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Where'er the hero's godlike acts can pierce,
Or where the fame of an immortal verse.
Oh could the muse my ravisht soul1 inspire
With warmth like yours, and raise an equal fire,
Unnumbered beauties in my verse should shine,
And Virgil's Italy should yield to mine.
See how the golden groves around me smile,
That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle,
Or, when transplanted, and preserved with care,
Curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air.
Here, kindly warmth the 2 mounting juice ferments
To nobler tastes and more exalted scents:
Ev'n the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom,
And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume.
Bear, me some god, to Baja's gentle seats,
Or cover me in Umbria's green retreats;
Where western gales eternally reside,
And all the seasons lavish all their pride:
Blossoms and fruits and flowers together rise,
And the whole year in gay confusion lies.
How does the mighty scene my soul amaze
When on proud Rome's immortal seats I gaze,
Where piles of ruin, scattered all around,
Magnificently strow the pompous ground!
An amphitheatre's transcendent height
Here fills my eye with terror and delight,
That on its public shows exhausted 5 Rome,
And held uncrowded nations in its womb:
Here, pillars, rough with battles, pierce the skies;
And here the proud triumphal arches rise,
Where the old Romans' deathless acts displayed,
Their base, degenerate progeny upbraid:
Whole rivers here forsake the fields below,
And, wondering at their course,7 through airy channels flow.
These four lines differ entirely, as will be seen:
Immortal glories in my mind revive,
And in my soul a thousand passions strive,
When Rome's exalted beauties I descry
Magnificent in piles of ruin lie.
Still to new scenes my wandering Muse retires,
And the dumb statue's breathing form2 admires;
The ambitious sculptor all his3 force has shown,
And softened into flesh the rugged stone.
In solemn silence a majestic band,
Heroes, and gods, and Roman consuls, stand;
Stern tyrants, whom their cruelties renown,
And emperors in Parian marble frown
While the bright dames, to whom they humbly sued,
Still show the charms that their proud hearts subdued.
Fain would I Raphael's godlike art rehearse,
And draw the immortal labours in my verse,
Where from the mingled force of shade and light
A new creation rises to my sight:
Such heavenly figures from his pencil flow,
So warm with life the blended colours glow!
From theme to theme with secret pleasure tossed
Amidst the soft variety I'm lost.
Here, gentle airs my ravisht soul confound
With circling notes and labyrinths of sound.
Here domes and temples rise in distant views,
And opening palaces invite my muse.
How is the happy land above the rest
Adorned with pleasures and with plenty blest! 8
But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that heaven and earth impart,
The smiles of nature, and the charms of art,
While proud oppression in her valleys reigns,
And tyranny devours her fruitful 10 plains?
poor inhabitant beholds in vain
The reddening orange and the swelling grain;
Joyless he sees the ripening oils and wines,
And in the myrtle's fragrant shade repines;
Starves, in the midst of nature's bounty curst,
And in the loaden vineyard dies for thirst.
1 show of
8 How has kind Heaven adorned the happy land,
And scattered blessings with a wasteful hand!
3 Where the smooth chisel all its
O Liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and fruitful in1 delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling plenty leads thy wanton train;
Eased of her load, subjection grows more light,
And poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day.
Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores;
How has she oft exhausted all her stores,
How oft in fields of death thy presence sought,
Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought!
On foreign mountains may the sun refine
The grape's soft juice and mellow it to wine,
With citron groves adorn the distant soil,
And the fat olive swell with floods of oil:
We envy not the warmer clime, that lies
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies,
Nor at the coarseness of our heaven repine,
Though the cold Pleiads in our zenith3 shine:
'Tis liberty that crowns Britannia's isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains
Others with towering piles may please the sight,
And in their proud aspiring domes delight,
A nicer touch to the stretched canvass give,
Or the well polished marble teach to live,*
Britannia's thoughts on nobler ends are bent,
To guard the freedom of the continent,
To raise the weak, to watch o'er Europe's state,
And hold in balance each contending state,
To threaten bold presumptuous kings with wars;
These are her high concerns, and these her generous cares.1 The Dane and Swede, roused up by dire alarms,
Bless the wise conduct of her pious arms:
3 o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads These seven lines are represented by the following five in the other version.
