Obrazy na stronie

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.”
Cur tamen Actiacas miseram me mittis ad oras,

Cum profugum possis ipse referre pedem?
Tu mihi Leucadia potes esse salubrior unda : 220

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

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I go, ye Nymphs! those rocks and seas to prove;
How much I fear, but ah, how much I love !
I go, ye Nymphs, where furious love inspires ;
Let female fears submit to female fires.
To rocks and seas I fly from Phaon's hate, 205
And hope from seas and rocks a milder fate.
Ye gentle gales, beneath my body blow,
And softly lay me on the waves below!
And thou, kind Love, my sinking limbs sustain,
Spread thy soft wings, and waft me o'er the main,
Nor let a Lover's death the guiltless flood profane !
On Phoebus' shrine my harp I'll then bestow, 212
And this Inscription shall be plac'd below,
“ Here she who sung, to him that did inspire,
Sappho to Phæbus consecrates her Lyre; 215
What suits with Sappho, Phoebus, suits with thee;
The gift, the giver, and the God, agree.”

But why, alas, relentless youth, ah why
To distant Seas must tender Sappho fly?
Thy charms than those may far more pow'rful be,
And Phæbus' self is less a God to me.

Ah! canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea,
Oh far more faithless and more hard than they?
Ah! canst thou rather see this tender breast
Dash'd on these rocks than to thy bosom prest? 225


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;
Where the Loves play'd, and where the Muses dwell.
Alas! the Muses now no more inspire,
Untun'd my lute, and silent is my lyre.
My languid numbers have forgot to flow, 230
And fancy sinks beneath a weight of woe.

Lesbian virgins, and ye Lesbian dames,
Themes of my verse, and objects of my flames,
No more your groves with my glad songs shall ring,
No more these hands shall touch the trembling string:
My Phaon's fled, and I those arts resign 236
(Wretch that I am, to call that Phaon mine!)
Return, fair youth, return, and bring along
Joy to my soul, and vigour to my song:
Absent from thee, the Poet's flame expires; 240
But ah ! how fiercely burn the Lover's fires !
Gods! can no pray’rs, no sighs, no numbers, move
One savage heart, or teach it how to love?
The winds my pray’rs, my sighs, my numbers, bear,
The flying winds have lost them all in air ! 245


ing, by Demetrius Phalareus, in the Oxford edition, by Gale,

p. 104.

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,
Vivuntque commissi calores

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.]

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