Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

TRANSLATIONS FROM CAMOENS, AND OTHER POETS.

“Siamo nati veramente in un secolo in cui gl'ingegni e gli studj degli uomini sono rivolti all' utilità. L'Agricoltura, lo Arti, il Commercio acquistano tutto di novi lumi dalle ricerche de' Saggi; e il voler farsi un nome tentando di dilettare, quand' altri v'aspira con più giustizia giovando, sembra impresa dura e difficile."-SAVIOLI.

SONNET 70.

SONNET 282. FROM PSALM CXXXVII.

“Na metade do ceo subido ardia."

High in the glowing heavens, with cloudless beam,

The sun had reach'd the zenith of his reign, And for the living fount, the gelid stream,

Each flock forsook the herbage of the plain : Midst the dark foliage of the forest shade,

The birds had shelter'd from the scorching ray; Hush'd were their melodies—and grove and glade

Resounded but the shrill cicada's lay: When, through the grassy vale, a love-lorn swain, To seek the maid who but despised his pain,

Breathing vain sighs of fruitless passion, roved: "Why pine for her," the slighted wanderer cried, “By whom thou art not loved ?" and thus replied An echo's murmuring voice—" Thou art not

loved /

Na ribeira de Euprates assentado." Wrapt in sad musings, by Euphrates' stream

I sat, retracing days for ever flown,
While rose thine image on the exile's dream,

O much-loved Salem ! and thy glories gone: When they who caused the ceaseless tears I shed, Thus to their captive spoke—“Why sleep thy

lays ? Sing of thy treasures lost, thy splendour filed,

And all thy triumphs in departed days ! Know'st thou not Harmony's resistless charm Can soothe each passion, and each grief disarm ?

Sing then, and tears will vanish from thine eye." With sighs I answer'd,—"When the cup of woe Is fill’d, till misery's bitter draught o'erflow,

The mourner's cure is not to sing—but die."

Works of Art to Italy”-namely, Mrs Hemans of North Wales. That the author's fame has not altogether kept pace with her merit, we are inclined to think is a reproach to the public. Poetry is at present experiencing the fickleness of fashion, and may be said to have had its day. Very recently, the reading public, as the phrase is, was immersed in poetry, but seems to have had enough; and, excepting always that portion of it who are found to relish genuine poetry on its own intrinsic account, and will never tire of the exquisite enjoyment which it affords, the said public seldom read poetry at all.

“But so little is that excitement which the bulk of readers covet necessarily connected with poetry, that these readers have tired even of romances in a metrical form, and are regarding all their late rhythmical favourites alike, with that sort of ingratitude with which repletion would lead them to regard a banquet when the dishes are removing from the table. But this is no proof that these great poets have forfeited their title to be admired. They are fixed orbs, which stand just where they did, and shine just as they were wont, although they seem to decline to the world, which revolves the opposite way. But if the world will turn from the poet, whatever be his merit, there is an end of his popularity, inasmuch as the most approved conductor of the latter is the multitude, as essentially as is the air of the sound of his voice. Profit will also fail from the lack of purchasers; and poetry, high as it may intrinsically seem, must fall, commercially speaking, to its ancient proverbially unprofitable level. Yet poetry will still be poetry, however it may cease to pay; and

although the acclaim of multitudes is one thing, and the still small voice of genuine taste and feeling another, the nobler incense of the latter will ever be its reward.

“Our readers will now cease to wonder that an author like the present, who has had no higher aim than to regale the imagination with imagery, warm the heart with sentiment and feeling, and delight the ear with music, without the foreign aid of tale or fable, has hitherto written to a select few, and passed almost unnoticed by the multitude.

“With the exception of Lord Byron, who has made the theme peculiarly his own, no one has more feelingly contrasted ancient with modern Greece.

“ The poem on the Restoration of the Louvre Collection, has, of course, more allusions to ancient Rome; and nothing can be more spirited than the passages in which the author invokes for modern Rome the return of her ancient glories. In a cursory but graphic manner, some of the most cele. brated of the ancient statnes are described. Referring our readers, with great confidence, to the works themselves, our extracts may be limited."

