« ZurückWeiter »
I. THE COMET.
SKY PICTURES IN SICILY.
Saying, “ Your shows are brighter for my tears;
Mine are the gems on yonder bow bestrown,
Brighter by far than my North sisters own; PALE phantom, on the blue October night, Mine, yon gray pillar that the sea uprears.Like a dropped plume from fallen angel's Climb to the lonely temple on the hill, wing
Where stood Segesté once, when I am there, Floating astray, a shunned, mysterious thing, And ye shall see above that ruin fair Alike unclaimed by darkness or by light ;- I can hang grief so solemn, that a thrill Old superstitions quicken at thy sight,
Of ancient awe the blood of health shall chill, Of storm and earthquake, -of tyrannic King As though departed Gods were weeping dark Sudden struck mad,- of Death volcanoes in air.” fling
-All the Year Round. Down hills alive with autumn's vintage bright.
To me a strange companion thou hast been For many a lonely hour beside the sea,
ON GUARD. Bringing back firelights when I used to lean,
At midnight, on my lonely beat, A wondering child, against my father's knee,
When shadow wraps the wood and lea, Who told us tales of others like to thee,
A vision seems my view to greet Ghosts of the air, with fright by simple mor
Of one at home that prays for me.
No roses blow upon her cheek-
Her form is not a lover's dream
But on her face, so fair and meek,
A host of holier beauties gleam.
For softly shines her silver hair,
A patient smile is on her face, Evening doth warm 'mid orange fruitage die,
And the mild lustrous light of prayer Above her tent the rose, with crimson showers,
Around her sheds a moonlike grace. Fringes the clouds; o'er yonder mountain towy- She prays for one that's far away,
The soldier in his holy fight, A rain of violets falleth from on high.
And begs that Heaven in mercy may Yes, this was Enna's land; and here, I swear, Protect her boy and bless the Right !
Was the famed grove of the Hesperides.
Till, though the leagues lie far between,
This silent incense of her heart wear, So teeming ripe the bounty of the trees ;
Steals o'er my soul with breath serene, Color and changing perfume fill the air,
And we no longer are apart. Which faints not 'neath the freight, but laughs So guarding thus my lonely beat, like heart at ease.
By shadowy wood and haunted lea,
Of her at home who prays for me.
CAMP CAMERON. The moon doth challenge this variety;
-Harper's Weekly. “Leave to the day its gaudy shows,” saith
she, “Mine be the calmer holiness of Night.
THE CHILDREN'S TIMEPIECE. After the feast, the prayer-after delight,
Now Summer dons her golden robe; Thoughtful repose-after the rainbow sea Its gray and half-transparent globe
Heaving with glittering turbulence, for me The dandelion rears again One changeless amethyst, as mirror bright. From the green meadow's rolling main.
Mine are the hours when Memory softly roves Now when the brown and purple grass (Hope would the mysteries of the sun explore), Is yellowed by the king-cup's flowers,
When all the best aspirings, purest loves, The children pluck the rank green tubes, And sweetest friendships man enjoyed of yore, And blow the down to count the hours. Come back-when even the mournful dirge • No more!'
When birds their lulling spring-song cease,
And Summer 'gins her reign of peace; Like soothing distant chime, in mellowed cadence moves.
When meadows turn a sunny brown,
And brave the hot flushed summer wind;
Then children pluck the cobweb flowers, Saddens the breeze, like the low streamy moan And blow the down to count the hours. Of captive Naiad, sobbing out her fears. -Chambers's Journal.
III. THE MOON TAKES UP THE TALE.
From The Quarterly Review. passages of rampant extravagance and un1. The Works of Virgil. Translated by the disguised absurdity.
