תמונות בעמוד

seems to be altogether forgotten, or unknown, by stanza; and which accordingly perpetually agreed our English writers.

whenever repeated, both in number of verses and There is nothing more frequent among us, than quantity of feet: he was then again at liberty to a sort of poems entitled Pindaric Odes; pretend make a new choice for his third stanza, or epode; ing to be written in imitation of the manner and where, accordingly, he diversified his numbers, as style of Pindar, and yet I do not know that there his ear or fancy led him: composing that stanza is to this day extant, in our language, one ode

of more or fewer verses than the former, and those contrived after his model. What idea can an verses of different measures and quantities, for the English reader have of Pindar, (to whose mouth, greater variety of harmony, and entertainment of when a child, the bees brought their honey, in the ear. omen of the future sweetness and melody of his But then this epode being thus formed, he was bongs) when be shall see such rumbling and grat- strictly obliged to the same measure as often as he ing papers of verses, pretending to be copies of his should repeat it in the order of his ode, so that works?

every epode in the same ode is eternally the same The character of these late Pindarics is, a bundle in measure and quantity, in respect to itself; as

rambling incoherent thoughts, expressed in a is also every strophé and antistrophé, in respect to like parcel of irregular stanzas, which also consist each other. of such another complication of disproportioned, The lyric poct Stesichorus (whom Longinus uncertain, and perplexed verses and rhymes. And | reckons amongst the ablest imitators of Homer, I appeal to any reader, if this is not the condition and of whom Quintilian says, that if he could in which these titular odes appear.

have kept within bounds, he would have been On the contrary, there is nothing more regular nearest of any body, in merit, to Homer) was, if than the odes of Pindar, both as to the exact ob. not the inventor of this order in the ode, yet so servation of the measures and numbers of his strict an observer of it in his compositions, that stanzas and verses, and the perpetual coherence the three stanzas of Stesichorus became a comof his thoughts. For though his digressions are mon proverb to express a thing universally known, frequent, and his transitions sudden, yet is there ne tria quidem, Stesichori nostri; so that when ever some secret connection, which, though not any one had a mind to reproach another with exalways appearing to the eye, never fails to com- cessive ignorance, he could not do it more effectually municate itself to the understanding of the rea than by telling him, “ he did not so inuch as der.

know the three stanzas of Stesichorus ;" that is, The liberty which he took in his numbers, and did not know that an ode ought to consist of a which has been so misunderstood and misapplied strophé, an antistrophé, and an epode. If this by his pretended imitators. was only in varying was such a mark of ignorance among them, I am the stanzas in different odes; but in each particu sure we have been pretty long liable to the same lar ode they are ever correspondent one to another reproof; I mean, in respect of our imitations of in their turns, and according to the order of the the odes of Pindar. ode.

My intention is not to make a long preface to All the odes of Pindar which remain to us, are a short orle, nor to enter upon a dissertation of songs of triumph, victory, or success, in the Gre- Lyric poetry in general: but thus much I thought cian games: they were sung by a chorus, and proper to say, for the information of those readers adapted to the lyre, and sometimes to the lyre whose course of study has not led them into such and pipe: they consisted oftenest of three stanzas; inquiries. the first was called the strophé, from the version or I hope I shall not be so misunderstood, as to circular motion of the singers in that stanza from have it thought that I pretend to give an exact the right hand to the left. The second stanza was copy of Pindar in this ensuing ode; or that I look called the antistrophé, from the contraversion of upon it as a pattern for his imitators for the futhe chorus; the singers, in performing that, turn- | ture: far from such thoughts, I have only given ing from the left hand to the right, contrary al- an instance of what is pract

| an instance of what is practicable, and am sensiways to their motion in the strophé. The third | ble that I am as distant from the force and elevastanza was called the epoce, it may be as being tion of Pindar, as others have hitherto been from the after-song) which they sung in the middle,

the harmony and regularity of his numbers Deither turning to one hand nor the other.

