Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Weave the frontlet, richly flushing,

And many a fount shall there distil, O'er my wintry temples blushing.

And many a rill refresh the flowers; Mix the brimmer- love and I

But wine shall gush in every rill,
Shall no more the gauntlet try,

And every fount be milky showers.
Here-upon this holy bowl,
I surrender all

my
soul!

Thus, shade of him whom Nature taught

To tune his lyre and soul to pleasure,

Who gave to love his warmest thought, Among the Epigrams of the Anthologia, there are some

Who gave to love his fondest measure! panegyrics on Anacreon, which I had translated, and originally intended as a kind of Coronis to the work: Thus, after death, if spirits feel, but I found, upon consideration, that they wanted Thou mayst, from odours round thee streaming, variety; a frequent recurrence of the same thought, A pulse of past enjoyment steal, within the limits of an epitaph, to which they are

And live again in blissful dreaming! confined, would render a collection of them rather uninteresting. I shall take the liberty, however, of subjoining a few, that I may not appear to have to

Του αυτου, εις τον αυτον. tally neglected those elegant tributes to the reputation of Anacreon. The four epigrams which I give are

ΤΟΜΒΟΣ Ανακρείοντος: ο Τηίος ενθάδε κυκνος imputed to Antipater Sidonius. They are rendered,

Εύδει, χη παιδων ζωροτατη μανιη. perhaps, with too much freedom; but, designing a Axuny del ploerte pedesetel ajape Bududda translation of all that are on the subject, I imagined Ιμερα και κισσου λευκος οδωδε λιθος. . it was necessary to enliven their uniformity by some- ουδ' Αϊδης σοι ερωτας απεσβεσεν εν δ' Αχεροντος times indulging in the liberties of paraphrase.

Ων, δλος ωδινεις Κυπριδι θερμοτερη.

HERE sleeps Anacreon, in this ivied shade;

Here, mute in death, the Teian swan is laid. Αντιπατρου Σιδωνιου, εις Ανακρέοντα. Cold, cold, the heart which lived but to respire

All the voluptuous frenzy of desire! ΘΑΛΛΟΙ τετρακoρυμβος, Ανακρέον, αμφι σε κισσος

And yet, oh bard! thou art not mute in death, αβρα τε λειμωνων πορφυρεων πεταλα:

Still, still we catch thy lyre's delicious breath; πηγαι δ' αργινοεντος αναθλιβoιντο γαλακτος, ευωδες δ' απο γης ήoυ χεοιτο μεθυ,

- the Teian swan is laid.) Thus Horace of Pindar: οφρα κε τoυ σπoδιη τε και οξεα τερψιν αρηται, ,

Malta Dircæum levat aura cycnum. ει δε τις φθιμενoις χριμπτεται ευφροσυνα, ,

A swan was the bieroglyphical emblem of a poet. Anacreon bas been ω το φιλον σερξας, φιλε, βαρβιτον, ω συν αοιδα

called the swan of Teos by another of bis eulogists. παντα διαπλωσας και συν ερωτι βιον.

Εν τοις μελιχροις Ιμεροισι συντροφος
AROUND the tomb, oh bard divine!

Λυαίος Ανακρέοντα, Τηϊον κυκνον,
Where soft thy hallow'd brow reposes,

Εσφηλας υγρη νεκταρος μεληδονη. .
Long may the deathless ivy twine,

Ευγενους, Ανθολογ. And Summer pour her waste of roses !

God of the grape! thou hast betray'd,

la wine's bewildering dream, Antipater Sidonias, ibe author of this epigram, lived, according

The fairest swan ibat ever play'd to Vossius, de Poetis Græcis, in the second year of the 16th Olym

Along ibe Muse's stream! piad. He appeare, from what Cicero and Quintilian have said of The Teian, nursed with all those bonied boys, him, to have been a kind of improvvisatore. See Institut. Orat. lib.

