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This is all we know of this celebrated poet, who was the favourite—the amor et delicia-of his own age, and who has had the singular fortune to preserve to our days, not only his fame, but even his popularity, in the verses of imitators, whose very names are long since lost. We fear that to pronounce nineteen-twentieths of the well-known Anacreontic odes to be none of Anacreon's, will seem as monstrous to some as the German evaporation of Homer to others. Many a man who recedes from his hard school-books still retains a pocket edition of the gentle Teian ; and to such a one a conviction of the soundness of our scepticism would be extorta voluptas; he would do anything but thank our officiousness. And certainly it must be acknowledged that the greater part of these little odes are very pretty, and some of them perfect models of as much as could be done by Anacreon himself, within the compass

of such metres. The extreme facility of construction, the almost infantine simplicity of thought, the home-born imagery, and the unlaboured rhythm, of the best of the Anacreontic poems, carry a charm which will fascinate many readers—and those not rude-who cannot rise without fatigue to the higher feeling and more complicated harmonies of the graver masters of the lyre. The truth is, Anacreon, as we have him, never sets you thinking; his hold of the reader is momentary, like a strain of music, or the fragrance of a rose, absorbing the sense, but gaining no settlement in the imagination. It does not seem as if the poet was gay, or tender, or lascivious, to please you, but to amuse himself; he takes no notice of you or your opinions ; heeds no morals but those of love and wine, and expresses no fear for anything but death. He does not drink, and love, and wreathe roses in his hoary hair, upon any melancholy calculation of the shortness of life, and an epicurean philosophy of enjoyment;-he takes his cup and lies upon flowers, because wine and flowers are sweet and lovely to him in themselves and for the hour in which he has them. Repeat the most festive ode in Horace, and it will touch more sources of sentiment than the most serious song of Anacreon, who rarely strikes a string of hope or fear, of memory or forecastwho moves no passion, excites no reflection—but, like his own dew-fed cicada, not regarding other sounds, sings out royally his summer day at his own most absolute will.

Je suis né pour les plaisirs ;

Bien fou qui s'en passe ! -
Je ne veux pas les choisir,-

Souvent le choix m'embarrasse,
Aime-t on ?--J'aime soudain.
Boit-on ?--J'ai le verre à la main ;-
Je tiens par tout ma place.

• Dorniir Dormir est un temps perdu;

Faut-il qu'on s'y livre?
Sommeil, prends ce qui t'est dû, ---

Mais attends que je sois ivre.
Saisis moi dans cet instant,
Fais moi dormir, promptement ;-

Je suis pressé de vivre.
• Mais si quelque objet charmant,

Dans un songe aimable,
Vient d'un plaisir séduisant

M'offrir l'image agréable,-
Sommeil, allons doucement,
L'erreur est en ce moment

Un bonheur véritable.'Whether the Regent Duke of Orleans ever read the supposed remains of Anacreon, we know not: but certainly their manner and spirit were never, upon the whole, so well expressed as in these pretty verses. There is nothing in English so near-not even in the best of Cowley.

The first appearance of the Anacreontic odes—sixty-one or two in number—was in the fourth Anthology, compiled by Constantine Cephalas, some time it is very uncertain—in the tenth century. That collection was made up of poems of all ages and characters—inscriptions for Christian churches and for Delphic tripods, epigrams by St. Gregory, and heathen scolia, riddles and epitaphs, and a score other heterogeneous compositions, from the classic times of Greece down to the editor's own day. In this goodly company, between Christophorus and Gregory, we find our Anacreon. The section is entitled :—’Avqxpéovtos Tniou Ouh Tootaxa ημιάμβια, και Ανακρεόντικά και τρίμετρα-which words seem to imply that Cephalas did not suppose that all of these little poems were Anacreon's own. But however that may be, we may, without much difficulty, range the Anacreontics in three classes of respectability, as to birth and parentage. First, those amongst them that are quoted as Anacreon's by any of the older writers. This, of course, is the only class, the genuineness of which we can have any historical grounds for believing, and it is, unhappily, a very small portion of the whole collection. It comprises the 17th ode, preserved by Gellius,* the sixth and seventh verses of the 38th in Hephæstion,t and the scholiast I to Aristophanes; the 54th, 55th, 57th, and 58th, to be found respectively in Stobæus, Ş Athenæus, il Eustathius, and Hephæstion, ** and Heraclides Ponticus. It Many of our readers, we fear, will be shocked to find some of their

