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Lajt night's ill-boding dreamt, ye gods avert!
Now night had lav'd her coursers in the main,
"Ail hail, thou care of Heaven! (a virtuous bard,
""^lt R°d of wine, the muses, t regard);
"But neither Bacchus, nor the Thespian nine, 50
"The sacred will os destiny divine:
"The secret book of destiny to see,
"Heaven's awful site has given almie to me}
'* And 1, unerring god, to you explain
"(Attend and credit) what the fates ordain.
"She who is still your ever constant care, "Dearer to you than sons to mothers are, '* Whose beauties hloo^m in every soften'd line, "Her sex's envy, anJ the love of thine: '50 "Not with more warmth is female fondness
41 mov'd, [lov'd. "Not with more warmth are tendcrest brides bc"For whom you hourly importune the sky, "For whorn you wish-to live, nor sear to die, "Whose form, when night has wrajip'd in black
"the pole, "Cheats in soft vision your enamotir'd soul; "Neæra! whose bright charms your verse dis
"Seeks a new lover, and inconstant strays! "For thee no more with mutual warmth she h "burns, [spurns,
"But thy chaste house, and chaste embrace, she
"O cruel, perjur'd, false, intriguing sex' 70 M O born with woea poor wretched man to vex! "Whoe'er has Icarn'd her lover to betray, "Her beauty perish, and her name decay '.
"Yet, as the sex will change, avoid despair; "A patient homage may subdue, the fair. "Fierce love taught man to suffer, laugh a' pain; "Fierce love taught man, with joy, to dra^ the "chain;
"Fierce love, nor vainly fabulous the tale, "Forc'd me, yes fbre'd me, to the lonely dale: "There I Admetus' snowy heifers deve, 80 "Nor tun'd my lyre, nor fung, abforh'd in love. "The favourite son of Heaven's almighty sire, "Press rr'd a straw-pipe to his golden lyre. "Though false the fair, though love is wild, "obey;
"Or, youth, you know not love's tyrannic sway. "In plaintive strains address the haughty fair; *' The haughty suf;en at the voice of prayer. "If ever true my Delphian answers prove, "Bear this my message to the maid yu love.
"Pride of your lex, and passion os the age! 00 "No more let other men your love engage; "A bard on you the Delian god bellows, "This match a'one can warrant your repose."
He sung. When Morpheus from my pillow flew.
And plung'd me in substantial griefs anew.
That thou, Nexra'. fought'st another spouse?
The ruthless deep, t know, was not thy fire; Ioj
Nor Afric's sands, nor Scythia gave threbinbt
Ye god«! avert the woes that haunt my sails! And give the cruel phantoms to the wind. Ill
NOTES ON ELEGY IV.
This is one of the finest poems in Tibullus. Our dreams are commonly the imperfect images of our waking thoughts, especially when the mind is under the influence of some violent passion.Thus, in particular, it fares with the genuine inamorato, and such a one at this time was the lover of Neaera. Swallowed up in his affection for that fair one, and distracted at her afftcted delays to -jnakc him happy, he one night solicited sleep; but the drowsy god long resisted his importunities: at last, however, the lover being fatigued with the want thereof, but more with the succession of unpromising foreboding', dropped into a slumber about the morning, hut did not long enjoy this pleasing state of insensibility; for, soon after, Apollo appeared, and informed him, that Nea-ra was about to desert him for another. As this news was of a most alarming nature, and could not fail to rouse his indignation against the sex; Apollo, by artfully adopting his sentiments o".i that score, paves the way for his recomn.cnding patience as his only remedy. Apollo's speech concludes with a message to Ne.xra, that if she ever expected happiness, she must think of none else for her husband but her former lover. This was a very dexterous way of reclaiming his mistress; and it may with propriety be observed, that if Apollo did not appear to our poet, he certainly inspired the description which Tibullus gives of that god ; as we half pardon Neasra her infidelity, in consideration of this beautiful elegy.