Tbe

young Desires, light Loves, and rose-lipp'd Joys! I, cap. 7.-There is nothing more known respecting this poet, ercept some particulars about his illness and death, which are men

Stil, still we catch thy lyre's delicious breath.] Thas Simonides,

speaking of our poet: tioned as curious by Pliny and others; and there remain of his works bat a few epigrams in tbe Anthologia, among which are these I bave Μολπης δ' ου ληθη μελιτερπεος, αλλ' ετι κεινο selected, apon Anacreon. Those remains have been sometimes im

Βαρβιτον ουδε θανων ευνασεν εις αίδη. puted to another poet (a) of the same name, of whom Vossius gives us the following account: «Antipater Thessalonicensis vixit tempore

Σιμωνιδου, Ανθολογ. Augusti Cæsaris, ut qui saltantem viderit Pyladem, sicut constat ex

Nor yet are all his numbers mute, quodam ejus epigrammato AvO920712;, lib. iv, tit. &is Opyn splo es. At eum ac Bathyllum primos fuisse pantomimos, ac sub

Though dark within the tomb he lies; Augusto claruisse, satis notum ex Dione," etc. etc.

But living still, his amorous lute The reader, who tbioks it worth observing, may find a strange

With slvopless animation sigbs! oversight in Hoffman's quotation of this article from Vossius, Lexic.

This is the famous Simonides, whom Plato styled divine, though Univers. By the omission of a sentence he has made Vossius assert

Le Fevre, in bis Poètes Grecs, supposes that the epigrams under that the poet Antipater was one of the first pantomime dancers in

his name are all falsely impated. The most coosiderable of his Rome.

remains is a satirical poem upon women, preserved by Stobæus, Barnes, upon the epigram before us, mentions a version of it by ows yuvauwv. Brodæus, which is not to be found in that commentator ; but he more

We may judge from the lines I have just quoted, and the import than once con founds Brodæus with another annotator on the Antho

of the epigram before us, that the works of Anacreon were perfect is logia, Vincentius Obsopæus, who has given a translation of the epi- the times of Simonides and Antipater. Obsopæus, the commentator, gram.

here appears to exult in their destruction, and telling us they were

burned by the bishops and patriarchs, he adds, . nec sanc id nec(8) Pleraque tamen Thessalonicensi tribuenda videntur.

quicquam fecerunt,, attributing to this outrage an effect which it BRCXCK, Lectiones et Emendas. could never produce.

And still thy songs of soft Bathylla bloom,

So shall my sleeping ashes thrill Green as the ivy round the mouldering tomb!

With visions of enjoyment still. Nor yet has death obscured thy fire of love,

I cannot even in death resign Still, still it lights thee through the Elysian grove:

The festal joys that once were mine, And dreams are thine that bless the elect alone,

When harmony pursued my ways,
And Venus calls thee, even in death, her own!

And Bacchus wanton'd to my lays.
Oh! if delight could charm no more,
If all the goblet's bliss were o'er,

When Fate had once our doom decreed,
Του αυτου, εις τον αυτον.

Then dying would be death indeed!
ΞΕΙΝΕ, ταφον παρα λιτον Ανακρειoντoς αμειβων

Nor could I think, unblest by wine, Ετ τι τοι εκ βιβλων ήλθεν εμων οφελος,

Divinity itself divine! Σπεισον εμη σπoδιη, σπεισον γανος, φρα κεν δίνω

ος εα γηθησε ταμα νοτιζομενα, “Ως ο Διονυσου μεμελημενος ουασε κωμος "Ως ο φιλακρη του συντροφος αρμονίης,

Του αυτου, εις τον αυτον. Μηδε καταφθιμενος Βακχου διχα τουτον υπoισω ΕΥΔΕΙΣ εν φθιμε νοισιν, Ανακρεον, εσθλα πονησας, Τον γενεη μεροπων χωρον οφειλομενον.

