Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

And there's an end-for ah, you know
They drink but little wine below!

See, in yonder flowery braid,
Culld for thee, my blushing maid,'
How the rose, of orient glow,
Mingles with the lily's snow;
Mark, how sweet their tints agree,
Just, my girl, like thee and me!

ODE LIII.

ODE LII.
Away, away, ye men of rules,
What have I to do with schools ?
They'd make me learn, they'd make me think,
But would they make me love and drink?
Teach me this, and let me swim
My soul upon the goblet's brim;
Teach me this, and let me twine
Some fond, responsivo heart to mine,
For, age begins to blanch my brow,
I've time for naught but pleasure now.

When I behold the festive train
Of dancing youth, I'm young again!
Memory wakes her magic trance,
And wings me lightly through the dance
Come, Cybeba, smiling maid !
Cull the flower and twine the braid;
Bid the blush of summer's rose
Burn upon my forehead's snows;'
And let me, while the wild and young
Trip the mazy dance along,
Fling my heap of years away,
And be as wild, as young, as they.
Hither haste, some cordial soul !
Help to my lips the brimming bowl!
And you shall see this hoary sage
Forget at once his locks and age.
He still can chant the festive hymn,
He still can kiss the goblet's brim ;o
As deeply quaff, as largely fill,
And play the fool right nobly still.

Fly, and cool my goblet's glow
At yonder fountain's gelid flow;
I'll quaff, my boy, and calmly sink
This soul to slumber as I drink.
Soon, too soon, my jocund slave,
You'll deck your master's grassy grave;

1 See, in yonder flowery braid,

E m'insegni con piu rare Culld for thee, my blushing maid!] “In the same manner

Forme accorte d' involare that Anacreon pleads for the whiteness of his locks, from the

Ad amabile beltade beauty of the color in garlands, a shepherd, in Theocritus,

Il bel cinto d'onestade. endeavors to recommend his black hair:

* And there's an end--for ah, you know Και το ιον μελαν εστι, και ο γραπτα υακινθος,

They drink but little wine below !) Thus Mainard :Αλλ' εμπας εν τοις στεφανοις τα πρωτα λεγονται."

La Mort nous guette ; et quand ses lois
Longepierre, Barnes, &-c.

Nous ont enfermés une fois

Au sein d'une fosse profonde, ? " This is doubtless the work of a more modern poet than

Adieu bons vins et bon repas ; Anacreon ; for at the period when he lived rhetoricians were

Ma science ne trouve pas not known."-Degen.

Des cabarets en l'autre monde. Though this ode is found in the Vatican manuscript, I am From Mainard, Gombauld, and De Cailly, old French much inclined to agree in this argument against its authen

poets, some of the best epigrams of the English language ticity; for though the dawnings of the art of rhetoric might have been borrowed. already have appeared, the first who gave it any celebrity

6 Bid the blush of summer's rose was Corax of Syracuse, and he flourished in the century af Burn upon my forehead's snows ; &c.] Licetus, in his ter Anacreon.

Hieroglyphica, quoting two of our poet's odes, where he calls Our poet anticipated the ideas of Epicurns, in his aversion

to his attendants for garlands, remarks, “Constat igitur to the labors of learning, as well as his devotion to volup-floreas coronas poetis et potantibus in symposio convenire, tousness. Πασαν παιδειαν μακαριοι φευγετε, said the pliloso non autem sapientibus et philosophiam affectantibus."_" It pher of the garden in a letter to Pythocles

appears that wreaths of flowers were adapted for poets and • Teach me this, and let me twine

revellers at banquets, but by no means became those who had Some fond responsive heart to mine.) By xpvons A po- pretensions to wisdom and philosophy.” On this principle, ourns here, I understand some beautiful girl, in the same

in his 152d chapter, he discovers a refinement in Virgil, demanner that Avauus is often used for wine. “Golden” is scribing the garland of the poet Silenus, as fallen off'; which frequently an epithet of beauty. Thus in Virgil, “ Venus distinguishes, he thinks, the divine intoxication of Silenus aurea ;" and in Propertius, "Cynthia aurea." Tibullus, from that of common drunkards, who always wear their however, calls an old woman “golden."

