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What powers shall I of earth or heaven invoke,
To your sad fold, my lambs, return unfed:
Your shepherd now to all but grief is dead.
Return unfed, my lambs! nor longer stand
In fond expectance of my tending hand.
Mercury c In my translation of this passage, I have shown myself desirous of keeping the lions of the original rather in the back ground. In a British scene, they certainly appear to be out of their proper place; though their pames may be here introduced only to express some dangerous and difficult exploit. My first translation of these lines differed from the present; and for what I had then written, Mr. Gifford offered to me some verses,
as we retrace the long rough way, With tale or song will soothe the weary day?
Return unfed, my lambs! you once were dear:
But now I slight you for a care more near.
Home to your fold, my lambs! unfed depart!
You cannot touch when sorrow wrings the heart!
Go, lambs, unfed ! no more my care confest:
Grief will not bear a partner in my breast.
Return unfed, my lambs! a shepherd's care
which are too good for me to appropriate to myself or to withhold from my readers. The first of these lines is my own; the others are Mr. Gifford's.
“ Who now with me, tried partner of my toil,”
My late trim fields their labour'd culture scorn;
Hence home, my lambs, unfed! the day is done :
you had all my care, and now have none.
Go, lambs, unfed! no more I mind your weal:
My own sad doom is all I now can feel. Mopsus surprised me in my sullen mood, (Mopsus who knew the language of the wood; Knew all the stars, could all their junctions spell,) And thus,—“ What passions in your bosom swell? “Speak! flows the poison from disastrous love? “ Or falls the mischief star-sent from above: “ For leaden Saturn, with his chill controll, “Oft has shot blights into the shepherd's soul."
Return, my lambs! nor hope your wonted food
From me, now. wrapt in sorrow's gloomy mood. The wond'ring nymphs exclaim,"What, Thyrsis, now? “Those heavy eyelids, and that cloudy brow “ Become not youth :-to youth the jocund song,
Frolic, and dance, and wanton wiles belong : “ With these he courts the joys which suit his state: “Ah! twice unhappy he, who loves too late!"
Return, my lambs, unfed! nor here implore
Your shepherd's care that lives for you no more. With Dryope and Hyas, Ægle came, A lovely lyrist, but a scornful dame. From Chelmer's banks fair Chloris join'd the train. But vain their blandishments,-their solace vain.Dead is my hope, and pointless beauty's dart To waken torpid pleasure in my heart.
Return, my lambs, unfed! you hope in vain
To find attention in the breast of pain. How blest, where, none repulsed and none preferr'd, One common friendship blends the lowing herd! Touch'd by no subtle magnet in the mind, Each meets a comrade when he meets his kind. Conspiring wolves enjoy this equal love, And this the zebra's party-coloured drove: This too the tribes of ocean, and the flock Which Proteus feeds beneath his vaulted rock. The sparrow, fearless of a lonely state, Has ever for his social wing a mate: Whom should the falcon or the marksman strike, He soon repairs his loss, and finds a like. But we, by fate's severer frown oppressid, With war and sharp repulsion in the breast, Can scarcely meet, amid the human throng, One kindred soul, or, met, preserve him long. When fortune, now determined to be kind, Yields the rich gift, and mind is link'd to mind, Death mocks the fond possession, bursts the chain, And plants the bosom with perennial pain.
Unheeded and unfed, my lambs, return:
Your hapless master now can only mourn.
Though Rome were now, as once in pomp array'd
My friend, O think of all our love, “And bear it glowing to the realms above."
Go! go, my lambs! unfed I bid you go:
Unjust to you as faithful to my woe. Yet must I not deplore the hours that few, Ye Tuscan swains, with science and with you:Each Grace and Muse is yours,—and yours my Damon too. From ancient Lucca's Tuscan walls he came, With you in country, talents, arts the same. How happy, lull'd by Arno's warbling stream, Hid by his poplars from day's flaring beam, When stretch'd along the fragrant moss I lay, And cull'd the violet or pluck'd the bay; Or heard, contending for the rural prize, Famed Lycid's and Menalcas' melodies. I too essay'd to sing :-nor vainly sung: This flute, these baskets speak my victor tongue: And Datis and Francinus, swains who trace Their Tuscan lineage to the Lydian race, Dear to the Muses both, with friendly care Taught their carved trees my favour'd name to bear.
Return, my lambs, without your daily due:
Lost to myself, I now am lost to you.