εύδει δ' ή γλυκιοη νυκτιλαλος κιθαρα,

εύδει και Σμεροις, το Ποθων εαρ, ώ συ μελισσων Ou stranger! if Anacreon's shell

βαρβιτ', ανεκρουου νεκταρ εναρμονιον. Has ever taught thy heart to swell

ηίθεου γαρ Ερωτος εφυς σκοπος" ες δε σε μουνον With passion's throb or pleasure's sigh,

τοξα τε και σχολιας ειχεν εκηβολιας.
In pity turn, as wandering nigh,
And drop thy goblet's richest tear,
In exquisite libation here!

Ar length thy golden hours have wing'd their flight,

And drowsy death that eyelid steepeth ; The spirit of Anaereon utters these verses from the tomb, some- Thy harp, that whisper'd through each lingering night, what • mutatus ab illo, at least in simplicity of expression.

Now mutely in oblivion sleepeth!
--if Anacreon's shell
Has ever taughe thy heart to swell, etc.) We may guess, from the She, too, for whom that heart profusely shed
words εκ βιβλων εμων, that Anacreon was not merely a writer of The purest nectar of its numbers,
billets-dour, as some French critics bavo called him. Amongst She, the young spring of thy desires, has fled,
these M. Le Fevre, with all his professed admiration, has given our
poet a character by no means of an elevated cast:

And with her blest Anacreon slumbers !
Aussi c'est pour cela que la postérité
L'a toujours justement d'âge en age chanté

And Bacchus wanton'd to my lays, etc.) The original here is cor-
Comme un franc gogoenard, ami de goinfrerie,

rupted, tbe line cos o dovutou, is unintelligible. Ami de billets-doux et de badinerie.

Brunck's emendation improves the sense, but I doubt if it can be

commended for elegance. He reads tbe line thas: See the verses prefixed to his Poètes Grecs. This is unlike the language of Theocritus, to whom Anacreon is indebted for the follow- ώς ο Διωνυσοιο λελασμενος ουπoτε κωμων. ing simple eulogium :

See Brunca, Analecta Veter. Poet. Græc. vol. ii. Εις Ανακρέοντος ανδριαντα.

Thy harp, that whisper'd through each lingering night, ete.) la an

other of these poems, the nightly-speaking lyre » of the bard is not Θεσαι τον ανδριάντα τουτον, ω ξενε,

allowed to be silent even after bis death, σπουδα, και λεη, επαν ες οικον ελθης.

ως ο φιλακρητος τε και οινοβαρες φιλοκωμος Ανακρέοντος εικον' ειδον εν Τεω.

παννυχιος κρουοι (a) την φιλοπαιδα χελυν. των προσθ' ει τι περισσον ωθοποιων.

Σιμωνιδου, εις Ανακρέοντα. προσθεις δε χώτι τους νεοισιν άδετο, έρεις ατρεκεως όλον τον ανδρα.

To beauty's smile and wine's delight,

To joys be loved on eartb so well,
Upon the Statue of Anacreon.

Still shall his spirit, all the night,

Altune the wild aèrial shell! Stranger! who near this statue chance to roam,

Let it awhile your stadious eyes engage; And you may say, returning to your home,

She, the young spring of thy desires, etc.) The original, to loI've seen the imag of the Teian sage,

is beautiful. We regret that such praise should be laBest of the bards who deck the Muse's page.”

vished so prepostorously, and feel that the poet's mistress, Earypyle, Then, if you add, « Tbac striplings loved him well,

would have deserved it better. Her name bas been told us by MeleYou tell them all he was, and aptly tell.

ager, as already quoted, aod in another epigram by Antipater. The simplicity of this inscription has always delighted me; I have υγρα δε δερκομενοισιν εν ομμασιν ουλoν αειδους, given it, I believe, as literally as a verse translation will allow.

