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5. In prose: breitet sich schon Abendgewölf aus. See our note on XVIII. 23. 7. ehmals in times of old.' 8. prächtige Steine= Edelsteine gems.'
9. tie betagteren Fischer 'the aged among the fishermen.' Formerly these lucky 'finds' were more frequent than nowadays.
und=und zwar.—The proper arrangement of words would be unt was (=etwas) recht Köstliches.
Platen himself has the following note: Diese Verse beziehen sich, wie man leicht errathen wird, auf die starte Phosphorescenz der Lagune, die an gewissen Sommerabenden außerordentlich ist, und die angeführten Wirkungen Hervorbringt.
13. vergoldet is the past participle.
15. The 'piazza' of the village is more frequented (besuchter) on a feast. day than on ordinary days, when the young men go out fishing.
16. Staat denotes here, as it often does, the best clothes worn only on special occasions.—mein Freund is a delicate designation of her lover; comp. below v. 42.
26. ganz ohne Beschwerde=ohne daß es ihnen im Geringsten schwer wurde.
27. bewandert well-versed' in tales and legends. This should not be mistaken for gewandert.
28, 29. We subjoin Platen's own note on this line. Olivolo, durch eine Brüđe mit Venedig verbunden, liegt am östlichsten Punkte der Stadt und ist der Siß tes Patriarchats, das in der neuesten Zeit nach St. Marcus versekt worden. Der Naub der venetianischen Bräute fällt in's neunte Jahrhundert : doch wurde bis zum Untergang der Republik jährlich das Fest gefeiert, tas jenen Vorfall verherrlichen sollte. Man nannte es la festa delle Marie.
29. The girls were going to the wedding of one of their companions.
30. Mahlschaf means here a wedding gift,' for the first part of the word we may compare the words Gemahl and ver-mählen. 32. Unthat means 'a bad deed'
-a very common sense of the prefix un (comp. Un-fraut 'an ill weed,' Un-mensch a bad man,' etc.). We should also notice the emphatic expression Thater der Unthat 'doer of evil deeds.'
37. Doge (from the Lat. duce-m, acc. of dux) was the appellation given to the chief of the Venetian republic.
40. ehrlich honest’: an epithet intended to express the truthfulness of the old man's account.
41. The young girl's lover is so strong and active that he too would be able to do deeds like those of the heroes of olden times.-Vorwelt='men of yore.'
44. falzige Wasserkanäle instead of Kanäle von salzigem Wasser.
45. verschlammt=durch Schlamm verdorben.-Reben is here used in the sense of vineyards.'
46. Platen himself observes as follows: Der Dom von Torcello ward im Jahr 1008 gegründet. Einen alten Bischofsstuhl, der im Freien steht, nennt das Volt den Stuhl des Attila. Attila spielt überhaupt noch immer eine Rolle in Venedig, und das stärkste und gewöhnlichste Schimpfwort daselbst, fiol d'un can, schreibt sich ohne Zweifel von ihm her. Denn die meisten venetianischen Chroniken berichten uns, daß Attila ber Sohn eines Hundes gewesen. Diese Meinung beruht auf einer Sprachvers wechslung, deren sich der Volkshaß blos bemächtigte, denn in einigen Chroniken findet man den hunnischen Autokraten auch als Sohn eines Chans bezeichnet.
48. The winged lion was the emblem of the republic of Venice.
49. ragt=emporragt, ‘rises up.'-Nel tempo di S. Marco ist der Ausdrud, tessen sich das gemeine Vole in Venedig bedient, um die Republik zu bezeichnen. (Platen).
51. heimisch 'home-grown, home-made '; ein 5. Lied is here the appellation of a popular song. In the following line, the first words of these songs are given.
Taormina is the ancient Tauromenium, 'a city on the E. coast of Sicily, situated on the hill of Taurus, from which it derived its name, and founded B.C. 358 by Andromachus and peopled with the surviving inhabitants of Naxos' (Class. Dict.). The modern Taormina is a miserable place, chiefly memorable for the splendid ruins of the ancient theatre, on a cliff projecting into the sea, with a magnificent view.
