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- My endeavour has been to render the sense of my author as nearly as possible, which could never be done merely by translating his words.
Orlando Furioso of Ludovico Ariosto (1773)
- The spotless maid is like the blooming rose
Which on its native stem unsullied grows;
Where fencing walls the garden-space surround,
Nor swains, nor browsing cattle tread the ground.
But if some hand the tender stalk invades,
Lost is its beauty, and its colour fades:
No more the care of heaven, or garden's boast,
And all its praise with youths and maidens lost.
- Book I, line 300
- Love what we see can from our sight remove,
And things invisible are seen by Love.
- Book I, line 396
- Ah! why so rare does cruel Love inspire
Two tender bosoms with a mutual fire?
Say, whence, perfidious, dost thou pleasure find
To sow dissension in the human mind?
- Book II, line 1
- What has that wretched damsel left to boast,
What good on earth, whose virtuous praise is lost?
- Book VIII, line 285
- So from a water clear, the trembling light
Of Phoebus, or the silver queen of night,
Along the spacious rooms with splendour plays,
Now high, now low, and shifts a thousand ways.
- Book VIII, line 490
- The youth, who pants to gain the amorous prize,
Forgets that Heaven with all-discerning eyes
Surveys the secret heart; and when desire
Has, in possession, quenched its short-lived fire,
The devious winds aside each promise bear,
And scatter all his solemn vows in air!
- Book X, line 24
- Reflect, ye gentle dames, that much they know,
Who gain experience from another's woe.
- Book X, line 32
- What more our folly shows,
Than while we others seek, ourselves to lose?
- Book XXIV, line 7
- In blaming others, fools their folly show,
And most attempt to speak when least they know.
- Book XXVIII, line 7
- For oft the grace
Of costly vest improves a beauteous face.
- Book XXVIII, line 82
- Of all the sex this certain truth is known,
No woman yet was ever content with one.
- Book XXVIII, line 370
- To others never do
That which yourselves would wish undone to you.
- Book XXVIII, line 591
- Behold the state of man's unstable mind,
Still prone to change with every changing wind!
All our resolves are weak, but weakest prove
Where sprung from sense of disappointed love.
- Book XXIX, line 1
- Never let us utter what we never can know,
And chiefly when it works another's woe.
- Book XXXII, line 753
- But such their power who rule with tyrant sway,
Whom most they loath the people most obey.
- Book XXXVII, line 774
- When Fame, O monarch! good or evil tells,
Evil or good beyond the truth she swells.
- Book XXXVIII, line 327
- And Neptune's white herds low above the wave.
- Book XLI, line 66
- These friendly words awhile consoled the fair;
For grief imparted oft alleviates care.
- Book XLII, line 202
- Not beauty, wealth, or lineage e'er could raise
A woman's name (he said) to height of praise,
If not in action chaste.
- Book XLIII, line 628
- When highest placed on giddy Fortune's wheel,
Unhappy man must soon expect to feel
A sad reverse, and in the changing round
With rapid whirl as sudden touch the ground.
- Book XLV, line 1
Dramas and Other Poems of Metastasio (1800)
- The toils of honour dignify repose.
- "Achilles in Scyros", Act III, last scene
- 'Tis often constancy to change the mind.
- "Siroes", Act I, scene viii
- For while the treason I detest,
The traitor still I love.
- "Romulus and Hersilia", Act I, scene v