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B M DM3 323 

Robert Bridges 


experiment in the classical 






At the Clarendon Press 



Oxford University Press 

London Edinburgh Glasgoiv Neiv Tork 

Toronto Melbourne Bombay 

Humphrey Milford M,A. Publisher to the University 


^ I ^HIS book has grown up round a paper on 
^ Virgil's Hexameter, published by my friend 
Mr. Desmond MacCarthy in the New Quarterly, 
Jan. 1909. The late Mr. Horace Hart undertook 
to carry out my scheme for the reprinting of this, 
but it was interrupted by his illness &' consequent 
retirement from the post of Controller. His death 
put an end to a long &^ friendly collaboration, 
which I welcome this opportunity to record ; since 
it was due to his patience & enthusiasm for typo- 
graphy that my wishes had been carried out in 
the production of several books, especially the 
Yattendon Hymnal, 1895-9, when his present 
successor, Mr. Hall, who in 191 5 printed 'The 
Spirit of Man ' for me, gave us his valuable assist- 
ance. In the completion of this volume I owe 
much to the Press Reader, Mr. W. S. Gibson, 
especially for his supervision of the printing of the 
Greek text. 

R. B. 

Chilswell, Nov. 191 6. 



WHETHER quantitive hexameters can be made con- 
genial to English speech I do not inquire : I have 
experimented in writing them ; and as such an attempt will 
certainly be judged by current notions of Latin verse, I would 
guard mine with a prefatory consideration of the Virgilian 
hexameter. The explanation, as I conceive it, of the way in 
which the conditions of the Latin language determined the 
rhythms of the Latin verse should forbid the idea that the 
English hexameter ought to be like the Latin hexameter : 
while analysis of the more exceptional forms of Virgil's verse 
should lead any one — although he had never studied them 
before — to recognize and even welcome at first hearing many 
of the natural English rhythms, which he might otherwise 
have found strange : and he will then be disposed to judge 
the English hexameter on its own merits, rather than condemn 
it by impatient comparison with an imperfect notion of some- 
thing with which he should never have expected it to show 
close correspondence. 

I shall confine my illustrations of the Latin verse to Virgil's 
work ; but this necessary convenience will exclude nothing 
of present importance : for Virgil only developed the solution 
which he found established, and no subsequent poet showed 
any desire to break off from his model. 

The problem which the Latins undertook was how best 


X Ibant Ohsciiri 

to reprsser.t the Greek epic verse in their own speech/ and 
the main difference which a student will first observe between 
model and copy is the more inflexible and regular type of 
the Latin, and especially the fact that whereas in Homer 
only some half of the lines have their last two feet accentual ^ 
(that is, regular in their accent), in the Latin over ninety per 
cent, of the verses carry what an Aristophanes might have 
called the ' strawberry jampot ' ending : and it is this 
peculiarity of the Latin that has determined the English 
notion of the hexameter rhythm. 

I must for convenience omit at present any consideration 
of the spondaic ending, and speak only of the common type, 

* And to efFect this they imposed on their own strongly stressed speech the same 
artificial distinction of syllables into two lengths, long and short, which the Greeks or 
some other Aryan family had imagined and perfected for the scientific basis of poetic 
rhythm. As the beauty of the Greek results determined the Latin imitation, so their 
success may in turn encourage us in a similar venture : and good scholars have held that 
English might attain a nearer likeness to the Greek than was possible in Latin. 

The scientific reason of the quantitive system (which does not, I think, appear in 
the grammars) would seem to be as follows : The Greeks knew — and any one may 
discover it for himself by reading aloud — that there are only three means whereby speech- 
rhythms can be expressed in reading or chanting, namely by variety in the loudness^ or 
in the pitch, or in the duration of the syllabic units. Of these three means of expressing 
rhythm the length of the unit is the only one that will give rhythm (or anything that 
is worth calling rhythm) without the aid of either of the others. Hence it was argued 
that the quality of length was the most fundamental rhythmic quality and the true basis of 
speech-rhythm. Then the practical difficulty appeared that the syllabic units were of 
indeterminate length. Now the inventors of the Greek system agreed to be contented 
with two lengths, and made artificial rules for all rhythmic composition, by which every 
syllable was pronounced as either long (= 2) or short (= i) : and this distinction had 
to be learned just as we should have to learn the rules of an analogous fiction in English, 
for in their common speech the Greek syllables were as various in length as ours are. 
This artifice was justified in the result. Any well-conducted experiment in English 
should be of interest ; but it is of course necessary for the syllabic fiction of long and 
short to be understood and practically enforced ; and unfortunately English classical 
scholars do not observe it even in their reading of classical verse : nor do they even 
consider it important to pronounce Latin as the Latins pronounced it, though that is 
indispensable to any appreciation of the rhythm of their poetry. There is therefore no 
audience for the English expenment. 

'^ Assuming, as we may assume, that the hexameter is a falling rhythm : /. e. with its 
normal and typical accents on the first syllable of each foot. Hence regular falling feet 
are called accentual ; and that term is extended in English to denote any feet that 
observe the accent, even while neglecting the prosody or ' quantity ' of the syllables. 

Virgil's Rhythms 3 

in which the fifth foot is a dactyl. The spondaic verse, in 
which the fifth is a spondee, makes no exception, but follows 
the same rules, and 1 will treat of it later. In speaking of 
both together it is difficult to avoid confusion without 
constant discrimination. 

Now the cause of this predominance of the accentual end- 
ing (-^v^--) in Latin is simple and plain. It is, as Quintilian 
observes, an absolute rule ' in Latin that all words with a long 
penultima are accented on the penultima, and all that have 
the penultima short are accented on the antepenultima : 
whence it follows that, if the line must end with the end of 
a word, there are (excluding monosyllables) only two possible 
collocations of words which will not give the two accentual 
feet : and these are when the first short syllable of the dactyl 
in the fifth place begins a word, disyllabic or quadrisyllable, 
as in the following lines — 

Turnum, qui volucri curru medium secat agmen. 
Et nunc ille Paris cum semiviro comitatu. 

and even in these cases the last foot is accentual, while if 
a monosyllable precedes the verbal pyrrhic, as it frequently 
does,- then the fifth foot also is practically accentual. 

Concerning verses with this type of irregular ending, and 
of the rhythms obtained by introduction of monosyllables at 
the end of the line, and of other unaccentual endings I intend 
to speak later. Though they are deliberately used by Virgil, 
and though it can be shown that he sometimes set the 
common prosody at defiance in order to obtain their efi^ects, 
they were yet used sparingly, and much more sparingly than 
they would have been had they been on equal terms with 
the regular accentual ending. 

They were therefore, at least in some measure excluded : 
and if so, what was the reason for their exclusion .? The 
answer is easy. 

^ The exceptions are truly negligible. 

2 Virgil never uses a monosyllable before a quadrisyllable in this place. 

B 2 

4^ Ihant Ohscuri 

If the condition which makes polysyllables give accentual 
feet at the end of the line is that the line ends with the end 
of a word, then it must equally happen that the cssura, being 
the break of a foot between two words, will give an unac- 
centual foot. 

The only ways by which Virgil could avoid an unaccentual 
or inverted foot in caesura were, first, the introduction of 
monosyllables — 

Tuque adeo, quern mox quae slnt habitura deorum. 
Dicam equidem nee te suspensum, nate, tenebo. 
Per gentes erit aut famam patieris Inultae. 
Spicula, tanquam haec sit nostri medicina furoris. 
Nee nulla interea est inaratae gratia terrae. 

Secondly, the unequal division of a dactyl — 

Sit mihi fas audita loqui, sit numine vestro 

Thirdly, elision — 

JEneas strictamque aciem venientibus offert : 
Dis quamquam geniti atque invicti viribus essent. 

Though all these devices are sometimes sought and used, 
yet the main tendency is overruling, namely, for the CcESural 
foot to be unaccentual, while the two final feet are accentual : 
and it is the same cause giving these opposite results. 

Now if the speech be allowed to contradict the normal 
falling accent in mid-line, then the enforcement of the normal 
accent at the end of the verse becomes more desirable ; and 
so one may say that the prevalence of the natural condition 
of an unaccentual caesural foot requires the prevalence of the 
natural condition of the accentual ending. 

The conditions being undoubtedly as described, Virgil 
accepted them. What he might have done had he fought 
against this inherent bias of the language, and whether his 
followers might not by some innovation have escaped drown- 
ing in his tradition, are matters beyond our inquiry. The 

VirgiVs Rhytlmis f 


world has hardly seen a better artist ; and that he chose to 
follow the practice which he found established in his time, 
and to work within its lines, is evidence that he either 
approved of it or could not escape from it. 

The final feet, then, are by preference accentual, because 
the mid-line is habitually unaccentual : and this is the type, 
viz. the first foot is generally accentual or falling ; then around 
the caesura in mid-line an unaccentual section of rising feet 
occurs, which may invade the second foot ; and as invariably 
the end of the line reasserts the normal falling rhythm. It 
is a pleasant effect, there is no doubt of that, but it is 
impossible to overrate the skill with which Virgil has handled 
it: for it is in danger of being somewhat monotonously 
strong-featured. In continuous iteration it is best adapted 
to please those who are most easily pleased, or who read only 
a little at a time : but this is a popular advantage, since the 
majority will always prefer a rhythm that keeps to the ruts.^ 

The typical features of the Virgilian rhythm being thus 
traced to the conditions of Latin speech, the absurdity of 
imposing them upon a language to which they are foreign is 
made evident. If the Latin language had possessed spondees 
like our conceal, embark, entomb, o'erpass, ordain, survive, 
enchain, unvext, unseen, invade, condemned, endure, (which 

^ I have found that most people who think that they can read poetry well intone it in 
a monotonous sing-song or drawl on few notes of small compass and regularly recurring 
accent : and this gives them the pleasure and satisfaction of a competent performance ; 
and I have known poets who read in that way, though they were, as I knew, apprecia- 
tive of the very irregularities of rhythm which their recitation obliterated. Others read 
poetry in what is called a dramatic manner, enforcing the sense even at the expense of 
the verse-structure. Others again object to all actual recitation, holding that it can 
never attain to the ideal utterance which the silent reader enjoys in his imagination. 
I myself like a reading which expresses the play of the poetic rhythms ; and I find 
monotony as tedious as it is easy to produce, and I suppose that poets like Virgil, 
Dante, and Milton would have excelled in monotony if they had aimed at it ; and that 
the irregularities in their work are not the measure of their capacity to write regular 
verses, nor of their carefulness, but rather the indication of how much liberty they thought 
they might venture in obtaining the beautiful effects of varied rhythm without utterly 
alienating the average audience to whom they were bound to appeal. 

6 Ihant Ohscurt 

I transcribe from the ends of verses in my paraphrase), then 
Virgil would have put such words both at the end of his 
lines to avoid the normal accent, and in his cassural places in 
order to obtain it ; and his actual types would have been 
more varied. An English writer who should attempt hexa- 
meters on Virgil's model can have no notion of those first 
principles of art which governed Virgil's practice: the very 
chiefest of which is to exhaust the capabilities of the material, 
and not to seek to do that which the nature of the material 
forbids. The Latin language as a rhythmic medium is in 
some qualities far superior to English, but this is an inherent 
difference which no artistry can obviate ; the English 
language has on the other hand its own proper qualities, by 
which it is in some respects superior to the Latin: and there 
can be no worse folly in an artist than to forgo the advantages 
of his own medium in the hopeless pursuit of a likeness to 
the work of some recognized genius, who had to wrestle with 
another set of difficulties in another material, and probably 
regretted the absence of those very opportunities which his 
imitator is neglecting in order to fake up the superficial 
features of his worthless copy. 

It is unfortunate that our inability to read Greek as it was 
spoken forbids any close comparison of our English results 
with the Homeric model. The real question, however, will 
be not whether our verse is more or less like Latin or Greek, 
but whether it is agreeable to us : so that, whatever curiosity 
the parallehsm might gratify, we may renounce it without 
any other than a sentimental regret. But we must ask 
whether our rhythms are agreeable in themselves; and since 
to most readers some familiarity with the rhythmical intention 
is necessary before they will even consider a rhythm, and 
since they admire, or are at least bound to respect, Virgil's 
rhythms, I propose by reference to Virgil to illustrate some 
of the rhythms which arise from the natural use of English. 

And first the line with six normally placed accents. This, 
as will be guessed from what has already been said, is quite 

Vtrgils Rhythms 7 

easily obtained in English, and comes naturally enough. Here 
is a passage of consecutive lines from my paraphrase — 

Fell by slumber opprest unheedfully into the wide sea : 

Whom i' the gloom when hardly he knew, now changctl in affliction, 

First he addrest : 'What God, tell me O Palinurus, of all gods 

Pluckt you away and drown'd i* the swift wake-water abandon'd ? 

For never erst nor in else hath kind responsive Apollo 

Led me astray, but alone in this thing wholly deluded, 

When he aver'd that you, to remote Ausonia steering, 

Safe would arrive. . . . ' 

There is, of course, no parallel to such unbroken rhythm 
in Virgil ; a single line with all its six accents regular is 
exceedingly rare. Here are a few, nor all these perfect, — 

Omnia iam vulgata : quis aut Eurysthea durum. 
Gaudia, mortiferumque adverse in limine helium. 
Hie vir, hie est, tibi quem promitti saepius audis. 
Hue ades, O Galatea ; quis est nam ludus in undis ? 
Armaque corporaque et permisti caede virorum. 
Falleret indeprensus et irremeabilis error. 
Nee tamen, haec cum sint hominumque boumque labores. 

Such lines, though they need, as aforesaid, some contrivance 
to compose them, are rarer in Virgil than any difficulty of 
construction will account for ; so that we must conclude that 
he did not consider the effect a pleasing one to introduce 
often. I think that the greater variety of the verse-type in 
English makes the frequent intrusion of the unbroken form 
very agreeable, and it is well suited to passages that ask for 
no special effect. 

Any one may guess, from the comparative frequency ot 
the normal line in English, that the English hexameter will 
be generally much more accentual than the Virgilian : and 
this is true. Counting the accents in about 600 lines of the 
iEneid I estimated ' the average of normally placed accents 

^ There is some difficulty in estimating the proportion of true accentual feet ; but in 
counting them I have used the same rules with Latin and English, not allowing weak 

8 Ihant Obscuri 

as less than 3*5 to the Hne, whereas in my paraphrase the 
figure was above 4*7, and some fourteen per cent, of my 
unaccentuals were mechanically transferred from Virgil with 
the proper names.^ 

Since, then, it is not the great number of unaccentual feet 
in my verses that can shock or trouble my readers, it must 
be their pecuHar character or place in the line. I will con- 
sider this point. 

English lovers of Virgil are sometimes strangely unaware 
of their tolerance of inverted rhythm in his verse. I have 
found such lines as these — 

Silv^strem tenui Musam meditaris avena. 
Et fontis sacros frigus captabis opacum. 
Dict£eos ; hseret lateri letalis harundo. 
Sunt geminae Belli portae (sic nomine dicunt), 

wherein more than all the first half of the line is contradictory 
to the normal accent, were unsuspected of irregularity : the 
reason being that the rhythm was familiar ; and if familiarity 
with such a gross contravention of the type can reconcile the 
ear to it, I suppose that an equal familiarity with other irregu- 
larities would have the same effect, and that if the irregular 
line-endings were only well recognized they would be 
favoured. I will take the chief irregularities in turn. 

I. There is a well-marked and well-established rhythm 
which is accented thus : - w ^ - ^ 

^ole, namque tibi divum pater atque hominum r6x, 

and Virgil was so satisfied with this way of signifying the 

monosyllables or secondary accents which collided with main primary verbal stresses, 
e. g. Et fontes sacros, quoted on this page. Also I reckon a foot as normally stressed 
when it commences with a full accent, whether or no another strong accent occur within 
the foot, as will often happen in English. 

"^ If these names, pronounced as an English reader pronounces them when reading 
Virgil, are unsatisfactory to him in my paraphrase, they may serve to suggest to him 
that he has not been accustomed to read Virgil aright ; and, indeed, they do not scan 
if pronounced in English fashion. They should not occur in an English poem, which 
should use, if possible, English forms of the names. 

KirgiTs Rhytlmis 9 

dignity of Jupiter that he adopts it as a formula; other 
lines are — 

Vertitur intcrea caekim et ruit Oc6ano n6x. 
Turn variae inludant pestes : saepe cxlguus mus. 
Quae vigilanda viris ? vel cum ruit imbriferum ver. 
Prima vel autumni sub frigora, cum rapidus sol. 
Litoreis ingens inventa sub ilicibus sus, etc., etc. 

Now if a student is not thoroughly familiar with this 
rhythm, and does not recognize it at once as one of the proper 
rhythmical closes of an hexameter verse, his acquaintance 
with the subject is insufficient, and his opinion or taste 
can be of no value. The effect was definitely sought by 
Virgil, and the accent on the last syllable, at which I find 
English readers most often shy, is in one sense exquisite, for 
there are only two ways by which it can be obtained in 
Latin : one way is the use of a monosyllable, and Virgil 
enlists all these : dis, rex, sus, vis, bos, gens, res, mons, mens, 
nox, spes, vir, mus, sol, se, te, hue, hinc, hos, quem, quam, 
quo, quos, jam, ceu, stet, est.^ The other way is by eliding 
the unaccented last syllable of a polysyllable before a vowel 
initialling the following line — a licence absolutely forbidden 
by the prosody, which allows short unclosed vowels at the 
end of a line even when the next line begins with a vowel. 
But Virgil, in order to secure an accent on the last syllable 
has arbitrarily set this understanding aside, running lines 
together without warning or analogy, and eliding nepotesque, 
rudentesque, Latinorum, etc. Though the last syllable of 
the line is by this device accented, as in the lines above, the 
liberty is used to obtain a different rhythm, which will be 
given under III. I introduce it here to convince a prejudiced 
reader that the inversion of the sixth foot was really agreeable 
to Virgil's ear ; and to sustain my assertion that had there 

^ Rarely some of these words (It may be objected) are possibly to be reckoned as 
enclitic, in which case they are not pertinent examples. There are, of course, all grades 
of force in their stresses. 

lo lb ant Ohscuri 

been spondaic words in Latin, as there are in English, 
accented on the last syllable, he would have used them freely 
in this place. 

Now the very beautiful rhythm of the lines quoted above 
is altogether natural in English, and if English hexameters 
are to be written it must be accepted as familiar ; here are 
a few examples — 

Grieving at heart and much pitying their unmerited lot. 
Men sinning have put away from thought till impenitent death. 
Hence is a road that led them a-down to the Tartarean streams. 
O'er my mortality's spoil cast thou th' all-hallowing dust. 
Next the sullen- hearted, who rashly with else-innocent hdnd. 
Or thinketh to have seen i' the gloaming her delicate h6rn. 

II. Another variety is that in which there are three accents 
in the last two feet disposed thus: -^^v^-^; examples are — 

Auspiciis manifesta fides, sic fdta d6um r6x. 
Massylique ruunt equites et odora canum vis. 
Sternitur exanimisque tremens prociimbit humi bos. 
* Hie domus est ' inquit vobis. iam tempus dgi r6s. 
Consilium, et saevae nutu Iun6nis 6unt r^s. 
Dat latus, insequitur cumulo praeruptus dquae mons. 
Tum, pietate gravem ac meritis si f6rte virum qu^m. 
Expugnare Itali, summaque ev6rtere 6pum vi. 

If this is really familiar and not deterrent to the reader 
of Virgil how shall he shrink from the endings of the 
following lines .? 

And had not the Sibyl warn'd how these lively spirits w^re. 
Are the buried ; nor ever may mortal acr6ss the livid Idke. 
Wind borne with the current far-drifting, an' 6n the second m6rn. 
He, rabid and distending a-hungry' his trlply-cdvern'd jdws. 
Fool, who th' unreckoning tempest and deddly dreaded b61t. 
My fleet moors i' the blue Tyrrhene : all with me g6eth w611. 
Thence the living creatures, man, brute and 6v'ry fi^ather'd fowl. 
Revisiting the ravisht lilycups, and dll the meadow hums. 

III. Another variety has two accents separated as far as 
possible, thus : - ^ ^ ~ --\ examples are — 

Virgil's RhytJmis 1 1 

Imprecor, arma armis : pugnent ipsiquc nepot6s(que). 
Et magnos membrorum artus, magna ossa lacert6s(que). 
Quo super atra silcx iamiam lapsura cadenti(quc). 
lamque iter emensi turris ac t(^cta Latin6r(um). 
Ecce furetis animis aderat Tirynthius omnc'm(que). 
i^rea cui gradibus surgebant limina nexae(que). 
Quern non incusavi amens hominumque deorum(que). 
Omnia longaevo similis, vocdmque colorem(que). 
Sternitur infelix alieno vulnere, caelum(que). 
Aut dulcis musti Volcano d^coquit hum6r(em). 

I have pointed out with what cost this effect has to be 
obtained in Latin : and yet I find the best scholars are inclined 
to think that it may have arisen accidentally from Virgil's 
having merely chosen the most convenient form of the 
sentence. But what a notion must they have of Virgil's 
resources if they suppose him reduced to finding a form of 
sentence convenient which not only broke the established 
rules of his prosody, but also gave an undesirable rhythm ! 
The true explanation is so simple: he desired an effect which 
he could only obtain by taking this liberty, and he preferred 
risking the liberty to renouncing the effect. But in English 
the number of spondaic words accented on the last syllable 
make this rhythm unavoidable, and naturally somewhat fre- 
quent : so that it is very satisfactory to find Virgil going out 
of his way to provide it ; examples from my paraphrase are — 

Wailing Grief, pallid Infections, and heart-stricken Old-age. 
Of squalor infernal, Chardn : all filthily unkempt. 
Of men and matrons ; nor did death's injury conceal. 
Journey, or e'er upon Earth his bones lie peacefully entomb'd. 
Nor vain was the promise his name should eternally survive. 
He 'twas would sportively the guard of Tartarus enchain. 
Hence the triple-throated bellowings of Cerberus invade. 

In the above examples some of the final spondees approach 
the condition in which both their syllables are practically 
equal as well in stress as in weight, as in the following line — 

That bright sprigg of weird for so long period unseen. 

c 2 


Ibant Ohscuri 

This is an indigenous English effect, and a very good one : ^ 
but it was no doubt much more nearly approached in Latin 
than our common pronunciation of Latin exhibits. The 
history of the word Infelix, for example, shows that the 
negative prefix in it must have been spoken as regards stress 
and length very much as the un in our word unseen. 
The forms already illustrated, namely — 

— \^ \j — 

exhaust the possible varieties of rhythm when the accent is 
on the last syllable of the line, and the fifth foot is a dactyl ; 
but when the last foot is normal there is this common 
rhythm — 


— Kj ^ 

most frequently made by a pyrrhic word (that is, a word of 
two short syllables) occupying the second half of the fifth 
foot. Thus we have — medium secat agmen . . . quantum 
satis hastae . . . lucet via longo . . ., etc., etc. But the 
pyrrhic word is more frequently preceded by a monosyllable, 
as — per juga Cynthi . . . tunc ego forti . . . et sua castra . . . 
aut mala tactu . . ., etc. ; in which case the inverted condition 
is eased and the fifth foot might in some instances be con- 
sidered as accentual and the ending normal. They may, 
however, be grouped together, and I have the following 
examples — 

"With ready naked point confronting their dreaded onset. 
Whosoever thou be, that approachest my river all-arm 'd. 
Cast him a cake, poppy-drencht with drowsiness and honey-sweeten 'd. 
Name and shield keep f6r-thee the place ; but thy body, dear friend. 

^ In the above English examples these spondaic words, however equal their syllables, 
should not be in the least mispronounced in order to secure a falling rhythm. It is very 
commonly asserted that there are no spondaic words in English : those who assert this 
do not understand either English or Latin. They no doubt confuse stress and length, 
but their dictum, as they intend it, is truer of Latin than of English. 

VirgiVs Rhythms ig 

In this last line the two final syllables being almost 
indistinguishably equal in weight an effect is given of the 
retirement of the metre from the sense, as if it refused to 
meddle with the sentiment, which seems to me a very subtle 

To whatever opinion I might incline, I am not contending, 
nor shall I, nor did I ever contend that quantitive classical 
verse should be written in English, nor have I pretended that 
any one but myself could be advantaged thereby. I was 
induced to experiment in it, and the experiment persuades 
me that if English hexameters are to be written, then such 
endings as I have illustrated must be used, because they are 
natural to the language. The inquiry, then, should be 
whether they are intolerable, or only tolerable, or actually 
pleasing. I have shown that Virgil uses them, and has 
sometimes gone out of his way to procure them: and that 
the reason why he did not use them oftener was almost 
certainly the condition of the Latin word-accent, which 
prescribed another form of verse. That condition being 
absent from English, his negative practice is no guide to us, 
but his positive practice with respect to them is of great 

The above examples of typical verse-endings have altogether 
omitted the spondaic ending. In my own experiments I 
have made much less use of this form than might perhaps 
prove to be desirable in English ; and I do not know what 
withheld me, unless it were a wish to exhibit the possibility 
of writing true dactylic endings in opposition to the clumsy, 
club-footed dactyls of the Anglo-German type: for the 
spondaic ending is extremely easy to write in Latin or English, 
and a freer use of it than we find in Virgil or Homer might 
have brought me under suspicion of evading a difficulty. 

V. The common accentual form of the spondaic line needs 
no illustration : but there is a peculiar form in which, the 
last foot being accentual, there is no accent whatever on the 
fifth foot. As there is a dactylic form corresponding with 


Ihant Ohscuri 

this, I have reserved it in order that I might treat of them 
together; and this is the type — 

There are three varieties of each kind, which the reader 
may lump together or discriminate as follows — 

(i) Dactylic (a) -^ 

{c) .^ 

(2) Spondaic {a) - 
\b) ^^ 

Examples of the dactylic are — 

(i) {a) Seu mollis violae seu languentis hyacinthi.t 

Castorea, Eliadum palmas 'Epiros^ equorum.f 
{V) Agriae quercus aut coniferae cyparissi.f 

Et nunc ille Paris cum semiviro comitatu. 

Lamentis gemituque et femineo ululatu. 
{c) Lyctius Idomeneus ; hie ilia ducis Meliboei. 

Tris Antenoridas Cererique sacrum Polyboeten. 

Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto. 

Examples of the spondaic are — 

(2) {a) Aut levis ocreas lento ducunt arg^nto.f 

Saxa per et scopulos et depr^ssas convallis. 

{h) Ardea Crustumerique et turrigerae Antdmnae. 
Servabat senior, qui Parrhdsio Evandro.f 
Antiquum in Buten. Hie Dardanio Anchisae. 

(f) Quod fieri ferro llquidove p6test electro. 
Sceptra Palatini sed^mque p^tit Evandri. 

The lines marked f are almost entirely unaccentual 
throughout except for the last foot. 

It will be observed that, in all the {a) and (b) forms above, 

^ I have a note that Servius says that Virgil intended the Greek accent on Epirot ; it 
does not matter if he did not ; Servius' remark shows how Virgil's rhythms were 
understood in his day. 

yirgirs Rhytlmis 15- 

the fourth foot Is unaccentual, whereas in [c] it is accentual/ 
a distinction which does not obtain in EngHsh : also that the 
unaccented fifth foot draws attention to its weakness by loving 
(as grammarians would say) to expose an hiatus in its bosom. 
This is not an accident, nor an experiment ; the effect was 
well known, and Virgil would not have used it if it had had 
no significance or a bad significance to him. He must have 
liked it ; and I believe that English scholars admire it ; 
but the evident motive of the hiatus has, so far as I know, 
never been pointed out. I will only say of it here that 
whether or no the English hexameter be sufficiently perfected 
to indulge securely in such a peculiar beauty, I find the 
following verses in my paraphrase — 

(i) Dactylic, 
(a) As by an uncertain moonray secretly illumin'd. 

Have the avenging Cares laid their sleepless habitations. 

They forthwith their journey renew, tending to the wdter. 

Whom when th' old boatman descried silently emerging. 

Through Ereban darkness, thro' fields s6wn with desoldtion. 

Than wer' a face of flint, or of ensculptur'd alabdster. 

Where the spirits confin'd that await m6rtal resurrection. 
{h) Inquisitor Minos, with his urn, summoning to assembly, 
(f) Tearfully in once-lov'd accents he 16vingly addrest her. 

(2) Spondaic. 

I have, I believe, but one example of this kind of spondaic 
ending, viz. — 

Wander'd through the forest-obscurity ; and ^neas. 

In this, though the fourth foot is regular, the weakness of 
the fifth is well marked : and it will be seen that more than 
half the English examples have the fourth foot normal, 
whereas in Latin it is only possible in the (c) forms. This 
fact, and a comparison, for instance, of such a line as Than 
were a face with Seu mollis violae will exhibit the sort of 
superiority which the English has over the Latin in respect 
of the command of regular accent. 

