« ForrigeFortsett »
Then grudge not her temperate meals,
Nor a benefit blame as a theft;
Since, stole she not all that she steals,
Neither honey nor wax would be left.
DENNER'S OLD WOMAN.
In this mimic form of a matron in years,
How plainly the pencil of Denner appears!
The matron herself, in whose old age we see
Not a trace of decline, what a wonder is she!
No dimness of eye, and no cheek hanging low,
No wrinkle, or deep-furrowed frown on the brow!
Her forehead indeed is here circled around
With locks like the ribbon, with which they are bound;
While glossy and smooth, and soft as the skin
Of a delicate peach, is the down of her chin;
But nothing unpleasant, or sad, or severe,
Or that indicates life in its winter, is here.
Yet all is expressed, with fidelity due,
Nor a pimple, or freckle, concealed from the view.
Many fond of new sights, or who cherish a taste
For the labours of art to the spectacle haste;
The youths all agree, that could old age inspire
The passion of love, hers would kindle the fire,
And the matrons with pleasure confess that they see
Ridiculous nothing or hideous in thee.
The nymphs for themselves scarcely hope a decline,
O wonderful woman ! as placid as thine.
Strange magic of art! which the youth can engage
To peruse, half-enamoured, the features of age;
And force from the virgin a sigh of despair,
That she, when as old, shall be equally fair!
How great is the glory that Denner has gained,
Since Apelles not more for his Venus obtained I
THE TEARS OF A PAINTER.
Apelles, hearing that his boy
Had just expired, his only joy!
Although the sight with anguish tore him,
Bade place his dear remains before him.
He seized his brush, his colours spread;
And—" Oh ! my child, accept,"—he said,
"('Tis all that I can now bestow,)
This tribute of a father's woe!"
Then, faithful to the two-fold part,
Both of his feelings and his art,
He closed his eyes, with tender care,
And formed at once a fellow pair.
His brow with amber locks beset,
And lips he drew, not livid yet;
And shaded all that he had done
To a just image of his son.
Thus far is well. But view again
The cause of thy paternal pain!
Thy melancholy task fulfil!
It needs the last, last touches still.
Again his pencil's powers he tries,
For on his lips a smile he spies:
And still his cheek unfaded shows
The deepest damask of the rose.
Then, heedful to the finished whole,
With fondest eagerness he stole,
Till scarce himself distinctly knew
The cherub copied from the true.
Now, painter, cease! Thy task is done.
Long lives this image of thy son;
Nor short-lived shall thy glory prove,
Or of thy labour, or thy love.
From right to left, and to and fro,
Caught in a labyrinth, you go,
And turn, and turn, and turn again,
To solve the mystery, but in vain;
Stand still and breathe, and take from me
A clew, that soon shall set you free!
Not Ariadne, if you meet her,
Herself could serve you with a better.
You entered easily—find where—
And make, with ease, your exit there!
NO SORROW PECULIAR TO THE SUFFERER.
The lover, in melodious verses,
His singular distress rehearses,
Still closing with a rueful cry,
"Was ever such a wretch as II"
Yes! thousands have endured before
All thy distress; some, haply more.
Unnumbered Corydons complain,
And Strephons, of the like disdain:
And if thy Chloe be of steel,
Too deaf to hear, too hard to feel;
Not her alone that censure fits,
Nor thou alone hnst lost thy wits.
To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The Snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all
Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
(live but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house with much
Where'er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chatties none,
Well satisfied to be his own
Thus, hermit-like, his life he leads,
No partner of his banquet needs,
And if he meets one, only feeds
Who seeks him must be worse than blind,
(He and his house are so combined,)
If, finding it, he fails to find
With two spurs or one; and no great matter which,
Boots bought, or boots borrowed, a whip or a switch,
Five shillings or less for the hire of his beast,
Paid part into hand,—you must wait for the rest;
Thus equipt, Academicus climbs up his horse,
And out they both sally for better or worse;
His heart void of fear, and as light as a feather;
And in violent haste to go not knowing whither:
Through the fields and the towns, (see!) he scampers along,
And is looked at, and laughed at, by old and by young.
Till at length overspent, and his sides smeared with blood,
Down tumbles his horse, man and all m the mud.
In a waggon or chaise shall he finish his route?
Oh! scandalous fate! he must do it on foot.
Young gentlemen, hear! —I am older than you!
