« PoprzedniaDalej »
Ibimus, o Nymphæ, monstrataque saxa petemus.
Sit procul insano victus amore timor. Quicquid erit, melius quam nunc erit. Aura, subito.
Et mea non magnum corpora pondus habent. Tu
quoque, mollis Amor, pennas suppone cadenti : Ne sim Leucadiæ mortua crimen aquæ. Inde chelyn Phoebo communia munera ponam :
Et sub ea versus unus et alter erunt. “ Grata lyram posui tibi, Phoebe, poètria Sappho :
Convenit illa mihi, convenit illa tibi.”
Cum profugum possis ipse referre pedem?
Et forma et meritis tu mihi Phoebus eris. An potes, o scopulis undaque ferocior illa,
Si moriar, titulum mortis habere meæ ? At quanto melius jungi mea pectora tecum,
Quam poterant saxis præcipitanda dari ! 225
I go, ye Nymphs! those rocks and seas to prove;
But why, alas, relentless youth, ah why
Ver. 207. Ye gentle gales] These two lines have been quoted as the most smooth and mellifluous in our language; and they are supposed to derive their sweetness and harmony from the mixture of so many lambics. Pope himself preferred the following line to all he had written, with respect to harmony :
Lo, where Mæotis sleeps, and hardly flows-
Hæc sunt illa, Phaon, quæ tu laudare solebas“;
Visaque sunt toties ingeniosa tibi. Nunc vellem facunda forent : dolor artibus obstat;
Ingeniumque meis substitit omne malis. Non mihi respondent veteres in carmina vires. 230
Plectra dolore tacent: muta dolore lyra est. Lesbides æquoreæ, nupturaque nuptaque proles ;
Lesbides, Æolia nomina dicta lyra; Lesbides, infamem quæ me fecistis amatæ ;
Desinite ad citharas turba venire meas. 234 Abstulit omne Phaon, quod vobis ante placebat.
(Me miseram ! dixi quam modo pæne, meus !) Efficite ut redeat : vates quoque vestra redibit. Ingenio vires ille dat, ille rapit.
240 Ecquid ago precibus ? pectusne agreste movetur?
An riget? et Zephyri verba caduca ferunt? Qui mea verba ferunt, vellem tua vela referrent.
Hoc te, si saperes, lente, decebat opus.
Ver. 227.] Little can be added to the character that Addison has so elegantly drawn in the 223d and 229th numbers of the Spectator; in which are inserted the translations which Philips, under Addison's eye, gave of the two only remaining of her exquisite odes; one preserved by Dionysius Halicarnassus, and the other by Longinus. To the remarks that Pearce has made on the latter, I cannot forbear subjoining a remark of Tanaquil Faber on a secret and almost unobserved beauty of this ode: that in the eight last lines, the article dè, in the original, is repeated seven times, to represent the short breathings of a person in the act of fainting away, and pronouncing every syllable with difficulty. Two beautiful fragments are preserved; the first consisting only of four lines in Fulvius Ursinus, which Horace has imitated in the twelfth ode of the third book, Tibi qualum, &c. and the other the beginning of an ode addressed to Even
This breast which once, in vain! you lik'd so well;
Lesbian virgins, and ye Lesbian dames,
ing, by Demetrius Phalareus, in the Oxford edition, by Gale,
In one of Akenside's odes to lyric poetry, which have been too much depreciated, are two fine stanzas; one in the character of Alcæus, and the other on the character of Sappho:
-Spirat adhuc Amor,
Æoliæ fidibus puellæ ! Ver. 236. My Phaon] Fenton translated this epistle, but with a manifest inferiority to Pope. He added an original poem of his own, an epistle of Phaon to Sappho; which appears to be one of the feeblest in the collection of his poems, among which some are truly excellent.
Sive redis, puppique tuæ votiva parantur
Munera ; quid laceras pectora nostra mora ? Solve ratem : Venus, orta mari, mare præstet eunti.
Aura dabit cursum ; tu modo solve ratem. Ipse gubernabit residens in puppe Cupido:
Ipse dabit tenera vela legetque manu. Sive juvat longe fugisse Pelasgida Sappho;
(Non tamen invenies, cur ego digna fuga) 255 [O saltem miseræ, Crudelis, epistola dicat:
Ut mihi Leucadiæ fata petantur aquæ.]