αιθυσσων λιπαρες ανθος υπερθε κομης, And drop thy goblei's richest tear, etc.) Thas Simonides, in another

ηε προς Ευρυπυλην τετραμμενος of his epitaphs on our poet:

Long may tbe nymph around thee play, Και μιν αει τεγγοι νοτερη δροσος, ής ο γεραιος

Eurypyle, thy soul's desire! Λαροτερον μαλακων επνεεν εκ ςοματων.

Basking her beauties in the ray

Tbat lights thine eyes' dissolving fire!
Let vines, in clustering beauty wreathed,

Drop all their treasures on his bead,
Whose lips a dew of sweetness breatbed,

(a) Bruuck bas x pouwv, hut xpowol, the common reading, better Richer than vine hath ever shed !

suits a detached quotation.

θων εαρ,

Farewell! thou hadst a pulse for every dart

That Love could scatter from his quiver;

And

every woman found in thee a heart,
Which thou, with all thy soul, didst give her.

[ocr errors]

Sing of her smile's bewitching power.

And every woman found in thee a heart, etc.) This couplet is not Her every grace that warms and blesses ;

otherwise warranted by the original, tban as it dilates the thought Sing of her brow's luxuriant flower,

which Antipater has figuratively expressed. The beaming glory of her tresses.

Τον δε γυνακειων μελεων πλεξαντα ποτ' ωδας, The expression here, a>005 nouns, . the flower of the hair, - is

Ηδων Ανακρειoντα,(α) Τεως εις Ελλαδ' αναγεν, borrowed from Anacreon bimself, as appears by a fragment of the poet preserved In Stobaeus: Απέκειρας δ' άπαλης αμωμον

Συμποσιων ερεθισμα, γυναικων ηπεροπευμα. ανθος.

Critias, of Athens, pays a tribute to the legitimate gallantry of

Anacreon, calling him, with elegant conciseness, yuvalkwy Gjite poThe purest nectar of its numbers, etc.) Thus, says Brunck, in the

πευμα. .
prologue to the Satires of Persius :

Teos gave to Greece her treasure,
Cantare credas Pegaseium nectar.

Sago Anacreon, sage in loving;
• Melos, is the usual reading in this line, and Casaubon has de- Fondly weaving lays of pleasure
fended it; but « nectar,. I think, is much more spirited.

For the maids who blush'd approving!

Oh! in nightly banquets sporting, Farewell! thou hadsı a pulse for every darl, etc. ) equs oxOTTOS, Wbere's the guest could ever fly him! a scopus eras natura, - not speculator,» as Barnes very falsely inter

Ob! with love's seduction courting,
prets it.

Where's the nymph could e'er deby him ?
Vincentius Obsopeus, upon this passage, contrives to indulge us
with a liule astrological wisdom, and talks in a style of learned scan- (a) Thus Scaliger, in his dedicatory verses to Roosard :
dal about Venus, . male posita cum Marte in domo Saturni,,

Blandus, suaviloquus, dulcis Anacreon.

Little's Poems.

LostSSE PUDET.-HOR.

Ταυ' ες' ονειρων νεοτερων φαντασματα, οίον ληρος.

Metroc. ap. Diog. LAERT. Lib. vi, cap. 6.

PREFACE.

inculcates. Few can regret this more sincerely than

myself; and if my friend had lived, the judgment of BY THE EDITOR.

riper years would have chastened his mind, and tempered the luxuriance of his fancy.

