« PreviousContinue »
Heard, at its outlet underneath lock'd up When from within the dreadful tower I The horrible tower: whence, utt'ring not heard
(made fast :a word,
The entrance underneath with nails I look'd upon the visage of my sons,
I gazed upon my boys--norspake a word. I wept not: so all stone I felt within.
I wept not, for my heart was turn'd to They wept : and one, my little Anselm,
My children wept ;-and little Anselm 'Thou lookest so ! Father, what ails • What ails thee, Father ?-strange thy thee?' Yet
looks are grown. I shed no tear, nor answer'd all that day Nor the next night, until another sun
Yet still I wept not-still made no reply Came out upon the world,
Throughout that day, and all the night
Until another sun lit up the sky, The parenthesis in Cary's third line is bad ; the most important feature in the father's misery is here, and he says my sons who were with me-not for they were with me;' Wright's sob for pianger is injudicious; the boys might utter in their sleep some sound of distress, but hardly a sob. His 'scant repast (from Rossetti) is also bad ; this is not the epithet of one who had seen his children die of starvation ; Cary's the mind of each misgave him,' not the other's pondering, is the true translation of Dante's dubitava. We think there can be no doubt that Wright (i.e. Rossetti) properly renders chiavar •nailed 'not ·locked. Cary confounds chiavo (clavus) with chiave (clavis); there could be nothing new in the sound of locking the prison gates, certainly nothing so decisively portentous as to make Ugolino turn all to stone within. It is a pity to drop the mio Anselmuccio ; but ‘one, my little Anselm,' is poor and prosaic. The tu guardi si, padre; che hại? is far better in Cary than in Wright.
Come un poco di raggio si fu messo
Ambo le mani per dolór mi morsi :
E dísser: Padre, assái ci fia men doglia
Quetámi allór per non farli più tristi:
Poscia che fummo al quarto di venuti,
Wright. When a faint beam But, when a faint and broken ray was Had to our doleful prison made its way,
thrown And in four countenances I descried
Within that dismal dungeou, and I view'd The image of my own, on either hand In their four looks the image of my owo
Through agony I bit; and they, who Then both my hands through anguish did thought
I bite; I did it through desire of feeding, rose And they, supposing that from want of O' th' sudden, and cried, "Father, we food
(right, should grieve
I did su—sudden rais'd themselves upFar less, if thou wouldst eat of us ; thou And said, O Father, less will be our pain, gar'st
If thou wilt seed on us :-thou didst These weeds of miserable flesh we wear ;
bestow And do thou strip them off from us again? This wretched flesh;-'tis thine to take Then, not to make them sadder, I kept
Then I was calm, lest they the more should My spirit in stillness. That day and the
grieve. next We all were silent. Ah, obdurate earth!
Two days all silent we remaiu'd 40
thou Why open'dst not upon us ?
Hard earth, why didst thou not beneath
us cleave? To the fourth day, then Gaddo at my feet Outstretch'd did fling him, crying, · Hast
Four days our agonies had been delay'd, no help
Wheri Gaddo at my feet his body threw, For me, my father!
Exclaiming, 'Father! why not give me
aid ?' The line Quetámi allór, &c. is not well done by either : in Wright's two days we lose something of thut day--and another,
Gaddo at my feet his body threw,' is clumsy, and we lose the picturesque the disteso. Cary's version of the che non mi ajuti ? is much better than the other's. Some of Wright's rhymes are wretched-bestow—thou—threw!
Quivi morì; e come tu mi vedi,
Già cieco a brancolár sopra ciascuno,
Quand' ebbe detto ciò, con gli occhi torti
Ahi Pisa, vituperio delle genti
Muovansi la Capraja e la Gorgona
Wright. There he died; and e'en He died ;-and, as distinct as here I stand Plainly as thou seest me, saw I the three I saw the three fall one by one, before Fall, one by one, 'twixt the fifth day and
The sixth day closed ;-then, groping sixth :
with my hand, Whence I betook me, now grown blind, I felt each wretched corse, for sight had togrope
fail'd; Over them all, and for three days aloud Two days I call'd on those who were Calld on them who were dead. Then, no more ; fasting got
Then hunger-stronger e'en than grief The mastery of grief. Thus having spoke, -prevail'd.'
