Richard Claverhouse Jebb.

Translations into Greek and Latin verse online

. (page 1 of 7)
Online LibraryRichard Claverhouse JebbTranslations into Greek and Latin verse → online text (page 1 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Catnbrfoge :





R. C. J EBB, M.A.








c 7 /






This book comes of a wish to gather up some work
in which I have found pleasure for years.

Forty-three translations are brought together here.
Thirty of these are revisions of pieces already published
elsewhere. In the Arundines Cami: 14, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.
In the Sertum Cartkusianum : 2, 7, 15, 16, 17, 19, 30, 31.
In the Folia Silvulae: Part I. 3, 5, 10, II, 13, 26, 29, 40:
Part II. 4, 8, 9, 12, 18, 20, 27, 28. Leave to revise and re-
print these pieces has been given by the Editor in each


The other thirteen translations have not been published
before— i, 6, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43.

The metres into which I have tried to do ' Abt Vogler'
are those of the fourth Pythian.

I wish to express my thanks for advice and help in
preparing this book to M. Ch. Chauvet; to Dr Kennedy,
Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge;
to Mr F. A. Paley; and to Mr Sidney Colvin, Fellow
of Trinity College and Slade Professor of Fine Art.

Trinity College, Cambridge.
March, 1873.



I. Abt Vogler Browning ... 2

II. Tithonus Tennyson ... 16

III. 'Home they brought her warrior

dead' Tennyson ... 26

IV. From 'Henry IF.' Part I. Act I.

Scene III. Shakespeare . . 30

V. 27ie Dying Swan Tennyson ... 34

VI. Silence Lord Houghton . 38

VII. From ' The Spanish Gypsy ' . . . George Eliot . . 42

VIII. In Memoriatn, Stanza LXIII. . . Tennyson ... 46

IX. From ' Timon of Athens] Act IV.

Scene III. Shakespeare . . 50

X. 'Tears, idle tears' Tennyson ... 54

XI. Stanzas Keats .... 58

XII. Darkness Lord Byron . . 62




XIII. i Many a year is in its grave 1 . . Longfellow . . 66

XIV. From ' Julius Casar,' Act II.

Scene I Shakespeare . . 70

XV. Song from ' The Arcades' . . . . Milton .... 74

XVI. Ode Prior .... 78

XVII. From ' Prometheus Unbound' . . Shelley .... 82

XVIII. On an Early Death Lord Byron . . 86

XIX. From ' The Progress of Poesy ' . . Gray 88

XX. From- '■King John,' Act IV. Scene I. Shakespeare . . 92

XXI. To a Lady's Girdle Waller .... 96

XXII. Iphigenia Tennyson ... 98

XXIII. From ' The Two Noble Kinsmen,') Beaumont and

Act V. Scene I. ) Fletcher . . 102

XXIV. The Praise of Virtue Marshall . . . 106

XXV. From ' The Virgin Martyr; Act IV.

Scene III Massinger . . . no

XXVI. Mycerinus '. Matthew Arnold 114

XXVII. Diaphenia Constable . . . 118

XXVIII. From ( Hamlet; Act III. Scene III. Shakespeare . . 122
XXIX. The Last Man Campbell . . . 126

XXX. From '■Enoch Arden' Tennyson . . . 132

XXXI. From * Paradise Lost; Book I.

105 — 124 Milton .... 136

XXXII. The Progress of Poesy Matthew Arnold 140

XXXIII. The Coming of Arthur .... Tennyson . . . 144

XXXIV. From ' Atalanta in Calydon- . . Swinburne . . . 148

XXXV. ' Her sufferings ended with the day' James Aldrich . 152



XXXVI. From ' Borneo and Juliet] Act V.

Scene III. Shakespeare . . 154

XXXVII. In Memoriam, Stanza LXXXVIII. Tennyson . . . 158
XXXVIII. From < Twelfth Night] Act II.

Scene IV. Shakespeare . . 164

XXXIX. From ' Guinevere'' Tennyson . . . 168

XL. From ' The Giaour' Lord Byron . . 172

XLI.^ The Dream . Lord Byron . . 176

XLII. Hymn on the Morning of Christ's

Nativity Milton .... 180

XLIII. Ode. Intimations of Immortality from

Recollections of Early Childhood Wordsworth . . 208

Index I. Authors

II. First lines



p. 85, 1. 4. For έδείξαμεν 5e read i5ei£e δ' avrois.
p. 85, 1. 20. For αΐκίξΐται read avalverai.


