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a poet; I should then endeavour to catch, by translation, the spirit of those beauties which I have always so warmly admired.*
It seems to have been peculiarly the fate of Catullus, that the better and more valuable part of his poetry has not reached us; for there is confessedly nothing in his extant works to authorise the epithet "doctus," so universally bestowed upon him by the ancients. If time had suffered his other writings to escape, we perhaps should have found among them some more purely amatory; but of those we possess, can there be a sweeter specimen of warm, yet chastened description, than his loves of Acme and Septimius? and the few little songs of dalliance to Lesbia are distinguished by such an exquisite playfulness, that they have always been assumed as models by the most elegant modern Latinists. Still, it must be confessed, in the midst of all these beauties,
-Medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat.t
It has often been remarked, that the ancients knew nothing of gallantry; and we are sometimes told there was too much sincerity in their love to allow them to trifle thus with the semblance of passion. But I cannot perceive that they were
any thing more constant than the moderns: they felt all the same dissipation of the heart, though they knew not those seductive graces by which gallantry almost teaches it to be amiable. Wotton, the learned advocate for the moderns, deserts them in considering this point of comparison, and praises the ancients for their ignorance of such refinements. But he seems to have collected his notions of gallantry from the insipid fadeurs of the French romances, which have nothing congenial with the graceful levity, the "grata protervitas," of a Rochester or a Sedley.
As far as I can judge, the early poets of our own language were the models which Mr. LITTLE selected for imitation. To attain their simplicity ("ævo rarissima nostro simplicitas") was his fondest ambition. He could not have aimed at a grace more difficult of attainment; and his life was of too short a date to allow him to perfect such a taste; but how far he was likely to have succeeded, the critic may judge from his productions.
I have found among his papers a novel, in
* In the following Poems, will be found a translation of one of his finest Carmina; but I fancy it is only a mere schoolboy's essay, and deserves to be praised for little more than the attempt.
rather an imperfect state, which, as soon as I have arranged and collected it, shall be submitted to the public eye.
Where Mr. LITTLE was born, or what is the genealogy of his parents, are points in which very few readers can be interested. His life was one of those humble streams which have scarcely a name in the map of life, and the traveller may pass it by without inquiring its source or direction. His character was well known to all who were acquainted with him; for he had too much vanity to hide its virtues, and not enough of art to conceal its defects. The lighter traits of his mind may be traced perhaps in his writings; but the few for which he was valued live only in the remembrance of his friends.
JOSEPH ATKINSON, ESQ. MY DEAR SIR,
eating to you the Second Edition of our friend LITTLE's Poems. I am not unconscious that there are many in the collection which perhaps it would be prudent to have altered or omitted; and, to say the truth, I more than once revised them for that purpose; but, I know not why, I distrusted either my heart or my judgment; and the consequence is, you have them in their original form :
I FEEL a very sincere pleasure in dedi
Non possunt nostros multæ, Faustine, lituræ
I am convinced, however, that, though not quite a casuiste relâché, you have charity enough to forgive such inoffensive follies: you know that the pious Beza was not the less revered for those sportive Juvenilia which he published under a fictitious name; nor did the levity of Bembo's poems prevent him from making a very good cardinal.
Believe me, my dear Friend,
requires, that the Ramblers of Johnson, elaborate as they appear, were written with fluency, and seldom required revision: while the simple language of Rousseau, which seems to come flowing from the heart, was the slow production of painful labour, pausing on every word, and balancing every
It is a curious illustration of the labour which simplicity sentence.
Those babies that nestle so sly
Such thousands of arrows have got, That an oath, on the glance of an eye Such as yours, may be off in a shot.
Should I swear by the dew on your lip,
Though each moment the treasure renews, If my constancy wishes to trip,
I may kiss off the oath when I choose.
Or a sigh may disperse from that flow'r
But clear up the heav'n of your brow,
REMEMBER him thou leav'st behind, Whose heart is warmly bound to thee, Close as the tend'rest links can bind
A heart as warm as heart can be.
Oh! I had long in freedom rov'd, Though many seem'd my soul to share; 'Twas passion when I thought I lov'd,
'Twas fancy when I thought them fair.
Ev'n she, my muse's early theme,
Beguil'd me only while she warm'd; 'Twas young desire that fed the dream, And reason broke what passion form'd.
But thouah! better had it been
For then I never should have lov'd.
Then all the pain which lovers feel
Had never to this heart been known; But then, the joys that lovers steal, Should they have ever been my own?
Oh! trust me, when I swear thee this, Dearest! the pain of loving thee, The very pain is sweeter bliss
Than passion's wildest ecstasy.
That little cage I would not part,
In which my soul is prison'd now, For the most light and winged heart That wantons on the passing vow.
Still, my belov'd! still keep in mind, However far remov'd from me, That there is one thou leav'st behind,
Whose heart respires for only thee!
And though ungenial ties have bound
No, no! that heart is only mine
By ties all other ties above,
For I have wed it at a shrine
Where we have had no priest but Love.
WHEN Time, who steals our years away,
And half our joys renew.
Then, Julia, when thy beauty's flow'r
When thou alone wert fair.
Our joys shall always last;
For Hope shall brighten days to come, And Mem'ry gild the past.
Come, Chloe, fill the genial bowl,
I drink to Love and thee: Thou never canst decay in soul,
Thou'lt still be young for me.
So hope shall steal away the trace
HAVE you not seen the timid tear,
Steal trembling from mine eye?
Nor fix'd on you alone?
And can you rend, by doubting still,
To you my soul's affections move,
If still my truth you'll try ;
REUBEN AND ROSE.
A TALE OF ROMANCE.
THE darkness that hung upon Willumberg's walls
Though the valleys were brighten'd by many a
Yet none could the woods of that castle illume;
All, all but the soul of the maid was in light,
And the lightning, which flash'd on the neigh- Oft, oft did she pause for the toll of the bell,
And heard but the breathings of night in the air;
And often as midnight its veil would undraw,
She thought 'twas his helmet of silver she saw,
And now the third night was begemming the sky;
For Rose, who was bright as the spirit of dawn, When with wand dropping diamonds, and silvery She feet,
It walks o'er the flow'rs of the mountain and lawn.
startled, and saw, through the glimmering shade,
A form o'er the waters in majesty glide;