Once more upon the wretched skull his This said-aside his vengeful eyes were teeth
thrown, He fasten'd, like a mastiff's 'gainst the And with his teeth the skull again be bone,
tore,Firm and unyielding. Oh, thou, Pisa !
Fierce as a dog to gnaw
O Pisa! the disgrace of that fair land Of all the people, who their dwelling make
Where 'Si' is spoken ;-since thy In that fair region, where th' Italian voice
neighbours round Is heard ; since that thy neighbours are so slack
Take vengeance on thee with tardy
handTo púnish, from their deep foundations rise Capraia and Gorgona, and dam up To dam the mouth of Arno's rolling tide The mouth of Arno; that each soul in thee Let Capraia and Gorgona raise a mound, May perish in the waters.
That all may perish in the waters wide! Mr. Wright's before the sixth day closed does not convey the sad distinctness of the father's tra ’lquinto di ë 'l sesto : and he introduces the già cieco in a wrong place-with Dante what is merely explanatory always precedes the picture. If Cary had written hunger for fasting we should have said he much surpassed the other's version of Dante's sixth line. Neither quite pleases us in the che furo all'osso. The present translator, in the last tiercet, has borrowed dam up from the other, which renders his own mound otiose. Neither of them did well in putting mouth for jaw-foce. Wright loses the muovansi altogether; and Cary's from their deep foundations is a heavy expletive. Wright seems to give to Caprāža the quantity of Caprèæ.
A little onward, in the same canto, we reach one of the most Dantesque passages in Dante :
• Noi passámm'oltre, dove la gelata
Lo pianto stesso lì piánger non lascia,
Che le lágrime prime fanno groppo,
Ed un de' tristi della fredda crosta
Levátemi dal viso i durì veli,
We then arrived, for we were journeying on, Where others, skarl'd in rugged folds of Where bonds of ice another tribe comice,
press, Not on their feet were turn'd, but each Stretch'd on their back, unable to look revers'd.
There, very weeping suffers not to weep; Their very tears forbid their tears to flow; For at their eyes, grief, seeking passage, And grief, unable through their eyes to finds
pass, Impediment, and rolling inward turus Turns itself inward to increase their woe. For increase of sharp anguish : the first Forming a cluster, the first tears unite,
Which thus, like crystal vizors to be. Hang cluster'd, and like crystal vizors show, hold, Under the socket brimming all the cup. Fill all the cup that holds the ball of sight. Then cried out one, in the chill crust
Then one, in frozen crust confined, who mourn'd:
Exclaiin'd, 'O souls ! so cruel though O souls! so cruel, that the farthest post Hath been assign'd yon, from this face Since to the lowest place ye are assign’d, The harden'd veil; that I may vent the grief
Raise from my face the rigid veil I feel, Impregnant at my heart, some little space,
That I may vent in tears my agony Ere it congeal again.'
A moment's space, ere they again congeal.' We have marked in italics some unhappy touches in both the versions. Cary's socket is very bad—the cup and the socket are one and the same thing—why not say under the eyebrow? The other's unable to look down is as bad ; they are no more able to look up than to look down. It is obvious that the diction of Wright has been largely drawn in this place from his predecessor's. His tenth line wants two feet-probably something has dropped
out at press.
We shall conclude with enabling our readers to compare at one glance part of the famous episode of Francesca of Rimini with the versions of Cary, Lord Byron, and their new rival. Inferno, Canto V. 96.
Cary. Siede la terra dove nata fui
The land that gave me birth Su la marina dove 'l Po discende,
Is situate on the coast where Po descends Per aver pace co' seguaci sui.
