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“ Tu mihi percurres medicos, tua gramina, succos,
Quasque habet ista palus herbas, artesque nedentům."
Ite domum impasti, domino jam non vacat, agni.
Mendaces vultûs, assumptaque Gorlöis arma, brook derives its name from this river, or rather rivulet. By Cassibelauni jugera we are to understand, as Mr. Warton informs me, Verulam, or St. Albans.
s In the fabulous history of Britain, Brutus, the grandson of Æneas, leads a colony of Trojans to this island, which he conquers and civilizes. He had previously married Inogen, the daughter of some Grecian king, called Pandrasus. Rutupium is Richborough on the coast of Kent. Armorica (or Bretagne) in France was conquered and occupied by the Britons, at the time, as it is generally supposed, when they were pressed by the Saxons. But we have no accounts of this emigration and conquest : and many ascribe the first British settlements in Armorica to the soldiers who followed Maximus from our Island; and who, after the defeat of their leader by Theodosius, in the 388th year of the Christian æra, established themselves in this maritime province of Gaul; where their numbers were increased by successive emigrations of their countrymen at different periods and under the impulse of various motives.
+ Uther Pendragon, being changed by the magic of Merlin into the likeness of Gorlois, prince of Cornwall, got possession of his wife, lögerne's bed; and Arthur was the offspring of the trespass.
Merlini dolus. O mihi tumn si vita supersit,
Ite domum impasti, domino jam non vacat, agni,
Usa, according to Camden, is the Ouse in Buckinghamshire. Alaunus is probably the Alan in Cornwall. Abra is a name which has been given to the Tweed, the Severn, and the Humber. With Milton, in this place, it designates perhaps the last of these 1 ivers, though the proper name, as it is found in Ptolemy, for the a stuary, which is now called the Humber, is Abus. The Tamar, a Cornish river, is discoloured by running through metallic strata. Thule, a name which receded with the extension of the Roman geography farther to the north and was latterly given to Iceland, is here assigned to the Orkneys, the northern extremity of the limits proposed by the poet to his fame, as the Tamar forms the southern.
* Our readers can require no additional information, in this place, respecting. Manso, the amiable and literary Marquis of Villa. A colony of Greeks, partly from Cumæ in Æolia and partly from Chalcis in Eubea, settled on the Coasts of Campania, where they built Cuma and Neapolis. From this circumstance the country of Naples called Chalcidian and, by Virgil, Euboean.
Cæruleùm fulgens diversicoloribus alis,
Tu quoque in his, nec me fallit spes lubrica, Damon;
Quin tu, coeli post jura recepta,
y For the accommodation of his verse, the poet has in this place happily translated the name of his friend Deodati into Greek. But Milton was fond of these versions of a name, which was so susceptible of translation. In each of the two familiar letters to his friend, which are extant, he calls him Theodotus.
z Deodati died unmarried, and, in this respect, resembled Mr. King, the Lycidas of Milton's Muse. Some of the thoughts in the conclusion of this poem are easily discoverable in the Lycidas.
Lætaque frondentis gestans umbracula palma,
AN EPITAPHIAL ELEGY. a
Ye Nymphs of Himera, (whose stream along
a Dr. Langhorne, whose elegant and polished, though not very powerful Muse has obtained perhaps less regard than she might rightfully claim, has translated a part of this pastoral: but I was unacquainted with his version till I had completed my own.*
The fate of Dr. Langhorne, as a poet, has been peculiarly and curiously unhappy; for he has been neglected by the public, and has experienced attention from Mr. Hayley. The imperfect translation in question is one of the least fortunate of its author's poetic efforts: but when it is to be prostrated before Mr. Cowper's version of the same poem, it is raised into fictitious consequence by Mr. Hayley, and selected for the object of his warm praise.f By this praise however, from the admirer and panegyrist of poor Percival Stockdale, Dr. Langhorne, if he could be sensible of it, would not probably be much gratified, or feel his vanity immo. derately inflamed.
It was remarked by one of the public critics, (in the Montlıly Review for March 1809,) that my version * of the, Ite domum impasti, domino jam non vacat, agni, which may be called the burden of the pastoral, was unsuccessful, and injurious to the poetry with which it was associated. As I believe the critic's judgment in this instance to be right; and as I am certain that the frequent recurrence of the same couplet, however happily formed, must produce with its monotonous interruption an effect which
* Return unfed, my lambs, by fortune crost,
Your hapless master, now to you is lost. + See Cowper's “ Translations of Milton's Latin and Italian poetry.”
As Daphnis or as Hylas you deplored,
Twice the green blade had bristled on the plain,
Back to your fold, my lambs, unfed repair:
is far from good, and which will not in fact allow the lines to be recited more than once or twice in the whole poem, I have varied my translation of the repeated line, and have thus, by always offering the same thought with a change of diction, not only made what before fatigued with its cuckoo note subservient to the variety of the piece, but have adhered, in my own opinion at least, more faithfully to Nature; who, when she suggested at intervals to the mourning shepherd the same melancholy sentiment, 'would not be apt to suggest it, with too much artifice and accurate recollection for the disorder of grief, in precisely the same formal expression. Whether by following on this occasion the dictate of my own feeling I have deviated from that of true taste, or whether, by taking such a liberty with my author, I have been guilty of any actual offence, must be submitted to the decision of my readers.