« PreviousContinue »
Can a prudent dove decline
WRITTEN IN RIDICULE OF CERTAIN POEMS
PUBLISHED IN 1777.
WHERESOE’ER I turn my view,
PARODY OF A TRANSLATION
FROM THE MEDEA OF EURIPIDES.
ERR shall they not, who resolute explore
Times gloomy backward with judicious eyes; And, scanning right the practices of yore,
Shall deem our hoar progenitors unwise.
They to the dome, where smoke, with curling play,
Announc'd the dinner to the regions round, Summon'd the singer blithe, and harper gay,
And aided wine with dulcet-streaming sound.
The better use of notes, or sweet or shrill,
By quiv'ring string or modulated wind; Trumpet or lyre—to their harsh bosoms chill
Admission ne'er had sought, or could not find.
Oh! send them to the sullen mansions dun,
where sorrow rolls around; Where gloom-enamour'd mischief loves to dwell,
And murder, all blood-bolter'd, schemes the wound.
When cates luxuriant pile the spacious dish,
And purple nectar glads the festive hour; The guest, without a want, without a wish,
Can yield no room to musick's soothing pow'r.
FROM THE MEDEA OF EURIPIDES, v. 1969.
9 The classical reader will, doubtless, be pleased to see the exquisite original in immediate comparison with this translation ; we, therefore, subjoin it, and also Dr. J. Warton's imitation of the same passage.
The rites that taught us to combine
σκαιούς δε λέγων, κουδέν τι σοφούς
MEDEA, 193-206. ED. PORS.
The board, with varied plenty crown'd,
OF THE FIRST TWO STANZAS OF THE SONG RIO
VERDE, RIO VERDE," PRINTED IN BISHOP PERCY'S RELIQUES OF ANCIENT ENGLISH POETRY.
GLASSY water, glassy water,
Down whose current, clear and strong,
Moor and christian roll along.
IMITATION OF THE STYLE OF ****.
HERMIT hoar, in solemn cell
Wearing out life's ev'ning grey,
What is bliss, and which the way.
Thus I spoke, and speaking sigh'd,
Scarce repress'd the starting tear,
Come, my lad, and drink some beer.
This translation was written by Johnson for his friend Dr. Burney, and was inserted, as the work of “ a learned friend,” in that gentleman's History of Musick, vol. ij. p. 340. It has always been ascribed to Johnson ; but, to put the matter beyond a doubt, Mr. Malone ascertained the fact hy applying to Dr. Burney himself. J. B.
OF THE FOLLOWING LINES OF LOPEZ DE VEGA.
Se a quien los leones vence
Vence una muger hermosa,
O ella di ser mas furiosa.
OF THE FOLLOWING LINES AT THE END OF BARETTI'S
Viva, viva la padrona!
Long may live my lovely Hetty!