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foot. We find the pause in other parts of the verse also, and, I think,. two pauses sometimes in the same verse, before we come to the pause of suspension at the end. It is easy to produce harmonious verses from Theocritus. How soft and expressive, for instance, is the lullaby of Alcmena to the infants Hercules and Iphiclus !
Εὔδετ', ἐμὰ βρέφεα, γλυκερὸν καὶ ἐγέρσιμον ὕπνον·
Όλβιοι ευνάζοισθε, καὶ ὄλβιοι ἀῷ ἵκοισθε.
Idyl. xxiv. v. 7.
How harmonious is the following verse in the eighth Idyllium!
'Αδὺ δὲ τῶ θέρεος παρ' ὕδωρ ῥέον αἰθριοκοιτεῖν.
Το express the joy, leaping, &c. of a shepherd, he uses a verse entirely composed of dactyls, except the last foot, which the verse. requires to be a spondee.
Ὡς μὲν ὁ παῖς ἐχάρη καὶ ἀνήλατο καὶ πλατάγησε.
For a specimen of harmonious versification we may take a passage from the seventh Idyllium, which I have already quoted for a different purpose.
τὸ δ' ἐγγύθεν ἱερὸν ὕδωρ
Νυμφᾶν ἐξ ἀντροῖο κατειβόμενον κελάρυσδε.-&c. &c.
Several verses here are among the most harmonious in Theocritus. Let us take the two following verses in the first Idyllium, and observe their music.
"Αδιον, ὦ ποίμαν, τὸ τεὸν μέλος, ἢ τὸ καταχὲς
Τῆν ἀπὸ τᾶς πέτρας καταλείβεται ὑψόθεν ὕδωρ.
What a melancholy flow have these two verses of the second Idyl lium, which have been already quoted.
Ηνίδε σιγᾷ μὲν πόντος, σιγῶντι δ' ἀῆται,
̔Α δ' ἐμὰ οὐ σιγᾷ στέρνων ἔντοσθεν ἀνία.—Idyl. ii. v. 38.
It would be tedious to enumerate the various harmonious verses in Theocritus. Almost the whole of the Cyclops, or eleventh Idyllium, is very pleasing to the ear.
SECT. XIV. Of the peculiar Felicity of his Language.
THE "curiosa felicitas" of words, for which Petronius praises Horace, is very conspicuous in Theocritus. His epithets and compound words are particularly happy. Let us take for an instance the fourth epigram, and consider its picturesque and lively expressions; such as,
We shall find the same happy choice of energetic and picturesque words and phrases in the Idyllia. Thus in the very beginning of the first Idyllium we find these beautiful words:
Αδύ τι τὸ ψιθύρισμα καὶ ἁ πίτυς, αἰπόλε, τήνα
"Α ποτὶ ταῖς παγαῖσι, μελίσδεται
Dulcem susurrum et pinus ista, pastor caprarie,
Καλὸν ἐθειράζοντες-pulchre comati.
ἁλιτούτοιο γέροντος—sene attrito in mari (v. 45.) — καλὸν βομβεῦντι-μέλισσαι,
Ἐκ καρῶ σύριγγα. ν. 128.
bene compacta suaviter spirantem
e cera fistulam
Ιδρώς μεν κολεύεσκεν ἴσον νοτίαισιν ἐέρσαις.—ν. 107.
Ω τὸ καλὸν ποθορῶσα, τὸ πᾶν λίθος ὦ κυανόφρυ
O formosis oculis prædita, lapis merus, o nigro supercilio
ἄτροπον ὕπνον ἰαύων.—ν. 49.
æternum somnum dormiens.
Αρκεῖ τοι καλάμας αὐλὸν ποππύσδεν ἔχοντι. ν. 7.
ἁδύ τι ποππυλιάσδει.--- ν. 89.
ὁ δὲ βαύσδει.-ν. 10. ipsa vero latrat.
Οιστρεῖ παπταίνοισα.ν. 28. insana prosiliit prospectans.
ἐκνυζῆτο ποτ' ισχία ρύγχος ἔχοισα.ν. 30.
- ganniebat ad femora rostrum habens.
This last verse is also pleasant for the small but agreeable and natural circumstance it describes.
Χλωροῖσιν πετάχοισι κατηρεφέες κομόωσαι. ν. 9.
