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There could hardly have been devised an just given in were my own; and, on my anapter vehicle for lively political satire than this swering in the affirmative, added these cheering gay travesty of monarchical power, and its words, “ They do you great credit; and I shall showy appurtenances, so temptingly supplied. not fail to recommend them to the notice of The very day, indeed, after this commemora- the Board.” This result of a step, ventured tion, there appeared, in the Dalkey state- upon with some little fear and scruple, was of gazette, an amusing proclamation from the course very gratifying to me; and the premium I king, offering a large reward, in cronebanes *, received from the Board was a well-bound copy of to the finder or finders of his majesty's crown, the Travels of Anacharsis, together with a certifiwhich, owing to his “having measured both cate, stating, in not very lofty Latin, that this resides of the road” in his pedestrian progress ward had been conferred upon me, “propter lauon the preceding night, had unluckily fallen dabilem in versibus componendis progressum.” from the royal brow.
The idea of attempting a version of some of It is not to be wondered at, that whatever the Songs or Odes of Anacreon had very early natural turn I may have possessed for the occurred to me; and a specimen of my first lighter skirmishing of satire should have been ventures in this undertaking may be found in called into play by so pleasant a field for its the Dublin Magazine already referred to, where, exercise as the state affairs of the Dalkey in the number of that work for February, 1794, kingdom afforded ; and, accordingly, my first appeared a “Paraphrase of Anacreon's Fifth attempt in this line was an Ode to his Majesty, Ode, by T. Moore.” As it may not be uninKing Stephen, contrasting the happy state of teresting to future and better translators of security in which he lived among his merry the poet to compare this schoolboy experiment lieges, with the “ metal coach," and other such with my later and more laboured version of precautions against mob violence, which were the same ode, I shall here extract the specimen said to have been adopted at that time by his found in the Anthologia:royal brother of England. Some portions of “ Let us, with the clustering vine, this juvenile squib still live in my memory;
The rose, Love's blushing flower, entwine.
Fancy's hand our chaplet's wreathing, but they fall far too short of the lively demands
Vernal sweets around us breathing, of the subject to be worth preserving, even as We'll gaily drink, full goblets quaffing, juvenilia.
At frighted Care securely laughing.
“ Rose! thou balmy-scented flower, In college, the first circumstance that drew
Rear'd by Spring's most fostering power, any attention to my rhyming powers was my Thy dewy blossoms, opening bright, giving in a theme, in English verse, at one of
To gods themselves can give delight;
And Cypria's child, with roses crown'd, the quarterly examinations. As the sort of
Trips with each Grace the mazy round, short essays required on those occasions were
“ Bind my brows, - I'll tune the lyre, considered, in general, as a mere matter of Love my rapturous strains shall fire,
Near Bacchus' grape-encircled shrine, form, and were written, invariably, I believe,
While roses fresh my brows entwine, in Latin prose, the appearance of a theme in Led by the winged train of Pleasures, English verse could hardly fail to attract some I'll dance with nymphs to sportive measures." notice. It was, therefore, with no small anx- In pursuing further this light task, the only iety that, when the moment for judging of the object I had for some time in view was to lay themes arrived, I saw the examiners of the dif- before the Board a select number of the odes ferent divisions assemble, as usual, at the I had then translated, with a hope, -suggested bottom of the hall for that purpose. Still more by the kind encouragement I had already retrying was it when I perceived that the re- ceived, — that they might be considered as verend inquisitor, in whose hands was my fate, deserving of some honour or reward. Having had left the rest of the awful group, and was experienced much hospitable attention from bending his steps towards the table where I Doctor Kearney, one of the senior fellowst, a was seated. Leaning across to me, he asked man of most amiable character, as well as of suspiciously, whether the verses which I had refined scholarship, I submitted to his perusal # Irish halfpence, so called.
† Appointed Provost of the University in the year 1799, and made afterwards Bishop of Ossory.