The advice that I give, I have proved to be true.
Wherever your journey may be, never doubt it,
The faster you ride, you're the longer about it.
JENEID, BOOK VIII., LINE 18.
Thus Italy was moved ;—nor did the chief
ilineas in iiis mind less tumult feel.
On every side his anxious thought he turns,
Restless, unfixed, not knowing what to choose.
And as a cistern that in brim of brass
Confines the crystal flood, if chance the sun
Smite on it, or the moon's resplendent orb,
The quivering light now flashes on the walls,
Now leaps uncertain to the vaulted roof;
Such were the wavering motions of his mind.
'Twas night—and weary nature sunk to rest;
The birds, the bleating flocks, were heard no more.
At length, on the cold ground, beneath the damp
And dewy vault, fast by the river's brink,
The father of his country sought repose.
When lo! among the spreading poplar boughs,
Forth from his pleasant stream, propitious rose
The god of Tiber: clear transparent gauze
Enfolds his loins, his brows with reeds are crowned;
And these his gracious words to soothe his care:
"Heaven-born, who bringst our kindred home again
Rescued, and givest eternity to Troy,
Long have Laurentum and the Latian plains
Expected thee; behold thy fixed abode.
Fear not the threats of war, the storm is passed,
The gods appeased. For proof that what thou hearest
Is no vain forgery or delusive dream,
Beneath the grove that borders my green bank,
A milk-white swine, with thirty milk-white young,
Shall greet thy wondering eyes. Mark well the place,
For 'tis thy place of rest, there end thy toils:
There, twice ten years elapsed, fair Alba's walls
Shall rise, fair Alba, by Ascanius' hand.
Thus shall it be ;—now listen, while I teach
The means to accomplish these events at hand.
The Arcadians here, a race from Pallas sprung,
Following Evander's standard and his fate,
High on these mountains, a well chosen spot,
Have built a city, for their grandsire's sake
Named Pallenteum. These perpetual war
Wage with the Latians; joined in faithful league
And arms confederate, add them to your camp.
Myself between my winding banks will speed
Your well-oared barks to stem the opposing tide.
Rise, goddess-born, arise; and with the first
Declining stars seek Juno in thy prayer,
And vanish all her wrath with suppliant vows.
When conquest crowns thee, then remember me.
I am the Tiber, whose cerulean stream
Heaven favours; I with copious flood divide
These grassy hanks, and cleave the fruitful meads;
My mansion this,—and lofiy cities crown
My fountain head."—He spoke, and sought the deep,
And plunged his form beneath the closing flood.
VEneas at the morning dawn awoke,
And, rising, with uplifted eye beheld
The orient sun, then dipped his palms, and scooped
The brimming stream, and thus addressed the skies:
"Ye nymphs, Laurentian nymphs, who feed the source
Of many a stream, and thou, with thy best flood,
O Tiber! hear, accept me, and afford,
At length afford, a shelter from my woes.
Where'er in s.'cret cavern under ground
Thy waters sleep, where'er they spring to light,
Since thou hast pity for a wretch like me,
My offerings and my vows shall wait thee still;
Great horned Father of Hesperian floods,
Be gracious now, and ratify thy word I"
He said, and chose two galleys from his fleet,
Fits them with oars, and clothes the crew in arms.
When lo ! astonishing and pleasing sight,
The milk-white dam, with her unspotted brood,
Lay stretched upon the bank, beneath the grove.
To thee, the pious Prince, Juno to thee
Devotes them all, all on thine altar bleed.
That livelong night old Tiber smoothed his flood,
And so restrained it that it seemed to stand
Motionless as a pool, or silent lake,
That not a billow might resist their oars.
With cheerful sound of exultation soon
Their voyage they begin; the pitchy keel
Slides through the gentle deep; the quiet stream
Admires the unwonted burthen that it bears,
Well polished arms, and vessels painted gay.
Beneath the shade of various trees, between
The umbrageous branches of the spreading groves,
They cut their liquid way, nor day nor night
They slack their course, unwinding as they go
The long meanders of the peaceful tide.
The glowing sun was in meridian height,
When from afar they saw the humble walls,
And the few scattered cottages, which now
The Roman power has equalled with the clouds;
But such was then Evander's scant domain,
They steer to shore, and hasten to the town.
It chanced, the Arcadian monarch on that day
Before the walls, beneath a shady grove,