« PoprzedniaDalej »
Am I by thee despised, and left afar,
As one unfit to share the toils of war?
Not thus his son the great Opheltes taught,
Not thus my sire in Argive combats fought;
Not thus, when flion fell by heavenly hate,
I track'd Æneas through' the walks of fate.
Thou know'st my deeds, my breast devoid of fear,
And hostile life-drops dim my gory spear;
Here is a soul with hope immortal burns,
And life, ignoble life, for Glory spurns;
Fame, fame is cheaply earn'd by fleeting breath,
The price of honour is the sleep of death.>>
Then Nisus-« Calm thy bosom's fond alarms,
Thy heart beats fiercely to the din of arms;
More dear thy worth and valour than my own,
I swear by him who fills Olympus' throne!
So may I triumph, as I speak the truth,
And clasp again the comrade of my youth.
But should I fall, and he who dares advance
Through hostile legions must abide by chance;
If some Rutulian arm, with adverse blow,
Should lay the friend who ever loved thee low;
Live thou, such beauties I would fain preserve,
Thy budding years a lengthen'd term deserve;
When humbled in the dust, let some one be,
Whose gentle eyes will shed one tear for me;
Whose manly arm may snatch me back by force,
Or wealth redeem from foes my captive corse:
Or, if my destiny these last deny,
If in the spoiler's power my ashes lie,
Thy pious care may raise a simple tomb,
To mark thy love, and signalize my doom.
Why should thy doating wretched mother weep
Her only boy, reclined in endless sleep?
Who, for thy sake, the tempest's fury dared,
Who, for thy sake, war's deadly peril shared ;
Who braved what woman never braved before,
And left her native for the Latian shore?»>
<< In vain you damp the ardour of my soul,»>
Replied Euryalus, it scorns control;
Hence, let us haste.»-Their brother guards arose,
Roused by their call, nor court again repose;
The pair, buoy'd up on Hope's exulting wing,
Their stations leave, and speed to seek the king.
Now o'er the earth a solemn stillness ran,
And lull'd alike the cares of brute and man;
Save where the Dardan leaders nightly hold
Alternate converse, and their plans unfold;
On one great point the council are agreed,
An instant message to their prince decreed:
Each lean'd upon the lance he well could wield,
And poised, with easy arm, his ancient shield;
When Nisus and his friend their leave request
To offer something to their high behest.
With anxious tremors, yet unawed by fear,
The faithful pair before the throne appear;
Julus greets them; at his kind command,
The elder first address'd the hoary band.
« With patience,» thus Hyrtacides began,
«Attend, nor judge from youth our humble plan;
Where yonder beacons, half-expiring, beam,
Our slumbering focs of future conquest dream,
Nor heed that we a secret path have traced,
Between the ocean and the portal placed:
Beneath the covert of the blackening smoke,
Whose shade securely our design will cloak.
you, ye Chiefs, and Fortune will allow,
We'll bend our course to yonder mountain's brow;
Where Pallas' walls, at distance, meet the sight,
Seen o'er the glade, when not obscured by night;
Then shall Æneas in his pride return,
While hostile matrons raise their offspring's urn,
And Latian spoils, and purpled heaps of dead,
Shall mark the havoc of our hero's tread;
Such is our purpose, not unknown the way,
Where yonder torrent's devious waters stray:
Oft have we seen, when hunting by the stream,
The distant spires above the valleys gleam.»>
Mature in years, for sober wisdom famed,
Moved by the speech, Alethes here exclaim'd:
«Ye parent Gods! who rule the fate of Troy,
Still dwells the Dardan spirit in the boy;
When minds like these in striplings thus ye raise,
Yours is the god-like act, be yours the praise;
In gallant youth my fainting hopes revive,
And lion's wonted glories still survive.»>
Then in his warm embrace the boys he press'd,
And, quivering, strain'd them to his aged breast;
With tears the burning cheek of each bedew'd,
And, sobbing, thus his first discourse renew'd:-
« What gift, my countrymen, what martial prize
Can we bestow, which you may not despise?
Our deities the first, best boon have given,
Internal virtues are the gift of Heaven.
