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TRANSLATION FROM VITTORELLI.
Sonnet composed in the name of a father whose daughter had recently
died shortly after her marriage; and addressed to the father of ber who had lately taken the veil.
Of two fair virgins, modest, though admired,
Heaven made us happy; and now, wretched sires,
Heaven for a nobler doom their worth desires,
Apd gazing upon either, both required.
Mine, while the torch of Hymen newly fired
Becomes extinguished, soon-too soon-expires:
But thine, within the closing grate retired,
Eternal captive, to her God aspires.
But thou at least from out the jealous door,
Which shuts between your never-meeting eyes,
May'st hear her sweet and pious voice once more : I to the marble, where my daughter lies,
Rush,—the swoln flood of bitterness I pour,
And knock, and knock, and knock-but none replies.
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea's hills the setting sun;
Not, as in the northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O'er the hush'd deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old Ægina's rock and Idra's isle,
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile.
O'er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious gulf, unconquered Salamis !
Their azure arches, through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints along their summits driven
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven!
Till darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.
On such an eve, his palest beam he cast
When, Athens ! here thy wisest look'd his last!
How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray
That clos'd their murder'd sage's latest day!
Not yet-not yet-Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes.
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seem'd to pour,
The land where Phæbus never frown'd before;
But ere he sunk beneath Cithæron's head,
The cup of wo was quaff’dthe spirit fed ;
The soul of him who scorn'd to fear orfly,
Who liv'd and died as none can live or die.
But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign ;* No murky vapour, herald of the storm, Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form: With cornice glimmering as the moon beams play-There the white column greets her grateful ray, And bright around with quivering beams beset, Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret. The
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mix'd with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown where gentler ocean deigns to smile.
As thus within the walls of Pattas' fane
I mark'd the beauties of the land and main,
Alone and friendless on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poet's lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turn'd to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from man,
The past return'd, the present seem'd to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece.
Hours roll'd along, and Dian's orb on high Had gain’d the centre of her softest sky, And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod O'er the vain shrine of many a vanish'd god : But chiefly, Pallas! thine: when Hecate's glare Check'd by the columns, fell more sadly fair O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread Thrills the lone heart, like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused and treasured every trace The wreck of Greece recorded of her race, When lo! a giant-form before me strode, And Pallas hail'd me in her own abode. Yes—'twas MINERVA's self—but ah! how changed Since o'er the Dardan field in arms she ranged !
Not such as erst by her divine command,
Her form appear’d from Phidias' plastic hand.
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was deep indented, and her lance
Seem'd weak and shaftless e'en to mortal glance:
The olive branch, which still she deign'd to clasp,
Shrunk from her hand and withered in her grasp.
And ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedew'd her large blue eye;
Round her rent casque her owlet circled slow;
And mourn'd his mistress with a shriek of wo.
“ Mortal !” ('twas thus she spoke) “that blush of
Proclaims thee Briton-once a noble name-
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honour'd less by all, but least by me;
Chief of thy foes shall PALLAS still be found:
Seek'st thou the cause ? oh, Mortal! look around,
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive tyrannies expire ;
'Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant violated fane,
Recount the relics torn that yet remain ;
These Cecrops placed—this Pericles adorn'd
That Hadrian rear'dwhen drooping Science mourn'd.