Would that the structure brave, the manifold music I build,

Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work,
Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when
Solomon willed
Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk,
Man, brute, reptile, fly, — alien of end and of aim,

Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep re-
moved, —
Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable
And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess
he loved I


είθε μίμνοι ττοικιΚόφωνον εδος, στροφή,

δωμ ο τεύχω δαιδαλόεν, καλεσαις αυλών κλυτάν ττειθάνορ ύττη-

πρόσπολ δρσαις φθεγμαθ' έτοιμα θιγων, ως δαιμόνων όρσεν


ουρανίων τε βίαν Σολομών καί ταρταρείων,

άνδρα τε θήρα τε μνΐάν θ > ερττετόν τ, εναντίους

έργον άλλάλοις μεριμνάν τ, ουρανός ως ερεβευς } προθορεΐν,

ως κρεοντ αΰδασ - ' άναύδατον, φίλας αίρεμεν

δόμον άφαρ μείλιγμ* άνάσσας'

ι — 2


Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine,
This which my keys in a crowd pressed and importuned
to raise !
Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart now and
now combine,
Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their master his praise!
And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down
to hell,
Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of things,
Then up again swim into sight, having based me my
palace well,
Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs.

And another would mount and march, like the excellent
minion he was,
Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many
a crest,
Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as glass,

Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest :
For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire,
When a great illumination surprises a festal night —
Outlining round and round Rome's dome from space to spire)
Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my
soul was in sight.


είθε μοι τοίον μενοι ιμερόεν αντιστροφή.

Βωμ ο παμφώνοισιν άοΧΧεες ήπείγονθ' άμίΧΧαις χόρδαι εποικο-

ως εκασται σνμπόνεον, σποράδαν εΐτ IXahov, πρόθυμοι.
Βεσπότον έργον επονρίσαι ενκΧειάν τ επαιρειν
καθ' 6 μεν ες Βνοφερον πρανής κοΧνμβων Ύάρταρον
γάς πλατείας άμφϊ ρίζας σκάπτε τέως πονέων κεΧαΒος,
ειτ άνασσ , εν Βωμά μοι παγάν κτίσας νερτεραν
πνρος άθίκτοις εν θεμεθΧοις'

άλλος αν σύν τ άλλο? ανω βεβαως, θαυμαστά Χατρενων
στρατός επωδός,

εις εκατογκεφάΧας, πάγχρνσον ηρεν Χαμπροτερων νάΧον
έρμα πύργων, Βράν τι πας τις και θανεμεν μεμαως,
τω πεΧας εΐκων ως γαρ εντ εκρηξ* άφράστον φεγγεα πανννχίΒος,
θεί τις πνρϊ βνσσόθεν ες κορνφάν τηΧανγες ιρον
εκστέφων νώμας άωτον, τοίον αεί
καΧΧιπύργον θαύματος α'ιρομενον γάρμα μοι ψνχας εφάνθη'


In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to match
man's birth,
Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I ;
And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to
reach the earth,
As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to scale
the sky:
Novel splendours burst forth, grew familiar and dwelt with mine,
Not a point nor peak but found and fixed its wandering star ;
Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not pale nor pine,
For earth had attained to heaven, there was no more
near nor far.

Nay more; for there wanted not who walked in the glare
and glow,
Presences plain in the place ; or, fresh from the Protoplast,
Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier wind should blow,
Lured now to begin and live, in a house to their liking at last ;
Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed through the
body and gone,
But were back once more to breathe in an old world
worth their new :
What never had been, was now ; what was, as it shall be anon ;
And what is, — shall I say, matched both ? for I was
made perfect too.


