Page images


On Phoebus' fhrine my harp I'll then beftow, And this Infcription shall be plac❜d below. "Here the who fung, to him that did inspire, "Sappho to Phoebus confecrates her Lyre; "What fuits with Sappho, Phoebus, fuits with thee; "The gift, the giver, and the God agree.” But why, alas, relentless youth, ah why To distant feas must tender Sappho fly ?

Thy charms than those may far more powerful be, 220
And Phoebus' felf is lefs a God to me.

Ah! canst thou doom me to the rocks and sea,
O far more faithlefs and more hard than they?
Ah! canft thou rather fee this tender breaft
Dash'd on these rocks than to thy bofom prefs'd?
This breast which once, in vain! you lik'd fo well;
Where the Loves play'd, and where the Mufes dwell.



"Grata lyram pofui tibi, Phoebe, poëtria Sappho :
"Convenit illa mihi, convenit illa tibi."
Cur tamen Actiacas miferam me mittis ad oras,
Cum profugum poffis ipfe referre pedem ?
Tu mihi Leucadia potes esse falubrior unda :

Et forma et meritis tu mihi Phoebus eris.
An potes, ô fcopulis undaque ferocior illa,
Si moriar, titulum mortis habere meae?
At quanto melius jungi mea pectora tecum,

Quam poterant faxis praecipitanda dari !
Haec funt illa, Phaon, quae tu laudare folebas;
Vifaque funt toties ingeniofa tibi.




Alas! the Mufes now no more inspire,
Untun'd my lute, and filent is my lyre;
My languid numbers have forgot to flow,
And fancy finks beneath a weight of woe.
Ye Lesbian virgins, and ye Lesbian dames,
Themes of my verfe, and objects of my flames,
No more your groves with my glad fongs fhall ring,
No more these hands shall touch the trembling string:
My Phaon's fled, and I those arts refign,

(Wretch that I am, to call that Phaon mine!)
Return, fair youth, return, and bring along
Joy to my foul, and vigour to my song:
Abfent from thee, the Poet's flame expires;


But ah! how fiercely burn the Lover's fires ?

Gods! can no prayers, no fighs, no numbers, move

One favage heart, or teach it how to love?

Nunc vellem facunda forent: dolor artibus obstat;
Ingeniumque meis fubftitit omne malis.


Non mihi refpondent veteres in carmina vires.
Plectra dolore tacent: muta dolore lyra eft.


Lesbides aequoreae, nupturaque nuptaque proles;
Lesbides, Aeolia nomina dicta lyra;

Lefbides, infamem quae me feciftis amatae;

Definite ad citharas turba venire meas.

Abftulit omne Phaon, quod vobis ante placebat. 235
(Me miferam dixi quam modo pene, meus!)
Efficite ut redeat: vates quoque veftra redibit.
Ingenio vires ille dat, ille rapit.

Ecquid ago precibus? pectufne agrefte movetur?
An riget? et Zephyri verba caduca ferunt?



The winds my prayers, my fighs, my numbers bear,
The flying winds have loft them all in air!
Oh when, alas! fhall more aufpicious gales
To these fond eyes reffore thy welcome fails ?
If you return-ah why these long delays?
Poor Sappho dies while careless Phaon stays.
O launch thy bark, nor fear the watery plain;
Venus for thee fhall fmooth her native main.
O launch thy bark, secure of profperous gales;
Cupid for thee shall spread the fwelling fails.
If you will fly-(yet ah! what cause can be,


Too cruel youth, that you fhould fly from me?)


If not from Phaon I must hope for ease,

Ah let me seek it from the raging feas:
To raging feas unpity'd I'll remove,

And either cease to live, or cease to love!

Qui mea verba ferunt, vellem tua vela referrent.
Hoc te, fi faperes, lente, decebat opus.
Sive redis, puppique tuae votiva parantur
Munera; quid laceras pectora noftra mora ?
Solve ratem: Venus orta mari, mare praeftat eunti.
Aurà dabit curfum; tu modo folve ratem.
Ipfe gubernabit refidens in puppe Cupido :
Ipfe dabit tenera vela legetque manu.
Sive juvat longe fugiffe Pelafgida Sappho ;
(Non tamen invenies, cur ego digna fuga.)
[O faltem miferae, Crudelis, epistola dicat:

Ut mihi Leucadiae fata petantur aquae.]






A R D.


ABELARD and Eloifa flourished in the twelfth Century; they were two of the most diftinguished perfons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate paffion. After a long courfe of calamities, they retired each to a several Convent, and confecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this feparation, that a letter of Abelard's to a Friend, which contained the history of his misfortune, fell into the hands of Eloifa. This awakening all her tenderness, occafioned those celebrated letters (out of which the following is partly extracted) which give fo lively a picture of the ftruggles of grace and nature, virtue and passion,

« EelmineJätka »