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White as the pride of drifted snows,
STANZAS, ON THE DEATH OF A FAVOURITE BIRD.
BY W. HOLLOWAY.
THOUGH ne'er on the bough of the hedge-row or grove,
Thou didst build the soft nest, or attune the sweet lay, Enjoy the fresh shade of the woodbine alcove, Or rouse the dull swains, at the
young day, Yet still hast thou 'scap'd all the shares of mankind,
The snares which on Innocence ever attend ; For liberty lost thou hast never repin'd,
Hast never known want, nor e'er needed a friend. But ah! cruel Fate, with aim sudden and sure,
Has mark'd thee her victim, and laid thee to rest ! For Lesbia's fam’d bird not a tear flow'd more pure,
Nor lighter the green sod repos'd on his breast. Farewell, little Warbler! To those who deplore,
Would the Muse this suggestion prefer, and repeatFor the moral shall hold when the sorrow's no more
May your lives be as calm, and your exits as sweet!
PRO PATRIA MORI.
FROM THE GERMAN OF BURGER.
For virtue, freedom, human rights, to fall,
Beseems the brave: it is a Saviour's death! Of heroes only the most pure of all
Thus with their heart's blood tinge the battle-heath. And this proud death is seemliest in the man
Who for a kindred race, a country bleeds: Three hundred Spartans form the shining van
Of those, whüm fame in this high triumph leads. Great is the death for a good prince incurr’d;
Who wields the sceptre with benignant hand: Well may for him the noble bare his sword,
Falling he earns the blessings of a land. Death for friend, parent, child, or her we love,
If not so great, is beauteous to behold : This the fine tumults of the heart
approve; It is the walk to death unbought of gold. But for mere majesty to meet a wound
Who holds that great or glorious, he mistakes : That is the fury of the pamper'd hound,
Which envy, anger, or the whip awakes. And for a tyrant's sake to seek a jaunt
To hell-'s a death which only hell enjoys :
A murderer's trophy, and a plunderer's prize.
BY TIOMAS FRANCKLIN FELLOW OF TRINITY
"Such is our pride, oór folly, or our fate,
In the fair field the vet’ran armies stand,
* The translator of Sophocles. This poem was published in 1754, and was dedicated to the Earls of Granville, Chesterfield, and Orrery.
+ Nothing can be more contemptible than the translations and imitations of Pindar done by Cowley, which yet have had theis admirers.
O'er Tibur's swán the muses wept in vain,
In blest Arabia's plains unfading blow
I 'The modern critic, whose unletter'd pride, Big with itself, contemns the world beside, If haply told that Terence once cou'd charm, Each feeling heart that Sophocles cou'd warm, Scours ev'ry stall for Echard's dirty page, § Or pores in Adams for th’Athenian stage; With joy he reads the servile mimics o'er, Pleas'd to discover what he guess'd before ; || Concludes that Attic wit's extremely low ; ** And gives up Greece to Wotton and Perrault. Our shallow language, shallow'r judges say, Can ne'er the force of antient sense convey.
* See Horace's Epistles, Satires, and Art of Poetry, done into English by S. Dunster, D. D. Prebendary of Sarum.
† See their translations of Homer and Virgil.
# Les belles traductions (says Boilean) sont des preuves sans replique en faveur des anciens, qu'on leur donne les Racines pour interpretes, & ils scauront plaire aujourdhui comme autrefois. Certain it is, that the contempt, in which the antients are held by the illiterate wits of the present age, is in a great measure owing to the number of bad translations.
$ See Adams's prose translation of Sophocles. || A favourite coffee-house phrase.
** See Wotton's discourse on antient and modern learning, and Perrault's defence of his Siecle de Louis XIV.
As well might Vanbrugh ev'ry stone revile That swells enormous Blenheim's awkward pile; The guiltless pen as well might Mauro blame, • For writing ill, and sullying Arthur's fame; Successless lovers blast the maid they woo'd, And these a tongue they never understood ; That tongue, which gave immortal Shakespeare fame, Which boasts a Prior's, and a Thomson's name; Graceful and chaste which flows in Addison, With native charms, and vigour all its own; In Bolingbruke and Swift, whose beauties shine, In Rowe's soft numbers, Johnson's nervous lirie, Dryden's free vein, and Milton's work divine.
But, such, alas! disdain to borrow fame, Or live like dulness in another's name; And hence the task for noblest souls design'd, Giv'n to the weak, the tasteless, and the blind; To some low wretch, who prostitute for pay + Lets out to Curll the labours of the day, Careless who hurries o'er th' unblotted line, Impatient still to finish and to dine; Or somne pale pedant, whose encumber'd brain O’er the dull page hath toild for years in vain, Who writes at last ambitiously to shew How much a fool may read, how little know. Can these on fancy's wing with Plato soar? Can these a Tully's active mind explore? Great nature's secret springs can these reveal, Or paint those passions, which they ne'er cou'd feel?
* See Blackinore's King Arthur, an heroic poem.
+ Most of the bad translations, which we have of eminent authors, were done by garreteers under the inspection of this gentleman, who paid thein by the sheet for their hasty performances.