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FROM THE FRENCH OF MR. CRESSET.
THE HAPPINESS OF A MODERATE EXTRAIT D'UNE ODE SUR LA FORTUNE, AND MODERATE DEMEDIOCRITE.
O GODDESS of the golden mean,
Whom still misjudging folly flies,
Thy only subjects are the wise.
These seek thy paths with nobler aim, A la sagesse, acquise en marchant sur tes pas. And trace them to the gates of fame. Tu vis naitre dans tes retraites
See foster'd in thy fav’ring shade, Ces nobles et tendres poëtes,
Each tender bar of verse divine ! Dont la voix n'eut jamais formé de sons brillans. Who lur'd by fortune's vain parade, Si la fracas de la fortune,
Had never form’d the tuneful line;
By fortune lur'd or want confin'd,
In vain you slight the flowry crown,
That fame wreathes round the favour'd head ! Vinrent dans tes déserts se choisir des héros; Whilst laureli'd victory and renown Mieux formés par tes loix stoïques,
Their heroes from thy shades have led;
There form'd, from courtly softness free,
By thee were form’d, from cities far,
Fabricius just, Camillus wise, Et ses sages vainqueurs, philosophes guerriers These philosophic sons of war, Qui, du char de la Dictature
That from imperial dignities Descendant à l'agriculture,
Returning, plough'd their native plain, Sur tes secrets autels rapportoient leurs lauriers. And plac'd their laurels in thy fane. Trop heureux, déïté paisible,
Thrice happy be, on whose calm breast Le mortel sagement sensible,
The smiles of peaceful wisdom play, Qui jamais loin de toi a porte ses desirs,
With all thy sober charms possest, Par sa douce mélancolie,
Whose wishes never learnt to stray. Sauvé de l'humaine folie,
Whom truth, of pleasures pure but grave, Dans la vérité seul il cherche ses plaisirs. And pensive thoughts from folly save. Ignoré de la multitude,
Far from the crowd's low-thoughted strife,
From all that bounds fair freedom's aim,
A leugth of rent-roll, or of name :
For safe he views the vale-grown elm, Le pin de monts altiers, que l'ormeau des While thunder-sounding storms the mouutain valons.
pine o'erwhelm, Sourd aax censures populaires,
Of censure's frown he feels no dread, Il ne craint point les yeux vulgaires,
No fear he knows of vulgar eyes, Son ceil perce au-delà de leur foible horison : Whose thought, to nobler objects led, Quelques bruits que la foule en sème,
Far, far o'er their horizon fies : Il est satisfait de lui même,
With reason's suifrage at his side, S'il a scû mériter l'aveu de la raison.
Whose firm heart rests self-satisfied. 11 rit du sort, quand les conquêtes
And while alternate conquest sways Promènent de têtes en têtes
The northern, or the southern shore, Les couronnes du nord, ou celles da midi : He smiles at fortune's giddy maze, Rien n'altère sa paix profonde,
And calmly hears the wild storm roar. Et les derniers instans du monde
Ev'n Nature's groans, vnmov'd with fear, N'épouvanteroient point son coeur encore hardi. And bursting worlds he'd calmly hear. Amitié, charmante immortelle,
Such are the faithful hearts you love, Tu choisis à si caur fidèle
O Friendship fair, immortal maid; Peu d'amis mais constans, vertueux comme lui : The few caprice could never move, Tu ne crains point que le caprice,
The few w om intrest never sway'd; Que l'intérêt les désunisse,
Nor shed unseen, with hate refin'd, Ou verse sur leurs jours les poisons de l'ennui. The pale cares o'er the gloomy mind. Ami des frugales demeures,
Soft Sleep, that lov'st the peaceful cell, Sommeil, pendant les sombres heures,
On these descends thy balmy power;. Tu répans sur ses yeux tes songes
While no terrific dreams dispel
The slumbers of the sober hour;
Which oft, array'd in darkness drear,
C'est pour ce bonbeur légitime
Content with all a farm would yield,
Thus Sidun's monarch Jiv'd unknowu,
For the long glories of a thronem
There once more happy and more free, Sur le trône éclatant des ayeux de Didon.' Than raok'd with Dido's ancestry. C'est pas ces vertus pacifiques,
With these pacific virtues blest,
These charms of philosophic ease,
You pass, dear your useful days, Où le Cher de son onde claire
Where Thames your silent vallies laves,
Should life's more public scenes engage
Your time that thus consistent flows, Chaque soleil te voit occuper tes loisirs;
And following still these maxims sage Dans le brillant fracas du monde,
For ever brings the same repose; Ton nom, ta probité profonde
Your worth may greater fame procure, T'eut donné plus d'éclat, mais moins de vrais But hope not happiness so pure.