What poor rewards can bless your deeds on earth,
Doubtless, await such young exalted worth;
Eneas and Ascanius shall combine
To yield applause far, far surpassing mine.»>
Iulus then: «< By all the
By those Penates' who my country love;
By hoary Vesta's sacred fane, I swear,
My hopes are all in you, ye generous pair!
Restore my father to my grateful sight,
And all my sorrows yield to one delight.
Nisus! two silver goblets are thine own,
Saved from Arisba's stately domes o'erthrown;
My sire secured them on that fatal day,
Nor left such bowls an Argive robber's prey.
Two massy tripods also shall be thine,
Two talents polish'd from the glittering mine;
An ancient cup which Tyrian Dido gave,
While yet our vessels press'd the Punic wave:
But, when the hostile chiefs at length bow down,
When great Eneas wears Hesperia's crown,
The casque, the buckler, and the fiery steed,
Which Turnus guides with more than mortal speed,
Are thine; no envious lot shall then be cast,
I pledge my word, irrevocably pass'd;
Nay more, twelve slaves, and twice six captive dames
To soothe thy softer hours with amorous flames,
And all the realms which now the Latians sway,
The labours of to-night shall well repay.
But thou, my generous youth, whose tender years
Are near my own, whose worth my heart reveres,
Henceforth affection, sweetly thus begun,
Shall join our bosoms and our souls in one;
Without thy aid no glory shall be mine,
Without thy dear advice, no great design;
Alike, through life esteem'd, thou god-like boy,
In war my bulwark, and in peace iny joy.»
To him Euryalus : « No day shall shame
The rising glories, which from this I claim.
Fortune may favour or the skies may frown,
But valour, spite of fate, obtains renown.
Yet, ere from hence our eager steps depart,
One boon I beg, the nearest to my
My mother sprung from Priam's royal line,
Like thine ennobled, hardly less divine;
Nor Troy nor King Acestes' realms restrain
Her feeble age from dangers of the main;
Alone she came, all selfish fears above,
A bright example of maternal love.
Unknown, the secret enterprise I brave,
Lest grief should bend my parent to the grave:
From this alone no fond adieus I seek,
No fainting mother's lips have press'd my cheek;
By gloomy Night, and thy right hand, I vow
Her parting tears would shake my purpose now:
Do thou, my prince, her failing age sustain,
In thee her much-loved child may live again;
Ber dying hours with pious conduct bless,
Assist her wants, relieve her fond distress :
So dear a hope must all my soul inflame,
To rise in glory, or to fall in fame.»
Struck with a filial care, so deeply felt,
In tears, at once the Trojan warriors melt;
Faster than all, Iulus' eyes o'erflow;
Such love was his, and such had been his woe.
«All thou hast ask'd, receive,» the prince replied,
Nor this alone, but many a gift beside;
To cheer thy mother's years shall be my aim,
Creusa's style but wanting to the dame;
Fortune an adverse wayward course may run,
But bless'd thy mother in so dear a son.
Now, by my life, my Sire's most sacred oath,
To thee I pledge my full, my firmest troth,
All the rewards which once to thee were vow'd,
If thou shouldst fall, on her shall be bestow'd.»
Thus spoke the weeping prince, then forth to view
A gleaming falchion from the sheath he drew;
Lycaon's utmost skill had graced the steel,
For friends to envy and for foes to feel.
A taway hide, the Moorish lion's spoil,
Slain midst the forest, in the hunter's toil,
Mnestheus, to guard the elder youth, bestows,
And old Alethes' casque defends his brows;
Arm'd, thence they go, while all the assembled train,
To aid their cause, implore the gods in vain;
More than a boy, in wisdom and in grace,
Julus holds amidst the chiefs his place;
His prayers he sends, but what can prayers avail,
Lost in the murmurs of the sighing gale?
The trench is past, and, favour'd by the night,
Through sleeping foes they wheel their wary flight.
When shall the sleep of many a foe be o'er?
Alas! some slumber who shall wake no more!
Chariots, and bridles, mix'd with arms, are seen,
And flowing flasks, and scatter'd troops between;
Bacchus and Mars to rule the camp combine,
A mingled chaos this of war and wine.
Now, cries the first, « for deeds of blood
With me the conquest and the labour share;
Here lies our path; lest any hand arise,
Watch thou, while many a dreaming chieftain dies;
'The mother of Iulus, lost on the night when Troy was taken.
