Page images

The Smith College Classical Studies are published from time to time by the Departments of Greek and Latin of Smith College and have for their main object the encouragement of research in classical literature, archaeology, and antiquities by providing an opportunity for the publication of studies in these fields by scholars connected with Smith College as teachers, graduate students, or alumnae. Contributions of studies in these fields of research will be welcomed by the editors, Julia Harwood Caverno and Florence Alden Gragg and may be addressed to either one of them. All business communications as to purchase of copies, requests for exchanges, etc., should be addressed to Miss Mary Dunham, Librarian of Smith College, Northampton, Mass. The price of numbers 1-4 and 6 is seventyfive cents; of number 5 it is a dollar and a half.

Smith COLLEGE CLASSICAL STUDIES Number 1. "Hellenistic Influence on the Aeneid," by :Eleanor Shipley Duckett, June, 1920.

Number 2. "A Study in the Commerce of Latuim from the Early Iron Age through the Sixth Century, B.C.,” by Louise E. W. Adams, April, 1921.

Number 3. "The Case Construction after the Comparative in Pliny's Letters," by Gifford Foster Clark, June, 1922.

Number 4. "Nicolaus of Damascus' Life of Augustus. A Historical Commentary Embodying a Translation," by Clayton Morris Hall, May, 1923.

Number 5. "Iphigenia at Aulis: Iphigenia Among the Taurians: the lyric portions set to music," by Jane Peers Newhall, June, 1924.


Smith College


With the effort of the present day to humanize the humanities the fashion has developed of issuing books which may set forth and sum up for the general reader the civilization of the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. Translations of their works are provided in the Loeb Library, expositions and explanations of their life and thought are afforded in such books as The Pageant of Greece, The Legacy of Greece, The Legacy of Rome, or in those of the English series, The Library of Greek Thought, and of the larger American series, Our Debt to Greece and Rome, which also trace the influence of individual authors on later literature. In a short while all the fields of ancient thought and literature which are likely to prove attractive and profitable to the non-classical student will have been opened to him by the careful work of the mediators between the old and the new. He will then be enabled to enjoy his Plato or Lucretius, his Sophocles or Plautus in his own tongue, while he leaves the professional scholar to wander happily among the solitudes of their ipsissima verba with all concomitant Notes, Variae Lectiones, Critical Appendices, and the like.

There is, however, another type of reader who forms a link between these two extremes. Midway between the scholar whose business it is to bring down wreaths from Helicon, and the wide circle before which they are thus conveniently displayed, stands the young disciple of the classicists, to whom the waters of Castalia are often more bitter than Marah itself. I refer to the college undergraduate. He comes from school with a suspicion lurking in his subconscious mind that the works of Caesar and Cicero, if not composed as a kind of intellectual sieve by the College Entrance Board, at least were never written for any end but that lamented by Horace himself, to serve as fodder for the classroom machine. However excellent the teacher, the fact remains that his pilgrims in school have to progress within a specified time through a specified amount of classical literature if they would pass the lions that guard the Palace of Discretion. There is therefore little opportunity for that dallying over points of interest in the calm, unhurried way which should be possible in the collegethe schola, or place of leisure, as the ancients called it. Yet only thus may the dry bones of Gerund and Gerundive be inspired with the breath of human life and those names which adorn our catalogues of study become in our imagination men and women who did once in truth think and feel and work and play as they do now-a-days.

And such, preëminently, was Catullus. For he was young and faced life with a passionate anticipation of the joy which surely was to be his in Lesbia; in words that have all the simplicity of quick feeling he poured out the story of his love, its rapture and its despair. The Aeneid is the poetry of the man who has lived and suffered and endured, who can afford to wait while he clothes his tale in the beautiful artificiality of Roman verse. For those who can read it as a whole its splendour grows with every reading; but it is difficult to realize its beauty when (with eye on Vocabulary) one writhes through the appointed daily dozen lines. Horace is exquisite in form for those who revel in Asclepiads and Alcaics, but our virgines puerique are an uninitiated crowd and find it hard to pass the fog of mythology into the poetry above. The short lyrics of Catullus easily reach the understanding and the heart, the more easily because, unlike Vergil or Horace, he reveals himself openly as though conscious of no audience. It is the story of human life which appears in these bursts of love and hatred, of laughter and wit, of satire and reproach, all succeeding one another as rapidly in his little book as they rushed one on another in his brief span

of years.

