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Jam sero placidam sperare jubeo
Perfunctam invidia requiem, sedesque beatas,
Quas bonus Hermes,
Et tutela dabit solers Roiisi;
Quo neque lingua procax vulgi penetrabit, atque longe
Turba legentum prava facesset:
At ultimi nepotes,
Et cordatior aetas,
Judicia rebus sequiora forsitan
Adhibebit, integro sinu.
Tum, livore sepulto,
Si quid meremur sana posteritas sciet,
TRANSLATIONS OF THE ITALIAN POEMS, i.
Fair Lady! whose harmonious name the Rhine,
To love a spirit elegant as thine,
That manifests a sweetness all divine,
Nor knows a thousand winning acts to spare,
Tempering thy virtues to a softer shine.
When gracefully thou speak'st, or singest gay
Ah then—turn each his eyes and ears away
Grace can alone preserve him, ere the dart
Of fond desire yet reach his inmost heart.
Imbrowns the scene, some pastoral maiden fair
So, on my tongue these accents, new and rare,
Thy praise, in verse to British ears unknown, And Thames exchange for Arno's fair domain; So Love has willed, and ofttimes Love has shown That what he wills he never wills in vain. Oh that this hard and sterile breast might be To Him who plants from heaven a soil as free 1
They mock my toil—the nymphs and amorous swains—
"And whence this fond attempt to write," they cry,
"Love-songs in language that thou little know'st?
How darest thou risk to sing these foreign strains?
Say truly,—find'st not oft thy purpose crossed,
And that thy fairest flowers here fade and die?''
Then with pretence of admiration high—
"Thee other shores expect, and other tides;
Rivers, on whose grassy sides
Her deathless laurel leaf, with which to bind
Thy flowing locks, already Fame provides;
Why then this burthen, better far declined?"
Speak, Muse! for me.—The fair one said, who guides My willing heart, and all my fancy's flights, "This is the language in which Love delights."
TO CHARLES DIODATI. Charles—and I say it wondering—thou must know That I, who once assumed a scornful air, And scoffed at Love, am fallen in his snare. (Full many an upright man has fallen so.) Yet think me not thus dazzled by the flow Of golden locks, or damask cheek; more rare The heartfelt beauties of my foreign fair,— A mien majestic, with dark brows that show The tranquil lustre of a lofty mind; Words exquisite of idioms more than one, And song, whose fascinating power might blind And from her sphere draw down the labouring Moon, With such fire-darting eyes that, should I fill My ears with wax, she would enchant me still.
LADy! it cannot be but that thine eyes
Must be my sun, such radiance they display,
Through horrid Libya's sandy desert lies.
Meantime, on that side steamy vapours rise
But deem them, in the lover's language—sighs.
Some, though with pain, my bosom close conceals,
Which, if in part escaping thence they tend
To soften thine, thy coldness soon congeals.
While others to my tearful eyes ascend,
Whence my sad nights in showers are ever drowned,
Till my Aurora come, her brow with roses bound.
ENAMOuRED, artless, young, on foreign ground
TRANSLATIONS OF THE LATIN POEMS.
At length, my friend, the far-sent letters come,
The grave or gay colloquial scene recruits
My spirits, spent in learning's long pursuits;
Whether some senior shrewd, or spendthrift heir,
Suitor or soldier, now unarmed, be there;
Or some coifed brooder o'er a ten years' cause
Thunder the Norman gibberish of the laws.
The lacquey there oft dupes the wary sire,
And artful speeds the enamoured son's desire:
There virgins oft, unconscious what they prove,
What love is know not, yet unknowing love.
Or if impassioned Tragedy wield high
The bloody sceptre, give her locks to fly
Wild as the winds, and roll her haggard eye
I gaze, and grieve, still cherishing my grief;
At times, even bitter tears yield sweet relief:
As when, from bliss untasted torn away,
Some youth dies hapless on his bridal day,
Or when the ghost, sent back from shades below.
Fills the assassin's heart with vengeful woe,
When Troy or Argos the dire scene affords,
Or Creon's hall laments its guilty lords.
Nor always city-pent, or pent at home,
I dwell; but when spring calls me forth to roam,
Expatiate in our proud suburban shades
Of branching elm that never sun pervades.
Here many a virgin troop I may descry,
Like stars of mildest influence gliding by.
Oh forms divine! Oh looks that might inspire
Even Jove himself, grown old, with young desire.
Oft have I gazed on gem-surpassing eyes,
Out-sparkling every star that gilds the skies .
Necks whiter than the ivory arm bestowed
By Jove on Pelops, or the milky road;
Bright locks, Love's golden snare! these falling low,
Those playing wanton o'er the graceful brow;
Cheeks too, more winning sweet than after showet
Adonis turned to Flora's favourite flower.
Yield, heroines, yield, and ye who shared the embrace
Of Jupiter in ancient times, give place;
Give place, ye turbaned fair of Persia's coast!
And ye, not less renowned, Assyria's boast!
Submit, ye nymphs of Greece! ye, once the bloom
Of Ilion! and all ye of haughty Rome,
Who swept, of old, her theatres with trains
Redundant, and still live in classic strains!
To British damsels beauty's palm is due:
Aliens! to follow them is fame for you.
Oh city, founded by Dardanian hands,
Whose towering front the circling realms commands,
Too blest abode! no loveliness we see
In all the earth but it abounds in thee.
The virgin multitude that daily meets,