Or teach their animated rocks to live:
'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate,
And hold in balance each contending state,
To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war,
And answer her afflicted neighbours' prayer.
Soon as her fleets appear, their terrors cease,
And all the northern world lies hushed in peace.
The ambitious Gaul beholds, with secret dread,
Her thunder aimed at his aspiring head,
And fain her godlike sons would disunite
By inbred quarrels and1 domestic spite,
But strives in vain to conquer or divide
Whom Nassau's arms defend and councils guide.
Fired with the name which I so oft have found
The different climes and different tongues resound,
I bridle in my struggling muse with pain,
That longs to launch into a bolder strain;
But spent already with a rhyme so3 long,
I dare not tempt a more adventurous song;
My humble verse requires a softer theme,
A painted meadow, or a purling stream;
Unfit for heroes, whom majestic lays,
And lines like Virgil's, or like yours, should praise.
From Italy, Feb. 19, 1702.
TICKELL'S TRANSLATION OF HOMER.'
BY SOME ATTRIBUTED TO ADDISON.
ACHILLES' fatal wrath, whence discord rose,
That brought the sons of Greece unnumbered woes,
O goddess sing. Full many a hero's ghost
Was driven untimely to the infernal coast,
While in promiscuous heaps their bodies lay,
A feast for dogs, and every bird of prey.
So did the sire of gods and men fulfil
His stedfast purpose, and almighty will;
What time the haughty chiefs their jars begun,
Atrides king of men, and Peleus' godlike son.
What god in strife the princes did engage?
Apollo, burning with vindictive rage
Against the scornful king, whose impious pride
His priest dishonoured and his power defied.
Hence swift contagion, by the god's commands,
Swept through the camp, and thinned the Grecian bands.
For wealth immense the holy Chryses bore,
His daughter's ransom, to the tented shore :
1 foreign gold, or by 2 distant. 3 I've already troubled you too Nor dare attempt
Tickell translated only the first book of the Iliad, which was pub. . !
ed in the same year as Pope's.
His sceptre stretching forth, the golden rod,
Hung round with hallowed garlands of his god,
Of all the host, of every princely chief,
But first of Atreus' sons he begged relief.
"Great Atreus' sons, and warlike Greeks, attend,
So may the immortal gods your cause befriend;
So may you Priam's lofty bulwarks burn,
And rich in gathered spoils to Greece return;
As for these gifts my daughter you bestow,
And reverence due to great Apollo show,
Jove's favourite offspring, terrible in war,
Who sends his shafts, unerring, from afar."
Throughout the host consenting murmurs rise
The priest to reverence, and give back the prize;
When the great king incensed, his silence broke
In words reproachful, and thus sternly spoke.
"Hence, dotard, from my sight. Nor ever more
Approach, I warn thee, this forbidden shore,
Lest thou stretch forth, my fury to restrain,
The wreaths and sceptre of thy god, in vain.
The captive maid I never will resign;
Till age o'ertakes her, I have vowed her mine.
To distant Argos shall the fair be led :
She shall; to ply the loom, and grace my bed.
Be gone, ere evil intercept thy way.
Hence, on thy life: nor urge me by thy stay."
He ended frowning. Speechless, and dismayed,
The aged sire his stern command obeyed.
Silent he passed amid the deafening roar
Of tumbling billows, on the lonely shore :
Far from the camp he passed: then suppliant stood;
And thus the hoary priest invoked his god.
"Dread warrior with the silver bow, give ear. Patron of Chrysa and of Cilla, hear.
To thee the guard of Tenedos belongs ;
Propitious Smintheus! oh! redress my wrongs.
If e'er within thy fane, with wreaths adorned,
The fat of bulls and well-fed goats I burned,
Oh! hear my prayer. Let Greece thy fury know,
And with thy shafts avenge thy servant's woe."
Apollo heard his injured suppliant's cry,
Down rushed the vengeful warrior from the sky;
Across his breast the glittering bow he flung,
And at his back the well-stored quiver hung:
His arrows rattled, as he urged his flight,
In clouds he flew, concealed from mortal sight;
Then took his stand the well-aimed shaft to throw,-
Fierce sprung the string, and twanged the silver bow.