Rev. Rann Kennedy and Charles Rann A very few words are all that need be Kennedy. 2 Vols. 1849.
spent on the first translation of Virgil into 2. My Book. By James Henry. 1853. 3. The Works of Virgil : closely rendered English by Caxton. The title, or rather tail
into English Rhythm. By Rev. Robert piece, runs as follows: “Here fynyssheth Corbet Singleton. Vol. I. 1855.
the boke of Eneydos, compyled by Vyrgyle, 4. Virgil : literally translated into English whiche hathe be translated oute of latyne in
Prose. By Henry Owgan, LL.D. 1857. to frenshe, And oute of frenshe reduced in Not long ago
we invited the attention of to Englysshe by me Wyllm Caxton the xxii. the public to Horace and his translators. daye of luyn, the yeare of our lorde m.iiii From Horace to Virgil is a natural and easy
clxxxx. The fythe yeare of the Regne of transition, and we are now accordingly go- Kynge Henry the seuenth.” Some account ing to offer some remarks on the English of the original work (by Guillaume de Roy) translators of Virgil, though we cannot plead may be found in Warton's “ History of Engthe excuse of the appearance of any recent lish Poetry,” Section xxiv. It seems, in fact, versions by eminent hands, by noble lords to be a romance made out of the Æneid by or accomplished statesmen. Our intention numerous excisions and some additions, the is to furnish some answer to two distinct bulk of the whole being comparatively small. though connected questions: How has Vir- We have only glanced at the translation, the gil been translated ? and how may he be printing as well as the language of which is translated ?
calculated to repel all but black-letter stuTo attempt an exhaustive account of all dents ; but its chief characteristic seems to the translations of the whole or parts of Vir- be excessive amplification of the Latin. This gil which have been made in English is a is apparently the version of Virgil's two lines task which would exceed our own opportu- (Æn. IV. 9, 10):nities, as it probably would the wishes of | “Anna soror, quæ me suspensam insomnia terour readers. Many of these productions are rent! doubtless unknown to us : with others we
Quis novus hic nostris successit sedibus hosare acquainted by name or by character, but they do not happen to be within our reach. It “ Anne my suster and frende I am in ryghte is obvious, too, that there must be a consid- gret thoughte strongely troubled and incyted, erable number which do not deserve even the by dremes admonested whiche excyte my slender honor of a passing commemoration. courage tenquire the maners & lygnage of Here, as elsewhere, something will depend whiche deliteth hym strongely to speke, in
this man thus valyaunt, strong, & puyssaunt, on the date and consequent rarity of the deuysing the hie fayttes of armes and perbook. A worthless translation of the nine- illys daungerous whiche he sayth to haue teenth century calls for no mention at all ; passed, neweli hither comyn to soiourne in the work can be procured without difficulty, our countreys. I am so persuaded of grete or the reader, if he pleases, can himself pro obfusked, endullyd and rauysshed.”
admonestments that all my entendement is duce something of the same character. A worthless translation of the sixteenth cen- It was not long before Caxton was to meet tury has an adventitious value: it is prob- with one who proved himself both a severe ably rare, and at any rate the power of pro-critic and a successful rival. This was “the ducing any thing similar is gone forever. Reverend Father in God, Mayster Gawin While, therefore, we do not cater for pro- Douglas, Bishop of Dunkel, and unkil to the fessed antiquaries, we may perhaps hope to Erle of Angus," whose “xiii Bukes of Eneainterest those who care to see how Virgil has dos of the famose Poete Virgill translatet fared at the hands of writers, great and small, out of Latyne verses into Scottish metir," belonging to the various schools of English though not published till 1553, was written poetry—who for the sake of a few instances forty years earlier. In the poetical preface of beauty and ingenuity will pardon a good to this work—a composition of some five deal of quaintness and even some dulness, hundred lines there is a long paragraph, and are not too severe to smile at occasional entitled in the margin, “ Caxtoun's faultes,” * No. ccviii. Art. 2.
