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from so foul a charge as this last, Hafiz himself, and other writers, his commentators have pretended amply describe the effect his poetry that his gazels are full of religious had in those times. Popular venemysteries, and that almost every ration seems to have risen into wild expression has a two-fold meaning, and frantic superstition, as may be the external and cupidinous being inferred from many serious appeals only a veil for the esoteric and con- made to the oracular and ominous cealed, which is all purity and de- influence of these compositions, both votion. Two of these annotators, at and after his death, by a mode of Feridun and Sudi, have defended soothsaying or divination, similar to the salacious bard with all the ele- the Sortes of the Latins, and famigance and force of the Turkish liar to the Asiatics. And poet language, in which their commen- declares, that the delicate suavity taries are written And D'Herbe. of these gazels is unparalleled in the lot himself has been half pursuaded productions of any poet : and, in to credit their fantastic explana. truth, Hafiz himself is but too often tions, from the poet's having pre- found, like Horace, trumpeting forth ferred a life of seclusion to the his own praise, and pluming himself pomp of courts and the tumult of on the universality of his fame. public society. Our English trans- We have evidence of the opeTators, however, notwithstanding ration of his poetry on succeeding this « eloquence of mystery,” feel ages, particularly from grammathemselves under the perpetual ne- rians, who assert, that the poesy of cessity of curtailing its luxuriance, Hafiz derived its innate grace from and often of giving a very different having been bathed in the waters of sense from that conveyed by the life, and that it equalled the virgins text: and under their plastic power of paradise in beauty ; and from of transformation, the “ angel-faced travellers, among whom we may cup-bearer” and “ infidel boy” are mention sir T. Herbert, Kæmpfer, converted into damsels and nymphs Chardin, and Francklin. Even in of paradise.
India, his gay and lively airs are more In reality, however, the wildly frequently introduced in their musifigurative languages of the east, and cal festivities, than the compositions the bold excursions which all Asiatic of any other poet, however celebratpoets allow themselves, lay an easy ed, whether Hindoo or Mahometan, foundation for the belief of an exo- either of Bengal or Deckan. teric or mysterious meaning among Nothing has so much excited the readers of a warm and luxuriant curiosity of English readers, with imagination : and, on this account, respect to Persian poetry, and Hathe same kind of double interpre- fiz in particular, as the suffrage in tation has been often attributed to its favour of that eminent scholar the Song of Solomon by rabbinical as and critic, sir William Jones. What well as by christian expositors. he, who was an incomparable pro
With respect to Hafiz it is obvi. ficient in Greek and Roman literaous, however, that religion occupied ture, and an elegant poet in his nano great portion of his life, and, of tive language, approved, must surely course, that his gazels have little be entitled to some regard. And pretensions to piety, both from his yet, when we examine the few own confession, and the conduct of translations which have hitherto the populace upon his decease. On been published from Hafiz, I, for his death, so great was the opposi. my part, am unable to discover in tion made to his enjoying the rites them any original or transcendant of interment, by many of the chief merit. men of Shiraz, on account of the in- We may easily conceive that this decency of his poems, that a violent poet, in his native language, may contest ensued between his friends possess the most exquisite charms : and his opposers.
because words and numbers have an
excellence independent of their How canst thou eat the bread of life with. meaning. All languages have the out drinking wine? materials of a style, in which those Quaff wine to her dear remembrance versed in it derive the pleasures again and again. which painting and music are quali. Ocup-bearer with legs of silver, I am fied to give ; and we are told, that
intoxicated with the love of thy
beauty! the Persian language abounds in a
Quick fetch the cup, that I may fill it particular manner in the artifices.
again and again. and felicities of number and expres. My heart-ravishing angel makes for me sion. But of these qualities, a stran. Ornaments of various hues, and odours ger to the language cannot possibly afresh and afresh. judge. All within his reach is the O! gentle zephyr, when thou passest by bare thought or image conveyed in the habitation of my fairy, a literal translation.
Afresh and afresh tell her, in whispers, From these translations we disco- the tale of Hafiz. ver, what indeed their warmest admirers readily acknowledge, that What is the substance of the these poems contain nothing but above strains ? When we come to the praises of woman and wine. enquire into their real meaning, we This praise is delivered in a sort of shall find nothing but an unsubstandramatic manner, by which the tip- tial phantom ; nothing worthy of ler is displayed to our view, seated the name of a thought ; nothing but at the banquet, with his mistress be- an incoherent calling for more wine, side him, calling for a fresh supply with abrupt declarations of love to of liquor. His love, indeed, is not the boy that waits. of that sort which European poets If we would see how these monoof the present age delight to cele- tonous and heartless images can be brate, since its fervours are as readi- embellished with the charms of ly excited by a boy as by a girl. style and the trappings of European
Though there are extant near six fancy, we may turn to a translation, hundred odes of Hafiz, there is a by sir William Jones, of one of these most unvarying uniformity among odes which are in highest repute. them. The two great images that We shall find, in the following stan. seem to dance eternally before him zas, all the refinements of verse, are wine, with its power to soothe rhyme, and amplification lavished or madden, and the object, either upon something, which, when we male or female, of another appetite, come to analyze it, will turn out to who figures either as coy or kind. be as trite, incoherent, and unmeanThese images form the substance of ing, as the ode already given. How every ode, and the collateral reflec- do these frigid compositions shrink tions, with which they are most spar. into contempt, when put into comingly sprinkled, are proverbial and parison with the glowing images common-place, and derive as little and thrilling sentiments, the rich value from their moral or useful and varied strains of Burns, pregtendency, as from their novelty. nant with a meaning, that melts the
The following is a literal transla- heart, and exalts the fancy. tion of one of these odes, and is a faithful sample of the whole.