I'll carve our passage through the heedless foe,
And clear thy road, with many a deadly blow.>>
His whispering accents then the youth represt,
And pierced proud Rhamnes through his panting breast;
Stretch'd at his ease,
th' incautious king reposed,
Debauch, and not fatigue, his eyes had closed;
To Turnus dear, a prophet and a prince,
His omens more than augur's skill evince;
But he, who thus foretold the fate of all,
Could not avert his own untimely fall.
Next Remus' armour-bearer, hapless, fell,
And three unhappy slaves the carnage swell:
The charioteer along his courser's sides
Expires, the steel his severed neck divides;
And, last, his lord is number'd with the dead,
Bounding convulsive, flies the gasping head;
From the swollen veins the blackening torrents pour,
Stain'd is the couch and earth with clotting gore.
Young Lamyrus and Lamus next expire,
And gay Serranus, fill'd with youthful fire;
Half the long night in childish games was past,
Lull'd by the potent grape, he slept at last;
Ah! happier far, had he the morn survey'd,
And, 'till Aurora's dawn, his skill display'd.
In slaughter'd folds, the keepers lost in sleep,
His hungry fangs a lion thus may steep;
Mid the sad flock, at dead of night, he prowls,
With murder glutted, and in carnage rolls;
Insatiate still, through teeming herds he roams
In seas of gore, the lordly tyrant foams.
Nor less the other's deadly vengeance came,
But falls on feeble crowds without a name;
His wound unconscious Fadus scarce can feel,
Yet wakeful Rhesus sees the threatening steel;
His coward breast behind a jar he hides,
And, vainly, in the weak defence confides;
Full in his heart, the falchion searchi'd his veins,
The reeking weapon bears alternate stains;
Thro' wine and blood, commingling as they flow,
The feeble spirit seeks the shades below.
Now, where Messapus dwelt they bend their way,
Whose fires emit a faint and trembling ray;
There, unconfined behold each grazing steed,
Unwatch'd, unheeded, on the herbage feed;
Brave Nisus here arrests his comrade's arm,
Too flush'd with carnage, and with conquest warm :
« Hence let us haste, the dangerous path is past,
Full foes enough, to-night, have breathed their last;
Soon will the day those eastern clouds adorn,
Now let us speed, nor tempt the rising morn.»>
What silver arms, with various arts emboss'd,
What bowls and mantles, in confusion toss'd,
They leave regardless! yet, one glittering prize
Attracts the younger hero's wandering eyes;
The gilded harness Rhamnes' coursers felt,
The gems which stud the monarch's golden belt;
This from the pallid corse was quickly torn,
Once by a line of former chieftains worn.
Th' exulting boy the studded girdle wears,
Messapus' helm his head, in triumph, bears;
Then from the tents their cautious steps they bend,
To seek the vale, where safer paths extend.
Just at this hour, a band of Latian horse
To Turnus' camp pursue their destined course;
While the slow foot their tardy march delay,
The knights, impatient, spur along the way:
Three hundred mail-clad men, by Volscens led,
To Turnus, with their master's promise sped:
Now, they approach the trench, and view the walls,
When, on the left, a light reflection falls;
The plunder'd helmet, through the waning night,
Sheds forth a silver radiance, glancing bright;
Volscens, with question loud, the pair alarms-
«Stand, stragglers! stand! why early thus in arms?
From whence? to whom?» He meets with no reply,
Trusting the covert of the night, they fly;
The thicket's depth, with hurried pace, they tread,
While round the wood the hostile squadron spread.
With brakes entangled, scarce a path between,
Dreary and dark appears the sylvan scene;
Euryalus his heavy spoils impede,
The boughs and winding turns his steps mislead;
But Nisus scours along the forest's maze,
To where Latinus' steeds in safety graze,
Then backward o'er the plain his eyes extend,
On every side they seek his absent friend.
« O God! iny boy,» he cries, « of me bereft,
In what impending perils art thou left!»
Listening he runs-above the waving trees,
Tumultuous voices swell the passing breeze;
The war-cry rises, thundering hoofs around
Wake the dark echoes of the trembling ground;
Again he turns-of footsteps hears the noise,
The sound elates-the sight his hope destroys;
The hapless boy a ruffian train surround,
While lengthening shades his weary way confound,
Him, with loud shouts, the furious knights pursue,
Struggling in vain, a captive to the crew.