crowns while they drink. Such is the “ labor ineptiarum" The translation d'Autori Anonimi, as usual, wantons on of commentators! inis passage of Anacreon :

He still can kiss the goblet's brim, &c.) Wine is pre

ODE LIV.1

METHINKS, the pictured bull we seo
Is aniorous Jove-it must be he!
How fondly blest he seems to bear
That fairest of Phænician fair!
How proud he breasts the foamy tide,
And spurns the billowy surge aside !
Could any beast of vulgar vein
Undaunted thus defy the main ?
No: he descends from climes above,
He looks the God, he breathes of Jove !"

Whose breath perfumes th’ Olympian bowers;
Whose virgin blush, of chasten'd dye,
Enchants so much our mortal eye.
When pleasure's springtide season glows,
The Graces love to wreath the rose;
And Venus, in its fresh-blown leaves,
An emblem of herself perceives.
Oft hath the poet's magic tongue
The rose's fair luxuriance sung ;o
And long the Muses, heavenly maids,
Have rear'd it in their tuneful shades.
When, at the early glance of morn,
It sleeps upon the glittering thorn,
'Tis sweet to dare the tangled fence,
To cull the timid flow'ret thence,
And wipe with tender hand away
The tear that on its blushes lay!
'Tis sweet to hold the infant stems,
Yet dropping with Aurora's gems,

ODE LV.3

While we invoke the wreathed spring,
Resplendent rose ! to ihee we'll sing :

scribed by Galen, as an excellent medicine for old men:

Again these longing arms infold thee, "Quod frigidos et humoribus expletos calefaciat, &c.;" but

Again, my rose, again I hold thee. Nature was Anacreon's physician.

This, like most of the terms of endearment in the modern There is a proverb in Eriphus, as quoted by Athenæus,

Latin poets, is taken from Plautus; they were vulgar and which says, "that wine makes an old man dance, whether he will or not."

colloquial in his time, but are among the elegancies of the

modern Latinists. Λογος εστ' αρχαιος, ου κακως εχων,

Passeralius alludes to the ode before us, in the beginning Οινον λεγουσι τους γεροντας, ω πατερ,

of his poem on the Rose :Πειθειν χορεειν ου θελοντας. .

Carmine digna rosa est; vellem caneretur ut illam 1 "This ode is written upon a picture which represented

Teius arguta cecinit testudine vates. the rape of Europa.”—Madame Dacier.

It may probably have been a description of one of those 4 Resplendent rose! to the we'll sing ;) I have passed coins, which the Sidonians struck off in honor of Europa,

over the line συν εταιρει αυξει μελπην, which is corrupt in this representing a woman carried across the sea by a bull. Thus

original reading, and has been very little improved by the Natalis Comes, lib. viii. cap. 23. Sidonii numismata cum

annotators. I should suppose it to be an interpolation, if it fæmina tauri dorso insidente ac mare transfretante enderunt

were not for a line which occurs afterwards : Øspe on Ørciv in ejus honorem.” In the little treatise upon the goddess of deywjev. Syria, attributed very falsely to Lucian, there is mention of 5 And Venus, in its fresh-blown leaves, &c.) Belleau, in a this coin, and of a temple dedicated by the Sidonians to

note upon an old French poet, quoting the original here Astarté, whom some, it appears, confounded with Europa. a podioiwv maluppia, translates it, “comme les délices et

The poet Moschus bas left a very beautiful idyl on the mignardises de Venus." s pry of Europa.

8 Oft hath the poet's magic tongue No: he descends from climes above,

The rose's fair luxuriance sung ; &c.] The following is He looks the God, he breathes of Jove !) Thus Mos

a fragment of the Lesbian poetess. It is cited in the romanco chus:

of Achilles Tatius, who appears to have resolved the numbers Κρυψε θεον και τρεψε δεμας και γινετο ταυρος.

into prose. Ει τοις ανθεσιν ηθελεν ο Ζευς επιθειναι βασιλεα,το The God forgot himself, his heaven, for love,

ροδον αν των ανθεων τβασιλευε. γης εστι κοσμος, φυτων αγλαAnd a bull's form belied th'almighty Jove.