Mr Little gave much of his time to the study of the The Poems which I take the liberty of publishing were amatory writers. If ever he expected to find in the never intended by the Author to pass beyond the circle ancients that delicacy of sentiment and variety of fancy of his friends. He thought, with some justice, that which are so necessary to refine and animate the poetry what are called Occasional Poems must be always insipid of love, he was much disappointed. I know not any and uninteresting to the greater part of their readers. one of them who can be regarded as a model in that The particular situations in which they were written; style; Ovid made love like a rake, and Propertius like a the character of the author and of his associates; all schoolmaster. The mythological allusions of the latter these peculiarities must be known and felt before we are called erudition by his commentators; but such can enter into the spirit of such compositions. This ostentatious display, upon a subject so simple as love, consideration would have always, I believe, prevented would be now esteemed vague and puerile, and was, even Mr Little from submitting these trifles of the moment in his own times, pedantic. It is astonishing that so to the eye of dispassionate criticism: and, if their post- many critics have preferred him to the pathetic Tibulhumous introduction to the world be injustice to his lus; but I believe the defects which a common reader memory, or intrusion on the public, the error must be condemns have been looked upon rather as beauties by imputed to the injudicious partiality of friendship. those erudite men, the commentators, who find a field

Mr Little died in his one-and-twentieth year; and for their ingenuity and research in his Grecian learnmost of these Poems were written at so early a period, ing and quaint obscurities. that their errors may claim some indulgence from the Tibullus abounds with touches of fine and natural critic: their author, as unambitious as indolent, scarce feeling. The idea of his unexpected return to Delia, ever looked beyond the moment of composition; he Tunc veniam subito, .' etc. is imagined with all the wrote as he pleased, careless whether he pleased as he delicate ardour of a lover; and the sentiment of nec

It may likewise be remembered that they were te posse carere velim,» however colloquial the expression all the productions of an age when the passions very may have been, is natural and from the heart. But, in often give a colouring too warm to the imagination; and my opinion, the poet of Verona possessed more genuine this may palliate, if it cannot excuse, that air of levity feeling than any of them. His life was, I believe, unwhich pervades so many of them. The « aurca legge, s' ei piace ei lice, , he too much pursued, and too much

Lib. i. eleg. 3.

wrote.

[ocr errors]

fortunate; his associates were wild and abandoned; and short a date to allow him to perfect such a taste; but the warmth of his nature took too much advantage of how far he was likely to have succeeded, the critic may the latitude which the morals of those times so crimi- judge from his productions. nally allowed to the passions. All this depraved his I have found among his papers a novel, in rather an imagination, and made it the slave of his senses: but still imperfect state, which, as soon as I have arranged and a native sensibility is often very warmly perceptible; collected it, shall be submitted to the public eye. and when he touches on pathos, he reaches the heart Where Mr Little was born, or what is the genealogy immediately. They who have felt the sweets of return of his parents, are points in which very few readers can to a home from which they have long been absent, will

be interested. His life was one of those humble streams confess the beauty of those simple unaffected lines: which have scarcely a name in the map of life, and the O quid solutis est beatius curis ?

traveller may pass it by without inquiring its source or Cum mens opus reponit, ac peregrino

direction. His character was well known to all who Labore fossi venimus Larem ad nostrum

were acquainted with him; for he had too much vanity Desideratoque acquiescimus lecto.

to hide its virtues, and not enough of art to conceal its His sorrows on the death of his brother are the very defects. The lighter traits of his mind may be traced tears of poesy; and when he complains of the ingrati- perhaps in his writings; but the few for which he was tude of mankind, even the inexperienced cannot but valued live only in the remembrance of his friends. sympathize with him. I wish I were a poet; I should

T.M. endeavour to catch, by translation, the spirit of those beauties which I admire' so warmly.

It seems to have been peculiarly the fate of Catullus, TO J. ATK-NS-N, ESQ. that the better and more valuable part of his poetry has not reached us; for there is confessedly nothing in his extant works to authorize the epithet « doctus » so uni- MY DEAR SIR, versally bestowed upon him by the ancients. If time I feel a very sincere pleasure in dedicating to you the had suffered the rest to escape, we perhaps should have Second Edition of our friend Little's Poems. I am not found among them some more purely amatory; but of unconscious that there are many in the collection which those we possess, can there be a sweeter specimen of perhaps it would be prudent to have altered or omitted : warm, yet chastened description, than his loves of Acme and, to say the truth, I more than once revised them for and Septimius? and the few little songs of dalliance to that purpose; but, I know not why, I distrusted either Lesbia are distinguished by such an exquisite playful- my heart or my judgment; and the consequence is, you ness, that they have always been assumed as models by have them in their original form : the most elegant modern Latinists. Still, I must con

