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Ambition nerved young Allan's hand,
Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow;
Whose streaming life-blood stains his side? Dark Oscar's sable crest is low,
The dart has drunk his vital tide.
And Mora's eye could Allan move,
She bade his wounded pride rebel; Alas! that eyes which beam'd with love Should urge the soul to deeds of hell.
Lo! seest thou not a lonely tomb
Far, distant far, the noble grave
Which held his clan's great ashes stood; And o'er his corse no banners wave,
For they were stain'd with kindred blood.
What minstrel gray, what hoary bard,
Shall Allan's deeds on harp-strings raise? The song is glory's chief reward,
But who can strike a murderer's praise?
Unstrung, untouch'd, the harp must stand,
No lyre of fame, no hallow'd verse,
Shall sound his glories high in air:
A dying father's bitter curse,
A brother's death-groan echoes there.
THE EPISODE OF NISUS AND EURYALUS,
No lovelier mien adorn'd the ranks of Troy,
"What god." exclaim'd the first, "instils this fire? Or, in itself a god, what great desire ? My labouring soul, with anxious thought oppress'd, Abhors this station of inglorious rest;
The love of fame with this can ill accord,
With equal ardour fired, and warlike joy, His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy "These deeds, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone? Must all the fame, the peril, be thine own? Am I by thee despised, and left afar, As one unfit to share the toils of war? Not thus his son the great Opheltes taught; Not thus my sire in Argive combats fought; Not thus, when Ilion fell by heavenly hate, I track'd Æneas through the walks of fate : Thou know'st my deeds, my breast devoid of fear, And hostile life-drops dim my gory spear. Here is a soul with hope immortal burns, And life, ignoble life, for glory spurns. Fame, fame is cheaply earn'd by fleeting breath: The price of honour is the sleep of death."
Now o'er the earth a solemn stillness ran, And lull'd alike the cares of brute and man;
Then Nisus,- -" Calm thy bosom's fond alarms, Thy heart beats fiercely to the din of arms. More dear thy worth and valour than my own, I swear by him who fills Olympus' throne ! So may I triumph, as I speak the truth, And clasp again the comrade of my youth! But should I fall, and he who dares advance Through hostile legions must abide by chance, If some Rutulian arm, with adverse blow, Should lay the friend who ever loved thee low, Live thou, such beauties I would fain preserve, Thy budding years a lengthen'd term deserve. When humbled in the dust, let some one be, Whose gentle eyes will shed one tear for me; Whose manly arm may snatch me back by force, Or wealth redeem from foes my captive corse; Or, if my destiny these last deny, If in the spoiler's power my ashes lic, Thy pious care may raise a simple tomb, To mark thy love, and signalize my doom. Why should thy doting wretched mother weep Her only boy, reclined in endless sleep? Who, for thy sake, the tempest's fury dared, Who, for thy sake, war's deadly peril shared ; Who braved what woman never braved before, And left her native for the Latian shore." "In vain you damp the ardour of my soul," Replied Euryalus; "it scorns control! Hence, let us haste!"- their brother guards arose, Roused by their call, nor court again repose; The pair, buoy'd up on Hope's exulting wing, Their stations leave, and speed to seek the king.
Save where the Dardan leaders nightly hold
"With patience" (thus Hyrtacides began) "Attend, nor judge from youth our humble plan. Where yonder beacons half expiring beam, Our slumbering foes of future conquest dream, Nor heed that we a secret path have traced, Between the ocean and the portal placed. Beneath the covert of the blackening smoke, Whose shade securely our design will cloak ! If you, ye chiefs, and fortune will allow, We'll bend our course to yonder mountain's brow, Where Pallas' walls at distance meet the sight, Seen o'er the glade, when not obscured by night. Then shall Eneas in his pride return, While hostile matrons raise their offspring's urn; And Latian spoils and purpled heaps of dead Shall mark the havoc of our hero's tread. Such is our purpose, not unknown the way; Where yonder torrent's devious waters stray, Oft have we seen, when hunting by the stream, The distant spires above the valleys gleam."
