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Oh ! that a mirror's form were mine,
ODE XXIII. To sparkle with that smile divine; And, like my heart, I then should be I OFTEN wish this languid lyre, Reflecting thee, and only thee ! This warbler of my soul s desire, Or were I, love, the robe which flows Could raise the breath of song sublime, Oʻor every charm that secret glows, To men of fame in former time. In many a lucid fold to swim,
But when the soaring theme I try, And cling and grow to every limb! Along the chords my numbers die, Oh! could I as the streamlet's wave, And whisper, with dissolving tone, Thy warmly-mellowing beauties lave, Our sighs are given to Love alone!' Or float as perfume on thine hair, Indignant at the feeble lay, And breathe my soul in fragrance I tore the panting chords away, there!
Attuned them to a nobler swell,
To Hercules I wake the lyre !
• The tale of Love alone is sweet !'3 Yes, I would be a happy gem,
Then fare thee well, seductive dream, Like them to hang, to fade like them. That mad'st me follow Glory's theme; What more would thy Anacreop be? For thou, my lyre, and thou, my heart, Oh! anything that touches thee. Shall never more in spirit part; Nay, sandals for those airy feet? — And thou the flame shalt feel as well Thus to be pressed by thee were sweet! As thou the flame shalt sweetly tell !
from which I shall only select an epigram of Critias and Charinus. See his Apology, where he Dionysius :
also adduces the example of Anacreon: Fecere E-8 avepos yeroun, ou se ye otelyovoa trap' tamen et alii talia, et si vos ignoratis, apud
Græcos Teius quidam,' etc. etc. αυγας,
1 This was a riband, or hand, called by the Στεθεα γυμνωσαις, και με πνεoντα λαβοις.
Romans fascia and strophium, which the women Είθε ροδον γενομης υποπορφυρον, οφρα με χερσιν | wore for the purpose of restraining the aubeΑραμενη, κομισεις στεθεσι χιονεοις.
rance of the bosom.--Vide Polluc, Onomast, Ειθε κρινον γενομης λευκοχρο0ν, οφρα με χερσιν
Thus Martial: Αραμενη, μαλλον σης χροτιης κορεσης.
Fascia crescentes dominæ compesce papillas. I wish I could like zephyr steal To wanton o'er thy mazy vest;
The women of Greece not only wore this zone, And thou would'st ope thy bosom veil,
but condemned themselves to fasting, and made And take me panting to thy breast ! use of certain drugs and powders for the same I wish I might a rosebud grow,
purpose. To these expedients they were comAnd thou would'st cull me from the bower, of compressing the waist into a very narrow com
pelled, in consequence of their inelegant fashion And place me on that breast of snow, Where I should bloom, a wintry flower!
pass, which necessarily caused an excessive tu
midity in the bosom.-See Dioscorides, lib. y. I wish I were the lily's leaf,
% The sophist Philostratus, in one of his loveTo fade upon that bosom warm;
letters, has borrowed this thought: 'Oh lovely There I should wither, pale and brief,
feet! oh excellent beauty! oh! thrice happy The trophy of thy fairer form!
ai lessed should I be, if you would but tread Allow me to add, that Plato has expressed as on me! In Shakspeare, Romeo desires to be a fanciful a wish in a distich preserved by Laertius : glove: Αστερας εισαθρεις, αστηρ εμος" ειθε γενoιμην
Oh that I were a glove upon that hand, Ουρανος ως πολλοις όμμασιν εις σε βλετω.
That I might kiss that cheek!
And, in bis Passionate Pilgrim, we meet with TO STELLA.
an idea somewhat like that of the thirteenth line: Why dost thou gaze upon the sky ? He, spying her, bounced in, where as he stood,
oh! that I were that spangled sphere, On Jove l' quoth she, 'why was not I a flood ? And every star should be an eye
3 The word antiowvel, in the original, may To wonder on thy beauties here!
imply that kind of musical dialogue practised by Apuleius quotes this epigram of the divine phi- the ancients, in which the lyre was made to relosopher to justify himself for his verses on spond to the questions proposed by the singer,
When Nature wears her summer-vest, When the majestic bull was born, Thou comest to weave thy simple nest; She fenced his brow with wreathed But when the chilling winter lowers, hora,
Again thou seek'st the genial bowers She armed the courser's foot of air, Of Memphis, or the shores of Nile, And winged with speed the panting Where sunny hours of verdure smile. hare.