Edinburgh Monthly Rovicu.-" The grand act of retribution-the restoration of the treasures of the Louvre-occasioned Mrs Hemans' first publication. “Modern Greece" next appeared, and soared still higher into the regions of beauty and pathos. It is a highly promising symptom, that each new effort of her genius excels its predecessor. The present volume strikingly confirms this observation, and leads us to think that we have yet seen no more than the trials of her strength."

[blocks in formation]

Remember that thine eye-beam's light
Hath fled for ever from his sight,
And, with that vanish'd sunshine, lost
Is every hope he cherish'd most.

Think that his life, from thec apart,
Is all but weariness of heart;
Each stream, whose music once was dear,
Now murmurs discord to his ear.

THOSE eyes, whence Love diffused his purest light,

Proud in such beaming orbs his reign to show; That face, with tints of mingling lustre bright,

Where the rose mantled o'er the living snow; The rich redundance of that golden hair,

· Brighter than sunbeams of meridian day ; That form so graceful, and that hand so fair, Where now those treasures ?-mouldering into

clay! Thus, like some blossom prematurely torn, Hath young Perfection wither'd in its morn,

Touch'd by the hand that gathers but to blight ! Oh, how could Love survive his bitter tears ! Shed, not for her, who mounts to happier spheres, But for his own sad fate, thus wrapt in starless

night!

Through thee, the morn, whose cloudless rays
Woke him to joy in other days,
Now, in the light of beauty drest,
Brings but new sorrows to his breast.

Through thee, the heavens are dark to him,
The sun's meridian blaze is dim;
And harsh were e'en the bird of eve,
But that her song still loves to grieve.

SONNET 108.

All it hath been, his heart forgets,
So alter'd by its long regrets;
Each wish is changed, each hope is o'er,
And joy's light spirit wakes no more.

“ Brandas aguas do Tejo que passando."

SONNET 271.

A formosura desta fresca serra."

This mountain-scene with sylvan grandeur crown'd, These chestnut-woods, in summer verdure

bright; Thesc founts and rivulets, whose mingling sound

Lulls every bosom to serene delight; Soft on these hills the sun's declining ray; This clime, where all is new; these murmuring

seas; Flocks, to the fold that bend their lingering way;

Light clouds, contending with the genial breeze;

Fair Tajo ! thou whose calmly-flowing tide

Bathes the fresh verdure of these lovely plains, Enlivening all where'er thy waves may glide, Flowers, herbage, flocks, and sylvan nymphs

and swains. Sweet stream ! I know not whep my steps again Shall tread thy shores; and while to part I

mourn, I have no hope to meliorate my pain,

No dream that whispers—I may yet return ! My frowning destiny, whose watchful care Forbids me blessings and ordains despair,

Commands me thus to leave thee, and repine And I must vainly mourn the scenes I fly, And breathe on other gales my plaintive sigh,

And blend my tears with other waves than thine! My lot would then be deeper woem And mine is grief that none must know.

SONNET 23.

TO A LADY WHO DIED AT SEA.

** Chara minha inimiga, em cuja mao."

To mortal ears I may not dare

Unfold the cause, the pain I prove; 'Twould plunge in ruin and despair

Or me, or her I love. My soul delights alone to bear Her silent, unsuspected woe, And none shall pity, none shall know.

Thou to whoso power my hopes, my joys I gave,

O fondly loved ! my bosom's dearest care ! Earth, which denied to lend thy form a grave,

Yields not one spell to soothe my deep despair ! Yes ! the wild seas entomb those charms divine,

Dark o'er thy head th' eternal billows roll;
But while one ray of life or thought is mine,

Still shalt thou live, the inmate of my soul.
And if the tones of my uncultured song
Have power the sad remembrance to prolong,

Of love so ardent, and of faith so pure;
Still shall my verse thine epitaph remain,
Still shall thy charms be deathless in my strain,

While Time, and Love, and Memory shall endure.