This humanity of Catullus Professor Harrington has pictured for general readers in tracing his influence on literature; my attempt to trace this influence on English-speaking poets is offered to College students in the hope that they may realize more keenly what Catullus has meant through the centuries, and still means, to poets and men of letters. For this reason I have given the English poems in detail and in order of time and I have not hesitated to include translations, if these have served my purpose. Explanations, criticisms, and appreciations I have not included; I leave these to the student and to the professor, who may use these poems for illustration ex cathedra. The line of writers runs from Skelton to some now living; I remember the ilash of interest on a Freshman's face when she heard that Edna St. Vincent Millay was concerned with Catullus. Some of the passages, like those of Herrick, are reminiscent of Catullus in affection, but not in spirit; for not many poets can reach his union of depth of feeling with height of artistic

[ocr errors]

grace. Some of them cannot claim to have been inspired by him, but tell the same tale. Most of them I have gathered here and there from editions, translations, and books on Catullus; a considerable number have been quoted or mentioned in Professor Harrington's book (Series: Our Debt to Greece and Rome), published 1923, and in my article in the Classical Weekly, (April 24, 1922). Acknowledgment is due to the Editor of that periodical for permission to use this material and to Messrs. Heath and Company for permission to draw my Latin text from the edition issued by them for Freshman classes in 1924. To the following authors and publishers I am indebted for permission to reprint poems: Mr. Franklin P. Adams and Messrs. Doubleday, Page and Company (To Furius on Poverty, from Weights and Measures, 1917); Messrs. Dodd, Mead and Company (Mr. Arthur C. Benson, The Sparrow, from Poems, 1909: Mr. Arthur Symons, Lesbia in Old Age; Your honeyed eyes, Juventius; If living sorrows any boon, from Knave of Hearts, 1894-1908); Mr. Laurence Binyon and The Macmillan Company (Sirmione, from Selected Poems, 1922); The Macmillan Company (Browning, The Ring and the Book, XII, lines 277ff.); Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons (Eugene Field, Catullus to Lesbia, from The Second Book of Verse, 1896: George Meredith, lines from Phaéthôn); Messrs. Martin Secker and Company (James Elroy Flecker, translation of Carmen 4, and Epithalamion, from Collected Poems, 1916); Miss Edna St. Vincent Millay and Messrs. Harper and Brothers, (lines from Passer mortuus est, from Second April, 1921); The Living Age (Mr. J. C. Squire, To a Roman, reprinted in The Living Age, April 28, 1923); Messrs. Harper and Brothers (Swinburne, To Catullus from A Century of Roundels and lines from Dolores, Aueatque Vale; In memory of Charles Baudelaire, "Insularum Ocelle," and Song for the Centenary of Walter Savage Landor, from Volumes I, III, and V of the Poems of Charles Algernon Swinburne, 1904). With regard to my own part in this enterprise, I give warm thanks to President William Allan Neilson, who read and criticized the work in manuscript, and to Professor Florence Alden Gragg, whose stilus saepe versus has rescued these pages from innumerable infelicities and errors. Northampton, Massachusetts, June, 1925.

Carmen 1.

Cui dono lepidum novum libellum
arida modo pumice expolitum?
Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas
meas esse aliquid putare nugas,
iam tum cum ausus es unus Italorum
omne aevum tribus explicare chartis
doctis, Iuppiter! et laboriosis.
Quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli
qualecumque; quod, o patrona virgo,
plus uno maneat perenne saeclo.

« PreviousContinue »