And thus thy wing of freedom roves, She gave the lion fangs of terror, Alas! unlike the plumèd loves, And, on the ocean's crystal mirror, That linger in this hapless breast, Taught the unnumbered scaly throng And never, never change their nest! To trace their liquid path along ; Still every year,
and all the year, While for the umbrage of the grove, A flight of loves engender here; She plumed the warbling world of love. And some their infant plumage try, To man she gave the flame refined, And on a tender winglet fly; The spark of heaven - a thinking While in the shell, impregnd with fires, mind !
Cluster a thousand more desires ; And had she no surpassing treasure Some from their tiny prisons peeping, For thee, oh woman! child of pleasure ? And some in formless embryo sleeping. She gave thee beauty-shaft of eyes, My bosom, like the vernal groves, That every shaft of war outflies ! Resounds with little warbling loves ; She gave thee beauty-blush of fire, One urchin imps the other's feather, That bids the flames of war retire ! Then twin-desires they wing together, Woman! be fair, we must adore thee; And still as they have learned to Smile, and a world is weak before soar, thee !3
The wanton babies teem with more.
Henry Stephens has imitated the idea of this of wisdom and prudence; and to think that ode in the following lines of one of his poems :- women's eyes are Provida dat cunctis Natura animantibus arma,
the books, the academies, Et sua famineum possidet arma genus, From whence doth spring the true Promethean Ungulaque ut defendit equum, atque ut cornua fire.
taurum, Armata est forma fæmina pulchra suå.
8 Longepierre's remark here is very ingenious: And the same thought occurs in those lines, the power of beauty, that they used a word im
The Romans,' says he,' were so convinced of spoken by Corisca in Pastor Fido:
plying strength in the place of the epithet beauCosi noi la bellezza
tiful. Thus Plautus, Act ii. Scene 2, Bacchid. Ch' è vertu nostra cosi propria, come
Sed Bacchis etiam fortis tibi visa.
"Fortis, id est formosa," say Servius and The lion boasts his savage powers,
Nonius.' And lordly man his strength of mind; * Thus Love is represented as a bird, in an But beauty's charm is solely ours,
epigram cited by Longepierre from the inPeculiar boon, by Heaven assigned ! thologia: * In my first attempt to translate this ode, I 'Tis Love that murmurs in my breast, had interpreted opornua, with Baxter and Barnes, And makes me shed the secret tear; as implying courage and military virtue ; but I Nor day nor night my heart has rest, do not think that the gallantry of the idea For night and day his voice I hear. yuffers by the import which I have now given to A wound within my heart I find, it For why need we consider this possession of And oh! 'tis plain where Love has been; wisdom as exclusive ? and in truth, as the design For still he leaves a wound behind, of Anacreon is to estimate the treasure of Such as within my heart is seen. beauty, above all the rest which Nature has dis- Oh bird of Love! with song so drear, tributed, it is perhaps even refining upon the Make not my soul the neet of pain ; delicacy of the compliment, to prefer the ra- Oh! let the wing which brought thee here, diance of female charms to the cold ilumination In pity waft thee hence again!
But is there then no kindly art, But in the lover's glowing eyes,
Through them we see the small faint They will for ever nestle here !
mark, Where Love has dropped his burning
spark ! ODE XXVI.
ODE XXVIII. Thy harp may sing of Troy's alarms,
As in the Lemnian caves of fire, Or tell the tale of Theban arms;
The mate of her who nursed desire With other wars my soul shall burn, For other wounds my harp shall mourn. Arrows for Cupid, thrilling warm;
Moulded the glowing steel, to form 'Twas not the crested warrior's dart
While Venus every barb imbues Which drank the current of my heart; With droppings of her honeyed dews ; Nor naval arms, nor mailèd steed,
And Love (alas! the victim-heart) Have made this vanquished bosom Tinges with gall the burning dart ;*
Once, to this Lemnian cave of flame No-from an eye of liquid blue
The crested Lord of battles came ; A host of quivered Cupids flew;!
