- And say, has fame so dear, so dazzling charms?
Must brutal fierceness and the trade of arms,
Conquest, and laurels dipt in blood, be prized,
While life is scorn'd, and all its joys despised?
- The Lusiad (1776), Book IV, pp. 185.
- Let the cravens who contend that the free genius and taste of divine Virgil were prisoners of Homer's inventions hold their peace. It was not thus. The arguments of Homer which nature proposed to him were corrected by Virgil as a schoolboy's theme by his professor.
- Julius Caesar Scaliger, Poetices (1561), Book V, Ch. 3; as quoted in "Life of Julius Caesar Scaliger (1484-1558)" by Vernon Hall, Jr. — Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 40, Part 2 (October, 1950), p. 153
Nor would I scruple, with a due regard,
To read sometimes a rude unpolish'd bard;
Among whose labours I may find a line,
Which from unsightly rust I may refine,
And, with a better grace, adopt it into mine.
Nin = Adalgisa!
- ... no tempo que a luz clara
Foge, e as estrelas nítidas que saem
A repouso convidam quando caem,
Estando já deitado no áureo leito,
Onde imaginações mais certas são,
Revolvendo contino no conceito
De seu ofício e sangue a obrigação,
Os olhos lhe ocupou o sono aceito,
Sem lhe desocupar o coração;
Porque, tanto que lasso se adormece,
Morfeu em várias formas lhe aparece.
Aqui se lhe apresenta que subia
Tão alto que tocava à prima Esfera,
Donde diante vários mundos via,
Nações de muita gente, estranha e fera.
E lá bem junto donde nace o dia,
Despois que os olhos longos estendera,
Viu de antigos, longincos e altos montes
Nacerem duas claras e altas fontes.
Aves agrestes, feras e alimárias
Pelo monte selvático habitavam;
Mil árvores silvestres e ervas várias
O passo e o trato às gentes atalhavam.
Estas duras montanhas, adversárias
De mais conversação, por si mostravam
Que, dês que Adão pecou aos nossos anos,
Não as romperam nunca pés humanos.
Das águas se lhe antolha que saíam,
Par' ele os largos passos inclinando,
Dous homens, que mui velhos pareciam,
De aspeito, inda que agreste, venerando.
Das pontas dos cabelos lhe saíam
Gotas, que o corpo todo vão banhando;
A cor da pele, baça e denegrida;
A barba hirsuta, intonsa, mas comprida.
D'ambos de dous a fronte coroada
Ramos não conhecidos e ervas tinha.
Um deles a presença traz cansada,
Como quem de mais longe ali caminha;
E assi a água, com ímpeto alterada,
Parecia que doutra parte vinha,
Bem como Alfeu de Arcádia em Siracusa
Vai buscar os abraços de Aretusa.
Este, que era o mais grave na pessoa,
Destarte pera o Rei de longe brada:
– «Ó tu, a cujos reinos e coroa
Grande parte do mundo está guardada,
Nós outros, cuja fama tanto voa,
Cuja cerviz bem nunca foi domada,
Te avisamos que é tempo que já mandes
A receber de nós tributos grandes.
«Eu sou o ilustre Ganges, que na terra
Celeste tenho o berço verdadeiro;
Estoutro é o Indo, Rei que, nesta serra
Que vês, seu nascimento tem primeiro.
Custar-t'-emos contudo dura guerra;
Mas, insistindo tu, por derradeiro,
Com não vistas vitórias, sem receio
A quantas gentes vês porás o freio.»
Não disse mais o Rio ilustre e santo,
Mas ambos desparecem num momento.
Acorda Emanuel cum novo espanto
E grande alteração de pensamento.
- Now, from the sky, the sacred light withdrawn,
O'er heaven's clear azure shone the stars of dawn,
Deep silence spread her gloomy wings around,
And human griefs were wrapp'd in sleep profound.
The monarch slumber'd on his golden bed,
Yet, anxious cares possess'd his thoughtful head;
His gen'rous soul, intent on public good,
The glorious duties of his birth review'd.
When, sent by Heaven, a sacred dream inspir'd
His lab'ring mind, and with its radiance fir'd:
High to the clouds his tow'ring head was rear'd,
New worlds, and nations fierce, and strange, appear'd;
The purple dawning o'er the mountains flow'd,
The forest-boughs with yellow splendour glow'd;
High, from the steep, two copious glassy streams
Roll'd down, and glitter'd in the morning beams;
Here, various monsters of the wild were seen,
And birds of plumage azure, scarlet, green:
Here, various herbs, and flow'rs of various bloom;
There, black as night, the forest's horrid gloom,
Whose shaggy brakes, by human step untrod,
Darken'd the glaring lion's dread abode.