Again, we having no chorus to sing our odes, What the origin was of these different motions the titles, as well as use of strophé, antistrophé, and stations in singing their odes, is not our pre- and epode, are obsolete and impertinent: and sent business to inquire. Some have thought, that, certainly there may be very good English odes, by the contrariety of the strophé and antistrophé, without the distinction of Greek appellations to they intended to represent the contrarotation of their stanzas. That I have mentioned them here, the primum mobile, in respect of the secunda and observed the order of them in the ensuing mobilia; and that, by their standing still at the ode, is therefore only the more intelligibly to exepode, they meant to signify the stability of the plain the extraordinary regularity of the comEarth. Others ascribe the institution to Theseus, I position of these odes, which have been repre. who thereby expressed the windings and turnings sented to us hitherto, as the most confused strucof the labyrinth, in celebrating his return from tures in nature. tbence.

However, though there be no necessity that our The method observed in the composition of these triumphal odes should consist of the three aforeodes, was therefore as follows: The poet having mentioned stanzas; yet if the reader can observe, made choice of a certain number of verses to con that the great variation of the numbers in the stitute his strophé, or first ,stanza, was obliged to third stanza (call it epode, or what you please) observe the same in his antistrophé, or second l has a pleasing effect in the ode, and makes him

[ocr errors]

return to the first and second stanzas with more to copy his brevity, and take the advantage of a reappetite than he could do, if always cloyed with mark he has made in the last strophé of the same the same quantities and measures; I cannot see ode; which take in the paraphrase of Sudorius. why some use may not be made of Pindar's example, to the great improvement of the English Qui multa paucis stringere commode ode. There is certainly a pleasure in beholding Norere, morsus hi facile invidos any thing that has art and difficulty in the con Spernunt, & auris mensque pura trivance ; especially if it appears so carefully exe Omne supervacuum rejectat. cuted, that the difficulty does not show itself, till it is sought for; and that the seeming easiness of the work, first sets us upon the inquiry. Nothing can be called beautiful without proportion. When

ODE. symmetry and harmony are wanting, neither the eye nor the ear can be pleased. Therefore cer Daughter of Memory, immortal Muse, tainly poetry, which includes painting and music, Calliope ; what poet wilt thou choose, should not be destitute of them ; and of all

Of Anna's name to sing? poetry, especially the ode, whose end and essence To whom wilt thou thy fire impart, is harmony.

Thy lyre, thy voice, and tuneful art; Mr. Cowley, in his preface to his Pindaric Odes, | Whom rajse sublime on thy ethereal wing, speaking of the music of numbers, says, “which | And consecrate with dews of thy Castalian spring ? sometimes (especially in songs and odes) almost without any thing else, makes an excellent

Without thy aid, the most aspiring mind

Must flag beneath, to narrow tights confin'd, Having mentioned Mr. Cowley, it may very

Striving to rise in vain : well be expected, that something should be said

Nor e'er can hope with equal lays of him, at a time when the imitation of Pindar To celebrate bright Virtue's praise. is the theme of our discourse. But there is that Thy aid obtain'd, ev'n I, the humblest swain, great deference due to the memory, great parts, May climb Pierian heights, and quit the lowly and learning, of that gentleman, that I think

plain. nothing should be objected to the latitude he has

High in the starry orb is hung, taken in his Pindaric odes. The beauty of his

And next Alcides' guardian arm, verses is an atonement for the irregularity of his

That harp to which thy Orpheus sung, stanzas; and though he did not imitate Pindar in

Who woods, and rocks, and winds, could the strictness of his numbers, he has very often

charm ; happily copied him in the force of his figures, and

That harp which on Cyllene's shady bill, sublimity of his style and sentiments.

