Obrázky na stránke

Pelides moved from Scyros, where concealed
he lay obedient to his mother's fears

a seemly damsel: thus the youth appeared
terribly graceful, when upon his neck
Deidameia hung, and with a look
that spake the tumult of her troubled soul
gazed on the father of her unborn babe.




ER me si va nella città dolente:


per me si va nell' eterno dolore:
per me si va tra la perduta gente.
Giustizia mosse 'l mio alto Fattore:
fecemi la Divina Potestate,

la somma Sapienza e 'l primo Amore.
Dinanzi a me non fur cose create,
se non eterne, ed io eterno duro:
Lasciate ogni speranza, voi che 'ntrate.'
Queste parole di colore oscuro

vid' io scritte al sommo d' una porta:
perch' io: Maestro, il senso lor mi è duro.
Ed egli a me, come persona accorta:
quì si convien lasciar ogni sospetto;
ogni viltà convien che quì sia morta.
Noi sem venuti al loco ov' io t'ho detto,
che tu vedrai le genti dolorose,

ch' hanno perduto il ben dell' intelletto.
E poichè la sua mano alla mia pose,
con lieto volto, ond' io mi confortai,
mi mise dentro alle segrete cose.




HE key of this infernal pit by due

all-powerful King

I keep, by Him forbidden to unlock
these adamantine gates; against all force
death ready stands to interpose his dart,
fearless to be o'ermatched by living might.
But what owe I to His commands above,
who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down





into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
to sit in hateful office here confined,
inhabitant of Heaven and heavenly-born,
here in perpetual agony and pain,

with terrors and with clamours compassed round
of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed?
Thou art my father, thou my author, thou
my being gavest me; whom should I obey
but thee? whom follow? Thou wilt bring me soon
to that new world of light and bliss, among
the Gods who live at ease, where I shall reign
at thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
thy daughter and thy darling, without end.


T was a roundell seated on a plaine,



that stood as sentinell unto the maine,
environ'd round with trees and many an arbour,
wherein melodious birds did nightly harbour:
and on a bough within the quickening spring
would be a-teaching of their young to sing;
whose pleasing noates the tyred swaine have made
to steale a nappe at noone-tide in the shade.
Nature herselfe did there in triumph ride,

and made that place the ground of all her pride,
whose various flowres deceived the rasher eye
in taking them for curious tapistrie.

A silver spring forth of a rocke did fall,
that in a drought did serve to water all.
Upon the edges of a grassie bancke

a tuft of trees grew circling in a rancke,
as if they seemed the sports to gaze upon,
or stood as guard against the winde and sunne:
so faire, so fresh, so greene, so sweete a ground
the piercing eyes of heaven yet never found.




HERE shall my song begin, ye Nymphs, or end?

Wide is your praise and copious.-First of things,

first of the lonely powers, ere Time arose,
were Love and Chaos; Love the sire of Fate,
elder than Chaos. Born of Fate was Time,
who many sons and many comely births
devoured, relentless father; till the child
Of Rhea drove him from the upper sky,

and quelled his deadly might. Then social reigned
the kindred powers, Tethys and reverend Ops,
and spotless Vesta; while supreme of sway
remained the Cloudcompeller. From the couch
of Tethys sprang the sedgy-crownéd race
who from a thousand urns o'er every clime
send tribute to their parent; and from them
are ye, O Naiads: Arethusa fair,

and tuneful Aganippe, that sweet name
Bandusia, that soft family which dwelt
with Syrian Daphne, and the honoured tribes
beloved of Pæon. Listen to my strain
daughters of Tethys: listen to your praise.



to the King.
O they brought the swords, and delivered them

The King drew the swords, and the whole court shone with their brightness. Their hilts were of solid gold: all the good men of the Cortes marvelled at them. And the Cid rose and received them, and kissed the King's hand, and went back to his ivory seat: and he took the swords in his hand, and looked at them: they could not change them, for the Cid knew them well, and his whole frame rejoiced, and he smiled from his heart, and he laid them upon his lap and said: "Ah, my swords, truly may I say of you, that you are the best swords in Spain; and I won you: for I did not get you either by buying or barter. I gave you in keeping to the Infantes, that they might do honour to my daughters with you; but ye were not for them! they kept you hungry, and did not feed you with flesh, as ye were wont to be fed. Well is it for you, that ye have escaped that thraldom, and come again to my hands, and happy man am I to recover you."




HERE was a French soldier of noble mien, who sat his horse gallantly. He spied two Englishmen, who were also carrying themselves boldly. They were both men of great worth, and had become companions in arms and fought together, the one protecting the other. They bore two long and broad bills, and did great mischief to the Normans, killing both horses and men. The French soldier looked at them and their bills and was sore alarmed, for he was afraid of losing his good horse, the best that he had; and would willingly have turned to some other quarter, if it would not have looked like cowardice. He soon however recovered his courage, and spurring his horse gave him the bridle, and galloped swiftly forward. Fearing the two bills, he raised his shield, and struck one of the Englishmen with his lance on the breast, so that the iron passed out at his back. At the moment that he fell the lance broke, and the Frenchman seized the mace that hung at his right side, and struck the other Englishman a blow that completely broke his skull.




S when to seek her food abroad doth rove
the nuncius of peace, the seely dove,

two sharpe set hawkes doe her on each side hem,
and she knowes not which way to flye from them:
or like a shippe, that tosséd to and fro

with winde and tyde, the winde doth sternely blowe
and drives her to the maine, the tyde comes sore
and hurles her back againe towards the shore;
and since her ballaste and her sailes do lacke,
one bringes her out, the other beates her backe,
till one of them encreasing more his shockes
hurles her to shore, and rendes her on the rockes:
so stood she long, 'twixt love and reason tost,
untill despaire (who where it comes rules most,)
wonne her to throw herselfe, to meete with death,
from off the rocke into the floud beneath.
The waves that were above, when as she fell,
for feare flew back again into their well;
doubting ensuing times on them would frowne,
that they so rare a beauty helped to drowne,
her fall, in griefe, did make the streame so rore,
that sullen murmurings filled all the shore.


[blocks in formation]


MID nine daughters slain by Artemis


stood Niobe: she rais'd her head above

those beauteous forms which had brought down the scath

whence all nine fell, rais'd it, and stood erect,

and thus bespake the Goddess enthroned on high.
'Thou heardest, Artemis, my daily prayer

that thou wouldst guide these children in the pass
of virtue, through the tangling wilds of youth,
and thou didst ever guide them: was it just
to smite them for a beauty such as thine?
deserved they death because thy grace appeared
in every modest motion? 'twas thy gift,

the richest gift that youth from heaven receives.
True, I did boldly say they might compare
even with thyself in virgin purity:

may not a mother in her pride repeat

what every mortal said?

for me to offer yet.

One prayer remains

Thy quiver holds

more than nine arrows: bend thy bow: aim here, I see, I see it glimmering through a cloud. Artemis, thou at length art merciful:

my children will not hear the fatal twang.'




if indeed I cast the brand away,

surely a precious thing, one worthy note,

should thus be lost for ever from the earth,

which might have pleased the eyes of many men, What good should follow this, if this were done? What harm, undone? deep harm to disobey,

seeing obedience is the bond of rule.

Were it well to obey then, if a king demand

an act unprofitable, against himself?

The King is sick, and knows not what he does.
What record or what relic of my lord

should be to aftertime, but empty breath
and rumours of a doubt? but were this kept,

« PredošláPokračovať »