Propertius has a sine vision upon his mistress's' proposing to go abroad.
Ver. 6. The Roman haurusp'ces, of whom be. sore (Book ii El. 6.) were called Tuscan, because their art was founded on the religious practice of Tuscany. The first sixteen lines of this elegy are an introduction to the vision: reason and philosophy seemed to pcisuade our lover, that dreams were not to be minded: but superstition, and those sears which are lo natural to love, won him over to the other side. He therefore entreats Lucina, that as he was not conlcious of having acted any otherwise than as became a man of probity, she would be pleased (ut velit) to render all bis fears groundless.
Ver. 9. The oblations mentioned in the text are the ho!y cake (farre pio) and salt (et salicnte tilo). This the Romans allo learn from the Tus
cans, for whose application to haruspicy, fc Ccem assigns some extraordinary reasons. " Ena amem (fays that inc omparable writer ami j« man) quod in religione imbuti, ftudiofimca brim hostias immolabaut, extorum cogniasii maxime dedideruni: quodque propter io»» situdinem dc tcclo apud eos multa sieL Mi, tt u ob candem caufam multa inufitata partioK alia cx terra oriebantur, qoatdam etiam acs num pecudumve conceptu tt fatu: poitewe exercitatiflimi interpretes txtiterunt."
Ver. 13. Some interpreters understand 2s to be the Lucina of the original; bat if certainly meant Juno Lucina, or the «mi light and of matrimony. Fcstus and Vnst rive the appellation Lucina from " lot, ia. but Pliny, with whom Ovid also, in one pies' his Fasti, agrees, thinks that Jmio wasa!!sl> cina from " lucus" Both etymologies, ho"*at last turn out to be the lame. "Nmi** (fays Brotkhusius) dici a luce luminum Kjs» causa ex arbonbus lufpenforum satis coiuV
Ver. 17. Tibullus is the only poet of**?^ who bellows on night a chariot and fovr;8^ rini is the only one among the moderns vit«* imitated him. This he does in a proloju, F ] fixed to a wretched pastoral drama, iotiteif'S dc Sciro, composed by Count GiudubaJ&ttVMtelli.
Chiunque haver desia
Di mia condition p-ena contezza,
Qua-sta bruna quadriga
Miri, e qursti ^urei fregi: e sopri p»i
Qual e quanta i' mi sia.
Our poet, in imitation of Homer, eal.'s thtoci "cœruleus amnis," or a cairulezn stream.
Ver. (I. The ancients thought that toofe r sions were truly prophetic whkh appeared itW morning. "Certiora et colatiora [ftp Tallin) dc anima somniari affinxnt tub ntnr' noctibos;" or, as Ovid expresses it is to epi of Hero to Lcander,
sub Aurorarfi, jam dormirante lucem, Somuia quo cerni temp ore vera folrat.
Mr. Pope begins his intellectual vision of tlitTr> I pie of Fame at the seme time:
Vhat time the morn mysterious visions bring?, Vhilc purer llumbers spread their golden wings.
Ver. t$. This is not a version of the hrxame- , r and pentameccr, which make the iwemy tilth j id twenty-sixth lines of the original in all the | litions the translator ever saw: for, as Vulpius I ell observes, these lines,
on illo quidquam formosini ulla priorum Ætas humanum nec videt illud opus,
nnot be applied to the beauties of Apollo. Certe (fays he) latot malignum ulcus, quod uronis auxilio indigeat: ego lubens depono, peritiori manui committo." Brockhusius passes :m over without any remark, although he must ve seen the absurdity of the passage. But are I to think that Tibullus wrote nonsense? By no :ani. Place the lines aft'T the thirty-eighth i the original), and you will find they exactly rrespond with that station; and that there is
occasion to change the " videt" in the pentaetcr, into" suit," as Achilles Statius proposes. Ver. 17. The " myrtea coma" which i'ibullus flows on Apullo, Ovid thus explains: c umen ater erat, nec eiat color aureis illis, Sert quamvis neuter, mistus uterque color, r of a black, nor of a golden hue, ey were, but of a dye between the two. I as the painters (for thus Athenæus informs
drew Apollo with black hair, and the poets re him yellow or golden locks; why does Ti!us make the god's hair auburn? Nc.xra's own ft fay some critics, was of that colour, 3ic et argutæ properet Neæra:
Myrteum nodo cohibere crinem.