When first the vocal shell was found, Yet I must bey leave to add, that I believe those

With more than mortal skill irregular odes of Mr. Cowley may have been the

Inventor Hermes taught to sound : principal, though innocent, occasion of so many

Hermes on bright Latona's son, deformed poems since, which, instead of being

By sweet persuasion won, true pictures of Pindar, have to use the Italian

The wondrous work bestow'd ; painters' term) been only caricatures of him, re

Latona's son, to thine semblances that, for the most part, have been

Indulgent, gave the gift divine: either horrid or ridiculous.

A god the gift, a god th' invention show'd. For my own part, I fraukly own my errour in having heretofore miscalled a few irregular stanzas

To that high-sounding lyre I tune my strains ; a Pindaric ode; and possibly, if others, who have A lower note his lofty song disdains . been under the same mistake, would ingenuously

Who sings of Anna's name. confess the truth, they might own, that, never The lyre is struck! the sounds I hear! having consulted Pindar himself, they took all his O Muse, propitious to my prayer! irregularity upon trust; and, finding their ac | 0 well-known sounds! O Melody, the same count' in the great ease with which they could That kindled Mantuan fire, and rais'd Mæonian produce odes without being obliged either to mea

flame. sure or design, remained satisfied; and, it may

Nor are these sounds to British bards unknown, be, were not altogether unwilling to neglect being

Or sparingly reveal'd to one alone : undeceived. Though there be little (if any thing) left of Or

Witness sweet Spenser's lays :

And witness that immortal song, pheus but his name, yet, if Pausanias was well in

As Spenser sweet, as Milton strong, formed, we may be assured that brevity was a

Which humble Boyne o'er Tiber's flood could beauty which he most industriously laboured to


(praise preserve in his hymns, notwithstanding, as the Land michte'william sino

And mighty William sing with well proportion'd same author reports, that they were but few in number.

Rise, fair Augusta, lift thy head, The shortness of the following ode will, I hope, With golden towers thy front adorn; atone for the length of the preface, and, in some Come forth, as comes from Tithon's bed measure, for the defects which may be found in it.

With cheerful ray the ruddy Morn. It consists of the same number of stanzas with Thy lovely form, add fresh-reviving state, that beautiful ode of Pindar, which is the first of In crystal food of Thames survey; his Pythics; and though I was unable to imitate

Then bless thy better fate, him in any other beauty, I resolved to endeavour ! Bless Anna's most auspicious sway.

While distant realms and neighbouring lands, Attempt not to proceed, unwary Muse,
Arm'd troops and hostile bands

For O! what notes, what numbers could'st thou
On every side molest :

Thougb in all numbers skill'd, [choose,
Thy happier clime is free,

To sing the hero's matchless deed,
Fair Capital of Liberty !

Which Belgia sav'd, and Brabant freed; And plenty kulows, and days of halcyon rest. To sing Ramillia's day I to which must yield As Britain's isle, when old vex'd Ocean roars,

Canne's illustrious fight, and fam'd Pharsalia's

field ? Unshaken sees against her silver shores His foaming billows beat;

In the short course of a diurnal Sun, So Britain's queen, amidst the jars

Behold the work of many ages done! And tumults of a world in wars,

What verse such worth can raise? Fix'd on the base of her well-founded state,

Lustre and life, the poet's art Serene and safe looks down, nor feels the shocks To middle virtue may impart; of fate.

But deeds sublime, exalted high like these, But greatest souls, though blest with sweet re

Transcend bis utmost flight, and mock his distant

praise. pose, Are soonest touch'd with sense of others' woes. Still would the willing Muse aspire, Thus Anna's mighty mind,

With transport still her strains prolong; To mercy and soft pity prone,

But fear unstrings the trembling lyre, And mov'd with sorrows not her own,

And admiration stops her song. Has all her peace and downy rest resign'd,

Go on, great chief, in Anna's cause proceed; To wake for common good, and succour human Nor sheath the terrours of thy sword, kind.

Till Europe thou hast freed,

And universal peace restor'd. Fly, Tyranny; no more be known

This mighty work when thou shalt end, Within Europa's blissful bound;

Equal rewards.attend, Far as th' unhabitable zone

Of value far above Fly every hospitable ground.