To rest in ocean with his sequent streams. Amor, ch' al cor gentíl ratto s' apprende, Love, that in gentle heart is quickly Prese costúi della bella persona
learnt, Che mi fu tolta, e'l modo ancór m' offende. Entangled him by that fair form, from me
Ta'eu in such cruel sort, as grieves me
still: Amór ch' a pullo amato amár perdona,
Love, that denial takes from none belov'd Mi prese del costúi piaccér sì forte, Caught me with pleasing him so passing Che come vedi ancór pon m' abbandona.
That, as thou seest, he yet deserts me not. Amor condusse noi ad una morte : Love brought us to one death: Caïna Caïna attende chi vita ci spense :
[their words; Queste parole da lor ci sur porte.
The soul, who spilt our life.' Such were Da ch' io intesi quell' anime offense, At hearing which downward I bent my Chinai 'l viso, ë tanto 'l tenni basso,
[cried, Fin che'l poeta mi disse : Che pense ? And held them there so long, that the bard Quando risposi, cominciai : Oh lasso,
“What are thou pond'ring?' I, in answer Quanti dolci pensier', quanto disío
[desire, Menò costoro al doloroso passo!
• Alas! by what sweet thoughts, what fond Must they at length to that ill pass have reach'd!
(dress’d, Poi mi rivolsi a loro, e parlái ïo,
Then turning, I to them my speech adE cominciái : Francesca, i tuoi martiri And thus began : Francesca! your sad A lagrimár mi fanno tristo e pio.
fate VOL. XLIX. NO. XCVITI.
Even to tears my grief and pity moves. But tell me-in the time of your sweet sighs,
(knew By what and how love granted, that ye Your yet uncertain wishes? She replied:
No greater grief than to remember days Of joy, when mis'ry is at hand. That kens Thy learn'd instructor. Yet so eagerly It ihou art bent to know the primal root From whence our love gat being, I will do As one, who weeps and tells his tale. One
day, For our delight, we read of Lancelot, How him love thrall’d. Alone we were,
(reading Suspicion near us. Ost times by that Our eyes were drawn together, and the bue Fled from our alter'd cheek. But at one point
(read, Alone we sell. When of that smile we The wished smile, so rapturously kiss'd By one so deep in love, then he, who ne'er From me shall separate, at once my lips All trembling kissed. The book and writer both
[day Were love's purveyors. In its leares that We read no more.' While thus one spirit spake,
(struck The other wail'd so sorely, that heartI, through compassion fainting, seem'd not far
[ground.' From death, and like a corse fell to the
Ma dimmi: Al tempo de' dolci sospiri
Ed ella a me : Nessun maggiór dolore,
Ma se a conoscer la prima radice
Noi leggevamo un giorno, per diletto,
Per più fate gli occhi ci sospinse
Quando leggemmo il disidito riso
La bocca mi bcciò tutto tremante :
Mentre che l' uno spirto questo disse,
seas, Upon that shore to which the Po de
scends, With all his followers, in search of peace. Love, which the gentle heart soon appre
hends, Seized him for the fair person which
was ta'en From me, and me even yet the mode
offends. Love, who to none beloved to love again Remits, seized me with wish to please,
so strong, That, as thou seest, yet, yet it doth re
main. Love to one death conducted us along, But Caind waits for him our life who
ended :' These were the accents utter'd by her
tongue.Since I first listen'd to these souls offended, I bow'd my visage, and so kept it till What think'st thou said the bard, when I unbended,
Love, that permits no lov'd one not to love,
So ravish'd me to think of pleasing him, That, as thou seest, its influence still I
Love caused us both to share ove common
tomb: Hell's lowest depth-Caïna dark and dim
(her doom. Awaits our murderer.' Thus she told Soon as I heard their wrongs, my head I bent,
[relire, Nor from the ground my drooping eyes Till, cried the bard, 'On what art thou intent?'