αλλά μάν ονδ' άμισύ πω κάτιΒον στροφή,

τίκτε γαρ Βη χά Φύσ -is αντίπαλους θναταίσι βλαστάς Χσ εμοΧ

καϊ -χθόν αιθηρ προσκύσαι άντεράων ωρεζατ οργαίνων άνωθεν,
οία και αιθερ εμαίς άναβάμεν yaC εν όρμαΐς'
φεγγεα δ' άμετεροις άλλοία μίχθη συντρόφως,
παν τ άκρον μήνας τε λάμπας τ\ άστρα πλανητ, εχ εφεζομενας'
ουο ετειρονυ' ως yap ηοη γας πολονο ιγμενας
τό τε πρόσω τούτον τό τ εγγύς.

ην δε και προς τοϊσΒε τιν είσοράαν αντίστροφη,

εντόπων πάμπρεπτα πρόσωπα πυριφλεκτοις αναστρωφώμεν εν

εΐτ eV αΙων ούρια πνευσόμενον θείοις νεόκτιστους τύποισιν
καινίσαι άρτι β'ιον Ζόμος αρμοί θελξ* εαδώς'
είτε διαπταμένων σεμνάν νεκρών όμηγυριν

πείσ άνελθείν τάνθάο* Ισα τοις εκεί' ην γαρ α πρίν μεν άπην,
πριν ο οσ ην, ην οι ετ εσται' τοις ο , οσ εστ , ηρισε•
τελεα γαρ και ταμαγ , ειπείν..


All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish of
my soul,
All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed
visibly forth,
All through music and me ! For think, had I painted the whole,
Why, there it had stood, to see, nor the process so won-
der-worth :
Had I written the same, made verse — still, effect proceeds
from cause,
Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told ;
It is all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws,
Painter and poet are proud in the artist-list enrolled : —

But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can,

Existent behind all laws, that made them and, lo, they are !
And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man,

That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound,
but a star.
Consider it well : each tone of our scale in itself is nought ;

It is everywhere in the world — loud, soft, and all is said :
Give it to me to use ! I mix it with two in my thought

And, there ! Ye have heard and seen : consider and bow
the head !


παν τόδ' ανλων τ έργον, εμάς κελαΒησάντων κατ ευγωλαν
φρενός, έττωΒός,

και φρενός α νοέοισ ενχαν ανευφαμασ επυτελλομεναν,
χάρμ εμοί κείνοισί τ' εί γαρ τευξα γραφαϊς τάο*, ΙΒων
τις κεν άγάσθη ααχανάν; εί δ' εν πτυγαις ωκισ ύμνων, 6 τε Βρων
οηλος το τε οραμ • οσεν εστί καΚον ετχημ , ισν , ο τ αίνος
οία \εζ*' ώρισμενας ταΰτ άθλα τεχνας'
ες τεχνίτας γαρ τελεειν, τόδ' άοιδοις κλέος καϊ ζωγράφοίσιν

νυν Βε δαίμων εζεκάλυφε βίαν, στροφή,

άστραπαν ως, τταντοπόρον κραΒίης, θεσμών κνεφαΐον τεκτον

που γαρ εξήν άλλο βροτοΐς tl tolovB', οίον κτύπους τρεΧς συμ-

μη τετρατον κτύπον άλλα σέλας πάμφλεκτον αψειν ;
αυτό tol αρμονίας φωναμ εκαστον ευτελές,

Βαμόθρουν, μεγ είτε λεπτόν, ρημ άπλόον το δ' εγω κεράσας
συν Βυοΐν άλλοι? τί τευξ' ; τ^κουσ-ατ', εϊΒετε'
θεσκελον θαυμάζετ άλκάν.


Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music I reared ;

Gone ! and the good tears start, the praises that come
too slow ;
For one is assured at first, one scarce can say that he feared,

That he even gave it a thought, the gone thing was to go.
Never to be again ! But many more of the kind

As good, nay, better perchance : is this your comfort to me ?
To me, who must be saved because I cling with my mind

To the same, same self, same love, same God : ay, what
was, shall be.