Here, as the monarch fix'd his wond'ring eyes,
Two hoary fathers from the streams arise;
Their aspect rustic, yet, a reverend grace
Appear'd majestic on their wrinkled face:
Their tawny beards uncomb'd, and sweepy long,
Adown their knees in shaggy ringlets hung;
From every lock the crystal drops distil,
And bathe their limbs, as in a trickling rill;
Gay wreaths of flowers, of fruitage, and of boughs,
(Nameless in Europe), crown'd their furrow'd brows.
Bent o'er his staff, more silver'd o'er with years,
Worn with a longer way, the one appears;
Who now slow beck'ning with his wither'd hand,
As now advanc'd before the king they stand:—
"O thou, whom worlds to Europe yet unknown,
Are doom'd to yield, and dignify thy crown;
To thee our golden shores the Fates decree;
Our necks, unbow'd before, shall bend to thee.
Wide thro' the world resounds our wealthy fame;
Haste, speed thy prows, that fated wealth to claim.
From Paradise my hallow'd waters spring;
The sacred Ganges I, my brother king
Th' illustrious author of the Indian name:
Yet, toil shall languish, and the fight shall flame;
Our fairest lawns with streaming gore shall smoke,
Ere yet our shoulders bend beneath the yoke;
But, thou shalt conquer: all thine eyes survey,
With all our various tribes, shall own thy sway."
He spoke; and, melting in a silv'ry stream,
Both disappear'd; when waking from his dream,
The wond'ring monarch, thrill'd with awe divine,
Weighs in his lofty thoughts the sacred sign.
- Canto IV, st. 67–75 (as translated by William Julius Mickle).
- Now, from the sky, the sacred light withdrawn,
- Dada ao mundo por Deus que todo o mande,
Pera do mundo a Deus dar parte grande.
- La mayor venganza del que es sabio
Es olvidar la causa del agravio.
- El desprecio agradecido (1633), Act I, scene xi.
Aquilo que é inevitável torna-se fácil, se formos realistas, e humildes. (MP)
O Lord God, Almighty Father! hear the prayer of a poor, wicked, proud child! I know that my heart is full of sin, and that my body is corrupt and filthy, and that I must soon die and go down into the dust; and yet I am so foolish and so wicked as to wish to be great in this world. I wish to have a fine house to live in, and a great many servants to wait on me, and to be of great consequence, and to be made a great deal of; and yet I know, that if I had what I deserved, I should now at this moment be in hell fire. O thou that resisteth the proud, and givest grace to the humble! give me the grace of humility; make me humble and lowly in heart, content and thankful for what I have. O set my sins in order before my eyes, that I may see I have nothing to be proud of, and know that I am not worthy to be set up and made great in the world. I know that thou, O Lord! lovest humble and lowly people; and that thy blessed Son, when in this world, appeared in the form of a servant, amongst the lowest and poorest of men, and was meek and lowly in his behaviour. O Lord! send thy Holy Spirit to cleanse my heart from all proud thoughts. Teach me to know my sins and hate myself, and to humble myself before men and in thy sight. O give me a clean and a new heart, that I may rather desire to be numbered amongst the saints, and martyrs, and children of God—those holy people of whom the world was not worthy—than amongst the great and mighty men of the earth.
- He was in love with [imagination].
- Owen Barfield, as quoted in Christianity & Literature, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Autumn 1990), p. 314
O wheels, O gears, eternal r-r-r-r-r-r-r!
Me, me, adsum, qui feci, in me convertite ferrum.
Moniti meliora sequamur.
A corja de ladrões assignalados
Fugindo vem da praia Lusitana,
Que, em crimes nunca d'antes praticados,
Tem já muito excedido a audácia humana:
Que, em caurins e calotes esforçados,
Vão demandando o Império da Banana;
Tão infame ralé, corja tão porca.
Eu sempre a cantarei digna da Forca.
Time goes, you say? Ah, no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
Their martial rage inflame:
And one the chief's young beauty fires,
One kindles at his hero sires,
One at his deeds of fame.
dn [in progress]
And now the rising day renews the year;
A day for ever sad, for ever dear.
O happy, if he knew his happy state,
The swain, who, free from bus'ness and debate,
Receives his easy food from Nature's hand,
And just returns of cultivated land!
See there, where old unhappy Priam stands!
telum imbelle sine ictu
Nee dulcia carmina quaeras;
Ornari res ipsa negat, eontenta doceri.
