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" When the second saw her lying,
Bent down, and kissed the maiden
Upon her lips so pale :
"To thee the dearest homage
I gave, which heart can pay;
Stern Death may take thy beauty,
But not my love — away!'”
poem is illustrated by one of the best and the yearnings of his own heart, of his country, most characteristic engravings in the volume. and of his age, for “Freedom and Right.” It
But it is not alone in the gentle cadence of will be perceived, that in the “ Garland of Glothese ballads of the heart that Mr. Boyd has ry,” wherewith the coming time is to be adorned, succeeded; he is, perhaps, even more felicitous " the Shamrock of Erin” is not forgotten. in conveying the stronger and more vigorous May it be a true prophecy! language in which the German poet expresses
FREEDOM AND RIGHT.
In dungeons unnumber'd, by Tyranny's sword;
Though their lips are forbidden to utter' the Word.'
They wander, uncheer'd by lost Liberty's light,
For Freedom and Right !
“ Till Victory's sunburst shall flash o'er our standard,
No check must impede us — no danger affright-
Our war-cry will thunder, ‘For Freedom ;– for Right!'
To earth, by a path track'd in colors of light;
Hail! the Freedom ! the Right !
"Let this, too, inspire us — they never were flying
From fight unto fight, more exulting than now;
Are stirr'd with the rapture of Liberty's glow.
Burst in through the darkness of slavery's night;
The Freedom! the Right !
The nations have gather'd to see it unfurl'd;
Is the death of oppression, that Right rules the world
Like a garland hung over that banner of might;
The Freedom ! the Riglat!
In peace, its last slumber and rest will be light;
Tell how they fought for 'The Freedom, the Right!'
Fill up! they have battled 'gainst tyranny's might;
The Freedom ! the Right ! This noble ballad, which may be considered | least, as Germany is concerned, in another the cosmopolitan theory or creed of Freedom, is poem, which Mr. Boyd has also translated very reduced to very intelligible practice, as far, at spiritedly. Although we have already extracted
so largely from the volume, this one we must, which cannot be surpassed, and can only be give as a practical commentary on the last : appreciated by those who know the difficulty of
understanding this Author - most of the translators have fallen into one or other of these
"No; they shall never have it,
“ In this volume, it has been my endeavour to The free, the German Rhine!
avoid both extremes. Whether the attempt is Though, vulture-like, to rend it,
fated to be successful, remains to be decided. With talons fierce they pine ;
The object of a translator ought to be, to express So long as gently floating
himself as nearly as possible in the words which Between its banks of green, A ship shall on the current
the poet would have adopted, had he been writOf that sweet stream be seen
ing in the language into which the translation is No; they shall never have it!
made. I do not pretend to intrude these poems
on the public as literal translations, but I have They shall never have it — never !
not marred their beauty by introducing thoughts The glorious German Rhine !
which they do not contain. He who would While patriot hearts are bathed
translate well, ought, after reading the poem, to In its generous purple wine;
close the book, and then, having reflected upon So long as the broad shadows
the subject, endeavour to clothe the ideas in the Of tall cliffs o'er it gleam ;
language into which he translates ; if he is able So long as proud cathedrals
to adopt the cadence and the rhythm of the Are imaged in its stream No; they shall never have it!
original, so much the better.
"It is the opinion of Schlegel that verse “No; they shall never have it,
translation should be nearer than paraphrase, The free, the German Rhine!
but less close to it than metaphrase. I quote While round its graceful maidens
but this is the sum and substance The arms of strong men twine; of that great critic's maxim; it is, at all events, And while one fish within it
that by which I have been guided.”
Without stopping to question the accuracy of
this quotation from Schlegel, which, however, No; they shall never have it, The German Rhine's free wave,
sounds to us more like one of the oracular dogTill its sacred tide is flowing
mas of "glorious John,” the English translator Above the last man's grave."
of Virgil, than the matured opinion of that great
German translator as well as critic, whose own Such of our readers as would wish to compare Mangan's version of this celebrated song with be termed metaphrastic, if, owing to the inferi
rendering of Shakespeare and Calderon might the foregoing, will find it in the number of our
ority of the English to the German language as Magazine for October, 1841; it will amply repay
a medium of translation, we had not become the trouble of the search.