ίσμα, οφθαλμος ανθεων, λειμωνος ερυθημα, καλλος αστραπτον. 3 This ode is a brilliant panegyric on the rose.

Ερωτος πνει, Αφροδιτην προξενει, ευειδεσι φυλλοις κομά ευκιtiquity (says Barnes) has produced nothing more beautiful.” νητοις πεταλοις τριφ. το πεταλον τω Ζεφυρα γελά. From the idea of peculiar excellence, which the ancients

If Jove would give the leasy bowers attached to this flower, arose a pretty proverbial expression,

A queen for all their world of flowers, used by Aristophanes, according to Suidas, poda u' Elonkas,

The rose would be the choice of Jove, “You have spoken roses," a phrase somewhat similar to the

And blush, the queen of every grove. “ dire des fleurettes" of the French. In the same idea of ex

Sweetest child of weeping morning, cellence originated, I doubt not, a very curious application

Gem, the vest of earth adorning, of the word podov, for which the inquisitive reader may con

Eye of gardens, light of lawns, sult Gaulminus upon the epithalamium of our poet, where

Nursling of soft summer dawns; it is introduced in the romance of Theodorus. Muretas, in

Love's own earliest sigh it breaths, one of his elegies, calls his mistress his rosc :

Beauty's brow with lustre wrenths, Jam te igitur rursus teneo, formosola, jam te

And, to young Zephyr's warm caresses, (Quid trepidas ?) teneo; jam, rosa, te teneo. Eleg. 8.

Spreads abroad its verdant tresses,
Now I again may clasp thee, dearest,

Till, blushing with the wanton's play,
What is there now, on earth, thou fearest ?

Its cheek wears e'en a richer ray!

" All an

And fresh inhale the spicy sighs
That from the weeping buds arise.

When revel reigns, when mirth is high,
And Bacchus beams in every eye,
Our rosy fillets scent exhale,
And fill with balm the fainting gale.
There's naught in nature bright or gay,
Where roses do not shed their ray.
When morning paints the orient skies,
Her fingers burn with roseate dyes ;'
Young nymphs betray the rose's huo,
O'er whitest arms it kindles through.
In Cytherea's form it glows,
And mingles with the living snows.

When, humid, from the silvery stream,
Effusing beauty's warmest beam,
Venus appear’d, in flushing hues,
Mellow'd by ocean's briny dews;
When, in the starry courts above,
The pregnant brain of mighty Jove
Disclosed the nymph of azure glance,
The nymph who shakes the martial lance ;-
Then, then, in strange eventful hour,
The earth produced an infant flower,
Which sprung, in blushing glories dress'd,
And wanton'd o'er its parent breast.
The gods beheld this brilliant birth,
And hail'd the Rose, the boon of earth!
With nectar drops, a ruby tide,
The sweetly orient buds they dyed,"
And bade them bloom, the flowers div..10
Of him who gave the glorious vine ;
And bade them on the spangled thorn
Expand their bosoms to the morn.

The rose distils a healing balm,
The beating pulse of pain to calm;
Preserves the cold inurned clay,
And mocks the vestige of decay:
An when, at length, in pale decline,
Its florid beauties fade and pine,
Sweet as in youth, its balmy breath
Diffuses odor even in death :*
Oh! whence could such a plant have sprung?
Listen,-for thus the tale is

sung.

ODE LVI.
He, who instructs the youthful crew
To bathe them in the brimmer's dew,

[ocr errors]

I ll'hen morning paints the orient skies,

Ambrosinm late rosa tunc quoque spargit odorem, Her fingers burn with roseale dyes ; &c.) In the original Cum fluit, aut multo languida sole jacet. here, he enumerates the many epithets of beauty, borrowed

Nor then the rose its odor loses, from roses, which were used by the poets, mapa twy oooww.