What can his friend 'gainst thronging numbers dare?
Ah! must he rush, his comrade's fate to share!
What force, what aid, what stratagem essay,
Back to redeem the Latian spoiler's prey!
His life a votive ransom nobly give,
Or die with him for whom he wish'd to live!
Poising with strength his lifted lance on high,
On Luna's orb he cast his frenzied eye:
« Goddess serene, transcending every star!
Queen of the sky! whose beams are seen afar,
By night, Heaven owns thy sway, by day, the grove,
When, as chaste Dian, here thou deign'st to rove;
If e'er myself or sire have sought to grace
Thine altars with the produce of the chase;
Speed, speed, my dart to pierce yon vaunting crowd,
To free my friend, and scatter far the proud.»
Thus having said, the hissing dart he flung;
Through parted shades, the hurtling weapon sung;
The thirsty point in Sulmo's entrails lay,
Transfix'd his heart, and stretch'd him on the clay;
He sobs, he dies,-the troop, in wild amaze,
Unconscious whence the death, with horror gaze;
While pale they stare, through Tagus' temples riven,
A second shaft with equal force is driven;
Fierce Volscens rolls around his lowering eyes,
Veil'd by the night, secure the Trojan lies.
Burning with wrath, he view'd his soldiers fall;
«Thou youth accurst! thy life shall pay for all.»
Quick from the sheath his flaming glaive he drew,
And, raging, on the boy defenceless flew.
Nisus no more the blackening shade conceals, Forth, forth he starts, and all his love reveals; Aghast, confused, his fears to madness rise, And pour these accents, shrieking as he flies:
Me, me, your vengeance hurl on me alone,
Here sheathe the steel, my blood is all your own;
Ye starry Spheres! thou conscious Heaven attest!
He could not-durst not-lo! the guile confest!
All, all was mine-his early fate suspend,
He only loved too well his hapless friend;
Spare, spare, ye chiefs! from him your rage remove,
His fault was friendship, all his crime was love.»
He pray'd in vain, the dark assassin's sword
Pierced the fair side, the snowy bosom gored;
Lowly to earth inclines his plume-clad crest,
And sanguine torrents mantle o'er his breast:
As some young rose, whose blossom scents the air,
Languid in death, expires beneath the share;
Or crimson poppy, sinking with the shower,
Declining gently, falls a fading flower;
Thus, sweetly drooping, bends his lovely head,
And lingering Beauty hovers round the dead.
But fiery Nisus stems the battle's tide,
Revenge his leader, and Despair his guide;
Volscens he seeks, amidst the gathering host,
Volscens must soon appease his comrade's ghost;
Steel, flashing, pours on steel, foe crowds on foe,
Rage nerves his arm, Fate gleams in every blow;
In vain, beneath unnumber'd wounds he bleeds,
Nor wounds, nor death, distracted Nisus heeds;
In viewless circles wheel'd his falchion flies,
Nor quits the Hero's grasp till Volscens dies;
Deep in his throat its end the weapon found,
The tyrant's soul fled groaning through the wound.
Thus Nisus all his fond affection proved,
Dying, revenged the fate of him he loved;
Then on his bosom, sought his wonted place,
And death was heavenly in his friend's embrace!
Celestial pair! if aught my verse can claim,
Wafted on Time's broad pinion, yours is fame!
Ages on ages shall your fate admire;
No future day shall see your names expire;
While stands the Capitol, immortal dome!
And vanquish'd millions hail their Empress, Rome!
TRANSLATION FROM THE MEDEA OF
WHEN fierce conflicting passions urge
The breast, where love is wont to glow,
What mind can stem the stormy surge,
Which rolls the tide of human woe?
The hope of praise, the dread of shame,
Can rouse the tortured breast no more; The wild desire, the guilty flame,
Absorbs each wish it felt before. But, if affection gently thrills
The soul, by purer dreams possest, The pleasing balm of mortal ills,
In love can soothe the aching breast; If thus, thou comest in gentle guise, Fair Venus! from thy native heaven, What heart, unfeeling, would despise
The sweetest boon the gods have given?