habituated to connect a want of spirit and poetic Having expressed our opinion of some of Mr. harmony with this phrase. Without dwelling Boyd's predecessors in the pleasant region of translation, and given to our readers a few of the
on this particular observation, we beg leave to fruits of his experience, and the results of those express our dissent from the too-sweeping con
demnation which our author has passed upon principles by which he has been guided, we
literal translations. Even in the English lanthink it only fair that he should be allowed to express his own opinions upon these matters in guage, with which he had principally to do, and
which, from its comparative want of flexibility his own words:
and copiousness, presents very great difficulties « Most of the transl ons with which I am ac to the translator as well from the ancient ssic quainted,” says Mr. Boyd, in his preface, “ are, languages of Europe, as from the modern Italian, in my humble judgment, either too literal or too Spanish, and German, we think the attempt has obscure. In some, the original is followed — been made with complete success. If Mr. Boyd word for word, and line for line — with an accuracy 'so excr
cruciating,' that the sense is di- will look into the translation of 'Ariosto' by luted, and the poem rendered perfectly distasteful Mr. Rose, already mentioned,' he will find the to the English reader. Literal translation, espe- “ soft bastard Latin” of the Orlando “ done cially in poetry, I hold to be impracticable, into” very legitimate and literal English, without and the worst of all translators those who any of that “excruciating” torture which he pride themselves the most upon a strict adher-conceives the process necessarily demands. Even ence to the original : in others, the orignal is lost
the old translation by Harrington, which, bowsight of altogether, new thoughts and new images are introduced, always to the detriment of the ever, does little more than preserve the outward piece; and — with the exception of the poems form of the original, is better than that by Hoole, of Schiller, which have been translated by Sir which seems written in accordance with the rule E. Bulwer Lytton, with a fidelity and a beauty / laid down by our author, and which to all, ex
cept the "mere ” English reader, is awfully and | Homer — painted or gilded casts from the antremendously unendurable. The attentive pe- tique, instead of bronze or marble facsimiles. In rusal of Mr. Rose's work, side by side with the German, which, Mr. Boyd must be well aware, original, has convinced us that English transla- is so rich in translations, conscientiously and tors have indolently exaggerated difficulties that scrupulously literal, the very reverse of the rule industry and a due reverence for their subject laid down in his preface, would seem to be the might have overcome. Instead of reproducing one that guided the great masters of translation some great foreign work for the admiration of in that language. However, as Mr. Boyd's their countrymen, with the coloring and shad- practice is so much better than bis precept, and ing, the proportions, and the perspective of the as “the right to differ” is not exclusively the original, they have adopted a new standard alto- privilege of Irish politicians, we shall not further gether — changed the character of the composi- press our own views upon the subject, but take tion, and altered its tone, much in the way that leave of our author and his very beautiful a Chinese painter would copy a Canaletti. And volume, with the following lively poem from thus we have “elegant mistakes,” like Pope's | Goethe:
“A LAY OF CHRISTMAS.
"We cheerfully sing, and inscribe our glad lay
To the Lord of the Castle here seated,
And the bridal-guests sumptuously fêted.
To his mansion, he found it as open as day,
“There you stand, noble Count; you are now in your home,
And more comfortless quarters you scarcely could find;
And all through the casements loud whistles the wind.
In the meantime the moonbeams will show you where best,
“ There, seeking repose, half asleep as he lay,
Something moves about under his bed;
For a long time a stranger to bread;
Thus addresses the Count, as he, drowsily peeping,
“Our festive assemblies we held in this place,
When, your castle forsaking, to war you had gone;
We thought that our revels we still might hold on.
