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an English poem of unquestionable beauty, but we may say with Bentley, it is not Homer. Mickle has not only transfused the spirit, but has raised the character of his original. By preserving the energy, elegance, and fire of Camoens, he has given an English Lusiad, a work which, although confessedly borrowed from the Portuguese, has all the appearance of having been invented in the language in which we find it. In executing this, indeed, it must be confessed that Mickle bas taken more liberties with his original than the laws of translation will allow; but they are of a kind not usually taken by translators, for he has often introduced beauties of his own equal to any
that come from the pen of Camoens. In acknowledging that he has taken such freedoms, however, he has not specified the individual passages, a neglect for which some have praised his humility, and others have blamed his injustice. But with this exception, he has successfully executed what he purposed, not only to make Camoens be understood and relished, but “ to give a poem that might live in the English language?." Nor ought it to be omitted in this general character of The Lusiad, that in his preliminary dissertations, he has distinguished himself as a scholar, a critic, and a historian.
? See vol. xxi. of TRANSLATIONS.
WILLIAM JULIUS MICKLE.
Now smoking with unhallow'd fires, the sons
Of brutal riot stroll along the streets,
Kennels with some aboininable wretch,
Contracting foul disease ; one day to strike
And o'er their rev’rend hoary cheeks to pour The scene is an old church-yard (now the principal | The sad parental tear.
Behold how grand the lady of the night,
Around her all the spacious Heavens glow
St. Giles's column rears its ancient head,
Were moulder'd into dust. Now, O my soul, And solemn silence reigns; the men of law
Be filld with sacred awe! I tread above Nor throng the passage to the wrangling bar, The chiefs of ancient days, great in the works Nor clients, walking o'er the pavement, curse Of peace, and dreadful in the ranks of war, Their cause's long delay. The labourer
Whose manly harness'd breasts and nervous arms Lies wrapt in sleep, his brawny nerves unbrac'd, Stood as the brazen bulwarks of the land; Gathering new vigour for to morrow's toil.
But now, in death's blank courts, mix'd with the sons And happy he who sleeps ! Perhaps, just now, Of basest deeds; and now unknown as they. The modest widow, and the weak old man,
Where now, ye learn'd, the hope of all your rage Fainting with want, recline the languid head; And bitter spleen? Ye statesmen, where the meed While o'er their riotous debauch, the rout
Of all your toils, and victims at the shrine Of Bacchanalians, with impetuous laugh,
Of wild ambition ? Active Moray's bones Applaud the witless but envenom'd jest.
With Errol's dust in dreary silence rest : At yon dim taper, poring o'er his bonds,
The sly Buchanan and the zealous Knox Or copious rent-roll, crooked Av'rice sits;
Mingle their ashes in the peaceful grave Or sleepless on his tawdry bed revolves
With Romish priests, and hapless Mary's friends. On plans of usury. Oh, thrice dire disease ! No quarrel now, no holy frauds disturb Unsocial madness! wherefore all this care,
The slumber of the dead. Yet let me ask, This lust of gold, that from the mind excludes And awful is the question, Where, oh, where All thought of duty or to God or man!
Are the bright minds, that once to mighty deeds An heir debanch'd, who wishes nothing more The clay that now I tread above inspir'd? Than the old dotard dead, shall throw it all Hah! 't was a flash of fire ! how bright it shone! On whores and dogs away; then, cursing life, How soon it was no more! Such is the life, That nought but scoundrel poverty affords,
The transient life of man: awhile he breathes, By his own hand a mangled carcass falls,
Then in a little with his mother earth
Lies mix'd, and known no more. Ev'n his own race
The peaceful evening breathes her balmy store ; Founders of states, their countries' saviours, lie The playful school-boys wanton o'er the green; In dark oblivion: others only live
Where spreading poplars shade the cottage-door, In fables wild and vague. Our hoary sires,
The villagers in rustic joy convene.
With solemn meditation let me stray;
The river murmurs, and the breathing gale Tells to his wond'ring children of the feats
Whispers the gently-waving boughs among ;
And leads the silent host of Heaven along.
How bright, emerging o'er yon broom-clad height, Of emperors and kings, say, which the life
The silver empress of the night appears ! The ever-conscious shade will like to own?
Yon limpid pool reflects a stream of light, Does Cæsar boast of his immortal name,
And faintly in its breast the woodland bears. How, wading through the blood of millions, he Enslav'd his country? No: he drops the head, The waters, tumbling o'er their rocky bed, And imprecates oblivion to enwrap
Solemn and constant, from yon dell resound; The horrid tale. Not so poor Socrates :
The lonely hearths blaze o'er the distant glebe; With everlasting smiles he humbly owns
The bat, low-wheeling, skims the dusky ground. The life that was a blessing to mankind. The heroes whose unconquerable souls
August and hoary, o'er the sloping dale, Would from their country's interest never flinch, The gothic abbey rears its sculptur'd tow'rs; Look down with sweet complacence on the realms Dull through the roofs resounds the whistling gale; Their valour sav'd. 0 Wallace, patriot chief ! Dark solitude among the pillars low'rs. Who durst alone thy country's right assert; Betray'd and sworn away by all but thee.