Mature in years, for sober wisdom famed, Moved by the speech, Alethes here exclaim'd, "Ye parent gods! who rule the fate of Troy, Still dwells the Dardan spirit in the boy; When minds like these in striplings thus ye raise, Yours is the godlike act, be yours the praise; In gallant youth, my fainting hopes revive, And Ilion's wonted glories still survive." Then in his warm embrace the boys he press'd, And, quivering, strain'd them to his aged breast; With tears the burning cheek of each bedew'd, And, sobbing, thus his first discourse renew'd: "What gift, my countrymen, what martial prize Can we bestow, which you may not despise ? Our deities the first best boon have givenInternal virtues are the gift of Heaven. What poor rewards can bless your deeds on earth, Doubtless await such young, exalted worth. Eneas and Ascanius shall combine
To yield applause far, far surpassing mine."
To him Euryalus: "No day shall shame The rising glories which from this I claim. Fortune may favour, or the skies may frown, But valour, spite of fate, obtains renown. Yet, ere from hence our eager steps depart, One boon I beg, the nearest to my heart: My mother, sprung from Priam's royal line, Like thine ennobled, hardly less divine, Nor Troy nor king Acestes' realms restrain Her feeble age from dangers of the main; Alone she came, all selfish fears above, A bright example of maternal love. Unknown the secret enterprise I brave, Lest grief should bend my parent to the grave; From this alone no fond adieus I seek, No fainting mother's lips have press'd my cheek; By gloomy night and thy right hand I vow Her parting tears would shake my purpose now: Do thou, my prince, her failing age sustain, In thee her much loved child may live again; Her dying hours with pious conduct bless, Assist her wants, relieve her fond distress: So dear a hope must all my soul inflame, To rise in glory, or to fall in fame." Struck with a filial care so deeply felt, In tears at once the Trojan warriors melt: Faster than all, Iulus' eyes o'erflow; Such love was his, and such had been his woe. "All thou hast ask'd, receive," the prince replied; "Nor this alone, but many a gift beside. To cheer thy mother's years shall be my aim, Creusa's style but wanting to the dame. Fortune an adverse wayward course may run, But bless'd thy mother in so dear a son. Now, by my life!-my sire's most sacred oathTo thee I pledge my full, my firmest troth, All the rewards which once to thee were vow'd, If thou shouldst fall, on her shall be bestow'd." Thus spoke the weeping prince, then forth to view A gleaming falchion from the sheath he drew; Lycaon's utmost skill had graced the steel, For friends to envy and for foes to feel: A tawny hide, the Moorish lion's spoil, Slain 'midst the forest, in the hunter's toil, Mnestheus to guard the elder youth bestows, And old Alethes' casque defends his brows.
I The mother of Iulus, lost on the night when Troy was taken.
Arm'd, thence they go, while all th' assembled train,
The trench is passed, and, favour'd by the night, Through sleeping foes they wheel their wary flight. When shall the sleep of many a foe be o'er? Alas some slumber who shall wake no more! Chariots and bridles, mix'd with arms, are seen; And flowing flasks, and scatter'd troops between : Bacchus and Mars to rule the camp combine; A mingled chaos this of war and wine. "Now," cries the first, "for deeds of blood prepare, With me the conquest and the labour share : Here lies our path; lest any hand arise, Watch thou, while many a dreaming chieftain dies: I'll carve our passage through the heedless foe, And clear thy road with many a deadly blow." His whispering accents then the youth repress'd, And pierced proud Rhamnes through his panting breast:
Stretch'd at his ease, th' incautious king reposed;
In slaughter'd fold, the keepers lost in sleep, His hungry fangs a lion thus may steep; 'Mid the sad flock, at dead of night he prowls, With murder glutted, and in carnage rolls: Insatiate still, through teeming herds he roams; In seas of gore the lordly tyrant foams.
