ρόδον γενόμην υποπόρφυεον, όφρα με χερσίν
αραμένη, κομίσαις στέθεσι χιονέoις. είθε κρίνον γενόμην λευκόχροον, όφρα με χερσίν αραμένη, μάλλον σης χροτίης κορέσης. I wish I could like zephyr steal
To wanton o'er thy mazy vest;
And take me panting to thy breast !
And thou wouldst cull me from the bower,
Where I should bloom, a wintry flower.
To fade upon that bosom warm;
The trophy of thy fairer form! I may add, that Plato has expressed as fancitul a wish in a distich preserved by Laertius: αστερας είσαθρείς, 'Αστήρ έμος. είθε γενοίμην ουρανός, ως πολλοίς όμμασιν είς σε βλέπω.
Oh! that I were that spangled sphere,
To wonder on thy beauties here! Apuleius quotes this epigram of the divine philosopher, to justify himself for his verses on Critias and Charinus. See his “Apology,” where he also adduces the example of Anacreon: cere tamen et alii talia, et si vos ignoratis, apud Græcos Teius quidam, etc. 1 Or, better still, the zone, that lies
Close to thy breast, and feels its sighs ! This Talvin was a riband, or band, called by the Romans fascia and strophium, which the women wore for the purpose of restraining the exuberance of the bosom. Vide “Polluc. Onomast." Thus Martial: Fasciâ crescentes dominæ compesce papillas. The women of Greece not only wore this
but condemned themselves to fasting, and made use of certain drugs and powders for the same purpose.
To these expedients they were compelled, in consequence of their inelegant fashion of compressing the waist into a very narrow compass, which necessarily caused an excessive tumidity in the bosom. See “ Dioscorides,” lib. v.
2 Nay, sandals for those airy feet
Even to be trod by them were sweet! The sophist Philostratus, in one of his loveletters, has borrowed this thought; À ädetou πόδες, ώ κάλλος ελευθερος, ώ τρισευδαίμων εγώ και μακάριος εαν πατήσετε με. -" Oh lovely feet ! oh excellent beauty! oh! thrice happy and blessed should I be, if you would but tread on me !
In Shakspeare, Romeo desires to be a glove :
Oh! that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might kiss that cheek! And, in his “ Passionate Pilgrim,” we meet with an idea somewhat like that of the thirteenth
He, spying her, bounced in, where as he stood, “Ö Jove!” quoth she, why was not I a
flood?" In Burton's “ Anatomy of Melancholy," that whimsical farrago of “all such reading as was never read,” we find translation of this ode made before 1632. — "Englished by Mr. B. Holiday, in his 'Technog.' act i. scene 7.
3 According to the order in which the odes are usually placed, this (@edw deyelv ’Arpeidas) forms the first of the series; and is thought to be peculiarly designed as an introduction to the rest. It however characterizes the genius of the Teian but very inadequately, as wine, the burden of his lays, is not even mentioned in it:
cum multo Venerem confundere mero precepit Lyrici Teia Musa senis. -- Ovid.
The twenty-sixth Ode, So về AeYeus Ta (9n8ns, might, with just as much propriety, be placed at the head of his songs.
We find the sentiments of the ode before us expressed by Bion with much simplicity in his fourth idyl. The above translation is, perhaps, too paraphrastical; but the ode has been so frequently translated, that I could not otherwise avoid triteness and repetition.
ODES OF ANACREON.
Attuned them to a nobler swell,
While for the umbrage of the grove,
ODE XXV.? ONCE in each revolving year, Gentle bird! we find thee here. When Nature wears her summer-vest,
ODE XXIV.3 To all that breathe the air of heaven, Some boon of strength has Nature given. In forming the majestic bull, She fenced with wreathed horns his skull; A hoof of strength she lent the steed, And winged the timorous hare with speed. She gave the lion fangs of terror, And, o'er the ocean's crystal mirror, Taught the unnumbered scaly throng To trace their liquid path along;
1 In all the glow of epic fire,
To Hercules I wake the lyre. Madame Dacier generally translates dúpn into a lute, which I believe is inaccurate. pliquer la lyre des anciens (says M. Sorel) par un luth, c'est ignorer la différence qu'il y a entre ces deur instrumens de musique." Bibliothèque Françoise."
2 But still its fainting sighs repeat,
“ The tale of love alone is sweet!” The word å vtedável in the original, may im. ply that kind of musical dialogue practised by the ancients, in which the lyre was made to respond to the questions proposed by the singer. This was a method which Sappho used, as we are told by Hermogenes; όταν την λύραν 'ερωτά Σάπφω, και όταν αυτή αποκρίνεται.”. Il€pz 'Idea τόμ. δεύτ.
3 Henry Stephen has imitated the idea of this ode in the following lines of one of his poems: Provida dat cunctis Natura animantibus arma,
et sua fæmineum possidet arma genus, ungulâque ut defendit equum, atque ut cornua
taurum, armata est formâ fæmina pulchra suâ.
And the same thought occurs in those lines spoken by Corisca in Pastor Fido:
Cosi noi la bellezza
E l'ingegno de l'huomo.
And lordly man his strength of mind;
Peculiar boon, by Heav'n assigned.