the manuscript of my translation as far as it The unskilful attempt at Greek verse from had then proceeded, and requested his advice my own pen, which is found prefixed to the respecting my intention of laying it before the Translation, was intended originally to illusBoard. On this latter point his opinion was trate a picture, representing Anacreon con such as, with a little more thought, I might versing with the Goddess of Wisdom, from have anticipated, namely, that he did not see which the frontispiece to the first edition of how the Board of the University could lend the work was taken. Had I been brought up their sanction, by any public reward, to writings with a due fear of the laws of prosody before s0 convivial and amatory as were almost all my eyes, I certainly should not have dared to those of Anacreon. He very good-naturedly, submit so untutored a production to the critihowever, lauded my translation, and advised cism of the trained prosodians of the English me to complete and publish it; adding, I well schools. At the same time, I cannot help recollect, " young people will like it.” I was adding that, as far as music, distinct from also indebted to him for the use, during my metre, is concerned, I am much inclined to task, of Spaletti's curious publication, giving prefer the ode as originally written to its prei facsimile of those pages of a MS. in the sent corrected shape ; and that, at all events, Vatican Library which contain the Odes, or I entertain but very little doubt as to which of ** Symposiacs," attributed to Anacreon.* And the two a composer would most willingly set here I shall venture to add a few passing words to music. on a point which I once should have thought it For the means of collecting the materials of profanation to question, — the authenticity of the notes appended to the Translation, I was these poems. The cry raised against their chiefly indebted to the old library adjoining St. genuineness by Robertellus and other enemies Patrick's Cathedral, called, from the name of of Henry Stephen, when that eminent scholar the archbishop who founded it, Marsh's Library. first introduced them to the learned world, Through my acquaintance with the deputy may be thought to have long since entirely librarian, the Rev. Mr Cradock, I enjoyed the subsided, leaving their claim to so ancient a privilege of constant access to this collection, paternity safe and unquestioned. But I am even at that period of the year when it is forced, however reluctantly, to confess that there always closed to the public. On these occaappear to me strong grounds for pronouncing sions I used to be locked in there alone ; and these light and beautiful lyrics to be merely to the many solitary hours which, both at the modern fabrications. Some of the reasons that time I am now speaking of and subsequently, incline me to adopt this unwelcome conclu- I passed in hunting through the dusty tomes of sion are thus clearly stated by the same able this old library, I owe much of that odd and scholar, to whom I am indebted for the emen-out-of-the-way sort of reading which may be dations of my own juvenile Greek ode :— “I found scattered through some of my earlier do not see how it is possible, if Anacreon had writings. written chiefly in Iambic dimeter verse, that Early in the year 1799, while yet in my Horace should have wholly neglected that nineteenth year, I left Ireland, for the first metre. I may add that, of those fragments of time, and proceeded to London, with the two Anacreon, of whose genuineness, from internal not very congenial objects, of keeping my terms evidence, there can be no doubt, almost all are at the Middle Temple, and publishing, by subwritten in one or other of the lighter Horatian scription, my Translation of Anacreon. One metres, and scarcely one in Iambic dimeter of those persons to whom, through the active verse.
This may be seen by looking through zeal of friends, some part of my manuscript the list in Fischer."
had been submitted before it went to press,
• When the monument to Provost Baldwin, which stands to my friend, Dr. Kearney. Thus, curiously enough, while to the ball of the College of Dublin, arrived from Italy, there Anacreon in English was considered -and, I grant, on no came in the same packing-case with it two copies of this work unreasonable grounds — as a work to which grave collegiate of Spaletti, one of which was presented by Dr. Troy, the authorities could not openly lend their sanction, Anacreon in Roman Catholic Archbishop, as a gift from the Pope to the Greek was thought no unfitting present to be received by a Library of the University, and the other (of which I was sub- Protestant bishop, through the medium of a Catholic archsequently favoured with the use) he presented, in like manner, bishop, from the hands of his holiness, the Pope.
« Dec. 20. 1799.
was Doctor Laurence, the able friend of Burke; should take the figure of Aurora from Mrs. and, as an instance, however slight, of that | Hastings. ready variety of learning - as well the lightest « There is another emendation of the same as the most solid — for which Laurence was so critic, in the following line, which Mr. M. may remarkable, the following extract from the letter seem, by accident, to have sufficiently expressed written by him, in returning the manuscript in the phrase of “roses shed their light.' to my friend Dr. Hume, may not be without “I scribble this in very great haste, but fear some interest :
that and Mr. Moore will find me too long, minute, and impertinent. Believe me to be,
very sincerely, “ I return you the four odes which you were “ Your obedient, humble servant, so kind to communicate for my poor opinion.
