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Oft on thy struggle through the obscure unrest
A revelation opened from the Blest-
Showed close at hand the goal thy hope would win,
Heaven's kingdom round thee and thy God within.
So sure a help the eternal Guardians gave,
From Life's confusion so were strong to save,
Upheld thy wandering steps that sought the day
And set them steadfast on the heavenly way.
Nor quite even here on thy broad brows was shed
The sleep which shrouds the living, who are dead;
Once by God's grace was from thine eyes unfurled
This veil that screens the immense and whirling world,
Once, while the spheres around thee in music ran,
Was very Beauty manifest to man;-
Ah, once to have seen her, once to have known her there,
For speech too sweet, for earth too heavenly fair!
But now the tomb where long thy soul had lain
Bursts, and thy tabernacle is rent in twain ;
Now from about thee, in thy new home above,
Has perished all but life, and all but love, -
And on all lives and on all loves outpoured
Free grace and full, a Spirit from the Lord,
High in that heaven whose windless vaults enfold
Just men made perfect, and an age all gold.
Thine own Pythagoras is with thee there,
And sacred Plato in that sacred air,
And whoso followed, and all high hearts that knew
In death's despite what deathless Love can do.
To God's right hand they have scaled the starry way –
Pure spirits these, thy spirit pure as they.
Ah saint! how many and many an anguish past,
To how fair haven art thou come at last!
On thy meek head what Powers their blessing pour,
Filled full with life, and rich for evermore !




It would not have been conformable either to human nature in general, or to Greek nature in particular, if the country and the literature that produced Aristophanes should not in its less

By permission of W. Blackwood and Sons.


serious compositions have given some place for wit and sarcasm. We find, accordingly, that these elements are not wanting. A great many epigrams both of a jocular and of a satirical kind are well deserving of notice, of which specimens shall now be given.

Nowhere, perhaps, are the proper objects of ridicule better set forth than in the Introduction to one of Foote's farces. He refuses to bring on the stage mere bodily defects or natural misfortunes ; and when asked to say at what things we may laugh with propriety, answers thus : “At an old beau, a superannuated beauty, a military coward, a stuttering orator, or a gouty dancer. In short, whoever affects to be what he is not, or strives to be what he cannot, is an object worthy the poet's pen and your mirth.”

We do not say that the Greek epigrammatist always abstained from making merry at mere bodily defects; but we shall avoid as much as possible those that have no other recommendation. The proper object of ridicule is surely Folly, and the proper object of satire, Vice. Within the present section, however, will be included not merely the ridicule of sarcasm and the attacks of satire, but any also of those merry or witty views of nature and things that tend to produce sympathetic laughter.

Of bodily peculiarities there are some at which it is difficult not to smile; and if it is done good-humoredly, and rather as a warning to abstain from vanity or conceit, there is no harm in it. Many of such epigrams were probably written upon merely imaginary persons :


(Attributed to the Emperor Trajan: the translation old.)

With nose so long and mouth so wide,
And those twelve grinders side by side,
Dick, with a very little trial,
Would make an excellent sundial.

Some of the critics are greatly delighted to find that in this epigram the Emperor's knowledge of Greek was not such as to prevent him committing a false quantity.


(By Lucilius : translated by Cowper.)
Beware, my friend! of crystal brook
Or fountain, lest that hideous hook,

Thy nose, thou chance to see;
Narcissus' fate would then be thine,
And self-detested thou wouldst pine,

As self-enamored he.


(Anonymous : translated by Merivale.)
Dick cannot blow his nose whene'er he pleases,

His nose so long is, and his arm so short;
Nor ever cries, God bless me! when he sneezes-

He cannot hear so distant a report. A variety of trades and professions have been traditional objects of ridicule. Schoolmasters and professors come in for their share.


(By Lucilius.)

You in your school forever flog and flay us,
Teaching what Paris did to Menelaus;
But all the while, within your private dwelling,
There's many a Paris courting of your Helen.


Hail, Aristides, Rhetoric's great professor!
Of wondrous words we own thee the possessor.
Hail ye, his pupils seven, that mutely hear him-

His room's four walls, and the three benches near him! This that follows is on Cadmus, without whom there might have been no grammar, and little rhetoric. It is said to be by Zeno— not the philosopher, we presume. We give first a translation by Wellesley :

Take it not ill that Cadmus, Phænician though he be,
Can say that Greece was taught by him to write her A, B, C.

This is good ; but even “ English readers ” may know that A, B, C, is not the right name of the Greek alphabet. Let us respectfully propose a slight change :

Cadmus am I: then grudge me not the boast, that, though I am a Phænician born, I taught you Greeks your Alpha, Beta, Gamma.

The medical profession as usual comes in for some of those touches which we are ready enough to give or to enjoy when we are not actually in their hands.



Damon, who plied the Undertaker's trade,
With Doctor Crateas an agreement made.
What linens Damon from the dead could seize,
He to the doctor sent for bandages;
While the good Doctor, here no promise breaker,
Sent all his patients to the Undertaker.


(By Agathias.)

A thriving doctor sent his son to school
To gain some knowledge, should he prove no fool;
But took him soon away with little warning,
On finding out the lesson he was learning -
How great Pelides' wrath, in Homer's rhyme,

souls to Hades ere their time.
“No need for this my boy should hither come;
That lesson he can better learn at home-
For I myself, now, I make bold to say,
Send many souls to Hades ere their day,
Nor e'er find want of Grammar stop my way.”

Musical attempts, when unsuccessful, are a fruitful and fair subject of ridicule. The following is by Nicarchus :

Men die when the night raven sings or cries:
But when Dick sings, e'en the night raven dies.


(By Leonidas.)

The harper Simylus, the whole night through,
Harped till his music all the neighbors slew :
All but deaf Origen, for whose dull ears
Nature atoned by giving length of years.


(By Ammianus : the translation altered from Wellesley.)

Nicias, a doctor and musician,
Lies under very foul suspicion.
He sings, and without any shame

He murders all the finest music:
Does he prescribe ? our fate's the same,

If he shall e'er find me or you sick.
Unsuccessful painters, too, are sneered at. This is by
Lucilius :

Eutychus many portraits made, and many sons begot;
But, strange to say ! none ever saw a likeness in the lot.

Compliments to the fair sex are often paid by the epigrammatists in a manner at once witty and graceful.

We have seen how Sappho was described as a tenth Muse; but this epigram by an unknown author goes further. The translation is old and anonymous, though borrowed apparently from one by Swift, on which it has improved. It has been slightly altered :

The world must now two Venuses adore ;
Ten are the Muses, and the Graces four.
Such Dora's wit, so fair her form and face,

She's a new Muse, a Venus, and a Grace. We find an adaptation of this to an accomplished Cornish lady, in an old magazine :

Now the Graces are four and the Venuses two,

And ten is the number of Muses;
For a Muse and a Grace and a Venus are you,

My dear little Molly Trefusis.

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