Imatges de pÓgina

Jam pene totis finibus Angligenum ;
Immundasque volucres,
Unguibus imminentes,
Figat Apollinea pharetra,

Phineamque abigat pestem procul amne Pegaseo?


Quin tu, libelle, nuntii licet mala
Fide, vel oscitantia,

Semel erraveris agmine fratrum,
Seu quis te teneat specus,
Seu qua te latebra, forsan unde vili
Callo terreris institoris insulsi,
Lætare felix: en iterum tibi
Spes nova fulget, posse profundam
Fugere Lethen, vehique superam
In Jovis aulam, remige penna :


Nam te Rousius sui

Optat peculi, numeroque justo
Sibi pollicitum queritur abesse ;
Rogatque venias ille, cujus inclyta
Sunt data virum monumenta curæ:
Teque adytis etiam sacris
Voluit reponi, quibus et ipse præsidet
Æternorum operum custos fidelis ;
Quæstorque gazæ nobilioris,
Quam cui præfuit lön,
Clarus Erechtheides,

Opulenta dei per templa parentis,
Fulvosque tripodas, donaque Delphica,
Ion Acta genitus Creusa.


Ergo, tu visere lucos

Musarum ibis amoenos;

Diamque Phœbi rursus ibis in domum,

Oxonia quam valle colit,

Delo posthabita,

Bifidoque Parnassi jugo :
Ibis honestus,

Postquam egregiam tu quoque sortem
Nactus abis, dextri prece sollicitatus amici.
Illic legeris inter alta nomina
Authorum, Graiæ simul et Latina
Antiqua gentis lumina, et verum decus.


Vos tandem, haud vacui mei labores,
Quicquid hoc sterile fudit ingenium,

Jam sero placidam sperare jubeo

Perfunctam invidia requiem, sedesque beatas,
Quas bonus Hermes,

Et tutela dabit solers Roüsi;

Quo neque lingua procax vulgi penetrabit, atque longe
Turba legentum prava facesset :
At ultimi nepotes,

Et cordatior ætas,

Judicia rebus æquiora forsitan
Adhibebit, integro sinu.

Tum, livore sepulto,

Si quid meremur sana posteritas sciet,
Rousio favente.

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The foreign poems of Milton, with a few exceptions, were translated by the poet Cowper, whose versions are given in the ensuing pages.



FAIR Lady! whose harmonious name the Rhine,
Through all his glassy 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

Imbrowns the scene, some pastoral maiden fair
Waters a lovely foreign plant with care,
Borne from its native genial airs away,
That scarcely can its tender bud display,

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;
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!


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."



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,
And strike me even as Phoebus him whose way
Through horrid Libya's sandy desert lies.
Meantime, on that side steamy vapours rise

Where most I suffer. Of what kind are they,
New as to me they are, I cannot say,

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
Uncertain whither from myself to fly,

To thee, dear Lady, with an humble sigh
Let me devote my heart, which I have found
By certain proofs, not few, intrepid, sound,

Good, and addicted to conceptions high: When tempests shake the world, and fire the sky, It rests in adamant self-wrapt around; As safe from envy, and from outrage rude, From hopes and fears that vulgar minds abuse, As fond of genius and fixt fortitude, Of the resounding lyre, and every Muse, Weak you will find it in one only part, Now pierced by Love's immedicable dart.



ELEGY I.-To Charles Deodati.

AT length, my friend, the far-sent letters come,
Charged with thy kindness, to their destined home;
They come, at length, from Deva's western side,
Where prone she seeks the salt Vergivian tide.
Trust me, my joy is great that thou shouldst be,
Though born of foreign race, yet born for me,
And that my sprightly friend, now free to roam,
Must seek again so soon his wonted home.
I well content where Thames with influent tide
My native city laves meantime reside.
Nor zeal nor duty now my steps impel
To reedy Cam, and my forbidden cell;
Nor aught of pleasure in those fields have I
That to the musing bard all shade deny.
'Tis time that I a pedant's threats disdain,
And fly from wrongs my soul will ne'er sustain.
If peaceful days, in lettered leisure spent
Beneath my father's roof, be banishment,
Then call me banished; I will ne'er refuse
A name expressive of the lot I choose.

I would that, exiled to the Pontic shore,
Rome's hapless bard had suffered nothing more;
He then had equalled even Homer's lays,
And, Virgil! thou hadst won but second praise.
For here I woo the Muse, with no control;
And here my books-my life-absorb me whole,
Here too I visit, or to smile or weep,
The winding theatre's majestic sweep;

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