“ F. LAURENCE." They are, in many parts, very elegant and poetical; and, in some passages, Mr. Moore has added a pretty turn not to be found in the original. To confess the truth, however, they are, in not a few places, rather more paraphras
PREFACE tical than suits my notion (perhaps an incorrect notion) of translation. “ In the fifty-third ode there is, in my judg
THE SECOND VOLUME. ment, a no less sound than beautiful emendation suggested – would you suppose it?— by The Poems suggested to me by my visit to a Dutch lawyer. Mr. M. possibly may not be Bermuda, in the year 1803, as well as by the aware of it. I have endeavoured to express tour which I made subsequently, through some the sense of it in a couplet interlined with parts of North America, have been hitherto pencil. Will you allow me to add, that I am very injudiciously arranged ; - any distinctive not certain whether the translation has not character they may possess having been dismissed the meaning, too, in the former part of turbed and confused by their being mixed up that passage which seems to me to intend a not only with trifles of a much earlier date, distinction and climax of pleasure:-“It is but also with some portions of a classical story, sweet even to prove it among the briery paths; in the form of Letters, which I had made some it is sweet again, plucking, to cherish with progress in before my departure from England. tender hands, and carry to the fair, the flower In the present edition, this awkward jumble of love.' This is nearly literal, including the has been remedied; and all the Poems relating conjectural correction of Mynheer Medenbach. to my Transatlantic voyage will be found classed If this be right, instead of
by themselves. As, in like manner, the line of • 'Tis sweet to dare the tangled fence,'
route by which I proceeded through some
parts of the States and the Canadas, has been I would propose something to this effect:- left hitherto to be traced confusedly through a 'Tis sweet the rich perfume to prove,
few detached notes, I have thought that, to 1 As by the dewy bush you rove;
future readers of these poems, some clearer ac'Tis sweet to dare the tangled fence, To cull the timid beauty thence,
count of the course of that journey might not To wipe with tender hands away
be unacceptable, — together with such vestiges The tears that on its blushes lay ; *
as may still linger in my memory of events Then, to the bosom of the fair, The flower of love in triumph bear.
now fast fading into the back ground of time.
For the precise date of my departure from “I would drop altogether the image of the England, in the Phaeton frigate, I am indebted stems dropping with gems.' I believe it is a
to the Naval Recollections of Captain Scott, confused and false metaphor, unless the painter then a midshipman of that ship. * Query, if it ought not to be lie? The line might run,
soon ready,” says this gentleman, “ for sea, and With tender hand the tears to brush,
a few days saw Mr. Merry and suite embarked That give new softness to its blush (or, its Alush).
on board. Mr. Moore likewise took his passage
- We were
with us on his way to Bermuda. We quitted food in a different direction. It is not as a Spithead on the 25th of September (1803), and poet I invoke the aid of Captain Hall's opinion, in a short week lay becalmed under the lofty but as a traveller and observer ; it is not to peak of Pico. In this situation the Phaeton is my invention I ask him to bear testimony, but depicted in the frontispiece of Moore's Poems.” to my matter-of-fact.
During the voyage, I dined very frequently “ The most pleasing and most exact descripwith the officers of the gun-room; and it was tion which I know of Bermuda," says this gennot a little gratifying to me to learn, from this tleman, “is to be found in Moore's Odes and Gentleman's volume, that the cordial regard Epistles, a work published many years ago. these social and open-hearted men inspired in The reason why his account excels in beauty me was not wholly unreturned on their part. as well as in precision that of other men proAfter mentioning our arrival at Norfolk, in Vir- bably is, that the scenes described lie so much ginia, Captain Scott says, “Mr. and Mrs. Merry beyond the scope of ordinary observation in left the Phaeton, under the usual salute, ac- colder climates, and the feelings which they companied by Mr. Moore ;"— then, adding excite in the beholder are so much higher than some kind compliments on the score of talents, those produced by the scenery we have been &c., he concludes with a sentence which it gave accustomed to look at, that, unless the imagime tenfold more pleasure to read,—“The gun- nation be deeply drawn upon, and the diction room mess witnessed the day of his departure sustained at a correspondent pitch, the words with genuine sorrow.” From Norfolk, after a alone strike the ear, while the listener's fancy stay of about ten days, under the hospitable remains where it was. In Moore's account roof of the British Consul, Colonel Hamilton, there is not only no exaggeration, but, on the I proceeded, in the Driver sloop of war, to contrary, a wonderful degree of temperance in Bermuda.
the midst of a feast which his rich fancy There was then on that station another must have been peculiarly tempting. He has youthful sailor, who has since earned for him- contrived by a magic peculiarly his own, yet self a distinguished name among English writers without departing from the truth, to sketch of travels, Captain Basil Hall, — then a mid- what was before him with a fervour which shipman on board the Leander. In his Frag- those who have never been on the spot might ments of Voyages and Travels, this writer has well be excused for setting down as the sport called up some agreeable reminiscences of that of the poet's invention." period ; in perusing which, — so full of life and How truly politic it is in a poet to connect reality are his sketches, — I found all my own his verse with well-known and interesting lonaval recollections brought freshly to my mind. calities, - to wed his song to scenes already inThe very names of the different ships, then so vested with fame, and thus lend it a chance of familiar to my ears, – the Leander, the Boston, sharing the charm which encircles them, -I the Cambrian, - transported me back to the have myself, in more than one instance, very season of youth and those Summer Isles once agreeably experienced. Among the memorials more.