Sweet maid, if thou would'st charm my
sight, O minstrel with a sweet voice! begin And bid these arms thy neck infold, an air that is fresh and new :
That rosy cheek, that lily hand, Call for heart-expanding wine fresh and Would give thy poet more delight fresh.
Than all Bocara's vaunted gold, Sit down from prying eyes, and enjoy Than all the gems of Samarcand.
thy mistress, as a game, in private : Snatch eager kisses from her fresh and Boy, let yon liquid ruby flow, fresh.
And bid thy pensive heart be glad,
Whate'er the frowning zealots say: For the Literary Magazine.
TRADE IN BIRDS.
A MAN, in estimating the comO! when these fair perfidious maids, merce of a country, would hardly Whose eyes our secret haunts infest, take into view the trade in singing Their dear destructive charms display, birds : yet this trade is by no means Each glance my tender breast invades,
es, despicable. And robs my wounded soul of rest,
Canary birds, which are so faAs Tartars seize their destin'd prey.
shionable in Europe and America,
are chiefly bred at Inspruch, which In vain with love our bosoms glow : is an inaccessible spot among the Can all our tears, can all our sighs, Alps : from thence they are sent to New lustre to those charms impart? Constantinople, and every part of Can cheeks, where living roses blow, Europe. The trade to England in Where nature spreads her richest dyes, these birds is in the hands of four or Require the borrow'd gloss of art ?
five natives of Tyrol. They bring
annually about sixteen hundred, Speak not of fate:-ah! change the which pay a duty of twenty pounds. theme,
Yet notwithstanding this duty, and And talk of odours, talk of wine, though they are brought a thousand Talk of the flowers that round us bloom: miles on men's backs, they find their 'Tis all a cloud, 'tis all a dream;
account in selling them for five shilTo love and joy thy thoughts confine, lings a-piece. Nor hope to pierce the sacred gloom.
Beauty has such resistless power,
For the Literary Magazine..
WHY ARE DIAMONDS VALUABLE? A youth so lovely and so coy!
THE value of the diamond deBut ah! sweet maid, my counsel hear pends upon its rarity. It has, in(Youth should attend when those advise deed, a lustre and hardness superior Whom long experience renders sage): to that of other terrestrial producWhile music charms the ravish'd ear, tions; but these qualities, whichi While sparkling cups delight our eyes, may make it useful, do not consti. Be gay, and scorn the frowns of age. tute its value, or enhance the price
that is given for it. Its price de. What cruel answer have I heard!
pends almost entirely upon its rariAnd yet, by heaven, I love thee still:
ty. If diamonds were as common Can aught be cruel from thy lip? as glass, they would be as cheap. Yet say, how fell that bitter word
The value set upon diamonds as. From lips which streams of sweetness tonishes a simple mind. Nothing fill,
but the strongest evidence would Which naught but drops of honey sip? make us believe some statements
that are given of this value. The Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
prodigality of the rich in this arti. Whose accents flow with artless ease,
cle fornishes a more stupendous exLike orient pearls at random strung:
ample of human folly than any other Thy notes are sweet the damsels say ;
circumstance. But O! far sweeter, if they please
The rarity of diamonds is a very The nymph for whom these notes are
extraordinary circumstance, since sung
they are merely a modification of charcoal, which is the most common and cheap substance in use. Indeed petty haberdashery shop, poor and there are similar examples, equally ignorant. extraordinary, to be met with. The adamantine spar is as rare as the diamond, though only an aluminous earth; and iron, never found in For the Literary Magazine. perfection, has scarcely ever been discovered in a metallic state. The SPENSER'S FAIRY QUEEN NOsame thing may, indeed, be said of
DERNIZED. glass. Though silicious substances be so abundant, and the medium BY what title are we to distinwhich assists, and the agent which guish that species of composition, of produces their fusion so plentiful in which Dryden affords us examples nature, I much doubt whether there in his Palamon and Arcite, and Pope is a cubic inch of good transparent in his Wife of Bath and his imita. glass, produced without the assist. tions of Donne ? These poets take ance of man, on the surface of the the substance, the sentiments, and globe. A globule of such glass is images of certain ancient writers of in reality rarer than the largest their own country, and give them a diamond.