which passes in review the various delin* Froude's Hist. of England, vol. iv. p. 509. the long fourteen-syllable or ballad metre,
quiencies of the father of printing : his omis- specimen of English blank verse. As might sion of the greater part of the “ thre first be expected, the versification is not entitled bukis,” his assertion that the storm in Book to any very high positive praise. It is lanI. was sent forth by Æolus and Neptune, the guid and monotonous, and sometimes un“prolixt and tedious fassyoun" in which he metrical and inharmonious; but the advance deals with the story of Dido, his total sup- upon Gawin Douglas is very perceptible. pression of the fifth Book, his ridiculous re- The language is chiefly remarkable for its jection of the descent into the shades as fab- purity and simplicity; occasionally there is ulous, his confusion of the Tiber with the a forcible expression, but in general a uniTover, his substitution of Crispina for Dei- form medium is kept, and a modern reader phobe as the name of the Sibyl, the whole will still complain a little of prolixity, though being summed up by the assurance that, he will acknowledge that the fault is being “His buk is na mare like Virgil, dar I lay,
gradually corrected. Dr. Nott has remarked Than the nyght oule resemblis the papingay.” that some parts of the translation are more The bishop's own version has been highly draws attention to the fact that Surrey has
highly wrought than others; while praised by competent judges, and we think deservedly. One specimen we will give, frequently copied Douglas, whose work must
One specimen we will give, have been known to him in MS., he notes and it shall be from the exordium of Book
that these obligations are much more freI. :
quent in the Second Book than in the Fourth. “ The battellis and the man I will discriue, The following extract (we quote from Dr. Fra Troyis boundis first that fugitiue
Nott's edition) will perhaps give an adequate By fate to Italie come and coist lauyne, Ouer land and se cachit with meikill pyne
notion of Surrey's manner (Æn. II. 228, By force of goddis aboue fra euery stede “ Tumvero tremefacta,” etc.) :Of cruel luno throw auld remembrit feid : Grete payne in batelles sufferit he also
“New gripes of dread then pierce our trembling Or he his goddis brocht in Latio
breasts. And belt the ciete, fra quham of nobil fame
They said, Lacon's deserts had dearly bought The latyno peopill taken has thare name,
His heinous deed, that pierced had with steel And eke the faderis, princis of Alba,
The sacred bulk, and thrown the wicked lance. Come, and the walleris of grete Rome alsua.” The people cried with sundry greeing shouts
To bring the horse to Pallas' temple blive, The reader of these lines will not fail to In hope thereby the goddess' wrath to appease, remark their general closeness to the origi
We cleft the walls and closures of the town,
Whereto all help, and underset the feet nal, at the same time that he will be struck
With sliding rolls, and bound his neck with with a certain diffuseness, such as seems to
ropes. be an inseparable adjunct of all early poetry. This fatal gin thus overclamb our walls, To expect that such rude and primitive work
Stuft with arm'd men; about the which there manship should represent adequately Vir
Children and maids, that holy carols sang ; gil's peculiar graces would of course be ab- And well were they whose hands might touch surd ; but the effort was a great one for the
the cords." time when it was made, and our northern The next translator, like Surrey, only neighbors may well be proud of it.