Her. Hi. iii. OJ. 14. 1 so Porphyrio, and Cunningham, upon the au"ity of several MSS. read it. This, therefore, 1 they, was a delicate compliment to his misBut this solution is more ingenious than d) for though Horace's Nexra had " myrteus H,' it by no means follows, that Tibullus's era had hair of that colour; nor indeed is it any consequence. The emperor Commolus 1 to powder his hair, of which he was pastiouy fond, with gold-dust.
r'r. 19. The whiteness of the moon has been "ourite resemblance since the days of Solomon; fun, however, for some centuries past, appears have been the mere common simile Taflo, 'ever, has a beautiful address to the mooo, ch the reader will not be displeased to see.
In bianca e vaga Luna,
C'hai tanti specchi quanti sono i mart
Mira questo candor, ch'c senza pari.
A lei mena i tuoi balli, a lei distilla
Le tue dolci rugiade;
Specchiati con lei con amoroso afsetto. ■, besides this general resemblance, there is a her propriety in Tibullus's comparing Apollo ^na, as st- was his sister.
Ver. 30. As poetry is a great assistant to paint, ing and statuary, those who have excelled in these arts, have always particularly cultivated the muses. Thus Phidias obtained the idea of his Olympian Jove from the Iliad of Homer, an I probably was indebted to Pindar's first Pythian od« for placing an eagle on the sceptre of *he same god. On the other hand, again, painting has been of use to poetry; thus, in this century, an excellent Italian pn-m was composed from the drawings of the famous Bolrgnian painter Spagnole'.to.
Ver. 31. This is one of the strokes which seems to me, lays the author of the Polymitis, to have been borrowed from some painting in Rome, in which the mixture of colours here mentioned to be blended together, was remarkably well executed. Pliny, in speaking of the best pieces by Echion there, instances in one on this subject; *' nova nupta, verecundia notahilis," lib. xxxv. 10. The famous picture of the Ai<!obrandine palace in Rome is on the fame subject; and the air of the new bride in it is remarkably modest. As that 13 so good, though done when the art of painting was extremely fallen at Rome, it was very probably copied from some celebra'ed picture there, and possibly from that piece of Echion's. The colours are ail so faded in it (as one may well expect, after the course of almost seventeen hundred years), that we can fee nothing of the beautiful blush, that was probably on the face of the bride. Dialogue S.
Ver. 31. The word " deducta," in the original, ha9 a peculiar beauty, being only applied to the modest, in opposition to " producta," a term ufcuY for women of the town.
Ver. 33. Charmed with the beauties of his vision, Tioulius here, contrary to custom, multiplies his illustrations: the lily and the amaranth furnished the ancients with favourite allusions; hut, as the finest similes, by repetition, become unaficctjng, the moderns labour under great difficulties in this relpect. It is true, they have exchanged the amaranth for the rose , but that ha» been now so long employed, that it is grown stale, and the poets of this age may exclaim, with the old grammari ns, " percant isti, qui, ante nos, nostra dixerunt." It is a pity that l'ibullus, who was so excellent an artist, did nut leave more pictures ot beauty behind him.
Although O vid and others paint Apollo in much, the fame colours as our poet docs, we are not, therefore, to suppose that they copied from one another. The figure, features, dress, &c. of the heathen gods, were as well known to the ancients from statues, paintings, &c. of them, formed according to a common standard, as ;>t. Peter is now a-days to any Human Catholic!