^ According to the principle in note I, p. 7. 

i6 I hunt Ob s curt 

As for the Irregularities, then, in the endings of my EngHsh 
hexameters, I wish that I may have rescued them from dis- 
respect, for I have shown that their free rhythms were 
esteemed by Virgil. The only intelligent objection that 
I can foresee is that I use such endings more frequently than 
Virgil did. That is true enough ; but it is quite a different 
objection from the assertion that they do not scan ; and my 
real answer thereto would of course be that my undertaking 
was not to copy the Latin imitation of the Greek, but to 
make an analogous attempt in my own language. Waiving, 
however, this general position (which I confess it would be 
extremely inconvenient to maintain), and continuing to use 
Virgil for comparison, I would reply, firstly, that these 
rhythms are more natural and congenial to English than to 
Latin, and, secondly, that they can be more freely introduced 
in English because the English hexameter is generally more 
accentual than the Latin. For instance, in the 490 lines which 
I have paraphrased, the third foot is accentual in only about 
.100 lines of the original, which is little more than one in 
five, whereas in the English it is normal in over 300 places, 
which is three in five ; and this argument cannot be set aside, 
namely, that the Latin hexameter was naturally unaccentual 
in one special place, and this condition being accepted by the 
Latin versifier made it necessary that the end of his line 
should generally reassert the normal rhythm. The English 
hexameter is free from this flaw ; that is, it has no tendency 
to have an unaccentual cassura and therefore not the same 
obligation to make an accentual ending ; and to refuse this 
argument almost implies the contention that because the 
English verse is generally more accentual than the Latin it 
should therefore be completely accentual, and eschew all 
variety of inversion. My verse may not attract many readers : 
that is another matter ; I can honestly say that I am truly 
sorry ; but that I have not sought to please any prevalent 

I will finally illustrate my position, supposing that the 

Vir^iVs Rhythms 17 

objection to the unaccentual places in my English lines is 
that they occur in unprecedented positions. Now the rule 
in Virgil is (as I have said) that the mid-feet of the verse are 
unaccentual, so that if the unaccentual feet in the /Em^were 
printed in a thicker type than the rest there would be a 
darkening down the middle of the page rather towards the 
left-hand side ; whereas if my paraphrase were so treated, 
the darkening would be much less in quantity and more 
irregularly distributed ; and that is the difference. 

If it be asked, however, whether any of my dark patches 
are wrongly disposed, it is plain that I cannot ever have 
a dark patch where Virgil never has one, for there are no 
forbidden places. Examination has shown that the fourth, 
fifth and sixth places are sometimes all irregular, other lines 
have the first four feet inverted, and some have only one 
normal accent. And the variations in Virgil's rhythm are so 
rich that I do not think it likely that I can have written any 
line which could not be matched in his work, especially 
considering that his regular feet are only about 3*5 to my 4*7. 
If there were such a verse I should have thought that it would 
have been this one — 

Unfortun'd Theseus, while sad Phlegias saddeneth Hell, 

for there is here only one normal accent, and that is in the 
fourth foot ; and though one may find lines in Virgil with 
only one regular accent, the fourth place is not where I should 
first look for it; the following line, however, is in this 
condition — 

Litoreis ingens inventa sub ilicibus sus, 

the main accents are all in the same places, and in both lines 
the third foot is without accent. If one should object that 
in Virgil's line the fourth foot is quite regular, whereas in 
the English the first syllable of Phlegias carries an accent 
which tends to make that foot irregular — although it has its 
initial syllable sufficiently accented — it cannot be held that 


i8 Ibant Obscuri 

this difference is essential in such a verse, because we have 
in — 

Turn variae illudant pestes, saepe exiguus mus, 

an example in which the fourth foot is also inverted, so that 
there is no one normally placed accent in all the line, unless 
the first be allowed to take its main accent from T'um, and 
that is no stronger than the Un of Unfortuned. 

I cannot but think that, important as that sow was, pro- 
digious and portentous, and worthy of a memorial line, yet 
Theseus and Phlegias have a higher claim to distort the 
rhythm. Indeed, there can be no doubt that the irregularity 
of Virgil's line is due to the homeliness and poetic poverty 
of the sow, who needed to be rigged out in some extravagant 
fashion in order to avoid a common bathos ; and Virgil did 
quite rightly in not Castalianising her with melodious graces, 
by which the bathos would have been rendered more evident 
and ridiculous. In the artifice which he has used she 
renounces all claim to elegance, but asserts her importance. 

The exiguus mus line may further illustrate this poetic 
method. He wishes to describe the constant petty annoy- 
ances which the farmer has to suffer from the pertinacity of 
vermin, and he inverts every accent in the line, with a real 
effect of uncompensated discomfort concealed in an admirable 
verse. Some critics need to be reminded how ridiculous it 
is to suppose that just at this place an artist like Virgil, 
a complete master of his material, happened to encounter 
a mass of insurmountable difficulties which made it impossible 
for him to get a single accentual foot into the line. And 
it is not more illogical to assert this than to suppose that 
the irregular endings which I have quoted from him, 
and his occasionally accentual cassuras, were makeshifts 
and conveniences forced on him by his material. However 
suggested, they were approved contrivances of calculated 
effect : that they appear convenient is only be- 
cause they are well used ; the most regu- 
larly melodious lines appear 
equally convenient. 

a 'Paraphrase of 
(LAert. VI. 168-75-1 & 89^-8^ and 

<lA cento 

of previous translations 

itneas on first landing in Italy near Cumae went at once 
to Apollo's shrine there, &■ was saluted by the Sibyl who 
gave him a prophetic oracle, -^neas asked of her that 
he might be permitted to visit his father Anchises in the 
underworld : she bade him first find the golden bough, 
without which no living man might enter Hades, ^neas 
having found the bough, returned to the Sibyl, & made 
the sacrifice ordained by the Priestess ; whereupon the 
magic was set in operation and the Sibyl led him into 
the darkness, where the vision began, as narrated by 
Virgil, commencing with the words obscuri. The 
vision is immediately preceded by these words of the Poet, 






Consecutive examples of 
previous translations 


3 ^ £ 

THAY walkit furth so dirk oneith thay wyst 
Quhidder thay went amyddis dym schaddois thare, 
Quhare ever is nicht, & never licht doith repare, 
Throwout the waist dungeoun of Pluto king, 
Thay vode boundis, & that gousty ring, 
Sicklyke as quha wald throw thik woddis wend, 370 

In obscure light quhare mone may not be kend, 
As Jupiter the King Ethereal 
"With erdis skug hydis the heuynnys al. 
And the mirk nycht with hir visage gray 
From every thing has reft the hew away. 

Before the portis & first jawis of hel 
Lamentacioun & wraikful Thochtis fel 
Thare lugeing had,''& therat duellis eik 
Pale Maledyis that causis men be seik. 
The fereful Drede & als unweildy Age, 
The felloun Hunger with her undauntit rage: 
Thare was also the laithly Indigence 
Tcrribil of schape & schamcful hir presence : 


Line for line paraphrase of Virgil 

Q^en. vi, 168-75-1 

wi^/j the Latin interlined 

' I ''HEY wer' amid the shadows by night in loneliness obscure 

-*• Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per unibram 

Walking forth i' the void and vasty dominyon of Ades ; 

perque donios Ditis vacuas et inania regna : 

As by an uncertain moonray secretly illumin'd jp 

quale per incerlam lunam sub luce malignit 

One goeth in the forest, when heav'n is gloomily clouded, 

est iter in silris, ubi caelum condidit umbra 

And black night hath robb'd the colours and beauty from all things. 

luppiter, et rebus nox abstulit atra colorem. 

Here in Hell's very jaws, the threshold of darkening Orcus, 

Vcstibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus Orci 

Have the avenging Cares laid their sleepless habitation, 

Luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae ; 

Wailing Grief, pallid Infections, & heart-stricken Old-age, 

pallentesque habitant Morbi tristisque Senectus, 

Dismal Fear, unholy Famine, with low-groveling Want, 

et Metus et maiesuada Fames ac turpis Egeslat, 

IX Ihant Ob s curt 

The grisly Dede that mony ane has slane, 

The hard Laubour & the diseisful Pane, 

The slottry Slepe Dedis cousing of kynd, 

Inordinate Blithnes of perversit mind : 

And in the 3et forgainis thaym did stand 

The mortal Battel with his dedely brand, 

The irne chalmeris of hellis Furies fel, aSo 

Witles Discord that woundring maist cruel, 

Womplit & buskit in ane bludy bend. 

With snakis hung at every haris end. 

And in the myddis of the utter ward, 
With brade branchis sprede over al the sward, 
Ane rank elme tre stude, huge grete & stok auld : 
The vulgar pepil in that samyn hauld 
Belevis thare vane Dremes makis thare duelling. 
Under ilk leaf ful thik thay stick & hing. 
Thare bene eik monstouris of mony divers sort. 
The Centauris war stablit at this port. 
The doubill porturit Scylla with thaym in fere, 
Briareus with ane hundreth formes sere, 
The byisning beist the serpent of Lerna, 
Horribill quhissilland & queynt Chimera 
With fire enarmyt on hir toppis hie, 
The laithlye Harpies, & the Gorgonis thre, 
Of thrinefald bodyis gaistly formes did grone, 
Baith of Erylus & of Gerione. 

^NEAS smerdie for the hasty drede as*® 

Hynt furth his swerd in this place and gude spede, 
The drawin blade he profFeris thare & here. 
Unto thai monstouris ever as they drew nere : 
And were not his expert mait Sibylla 
Taucht him, thay war bot vodc gaistis all tha, 

J^hion of ^^Aiueas i^ 

Forms of spectral horror, gaunt Toil and Death the devourer, 

terribilt* visu forniae, Letuniqiic Labosqiie ; 

And death's drowsy brother, Torpor ; with whom, an inane rout, 

turn coDtanguiiieus Leti Sopor et mala mentis 

All the Pleasures of Sin ; there also the Furies in ambusht 

Gaudia, mortifenimque adverse in limine Bellum, 

Chamber of iron, afore whose bars wild War bloodyhanded 380 

ferreique Eunieiiidum thalami et Discordia dement 

Raged, and mad Discord high brandished her venomous locks. 

vipereum crinem vittis iiine.xa ciucntit. 

Midway of all this tract, with secular arms an immense elm 

la medio ramos annosaque braccbia pandit 

Reareth a crowd of branches, aneath whose leafy protection 

ulmut opaca, ingens, qiiam sedem Somnia vulgo 

Vain dreams thickly nestle, clinging unto the foliage on high : 

vana tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibus haerent. 

And many strange creatures of monstrous form and features 

multaque praeterea variarum monstra ferarum, 

Stable about th' entrance, Centaur and Scylla's abortion, 

Centauri in foribus stabulant Scyllaeque biformes 

And hundred-handed Briareus, and Lerna's wildbeast 

et centumgeminus Briareus ac belua Lemae 

Roaring amain, and clothed in frightful flame the Chimaera, 

horrendum stridens, flammisque armata Chimaera, 

Gorgons and Harpies,'' and Pluto's three-bodied ogre. 

Gorgones Harpyiaeque et forma tricorporis umbrae. 

In terror -/Eneas upheld his sword to defend him, 190 

Corripit hie subita trepidus formidine ferrum 

With ready naked point confronting their dreaded onset : 

Aeneas strictamque aciem venientibus offert, 

And had not the Sibyl warn'd how these lively spirits were 

et ni docta comes tenuis sine corpore vitas 

14. Ihant Obscuri 

But ony bodyis, as waunderand wrachls waist, 
He had upoun thame ruschit in grete haist, 
And with his bitand brycht brand all in vane, 
The tume schaddois smityng to have slane. 


3 i 

Here is the entrance to the path that leads 
Down to the infernal stream of Acheron. 
Turbid with mire and fiercely-eddying tide, 
The rushing river belches forth its sand 
Into Cocytus' pools. A ferryman 
Of aspect grim, and clad in filthy garb. 
Is guardian of the stream, Charon his name. 
A tangled mass of hair unkempt and white 
Covers his chin : with fiery eyes astare. 
And grimy cloak, that from his shoulders hangs 
Slung by a knot, he with a pole controls 
The movement of his boat, and tends the sails 
And ferries lifeless bodies o'er the flood. 
Aged in years is he, but, in a god 
Old age remaineth ever hale and green. 

} 1889 i 

Hither the whole crowd was rushing in streams to the banks, 
matrons and men, and bodies of high-souled heroes bereft of life, 
boys and unwed girls, and youths placed on the funeral pyre 
before the eyes of their parents. 

Vision of '^'Eneas ly 

All incorporeal, flitting in thin maskery of form, 

admoiieat volitare cava sub imagine fomiae, 

He had assail'd their host, and wounded vainly the void air. 

iiiruat ct fru»tra ferro divcrbcret umbras. 

Hence is a road that led them a-down to the Tartarean streams, 

Hiiic via Tartarei quae fcrt Achcroiitis ad uudas. 

Where Acheron's whirlpool impetuous, into the reeky 

turbidus hie caeno vastaque voragiiie gurges 

Deep of Cokytos disgorgeth, with muddy burden. 

aestuat atque onineni Cocyto eructat iiarenam. 

These floods one ferryman serveth, most awful of aspect, 

portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat 

Of squalor infernal, Charon : all filthily unkempt 

terribili squalore Charon, cui plurima nunto 

That woolly white cheek-fleece, and fiery the blood-shotten eyeballs : 

canities inculta iacet, slant lumina flatnma, 

On one shoulder a cloak knotted-up his nudity vaunteth. 301 

sordidus ex unieris nodo dependet amictus. 

He himself plieth oar or pole, manageth tiller and sheet, 

ipse ratem conto subigit velisque miiiistrat 

And the relics of m^n in 'his ash-grey barge ferries over ; 

et ferruginea subvectat corpora cumba, 

Already old, but green to a god and hearty will age be. 

jam senior, sed cruda deo viridisque senectus. 

Now hitherward to the bank much folk were crowding, a medley 

Hue omnis turba ad ripas efFusa ruebat, 

Of men and matrons ; nor did death's injury conceal 

matres atque viri defunctaque corpora vita 

Bravespirited heroes, young maidens beauteous unwed, 

magnanimum heroum, pueri innuptaeque puellae, 

And boys borne to the grave in sight of their sorrowing sires. 

impositique rogis iuvenes ante ora parentum : 


i6 Ihant Obscuri 

As thick as the leaves fall to the ground 

in the woods at the first chill of Autumn, 
or as thick as the birds flock to land 

from the deep ocean, when the chilly season 
excites them across the sea 

and sends them to sunny lands, 
they stood there begging 

to be the first to be taken across, 
and stretched out their hands 

in desire for the further bank. 


I i8oi i 

1 i 

But the sullen boatman 

takes in now these, now those, 
whilst others he repels 

and drives far from the beach. 
iENEAS, wondering forsooth 

and moved by the tumult, says, 
*Tell me, virgin, what means 

this flocking to the river ? 
Or what do the spirits seek ? 

or according to what distinction 
do these leave the banks, 

while those sweep the dark stream with oars .'' ' 
Thus briefly answered him the aged priestess. 

I** r*^ t»« t»^ <*^ c»-c ti^ t*-i <*<<-»-« <.»^ c*^ <.»-a c*< t*^ ^*^ t»o <*o 


} F.R.S.: 1882 £ 

3 i 

* Anchises' son, true offspring of the gods, 
Cocytus' pools, and th' Stygian lake you see. 

T^isio}i of '^Encas zy 

Countless as Iti the forest, at a first white frosting of autumn 

quam miilta in silvis autuniiii ftigorc priiuo 

Sere leaves fall to the ground ; or like vvhenas over the ocean 310 

lapsa caduot folia, aut ad terrain gurgite ab alto 

Myriad birds come thickly flocking, when wintry deccmber 

quani niultae gloiiicranlur avcs, ubi I'rigidus annus 

Drives them afar southward for shelter upon sunnier shores, 

trans pontum fugat et terris imniittit apricis. 

So throng'd they ; and each his watery journey demanded, 

stabant orantes primi transmittere cursum, 

All to the further bank stretching-out their arms impatient : 

tendebaiitque nianus ripae ulterioris amore. 

But the sullen boatman took now one now other at will, 

navita sed tristis nunc hos nunc accipit illos, 

While some from the river forbade he', an' drave to a distance. 

ast alios longe summotos arcet harena. 

-^neas in wonder alike and deep pity then spake. 

Aeneas niiratus enim motusque tumultu 

* Tell-me (said'he), my guide, why flock these crowds to the water ? 

' die,' ait ' o virgo, quid vult concursus ad amnem ? 

Or what seek the spirits ? or by what prejudice are these 

quidve petunt animae ? vel quo discritnine ripas 

Rudely denied, while those may upon the solemn river embark ? ' 

hae linquunt, illae remis vada livida verrunt ? ' 

T'whom^ then briefly again the Avernian priestess in answer. 321 

olli sic breviter fata est longaeva sacerdos : 

* O Son of Anchises, heavn's true-born glorious offspring, 

'Anchisa generate, deum certissima proles, 

Deep Cokytos it is thou seest & Hell's stygian flood, 

Cocyti stagna alta vides Stygiamque paludein, 

^ Line 321. *T'whom* is from Milton, in imitation of Virgil's admired Olli. It 
is not admitted in the ordinary prosody. 

E 2 

i8 Ihant Obscuri 

Whose power the Gods fear, swearing, to deceive. 
All yonder crowd is tombless and un buried, 
The ferryman is Charon ; those the wave 
Conveys have burial received (at death). 
But none may be transported o'er these banks 
Of horror and these hoarse-resounding floods, 
Unless their bones have rested in their graves. 
A hundred years they wander by these shores, 
And flit around until at last received. 
They view the lakes (so) earnestly desired.' 


I 1008 i 

THE Child of Anchises paused, 

and, much pondering, stayed his steps, 
pitying at heart their cruel doom. 
There he beheld, all mournful, 

and guerdonless of death's last tribute, 
Leucaspis, and Orontes, captain of the Lycian fleet, 
who together had sailed from Troy over the windy deep, 
and together were whelmed by the South, 

vessel and men alike engulfed. 

■ t*^ ^-fc-; t»« <*<<-»«.»< t*-c t*< c»< «,»';<-»< <.»^ c»< t»»e t*^ «*o <*< t»4 


} New Tork 1888 i 

LO I Palinurus, his pilot himself was advancing to meet him. 
Who had of late on the Libyan voyage, while watching the planets, 
OflF from the stern-deck pitched, outsprawled in the midst of the 

Him, when he knew him, tho' scarcely, demure in the thickening 


Vtsio7i of ^^4tncas 19 

Whose dread sanctfbii alone Jove's outh from falsehood assureth. 

di cuius iurarc tiniciit ct fallcrc iiumcn. 

These whom thou pitiedst, th' outcast and unburied are they ; 

hucc omnis, quam cernis, inops inhumataque turba est ; 

That ferryman Charon ; those whom his bark carries over 

portitor ille Charon; hi, quos vehit uiida, scpuhi. 

Are the buried ; nor ever may mortal across the livid lake 

nee ripas datur horrendas et rauca fluenta 

Journey, or e'er upon Earth his bones lie peacefully entomb'd : 

transportare prius quamscdibus ossa quierunt. 

Haunting a hundred years this mournful plain they wander 

centum errant annos volitaiitque haec litora circum ; 

Doom'd for a term, which term expired they win to delivVance.' 330 

turn denium admissi stagna exoptata revisunt.' 

Then he that harken'd stood agaze, his journey arrested, 

Constitit Anchisa satus et vestigia pressit 

Grieving at heart and much pitying their unmerited lot. 

multa putans sortemque animo miseratus iniquam. 

There miserably fellow'd in death's indignity saw he 

cernit ibi maestos et mortis honore carentis 

Leucaspis with 'his old Lycian seachieften Orontes, 

Leucaspini et Lvciae ductorem classis Oronten, 

Whom together from Troy in home-coming over the waters 

quos simul a Troia ventosa per aequora vectos 

Wild weather o'ermaster'd, engulphing both shipping and men. 

obruit Auster, aqua involvens navemque virosque. 

And lo ! his helmsman, Palinurus, in eager emotion, 

Kcce gubemator sese Palinurus agebat, 

Who on th' Afric course, in bright star-light, with a fair wind, 

qui Libyco nuper cursu, dum sidera servat^ 

Fell by slumber opprest unheedfully into the wide sea : 

exciderat puppi tnediis effusus in uudis. 

Whom i' the gloom when hardly he knew, now changed in affliction, 

hunc ubi vix niuha maestuni cognovit iu umbra, 

go lb ant Ohscuri 

Thus he abruptly addresses. * Ah ! which of the gods, Palinurus, 
Snatched thee from us, & plunged thee deep in the midst of the 

waters ? 
Tell me, I pray, for Apollo, who never before was fallacious 
Found, in this single response alone hath deluded my spirit. 
Who was descanting that thou shouldst be safe on the deep, and 

at length wouldst 
Come to Ausonia's confines. Is this, then, the faith that he plighted V 

<.»0 <*^ <*0 <*< »*-0 C*< lj«.»<K*0 1*^ t*< t*^ <.*< t*^ <-»< ^*^ C*>C <.»0 

I CH. Baron BOW EN \ 

1 1887 i 

} i 

C'*^ (>«^ >«> C'*^ 5'«> O**^ !-•> 0«*> (y^i >*> 3"*> (J**^ (>*^ !>*> 0'*^ >"^ J""^ J"*> 

'Son of Anchises' he answers, * Apollo's tripod and shrine 
Have not lied : no god o'erwhelmed me thus in the brine. 
True to my trust I was holding the helm, stood ruling the course. 
When by sad misadventure I wrenched it loose, and perforce 
Trailed it behind in my fall. By the cruel waters I swear 
Fear of mine own life truly I knew not, felt but a care 
Lest thy bark, of her rudder bereft, and her helmsman lost, 
Might be unequal to combat the wild seas round her that tossed. 

Three long nights of the winter, across great waters and wide, 
Violent south winds swept me, at fourth day's dawn I descried 
Italy's coast, as I rose on the crest of a wave of the sea. 

Visio7i of ^^bieas 31 

First he addrest. * What God, tell-me O Palinurus, of all gods 34 « 

sic prior adioquitur : ' quit te, Palinore, deorunt 

Pluckt-you away and drown'd i' the swift wake-water abandon'd ? 

eripuit nobis niedioque sub acquore mersit ? 

For never erst nor in else hath kind responsive Apollo 

die age. namque mihi, fallax baud ante repertus, 

Led-me astray, but alone in this thing wholly deluded, 

hoc uno respoiiso animum delusit Apollo, 

When he aver'd that you, to remote Ausonia steering, 

qui fore te ponto incolumem finisque canebat 

Safe would arrive. Where now his truth ? Is this the promis'd faith ?' 

venturum Ausonios. en haec promissa fides est ? ' 

But he, * Neither again did Phoebus wrongly bespeak thee, 

ille autem : ' neque te Phoebi cortina fefellit, 

My general, nor yet did a god in 'his enmity drown me : 

dux Anchisiade, nee me deus aequore mersit. 

For the tiller, wherewith I led thy fleet's navigation, 

namque gubemaclum multa vi forte revulsum, 

And still clung to, was in my struggling hold of it unshipt, 350 

cui datus haerebam custos cursusque regebam, 

And came with-me' o'erboard. Ah ! then, by ev'ry accurst sea, 

praecipitans traxi mecum. maria aspera iuro 

Tho' in Utter despair, far less mine own peril awed me 

non ullum pro me tantum cepisse timorem, 

Than my thought o' the ship, what harm might hap to her, yawing 

qoam tua ne spoliata armis, excussa magistro, 

In the billows helmless, with a high wind and threatening gale. 

deficeret tantis navis surgentibus undis. 

Two nights and one day buffeted held I to the good spar 

tris Notus hibernas immensa per aequora noctes 

Windborne, with the current far-drifting, an' on the second morn 

vexit me violentus aqua ; vix lumine quarto 

Saw, when a great wave raised me aloft, the Italyan highlands ; 

prospexi Italiam summa subiimis ab unda. 

gi lb ant Ohscuri 

Stroke by stroke I was swimming ashore, seemed nearly to be 
Safe from the billows : and weighted by dripping garments, I clave 
Clutching my hands, to the face of the cliff that towered on the wave, 
When wild people assailed me, a treasure-trove to their mind. 
Now are the waves my masters, I toss on the beach in the wind. 


I i8n i 

} i 

c-«> :-^»*»«^ u-** >*»-»> c-»> ;-«> c-»^ ;^->o«i >«> 5'r»»> c»r> >w> j-»> 

But by the pleasant light of heaven & air ; by thy Sire, I pray thee ; 
by the hopes of youthful lulus, rescue me, unconquered one, from 
this sad fate ; or cast a little earth upon me, for thou canst, and seek 
the Velinian haven ; or do thou, by whatever means may be, if thy 
goddess-parent shows thee any mode, — for I believe thou preparest 
to cross these great rivers and the Stygian marsh, not without special 
aid of heaven, — give thy right hand to a hapless man, & bear me 
with thee thro* these waters, that at least in death I may repose in 
tranquil rest.' 


I i66i i 

} . £ 

But to him thus the prophetess replies, 
* From whence doth this accurst desire arise .'' 
Think'st, Palinure, unburied to sayle o're 
The Stygian sound, or to the other shore 
Without thy passe-port wilt thou goe ? Forbear, 

Vision of '^ Eneas gg 

And swimming-on with effort got ashore, nay already was saved, 

paulatini adiubam terrae ; iain tuta tciicbani, 

Had not there the wrecking savages, who spicd-me defenceless, 

ni gens crudclis madiila curu vistc gravatuni 

Scarce clinging outwearied to a rock, half-drowned & speechless, i^o 

prensantemque tincis manibus capita aspera mentis 

Beafme to death for hope of an unfound booty upon me. 

ferro invasisset pracd.inique ignara putasset. 

Now to the wind and tidewash a sport my poor body rolleth. 

nunc me tluctus habet versantque in litore venti. 

Wherefore thee, by heav'n's sweet light & airiness, I pray, 

quod te per caeli iucundum lunien ct auras. 

By thy Sire's memories, thy hope of youthful lulus, 

per genitorem oro, per spes surgentis luli, 

Rescue-me from these ills, brave master ; Go to Velija, 

eripe me his, invicte, malis : aut tu mihi ttrram 

O'er my mortality's spoil cast thou th' all-hallowing dust : 

inice, namque potes, portusque require Velinos ; 

Or better, if so be the goddess, heav'n's lady-Creatress, 

aut tu, si qua via est, si quam tibi diva creatrix 

Showthee the way, — nor surely without high favoring impulse 

ostendit (neque enim, credo, sine numine divum 

Mak'st thou ventur' across these floods & black Ereban lake, — 

flumina tanta parai Stygiamque innare paludem), 

Give thy hand-to-me', an' o'er their watery boundary bring me 370 

da dextram misero et tecum me telle per undas. 

Unto the haven of all, death's home of quiet abiding.' 

sedibus ut saltern placidis in morte quiescam.' 

Thus-he lamented, anon spake sternly the maid of Avernus. 

talia fatus erat coepit cum talia vates : 

* Whence can such unruly desire, Palinurus, assail thee .'' 

' unde haec, o Palinure, tibi tarn dira cupido ? 

Wilt thou th' Eumenidan waters visit unburied .'' o'erpass 

tu Stygias inhumatus aquas amnemquc severum 


34- Ihant Ob s curt 

The stubborn Fates will not be bow'd by Pray'r : 

Take this for solace of thy sadder chance, 

By prodigies compell'd, th' Inhabitants 

Both far, and neer, thy Manes shall appease. 

And to thy memory a tomb shall rayse 

After thy name to all j^ternitie ; 

The place shall Palinurus called bee.' 

This speech, the grief which he conceiv'd, abates : 
He's pleased that hee that Coast denominates. 


} i8p3 £ 

} i 

Therefore they proceed on the journey they have begun, and 
approach the river : whom soon as the mariner descried from the 
Stygian wave, passing through the quiet grove and turning their 
footsteps towards the bank, thus first he accosts with words and 
unprovoked rebukes. 


I 1871 i 

I i 

* What errand brings thee here, a warrior armed ^ 
Stay thy rash foot, intruder, come not near. 
These are the realms of Sleep and drowsy Night ; 

Vision of '^/Erieas jy 

Hell's Stygian barrier ? Charon's boat unbidden enter ? 

Kuniciiiiluni aspicies, ripanivc iiiiussus adibis ? 

Cease to believe that fate can hh by prayl'r averted. 

desine fata deuni flccti spcrare precando. 

Let my sooth a litel thy cruel destiny comfort. 

scd cape dicta memor, duri solacia casus. 

Surely the people of all thy new-found country, determin'd 

nam tua tinitinii, longe lateqiie per urbes 

By heav'n-sent omens will achieve thy purification, 

prodigiis acti caelestibus, ossa piabunt 

Build thee a tomb of honour with yearly solemnity ordain'd, 380 

et statuent tuniulum et tuniulo soUemnia mittent, 

And dedicate for ever thy storied name to the headland.* 

aeternumque locus Paliiiuri iiomen habebit.* 

These words lighten awhile his fear, his sadness allaying, 

His dictis curae cmotae pulsusque parumper 

Nor vain was the promise his name should eternally survive. 

cordc dolor tristi ; gaudet cognomine terra. 