language and numbers of their own. The dialect of the old poet is nearly unintelligible. His metre is rude
or antiquated; some of his images For the Literary Magazine. quaint, unapt, and injudicious. All
these disadvantages vanish under MILTON'S FAMILY.
the modern pen, and the sterling
gold, which, an obsolete and half. IT is the opinion of some, that worn superscription, would scarcely talents, like houses and noses, are allow to be current, becomes, by inheritable. This persuasion is pro- passing anew through the mint, a bably founded upon facts that are distinct, legible, and beautiful moexceptions, and not examples, of a dern coin, which every body ad. general rule. It would reflect some mires and covets. light upon this subject, to examine There is, however, a certain class the history of great men in their of students to whom this new dress descendants : to enquire, for exam. is by no means a recommendation. ple, into the history of the posterity An antiquated dialect and metre of Spenser, Shakespeare, and Mil. adorn and exalt, in their apprehenton.
sion, instead of debasing or obscur. Of all men, Milton seems to have ing the author. That train of owed most both to nature and to edu- thoughts and studies, which termi. cation. In natural genius, in ac- nates in this excessive veneration quired knowledge, in the benefits of for antiquity, is natural to all minds, scholastic instruction, of foreign tra. but all minds are not in the way of vel, of political activity, of social imbibing this passion. The dialect intercourse, in personal beauty and of Chaucer and Spencer may aug. accomplishments, few can vie with ment the value of their compositions Milton. What portion of all these to a few, but, doubtless, it creates admirable properties descended to an insuperable obstacle to the study his children? What has become of of them in the minds of the many. the Miltons? may a speculative en- These writers are pretty much in quirer be allowed to ask. They the situation of writers in a foreign descended, before or after his death, language, and as much require to the lowest walks of life, and his translation as Virgil, Klopstock, or last remaining descendant, a grand. Racine, to make them intelligiblo daughter, passed a long life in a and agreeable to the ears of their
posterity. Indeed this modernizing sion of the whole. Not only this system is nothing but a species of cord, but half of the intended numtranslation, susceptible of the same ber of rods have perished: so that licence, and subject to the same what remain have no more conneclaws.
tion with each other, than what reWhat Chaucer's appearance is in sults from the mere circumstance of modern language, we see in the being numbered successively, first, specimens given us by Pope and second, third, and so on; and being Dryden. Of Spencer we have hi- published under one general title, a therto had no opportunity of judging title, the aptitude and propriety of in this way. Yet Spencer possesses which has wholly disappeared, in all the excellencies of the poet in a consequence of the loss of the condegree unspeakably superior to cluding book or canto. Chaucer. We may form some notion of the transcendant charms which this poet, if his lines were new modelled by a skilful hand, For the Literary Magazine. would acquire, by reading the late translation of Wieland's Oberon, a POPE'S UNIVERSAL PRAYER EX. poem written in the genuine Spen
AMINED. serian manner. What an inestimable banquet would the translator of WARBURTON tries to persuade Wieland provide for us, by taking us, that Pope's Universal Prayer is the Fairy Queen in hand, and be- only a paraphrase of the Lord's stowing the same bewitching num. Prayer. I can see no foundation bers and style upon a poet who de- for this notion : of the fifty-two lines serves them, at least as much as that compose it, only two, Wieland.
The scruples of the classical anti That mercy I to others show quarian could not be offended by a That mercy show to me, proceeding of this kind. The poet, in his native and pristine dress, appear to bear any resemblance to would still remain, and they would the Lord's Prayer. Of the rest, the have the same opportunities, as for whole tenor and spirit, if not admerly, of delving in this mine of verse, does, at least, bear no simili. English undefiled.
tude to that eloquent, sublime, and · The enterprising translator need simple invocation. not be intimidated by the great ex. Most of these stanzas are abstruse tent of the Fairy Queen. There and metaphysical, and, instead of would be no necessity of new-model- being favourable to revelation, seem ling the whole of that work. The directly to exclude it. The sentifirst book is entire in itself, or might ments respecting the Deity, forms easily be made so, and since the ori- of worship, human duty, are all ginal plan of the writer is incom- friendly to ease, contentment, inacplete, even taking all that is extant, tivity, and selfish enjoyment. the properties of unity and coherence The first stanza abolishes at once would be more effectually attained all distinctions between religions, by separating this portion from the and between the Deity of Jews, rest, and treating it as one poem, christians, and pagans, as more or than by connecting it with the rest. less pure and worthy to be worshipIt is well known that the original ped. poem consisted of twelve books, of which only six were ever published. Father of all, in every age, The cord, by which these twelve In every clime ador'd, rods were bound together into one By saint, by savage, and by sage, bundle, was displayed at the conclu Jehovah, Jove, or Lord.