Ver. 36. Broeknusius makes our poet indebted to the great Sicilian liicphcro, Idyll, vii. for this simile. But why need we suppose this? It is only such as grows in the poetical common of nature; and whit no traveller, however little inspired, could fail to pluck a» he pasted.
Ver. 37. she word, in the original is" palla," he nan.e of a lobs, with which not only Apollo, but the poets and musicians of old, were vested. Valerius Haccus clothes his bard Mopsus with a white " palla:" but the more common colour of it was purple, " Tyrio bis murice tincta."
Ver. 39. Who the inventor of the lyre was, is uncertain : some attribute it to Apollo, and others to Mercury. Diodorus informn us, that this instrument, in conformity to the seasons, assumed at first four strings; but soon after, it mounted seven, in imitation of the planets; and hence Pindar's epithet, when he calls it seven-tongued. It was a: first made of gold, silver, or ivory, ornamented with precious stones; but, in the Augustan age, the ihell of the sea-tortoise coming in'o very high estimation, the body of the lyre wa* principally composed of it, yet still adorned with gold silver, &c. Hence Horace says,
O nuiti* quoque piscibus
Donatura cygni, si libeat, sonum.
Co.ldess of the sweet sounding lute,
Who canst the tinny race, though mute,
Francis, Boti iv. OJ. 3.
The lyre was played upon with a plectrum of ivory. Sec a curious dissertation on this subject, presented by Mr. Molyncux to the Royal Society.
Ver. 5c. In this passage Bacchus is deprived of the power of prescience; and yet we know that many of the ancients regarded him as a prophetical deity. Thus Paufanias tells us, that Bacchus had an oracle in Thrace. But especially (book 3t. chap. 33.) » cave (i}utj>) at Ophitea, corruptly called Amphidca, in which were performed his orgies. This cave was accessible by one road only, and there was in it no statue of the god. There the inhabitants of the city and neighbourhood were, in their sleep, informed by the divinity, of remedies appropriated to their diseases; and his priest, inspired by him, acquainted them vvith future events.
Ver. 70. There is a designed harshness in these lines, as in the original. English translators can never be at a loss fnr unharmonious combinations; these however, like discord in music, when properly introduced, greatly increase the harmony.
The translator cannot help thinking thii a Toy unjust description of the fair sex, as the;are com. monly more constant than men.
Ver. 73. The posture of a suppliant and requished person is happily expressed in theorigiol
Tu modo cum multa brachia tcr.d: prece,
but could not be preserved in the version. Achiiles Statius and Douza misunderstood this pafiage. Ver. 79. See the notes to Elegy iii. Book Ver 92. The original passage was incompr?* hensible, till Muretus restored it, from an c.i MS. thus,
Felix. Hoc alium define velle vimm.
The fense of which according to him, ii, ite Nesera must think of no other husband tat rhk, "alium ab hoc." But Scaliger and Doozi slier that the " felix hoc" alludes to the old form nuptial contracts; as if they had said, " sclicis fchx hoc sit." Salmasius however, and Broet1* sius interpret it in this manner: at this mam? is, on the word of Apollo, to be productive r perfect happiness to you, Nesera; presume nan wish for another lover; " felix hoc conjugio sine alium virum velle."
Ver. 106 These were the strongest poctia. emblems of barbarism and infidel ferocity. Ti. thought is originally Homrr's (II. xvi. ver. u but adopted by Catullus and Virgil, tratelliaii Glambattista Lalli, often used by Ovid, >■»! j* rodied by Boileau in his admirable L„:r„::
Non ton pere a Paris ne fut pas Boulangtr, felt) the famous interview of Glaucus and -' Glaucus thus describes chimzra:
First dire chimæra's conquest was enjouVi;
Verses nothing inferior to the original.
Ver. ic3. This was an artful method of B farther interesting Neæra's family in favour oiil* lover.
