« AnteriorContinuar »
a line beautifully characteristic, is altogether neglected; but, to counterbalance these inaccuracies, Fairefax has inserted a line of his own, of singular deliciousness
“ The rose within herself her sweetnes clos’d;"
there is, however, nothing of the kind in the original. We shall
And sommon'd every restlesse eie to sleepe:
The fishes slumb’red in the silent deep,
Birds left to sing, and Philomele to weepe,
Sung lullabie, to bring the world to rest.*
Are waves and winds, and mute the world doth show,
Of billow'd sea, and of moyst streames that flow,
And painted Ayers in oblivion low,
The following is the description, given by our translators, of the youthful Tancred preparing for the fight. Fairefax. “Mast-great the speare was which the gallant bore,
That in his war-like pride he made to shake,
The king, that wond’red at his brav’rie, spake
Who felt her hart with love's hot fever quake,
* As a proof of the very unwarrantable alterations in the edition of Fairefax, published in 1749, we may observe that this line is given thus :
“ Sooth'd mortal cares, and lull'd the world to rest.”
Say who is he showes so great worthinesse,
That rides so ranke, and bends his lance so fell?
Her hart with sighes, her eies with teares did swell;
Her love and passion she dissembled well,
This youth comes on, both fierce and faire in sight:
Him deemes amongst the best a chosen knight,
And now her heart feels in a panting plight,
Himselfe to just, and so fierce semblance beare?
On lips a sigh, and in her eyes a teare;
Though so as yet they make some muster theare,
We may again remark the interpolation of a simile in the first book of these stanzas from Fairefax.
“As windes tall cedars tosse on mountaines hore."
Carew's translation of the combat between Clorinda and Tancred is very spirited, though quaint.
“ Tancred's assault this while Clorinda plyes,
T'encounter, and in rest her launce bestowes ;
Up start, and she in part disarmed showes :
From off her head, (a blow whence wonder growes,)
Sweet ev'n in wrath, in laughter then what grace
They hold ? Tancred, whereon think'st thou? thy sight
Where bend'st thou? know'st thou not this noble face?
Flames burn'st, thy hart (her picture's shrine) the case
Tooke earst no keepe, now seeing her doth grow
She may, and him assayles, he gets her fro,
Yet at her hand peace cannot purchase so; ·
Nor so from sword himselfe to guard attends,
From whence his bow Love uneschewed bends;
Which force of her right hand (though armed) lends,
Falles vaine, but in my heart findes lighting place.” The description of Armida in the following stanza, though fantastic, is exceedingly beautiful—the four last lines are quite singular for the minute accuracy, yet happy elegance, of the translation.--Had it been possible that the whole Poem could have been so perfectly transmuted into English, we might, indeed, believe that we were reading Tasso.—The copy is absolutely verbatim.
“ The winde new crisples makes in her loose haire,
Which nature selfe to waves re-crispelled,
And love's treasures and hers up wympelled, *
With yvorie is spirst and mingelled,
Ruddy alone and single blooms the rose.”
Fra l'avorie si sparge, e si confonde:
* Concealed.-A wimple is a covering for the neck.
Ma nella bocca, ond'esce aura amorosa,
Sola rosseggia, e semplice la rosa.” How very different is Fairefax's translation—it is beautiful, but it is not the beauty of Tasso.
“ The rose, the lily on her cheeke, assaies
The turn, or rather the conceit, in the last line, is entirely Fairefax's own property. The following is the description of Armida when she had concluded her appeal.
“ There silenc'd she, and seemed a disdaine,
Royall and noble, flamed in her face:
With port all framde to sad despiteous grace;
As is begot when wrath and woe embrace,
Which trickling dropt down on her vesture's hem,
If so a dewy cloud do water them,
What time first peered dawning takes his stemme,
The conquering beauty and guile of Armida is finely told, and the version of it is by no means bad.
“But whiles she sweetly speakes, and laughes sweetly,
And with this two-fold sweetnes luls the sense,
As 'gainst so rare delites voyde of defence.
Where wormewood thou or hony do dispence,
Mischiefes and medicines, which proceede of thee.”
Fairefax, according to his custom, has forced two similies into this stanza; we have
“ Cupid's deepe rivers have their shallow fordes."
And again :
“Achilles' lance, that woundes and heales againe.”
There is much spirit in the following version.-Rinaldo is indignant at his threatened punishment.
“Rinaldo somewhat smilde, and with a face,
In which, 'twixt laughter, flashed a disdaine,
That’s bond, and fit for bondage hath a graine;
Will die, 'ere base cord, hand or foot astraine:
Godfrey will yeeld, and me in prison cast,
In common fetters to uptie me fast,
'Twixt us shall chance and armes be judges plast,
In steele of finest choice most seemely shrines,
And fatall blade vnto his side combines,
(As lightning wonts) he in his armour shines :
And hart upswolne with pride to mollifie;
I know, ech hard and tough attempt will plie:
Midst armes and terrour stands your vertue hie:
Your yet cleane hands in bloud of civill warre?
Peirce Christ, of whom we part and members are ?