But, never from thy golden bow
May I beneath the shaft expire,
Whose creeping venom, sure and slow,
Awakes an all-consuming fire;
Ye racking doubts! ye jealous fears!
With others wage eternal war;
Repentance! source of future tears,
From me be ever distant far.
May no distracting thoughts destroy
The holy calm of sacred love!
May all the hours be wing'd with joy,
Which hover faithful hearts above!
Fair Venus! on thy myrtle shrine,
May I with some fond lover sigh! Whose heart may mingle pure with mine, With me to live, with me to die.
My native soil! beloved before,
Now dearer, as my peaceful home, Ne'er may I quit thy rocky shore,
A hapless, banish'd wretch to roam; This very day, this very hour,
May I resign this fleeting breath, Nor quit my silent, humble bowerA doom, to me, far worse than death.
Have I not heard the exile's sigh?
And seen the exile's silent tear? Through distant climes condemn'd to fly, A pensive, weary wanderer here : Ah! hapless dame!' no sire bewails, No friend thy wretched fate deplores, No kindred voice with rapture hails
Thy steps, within a stranger's doors. Perish the fiend! whose iron heart,
To fair affection's truth unknown, Bids ber he fondly loved depart,
Unpitied, helpless, and alone; Who ne'er unlocks, with silver key,2
The milder treasures of his soul; May such a friend be far from me, And Ocean's storms between us roll!
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY A COLLEGE
HIGH in the midst, surrounded by his peers,
MAGNUS his ample front sublime uprears;
Placed on his chair of state, he seems a god,
While Sophs and Freshmen tremble at his nod;
Medea, who accompanied Jason to Corinth, was deserted by him for the daughter of Creon, king of that city. The Chorus from which this is taken, here address Medea; thongh a considerable liberty is taken with the original, by expanding the idea, as also in some other parts of the translation.
• The original is a Καθαραν ἀνοίξαντι Κληΐδα φρενῶν.»
literally Disclosing the bright key of the mind.»
> No reflection is here intended against the person mentioned under the name of Magnus. He is merely represented as performing as unavoidable function of his office: indeed such an attempt could only recoil upon myself, as that gentleman is now as much distinguished by his eloquence, and the dignified propriety with which he SI's his situation, as he was, in his younger days, for wit and conviviality.
As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom,
His voice, in thunder, shakes the sounding dome,
Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools,
Unskill'd to plod in mathematic rules.
Happy the youth! in Euclid's axioms tried,
Though little versed in any art beside;
Who, scarcely skill'd an English line to pen,
Scans Attic metres with a critic's ken.
What! though he knows not how his fathers bled,
When civil discord piled the fields with dead;
When Edward bade his conquering bands advance,
Or Henry trampled on the crest of France;
Though marv'ling at the name of Magna Charta,
Yet, well he recollects the laws of Sparta;
Can tell what edicts sage Lycurgus made,
While Blackstone 's on the shelf neglected laid;
Of Grecian dramas vaunts the deathless fame,
Of Avon's bard remembering scarce the name.
Such is the youth, whose scientific pate,
Class-honours, medals, fellowships, await;
Or even, perhaps, the declamation prize,
If to such glorious height he lifts his eyes.
But, lo! no common orator can hope
The envied silver cup within his scope:
Not that our Heads much eloquence require,
Th' Athenian's glowing style, or Tully's fire.
A manner clear or warm is useless, since
We do not try, by speaking, to convince;
Be other orators of pleasing proud,
We speak to please ourselves, not move the crowd;
Our gravity prefers the muttering tone,
A proper mixture of the squeak and groan;
No borrow'd grace of action must be seen,
The slightest motion would displease the Dean;
Whilst every staring Graduate would prate
Against what he could never imitate.
The man, who hopes t' obtain the promised cup,
Must in one posture stand, and ne'er look up;
Nor stop, but rattle over every word,
No matter what, so it can not be heard-
Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest!
Who speaks the fastest 's sure to speak the best:
Who utters most within the shortest space,
May safely hope to win the wordy race.