lived to accomplish a portion of the Æneid: Not less marked, though not altogether but it was a much larger portion, and it had of the same character, is the interest at- the good fortune to be completed by another taching to the next translation, or rather hand. Thomas Phaer, at one time "sollicifragment of translation. The Earl of Surrey tour to the king and quene's majesties, atmay or may not have died too soon for the tending their honourable counsaile in the political well-being of England, but his fate marchies of Wales,” afterwards "doctour of was undoubtedly an untimely one for her physike," published seven Books of the Æneid literature, and the historian who denies his in 1558. At his death, two years afterwards, claim to our sympathy expressly acknowl- he left a version of the Eighth and Ninth edges his “ brilliant genius." His version, Books and a part of the Tenth ; and in 1573 which embraces the Second and Fourth the residue” was “supplied and the whole Books of the Æneid, deserves attention not worke together newly set forth by Thomas only for its own sake, but as the first known Twyne, gentleman.” This translation is in
which had then come into vogue, being used But cloud of louring night his head full heauy even in versions from the drama, * and which
Then lord Anchises spake, and from his eyes was afterwards adopted by Chapman in ren
the tears brake out, dering the Iliad. It is of Chapman, indeed,
O son, thy peoples huge lamented losse seeke that the ordinary reader will most naturally not to knowe. think in turning over Phaer's pages. Not
The destnies shall this child onto the world
no more but showe, to dwell on the essential difference between
Not suffer long to line : 0 Gods, though Rome the two involved in the choice of subject, you think to strong, the ballad-measure of Queen Mary's time And ouermuch to match, for enuie yet do us being as ill suited to the Virgilian hexameter
What wailings loude of men in stretes, in as the ballad-measure of King James' may
feeldes, what mourning cries be well suited to the Homeric, we shall prob- In mighty campe of Mars, at this mans death ably be justified in saying that Phaer's in- in Rome shall rise ? feriority in original power makes him more
What funeralls, what numbers dead of corpses
shalt thou see, faithful as a translator, though less interest
O Tyber flood, when fleeting nere his new ing as a writer, and that his greater prolixity tombe thou shalt flee? gives him a certain advantage in dealing
Nor shall there neuer child from Troian line with a measure which from its enormous
that shal proceede
Exalt his graunsirs hope so hie, nor neuer length can hardly be made attractive, when
Rome shal breede written, as Chapman has written it, in coup- An impe of maruel more, nor more on man lets closely interlaced and complicated with
may iustly bost. each other. But Phaer has little or nothing
Overtue, O prescribid faith, Orighthand
valiaunt most! of that “ daring fiery spirit” which, as Pope Durst no man him haue met in armes consays,'made Chapman write like an immature flicting, foteman fearce, Homer; and though his language is not
Or wold he fomy horses sides with spurres without merit, not many expressions can be
O piteous child, if euer thou thy destnies hard quoted from him which would appear felici- maist breake, tous to a modern taste. His greatest eulo- Marcellus thou shalt be. Now reatche me gist is Godwin, † who pronounces his book
Lillies, Lilly flours, “ the most wonderful depository of living de
Giue purple Violetts to me, this nenews soule
of ours scription and fervent feeling that is to be With giftes that I may spreade, and though found, perhaps, in all the circle of litera- my labour be but vayne, ture;” and, after quoting various passages
Yet do my duety deere I shall. Thus did with the highest commendation, says that
they long complayne.” whoever shall read his version of Anchises' The remaining attempts in the sixteenth speech about Marcellus, at the end of the century deserve registering chiefly as curiSixth Book, will cease to wonder that the ous and grotesque experiments. Abraham imperial court-was dissolved in tears at Vir- Fleming, in ed, gave promise of something gil's recital. Let us see if we can transcribe better in his “Bucolikes of Publius Virgilius it dry-eyed :
Maro, with alphabeticall Annotations upon
proper nams of Gods, Goddesses, men, wo“ Æneas there (for walke with him he saw a men, hilles, flouddes, cities, townes, and
seemly knight, A goodly springold yong in glistring armour
villages, &c., orderly placed in the margent. shining bright,
Dravvne into plain and familiar Englishe, But nothing glad in face, his eyes downcast verse for verse (London, 1575), which is did shewe no cheere),
in rhymed fourteen syllable measure in the O father, what is he that walkes with him as equall peere ?
style of Phaer. But in 1589 he published His onely són? or of his stock some child of another version of the Eclogues, along with noble race?
one of the Georgics, in which he discarded What bustling makes his mates ? how great foolish rime, the nise observation whereof he goth with portly grace?
