« ZurückWeiter »
As thus the spheres with shining wonders glow,
A thousand hideous forms surprise below:
Bright, horrid monsters, ghastly to the eye,
In various shapes the artful flames belie.
Here, a fierce lion we, with dread, admire,
Shake his red mane, and rough with curls of fire:
There, dressed in flames a slippery serpent slides,
Burns with feigned life, and hisses as he glides.
Each subject now, while William fills the throne,
Springs with new life, and calls that life his own:
To nature's bounds their fleets control the main,
No dangers dread, and every foe disdain.
Secure they wander; and while he is kind
The sea no terror has, no rage the wind :
Whether to freezing climes their course they hold;
O'er icy waves, and bound with summer's cold;
Or cross those oceans where perfuming gales,
And blasts of incense, swell the driving sails.
Ye sacred shades, who from above complain,
Your reeking wounds the fields of death distain ;
Still to your isle your great assistance lend,
And whom the warriors saved their ghosts defend.
Let William still your kind protection prove,
His pride on earth, his guardians when above.
And while your friendship thus survives the grave,
Your love secures that bliss your courage gave.
And thou, Maria, whose indulgent breast
Labours with wishes for Britannia's rest,
If Europe's dawning peace awhile delay
Thy lord's embrace, forgive the hero's stay ;
Till jarring worlds by his command agree,
In vain recalled by empire and by thee.
TRANSLATED BY MR. GEO. SEWELL.
In those dark caverns of the teeming earth,
Where nature gives to various metals birth;
Where massy bars of ore unfashioned lay,
And her veins glitter with a ruddy ray;
There, as the wondering workman views the mine,
With secret riches fraught, and future coin,
· Barometri Descriptio. Vol. i. p. 237.
His hands a shining silver fountain force,
That runs, and rolls unmarking of its course.
No signs, no moistened tracts of earth betray,
Or its first flowing, or returning way;
Though broke, in gathered globes it still appears,
And re-collects itself in rounded spheres.
None know its nature ; whether, greatly born,
The noble fluid slow perfection scorn;
And ripe, and finished in itself, despise
Subliming sun-light, and maturing skies.
Or rather, if the sun's imperfect beam,
Leave it a loose, unripened silver stream,
A fluid treasure : whatsoe'er it be,
It boasts of uses of a high degree ;
A form less bright, by love inspired to wear,
Great Jove assumed to win the Grecian fair;?
When, in his arms the guarded nymph to fold,
He lost his godhead in a shower of gold.
But see the fact: a glassy tube prepare,
And from the vessel
The bottom let the silver lake supply,
Obsequious to the motions of the sky:
That so, when gathering showers in air depend,
The fluctuating metal may descend;
And when the warmer, sultry heats advise,
The quick-emerging liquor may arise,
Possess the void, from every distance pass,
And leave, and fill all spaces of the glass.
The tube thus fixed, the conscious liquor tries,
And tells before the temper of the skies :
In its bright face you certainly behold
The distant winter, and the future cold.
For when the mounting fluid upward tends,
And in the glassy channel high ascends ;
Then comes the promise of serener days,
A brighter sun in purer æther plays,
And laughing fields confess the summer rays.
But if the silver stream, by too great weight,
Swells much, and rises to the topmost height;
Then fade the withered herbs, the juices fly,
The plants grow thirsty, and the meadows die.
But when the breathing earth thin mists exhales, And murky smoke depends on heavy gales, Or slowly sailing o'er the surface lowers, The cause and nutriment of future showers ; Then from their height the ponderous liquids flow, Sink down, and form a silver lake below.
Observers draw not from the bittern's play,
presages of a weeping day;
When the bird mounts beyond her common height,
And in the middle æther shapes her flight;
Sportful enjoys the misty clouds, and flings
The dropping moisture from her shaggy wings.
But now the cold produces new effects,
The scattered drops in shining orbs collects :
Then fields look green, in fruitful showers the rain
Soaks the dry roots, and swells the teeming grain.
But when the streaming metal's lucid weight Falls deeply down, and loves a lower state; As if impatient of the showery skies, Retires, and, fearful of the tempest, flies; That sight, ye cautious swains, observe with skill ; Portentous sign! and ominous of ill ; Soon will the pregnant air her vapours show, Winter come armed, and sounding whirlwinds blow. But though the fluid lesser pressed subsides, And almost all its silver substance hides, Yet other things beyond their limits swell ; Streams burst their banks, and mighty floods rebel, In frothy tides each boiling deluge raves, And seas o'erflow with mad licentious waves.
This wondrous glass a thousand truths displays,
And all the secrets of the skies betrays :
By this the face of heaven is justly shown,
The changes told, and all the seasons known:
This tells you when to trust a loose attire,
And warns you when to hope a winter fire.