Therefore to whom turn I but to Thee, the ineffable Name ?
Builder and maker, Thou, of houses not made with hands !
What, have fear of change from Thee who art ever the same ?
Doubt that Thy power can fill the heart that Thy power
expands ?
There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live
as before ;
The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound ;
What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so much
good more ;
On the earth, the broken arcs ; in the heaven, a perfect


εϊεν, οιχει δη, πολύχορδον εδος, αντιστροφή,

δακρύων τ έρρωγ* έπ όλωλότι χλωρον δευμα παιάν τ όψέ περ

ήργόμην γαρ θαρσαλεως, ετυμ είπεΐν, ούτε δείσας ούτε δηχθείς,
τουο* ο βέβακεν όδον προνοησας μοιρόκραντον
τούτο μεν ουκετ αρ εστ • εσται οε οησεν αλλ ισα
κάτι κρεισσω. xpv)(pa θρυλείς, ου γαρ εών εγώ αυτός act,
ταύτα τ αίεν πατρι συν ταύτω σέβων, σώζομαι)
οσα πάροιθ ην, φαμ εσεσθαι.

ποών ούν ει μη σέγ', έπωνυμιαν άρρητον ώνομασμενε, επωδός,

προστρεπομαι, μελάθρων γείρεσσιν ου τεκταινομένων γενέτωρ;
αστ ροφός πώς ων στραφησει; πώς κέαρ άμπετάσας
ου κορεσεις', ούδεν θανείται χρηστόν εσλά ζήσει W δσσα

πρ\ν ην
σιγών δ' αγαθόν το κακόν, πλέον ουδέν, χρήστ ετ εσται
πάνθ 1 οσ ην, τόσσοις συν άλλοις αντί κακών
γαΓα μεν γαρ κώλα ραγέντα κύκλου, Ζευς δ* όρα κύκλον τελειον^


All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good, shall exist ;

Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor
Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the

When eternity affirms the conception of an hour.
The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard,

The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky,
Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard ;

Enough that he heard it once : we shall hear it by-and-by.

And what is our failure here but a triumph's evidence
For the fulness of the days ? Have we withered or
agonized ?
Why else was the pause prolonged but that singing might
issue thence ?
Why rushed the discords in, but that harmony should be
prized ?
Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear,

Each sufferer says his say, his scheme of the weal and woe :
But God has a few of us whom he whispers in the ear;
The rest may reason and welcome : 't is we musicians know.


πάν& α βουλαΐς ελπίσι τ επλάσαμεν στροφή,

χρηστ, ονείροις τ, εσσεται, ου δοκέοντ αλλ' αυτά• κεδνον παν

σθεναρόν τ ερατόν τ,
ου γ* απας^ φωνά κελάδησε, μένει τοΐσι φωνήσασιν, ευτε
κραίνει εφημερίων υπόνοιας πλείστος αΙών.
υφίφρον ει τι λίαν, ει θέσκελον φάνη βροτοΐς,
εί δ' έρως τις γαν προλείπων πλάζετ επ* αιθερ, επεμφε θεω
τουτ εραστής φθεγμ* αοιδός τ'• ει δ' άπας• ησθετο
σεος, ακουοιμεν κ ετ άνδρες.

ει δε νυν εσφάλμεθ*, επαγγελία αντίστροφη,

τούτο νίκας a/xacrt συν τελεοις. ήθλησαμεν που πολλά μαραι-

αλλ' άναυδου μήνες ά/χαχα^ίας πως ονχ ύμνους μελλουσι τικτειν,
και πόθον αρμονίας επι/3αο~αι πλ^/χελειαι 5
δύσφορός εστίν ανία δύσλυτόν τε τάσαφές'
πας δε' τις τό τ ευ ρυθμίζων και το κακόν λαλεει νοσεων
εστί δ' οίς φράζει δι ωτος Ζευς- σκοπειθ*, ατεροι•
φαμεν επίστασθαι μελωδοί.