"Hence let us haste, the dangerous path is pass'd;
Nor less the other's deadly vengeance came, But falls on feeble crowds without a name; His wound unconscious Fadus scarce can feel, Yet wakeful Rhesus sees the threatening steel; His coward breast behind a jar he hides, And vainly in the weak defence confides; Full in his heart, the falchion searched his veins, The reeking weapon bears alternate stains; Through wine and blood, commingling as they flow, One feeble spirit seeks the shades below. Now where Messapus dwelt they bend their way, Whose fires emit a faint and trembling ray; There, unconfined, behold each grazing steed, Unwatch'd, unheeded, on the herbage feed: Brave Nisus here arrests his comrade's arm, Too flush'd with carnage, and with conquest warm:
With silver arms, with various art emboss'd, What bowls and mantles in confusion toss'd, They leave regardless! yet one glittering prize Attracts the younger hero's wandering eyes; The gilded harness Rhamnes' coursers felt, The gems which stud the monarch's golden belt: This from the pallid corse was quickly torn, Once by a line of former chieftains worn. Th' exulting boy the studded girdle wears, Messapus' helm his head in triumph bears; Then from the tents their cautious steps they bend, To seek the vale where safer paths extend.
Just at this hour, a band of Latian horse To Turnus' camp pursue their destined course: While the slow foot their tardy march delay, The knights, impatient, spur along the way: Three hundred mail-clad men, by Volscens led, To Turnus with their master's promise sped: Now they approach the trench, and view the walls, When, on the left, a light reflection falls; The plunder'd helmet, through the waning night, Sheds forth a silver radiance, glancing bright. Volscens with question loud the pair alarms: "Stand, stragglers! stand! why early thus in arms? From whence, to whom?"-He meets with no reply? Trusting the covert of the night, they fly: The thicket's depth with hurried pace they tread, While round the wood the hostile squadron spread.
With brakes entangled, scarce a path between, Dreary and dark appears the sylvan scene: Euryalus his heavy spoils impede,
The boughs and winding turns his steps mislead;
Ah! must he rush, his comrade's fate to share?
Or die with him for whom he wish'd to live?
If e'er myself, or sire, have sought to grace
But fiery Nisus stems the battle's tide, Revenge his leader, and despair his guide; Volscens he seeks amidst the gathering host, Volscens must soon appease his comrade's ghost; Steel, flashing, pours on steel, foe crowds on foe; Rage nerves his arm, fate gleams in every blow; In vain beneath unnumber'd wounds he bleeds, Nor wounds, nor death, distracted Nisus heeds; In viewless circles wheel'd, his falchion flies, Nor quits the hero's grasp till Volscens dies; Deep in his throat its end the weapon found, The tyrant's soul fled groaning through the wound. Thus Nisus all his fond affection proved Dying, revenged the fate of him he loved; Then on his bosom sought his wonted place, And death was heavenly in his friend's embrace.
Celestial pair! if aught my verse can claim,
No future day shall see your names expire,
1 Medea, who accompanied Jason to Corinth, was deserted by him for the daughter of Creon, king of that city. The chorus from which this is taken here addresses Medca;
TRANSLATION FROM THE MEDEA OF EURIPIDES.
[Έρωτες ύπερ μεν άγαν, κ. τ. λ.]
WHEN fierce conflicting passions urge
Which rolls the tide of human woe?
Can rouse the tortured breast no more; The wild desire, the guilty flame, Absorbs each wish it felt before.
But if affection gently thrills
The soul by purer dreams possest, The pleasing balm of mortal ills
In love can soothe the aching breast: If thus thou comest in disguise,
Fair Venus! from thy native heaven, What heart unfeeling would despise
The sweetest boon the gods have given?
But never from thy golden bow
May I beneath the shaft expire! Whose creeping venom, sure and slow, Awakes an all-consuming fire: Ye racking doubts! ye jealous fears! With others wage internal war; Repentance, source of future tears, From me be ever distant far!
May no distracting thoughts destroy
Which hover faithful hearts above!