They forthwith their journey renew, tending to the water : 

Ergo iter inceptum peragunt fluvioque propinquant. 

Whom when th' old boatman descried silently emerging 

navita quos iam inde ut Stygia prospexit ab unda 

Out o' the leafy shadows, advancing t'ward the river-shore, 

per taciturn nemus ire pedemque advertere ripae, 

Angrily gave"he challenge, imperious in salutation. 

sic prior adgreditur dictis atque increpat ultro : 

* Whosoever thou be, that approachest my river all-arm'd, 

' quisquis es, armatus qui nostra ad flumina tendis, 

Stand to announce thyself, nor further make footing onward. 

fare age quid venias iam istinc, et comprime gressum. 

Here 'tis a place of ghosts, of night & drowsy delusion : 39* 

umbrarum hie locus est, somni noctisque soporae : 

F 2 

^6 Ihant Obscuri 

This Stygian raft no living soul may bear. 

Nor had I cause for joy that once my bark 

Pirithous, Theseus, Hercules conveyed — 

The last Hell's yelling watch-dog bound in chains, 

And dragged the cowering beast from Pluto's throne ; 

Those daring ravishers would fain have torn 

E'en from the couch of Dis his beauteous Queen. 

<»-: t»^ t»«.»c <.»c c»< c»< c»< t*-s <^^ <*< t*< t*< <*< t*< <*-c t»«^^ 


3 i 

In answer whereunto 
Spake briefly the Amphrysian prophetess. 
* Here no such ambush ; cease to be disturbed ; 
Nor do our weapons violence import. 
Let the colossal porter in his den, 
For ever barking scare the bloodless shades ; 
Chaste Proserpine her uncle's palace keep. 


J Boston 1872 i 

}' i 

Trojan JEneas, well renowned for arms 
And filial reverence, to these lower shades 
Of Erebus descends to meet his sire. 
If by such piety thou art not moved, ** 
At least this branch thou wilt acknowledge.' Here 
She showed the branch concealed within her robe. 
At once his anger fell, nor more he spake ; 

J^'is'ion of '^Ibicas 37 

Forbidden unto living mortals is my Stygian keel : 

corpora viva ncfas Stvgia vectnrr carina. 

Truly not Alkides embarkt I cheerfully, nor took 

iicc vero Alcideii me sum lactatus eimtem 

Of Theseus or Pirithous glad custody, nay though 

accepifse lacu, ncc Thesea Pirithouniquc, 

God-sprung were they both, warriors invincible in might : 

dis quaniquam geiiiti atque invicti viribus esseiit. 

H6 'twas would sportively the guard of Tartarus enchain, 

Tartareum ille manu custodcm in vincla petivit 

Yea and from the palace with gay contumely dragged him ; 

ipsius a solio regis traxitque trementein ; 

They to ravish Hell's Queen from Pluto's chamber attempted.' 

hi dominam Ditis thaiamo deducere adorti.' 

Then thus th'Amphrysian prophetess spake briefly in answer. 

Quae contra breviter fata est Amphrysia vates : 

* No such doughty designs are ours, Cease thou to be moved ! 

' nullae hie insidiae tales (absiste moveri), 

Nor these sheeny weapons intend force. Cerberus unvext 400 

nee vim tela ferunt ; licet ingens ianitor antro 

Surely for us may affray the spirits with 'howling eternal, 

aeternum latrans exsanguis terreat umbras, 

And chaste Persephone enjoy her queenly seclusion. 

casta licet patrui servet Proserpina limeii. 

Troian iEneas, bravest and gentlest-hearted, 

Troius Aeneas, pietate insignis et armis. 

Hath left earth to behold his father in out-lying Ades. 

ad geiiitorem imas Erebi descendit ad umbras. 

If the image " of a so great virtue doth not affect thee, 

si te nulla movet tantae pietatis imago. 

Yet this bough ' — glittering she reveal'd its golden avouchment — 

at ramum hunc ' (aperit ranium qui veste latebat) 

' Thou mayst know.' Forthwith his bluster of heart was appeased : 

' aguoscas.' tumida ex ira turn corda residunt. 


Ibant Ohscuri 

But gazed, admiring, at the fated bough, 

The offering revered, so long a time 

Unseen ; and toward them turns around his barge 

Of dusky hue, and brings it to the shore. 



I 1871 i 

Next he thrusts out other spirits, who were sitting along the length 
of the benches, and clears the gangways ; withal he admits into the 
hull the great ^Eneas. The crazy craft groaned beneath the weight, 
and thro' its leaks let in a flood of marshy water. At last on the 
other side of the stream he lands in safety prophetess and hero, on 
the unsightly mire and gray sedge. 


} late igth century i 

Huge Cerberus makes these realms resound with the baying from 
his three throats, couching monstrous in his den at the entrance. 
To whom, seeing that his necks were already bristling with the 
snakes, the prophetess throws a cake made of honey and medicated 
corn to produce sleep. 

\ H. OWGAN \ 

1 i8s2 i 

\ i 

He, stretching his triple throat with raving greediness, seizes the 
offered cake, and, laid on the ground, unbends his giant limbs, and 
stretches his huge length along the cave, i^neas secures the entrance 
while its guard lay sleeping. 

Vision of ^^yEneas 

Nor word gave~he, but admiring the celestial omen, 

nee plura hit. ille admirans venerabile donum 

That bright sprigg of weird for so long period unseen, 

fatalis virgae longo post tempore visum 

Quickly he~turneth about his boat, to the margin approaching, 4'° 

caerulcam advert it puppini ripaeque propinquat. 

And the spirits, that along the gun'al benchways sat in order, 

inde alias aiiimas, quae per iuga loiiga sedebant, 

Drave he ashore, offering ready room ; but when the vessel took 

deturbat laxatque foros ; simul accipit alveo 

Ponderous i^neas, her timbers crankily straining 

ingentem Aeneaii. gemuit sub pondere cuniba 

Creak'd, an' a brown water came trickling through the upper seams. 

sutilis et multam accepit rimosa paludem. 

Natheless both Sibyl and Hero, slow wafted across stream 

tandem trans fluvium incoiumis vatemque virumque 

Safe on th'ooze & slime's hideous desolation alighted. 

informi limo glaucaque exponit in ulva. 

Hence the triple-throated bellowings of Cerberus invade 

Cerberus haec ingens latratu regna trifauci 

All Hell, where opposite the arrival he lies in a vast den. 

p>ersonat advcrso recubans immanis in antro. 

But the Sibyl, who mark'd his necklaces of stiffening snakes, 

cui rates horrere videns iam coUa colubris 

Cast him a cake, poppy-drench'd with drowsiness and honey-sweeten'd. 

melle soporatam et medicatis frugibus offam 

He, rabid and distending a-hungry' his triply-cavern'd jaws, 421 

obicit. ille fame rabida tria guttura pandens 

Gulp'd the proffer 'd morsel ; when slow he-relaxt his immense bulk, 

cotripit obiectam, atque inunania terga resolvit 

And helplessly diffused fell out-sprawl'd over the whole cave. 

fusus humi totoque ingens extenditur antro. 

.ffineas fled by, and left full boldly the streamway, 

occupat Aeneas aditum custode sepulto 

^.o Ihant Ohscuri 

and promptly leaves the bank of the irrepassable stream. 


Straight in's first entrance piteous cries he heares, 
And loud laments of infants 'bout his eares, 
Of tender babes, snatcht from their mothers breast, 
Deprived of longer life by death's arrest. 
Next these, were those who by false sentence dy'd, 
Yet lot and law these to their place apply'd. 
Minos th' inquisitour the lots doth cast. 
And spies and tries their lives and follies past. 

\ JOHN OGlLVr \ 

^ 164Q \ 

Next after these, those wretched Ghosts reside, 
Who hating life, have by their own hands dyde. 
And lost their soules : who now to live again 
Would not hard toil and poverty disdain ; 
Them fates deny, and the most dreadful sound 
Binds in, and Styx nine times incircles round. 

Not farre from hence they to large champaigns came, 

Vision of ^^-Encas 4,1 

That biddeth all men across but alloweth ne'er a returning. 

evaditque celcr ripain iiirimeabilii uiidae. 

Already now i' the air were voices heard, lamentation 

Continuo auditac voces vagitus et ingens 

And shrilly crying of infant souls by th' entry of Ades. 

ii)faiUunique aiiiniac fleiitcs, in limine prinio 

Babes, whom unportion'd of sweet life, unblossoming buds, 

quos dulcis vitae exsortis et ab ubere raptos 

One black day carried off and chokt in dusty corruption. — 

abstulit atra dies et funere mersit acerbo. 

Next are they who falsely accused were wrongfully condemn'd 430 

hos iuxta falso damnati crimine mortis. 

Unto the death : but here their lot by justice is order'd. 

nee vero hae sine sorte datae, sine iudice, sedes : 

Inquisitor Minos, with his urn, summoning to assembly 

quaesitor Minos urnam movet; ille silentum 

His silent council, their deed or slander arraigneth. — 

conciliumque vocat vitasque et crimina discit. 

Next the sullen-hearted, who rashly with else-innocent hand 

proxima deinde tenent maesti loca, qui sibi letuni 

Their own life did"away, for hate or weariness of light, 

intontes peperere manu lucemque perosi 

Imperiling their souls. How gladly, if only in Earth's air, 

proiecere animas. quani vellent aethere in alto 

Would-they again their toil, discomfort, and pities endure ! 

nunc et pauperiem et duros perferre labores 1 

Fate obstructs : deep sadness now, unloveliness awful 

fas obstat, tristisque palus inamabiiis undae 

Rings them about, & Styx with ninefold circle enarmeth. — 

alligat et novies Styx interfusa coercet. 

Not far hence they come to a land extensiv on all sides ; 440 

Nee procul hinc partem fiui moQstrantur in omnem 


4-X Ibant Ohscuri 

The fields of sorrow call'd, such was the name : 
Here those whom cruel Love with griefe devours. 
Did haunt close walks, conceal'd in mirtle bowres, 
Nor in their death relinquish they their woes ; 
Here Phaedra, Procris, and Euryphile, goes, 
Showing those wounds her son had made, he saw 
Pasiphae, Evadne, Laodamia, 
Caeneus with them, now woman, once a man, 
Whom fates restor'd to her own sex againe. 


I "" \ 

Not far from these Phoenician Dido stood ; 
Fresh from her Wound, her Bosom bathe'd in Blood. 
Whom, when the Trojan Heroe hardly knew, 
Obscure in Shades, and with a doubtful view, 
(Doubtful as he who runs thro' dusky Night, 
Or thinks he sees the Moon's uncertain Light ;) 
With tears he first approach'd the silent Shade ; 
And, as his Love inspired him, thus he said. 
* Unhappy Queen ! then is the common breath 
Of Rumour true in your reported Death, 

T^'tsion of '^y^neas 4^ 

Weeping Plain 'tis call'd : — such name such country deserveth. 

lugentes canipi ; sic illos nomine dicunt. 

Here the lovers, whom fiery passion hath cruelly consumed, 

hie quo$ durus amor crudeli tabe pcrcdit 

Hide in leafy alleys ^ and pathways bow'ry, sequester'd 

sccreti celant calles ct myrtea circuni 

By woodland myrtle, nor hath Death their sorrow ended. 

silva tegit ; curae non ipsa in morte relinquunt. 

Here was Phaedra to see, Procris " and sdd Eriphyle, 

his Phaedram Procrimque locis maestamque Eriphj'Ien 

She of her unfilial deathdoing wound not ashamM, 

crudelis nati monstrantem vulnera cernit, 

Evadne, " and Pasiphae " and Laodamia, 

Euadnenquc et Pasiphaen ; his Laodamia 

And epicene Keneus, a woman to a man metamorphos'd, 

it comes et iuvenis quondam, nunc femina, Caeneus 

Now by Fate converted again to her old feminine form. 

nirsus et in veterem fate revoluta figuram. 

'Mong these shades, her wound yet smarting ruefully, Dido 450 

Inter quas Phoenissa recens a vulnere Dido 

"Wander'd throu' the forest-obscurity ; and iEneas 

errabat silva in magna f quam Troiui heros 

Standing anigh knew surely the dim form, though i' the darkness 

ut primum iuxta stetit agnovitque per umbras 

Veil'd, — as when one seeth a young moon on the horizon, 

obscuram, qualem primo qui surgere mense 

Or thinketh to ' have seen i' the gloaming her delicate horn : 

aut videt aut vidisse putat per nubila lunam, 

Tearfully in once"lov'd accents he-lovingly addrest her. 

demisit lacrimas dulcique adfatus amore est : 

'Unhappy ! ah ! too true 'twas told me, O unhappy Dido, 

' infelix Dido, verus mihi nuntius ergo 

Dead thou wert ; to the fell extreme didst thy passion ensue. 

veucrat exstinctam ferroque extrema secutam ? 

G 2 

4-4 Ihant Obscuri 

And I, alas, the Cause ! by Heav'n I vow, 
And all the Pow'rs that rule the Realms below. 
Unwilling I forsook your friendly State ; 
Commanded by the Gods, & forc'd by Fate, 
Those Gods, that Fate, whose unresisted Might ' 
Have sent me to these Regions void of Light 
Thro' the vast Empire of eternal Night. j 

Nor dar'd I to presume, that, press'd with Grief, 
My flight sh"^ urge you to this dire Relief. 
Stay, stay your Steps, & listen to my Vows : 
'Tis the last Interview that Fate allows ! ' 

In vain he thus attempts her Mind to move. 
With Tears & Pray'rs, & late repenting Love. 
Disdainfully she look'd : then turning round. 
But fix'd her Eyes unmov'd upon the Ground. 
And, what he says, & swears, regards no more. 
Than the deaf Rocks, when the loud Billows roar. 
But whirl'd away, to shun his hateful sight, 
Hid in the Forest and the Shades of Night. 
Then sought Sicheus, thro' the shady Grove, 
Who answer'd all her Cares & equal'd all her Love. 

T^'tslon of '^^nens 45* 

And was It I that slew-thee ? Alas ! Smite falsity, ye hcav'ns ! 

funeris heu tibi causa fui ? per sidcra iuro, 

And Hell-fury attest-me', if here any sanctity reigneth, 

per $up>croj et si qua tides tellure jub ima est, 

Unwilling, O my Queen, my step thy kingdom abandon'd. 4*50 

invitus, regina, tuo de litore cessi. 

Me the command of a god, who here my journey determines 

scd me iussa deum, quae nunc has ire per umbras, 

Through Ereban darkness, through fields sown with desolation, 

I>er loca scnta situ cogunt noctemque profundam, 

Drave"me to wrong my heart. Nay tho' deep-pain'd to desert thee 

imperiis egere suis ; nee credere quivi 

I ne'er thought to provoke thy pain of mourning eternal. 

hunc tantum tibi me discessu ferre dolorem. 

Stay yet awhile, ev'n here unlook'd-for again look upon me : 

siste gradum teque aspectu ne subtrahe nostro. 

Flyme not ere the supreme words that Fate granteth us are said.' 

quem fugis ? extremum fato quod te adloquor hoc est.' 

Thus he : but the spirit was raging, fiercely defiant, 

Talibus Aeneas ardentem et torva tuentem 

Whom he approach'd with words to appease, with tears for atonement. 

lenibat dictis animum lacrimasque ciebat. 

She to the ground downcast her" eyes in fixity averted ; 

ilia solo fixos oculos aversa tenebat 

Nor were her features more by his pleading affected, 470 

nee magis incepto vultum sermone movetur 

Than wer' a face of flint, or of ensculptur'd alabaster. 

quam si dura silex aut stet Marpesia caute^ 

At length she started disdainful, an' angrily withdrew 

tandem coiripuit sese atque inimica refugit 

Into a shady thicket : where her grief kindly Sychasus 

in nemus umbriferum, coniunx ubi pristinus ilJi 

Sooth'd with other memories, first love and virginal embrace. 

reipondet curii aequatque Sychaeus amorein. 

^6 Ihant Ohscuri 


% 1710 i 

Mov'd with her Death -Eneas' watry Eyes 
Follow with looks of Pity while she flies, 
And now pursues the way the Fates ordain'd, 
He and his Guide the outmost Fields attained ; 
Where by themselves Heroick Souls remain 
Of Men renown'd in War. Here on the Plain 
He met Parthenopeus, Tideus here, 
And pale Adrastus trembling still through Fear. 
Of Trojan Ghosts he saw a mighty Train, 
All much regretted, all in Battel slain ; 
Thersilochus, Glaucon, Medon with the rest, 
Antenor's son, & Ceres' sacred Priest : 
Great Polybetes, glad Ideus there 
Driving his chariot, in his Hand a Spear. 


I 1740 i 

3 i 

(>.*> C'**^ p**^ ^-«^ C'*^ ^^r^ >*^ &«^ >«% l>«^ >«^ (>«^ >«%>«> >«^ >«% (V«% &«^ 

Eager to view the Chief, on either Hand, 
Rank behind Rank, the airy Warriors stand : 
All in their turn retard the Prince, to know 
What urged his Journey to the Shades below. 
Not so the Kings of Greece — Appall'd, dismay'd 
The hostile Chiefs the godlike man survey 'd 
In arms that glitter'd thro' the dusky Shade. 
Some turn'd and fled, astonished at the View 

V'tsmi of '^Uneas 47 

And ever i^neas, to remorse by deep pity soften'd, 

ncc minus Aeneas casu concusius iniquo 

With brimming eyes pursued her queenly figure disappearing. 

proscijuitur lacrinn't loiige et niiseratur euntcin. 

Thence the Sibyl to the plain's extremest boundary led him, 

Inde (latum moiitur iter, iamque arva tenebant 

Where world-fam'd warriors, a lionlike company, haunted. 

ultima, quae bello clari secreta frequentant. 

Here great Tydeus saw he eclips'd, & here the benighted 

hie illi occurrit Tydeus, hie inelutus armis 

Phantom of Adrastus,'' of stalwart Parthenopaeus. 480 

Parthenopaeus et Adrasti pallentis imago, 

Here long mourn'd upon earth went all that prowess of Ilium 

hie niuhum fieti ad superos belloque caduci 

Fallen in arms ; whom, when he"beheld them, so many and great, 

Dardanidae, quos ille omnis longo ordine eernens 

Much he-bewail'd. By Thersilochus his mighty brothers stood, 

ingemuit, Glaucumque Medontaque Thersilochumque, 

Children of Antenor ; here Demetrian Polyboetes, 

tris Antenoridas Cererique saerum Polyboeten, 

And Idaeus, in old chariot-pose dreamily stalking, 

Idaeumque etiam currus, etiam arma tenentem. 

Right and left the spirits flocking-on stood crowding around him ; 

cireumstant animae dextra laevaque frequentes : 

Nor their eyes have enough ; they touch, find joy unwonted 

nee vidisse semel satis est ; iuvat usque morari 

Marching in equal st^p, and eager of his coming enquire. 

ct conferre gradum et Teniendi discere causas. 

But th' Argive leaders, and they that obey'd Agamemnon, 

at Danaum proceres Agamemnoniaeque phalanges 

When they saw that Trojan in arms come striding among them, 490 

ut videre virum fulgentiaque arma per umbras, 

Old terror invaded their ranks : some fled stricken, as once 

ingenti trepidare metu ; pars vertere terga, 

48 Ihant Obscuri 

As when before him to their Fleets they flew. 
Some rais'd a Cry : the flutt'ring Accents hung 
And dy'd imperfect on the trembling Tongue. 

I H. W. HVlSriKlG \ 

I 1891 i 

3 i 

And here he saw Deiphobus the son of Priam gashed o'er all his 
body, cruelly mangled as to his face, his face and both hands, and 
his temples stripped and deprived of ears, and nostrils hewn away by 
shameful wound. Scarce indeed did he recognise him shrinking and 
hiding his grievous punishment, and first addressed him with his well 
known voice. 

I i 

I y. B. Gentleman \ 

1 1600 i 

1 ^^ i 

* Valiant Deiphobus, sprung of Troy's great Blood 
What cruel man would use you in this sort 
Or whom would God permit to do't ? [I heard] 

\ J. W. MAC KAIL \ 

1 i88t i 

} i 

Rumour reached me that on that last night, outwearied with 
endless slaughter of the Pelasgians, thou hadst sunk on the heap of 
mingled carnage. Then mine own hand reared an empty tomb on 
the Rhoetean shore, mine own voice thrice called aloud upon thy 
ghost. Thy name and armour keep the spot : thee, O my friend, 
I could not see nor lay in the native earth I left.' 

They to the ships had fled for shelter ; others the alarm raise, 

ceu quondam petiere rates, pars tollcre voccni 

But their thin utterance mock'd vainly the lips wide-parted. 

cxigiiani : inceptiis clamor frustratur hiantis. 

Here too Deiphobus he espied, his fair body mangled, 

atque hie Priamiden laniatum corporc toto 

Cruelly dismember'd, disfeatur'd cruelly his face, 

Deiphobum vidit, lacerum crudeliter ora, 

Face and hands ; and lo ! shorn closely from either temple, 

era manusque ambas, populataque tempera raptis 

Gone wer' 'his ears, and maim'd each nostril in impious outrage. 

auribus et truncas inhonesto vulnere uaris. 

Barely he-knew him again cow'ring shamefastly ' an' hiding 

vix adeo agnovit pavitaiitem ac dira tegentem 

His dire plight, & thus he 'his old companyon accosted. 

supplicia, et notis compellat vocibus ultro : 

* Noblest Deiphobus, great Teucer's intrepid offspring, 500 

' Deiphobe armipotens, genus alto a sanguine Teucri, 

Who was it, inhuman, coveted so cruel a vengeance ? 

quis tarn crudelis optavit sumere poenas ? 

Who can hav adventur'd on th6e '^. That last terrible night 

cui tantum de te licuit ? mihi fama suprema 

Thou wert said to hav exceeded thy bravery, an' only 

nocte tulit fessum vasta te caede Pelasgum 

On thy fain enemies wert fain by weariness o'ercome. 

procubuisse super confusae stragis acervum. 

Wherefor' upon the belov'd sea-shore thine empty sepulchral 

tunc egomet tumulum Rhoeteo litore inanem 

Mound 1 erected, aloud on thy ghost tearfully calling. 

constitui et magna manis ter voce vocavi. 

Name and shield keep for-thee the place ; but thy body, dear friend, 

nomen et arma locum servant ; te, amice, nequivi 

Found I not, to commit to the land ere sadly ' I left it.' 

conspicere et patria decedensponere terra.' 


5-0 Ihant Ohscuri 

\ ^767 i 

©■-•^ C-*^ C''*^ >«~i >*^ C-*"* >*^ (>*^ >•"> >*^ >*^ >*^ >*^ >•> c-*^ >*^ C-*> {>«> 

To which the son of Priam : * nothing 's left 
By you, my friend, undone ; you have discharg'd 
All pious duties to Deiphobus, 
And to his shade. But me my destiny, 
And that Laconian woman's wickedness 
Detestable, o'erwhelm'd with all these ills. 
These monuments she left me. 


1 1886 i 

} i 

How we poor dupes, that fatal night bestowed, 

Fooled of false hope, on mad delusive joys. 

Thou know'st, dear friend ; must needs but too well know. 

At that sad tide, when as the fatal steed 

Came bounding up our castle's steep ascent. 

And big with death, a mail-clad host did bring 

Hid in its teeming womb, this precious dame, 

On mock pretence for Bacchic dance to lead 

A troop of yelling wives about the walls. 

Amid the throng, with monster torch uplift. 

Signalled the Greeks from off the topmost tower. 


1 1893 i 

} i 

Then I with trouble spent, weighed down with sleep. 
Was holden of our ill-starred bridal bower. 
Lying with deep sweet slumber overwhelmed, 
Deep as the calm of death. My peerless wife 
Meanwhile all arms from out the palace moves — 
The true sword first from 'neath my pillow filched — 
Calls Menelaus in, throws wide the door. 

P^isioTi of 'tineas 5T 

Then the son of Priam ^ * I thought not, friend, to reproach thee: 

Ad quae Priamidet : ' nihil o tibi, amice, relictum ; 

Thou didst all to the full, ev'n my shade's service, accomplish. 510 

omnia Deiphobo solvisti et funcris unibris, 

'Twas that uninterdicted adultress from Lacedaemon 

sed me fata mea et scelus exitiale Lacaenae 

Drave~me to doom, & planted in hell her trophy triumphant. 

his mersere malis ; ilia haec monimenta reliquit. 

On that night, — how vain a security and merrymaking 

namque ut supremam falsa inter gaudia noctem 

Then sullied us thou know'st, yea must too keenly remember, — 

egerimus, nosti : et nimium memiiiisse necesse est. 

"When the ill-omened horse oerleapt Troy's lofty defences, 

cum fatalis equus saltu super ardua venit 

Dragg'd in amidst our town pregnant with a burden of arm'd men. 

Pergama et armatum peditem gravis attulit alvo, 

She then, her Phrygian women in feign'd phrenzy collecting, 

ilia chorum simulans euhantis orgia circum 

All with torches aflame, in wild Bacchic orgy paraded, 

ducebat Phrygias ; flammam media ipsa tenebat 

Flaring a signal aloft to her ambusht confederate Greeks. 

ingentem et summa Danaos ex arce vocabat. 

I from a world of care had fled with weariful eyelids 530 

turn me confectuni curis somnoque gravatum 

Unto my unhappy chamber ', an' lay fast lockt in oblivyon, 

infelix habuit thalamus, pressitque iacenteni 

Sunk to the depth of rest as a child that nought will awaken. 

dulcis et alta quies placidaeque simillima morti. 

Meanwhile that paragon helpmate had robb'd me of all arms, 

egregia interea coniunx arma omnia tectis 

E'en from aneath the pillow my blade of trust purloining ; — 

amovet et fidum capiti subduxerat enscm ; 

Then to the gate ; wide flings she it op'n an' calls Menelaus. 

intra tecta vocat Menelaum et limina pandit, 

H 2 


Ihant Ohscuri 

Hoping forsooth that to her lover this 

Would prove a mighty boon, and so be quenched 

The fame of old offences. Why delay ? 

They burst into my chamber : joins the crew, 

Prompter of crimes, the son of ^olus. 

Ye gods, like measure to the Greeks repay, 

If with pure lips I ask for vengeance. 


} i86s i 

l i ' 

But what events 
Have brought thee living hither, say in turn. 
Com'st thou wide wafted by the erroneous sea ? 
Or by the Gods admonished ? What is this 
111 fortune that impels thee, so that thou 
Art present in these melancholy abodes, 
Where the sun shines not, and where rest is none.' 


. I i8p4 i 

} i 

Thus as they talked, Aurora, in her rosy team 

had passed the zenith in her course : 

and they had likely spent the whole allotted time in such communing ; 

but the Sibyl as attendant guide, admonished him & briefly spoke. 

<*<<*« <.»^ t*<i t.»-o '.*<! <^^ <-»<; c»< t*-o t^-s c»-c «.»<; t*^ «.»■;<-»-: v*<j <,»-o 


3S 1700 i 

* iEneas, the Night comes on apace, (while) we waste the hours 
in (vain) lamentations. This is the Place where the Path divides in 
two ; the Right is what leads to great Pluto's walls, by this our Way 
to Elysium lies : but the left carries on 

Vision of '^S.neas r^ 

Would not a so great service attach her faithful adorer ? 

scilicet id magnum spcrans fore niunui amaiiti, 

Might not it extinguish the repute of 'her earlier illdeeds ? 

et fainam exstingui vctcruni sic potsc iiialoruni. 

Brief^be the tale. Menelaus arrives : in company there came 

quid moror ? iiirumpunt thalamo, comet additut una 

His crime-counsellor j^olides. . So, and more also 

hortator scelerum Aeolides. di, talia Graii 

Deal-ye ', O Gods, to the Greeks ! an if I call justly upon you. — 53° 

instaurate, pio si poenas ore reposco. 

But thou ; what fortune hitherward, in turn prithy tell me, 

$ed te qui vivum casus, age fare vicissim, 

Sent-thee alive, whether erring upon the bewildering Ocean, 

attulcriiit. pelagine venis erroribus actus 

Or high-prompted of 'heav'n, or by Fate wearily hunted, 

an monitu divurii ? an quae te fortuna fatigat, 

That to the sunless abodes and dusky demesnes thou approachest t ' 

ut tristis sine sole domes, loca turbida, adires ?' 

Ev'n as awhile they thus converse it is already mid-day, 

Hac vice sermonuni roseis Aurora quadrigis 

Unperceiv'd, but aloft earth's star had turn'd to declining. 

iam medium aetherio cursu traiecerat axem ; 

And haply ' i^neas his time in parley had outgone, 

et fors omne datum traherent per talia tempus, 

Had not then the Sibyl with word of warning avized him. 

sed comes admonuit brevitcrque adfata Sibylla est : 

* Night hieth, -^neas ; in tears our journey delayeth. 

' nox ruit, Aenea ; nos flendo ducimus horas. 

