Page images

In keen and shrilling strains the strings rebound;
Now in the deep majestic base resound :
Now with the hoarse sonorous strains unite
Such as the trumpet's clangors that excite
The rage of armies, and provoke to fight.
The nightingale resumes, and from her throat
The treble's sharp attenuated note
Emits; then sudden finks to strains profound
And murmurs in the base's folemn sound;
And now to bold full numbers swells her voice,
And emulates the clarion's martial noise.

The tuneful artist in confusion blushid,
And indignation ev'ry feature Auth'd.
" Once more, he cry'd, my efforts I'll renew;
“ Either this mimic songstress I'll subdue,
« Or break my lute, and thiver all its chords.”
He said ; and as his lips pronounc'd the words,
With all his skill his instrument he plies;
Notes upon notes inimitable rise:
Swift o'er the strings his agil fingers glance;
Now these, now those in tuneful numbers dance;
Each chord in turn the quick vibration shares,
Now softly sweet, now boldly strong the airs :
In rapid multiplicity he plays,
Affumes, and reassumes the dying lays :
Then with majestic sounds concludes the song;
Majestic sounds the ech’ing hills prolong.

He ceas'd, expecting if the rival-bird
Would back return the melody she heard ;
The bird, tho' with her toils grown hoarse and tir'd,
Still with a noble emulation fir'd,
With all her might ftrove to repeat the strain,
But, ah! with all her might she strove in vain ;


For lab’ring to reverberate the song,
Impetuous, complicate, sublime, and ftrong,
Her utt'rance faild: like an envenom'd dart,

Th’inglorious disappointment pierc'd her heart;
* Unequal to the strife The yields her breath,
. And on the victor's viol drops in death,

As the dire instrument her ruin wrought,
She for her last funereal bed had sought.

* Thou cruel conqu’ror, swathe in black thy lute,
And let it lie for ever, ever mute;
Or if the guilty strings are touch'd again,
Solemn and fad be ev'ry future strain,
And mourn the lovely Philomela flain t.

* The five last lines are not in Strada, but added by the Translator. + Jam Sol à medio pronus deflexerat orbe

Mitius è radiis vibrans crinalibus ignem.
Cum fidicen propter Tiberina fluenta fonanti
Lenibat plectro curas, æstumque levabat
Hic defensus nigra scenaque virenti.

Audiit hunc hofpes filvæ philomela propinquæ,
Musa loci, nemoris firen, innoxia firen.
At prope succedens ftetit abdita frondibus, alte
Accipiens fonitum, secumque remurmurat, & quos
Ille modos variat digitis, hæc gutture reddit.

Sensit se fidicen philomela imitante referri,
Et placuit ludum volucri dare. Plenius ergo
Explorat citharam, tentamentumque futuræ
Præbeat ut pugnæ, percurrit protinus omnes
Impulsu pernice fides. Nec segnius illa
Mille per excurrens variæ discrimina vocis
Venturi specimen præfert argutula cantus.

Tunc fidicen per fila movens trepidantia dextram,
Nunc contemnenti fimilis diverberat ungue
Depectitque pari chordas & fimplice ductu ;


Nunc carptim replicat, digitisqne micantibus urget Fila minutatim, celerique repercutit i&tu. Mox filet. Illa modis totidem refpondet, & artem Arte refert. Nunc ceu rudis, aut incerta canendi Projicit in longum, nulloque plicatile flexu Carmen init, fimili ferie, jugique tenore Præbet iter liquidum labenti è pectore voci ; . Nunc cæsim variat, modulisque canora minutis Delibrat vocem, tremuloque reciprocat ore.

Miratur fidicen parvis è faucibus ire. Tam varium tam dulce melos ; majoraque tentans Alternat mira arte fides; dum torquet acutas, Inciditque graves operoso verbere pulsat, Permiscetque fimul certantia rauca sonoris, Ceu resides in bella viros clangore laceffat. Hoc etiam philomela canit dumque ore liquenti Vibrat acuta fonum, modulisque interplicat æquis ; Ex inopinato gravis intonat, & leve murmur Turbinat introrfus, alternantique sonore Clarat, & infuscat ceu martia classica pulset.

Scilicet erubuit fidicen, iraque calente, Aut non hoc, inquit, referes cithariftria silvæ, Aut fracta cedam cithara. Nec plura loquutus Non imitabilibus plectrum concentibus urget. Namque manu per fila volat, fimul hos, fimul illos Explorat numeros, chordaque laborat in omni, Et ftrepit, & tinnit, crefcitque fuperbius, & se Multiplicat relegens, plenoque choreumata plaudit. Tum ftetit expectans fi quid paret æmula contra. Illa autem, quamquam vox dudum exercita fauces Asperat, impatiens vinci fimul advocat omnes Nequidquam vires; nam dum discrimina tanta Reddere tot fidium nativa & fimplice tentat Voce, canaliculisque imitari grandia parvis; Impar magnanimis ausis, imparque dolori Deficit, & vitam fummo in certamina linquens Victoris cadit in plečirým par nacta sepulcrum. Ufque adeò & tenues anima, ferit æmula virtus.

Strada Prolus. 6, lib. iii. in Style Claudiano. § 3. We may meet with several instances of the Enantiosis in the sacred Writings. In the 29th and 30th chapters of job we have the different pictures which Job draws of himself in the season of his former prosperity, and in that of his present affliction, and how strong a contrast is there between them? In chap.xxix. 2, 7. and the following verses, he says, “ O! that I were as in ss months past, as in the days when God press served me. When I went out to the gate ss through the city ; when I prepared iny seat in - the street. The young men saw me, and hid ss themselves; and the aged'arose, and stood up. ss The princes refrained talking, and laid their ss hand on their mouth: the nobles held their ss peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of ss their mouth. When the ear heard me, then ss it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it ss gave witness unto But in the next chapter, he tells us, verse 1. ss But now they that are ss younger than I have me in derision, whose fac ss thers I would have disdained to have set with ss the dogs of my And verse 9. and the following, ss And now am I their song, yea, I ss am their by-word. They abhor me, they flee ss far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.

Because he hath loosed my cord, and amicted ss me; they have also let loose the bridle before me. Upon my right-hand rise the youth ;

they push away my feet, and they raise up ss against me the ways of their destruction : they ss mar my path; they set forward my calamity;

ss they

ss they have no helper. They came upon me as s: a wide breaking in of waters : in the desola. s tion they rolled themselves upon me. Terrors

are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as

the wind; and my welfare passes away as a ss cloud. And now my soul is poured out upon w me; the days of affliction have taken hold ss upon messi

In Psalm i. 3. we have the pious man represented as ss a tree planted by the rivers of water, that ss brings forth his fruit in his season; whose leaf 's shall not wither iss but while a tree, a tree planted in a well-watered soil, a tree crowned with fruit in its seafon, and fourishing in undecaying verdure, is the emblem of the good man, the wicked man is resembled in the next verse to chaff which the wind drives away; to an empty, worthless husk, that has no folidity of its own, nor any firm connexion with any thing else, to keep it in its place, and prevent it from becoming the sport of every blast that sweeps through the heavens, or even of every breath that stirs in the uncertain atmosphere.

· What a contrast is exhibited in Psalin xvii. 13 ---!5. between what are the characters and conditions of the men of this world, and the saints and citizens of heaven ? ss Arise, O Lord, disappoint s him, cast him down : deliver my foul from the ss wicked, which is thy sword; from men which ss are thine hand, OLORD, from men of the world, ss which have their portion in this life, and whose si" belly thou fillest with thine hid treasure. They

ss are

« PreviousContinue »