There are literary matters so delicate, and fastidious, that should even scare a man, who wants to judge them by himself, because having instilled such respect, that wanting to find flaws in it is to gravely indispose the human kind against whomever does it. In speaking of Homer, everybody opens their mouth three feet wide of admiration. Who would dare to criticize father Homer, considering him without the observance of commentator, after there being so many testimonies of the universal adorations, and of the eternal worship of all men, and of all centuries? Who would dare to say a word after the prolegomena, and apparatus with which Anton Maria Salvini made his translation of Homer unbearable to the eye, unbearable to the arm, unbearable to patience; to the eye because the letters are small, to the arms, because there is no one who can lift its heavy volumes, to pacience, because it never ends!
Homer's proposition in the Iliad is the following letter, by letter, translated with greater care than that of a scrivener of the original Greek in the very noble, and always loyal, English language. "Sing Goddess the pernicious wrath of Pelida Achilles, that caused six-hundred pains to the Achaeans, that prematurely sent to Orcus hell many strong souls of heroes, leaving them prey to be torn by dogs, and by all the birds, fulfilling the counsel of Jove, from the first instance in which Atreus, king of men, and the noble Achilles with a large altercation separated themselves from one another." In the first place, I don't like this, it is no longer in my hands.
As far as I am concerned, all the Iliad is an infernal mishmash, an exceedingly confusing pandemonium, an intolerable mess. The first french translator is Sorel, this man is ingenuity, who could not pass through the twelfth book, and says in the preface that he had become so tired, that he would sooner allow himself to be beheaded, than to continue through, and another french translator, called Beaumarchais, omitted the fourth book altogether, because he says, what patience is there in the world, that tolerates in verse an entire book, which is solely a chart of names of the ships, in which the Greeks came to Troy, longer than England's admiralty almanac? The French doctor Cabaniz, who made good French verses, (if these can be good) did not pass through the second book, choked, or became queasy. There certainly are in all languages complete translations, even in Spanish there is one dedicated to Filipe II. The French Rochefort took it to the end, Bitaubé did the same, Madame Dacier too. In English there are three known translations, and Pope's overshadows even Addison, though the latter did not publish it in his name. In Latin they are innumerable, I would like to see one attributed to Angelo Poliziano; among the works of this notable philologist, and poet it does not come, there can only be found one short poem, entitled Ambra, which deals with Homer's praises. In Italian there is one of Salvini, another by Cesaroti, most patient man, who even translated the poems of Ossian, son of Fingal, a truly soporific thing. In Portuguese there is of yet no translation. But what does all of this prove? That taken the blind, stubborn and servile adoration of the ancient Homer, it is a puzzle. The commentators say, that not only is he the father of the bards, the perfect example of poems, but that he is the inventor of all sciences, and arts, that he is the greatest of all philosophers, without there being any part in philosophy, that in there isn't treated, that he is a sublime legislator, a moralist, a first-rate politician, a grammarian, a rhetorician, who lent lights to Aristotle to compose everything he has written about the art of persuasion.
Whatever Homer might be, to me he is an intolerable bore, I can not bear one-legged tables, that walk by their foot without anyone touching them; horses, that speak, and cry, like whipped children; heroes, and princes roasting meat, and turning skewers; atrocious slights; Venus involved in fights; I can not bear messengers who repeat their messages with the exact same words that were given to them; I can not like the forced nicknames with which the poet designates all his heroes, like Achilles, the light foot; Juno, the bull's eye.
- ‘En Priamus! Sunt hic etiam sua praemia laudi,
Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.
Solve metus; feret haec aliquam tibi fama salutem.'
Sic ait atque animum pictura pascit inani,
Multa gemens, largoque humectat flumine vultum.
- Priam is here, here meed to heroic worth is assigned,
Tears are to human sorrows given, hearts feel for mankind.
"Fear not," he cries; "Troy's glory will save thee in danger still."
Then on the lifeless painting he feeds his heart to his fill.
Tears streamed over his cheek as he gazed; groans broke from his breast.
- Lines 461–464 (translated by Sir Charles Bowen).
- Cf. Conington's translation:
'See Priam! aye, praise waits on worth
E'en in this corner of the earth;
E'en here the tear of pity springs,
And hearts are touched by human things.
Dismiss your fear: we sure may claim
To find some safety in our fame.'
He said; and feeds his hungry heart
With shapes of unsubstantial art,
In fond remembrance groaning deep,
While briny floods his visage steep.
- Cf. Conington's translation:
- Priam is here, here meed to heroic worth is assigned,