Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

IMPROVISO TRANSLATION

OF THE FOLLOWING DISTICH ON THE DUKE OF MO

DENA'S RUNNING AWAY FROM THE COMET IN 1742 OR 1743.

Se al venir vostro i principi sen' vanno
Deh venga ogni di-durate un' anno.
If at your coming princes disappear,
Comets! come every day—and stay a year.

IMPROVISO TRANSLATION

OF THE FOLLOWING LINES OF M. BENSERADE

A SON LIT.

THEATRE des ris, et des pleurs,
Lit! où je nais, et où je meurs,
Tu nous fais voir comment voisins
Sont nos plaisirs, et nos chagrins.

In bed we laugh, in bed we cry,
And, born in bed, in bed we die;
The near approach a bed may show
Of human bliss to human woe.

EPITAPH FOR MR. HOGARTH.

The hand of him here torpid lies,

That drew th' essential form of grace ;
Here clos'd in death th' attentive eyes,

That saw the manners in the face.

TRANSLATION

OF THE FOLLOWING LINES, WRITTEN UNDER A PRINT

REPRESENTING PERSONS SKATING.

Sur un mince cristal l'hiver conduit leurs pas,

Le précipice est sous la glace:

Telle est de nos plaisirs la légère surface: Glissez, mortels; n'appuyez pas.

O'Er ice the rapid skater flies,

With sport above, and death below;
Where mischief lurks in gay disguise,

Thus lightly touch and quickly go.

IMPROMPTU TRANSLATION OF THE SAME.

O’Er crackling ice, o'er gulfs profound,

With nimble glide the skaters play ;
O'er treach'rous pleasure's flow'ry ground

Thus lightly skim, and haste away.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

OP A SPEECH OF AQUILEIO, IN THE ADRIANO OF

METASTASIO,

BEGINNING

TU CHE IN CORTE INVECCHIASTI."

GROWN old in courts, thou surely art not one
Who keeps the rigid rules of ancient honour;
Well skill'd to sooth a foe with looks of kindness,
To sink the fatal precipice before him,
And then lament his fall, with seeming friendship :

s The character of Cali, in Irene, is a masterly sketch of the old and practised dissembler of a despotic court.-Ed.

Open to all, true only to thyself,
Thou know'st those arts, which blast with envious praise,
Which aggravate a fault, with feign'd excuses,
And drive discountenanc'd virtue from the throne;
That leave the blame of rigour to the prince,
And of bis ev'ry gift usurp the merit;
That hide, in seeming zeal, a wicked purpose,
And only build upon another's ruin.

BURLESQUE

OF THE MODERN VERSIFICATIONS OF ANCIENT

LEGENDARY TALES. AN IMPROMPTU.

The tender infant, meek and mild,

Fell down upon the stone :
The nurse took up the squealing child,

But still the child squeal'd on.

FRIENDSHIP,

AN odet.

FRIENDSHIP, peculiar boon of heaven,

The noble mind's delight and pride,
To men and angels only given,

To all the lower world deny’d.

While love, unknown among the blest,

Parent of thousand wild desires",
The

savage and the human breast
Torments alike with raging fires*;

* This ode originally appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1743. See Boswell's Life of Johnson, under that year. It was afterwards printed in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies, in 1766, with several variations, which are pointed out, below.-J. B.

u Parent of rage and hot desires.--Mrs. W. s Inflames alike with equal fires.

With bright, but oft destructive, gleam,

Alike, o'er all his lightnings fly;
Thy lambent glories only beam

Around the fav’rites of the sky.

Thy gentle flows of guiltless joys

On fools and villains ne'er descend;
In vain for thee the tyrant sighs',

And hugs a flatt'rer for a friend.

Directress of the brave and just”,

O! guide us through life's darksome way! And let the tortures of mistrust

On selfish bosoms only prey.

Nor shall thine ardours cease to glow“,

When souls to blissful climes remove:
What rais'd our virtue here below,

Shall aid our happiness above.

ON SEEING A BUST OF MRS. MONTAGUE.

Had this fair figure, which this frame displays,
Adorn’d in Roman time the brightest days,
In every dome, in every sacred place,
Her statue would have breath'd an added grace,
And on its basis would have been enroll'd,
“ This is Minerva, cast in virtue's mould.”

y In vain for thee the monarch sighs.

2 This stanza is omitted in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies, and instead of it, we have the following, which may be suspected, from internal evidence, not to have been Johnson's :

When virtues, kindred virtues meet,

And sister-souls together join,
Thy pleasures permanent, as great,

Are all transporting--all divine. a O! shall thy flames then cease to glow.

« ElőzőTovább »