See our road, that it here in twain disparteth asunder ; 540 

hie locus est partis ubi »e via findit in ambas : 

This to the right, skirting by th' high city-fortresses of Dis, 

dextera quae Ditis magni sub moenia tendit, 

Endeth in Elysium, our path ; but that to the leftward 

hac iter Elysium nobis; at lacva nialorum 

5-4- Ibant Ohscuri 

the Punishment of the wicked, and conveys to cursed Tartarus.' 


I /per i 

On the other hand Deiphobus [said] * Be not incensed, great 
priestess : I shall be gone ; I will fill up the number [of the ghosts] 
and be rendered back to darkness. Go, go, thou glory of our nation ; 
May'st thou find fates more kind ! ' This only he spoke, and at 
the word turned his steps. 

I y. W. MOORE I 

J 1880 i 

3 i 

c^i (>«>(;-»> o-»> (>»> i>«>c-»^ e«»> !v*> f^ 5-»> j-r> c-«> e-*> ^"^ >»> ^«> 5-^ 

When as Tineas cast a sudden look, 
Lo ! on his left, beneath a rocky height, 
A vast wide edifice met his wondering sight : 
Three lines of wall the enormous pile surround. 
And Phlegethon's foaming fiery torrents bound. 
Whose rocks roll thundering in its flaming flood 
Right in the front a mighty portal stood : 
Columns of solid adamant defy- 
All strength of men, and powers of the sky, 
To burst its barriers with their utmost blows : 
High in the air an iron tower uprose : 
In blood-dyed pall Tisiphone sits by. 
And guards the vestibule with sleepless eye 
Both day and night. 


} 1840 i 

3 i 

Hence groans are heard, the lash, the clank of iron. 
And trail of heavy chains. 

Vision of '^yRneas ^<; 

Only receives their feet who wend to eternal affliction.* 

exercct poenas et ad irnpi* Tartara niittit." 

Deiphobus then again, ' Speak not, great priestess, in anger ; 

Dciphobus contra : ' Tie jaevi, iiui^iia sacerdos ; 

I will away to refill my number among th' unfortun'd. 

(liscedam, explebo numenim reddarque tenebrii. 

Thou, my champyon, adieu ! Go where thy glory awaits thee ! ' 

i decus, i, nostrum; nielioribus utere fatis." 

When these words he 'had spok'n, he-turn'd and hastily was fled. 

tantum etfatus, et in verbo vestigia torsit. 

./Eneas then look'd where leftward, under a mountain, 

Respicit Aeneas subito et sub ru[)e sinistra 

Outspread a wide city lay, threefold with fortresses engirt, 

nioenia lata videt triplici circumdata muro, 

Lickt by a Tartarean river of live fire, the torrential 550 

quae rapidus flammis ambit torrentibus amnis, 

Red Phlegethon, and huge boulders his roundy bubbles be : 

Tartareus Phlegethon, torquetque sonantia saxa. 

Right i' the front stareth the columnar gate adamantine, 

porta adversa ingens solidoque adamante columnae, 

Such that no battering warfare of men or immortals 

vis ut nulla virum, non ipsi exscindere bello 

E'er might shake ; blank-faced to the cloud its bastion upstands. 

caelicolae valeant ; stat ferrea turris ad auras, 

Tisiphone thereby In a bloodspotty robe sitteth alway 

Tisiphoneque sedens palla succincta cruenta 

Night and day guarding sleeplessly the desperat entrance. 

vestibulum e.xsomnis servat noctesque diesque, 

Wherefrom an awestirring groan-cry and fierce clamour outburst, 

hinc exaudiri gemitus et saeva sonare 

Sharp lashes, insane yells, dragg'd chains and clanking of Iron. 

verbera, turn stridor ferri tractaeque catenae. 

s6 Ibant Ohscuri 

The Chieftain stood, 
And listen'd fearful. ' Holy Virgin, say, 
What crimes are these ? What punishments, and why 
This dreadful wail ? ' The Sibyl answer'd thus. 

i»^ <^< <.»^ t*<) t*<i <.*<) i*< <*-i i»<i c»< c»< <.»^ t»< t*-£ ^*»a t»< <j^ t*o 


I 1822 i 

} i 

* Famed leader of the Trojans, 
It is allowed to no undefiled person to tread the polluted threshold : 
but Hecate when she set me to preside over the Avernian groves, 
herself taught me the punishments appointed by the Gods, and led 
me through the whole. 


\ Philac/elphia, 1879 i 

Here Cretan Rhadamanthus rules, as judge and punisher of sin: 
and each soul must here confess the crimes of life ; for which, 
atonement was deferred till death's late hour — vain hope in guilt 
concealed ! — Tisiphone, with scourges armed, doth lash the guilty 
shades — harsh torment without end ; and shaking in her left hand 
horrid snakes, the sister Furies calls, a heartless crew. 

**o t*«»o t*^ t*o t»^ c»-a t*-o <.»< 1*0 <*-o t*<i c*^ <-»< t*^ ^»d»« <*-3 


3 1766 i 

3 i 

Now screaking horrour o'er the harsh-jarring hinge 
Wide ope the sacred portals. Lo ! what Guard 
Sits in the porch ! What Form the entrance keeps ! 

J^'isioti of '^Urieas 5-7 

i^neas drew back, his heart by 'his 'hearing affrighted : 

Constitit Aeneas strepitumque exterritus hausit. 

*What manner of criminals, my guide, now tcll-me (he-question Vi), 5^0 

' quae sceleruni facies ? o virgo, ed'arc ; quibusvc 

*Or what their penalties ? what this great wail that ariseth ?' 

urgentur poenis ? quis tantus clangor ad auris ? ' 

Answering him the divine priestess, * Brave hero of Ilium, 

turn vates sic orsa loqui : ' dux inclute Teucrum, 

O'er that guilty threshold no breath of purity may come : 

nulli fas casto sccleratum insistere limen ; 

But Hecate, who gave-me to rule i' the groves of Avernus, 

sed me cum lucis Hecate praefecit Avernis, 

Herself led me around, & taught heav'n's high retribution. 

ipsa deum poenas docuit perque omnia duxit. 

Here Cretan Rhadamanthus in unblest empery reigneth, 

Gnosius haec Rhadamanthus habet durissima regna 

Secret crime to punish, — full surely he-wringeth avowal 

castigatque auditque dolos subigitque fateri 

Even of all that on earth, by vain impunity harden'd 

quae quis apud superos t'urto laetatus inani 

Men sinning have put away from thought till '' impenitent death. 

distulit in seram commissa piacula mortem. 

On those convicted tremblers then leapeth avenging 570 

continue sontis ultrix accincta flagello 

Tisiphone with keen flesh-whips and vipery scourges, 

Tisiphone quatit insultans, torvosque sinistra 

And of 'her implacable sisters inviteth attendance.' 

intentans anguis vocat agmina saeva sororum. 

— Now sudden on screeching hinges that portal accursed 

turn demum horrisono stridentes cardine sacrae 

Flung wide its barriers. — * In what dire custody, mark thou, 

panduntur portae. cemis custodia qualis 

Is the threshold ! guarded by how grim sentry the doorway ! 

vestibulo sedeat, facies quae limina servet ? 


5*8 Ihant Ohscuri 

More fell within, vast Hydra's fifty throats 
Yawn, belching pitchy tempests. Tart'ra's womb 
Shoots twice the depth wide headlong neath the shades ; 
As high o'er mortals the etherial vault. 

Here Earth's old offspring. Titan's sons, who erst 
Thunderstruck still roll bellowing thro' th' abyss. 
Here lie th' Aleian Twins, prodigious length ! 
Whose hands wou'd scaling storm the pow'rs of heav'n : 
And shove the monarch from his lofty throne. 


\ '^^^ I 

And bearing cruel punishment, I saw 

Salmoneus, caught while mimicking the flames 

Of Jupiter, and Thunder of the sky. 

Borne by four steeds and brandishing his torch, 

Through peoples of the Greeks, and through the midst 

Of Elis town, triumphantly he rode. 

Claiming for him the honour of the gods. 


\ J731 i 

} i 

Infatuate, with a brazen bridge, and hoofs 
Of noisy trampling steeds, to counterfeit 
Th* inimitable lightning, and the Storms. 
But the Almighty Father lanced a Bolt 
Through the thick Clouds 

T^ision of '^-^7iens 59 

More terrible than they the ravin'd insatiab'l Hydra 

quinquaginta atris immanit hiatibus Hydra 

That sitteth angry within. Know too that Tartarus itself 

laerior inlus sedem. turn Tartarus ipic 

Dives sheer gaping aneath in gloomy profundity downward 

bis patet in praeceps tantum tenditque sub umbras 

Twice that height that a man looketh-up t'ward airy Olympus. 

quantus ad aethcrium caeli suspectus Olympum. 

Lowest there those children of Earth, Titanian elders, 5S0 

hie genus antiquum Terrae, Titania pubes, 

In the abyss, where once they fell hurl'd, yet wallowing lie. 

fulniine deiecti fundo volvuntur in imo. 

There the Aloldae saw I, th' ungainly rebel twins 

hie et Aioidas geminos immania vidi 

Primaeval, that assay 'd to devastate th' Empyraean 

corpora, qui manibus magnum rescindere caelum 

With huge hands, and rob from Jove his kingdom immortal. 

adgressi superisque lovem detrudere regnis. 

And there Salmoneus I saw, rend'ring heavy payment, 

vidi et crudelis dantem Salnionea poenas, 

For that 'he idly' had mockt heav'n's fire and thunder electric ; 

dum flammam lovis et sonitus imitatur Olympi. 

With chariot many-yoked and torches brandishing on high 

quattuor hie invectus equis et lampada quassans 

Driving among 'his Graian folk in Olympian Elis ; 

per Graium populos mediaeque per Elidis urbem 

Exultant as a God he rode in blasphemy worshipt. 

ibat ovans, divumque sibi poscebat honorem, 

Fool, who th' unreckoning tempest and deadly dreaded bolt 590 

demens, qui nimbos et non imitabile fulmen 

Thought to mimic with brass and confus'd trample of horses ! 

acre et comipedum pulsu simularet equonim. 

But 'him th' Omnipotent, from amidst his cloudy pavilyon, 

at pater omnipotens densa inter nubila telum 

I 2 

6o Ihant Obscuri 

(a Bolt he lanc'd not Brands 
And smoking Tow) and drove him headlong hurl'd 
With the vast Swing and Whirlwind of his Arm. 

<*o t*<n*<n*< t*«c <jra t*o t»< t»<! <^^ t*<: <-»«»-o <^c t*< <j-: <-»< t*^ 

3 1847 i 


There too I saw gigantic Tityon lie, 

From Terra sprung, who vainly sought to die ; 

O'er nine wide acres was his body spread, 

Here stretch'd his feet, and languish'd there his head. 

Perch 'd on his giant breast is seen to dwell. 

Whetting its crooked beak, the bird of Hell : 

Throughout all time with fierce and greedy joy 

The vulture feasts, nor does the banquet cloy ; 

Fruitful of pains his liver never dies 

And still the feast the growing flesh supplies. 

t*<i <*^ i*-s c»-c c»o <.»<i ti-c i*-c c»-c c»^ <.»^ c*'; c»-j <*-i <.»^ <.»«.»«»^ 


} 1817 i 

1 i 

Why should I on the Lapithae dilate, 

Why speak Ixion's or Pirithous' fate ^ 

In trembling imminence, a sable rock 

Now now to fall, o'er these intends the shock : 

To those, on whom eternal famine preys, 

A regal feast its luxuries displays. 

Around the pompous hall in shining rows 

Couches of gold delude with vain repose. 

Close at the board the Queen of Furies stands, \ 

Thundering forbids the taste, and lifts her brands [ 

To awe the graspings of their quivering hands. ) 


3 1S84 i 

3 i 

C-«^ 5"^ >*> >«^ >*^ O'*^ >*> 5-»> 5-^ C-«> 5-^ 5-«^ >*> 0-»> J-«-> >«^ >«> (y«-> 

There they that did their brethren most abhor while life did last. 
Or beat their parents, or their clients cause have foule betraied, 

Visio7t of '^4ineas 6i 

Blasted, an' eke his rattling car and smoky pretences 

contortit, non ille faces iicc funiea taedis 

Extinguish'd at a stroke, scattering his dust to the whirlwind. 

luniina, praccipitcniqiie ininiaiii turbine adogit. 

There too huge Tityos, whom Earth that gendereth all things 

iiec non et Tityon, Terrae omniparentis alumnuni, 

Once foster'd, spreadeth'out o'er nine full roods his immense limbs. 

cernere erat, per tota novem cui iugera corpus 

On him a wild vulture with hook-beak greedily gorgeth 

porrigitur, rostroque immanis vultur obunco 

His liver upsprouting quick as that Hell-chicken eateth. 

immortale iecur tondens fecundaque poem's 

Sh6 diggeth and dwelleth under the vast ribs, her bloody bare neck 

viscera rimaturque epulis habitatque sub alto 

Lifting anon : ne'er loathes-she the food, ne'er fails the renewal. 600 

tore, nee fibris requies datur ulla renatis. 

Where wer an end their names to relate, their crimes and torments ? 

quid memorem Lapithas, Ixiona Pirithoumque ? 

Some o'er whom a hanging black rock, slipping at very point of 

quo super atra silex iam iam lapsiira cadeiitique 

Falling, ever threateneth : Couches luxurious invite 

imminet adsimilis; lucent genialibus altis 

Softly-cushion'd to repose : Tables for banqueting outlaid 

aurea fulcra toris, epulaeque ante ora paratae 

Tempt them ever-famishing : hard by them a Fury regardeth, 

regifico luxu ; furiarum maxima iuxta 

And should th6y but a hand uplift, trembling to the dainties, 

accubat et manibus prohibet contingere mensas, 

She with live firebrand and direful yell springeth on them. 

exsurgitque facem attoUens atque intonat ore. 

Their crimes, — not to 'hav lov'd a brother while love was allow'd them ; 

Hie, quibus invisi fratres, duni vita manebat, 

Or to 'hav struck their father, or inveigled a dependant ; 

pulsatusve parens aut fraus innexa clienti, 

6z Ihant Obscuri 

And such as gatherid goodes unto themselfs, and no man paied, 
Nor almes never gave, wherof there Is to great a throng. 
Or for aduoutry have been slaine, or reisid warres in wrong. 
Or rebells to their prince, or maisters goods wold not discerne : 
Includid in that Jaile their paines they bide. Seeke not to lerne 
What pains : what world of wo ther is : how ech his fortune feeles. 
Som rolls unweldy rocks, some hangs on hie displaied on wheeles. 
Some tombling tyre themselfs. There ever sitts and ever shall 
Unhappy Theseus, & Phlegias most of misers all 
Among those caytives darke & loud with voice to them doth rore, 
Learn justice now by this, & gods above despise no more. 

One wretch his country sold, & prince of strength therto did call, 
He forgid lawes for bribes, & made, & mard, & altrid all. 
Another leapt into his doughters bed, confounding kindes. 
All ment outragious dedes, & fyld their foule outragious minds. 
Not if I had a hundred mouthes, a hundred tonges to spend, 
And voice as strong as Steele, yet could I never comprehend 

Vision of '^Eneas 6^ 

Or who chancing alone on wealth prey'd lustfully thereon, Cio 

aut qui divitiis soli incubuere repcrtii 

Nor made share with others, no greater company than they : 

ncc partem posuere suis (quae maxima turba est), 

Some for adultery slain ; some their bright swords had offended 

quique ob adulterium caesi, quique arma secuti 

Drawn i' the wrong : or a master's trust with perfidy had met : 

impia nee veriti dominorum failere dextraj, 

Dungeon'd their penalties they await. Look not to be answer'd 

inclusi poenain exspectant. ne quaere doceri 

What that doom, nor th' end of these men think to determine. 

quam poenam, aut quae forma viros fortunave mersit. 

S6me aye roll heavy rocks, some whirl dizzy on the revolving 

tazum ingens volvunt alii, radiisque rotarum 

Spokes of a pendant wheel : sitteth and to eternity shall sit 

districti pendent ; sedet aeternumque sedebit 

Unfortun'd Theseus ; while sad Phlegias saddeneth hell 

jnfelix Theseus, Phiegyasque miserrimus omnis 

With vain oyez to' all loud crying a tardy repentance, 

admonet et magna testatur voce per umbras : 

" Walk, O man, i' the fear of God, and learn to be righteous ! " 6jo 

"discite iustitiam moniti et non temnere divos." 

Here another, who sold for gold his country, promoting 

vendidit hie auro patriam dominumque potentem 

Her tyrant ; or annuU'd for a base bribe th' inviolate law. 

imposuit ; fixit leges pretio atque refixit ; 

This one 'had unfather'd his blood with bestial incest : 

hie thalamum invasit natae vetitosque hymenaeos : 

All some fearful crime had dared & vaunted achievement. 

ausi omnes immane nefas ausoque potiti. 

What mind could harbour the offence of such recollection, 

aon, mihi si linguae centum sint oraque centum, 

Or lend welcoming ear to the tale of iniquity and shame, 

ferrea vox, omnis scelerum comprendere formas, 

^4- Ihant Obscuri 

Their sondry sinnes & paines, nor of their names sh'^ make an end. 
When SIBLI to iENEAS thus had said : * Now make me speede, 
Go furth, keepe on thy way, performe those things that thou hast 

Dispatche we now (q^ she) I spie from hence the chimneis topps 
Of CICLOPS boistous walles, I see their gates their forge, & shopps, 
Where we commaunded be to leave this gift of golden spraies.' 


3 1880 i 

3 i 

Thus she spake : and both together moving o'er the dusky way 
Pass across the middle space, till at the massive gates they stay ; 
Standing in the porch ^neas sprinkles him with water pure, 
And the golden branch he fixes on the lintel of the door. 


} 1876 I 

} i 

So all being done, the Goddess' gift well paid in manner meet, 
They came into a joyous land, & greensward fair & sweet 
Amid the happiness of groves, the blessed dwelling-place. 
Therein a more abundant heaven clothes all the meadows' face 
With purple light, & their own sun & their own moon they have. 

Here some in games upon the grass their bodies breathing gave : 

V^hion of '^/Etieas 6j 

And to the pains wherewith such deeds arc justly requited ?' 

omnia [x>cnarum pcrcurrere nomina possim.* 

Ev'n when thus she ' had spok'n, the priestess dear to Apollo, 

Hacc ubi dicta dcdit Phoebi longacva sacerdos, 

' But, ready, come let us on, perform-we the order appointed ! 

' sed iam age, carpe viam et susceptuni pcrfice munus ; 

Hast'n-we (saith-she), the wall forged on Cyclopian anvils 630 

acceleremus ' ait ; 'Cyclopuni ediicta camiiiis 

Now 1 see, an' th' archway in ^^tna's furnace attemper'd, 

nioenia conspicio atque adverso fornice portas, 

Where my lore biddeth us to depose our high-privileg'd gift.' 

haec ubi nos praecepta iubent deponere dona.' 

Then together they trace i' the drooping dimness a footpath, 

Dixerat et pariter gressi per opaca viarum 

Whereby, faring across, they arrive at th' arches of iron. 

corripiunt spatium medium foribusque propinquant. 

.^neas stept into the porch, and duly besprinkling 

occupat Aeneas aditum corpusque recenti 

His body with clear water affixt his bough to the lintel ; 

spargit aqua ramumque adverso in limine figit. 

And, having all perform'd at length with ritual exact. 

His demum exactis, perfecto munere divae. 

They came out on a lovely pleasance, that dream'd-of oasis, 

devenere locos laetos et amoena virecta 

Fortunat isle, the abode o' the blest, their fair Happy Woodland. 

fortunatorum nemorum sedesque beatas. 

Here is an ampler sky, those meads ar' azur'd by a gentler 640 

largior hie campos aether et lumine vestit 

Sun than th' Earth, an' a new starworld their darkness adorneth. 

purpureo, solemque suum, sua sidera norunt. 

Some were matching afoot their speed on a grassy arena, 

Pars in gramineis cxercent membra palaestris, 


66 Ihant Ohscuri 

Or on the yellow face of sand they strive & play the play. 

Some beat the earth with dancing foot, & some the song they say : 

And there withal the Thracian man in flowing raiment sings 

Unto the measure of the dance on seven-folded strings ; 

And now he smites with finger-touch, and now with ivory reed. 

And here is Teucer's race of old, most lovely sons indeed ; 
High-hearted heroes born on earth in better days of joy : 
Ilus was there, Assaracus, & he who builded Troy, 
E'en Dardanus. Far off are seen their empty wains of war 
And war-weed : stand the spears in earth, unyoked the horses are, 
And graze the meadows all about ; for even as they loved 
Chariot & weapons, yet alive, & e'en as they were moved 
To feed sleek horses, under earth doth e'en such joy abide. 
Others he saw to right & left about the meadows wide 
Feasting, or joining merry mouths to sing the battle won 
Amidst the scented laurel-grove, whence earth-ward rolleth on 
The full flood that Eridanus athwart the wood doth pour. 

Vis'io7i of 'tineas 6^ 

In playful combat some wrestling upon the yellow sand, 

contcnduiit ludo ct fulva luctaiitur harcna ; 

Part in a dance-rhythm or poetry's fine phantasy engage ; 

pars pcdibus plaudunt choreas et carmina dicunt. 

While full-toga'd anear their high-priest musical Orpheus 

nee non Threicius longa cum veste sacerdos 

Bade his prime sev'n tones in varied harmony discourse, 

obloquitur nunieris septem discrimina vocuni, 

Now with finger, anon sounding with an ivory plectrum. 

iamque eadem digitis, iam pectine pulsat cbumo. 

And here i^neas met Teucer's fortunate offspring, 

hie genus antiquum Teucri, pulcherrima proles, 

High-spirited heroes, fair-favor'd sons o' the morning, 

magnanimi heroes, nati melioribus annis, 

Assarac and Ilos " and Dardan founder of Ilium : 650 

Ilusque Assaracusque et Troiae Dardanus auctor. 

Their radiant chariots he ' espied rank't empty afar off, 

arma procul currusque virum miratur inanis. 

Their spears planted afield, their horses wandering at large, 

slant terra defixae hastae passimque soluti 

Grazing around : — as on earth their joy had been, whether armour 

per campum pascuntur equi. quae gratia currum 

Or chariot had charmed them, or if 'twer' good manage and care 

armorumque fuit vivis, quae cura nitentis 

Of the gallant warhorse, the delight liv'd here unabated : 

pascere equos, eadem sequitur tellure repostos. 

Lo ! then others, that about the meadow sat feasting in idless, 

conspicit, ecce, alios dextra laevaque per herbam 

And chanting for joy a familyar paean of old earth, 

vescentis laetumque choro paeana canentis 

By fragrant laurel o'ercanopied, where 'twixt enamel'd banks 

inter odoratum lauri nemus, unde supeme 

Bountiful Eridanus glides throu' their bosky retirement. 

plurimus Eridani per silvam volvitur amnis. 

K 2 

(58 Ihant Ohscuri 

Lo, they who in their country's fight sword-wounded bodies bore : 
Lo, priests of holy life & chaste, while they in life had part ; 
Lo, God-loved poets, men who spake things worthy Phoebus' heart : 
And they who bettered life on earth by newfound mastery ; 
And they whose good deeds left a tale for men to name them by : 
And all they had their brows about with snowy fillets bound. 

t»^ t*< t*»e t** <j^ <*«^^ <^-^ t*«*^ <*^ <*^ ^^^ <^^ *^^ ^*^ ^*^ *^^ 

I M. P. W. BO%)LrON \ 

I 1877 i 

} i 

Whom the Sibylline maid bespake as gathering streamed they round : 
'Fore all Musaeus, whom the shades where chief in concourse prest 
Look up to, he amidmost towers tall-shouldered o'er the rest. 

* Say to us, O ye blissful souls, thou, sovran poet, say 
What spot, what haunt Anchises hath ? in quest of him from day 
We came, and over Erebus' vast rivers held our way.' 

And unto her the hero thus brief-worded answer made : 
* To none of us is certain home : we dwell in greenwood shade : 
Couches of stream-banks mossy, meads kept fresh by rivulets. 
Our haunts are these. But if toward such goal your longing sets. 
Scale yonder ridge : thence easy path to follow will 1 show.' 

Vision of ^^yRneas 6g 

Here were men who bled for honour, their country defending ; 660 

hie marius ob patriam pugiundo vulncra passi, 

Priests, whose lives wer' a flame of chastity on God's altar ; 

qiiiqiie sacerdotcs casti, dum vita inancbat, 

Holy poets, content to await their crown of Apollo ; 

quiquc pii vates et Phocbo digna locuti, 

Discoverers, whose labour 'had aided life or ennobled ; 

inventas aut qui vitani cxcolucre per artis, 

Or who fair memories had left through kindly deserving. 

quiqiie sui niemores alios fecere nierendo : 

On their brow a fillet pearl-white distinguisheth all these : 

omnibus his nivea cinguiitur tenipora vitta. 

Whom the Sibyl, for they drew round, in question accosted, 

quos circumfusos sic est adfata Sibylla, 

And most Musaeus, who tower'd noble among them, 

Musaeuni ante omnis (medium nam plurima turba 

Center of all that sea of bright faces looking upward. , 

hunc habet atque umeris exstantem suspicit altis) : 

* Tell, happy souls, and thou poet and high mystic illustrious, 

' dicite, felices animae, tuque, optime vatcs, 

Where dwelleth Anchises ? what home hath he ? for 'tis in his quest 

quae regio Anchisen, quis habet locus ? illius ergo 

We hither have made journey across Hell's watery marches.' 671 

venimus et magnos Erebi tranavimus amnis.' 

Thert6 with brief parley rejoin'd that mystic of old-time. 

Atque huic responsuin paucis ita reddidit heros : 

* In no certain abode we-remain : by turn the forest glade 

' nulli certa domus ; lucis habitamus opacis, 

Haunt-we, lilied stream-bank, sunny mead ; and o'er valley and rock 

riparumque toros et prata recentia rivis 

At will rove-we : but if ye aright your purpose arede me, 

incolimus. sed vos, si fert ita corde voluntas, 

Mount-ye the hill : myself will prove how easy the pathway.* 

hoc supcrate iugum, et facili iani tramile sistam.' 

70 Ibant Ohscuri 

He said, and step before them bare : and pointed out below 

The shining plains : they hold the track and quit the summit height. 



I 1867 ' i 

^ i 

C-«^ 7-«>J-«^ f-*>(>-*»«> C-«> J-^ >«^ >*> >*> 3-^ >*> 5-*^ =-^ 5-^ >*> J-^ 

But sire Anchises 'neath the hill 
Was calmly scanning at his will 
The souls unborn now prisoned there, 
One day to pass to upper air ; 
There as he stood, his wistful eye 
Marked all his future progeny. 
Their fortunes & their fates assigned, 
The shape, the mien, the hand, the mind. 
Soon as along the green he spied 
^neas hastening to his side, 
With eager act both hands he spread, 
And bathed his cheeks with tears, & said : 
* At last ! and are you come at last ? 
Has love the perilous road o'erpast. 

That love so tried of yore ? 
And may I hear that well-known tone, 
And speak in accents of my own. 

And see that face once more ? 
Ah yes ! I knew the hour would come : 
I pondered o'er the days' long sum, 
Till anxious care the future knew : 
And now completion proves it true. 

\ J. RJNG I 

\ after Dry den ^ P///, 1H20 i 
3 \ 

C-^ 0-^ (>-^ (?-»>(>-»> 5-»> C'«> (>-^ :>«^ 5-^ (V«^ (^«> 5-«> 5-^ 5-^ »-*> C-^ (>«> 

From what strange lands, what stormy seas and skies, 
Returns my son, to bless my longing eyes ? 
How have I fear'd your fate, but fear'd it most 

Vis 1 07 I of '^yEuens 71 

Speaking 'he led : and come to the upland, sheweth a fair plain 

dixit, ct ante tulit grestum camposque nitentis 

Gleaming aneath ; and they, with grateful adieu, the descent made. 

desupcr ustcntat; dehinc sunima cacuniina lin(]uuiit. 

Now lord Anchises was down i* the green valley musing. 

At pater Anchises penitus convalle vireiiti 

Where the spirits confin'd that await mortal resurrection 680 

inclusas animas supcrumquc ad lumen ituras 

While diligendy he-mark'd, his thought had turn'd to his own kin, 

lustrabat studio recolens, omnemque suorum 

Whose numbers he-reckon'd, an' of all their progeny foretold 

forte recensebat numeruni, carosque nepotes 

Their fate and fortune, their ripen'd temper an' action. 

fataque fortunasque virum moresque manusque. 

He then, when he espied iEneas t'ward him approaching 

isque ubi tendentem adversuni per graniina vidit 

O'er the meadow, both hands uprais'd and ran to receive him, 

Aenean, alacris palmas utrasque tetendit. 

Tears in his eyes, while thus his voice in high passion outbrake. 

effusaeque genis lacrimae et vox excidit ore: 

* Ah, thou'rt come, thou'rt come ! at length thy dearly-belov'd grace 

' venisti tandem, tuaque exspectata parenti 

Conquering all hath won-thee the way. 'Tis allow'd to behold thee, 

vicit iter durum pietas ? datur ora tueri, 

O my son, — yea again the familyar raptur' of our speech. 

nate, tua et notas audire et reddere voces ? 