SONETTO CLXXIX. In nobil sangue vita umile e queta, Ed in alto intelletto un puro core; Frutto senile in sul giovenil fiori,
E'n aspetto pensoso anima lieta,
Anzi'l re delle stelle ; e 'l vero onore,
Ch'è da stancar ogni divin poeta.
Con beltà naturale abito adorno;
Ed un atto, che parla con silenzio ;
Può far chiara la notte, oscuro il giorno,
TRANSLATIONS FROM PETRARCH.
Che facean ombra al mio stanco pensero: That shaded once my solitary shore !
I've lost what hope can never give me more. Dal Borea all'Austro, O dal Mar Indo al Tho' sought from Indus to the closing day. Mauro,
My twofold treasure death has snatch'd away, Tolto m'hai, morte, il mio doppio tesauro,
My pride, my pleasure left me to deplore; Che mi fea viver lieto, e gire altero ;
What fields far-cultur'd, nor imperial sway, E ristorar nol può terra, nè impero,
Nor orient gold, nor jewels can restore. Nè gemma oriental, nè forza d'auro,
destiny severe of human kind! Ma se consentimento è di destino;
What portior. have we unbedew'd with tears! Che poss' io più, se no aver l' alma trista; The downcast visage, and the pensive mind Umidi gli occhi sempre, e 'l viso chino ?
Thro' the thin veil of smiling life appears ; O nostra vita, ch' é si hella in vista;
And in one moment vanish into wind Com' per de agevolmente in un mattino The hard-earn'd fruits of long, laborious Quel, che 'n molt anni a gran pena s'aquista!
SONETTO CCLVII. Ov'è la fronte' che con picciol cenno
Volgea'l mio core in questa parte, e' n quella?
Orde'l bel ciglio, e l'una, e l'altra stella Ch' al corso di mia viver lume denno?
Ovè 'l valor, la conoscenza, e 'l senno,
L'accorta, onesta, umil, dolce favella?
Ove son le bellezze accolte in ella, Che gran tempo di me lor voglio fendo ? Ov'è l'ombra gentil del viso humano;
Ch'ora e riposo dava all' alma stanca,
E là, 're i miei pensier scritti erap tutti ?
Quanto al misero mondo, e quanto manca
Where are that science, sense and worth confest, That speech by virtue, by the graces drest? Where are those beauties, where those charms
combin'd, That caus'd this long captivity of mind! Where the dear shade of all that once was fair, The source, the solace of each amorous care; My heart's sole sovereign, Nature's only boast ? - Lost to the world, to me for ever lost !
Mover soavemente all aura estiva,
S ode d' una fiorita e fresca riva;
Lei che'l ciel ne mostrò, terra n' asconde,
Di sì lontano a' sospir miei risponde.
Mi dice con pietate : “a che pur versi
Degli occhi tristi un doloroso fiume?
Morendo, eterni, e nell 'eterno lume, Quando mostrai pi chiuder gli occhi apersi.”
SONNET CCXXXVIII. Wail'd the sweet warbler to the lonely shade;
Trembled the green leaf to the summer gale;
Pell the fair stream in murmurs down the dale, Its banks, its flowry banks with verdure spread, Where, by the charm of pensive Fancy led,
All as I fram'd the love-lamenting tale,
Came the dear object whom I still bewail, Came from the regions of the cheerless dead : “And why,” she cried, “ untimely wilt thou
die? Ah why, for pity, shall those mourful tears,
Start in wild sorrow from that languid eye ? Cherish no more those visionary fears,
For me, who range yon light-invested sky! For me, who triumph in eternal years !"
ITALIAN POEMS TRANSLATED,
AND ADDRESSED TO A GENTLEMAN OF ITALY.
ADDRESS TO SIGNOR MOZZI,
To thee, the child of classic plains,
The happier hand of Nature gave Each grace of Fancy's finer strains,
Each Muse that mourn’d o'er Maro's grave. Nor yet the harp that Horace strung
With many a charm of easy art ; Not yet what sweet Tibullus sung,
When Beauty bound him to her heart; Nor all that gentle Provence knew,
Where each breeze bore a lover's sigh, When Petrarch's sweet persuasion drew
The tender woe from Laura's eye; Nor aught that nobler Science seeks,
What truth, what virtue must avoid, Nor aught the voice of Nature speaks,
To thee unknown, or unenjoy'd ? O wise beyond each weaker aim,
That weds the soul to this low sphere, Fond to indulge the feeble frame,
That holds awhile her prisoner here ! Trust me, my friend, that soul survives,
(If e'er had Muse prophetic skill) And when the fated hour arrives,
That all her faculties shall fill,
Fit for some nobler frame she flies,
Afar to find a second birth, And, flourishing in fairer skies,
Forsakes her nursery of Earth. Oh! there, my Mozzi, to bebold
The man that mourn'd his country's wrong, When the poor exile left his fold,
And feebly dragg'd his goat along'! On Plato's hallow'd breast to lean,
And catch that ray of heavenly fire, Which smooth'd a tyrant's sullen mien,
And bade the cruel thought retire! Amid those fairy-fields to dwell
Where Tasso's favour'd spirit saw What numbers none but his could tell,
What pencils none but his could draw! And oft at eve, if eve can be
Beneath the source of glory's smile, To range Elysian groves, and see
That nightly visitantere while, Who, when he left immortal choirs,
To mix with Milton's kindred soul, The labours of their golden lyres
Would steal, and “whisper whence he stole."