Thy trophies and thy spoils; To horrid Zembla's frozen realms repair,

Rewards ev'n worthy of thy toils, There with the baleful beldam, Night,

The queen's just favour, and thy country's love
Unpeopled empire share,
And rob those lands of legal right.
Por now is come the promis'd hour,
When Justice shall have power;

Justice to Earth restor'd!
Again Astrea reigns !

Anna her equal scale maintains,

And Marlborough wields her sure-deciding sword.

Now, couldst thou soar, my Muse, to sing the man
In heights sublime, as when the Mantuan swan

Quemvis mediâ erue turbâ :
Her towering pinions spread; [hand Aut ob avaritiam, aut miserâ ambitione laborat.
Thou should'st of Marlborough sing, whose Hunc capit argenti splendor
Unerring from his queen's command,

Hic mutat merces surgente à sole, ad eum quo Far as the seven-month'd Ister's secret head, Vespertina tepet regio: quin per mare præceps To save th' imperial state, her hardy Britons led. Fertur

Oinnes hi metuunt versus, odêre poetas. Nor there thy song should end; though all the

Hor. l. i. Sat. 4. Nine Might well their harps and heavenly voices join To hazardous attempts and hardy toils To sing that glorious day,

Ambition some excites; When bold Bavaria fed the field,

And some desire of martial spoils And veteran Gauls, unus'd to yield,

To bloody fields invites; On Blenheim's plain imploring mercy lay,

Others insatiate thirst of gain And spoils and trophies won, perplex'd the victor's Provokes to tempt the dangerous main, way.

To pass the burning line, and bear

Th’inclemency of winds, and seas, and air; But could thy voice of Blenheim sing,

Pressing the doubtful voyage till India's shore And with success that song pursue ; What art could aid thy wearied wing

Her spicy bosom bares, and spreads her shining ore. To keep the victor still in view ?

Nor widows' tears, nor tender orphans' cries, For as the Sun ne'er stops his radiant flight,

: Can stop th' invader's force; ; Nor sets, but with impartial ray

Nor swelling seas, nor threatening skies, To all who want his light

Prevent the pirate's course : Alternately transfers the day :

Their lives to selfish ends decreed,
So in the glorious round of fame,

Through blood or rapine they proceed ;
Great Marlborough, still the same,

No anxious thoughts of ill repute
Incessant runs his course :

Suspend th’impetuous and unjust pursuit:
To climes remote and near

But power and wealth obtain'd, guilty and great, His conquering arms by turns appear, Their follow-creatures fears they raise, or urge their And universal is his aid and force.


But not for these his ivory lyre

And now awhile the well-strain'd coursers Will tuneful Phæbus string,

And now, my Muse, preparė (breathe; Nor Polyhymnia, crown'd amid the choir,

Of olive-leaves a twisted wreath
Th'immortal epode sing.

To bind the victor's hair.
Thy springs, Castalia, turn their streams aside

Pallas, in care of human-kind,
From rapine, avarice, and pride;

The fruitful olive first design'd;
Nor do thy greens, shady Aonia, grow

Deep in the glebe her spear she lanc'd, To bind with wreaths a tyrant's brow.

When all at once the laden boughs advanc'd : How just, most mighty Jove, yet how severe,

The gods with wonder view'd the teeming Farth,

And all, with one consent, approv'd the beauteous
Is thy supreme decree,

That impious men shall joyless hear
The Muse's harmony !

This done, earth-shaking Neptune next essay'd,
Their sacred songs, (the recompense

In bounty to the world,
Of virtue and of innocence)

To emulate the blue-ey'd maid;
Which pious minds to rapture raise,

And his huge trident hurl'd
And worthy deeds at once excite and praise,

Against the sounding beach; the stroke To guilty hearts afford no kind relief;

Transfix'd the globe, and open broke But add inflaming rage, and more atlicting grief.