Thus buried in my bosom's urn,

Thus in my inmost heart conceald, Let me alone the secret mourn,

In pangs unsoothed and unreveald. For whether happiness or woe, Or life or death its power bestow, It is what none on earth must know.

SONNET 58.

“ Se as penas com que Amor tao mal me trata."

SONNET 19.

“ Alma minha gentil, que te partiste."

Spirit beloved ! whose wing so soon hath flown

The joyless precincts of this carthly sphere, How is yon Heaven eternally thine own,

Whilst I deplore thy loss, a captive here ! Oh! if allow'd in thy divine abode

Of aught on earth an image to retain, Remember still the fervent love which glow'd

In my fond bosom, pure from every stain. And if thou deem'd that all my faithful grief, Caused by thy loss, and hopeless of relicf,

Can merit thee, sweet native of the skies ! Oh ! ask of Heaven, which call’d thee soon away, That I may join thee in those realms of day,

Swiftly as thou hast vanish'd from mine eyes.

SHOULD Love, the tyrant of my suffering heart

Yet long enough protract his votary's days To see the lustre from those eyes depart,

The lode-stars now that fascinate my gaze; To see rude Time the living roses blight

That o'er thy cheek their loveliness unfold, And, all unpitying, change thy tresses bright

To silvery whiteness, from their native gold; Oh ! then thy heart an equal change will

prove, And mourn the coldness that repell’d my love,

When tears and penitence will all be vain; And I shall see thee weep for days gone by, And in thy deep regret and fruitless sigh,

Find amplest vengeance for my former pain.

SONNET 178.

Já cantei, já chorei a dura guerra."

“Que estranho caso de amor!"

How strange a fate in love is mine!

How dearly prized the pains I feel ! Pangs, that to rend my soul combine,

With avarice I conceal: For did the world the tale divine,

Orr have I sung and mourn'd the bitter woes

Which love for years hath mingled with my fate, While he the tale forbade me to disclose,

That taught his votaries their deluded state.

1 “ Your eyes are lode-stars."-SHAKSPEARE.

SONNET 128.

“Huma admiravel herva se conhece.".

Nymphs ! who dispense Castalia's living stream,

Ye, who from Death oblivion's mantle steal, Grant me a strain in powerful tone supreme,

Each grief by love inflicted to reveal : That those whose ardent hearts adore his sway, May hear experience breathe a warning lay

How false his smiles, his promises how vain ! Then, if ye deign this effort to inspire, When the sad task is o'er, my plaintive lyre,

For ever hush'd, shall slumber in your fane.

THERE blooms a plant, whose gaze from hour to

hour Still to the sun with fond devotion turns, Wakes when Creation hails his dawning power,

And most expands when most her idol burns : But when he seeks the bosom of the deep,

His faithful plant's reflected charms decay; Then fade her flowers, her leaves discolour'd weep,

Still fondly pining for the vanish'd ray. Thou whom I love, the day-star of my sight! When thy dear presence wakes me to delight,

Joy in my soul unfolds her fairest flower: But in thy heaven of smiles alone it blooms, And, of their light deprived, in grief consumes,

Born but to live within thine eye-beam's power.

SONNET 80.

“ Como quando do mar tempestuoso."

“ Polomeu apartamento."

Saved from the perils of the stormy wave,

And faint with toil, the wanderer of the main, But just escaped from shipwreck's billowy grave,

Trembles to hear its horrors named again. How warm his vow, that Ocean's fairest mien

No more shall lure him from the smiles of home! Yet soon, forgetting each terrific scene,

On more he turns, o'er boundless deeps to roam. Lady! thus I, who vainly oft in flight Seek refuge from the dangers of thy sight,

Make the firm vow to shun thee and be free: But my fond heart, devoted to its chain, Still draws me back where countless perils reign,

And grief and ruin spread their snares for me.

AMIDST the bitter tears that fell
In anguish at my last farewell,
Oh! who would dream that joy could dwell,

To make that moment bright?
Yet be my judge, each heart ! and say,
Which then could most my bosom sway,

Affliction or delight ?

