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- Poemata (William Cowper, trans.) - 1/17 -


POEMATA: LATIN, GREEK AND ITALIAN POEMS BY JOHN MILTON (Translated by William Cowper).

Digraphs, accents and italics have been omitted. Spelling has been modernized. Some notes and Titles have been slightly edited without comment. Notes follow the poem to which they refer.

CONTENTS

Complimentary Pieces Addressed to the Author.

1. Elegies

Elegy I -To Charles Diodati. Elegy II -On the Death of the University Beadle at Cambridge. Elegy III-On the Death of the Bishop of Winchester. Elegy IV -To My Tutor, Thomas Young. Elegy V -On the Approach of Spring. Elegy VI -To Charles Diodati. Elegy VII On the Gunpowder Plot. Another on the Same. Another on the Same. Another on the Same. On the Invention of Gunpowder. To Leonora, Singing in Rome. Another to the Same. Another to the Same. The Fable of the Peasant and his Landlord.

2. Poems in Various Metres.

On the Death of the Vice-Chancellor, a Physician. On the Fifth of November. On the Death of the Bishop of Ely. That Nature is Not Subject to Decay. On the Platonic Ideal as Understood by Aristotle. To My Father. Psalm CXIV. The Philosopher and the King. On the Engraver of his Portrait. To Giovanni Salzilli. To Giovanni Battista Manso. The Death of Damon. To John Rouse.

3. Translations of the Italian Poems.

Appendix: To Christina, Queen of Sweden. Appendix: Translations of Poems in the Latin Prose Works. Appendix: Translation of a Latin Letter. Appendix: Translations of the Italian Poems by George MacDonald (I876).

Complimentary Pieces Addressed to the Author.

1Well as the author knows that the following testimonies are not so much about as above him, and that men of great ingenuity, as well as our friends, are apt, through abundant zeal, so to praise us as rather to draw their own likeness than ours, he was yet unwilling that the world should remain always ignorant of compositions that do him so much honour; and especially because he has other friends, who have, with much importunity, solicited their publication. Aware that excessive commendation awakens envy, he would with both hands thrust it from him, preferring just so much of that dangerous tribute as may of right belong to him; but at the same time he cannot deny that he sets the highest value on the suffrages of judicious and distinguished persons.

1 Milton's Preface, Translated.

1 These complimentary pieces have been sufficiently censured by a great authority, but no very candid judge either of Milton or his panegyrists. He, however, must have a heart sadly indifferent to the glory of his country, who is not gratified by the thought that she may exult in a son whom, young as he was, the Learned of Italy thus contended to honour.--W.C.

The Neapolitan, Giovanni Battista Manso, Marquis of Villa, to the Englishman, John Milton.

What features, form, mien, manners, with a mind Oh how intelligent, and how refined! Were but thy piety from fault as free, Thou wouldst no Angle1 but an Angel be.

1 The reader will perceive that the word "Angle" (i.e. Anglo- Saxon) is essential, because the epigram turns upon it.--W.C.

An Epigram Addressed to the Englishman, John Milton, a Poet Worthy of the Three Laurels of Poesy, the Grecian, Latin, and Etruscan, by Giovanni Salzilli of Rome

Meles1 and Mincio both your urns depress! Sebetus, boast henceforth thy Tasso less! But let the Thames o'erpeer all floods, since he, For Milton famed, shall, single, match the three.

1 Meles is a river of Ionia, in the neighborhood of Smyrna, whence Homer is called Melesigenes. The Mincio watered the city of Mantua famous as the birthplace of Virgil. Sebetus is now called the Fiume della Maddalena--it runs through Naples.--W.C.

To John Milton.

Greece sound thy Homer's, Rome thy Virgil's name, But England's Milton equals both in fame. --Selvaggi.

To John Milton, English Gentleman.

An Ode.

Exalt Me, Clio,1 to the skies, That I may form a starry crown, Beyond what Helicon supplies In laureate garlands of renown; To nobler worth be brighter glory given, And to a heavenly mind a recompense from heaven.

Time's wasteful hunger cannot prey On everlasting high desert, Nor can Oblivion steal away Its record graven on the heart; Lodge but an arrow, Virtue, on the bow That binds my lyre, and death shall be a vanquished foe.

In Ocean's blazing flood enshrined. Whose vassal tide around her swells, Albion. from other realms disjoined, The prowess of the world excels; She teems with heroes that to glory rise, With more than human force in our astonished eyes.

To Virtue, driven from other lands, Their bosoms yield a safe retreat; Her law alone their deed commands, Her smiles they feel divinely sweet; Confirm my record, Milton, generous youth! And by true virtue prove thy virtue's praise a truth.

Zeuxis, all energy and flaine, Set ardent forth in his career, Urged to his task by Helen's fame, Resounding ever in his ear; To make his image to her beauty true, From the collected fair each sovereign charm he drew.2

The bee, with subtlest skill endued, Thus toils to earn her precious juice, From all the flowery myriads strewed O'er meadow and parterre profuse; Confederate voices one sweet air compound, And various chords consent in one harmonious sound.

An artist of celestial aim, Thy genius, caught by moral grace, With ardent emulation's flame The steps of Virtue toiled to trace, Observed in everv land who brightest shone, And blending all their best, make perfect good thy own.

Front all in Florence born, or taught Our country's sweetest accent there, Whose works, with learned labor wrought, Immortal honors justly share, Then hast such treasure drawn of purest ore, That not even Tuscan bards can boast a richer store.

Babel, confused, and with her towers Unfinished spreading wide and plain, Has served but to evince thy powers, With all hot, tongues confused in vain, Since not alone thy England's purest phrase, But every polished realm thy various speech displays.

The secret things of heaven and earth, By nature, too reserved. concealed From other minds of highest worth, To thee ate copiously revealed; Thou knowest them clearly, and thy views attain The utmost bounds prescribed to moral truth's domain.

Let Time no snore his wing display, And boast his ruinous career,


Poemata (William Cowper, trans.) - 1/17

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