The central earth, whence, swift as light,

Forth rush'd the first-born horse. Stupendous Monstrous Typhæus thus new terrours fill,

sight! He, who assail'd the skies,

Neptune for human good the beast ordains, And now beneath the burning hill

Whom soon he tam'd to use, and taught to bear tho
Of dreadful Ætna lies.

Hearing the lyre's celestial sound,
He bellows in th' abyss profound;

Thus gods contended (noble strife,
Sicilja trembles at his roar,

Worthy the heavenly mind!) Tremble the seas, and far Campania's shore; Who most should do to soften anxious life, While all his hundred mouths at once respire

And most endear mankind, Volumes of curling smoke, and foods of liquid Thus thou, Godolphin, dost with Marlborough fire.

strive, From Heaven alone all good proceeds;

From whose joint toils we rest derive:

Triumph in wars abroad his arm assures,
To heavenly minds belong

Sweet Peace at home thy care secures. All power and love, Godolphin, of good deeds,

And sense of sarred song!
And thus most pleasing are the Muse's lays

To them who merit most her praise !
Wherefore, for thee her ivory lyre she strings,

And soars with rapture while she sings.
Whether affairs of most important weight

Require thy aiding hand,

To thee, dear Dick, this tale I send,
And Anna's cause and Europe's fate

Both as a critic and a friend.
Thy serious thoughts demand;

I tell it with some variation
Whether thy days and nights are spent

(Not altogether a translation)
In cares, on public good intent;

From La Fontaine ; an author, Dick,
Or whether leisure hours invite

Whose Muse would touch thee to the quick.
To manly sports, or to refin'd delight;

The subject is of that same kind, In courts residing, or to plains retir'd,

To which thy heart seems most inclin'd: Where generous steeds contest, with emulation

| How verse may alter it, God knows; fir'd!

Thou lov'st it well, I'm sure in prose.
Thee still she seeks, and tuneful sings thy name,

So, without preface, or pretence,
As once she Theron sung,

To hold thee longer in suspense,
While with the deathless worthy's fame

I shall proceed, as I am able,
Olympian Pisa rung:

To the recital of my fable.
Nor less sublime is now her choice:
Nor less inspir'd by thee her voice.
And now she loves aloft to sound

A goblin of the merry kind,
The man for more than mortal deeds renown'd;

| More black of hue, than curst of mind, Varying anon her theme, she takes delight

To help a lover in distress,

Contriv'd a charm with such success, The swift heeld horse to praise, and sing his rapid

That in short space the cruel dame

Relented, and return'd bis flame.
And see! the air-born racers start,

The bargain, made betwixt them both,
Impatient of the rein;

Was bound by honour and by oath :
Faster they run than flies the Scythian dart, The lover laid down his salvation,
Nor, passing, print the plain!

And Satan stak'd his reputation. The winds themselves, who with their swiftness The latter promis'd on his part

In vain their airy pinions ply; (vie, (To serve his friend, and show his art) So far in matchless speed thy coursers pass That madam should by twelve o'clock, Th’ ethereal authors of their race.

| Though hitherto as hard as rock,

Become as gentle as a glove,

| And soon return'd with such a pack And kiss and coo like any dove.

Of bulls and pardons at his back, In short, the woman should be his,

That now, the squire (who had some hope That is, upon condition--viz.

In holy water and the pope) That he, the lover, after tasting

Was out of heart, and at a stand What one would wish were everlasting,

What next to wish, and what command; Should, in return for such enjoyment,

Invention flags, his brain grows muddy, Supply the fiend with fresh employment :

And black despair succeeds brown studly. " That's all," quoth Pug; “ my poor request

In this distress the woeful youth Is, only, never to have rest.

Acquaints the nymph with all the truth, You thought, 'tis like, with reason too,

Begging her counsel, for whose sake That I should have been serv'd, not you:

Both soul and body were at stake. But what? upon my friend impose !