'hen both the consult fell, ah fatal morn! tal to Roman freedom! I was born) iples unripe, what folly 'tis to pull, crush the cluster e'er the grapes are full! Ye gloomy g'ds! whom Acheron obeys, spel my sickness, and prolong my days 1 : to the shades my dreary steps I take, ferry o'er th' irremeable lake, ao : me (with age when wrinkled all my face) 1 ancient stories to my listening race;
Thrice five long daysand nighuconsumM with fire,
Meantime, to deprecate the fierce disease,
NOTES ON ELEGY V.
5omi critics are of opinion, that this elegy was. ittenby Tibullus when very young.anddifengag. from any amorous attachment, as in it he makes mention of any of hit former mistresses. And leed it must be confessed, that their conjectures
not always so well founded; for had his heart :n engaged, his sickness, which makes the subl of the poem, would have supplied him with nany pathetic thoughts as it did when he was
behind in the island of Corfu. But be this as will, the elegy itself is valuable, for beiag the y one wherein our poet gives us any hints of own person, which, as it really was amiable, 10 small proof of his modesty. It is addressed to some of his friends, who were n at the hot baths of Tuscany, where, probably, t poet was to have been of the party, had net a lent fever prevented him. However desirous : commentators may show themselves to difeor the names of the poet's friends, that discovery now impossible; but if we are not ignorant os the poem itself informs us, that l'ibullus mposed it on the fifteenth day of his disorder, )ich he entreats Persephone speedily to bring to happy crisis, as he was then young, and by his Jduct had never merited any chastisement from iven.
Ver. I. Critics have in vain endeavoured to demine which of the Tuscan baths are here rant. Schoppius believes them to have been - Clusin; but these were eold, as we learn from wace, Ep. 15. lib. i. wherein those, at which bullus's friends appear to have been, were irm.
Ver. 4. Baia was the most remarkable warm th in Italy. The name of it came in time to md for " therme" in general. Ver. 9. The myjleries here meant, were those
Ceres, the most revered of any in ancient times, s it was piacular to divulge them, the reader ust not expect to find them described with the me exactness as the other religious ceremonies t paganism. But what is known of certainty of «ra, shall here briefly be collected.
The ElcuCiiiao mysteries, for so they were also
called, were divided into the greater and the lesser, and celebrated at Athens, at stated seasons, with great pomp of machinery and solemn shows. These drew together a vast concourse of people from all nations; and many earnestly desired to be initiated, but that favour was bestowed upon none but those of the first rank and figure. The reverence with which Cicero speaks of them, and the hints he drops of their use and end, seem to confirm Dr. Warburton's conjecture about them, viz. that they were intended to inculcate God's unity and the immortality of the foul. The shows are supposed to have represented Heaven, Hell, Elysium, and whatever concerned a suture state.' The poets often alluded to them; and we find Cicero, at the request of Chilias a famous poet, requesting Atticus to fend him from Athens a detail of them. This intimates, that these shows were occasionally varied; and Or. Middleton conjectures, that the detail here desired from Atticus was intended by the p>et as episodes to some es his poetical performances. Is Virgil's sixth. Æneid a representation of this kind? The sup. position is highly ingenious, and Or. Warburton has supported it with no less fancy than learning.
So cautious were the Athenians, is Cicero's time, of violating the solemnity of these mysteries, that the famous orator Crassus, coming to Athens two days after the procession was over, could nor. prevail on the magistrates to re-exhibit the shows, although be was one of the Erst senators of Rome.
Whoever divulged the hleusiniati mysteries, was expelled the society of human kind, and abhorred as a monster unworthy the con Op benefits of life. It was esteemed ('angeruus to converse with him, lest Jupiter, in hi. wrath, should make no distinction between the innocent and the guilty. Thus Hurace,
vetabo, qui cereris sacrum
Vulgarit arcanæ, sub isdem
He who can friendship's secrets tell,
3 E iij