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characteristic specimen of the Works of Milton! We must say, that either the judgement or the good faith of an Editor of Specimens is by such proceeding brought into question.

Milton's versions of the Psalms are confessedly a failure : they are, to use his own expression, done into verse,' and they are not well done. We are led to believe that his reverence for the sacred text prompted him to adhere as closely as possible to a literal rendering; but he mistook the principle upon which all metrical versions must be attempted in order to success, and he was hampered with his rhymes. Perhaps he mistook also, as others have done, the pleasure of composition for successful execution; that pleasure being derived, in this instance, from the study of the originals, the beauties of which he might imagine that he had transfused into his version, because it recalled them to his own mind, and thus reflected to his own eye a light and beauty which it could impart to no other. However this may have been, it must be acknowledged, that, even in comparison with George Sandys, his contemporary, he has failed as a metrical translator of the Psalms. The following specimen of Sandys's versions is very far superior to any that we recollect to have met with in any other author of the same date.

God's glory the vast heavens proclaim ;
The firmament his mighty Name.
Day unto day, and night to night,
The wonders of his works recite.
To these nor speech nor words belong,
Yet understood without a tongue.
The globe of earth they compass round,
Through all the world disperse their sound.
There is the Sun's pavilion set,
Who from his rosy cabinet,
Like a fresh bridegroom shews his face,
And as a giant runs his race.
He riseth in the dawning east,
And glides obliquely to the west ;
The world with his bright rays replete,
All creatures cherished by his heat.

God's laws are perfect, and restore
The soul to life, even dead before.
His testimonies, firmly true,
With wisdom simple men endue.
The Lord's commandments are upright,
And feast the soul with sweet delight :
His precepts are all purity,
Such as illuminate the eye.

The fear of God, soiled with no stain,
Shall everlastingly remain.
Jehovah's judgements are divine;
With judgement he doth justice join;
Which men should more than gold desire,
Than heaps of gold refined by fire ;
More sweet than honey from the hive,
Or cells where bees their treasures stive.
Thy servant is informed from thence :
They their observers recompense.
Who knows what his offences be?
Froin secret sins, O cleanse thou me!
And from presumptuous crimes restrain,
Nor let them in thy 'servant reign.
So shall I live in innocence,
Not spotted with that great offence.
My fortress, my deliverer!

let the prayer my lips prefer
And thoughts which from my lips arise,

Be acceptable in thine eyes!' Sandys was a good classic scholar as well as an excellent traveller and pious man; and he has richly studded his Travels with citations from the Greek and Roman poets, subjoining his own translation in rhyme. Some of these deserve transcription. For instance: the following translation of part of one of Horace's odes (book i. ode 37), will bear a comparison at least with Francis's version, both as to spirit and fidelity. The poet is speaking of Cleopatra.

Who, seeking nobly how to die,
Not, like a woman, timorously.
Avoids the sword; nor, with swift oars,
Sought Nile's abstruse and untraced shores :
That with a clear brow durst behold
Her downcast state ; and, uncontrolled
By horror, offer her firm breast
To touch of asps and death's arrest.
More brave in her deliberate end,
Great soul, disdaining to descend
To thraldom, and a vassal go

To grace the triumph of her foe.' Ovid's description of Arion is given with not less ease and spirit by the learned Traveller.

Not life (quoth he) crave I;
But leave to touch my harp before I die.
They give consent and laugh at his delay.
A crown that might become the king of day,
He puts on, and a fair robe rarely wrought

With Tyrian purple. The strings speak his thought :
Vol. XXVII. N.S.


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He (like a dying swan shot through by some
Hard heart) sings, his own Epicedium.
And then, clothed as he was, he leaps into
The more safe sea, whose blue brine upward flew.
When (past belief ) a dolphin sets him on
His crooked back; a burden erst unknown.
There set, he harps and sings; with that price pays

For portage ; and rude seas calms with his lays. To these specimens of Sandys's skill as a translator, we cannot forbear to add his rendering of a sacred epigram stated to be inscribed in the principal Church at Cologne.