And is this all?" replies the fair: No--though a devil, none of those.

Let me alone to cure this care. Your business then, pray understand me,

When next your demon shall appear, Is nothing more but to command me.

Pray give him look, what I hold here, Of one thing only let me warn ye;

And bid him labour, soon or late, Which somewhat nearly may concern ye:

To lay these ringlets lank and straight." As soon as c'er one work is done,

Then, something scarcely to be seen, Straight name a new one; and so on :

Her finger and her thumb between Let each to other quick succeed,

She held, and sweetly smiling, cry'd, Or else--you know how 'tis acred

“ Your goblin's skill shall now be try'd.” For if, through any bums or baws,

She said; and gave-what shall I call There haps an intervening paus",

That thing so shining, crisp, and small, In which, for want of fresh coinmands,

Which round his finger strore to twine? Your slave obsequious idle stands,

A tendril of the Cyprian vine Nor soul nor body ever more

Or sprig from Cytherea's grove; Shall serve the nyinph whom you adore ;

Shade of the labyrinth of love? But both be laid at Satan's feet,

With awe, he now takes from her hand To be dispos'd as he thinks meet."

That fleece-like flower of fairy land: At once the lover all approves;

Less precious, whilom, was the fleece For who can hesitate that loves?

Which drew the Argonauts from Greece; And thus he argues in his thought:

Or that, which modern ages see « Why, after all, I venture nought;

The spur and prize of chivalry, What mystery is in commanding?

Whose curls of kindred texture grace Does that require much understanding?

Heroes and kings of Spanish race. Indeed, wer't my part to obey,

The spark prepar'd, and Pug at hand, He'd go the better of the lay:

He issues, thus, his strict command : But he must do what I think fit

" This line, thus curve and thus orbicular, Pshaw, pshaw, young Belzebub is bit."

Render direct, and perpendicular; Thus pleas'd in mind, he calls a chair,

But so direct, that in no sort . Adjusts, and combs, and courts the fair:

It ever may in rings retort. The spell takes place, and all goes right,

See me no more till this be done: And happy he employs the night

Hence, to thy task-avaunt, be gone." In sweet embraces, balmy kisses,

Away the fiend like lightning flies, And riots in the bliss of blisses.

And all his wit to work applies : O joy," cried he, “ that has no equal !»

Anvils and presses he employs, But hold—no raptures-mark the sequel.

And vins whole Hell with hammering noise, For now. when near the morning's dawn,

In vain : he to no terms can bring The youth began as 'twere to yawn;

One twirl of that reluctant thing; His eyes a silky slumber seiz'd,

TH' elastic fibre mocks his pains, Or would have done, if Pug had pleas'd:

And its first spiral form retains. But that officious demon near,

New stratagems the sprite contrires, Now buzz' for business in his ear:

And down the depths of sea le dives: In haste, he names a thousand things;

“ This sprunt, its pertness sure will lose, The goblin plies his wicker wings,

When laid," said he,“ to soak in ooze. And in a trice returns to ask

Poor foolish fiend! he little knew Another and another task.

Whence Venus and her garden grew. Now palaces are built and towers,

Old Ocean, with paternal waves The work of ages in few hours.

| The child of his own bed receives; Then storms are in an instant rais'd,

Which oft as dipt new force exerts, Which the next moment are appras'd.

And in more vigorous curls reverts. Now showers of gold and gems are rajn'd,

So when to earth Alcides flung As if each India had been drain'd:

The huge Autæus, whence he sprung, And he, in one astonish'd view,

From every fall fresh strength he gain'd, Sees both Golconda and Peru.

And with new life the fight maintain'd. These things, and stranger things than these, The balited goblin grows perplex'd, Were done with equal speed and ease.

Nor knows what slight to practise next : Apå now to Rome poor Pug he'll send;

The more he tries, the more he fails; And Pug soon reach'd his journey's end,

| Nor charm, nor art, nor force availş. VOL. X.

« הקודםהמשך »