When all its flushing beauties die; We see that poets were dignified in Greece with the title of

Nor less ambrosial balm diffuses, sages : even the careless Anacreon, who lived but for love

When wither'd by the solar

eye. and voluptuousness, was called by Plato the wise Anacreon

6 With nectar drops, a ruby tide, - fuit hæc sapientia quondam."

The sweetly orient buds they dyed. &c.] The author of Preserves the cold inurned clay, &c.] He here alludes to

the “Pervigilium Veneris" (a poem attributed to Catullus, the use of the rose in embalming; and, perhaps, (as Barnes

the style of which appears to me to have all the labored thinks.) to the rosy unguent with which Venus anointed

luxuriance of a much later period) ascribes the tincture of the corpose of Hector.-Homer's Iliad y. It may likewise

the rose

the blood from the wound of Adonis-
regard the ancient practice of putting garlands of roses on
the dead, as in Statius, Theb. lib. x. 762.

Fusæ aprino de cruore-
-hi sertis, A. veris honore soluto
Accumulant artus, patriâque in sede reponunt

according to the emendation of Lipsius. In the following Corpus odoratum.

epigram this hue is differently accounted for :Where " veris honor," though it mean every kind of flowers,

Illa quidem studiosa suum defendere Adonim,

Gradivus stricto quem petit ense ferox, may seem more particularly to refer to the rose, which onr

Affixit duris vestigia cæca rosetis, poet in another ode calls éapos ue Anua. We read, in the Hieroglyphics of Pierius, lib. Iv., that some of the ancients

Albaque divino picta cruore rosa est. used to order in their wills, that roses shonld be annually

While the enamor'd queen of joy scattered on their tombs, and Pierius has adduced some se Flies to protect her lovely boy, pnlchral inscriptions to this purpose.

On whom the jealous war-god rushes; - And mocks the vestige of decay :) When he says that

She treads upon a thorned rose, this flower prevails over time itself, he still alludes to its And while the wound with criinson flows, efficacy in einbalmment, (tenerâ poneret ossa roså. Propert.

The snowy flow'ret feels her blood, and blushes: lib. i. eleg. 17,) or perhaps to the subsequent idea of its fra 6 “Compare with this elegant ode the verses of Uz, lib. i. grance surviving its beauty; for he can scarcely mean to die Weinlese.'"-Degen. praise for duration the “ nimium breves flores" of the rose. This appears to be one of the hymns which were sung at Philostratus compares this flower with love, and says, that the anniversary festival of the vintage ; one of the evidnutou they both defy the influence of time ; xpovov de ovte Epws, turou, as our poet himself terms them in the fifty-ninth ode. OUTE poca odev. Unfortunately the similitude lies not in We cannot help feeling a sort of reverence for these classic their duration, but their transience.

relics of the religion of antiquity. Horace may be supposed • Steel as in youth, its balmy breath

to have written the nineteenth ode of his second book, and Diffuses odor even in death!) Thus Casper Barlæus, in the twenty-futh of the third, for some bacchanalian celebrahis Ritus Nuptiarum :

tion of this kind.

And taste, uncloy'd by rich excesses,
All the bliss that wine possesses ;
He, who inspires the youth to bound
Elastic through the dance's round,
Bacchus, the god agaiu is here,
And leads along the blushing year ;
The blushing year with vintage teems,
Ready to shed those cordial streams,
Which, sparkling in the cup of mirth,
Illuminate the sons of earth !!

As aught on earthly wing can fly,
Depicted thus, in semblance warm,
The Queen of Love's voluptuous form
Floating along the silv'ry sea
In beauty's naked majesty!
Oh! he hath given th' enamor'd sight
A witching banquet of delight,
Where, gleaming through the waters clear,
Glimpses of undream'd charms appear,
And all that mystery loves to screen,
Fancy, like Faith, adores unseen.

Then, when the ripe and vermil wine,-
Blest infant of the pregnant vine,
Which now in mellow clusters swells,
Oh! when it bursts its roseate cells,
Brightly the joyous stream shall flow,
To balsam every mortal wo!
None shall be then cast down or weak,
For health and joy shall light each cheek ;
No heart will then desponding sigh,
For wine shall bid despondence fly.
Thus-till another autumn's glow
Shall bid another vintage flow.