'Twas from the ranks of war he rushed, And now my heart all bleeding lies Beneath this army of the eyes !
His spear with many a life-drop
Derision on the archer-child.
* And dost thou smile ?' said little
Love; We read the flying courser's name
• Take this dart, and thou mayst prove, Upon his side, in marks of flame; That though they pass the breeze's And, by their turbaned brows alone, flight, The warriors of the East are known. My bolts are not so feathery light.'
I Longepierre has quoted part of an epigram
In vain the lover tries to veil from the seventh book of the Anthologia, which The flame which in his bosom lies; has a fancy something like this:
His cheek's confusion tells the tale,
We read it in his languid eyes :
And though his words the heart betray, Archer Love! though slyly creeping,
His silence speaks c'en more than they. Well I know where thou dost lie;
4 Thus Claudian : I saw thee through the curtain peeping. Labuntur gemini fontes, hic dulcis, amarus That fringes Zenuphelia's eye.
Alter, et infusis corrumpit mella venenis, The poets abound with conceits on the archery Unde Cupidineas armavit fama sagittas. of the eyes, but few have turned the thought so In Cyprus' isle two rippling fountains fall, naturally as Anacreon. Ronsard gives to the And one with honey flows, and one with gall; eyes of his mistress ‘un petit camp d'amours.' In these, if we may take the tale from fame,
* This ode forms a part of the preceding in the The son of Venus dips his darts of flame. Vatican MS., but I have conformed to the editions See the ninety-first emblem of Alciatus, on the in translating them separately.
close connection which subsists between sweets 3.We cannot see into the heart,' says Madame and bitterness. “Apes ideo pungunt;' says Dacier. But the lover answers :
Petronius, 'quia ubi dulce, ibi et acidum in. Il cor ne gli occhi e ne la fronte ho scritto. venies.' La Fosse has given the following lines, as en- ment, in Horace, may vie with this before us in
The allegorical description of Cupid's employ. larging on the thought of Anacreon: Lorsque je vois un amant,
fancy, though not in delicacy: Il cache en vain son tourment,
ferus et Cupido
Semper ardentes acuens sagittas
And Cupid, sharpening all his fiery darts
Upon a whetstone stained with blood of hearts.
He took the shaft-and, oh! thy look, War too has sullied Nature's charms, Swacu Venus ! when the shaft he For gold provokes the world to aruis ! took
And oh! the worst of all its art,
'Twas in an airy dream of night,
On pinions fleeter than the wind,
While little Love, whose feet were
twined Yes-loving is a painful thrill, (I know not why) with chains of lead, And not to love more painful still ;) Pursued me as I trembling fled ; But surely 'tis the worst of pain, Pursued and could I e'er have To love and not be loved again !
thought ?Affection now has fled from earth, Swift as the moment I was caught! Nor fire of genius, light of birth, What does the wanton Fancy mean Nor heavenly virtue, can beguile By such a strange, illusive scene? From beauty's cheek one favouring I fear she whispers to my breast, smile.
That you, my girl, have stolen my rest;
ARMED with hyacinthine rod
(Arms enough for such a god), Secandus has borrowed this, but has somewhat When the mind is dull and dark, softened the image by the omission of the epithet Love can light it with his spark! 'cruenta'
Come, oh ! come then, let us haste Failor an ardentes acuebat cote sagittas.-Eleg. i. All the bliss of love to taste; * Menage enforces the necessity of loving in
Let us love both night and day, an Anacreontic, of which the following is a Let us love our lives away! translation :
And when hearts, from loving free
Frown upon our gentle flame,
And the sweet delusion blame; Thou! by all the Graces nursed;
This shall be my only curse, Friend! each other friend above,
(Could I, could I wish them worse?) Come with me, and learn to love.