Tres Reges, Regi Regum, tria dona ferebant ;

Myrrham homini, uncto aurum, thura dedere Deo.
Tu tria facultatum dones pia munera Christo,

Muneribus gratus si cupis esse tuis.
Pro myrrha lachrymas, auro cor porrige purum,

Pro thure, ex humili pectore funde preces.'
• T'hree kings, the King of kings three gifts did bring ;
Myrrh, incense, gold; as to Man, God, a King.
Three holy gifts be likewise given by thee
To Christ, even such as acceptable be.
For myrrha, tears; for frankincense, impart

prayers ;

pure gold, a


heart.' But when Sandys gets to Jerusalem, and is describing the Holy Sepulchre, the subject draws from him the impassioned exclamation : It is a frozen zeal that will not be warmed with

the sight thereof. And oh, that I could retain the effects that • it wrought, with an unfainting perseverance! Who then did • dedicate this hymn to my Redeemer.

• Saviour of mankind, Man, Emanuel:
Who sipless died for sin, who vanquished Hell :
The First-fruits of the Grave; whose life did give
Liglit to our darkness; in whose death we live:
O strengthen thou my faith, correct my will,
That mine may thipe obey!. Protect me still ;
So that the latter death may not devour
My soul sealed with thy seal. So, in the hour
When thou whose body sanctified this tomb,
Unjustly judged, a glorious Judge shalt come,
To judge the world with justice; by that sigo

I may be known and entertained for Thine. As Mr. Mitford has given no original poem by Sandys, this hymn will not be unacceptable to those of our readers who do not happen to possess his Travels. It certainly merits a place in any collection of English Devotional poetry.

Among other learned writers who have with different success attempted versions of the Psalms, ranks the celebrated Dr. Donne. Mr. Mitford has inserted his version of Psalm cxxxvii, one of the most beautiful and delicate of those sacred compositions, and at the same time one of the most difficult to a lyrical translator. The last verse, more especially, is scarcely susceptible of a rendering at once faithful and poetical. Dr. Donne's begins thus :

• By Euphrates' flowry side

We did bide,
From dear Judah far absented,
Tearing the air with our cries,

And our eyes
With their streams his stream augmented.
• When poor Sion's doleful state,

Sacked, burned, and inthralled,
And the temple spoiled, which we

Ne'er should see,
To our mirthless minds we called :
• Our mute harps, untuned, unstrung,

Up we hung,
On green willows near beside us,
Where, we sitting all forlorn,

Thus, in scorn
Our proud spoilers gan deride us.
• « Come, sad captives, leave your moans,

And your groans
Under Sion's ruins bury;
Tune your harps, and sing us lays

In the praise
of your God, and let's be merry."
• Can, ah, can we leave our moans,

And our groans
Under Sion's ruins bury?
Can we in this land sing lays

In the praise
Of our God, and here be merry ?
• No; dear Sion, if I yet

Do forget
Thine affliction miserable,
Let my nimble joints become

Stiff and numb,
To touch warbling harp unable.
· Let my tongue lose singing skill:
Let it still

To my parched roof be glewed,
If in either harp or voice

I rejoice,

Till thy joys shall be renewed.' Milton also attempted this psalm, although his version of it does not appear in his works. We have a copy of a version attributed at least with great probability to his pen, which was set to music by his friend Lawes. It begins :

• Sitting by the streams that glide

Down by Babel's tow'ring wall,
With our tears we filled the tide,

While our mindful thoughts recal
Thee, O Sion, and thy fall

!! Another writer of the seventeenth century, who has given a version of this psalm, is Norris, Rector of Bemerton, whose name ought not to be unknown to Mr. Mitford; and yet, we cannot suppose that, if he had seen the volume, he would have neglected to avail himself of its contents.

His version is professedly a paraphrase, and he stops at the seventh verse. Although somewhat inflated, it comes nearer, we think, in dignity of style, to the proper character of such compositions ; it errs by being too paraphrastic.

• Beneath a reverend gloomy shade,
Where Tigris and Euphrates cut their way,
With folded arm, and head supinely laid,
We sate, and wept out all the tedious day :

Within its banks grief could not be
Contain'd, when, Sion, we remember'd thee.

• Our harps with which we oft have sung
In solemn strains the great Jehovah's praise,
Our warbling harps upon the trees we hung,
Too deep our grief to hear their pleasing lays.

Our harps were sad as well as we,
And, tho' by angels touch'd, would yield no harmony.

• But they who forced us from our seat,
The happy land, and sweet abode of rest,

left to be more cruel yet,
And ask'd a song from hearts with grief opprest,

Let's hear, say they, upon the lyre,
One of the anthems of your Hebrew quire.

• How can we frame our voice to sing
The hymns of joy, festivity, and praise,
To those who're aliens to our heavenly King,
And want a taste for such exalted lays ?

Our harps will here refuse to sound;
An holy song is due to holy ground.

Had one way

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