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And all that Hope adored and lost Hath melted into Memory.
Alas! it is delusion all;
The future cheats us from afar,
Nor can we be what we recall,
Nor dare we think on what we are.
TO THOMAS MOORE.
My boat is on the shore,
Here's a double health to thee'
'Tis to thee that I would drink. With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour Should be-Peace with thine and mine, And a health to thee, Tom Moore.
TO SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ. ABSENT or present, still to thee,
My friend, what magic spells belong! As all can tell, who share, like me,
In turn thy converse and thy song. But when the dreaded hour shall come, By Friendship ever deem'd too nigh, And "MEMORY" o'er her Druid's tomb Shall weep that aught of thee can die, How fondly will she then repay
Thy homage offer'd at her shrine, And blend, while ages roll away,
Her name immortally with thine!
ODE ON VENICE. 1818. I.
OH Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls
A loud lament along the sweeping sea!
Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping
Oh! agony-that centuries should reap
And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
Of gondolas-and to the busy hum
Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
And Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay;
When Faintness, the last mortal birth of Pain,
Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away;
At which he vainly catches, flit and gleam,
There is no hope for nations!-Search the page
Our strength away in wrestling with the air:
Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water,
What have they given your children in return? A heritage of servitude and woes,
A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows. What! do not yet the red-hot plough-shares burn,
O'er which you stumble in a false ordeal,
Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed!! If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone
By the down-thundering of the prison-wall,
Madden'd with centuries of drought, are loud,
The sand, or if there sprung the yellow grain,
And their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain:
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth
Glory and Empire! once upon these towers
She drank no blood, nor fatten'd on the dead,
For these restored the Cross, that from above
Flew between earth and the unholy Crescent,
The city it has clothed in chains, which clank
With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles!
The name of Commonwealth is past and gone
His chainless mountains, 'tis but for a time,
As if his senseless sceptre were a wand
Rights cheaply earn'd with blood. Still, still
Better, though each man's life-blood were a river,
TRANSLATION FROM VITTORELLI.
Sonnet composed in the name of a father, whose
Or two fair virgins, modest, though admired,
Heaven for a nobler doom their worth desires,
But thine, within the closing grate retired,
May'st hear her sweet and pious voice once
THE Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of which this translation is offered, divides with the Orlando Innamorato the honour of having formed and suggested the style and story of Ariosto. The great defects of Boiardo were his treating too seriously the narratives of chivalry, and his harsh style. Ariosto, in his continuation, by a judicious mixture of the gaiety of Pulci, has avoided the one; and Berni, in his reformation of Boiardo's poem, has corrected the other. Pulci may be considered as the precursor and model of Berni altogether, as he has partly been to Ariosto, however inferior to both his copyists. He is no less the founder of a new style of poetry very lately sprung up in England. I allude to that of the ingenious Whistlecraft. The serious poems on Roncesvalles in the same language, and more particularly the excellent one of Mr Merivale, are to be traced to the same source. It has never yet been decided entirely whether Pulci's intention was or was not to deride the religion which is one of his favourite topics. It appears to me, that such an intention would have been no less hazardous to the poet than to the priest, particularly in that age and country; and the permission to publish the poem, and its reception among the classics of Italy, prove that it neither was nor is so interpreted. That he intended to ridicule the monastic life, and suffered his imagination to play with the simple dulness of his converted giant, seems evident enough; but surely it were as unjust to accuse him of irreligion on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple, and the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild,-or Scott, for the exquisite use of his Covenanters in the "Tales of my Landlord."
In the following translation I have used the liberty of the original with the proper names: as Pulci uses Gan, Ganellon, or Ganellone; Carlo, Carlomagno, or Carlomano; Rondel, or Ron. dello, &c., as it suits his convenience; so has the translator. In other respects the version is faithful to the best of the translator's ability in combining his interpretation of the one language with the not very easy task of reducing it to the same versification in the other. The reader, on comparing it with the original, is requested to remember that the antiquated language of Pulci, however pure, is not easy to the generality of Italians themselves, from its great mixture of Tuscan proverbs; and he may therefore be more indulgent to the present attempt. How far the translator has succeeded, and whether or no he shall continue the work, are questions which the public will decide. He was induced to make the experiment partly by his love for, and partial intercourse with, the Italian language, of which it is so easy to acquire a slight knowledge, and with which it is so nearly impossible for a foreigner to become accurately conversant. The Italian language is like a capricious beauty, who accords her smiles to all, her favours to few, and sometimes least to those who have courted her longest. The translator wished also to present in an English dress a part at least of a poem never yet rendered into a northern language; at the same time that it has been the original of some of the most celebrated productions on this side of the Alps, as well as of those recent experiments in poetry in England which have been already mentioned.
""Tis fit thy grandeur should dispense relief, So that each here may have his proper part, For the whole court is more or less in grief; Perhaps thou deem'st this lad a Mars in heart?"
Orlando one day heard this speech in brief,
But Oliver thrust in between the pair, And from his hand extracted Durlindan, And thus at length they separated were. Orlando, angry too with Carloman,
Wanted but little to have slain him there; Then forth alone from Paris went the chief, And burst and madden'd with disdain and grief.
From Ermellina, consort of the Dane,
He took Cortana, and then took Rondell,