many times darkeneth, corrupteth, peruert* See Warton's account of “Seneca his tenne eth, and falsifieth both the sense and the Tragedies translated into English,” 1581 (Hist. of signification,” in favor of unrhymed lines of
*** Lives of Edward and John Philips” (Lon- fourteen or fifteen syllables, not very gracedon, 1815), pp. 247 foll.
ful in themselves, and rendered additionally
quaint by a strange fashion of introducing made in the fourth boke betwene Dido and into the middle of the text explanatory notes, Aeneas, I adde in my verse Watry Iuno. which form part and parcel of the metre. Although mine Author vsed not the epiThus he makes Virgil compliment his patron theton, Watrye, but onlye made mention of
earth, ayer, and fier, yet I am well assured “ Thy verses, which alone are worthy of
that word thoroughly conceiued of an hedeThe buskins (brave, of Sophocles (I meane his ful student may giue him such light as may stately stile],
ease him of six moneths trauaile : whyche and mentions, among the prognostics of fair were well spent, if that Wedlocke were wel weather,
understoode.” His practice was not less
remarkable than his theory. Phaer had “And Nisus (of Megera king and turned to a falcon]
talked of “Sir Gyas” and “Sir Cloanthus," Capers aloft in skie so cleere, and Scylla made Isis masquerade as “Dame RainNisus daughter
bowe,” and turned “ Gallum rebellem " into Changed into a larke) doth smart for [his “rebell French.” Stanyhurst (we take the faire] purple haire.”
instances given by Warton) calls Corræbus The prevalent mania, too, for reviving clas- a “bedlamite ;” arms Priam with his sword sical metre, which infected even Sidney and “Morglay," a blade that figures in Gothic Spenser, took hold, as might be expected, romance; makes Dido’s “pervulus Æneas " of the would-be translators of Virgil. Webbe, into “a cockney, a dandiprat hop-thumb," in his “Discourse of English Poetrie” (Lon- and says that when Jupiter “oscula libavit don, 1586), “ blundered,” as he aptly as well natæ” he “bust his pretty prating parrot.” as modestly expresses it, upon a hexametri- But he shall exhibit himself more at length, cal version of the two first “ Æglogues,” in and somewhat more favorably, in a passage which Melibæus tells his “kidlings,”- from the end of the First Æneid (v. 736, “Neuer again shall I now in a greene bowre
“Dixit, et in mensam," etc.) : sweetlie reposed See ye in queachie briers farre a loofe clam
“Thus sayd, with sipping in vessel nicely she bering on a high hill,
dipped. Now shall I sing no lygges, nor whilst I doo
Shee chargeth Bicias : at a blow hee lustily fall to my iunkets,
swapping Shall ye, my Goates, cropping sweete flowers
Thee wine fresh spoming with a draught swild and leaues sit about me.
up to the bottom.
Thee remnaunt lordings him pledge : Then But the most considerable, and by far the
curled löppas most extraordinary, feat of this nature was
Twang'd on his harp golden what he whillon
learned of Atlas. performed by Richard Stanyhurst, in his
How the moone is trauers'd, how planet soon“First Foure Bookes of Virgil's Æneis nie reuolueth, translated into English Heroical Verse, with
He chaunts : how mankind, how beasts dooe
carrie their offspring : other Poëticll devises thereto annexed”
How flouds be engendered, so how fire, celes(London, 1583). His remarks on his own
tial Arcture, translation are a curiosity in themselves, Thee raine breede sev'n stars, with both the and may remind us of Chapman's “Mysteries
Trionical orders: revealed in Homer.” · Virgil,” he says,
Why the sun at westward so timely in winter
is housed, “in diuerse places inuesteth Iuno with this And why the night seasons in summer swiftly epitheton, Saturnia. M. Phaer ouerpasseth be posting: it, as if it were an idle word shuffled in by
The Moores hands clapping, thee Troians the authour to damme vp the chappes of
plaudite flapped.” yawning verses. I never to my remem- In passing to the seventeenth century we brance omitted it, as indeed a terme that feel that a change has already set in. The carieth meate in his mouth, and so emphat- metres adopted are such as commend themicall, as that the ouerslipping of it were in selves to modern ears ; the language, though effect the choaking of the Poets discourse, varying according to the greater or less skill in such hauking wise as if he were throtled of the individual writer, is not in general with the chincoughe. And to inculcate that marked by much quaintness or redundancy. clause the better, where the mariage is Let us take a specimen from the earliest ver