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Purpureus latè qui splendeat unus et alter
Here and there a remnant highly drest,
THE part we have now arrived at in our progress through this bulky volume, is occupied by a description of the Garden of Eden; a subject which should inspire every genuine poet with rapture, and call forth all the resources of his genius. What our immortal Milton has done, is known to every lover of English poetry, and as Mr. Dunster has rendered it very probable, that he had repeatedly read the pages before us, nothing can well afford a higher idea of his taste and talents, than to contrast the simple beauty
of his lovely description, with the artifit cial, quaint, and, generally, absurd delineation of Du Bartas, and, consequently, to to reflect on the judicious use he has made of a bard, so infinitely his inferior; for that he has imitated, here and there, the imagery and expression of Sylvester's Translation, cannot, upon comparison, be denied.
My principal intention, however, in making these extracts, is not to point out the obligations of Milton, which has already been in part done, and will, probably, be continued by the same writer ; neither is it my wish to impart to the reader, any idea of the general style and manner of Du Bartas and his Translator, which are certainly not worth preservation ; the sole purport I have in view, iş to snatch a few gems of high value, hitherto unnoticed, from the crude and worthless ore which surrounds them, and in executing this, if, on the same subject, I could take a dozen beautiful couplets from three or four pages, whose connection was just and pleasing, I have not failed to do it. Even this liberty is known by an elliptic mark, and every other, as I have already observed, by inverted commas,
On the subject of Eden, where simplicity is more particularly called for, it requires little penetration to suppose, that Du Bartas must have egregiously failed, There is, however, in the language of his translator, especially on rural subjects, an occasional felicity which astonishes, and some pieces of this kind will be quoted toward the conclu. sion of these papers, which are, indeed, truly exquisite. Here, however, though placed in a Garden, the immediate creation of the Almighty, not much, either of the pastoral or picturesque, can be extracted, and, in the little which is worth preserving, I shall have occasion to repeat eight lines, already selected by Mr. Dunster; these shall be distinguished by small capitals.
“There”* honey sweet, from hollow rocks did drain, “There" fostering milk flow'd up and down the
plain; • There” sweet as roses, smeit th’ill-savory rew; 6. There” in all sails, all seasons, all things grew :“ There” never guttur-gorging dirty muds Defild the chrystal of smooth-sliding floods,
* “ There," is in this quotation, five times in suc. cession substituted for “ that."
Whose waters past, in pleasant taste, the drink
« And” Echo, haunting woods amongShe bore her part, and full of curious skill, They ceasing sung, they singing ceased still: There Music reign'd, and ever on the plain, A sweet sound rais’d the dead-live voice again.6 While” Zephyr did sweet musky sighs afford, Which breathing through the Garden of the Lord, Gave bodies vigour, verdure to the field, That verdure flowers, those flowers sweet savor yield.
W. 2. D. 1. P. I.
Of this passage the lines in Italics, especially the last, have much beauty, while the fifth, the nineteenth and the twenty-first are injured, by the debasing peculiarities of the Translator's diction : “ guttur-gorging” and “ dead-alive," are compounds truly Sylvestrian.