* Noct. Att. xix. 9. § Floril. Tit. 183.

** Enchirid. 69.

+ Enchirid. 16.

I Plat. v. 302.
Il x. 427.

a Ibid. xxi. 470.
#t Alleg. Hom. 16.


greatest favourites not comprehended in this class; and yet we cannot help thinking we perceive something of a stricter antiquity in the poems so authenticated than in most of the others. Look, for instance, to the 17th :

τον άργυρον τορείων,
"Ηφαιστέ, μοι ποίησον,

πανοπλίαν μεν ούχι-κ. τ. λ.
• Take the silver-not for me,

Vulcan, frame a panoply ;
(What have I to do with arms,
Or the battle-field’s alarms?)
Carve me not the starry train,
Grim Orion, or the Wain,
(For Boötes what care I,

Pleiads in the sky ?)
But upon my goblet's face
Vines and clust'ring bunches trace,
And the tipsy Mænades

Picking the ripe grapes from the trees.' &c.
Or to the fifty-fourth-

πολιοί μεν ημίν ήδη-κ. τ. λ.
· Time now hath laid my temples bare,
And chang'd to white my once-dark hair;
And short the remnant left to me
Of life and love and poesy.
This makes me shed the frequent tear

In dread of Tartarus so near.' &c.
The genuineness of the 59th-

Πώλε Θρηϊκίη, τί δή με

λοξον όμμασι βλέπουσα-κ. τ. λ. seems highly probable from the apparent imitations * of Horace.

In the second class, we would comprise those of the remaining odes, which, although unauthenticated by any citation or reference in the old writers, bear, nevertheless, upon their face no evident marks that they are the production of a later age, or a mere imitator's hand. Concerning the absolute genuineness of these, different views of the old Greek style and mode of thought will lead to very different opinions. For our part, we confess that if we could bring ourselves fully and fairly to believe the odes quoted by Gellius and Athenæus to be really the composition of Anacreon, we should have great difficulty in refusing the same credit to many of those which we have placed in this second class. Of the spuriousness of those which we condemn to the third class, there can be no doubt at all. The eighteenth is totally repugnant to all metre, and there are evidently some versus politici in it, in which

* Car, i. 23, and iii. 11, v. 9,


accent is substituted for quantity; besides, the word iotópanua is of the very latest Greek. "The same may be said of the twentyfourth. The twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth, and twenty-seventh are manifest imitations of the twenty-second, and of each other. The twenty-ninth-ypáme noi Báovanov-is an open and coarse attempt at the beautiful ”Aye twrpáowe õplote which precedes it. The intópwy dvayas at once damns the thirty-sixth. The thirty-ninth and forty-first are comparatively modern scolia or drinking songs; they preserve no metre. The fifty-third talks of the Parthians. And besides these, there are at least ten more which may very clearly be shown to be of an age much later than Anacreon's, by usages of particular words, by anomalies of dialect, and by allusions involving an inexplicable anachronism of tone and feeling. How well Anacreon might be imitated may be seen by referring to the three pretty odes of Basilius ;—the well-known orépos Téxwy 7:06' &upov, of Julian the Egyptian ; and the Dead Adonis' attributed to Theocritus. If Julian's name had been lost, and Cephalas had inserted his ode amongst the Anacreontics, should we not have been called German boors for doubting its genuineness ?