Nay, I look't for 't thus, counting patiently the moments, 690 

sic equidem ducebam animo rebarque futurum 

And ever expected ; nor did fond fancy betray me. 

tempora dinumerans, nee me mea cura fefellit. 

From what lands, my son, from what life-dangering ocean 

quas ego te terras et quanta per aequora vectum 

Art-thou arrived ? full mighty perils thy path hav' opposed : 

accipiol quantis iactatum, nate, periclis I 

71 Ihant Ohscuri 

When late you linger'd on the Libyan coast ! ' 

* Your pensive ghost,' the godlike chief replies, 
* Appearing urg'd this painful enterprise. 
By your behest I visit these abodes, 
My fleet lies anchor 'd in the Tuscan floods. — 
O father ! give thy hand, nor hide thy face, 
Nor, Oh ! withdraw thyself from our embrace ! * 

While yet he spoke, the tender sorrows rise, 
And the big drops run trickling from his eyes, 
Thrice round his neck his eager arms he threw. 
Thrice from his arms an airy phantom flew ; 
Swift as the wind, with momentary flight. 
Swift as a fleeting vision of the night. 


3 100^ i 

} i 

Meanwhile he views, deep-bosomed in a dale 

A grove, & brakes that rustle in the breeze, 

And Lethe, gliding throu' the peaceful vale. 

Peoples & tribes, all hovering round, he sees. 

Unnumbered, as in summer heat the bees 

Hum round the flowerets of the field, to drain 

The fair white lilies of their sweets ; so these 

Swarm numberless, & ever & again 

The gibbering ghosts disperse, & murmur o'er the plain. 

Vision of '-^Eyicas 75 

And how nearly the dark Libyan thy destiny o'erthrew ! ' 

quatn metui nc quid Libyae tibi regna nocerent I * 

Then 'he, * Thy spirit, O my sire, 'twas thy spirit often 

illc auteni : ' tua nic, gciiitor, tua trijtis imago 

Sadly appearing aroused-me to seek thy far habitation. 

taepiui occurrens hacc liniiiia tendere adegit ; 

My fleet moors i' the blue Tyrrhene : all with-me goeth well. 

slant sale Tyrrheno classes, da lungers dextrani, 

Grant-me to touch thy hand as of old, and thy body embrace.' 

da, genitor, teque amplexu ne subtrahe nojtro.* 

Speaking, awhile in tears his feeling mutinied, and when 

lie memorans largo fietu simul ora rigabat. 

For the longing contact of mortal affection, he out-held 700 

ter conatus ibi colic dare bracchia circum ; 

His Strong arms, the figure sustain'd them not : 'twas as empty 

ter frujtra comprenta nianus effugit imago, 

E'en as a windworn cloud, or a phantom of irrelevant sleep. 

par levibu5 ventis volucrique timillima sotnno. 

On the level bosom of this vale more thickly the tall trees 

Interea videt Aeneas in valle reducta 

Grow, an' aneath quivering poplars and whispering alders 

seclusum nemus et virgulta sonantia silvae, 

Lethe's dreamy river throu' peaceful scenery windeth. 

Lethaeumque domos placidas qui praenatat amnem. 

Whereby now flitted in vast swarms many people of all lands, 

hunc circum innumerae gentes populique volabant. 

As when in early summer 'honey-bees on a flowery pasture 

ac velut in pratis ubi apes aestate serena 

Pill the blossoms, hurrying to' an' fro, — innumerous are they, 

floribus insidunt variis et Candida circum 

Revisiting the ravish'd lily cups, while all the meadow hums. 

lilia funduntur, strepit oninis niurmurc campus. 

74- Ihant Ohscuri 

Awe-struck iEneas would the cause enquire : 

What streams are yonder ? What the crowd so great, 

That filled the river's margin ? Then the Sire 

Anchises answered : * They are souls that wait 

For other bodies, promised them by Fate. 

Now by the banks of Lethe here below 

They lose the memory of their former state. 

And from the silent waters as they flow 

Drink the oblivious draught, & all their cares forgo. 


I 1906 i 

These have I wished to show thee many a day, 
And count my children's children, to increase 
Thy joy with mine, when Italy is found.* 

* O Father ! may we think that any souls 
Pass upward, and return to irksome flesh } 
What is this strange sad longing for the light ? ' 

* Son, I will hold thee in suspense no more.' 
And thus his sire unfolds the gradual tale. 


3 180s i 

)) i 

C'*> /«> >«^ t>^ »«^ (>*> !>-»^ >«> »-*^ >«> 5-"^ (!'»> 5-»^ 0-^ 5-»> »«> ^^^ (^«> 

* First then a soul within them quickens heaven and earth, the 
watery kingdom, and the moon's bright orb, and Titan's stelled fires. 

Vision of '^ title as 75* 

^neas was turn'd to the sight, and marvelling enquired, 710 

Horrescit visu lubito cauias<]uc rc'iuirit 

* Say, sir, what the river that there i' the valc-bottom I see ? 

iiiscius Aeneas, quae sint ea flutiiina ptirro, 

And who they that thickly along its bank have assembled ? ' 

quive viri tanto compleriiit agmiiie ripas. 

Then Lord Anchises, ' The spirits for whom a second life 

Turn pater Anchises : ' animae, quibus altera fato 

And body are destined ar' arriving thirsty to Lethe, 

corpora debentur, Lethaci ad fluminis undam 

And here drink th' unmindful draught from wells of oblivyon. 

secures latices et longa oblivia potant. 

My heart greatly desired of this very thing to acquaint thee, 

has equidem memorare tibi atque ostendere coram, 

Yea, and show-thee the men to-be-born, our glory her'after, 

iampridem banc prolem cupio euumerare meorum, 

So to gladden thine heart where now thy voyaging endeth.' 

quo magis Italia mecum laetere reperta.* 

* Must it then be-believ'd, my sire, that a soul which attaineth 

' o pater, anne aliquas ad caelum hinc ire putandum est 

Elysium will again submit to her old body-burden ? yao 

sublimis animas iterumque ad tarda reverti 

Is this well ? what hap can awake such dire longing in them ? ' 

corpora ? quae lucis miseris tarn dira cupido ? ' 

* I will tell-thee, O son, nor keep thy wonder awaiting,' 

' dicam equidem nee te suspensum, nate, tenebo ' 

Answereth Anchises, and all expoundeth in order. 

suscipit Anchises atque ordine singula pandit. 

* Know first that the heavens, and th' Earth, and space fluid or void, 

' Principio caelum ac terram camposque liquentis 

Night's pallid orb, day's Sun, and all his starry coaevals, 

lucentemque globum lunae Titaiiiaque astra 

Are by one spirit inly quickened, and, mingling in each part, 

spiritus iiitus alit, totamque infusa per artus 

L 2 

^6 I bant Obscuri 

and a Mind spread through each member thrills the universal frame, 
and blends itself with the mighty mass. Hence men and beasts and 
birds derive their life, and the strange creatures which the Ocean 
bears beneath its glassy floor. Heaven is the birthplace of these 
essences, and theirs a pith of fire, so far as 'tis not clogged by thews 
of clay, and limbs compact of death. 


1 K.C.B., 1896 i 

} i 

From these spring fears, desires, and joys and griefs. 

"Within the darkness of their dungeon pent. 

Men look not upward to the heaven beyond ; 

Nor even, when life is o'er, do all the ills 

And plagues that erewhile did their bodies taint. 

Depart, so deep are they perforce engrained 

Into their being by long years of sin. 

Therefore by penal sufferings must they make 

Atonement for misdeeds of former days. 

t*4 <»«*<<,»-; <j^ t*-: t*'; <»•:<*< t*-i «.»< c»< <,»< t.»o c^i <.»^ t»-s v»o 

I CH. STMMONS {again) { 

^ 1814. Bk. FT i 

\ i 

Some are suspended in the viewless wind : 
Some deep in roaring water are confined ; 
And some are exercised with fire's sharp power. 
Each soul must prove its expiatory hour. 

Vis't07i of '^ Erie as 77 

Mind Informs the matter, nature's complexity ruling. 

mens agitat moleni et nugno te corpore niiicct. 

Thence the living creatures, man, brute, and ev'ry fcather'd fowl, 

iiide hominuni pccudumquc genus vitaequc volaiitum 

And what breedeth in Ocean aneath her surface of argent : 

et quae marmoreo fcrt monstra sub aequore pontus. 

Their seed knoweth a fiery vigour, 'tis of airy divine birth, iy> 

igneus est oilis vigor et caelestis origo 

In so far as unimpeded by an alien evil, 

seminibus, quantum non corpora noxia tarjant 

Nor dull'd by the body's framework condemn'd to corruption. 

terrenique hebetant artas moribundaque membra. 

Hence the desires and vain tremblings that assail them, unable 

hinc metaunt cupiuntque, dolent gaudeutque, neque auras 

Darkly prison'd to arise to celestial exaltation ; 

dispiciunt clausae tenebris et carcere caeco. 

Nor when death summoneth them anon earth-life to relinquish, 

quin et supremo cum lumine vita reliquit, 

Can they in all discard their stain, nor wholly away with 

non tamen omne malum miseris funditus omnes 

Mortality's plague-spots. It must-be that, O, many wild graifs 

corporeae excedunt pestes, penitusque necesse est 

Deeply at 'heart engrain'd have rooted strangely upon them : 

multa diu concreta modis inolescere miris. 

Wherefore must suffering purge them, yea, Justice atone them 

ergo exercentur poenis veterunique malorum 

With penalties heavy as their guilt : some purify exposed 740 

lupplicia expendunt : aliae panJuntur inanes 

Hung to the viewless winds, or others long watery searchings 

suspensae ad ventos, aliis sub gurgite vasto 

Cleanse i' the ocean-salt, some bathe in ffery renewal : 

infectum eluitur scelus aut exuritur igni — 

Each Cometh unto his own retribution, — if after in ample 

quifque suos patimur manis ; exinde per amplum 

78 Ihant Ohscuri 

Then are we sent to range Elysium's sweets : 
And few are we who gain these blissful seats, 
Till, his full orb complete, long-toiling Time 
Has cleansed the foulness of concreted crime, 
And left in all its native radiance bright 
The etherial sense of elemental light. 
Then when a thousand circling years have roll'd. 
All thus to Lethe crowd, by Heaven controll'd, 
That thence unconscious, they may wish anew 
To breathe in bodies, and the sun review.' 

• ••••• 


1 1882 i 

} i 

C-»i >«i 5-w> »-•> C-*^ J-^ >^ C-^iJ^^'^O'^ S'*^ !>«»*> J-^ i>-^ >*> >*> 

There are two gates of Sleep : the one, as story tells 

of horn, supplying a ready exit for true spirits : 

the other gleaming with the polish of dazzling ivory, 

but thro' it the powers below send false dreams to the world above. 

Thither Anchises, talking thus, conducts his son and the Sibyl, 

and dismisses them by the gate of ivory. 

J^'is'ton of'^yEHeas 79 

Elysium we attain, but a few, to the fair Happy Woodland, 

tnittimur Elysium et pauci laeu arva tenemus— 

Yet slow time still worketh on us to remove the defilement, 

donee longa dies pcrfccto teniporis orbe 

Till it 'hath eaten away the acquir'd dross, leaving again free 

concretam exemit labem, punimque relinquit 

That first ff^ry vigour, the celestial virtue of our life. 

aetherium sensum atque aurai simplicis ignem. 

All whom here thou seest, hav accomplished purification : 

has omnis, ubi mille rotam volvere per annos, 

Unto the stream of Lethe a god their company calleth, 

Lethaeuni ad fluvium dcus evocat aginine magno, 

That forgetful of old failure, pain & disappointment, 750 

icilicet immemorcs supera ut convexa revisant 

They may again into' earthly bodies with glad courage enter.' 

rursus, et incipiant in corpora velle reverti.' 

Twin be the gates o' the house of sleep : as fable opineth 

Sunt geminae Somni portae, quanim altera fertur 

One is of horn, and thence for a true dream outlet is easy : 

cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris, 

Fair the other, shining perfected of ivory carven ; 

altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto, 

But false are the visions that thereby find passage upward, 

sed falsa ad caelum mittunt insomnia manes. 

Soon then as Anchises had spok'n, he-led the Sibyl forth 

his ibi turn natum Anchises unaque Sibyllam 

And his son, and both dismisst from th' ivory portal. 

prosequitur dictis portaque emittit eburna. 



a T^araphrase of 

,. Iliad XX iv, 339-ddo and 
of previous translations 

When Achilles had slain Hector, he kept his body unburied 
and dishonoured in revenge for Patroclus' death. Zeus was 
offended, and in a vision advised Priam to buy his son's 
body from Achilles with a great ransom, and Thetis warned 
Achilles that he should consent. Since it was certain death 
for Priam to enter the Grecian camp, the gods promised 
him the assistance and escort of Hermes. The following 
passage commences where Hermes is setting out from 
Olympos to meet Priam by night and ensure his success. 
Priam is already on his way: he is driving his own chariot, 
and his servant Idaeus drives the mule-wagon that carries 
the ransom. Priam does not immediately recognize Hermes 
in his disguise. 



Consecutive examples of 
previous translations 




I ^''' i 

OO he : nor Hermes slighted his command : 

Swift to his feet he bound his sandals fair, 
Of deathless gold, that carry him o'er dry land 
Or the moist sea, e'en with the winds of air : 
Then took his rod, wherewith he lulls whome'er 
He listeth, or awakes the slumbering : 
Which holding, straight the mighty Argus-slayer 
To Troy & Hellespont his way did wing, 
In form a princely youth, in life's first, sweetest spring. 


Line for line paraphrase of Homer 

Iliad xxiv. 359-660 

with the G re ek^inter lined 

THUS sed-he, & Hermes hearing did not disobey him, 
But stoop'd quickly to bind his winged shoon on his ankles 340 

cu/riK tTni^ vzTo Tizorh ioiii<7XT0 >(^Xu TnoiXx 

Gold-glittering, which bear him aloft whether over the ocean 
Journeying, or whether over the broad earth, swift as a wild wind ; 
And his Rod, wherewith men's eyes he drowsily sealeth, 
Whom that he list, or again from torpor awakeneth — his wand 
Seiz'd he in hand, an' arose and sped forth, God's merry angel. 
Till when soon he espied fair Troy & briny Hellespont, 
Then he alighted on earth, to a young prince likening himself 
"With first down on^his cheek in manhood's most loveable prime. 

M 2 

84 Ihant Ohscuri 

But when the twain by Ilus' tomb had driven. 
The horses & the mules awhile they stayed, 
To drink ; for darkness had o'erspread the heaven : 
When lo ! the herald nearing through the shade 
Saw Hermes, & to Priam spake, & said : 
* Have care, O king ! in sooth is need of care : 
A man I see : our graves will soon be made : 
Say, fly we on the horses, or make prayer 
For mercy at his knees, if he perchance may spare ? * 

I 7?, M. THOMAS \ 

I M.A. Lord. i 

I i 

So spake he, & the old man's heart was troubled, & he was sore 

afraid, and the hair stood stiflF on his lithe limbs, & he stood amazed ; 

but unasked the Luckbringer came nigh, & took the old man's hand 

& questioned him, & said : * Whither away, my father, art thou 

thus guiding thy horses & mules thro' the ambrosial night, when 

other mortals sleep ? And wast thou not afraid of the Achaeans, who 

Triam and cylchilles 8y 

They meantime onward past th' old tomb-tower of IIos 

0< J\^ tint avi f^ip^ o-lifjiM "fttfiX lAai* tXxo3-tti¥, 

Had driven, & were halting awhile their teams to refresh them 350 
At the river: when now, as nightfall already darkened, 
Idaeus descried Hermes very near them approaching, 
And turning to Priam, he in earnest whisper addrest him. 

* Haste to avise-thee, my liege ! an affair for discretion asketh : 
I see a man, who I think very soon may annihilate us both. 

«ey^ afoti, &^ J[ icfx,fxi .^^^ppxiWcd'aM lit/. 

Say now, will you we urge our steeds to 'escape from him, or stay 
Friendly to deal, and humbly with all entreaty beseech him ? ' 

Thus sed-he, but th' old king lost heart & greatly affrighted 
Felt his skin to be staring, an' all his limbs wer' atremble : 

«P^< J """S^^f Iff'' '^' ynxfATTitiiai ^tAton, 

Dazed he stood : but anon Hermes coming up to him outheld 3<5o 
His right hand, and thus with frank enquiry accosted. 

* Where ever, O father, farest thou with this equipment 
In the hallow'd starlight, when men are wont to be sleeping ? 

vukIx ot ctfjL'ofanlw, art 3"' dChvn /3p«7»< ec)i,oi; 

Art thou not then afraid o' the slaughter-breathing Achaeans, 

86 I bant Ohscuri 

breathe violence, foes implacable who abide near at hand ? "Were 
any one of them to see thee convoying such treasures through the 
murky night which is fast falling, what device, p»ay, would be thine ? 
Thyself art not young, & yonder servingman is old to keep off 
a man that should be forward to vex thee. Nay then, I will do thee 
no wrong & perchance I may defend thee from another ; I deem 
thee like my own dear father.' 


Him, then, did the old man, godlike Priam answer :— 
* My son, 'tis, methinks, as thou sayest, yet still, even over me, 
doth some divinity hold his hand, seeing that he has sent, to meet 
me, a wayfarer such as thou art, in peaceful guise \or for good 
luck] ; in that thou in face & form art so noble, and wise of heart, 
happy are they that call thee son.' 


I 1846 i 

fr*»»» 5-^ C-«^ 5-»^ C-*> 5-»>(V«> 5-»^ »*»«>(>«»»> f-»> >«^ C^ >^ fr»» 

Him guiding Mercury again address'd : 
* Indeed, old man, thou hast all rightly said. 
But come now, tell me, & the truth declare ; 

Tr'iam and (LAchiUes 87 

Those monsters of fury relentless lurking around thee ? 
Haply an if one here espied thee, neath the flying night 
Convoying such a prize, how then would thy business be? 

reoTciJ[ iftlxT «j3»7a, Uf kt a)t rei »a«f lin; 

Thyself art not young, and th' old man here thy attendant 

CUT ccoTVi lid fori, yt^Mi at 'Iji eurej iTnjatl, 

Scarce would serve to protect thee against whoso sh*^ attack thee. 
Ne'ertheless I'd not wrong thee a whit, would rather against all 370 

it^ 'f/o that* <n ii^u KXKcc, i^i d\ kh a^ov 

Strive to defend ; for like mine own father thou appearest.' 

Him then in answer addrest god-like Priam, llyon's old king. 

* Truly it is very much, my dear son, as thou opinest ; 

Yet some god, 'tw^^ appear, vouchsafes me a kindly protection, 

Sending upon my journey to meet me so able a helper 

As thyself, for in outward mien not comelier art thou 

Than thou show'st in mind : blessed and happy are thy parents.' 

Then bespake him again God's angel, slayer of Argus. 

* Nay and what thou say'st, sir, is all most rightfully spoken. 

But now tell me, I pray, and speak thou truthfully plain words, 3S0 

fltXv' kyi fji^t Tvh «7rT if^] x'l^tKWi »^mAi§ey, 

88 Ibant Ohscuri 

Dost thou these treasures to some foreign land 
Send forth, that they to thee may safe remain ? 
Or do ye sacred Ilium all desert 
From fear, since such a mighty chief has fallen, 
Thy son, who ne'er the Grecian battle shunn'd ? ' 

To whom old godlike Priam then replied : 
* Who art thou, friend, & of what parents sprung 
That dost so well my son's sad fate declare ? ' 

I J.S. C0CH1{ANE \ 

J 1867 i 

.1 i 

Him in return the ambassador answer'd, the slayer of Argus : 
* Naming thy son, old man, brave Hector, thou meanest to prove me. 
Him these eyes full often, indeed, have beheld in the battle. 
Glorious fighting, when, routing the sons of Achaia, he slew them, 
Down by their deep-hull'd ships, with his sharp spear many destroying. 
Wondering greatly we all look'd on, for Peleides Achilles, 
Wrathful with King Agamemnon Atreides, debarr'd us from fighting. 
Henchman to godlike Achilles am I, one galley convey 'd us ; 

Tria7n a7id (L^c bilks 89 

If thou'rt convoying thy wealth & costly-treasur'd store 
Unto some outland folk to remain safe for-thec in hiding, 

et*a^ot( ti icP^cauTTBu;, iiiac mp 's/J\ %t Tax fjtifXfr,, 

Or whether all your warrior-folk are abandoning Ilyon 
In dismay, since that their bravest champyon is undone. 
Thy son, who was fearless afield to resist the Achaeans.' 

V / . < ■<,\ r ' ' N. ' • ' • ~ " 

e-«f Tnuf. «w ft, \uf n f^M^i tTndiutT Anient. 

Him then in answer addrest god-like Priam, Ilyon's old king. 

Tor i^ fl^fiofT iTniTzt ytfon nQ/tXfx,oi ^«f<J^S' 

* Who then, valyant sir, may'st thou be, an' of what parents, 

"Zf J st; ton, ^isA^, Ttiuv ^ f^ ioji ^K^t/f, 

That to me such fair speech hast made of my unhappy son's death ? ' 

»; fiat t{jf,Xx Tti cItvh '^■yrtrft.ov Trttjiii 'tvicorii. 

Then bespake him again God's angel, slayer of Argus. 

* Thou wouldst prove me, O king, in making question of Hector. 390 

" 7n/p<c f/tteTs, }*fcuiy ){c^\ tifiM ' Ex,%^ attf. 

Him many times I have seen scattering with glorious onset 

T jut £J6) fjUiXot TnJi^ct /t*«;t»l «< xf .^/oc»«^ii 

All the battle's nobley: then too when he drave the Achaeans 
Back to the ships, & smote with trenchant blade the flying ranks. 
That day stood we aloof wond'ring, for not yet Achilles 
Would let US out to battle, since Atrefdes had aggriev'd him. 

itx f4.tcfiix<B'xt, Kt^XufOfioi Ai^iluyi. 

'Tis to him I give fealty ; the same good ship carried us both. 

T» j^ tyu ^^7rm, [*ix J{ liy*}* >")wf <^tfy»ii' 


90 Tbant Ohscuri 

Yes, I am one of the Myrmidon heroes, Polyctor my father ; 
Rich he is held, & is now well-stricken in years, as thyself art. 
Father of six brave sons was my sire, & myself am the seventh : 
Well, lots casting, my own fell out, & I follow'd him hither. 
On to the plain I have come from the galleys, because on the morrow 
Early the quick-eyed Argives the fight will begin by the city ; 
Wrathful the bands feel sitting at rest, while longing for battle ; 
None of the chiefs of the fleet-horsed Argives have power to restrain 


\ 1877 i 

f-«^ >-^ c-'^j-^ j-*> j«> »-*i >*> c-*> ;;-«> 5-»> >«> 5-»> i;-»»«^ !;-»»*^ 5-"> 

And thus again godlike Priam bespoke him in answer : 

* If the son of Peleus thou servest, even Achilles, 

I pray thee, tell me what I ask, & plainly direct me. 
Is my son still amongst yon ships, or is he by Achilles 
Hack'd & dismember'd, & thrown to the dogs to be eaten } * 
Him the divine legate answer'd, the slayer of Argus : 

* Neither a dog, father, nor a bird of prey yet assails him ; 
But still is he lying, 'midst yonder tents, by Achilles' 

Triam and c^chilles 91 

Myrmidon is my nation, a man of plenty, Polyctor, 
Is my sire, in his age reverend & grey-headed as thou. 

cc^vno; jA y Wl, yi^ADi it it) aij <ru yrtf vSi, 

Six sons hath he beside myself, and I, the seventh son, 

'i| at ei via 'ixaif, lyM at ei coJ^^o; fifx.i' 

In the brothers' lotterie was cast for service against Troy. 400 

T fXlTti Tm^OMfJOi KXtlfU >^0C^1 C^^CcJ\^ i7nS'U4. 

Now I am come to the plain here scouting, for the Achaeans 
Will sally forth at dawn in full puissance to attack you : 
Long they chafe sitting idle, an' all their kings are unable 

i^jeAowcn ^ oioi tcx^tt^ci, chit otwowTUj 

In their impacience any more from fight to withhold them.' 

'^X^f t(xyvM/Jovi TroXifA^v jix(nX^t<; 'A^tuM." 

Him then in answer addrest god-like Priam, Ilyon's old king. 

* If that thou indeed be the squire of mighty Achilles, 

Tell me the whole truth plainly, I pray, nor seek to delude me. 
Lyeth yet by the shipping my son's body, or hath Achilles 

)j £71 Trap y>iEojiy if^o; Tmt?, »ie f/,t)) ndi] 

Rent and cast it away for beasts piecemeal to devour it .'' ' 

Then bespake him again God's angel, slayer of Argus. 410 

* O good sire, not yet hath foul dog nor ravening bird 
Made their prey of him : ev'n as he was, so lies he neglected 

N 2 

91 Ihant Ohscuri 

Own galley, where Day-dawn twelve times hath seen him abiding, 
Unrotting & unscath'd by crawling worms, such as elsewhere 
Mar bodies of warriors low-laid : he 's dragged by Achilles, 
Round his friend's monument, each sacred morn that appeareth, 
Yet not disfeatur'd ; thou wouldst be amaz'd to behold him 
Thyself, so dew-sweet he appears, all gory pollutions 
Wash'd off, nor gapeth now a wound on his whole body, whilom 
So gash'd ; for many foes with brass had cruelly maim'd him. 


I i86s I 

Therefore, be well assured, that the blessed Gods for thy brave son 
Care, all dead as he is ; & he still is with favor regarded.' 
Such were the words of the God ; &, rejoicingly, answer'd the elder. 
* It is a good thing, son ! to do honor, with gifts, to the altars 
Of the immortal powers ; — my own child, while in existence, 
Ne'er, in his home, neglected the Gods who inhabit Olympus. 
So, in his day of death, by the great Gods he is remember'd. 

Triam and z^cJjilles 9J 

Hard by Achilles' ship i' the camp : and already twelve days 
There hath lain, nor doth his flesh rot nor the corrupt worms 
Touch him, that fatten on mankind nor spare the illustrious. 

f<d'df0-', «i p« TT ^iiKi ctfriipec'J$vf Kicrti^vaif. 

But when morning appears Achilles cometh & draggeth him forth 
Trailing around the barrow builded to his old companyon. 
Nor yet is injury done: thou mightest go thither and see 
How dew-fresh he lieth, how free from death's blemish or stain : 
His blood bathed away, & healed those heavy wounds all 420 

ohai ToBi fxtxfii' Qua J[ iXKtX leouitu, fAffjtv)ctf, 

Where many coward spears had pierc'd his fair body fallen. 

COS" iTw^' vreXtt? jo it cau-rtl yx,Xxoi tXxos'Mi. 

Such care take the blessed gods for thy dearly belov'd son, 
Yea, tho' he live no more ; since they full heartily lov'd him.* 

Thus sed-he, and th' old king reassured spake after in answer. 
* See, lad, how good it is to offer due gifts in atonement 
Unto the gods: for, sure as he liv'd, my son never injur'd, 
Nay nor at home forgat, the pOwers that rule in Olympos : 
Wherefore ev'n i' the grave have they his piety remember 'd. 

94- Ibant Obscuri 

But, as a gift from myself, accept this beautiful goblet ; 

Keep it with care ; & myself, with the favoring aid of the great Gods, 

Safely escort, & guide to the tent of the mighty Pelides.' 

<«>i t^O C»^ t»^ l»^ <.*^ <^^ <.B^ «^^ ^^^ t>^ tW t*«.>^ (»< lA>C <.»-: t»0 


} i 

»"*> /-^ f^ r-^ C*^ J*^ >*> J"^ >"^ f*^ 5-^ {"TJ 5-*>0*»«^ 5-"^ C'*^ 5-^ 

Him then thus answered the messenger, slayer of Argus : 
* Me, a youth, thou temptest, old man, but thou shalt not persuade me, 
In that thou biddest me gifts to receive unknown to Achilleus ; 
Him do I greatly fear, & reverence too in my spirit. 
And I may not such booty take, lest ill come upon me. 
But I to thee would conductor be as far as famed Argos, 
Heedfully, either in rapid ship, or on foot as thy comrade ; 
Nor should any despise, who dared to contend with, thy leader.' 

1*< l*^ t*^ (»« l^ t*4 <»^ ivi t»« «j^ t*< «.»< ta^ <.>^ <»< l»^ ta«jO 


3 i88S % 

3 £ 

0-»> J«> 5-^ >«> 5-^ J*^ 5-^ l>«^ !>*> >«> >*> ^-^ >*> J-^ f-»> ?*> 5-^ C-^ 

Leapt on the chariot of horses the Helper-god as he spake, 

And swiftly the whip and the reins in his grasp of might did he take. 

And into the horses and muleteam breathed he mettle stout. 

So when they were come to the towers of the ships and the trench 

Even then were the watchmen preparing their meat of the even-tide ; 

Triam and o^chilks 95- 

But come, an' at my hands this daintily-wrought flagon accept: 

kits «p4 iii -nAX d\\cu ifxia tto^ KxXtt uXetnty 

And thou guard & guide me, that I, if so be the gods' will, 430 

Safe may arrive with these my goods to the tent of Achilles.' 

Him then in answer addrest high Zeuses favouring angel. 

Tor J[ ocon ts&nfi-m 2>^^%foi 'Afyi^omn' 

* Tempt not a young man, sire! Thou wilt not lightly corrupt me, 

" -TnifoL f^na, }*^ct4'i, tiM-rrfov, owJi f/.i ttikt^?, 

Thus proffering me presents of worth unknown to Achilles; 

if fit K1X1CC4 (no oalgjt TTufi^ A^Xnx dt^^cu' 

Whom I fear, nor ever my heart for shame would allow me 

Toy fA iyoi oll&iufsf- HSf-^ cuatofXM4 -are* Ktig/t 

So to defraud, lest haply some ill should come to me after. 
But as a guide w'^ I aid-thee ; yea, ev'n to illustrious Argos 
Faithfully both by land and sea w'^ accompany thy way ; 
And not a man for scorn of thine escort sh*^ attack thee.' 

Thus saying, on to the car high heav'n's merry fortuner upsprang, 

"H, ^ eCtXt^Xi tQAOUflOi a/pfiX ^J JWTTTOf 

And, with his either hand reins & whip seizing alertly, 441 

Both mules and wearied horses with fresh vigour inspired. 
Till to the fosse they came, & rampart, where the defenders 
Chanc't to be off their guard, busilie with their supper engaged ; 

^6 Ihant Obscuri 

But sleep on them all was shed of the Slayer of Argus, the Guide. 
And straightway he opened the gates, and backward the bolts he shot, 
And Priam and those fair gifts on the wain therethrough hath he 

t*0 1^ <*{ ^«0 1»{ 1*4 1»^ ^*<i t*^ <J^ l^ ^*^ t»4 1^^ t»i l»4 1»0 1^^ 


J iSs6 i 

3 i 

e-«»«>(>«>»«^ >«^ 0'«> >«>»«*>*> 5-*»«^ ;-*> c-*> s-«> ^*> >*> s-^ 5-«> 

But when the tent of Peleus' son they reach'd — a tall pavilion 

Which for their Lord the Myrmidons had built with beams of larches 

And from the meadow heap'd aloft a roof with rushes downy ; 

But round, with closely planted stakes a mighty yard they fashioned, 

Whose door a single beam of larch did bar, which three Achaeans 

(Three of the common sort) would lift to fasten or to open ; 

But only Achilleus might raise the mighty bar unaided : — 

t»^ <*^ t»{ <*<l 1*4 «*0 1*{ t*4 l*i ^*^ 1*<I <.B^ t*4 l*i <*o <*o ^»c <*0 


3 1891 I 

C-** ff«l t*0 f*> f«i S"** (>*> C-«> ^*> l>«^ >*1 ^*> >*> !>*> ^*> C-«^ »«»*> 

And Hermes, the Benefactor, opened the gate for the old man, 
and brought in the splendid present fof the fleet son of Peleus, 
& stepped from the chariot to the ground, and spake — * Old man, 
I who have come to thee am an immortal God, Hermes ; for my 

Triam and (^Achilles 97 

Whom Hermes drowz'd deeply, in senseless slumber immersing 
EvVyone, and coming up to the gate & thrusting it open 

■, ufXf J\^ *<$« TTuXXf KXt CCTTUjrt O^-Cf, 

Brought Priam into the camp, & Hector's ransom in his train. 

So full soon they arriv'd at Achilles' lofty pavilyon, 
That high house which for their king his folk had erected. 
Hewing pines o' the hill for timbering, & for a roof-thatch 4 5° 

Harvesting the rushes that grew i' the lowland pastures ; 
And had around the dwelling fenc't for their chieften a wide court 

ccf^!pi at cl fx.t}£i>Ju> cu/XjU/ TTvlriaui euiXiclt 

With thick stakes, & one huge bar clos'd its carriage-entry, 

Made of a pine, which three men of his servants, pulling all three 

All together, would shift back or forwards, so immense was 

His gate-bar, but Pele'ldes would handle it himself. 

This gate for th' old king th' archfortuner easily open'd. 

And brought in the treasures of Troy to the house of Achilles ; 

ii <t\uyt x.Xvm aS^ TrsaioKU TltiXetaivt, 

And there standing awhile turn'd t'wards Priam, and bespake him. 

t| iTrrui ccTnoMym Itt) ^6oix ^unrmt ti" 

* O sir, I that accost thee am in good truth the celestial 4<5o 


98 Ibant Obscuri 

father sent me to be thy conductor : and now I will return again, 
nor come into the sight of Achilles ; it were not well that an immor- 
tal god should so openly favour mortal men. But do thou enter, 
& clasp the knees of Peleides, & beseech him by his father, & by his 
mother of the lovely locks, & by his son, that thou mayest work 
upon his mood.* 

I 7. G. COI^DEIIT i 

3 1871 i 

} i 

C-"^ 5-*^ ;-«> >^ 5-^ !"> (>*> C'*^ C-*»»^ >»> S-»^ 0-«^ S«*^ 0-^ S-^ !"> f«> 

He spoke, and to the Olympian steep away 
Departed. Priam from the chariot sprang 
And left Idaeus there to bide and rein 
The mules and horses ; but himself passed on 
Into the house, wherein the loved of Zeus, 
Achilles, oftest sate ; whom now within 
He found, and of his train all lay aloof, 
Save two, Automedon and Alcimus. 
These stood there ministering to their lord. 
Who just had ceased regale of food and wine ; 
Still stood the table as before him served. 

Tr'iam and c^cbilles 99 

Hermes, whom great Zeus did charge to attend thee in escort : 

EffAtuCi ovt la/p f/.t TTUTtff ccf^x Tro^Tnir oTntorif. 

But hence must I turn me again, nor now will I enter 
Into Achilles' sight; twould make good cause for his anger 

o^JttXfA^li tiT^fjit' nijxtos'ri'm S)t ki» art 

Were an immortal god to befriend men so manifestly. 
Enter thou, and as thou pray'st, in lowliness embrace 
His knees, and by^his sire and fair heav'n-born mother implore 
And by^his son, that thou may'st melt his soul with emotion.* 

With these words Hermes sped away for lofty Olympos: 
And Priam all fearlessly from off his chariot alighted, 
Ordering Idaeus to remain i' the entry to keep watch 470 

'laUfHoy « Kxr ctoBi xIthv' o at fAi/^yty tovKuy 

Over the beasts : th' old king meanwhile strode doughtily onward. 
Where Achilles was then most wont to be, and sitting indoors 

TrT p ' 'A^Xtui it^taxt Ait ^lx«i, ci it f^ty cwtvi 

Found he him ; all his men sat apart ; for his only attendance 

X'^, 'iTKfoi u7ruf<iU^ yf^JyiXTV' to) at ou ciw, 

His squire Automedon and Alkimos in battle upgrown 
Mov'd busilie to 'an fro serving, for late he had eaten, 
And the supper-table disfurnish'd yet stood anigh hirn. 

O 2 

loo Ihant Oh s curt 

To whom had Priam come unseen, till, lo, 
A sudden apparition there he knelt 
Clasping Achilles' knees, kissing the hands, 
The terrible murderous hands that slew his sons. 

<*o<.»< l*-J c»< ?.»-i t*^ <.»4 <-»-: t»< <*< <.*-i <■»< c»o <■»-£ i*^ <-»-: t*< t*-o 


I '''" \ 

C-*> >«> C-*^ >*>>*»•> J-*^ f-«^ >*> S'*^ J*^ S'"^ >*>>*> 5-*^ >*>/-*> ^*> 

As when a wretch (who conscious of his crime, 
Pursued for murder, flies his native clime) 
Just gains some frontier, breathless, pale ! amazed 
All gaze, all wonder : Thus Achilles gazed : 
Thus stood the attendants stupid with surprise ; 
All mute, yet seem'd to question with their eyes ; 
Each look'd on other, none the silence broke. 
Till thus at last the kingly suppliant spoke : 

* Ah, think, thou favour'd of the powers divine ! 
Think of thy father's age and pity mine 1 
In me that father's reverend image trace, 
Those silver hairs, that venerable face ; 
His trembling limbs, his helpless passion, see ! 
In all my equal but in misery ! 


3 i6ii i 

I i 

P-^ C-*> 5-*^ C«> 5-^ 5-«^ C^ >^ O*^ >-^ S-** >*> f-«l ^*»*> J-*> ^»i f-»i 

neighbour foes, (thou abfent) taking time 
To do him mifchiefe ; no meane left, to terrifie the crime 
Of his oppreffion ; yet he heares, thy graces still suruiue, 
And ioyes to heare it ; hoping ftill, to fee thee fafe arriue. 

Triam and z^ch'tlles loi 

And Priam entering unperceiv'd til he well was among them, 
Clasp'd his knees & seized his hands all humbly to kiss them, 
Those dread murderous hands which his sons so many had slain. 

As when a man whom spite of fate hath curs'd in his own land 480 
For homicide, that he fleeeth abroad & seeketh asylum 

^Jtk x.XTUK\(*iXi «»>ft»y t^'iKt-n ifif^r, 

With some lord, and they that see^'him are fill'd with amazement, 

Ev'n so now Achilles was amaz'd as he saw Priam enter, 

And the men all wer' amaz'd, & lookt upon each other in turn. 

But Priam (as Hermes had bade) bow'd down to beseech him. 

* O God-like Achilles, thy father call to remembrance. 
How he is halting as I, i' the darkening doorway of old age, 
And desolately liveth, while all they that dwell about him 
Vex him, nor hath he one from their violence to defend him : 
Yet but an heareth he aught of thee, thy wellbeing in life, 490 

i^' JiTT* Ktiyoi y€ cnjiy ^aioy-m xi{svui 

Then he rejoiceth an* all his days are glad with a good hope 

^Ifi r 11 ^/t**, f7" T fAwTTOf llfMlTtt TTCUrrX 

Soon to behold thee again, his son safe home from the warfare. 

lox Ihant Ohscuri 

From ruin'd Troy : but I (curst man) of all my race, (hall Hue 

To fee none liuing. Fiftie fonnes the Deities did giue, 

My hopes to Hue in ; aU aliue, when neare our trembHng fhore 

The Greeke (hips harbor'd ; and one wombe, nineteene of thofe ions bore. 

Now MarSy a number of their knees hath ftrengthlefle left ; and he 

That was (of all) my onely ioy, and Troyes fole guard ; by thee 

(Late fighting for his countrey) flaine ; whose tenderd person, now 

I come to ranfome. Infinite, is that I offer you, 

Myfelfe conferring it : exposde, alone to all your oddes : 

Onely imploring right of armes. AchilleSy feare the gods, 

Pitie an old man, like thy fire ; different in onely this. 

That I am wretcheder, and beare that weight of miferies 

That neuer man did ; my curfl lips, enforc't to kifl'e that hand 

That fleue my children.' 


3 i8si i 

3 £ 

That woe, that form allay 'd Peleides' ire. 
And to his heart recall'd his helpless sire. 
And aw'd by reverence for that head belov'd 
Took Priam's hand, & from him gently mov'd 

Triam and zAchilks lo^ 

But most hapless am I, for I had sons numerous and brave 
In wide Troy; where be they now? scarce Is one o' them left. 
They were fifty the day ye arriv'd hither out of Achaia, 
Nineteen royally born princes from one mother only, 
While the others women of my house had borne me ; of all these 
Truly the greater part hath Ares in grim battle unstrung. 
But h6j who was alone the city's lov'd guardian and stay, 

Of at f^i «i«f tlw, HfVTV at ifv >(5cJ cw^ui. 

Few days since thou slew'st him alas ! his country defending, 500 
Hector, for whose sake am I-come to the ships of Achaia 
His body dear to redeem, offering thee a ransom abundant. 
O God-like Achilles, have fear o' the gods, pity him too, 

cc^ acihlo ^«y'f, ' A.^X<£j , cumt r t>\y\<m. 

Thy sire also remember, having yet more pity on m6, 

Who now stoop me beneath what dread deed mortal ever dar'd. 

Raising the hand that slew his son pitiably to kiss it.* 

Then did Achilles yearn for thought of his ancient father. 
And from th' old king's seizure his own hand gently disengag'd. 

I04 Ihant Obscuri 

That aged man, who, bow'd in hopeless woe, 
Rememb'ring Hector, gave his tears to flow. 
Now for his sire warm tears Peleides shed, 
Now wept in change of woe Patroclus dead. 
Groan echo'd groan : but when o'erwearied grief 
In pause of satiate misery found relief, 
He rose, clasp'd Priam's hand, & kindly rear'd 
In pity of his age, and snow-white beard. 

^•-4 t*«i t*^ l*^ t»4 li-i <*^ li^ t»^ <*^ I*! li-J l*^ I*'; t^ l*^ ?jp^ 1*4 


i '^^' I 

Whom in wing'd accents kind he thus bespake. 
* Wretched indeed ! ah what must thou have felt ! 
How hast thou dared to seek alone the fleet 
Of the Achaians, and his face by whom 
So many of thy valiant sons have fallen } 
Thou hast a heart of iron, terror- proof. 
Come — sit beside me — Let us, if we may, 
Great mourners both, bid sorrow sleep awhile. 
There is no profit of our sighs and tears ; 

Triam and z^cJjilles lof 

And each brooded apart ; Priam o'er victorious Hector 

Groan'd, low fain to the ground unnerved at feet of Achilles, 5«o 

Who sat mourning awhile his sire, then turn'd to bewailing 

cunuf 'A^^tli xXacitf ion "Tmixf, «cM«7t i tcu-n 

Patroclus ; while loudly the house with their sobbing outrang. 

But when Achilles now had sooth'd his soul in affection, 
And all his bosom had disburden'd of passion extreme. 
Swiftly from off his seat he arose, & old Priam uprais'd, 
In pity & reverence for his age & silvery-blancht head, 
And making full answer addrest him in airywingW words. 

* Unhappy man ! what mighty sorrows must thy spirit endure ! 
Nay, how durst thou come thus alone to the ships of Achaia, 
Into the sight of him who thy sons so many and good sao 

e**iiioi li l^JttXf^sli, tff 7B< TizXidf re x.x) iS'Xeuf 

Spoil'd and sent to the grave? Verilie thy heart is of iron. 
But come, sit thee beside me upon my couch ; let us alwise 
Now put away our griefs, sore tho' we be plagued with affliction. 
Truly there is no gain in distressful lamentation, 


io6 Ihant Ohscuri 

For thus, exempt from care themselves — the gods 
Ordain man's miserable race to mourn. 

Fast by the threshold of Jove's courts are placed 
Two casks, one stored with evil, one with good. 
From which the god dispenses as he wills. 
For whom the glorious Thunderer mingles both. 
He leads a life chequered with good and ill 
Alternate . . . 


To whom the ill alone, him foul disgrace 

And grinding mis'ry o'er the earth pursue : 

By God & man alike despis'd he roams. 

Thus from his birth the Gods to Peleus gave 

Excellent gifts ; with wealth & substance bless'd 

Above his fellows ; o'er the Myrmidons 

He ruled with sov'reign sway ; & Heaven bestow'd 

On him, a mortal, an immortal bride. 

Yet this of ill was mingled in his lot. 

That in his house no rising race he saw 

Of future Kings ; one only son he had. 

One doom'd to early death ; nor is it mine 

Triam and c^cJjilles 107 

Since the eternal gods have assign'd to us unhappy mortals 
Hardship enough, while they enjoy bliss idly without end. 

Two jars, saythey, await God's hand at th' entry of his court, 
Stor'd ready with free gifts, of good things one, one of evil. 
If mingling from both heav'n's thunderer equaly dispense, 
Then will a man's fortune be chequer'd with both sorrow and joy ; 530 
But to' whom Zeus giveth only of evil that man is outcast. 
Hunger houndeth him on disconsolate over the brave earth, 
Unrespected alike whether of mortals or immortals. 
So my sire Peleus was dow'r'd with favour abounding. 
And, from birth and cradle honour'd, all men living outshone 
In wealth & happiness, king o'er his Myrmidon armies : 
And tho' he was but a man, Zeus made him a fair goddess espouse. 
But yet an' ev'n to him was an ill thrown in, that he hath not 

i^' £X< jytj TU ^Jtt ^«f tis^Kof, <)T?» e't e'w 71 

Sons born into his house to retain its empery, — one son 

Only he gat, one doom'd to a fate untimely, nor evn he 540 

tiHs iix Titcfea TtKti TTUvxaQ/iot' cuSt iv tvd }4 

P 2 

io8 Ihant Ohscuri 

To tend my father's age ; but far from home 
Thee and thy sons in Troy 1 vex with war. 
Much have we heard too of thy former wealth ; 
Above what Lesbos northward, Macar's seat, 
Contains, & upper Phrygia, & the shores 
Of boundless Hellespont, 'tis said that thou 
In wealth and number of thy sons wast bless'd. 
But since on thee this curse the Gods have brought. 
Still round thy city war and slaughter rage. 
Bear up, nor thus with grief incessant mourn ; 
Vain is thy sorrow for thy gallant son ; 
Thou canst not raise him, & mayst suffer more.' 

1*4 1^ ts^ <»«.B^ <.»o «^^ l*<: <»^ Va^ l^ l»0 1«^ <^^ (*< <^^ c»cl»4 


I i86s i 

3 i 

!?-»> f-n 0-^ C^ f^ 5-^ 5-^ 5-** ^-^ 5-^ (>«> f^ ^«»«>!>*> f*> J*> C''^ 

Him answered godlike Priam, aged king : 
* Lead me not to a seat, Jove-nurtured prince, 
"While Hector lies uncared for in the tent ; 
But oh, release him quickly, that mine eyes 
Once more may see him ; and do thou accept 
The many gifts we for his ransom bring ; 
And mayest thou enjoy them, and return 

Triam and (LAch'ilks T09 

Comforts th' old man at home, since exiled far from him I bide 

y)p«<7Xoii7K 1(5^/(^4;, \m\ fjutXtc tjjAoSi Tmr^iif 

Here in Troy, thy sons' destruction compassing and thine. 
Thou too, sir, we have heard enjoy 'd'st good fortune aforetime; 
From Mytilene in Lesbos away to the boundary eastward 
Of Phrygia's highlands, & north to the briny Hellespont, 
Thou, sir, didst all men for wealth & progeny excel : 
But when once th' high gods let loose this mischief anigh thee, 

ourjuf «7rt» rot Wrif^gb tv^ lyt^^y Oh^imitiy 

Thy city was compast with nought but fierce battle and blood. 

cud TBI tSC* «5t/ f*«J^t T C*4idf»KTUmoC4 Tt. 

Bear up, allow thy temper awhile some respite of anguish : 

Thou wilt not benefit thy dear son vainly bewailing, 550 

Nor restore him alive ere thou taste flirther affliction.' 

Him then in answer addrest god-like Priam, Ilyon's old king. 

Ton ^ ifietotT tyntTK ytfn* H^^XfMi ^oaim' 

* Bid me not, O heav'nborn, to be seated, while ever Hector 
Lyeth i' the camp dishonour'd, nay rather quickly with all speed 

x.aTU\ c*< KXiinriaiy ctxrihii, uXb.ct (c^^fU 

Fetch him here to my eyes ; and this great ransom apportion'd 
Unto^his worth accept : may^it serve thy good pleasure, and thou 

no Ibant Ohscuri 

Safe to thy native land again, since thou 
Permittest me to live, and to behold 
The light of day.' 

l»4 t»»o t*< ^j^ <j^ t*«^^ t*o ^*^ '^^ '^^ <*« '^^ 


3 i88i-i8p3 i 

C'«% C"** c-*^ ^*> c«*> t'"^ C"** f*> C'*^*^ c-*^ >»i s"* 

Then fleet-footed Achilles looked sternly upon him and said, 
*No longer chafe me, old sire; of myself I am minded to give 
Hector back to thee, for there came to me a messenger from 
Zeus, even my mother who bare me, daughter of the Ancient One 
of the Sea. And I know, O Priam, in my mind, nor am I unaware 
that some god it is that hath guided thee to the swift ships of the 
Achaians. For no mortal man, even though in prime of youth, 
would dare to come among the host, for neither could he escape the 
watch, nor easily thrust back the bolts of our doors. Therefore 
now stir my heart no more here amid my troubles, lest I leave not 
even thee in peace, old sire, within my hut, albeit thou art my sup- 
pliant, & lest I transgress the commandment of Zeus.' 


3 1869 i 

3 i 

e«> 5-*> C'*> O-^ 5-*> C-*> 5-»> ;-f> (>»>»-»> 5-»i J-»» f-»^ e-^ &«> f-»> J-»^ f-w> 

He spake ; the old man trembled, obey'd, & silent sate ; 
Then Pcleide, like a lion wood, forth bounded from the gate ; 

Triam and (z^cbilles iii 

Safely return to thy home and sire, since now thou allow'st me 
Still to renew my days i' the light o' the sun to behold it.* 

Then glancing full dourly bespake him swift-foot Achilles. 

Ton V ctf vzi-o^x to VI iOi^n^n Triaeti iiKUi 'A^fi^dii' 

* O sir, vex me no more : myself I am already minded 560 

Now to restore him. Awhile Zeus sent one here to command me. 
My mother, — and the wizard who hometh in Ocean is her sire. 

f^nTflfj n f/! tTCKflj ^^7J)p «;AIo<0 yifOITVi. 

Yea, an' I-know, Priam, also^of thee, — think not to deceive me — 
That 'twas a god who brought-thee hither to the ships of Achaia, 
Since no mortal alive would dare, nay not one in his prime, 

•w \»f xt rXxlt) /ifOTVi ixjii^/jy elai fMcX' ivS*, 

Here to' intrude, neither c"^ he pass our senteries unseen, 

If aXTtt' elot JO «» (pvXctKovi Xtcjvtj eiJi k c^X 

Nor the resistant bars of my doors easily undo. 

Spare then again to provoke my soul o'erstrain'd In affliction, 

tS iv£ h*!)' fASi fMXt^of ci itX}tJi Jvf/,011 og/Ojlf, 

Lest, old king, I donhee a wrong in thine enemy's camp. 

Lest I in anger offend mine own honour and sin against God.' 570 

^< Ix'tTlui Off iitntf Aios ^ icXiTttficu t<piTfjuii." 

Thus he spake, and th* old king afeard in trembling obey'd him. 

*i2f 't^xr\ 'tHni J^ }4fut ^ i-xtl^'n fx,u^ai. 

Pele^des then arose, and sprang out over the doorway 

IliiiXethii eM(9<a x'tut oif <kAtv d't/'^^i, 

iix Ihant Obscuri 

Nor went he uncompanion'd, but followed liegemen twain, 

Alcimus & Automedon, 

Whom after dead Patroclus gone he most to love was fain : — 

And these from car & waggon released they horse & mule, 

And Priam's herald brought they in, & placed him on a stool ; 

Then from the wheel-bound waggon the price of Hector's head, 

That ransom rich they took, but left 

Two robes, & vest of dainty weft, wherewith to wrap the dead. 

And bear it home for burial : his handmaids then call'd he, 

To wash & oil the corpse apart, where Priam might not see ; 

Lest he, his son espying, should raise his desperate hand, 

And Pele'fde's wrathful soul provoke 

To deal him death with furious stroke, & sin 'gainst heaven's command. 

So when with oil & water the maids had wash'd the dead. 

And robe & tunic o'er it thrown, his liegemen PeleYde led. 

Triam and ^^ch'ilks ti^ 

Like a lion, nor alone; for with him two followers went, 
Automedon the renown'd, and Alkimos, of many heroes 
First in honour since Patroclus was lost to him in death. 
They then quickly the beasts all from their harnessing unyoked, 
And bidding into the house the herald in royal attendance, 
Made him there to be seated : anon they from the wagon lift 
Great Hector's body-ransom of ungrudg'd costliness untold : 

»1 ««> EKiQfUlf Kl^xXm Ct/ZJfUffi UTTBItX. 

Two rich mantles left they, a tunicle of linen also, 580 

>(jM ^' fAi/TB* Sua ^ccfe li/ttrfTOf -n ^rmiXy 

Comely to shroud his corpse when 'twas given-up to be borne home. 
And the women were call'd who laved it an' after anointed 

^Ifxijieci J^ C4MytAl(7«j Xt)Z<m\ x.iXtl' T flsAa'^/flM, 

Laid in a chamber apart, lest if Priam 'haply beheld it 
In his affliction he might restrain not his undying anger, 

fjtn fi k'^vfOf.ri Kfxiin ^oXor tux ifvazt^'n 

But break out and kindle the anguisht heart of Achilles, 
Who might slay him an' in blind recklessness sin against God. 

So the women-servants lav'd Hector's corpse an' anointed. 
Shrouded it in the linen with broider'd mantle around it : 

ccfjL<p'i it fx.n pi^oi >(^Xor /iccXtt isi ^t*»«, 

Then himself Achilles on a fair bier laid it, assisted 

euTTVi TVf y 'A;yA<</j Xtx^iui iin^Kii cUi^<;y 


114 Ihant Obscuri 

& with them rais'd & laid it high on the wain to ride ; — 

Then groan'd, & on his comrade's name call'd mournfully, & cried : — 

<a»4li^ <-»< l*-i <-»< t*-t t»>i t*< t»^ t»< C»<i <-»<<.»-£ 1*< t*^ <-»-:<.»< t»< t*0 


! '*^' I 

?*> f^ T"*^ t'^ J**^ 5-^ >*> f*i >«> S-«> /-«^ >«> >«^ J**^ >«»^ 9"^ !>*> e*^ 

* O Patroclus, be not wrathful with me, if thou shouldest hear, 
although being in Hades, that I have ransomed noble Hector to his 
beloved father, since he has not given me unworthy ransoms. Besides 
even of these will I give thee a share, whatever is just.' 

Noble Achilles spoke, & returned into the tent, and sat down 
upon a well-made couch, whence he had risen, at the opposite wall, 
and addressed Priam. 


J Boston 1870 i 

3 i 

e«> f^ >*> T*^ J*t /"> ?^ f"^ 5«*> >«> 5*> f«^ >«> 5-«> 5-^ &«^?«^ >»> J«> ?-»> ?«> f-^ 

* Behold thy son is ransomed, aged man. 

As thou hast asked, & lies upon his bier ; 

Thou shalt behold him with the early dawn, 

And bear him hence. Now let us break our fast, 

For even Niobe, the golden-haired. 

Refrained not from her food, though children twelve 

Perished within her palace, — six young sons 

And six fair daughters. Phoebus slew the sons 

Trinm and z^chilles 115- 

By his two followers, and on to Priam's wagon upraised, 590 

Groaning deeply' and calling aloud on his old companyon. 

* Be not aggriev'd, Patroclus, against me an' if thou hearest, 
Tho' i' the grave, that now I allow the surrender of Hector 

«» "Atiif /O? ittf «Ti Ejt'lggj* eiat \Xvmt 

Unto his sire, for surely he pays me full ample a ransom. 

fncTQ/i ^IA«, fmi cv fj^i tttiKiX omKti eCTnnX. 

Thine is it all, as ever thou sharedst with me in all things.' 

arc'i J^ ouj tyu (c x«'[ 'i<xiooi.osc^uu aoj- iTntitcii. 

With these words he return'd to his house, god-hearted Achilles, 

'H p4f, ){cf.\ ii xXijiuu TTtcXn ))<{ 0('«; A^Xb.<^i, 

Taking again his accustom'd seat whence late he had upris'n. 
On one side opposite to Priam whom straight he addrest thus. 

Ivl^V t5 tTtfOVj 77B71 J TlQAXf^f ftCTV f^Jit' 

* Thy son now, sir, is ev'n as thou hast pray'd to me restor'd. 
His body lies on a bier, with dawn thou'rt free to behold him 600 

KUTCtf cv Xf^os- ' tcfx,x J]^ noi <pct4yi)[U'ftr,^n 

And to depart with him home : take thought now but to refresh thee. 

o'^icu ourm oL'jUy' lii j fx.yjinti fx.ij» oifTnv. 

Nay nor was grand-tress'd Niobe disdainful of eating, 
When her twelve children lay dead in her palace outstretch'd. 
Six blossoming daughters had she 'and six lusty growing sons, 
But her boys did Apollo^in silvery archery destroy 

Q 2 

ii6 Ihant Obscuri 

With arrows from his silver bow, incensed 

At Niobe, while Dian, archer-queen, 

Struck down the daughters ; for the mother dared 

To make herself the peer of rosy-cheeked 

Latona, who, she boastfully proclaimed. 

Had borne two children only, while herself 

Had brought forth many. Yet, though only two, 

The children of Latona took the lives 

Of all her own. Nine days the corses lay 

In blood, and there was none to bury them. 

For Jove had changed the dwellers of the place 

To stone ; but on the tenth the gods of heaven 

Gave burial to the dead. Yet Niobe, 

Though spent with weeping long, did not refrain 

From food. 

<^-o 1*01*^ <*« 1*4 t*»a t*4 t»o 1*4 ?i^ i*^ t*^ t*^ <j^ t»< <^^ t*-i **^ 

3 . i 

I 7^. B. in Prometheus g 

i iS8s I 

3 i 

And somewhere now among lone mountain rocks 
On Sipylus, where couch the nymphs at night 
Who dance all day by Achelous' stream. 
The once-proud mother lies, herself a rock. 
And in cold breast broods o'er the goddes wrong. 

<*4 V»»4 1*0 1*^ t*C t*t l*^ ^»i 1*4 <»* t*4 ?*^ t*4 t*C t*4 1*4 lii ^»-4 

i W. G. T. BAKJEl^ I 

3 ^ i 

Let us two think of food, old man divine. 

And then thy son to Ilium taking rue. 

For much thou mourn him must, that son of thine.' 

This said, Achilles rose, & white sheep slew, 

Triam and z^chilks 117 

Wrathful against her, an' all her daughters Artemis o'erthrew, 
For that against Leto the goddess their great mother had she 
Vaunted, " thou 'st two only, but I have borne many myself." 
Then they, tho' but a pair, all her fair quantity fordid. 

TO) Jl u^ <£ oita) ftff toil ion TmvTUi oXtarew. 

Nine days lay they on earth expos'd in butchery, no one 6io 

et ft, uf CMt>if{^f Ktxl cv ^oy«, cuds 71; t|{r 

Could bury them, for men smitten in God's fury were as stones. 
Then the 'high gods themselves came down & their burial made. 
But Niobe took thought to renounce not food in affliction ; 
And somewhere ev'n now, on a mountain pasture among rocks, 
On Sipylus, where, as 'tis told, all-nightly the nymphs lie, 

cv HiTTuXcfj o3> ^xn Jixa)» 'i[XfX,tvtu <iuvcci 

Who by day go dancing along splendent Achelous, 

There in stone the mother sits brooding upon the goddes wrong. 

But come, now let us also remember, most reverend guest, 

x?i\' u}4 oil i(gi.] vmi (/.toufXiJu,, eh yt^cuiy 

Our food. After again, at what time thou carry him home, 

oirev' tTntTU kc¥ oui'n ^iXe¥ Tieije)* xXxatS-Xj 

Thou may'st weep thy son ; heavy too will that sorrowing be.' 630 

' JA<o» (UTzt^ya*' TnXvaUKfvroi at %» f'jw/. 

Thus sed-he, & forthwith went out, & seizing a white sheep 

ii8 lb ant Ohscuri 

Flay'd it his friends & trimm'd in order due. 
In pieces skilful cut, & hang them did 
On hooks & featly roast, & all withdrew. 
Automedon at table set the bread 
In baskets fair. Achilles meat distributed. 

3 i8d(f i 

^ ^^ f«> f*> f-*^ 5««> f«> f^f^?'*> ?"*> f*> Z^ f*> 5*^ J'^ '"^ ?*> f^ 5*^ f'*> ''^ 

Each then stretched forth his hand & partook the viands before him. 

Now when at length the pangs of hunger & thirst were abated, 
Gazed on Achilles' lofty form Dardanian Priam, 
Struck with amaze at his godlike mien & imperial bearing. 
Nor did Achilles less admire Dardanian Priam, 
Touched by his looks, so mild, & good, & his courteous expressions. 
Long on each other their eyes they fixed, till, satiate with gazing. 
Thus broke silence at last, & spake illustrious Priam : 

'Send me now quickly to rest, O heav'n born prince, that reposing. 
Both may recruit our strength & partake the blessings of slumber. 

l»0 t»A l»4 t»i l»i ta><^^ (*4 1^ l»< i»^ (»i i»4 1»^ IV: («^ t»4 1»^ 


3 i8p8 i 

i i 

Never once have my eyes been closed from the day your hands 

Triam and (^Achilles 119 

Kill'd it, an' his followers skinning & dismembering aptly 
Into lesser portions cut it up, which fixing upon spits 
Laid they anigh to the fire, & drew off daintily roasted. 
Meanwhile Automedon set fine loaves out on a table 
In baskets, but Achilles made the apportioning of flesh. 

>(^>itii cv >($cFf«<ji)r* uittp xpix tfifdfi A^^^dC/;. 

Then leapt forth their hands to the good cheer outspread afore them. 
But when anon they^had ta'en their fill of drinking an' eating, 
Then Priam in wonder sat mute as he gaz'd on Achilles, 

»jTo< AxfOhni^i Uq^x/us? Jxuf^^Z^ A^Aijf*, 

In what prime, yea a man whom no god's beauty c'^ excel ; 630 

And Achilles on comely Priam look'd, marvelling also, 

ounuf Ax^aanouo TIq^x/usi J»uf^(^i)i A^)is<^?j 

Considering his gracious address and noble bearing : 

Till their hearts wer' appeas'd gazing thus on each other intent. 

When first broke silence god-like Priam, Ilyon's old king. 

* Lead me to bed, heav'n-born, as soon as may be, let us both 
In kind slumber awhile forgetfully drowse our senses : 
For never hath sweet sleep seal'd mine eyelids for a moment 

ixo Ihant Olscuri 

took the life of my son ; I have grovelled without ceasing in the 
mire of my stable-yard, making moan and brooding over my count- 
less sorrows. Now, moreover, I have eaten bread and drunk wine ; 
hitherto I have tasted nothing.' 

As he spoke Achilles told his men and the woman-servants to set 
beds in the room that was in the gatehouse, and make them with 
good red rugs, and spread coverlets on the top of them with woollen 
cloaks for Priam and Idaeus to wear. So the maids went out 
carrying a torch, and got the two beds ready in all haste. 


i '^^^ i 

Anon footswift Achilles laughingly 

Accosted thus his guest : * In outer room, 

Dear rev'rend sire, now lay thee ; lest perchance 

Hither should come some Argive prince of counsel ; 

For ever sitting here with me are such. 

To ponder plans, e'en as 'tis meet and right : 

Of whom should haply any one spy thee 

During the dark swift-passing night, then sure 

Triam and zyfchilles iii 

Since the sad hour when aneath thy hand mine unhappy son fell : 

ti, eu Tv^i \!zB-a ^fni tfjiei 7mi{ vXtat '^f^of. 

But ever o'erbrooding the deluge of my sorrow I lay 

u?^ euii ^id^ wjf.'i xriiix fxv^x morVf 

'Mong the cattle grovelling disgraced i' the mire o' the courtyard. 640 
But now bread have I eaten again, & pour'd the mellow wine 
Down my throat: but afore until now nought had I eaten.* 

Thus sed-he, and Achilles bade his handmaids an' attendants 
Place bedsteads i' the south corridor, with mattresses and rugs 

atfx.n TJZ3"* U4}cua-y\ Jimjm >(^i l>iy*x >(^Xcc 

Of fair scarlet dye, and counterpanes spread above them : 
Also ther'on for night-apparel two warm woolly mantles. 
So the women came torches in hand forth from the inner rooms, 
And working busilie laid out very quickly the two beds. 

Then laughingly to godly Priam spake swift-foot Achilles. 

*I must lodge-thee without, dear sir; lest someone of our folk 650 

" iKloi [A, oil xil,Oj p^pa> ^IXtj fx.^ 77; A^mcj» 

Haply come in : 'tis ever some councillor asking an audience. 

And ther' is old counsel when they sit with me debating. 

If one of all that flock chanc'd here i' the swift-shadowing night 

T « 7IJ n ihno %lw 2^ »vk1x fiiXtuiMVy 

Ill Ihant Ohscuri 

To Agamemnon, pastor of the host, 

He straight would blab ; then haply would there be 

A putting off of ransoming the corse. 


3 1821 i 

But come, tell me this, & declare it accurately ; how many days 
dost thou desire to perform the obsequies of the noble Hector, that 
so long I may myself remain quiet, & restrain the people.' 

Whom answered then Priam, the godlike old man : * If indeed 
thou be now willing that we celebrate a funeral to the noble Hector, 
by thus doing, O Achilles, thou dost things surely giving delight 
to me. . . . 

Triam and zyfchilles iig 

Thee to espy, 'tw'' reach the shepherd, their great Agamemnon, 

eurrxK tit i^etTm A^fxl/xtttt TntfOfit Xtcuf, 

And there might be delay in accomplishing our agreement. 
But come, tell thy mind to me nor make scruple about it, 

mXk,' myt fj($i WV H-n £ kr^tKitii t{t^Tt»^t\»yy 

How many days thou'rt fain to devote to the mourning of Hector, 

7iT0(r?iytp fji,\/jf$icK KlifeiL^ifBfJ Ek^ojh d'lot. 

That for so long a time I await & from battle abstain.' 

0^^ TfVi CUrm TT fOflM )(£f.\ Xtiil tfUKt/." 

"Whom answer 'd then again god-like Priam, Ilyon's old king. 
* If thou nobly desire me to bate my son's honour in nought, 660 
Scarce, Achilles, couldst thou with a greater kindness attach me. . . . 



1INE 268. Ibant. 'And suddenly they were walking.* 
^ That is, the vision induced by the magic began, and 
it seemed to them that they were walking, (Sfc. ' lis se 
trouvaient' : and thus Dante, '■ Mi ritrovai\ But the words 
used to translate Ibant must throw no doubt on the reality 
of the ensuing scenes. Ibant is therefore difficult to translate, 
since the English equivalent * They were walking ' is out 
of key with the diction, being in our poetry too colloquial 
to carry a severe interpretation. 

290. CoRRiPiT. The simple and almost inevitable mean- 
ing of these lines (290-291) is that iEneas drew his sword. 
But he was walking with his sword drawn in his hand, see 
line 260, Tuque invade viam, vaginaque eripe ferrum. We 
must therefore either blame the poet for an inconsistency in 
his picture, or interpret corripit by ' firmlier grasped ' or 
some such phrase. 

In the first case, it would seem that the two passages 
cannot have been written consecutively, or else that the 
intervening description (273-89), being a composite piece 
of work, had interrupted the thought, so that the picture of 
iEneas in Virgil's mind had faded or shifted. I am myself 
inclined to this opinion, and have had no hesitation in 

Notes on the Virgil 115- 

changing the ofFending word in my paraphrase, since, apart 
from the necessary consistency, the maintenance of iEneas* 
intended attitude is preferable, as having more dignity and 
less disturbance of the figure. 

In the second case, it seems to me that the defence of 
corripit exposes Virgil to the charge of choosing an unsuit- 
able word (compare note on 453). 

320. Remis verrvnt. An unfortunate ' Castalianism * 
characteristic of the Augustans. Here the conventional 
* poetic ' periphrasis is out of propriety and confuses the 
picture with a wrong suggestion : because it was not 
intended that the shades should row themselves across, nor 
were there any oars. The ambiguity of Hnquunt ripas is 
also weak. 

359. Gravatvm. By the lowest estimate Palinurus must 
have been sixty hours in the water. Counting the night on 
which he fell overboard (say at 3 a.m.) as the first night, 
he was aswim the two following days and nights, and then 
on the next morning {lumtne quarto^ that is the fourth 
day counting the first night as a day) he scarcely saw the 
Italian mountains from the top of a wave. Vix is of 
uncertain but easy interpretation ; and he may be supposed 
to have seen Italy early on that morning, and to have got 
ashore some time in the afternoon of that day (say 3 p.m.), 
which makes 48+12 hours. 

This, the most economical calculation, makes line 359 
somewhat absurd, because the forward and accentuated 
position of gravatum in the description is equivalent to 
Palinurus* alleging that a main reason why he could not 
defend himself against the attack of armed savages was that 
his clothes were heavy with the salt-water ; whereas the 

lid Ihant Ohscuri 

honest and sufficient cause of his inactivity was, or would 
have been, his exhaustion after sixty hours' immersion in 
a rough and wintry sea (I take ' wintry ' from hibernas in 
line 355) : his getting ashore at all was a miracle. 

His long swim is copied closely from the similar adventure 
of Ulysses in Odyssey V : and I do not now know why I 
reduced it in my paraphrase. A friend told me that in his 
opinion Palinurus was intended to brag or exaggerate 
throughout his tale — and hibernas would perhaps be an 
example — ; but I see nothing in his mood to make that 
desirable : and I suppose that I wished to render him what 
little service I could. I now regard the liberty that I took 
as a needless inaccuracy. 

It is of course true that gravatum is very pictorial, and 
if Virgil had been painting a fresco, the clinging and 
dripping clothes would have been of first importance. 
But ^neas did not see this in his Vision ; nor can Palinurus 
have been likely to dwell on the pictorial qualities of his 
adventure: and it is uncomfortable to have to think of his 
appealing to iEneas' feelings by such an indirect and un- 
certain mode of presentation. 

366. Velija. Virgil uses the adjective Velinos at the end of 
the line : and since it was imperative to keep the place-name 
in its position I have lengthened the penultimate syllable. 
To the English reader the matter is indifferent, and I 
suppose that the Greek Epic adjectival form would be ffAe/*. 

453. SvRGERE. Without any doubt the setting new 
moon is intended, and the simile is one of the most beautifully 
handled in all poetry. As the word surgere means ' to rise *, 
it seems to be unfortunately used here in its more unusual 
sense to the exclusion of its primary and specially astronomical 

Notes on the Virgil 117 

sense. It is of course impossible that Virgil should have 
confounded the rising with the setting of the moon, and the 
only explanation must be that the secondary sense of the 
word (implying merely sudden appearance) was so common 
as to admit of its use even in these apparently forbidding 
conditions. Mr. Mackail would explain surgere as * come to 
the surface '. 

618. Phlegias. 'The learning and critical sagacity of 
Bishop Warburton ' supply the following note on this name. 

'The Phlegiae here mentioned, I take to be those people 
of Boeotia spoke of by Pausanias, who attempting to plunder 
the temple of Apollo at Delphi, were almost all destroyed 
by lightning, earthquakes, and pestilence : hence Phlegiae, 
I suppose, signified impious, sacrilegious persons in general, 
and is so to be understood here.' I quote this peculiar 
elucidation not only for its originality and grammatical 
interest, but because I imagine that some of my learned 
friends will think it in suitable company amongst my own 

698 and 700. Ter conatvs. Three lines are here re- 
peated from ii. 792, where iEneas narrates his meeting 
with Creusa's shade before leaving Troy. The result of 
their re-employment here is disastrous. The situation, 
though of unimpeded and almost leisurely movement, 
arrives at a crisis of intense emotion, which is not com- 
municable through a formula. Indeed, even without the 
previous experiments on Creusa, iEneas would not have 
made three attempts to embrace his father : the first shock 
at finding that the figure was incorporeal would have 
overwhelmed him ; nor could he have quickly recovered. 
Observe the effect on the story : the situation being missed, 

1x8 Ilant Ohscuri 

the narration takes no heed of it, but continues Interea videt, 
which seems to mean that while iEneas was making these 
ineffectual attempts to embrace his father, he was also 
observing what was going on in another place. I believe 
that we have here an example of the common artistic flaws 
that come of copying, that is of adopting a ready-made 
form accidentally suggested by the memory, instead of the 
spontaneous phrasing of the present feeHng. Had ^Eneas' 
true emotion been really imagined and honestly described, 
then Interea would have been even more impossible to Virgil 
than it was to me in following him. The way in which 
my paraphrase avoids the bathos will illustrate these remarks. 

Mr. Mackail tells me that he thinks Interea is a proof that 
this passage had not received its final form ; and that is 
what I should contend, namely that it is one of those 
passages which Virgil must have desired to correct. And 
Mr. Mackail believes that the recurrence of the Ter conatus 
passage would not have been allowed by Virgil, but that in 
his revision he would have omitted it from one of the two 
places : my objections point also to the same conclusion. 

The Ter conatus passage is taken by Virgil from the 
Odyssey (xi. 206), where Ulysses meets his own mother's 
shade in Hades ; and it is likely enough that it was written 
into the two places in the iEneid tentatively. 

Note also that in line 698, Teque ample xu ne subtrahe 
nostra^ the economy of making iEneas use to his father the 
same phrase which he had so very lately and ineffectively 
used to Dido (L 465) is unworthy. 

893. SvNT GEMiNAE. This passage on the Dream-gates is 
takenfrom the Odyssey (xix. 562, &c.), where Penelope talking 
with Ulysses, while he is still unrecognized by her, moralizes 

Notes 071 the Virgil ii(; 

on the vanity of her dreams. The passage there is of 
eight hnes. 

Two gates there are in heaven of shadowy dreams, 
One pair of ivory wrought and one of horn : 
And dreams that through the ivory come to men 
Are cheating, and show things that shall not be ; 
But such as through the polished horn fly down 
Are true in issue to their glad beholders : — 
But thence came not my strange dream, as I fear. 
Welcome as 'twere to me and to my son. 

The use that Virgil has made of it here has caused much 
discussion ; but in one respect the intention is clear and the 
effect good, i^neas' vision of Hades, induced by magical 
means in the Sibyl's cave, had appeared real to him, and had 
been so described. His sudden awaking to ordinary life was 
the only opportunity that the poet had of denoting the 
unreality of the previous scenes, and Virgil with his usual 
artistic resource has made a beauty of the difficulty, and by 
passing iEneas and the Sibyl out of Hades by the false 
dream-gate he excuses the pessimism and contradictions of 
his mythical tales ; which, as an Epicurean, he would have 
wished to do. 

The unsatisfactory side of the device is that it does not 
suit that part of the vision which I have not translated, from 
line 752 onwards, which is a prophecy by Anchises con- 
cerning the future of Rome. This, since it was drawn 
from actual history, and owed its value to its truth, could 
not be called a false dream. If any dreams can be called 
true, this was one. The connexion, as it appears in my 
paraphrase, omitting the prophecy, is satisfactory : so that if 
one could imagine that the prophecy was not a part of the 

igo Ihant Obscuri 

original design, but was interpolated, then we should have 
an explanation ; but I see no reason to suppose this : for 
if the Marcellus episode was added it was added because 
there was the place for it. 

The word falsa cannot be explained away or mitigated, 
and there would seem to be no resolution of the difficulty, 
unless we are content to admit that ^Eneas and the Sibyl 
could not go out by both gates, and that the ivory gate was 
the more suitable of the two. 

It is probably forgotten that the Sibyl had warned iEneas 
that the descent to Hades was easy enough but the return 
difficult : whereas he found all his difficulty in getting 
down, and escaped at a gesture. 

In writing the above criticisms I have had in my mind 
the old tradition that Virgil just before his death said that 
he wished the manuscript of the ^Eneid to be destroyed. 
There is no doubt that it lacked his final correction. 
Throughout the poem there are places where a sentence ends 
in the midst of an unfinished line, and the narrative is taken 
up by a full line, leaving a gap in the metre ; and it is 
probable enough that these are gaps between two sections 
written separately and never welded together, and that if 
Virgil had lived to correct his poem he would have filled in 
those metric gaps : these are probabilities ; and students 
find other traces of fracture or imperfect union in places 
where the eye is no guide. It is a certainty that these gaps 
and fractures are not errors of which Virgil could have been 
ashamed ; they cannot have been the ground of his wish 
that his whole poem should be destroyed. Whatever his 
main objection to his poem may have been, passages such 

Notes on the Virgil igr 

as some that I have criticized must have been among the 
things that he wished to remedy; unless indeed some of 
them may be due to the friends who put his poem together 
for pubhcation. An alternative is that my criticisms are 
wrong ; which I must leave the reader to judge : but if he 
should judge me ill-affected or irreverent or presumptuous in 
making them, I can only think that he has not a proper 
estimate of Virgil's artistic eminence — which is truly such, 
that nothing can possibly damage it, certainly not such little 
nibbles as mine. The more one studies his art the more 
one must admire it ; but a student who does not see the flaw 
of an unfitness cannot be credited with being able to 
perceive fully the dazzling clarity and the marvel of his 
beauties ; nor would Virgil have felt much honoured by the 
delight and pleasure of a reader who could not distinguish. 


The note on the 700th line of the sixth ^Eneid shows one 
disadvantage of the epic practice of exactly repeating the 
same verbal description in similar situations. This practice 
Virgil took — as he took the lines in question — from Homer, 
in whose epic such repetitions are characteristic. Every 
speech, for instance, is generally introduced by a whole line, 
which ushers the speaker by name and gives his titles : and 
the recurrence of these lines is very prominent. 

s 2 

igx Ihant Ohscuri 

If one were to translate Homer it would be a folly as well 
as a fault not to copy this practice exactly. For every 
recurrent line the translator should compose one as closely 
corresponding as possible, and employ his substitute wher- 
ever the original recurred : and in this way he would be 
able to reproduce very closely one prominent if not impor- 
tant Homeric effect. 

I have not absolutely adhered to this rule in my paraphrase : 
my reason being that in a short passage (such as I have 
rendered) the disadvantages of this poetic form appear, while 
its accumulated effect is lacking. I have therefore used it 
only where there was no disadvantage. I will give some 
instances of my refusing it. 

When Hermes meets Priam on the plain, he says that he 
wonders that the King should venture so near to the Greek 
camp. What if he should be discovered .? and his line 
is (366) 

ToDV si rU o-e 'idoiTO Qotjv dice vvKTct fjLsXcuvav. 

An hour or so after this occurrence Priam is sitting with 
Achilles, and Achilles apologizes for not offering him a bed 
within the house, explaining that the Grecian counsel- 
mongers often look in of an evening, and might discover him, 
and he repeats Hermes' line 

Teav a tU o"£ H^oito Soyjv oia, vvkto, fxsXoLtvoLv. 

Unless the reader or hearer has become quite accustomed to 
the convention, the effect here is most distracting. It is 
needless to point out the ambiguities of the distraction. 

Again, here is another example of a somewhat different 
kind : when Hermes, talking with Priam, begins two of his 
speeches with these identical words wei^a, efA,iioy yspctie : and the 

Notes on the Homer igg 

effect is very good. But yrei^a. has not exactly the same 
meaning in both cases. In the first it means * you would 
test me, by your questions, to discover whether I am the 
person whom I pretend to be ', and in the second ' you would 
tempt me, and seek to bribe me with a gift.' The Greek 
word may cover both meanings ; but even if we had a simple 
word, capable of being taken equally well in both senses, 
it would be foolish to use it at the cost of a straightfor- 
ward distinction : because the prominent recurrence of the 
expression suggests and courts identical interpretation. The 
repetition has unquestionable force, but it is simpler and 
better to ensure distinction. 

Again, here is another different kind of example. The 
line that introduces Hermes' speeches is 

Toi' doLvre TrpoG'tsiTre aloiiCTopo? 'Apyei<piVT>}f, 

and supposing the English of 'ApysKpovTfj^ to be ' slayer of 
Argus ', then, if this term is used in line 432, the place-name 
Argos comes in, five lines lower down, with an uncomfort- 
able blurr : and it was for that reason that I refused the 
recurrent line in 432. 

I have given my motives for departing from the original 
in these places, because it might else seem that I had been 
careless or reckless in such matters. See also notes on 11. 506 
and 595. 

385. :SW TTctiV. Attentive readers will be arrested by these 
words, and object, first, that Hermes is acting his part very 
ill, and secondly that Priam is dull in not perceiving this 
betrayal of his disguise. The patient examination which 
my translating involved led me to judge that all this 
dialogue between Hermes and Priam is a very careful piece 

ig4- lb ant Obscuri 

of work, and I will give my explanation for what it is 

When they first meet (1. 360) Hermes of course knows 
Priam, while Priam does not immediately recognize Hermes : 
but he has been warned that Hermes will meet him, and 
during Hermes' first speech he makes the identification. 
His reply to Hermes is masterly. He knows that he must 
not openly recognize the god and expose his disguise, but he 
is bound to treat him as a god, and cannot do this without 
letting Hermes see that he is recognized. This he manages 
with great skill, and Hermes' answer (379), 

'NcCi ^Y\ TuvToi ye TTAVTct, yepov, kccto, fjcoipctv setTcif, 

almost seems as if Hermes was capable of appreciating Priam's 
good manners. 

The situation is now changed : Hermes, assured that 
Priam will understand him, is at liberty to mix up his two 
characters and to say whatever he may choose ; while Priam 
is obliged to maintain his double attitude of understanding 
and pretending to be deceived. There is therefore nothing 
wrong in Hermes' recognizing Priam, (which in his assumed 
disguise he had no mortal means of doing; nor could have 
ventured to do, had not Priam allowed him to see that he 
was recognized;) nor is there any reason for Priam to be 
surprised, when Hermes speaks of Hector as * thy son ' 
(385). But Priam takes this virtual abnegation of disguise 
as a hint that Hermes is willing to throw it off ; so he asks 
him plainly (387) who he really is: 

T<V ae (TV ea-cri, ^epia-Te ; 

<pepi(rT£ is admirable, — I have ventured to render it by a mili- 
tary title, because Hermes had spoken as a soldier, — but 

Notes on the Horner 1^5- 

Hermes is not willing to relinquish his show of deceit, and 

says very cleverly 

TTSipoi efxsio, yepctHy 

which has a double signification: the one that appears in 
the simple context, consistent with the pretence that he is 
unrecognized, while the other implies the recognition, i.e. 
'you must not ask me to reveal myself : and he goes on 
with a long fable of who he is, and how he happens to be 
there. He wishes to personify one of Achilles' servants. 
Priam then questions him on matters which, as Achilles' 
servant, he is likely to know. 

Hermes informs him, in reply, that the gods are protecting 
Hector's body : an assurance which, in his character of god, 
he was well able to give : and Priam is duly grateful, and in 
his reply is devotional and pious (425), ' See, lad, how good 
it is to offer gifts to the gods': and he clinches this by 
offering a gift to Hermes. 

There seems to be no further complexity in their relations: 
Hermes is pleased with himself, and his conduct is that of 
an immortal ; and when he leaves Priam in the courtyard of 
Achilles' house, his revelation is formal, his advice in the 
manner of omniscient instruction, and he goes off without 
waiting for Priam's thanks. 

All this explanation seems to imply more elaboration and 
ingenuity than Homer is usually credited with : but logical 
explanations are necessarily more elaborate than the instinctive 
rightnesses which they explain: and there is avast improb- 
ability in the supposition that these apparent inconsistencies 
should have fortuitously grouped themselves so as to be 
capable of such a consistent resolution. Priam is throughout 
a model of perfect courtesy, and is pictured with great 

1^6 Ihant Ob s curt 

tenderness and sympathy : and Hermes' character is also 
richly illustrated, not only in the childish pleasure which he 
takes in his disguise, apparently for its own sake as a form of 
deceit, but also in the unconscious betrayal of his essential 
dishonesty when he would act the faithful servant ; for when 
he scorns Priam's gift as an attempt to bribe him from his 
allegiance to his master, he is not ashamed to state that his 
motive for honesty is his fear of detection, and this simple 
Hobbsy view of human morality is in character. Hermes is 
the unconscious butt of Priam's imperturbable courtesy : and 
since Priam does not speak to him again after this awkward 
blunder, we must wish to be allowed to think that the poet 
considered it as a final stroke. If we could think that, we 
should be in very close personal relation with Homer. 

459. 'E^ iTTTruv J" A7rsl3ccivs. I have omitted these words in 
my paraphrase because I do not see how Hermes can have 
been in the chariot after having opened the gate. The 
possible explanation is so awkward that it is much better 
not to require it. 

469. aXTo. I do not quite like this of Priam. 

506 and 508. Line 506 is sometimes translated as I have 
rendered it, but this is not the meaning of the Greek words. 
What happens is this : In line 478 Priam embraces Achilles' 
knees and kisses his hands ; in his speech that follows we 
must suppose that he has relinquished that attitude, and then 
in line 506 he raises his hands towards Achilles' face in 
suppliant gesture. That this is intended is shown by line 
508, where the translation must be that Achilles took hold 
of Priam's raised hand and thrust it gently from him, in 
reluctance which (after giving way to his grief) he overcame 
in line 515. But line 505, in which Priam says that he 

Notes on the Ho7ner 1^7 

* braved what none other man on earth hath braved before * 
(Lang-Leaf-Myers' tr.) must refer to his former action of 
kissing the hand that slew his son, since it is not true of the 
common suppliant's gesture of the moment: indeed it is 
impossible to suppose that it does not refer to the kissing of 
the murderous hand. I chose in my paraphrase to mistrans- 
late both lines rather than miss the greater meaning. 