ἐπιτυμβίδιοι κορυδαλλίδες ἠλαίνονται.ν. 23.
Omnis fapis occursans ad soleas resonat.
This last is a very striking verse: I fancy that I almost hear the tinkling of the little stones against his wooden shoes.
Τέττιγες λαλαγεῦντες ἔχον πόνον- ν. 139.
Cicada canentes laborabant.
μελίχλωρον ν. 26. melli similem colore.
— τὸν δ ̓ αὖ τρόπον οὐκ ἔχω εἴπειν ν. 37.
Morem vero tuum non possum exprimere.
This line is remarkable.
As there are no words which can ade
quately paint the engaging manner of an agreeable person, the reaper says, "I cannot describe your manner.”
"Αρτι γενειάσδων περὶ τὸ στόμα τὼς κροτάφως τε. v. 9.
— ὑποκάρδιον ἕλκος ν. 15. in pectore vulnus.
· τὸ φίλον γλυκύμαλον --ν. 39. carum dulceque pomum.
Κιχλίζοντι δὲ πᾶσαι-ν. 78.—omnes vero rident.
ὀρτάλιχοι μινυροί.—ν. 12. pulli avium queruli.
The whole of the thirteenth Idyllium is written in a very fine style. The two following verses are remarkable.
Νύμφαι ἀκοίμητοι, δειναὶ θεαὶ ἀγροιώταις
Εὐνίκα, καὶ Μαλὶς, ἔαρ θ ̓ ὁρόωσα Νυχεία.ν. 44.
Μάστακα δ ̓ οἷα τέκνοισιν ὑπωροφίοισι χελιδὼν
"Αψοῤῥον ταχινὰ πέτεται, βίον ἄλλον ἀγείρειν.—ν. 39. Ceu vero hirundo, cibum ut suis pullis in nido-pendentibus ferat, Statim revolat, ut alium quærat victum.
· λευκαίνων ὁ χρόνος—v. 70. ætas quæ canos facit.
Οἷοι ἀηδονιῆες ἐφελόμενοι ἐπὶ δένδρων
Πωτῶνται, πτερύγων πειρώμενοι, ὅλον ἀπ' ὅξου v. 121.
Volitant, alarum periculum facientes, de ramo in ramum.
"Αειδον δ' ἄρα πᾶσαι ἐς ἓν μέλος ἐγκροτέοισαι
Ποσσὶ περιπλέκτοις, περὶ δ ̓ ἴαχε δῶμ' ὑμεναίῳ,ν. 7.
Canebant autem omnes in unum carmen tripudiantes
Pedibus connexis, circum autem resonabat domus hymenæo.
From the specimens here given, and from many others which will readily occur to a reader of taste, it appears that Theocritus labored his style, and selected his words with an exquisite choice. From many of his expressions one might think that he was skilled in music. It is this felicity of phrase, and the peculiarity of his air and manner, which renders it absolutely impossible to transfuse the Doric delicacy, wildness, and simplicity of his poems into a translation. It has been said that all poetry is untranslatable, as no translation can convey a proper idea of the air and manner of the original. The poetry of Theocritus is of all others the most untranslatable.
It has been said, that nothing can be more unlike a good original poem than a literal translation. Yet we must allow that our literal translation of the Psalms gives us a juster idea of the original than the translations of Buchanan and Johnston in Latin, or Merrick's translation in English; though it must be owned that Mr. Merrick, in some places, has hit off the true sense of the Hebrew better than our old venerable translators. Bishop Lowth's translation of Isaiah, in like manner, is preferable to any poetical version that can ever be given of that sublime and poetical prophet.
He that does not understand Greek must for ever remain ignorant of the true air, manner, and genius of Homer, altho' Mr. Pope has given us so highly finished and elegant a translation of him.
ON THE SCIENCE
OF THE EGYPTIANS AND CHALDEANS.
No. V. [Continued from No. XXXV. p. 18.]
OF CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY.
Ir we believe Zosimus of Panopolis, both the science and the name of chemistry existed before the flood. This Egyptian philosopher assures the women, that a race of demons had commerce with the sex. "Hermes," says he, "relates this in his Physics; and nearly universal report, both public and private,
I have read somewhere that a gentleman, who did not understand Greek, declared that he formed a juster idea of the characteristic manner and spirit of Homer, from the old rugged literal version in Latin, than from the most polished free translations.