Of Simonides the younger we have in a late Number spoken, and but little that can be called lyric verse remains of him. The epigrams of this great poet are numerous, and full of historical interest ; they are the best record of pure Greek taste in epitaph and inscription. One of them, on his friend Anacreon, beginning with the lines

Ούτος 'Ανακρείοντα τον άφθιτον είνεκα Μουσών

υμνοπόλον, πάτρης τύμβος άδεκτο Τέω-κ. τ. λ. would seem to decide that Anacreon died at Teos after his return. There is another couplet preserved, the loss of which might, under all the circumstances, have been more favourable to the reputation of Simonides for feeling and gratitude. One, whom Hipparchus had loved and honoured to the last, should have declined the office of celebrating his assassination.

μέγ' 'Αθηναίοισι φόως γενεθ', ηνίκ' 'Αριστο

γείτων “Ιππαρχον κτείνε, και Αρμόδιος. Perhaps the poet had no power to resist. Amongst what little remains of a lyric kind, the celebrated fragment of Danaë and her child is pre-eminently conspicuous. This is the tenderest passage in Greek poetry; there is nothing that we remember so unmixedly pathetic, and if we pronounce the Sapphic ode the acme of poetic expression of Passion, we may, upon the same principle of judgment, set up the Danaë of Simonides as the ne plus ultra of that of Affection. The exceeding simplicity of these beautiful verses is almost as formidable in the way of translation as the condensation of Φαίνεται μοι κώνος-.

ότι λάρνακι εν δαιδαλία άνεμος-κ. τ. λ.

The • The wind blew hard, the rough wave smote

In rage on Danaë's fragile boat ;
Her cheeks all wet with tears and spray,
She clasp'd her Perseus as he lay,
And, “Oh! what woes, my babe," she said,
" Are gathering round thy mother's head!
Thou sleep’st in peace the while, and I
May hear thee breathing audibly,
Unknowing of this dreary room,
These barriers rude, this pitchy gloom.
For the wild wave thou dost not care ;
It shall not wet thy clust'ring hair !
Beneath my purple robe reclin'd,
Thou shalt not hear the roaring wind.
Alas! my beauteous boy! I know,
If all this woe to thee were woe,
Soon wouldst thou raise thy little head,
And try to catch what mother said.
Nay; sleep, my child, a slumber deep!
Sleep, thou fierce sea-my sorrows, sleep!

&c.* There is another passage of Simonides, which we notice chiefly for the very pretty version of it by Mr. Merivale. Cleobulus, a native of Lindus, and one of the seven wise men of Greece, composed some lines, purporting to be spoken by a monumental figure sculptured on the tomb of Midas. Mr. Merivale gives them thus:

• Sculptur'd in brass, a virgin bright,

On Midas' tomb I stand.
While water cools—while flow'rs delight

While rivers part the land-
While Ocean girds the earth around-

While with returning day
Phoebus returns, and Night is crown'd

By Luna's glimmering ray-
So long as these shall last, will I,

A monument of woe,
Declare to every passer-by

That Midas sleeps below.'—Merivale, p. 53. * We cannot refrain from adding Robert Smith's version-so famous in the memory of his contemporaries at Eton:• Ventus quum fremeret, superque cymbam Supra cæsariem tuam profundam Horrentis furor immineret undæ, Nil curas salientis, ipse molli Non siccis Danaë genis, puellum Porrectus tunica, venustus infans ; Circumfusa suum; “Miselle,” dixit, Nec venti fremitum. Sed, O miselle, “O quæ sustineo! sopore dulci

Si mecum poteras dolere, saltem Dum tu solveris, insciaque dormis Junxisses lacrymas meis querelis. Securus requie ; neque has per undas Dormi, care puer ! gravesque fluctus, Illætabile, luce sub maligna,

Dormite! O utinam mei dolores Formidas iter, impetumque fluctus Dormirent simul!".


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