« PředchozíPokračovat »
Thou in immortal nuptials shalt rejoice,
AN ODE ADDRESSED TO MR. JOHN ROUSE,
LIBRARIAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
ON A LOST VOLUME OF MY POEMS, WHICH HE DESIRED ME TO REPLACE, THAT HE MIGHT ADD THEM TO MY OTHER WORKS DEPOSITED IN THE LIBRARY.
This Ode is rendered without rhime, that it might more adequately represent the original, which, as Milton himself informs us, is of no certain measure. It may possibly for this reason disappoint the reader, though it cost the writer more labour than the translation of any other piece in the whole collection.
My twofold book! single in show,
Neat, but not curiously adorn'd,
A poet gave, no lofty one in truth,
Say, little book, what furtive hand
What time, at the repeated suit
Of my most learned friend, I sent thee forth, an honour'd traveller, From our great city to the source of Thames, Cærulean sire; Where rise the fountains, and the raptures ring Of the Aonian choir,
Durable as yonder spheres,
And through the endless lapse of years
Now what god, or demigod,
For Britain's ancient genius moved
Have expiated at length the guilty sloth
Shall terminate our impious feuds,
And discipline, with hallow'd voice, recall? Recall the Muses too,
Driven from their ancient seats
In Albion, and well nigh from Albion's shore, And with keen Phoebean shafts
Piercing the unseemly birds,
Whose talons menace us,
Shall drive the harpy race from Helicon afar?
But thou, my book, though thou hast stray'd,
Or indolent neglect, thy bearer's fault,
To some dark cell, or cave forlorn,
For lo! again the splendid hope appears
Since Rouse desires thee, and complains
Thou yet appear'st not in thy place Among the literary noble stores,
Given to his care,
But, absent, leavest his numbers incomplete.
Calls thee to the interior shrine, his charge,
Haste, then, to the pleasant groves,
Resume thy station in Apollo's dome.
Than Delos, or the fork'd Parnassian hill!
Since now a splendid lot is also thine,
And thou art sought by my propitious friend; For there thou shalt be read
With authors of exalted note,
The ancient glorious lights of Greece and Rome.
Ye then, my works, no longer vain,
Gift of kind Hermes, and my watchful friend;
And whence the coarse unletter'd multitude
Perhaps some future distant age,
Less tinged with prejudice and better taught,
Translations of the Italian Poems.
FAIR Lady! whose harmonious name the Rhine, Through all his grassy vale, delights to hear, Base were indeed the wretch, who could forbear To love a spirit elegant as thine,
That manifests a sweetness all divine,
Nor knows a thousand winning acts to spare, And graces, which Love's bow and arrows are, Tempering thy virtues to a softer shine. When gracefully thou speak'st, or singest gay,
Such strains, as might the senseless forest move, Ah then-turn each his eyes and ears away,
Who feels himself unworthy of thy love! Grace can alone preserve him, ere the dart Of fond desire yet reach his inmost heart.
As on a hill-top rude, when closing day
So, on my tongue these accents, new and rare, Are flowers exotic, which Love waters there, While thus, O sweetly scornful! I essay
Thy praise, in verse to British ears unknown, And Thames exchange for Arno's fair domain;