Obrázky stránek

Pindar with Bacchus glows ;-his every

line Breathes the rich fragrance of inspiring wine, While, with loud crash o'erturn'd, the chariot lies And brown with dust the fiery courser flies. The Roman lyrist steep'd in wine his lays So sweet in Glycera's and Chloe's praise. Now too the plenteous feast and mantling bowl Nourish the vigour of thy sprightly soul ; The flowing goblet makes thy numbers flow, And casks not wine alone, but verse bestow. Thus Phoebus favours, and the arts attend, Whom Bacchus, and whom Ceres, both befriend : What wonder then, thy verses are so sweet, In which these triple powers so kindly meet ? The lute now also sounds, with gold in-wrought, And touch'd, with flying fingers, nicely taught, In tapestried halls high roof'd, the sprightly lyre Directs the dancers of the virgin choir. If dull repletion fright the Muse away, Sights, gay as these, may more invite her stay: And, trust me, while the ivory keys resound, Fair damsels sport, and perfumes steam around, Apollo's influence, like ethereal flame, Shall animate, at once, thy glowing frame, And all the Muse shall rush into thy breast, By love and music's blended powers possest. For numerous powers light Elegy befriend, Hear her sweet voice, and at her call attend; Her, Bacchus, Ceres, Venus, all approve, And, with his blushing mother, gentle Love. Hence to such bards we grant the copious use Of banquets, and the vine's delicious juice.

But they, who demi-gods and heroes praise,
And feats perform'd in Jove's more youthful days,
Who now the counsels of high heaven explore,
Now shades, that echo the Cerberean roar,
Simply let these, like him of Samos, live,
Let herbs to them a bloodless banquet give;
In beechen goblets let their beverage shine,
Cool from the crystal spring, their sober wine!
Their youth should pass in innocence, secure
From stain licentious, and in manners pure,
Pure as the priest, when robed in white he stands,
The fresh lustration ready in his hands.
Thus Linus lived, and thus, as poets write,
Tiresias, wiser for his loss of sight;
Thus exiled Chalcas, thus the bard of Thrace,
Melodious tamer of the savage race ;
Thus train’d by temperance, Homer led, of

His chief of Ithaca from shore to shore,
Through magic Circe's monster-peopled reign,
And shoals insidious with the siren train ;
And through the realms where grizly spectres dwell,
Whose tribes he fetter'd in a gory spell ;
For these are sacred bards, and, from above,
Drink large infusions from the mind of Jove.

Would'st thou, (perhaps ’tis hardly worth thine ear,) Would'st thou be told my occupation here? The promised King of peace employs my pen, The eternal covenant made for guilty men, The new-born Deity with infant cries Filling the sordid hovel, where he lies : The hymning Angels, and the herald star, That led the Wise, who sought him from afar,

And idols on their own unhallow'd shore
Dash'd, at his birth, to be revered no more

e !
This theme on reeds of Albion I rehearse:
The dawn of that blest day inspired the verse;
Verse, that, reserved in secret, shall attend
Thy candid voice, my critic, and my friend!



As yet a stranger to the gentle fires,
That Amathusia's smiling queen inspires,
Not seldom I derided Cupid's darts,
And scorn'd his claim to rule all human hearts.
“ Go, child," I said, “ transfix the timorous dove !
An easy conquest suits an infant love;
Enslave the sparrow, for such prize shall be
Sufficient triumph to a chief like thee !
Why aim thy idle arms at human kind?
Thy shafts prevail not 'gainst the noble mind.”

The Cyprian heard, and, kindling into ire,
(None kindles sooner,) burn’d with double fire.

It was the spring, and newly risen day Peep'd o'er the hamlets on the first of May; My eyes too tender for the blaze of light, Still sought the shelter of retiring night, When Love approach'd, in painted plumes array'd, The insidious god his rattling darts betray'd, Nor less his infant features, and the sly Sweet intimations of his threatening eye.

Such the Sigeian boy is seen above, Filling the goblet for imperial Jove; Such he, on whom the nymphs bestow'd their charms, Hylas, who perish'd in a Naiad's arms. Angry he seem'd, yet graceful in his ire, And added threats, not destitute of fire.

My power,” he said, “ by others' pain alone, 'Twere best to learn ; now learn it by thy own! With those who feel my power that power attest, And in thy anguish be my sway confest ! I vanquish'd Phæbus, though returning vain From his new triumph o'er the Python slain, And, when he thinks on Daphne, even he Will yield the prize of archery to me. A dart less true the Parthian horseman sped, Behind him kill'd, and conquer'd as he fled : Less true the expert Cydonian, and less true The youth whose shaft his latent Procris slew. Vanquish'd by me see huge Orion bend, By me Alcides, and Alcides' friend. At me should Jove himself a bolt design, His bosom first should bleed transfixt by mine. But all thy doubts this shaft will best explain, Nor shall it reach thee with a trivial pain, Thy Muse, vain youth ! shall not thy peace ensure, Nor Phæbus' serpent yield thy wound a cure.”

He spoke, and, waving a bright shaft in air, Sought the warm bosom of the Cyprian fair.

That thus a child should bluster in my ear, Provoked my laughter, more than moved my fear. I shunn'd not, therefore, public haunts, but stray'd Careless in city or suburban shade,

And passing, and repassing, nymphs, that moved
With grace divine, beheld where'er I roved.
Bright shone the vernal day, with double blaze,
As beauty gave new force to Phæbus' rays.
By no grave scruples check'd, I freely eyed
The dangerous show, rash youth my only guide,
And many a look of many a fair unknown
Met full, unable to controul my own.
But one I mark'd (then peace forsook my breast)
One—oh how far superior to the rest !
What lovely features ! such the Cyprian queen
Herself might wish, and Juno wish her mien.

very nymph was she, whom when I dared
His arrows, Love had even then prepared ;
Nor was himself remote, nor unsupplied
With torch well-trimm'd and quiver at his side;
Now to her lips he clung, her eye-lids now,
Then settled on her cheeks, or on her brow;
And with a thousand wounds from every part
Pierced, and transpierced, my undefended heart.
A fever, new to me, of fierce desire
Now seized my soul, and I was all on fire,
But she, the while, whom only I adore,
Was gone, and vanish’d, to appear no more.
In silent sadness I pursue my way;
I pause, I turn, proceed, yet wish to stay,
And while I follow her in thought, bemoan
With tears, my soul's delight so quickly flown.
When Jove had hurl'd him to the Lemnian coast,
So Vulcan sorrow'd for Olympus lost,
And so Oeclides, sinking into night,
From the deep gulf look'd up to distant light.

« PředchozíPokračovat »