May they ne'er the rapture prove, Loving is a simple lore,
of the smile from lips we love! Graver men have learned before; Nay, the boast of former ages,
2 Barnes imagines from this allegory, that our Wisest of the wisest sages,
poet married very late in life. I do not perceive Sophroniscus prudent son,
anything in the ode which seems to allude to Was by Love's illusion won.
matrimony, except it be the lead upon the feet Oh! how heavy life would move,
of Cupid; and I must confess that I agree in the If we knew not how to love!
opinion of Madame Dacier, in her life of the Love's a whetstone to the mind;
poet, that he was always too fond of pleasure to Thus 'tis pointed, thus refined.
marry. When the soul dejected lies,
3 The design of this little fiction is to intimate, Love can waft it to the skies;
that much greater pain atteuds insensibility than When in languor sleeps the heart, can ever result from the tenderest impressions of Love can wake it with his dart;
love. Loncepierre has quoted an ancient epi.
TO PETER DANIEL HUETT.
Cupid bade me wing my pace, In this delicious hour of joy.
Our life is hurrying to the goal :
No, no; I ask no balm to steep
while every pulse is glowing, ODE XXXII.3
Now let me breathe the balsam flow.
ing ; Strew me a breathing bed of leaves Now let the rose with blush of fire Where lotus with the myrtle weaves ; Upon my brow its scent expire ; And, while in luxnry's dream I sink, And bring the nymph with floating eye, Let me the balm of Bacchus drink !
Oh! she will teach me how to die !
gram (I do not know where he found it), which 'In the original, he says his heart flew to his has some similitude to this ode:
nose; but our manner more naturally transfers it
to the lips. Such is the effect that Plato tells us Lecto compositus, vix prima silentia noctis he felt from a kiss, in a distich, quoted by Aulus
Carpebam, et somno lumina victa dabam; Gellius: Cum me sævus Amor prensum, sursumque capillis
Την ψυχην, Αγαθωνα φιλων, επι χειλεσιν εσχον, Excitat, et lacerum pervigilare jubet.
Ηλθε γαρ ή τλημων ως διαβησομενη.
Whene'er thy nectared kiss I sip,
And drink thy breath, in melting twine,
My soul then flutters to my lip,
Ready to fly and mix with thine.
3 'The facility with which Cupid recovers him, Ecce tacent voces hominum, strepitusque signifies that the sweets of love make us easily ferarum,
forget any solicitudes which he may occasion.'-Et volucrum cantus, turbaque fida canum.
La Fosse. Solus ego ex cunctis paveo somnumque torumque, 3 We here have the poet, in his true attributes, Et sequor imperium, sæve Cupido, tuum.
reclining upon myrtles, with Cupid for his cup
bearer. Some interpreters have ruined the picUpon my couch I lay, at night profound,
ture by making Epws the name of his slave. None My languid eyes in magic slumber bound,
but Love should fill the goblet of Anacreon. When Cupid came and snatched me from my bed, Sappho has assigned this office to Venus, in a And forced me many a weary way to tread. *What !' said the god, ‘shall you, whose vows
fragment which may be thus paraphrased : are known,
Hither, Venus ! queen of kisses, Who love so many nymphs, thus sleep alone ?
This shall be the night of blisses! I rise and follow, all the night I stray,
This the night to friendship dear, Unsheltered, trembling, doubtful of my way;
Thou shalt be our Hebe here. Tracing with naked foot the painful track,
Fill the golden brimmer high, Loth to proceed, yet fearful to go back.
Let it sparkle like thine eye! Yes, at that hour, when Nature seems interred,
Bid the rosy current gush, Nor warbling birds nor lowing flocks are heard; Let it mantle like thy blush! I, I alone, a fugitive from rest,
Venus ! hast thou e'er above Passion my guide, and madness in my breast,
Seen a feast so rich in love? Wander the world around, unknowing where,
Not a soul that is not mine! The slave of love, the viatim ot despair!
Not a soul that is not thine!