May I with some fond lover sigh, Whose heart may mingle pure with mine With me to live, with me to die.
My native soil! beloved before,
hapless banish'd wretch to roam! This very day, this very hour,
May I resign this fleeting breath! Nor quit my silent humble bower;
A doom to me far worse than death.
Have I not heard the exile's sigh?
And seen the exile's silent tear, Through distant climes condemn'd to fly,. A pensive weary wanderer here? Ah! hapless dame! no sire bewails,
No friend thy wretched fate deplores, No kindred voice with rapture hails
Thy steps within a stranger's doors.
Perish the fiend whose iron heart,
To fair affection's truth unknown, Bids her he fondly loved depart, Unpitied, helpless, and alone;
though a considerable liberty is taken with the original, by expanding the idea, as also in some other parts of the trans. lation.
Who ne'er unlocks with silver key 1
And ocean's storms between us roll!
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY A COLLEGE
HIGH in the midst, surrounded by his peers,
Happy the youth in Euclid's axioms tried, Though little versed in any art beside; Who, scarcely skill'd an English line to pen, Scans Attic metres with a critic's ken. What, though he knows not how his fathers bled, When civil discord piled the fields with dead, When Edward bade his conquering bands advance, Or Henry trampled on the crest of France: Though marvelling at the name of Magna Charta, Yet well he recollects the law of Sparta; Can tell what edicts sage Lycurgus made, While Blackstone 's on the shelf neglected laid; Of Grecian dramas▾ nts the deathless fame, Of Avon's bard remembering scarce the name.
Such is the outh whose scientific pate
We speak to please ourselves, not move the crowd:
A proper mixture of the squeak and groan:
I The original is “ Καθαρὰν ἀνοίξαντι κλῆδα φρενῶν,” literally," disclosing the bright key of the mind."
2 No reflection is here intended against the person mentioned under the name of Magnus. He is merely represented as performing an unavoidable function of his office. Indeed, such an attempt could only recoil upon myself; as that gentleman is now as much distinguished by his eloquence, and the dignified propriety with which he fills his situation, as he was in his younger days for wit and conviviality.-[Dr. William Mansel was, in 1790, appointed to the headship of Trinity College, by Mr. Pitt. While a bachelor of arts, he distinguished himself as the author of several jeux d'esprit. Dr. Jowett, of Trinity Hall, having amused both himself and the public, by a pretty little fairy garden, with narrow gravel walks, besprinkled with shells and pellucid pebbles, and enclosed by a Chinese railing, Dr. Mansel wrote the following lines thereon:
The sons of science these, who, thus repaid,
Yet prizing Bentley's, Brunck's, or Porson's 5 note,
TO A BEAUTIFUL QUAKER.
I would not say, "I love," but still
4 [In most colleges, the fellow who superintends the chapel service is called Dean.]
The present Greek professor of Trinity College, Cambridge; a man whose powers of mind and writings may, perhaps, justify their preference. [In a letter written in 1818, Lord Byron says: "I remember to have seen Porson at Cambridge, in the hall of our college, and in private parties; and I never can recollect him except as drunk or brutal, and generally both: I mean in an evening; for in the hall, he dined at the Dean's table, and I at the Vicemaster's; and he then and there appeared sober in his demeanour; but I have seen him, in a private party of under-graduates, take up a poker to them, and heard him use language as blackguard as his action. Of all the disgusting brutes, sulky, abusive, and intolerable, Porson was the most bestial, as far as the few times I saw him went. He was tolerated in this state amongst the young men for his talents; as the Turks think a madman inspired, and bear with him. He used to recite, or rather vomit, pages of all languages, and could hiccup Greek like a Helo: and certainly Sparta never shocked her children with a grosser exhibition than this man's intoxication."]
6 Since this was written, Lord Henry Petty has lost his place, and subsequently (I had almost said consequently) the honour of representing the University. A fact so glaring requires no comment. [Lord Henry Petty is now (1336) Marquess of Lansdowne.