Light as the leaf, that on the breeze
Of summer skims the glassy seas,
She floats along the ocean's breast,
Which undulates in sleepy rest;
Whilo stealing on, she gently pillows
Her bosom on the heaving billows.
Her bosom, like the dew-wash'd rose,
Her neck, like April's sparkling snows,
Illume the liquid path she traces,
And burn within the stream's embraces.
Thus on she moves, in languid pride,
Encircled by the azure tide,
As some fair lily o'er a bed
Of violets bends its graceful head.

ODE LVII.

Whose was the artist hand that spread
Upon this disk the ocean's bed ?s
And, in a flight of fancy, high

Beneath their queen's inspiring glance,
The dolphins o'er the green sea dance,
Bearing in triumph young Desire,
And infant Love with smiles of fire !

1 Which, sparkling in the cup of mirth,

4 And all that mystery loves to screen, Iluminate the sons of carth!) In the original TOTOV Fancy, like Faith, adores unseen, &c.] The picture here αστυνον κομιξων. Madame Dacier thinks that the poet here has all the delicate character of the semi-reducta Venus, had the nepenthé of Homer in his mind. Odyssey, lib. iv. and affords a happy specimen of what the poetry of passion Th's ne penthé was a something of exquisite charm, infused ought to be-glowing but through a veil, and stealing upon by Helen into the wine of her guests, which had the power the heart from concealment. Few of the ancients have of dispelling every anxiety. A French writer, De Mere, attained this modesty of description, which, like the golden conjectures that this spell, which made the bowl so be cloud that hung over Jupiter and Juno, is impervious to guiling, was the charm of Helen's conversation. See Bayle, every beam but that of fancy. art. Heléne.

6 Her bosom, like the dew-wash'd rose, &-c.) “Podeur ? This ode is a very animated description of a picture of (says an anonymous annotator) is a whimsical epithet for Venus on a discus, which represented the goddess in her the bosom." Neither Catullus nor Gray have been of his first emergence from the waves. About two centuries after opinion. The former has the expression, our poet wrote, the pencil of the artist Apelles embellished

En liic in roseis latet papillis; this subject, in his famous painting of the Venus Anadyo

And the latter, mené, the model of which, as Pliny informs us, was the beautiful Campaspe, given to him by Alexander; though,

Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd hours, &c. according to Natalis Comes, lib. vii. cap. 16, it was Phryne Crottus, a modern Latinist, might indeed be censured for who sat to Apelles for the face and breast of this Venus. too vague a use of the epithet "rosy," when he applies it

There are a few blemishes in the reading of the ode be to the eyes :-"e roseis oculis." fore us, which have influenced Faber, Heyne, Brunck, &c.

-young Desire, &c.] In the original 'luepos, to denounce the whole poem as spurious. But, “non ego who was the same deity with Jocus among the Romans. paucis offendar maculis." I think it is quite beautiful Aurelius Augurellus has a poem beginningenough to be authentic.

Invitat olim Bacchus ad cænam suos 3 Whose was the artist hand that spread

Comon, Jocum, Cupidinem. Upon this disk the ocean's bed?] The abruptness of apa Which Parnell has closely imienion :TIS TOPEUCE TOVTov is finely expressive of sudden admiration,

Gay Bacchus, liking Estcourt's wine, and is one of those beauties which we cannot but admire in

A noble meal bespoke us ; their source, though, by frequent imitation, they are now

And for the guests that were to dine, become familiar and unimpressive.

Brought Comus, Love, and Jocus, &c.

6

While, glittering through the silver waves,
The tenants of the briny caves
Around the pomp their gambols play,
And gleam along the watery way.

ODE LVIII.

When Gold, as fleet as zephyr's pinion,
Escapes like any faithless minion,"
And flies me, (as he flies me ever,)
Do I pursue him? never, never !
No, let the false deserter go,
For who could court his direst foe?
But, when I feel my lighten’d mind
No more by grovelling gold confined,
Then loose I all such clinging cares,
And cast them to the vagrant airs.
Then feel I, too, the Muse's spell,
And wake to life the dulcet shell,
Which, roused once more, to beauty sings,
While love dissolves along the strings !

