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The song

Of Lyric

HE variety of subjects, which are allowed the lyric Longinus has preserved a fragment of Sappho, an an- of Lyric Poetry.

Poetry. poet, makes it necessary to consider this species of cient Greek poetess, which is in great reputation amongst poetry under the following heads, viz. the sublime ode, the critics, and bas been so happily translated by Mr the lesser ode, and the song. We shall begin with the Philips as to give the English reader a just idea of the

The Saplowest, and proceed to that which is more eminent. spirit, ease, and elegance of that admired author ; and

phic ode. I. Songs are little poetical compositions, usually set show how exactly she copied nature. To enter into the to a tune, and frequently sung in company by way of beauties of this ode, we must suppose a lover sitting by entertainment and diversion. Of these we have in our his mistress, and thus expressing his passion : language a great number; but, considering that num

Blest as th’ immortal gods is he,
ber, not many which are excellent ; for, as the duke of

The youth who fondly sits by thee,
Buckingham observes,

And sees and hears thee all the while
Though nothing seems more easy, yet no part

Softly speak, and sweetly smile.
Of poetry requires a nicer art.

'Twas this depriv'd my soul of rest,

And rais'd such tumults in my breast; The song admits of almost any subject ; but the For while I gaz'd, in transport tost, greatest part of them turn either upon love, contentment,

My breath was gone, my voice was lost. or the pleasures of a country life, and drinking. Be the

My bosom glow'd, the subtle flame subject, however, what it will, the verses should be easy, Ran quick through all my vital frame: natural, and flowing, and contain a certain harmony, so O'er


dim eyes a darkness hung; that poetry and music may be agreeably united. In these

My ears with hollow murmurs rung. compositions, as in all others, obscene and profane ex

In dewy damps my limbs were chill'd, pressions should be carefully avoided, and indeed every My blood with gentle horrors thrillid; thing that tends to take off that respect which is due

My feeble pulse forgot to play; to religion and virtue, and to encourage vice and im. I fainted, sunk, and dy'd away. morality. As the best songs in our language are al

After this instance of the Sapphic ode, it may not The Ana. ready in every band, it would seem superfluous to insert examples. For further precepts, however, as well

be improper to speak of that sort of ode which is called crcontic as select examples, in this species of composition, we

Anacreontic; being written in the manner and taste of ode. may refer the reader to the elegant Essay on Song wit, and the exquisite, yet easy and natural, turn of liis

Anacreon, a Greck poet, famous or the delicacy of his
Writing, by Mr Aikip.
The distin- II. The lesser ode. The distinguishing character of poesy. We have several of his odes still extant, and
guishing this is sweetness; and as the pleasure we receive from

many modern ones in imitation of him, which are most-
of the lesser affecting the passions, great regard should be paid to the
och lite flesser this sort of poem arises principally from its soothing and ly composed in verses of seven syllables, or three feet

and half. language as well as to the thoughts and numbers.

We shall give the young student one or two examples

of his manner from Mr Fawkes's excellent translation.
Th' expression should be easy, fancy high;

The following ode on the power of gold, which had
Yet that not seem to creep, nor this to fly:

been often attempted but with little success, this gentle-
No words transpos’d, but in such order all,

man has translated very happily.
As, though hard wrought, may seem by chance to fall.

Love's a pain that works our wo;

Not to love is painful too :
The style, indeed, should be easy: but it may be also

But, alas! the greatest pain
florid and figurative. It solicits delicacy, but disdains Waits the love that meets disdain.
affectation. The thoughts should be natural, chaste, and

What avails ingenuous worth,
elegant; and the numbers various, smooth, and harmo. Sprightly wit, or noble birth?
nious. A few examples will sufficiently explain what All these virtues useless prove ;
we mean.

Gold alone engages love.
Vol. XVII. Part I.





Of Lyric



May he be completely curst,
• Think, O think! what cruel pains

Or Lyric
Who the sleeping mischief first

• He that's stung by thee sustain.'