The Count, through his dream, as he lay at his ease,
“In an instant, three horsemen, who rode on before,
From under the bed leave their station;
Comic elves of this miniature nation;
It has been our reproach among the nations, no other cause than exposure to the atmosphere that we are not an artistic people. We may, if for two thousand years, upon the Acropolis of we please, mutter the name of Flaxman, and Athens, they would appear in a much more perdeclare this a slander; or we may invent new fect state than we find them in now; and frescanons of criticism, to prove that there has been coes on the fronts of Italian palaces have borne no legitimate development of Art out of our own the rains of three or four centuries, yet are fresh country. But a more candid course will be to at this day. Greek temples were, as Italian admit that we are not an artistic people; or, if churches are, shrines where the people bowed we be potentially, yet that "it hath not ap- down and worshipped the work of the chisel or peared.” We may find some solace under the the pencil; and the streets, the squares of Rome mortification incident to such an avowal, in con- and Florence, are, as those of Athens were, sidering the disadvantages under which Art has galleries of Art in its various developments. labored in this country. They have been many; In our own climate, marble and fresco do not but the most important has been the difficulty of bear exposure to the weather; and to introduce popularising it, owing to certain conditions of a picture into a church is regarded as a “reour climate, religion, and social habitudes. In moving of the landmarks” of purified ChristianGreece and in Italy, manners, religion, climate, ity. Art, therefore, is driven to asylums where all combined to give popular interest to Art. If it must be sought out; it does not obtrude itself the metopes of the Parthenon had suffered from / upon us; and does not present itself in any of
those forms that necessarily give it a place in the the climate makes us domestic rather than sociamind and heart of the people. It must be intro- ble; our public ways are at once too busy and duced to them under some other conditions than too dingy to encourage our converting them into served to popularise it in Southern Europe, if galleries of Art; we have nothing in common ever it is to be truly loved by them, and exert but wood pavements and bituminous footways. an influence upon them. It must adapt itself, We must have our pictures and our statues indeed, to the genius and circumstances of the about us, - we must have them in our studies nation. Englishmen live by fire-sides ; not in and our parlours. They help to make our rooms fora and piazze : they visit their churches to look comfortable. seat themselves in snug pews; not to wander But however sufficient artistic genius may about and make themselves cool with cold mar- prove, to meet the requirements of a people who ble and dark shade. For them the huge fresco club their wants, what amount would furnish must be exchanged for the cabinet picture ; and supply where each individual makes separate the colossal god must be dwarfed down into the demand? The desire must remain unsatisfied; lar. The Greek sculptor wrought for the Athe- the cost of production could not be so reduced nian people — for Greece — for the world — for as to put it in the power of all to gratify their all time: this he felt; and the inspiration was tastes; nor could talent enough be drawn toproportioned to such consciousness. The Eng- gether to execute works of a creditable kind; lish sculptor works for Lord this or Lady that, unless the genius of a people, so differing in whose flunkies will have opportunity to study their requirements from the old creative nations, his productions at leisure. The Italian painter solve the problem by some new development of wrought for galleries, through which a broad productive skill. We must manufacture Art. stream of life, swollen by tributaries from all The words do not sound well. They seem to parts of Europe, would be constantly pouring involve an union of incongruities. But they The English painter works for drawing-rooms, would have sounded worse five years ago. Since muslined up during six months in the year, and that time “ Art Manufactures ” have made great open, during the other six months, to a “very advance; and we may say of them now, in the select set,” few among whom descend to the vul same confidence with which we should speak of garity of examining the “furniture” of the the future progress of science, that much greater walls. How should English Art, then, attain to advance are they destined yet to make. Some the excellence, the dignity, of Art in Italy and of the early essays were unsatisfactory, not only in Ancient Greece? When we think how the as being necessarily imperfect in execution, but products of the patient labor of genius are des as designed upon false principles. Such were tined
among ourselves to be withdrawn from the the attempts at manufacturing Gothic enrichworld, we scarcely can wish, much less hope, ments for our churches, without regard to some that it should do so. The great works of genius essential proprieties of relation between material are the treasures of the world, and belong to the and the figures it was made to assume: as when abstract Man as his own triumphs. It were particular forms of panelling, which were develbetter they should not exist at all, than that they opments of the constructive capabilities of wood, should exist only for the few; for the latter were imitated, without modification, in cast iron, alternative would be an outrage on the rights of a substance wherein their significance was lost.
But mistakes such as this, and a certain mechanFar be it from us, however, to assert that it is ical hardness in most early attempts at Art undesirable Art should advance in this country. Manufacture, led many to too hasty a conclusion We say only that it should be popularised, so that there was a fixed incompatibility between that all should be benefited by its advance; and Art in its higher sense, and the rapid processes we believe that it is only by becoming a thing of the manufactory. for the people that it can attain to the full ex A little reflection would have shown this concellence which English genius may be capable clusion to be unfounded; for we have long had of reaching. But, we repeat, popularised it an illustration of the powers of Art Manufacture cannot be by the means which popularised it in in the various means by which pictures, reduced Italy and Greece. In the South, the people from color into light and shade, are multiplied live out of their houses, and have drawing-rooms ad infinitum. We are in the habit, and justly, and corridors in common, ceiled with the blue of classing engravings in all its varieties — heaven, and called squares and streets. There wood-cutting, lithography – among the Fine they have their works of Art about them; works A ts; yet all these are but methods of manufacupon a grandiose scale, to suit with galleries so turing pictures. wide and lofty: works in which all have equal Sculpture, too, has had its multiplying proproperty. In England we live within doors ; | cesses ; but they have not been so satisfactory