Away, deceiver! why pursuing
Ceaseless thus my heart's undoing?
Sweet is the song of amorous fire,
Sweet the sighs that thrill the lyro;
Oh! sweeter far than all the gold
Thy wings can waft, thy mines can hold.
Well do I know ihy arts, thy wiles-
They wither'd Love's young wreathed smiles;
And o'er his lyre such darkness shed,
I thought its soul of song was fled !
They dash'd the wine-cup, that, by him,
Was fillid with kisses to the brim."
Go-fly to haunts of sordid men,
But come not near the bard again.
Thy glitter in the Muse's shade,
Scares from her bower the tuneful maiu;
And not for worlds would I forego
That moment of poetic glow,
When my full soul, in Fancy's stream,
Pours o'er the lyre its swelling theme.
Away, away! to worldlings henco,
Who feel not the diviner sense ;
Give gold to those who love that pest,-
But leave the poet poor and blest.

ODE LIX.5

But scarcely has my heart been taught
How little Gold deserves a thought,
When, lo! the slave returns once more,
And with him wafts delicious store
Of racy wine, whose genial art
In slumber seals the anxious heart.
Again he tries my soul to sever
From love and song, perhaps forever!

Ripen'd by the solar beam,
Now the ruddy clusters teem,
In osier baskets borne along
By all the festal vintage throng

[ocr errors]

1 I have followed Barnes's arrangement of this ode, which, si sic omnia dixisset!-but the rest does not bear citathough deviating somewhat froin the Vatican MS., appears tion. to me the more natural order.

They dash'd the wine-cup, that, by him, When Gold, as fleet as zephyr's pinion,

Was fill'd with kisses to the brim.] Original:Escapes like any faithless minion, &c.] In the original 'O dparens ó Xpvous. There is a kind of pun in these words,

Φιληματων δε κείνων, , as Madame Dacier has already remarked; for Chrysos, which

Πυθων κυπελλα κιρνης. . signifies gold, was also a frequent name for a slave. In one

Horace has “Desiderîque temperare poculum," not figuof Lucian's dialogues, there is, I think, a similar play upon ratively, however, like Anacreon, but importing the lovethe word, where the followers of Chrysippus are called philtres of the witches. By “cups of kisses” our poet may golden fishes. The puns of the ancients are, in general,

allude to a favorite gallantry among the ancients, of drinkeven more vapid than our own; some of the best are those

ing when the lips of their mistresses had touched the brim :recorded of Diogenes.

“Or leave a kiss within the cup, And flies me, (as he flies me erer,) &c.) Aci d', acı ve pev

And I'll not ask for wine.” yel. This

grace of iteration has already been taken notice of. Though sometimes merely a playful beauty, it is pecu As in Ben Jonson's translation from Philostratos; and Luliarly expressive of impassioned sentiment, and we may cian has a conceit upon the same idea, “ 'Iva kau minns á ua easily believe that it was one of the many sources of that kai puans," " that you may at once both drink and kiss." energetic sensibility which breathed through the style of

6 The title Erinvios ouvos, which Barnes has given to this Sappho. See Gyrald. Vet. Poet. Dial. 9. It will not be

ode, is by no means appropriate. We have already had one said that this is a mechanical ornament by any one who can

of those hymns, (ode 56,) but this is a description of the vinfeel its charm in those lines of Catullus, where he complains tage ; and the title els oivov, which it bears in the Vatican of the infidelity of his mistress, Lesbia :

MS., is more correct than any that have been suggested. Creli, Lesbia nostra, Lesbia illa,

Degen, in the true spirit of literary skepticism, doubts that Ilta Lesbia, quam Catullus unam,

this ode is genuine, without assigning any reason for such a Plus quam se atque suos amavit omnes, suspicion ;—"non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare." Nunc, &c.

But this is far from being satisfactory criticism.

« ForrigeFortsæt »