SONNET 239.

It was when Hope, oppress’d with woes, Seem'd her dim eyes in death to close, That rapture's brightest beam aroso

In sorrow's darkest night. Thus, if my soul survive that hour, 'Tis that my fate o'ercame the power

Of anguish with delight.

FROM PSALM CXXXVII.

“Em Babylonia sobre os rios, quando."

For oh ! her love, so long unknown,
She then confess'd was all my own,
And in that parting hour alone

Reveal'd it to my sight.
And now what pangs will rend my soul,
Should fortune still, with stern control,

Forbid me this delight !

BESIDE the streams of Babylon, in tears

Of vain desire, we sat; remembering thee, O hallow'd Sion ! and the vanish'd years,

When Israel's chosen sons were blest and free: Our harps, neglected and untuned, we hung

Mute on the willows of the stranger's land ; When songs, like those that in thy fanes we sung,

Our foes demanded from their captive band. “How shall our voices, on a foreign shore," (We answer'd those whose chains the exile wore,)

“ The songs of God, our sacred songs, renew? If I forget, midst grief and wasting toil, Thee, 0 Jerusalem ! my native soil !

May my right hand forget its cunning too !"

I know not if my bliss were vain, For all the force of parting pain Forbade suspicious doubts to reign,

When exiled from her sight : Yet now what double woe for me, Just at the close of eve, to see

The dayspring of delight!

SONNET 205.

" Quem diz que Amor he falso, o enganoso."

Some tangled thicket, desolate and drear,

Or deep wild forest, silent as the tomb, Boasting no verdure bright, no fountain clear,

But darkly suited to my spirit's gloom? That there, midst frowning rocks, alone with

grief Entomb'd in life, and hopeless of relief,

In lonely freedom I may breathe my woes. For oh! since nought my sorrows can allay, There shall my sadness cloud no festal day,

And days of gloom shall soothe me to repose.

He who proclaims that Love is light and vain,

Capricious, cruel, false in all his ways, Ah ! sure too well hath merited his pain,

Too justly finds him all he thus portrays: For Love is pitying, Love is soft and kind.

Believe not him who dares the tale oppose ; Oh ! deem him one whom stormy passions blind,

One to whom earth and heaven may well be foes. [f Love bring evils, view them all in me! Here let the world his utmost rigour see,

His utmost power exerted to annoy: But all his ire is still the ire of love; And such delight in all his woes I prove, I would not change their pangs for aught of

other joy.

SONNET 278.

“Eu vivia de lagrimas isento."

SONNET 133.

EXEMPT from every grief, 'twas mine to live

In dreams so sweet, enchantments so divine, A thousand joys propitious Love can give

Were scarcely worth one rapturous pain of mina Bound by soft spells, in dear illusions blest,

I breathed no sigh for fortune or for power; No care intruding to disturb my breast,

I dwelt entranced in Love's Elysian bower:
But Fate, such transports eager to destroy,
Soon rudely woke me from the dream of joy,

And bade the phantoms of delight begone :
Bade hope and happiness at once depart,
And left but memory to distract my heart,

Retracing every hour of bliss for ever flown.

* Doces e claras aguas do Mondego."

Waves of Mondego! brilliant and serene, Haunts of my thought, where memory fondly

strays, Where hope allured me with perfidious mien,

Witching my soul, in long-departed days; Yes, I forsake your banks! but still my

heart Shall bid remembrance all your charms restore, And, suffering not one image to depart,

Find lengthening distance but endear you more. Let Fortune's will, through many a future day, To distant realms this mortal frame convey,

Sport of each wind, and tost on every wave; Yet my fond soul, to pensive memory true, On thoughts light pinion still shall fly to you,

And still, bright waters ! in your current lave.

“Mi nueve y dulce querella."

No searching eye can pierce the veil

That o'er my secret love is thrown; No outward signs reveal its tale,

But to my bosom known. Thus, like the spark whose vivid light In the dark flint is hid from sight,

It dwells within, alone.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »