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Full text of "War poems and other translations"

.H .C<* "never* 



WAR POEMS 

AND OTHER TRANSLATIONS 



WAR POEMS 

AND OTHER TRANSLATIONS 

BY LORD CURZON 
OF KEDLESTON 



Haec studia dtlectant domi, nan 

imptdiuntforis, pernoctant nobis- 

cum y peregrinantur^ rusticantur. 

CICERO, Pro <^rchla^ 1 6 



LONDON : JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD 
NEW YORK : JOHN LANE COMPANY MCMXV 





TUB BALLANTYNE PRSS TAVISTOCK STRBET COVEKT GARDEN LONDON 



^PREFACE 



cr'RANSLATION of the poetry of one country 
into the language and metre of another is an 
amiable hobby to which many persons and, it 
would seem, 'public men'' in particular* are 
prone. As a rule it possesses little interest or 
attraction save for the author of the experiment. 
It is certainly in that light that I have always 
regarded and occasionally practised it, and I had 
no idea of ever asking the public to share the 
doubtful results of my labours. 
Quite recently, however, having sent to the 
OBSERVER a series of translations into English of 
some of the beautiful and touching poems on the 
EuropeanWar and the sufferings of his country, which 
have appeared in its columns from the pen of the 

* e.g. Lord Wellesley, Lord Derby, Lord Carnarvon, Lord 
Cromer, Mr. Gladstone, and many others. 



vi PREFACE 

Belgian writer, M. Emile Cammaerts, I have 
received so many requests from readers and pub 
lishers for the wider circulation of these efforts, that 
I have agreed to their re-issue in a less fugitive 
form the proceeds, if there are any, to be devoted 
to the Belgian Relief Fund. I have added several 
other translations which have at different times lent 
distraction to my leisure hours ; and these include two 
from another Belgian man of letters, a great poet and 
artist, M. Emile Verhaeren. 
Upon the genera! principles to be observed in the 
translation of poetry into a foreign tongue, I would 
say this : The translator should, I think, remember 
that the work is not primarily his, but that of 
another man, of whose ideas he is merely the vehicle 
and interpreter; and, while endeavouring to convert 
them into the idiom and metrical form of another lan 
guage, often with some loss, rarely with any gain, in 
the process, he should as far as possible subordinate 
himself to the conception and thought, ana even defer, 
where possible, to the technique of the original writer. 



PREFACE vii 

// is surprising to find with what readiness the ideas 
and ei} en the phrases of one language discover their 
equivalent in another, and what an essential unity 
there is between the poetic mind of the centuries. 
This applies, of 'course, far more to modern than to 
ancient languages, and to European than to Asiatic 
thought. The writer who wishes to translate Hafiz 
or Saadi, for instance, is driven to paraphrase 
rather than to reproduce. The most familiar illus 
tration is Edward FitzGerald, who in translating 
an Oriental writer, not particularly esteemed in the 
East, wrote a new poem, which is one of the classics 
of the West. The Qreek Tragedians, and even 
Horace modern as he often is do not always yield 
readily to an English version. But there is a 
substantial identity in modern cultured thought and 
expression, which renders the translation e.g. of 
French or German lyrics into English one of no 
extraordinary difficulty. My object has been, nearly 
everywhere, not to paraphrase, but to translate. 
The task of reconverting a modern language into an 



viii PREFACE 

ancient is a different matter. It is an exercise of 
much attraction and has provoked the expenditure 
of no small ingenuity. But one cannot help wondering 
what an ancient Qreek or Roman would have 
thought of the Iambics or Elegiacs of even the most 
erudite of modern classical scholars, much more of the 
mediocre practitioner. On the other hand, that a 
modern author need not always or necessarily suffet 
in the process of translation into an ancient tongue is 
shown by the well-known case of Robert Browning, 
who declared thai he had never fully understood his 
own amazing rhapsody of Abt Vogler until he saw 
it translated into a Greek Pindaric Ode by the late 
Professor Jebb. 

I am indebted to M. Verhaeren and M. Cammaerts 
for permission to print the originals of their poems, 
and to some of my friends for having looked through 
these translations. 

CURZON OF KEDLESTON 
February 1915. 



CONTENTS 



PART I : WAR POEMS 

PACK 

I. POUR LA PIPE DES SOLDATS, by E. 

Cammaerts Translation Into English 2 

II. CHANTONS, BELGES, CHANTONS ! by E. 

Cammaerts Translation into English 6 

III. LE DRAPEAU BELGE, by E. Cammaert 

Translation into English 12 

IV. Au GRAND Roi D'UN PETIT PAYS, by E. 

Cammaerts Translation into English 16 

V. FUITE EN ANGLETERRE, by E. Cammaerts 

Translation into English 22 

VI. L'AVEUGLE ET SON FILS, by E. 

Cammaerts Translation into English 26 



x CONTENTS 

PAGE 

VII. A L'ARMEE ALLEMANDE, by E. 

Cammaerts Translation into English 30 

VIII. CARILLONS DE FLANDRES, by Dominique 

Bonnaud Translation into English 34 

IX. CRUX FERREA (Anonymous) 

Translation into English 40 

X. LK SOLDAT MORT (Anonymous) 

Translation into English 42 

XI. A L' AMBULANCE, by Francois Coppe 

Translation into English 46 

XII. LE DRAPEAU ANGLAIS, by Louis 

Frechette Translation into English 52 

XIII. IN THE AFGHAN WAR 

Adaptation in English 56 

XIV. EPITAPH ON THE SPARTANS AT THER 

MOPYLAE, by Simonides of Ceos 

Translation into English 58 



CONTENTS xi 

PAGE 

XV. EPITAPH ON THOSE WHO FELL AT 
CHAERONEA, Demosthenes 

Translation into English 60 

XVI. THE SLEEP OF THE BRAVE, by W. 

Collins Translation into Latin 62 

XVII. HEBREW MELODIES, by Lord Byron 

Translation into Latin 64 

XVIII. THE Two VOICES, by Lord Tennyson 

Translation into Latin 68 



xii CONTENTS 



PART II : OTHER TRANSLATIONS 

PAGE 

XIX. AGONIE DE MOINE, by E. Verhaeren 

Translation into English 74 

XX. ANTON MOR, by E. Verhaeren 

Translation into English 80 

XXI. LES UNES ET LES AUTRES, by Henry C. 

Spiess Translation into English 84 

XXII. LES MAINS, by Henry C. Spiess 

Translation into English 88 

XXIII. RUINES DU CCEUR, by Francois Coppee 

Translation into English 92 

XXIV. ROMANCE SANS PAROLE, by Paul 

Verlaine Translation into English 94 

XXV. ROUTE PRINTANIERE, by Auguste 

Angellier Translation into English 98 

XXVI. A L'AMIE PERDUE, by Auguste 

Angellier Translation into English 102 



CONTENTS xiii 



PAGE 



XXVII. ADIEU, by Alfred de Mussel 

Translation into English 106 

XXVIII. SON EPITAPHE, by Paul Scarron 

Translation into English HO 

XXIX. SUR UNE DAME POETE, by P. D. 

Lebrun Translation into English 1 1 2 

XXX. LE POETE ET LE VOLEUR, by P. D. 

Lebrun Translation into English 114 

XXXI. EPITAPHE, by Voltaire 

Translation into English 116 

XXXII. LA STATUE DE L'AMOUR, by Voltaire 

Translation into English 1 1 8 

XXXIII. EPIGRAMS QUOTED IN LORD CHES 
TERFIELD'S LETTERS TO His SON 
DIDON ET COLAS (Anonymous) 

Translation into English 120 

XXXIV. THE INFERNO. CANTO V, 25-142, 
by Dante Alighieri 

Translation into English 122 



xiv CONTENTS 

PAGE 

XXXV. A VISION. FROM "THE GATE OF 

IVORY" 138 

XXXVI. INDIAN LOVE-SONG 

Translation into English 140 

XXXVII. DEATH AND BEYOND, by Antiphanes 

Translation into English 142 

XXXVIII. MY STAR, by Plato 

Translation into English 144 

XXXIX. THE EVENING STAR, by Plato 

Translations into Latin and English 146 

XL. INSCRIPTION ON THE PEDESTAL OF 
MEMNON, by Asclepiodotus 

Translation into English 148 

XLI. INSCRIPTION ON A BATH (Anonymous) 

Translation into English 1 50 

XLII. THEMYTH OFEn,by Plato (Republic) 

Translation into English 152 



CONTENTS xv 



PAGE 



XLIII. To TORQUATUS, by Horace (Odes] 

Translation into English 180 

XLIV. THE PROGRESS OF POESY, by 

T. Gray Translation into Latin 184 

XLV. THE VOICE OF THE SEA, by Felicia 

Hemans Translation into Latin 188 

XLVI. LUCY, by W. Wordsworth 

Translation into Latin 192 

XLVII. ORPHEUS, by A. Cowley 

Translation into Latin 194 

XLVIII. THE SKYLARK, by J. Hogg 

Translation into Latin 196 

XLIX. AMOURS DE VOYAGE, by A. H. 

Clough Translation into Latin 20O 

L. JAMAIS, by Alfred de Musset 

Translated into English 206 

LI. THE VISION OF MIRZAH, by Joseph 

Addison Adaptation in verse 210 



DEDICATORY 

BELGIUM 



TJEARTSTRUCK she stands Our Lady of all 
Sorrows 

Circled with ruin, sunk in deep amaze, 
Facing the shadow of her dark to-morrows, 

Mourning the glory of her yesterdays. 

Yet is she queen, by every royal token, 

There where the storm of desolation swirled ; 

Crowned only with the thorn despoiled and 

broken 
Her kingdom is the heart of all the world. 

She made her breast a shield, her sword a splendour, 
She rose like flame upon the darkened ways : 

So, through the anguish of her proud surrender, 
Breaks the clear vision of undying praise ! 

From The Nation 



PART I 
WAR POEMS 



The following series of seven poems^ by 
tM. Emile Cammaerts, the Belgian 
poety appeared in the columns of the 
OBSERVER or of other newspapers^ 
during the first six months of the 
Great War In 1914-15. The trans 
lations also appeared in the OBSERVER. 



I 

POUR LA PIPE DES SOLD ATS* 



J'AI mis ici bien des secrets 
Que je ne voulais pas dire, 

Bien des faiblesses, bien des aveux qu'on ne devrait 
Jamais crire. 

J'ai mis ici mon coeur tout nu, 
Sans honte et sans pudeur, 
Afin qu'Ils fument une pipe de plus 
Au champ d'honneur. 



J'ai mis ici ma vie intime, 

Mois par mois et jour par jour, 

J'ai ri sans rythme et j'ai pleure" sans rime, 

Au gr de ma foi et de mon amour. 

J'ai mis ici mon coeur tout nu, 

* The proceeds of the first edition of M. Cammaerts' book, 
" Chants Patriotiques et Autres Poemes " to which these 



FOR THE SOLDIERS' PIPE 



Ti/TANY a secret lies herein 
*** That should not be told, 
Many a whispered foolishness, 
Many a thing that to confess 

Might be overbold. 
Lies herein my naked heart, 

Innocent of shame 
To give our lads one pipe the more 

On the field of fame ! 

Lies herein my inmost soul 

Bared by month and day ; 
Tears and laughter without rhyme, 
Whatsoe'er at any time 

Faith or love would say. 

verses were written as a Dedication are to be given to the 
Belgian Soldiers Fund for the purchase of tobacco. 



4 POUR LA PIPE DES SOLDATS 

Sans cran et sans voile, 

Afin qu'Ils fument une pipe de plus 

Sous les e"toiles. 



J'ai mis ici des na\'vets 

Dont les moqueurs se gausseront, 

Ma lyre tinte d'une corde, mon vers cloche d'un pied, 

Et je n'ai guere d'inspiration. 

J'ai mis ici mon coeur tout nu . . . 

Que m'importe qu'on raille ! 

Pourvu qu'Ils fument une pipe de plus 

Sous la mitraille ! 



FOR THE SOLDIERS' PIPE 

Lies herein my naked heart, 

Stripped of all disguise 
To give our lads one pipe the more 

'Neath the starry skies ! 

Sings herein my artless muse 

Let the scoffers jeer, 
Cadence of my verse impugn, 
Say my lyre is out of tune 

And my fancy sere. 
Lies herein my naked heart 

Let the mockers rail 
But give our lads one pipe the more 

'Neath the leaden hail ! 



II 

CHANTONS, BELGES, CHANTONS ! 



/CHANTONS, Beiges, chantons, 

^^^ Mme si les blessures saignent, m^me si la voix 

se brisc, 
Plus haut que la tourmente, plus fort que les canons, 

Chantons Torgueil de nos deTaites, 
Par ce beau soleil d'automne, 

Et la fierte" de rester honne"tes 
Quand la Hlchct nous serait si bonne. 



Au son du tambour, au son du clairon, 

Sur les ruines d'Aerschot, de Dinant, de Termonde, 

Dansons, Beiges, Dansons, 
En chantant notre gloire. 



SONG OF THE BELGIANS 



"O ECK not that your wounds are bleeding, 

Reck not that your voice is weak : 
Louder than the roar of cannon, 

Higher than the battle-shriek, 
Sing, my countrymen, the story 

Of the fields we have not won, 
Fields of failure but of glory, 

'Neath this fair autumnal sun : 
Sing how, when the tempter whispered, 

" Buy your safety with your shame," 
Said we, "Sooner no dishonour 

Shall defile the Belgian name " ! 

Here, amid the smoking ruins, 

Dinant, Aerschot, Termond, 
Beat the drum and blow the bugle, 

Dance to the unwonted sound ! 



8 CHANTONS, BELGES, CHANTONS ! 

Me'me si les yeux brulent, si la tete s'e"gare, 
Formons la ronde ! 



Avec des branches de he'tre, de he'tre flamboyant, 

Au son du tambour, 
Nous couvrirons les tombes de nos enfants. 

Nous choisirons un jour, 
Comme celui-ci, 

Ou les peupliers tremblent doucement 
Dans le vent, 

Et ou 1'odeur des feuilles mortes 
Embaume les bois, 

Comme aujourd'hui, 
Arm qu'ils emportent 

La-bas 
Le parfum du pays. 

Nous prierons la terre qu'ils ont tant aime 

De les bercer dans ses grands bras, 
De les re'chauffer sur sa vaste poitrine 

Et dc les faire reVer de nouveaux combats : 



SONG OF THE BELGIANS 

Belgians, dance and sing our glory 
On this consecrated ground 

Eyes are burning, brains are turning 
Heed not ! dance the merry round ! 

Come with flaming beechen branches, 

And the music of the drum ; 
Come, and strew them on the earth-heaps 

Where our dead lie buried, come ! 
Choose a day like this, my brothers, 

When the wind a pattern weaves 
'Mid the shivering poplar tree-tops, 

When the scent of fallen leaves 
Floats like perfume through the woodland, 

As it doth to-day, that so 
Some sweet odour of our good land 

May be with them, down below. 



We will pray the earth they held so 
Dear, to rock them in her arm, 

On her vast and ample bosom 
Once again to make them warm, 



io CHANTONS, BELGES, CHANTONS ! 

De la prise de Bruxellcs, de Malines, 
De Namur, de Li6ge, de Louvain, 

Et de leur entree triomphale, la-bas, 
A Berlin! 



Chantons, Beiges, chantons, 

Me*me si les blessures saignent et si la voix se brise, 
Plus haut que la tourmente, plus fort que les canons, 

Me"me si les blessures saignent et si le cceur se brise, 
Chantons 1'espoir et la haine implacable, 

Par ce beau soleil d'automne, 
Et la fiert de rester charitables 

Quand la Vengeance nous serait si bonne ! 



SONG OF THE BELGIANS n 

So that haply, as they slumber, 
They may dream of battles new, 

Dream that Brussels is retaken, 
That Malines is theirs anew, 

That Namur, Liege, and Louvain 
See their armies enter in, 

Till they thunder, in the under- 
World, into a waste Berlin ! 

Reck not that your wounds are bleeding, 

Reck not that your voice is weak : 
Deeper than the roar of cannon, 

Higher than the battle-shriek, 
E'en although your wounds are bleeding, 

E'en although your heart-strings break, 
Sing of hope and hate unshaken, 

'Neath this fair autumnal sun : 
Sing how, when the tempter whispered, 

"Sweet is vengeance, when 'tis done," 
Said we louder, " We are prouder, 

Mercy's garland to have won " ! 



Ill 

"LE DRAPEAU BELGE 



T} OUGE pour le sang des soldats 

Noir, jaune et rouge 
Noir pour les larmes des meres 

Noir, jaune et rouge 
Et jaune pour la lumiere 
Et 1'ardeur des prochains combats. 

Au drapeau, mes enfants, 

La patrie vous appclle, 
Au drapeau, serrons les rangs, 

Ceux qui meurent, vivent pour elle ! 

Rouge pour la pourpre heVoi'que 

Noir, jaune et rouge 
Noir pour le voile des veuves 

Noir, jaune et rouge 
Et jaune pour 1'orgueil 6pique 

Et le triomphe apres l'preuvc. 



THE BELGIAN FLAG 



T} ED for the blood of soldiers, 

Black, yellow and red 
Black for the tears of mothers, 

Black, yellow and red 
And yellow for the light and flame 

Of the fields where the blood is shed ! 

To the glorious flag, my children, 
Hark ! the call your country gives, 

To the flag in serried order ! 
He who dies for Belgium lives ! 

Red for the purple of heroes, 

Black, yellow and red 
Black for the veils of widows 

Black, yellow and red 
And yellow for the shining crown 
Of the victors who have bled ! 



i 4 "LE DRAPEAU BELGE" 

Au drapeau, au drapeau, 

La patrie vous appelle, 
II n'a jamais flott si haut 

Elle n'a jamais 6t si belle. 

Rouge pour la rage des flammes 

Noir, jaune et rouge 
Noir pour la cendre des deuils 

Noir, jaune et rouge 
Et jaune pour le salut de Time 
Et Tor fauve de notre orgueil. 

Au drapeau, mes enfants 

La patrie vous bnit 
II n'a jamais &t si grand 

Que depuis qu'il est petit, 
II n'a jamais 6t si fort 

Que depuis qu'il brave la mort. 



THE BELGIAN FLAG 

To the flag, the flag, my children, 
Hearken to your country's cry ! 

Never has it shone so splendid, 
Never has it flown so high ! 

Red for the flames in fury, 

Black, yellow and red 
Black for the mourning ashes, 

Black, yellow and red 
And yellow of gold, as we proudly hail 

The spirits of the dead ! 

To the flag, my sons ! Your country 
With her blessing " Forward " cries ! 

Has it shrunken ? No, when smallest, 
Larger, statelier, it flies ! 

Is it tattered ? No, 'tis stoutest 
When destruction it defies ! 



IV 

AU GRAND ROI D'UN 

PETIT PAYS 



TVTOUS vous suivrons, sire, ou vous nous con- 
duirez, 

Par le gel et par la pluie, 
Par les bois et par les pre"s, 

Et nous vous donnerons notre vie 
Quand vous voudrez. 



Nous ferons ce que vous ferez, 

Nous irons ou vous irez, 
Nous vous suivrons, sire, par tous les sentiers, 

A travers le feu, a travers les armes, 
A travers le chaos de la bataille 

Et le fracas desarmes; 
A travers le sifflement de la mitraille, 

Et le long ge'missement des blesses. 



TO THE GREAT KING OF A 
SMALL COUNTRY 



VyHERESOE'ER you will to lead us, 

We will follow you full fain, 
Through the woods and through the meadows, 

Through the frost and through the rain. 
If you bid us shed our life-blood, 

Sire, the last drop you may drain. 



We will do whate'er you're doing, 

Where you go, Sire, we will go, 
Heedless that on every foot-track 

Fires will burn and tears must flow. 
'Mid the tumult of the fighting, 

Clash of slayers and of slain, 
'Mid the whistling of the bullets 

And the moans of those in pain. 



i8 AU GRAND ROI D'UN PETIT PAYS 

Nous vous suivrons ou vous nous conduirez, 
Et nous vous donncrons notre vie quand vous 
voudrez. 



Nous irons a Gand, a Anvers, a Termonde, 

Nous delivrerons Aerschot et Louvain, 
Nous purgerons le pays de la race immonde 

Qui 1'opprime en vain. 

Nous vous rendrons Liege, nous vous rendrons 
Bruxelles, 

Nous repasserons la Meuse a Vis6, 
Ensemble nous verrons les tours d'Aix-la-Chapelle 

Se dresser dans le ciel purified 
Et nous entendrons, un beau matin, 

Les cuivres et les cimbales 
Saluer votre entree triomphale 

Sous les Tilleuls, a Berlin ! 

Nous vous suivrons ou vous nous conduirez, 
Et nous vous donnerons notre vie quand vous 
voudrez. 



TO THE GREAT KING 19 

Whereso'er you will to lead us, 

We will come full fain, 
If you bid us shed our life-blood, 

Sire, 'tis yours to drain ! 

We will march to Ghent and Antwerp, 

Aerschot, Termond, Louvain, 
Rid our country of the monsters 

Who oppress it but in vain 
Brussels and Liege recapture, 

Cross the river at Vise", 
At your side see Aix' towers 

Rise against a brighter day. 
Till one morning, while the cymbals 

And the bands make frenzied din, 
We will see you ride triumphant 

Down the Lime-walk at Berlin ! 



Wheresoe'er you will to lead us, 
We will come full fain, 

If you bid us shed our life-blood, 
Sire, 'tis yours to drain ! 



20 AU GRAND ROI D'UN PETIT PAYS 

Que Dicu vous garde, sire, comme vous nous gardez, 
Qu'Il vous protege comme vous nous prot^gez, 

Roi de Furnes, roi du "petit soldat," 

Roi de 1'honneur et de la parole donn^e, 

Roi de cent prairies, et de vingt clochers, 
Orgueil de la Patrie, 

Champion de l'Humanit 1 



Nous vous suivrons, sire, ou vous nous conduirez, 
Et nous vous donnerons notre vie quand vous 
voudrez. 



TO THE GREAT KING 21 

God protect you, our protector, 

You our shield, Sire, may He shield, 
King of Fumes, the soldiers' monarch, 

King who scorned his pledge to yield ; 
King of only a score of steeples, 

King of acres few there be 
Pride and glory of our Homeland, 

Warden of Humanity ! 

Wheresoe'er you will to lead us, 

We will come full fain, 
If you bid us shed our life-blood, 

Sire, 'tis yours to drain ! 



V 

FUITE EN ANGLETERRE 

[NOEL BELGE] 



TLS ont passe dans la nuit bleue, 
** Us ont passe" par la. 
Joseph marchait devant, 

Tirant 1'ane par la bride, 
Et La Mere serrait 1'enfant 

Centre son sein vide. 

Us on trotte par la, 

Us ont trotte", dans la nuit bleue, 
Plus de six lieues, 

Fuyant les soldats, les bourreaux, 
Les cits et les hameaux, 

Et les cris de"chirants 
Des Saints Innocents. 

Que cherchez vous si vite, vieux, 
Avec cette jeune femme ? 



THE FLIGHT INTO ENGLAND 



TjfORWARD through the dark blue night, 
* Forward the wanderers pressed, 
Joseph trudged, at the ass' head, 

In front, and took no rest, 
And the Mother clasped the infant child 

Against her empty breast. 

Forward through the dark blue night 
They trotted, six leagues hence, 

Six leagues of flight from city walls 
And soldiers in their tents, 

From bloody men and the woeful cries 
Of the Holy Innocents. 



" What seekest thou so fast, old man, 
Along with thy young wife ? " 



24 FUITE EN ANGLETERRE 

D'autres homines et d'autres cieux, 

D'autres coeurs et d'autres imes 
Pour abriter le Fils de Dieu. 



Us ont couru dans la nuit bleue, 
Us ont couru par la. 

Us ont couru si loin 
Que le bruit de leurs pas 

Peu a peu s'est e"teint, 
Et que le vent a efface" 

La trace de leurs pieds 
De tous les sentiers. 



THE FLIGHT INTO ENGLAND 25 

"We seek new men, we seek new skies, 
New hearts, new souls, new life, 

To shield the blessed Son of God 
From the blast of deadly strife." 

Forward through the dark blue night 
They have fled, with foot so fleet, 

The sound of their footfall dies away 
And is lost in the desert street, 

And the wind has swept from every path 
The traces of their feet. 



VI 

L'AVEUGLE ET SON FILS 



JE n'entends plus le son lointain 
Des canons ennemis . . . 
Ou sommes nous, mon fils ? 

Mon pere, nous sommes en Angleterre. 



Je n'entends plus le bruit du vent 

Sifflant dans les cordages. 
Je sens sous mes pas hsitants 

Le sol ferme de la plage. 
Est ce la fin de nos mis^res ? 

Mon pere, nous sommes en Angleterre. 



J'entends des paroles amies 
Que je ne comprends pas, 
Je me sens loin, bien loin de la patrie, 



THE BLIND MAN AND HIS SON 



' I V HE distant boom of angry guns 

No longer fills my ear. 
Oh ! whither have we fled, my son ? 
Tell me, that I may hear." 
" Father, we are in England ! " 

"No more I hear the stormy wind 

Amid the rigging roar, 
I feel beneath my tottering feet 

The firm ground of the shore. 
Is this the end of all our woes ? 

Shall we not suffer more ? " 
"Father, we are in England !" 

" I hear the sound of kindly speech, 

But do not understand, 
I feel I've wandered very far, 



28 L'AVEUGLE ET SON FILS 

D'ou vient que ces voix 
Me semblent familieres ? 

Mon pere, nous sommes en Angleterre. 



Je sens dans 1'air que je respire 

Un parfum de liberte", 
Je sens fr^mir les cords de ma lyre 

Sous un souffle inspire", 
Les oiseaux, les arbres, les rivieres 

Me parlent de chez nous. 

Pourquoi ma peine me devient elle moins amere ? 
Pourquoi le repos m'est il si doux ? 

Mon pere, nous sommes en Angleterre. 

Incline toi, mon fils, agenouille toi 

A cot6 de moi, 
Prenons entre nos doigts meurtris, 

Un peu de cette terre hospitaliere, 
Et baisons ensemble, en pensant au pays, 

Le sol de 1'Angleterre. 



THE BLIND MAN AND HIS SON 29 

Far from the fatherland ; 
How comes it that these tones are not 
Those of an unknown land ? " 
" Father, we are in England ! " 

"I feel in all the air around 

Freedom's sweet breath respire, 
I feel celestial fingers creep 

Along my quivering lyre ; 
The birds, the trees, the babbling streams 

Speak to me of our home, 
Why does my grief less bitter grow 

And rest so dear become ? " 
" Father, we are in England ! " 

" Bend down upon thy knees, my son, 

And take into thy hand, 
Thy wounded hand, and mine, somewhat 

Of the earth of this good land, 
That, dreaming of our home, we two 
May kiss the soil of England ! " 



VII 

VCEUX DE NOUVEL AN, 1915 
A L'ARMEE ALLEMANDE 



JE souhaite que chaque heurc 
Vous meurtrisse le coeur. 
Je souhaite que chaque pas que vous ferez 
Vous brule les pieds. 

Je souhaite que vous deveniez aveugles et sourds 

A la beaute" des choses, 
Et que vous marchiez, nuit et jour, 

Sous un ciel morose. 

Sans voir les fleurs clore au coin des haies, 
Sans entendre un mot, sans surprendre un chant 
Qui vous rappelle les femmes et les enfants 

Laisses dans vos foyers. 



Je souhaite que la terre, notre terre, 
Se creuse de fondrieres 

* I may mention, as an example of German tactics, that this 
translation has been widely circulated in America, as an original 



TO THE GERMAN ARMY 
A NEW YEAR'S PRAYER, 1915* 

T PRAY that every passing hour 

Your hearts may bruise and beat, 
I pray that every step you take 
May scorch and sear your feet ! 

I pray that Beauty never more 

May charm your eyes, your ears, 
That you may march, through day and night, 

Beneath a heaven of tears, 
Blind to the humblest flowers that in 

The hedgerow-corners bloom, 
Deaf to whatever sound or cry 
May wake in you the memory 

Of dear ones left at home. 

I pray your guns may be engulfed 
Beneath the loam our loam ! 

poem by myself, with loud denunciations of the ferocious spirit 
of the English writer. 



32 VCEUX DE NOUVEL AN, 1915 

Sous vos canons, 
Et que les rivieres du pays, de notre pays, 

Sortent de leur lit 
Pour submerger vos bataillons. 

Je souhaite que les spectres de nos martyrs 

Empoisonnent vos nuits, 

Et que vous ne puissiez plus ni veiller, ni dormir, 
Sans respirer 1'odeur du sang 

De nos Saints Innocents. 

Je souhaite que les ruines de nos maisons 
S'e"croulent sur vos te"tes, 
Et que 1'angoisse trouble votre raison, 
Et que le doute confonde votre rage, 
Et que vous erriez 6perdus comme des be"tes 
Poursuivies par 1'orage. 

Je souhaite que vous viviez assez longtemps 

Pour 6prouver toutes nos souffrances, 
Afin que Dieu vous 6pargne le supreme chatiment 
De son 6ternelle vengeance. 



TO THE GERMAN ARMY 33 

I pray the streams our streams may leap 
In floods above their banks and sweep 
Your trampling hosts to doom ! 

I pray the spectres of our slain 

May haunt you in your tents 
Vigil or sleep, whiche'er you seek 
Nought smelling but the bloody reek 

Of our Holy Innocents. 

I pray the ruins of our homes 

May crush you like a worm, 
Your brains beneath the torment reel, 
Doubt from your hearts their fury steal, 
Fear drive you like brute beasts that squeal 

And fly before the storm ! 

I pray that you may live to bear 

Each pang that marked our path ; 
Then God may at the last relent, 
And spare your souls the chastisement 

Of his eternal wrath ! 



VIII 

CARILLONS DE FLANDRES 



/'"VEST un Dimanche de Flandre, 

^"^^ Le ciel bleu, d'un bleu de lin, 

Doucement semble s'e"pandre 

Sur la plaine et le moulin. 

Et dans leur beffroi, les cloches 

Se sont mises a chanter 

La plantureuse gaiet 

Des kermesses proches. 
Va ! Sonne ! Sonne gaiement ! 
Leger carillon Flamand ! 

Mais, tout a coup, dans 1'espace 
Monte une rumeur d'effroi . . . 
Alerte ! Alerte au beffroi ! 
Voici la horde rapace 
Des corbeaux et des vau tours 
Semeurs de deuils et d'alarmes. 



BELLS OF FLANDERS 



CUNDAY it is in Flanders, 

And, blue as flax, the sky 
O'er plain and windmill stretches 

Its peaceful canopy. 
The bells, high in the belfries, 

Are singing, blithe and gay, 
The overflowing gladness 
Of coming Holiday. 

Ring out ! Ring on ! Ring loudly 
The merry Flemish peal ! 

But suddenly there rises 

To heaven a cry of fear 
Quick ! To the belfry, quickly ! 

The ravenous horde is here, 
See them ! the crows and vultures, 

Sowers of dire alarms ; 



36 CARILLONS DE FLANDRES 

Cloches ! Lancez dans vos tours 

Votre appel aux armes ! 
Sonne ! Sonne perdument, 
Vaillant carillon Flamand ! 

Le glaive lourd des vieux reitres 

Pour un instant triomphants 

Sur la terre des ance'tres 

Vient d'6tendre les enfants ! . . . 

Mais au vainqueur implacable 

Tu vends cher la liberte, 

Fier petit peuple indompte" 

Que le nombre accable ! 
Sonne ! Sonne tristement, 
Noble carillon Flamand ! 

Enfin dans les cieux pleins d'ombre 

L'aube de justice a lui ! 

La horde fauve s'enfuit 

La-bas vers 1'horizon sombre . . . 

. . . Puis c'est le jour e'clatant, 

Jour de revanche et de gloire. 



BELLS OF FLANDERS 37 

Oh ! bells, from out your steeples 
Fling forth your call to arms ! 
Ring out ! Ring on 1 Ring madly 
The valiant Flemish peal ! 

The fell sword of the troopers 

Brief triumph shall they know 
Upon your soil ancestral 

E'en now your sons lays low ! 
But to the ruthless victor 

Your freedom dear you sell, 
Proud, dauntless, little nation, 

Whom only numbers quell ! 

Ring out ! Ring on ! Ring sadly 
The noble Flemish peal ! 

But see ! in the dark heavens 

The dawn of justice light ! 
There to the dim horizon 

The brutal horde takes flight. 
The radiant day of glory 

Day of revenge is here, 



38 CARILLONS DE FLANDRES 

Chantc, cloche, a plein battant 

Ton air de victoire ! 
Sonne glorieusement 
Libre carillon Flamand ! 

DOMINIQUE BONNAUD 
Oct. 1914 



BELLS OF FLANDERS 39 

Oh ! bells, proclaim your triumph 
With music loud and clear ! 

Ring out ! Ring on ! Ring proudly 
The free-born Flemish peal. 



IX 

CRUX FERREA 



AFFIXUS olim fur cruci ; nunc crux 
furi. 



THE IRON CROSS 



TN olden days they hanged the thief, 

And on the cross he clung; 
But now we've turned another leaf 
The cross on thieves is hung. 



X 

LE SOLDAT MORT 



"/^ENTILZ gallans de France, 
^^ Qui en la guerre allez, 
Je vous prie qu'il vous plaise 
Mon amy saluer." 

Comment le saluroye 
Quant point ne le congnois ? " 
"II est bon a cognoistre, 
II est de blanc arme" ; 

"II porte la croix blanche, 
Lcs esperons dorez, 
Et au bout de sa lance 
Ung fer d'argent dore"." 

" Ne plorez plus, la belle, 
Car il est trespass^ ; 



THE DEAD SOLDIER 



gentlemen of France, 
A-marching out to war, 
I pray you, an you please, 
Give cheer to my suitor." 

"How shall I give him cheer 
Who is to me unknown ? " 
"To know him is not hard, 
He hath white armour on ; 

"The cross he bears is white, 
His spurs are made of gold, 
A lance, with silver head 
Well gilded, he doth hold." 

"Weep no more, lady fair, 
For he is dead and gone j 



44 LE SOLDAT MORT 

II est mort en Bretaigne, 
Les Bretons 1'ont tu6. 



"J'au veu faire sa fousse 
L'ore"e d'ung vert pre", 
Et veu chanter sa messe 
A quatre cordelliers." 

(AUTEUR INCONNU XV e SIECLfi) 



THE DEAD SOLDIER 45 

In Brittany he died, 

To death he hath been done. 



"I saw men dig his grave 
Beside a meadow green, 
By four St. Francis' Friars 
His mass hath chanted been.' 



XI 

A L'AMBULANCE 



T"\U couvent troublant le silence, 
**^ Arrive, avec son bruit presse, 
Une voiture d'ambulance, 
On amene un soldat blessd. 

Sur sa capote le sang brille ; 

II boite, e'treinte' par 1'obus. 
Son fusil lui sert de bequille 

Pour descendre de 1'omnibus. 

C'est un vieux aux moustaches rudes, 
Galonne" d'un triple chevron, 

Qui hait les cagots et les prudes 
Et debute par un juron. 

II a des propos malhonnetes 

Et des regards presque insultants, 



THE WOUNDED SOLDIER 
IN THE CONVENT 



T T 7HAT is that clattering noise I hear 

Through the still convent ringing ? 
It is the carriage-ambulance 
A wounded soldier bringing. 

Upon his coat the blood-spots shine ; 

He limps a shell has caught him 
His gun he uses for a crutch, 

Descending, to support him. 

A veteran he, with fierce moustache 
The triple stripes he's wearing 

All prudes and hypocrites he loathes, 
And starts by loudly swearing. 

Well-nigh insulting are his looks, 
W ith illbred gibes he rallies 



48 A L'AMBULANCE 

Qui font rougir sous leurs cornettes 
Les novices de dix-huit ans. 

Croyant qu'il dort et qu'elle est seule, 
Si la soeur pric aupres de lui, 

Vite il charge son brule-gueule 
Et siffle un air avec ennui. 

Que lui font la veille assidue, 
L'inte're't qu'on peut lui porter ? 

II sait que sa jambe est perdue 
Et que 1'on va le charcuter. 

II est furieux. Laissez faire ! 

On est tres patient ici ; 
Puis il y regne un atmosphere 

Qui console et qui dompte aussi. 

L'influence est lente, mais sure, 
De ces servantes de leur voeu, 

Douces en touchant la blessure 
Et douces en parlant de Dieu. 



THE WOUNDED SOLDIER 49 

The novices beneath their caps 
They blush at his coarse sallies. 

If at his side, thinking he sleeps, 

The sister breathes a prayer, 
Straightway astir he fills his pipe 

And whistles a bored air. 

What use to him their faithful watch, 

The care that never ceases ? 
He knows his leg is lost and done, 

And he'll be hacked to pieces. 

He's very angry Let him be ! 

Here no one knows impatience, 
There reigns an atmosphere that soothes 

And cows the rudest patients. 

Slow is the spell, but sure, that wields 

This band, to service given, 
With fingers soft they touch the wounds, 

And softly speak of Heaven. 

D 



50 A L'AMBULANCE 

Aussi, sentant, a sa manure, 

Le charme pieux et subtil, 
Le grognard h chaque pri^re 

Dira bient6t : " Ainsi soit-il ! " 

FRANCOIS COPPE* 
* Written in Paris during tha Siege, November 1870. 



THE WOUNDED SOLDIER 51 

So subtle is their pious charm, 

Our grumbler soon will see it 
In his own way and to each prayer 

Make the response "So be it"! 



XII 

LE DRAPEAU ANGLAIS 



le drapeau d'Angleterre ; 
Sans tache, sur le firmament, 
Presque a tous les points de terre 
II flotte glorieusement. 

II brille sur tous les rivages ; 

II a seme tous les progres, 
Au bout des mers les plus sauvages 

Comme aux plus lointaines fore'ts. 

Devant Pesprit humain en marche 
Mainte fois son pli rayonna, 

Comme la colombe de 1'arche 
Ou comme I'e'clair du Sina. 

Oublions les jours des tempe'tes, 

Et, mon enfant, puisqu' aujourd'hui 

Ce drapeau flotte sur nos tetes, 
II faut incliner devant lui. 



THE ENGLISH FLAG 

THE FRENCH CANADIAN AND HIS SON 



" TT is the flag of England ! 

Stainless, against the sky, 
Where is the land but sees it 
Floating in majesty ? 

" It gleams on every shoreline, 

Where progress forward sweeps, 
Beyond the furthest forests, 
Beyond the stormiest deeps. 

" And wheresoe'er man's spirit 
Fares on, it streams before, 
Like Noah's dove, or lightning 
From Sinai flashed of yore. 

" Forget the days of tempest, 

And low, my son, incline, 
Because to-day this banner 

Floats o'er thy head and mine." 



54 LE DRAPEAU ANGLAIS 

Mais, pere, pardonnez si j'ose 
N'en est-il un autre, a nous ? 

Ah ! celui-la, c'est autre chose ; 
II faut le baiser a genoux. 

Louis FRECHETTE 



THE ENGLISH FLAG 55 

" Father forgive my daring 

Have we not also one ? " 
"Ah! yes, there is another, u*,i ft ' "--- 
To kneel and kiss, my son ! " 



XIII 

FROM THE JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY 
FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH 



IN THE AFGHAN WAR 



' I V HE autumn sun was dying; 

"^ Flushed with its light the scene, 
Dark earth below, the blood-red glow, 
And a belt of gold between. 

Its molten trail swept o'er her, 

As she sat apart from all, 
And the ruddy gleam of the fading beam 

Made patterns on the wall. 

But she looked not on the sunset, 
To its pomp her eyes were dim 

For honour sworn his sword was drawn 
She thought alone of him. 



IN THE AFGHAN WAR 57 

In the distant Asian passes 

The banner of England blew ; 
Upon the height she saw him fight 

Fighting, he saw her too. 

The golden flood was darkened 

A shadow before her came ; 
Within the room was the wraith of doom, 

Outside the great red flame. 

A cry broke on the stillness 

" Great God " ! she reeled and fell, 

And the sun dropped down on field and town, 
And vanished was the spell. 

In the distant Asian passes 

A pale corpse faced the sky 
Oh ! dying breath of life in death ! 

Oh ! hidden mystery ! 



XIV 

EPITAPH ON THE SPARTANS 

AT THERMOPYLAE 



', &yyet\ov AaKfSat/iovi'ots on TjjSf 
tfifda, rols Ktivu>v pij/iacrt Treidofievoi. 



SlMONIDES OF CEOS 

^ * >** * 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 



QTR ANGER, go hence and say to the men who 
^ hold Lacedaemon 

* Here, far away, we lie, proudly obeying her 
words ' ! 



XV 

EPITAPH ON THOSE WHO FELL 
AT THE BATTLE OF CHAERONEA 



Ot8t -narpas tvena <r</>frepaf els drjpiv edevro 
ojrXa, KOI dvriiraXav vftpiv d.irf<TKfbacrav* 

tfdpfTrjs Kal Set/iarof ov< eVdeoo-av 
as, aXX' 'A?Sjj/ KOIVOV fdevro ftpafjij, 

'EXXiji/coy, ws fir) vybv av\tvi Qtvres 
8ov\oa~uvT]s aruyepav dp.(pls f^uxriv vftpiv' 
yaia Se Trarpi? e^et icoXTrots ra>v TrXewrra Kap.6vT<av 

o-a>/iar', eVet Bvrjrols etc Ator 1786 Kpicris' 
p.t)8fv afjLapTflv eon 6fov Kal iravra Karopdovv, 
ev PLOTT) p.6lpav 8' ou Tt (pvyclv tiropev. 

DEMOSTHENES, jD<? Corona^ 822 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 



' I V HESE are the heroes, for their country's weal 
Who dared the strife and made the proud foe 

reel. 
'Twixt praise and shame for such high stakes 

they vied 

Careless of living, Death they bade decide. 
And this for Hellas' sake, that she might be 
From tyrant's pride and yoke of bondsmen free. 
Sore was their toil but now their motherland's 
Dear bosom folds them so great Zeus commands. 
Unfailing, all-availing, is his power, 
To men no respite gives he from their hour. 



XVI 

THE SLEEP OF THE BRAVE 



TTQW sleep the brave who sink to rest 
By all their country's wishes blest ! 
When Spring with dewy fingers cold 
Shall deck with flowers their hallow'd mould, 
She there shall dress a sweeter sod 
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod. 

W. COLLINS 



IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



TP\IC quam soporem rite petunt viri 
"^^^Quos morte victos dignus amor beat 
Et patria extollit sepultos ! 

Nempe ubi ver rediens sacratam 
Terram benignis roribus illinet, 
Florum creatrix, gratior hinc solo 
Caespes virebit, quam bcato 
Qui nitet Hesperidum recessu. 



XVII 

HEBREW MELODIES 



' I V HY days are done, thy fame begun ; 

Thy country's strains record 
The triumphs of her chosen son, 

The slaughters of his sword, 
The deeds he did, the fields he won, 

The freedom he restored ! 

Though thou art fall'n, while we are free, 
Thou shalt not taste of death ! 

The generous blood that flowed from thee 
Disdained to sink beneath : 

Within our veins its currents be, 
Thy spirit on our breath ! 

Thy name our charging hosts along 
Shall be the battle-word, 



IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



TJRIMA tibi famae quae lux fuit ultima vitae, 

In fastis patriae commemorandus eris, 
Seu referunt natus quot duxerit ante triumphos, 

Seu quoties tulerit fervidus ensis opem, 
Qualia facta manu dederit, quos straverit hostes, 

Restituens populo libera jura suo. 

Tu licet occideris, dum sors stet libera nobis, 
Non tibi vis Stygii n6rit obesse Dei. 

Egregius sanguis tibi qui manavit abundans 
Non potuit vilem tingere opertus humum. 

O utinam venas liceat percurrere nostras, 
Dum tuus in nostro spiritus ore viget ! 

Nomen, ubi ad bellum praeceps impellitur agmen, 
Nota manus fausta tessera ducet. avi. 

E 



66 HEBREW MELODIES 

Thy fall the theme of choral song 

From virgin voices poured, 
To weep would do thy glory wrong, 

Thou shalt not be deplored ! 

LORD BYRON 



IDEM 67 

Mors tua carminibus lyricis cantabitur ultro, 

Fata puellari concclebrante choro, 
Scilicet official lacrimarum copia famae, 

Non tua qui nimium funera ploret erit ! 



XVIII 

THE TWO VOICES 



T SUNG the joyful Paean clear, 

A And, sitting, burnish'd without fear 

The band, the buckler, and the spear 

Waiting to strive a happy strife, 
To war with falsehood to the knife, 
And not to lose the good of life. 

At least, not rotting like a weed, 
But, having sown some generous seed, 
Fruitful of further thought and deed, 

To pass, when Life her light withdraws, 
Not void of righteous self-applause, 
Nor in a merely selfish cause 



IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



laetis dum recino modis, 
Felix sedebam, nee minus interim 
Hastamque et umbonem polibam 
Et gladium vacuus timore. 

Feliciorem Martis imaginem 
Spe providebam, quo mihi proelium 
Tentare cum falsis liceret, 
Munere nee spoliare vitam, 

Nee quale gramen tabet inutile 
Putrescere ; at mox, semine nobili 
Sparse, quod augescens opimum 
Consilium pariterque agendi 

Vim gignat altam, sit mihi cedere 
Vita probanti quod bene fecimus, 
Nee lucra plus aequo pctenti, 
Lumine cum spoliatur aetas. 



70 THE TWO VOICES 

In some good cause, nor in mine own, 
To perish, wept for, honour'd, known, 
And like a warrior overthrown : 



Whose eyes are dim with glorious tears, 
When, soil'd with noble dust, he hears 
His country's war-song thrill his ears : 



Then dying of a mortal stroke, 
What time the foeman's line is broke, 
And all the war is roll'd in smoke. 

LORD TENNYSON 



IDEM 71 

O si perirem fortiter, baud mea 
Causa laborans, sed velut inclitus 
Bellator oppressus sub hoste 
Civibus heu ! nimium querendi 

Fit causa, lapso lumina cui rigant 
Fletus adorti, pulvere nobili 
Cum sparsus audivit suorum 
Bella ciens resonare carmen. 

Tune ille plaga non medicabili 
Procumbit ictus, tempore quo nigrae 
Martis volutantur tenebrae, 
Oppositumque fugatur agmen. 



PART II 
OTHER TRANSLATIONS 



XIX 

AGONIE DE MOINE 



k AITES mise'ricorde au vieux moine qui meurt, 
Et recevez son ame entre vos mains, Seigneur. 



Quand les maux lui crieront que sa force profonde 
A termini le cours de sa vie en ce monde, 



Quand ses regards vitreux, obscurcis et^troubls, 
Enverront leurs adieux vers les cieux ^toiles ; 



Quand se rencontrera, dans les affres des Sevres, 
Une dcrniere fois, votre nom sur ses levres j 



THE MONK'S DEATH BED 



T TAVE mercy on the aged monk who is about 

to die, 

Receive his soul into Thy hands, we pray Thee, Lord 
Most High ! 

When evil spirits cry to him that that enthroned 

power 
Which was his life, has spent its strength, and 

brought him to this hour ; 

When, as the darkness glooms and falls upon his 

glazing eyes, 
They turn their last beclouded glance up to the 

starlit skies ; 

When, mid delirium's horror, on his lips a single 

word 
Breathed for the last time, faintly sounds that word 

Thy name, O Lord ; 



76 AGONIE DE MOINE 

Quand il se raidira dans un supreme effort, 
La chair epouvante"e a 1'aspect de la mort ; 



Quand, 1'esprit obscurci du travail des teViebres, 
II cherchera la croix avec des mains funebres; 



Quand on recouvrira de cendres son front ras 
Et que pour bien mourir on croisera ses bras ; 



Quand on lui donnera pour supreme amnistie, 
Pour lampe de voyage et pour soleil, 1'hostie ; 



Quand les cierges veillants p&liront de lueurs 
Son visage lave" des dernieres sueurs 



THE MONK'S DEATH BED 77 

When the poor body in affright, as fearful Death 

draws nigh, 
Grows rigid in a final throe of hapless energy ; 

When as the gathering shadows creep about his 

clouded mind, 
He fumbles with his dying hands, if they the cross 

may find ; 

When ashes on his shaven brow are laid, and on 

his breast 
His stiffening arms are crossed, that so his ending 

may be blest ; 

When the last pardon is pronounced, and he is 

given the Host 
A lamp by night, a sun by day, to guide his flitting 

ghost ; 

When the last drop of sweat is wiped from off his 

pallid face 
Under the glimmering tapers that keep vigil in that 

place ; 



78 AGONIE DE MOINE 

Quand on abaissera sa tombante paupiere, 
A toute 6ternit, sur son lobe de pierre j 



Quand, raides et se'che's, ses membres verdiront, 
Et que les premiers vers en ses flancs germeront ; 



Quand on le descendra, sit6t la nuit tombe'e, 
Parmi les ancicns morts qui dorment sous I'herb^e ; 



Quand 1'oubli prompt sera sur sa fosse agrafe, 
Comme uS" fermoir de fer sur un livre e'touffe' : 



Faites miseVicorde a son humble me'moire, 
Seigneur, et que son &nie ait place en votre gloire ! 



THE MONK'S DEATH BED 79 

When hands his drooping eyelids touch, and gently 

fold them down 
To rest for all eternity on eyeballs turned to stone ; 

When on his dry and rigid limbs the damp begins 

to form, 
And in his rotting entrails sprouts the birthplace of 

the worm ; 

When men his body lift, as soon as night-time is 

abroad, 
And lay it with the ancient dead who sleep beneath 

the sward ; 

When prompt oblivion closes tight his grave within 

its grasp, 
And makes it as a strangled book shut by an iron 

clasp ; 

Look on his humble memory, with mercy in Thy 

face, 
And, where Thou art in glory, Lord, grant to his 

soul a place ! 



XX 

ANTON MOR 



"p\ANS leur cadre d'e"bene et d'or 
"^~^ Les personnages d' Anton Mor 
Perscutent de leur silence. 



Masques terreux, visages durs, 
Serres dans leurs secrets obscurs, 
Et leur austrit6 mechanic. 



Haute allure, maintien cruel, 
Orgueil rigide et textuel : 
Barons, docteurs et capitaines. 



Leurs doigts sont maigres et fluets 
Us fignoleraient des jouets 
Et dtraqueraient des empires. 



ANTONIO MORE 



T?ROM their frames of black and gold 

Gaze the figures mute and cold 
Whom Antonio More of old 

Limned the silence of their stare 
Doth torment me everywhere ; 
Masks of clay their faces are. 

Hard the features, and there lies 
Evil in those austere eyes/ 
With their unprobed mysteries. 

Baron, doctor, captain shows 

Cruelty in high repose, 

Pride that no concession knows. 

Fingers long and lean have they, 
Fingers apt with toys to play 
Or an empire to betray. 



82 ANTON MOR 

Us cachent sous leurs fronts ch6tifs 
Les fiers vouloirs rebarbatifs, 
Et les vices des tyrannies, 

Et le caprice renaissant 

De voir du sang rosir le sang 

Se'ch^ trop vite aux coins des ongles. 

EMILE VERHAEREN 



ANTONIO MORE 83 

'Neath their narrow foreheads lie 
Wills that slightest curb defy, 
Every vice of tyranny ; 

And the finger-stain of gore 
Scarce hath time to dry, before 
They must redden it once more. 



XXI 

FROM "LES UNES ET LES 

AUTRES " 



TT\ONNEZ vos mains, donnez vos yeux, 

Vos yeux qui brillent dans mes songes ; 
Pour charmer mon coeur anxieux 
Donnez vos mains, donnez vos yeux, 
Vos yeux d'e'toile et de mensonge. 

Donnez vos yeux, donnez vos mains, 

Donnez vos mains magiciennes ; 
Pour me guider par les chemins 
Donnez vos yeux, donnez vos mains, 

Vos mains d'Infante dans les miennes, 

Donnez vos mains, donnez vos yeux, 

Vos yeux d'e'toile qui se leve ; 
Donnez-moi, pour nous aimer mieux, 
Donnez vos mains, donnez vos yeux, 

Vos yeux dans le soir de mon rive. 



YOUR HANDS AND EYES 



me your hands, give me your eyes, 
Your eyes that sparkle in my dream ; 
My troubled heart to exorcise 
Give me your hands, give me your eyes, 
Stars that beguile me as they gleam. 

Give me your eyes, give me your hands, 

Your hands with their magician's spell; 
To guide me through the unknown lands 
Give me your eyes, give me your hands, 
Your hands, Princess, in mine to dwell. 

Give me your hands, give me your eyes, 
Like stars that rise athwart the night ; 
To lend our love new ecstasies 
Give me your hands, give me your eyes, 
The shadows of my dream to light. 



86 FROM "LES UNES ET LES AUTRES" 

Donnez vos yeux, donncz vos mains, 

Donnez vos mains surnaturelles ; 
Pour me conduirc aux lendemains 
Donnez vos yeux, donnez vos mains, 

Vos mains comme deux roses freles. 

HENRY C. SPIESS 



YOUR HANDS AND EYES 87 

Give me your eyes, give me your hands. 

Hands from some spirit-world afar ; 
To lead me to the morrow-lands 
Give me your eyes, give me your hands, 

That like two fragile roses are. 



XXII 

LES MAINS 



T ES mains que je vois en rve 
^~* Faire signe a mon destin, 
M'ont promis des roses breves 
Et des lys lointains. 

Les mains que je voudrais miennes 
Pour leurs gestes inconnus 

Ont des bagues anciennes 
A leur doigts menus. 

Les mains qu'il faudrait aux fievres 
De ma bouche et de mes yeux, 

Sont plus douces que les reVes 
Et caressent mieux. 

Quand j'ai cru les reconnaitre 
Ma vie a toujours dout. 

He"las ! elles n'ont peut-tre 
Jamais existe". 



THE HANDS 



x I V HE hands I see in dreamland 

My destiny allure, 
Have offered me frail roses 
And far-off lilies pure. 

The hands I fain would capture 
For these strange ministerings 

Upon their taper fingers 

Are hung with antique rings. 

The hands to cool the fever 
Of my poor lips and eyes, 

Are softer, more caressing, 
Than dreams of Paradise. 

Whene'er I think I've met them 
My soul in doubt has been. 

Ah ! can it be that never 

Those hands in life were seen ? 



9 o LES MAINS 

Mais pour avoir rv d'elles 

Un soir, il y a longtemps 
Je leur suis reste fiddle, 

Et jc les attends. 

HENRY C. SPIESS 



THE HANDS 9 1 

And yet, since once in dreamland 

They did my fancy fill, 
I never have forgotten 

I wait, I wait them still ! 



XXIII 

RUINES DU CCEUR 



"J% /TON coeur e"tait jadis comme palais remain, 

Tout construit de granits choisis, de marbres 
rares, 

Bient6t les passions, comme un flot de barbares, 
L'envahirent, la hache ou la torche au main. 

Ce fut une ruine alors. Nul bruit humain, 
Viperes et hiboux. Terrains de fleurs avares. 
Partout gisaient, bris6s, porphyres et carrares : 

Et les ronces avaient efface le chemin. 



Je suis rest6 longtemps, seul, devant mon dsastre, 
Des midis sans soleil, des minuits sans un astre, 

Passerent, et j'ai la vcu d'horribles jours ; 
Mais tu parus enfin, blanche dans la lumiere, 

Et bravement, afin de loger nos amours, 
Des debris du palais j'ai b&ti ma chaumiere. 

FRANCOIS COPPEE 



MY HEART IN RUINS 



TONG ago my heart was like a Roman palace, 
^^ Made of choice granites, decked with marbles 

rare ; 

Soon came the passions, like a horde of vandals, 
Came and invaded it, with axe and torch aglare. 

Then it was a ruin. Not a human sound there ! 

Only owls and vipers wastes of creeping flowers ; 
Porphyry, Carrara, everywhere lay broken, 

Brambles had o'ergrown the paths between the 
bowers. 

Long time, alone, I gazed on my disaster, 

Many a sunless noontide, many a starless night 

Passed, and I lived there days begirt with horror, 
Till thou appearedst, white in the light. 

Bravely then, to find a lodging for our two loves, 
Puilded I my hut from the ruins of that site. 



XXIV 

ROMANCE SANS PAROLE 



TL plcure dans mon coeur 

Comme il pleut sur la villc, 
Quelle est cette langueur 
Qui pe"netre mon coeur ? 

O bruit doux de la pluie 
Par terrc et sur les toits ! 
Pour un coeur qui s'ennuie, 
O le chant de la pluie ! 

II pleure sans raison 
Dans ce coeur qui s'^coeure. 
Quoi ! nulle trahison ? 
Ce deuil est sans raison. 



RAIN 



>"T A EARS rain within my heart, 
* As rain falls on the town, 
Oh ! wherefore is my heart 
With heaviness bowed down ? 



Oh ! soft sound of the rain 

On earth and roof-tops falling ! 

Oh ! sweet voice of the rain 
The dreary heart enthralling ! 

In my disconsolate heart 

Tears rain without a reason ; 

Senseless thy grief, Oh heart, 

That naught hast known of treason ! 



96 ROMANCE SANS PAROLE 

C'est bien la pire peine 
De ne savoir pourquoi, 
Sans amour et sans haine, 
Mon coeur a tant de peine ! 

PAUL VERLAINE 



RAIN 97 

Truly the pain I rate 

Hardest, is not to know 
Why, without love or hate, 

My heart is steeped in woe ! 



XXV 

ROUTE PRINTANIERE 



TA route est rose de pommiers, 
^~^ Je vais vers ma belle ; 
Et le ciel est blanc de ramiers, 
Elle est fraiche et frele. 

Les pommiers sont de grands bouquets, 
Je vais vers ma belle ; 

Les ramiers s'aiment aux bosquets, 
C'est ma tourterelle. 

La rose emperle les pres, 

Je vais vers ma belle ; 

Tous les prs sont blancs et dores, 
Son rire tincelle. 

Les ruisseaux, remplis de chansons 
Je vais vers ma belle ; 



THE SPRING ROAD 



'"T^HE road is pink with apple trees 

I go to meet my love, 
So fresh and frail the ring-doves' wings 

Make white the sky above. 

The apple trees are thick with bloom 

I go to meet my love 
The ring-doves court amid the groves, 

She is my turtle-dove. 

The dew-drops deck the fields like pearls 

I go to meet my love 
The fields are white and gold* her laugh 

Rings in the air above. 

The limpid streams, all full of songs 
I go to meet my love 

* i.e., white with daisies and gold with buttercups. 



ioo ROUTE PRINTANIERE 

Les ruisseaux clairs dans les gazons 
Sont moins souples qu'elle. 

Mai de parfums enivre 1'air, 
Je vais vers ma belle ; 

Moi, je suis ivre de sa chair, 
Chaque jour nouvelle. 

Sous 1'azur d'ailes tressaillant, 
Je vais vers ma belle ; 

Ohl ! le chemin rose et blanc 
Qui conduit vers elle ! 

AUGUSTE ANGELLIER 



THE SPRING ROAD 101 

Gliding amid the grass, are not 
So supple as my love. 

The air is drunk with scents of May 

I go to meet my love 
And I am drunk with her fair face, 

Each day I live and move. 

Under the blue, astir with wings 

I go to meet my love 
Oh ! pink and white the roadway is 

That leads me to my love ! 



XXVI 

A L'AMIE PERDUE 



1% /TON coeur ita.it un marbre en une ronceraie, 

Dans un sender banal aux yeux de tous place", 
Ou le hasard sans cesse e"crirait a la craie 
Quelque nom par la pluie aussitot efface". 



Mais 1' Amour, arrachant les ronces et 1'ivraie, 
Les jeta dans les airs d'un geste courrouce', 
Et sculpta lentement, d'une main ferme et vraie, 
Un nom profonddmeut et pour toujours fix. 



Puis il mit tout autour un grillage de fer, 
Aux quatre coins duquel il dressa des statues 
Au corps de marbre blanc, mais d'airain revenues 



THE MARBLE HEART 



71 /TY heart a marble was, reared in a bramble waste, 
* That in a common path, for all to see, was 

placed, 
Where Chance upon the stone with hand untiring 

wrote 
Some name that by the rain was speedily washed out. 

But Love tore up the weeds and brambles that 

were there, 

And angrily he took and flung them in the air, 
And slowly did engrave, with true and steadfast hand, 
One name, carved deep thereon, that evermore will 

stand. 

Then with an iron rail he did the spot surround 
And set four statues at the corners of the ground, 
On whose white marble limbs a robe of brass was 
bound. 



104 A L'AMIE PERDUE 

Ce sont le Souvenir, 1'Espoir, le Pardon fier, 
Le DeVoument, debout comme des sentinclles 
Gardant contre le Temps des choses 6ternelles. 

AUGUSTS ANGELLIER 



THE MARBLE HEART 105 

These four are Hope, Fidelity, Forgiveness proud, 
Remembrance, who like sentinels, with heads unbowed, 
To guard the eternal things from shocks of Time 
are vowed. 



XXVII 
ADIEU 



A DIECJ ! je crois qu'en cette vie 

Je ne te reverrai jamais. 
Dieu passe, il t'appelle et m'oublie, 
En te perdant, je sens que je t'aimais. 



Pas de pleurs, pas de plainte vaine, 
Je sais respecter 1'avenir. 
Vienne la voile qui t'emmene, 
En souriant je la verrai partir ! 

Tu t'en vas pleine d'espeYance, 
Avec orgueil tu reviendras ; 
Mais ceux qui vont souffrir de ton absence 
Tu ne les reconnaitras pas. 

Adieu ! tu vas faire un beau reVe, 
Et t'enivrer d'un plaisir dangereux : 



FAREWELL 



T7AREWELL ! for I think that below 

I never shall see thy face more ; 
God passeth, He biddeth thee go 
And leaveth me. Losing thee so 
I feel that I loved thee before. 

No weeping, no useless lament ! 

I can pay to the future its due ; 
Come the sail that for thee has been sent, 

I shall smile as I bid it Adieu. 

Full of hope art thou, going away, 

With pride wilt thou come back again, 

But there'll ne'er be a greeting to say 
To those who in mourning remain. 

Farewell ! a bright dream is in store, 
Thou wilt drink to the lees of delight, 



io8 ADIEU 

Sur ton chemin I'e'toile qui se leve 
Longtemps encore eblouira les yeux. 

Un jour tu sentiras peut-e'tre 
Le prix d'un coeur qui nous comprend, 
Le bien qu'on trouve a le connaitre, 
Et ce qu'on souffre en le perdant. 

ALFRED DE MUSSET 



FAREWELL 109 

A star shines thy journey before, 
Longtime will it dazzle thy sight. 

One day thou wilt value the cost 

Of the heart that is swift to discern 

Their profit who cherish it most, 

Their anguish the treasure who spurn. 



XXVIII 

SON EPITAPHE 



qui ci maintenant dort 
Fit plus de pitie que d'envie, 
Et souffrit mille fois la mort 
Avant que de perdre la vie. 
Passant, ne fais ici de bruit, 
Prends garde qu'aucun ne 1'eVeille ; 
Car voici la premiere nuit 
Que le pauvre Scarron sommeille. 

PAUL SCARRON* 



* Scarron (1610-1660), it will be remembered, was the poor 
deformed, half-paralysed dramatist and poet who was the first 
husband of Mme. de Maintenon. 



THE EPITAPH OF SCARRON 



him whose resting-place you view 
Pity, not envy, was the due ; 
A thousand times he suffered death 
While on this earth he still drew breath. 
Oh I passer by, make here no noise, 
Let no man walce him with his voice ; 
For ne'er, before this night, did sleep 
Upon poor Scarron's eyelids creep. 



XXIX 

SUR UNE DAME POETE 



GLE, belle et poete, a deux petits travers ; 
Elle fait son visage, et ne fait pas ses vers. 

P. D. LEBRUN 



, 



*"*K ' 



THE LADY POET 



is fair, a poet too, 
Two little whims she nurses ; 
She knows how to make up her face, 
But not, alas, her verses ! 



XXX 

DIALOGUE ENTRE UN PAUVRE 

POETE ET L'AUTEUR 



vient de me voler ! Que je plains ton 
malheur ! 
Tous mes vers manuscrits ! Que je plains 

le voleur ! 

P. D. LEBRUN 



THE POET AND THE THIEF 



" A RASCAL 'S been and carried off" 

" I'm sorry for your grief ! " 
" The manuscript of all my odes " 
"I'm sorry for the thief"! 



XXXI 
EPITAPHE 



dont la supreme loi 
Fut de ne vivre que pour soi, 
Passant, garde-toi de le suivre ; 
Car on pourrait dire de toi : 
Ci-git qui ne dut jamais vivre." 

VOLTAIRE 



THE SELFISH MAN 



T TERE lieth who no law did own 

* * Save for himself to live alone ; 

Stranger, by him be thou not led, 

Else haply 'twill of thee be said 

" He never should have lived, who's dead.' 



XXXII 

INSCRIPTION POUR UNE 

STATUE DE L'AMOUR 






UI que tu sois, voici ton maitre ; 
II Test, le fut, ou le doit etre. 

VOLTAIRE 




ON A STATUE OF LOVE 



TT7HOFER thou art, thy master he- 
Is now, was once, or ought to be. 



XXXIII 

EPIGRAMS QUOTED IN LORD 
CHESTERFIELD'S LETTERS TO 
HIS SON 



DIDON 



pAUVRE Didon ! ou t'a nSduite 

De tes maris le triste sort ? 
L'un en mourant cause ta fuite, 
L'autre en fuyant cause ta mort ! 

Letter IV. 



COLAS 



est mort de maladie, 
Tu veux que j'en pleure le sort ; 
Que diable veux tu que j'en die ? 
Colas vivoit, Colas est mort. 

Letters XLVIII, cvi. 




DIDO'S SPOUSES 

T)OOR Dido, brought to what a state 

By your two spouses' doleful fate ! 
The first* in dying made you fly, 
The second'st flight now makes you die ! 



ON AN INSIGNIFICANT FELLOW 

/""^OLLEY fell ill, and is no more! 
^-^ His fate you bid me to deplore ; 
But what the deuce is to be said ? 
Colley was living, Colley 's dead. 



Sichttus. 



XXXIV 

THE INFERNO 
CANTO V, 25-142 



/"VRA incomincian le dolenti note 

A farmisi sentire : or son venuto 

La dove molto pianto mi percuote. 
lo venni in loco d'ogni luce muto, 

Che mugghia, come fa mar per tempesta, 

Se da contrari venti e combattuto. 
La bufera infernal, che mai non resta, 

Mena gli spirti con la sua rapina ; 

Voltando e percotendo li molesta. 
Quando giungon davanti alia ruina, 

Quivi le strida, il compianto e il lamento ; 

Bestemmian quivi la Virtu divina. 
Intesi, che a cosi fatto tormento 



THE SECOND CIRCLE : 
PAOLO AND FRANCESCA 



A ND now the cries of suffering begin 

^To reach me, as I draw more near ; 
Now have I entered on a place wherein 
There strikes upon my ear 

Wailing incessant. To a spot I came, 

Void of all light, which, like a sea 
Lashed with opposing winds that naught can tame, 
Bellows in agony. 

The storm infernal, that no respite knows, 

Driveth the spirits on its wrack, 
Tossing and smiting them with dreadful blows 
Of manifold attack. 

But when before the ruinous steep* they come, 
With shrieks and moaning they repine, 

* Laruina, the ruin, is the name applied by the poet to the 
precipitous and shattered rocks that bound the circles in Hell, 



124 THE INFERNO 

Eran dannati i peccator carnali, 

Che la ragion sommettono al talento. 
E come gli stornei ne portan 1' ali, 

Nel freddo tempo, a schiera larga e plena, 

Cosl quel fiato gli spiriti mali 
Di qua, di la, di gift, di su gli mena. 

Nulla speranza gli conforta mai, 

Non che di posa, ma di minor pena. 
E come i gru van cantando lor lai, 

Facendo in aer di se lunga riga ; 

Cosi vid' io venir, traendo guai, 
Ombre portate dalla delta briga: 

Per ch* io dissi : Maestro, chi son quelle 

Genti, che 1' aer nero si gastiga ? 
La prima di color, di cui novelle 

Tw vuoi saper, mi disse quegli allotta, 



THE SECOND CIRCLE 125 

And there do many, who till now were dumb, 
Blaspheme the Power Divine. 

To such a torment is condemned the band 

Of carnal sinners, who to lust 
Enslaved their reasons in foul bondage, and, 
As starlings in a gust 

During cold weather, on their wings unfurled, 

In swarming companies are blown, 
So the bad spirits by that blast are whirled 
Here, there, and up and down ! 

No hope their woeful destiny allays 
Of rest, or e'en of milder pains ; 
And, as one sees aloft, what time their lays 
They chant, a file of cranes, 

So saw I flock, by that tempestuous breeze 

Upborne, and wailing like a dirge, 
The shades whereat I [questioned, " Who are these, 
Whom the black air doth scourge ? " 



126 THE INFERNO 

Fu imperatrice di molte favellc. 

A vizio di lussuria fu si rotta, 
Che libito fe' licito in sua legge 
Per torre il biasmo, in che era condotta. 

Ell' e Semiramis, di cui si legge, 

Che succedette a Nino, e fu sua sposa : 
Tenne la terra, che il Soldan corregge. 

L' altra e colei, che s' ancise amorosa, 
E ruppe fede al cener di Sicheo; 
Poi e Cleopatras lussuriosa. 

Elena vidi, per cui tanto reo 

Tempo si volse ; e vidi il grande Achille, 
Che con amore al fine combatteo. 

Vidi Paris, Tristano ; e piu di mille 
Ombre mostrommi, e nominolle a dito, 
Ch' amor di nostra vita dipartille. 







THE SECOND CIRCLE 127 

To which my Master made reply, "The first 

Of whom thou would'st hear tell, is she, 
Empress of many tongues, who was accurst 
With vice of lechery. 

" That lust should lawful be did she ordain, 

So to escape her guilt of this, 
Ninus' Queen and heir where Sultans reign 
Of late Semiramis. 

"The other slew herselr, with torments vexed 

By passion, who had faithless been 
To the dead ashes of Sichaeus ; next, 
Egypt's voluptuous Queen." 

Paris I saw, and Tristan, Helen too 

Whose sin so long a penance prove, 
And there I saw the great Achilles, who 
Fought at the end with love.* 

More than a thousand shadows he did name 
And showed me, who for love had died, 

* Achilles wai slain in the Temple of Apollo, through the 
treachery of Paris, whose sister Polyxena he had gone to wed. 



i 2 8 THE INFERNO 

Poscia ch* io ebbi il mio Dottore udito 
Nomar le donne antiche e i cavalieri, 
Pieta mi vinse, e fui quasi smarrito. 

Io cominciai : Poeta, volentieri 

Parlerei a que' duo, che insieme vanno, 
E paion si al vento esser leggieri. 

Ed egli a me : Vedrai, quando saranno 
Piu presso a noi ; e tu allor li prega 
Per quell* amor che i mena ; e quei verranno. 

Si tosto come il vento a noi li piega, 
Muovo la voce: O anime affannate, 
Venite a noi parlar, s' altri noi niega. 

Quali colombe, dal disio chiamate, 

Con 1* ali aperte e ferme al dolce nido 
Volan per 1* aer dal voler portate : 

Cotali uscir della schiera ov' e Dido, 



THE SECOND CIRCLE 129 

Many an ancient cavalier and dame 
Whereat, for ruth, I cried 

As one confounded, " Poet, with that pair 

To speak awhile is in my mind, 
Who fly together, hovering in the air 
So light upon the wind." 

And he to me, "Ere long when they draw near 

Thou wilt behold them, and shalt pray 
By that sad passion which has brought them here, 
And they will come straightway." 

Soon as the wind inclines them in its course 

" Oh ! troubled souls," aloud I cry, 
" Come now, that with us ye may hold discourse, 
If haply none deny." 

As doves by longing called, with outspread wing 

Fly steady to their happy nest, 
By will borne onwards, so, from out the ring 
That around Dido pressed, 



130 THE INFERNO 

A noi venendo per 1* aer maligno, 

Si forte fu 1* affettuoso grido. 
O animal grazioso e benigno, 

Che visitando vai per 1' aer perso 

Noi che tignemmo il mondo di sanguigno : 
Se fosse amico il Re dell' universe, 

Noi pregheremmo lui per la tua pace, 

Poi che hai piet& del nostro mal perverso. 
Di quel che udire e che parlar ti piace 

Noi udiremo e parleremo a vui, 

Mentre che il vento, come fa, si tace. 
Siede la terra, dove nata fui, 

Su la marina dove il Po discende 

Per aver pace co* seguaci sui. 
Amor, che al cor gentil ratto s' apprende, 

Prese costui della bella persona 



THE SECOND CIRCLE 131 

They issued, floating through the baleful gloom. 

(With voice so tender-strong I cried) 
" O thou that through the purple air hast come 
To us, the earth who dyed 

"With blood, O being gracious and benign, 

If but the King of th' Universe 
Were friendly, we would pray that peace be thine, 
Since on our fate perverse 

"Thou hast compassion. Now, whate'er thy will 

Contenteth thee to hear or say, 
That will we hear and answer make, while still 
The wind its blast doth stay. 

" Lieth the land, that gave me birth, upon 

The shore, where Po descends to rest 
With his companion rivers. Love, which soon 
Is caught by gentle breast, 

"Captured his passion lor the body fair 
Of me, ere I was reft of it 



132 THE INFERNO 

Che mi fu tolta, e il modo ancor m* offende. 
Amor, che a nullo amato amar perdona, 

Mi prese del costui piacer si forte, 

Che, come vedi, ancor non m' abbandona. 
Amor condusse noi ad una morte : 

Caina attende chi vita ci spense. 

Queste parole da lor ci fur porte. 
Da che io intesi quelle anime offense, 

Chinai il viso, e tanto il tenni basso, 
Finche il Poeta mi disse : Che pense ? 
Quando risposi, cominciai : O lasso ! 

Quanti dolci pensier, quanto disio 

Menu costoro al doloroso passo ! 
Poi mi rivolsi a loro, e parlai io, 

E cominciai : Francesca, i tuoi martiri 

A lagrimar mi fanno tristo e pio. 



THE SECOND CIRCLE 133 

Still doth the manner wound me Love, who'll ne'er 
In loved ones love remit, 

" Caught me so closely in the self-same snare, 

That in no wise its hold abates.* 
Love led us to a single death. Elsewhere 
Cain's place the murderer waits." 

After those wounded spirits I had heard, 

I bowed my face, and held it low, 
Until the Poet spake to me this word 
" What thing revolvest thou ? " 

To whom in answer I began, " Alas ! 

What tender thoughts, what yearning pain 
Have brought them hither to this dolorous pass ! " 
Then, turned to them again, 

I said, "Francesca, for thine agonies 

My tears in grief and pity flow, 
But, tell me, in the season of sweet sighs, 
By what it was, and how, 

* Translators differ in regarding amor and costui (i.e. Paolo) 
as the subjec of abbandon*. The former is here preferred. 



134 THE INFERNO 

Ma dimmi : al tempo de' dolci sospiri, 

A che, e come concedette amore, 
Che conosceste i dubbiosi desiri ? 

Ed ella a me : Nessun maggior dolore, 
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice 
Nella miseria ; e cio sa il tuo Dottore. 

Ma se a conoscer la prima radice 

Del nostro amor tu hai cotanto affetto, 
Faro come colui che piange e dice. 

Noi leggevamo un giorno per diletto 
Di Lancillotto, come amor lo strinsc : 
Soli eravamo e senza alcun sospetto. 

Per piu fiate gli occhi ci sospinse 
Quella lettura, e scolorocci il viso : 
Ma solo un punto fu quel che ci vinse. 

Quando leggemmo il disiato riso 



THE SECOND CIRCLE 135 

" Love suffered thee the rash desires to learn." 

Then she, " There is no greater woe 
Than to old happiness from grief to turn ; 
This doth thy Teacher know. 

" Yet, if to hear the first root of our love 

So strong a craving in thee dwells, 
The tale I will unfold, my trust to prove, 
Like one who weeps and tells. 

" One day for pastime we of Lancelot read, 

How love's grip held him tight. Alone 
We were, together, and nor heart nor head 
Did least suspicion own. 

" But oftentimes that reading urged our eyes 

To meet, and made our cheeks to pale ; 
E'en so we had escaped, but one surprise 
Did at the last prevail. 

"For when that lover's fate we must pursue 
Till the fond smile he leaned to kiss, 



136 THE INFERNO 

Esser baciato da cotanto amante, 
Questi, che mai da me non fia diviso, 

La bocca mi bacio tutto tremante : 
Galeotto fu il libro, e chi lo scrisse : 
Quel giorno piu non vi leggemmo avante. 

Mentre che 1* uno spirto questo disse, 
L' altro piangeva si, che di pietade 
lo venni men cosl com' io morisse ; 

E caddi, come corpo morto cade. 

DANTE ALIGHIERI 




THE SECOND CIRCLE 137 

Then he, who nevermore shall leave me, drew 
My trembling lips to his. 

" The book and scribe were Galahad. That day 

We read no more." While this she said, 
So sore he wailed, for ruth I swooned away, 
And fell, as one that's dead. 



XXXV 

A VISION 

FROM "THE GATE OF IVORY" 
(Virgil, Mneid VI, 895) 



/ "T"*HE winds of heaven waft her 

Through shutter bolts and bars, 
Like meteors streaming after 
From worlds beyond the stars. 

Through shutter bars and casement 

Behold the vision glide ! 
And now with sweet amazement 

I see it at my side. 

With lover's arms extended 

I claim her for my own ; 
That beauty rare and splendid 

Is mine, is mine alone. 

She bends, she breathes, her kisses 
Rain lightly on my brow. 






A VISION 139 

Surely like Heaven this is 
I am immortal now ! 

Immortal ! Fond illusion ! 

I wake the dream has fled 
O spare me this confusion, 

Kind God, and strike me dead ! 



XXXVI 

LOVE SONG FROM THE INDIAN 



T WOULD have torn the stars from the heavens 

for your necklace, 
I would have stripped the rose-leaves for your 

couch from all the trees, 
I would have spoiled the East of its spices for your 

perfume, 

The West of all its wonders, to endower you with 
these. 

I would have drained the ocean, to find its rarest 

pearl-drops, 
And melt them for your lightest thirst in ruby 

draughts of wine ; 
I would have dug for gold, till the earth was void 

of treasure, 

That, since you had no riches, you might freely 
take of mine. 









LOVE SONG FROM THE INDIAN 141 

I would have drilled the sunbeams to guard you 

through the daytime, 
I would have caged the nightingales to lull you 

to your rest ; 
But love was all you asked for, in waking or in 

sleeping, 

And love I give you, sweetest, at my side, and 
on my breast ! 



XXXVIL 

DEATH AND BEYOND 



TOVS 

ov yap Tfdvacriv, XXa TTJV aiirr]v o8(>v 
T)V iriuriv f\6f'iv f(TT dvayicaius e^ov, 
irpof\r)\{)da(riv' tira XW& varepov 
fts TOVTO Karayatyeiov avrois rjo/4fv, 
y TOV aXXov (rvi>8iaTpi\l/oi>Tfs xpo 



ANTIPHANES 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 



those by love or kinship dear 
Shed lightly, friend, the mournful tear ; 
They are not dead, but gone before 

By the road to all men fated. 
Soon too shall we, each in our turn, 
Their footsteps follow to that bourn, 
To live through time for evermore 
With those dear ones re-mated. 



XXXVIII 

FROM THE ANTHOLOGY 



fl(ra6p(1s acrrrjp epos' tWe yfvoip.rjv 
ovpavos, us TTO\\OIS ojj.p.ao'ii' fls (ft /SXeTrw* 

PLATO 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 



OTAR that most I love, 
To the stars above 

Thou thine eyes doth raise ; 
Would I were the skies 
With a thousand eyes 

In thine eyes to gaze ! 




a , v *t . so ^^ , , 

, v : / - . 

~*> 

- ^- 



XXXIX 

FROM THE ANTHOLOGY 




ucrrrjp, TTplv p.ev eXo/xTres eVt o)oTcrti> 'Eaios" 
vvv 8f Gavaiv Xci/iTrets "Ecnrtpos (v 



PLATO 






IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



OTELLA prius vivis Eoa luce nitebas, 

At nunc Hesperio Manibus orbe nites. 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 

OTAR that to the living once thy light wast giving 

In the East, on high, 
Now that life has fled, lightest thou the dead 

From the Western sky. 



XL 

INSCRIPTION 

CARVED BY ASCLEPIODOTUS, ON THE 
PEDESTAL OF MEMNON (AMUNOPH III) 
AT EGYPTIAN THEBES 

Corpus Inscriptionum Graccarum 474? 

Zcieu', flvaXir) Qtn, Mepvova KOI fjitya <pa>velv 

[idvdavf fJ.r)Tp(arj \ap.ird$i 6a\jrop.vov ) 
AlyvTTTOv AipvKfjcriv vir' oippvcriv, evd* aTrordfivd 

KaXXiVvXov Qrjflrjv NeTXoj fXavvopevoS' 
TOV 8e pd^rjs aKopijTOv 'A^iXXea (JLTJT' evl Tpaxav 

<f>dfyyfar6ai Trefit'o) p.rjr f eVt 






S /fa f 



(t 



* 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 



SEA-BORN Thetis, know that when 

His mother's torch is lit 
Memnon awakes and cries aloud, 

Fired by the warmth of it. 
Beneath the brow of Libyan heights, 

Where Nilus cuts in twain 
The city of the glorious gates, 

He wakes to life again. 
Yet thine Achilles, who in fight 

Ne'er slaked his savage joy, 
On the Thessalian plains is mute, 

Is mute on those of Troy. 



XLI 

INSCRIPTION 

PLACED ABOVE A BATH OF RUNNING 
WATER IN A FISHING-HOUSE (1770) 



TJ roov -v 
TOLOV 



v8u>p TfKfv, fj Kvdepeia 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 



T"\IVINE as was the wave that bare 
"^ - ^ Sweet Cytherea, so, whene'er 
She dipped her body in the wave, 
Divinity to it she gave. 



XLII 

THE MYTH OF ER 




THE MYTH OF ER 

OR, THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL 



r' I V HE following is an attempt to render in English 
verse, and in the metre popularised by Tennyson 
in the "Palace of Art," the most beautiful of the various 
myths or allegories by which the genius of Plato sought 
to illustrate his belief in the Immortality of the Soul. 
Here, in the tenth book of the "Republic," as in the 
" Gorgias " and " Phaedo," he depicts its destinies after 
death, the Judgment, the Millennium of atonement 
for evil and recompense for good, the accomplished 
purification, the choice of new life, the draught of 
oblivion, and the second return to the world. With 
a belief in the imperishable quality of the spiritual 
essence is combined the doctrine of Metempsychosis, 
or transfer of souls, not merely from man to man, but 
from man to animal and vice versa, which had its 
origin in the immemorial and unfathomable religions 
of the East. 



154 THE MYTH OF ER 

How closely some of Plato's ideas in this allegory 
correspond with those of our own and the Roman 
Catholic religions, will be seen at a glance. At the 
Judgment the souls are separated, the good departing 
to the right and the wicked to the left of the Judges' 
throne. The righteous, as in the Vision of St. John, 
bear the seals of blessing on their front (cf. Rev. vii. 3). 
Atonement and Redemption are achieved by a phase 
of Purgatory. While for most this Purgatory is a 
finite experience, yet there are some incurably tainted 
souls Ardiaeus and his fellows who are doomed to 
an eternity of Hell-fire. Great stress is laid upon free 
dom of the will in the choice of good or evil. Each 
individual soul is accompanied through life by a celes 
tial monitor or guardian angel (cf. the angel of St. 
Peter in Acts xii. 15, and vide Matt, xviii. 10). 
Throughout the parable there breathes a spirit of pure 
and exalted belief, such as we are apt to associate with 
the dispensations of revealed religion. As has been 
well said : " Under the marble exterior of Greek 
literature was concealed a soul thrilling with spiritual 
emotion." 

Plato was himself an inveterate foe of the poets. 






THE MYTH OF ER 155 

But already in the next generation Aristotle, his suc 
cessor and pupil, declared that his writings were 
something midway between prose and poetry ; and 
few will dispute that the allegory here translated is a 
product of the highest poetic imagination, lending 
itself as readily to the idiom and rhythm of verse as to 
the form and diction of prose. 

Some condensation has been required in parts of the 
narrative unsuited to poetical rendering or superfluous 
to the tale, but wherever possible I have adhered to 
the actual words and phrases of Plato. I had contem 
plated printing the Greek text opposite to my render 
ing, but have concluded that it would be more helpful 
to the majority of readers if I were to substitute for 
it an English prose translation. I have therefore, with 
the permission of Balliol College and the Clarendon 
Press, Oxford, adopted Dr. Jowett's version for the 
purpose. 

There is a similarity of subject-matter and even of 
treatment in the three Visions from Plato, Dante and 
Addison, contained in Part II of this book, which has 
seemed to justify the adoption of a common metre for 
the purpose of translation into English.] 



THE MYTH OF ER 

(Plato, " Republic," Bk. x. 614-621) 

" I will tell you ... a tale of a hero, Er, the son 
of Armenius, a Pamphylian by birth. He was slain 
in battle, and ten days afterwards, when the bodies of 
the dead were taken up already in a state of corruption, 
his body was found unaffected by decay, and carried 
away home to be buried. And on the twelfth day, 
as he was lying on the funeral pile, he returned to life 
and told them what he had seen in the other world. 
He said that when his soul left the body he went on a 
journey with a great company, and that they came to 
a mysterious place at which there were two openings 
in the earth ; they were near together, and over against 
them were two other openings in the heaven above. 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDD1TUM 



T SING of that strange chance -which fell to Er, 

Armenius the Pamphylian's son, 
In ghostly realms sole mortal traveller 
Ere yet his days were done. 

For that he died not, but the Judgment saw, 

To Socrates the Seer was told, 
Which thing did god-like Plato for a law 
Of Spirit-Life unfold. 

Ten days the warrior's corse amid the slain 

Lay slain, yet no corruption knew ; 
Then waking on the pyre to life again, 
This marvel passed in view. 

"In a strange shadowy place 'twixt earth and sky," 

Quoth he, "the Judgment-thrones are set, 
Before whose steps a pallid company, 
The unnumbered dead, are met. 



158 THE MYTH OF ER 

In the intermediate space there were judges seated, 

who commanded the just, after they had given judg 
ment on them and had bound their sentences in front 
of them, to ascend by the heavenly way on the right 
hand ; and in like manner the unjust were bidden by 
them to descend by the lower way on the left hand ; 
these also bore the symbols of their deeds, but fastened 
on their backs. He drew near, and they told him 
that he was to be the messenger who would carry the 
report of the other world to men, and they bade him 
hear and see all that was to be heard and seen in that 
place. Then he beheld and saw on one side the souls 
departing at either opening of heaven and earth when 
sentence and been given on them ; and at the two 
other openings other souls, some ascending out of the 
earth dusty and worn with travel, some descending 



IDEM 159 

" And there on either hand, in sky and earth, 

Twin cloudy gulfs, above, below, 
Wrap up the destinies of mortal worth, 
Which none unjudged may know. 

" Forthwith the doom is spoken, and those souls 

To left and right their journeys wend j 
An heavenly gulf for these its mist unrolls, 
Earthward must those descend. 

" The wicked they, and on their backs are bound 

The tokens of what sins were theirs ; 
But the white forehead of the righteous-found 
The seal of blessing wears. 

(" Howbeit to him * A Prophet shalt thou be ' 

The Judges spake * to earth from here. 
Behold and hearken ! Eyes hast thou to see, 
And ears withal to hear ! ') 

" Thus evermore they vanish in the void, 
The while from each confronting arch 
Are poured two companies ; one travel-cloyed 
As from a weary march, 



160 THE MYTH OF ER 

out of heaven clean and bright. And arriving ever 
and anon they seemed to have come from a long 
journey, and they went forth with gladness into the 
meadow, where they encamped as at a festival ; and 
those who knew one another embraced and conversed, 
the souls which came from earth curiously inquiring 
about the things above, and the souls which came 
from heaven about the things beneath. And they 
told one another of what had happened by the way, 
those from below weeping and sorrowing at the 
remembrance of the things which they had endured 
and seen in their journey beneath the earth (now the 
journey lasted a thousand years), while those from 
above were describing heavenly delights and visions 
of inconceivable beauty. The story would take too 
long to tell ; but the sum was this : He said that 
for every wrong which they had done to any one they 
suffered tenfold ; or once in a hundred years such 
being reckoned to be the length of man's life, and the 
penalty being thus paid ten times in a thousand years. 






IDEM 161 

" But fair and fresh the band from upper air. 

Then do these pilgrims, one and all, 
Flock to the meadow,* and encamp them there 
As at a festival. 

"And sweet the courtesies and questioning 

Of friends unseen since long ago ; 
* In Heaven was such the mode of wayfaring ? 
What cheer was theirs below ? ' 

"Strange sights the earth-stained saw, sad suffering 

his! 

For very ruth he needs must weep j 
One tells of joys and magic mysteries 
He scaled the heavenly steep ! 

" A thousand years so long has been the way 

Ten years to every year of man, 
Tenfold the recompense that each must pay, 
Once in each age's span. 

* els TOV \(ip.S>va. " The " meadow, well known in Greek 
mythology from the description, more especially, of Homer. 
Cf. "Gorgias," 524. 

L 



162 THE MYTH OF ER 

If, for example, there were any who had been the 
cause of many deaths, or had betrayed or enslaved 
cities or armies, or been guilty of any other evil 
behaviour, for each and all of their offences they 
received punishment ten times over, and the rewards 
of beneficence and justice and holiness were in the 
same proportion. . . . Of piety and impiety to gods 
and parents, and of murderers, there were retributions 
other and greater far which he described. He men 
tioned that he was present when one of the spirits 
asked another, * Where is Ardiaeus the Great ? ' (Now 
this Ardiaeus lived a thousand years before the time of 
Er : he had been the tyrant of some city of Pamphylia, 
and had murdered his aged father and his elder brother, 
and was said to have committed many other abomin 
able crimes.) The answer of the other spirit was : 
* He comes not hither and will never come. And 
this,' said he, 'was one of the dreadful sights which 
we ourselves witnessed. We were at the mouth of 
the cavern, and, having completed all our experiences, 
were about to reascend, when of a sudden Ardiaeus 
appeared and several others, most of whom were 
tyrants ; and there were also besides the tyrants private 
individuals who had been great criminals : they were 
just, as they fancied, about to return into the upper 
world, but the mouth, instead of admitting them, gave 
a roar, whenever any of these incurable sinners or 
some one who had not been sufficiently punished tried 
to ascend ; and then wild men of fiery aspect, who 
were standing by and heard the sound, seized and 
carried them off; and Ardiaeus and others they bound 
head and foot and hand, and threw them down and 



IDEM 163 

" He that was traitor, or guilt-stained, or vile, 

Ten times in agony atones ; 
Likewise the just and holy-lived erewiiile 
Tenfold fruition owns. 

" But richer measure is for him decreed 

That 'gainst the Gods imagined ill, 
Or wrought confusion on his parents' need, 
Or blood of man did spill. 

" For there to Er the doom of one was told 

That sire and brother eke had slain, 
King Ardiaeus, in the days of old, 
And might not rise again. 

" Nor he nor any may one jot evade ; 

Else if some sinner of great sin 
Essay the passage, from the hollow shade 
Is rolled a mighty din. 

" And fiery savage men that wait for him, 

At that tremendous voice's sound 
Swiftly leap forth, and bind him limb by limb 
And dash him to the ground, 



1 64 THE MYTH OF ER 

flayed with scourges, and dragged them along the 
road at the side, carding them on thorns like wool, 
and declaring to the passers-by what were their crimes, 
and that they were being taken away to be cast into 
hell.' And of all the many terrors which they had 
endured, he said that there was none like the terror 
which each of them felt at that moment, lest they 
should hear the voice ; and when there was silence, 
one by one they ascended with exceeding joy. . . . 

" Now when the spirits which were in the meadow 
had tarried seven days, on the eighth they were 
obliged to proceed on their journey, and, en the fourth 
day after, he said that they came to a place where they 
could see from above a line of light, straight as a 
column, extending right through the whole heaven 
and through the earth, in colour resembling the rain 
bow, only brighter and purer ; another day's journey 
brought them to the place, and there, in the midst of 
the light, they saw the ends of the chains of heaven 
let down from above ; for this light is [the belt of 



IDEM 165 

" And trail that wretched body, which like wool 

Is carded upon thorns, and tell 
Wherefore the sinner's cup of wrath is full, 
His spirit plunged to hell. 

" Of all grim terrors of the underworld 

Grimmest the terror of that voice, 
Which if they hear not through the portals whirled 
The souls mount and rejoice. 

" So they for seven days in the joyous mead 

Linger then pass then on a morn, 
The fourth that flushes on their steadfast speed 
With rosy roofs of dawn, 

" Deep in the luminous dim void a light, 

Straight as a pillared shaft and high, 
Glitters like Iris' bow, yet is more bright, 
And pierces earth and sky. 

" Thro' all one day that wonder grows apace 

And now, the middle rays among, 
They see where from the invisible cope of space 
The chains of heaven are hung. 



i66 THE MYTH OF ER 

heaven, and holds together the circle of the universe, 
like the under-girders of a trireme. From these ends 
is extended the spindle of Necessity, on which all the 
revolutions turn. The shaft and hook of this spindle 
are made of steel, and the whorl is made partly of 
steel and also partly of other materials. Now the 
whorl is in form like the whorl used on earth ; and 
the description of it implied that there is one large 
hollow whorl which is quite scooped out, and into this 
is fitted another lesser one, and another, and another, 
and four others, making eight in all, like vessels which 

* I cannot pretend to throw any light upon the well-known 
difficulty about the "pillar of light." On the one hand it is 
described as "straight" as "like a column," and as "extend 
ing through the whole heaven" expressions which give us 
the idea of a vertical shaft, piercing the hollow sphere of 
heaven from top to bottom, in fact the imaginary axis of the 
universe. On the other, it is compared to the rainbow 
(although, as has been pointed out, this may be in respect of 
colour rather than of form), and to the undergirders of a tri 
reme, and is called "the belt of heaven" because "it holds 
together the entire circumference ' ' a series of pictures which 
has naturally suggested to commentators the phenomenon of 



IDEM 167 

" In sooth the belt of heaven is that great light, 

Bracing the mighty circle round, 
What wise with cables girded trimly-tight 
The ocean-hulls are bound.* 

" And lo ! down reaching from those chains begun 

The spindle of the Law Sublime, 
Necessity, whereby the world is spun 
Through endless grooves of Time. 

"Of steel the shaft is wrought, the hook of steel, 

But of mixed fashioning the whorl, 
Wherein seven other circles, wheel in wheel, 
Continuously curl. 

the Milky Way. If the former is Plato's meaning, there is the 
further difficulty of understanding the relation of the pillar of 
light to the shaft of Necessity's spindle, which is also described 
as the axis piercing the middlemost of the eight orbits. The 
second interpretation may indeed be reconciled with the 
phrases that have suggested the first by supposing that Er 
and his companions first caught sight of the light at a point 
in space where it appeared to their eyes to be perpendicular 
rather than circular. But why Plato should have introduced 
an optical illusion into his story it is hard to say. A scholar 
friend tells me he thinks that the image was probably suggested 
by the elliptical "pillar" of the Zodiacal light. 



168 THE MYTH OF ER 

fit into one another ; . . . The first and outermost 
whorl has the rim broadest, and the seven inner whorls 
are narrower. . . . The largest is spangled, and the 
seventh is brightest ; the eighth coloured by the 
reflected light of the seventh ; the second and fifth 
are in colour like one another, and yellower than the 
preceding ; the third has the whitest light ; the fourth 
is reddish ; the sixth is in whiteness second. Now 
the whole spindle has the same motion ; but, as the 
whole revolves in one direction, the seven inner 
circles move slowly in the other, and of these the 
swiftest is the eighth ; next in swiftness are the seventh, 
sixth, and fifth, which move together ; third in swift 
ness appeared to move according to the law of this 
reversed motion the fourth ; the third appeared fourth 
and the second fifth. The spindle turns on the knees 
of Necessity ; and on the upper surface of each circle 
is a siren, who goes round with them, hymning a 
single tone or note. The eight together form one 
harmony ; and round about, at equal intervals, there 
is another band, three in number, each sitting upon 
her throne : these are the Fates, daughters of Necessity, 
who are clothed in white robes and have chaplets 
upon their heads, Lachesis and Clotho and Atropos, 
who accompany with their voices the harmony of the 
sirens Lachesis singing of the past, Clotho of the 
present, Atropos of the future ; Clotho from time to 
time assisting with a touch of her right hand the 
revolution of the outer circle of the whorl or spindle, 
and Atropos with her left hand touching and guiding 
the inner ones, and Lachesis laying hold of either in 
turn, first with one hand and then with the other. 



IDEM 169 

" And one more broad, and one more narrow shows, 

And one more bright, and one more dim, 
One swift, one slower. And in ordered rows 
On every circle's rim 

" Eight Sirens do eternally revolve, 
Each upon each revolving sphere, 
And from their lips one liquid note dissolve 
Harmonious and clear. 

"And there three daughters of the Law Sublime, 

The Fates, white-robed and garlanded, 
From their fixed thrones do with the Sirens rhyme 
How all is perfected. 

"What things of old have been doth Lachesis, 

Atropos what are yet to be, 
Responsive chant ; but Clotho that which is 
Hymns everlastingly. 

"And each an inner or an outer ring 

Will touch, that it may smoothly slide, 
Save Lachesis, that with deft fingering 
Doth every orbit guide. 



i yo THE MYTH OF ER 

When Er and the spirits arrived, their duty was to 
go at once to Lachesis ; but first of all there came a 
prophet who arranged them in order ; then he took 
from the knees of Lachesis lots and samples of lives, 
and having mounted a high pulpit, spoke as follows : 
* Hear the word of Lachesis, the daughter of Necessity. 
Mortal souls, behold a new cycle of life and mortality. 
Your genius will not be allotted to you, but you will 
choose your genius ; and let him who draws the first lot 
have the first choice, and the life which he chooses shall 
be his destiny. Virtue is free, and as a man honours or 
dishonours her he will have more or less of her ; the 
responsibility is with the chooser God is justified.' 
When the Interpreter had thus spoken he scattered 
lots indifferently among them all, and each of them 
took up the lot which fell near him, . . . and each as 
he took his lot perceived the number which he had 
obtained. Then the Interpreter placed on the ground 
before them the samples of lives ; and there were 
many more lives than the souls present, and they were 
of all sorts. There were lives of every animal and of 
man in every condition. And there were tyrannies 
among them, some lasting out the tyrant's life, others 
which broke off in the middle and came to an end in 
poverty and exile and beggary ; and there were lives 
of famous men . . . and some who were the reverse of 
famous. . . . And of women likewise ; there was not, 
however, any definite character in them, because the 
soul, when choosing a new life, must of necessity, 
become different. But there was every other quality 
and they all mingled with one another, and also with 
elements of wealth and poverty, and disease and health ; 



IDEM 171 

" Anon when all that host before her face 

Is ranged, a herald from her knees 
Lifting the lots, ascendeth a high place 
And sounds her just decrees. 

" * The word of Lachesis, the eldest born 

Of the dread Law, Necessity, 
Lo now, ye souls of mortals, a new dawn 
Of mortal life is nigh ! 

" * Yours is the choice of fates ! He first shall choose 

Who draweth first. Of Righteousness 
That knows no master, each shall gain or lose 
Honouring her more or less. 

" * His be the blame but blameless is High God ! ' 

This said, the lots he scatters wide 
And spreads the types of life. And at his nod 
They take them and decide. 

" For there all lives of men and living things, 

Fair and ill-fortuned, and the mean, 
Beggars and heroes, citizens and kings, 
And birds and beasts, are seen. 



i;2 THE MYTH OF ER 

and there were mean states also. And here ... is 
the supreme peril of our human state ; and therefore 
the utmost care should be taken. Let each one of us 
leave every other kind of knowledge and seek and 
follow one thing only, if peradventure he may be able 
to learn and may find some one who will make him 
able to learn and discern between good and evil, and 
so to choose always and everywhere the better life as 
he has opportunity. . . . 

" And . . . this was what the prophet said at the 
time : ' Even for the last comer, if he chooses wisely 
and will live diligently, there is appointed a happy and 
not undesirable existence. Let not him who chooses 
first be careless, and let not the last despair.' And 
when he had spoken, he who had the first choice came 
forward and in a moment chose the greatest tyranny ; 
his mind having been darkened by folly and sensuality, 
he had not thought out the whole matter before he 
chose, and did not at first sight perceive that he was 
fated, among other evils, to devour his own children. 
But when he had time to reflect, and saw what was 
in the lot, he began to beat his breast and lament over 
his choice, forgetting the proclamation of the prophet j 
for, instead of throwing the blame of his misfortune 
on himself, he accused chance and the gods, and every 
thing rather than himself. Now he was one of those 
who came from heaven, and in a former life had dwelt 
in a well-ordered State, but his virtue was a matter of 



IDEM 173 

" Yet is no life ordained for good or ill ; 
Man's is the choice, and man's alone. 
On earth the knowledge and the changeless will 
The wise man makes his own. 

"And evermore resounds the herald's voice ; 

'E'en for the last is favour fair. 
Let not the first be heedless of his choice, 
Nor the hindmost despair ! ' 

"Then one with blinded witless eyes of greed 

Elects a bloody tyrant's lot. 
Anon remorsefully bewails the deed 
And weeping ceaseth not. 

" Yet in his pride himself he doth acquit ; 
At Fate and the High Gods he raves; 
Right had he known erewhile, and walked in it, 
But lacked the truth that saves. 



174 THE MYTH OF ER 

habit only, and he had no philosophy. And it was 
true of others who were similarly overtaken. . . . And 
owing to inexperience, and also because the lot was a 
chance, many of the souls exchanged a good destiny 
for an evil or an evil for a good. . . . Most curious, 
he said, was the spectacle sad and laughable and 
strange ; for the choice of the souls was in most cases 
based on their experience of a previous life. There 
he saw the soul which had once been Orpheus choos 
ing the life of a swan out of enmity to the race of 
women, hating to be born of a woman because they 
had been his murderers ; he beheld also the soul of 
Thamyras choosing the life of a nightingale ; . . .The 
soul which obtained the twentieth lot chose the life of a 
lion, and this was the soul of Ajax the son of Telamon, 
who would not be a man, remembering the injustice 
which was done him in the judgment about the arms. 
The next was Agamemnon, who took the life of an 
eagle, because, like Ajax, he hated human nature by 
reason of his sufferings. About the middle came the 
lot of Atalanta ; she, seeing the great fame of an 
athlete, was unable to resist the temptation ; and 
after her there followed the soul of Epeus the son of 
Panopeus passing into the nature of a woman cunning 
in the arts ; and far away among the last who chose, 
the soul of the jester Thersites was putting on the 
form of a monkey. There came also the soul of 
Odysseus having yet to make a choice, and his lot 
happened to be the last of them all. Now the recol 
lection of former toils had dischanted him of ambition, 
and he went about for a considerable time in search 
of the life of a private man who had no cares ; he had 



IDEM 175 

" So many that one life fulfilled of old 

Seek diverse lives such hope hath change 
Pitiful it is and wondrous to behold, 
Yea, laughable and strange ! 

" Now murdered Orpheus, from the hate he bore 

To woman's race, would be a swan, 
And Agamemnon for his woes of yore 
An eagle's plumes put on. 

" Mocking Thersites picks an ape's disguise, 

And Thamyris a nightingale's j 
Great Ajax, wrathful for the stolen prize, 
A lion's fury hails. 

"The runner's meed would Atalanta own, 

Epeus a handmaid's skill of hands : 
But grave Odysseus, sad and weary grown 
From toils in many lands, 



176 THE MYTH OF ER 

some difficulty in finding this, which was lying about 
and had been neglected by everybody else ; and when 
he saw it, he said that he would have done the same 
had his lot been first instead of last, and that he was 
delighted to have it. ... 

" All the souls had now chosen their lives, and they 
went in the order of their choice to Lachesis, who 
sent with them the genius whom they had severally 
chosen, to be the guardian of their lives and the fulfil- 
ler of the choice ; this genius led the souls first to 
Clotho, and drew them within the revolution of the 
spindle impelled by her hand, thus ratifying the destiny 
of each ; and then, when they were fastened to this, 
carried them to Atropos, who spun the threads and 
made them irreversible, whence without turning round 
they passed beneath the throne of Necessity ; and 
when they had all passed, they marched on in a 
scorching heat to the plain of Forgetfulness, which 
was a barren waste destitute of trees and verdure ; 
and then towards evening they encamped by the river 
of Unmindfulness, whose water no vessel can hold j 



IDEM 177 

" The idle pastime of an easeful soul 
After long search doth hardly find, 
And boasteth this the fairest of the whole 
Vouchsafed to mortal kind. 

" Then each to Lachesis must pass aside, 

In order of the lot he willed, 
To whom she giveth a celestial guide 
To see his choice fulfilled. 

" First beneath Clotho's hand the angel leads 

She on the whirring shaft the lot 
Weaves close. Then Atropos the labour speeds 
That none may loose the knot. 

" Thence onward passing 'neath the awful throne, 

Necessity's, they journey on 
Thro' heat and scorching to a desert lone, 
The Plain Oblivion. 

" There doth no herb begotten ever bless 

The utter waste. At eventide 
They see the river of Unmindfulness 
And camp the wave beside. 

M 



178 THE MYTH OF ER 

of this they were all obliged to drink a certain quantity, 
and those who were not saved by wisdom drank more 
than was necessary ; and each one as he drank forgot 
all things. Now after they had gone to rest, about 
the middle of the night there was a thunderstorm and 
earthquake, and then in an instant they were driven 
upwards in all manners of ways to their birth, like 
stars shooting. He himself was hindered from drink 
ing the water. But in what manner or by what 
means he returned to the body he could not say ; 
only, in the morning, awaking suddenly, he found 
himself lying on the pyre." 






IDEM 179 

" Marvellous the water that no cup can fill ; 

Thereof each soul must drink somewhat, 
And he that drinketh of the sleepy rill 
Hath straight all things forgot. 

" Then slumber laps them, till at middle night 

With earthquake-shock and thunder-jars 
Suddenly scattered they are whirled to light 
Shot up like flying stars ! " 

These things the hero saw, but of that stream 

Might he not slake his least desire. 
Naught knew he after, till the morning beam 
Thrilled on the funeral pyre. 



XLIII 

Q. HORATI FLACCI CARM. iv. 7 



TNIFFUGERE nives, redeunt jam gramina campis 

Arboribusque comae ; 
Mutat terra vices et descrescentia ripas 

FLumina praetereunt ; 
Gratia cum Nymphis geminisque sororibus audct 

Ducere nuda chores. 
Immortalia ne speres, monet annus et almum 

Quae rapit hora diem : 
Frigora mitescunt Zephyris, ver preterit aestas, 

Interitura, simul 
Pomifer Autumnus fruges effuderit, et mox 

Bruma recurrit iners. 



IDEM 

ANGLICE REDDITUM 



are the snows, and the grass is springing 
anew in the meadows, 
Leaves are again on the trees ; 
Earth pursueth her change and the dwindling floods 

of the rivers 

Flow by their borders at ease ; 
Safely, the dance as she leads, may the Grace with 

her nymphs and her sisters, 
Fling her apparel aside. 
Hark, as it chases the day, to the plaint of the 

hour, and the season 
" Everything dies, and has died ! " 
Loosed are the frosts by the Zephyr, the Spring is 

swallowed by Summer, 
Summer will perish apace 
Soon as the Autumn its fruits has shed, then 

cometh the Winter 
With its benumbing embrace. 



1 82 Q. HORATI FLACCI 

Damna tamen celeres reparant caelestia lunae : 

Nos, ubi decidimus, 
Quo pius Aeneas, quo dives Tullus et Ancus, 

Pulvis et umbra sumus. 
Quis scit, an adjiciant hodiernae crastina summae 

Tempora di superi ? 
Cuncta manus avidas fugient heredis, amico 

Quae dederis animo. 
Cum semel occideris et de te splendida Minos 

Fecerit arbitria, 
Non, Torquate, genus, non te facundia, non te 

Restituet pietas ; 
Infernis neque enim tenebris Diana pudicum 

Liberat Hippolytum, 
Nee Lethaea valet Theseus abrumpere caro 

Vincula Pirithoo. 






IDEM 183 

What tho' the hungry moons make good their loss 

in the heavens, 

We, when our spirits have fled 
Where is the good Aeneas, and Tullus the wealthy, 

and Ancus, 

Are but as dust and a shade. 
Who can tell if the gods will increase by the grant 

of to-morrow 

What has been counted to-day ? 
Greedy thy heir, but of all thou hast given the 

self that thou lovest 
Nought can he carry away. 
Once thou art perished and gone, and, high on his 

stately tribunal, 
Minos has uttered thy doom, 
Eloquence, goodness, and birth, Torquatus, will not 

avail thee 

E'er to return from the tomb. 
Not, tho' Diana may plead, will chaste Hippolytus ever 

Quit the infernal domain ; 
Not tho' he love him, can Theseus his own 

Pirithous waken, 
Bound in oblivion's chain. 



XLIV 

THE PROGRESS OF POESY 

A PINDARIC ODE 



TT 7OODS that wave o'er Delphi's steep, 

Isles that crown the Aegean deep, 
Fields that cool Illissus laves, 
Or where Maeander's amber waves 
In lingering labyrinths creep ; 
How do your tuneful echoes languish 
Mute but to the voice of anguish ! 
Where each old poetic mountain 

Inspiration breathed around ; 
Every shade and hallowed fountain 
Murmured deep a solemn sound ; 
Till the sad Nine in Greece's evil hour 
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains. 






IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



OILVAE trementes per juga Delphica, 
Aegea visae clarius insulae 
Trans aequora, Ilissusque sacros 

Qui gelido lavis amne campos, 
Maeander aut qui flavus agis viam 
Ambage lenta nempe queror diu 
Languere jam sollenne carmen, 

Vox nisi commoveat dolorem ! 
Illic vetusti vatibus insitam 
Montes dabant vim, saepius et putes 
Lucos susurrantes et undas 

Nescio quod tenuisse numen. 
Donee Sorores (proh dolor ! at fuit 
Sensura damnum Graecia) debita 
Jam sede Parnassi relicta 
Hesperios coluere campos. 



1 86 THE PROGRESS OF POESY 

Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant power, 

And coward vice that revels in her chains. 
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, 
They sought, O Albion, next thy sea-encircled 

coast. 

T. GRAY 




IDEM 187 

Spernit tyranni justa superbiam, et 
Gaudens catenis turpe nefas cohors : 
Virtute suppressa Latina 
Litora mox petiit Britanna. 



XLV 

THE VOICE OF THE SEA 



' I V HOU art sounding on, thou mighty sea, 

* For ever and the same ! 
The ancient rocks yet ring to thee ; 
Those thunders nought can tame. 

Oh ! many a glorious voice is gone 

From the rich bowers of earth, 
And hushed is many a lovely one 

Of mournfulness or mirth. 

The Dorian flute that sighed of yore 

Along the wave, is still ; 
The harp of Judah peals no more 

On Zion's awful hill. 

And Memnon's lyre hath lost the chord 

That breathed the mystic tone ; 
And the songs at Rome's high triumphs poured 

Are with her eagles flown. 



IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



A UDIN' ut Oceanus sonet indefessus et idem ! 
Antiqua indomito saxa fragore tenant. 



Plurima sed terras vox inclita fugit opimas, 
Et dolor, et lepidi conticuerc joci. 



Ilia silet, fluctus quae Dorica tibia mulsit, 
Judaeae cantus per juga sacra silet. 



Dedidicitque suas docti lyra Memnonis artes, 
Cunque aquilis Romae, clare triumphe, taces. 



igo 



THE VOICE OF THE SEA 



But thou art swelling on, thou deep, 

Through many an olden clime, 
Thy billowy anthem, ne'er to sleep 

Until the close of time. 

FELICIA HEMANS 




IDEM I9 1 

Tu tamen antiquas volvis, Neptune, per oras 
Sacrum, quod resonet tempus in omne, melos. 



XLVI 
LUCY 



OHE dwelt among the untrodden ways 

That skirt the springs of Dove ; 
A maid whom there were none to praise, 
And very few to love. 

A violet by a mossy stone, 

Half-hidden from the eye, 
Fair as a star, when only one 

Is shining in the sky. 

She lived unknown, and few could know 

When Lucy ceased to be ; 
But she is in her grave, and O ! 

The difference to me ! 

W. WORDSWORTH 




IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



A 



VIA desertae tenuit prope flumina Devae 
Kara procis virgo, nescia laudis, iter. 



Muscoso latuit viola ut semi-abdita saxo, 
Candidior Stella, quae nitet una polo. 



Nota fuit nullis ; vix cognita desiit esse ; 

Sed jacct ; ah ! qui sum, qui modo qualis eram ! 



XLVII 
ORPHEUS 



' TE sung what spirit thro' the whole mass is 

spread, 

Everywhere all ; how heavens God's laws approve 
And think it rest eternally to move : 
How the kind sun usefully comes and goes, 
Wants it himself, yet gives to man repose : 
He sung how earth blots the moon's gilded wane 
Whilst foolish men beat sounding brass in vain, 
Why the great waters her slight horns obey, 
Her changing horns not constanter than they ; 
He sung how grisly comets hung in air, 
Why swords and plagues attend their fatal hair, 
God's beacons for the world, drawn up so far 
To publish ill, and raise all earth to war. 

A. COWLEY 




IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



/ T~ V UM cecinit quae mcns totum diffusa per orbem 
Magnam agitet molem ; coeloque ut jussa 

probentur 

Aequa Dei, et motu videantur obire quietem ; 
Ut bene Sol almus veniens abiensque vicissim 
Det generi humano, quern non habet ipse, soporem. 
Protinus auratum ut lunae terra inquinet orbem, 
Aeraque percutiant homines crepitantia frustra, 
Cur magnae exiguis frenentur cornibus undae, 
Lunaque ducat aquas nihilo constantior ipsa ; 
Denique ut immineant tristes sublime cometae 
Cur gladii crinem pestesque sequantur acerbum, 
Signaque terrigenis a Patre elata superne 
Ut genus omne mali moneant, Martemque reducant. 



