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Vowing to pay their toil in such a sort
Such was the malice, sudden in its growth,
SONNETS OF CAMOENS.
(Translated by Richard Garnett.)
THE beauty of this free aerial height,
With ancient chestnuts shadowy and green;
The gentle course their tranquil banks between
The Sun's descent where mountains shut the scene ;
The foldward faring of the flock serene; The clouds' encounter in their harmless fight; All that boon Nature, aiming to befriend,
Gives of her infinite variety,
The cheated spirit serves but to offend,
The joy that thy companionship would lend
Tagus, whose streams on Lusitania's plain
Fertility and charm at once bestow,
Errant in fairest fields with softest flow, Joy to flower, herb, flock, cattle, nymph, and swain; Alas! beloved flood, in vain, in vain,
My term of dateless exile would I know;
And mournful thus and desolate I go, As deeming never to return again.
My envious fortune, ever wise to tell
How best my joy to sorrow may be changed,
Willeth implacably that we should part. Thee I bewail, her I upbraid. Farewell!
Soon shall these sighs be spent on winds estranged, And alien waters soothe this swelling heart.
Tagus, with countenance how different
We saw and see, and are and have been seen!
Troubled thy waters now, forlorn my mien;
Robs thy bright current of its silvery sheen;
Mine of the brow that, clouded or serene,
Would that we were so in all things, and as pain
So simultaneous joy might feel! but no!
In thy clear mirror, but I cannot know
O for a solitude so absolute,
Rapt from the spite of Fate so far away,
That foot of man hath never entered, nay,
Or lonely glen not anywhere made gay
With plot of pleasant green, or water's play; Such haunt, in fine, as doth my anguish suit! Thus in the entrail of the mountain locked,
I, sepulchred in life, alive in death,
Freely might breathe my plaint; perceiving there The grief whose magnitude naught measureth
Less by the brilliance of the bright day mocked, Soothed by the dark day more than otherwhere.
Country, Life's raft whereby her sea bestows
Redemption from her shipwreck and her shoal;
Luster shed forth on high when tempest's roll
Flight cure be found, and change may Fate control,
Victory I'll sing, and in the shade extol Honor triumphant o'er Ambition's throes.
Here Spring no flower, no fruit doth Autumn scant;
Here crystal waters use with beauty pair;
Here the day finds me, here it leaves me blest: Broken but by the nightingale's descant
Is slumber, seal of peace, and burdening Care,
The goodly apple of this goodly tree
Nature with blood and milk willed to adorn,
That contrast of fair tints together worn Might image virgin shame and purity. Never, when boughs before the tempest see,
Be thou by whirlwind's violence uptorn!
Never thy fruit, of colored charm forlorn,
Pleasant and meet, and dost for me bestrew
Fragrance on air, as on a conqueror's way:
Yet am I storing up in sunny hour
BABYLON AND SION (GOA AND LISBON). Here, where fecundity of Babel frames
Stuff for all ills wherewith the world doth teem;
Where loyal Love is slurred with disesteem,
Where Tyranny o'er Honor lords supreme;
Where blind and erring sovereignty doth deem That God for deeds will be content wi names: Here in this world where whatso is is wrong,
Where Birth and Worth and Wisdom begging go
To doors of Avarice and Villainy,
My days, because I must. Woe to me! woe!
ON THE DEATH OF A COMRADE IN AFRICA.
Few years and evil to my life were lent,
All with hard toil and misery replete:
Light did so swiftly from my eyes retreat, That ere five lusters quite were gone, I went.
Ocean I roamed and isle and continent,
Seeking some remedy for life unsweet;
But he whom Fortune will not frankly meet,
Where Alemquer the blooming nurtured me;
But, feeble foul contagion to withstand,
Lashest the churlish Abyssinian strand,
COMPOSED IN PRISON.
Brooding in sadness o'er my evil case,
As past me Day and Night alternate steal,
I to my darksome cell my woe unseal, Summing the number of the wasted days. They pass
like shadows on the silent ways, Nor fruit of them doth their slow march reveal,
Save this — they are no more: while Fortune's wheel Turns on, and dizzily my spirit sways. Stupid and dazed with dull confinement's clog,
My erring sense avails not to decide
If I am proffering speech to stander-by,
Nor can I certainly declare if I
How far accumulating years extend
The travel of my weary pilgrimage!
How swiftly my allotted span of age
The remedy I had I lost; and, sage
By schooling, with mistrustful heart presage
Lost to my sight ere half the race be run;
Thousand times thrown, I faint upon the slope:
My eyes, and by their witness knowledge take
THE GOLDEN AGE.
[From "Aminta.''] (TORQUATO Tasso, an Italian poet, was born at Sorrento, March 11, 1544, the son of Bernardo Tasso, a poet of considerable distinction. He received his early education in Naples, Rome, Pesaro, and Venice, and in compliance with his father's wish studied law at Padua, but soon abandoned it after the successful reception of his poem “Rinaldo.” He then repaired to Bologna, where he studied philosophy, made the acquaintance of distinguished literary men, and worked upon his great epic “Gerusalemme Liberata” (Jerusalem Delivered). In 1565 he entered the service of Cardinal Luigi d'Este and later that of Alfonso II., reigning duke of Ferrara. During the latter part of his life he suffered from attacks of insanity, and finally became so violent in accusing the duke of a design to poison him that he was placed in a lunatic asylum. Having been released at the intercession of Prince Gonzaga of Mantua, he wandered from city to city, broken in health and spirits. In 1595 he was summoned to Rome by Pope Clement VIII. to receive the honor of a public coronation, but fell ill on his arrival, and died April 22, 1595. His chief production, “ Jerusalem Delivered,” is a heroic record of the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders under the command of Godfrey de Bouillon. Other works are: “ Aminta,” a pastoral drama; “ Torrismondo," a tragedy; and several lyric poems.)
O LOVELY age of gold !
Not that the rivers rolled
Not that the ready ground
Produced without a wound,
Not that a cloudless blue
Forever was in sight,
And now is cold by turns,
No, nor that even the insolent ships from far
But solely that that vain
And breath-invented pain,
That Honor — since so called
By vulgar minds appalled,
It had not come to fret
The sweet and happy fold