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Vulgares inter flammas meus emicat ignis,
Ut nusquam formâ nympha sit ulla pari:
Distinguunt vitsin gratia multa meam.
Aut ubi, sub medio sole, vagantur oves ?
Quæramve ad Tuedæ candidioris aquam?
SWEET WILLIAM'S FAREWELL то BLACK-EYED
ALL in the Downs the fleet was moor'd,
The streamers waving in the wind,
"Oh! where shall I my true love find ?
Rock'd with the billows to and fro;
He sighed, and cast his eyes below.
Shuts close his pinions to his breast,
And drops at once into her nest.
My vows shall ever true remain;
We only part to meet again.
Believe not what the landsmen say,
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind;
In every port a mistress find :
For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright:
Thy skin is ivory so white :
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
William shall to his dear return;
The sails their swelling bosom spread;
They kissed; she sighed; he hung his head.
Pendulus in summi Gulielmus vertice mali
Hinc agitabatur fluctibus, inde, maris;
Premisit gemitum, nec piger ipse sequi:
Descensu, alati fulguris instar, adest.
Sic alto in celo tremulis se librat ut alis,
Si sociæ accipiat forsan alauda sonos,
In carae nidum præcipitatur avis.
Navarcha optarit maximus esse sua
Sunt mea, quæ vovi, sunt tibi vota rata;
Gratior ut reditu sit, Gulielmus abit.
Cor meum, ut ad Boream nautica vergit acus.
Tentabunt dubio solicitare metu:
Nauta, quod accendat mobile pectus, habet.
Tu mihi, tu præsens ignis et ardor eris.
Seu mihi visendus dives odoris Arabs:
Quas ostentet Arabs, Afer, et Indus, opes.
Occurret quiddam, quod memorabo, Tui.
Ut procul amplexu poscar ad arma tuo;
Post aliquot menses restituendus ero.
Mille avertendo tela, cavebit Amor.'.
Vela tumescentes explicuere sinus:
Addidit hæc genitus, ille recline caput.
Et niveâ repetit, vive, valeque,' manu.
So remarkable is the transfusion of spirit in many of these pieces (and to effect this desirable end it must be confessed that genius and talent have in most cases arrived at a very unsatisfactory result) that what is merely the translation might sometimes be mistaken for the spirited original. Translations however, from the English to the Latin, admit of greater success than the reverse. The respectable scholar may approach to perfection in the one case, where the greatest poetical genius would utterly fail in the other. Since I saw you,' says Mr. Charles Lamb, in a letter to a friend, 'I have had a treat in the reading way which comes not every day: the Latin poems of Vincent Bourne, which were quite new to me. What a heart that man had, all laid out upon town scenes, a proper counterpart to some people's extravagancies. Why I mention him is, that your power of music reminded me of his poem of the ballad-singer in the Seven Dials. Do you remember his epigram on the Old Woman who taught Newton the A. B. C., whieh after all, he says, he hesitates not to call Newton's Principia ? I was lately fatiguing myself by going over a volume of fine words by — excellent words; and if the heart could live by words alone, it could desire no better regale: but what an aching vacuum of matter! I
do n't stick at the madness of it, for that is only in consequence of shutting his eyes, and thinking he is in the age of the old Elizabethan poets. From them I turned to Vincent Bourne; what a sweet, unpretending, pretty-mannered, matter-full creature! Sucking from every flower, making a flower of every thing. His diction all Latin, and his thoughts all English. Bless him! Latin was not good enough for him; why was he not content with the language which Gay and Prior wrote in? Well fare' proceeds that quaint original, well fare the soul of Vincent Bourne, most classical, and at the same time most English of the Latinists, who has treated of this human and quadrupedal alliance, this dog and man friendship in the sweetest of his poems; the Epitaphium in Canem, or Dog's Epitaph. Reader! peruse it, and say if customary sights, which could call up such gentle poetry as this, were of a nature to do more harm or good to the moral sense of the passengers through the daily thoroughfares of a vast and busy metropolis.'
Let us turn to the Epitaphium in Canem, so highly praised, and which Charles Lamb has himself rendered happily into English:
EPITA PHIUM IN CANEM
EPITAPH ON A DOG.
These were my manners, this my way of life,
Strokes of humor are quite prevalent throughout the author's compositions. Take for example the following sketch, which might well apply to some stormy pulpit orator of our own time:
F A N ATICUS.
CONSCENDIT primum tremulus cum pulpita frater,
The author's description of the company which he met in a stagecoach is quite worthy of Horace:
In curru conduco locum, visurus amicum,
Millia qui decies distat ab urbe novem.
Cum nondum sonuit tertia, jungit equos.
Per longum miserè discutiendus iter.
Atque duas pingues comprimor inter anus.
Distento hos inter corpore caupo sedet.
Aspera qua ducit, quà salebrosa via.
Miles, poy álei caupo, vomitque puer.
In the same playful vein are the pieces severally inscribed · Nulli te facias nimis Sodalem,' in which familiarity with cats is shown to be dangerous, and the moral of which is conveyed in the last two lines :
Quod tamen haud æquum est si vult cum fele jocari,
· Eques Academicus,' his description of the Cantab' sallying out for horseback exercise ; • Phæbe Ornatrix,' · Hobsoni Lex,'· Conspicillum,' and others. Here is something in the Anacreontic measure :
We ought not to omit in describing the contents of the volume, some epitaphs very neatly done. Take for example the following:
Here we must take leave of the productions of Vinny Bourne. Perhaps some critics might render them credit for what a great writer in one of his essays would term an "exquisite mimicry, an elaborate imitation of classical antiquity, a scrupulous purity, and a ceremonial cleanness which characterizes the diction of our academical Pharisees.' But whether there be mimicry or not, it is an art which renders itself inapparent; an art so elegantly veiled that it is but a second nature ; an enhancing of the bright original, a reflection softened from the image, an echo of a mellower harmony than the voice.
After the genius which originates, is the art which imitates, and it is hard to say from which we derive the most pleasure. The one requires an almost equal intellect to be its judge, for there is nothing wherewith to compare it; the other as it stands but little chance if inaccurate, so it is acknowledged with rapture if it be true. The one diverts our admiration from the work to its author, the other makes us forgetful of itself. There is a servile imitation which arrays with poor effect its ill-assorted shreds and patches, very different from the taste which selects, combines and arranges in a natural order the treasures not its own. Bourne