XLVIII 

THE SKYLARK 



B 



IRD of the wilderness, 

Blithesome and cumberless, 
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea ! 
Emblem of happiness, 
Blest is thy dwelling-place 
Oh ! to abide in the desert with thee ! 

Wild is thy lay and loud, 
Far in the downy cloud : 

Love gives it energy, love gave it birth ; 
Where, on thy dewy wing, 
Where art thou journeying ? 

Thy lay is on heaven, thy love is on earth. 

O'er fell and fountain sheen, 
O'er moor and mountain green, 
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day, 



IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



OUAE deserta colis, lacta et secura, volucris, 
Vox tua per campos mane canora sonet ! 
Ut tibi vita datur felix, sedesque beata 
Fas mihi sit tecum sola tenere loca ! 



Libera per tenues resonant tibi carminaitubes, 
Dat vires idem qui generavit amor. 

Quo tu carpis iter sublimes roscida pennas ? 
Musa sonat caelum, cor fovet usque solum. 



Per juga, per vitreum fontem, montesque virentcs, 
Per rubra quae referent lumine fila diem, 



198 THE SKYLARK 

Over the cloudlet dim, 
Over the rainbow's rim : 
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away ! 

Then when the gloaming comes, 
Low in the heather blooms, 

Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be ! 
Emblem of happiness, 
Blest is thy dwelling-place 

Oh ! to abide in the desert with thee ! 

J. HOGG 



IDEM 199 

Perque nigras nubes nitidumque per Iridis orbem, 
Sume, volans, cantum, Nympha canora, tuum ! 



Tune inter filices, ubi sera crepuscula suadent, 
Te domus invitat, te genialis Amor ! 

Ut tibi vita datur felix sedesque beata 
Fas mihi sit tecum sola tenere loca ! 



XLIX 

AMOURS DE VOYAGE 

CANTOS III, IV 



>~pHEREFORE farewell ye hills, and ye, ye 
* envineyarded ruins, 
Therefore farewell ye walls, palaces, pillars, and 

domes ! 
Therefore farewell, far seen, ye peaks of the mythic 

Albano, 
Seen from Montorio's height, Tibur and Aesula's 

hills ! 
Ah, could we once, ere we go, could we stand, 

while to Ocean descending 
Sinks o'er the yellow dark plain slowly the yellow 

broad sun, 
Stand, from the forest emerging at sunset, at once 

in the champaign, 

Open, but studded with trees, chestnuts um 
brageous and old, 



IDEM 

LATINE REDDITUM 



valete juga, et sedes quas vitis 
obumbrat, 
Et quas tanta notat fama, valete, 

domus ! 
Albanusque abeat montano ex Tibure 

visus 
Collis, ubi aerios Aesula pandit 

agros. 
O si fas iterum, dum pronus in aequora 

flavos 
Per campos flavo Sol capit orbe 

viam, 
Sole sub occiduo, campestri in margine 

silvae, 

Stare ubi castaneis imminet umbra 
comis, 



202 AMOURS DE VOYAGE 

E'en in those fair open fields that incurve to thy 

beautiful hollow, 

Nemi, imbedded in wood, Nemi inurned in the hill! 
Eastward, or Northward, or West ? I wander and 

ask as I wander, 
Weary, yet eager and sure " Where shall I come 

to my love ?" 
" Whitherward hasten to seek her ? Ye daughters 

of Italy tell me, 
Graceful and tender and dark, Is she consorting 

with you ? " 
Thou that outclimbest the torrent, that tendest thy 

goats to the summit, 
Call to me, child of the Alp, has she been seen 

on the heights ? 
Italy, farewell I bid thee, for whither she leads me, 

I follow, 
Farewell the vineyard, for I, where I but guess 

her, must go. 
Weariness, welcome, and labour, wherever it be, if 

at last it 

Bring me in mountain or plain into the sight of 
my love. 



IDEM 203 

Quaque jacent, Nemus, in vallem declivia 

amoenam 

Arva, tenebrosum colle tegente locum. 
Quo via longa vocat ? Fessus vagor et 

queror anceps, 
" Noster ubi est" iterans u inveniendus 

amor ? 
" Quo sequar absentem ? Vos respondete, 

puellae 
Ausoniae, an vestris it comes apta 

choris ? " 
Tuque gregis pastor, torrente audacior 

alto, 
Die, puer, in summis an tibi visa 

jugis ? 
Ausonis ora vale, vinetaque cara 

valete ! 
Ipsa vocat ; si qua possit adesse, 

sequar. 
Membra labent corpusque premat labor 

arduus; at sit 

Colle modo aut campis inveniendus 
amor. 



204 AMOURS DE VOYAGE 

There is a home on the shore of the Alpine sea, 

that upswelling 
High up the mountain sides, spreads in the 

hollow between, 
Wilderness, mountain, and snow from the land of 

the olive conceal it, 

Under Pilatus' hill low by the river it lies ; 
Italy, utter the word, and the olive and vine will 

allure not, 

Wilderness, forest and snow, will not the passage 
impede. 

A. H. CLOUGH 



IDEM 205 

Est domus Alpini secreta in litore 

ponti, 
Qua montes inter concava vallis 

hiat. 
Hanc montes nivei et celant deserta 

locorum, 
Colle sub aerio est condita propter 

aquas. 
Italis, ire jube, nee oliva nee uva 

placebit, 
Non iter impedient avia, silva, nives. 



L 
JAMAIS 



JAMAIS, avez-vous dit, tandis qu'autour de nous 
Rsonnait de Schubert la plaintive musique ; 
Jamais, avez-vous dit, tandis que, malgr vous, 
Brillait de vos grands yeux 1'azur melancolique. 



Jamais, rptiez-vous, pale et d'un air si doux 
Qu'on cut cru, voir sourire une mdaille antique. 
Mais des trsors secrets 1'instinct fier et pudique 
Vous couvrit de rougeur, comme un voile jaloux. 

Quel mot vous prononcez, marquise, et quel dom- 

mage ! 

Hlas ! je ne voyais ni ce charmant visage, 
Ni ce divin sourire, en vous parlant d'aimer. 



NEVER 



'VTEVER," you said, that day when I and you 
Heard the resounding plaint of Schubert's 
song. 

" Never," you said, albeit, to prove you wrong, 
Your great eyes shone a melancholy blue. 

"Never," you said again, so mild and pale 
One seemed to see some old medallion smile. 
Yet the proud blush of modesty the while 
Crimsoned your cheeks, as with a jealous veil. 

Lady, to breathe that word a pity were ! 
For while of love I spoke, this face so fair, 
This smile divine, did not my vision fill. 



208 JAMAIS 

Vos yeux bleus sont moins doux que votre 

n*est belle; 

Meme en les regardant, je ne regrettais qu'elle, 
Et de voir dans sa fleur un tel cceur se fermer. 



ALFRED DE MUSSET 



NEVER 209 

Sweet your blue eyes your soul is lovelier still. 

E'en as I gazed, I nought regretted but 

That such a heart should in its flower be shut. 



LI 

THE VISION OF MIRZAH 

JOSEPH ADDISON THE SPECTATOR, 
No. 159. 






T TAVING once ventured on the observation that 
Addison's famous allegory was really a poem, 
which only by accident had not assumed a metrical 
form,* I was challenged to vindicate this contention, 
with fidelity to the language as well as the spirit 
of the original. The following was the result of 
the attempt : 

In Bagdad city, girt with lofty hills,t 

Upon the fifth day of the moon, 
Which day our faith with strict observance fills, 
Did I, 'ere yet 'twas noon, 

* The sententious Bishop Kurd, who edited Addison's Works 
in 1811, said about this essay : "Mr. Addison is a much better 
poet in prose than in verse. This vision has all the merit of the 
finest canto in Spenser." 

j- This is of course a poetic licence, there being no hills at or 
near to Bagdad. 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 211 

The heights ascending, plunge in solemn thought, 

Wondering if things be what they seem 
" Truly," I said, " is man a thing of nought, 
And life an empty dream." 

Thus musing, of a chance I cast my eyes 

Towards a high rock, no space away, 
Whereon sat one who wore a shepherd's guise, 
And on a pipe did play. 

Sweet was the note, and sweet the tuneful rhyme, 

Sweet as celestial melodies 

That greet the souls of good men dead, what time 
They come to Paradise, 

And, at the sound, the memory doth depart 

Of the last agonies they felt, 
And for Heaven's joys they are prepared. My heart 
With hidden bliss did melt. 

Many there are who, journeying that way, 

Have by those airs enraptured been ; 
'Tis said a Spirit doth the music play, 
But ne'er by man is seen. 



212 THE VISION OF MIRZAH 

Then did I, ravished by these strains divine, 

To speak with the musician yearn ; 
But, while I gazed astonied, with a sign 
He beckoned me to turn. 

Thereat, with humble reverence drawing nigh, 

Before his feet in tears I fell; 
But he, with smiles and pitying courtesy, 
Did all my fears dispel, 

And lifting me, that found as yet no word, 

Did gently take me by the hand, 
Saying, "Thy musings, Mirzah, have I heard, 
Follow, 'tis my command ! " 

So, where the rock soars highest to the skies, 

Guiding my steps, he set me there, 
And spake again, "To eastward cast thine eyes, 
And what thou seest declare ! " 

"I see a valley, and a water wide 
Rolling therein," I made reply. 
"That vale," he said, "is Misery, and the tide 
Is called Eternity." 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 213 

" But tell me why from out a mist that sea 

Rises, and in a mist is lost." 
" It is that portion of Eternity 

Which mortal man hath crossed, 

From the beginning to the end of all ; 

Time is it, measured by the sun. 
Note now this flood betwixt the cloudy pall, 
And see what there is done." 

" A bridge I see which that great gulf doth span, 

Stretched o'er the middle of the tide." 
" The bridge before thee is the life of man, 
Look close on it ! " he cried. 

So gazing, I beheld how arches ridge 

The watery gulf, three score and ten ; 
Yet, were not many ruined, 'neath the bridge 
A hundred there had been. 

E'en as I counted, he the sum confessed 

" A thousand arches erst there were ; 
Came a great flood that overwhelmed the rest 
And left those ruins there. 



2i 4 THE VISION OF MIRZAH 

But tell me further what thou seest thereon." 

" Great multitudes that pass I see 

From a black cloud that hangs each end upon." 
Then, looking steadfastly, 

I saw how many of the wayfarers 

Dropped from the bridge into the tide 
Through hidden doors, that those poor passengers 
Trod on, but ne'er espied, 

And straightway vanished. Thickest their array 

Where, at the entrance, from the gloom 
Hardly the pilgrims can emerge, but they 
Are trapped and hurled to doom. 

Thinner the snares toward the middle space 

Of that great bridge, but closer far 
And many fold increased, about the place 
Where the arched ruins are. 

Yet some there were a company how small 
Who o'er the arches tottered on, 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 215 

Till at the last each one was seen to fall 
When all his strength was gone. 

Long time upon that wondrous pile I gazed 

And that great crowd of passers-by, 
Nor least, regarding them, my heart was dazed 
And plunged in melancholy, 

When many a happy one, from out the band, 

Dropped straight to an untimely grave, 
Clutching where'er he could, with desperate hand, 
If he his life might save. 

Some with uplifted eye and thoughtful mien 

Seemed lost in a celestial sphere, 
But midway in that reverie were seen 
Stumbling, to disappear. 

And multitudes were eager in the chase, 

Whom bubbles gleamed and danced before, 
Yet often, as they thought to win the race, 
Their footsteps on the floor 



216 THE VISION OF MIRZAH 

Faltered, and down they sank. A glittering blade 

One waved, to deal the fatal blow, 
Another hand a box with drugs* displayed, 
And these ran to and fro 

Upon that bridge, and did the victims thrust 

On to the traps they had not seen 
And haply might escape but now they must 
Be plunged to death between. 

Then did my guide, who saw me with sad air 

This sight examine, say " Eno, 
Look no more on the bridge, but seest thou there 
Aught else that thou would'st know?" 

Upward I glanced, and said to him, " What mean 

These flights of birds that in the air 
Hover perpetually, and are seen 
To settle here and there, 

Vultures and harpies, ravens, cormorants, 
And companies of winged boys, 

* The well-known jest at the expense of the doctors. The 
original contains a much less delicate phrase. The persons in 
the preceding line are soldiers and executioners. 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 217 

Who as they flutter from that feathered dance, 
On the mid-arches poise ? 

"These creatures" so he answered my behest 

" Are Superstition, Love, Despair, 
Envy and Avarice, who life infest, 
And many a kindred care." 

Deeply I sighed, and spake, " Alas ! how rife 

With misery is mortal breath ! 
In vain is man tormented thus in life, 
And swallowed up in death." 

But he, with pity for my soul-in-doubt, 

Bade me that prospect to pass by, 
Saying, " Regard no more, where man starts out 
To find Eternity, 

But forward cast thine eyes across the deep 

Yonder to that dense mist, whereto 
The tide doth all those generations sweep 
Who drop and fall from view. 



218 THE VISION OF MIRZAH 

Forthwith I gazed as bidden haply he 
With force divine my sight endowed, 
Or deigning I should pierce the gloom and see 
Rolled back that misty cloud. 

The vale I saw, where it more open grows, 

Spread forth into a mighty main, 
And there a rock of adamant uprose, 
That severed it in twain. 

One half was by the cloudy veil o'ercast 
So thick that nought therein was known, 
It seemed the other was an ocean vast, 
With isles unnumbered strown. 

Covered they were with fruits and bloom of flowers, 

And through them ran a thousand seas 
With shining current, and, amid the bowers, 
Or threading the tall trees, 

A throng I saw, in glorious habits dressed, 

That garlands on their temples wore, 
And some beside the fountains took their rest, 
Some on the flowery floor ; 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 219 

And in my ears a mingled harmony 
Of falling waters, birds that sang, 
Men's voices, instruments of melody, 
With sweet confusion rang. 

I gazed and hearkened. Gladness grew in me 

At sight of this divine retreat ; 
An eagle's wings I coveted, to flee 
To that enchanted seat. 

But, " Passage is there none by any wiles, 
Save through the hidden gates of death 
That open ever on the bridge. The isles 
So fresh and green" he saith 

"That dot the ocean, far as it expands, 

Far as thy vision sweeps, are more 
In number than the innumerable sands 
That lie upon the shore. 

Myriads there are, the nearer seats behind, 
Whither nor eye nor thought can reach, 
Mansions to good men after death assigned, 
As is the worth of each. 



220 THE VISION OF MIRZAH 

There are they settled, and the isles abound 

With joys of manifold degrees, 
And of those pleasures each is perfect found 
To suit their relishes. 

So is each place to each a Paradise, 

Worthy of long essay. Confess, 
O Mirzah, if it yieldeth such a prize, 
Is life unhappiness ? 

Can death be fearful, that to such delight 

Conducteth ? Think not that in vain 
Was man created, when a lot so bright 
For him doth aye remain." 

With joy ineffable I cast my eyes 

Upon the happy islands, then 
Rejoined, " I pray thee show me that which lies 
Hidden from mortal ken 

Beneath those vapours that the ocean cloud, 

Beyond the adamantine peak." 
But when no answer he returned, I bowed, 
A second time to speak. 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 221 

Fled was the Spirit. Then I turned aside, 

That radiant vision not to miss 
Gone was the arched bridge, the rolling tide, 
Vanished the isles of bliss ! 

Naught I beheld but Bagdad's hollow vale, 

And there, as down its length I gazed, 
Oxen and sheep and camels, in the dale, 
Upon the pasture grazed. 



CORRIGENDA 

p. 16. Three lines from bottom, for "armes" read, 

" larmes." 

p. 78. Last line but three, for " uu " read " un." 
p. 197. Fifth line, for " rubes" read " nubes." 



220 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 



There are they settled, and the isles abound 

With joys of manifold degrees, 
And of those pleasures each is perfect found 
To suit their relishes. 

So is each place to each a Paradise, 

Worthy of long essay. Confess, 
O Mirzah, if it yieldeth such a prize, 
Is life unhappiness ? 



f! 



LULU illUl LiAl K.C11 



Beneath those vapours that the ocean cloud, 

Beyond the adamantine peak." 
But when no answer he returned, I bowed, 
A second time to speak. 



THE VISION OF MIRZAH 221 

Fled was the Spirit. Then I turned aside, 

That radiant vision not to miss 
Gone was the arched bridge, the rolling tide, 
Vanished the isles of bliss ! 

Naught I beheld but Bagdad's hollow vale, 

And there, as down its length I gazed, 
Oxen and sheep and camels, in the dale, 
Upon the pasture grazed. 



POEMS OF EMILE VERHAEREN. 

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