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Again his pencil's powers he tries,
For on his lips a smile he spies:
And still his cheek unfaded shows
The deepest damask of the rose.
Then, heedful to the finish'd whole,
With fondest eagerness he stole,
Till scarce himself distinctly knew
The cherub copied from the true.
Now, painter, cease! Thy task is done.
Long lives this image of thy son;
Nor short-lived shall thy glory prove,
Or of thy labour, or thy love.
FROM right to left, and to and fro,
Caught in a labyrinth, you go,
And turn, and turn, and turn again,
To solve the mystery, but in vain;
Stand still and breathe, and take from me
A clew, that soon shall set you free!
Not Ariadne, if you meet her,
Herself could serve you with a better.
You enter'd easily find where—
And make, with ease, your exit there!
NO SORROW PECULIAR TO THE SUFFERER.
THE lover, in melodious verses,
His singular distress rehearses,
Still closing with a rueful cry,
"Was ever such a wretch as I?"
Yes! thousands have endured before
All thy distress; some, haply more.
Unnumber'd Corydons complain,
And Strephons, of the like disdain :
And if thy Chloe be of steel,
Too deaf to hear, too hard to feel;
Not her alone that censure fits,
Nor thou alone hast lost thy wits.
To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The Snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all
Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house with much
Where'er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chattels none,
Well satisfied to be his own
Thus, hermit-like, his life he leads,
Nor partner of his banquet needs,
And if he meets one, only feeds
Who seeks him must be worse than blind,
(He and his house are so combined,)
If, finding it, he fails to find
WITH two spurs or one; and no great matter which,
Boots bought, or boots borrow'd, a whip or a switch,
Five shillings or less for the hire of his beast,
Paid part into hand,—you must wait for the rest;
Thus equipt, Academicus climbs up his horse,
And out they both sally for better or worse;
His heart void of fear, and as light as a feather;
And in violent haste to go not knowing whither:
Through the fields and the towns, (see!) he scampers
And is look'd at, and laugh'd at, by old and by young.
Till at length overspent, and his sides smear'd with blood,
Down tumbles his horse, man and all in the mud.
In a waggon or chaise shall he finish his route?
Oh! scandalous fate! he must do it on foot.
Young gentlemen, hear!-I am older than you! The advice, that I give, I have proved to be true. Wherever your journey may be, never doubt it, The faster you ride, you're the longer about it.
LATIN AND ITALIAN POEMS OF MILTON.
BEGUN SEPTEMBER, 1791. FINISHED MARCH, 1792.
Translations of the Latin Poems.
TO CHARLES DEODATI.
Ar length, my friend, the far-sent letters come,
Charged with thy kindness, to their destined home;
They come, at length, from Deva's western side,
Where prone she seeks the salt Vergivian tide.
Trust me, my joy is great that thou shouldst be,
Though born of foreign race, yet born for me,
And that my sprightly friend now free to roam,
Must seek again so soon his wonted home.
I well content, where Thames with influent tide
My native city laves, meantime reside,
Nor zeal nor duty now my steps impel
To reedy Cam, and my forbidden cell.
Nor aught of pleasure in those fields have I,
That, to the musing bard, all shade deny.
'Tis time that I a pedant's threats disdain,
And fly from wrongs my soul will ne'er sustain.
If peaceful days, in letter'd leisure spent,
Beneath my father's roof, be banishment,
Then call me banish'd, I will ne'er refuse
A name expressive of the lot I chuse.
I would that, exiled to the Pontic shore,
Rome's hapless bard had suffer'd nothing more;
He then had equall'd even Homer's lays,
And Virgil! thou hadst won but second praise.
For here I woo the Muse, with no control;
And here my books-my life-absorb me whole.
Here too I visit, or to smile, or weep,
The winding theatre's majestic sweep;
The grave or gay colloquial scene recruits
My spirits, spent in learning's long pursuits;
Whether some senior shrewd, or spendthrift heir,
Suitor or soldier, now unarm'd, be there;
Or some coif'd brooder o'er a ten years' cause,
Thunder the Norman gibberish of the laws.
The lacquey there oft dupes the wary sire,
And artful speeds the enamour'd son's desire.
There, virgins oft, unconscious what they prove,
What love is, know not, yet, unknowing, love.
Or if impassion'd Tragedy wield high
The bloody sceptre, give her locks to fly
Wild as the winds, and roll her haggard eye,
I gaze, and grieve, still cherishing my grief,
At times, even bitter tears yield sweet relief:
As when from bliss untasted torn away,
Some youth dies, hapless on his bridal day,