1. vergänglich 'easily dissolved, easily passing away.'-schneeig=schneebedeďt.
3. In prose : fteil thürmt sich die Stadt auf.
5. verglühen means 'to pass away in a glow. The distant coasts of Italy seem to melt away in the glowing sunshine.
6. fifulisch is more classical (comp. Lat. Siculus) than the common sicilisch.-Aue is here used as an equivalent of Gefilde; but originally it means a well-watered field.
7. felsenumschattet shaded by rocks,' i. e. the rocks throw their shadow across the little bay.
8. selig (orig. happy, blessed' from sala 'bliss,' comp. 0. E. silly = 'happy') is the epithet given to deities in imitation of the Greek udkap, often used so by Homer.
9. erfreut, sc. Haben. So again in the following line. — ich einer Sache erfreuen ‘to enjoy something.'—Die Krystalfluth is less usual than die krystallene Fluth.
The place of auch is rather unusual, we should expect oder auch.There is a peculiar charm in listening to the ever-returning dashing of the
surging waves. The nymphs are either in the water or outside, lazily listening to the noise of the dashing waves.
11. Weither, from Bavaria in Germany.—The soil of Sicily may well be called griechischer Boden, since it was in ancient times inhabited by Greeks.
The influence of a southern sky and a melodious language is supposed by the poet to soften the peculiar harshness of the German idiom. Hence the expression weichere Laute.
14. du is addressed to the deutscher Gesang, which is said to have put forth fragrant blossoms as far back as six hundred years. This is an allusion to the first great period of German literature, in the twelfth century, when Walter von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach were chiefly reputed as lyric poets, though the latter is still better known as an epic poet.—The island of Sicily was at that time governed by the German family of Hohenstaufen, on whom Naples and Sicily had devolved by the marriage of Constance, the heiress of that kingdom, with Henry VI., the son of Frederick Barbarossa. Frederick II., the son of Constance, was born in Sicily.
16. Minnegesang (properly song of love,' from Minne, an ancient German word, denoting 'love') is the name specially given to the lyric poetry of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
17. There is a long interval between the first mediæval period and the great poets of the nineteenth century, but this interval has its parallel in the literature of ancient Greece, in which more than three centuries elapsed between Homer and Sappho, the great lyric poetess.
18. flohn= entflohn.
19. Sappho was one of the leaders of the Aeolian school of lyric poetry. She was a native of Mytilene, or, as some said, of Eresos in Lesbos. Horace, Od. II. 13. 24, speaks of Aeoliae fides.
20. Probably an allusion to the struggles of the Greeks who were then trying to form themselves into a new state, after throwing off the yoke of the Turks.
21. Denen sie dann neuträftig entwachsen (=herauswachsen), ‘from which they emerge with renewed strength.'
23. German poetry is said to be still drowsy and bashful, as if diffident of its strength.
24. ftählen 'to steel'=strengthen, stärken.
27. Ewald von Kleist was born March 3, 1715, and died Aug. 24, 1759, at Frankfort-on-the-Oder, in consequence of the wounds he had received in the battle of Kunersdorf, Aug. 12, 1759. One of his patriotic poems on the Prussian army will be found in the appendix to G. Freytag's Staat Friedrich
tes Großen edited in the Pitt Press Series.—Gottfried Avgust Bürger, born Jan. I, 1748, in the Harz, died at Göttingen on June 8, 1794, one of the greatest lyric poets of the eighteenth century, though a man of loose and irregular habits.—There are two poets of the name of Stolberg: the two brothers Christian and Friedrich Leopold. The former was born on Oct. 15, 1748, at Hamburg, and died at Windebye, near Eckernförde, Jan. 18, 1821. He is chiefly known by his translations from the Greek. The second, who is probably alluded to here, was born Nov. 7, 1750, and died on Dec. 6, 1819, after having become a convert to the Roman Catholic church. He is more eminent as a lyric poet.
