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laughed at my juvenile gallantry when my eye has met the copy of verses in overhauling my papers. "Tommy saw it, grasped it with avidity; and I find he has given it, word for word, in an English shape in his “ Irish Melodies.” Let the intelligent reader judge if he has done common justice to my young muse.
in pulchram Lactiferam.
Carmen, Auctore Prout.
Lesbia semper hinc et indè
Oculorum tela movit ; Captat omnes,
sed deindè Quis ametur nemo novit. Palpebrarum, Nora cara,
Lux tuarum non est foris, Flamma micat ibi rara,
Sed sinceri lux amoris. Nora Creina sit regina,
Vultu, gressu tam modesto! Hæc, puellas inter bellas,
Jure omuium dux esto!
to a beautiful Milkmaid.
A Melody, by Thomas Moore.
Like unexpected light surprises,
In many eyes
Lesbia vestes auro graves
Fert, et gemmis, juxta normam; Gratiæ sed, eheu! suaves
Cinctam reliquêre formam. Noræ tunicam præferres,
Flante zephyro volantem ; Oculis et raptis erres
Contemplando ambulantem ! Vesta Nora tấm decora
Semper indui memento, Semper puræ sic naturæ
Ibis tecta vestimento,
Lesbia wears a robe of goll;
placed it. 0, my Norah's
To sink orswell as Heaven pleases.
Lesbia hath a wit refined ;
ing round us,
To dazzle merely, or to wound
Lesbia mentis præfert lumen,
Quod coruscat perlibenter; Sed quis optet lioc acrinen,
Quando acupuncta dentur ?
Nisi crispæ ruga rosæ.
Expers usque tenebrarum, Tu cor pulves per tot dulces
Dotes, ícnis illecebrarum !
Pillow'd on my Norah's breast,
reposes-Bed of peace, whose roughest part
Is but the crumpling of the roses.
Wit, though bright,
Hath not the light
It will be seen by these specimens that Tom Moore can eke out a tolerably fair translation of any given ballad ; and indeed, to translate properly, retaining all the fire and spirit of the original, is a merit not to be sneezed at-it is the next best thing to having a genius of one's own; for he) who can execute a clever forgery, and make it pass current, is almost as well off as the capitalist who can draw a substantial check on the bank of sterling genius : so, to give the devil his due, I must acknowledge that in terseness, point, pathos, and elegance, Moore's translations of these French and Latin trifles are very near as good as the primary compositions themselves. He has not been half so lucky in hitting off Anacreon; but he was a young man then, and a wild fellow ;” since which time it is thought that he has got to that climacteric in life to which few poets attain, viz. the years of discretion. A predatory sort of life, the career of a literary freebooter, has had great charms for him from his cradle ; and I am afraid that he will pursue it on to final impenitence. He seems to care little about the stern reception he will one day receive from that inflexible judge, Rhadamanthus, who will make him confess all his rogueries—“ Castigatque dolos, subigitque fateri”our bard being of that epicurean and careless turn of mind 50 strikingly expressed in these lines of "Lalla Rookh"
“O! if there be an Elysium on earth,
It is this ! it is this !"
Which verses, by the by, are alone enough to convict him of downright plagiarism and robbery; for they are (as Tommy knows right well) to be seen written in large letters in the Mogul language over the audience-chamber of the King of Delhi :* in fact, to examine and overhaul his “ Lalla Rookh" would be a most diverting task, which I may one day undertake. He will be found to have been a chartered pirate in the Persian Gulf, as he was a highwayman in Europe, “spoliis Orientis onustum.”
But the favourite field in wbich Tommy has carried on his depredations, to an almost incredible extent, is that of the early French troubadours, whose property he has thought fair game, availing himself thereof without scruple. In his soidisunt “ Irish” Melodies, and indeed in all his effusions of more refined gallantry, he has poured in a large infusion of the spirit and the letter of southern France. To be sure, he has mixed up with the pure, simple, and genuine inspirations of these primitive hearts, who loved, in the olden time, after nature's fashion, much of his own overstrained fancy, strange conceits, and forced metapbors; but the initiated can easily distinguish when it is he speaketh in propria personá, and when it is that he uses the pathetic and soulstirring language of the ménéstrels of Gaul, those legitimate laureates of love. There has been a squib fired off by some wag of the sixteenth century against an old astrologer, who practised many rogueries in his generation, and which I think not inapplicable to Moore : “ Nostra damus cùm falsa damus, nam fallere nostrum est :
Et cùm falsa damus, non nisi Nostra damus.” Au, only it were a profanation to place two such person. ages in juxtaposition, I would say that Moore might use the affecting, the soul-rending appeal of the ill-fated Mary StuRrt, addressed to that land of song and civilisation which she was quitting for ever, when she exclaimed, as the Gallic shore receded from her view, that “ half of her beart would still be found on the loved plains of France, and even the other half pined to rejoin it in its primitive abodes of pleasantness and joy.” The song of the unfortunate queen is too
* See the “ Asiatic Journal” for May, 1834, p. 2.