of this description, which, as I learn with pleaThe testimony borne by so competent a sure and pride, still keep me remembered in witness as Captain Hall to the truth of my some of those beautiful regions of the West sketches of the beautiful scenery of Bermuda which I visited, I shall mention but one slight is of far too much value to me, in my capacity instance, as showing how potently the Genius of traveller, to be here omitted by me, however of the Place may lend to song a life and impeconscious of but ill deserving the praise he rishableness to which, in itself, it boasts no lavishes on me, as a poet. Not that I mean to claim or pretension. The following lines in pretend indifference to such kind tributes ;-on one of my Bermudian poems, the contrary, those are always the most alive to
'Twas there, in the shade of the Calabash Tree, praise, who feel inwardly least confidence in the soundness of their own title to it. In the still live in memory, I am told, on those fairy present instance, however, my vanity (for so this uneasy feeling is always called) seeks its
* Fragments of Voyages and Travels, vol. ii. chap. vi.
With a few who could feel and remember like me,
shores, connecting my name with the pictu- sure to find decided hostility, both to the men resque spot they describe, and the noble old and the principles then dominant throughout tree which I believe still adorns it.* One of the Union, as among officers of the British the few treasures (of any kind) I can boast the navy, and in the ranks of an angry Federalist possession of, is a goblet formed of one of the opposition. For any bias, therefore, that, fruit-shells of this remarkable tree, which was under such circumstances, my opinions and brought from Bermuda, a few years since, by feelings may be thought to have received, full Mr. Dudley Costello, and which that gentle- allowance, of course, is to be made in appraisman, having had it tastefully mounted as a ing the weight due to my authority on the goblet, very kindly presented to me; the fol- subject. All I can answer for, is the perfect lowing words being part of the inscription sincerity and earnestness of the actual impreswhich it bears:—“To Thomas Moore, Esq., sions, whether true or erroneous, under which this cup, formed of a calabash which grew on my Epistles from the United States were the tree that bears his name, near Walsingham, written; and so strong, at the time, I confess, Bermuda, is inscribed by one who," &c. &c. were those impressions, that it was the only
From Bermuda I proceeded in the Boston, period of my past life during which I have with my friend Captain (now Admiral) J. E. found myself at all sceptical as to the soundDouglas, to New York, from whence, after a ness of that Liberal creed of politics, in the short stay, we sailed for Norfolk, in Virginia ; profession and advocacy of which I may be and about the beginning of June, 1804, I set almost literally said to have begun life, and out from that city on a tour through part of shall most probably end it. the States. At Washington, I passed some Reaching, for the second time, New York, days with the English minister, Mr. Merry; I set out from thence on the now familiar and and was, by him, presented at the levee of the easy enterprise of visiting the Falls of Niagara. President, Jefferson, whom I found sitting with It is but too true, of all grand objects, whether General Dearborn and one or two other in nature or art, that facility of access to them officers, and in the same homely costume, com- much diminishes the feeling of reverence they prising slippers and Connemara stockings, in ought to inspire. Of this fault, however, the which Mr. Merry had been received by him— route to Niagara, at that period — at least the much to that formal minister's horror -- when portion of it which led through the Genesee waiting upon him, in full dress, to deliver his country-could not justly be accused. The credentials. My single interview with this latter part of the journey, which lay chiefly remarkable person was of very short duration; through yet but half-cleared wood, we were but to have seen and spoken with the man who obliged to perform on foot; and a slight accidrew up the Declaration of American Inde- dent I met with, in the course of our rugged pendence was an event not to be forgotten. walk, laid me up for some days at Buffalo,
At Philadelphia, the society I was chiefly To the rapid growth, in that wonderful region, made acquainted with, and to which (as the of, at least, the materials of civilization, -howverses addressed to “Delaware's green banks”+ ever ultimately they may be turned to acsufficiently testify) I was indebted for some of count, — this flourishing town, which stands my most agreeable recollections of the United on Lake Erie, bears most ample testimony. States, consisted entirely of persons of the Though little better, at the time when I visited Federalist or Anti-Democratic party. Few it
, than a mere village, consisting chiefly of and transient, too, as had been my opportu- huts and wigwams, it is now, by all accounts, nities, of judging for myself of the political / a populous and splendid city, with five or six or social state of the country, my mind was churches, town-hall, theatre, and other such left open
too much to the influence of the feel- appurtenances of a capital. ings and prejudices of those I chiefly consorted In adverting to the comparatively rude state with; and, certainly, in no quarter was I so of Buffalo, at that period, I should be ungrate
A representation of this calabash, taken from a drawing has been introduced in the vignette prefixed to the second of it made on the spot, by Dr. Savage of the Royal Artillery, volume of the edition in ten volumes.
† See Epistle to Mr. W. R. Spencer, p. 125. of this edition.