This stranger tongue to cultivate with care,
And tune my lays in language little try'd
Tamis' forsook for Arno's fow'ry side,
Ausonian bard, from my fond ear
By seas and mountains sever'd long,
You leave your more melodious song,
The wilds of Apenninus' brow, Or musing near Loretto's 2 shore,
Smile piteous on the pilgrim's vow; The Muse's gentle offering still
Your ear snall win, your love shall woo, And these spring-flowers of Milton fill
The favour'd vales where first they grew. For me, depriv'd of all that's dear,
Eacb fair, fond partner of my life, Left with a lonely oar to steer,
Thro' the rude storms of mortal strife; When Care, the felon of my days,
Expands bis cold and gloomy wing, His load when strong affliction lays
On hope, the heart's elastic spring : For me what solace yet remains,
Save the sweet Muse's tender lyre; Sooth'd by the magic of her strains,
If, chance, the felon Care, retire? Sare the sweet Muse's tender lyre,
For me no solace now remains ! Yet shall the felon, Care, retire;
Sooth'd by the magic of her strains.
Or, haply, in his cunning mazes caught,
Yet hath no golden tress this lesson taught,
The bright arch bending o'er the lucid eye,
Might lead the toild Moon from the middle sky! Charles, when such mischief arm'd this foreign
fair, Small chance had I to hope this simple heart
SON. IV. June 26, 1776.
In truth I feel my sun in those fair eyes,
So strongly strike they, like that powerful ray,
Which falls with all the violence of day
On Lybia's sands—and oft, as there, arise
Hot wasting vapours from the source where lies By that soft vale where Rhyne so loves to
My secret pain ; yet, haply, those may say,
Who talk love's language, these are only sighs, stray, And sees the tall arch crown his wat'ry way!
That the soft ardours of the soul betray'.
Too dull to die beneath thy beauty's ray,
An artless youth, who, simple in his lore,
Seem'd little hopeful from his heart to fly, Sure, happy he who that sweet voice should hear
To thee that heart, O lady, nor deny Mould the soft speech, or swell the tuneful The votive gift, he brings; since that shall prore strain,
All change and fear and falsity above, And, conscious that his humble vows were
Of manners that to gentle deeds comply, Shut fond attention from his closed ear;
And courteous will, that never asketh why; Who, piteous of himself, should timely part,
Yet mild, as is the never wrathful dore,
Firmness it bath, and fortitude to bear
From envy far, and low-designing care,
And hopes and fears that vulgar minds await, SON. II.
With the sweet Muse, and sounding lyre elate. As o'er yon wild hill, when the browner light And only weak, wben love had entrance there.
Of evening falls, the village maiden hies
To foster some fair plant with kind supplies, " The concetti of the Italian in the conclusion Some stranger plant, that, yet in tender plight, of this Sonnet were so obstinate, that it seemed But feebly buds, ere Spring has open'd quite scarce possible to reduce them into any reputaThe soft affections of serener skies:
ble form of translation. Such trifling liberties So I, with such like gentle thought devise as the translator shall appear to have taken with
these poems, must be imputed to a desire of 2 Within a few miles of Macerata.
getting over blemishes of the same kind.
TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS. Gay youths and frolic damsels round me throng, And smiling say, “Why, shepherd, wilt thou Lesbia, live to love and pleasure, write
Careless what the grave may say: Thy lays of love adventurous to recite
Wheu each moment is a treasure, In unknown numbers and a foreign tongue ? Why should lovers lose a day? Shepherd, if Hope hath ever wrought thee wrong, Setting suns shall rise in glory, Afar from her and Fancy's fairy light
But when little life is o'er, Retire"-So they to sport with me delight;
There's an end of all the story: And “other shores,” they say, "and other streams
We shall sleep; and wake no more. Thy presence wait ; aud sweetest flowers that blow,
Give me then a thousand kisses,
If she, for whom I breathe the tender vow,