Where yon old trees bend o'er a place of graves, And thou, great Bruce, who many a doubtful day, And, solemn, shade a chapel's sad remains ; For thy enslav'd and groaning country' sake, Where yon scáth'd poplar through the window Stray'd o'er the solitary hills of Lorn;
waves, Say, what bold ecstasies, heroic joys,
And, twining round, the hoary arch sustains: Your mighty souls inspire, when you behold A nation to this day bless'd by your arms! There oft, at dawn, as one forgot behind, And such the recompensing Heav'n of those,
Who longs to follow, yet unknowing where, The happy few, who truly great of soul
Some hoary shepherd, o'er his staff reclin'd, Are masters of themselves; who patient wait
Pores on the graves, and sigbs a broken pray'r. Till virtue's endless sabbath shall arrive, When vice shall reign no more, and virtue bleed High o'er the pines, that with their dark’ning And weep no more; when every honest pang
shade Their hearts have felt, and mouro'd their efforts vain, Surround yon craggy bank, the castle rears Shall yield high joy, when God himself applauds. Its crumbling turrets: still its tow'ry head
A warlike mien, a sullen grandeur wears.
'T was here our sires, exulting from the fight, It has been often said, that fiction is the most pro Great in their bloody arms, march'd o'er the lea, per field for poetry. If it is always so, the writer Eying their rescu'd fields with proud delight; of this little piece acknowledges it is a circumstance Now lost to them! and, ah, how chang'd to me! against him. The following Elegy was first suggested, and the ideas contained in it raised, on re This bank, the river, and the fanning breeze, visiting the ruins and woods that had been the scene The dear idea of my Pollio bring; of his early amusements with a deserving brother, So shone the Moon through these soft nodding trees, who died in his twenty-first year.
When here we wander'd in the eves of spring.
When April's smiles the flow'ry lawn adorn, Vain is the wish - yet surely not in vain
And modest cowslips deck the streamlet's side; Man's bosom glows with that celestial fire, When fragrant orchards to the roseate morn Which scorns Earth's luxuries, which smiles at pairs,
Unfold their bloom, in Heaven's own colours dy'd: And wings his spirit with sublime desire.
To fan this spark of Heaven, this ray divine,
Still, oh, my soul! still be thy dear employ; Still thus to wander through the shades be thirte,
And swell thy breast with visionary joy :
So fair a blossom gentle Pollio wore,
These were the emblems of his healthful mind; To him the letter'd page display'd its lore,
To him bright fancy all her wealth resign'd: Him with her purest flames the Muse endow'd,
Flames never to th' illiberal thought ally'd; The sacred Sisters led where virtue glow'd
In all her charms; he saw, he felt, and dy'd. Oh, partner of my infant griefs and joys !
Big with the scenes now past my heart o'erflows, Bids each endearment, fair as once, to rise,
And dwells luxurious on her melting woes.
So, to the dark-brow'd wood, or sacred mount,
In ancient days, the holy seers retir'd,
While rising ecstasies their bosoms fir'd;
Restor'd creation bright before them rose,
The burning deserts smil'd as Eden's plains, One friendly shade the wolf and lambkin chose,
The flow'ry mountains sung, “ Messiah reignis!"
Oft with the rising Sun when life was new, Though fainter raptures my cold breast inspire,
Along the woodland have I roam’d with thee; Yet, let me oft frequent this solemn scene, Oft by the Moon have brush'd the evening dew, Oft to the abbey's shatter'd walls retire, When all was fearless innocence and glee.
What time the moonshine dimly gleams between The sainted well where yon bleak hill declines, There, where the cross in boary ruin nods,
Has oft been conscious of those happy hours; And weeping yews o'ershade the letter'd stones, But now the hill, the river crown'd with pines, While midnight silence wraps these drear abodes,
And sainted well, have lost their cheering pow'rs: And soothes me wand'ring o'er my kindred bones, For thou art gone
-My guide, my friend, oh Let kindled fancy view the glorious morn, where,
When from the bursting graves the just shall rise,
Oh, now cut off each passage to thy mind!
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.
Quod tibi vitæ sors detraxit,
Nostris longum tu dolor et honor, Still shine the lifeless glories of the skies,
Buchanan. And could thy bright, thy living soul expire?
The halmy zephyrs o'er the woodland stray, Tar be the thought the pleasures most sublime, And gently stir the bosom of the lake :.
The glow of friendship, and the virtuous tear, The fawns, that panting in the covert lay, The tow'ring wish that scorts the bounds of time, Now through the gloomy park their revels take. Chill'd in this vale of death, but languish here:
Pale rise the rugged bills that skirt the north, So plant the vine on Norway's wintry land,
The wood glows yellow'd by the ev’ning rays, The languid stranger feebly buds and dies ; Silent and beauteous flows the silver Porth, Yet there 's a clime where virtue shall expand, And Annan murm’ring through the willows strays With godlike strength, beneath her native skies.
But, ah! what means this silence in the grove, The lonely shepherd on the mountain's side,
Whereoft the wild notes sooth'd the love-sick boy? With patience waits the rosy op'ning day ; Why cease in Mary's bow's the songs of love? The mariner at midnight's darksome tide,
The songs of love, of immocence, and joy! With cheerful hope expects the morning ray :
When bright the lake reflects the setting ray, Thus I, on life's storm-beaten ocean tost,
The sportive virgins tread the flow'ry green; In mental vision view the happy shore,
Here by the Moon full oft in cheerful May, Where Pollio beckons to the peaceful coast,
The merry bride-maids at the dance are seen. Where fate and death divide the friends no more.
But who these nymphs that through the copse apOh, that some kind, some pitying kindred shade,
pear, Who now, perhaps, frequeuts this solemn grove,
In robes of white adorn'd with violet blue? Would tell the awful secrets of the dead,
Fondly with purple flow'rs they deck yon bier, And from my eyes the mortal film remove ! And wave in solemn pomp the bows of yew.