Non possunt nostros multa, Faustine, lituræ fess, in the midst of these beauties,

Emendare jocos; una litura potest.
-Medio de fonte leporum

I am convinced, however, that though not quite a
Surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat. '

casuiste relâché, you have charity enough to forgive It has often been remarked, that the ancients knew such inoffensive Follies : you know the pious Beza was nothing of gallantry; and we are told there was too much

not the less revered for those sportive juvenilia which he sincerity in their love to allow them to trifle with the published under a fictitious name; nor did the levity of semblance of passion. But I cannot perceive that they Bembo's poems prevent him from making a very good were any thing more constant than the moderns: they cardinal. felt all the same dissipation of the heart, though they knew not those seductive graces by which gallantry

Believe me, my dear friend, almost teaches it to be amiable. Wotton, the learned

With the truest esteem, advocate for the moderns, deserts them in cousidering

Yours. this point of comparison, and praises the ancients for

T. M. their ignorance of such a refinement; but he scems to

April 19, 1802. have collected his notions of gallantry from the insipid fadeurs of the French romances, which are very unlike the sentimental levity, the « grata protervitas,» of a Rochester or a Sedley.

POEMS, ETC. From what I have had an opportunity of observing, the early poets of our own language were the models which Mr Little selected for imitation. To attain their

TO JULIA. -simplicity (ævo rarissima nostro simplicitas) was bis

IN ALLUSION TO SOME ILLIBERAL CRITICISMS. fondest ambition. He could not have aimed at a grace more difficult of attainment;3 and his life was of too Way, let the stingless critic chide

With all that fume of vacant pride "In the following Poems, there is a translation of one of his finest Which mantles o'er the pedant fool, Carmina ; bui I fancy it is only a school-boy's essay, and deserves to

Like vapour on a stagnant pool! be praised for little more than the attempt. * Lacretius.

Oh! if the song, to feeling true, "It is a curious illustration of ibe labour which simplicity requires, Can please the elect, the sacred few, that the Ramblers of Joboson, elaborate as they appear, were written Whose souls, by Taste and Nature taught, with flooney, and seldom required revision; while the simple lan

Thrill with the genuine pulse of thoughtguage of Rousseau, which seems to come fowing from the beart, was the slow production of painful labour, pausing on every word, and

If some fond feeling maid like thee, balancing every sentence.

The warm-eyed child of Sympathy,

TO MRS
IF, in the dream that hovers

Around my sleeping mind,
Fancy thy form discovers,

And paints thee melting kind;

Shall say, while o'er my simple theme
She languishes in Passion's dream,
• He was, indeed, a tender soul-
No critic law, no chill control,
Should ever freeze, by timid art,
The tlowings of so fond a heart!,
Yes! soul of Nature! soul of Love!
That, hovering like a snow-wing d dove,
Breathed o'er my cradle warblings wild,
And hail'd me Passion's warmest child !
Grant me the tear from Beauty's eye,
From Feeling's breast the votive sigh;
Oh! let my song, my memory, find
A shrine within the tender mind;
And I will scorn the critic's chide,
And I will scorn the fume of pride
Which mantles o'er the pedant fool,
Like vapour on a stagnant pool!

If joys from sloep I borrow,

Sure thou 'lt forgive me this; '. For he who wakes to sorrow

At least may dream of bliss !

Oh! if thou art, in seeming,

All that I've c'er required: Oh! if I feel, in dreaming,

All that I've e'er desired;

Wilt thou forgive my taking

A kiss, or something more? What thou deny'st me waking,

Ob! let me slumber o'er!

[blocks in formation]
« VorigeDoorgaan »