29. Friedrich Gottlob Klopstod, born at Quedlinburg, July 2, 1724, died at Hamburg, March 14, 1803, the author of the great epic poem the Messias, and many lyric poems, chiefly hymns and odes.—Schiller and Goethe may, of course, be presumed to be generally known.
30. Friedrich Rüdert, one of the most eminent German poets of the present century, was born on May 16, 1788, at Schweinfurt, died on his estate near Coburg, Jan. 31, 1866.-Johann Ludwig Uhland, one of the most popular poets of Germany, was born at Tübingen, April 26, 1787, and died there Nov. 13, 1862.
31. benachtig 'thoughtful' (Männer, welche die Sache bedacht haben).
32. liebliche Aeste may be easily understood of the laurel used as the or. nament of a poet's head. Comp. V. 40.
33. The appellation ein von Gefängen umfluthetes Eiland is highly poetical ; just as the watery waves of the sea surround Sicily, it may also be said to have once been surrounded with floating waves of harmony.
34. Epicharmus, born in the island of Cos, about 540 B, C., was carried to Megara in Sicily in his infancy, and spent the latter part of his life at Syracuse at the court of Hiero. He died at the age of 90 (450) or 97 (443). He was not a lyric poet, as one might be inclined to infer from the present passage, but a writer of comedy or rather comic scenes.
35. Stesichorus of Himera in Sicily, a celebrated poet, is said to have been born B. C. 632, to have flourished about 608, and to have died in 552, at the age of 80. Stesichorus was one of the nine chiefs of lyric poetry recognized by the ancients (Class. Dict.).—Simonides of Ceos, one of the most celebrated lyric poets of Greece, was invited to Syracuse by Hiero, at whose court he lived till his death, in 467. The chief characteristics of his poetry were sweetness and elaborate finish, combined with true poetic conception and perfect power of expression.
36. Íbycus, the lyric poet, was a native of Rhegium—just opposite the island of Sicily, on the Straits of Messana. The legend of the marvellous
detection of his murderers is well known and has been made the subject of a very popular ballad by Schiller.—Aeschylus, the celebrated tragic poet, born at Eleusis B.C. 525, left Athens for Sicily after he had been defeated in a tragic contest by his younger rival Sophocles; he died at Gela in 456, in the 69th year of his age.--It is well-known that the ancients used to deposit the ashes of their dead in urns or sepulcral vases.
37. Pindar, the greatest lyric poet of Greece, was born at Cynoscephalae, a village in the territory of Thebes, about B.C. 522. It is not, however, absolutely certain that Pindar visited Sicily, though more than one of his hymns turn on Sicilian affairs.
38. Theocritus, the celebrated bucolic poet, was a native of Syracuse and lived there in the reign of Hiero II. His fame rests on his faithful representations of nature and of country life.
40. The termination of the pentameter (bewilligetest) is rather awkward.
41 sq. The poet means to say that, though aspiring after poetic laurels, he does not desire them for himself alone, but wishes to honour his country by adding new poetic treasures to her literature.
This is a genuine eldurion—a small picture of a scene of natural beauty.
Observe the faulty trochee eine in the first foot of this line.—In prose we should say: man kann sie nicht schöner malen.
4. No neighbouring tree comes so near this beech as to touch its branches.
5. Das Gezweig is the collective of der Zweig, just as das Gebirg is of der Berg.
6. ftill 'quietly'; the delight derived from the contemplation of the green grassplot is of a quiet kind, since the eye is not distracted by a great variety of colours.
7. gleich "equally,'i.e. to an equal distance.—umzirken is rare instead of umzirkeln, i. e. to surround in a circle. 8. funstlos, unassisted by art.
At some distance from the beech, high trees begin again to rise and prevent the blue sky being seen through their branches.
13. The poet lost in admiration of the new creations called forth by summer, strayed into the thicket and discovered this splendid tree.
15. The protecting deity of the wood is said to have listened to the footsteps of the poet and to have led him to this secluded spot.
17. The 'hour of noon’ is called 'high' because at that time the sun stands high above our heads.