Wak'd to life, and, vile before,

Among the most successful of this poet's English imi-
Stamp'd with worth the sordid ore.

tators may be reckoned Dr Johnson and Mr Prior. The Imitation Gold creates in brethren strife;

following ode on Evening by the former of these writers of AnacreGold destroys the parent's life;

has, if we mistake not, the very spirit and air of Anacreon. 09 and
Gold produces civil jars,
Murders, massacres, and wars ;

Evening now from purple wings
But the worst effect of gold,

Sheds the grateful gifts she brings ;

Brilliant drops bedeck the mead;
Love, alas! is bought and sold.

Cooling breezes sbake the reed;
His ode on the vanity of riches is of a piece with the Shake the reed and curl the stream
above, and conveys a good lesson to those who are over Silver'd o'er with Cynthia's beam;
anxious for wealth.

Near the chequer'd lonely grove

Hears, and keeps thy secrets, Love.
If the treasur'd gold could give

Stella, thither let us stray !
Man a longer term to live,

Lightly o'er the dewy way.
I'd employ my utmost care .

Phæbus drives his burning car
Still to keep, and still to spare ;

Hence, my lovely Stella, far:
And, when death approach'd, would say,

In his stead the queen of night
• Take thy fee, and walk away.'

Round us pours a lambent light;
But since riches cannot save

Light that seems but just to show
Mortals from the gloomy grave,

Breasts that beat, and cheeks that glow :
Why should I myself deceive,

Let us now, in whisper'd joy,
Vainly sigh, and vainly grieve ?

Evening's silent hours employ;
Death will surely be my lot,

Silence best, and conscious shades,
Whether I am rich or not.

Please the hearts that love invades :
Give me freely while I live

Other pleasures give them pain;
Generous wines, in plenty give

Lovers all but love disdain.
Soothing joys my life to cheer,
Beauty kind, and friends sincere;

But of all the imitations of the playful bard of Greece
Happy ! could I ever find

that we have ever met with, the most perfect is the fol-
Friends sincere, and beauty kind.

lowing Anacreontic by the regent duke of Orleans.


Je suis né pour les plaisirs ;
But two of the most admired, and perhaps the most

Bien fou


passe :
imitated, of Anacreon's odes, are that of Mars wounded

Je ne veux pas les choisir ;
by one of the darts of Love, and Cupid stung by a

Souvent le choix m'embarrasse :
Bee; both which are wrought up with fancy and deli-

Aime t’on ? J'aime soudain;
cacy, and are translated with elegance and spirit. Take

Bois t'on ? J'ai la verre à la main ;
that of Cupid stung by a bee.

Je tiens par tout ma place.
Once as Cupid, tir'd with play,

On a bed of roses lay,

Dormir est un temps perdu;
A rude bee, that slept unseen,

Faut il qu'on s'y livre ?
The sweet breathing buds between,

Sommeil, prends ce qui t'est du;
Stung bis finger, cruel chance!

Mais attends que je sois yvre :
With its little pointed lance.

Saisis moi dans cet instant;
Straight be fills the air with cries,

Fais moi dormir promptement;
Weeps, and sobs, and runs, and flies;

Je suis pressé de vivre.
'Till the god to Venus came,

Lovely, laughter-loviog dame :

Mais si quelque objet cbarmant,
Then he thus began to plain ;

Dans un songe aimable,
• Oh! undone I die with pain-

Vient d'un plaisir seduisant “ Dear mamma, a serpent small,

M'offrir l'image agréable ; " Which a bee the ploughman call,

Sommeil, allons doucement ; “ Imp'd with wings, and arm'd with dart,

L'erreur est en ce moment
“ Ob !-has stung me to the beart."

Un bonheur veritable.
Venus thus reply'd, and smil'd :
Dry those tears for shame!

Translation of the Regent's Anacreontic (E).

• If a bee can wound so deep,

Frolic and free, for pleasure born,
Causing Cupid thus to weep,

The self-denying fool I scorn.


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(E) We give this translation, both because of its excellence, and because it is said to have been the production of no less a man tban the late Lord Chatham.

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