The sons of science these, who, thus repaid,
Linger in ease in Granta's sluggish shade;
Where, on Cam's sedgy banks, supine they lie,
Unknown, unhonour'd live,-unwept for, die;
Dull as the pictures which adorn their halls,
They think all learning fix'd within their walls;
In manners rude, in foolish forms precise,
All modern arts affecting to despise;
Yet prizing BENTLEY'S, BRUNCK'S,' or PORSON's' note,
More than the verse on which the critic wrote;
Vain as their honours, heavy as their ale,
Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale,
To friendship dead, though not untaught to feel,
When Self and Church demand a bigot zeal.
With eager haste they court the lord of power,
Whether 'tis PITT or P-TTY rules the hour.3
2 The present Greek Professor at Trinity College, Cambridge; a man whose powers of mind and writings may perhaps justify their preference.
3 Since this was written, Lord H. P―y has lost his place, and
FRIEND of my youth! when young we roved, Like striplings mutually beloved,
With Friendship's purest glow;
The bliss which wing'd those rosy hours,
Was such as pleasure seldom showers
On mortals here below.
The recollection seems, alone,
Dearer than all the joys I 've known,
When distant far from you;
Though pain, 't is still a pleasing pain,
To trace those days and hours again,
And sigh again, Adieu!
My pensive memory lingers o'er
Those scenes to be enjoy'd no more,
Those scenes regretted ever;
The measure of our youth is full,
Life's evening dream is dark and dull,
And we may meet-ah! never!
As when one parent spring supplies,
Two streams, which from one fountain rise,
Together join'd in vain;
How soon, diverging from their source,
Each murmuring seeks another course,
Till mingled in the main.
Our vital streams of weal or woe,
Though near, alas! distinctly flow,
Nor mingle as before;
Now swift or slow, now black or clear,
Till death's unfathom'd gulph appear,
And both shall quit the shore.
Our souls, my Friend! which once supplied
One wish, nor breathed a thought beside,
Now flow in different channels;
Disdaining humbler rural sports,
'Tis yours to mix in polish'd courts,
And shine in Fashion's annals.
'Tis mine to waste on love my time, Or vent my reveries in rhyme,
Without the aid of Reason;
For Sense and Reason (Critics know it)
Have quitted every amorous Poet,
Nor left a thought to seize on.
subsequently (I had almost said CONSEQUENTLY) the honour of representing the University; a fact so glaring requires no comment.
Poor LITTLE! Sweet, melodious bard!
Of late esteem'd it monstrous hard,
That he, who sang before all;
He, who the love of love expanded,
By dire reviewers should be branded,
As void of wit and moral.'
And yet, while Beauty's praise is thine,
Harmonious favourite of the Nine!
Repine not at thy lot;
Thy soothing lays may still be read,
When Persecution's arm is dead,
And Critics are forgot.
Still, I must yield those worthies merit,
Who chasten, with unsparing spirit,
Bad rhymes, and those who write them;
And though myself may be the next
By critic sarcasm to be vext,
I really will not fight them;
Perhaps they would do quite as well,
To break the rudely sounding shell
Of such a young beginner;
He who offends at pert nineteen,
Ere thirty, may become, I ween,
A very harden'd sinner.
I must return to you, And sure apologies are due;
Accept then my concession;
In truth, dear ———,
—, in fancy's flight,
I soar along from left to right,
My muse admires digression.
I think I said 't would be your fate
To add one star to royal state;
May regal smiles attend you:
And should a noble Monarch reign,
You will not seek his smiles in vain,
If worth can recommend you. Yet, since in danger courts abound, Where specious rivals glitter round,
From snares may Saints preserve you; And grant your love or friendship ne'er From any claim a kindred care,
But those who best deserve you.
Not for a moment may you stray
From Truth's secure unerring way,
May no delights decoy;
O'er roses may your footsteps move,
Your smiles be ever smiles of love,
Your tears be tears of joy.
Oh! if you wish that happiness
Your coming days and years may bless,
And virtues crown your brow:
Be, still, as you were wont to be,
Spotless as you
've been known to me,
Be, still, as you are now.
These Stanzas were written soon after the appearance of a severe critique in a Northern review, on a new publication of the
2 A Bard (horresco referens) defied his reviewer to mortal com bat. If this example becomes prevalent, our periodical censors must be dipt in the river Styx, for what else can secure them from the numerous host of their enraged assailants?