595. My paraphrase exhibits a translator attempting to 
improve on his author. Homer makes Achilles say 

which is rendered in Samuel Butler's version 

And I will share it equitably with you, 
and in Lang-Leaf-Myers 

Whereof I will deal to thee again thy rightful share. 
Perhaps some of my readers may possibly make allowance 
for the very real temptation which besets a translator in such 
a case. The conditions forbid absolutely literal translation, 
and for this reason, if for no other, he is constantly falling 
below his original, nor can any one blame him for ' intro- 
ducing ' such falls, for they are to be assumed as unavoidable. 
It appears to me that it is unfair to refuse him the chance that 
he may have here and there of heightening a passage, when 
the balance is so constantly against him. This is an example, 
and I contend that my line is consistent with Achilles' atti- 
tude to Patroclus, and more expressive of it than the original, 
and more poetic. 

ig8 Ihant Oh s curt 

CHAP. Ill 

By giving specimens of the numerous English translations 
of the iEneid I primarily intended to make it easy to 
compare my hexameters with the various other verse-forms 
employed for the same purpose on the same material ; that 
is, they were to be examples of method ; and the scraps of 
prose-translation, which are generally more Virgilian and more 
poetic than the verse, might, I thought, here and there serve 
those who cannot read Latin to check the fidelity of my 
paraphrase. But I was disappointed at not finding more 
metrical versions to sample. There would indeed have been 
more had I been dealing with the first book ; but so many 
of the verse-translators who started at the Arma vtrumque 
proved short-winded, and fell outsat the end of the first or 
second lap, that my actual rivals in the sixth book were far 
fewer than I had anticipated. Still the miscellany may be 
amusing enough to justify the trouble that the copying 

The apportioning of the selections was determined very 
much by chance ; since any real display of taste or choice, 
or even of justice in the arrangement would imply 
acquaintance with the different versions, and I had, so far as 
I can remember, never read a line of any of them except 
one : the exception being my friend Mr. Mackail's prose 
version, of which (in the absence of all books of reference) 
I obtained a copy when I had reached line 454.' I must 

' If there are more correspondences between our translations after that place than 
before it, this may be due to my finding his vocabulary useful. Earlier ones are 
coincidences, and Shakespeare's ' viewless winds ' was inevitable to both of us. 

The Translations 


however have many times come into contact with Dry- 
den's version : but I have a natural repugnance to that 
author's style, and found it reinforced by his preface to the 
volume which I used ; wherein he pompously informed 
me that Tasso was a finer poet than Dante. 

It was in the dog-days of 1 906,' when Oxford was deserted, 
that I took up with this pastime. My simple procedure was 
to get out the volume of the Bodleian catalogue containing 
Virgil, and to require all the English translations in the 
order of the index. Naturally Douglas came first, and I 
hold him worthy of that position : for ' glorious John ' 
I chose the Dido episode, as likely to make him show his paces : 
to Morris I allotted the Elysian fields, and the picnic scene, 
as agreeable to his easy and breezy vein. Round such islands 
the new-comers spontaneously grouped themselves, until 
gradually the choice of what passage I should transcribe 
from any author became more and more determined by the 
lessening of the gaps at my disposal. I took the volumes 
in the order in which they happened to be supplied to me, 
and decided on the extracts without much comparison or 
revision : and though I used some discernment I committed 
one grave mistake, namely that I did not at once recognize 
the intrinsic value of such translators as King and Symonds. 
The reader of their regrettably short extracts will long for 
more. I am consoled to think that what little is given is 
very rich and typical, and that the blank-verse-translators 
really needed longer extracts to exhibit their more diluted 
characteristics. I am glad also of this proof that I did not 
do intentional injustice to any of them. Still it was an 

' Hence Jackson's translation (1908) was inserted later, and owing to the kindness 
of a friend at the British Museum four or five other translations were subsequently 
worked in. 

T 2 

I4-0 Ihant Ohscurt 

accident that I gave so much room to these plainer folk, 
and had I foreseen the failure of my material I should have 
been more generous to the heroics. 

I have no appetite for translations ; and these verse- 
extracts, most of which provoked the ingenuous laughter 
of my youthful copyist, are with very few exceptions entirely 
devoid not only of such poetic quality as contact with 
Virgil might have stimulated, but even of such technical 
perception and skill as could justify the effort to imitate him. 
I was constantly recalling the delightful dilemma with which 
Professor Sylvester posed a translator of Horace, ' If he 
thought the original was like that, what can he have seen 
in it to make him think that it was worth translating ? ' 
But the self-confidence with which many of these authors 
introduced themselves forced on me the uncomfortable 
reflection that I was probably in a like predicament — as 
indeed Professor Sylvester was, for all his genius — ; but then, 
just as I was laughing and seeing myself as others will see 
me, the Devil suggested that I was not really in the same 
box with these men, firstly because / had not set myself to 
translate Virgil^ but only to make quantitive hexameters, and 
had chosen the iEneid merely as heroic material for dactyls 
and spondees, and as a severe test of my experiment : and again 
because many of these translators had been fashionable in 
their day, and were esteemed to be excellent hands at the 
job, whereas I had already foretasted the reception which 
my performance would provoke. What vanity I have is of 
a kind that this distinction can comfort. 

The Taraphrase 14.1 

The above (save for the few corrections implying a later 
date) is what I wrote at the time ten years ago at the foot 
of the fair copy of my Virgilian paraphrase, made at 
St. Moritz before Xmas 1905. The history of that experi- 
ment is that, when I was leaving England for Switzerland 
in the summer of 1905, a friend most thoughtfully presented 
me with an exquisitely printed little Virgil to glorify my 
leisure. The well-chosen gift lived in my pocket throughout 
my wanderings, and I must have read it from end to end 
more than once, before I determined to try what Stone's 
prosody would make of the iEneid. The dates on my fair 
draft of that are 'Begun Nov. 9, finished Dec. 19, 1905 ', 
and many lines of it were composed during delightful 
skating expeditions to the beautiful lakes before the first 
smooth transparent ice had been destroyed by the keener 
frosts of December. 

The Homeric paraphrase, which is now set with that, 
was done later and under very different conditions, at home 
in the fine English summer of 191 3, having been mostly 
pencilled in the hot sunshine on the lawn in front of my 
house. The dates on the fair copy, which I made day by 
day as I went on, show that it was begun on May 31, and 
that by June 7 I had completed 82 lines ; and then, after 
two days interruption, continued until June 23, which is the 
last date recorded; but as it is 50 lines short of the end, 
the period should be extended three or four days longer. 
The Cento of Homeric translators was collected and completed 
in two visits to Bodley's library. May 12 and 16, 1914 : 
which last record will deliver me from suspicion of 
partiality, though, I fear, not of the negligence of haste or 

I4-X Ihant Obscuri 

The foregoing particulars will interest friends who are 
curious to know from actual experiment whether the 
difficulties of this classical prosody are deterrent, for they 
can compare the result with the time expended. I am also 
myself interested in le temps, qui ne fait rien a F affaire, because 
of the peculiar stamp of criticism that my classical imita- 
tions often provoke. I would not argue with my critics, 
who are generally more indulgent to me than I deserve, but 
one of their assumptions is that the difficulties of quantitive 
verse in English convicts it of pedantry — so that, according 
to them, the time does matter ; and George Chapman tells 
us that he wrote at the rate of 'j'] lines a day, whereas I 
wrote but a dozen.' My own opinion is that, especially in the 
present condition of English verse, all methodical experi- 
ments are of value, and that a competent experiment is 
of value even though it may not please. Again, in 
their judgement of rhythm, critics will frequently assume 
their own unfamiliarity to be a sufficient condemnation. 
With regard to this I wish to point out that it is, in 
my opinion, a mistake to think that the best translations 
of Greek verse are those which make it seem to be most 
like well written conventional English verse. If an English 

^ * Thus with labour enough (though with more comfort in the merits of my divine 
Author) I have brought my translation of his Iliads to an end. If either therein, 
or in the harsh utterance, or matter of my comment before ; I have, for haste, 
scatterd with my burden (lesse than fifteene weekes being the whole time, that the 
last twelve bookes translation stood me in) I desire my present will, and (I doubt not) 
hability (if God give life) to reform and perfect all hereafter, may be ingenuously 
accepted for the absolute worke. The rather, considering the most learned (with all 
their helpes and time) have been so often and unanswerably, miserably taken halting. 
In the meane time ; that most assistful and unspeakable spirit, by whose thrice sacred 
conduct and inspiration, I have finished this labour, diffuse the fruitful home of his 
blessings through these goodnesse-thirsting watchings ; without which, utterly dry 
and bloodlesse is whatsoever Morality soweth ' (p. 34 1, orig. edition). 

The Tarapbrase 14^ 

reader, who is unable to read Greek, is to get a glimpse of 
what Homer is like, he must read something which does 
«o/ remind him of Milton or Pope or Tennyson or Swinburne, 
because Homer does not do this. A reader of Homer is 
like a man in a dream, who enters into a world of strange 
beauty unlike that which every day besets him : he is far 
removed from the associations of modern art and civilization, 
and unless he is enthralled in that dreamlike charm, he has 
not entered within the magic circle. 

This likening of the effect of Homer to the feeling of a 
dream satisfies me; because, if I set aside the pretentious 
phantasms of metaphysical significance, and again all merely 
nonsensical visions, and the nightmares of physical discomfort, 
then, in the happy dream-land between these, I find a world 
wherein the emotions are intensified to a supramundane 
purity and force, such as no human affection however 
perfect and sanctified can, except in the rarest moments of 
ecstasy, be found to attain. And I believe that my strongest 
waking imagination of the higher emotions owes very much 
to my dream-experiences of their power, just as I know that 
some of them have been much heightened or strengthened 
by pictures and statues and music. 

Now I have no doubt that this pure efficacy of the 
emotions in our dreams is mainly due to the absence of all 
irrelevant impressions, and this is also the main secret of 
their force in art, and the reason why music is the most 
emotional of the arts. 

It is not strange then if Homer's transcendent and remote 
art should remind us of a dream-world; and it follows that, 
if we would reproduce it, we must avoid all irrelevant 

T4-4- Ihant Ohscuri 

And this is not only the right mental attitude towards 
Homer, it is also the only comfortable and pleasant way of 
reading him ; for it rids us at once of all the foolish objections 
of moralists, rationalists, and pedants ; as for instance that the 
gods do not behave in a godly manner, or that there are any 
gods, or whatever other kind of snowball has been thrown 
at the temple. 

It would seem from all this that a familiar and perfected 
modern verse-form must be a bad vehicle for a translation of 

This argument does not apply to Virgil as fitly as it does 
to Homer, on account of the more modern and cultured 
thought-forms of Virgil's imitative epic; and his Augustan 
style bears some close resemblance to certain English schools 
of verse: but on the other hand it is unfair to Virgil to rob 
him of the chief outward similarity, on which he greatly 
relied to give Homeric form to his poem. If we look at the 
matter in this way, faithlessness to metric form is a greater 
injustice to Virgil than to Homer, who, although he may 
lose a greater thing, can better afford the loss. 

A literal prose translation has then a much better chance 
of introducing the real Homer to an English reader than any 
translation in modern English verse-forms: and if the prose 
translators had appreciated the great structural importance 
of the line-unit, and had divided their prose into lengths 
corresponding with the line-subdivisions of the matter and 
sense in the original verse, it might have been contended 
that they had done the utmost that can be done ; for 
their versions — supposing that their diction was competent — 
would then have lacked only in one thing, namely the 
rhythm: and it might be held that since that could not be 

The Varapbrase 145- 

given accurately, it was better to omit it altogether than to 
substitute a deceptive makeshift. 

And if we do not assent to this argument, it must be 
because we judge that the metric roll of the long verses is an 
essential part of the effect. Here is the field for experiment, 
and any one may try what he can do : and he may try the 
* accentual Hexameter ', of which there are examples in my 
Centos. Concerning that kind of verse I have only a few 
short comments to offer: First, that the vehicle seems 
better suited for lighter work; next that those who use it 
handle it so clumsily that the gulf between their amateurish 
product and the finished mastery of Homer's technique is 
greater than that made by any decent prose ; and it is 
impossible but that they must have been blind to the value 
of one or other of the terms in comparison. Can they have 
thought that Homer wrote in their manner, or did they 
imagine that they were writing like Homer? Or perhaps 
they struck a balance, and hoped that Homer's verse was not 
very good, nor their own very bad. 

"^ In comparing Homer's hexameter with Virgil's we find 
a greater number of dactyls in the Greek. Exact enumera- 
tion is of no particular value ; taking a hundred lines at 
random I found 37 as the figure for Homer's line, and 2-65 
for Virgil. I had tried to make my English version of 
Homer more dactylic than my Virgilian paraphrase, and 
was rather disappointed when I counted up my dactyls, 
and found that whereas my Virgil gave 2-52, my Homer gave 
only 2-8. I do not know whether I could have done better: 
but in contrasting the syllabic effects in Virgil and Homer 
we must remember that the above figures are misleading, 
because the ' elided ' syllables are pronounced in the Latin ; 


1^6 Ihant Obscuri 

so that, if these be taken into account, we may perhaps 
estimate Virgil's verse as having 15-23 syllables in the line 
to Homer's i ^'j ; and thus the Latin is more like the Greek in 
this respect when read aloud, than it would seem to be if 
judged by the enumeration of trisyllabic feet. And supposing 
it to be worth while to imitate these hexameters at all, this 
makes a good motive for admitting 'Miltonic elision*, which 
by the recognition of ' elided ' syllables gives the same 
opportunity that Virgil had of lightening the effect of his 
more spondaic lines. 

What is meant by using ' Miltonic elision ' may be easily 
exhibited in an example. Thus in line 538 of my Homeric 
paraphrase I have 

And from th' old king's seizure his own hand gently disengaged. 

the Miltonic 'elision' of the before old is allowed: but 
though written with an apostroph this e is pronounced; 
and the asyllabic syllable gives the effect of a dactyl. 

Tostscrtpt T4.7 


P.S. Oct. 2, 1916. 

On the day when the Prussians set out to destroy France 
and burgle Paris, this book was in the press, and up to p. 80 
was in type, while the rest of it, as far as here, together 
with the indexes, was ready for printing. Like other 
peaceful chores it was laid aside, and it remained on the 
shelf until late in last year, when the Secretary to the 
Delegates, wishing to get it completed, put it again in hand, 
to be worked on as convenience allowed. It has loitered on 
up to the present point and date, when I find that I have 
two items which I wish to add. One is from a paper on 
the translation of Homer by Emile Littre, published in the 
Revue des Deux Mondes, 1847, together with his experiment 
on the first book of the Iliad. Littre's contention is that 
Homer can only be translated into the language of a time 
which corresponded with the Homeric in ideals and 
manners, and this he finds in French of the thirteenth 
century. He ridicules the idea that this old French is 
barbarous, and says that the Greeks never made the mistake 
of supposing that the older forms of their own speech were 
barbarous and ungrammatical. Littre even affirms that the 
older French is the better. He begins his translation thus: — 

Chante Tire, 6 d^esse, d'Achille fil P61ee 
Greveuse et qui aux Grecs fit maux tant merveilleux, 
Livrant a Pluton Tame maint guerrler genereux 
Et le corps aux vautours et aux chiens en cur6e : 
Ainsi de Jupiter s'accomplit la pensee, 
Du jour ou la querelle primerain fut lev^e 
D'Atride roi des hommes, d'Achille fil des dieux. 

u 2 

148 Ihant Ohscuri 

His second section is, Tie la langue du XIII' siecle & des 
facU'ttes qu'elle offre pour la traduction d'Homere. This section 
begins with a quotation from M. Egger which I am very 
glad to have in my book : I remember M. Egger as an old 
man, Professor of Greek at the Sorbonne, I think, when I 
was in Paris nearly fifty years ago. His lectures on Herodotus, 
some of which I attended, were full of delightful enthusiasm ; 
and I recall especially how one day, after an elaborate 
discussion on the meaning of some particle, he protested 
that such niceties were not pedantic, ' for ', he said, ' unless 
you understand exactly the bearing of these little words as 
Herodotus uses them, you can never appreciate the 
delicacy of his mind.' I got to have the same sort of 
affection for him as he had for Herodotus. 

He writes thus : — 

' Le talent n'est pas tout pour r^ussir dans une traduction ; les 
CEuvres de ce genre ont d'ordinaire leur siecle d'4-propos, qui, une 
fois pass6, revient bien rarement. A un certain dge de leur 
developpement respectif, deux langues (j'entends celles de deux 
peuples civilises) se rdpondent par des caracteres analogues, et cette 
ressemblance des idiomes est la premiere condition du succ^s pour 
quiconque essaie de traduire un ecrivain vraiment original. Le g^nie 
m^me n'y saurait suppleer. S'il en est ainsi, on nous demandera ^ 
quelle dpoque de son histoire, dej^ ancienne, notre langue fut digne 
de reproduire Hom^re. Nous r^pondons sans hesiter, comme sans 
pretendre au paradoxe : Si la connaissance du grec e6t ktk. plus 
r6pandue en Occident durant le moyen-age, et qu'il se filt trouv6 
au xin*^ ou au xiv^ siecle en France un poete capable de com- 
prendre les chants du vieux rapsode ionien et assez courageux pour 
les traduire, nous aurlons aujourd'hui de I'lliade et de I'Odyss^e la 
copie la plus conforme au g6nie de I'antiquit^. L'hdro'fsme cheva- 
leresque, semblable par tant de traits a celui des heros d'Hom^re, 

Tostscript T4.9 

s'6tait fait une langue i son image, langue d6j4 richc, harmonieuse, 
^minemment descriptive, s'il n'y manquait Tempreinte d'une imagi- 
nation puissante et hardie. On le voit bien aujourd'hui par ces 
nombreuses chansons de geste qui sortent de la poussicre de nos 
biblioth^ues : c'est le m^me ton de narration sincere, la m^me foi 
dans un merveilleux qui n'a rien d'artificiel, la mt^me curiosity 
de details pittoresques ; des aventures etranges, de grands faits 
d'armes longuement racontes, peu ou point de tactique serieuse, 
mais une grande puissance de courage personnel, une sorte d'affection 
fraternelle pour le cheval, compagnon du guerrier, le goilt des belles 
armures, la passion des conqudtes, la passion moins noble du butin 
et du pillage, I'exercice genereux de I'hospitalite, le respect pour la 
femme, temperant la rudesse de ces moeurs barbares ; telles sont les 
mceurs vraiment ^piques auxquelles il n'a manque que le pinceau 
d'un Homere' — 

on which Littre remarks: 

* Rien n'est plus vrai et on ne saurait mieux dire.' 

My second addendum comes to me from the Literary 
Supplement of The Times, Oct. 12, 1916. On p. 492 a 
reviewer writes : ' The late Mr. Flecker, in his fragment of 
the sixth book (of the iEneid), indicated the kind of thing 
which the present age demands ' in a translation of Virgil : 
and on p. 489 Mr. J. C. Squire selects from Mr. James 
Elroy Flecker's translation the following passage [cp. p. 25, 
11. 298 and following, in this volume] : — 

Here keeps watch 
That wild and filthy pilot of the marsh 
Charon, from whose rugged old chin trails down 
The hoary beard of centuries : his eyes 
Are fixed, but flame. His grimy cloak hangs loose 
Rough-knotted at the shoulder ; his own hands 

ij^o Ihant Ohscuri 

Pole on the boat, or tend the sail that wafts 

His dismal skiff and its fell freight along. 

Ah, he is old, but with that toughening eld 

That speaks his godhead ! To the bank and him 

All a great multitude came pouring down, 

Brothers and husbands and the proud-souled heroes, 

Life's labour done ; and boys, and unwed maidens 

And the young men by whose flame funeral 

Parents had wept. Many as leaves that fall 

Gently in autumn when the sharp cold comes 

Or all the birds that flock at the turn o' the year 

Over the ocean to the lands of light 

They stood and prayed each one to be first taken ; 

They stretched their hands for love of the other side, 

But the grim sailor takes now these, now those. . . . 










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For those who are interested in Stone's system of classical prosody in English, I give 
the following particulars. 

In the year 1899 William Johnstone Stone published a tract ' On the use of Classical 
Metres in English' (Frowde). He died in 1901, leaving nie bound by a promise 
that I would give his system a trial. Ex hypothesi I worked at first entirely on his 
lines, and only gradually discovered and eliminated what I considered the faults in his 

In the Monthly RevieWyJuly 1903, I printed my experiment ' Epistle to a Socialist 
in London ' and accompanied that with a ' Summary* of Stone's Prosody, showing his 
laws with my modifications up to that date. I now reprint this, accompanied by my 
later observations and modifications. I will set them in two columns, the old summary 
on the left, with the criticism on the right. 

Summary 1903 

Note. — It is a very common opinion 
that accent takes the place of quantity in 
English. Stone's system sets out by 
absolutely denying this. It is therefore 
remarkable that of the following sixteen 
rules, eight are concerned with quantity in 
some way determined by accent. 

Observations 191 6 

The machines that now record speech 
may be relied on to settle all disputed 


1. These are A {father), EI {vale . 
day .), E {being . green .), I {bite . wy .), O 
{moat . hope .), U and YU {pool . union .), 
AW {anvful. all.), OW {how . bough .), 01 
{joy .), and the slight varieties of these 
produced by a following R, as hKir, h¥.re, 

fire, bore, pure, lord. 

2. A vowel followed immediately by 
another vowel in the same word is long 
when accented, piety : when unaccented it 
can be long only when it precedes the 
yfj ord-acctnt, preeminent, never when follow- 
ing li, follonvlng. 

Long vowels may keep their quality 
and yet, if unaccented, be in a doubtful 
condition of quantity. That is, they may 
often be fitly pronounced either long or 
short, and in some cases they are quite 
short, especially when following the word- 
accent, as the second YU in accumulate. 

This is untrue to fact. Stone's example 
itself, piety, is wrong : for the I is short 
although it is both long in quality and 
accented. In this the English rule seems 
to be like the Greek. Whatever exceptions 
there may be, the rule would seem to be 
that all vowels (and even diphthongs) 
wiicther accented or unaccented are 
shortened before a naked vowel, e.g. going. 
Ideal, piety, poetry, and even alliance. And 
thus luho Inherit, but whore, as in tliis last 

Kote on Stone's 'Prosody 


Summary 1903 

3. The sound ERR (however spelt) is 
long when it is accented, demur : when 
unaccented it is short before a vowel, 
generate, bhtter and eggs : long before a 
consonant, bifurcate. 

4. All other vowel-sounds, not here 
enumerated, are short. 

5. Note that degraded unaccented 
vowels are always short by nature : their 
spellings must not mislead ; thus rumour^ 
passage, tortoise. 

Observations 191 6 

case, the condition is lx?twcen two words, 
then if the vowel in question be accented 
strongly by the sense it will keep its long 
quantity, as 

Yod have a soul's paradise. 
Na^, and since possession. 
See also note 13. 

ER when unaccented and pronounced 
as a single vowel may be treated as such, 
and be short before a consonant, and 
sometimes it is very short, as in 

Over the ocean, 
but there are all degrees. Compare An- 
siver conundrums, masterly, iveaker. For 
remarks on this sound see note to rule 1 4. 

In words like labour, commonly pro- 
nounced with an indeterminate vowel, the 
question is whether in good speech this 
vowel is really quite the same as e.g. in 
weaker : if not it may be better to treat it 
as long before a consonant, e.g. labour- 


6. A short vowel followed by two or 
more consonants makes a long syllable, 
when one at least of the consonants is 
sounded with it. This condition, in which 
the vowel is said to be propped by the con- 
sonant, occurs, First, when the consonants 
cannot all be spoken with the next syllable, 
as improve, contain : but a-sleep, re-tract : 
secondly, when the short vowel is accented, 
in which case it will always attract one of 
the consonants, dis-tant. 

7. This rule applies to all true compound 
consonantal sounds [but not to the simple 
consonantal combinations of H, see below, 


Note on Stone* s Trosody 

Summary 1903 

rule 9], and includes CH = tsh, J =i dg, 
QU = iiv, and consonants followed by 
the impure U = yu. Short vowels 
followed by these combinations make long 
syllables when they carry the word-accent, 
but short when they do not — e.g. riches, 
but things nvhich are : imag'int, but 
encSurag'tng : liquid, but obloquy : regular, 
but attune ( = atyiin). 

8. When these syllables occur in poly- 
syllables which contain a secondary accent, 
they may apparently be spoken either long 
or short, as regulation, magisterial, miserably. 

9. H counts as a consonant, where it is 
used at full power, as in happy, unhappy : 
but it sometimes has a lesser force which 
must be distinguished as in at-home. It 
does not count as a consonant in the sounds 
represented by TH, DH, SH, ZH, PH, 

10. NG is a single letter, except when 
the sound of G is truly present ; thus 
singer, hut finger. 

11. Z is a single letter in English. 

12. Doubled consonants do not make 
position unless they are both pronounced 
(as in in-nate, ful-ly). They occur in a 
haphazard way in English spelling to show 
that the preceding vowel is short — e.g., 
happy, rapid . . . shoddy, body . . . muddy, 
study . . . Billy, sensibility . . . rabbit, 
habit . . ., &c. 

Observations 191 6 

Thus said he =r sedde. The H of have 
is generally very weak, and completely 
gives way when it comes alongside other 
initial H's, as he had heard. While the 
undoubted consonantal H must always be 
observed, other cases seem to vary and 
allow liberty. 

That is the preceding accented vowel. 


13. The use of true speech contractions 
(such as they've, I'll) is a matter of taste. 
Poetic synaloephe is disallowed between 
words. Instances of synaloephe within 
words may be seen in obedient, egregious, 
which count as trisyllables though all the 
vowels (reckoning ou as one vowel) are 
heard : but it has ceased to exist in such 
words as nation, conscience, ancient, which 
are disyllablcs in which the / has no value 
as a vowel, its only function being to affect 


The Latin practice of synaloephe 
between words was used by Milton and is 
permissive in syllabic verse, that is, its 
use is optional ; and Milton extends the 
practice to the semivowels. I have ex- 
perimented with the Miltonic ' elision * in 
my Homeric paraphrase, and it seems to 
help the English hexameter by intro- 
ducing the effect of trisyllabic feet. I do 
not know whether it would suit other metres 
as well. 

Note on Stone's Trosody 


Summary 1903 

the preceding consonant. There arc all 
shades of difference in the sjx'ech-condition 
of such colliding vowels ; thus lerrestritd 
must be a quadrisyllable, but celeslial will 
be doubtful, to be classed either with 
obedient or with terrestrial. 

Where synaloephe within the word 
is possible, it cannot be forbidden. In 
some words, onion, mi//ion, familiar, the i 
seems to have become a consonantal y. 
Such words must scan as un-y6n, mll-yon, 
famll-yar, and will fall under rule 7. 

I4. The terminations LE, RE, scan 
exactly as if spelt EL, ER, falling into 
line with all other liquid endings — e.g. 
garden, solemn. Since the vocalization of 
the liquid is certainly closed by a consonantal 
liquid, they are considered as true syllables, 
thus garden ^ guard it. 

Observations i 9 i 6 

In these examples ER is not in the 
same condition as the other endings EL, 
EM, EN, for which last we may accept 
Stone's rule, although these unaccented ter- 
minations contain no true vowel, but are 
merely vocalized liquids. There is no dif- 
ference between their endings in solemn deed, 
and schism dull, these are sol'm and schis'm. 
In such paroxytone pyrrhics (i.e. v5 ^) as 
battle, bosom, prison (bat'l, buz'm, priz'n) 
the finals are more lengthened than in 
trochaic words (— \j) like able, freedom, 

As for ER, when before vowels, the 
R is trilled and preserved, and it obeys 
Stone's rule 3, but when a consonant 
follows, the R is not trilled, and the ER 
seems to be a short vowel (a sort of a), 
so that it is questionable whether it would 
not be better to treat it frankly as such 
in quantitive prosody. I have followed 
Stone's rule, and his practice has some 
advantages. Compare, e.g. 

With a desire hasteth 

Whither desire hasteth, 
in which last (as in river, river-bdni) the 
rule for paroxytone pyrrhics seems to 
lengthen the ER. 

15*8 Note on Stone s Trosody 


Summary 1903 

15. Monosyllabic proclitics and enclitics, in parting with their accent, often become 
short ; thus to be let, give me, &c., you and thee can be in the same condition as prithee, 
may It please you = prithi, please yii. AXsofor and or are generally short before vowels. 

16. In English special rules are needed for such important monosyllables as are 
short by rule but undoubtedly often spoken so as to occupy more time than can be 
allowed for a short syllable. It must be recognized that all these syllables are by 
nature short, and will, under some circumstances, preserve their brevity, but that, 
owing to their impoitance in the sentence, they are much more frequently dwelt upon, 
and made to occupy the longer time. Examples are Man, Love, Will, Bless, back, &c. 

The general rule for such words seems to be that when they end in a semi- 
vowel or in a spirant, that is, with any consonant whose sound can be ' produced ', 
they owe their length to the production of this consonant : it is often written double 
(as Bless . ivill .), but it would perhaps be simpler to accent such words. Words 
ending in mutes or consonants which cannot be held on, should, if used long before 
a vowel, be accredited with a double consonant, as bad . odd. 

Oxytone disyllables may be held to follow the same rule as these monosyllables, 
thus possiss = posess. 

The word God may be regarded as an exception ; though there is in fact more 
d in it than in the word goddess there will be no reason to double the d. That this 
word, when shorn of its importance, is really a short syllable, may be heard in the 
following lines: 

* Will thejlame you re so rich in 

Make a fire in the kitchen ? 

Or the little god of love turn the spit, spit, spit ? ' 



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