On this prognostic travellers may rely :
Though the clouds gather, and obscure the sky,
And threaten tempests to the doubtful eye,
Yet if, inspecting of the sure machine,
The glass deny, and promise it serene,
Beneath the hanging showers they safe may go,
And fearless of the rain the swain may mow.
This faithful glass the wrath of heaven defies, Makes winter pointless, and disarms the skies ; Frosts, colds, and tempests, when by this prepared, Fall innocent, and meet us on our guard.
BATTLE OF THE PYGMIES AND CRANES.
TRANSLATED BY REV. THOS. NEWCOMBE.
The feathered warriors and the Pygmy state
Record, O muse! their battles and their fate,
Sing their great wars, and, as their troops engage,
Guide the low heroes, and direct their rage.
Here, swords all flaming for the fight display ;
There, beaks as vengeful and as keen as they:
Dreadfully mingling in one lofty strain,
The Pygmies' courage and the foes' disdain.
While birds and men in dire dread conflicts try
The earth's command, and empire of the sky.
Already fair in verse each warrior's name
The muse has greatly sung, and paid with fame.
His hardy toil with transport each admires,
The poet rising as the chief inspires :
To distant time the muse has handed down
The Grecian valour, and her youth's renown,
How sternly brave in fight great Theseus glows;
How swift Achilles drives upon his foes ;
Æneas' fame with wonder we peruse,
And William's wreaths are green in every muse. | Prælium inter Pygmæos et Grues commissum. Vol. i. p. 239. “Purity of style, and an easy flow of numbers,” says Mr. Macaulay, are common to all Addison's Latin Poems. Our favourite piece is the Battle of the Cranes and Pygmies; for in that piece we discern a gleam of fancy and humour which many years later enlivened thousands of breakfast tables. Swift boasted that he was never known to steal a hint; and he certainly owed as little to his predecessors as any modern writer; yet we cannot help suspecting that he borrowed, perhaps unconsciously, one of the happiest touches in his voyage to Lilliput from Addison's verses. Let our readers judge.
The Emperor,' says Gulliver, 'is taller by about the breadth of my nail than any of his court, which alone is enough to strike an awe into the beholders.'
“About thirty years before Gulliver's Travels appeared, Addison wrote these lines :
Jamque acies inter medias sese arduus infert
Pygmeadum ductor, qui, majestate verendus,
Incessuque gravis, reliquos supereminet omnes
Mole gigantea, mediamque exsurget in ulnam.
And now the monarch of the Pygmy throng,
Advancing, stalks with ample strides along;
Slowly he moves, majestically tall,
Towers o'er his subjects, and o'erlooks them all.”
While Theban chiefs, and Pompey's mournful name,
Weary each eye, and tire us with their fame.
My bolder muse, unsung in ancient lays,
New battles ranges, and new camps surveys ;
In verse the trumpet's silver sound describes,
And, fatal to the Cranes, the Pygmy-tribes ;
Dark through the air, while hovering nations flow,
And from the clouds descends the feathered foe.
Where happy India boasts a warmer ray,
And, smiling, blushes at the birth of day:
Embraced by rocks, a flowery vale is seen,
By few frequented, and for ever green,
Here, high in fame (till heaven that fame withstand)
The spreading Pygmy nations wide command;
By various arts a frugal life sustain,
While labouring millions throng each crowded plain.
But now their desert realms, as we descry,
Untilled their vales, their bowers unpeopled lie.
While bones of mighty dwarfs, and warriors slain,
Strike every eye, and whiten all the plain.
These realms are now by victor Cranes possessed ;
There safe they triumph in each airy nest.
Not thus they moaned their country's fate of old,
When subject-states their monarch's arm controlled.
The soldier then, whene'er the foe drew near,
Grasped hard his sword, and, dreadful, shook his spear :
Till gasping now, and breathless on the ground,
Deep in his breast he drives the deadly wound:
His shoulders scarce the ponderous spoil convey ;
Alive, his terror, and when dead, his prey.
Oft in the grove her curious mansions hung,
o'erthrows and slays the crying young;
The mother-bird, from far, beholds with pain
Her kingdoms rifled, and her infants slain;
Whose little lives their parent's guilt atone,
For crimes, alas ! expiring, not their own.
His breast no pity to their crimes will give,
Doomed by his sword to die before they live ;
E’er yet a form th’ imperfect young enjoys ;
And in the egg the future foe destroys.
From this dire spring immortal discords rose,
Which wrought the sons of fame unnumber'd woes :
While warring troops disturb the earth and sky,
And birds and men, confused together, die.
Less tumults from less noble causes sprung,
The Grecian bard of old sublimely sung,
While thundering arms, and meeting hosts around,
Mix in one noise, and all the lake confound.
i Homer's Batrachomuomachia.