« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Nor pass unpraised, the robe and veil divine,
Round which the yellow flowers and wandering foliage A day to future generations dear!
But chiefly Dido, to the coming ill
To ease a father's cheated love he hung
Then seeks the queen; with her his arts he tries;
Blots out Sichæus, studious to remove
Now when the viands were withdrawn, and ceased The first division of the splendid feast, While round a vacant board the chiefs recline, Huge goblets are brought forth; they crown the wine, Voices of gladness roll the walls around; Those gladsome voices from the courts rebound; From gilded rafters many a blazing light Depends, and torches overcome the night. The minutes fly-till at the queen's command, A bowl of state is offered to her hand;
Then she, as Belus wont, and all the line
To Tyrians, and these exiles driven from Troy;
Let Bacchus, donor of soul-quickening cheer,
Graced with redundant hair, Iopas sings The lore of Atlas, to resounding strings, The labours of the sun, the lunar wanderings; Whence human kind and brute; what natural powers Engender lightning, whence are falling showers? He chaunts Arcturus, that fraternal twain The glittering Bears, the Pleiads fraught with rain; -Why suns in winter, shunning heaven's steep heights Post sea-ward, what impedes the tardy nights. The learned song from Tyrian hearers draws Loud shouts, the Trojans echo the applause.
But lengthening out the night with converse new, Large draughts of love unhappy Dido drew; Of Priam ask'd, of Hector-o'er and o'er — What arms the son of bright Aurora wore ;What steeds the car of Diomed could boast; Among the leaders of the Grecian host How look'd Achilles, their dread paramount
"But nay, the fatal wiles, O guest, recount,
Retrace the Grecian cunning from its source,
Your own grief and your friends your wandering
For now, till this seventh summer have ye ranged The sea, or trod the earth, to peace estranged."
In the following Poem no further deviation from the original has been made than was necessary for the fluent reading and instant
understanding of the Author: so much, however, is the language
altered since Chaucer's time, especially in pronunciation, that much was to be removed, and its place supplied with as little incongruity as possible. The ancient accent has been retained in a few conjunctions, as alsò and alwày, from a conviction that such sprinklings of antiquity would be admitted, by persons of taste, to have a graceful accordance with the subject. The fierce bigotry of the
Prioress forms a fine back-ground for her tender-hearted sympathies with the Mother and Child; and the mode in which the story is told amply atones for the extravagance of the miracle.
"O LORD, our Lord! how wondrously," (quoth she) "Thy name in this large world is spread abroad! For not alone by men of dignity
Thy worship is performed and precious laud;
Wherefore in praise, the worthiest that I may,
Not that I may increase her honour's dower,
O Mother Maid! O Maid aud Mother free!
[* In a letter to the Editor, dated "Rydal Mount, January 13th, 1841," Wordsworth said: "So great is my admiration of Chaucer's genius, and so profound my reverence for him as an instrument in the hands of Providence, for spreading the light of literature through his native land, that notwithstanding the defects and faults in this publication, I am glad of it, as a means for making many acquainted with the original, who would otherwise be ignorant of every thing about him but his name."-The volume entitled "The Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer Modern. ized," was published in London, in 1841. It is made up of the contributions of Wordsworth, Miss Barrett, Leigh Hunt, R. H. Horne, and others.-H. R.]
Lady! thy goodness, thy magnificence,
My knowledge is so weak, O blissful Queen!
There was in Asia, in a mighty town,
'Mong Christian folk, a street where Jews might be,
And through this street who list might ride and wend Free was it, and unbarred at either end.
A little school of Christian people stood
Among these children was a widow's son,
This widow thus her little son hath taught
This little child, while in the school he sate His primer conning with an earnest cheer,