4 To man she gave, in that proud hour,
The boon of intellectual power. In my first attempt to translate this ode, I had interpreted opóvnua, with Baxter and Barnes, as implying courage and military virtue; but I do not think that the gallantry of the idea suffers by the import which I have now given to it. For, why need we consider this possession of wisdom as exclusive? and in truth, as the design of Anacreon is to estimate the treasure of beauty, above all the rest which Nature has distributed, it is perhaps even refining upon the delicacy of the compliment, to prefer
the radiance of female charms to the cold illumination of wisdom and prudence; and to think that women's eyes are —
the books, the academies, From whence doth spring the true Promethean
Than all the pomp and power of war. Thus Achilles Tatius : κάλλος οξύτερον τιτρώσκει βέλους, και διά των οφθαλμών εις την ψυχήν καταρρεί. Οφθαλμός γάρ οδος ερωτικό τραύματι. “ Beauty wounds more swiftly than the arrow, and passes through the eye to the very soul; for the eye is the inlet to the wounds of love." 6 Be thou but fair, mankind adore thee,
Smile, and a world is weak before thée ! Longepierre's remark here is ingenious : “ The Romans,” says he, were so convinced of the power of beauty, that they used a word implying strength in the place of the epithet beautiful. Thus Plautus, act 2. scene 2. Bacchid.'
Sed Bacchis etiam fortis tibi visa. 'Fortis, id est formosa,' say Servius and Nonius."
7 We have here another ode addressed to the swallow. Alberti has imitated both in one poem, beginning
Perch'io pianga al tuo canto,
Thou comest to weave thy simple nest;
1 Alas! unlike the swarm of Loves,
And never, never change their nest! Thus Love is represented as a bird, in an epigram cited by Longepierre from the Anthologia: – αιεί μοι δύνει μεν έν ούασιν ήχος έρωτος,
όμμα δε σιγα πόθοις το γλυκύ δάκρυ φέρει. . ουδ' ή νύξ, ου φέγγος εκοίμισεν, αλλ'υπό φίλτρων
ήδέ που κραδίη γνωστός ένεστι τύπος.
And makes me shed the secret tear;
For night and day his voice I hear.
And oh ! 't is plain where Love has been;
Such as within my heart is seen.
Make not my soul the nest of pain;
In pity waft thee hence again! 2 “The German poet Uz has imitated this ode. Compare also Weisse Scherz. Lieder, lib. ü., ' Der Soldat.'” GAIL, DEGEN.
ODE XXVII.4 We read the flying courser's name Upon his side, in marks of flame; And, by their turbaned brows alone, The warriors of the East are known. But in the lover's glowing eyes, The inlet to his bosom lies;5 Through them we see the small faint
mark, Where Love has dropt his burning spark !
3 No— 't was from eyes of liquid blue,
A host of qaivered Cupids flew. Longepierre has quoted part of an epigram from the seventh book of the Anthologia, which has a fancy something like this:
ου με λέληθας,
Well I know where thou dost lie;
That fringes Zenophelia's eye. The poets abound with conceits on the archery of the eyes, but few have turned the thought so naturally as Anacreon. Ronsard gives to the eyes of his mistress un petit camp d'amours.
4 This ode forms a part of the preceding in the Vatican MS., but I have conformed to the editions in translating them separately.
5 But in the lover's glowing eyes,
The inlet to his bosom lies.
Madame Dacier. But the lover answers —
Il cor ne gli occhi et ne la fronte ho scritto.
M. La Fosse has given the following lines, as enlarging on the thought of Anacreon:
Lorsque je vois un amant,
Même ce qu'il ne dit pas.
The flame that in his bosom lies;
We read it in his languid eyes :
ODES OF ANACREON.
ODE XXVIII. As, by his Lemnian forge's flame, The husband of the Paphian dame Moulded the glowing steel, to form Arrows for Cupid, thrilling warm; And Venus, as he plied his art, Shed honey round each new-made dart, While Love, at hand, to finish all, Tipped every arrow's point with gall;1 It chanced the Lord of Battles came To visit that deep cave of flame. 'T was from the ranks of war he rushed, His spear with many a life-drop blushed; He saw the fiery darts, and smiled Contemptuous at the archer-child. “ What!” said the urchin, “ dost thou
smile? Here, hold this little dart awhile, And thou wilt find, though swift of flight, My bolts are not so feathery light."
Mars took the shaft — and, oh, thy
look, Sweet Venus, when the shaft he took ! Sighing, he felt the urchin's art, And cried, in agony of heart, “ It is not light — I sink with pain ! Take — take thy arrow back again.' “ No,” said the child, “ it must not be; That little dart was made for thee!”
And not to love more painful still ; etc. The following Anacreontic, addressed by Men age to Daniel Huet, enforces, with much grace, the “necessity of loving.'
περί του δειν φιλήσαι. .
μέγα θαύμα των αοιδών, ,
TO PETER DANIEL HUET.
1 While Love, at hand, to finish all,
Tipped every arrow's point with gall. Thus Claudian :Labuntur gemini fontes, hic dulcis, amarus alter, et infusis corrumpit mella venenis, unde Cupidineas armavit fama sagittas. In Cyprus' isle two rippling fountains fall, And one with honey flows, and one with gall; In these, if we may take the tale from fame, The son of Venus dips his darts of flame.
See Alciatus, emblem 91., on the close connection which subsists between sweets and bitterness. “A pes ideo pungunt [says Petronius), quia ubi dulce, ibi et acidum invenies."
The allegorical description of Cupid's employment, in Horace, may vie with this before us in fancy, though not in delicacy :
- ferus et Cupido
cote cruentâ. And Cupid, sharpening all his fiery darts, Upon a whetstone stained with blood of hearts.
Secundus has borrowed this, but has somewhat softened the image by the omission of the epithet “cruentâ."' Fallor an ardentes acuebat cote sagittas?
* This line is borrowed from an epigram by Alpheus of Mitylene which Menage, I think, says somewhere he was himself the first to produce to the world :
ψυχής έστιν "Έρως ακονή. .