Well, it is earth with me ; silence resumes her reign :

I will be patient and proud, and soberly acquiesce.
Give me the keys. I feel for the common chord again,

Sliding by semitones, till I sink to the minor, — yes,
And I blunt it into a ninth, and I stand on alien ground,

Surveying awhile the heights I rolled from into the deep ;
Which, hark, I have dared and done, for my resting-place
is found,

The C Major of this life : so, now I will try to sleep.



εΧεν β^άλλα^α πάλιν γθαμαλος σιγάν βρέμοντος ουρανού' επωδό?.
τλάσομαι νψιφρόνως. χορδών, φερ ', ορσαις άρχετνπον κελαδον,
βαθμίσιν φωνών πο\υζεστοισι καθήμενος,
κλίνομαι εις άμβλνν τιν αχον, τον πρϊν εκβάς τέρμ' ατ/αμαι

δε τέως
ύμνων κορνφάς αλ' όθεν κατενέχθην εις άπειρον
άμπνέω Βη τλάς τόδ' έρΒειν πλάζα μέσον,
ελπίοων κρηπΐδα βροτοΐς βιότον νυν δ' νπνον γένοιτ Ιανειν.



The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,

The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,

Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,

And after many a summer dies the swan.

Me only cruel immortality

Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,

Here at the quiet limit of the world,

A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream

The ever silent spaces of the East,

Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.


Τ Ι Τ Η Ο Ν U S.

Marcescunt nemorum, nemorum labuntur honores,
roriferae deflent nubes, oriuntur et arvis
incumbunt subterque hominum defuncta recumbunt
Secla, nee aestates non deciduntur oloris.
solus ego immortale trahens aegerrimus aevom
carpor: inaresco, te complectente, quietum
limen ad hoc mundi, dum cana remetior umbra
secretas orientis imagine vanior aulas,
multiplices nebulas, sublustria templa diei.


Alas ! for this gray shadow, once a man —
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
To his great heart none other than a God !
I ask'd thee, " Give me immortality."
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
And though they could not end me, left me maim'd
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, though even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me ? Let me go : take back thy gift :
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance


heu senis hanc umbram, prius e terrestribus unum
quom specie florens et te dignante cubili,
dignabaris enim, quicquid sublime minatus
quin darer in superos adeo nil rebar abesse !
concilies, dixi, caelum mihi. blanda roganti
annuis : haud aliter terrae quoque plenior heres
largirique solet nee habere quod imputet illud.
sed rabiem explerunt ultrices acriter Horae
et stravere graves et mutavere terendo,
quodque necem citra poterant, deformis adessem
aeternae voluere iuventutique senectus
divinae divina, meae facis ipse superstes.
num vel amor tanti, pulcerrima ? sidere quanquam
dum loquor impendente, tuae duce lampadis albo,
suave coruscantes oculi miserantis obortis
stant lacrimis ? absolve, precor, retro exime^onum.
cur velit humani generis transcendere quoquam
foedus homo aut sanctos ultra procedere fines ?

2 — 2


Where all should pause, as is most meet for all ?

A soft air fans the cloud apart ; there comes
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.
Thy cheek begins to redden through the gloom,
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
And shake the darkness from their loosen d manes,
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

Lo ! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far off, on that dark earth, be true ?
'The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts/

Ay me! ay me! with what another heart,


hie cunctis claudenda, hie clausa probabitur aetas.

intremuit zephyro nubes : hiemale meorum
nosco exul litus, senis incunabula nosco.
ecce tuo miror de vertice lumen oriri,
miror ab ambrosio non enarrabile collo,
miror rite novam sumentia pectora vitam.
iamque tepere genas sensim et splendescere cerno
instantis dulces oculos, necdum orbibus illi
astra hebetant plenis, necdum exultantia fervent
corda reposcentum sibi quae moderetur equorum,
effunduntque iubas ut opaca volumina currus
discutiat tenebrarum insultetque ignifer umbris.

en tua te quoties inter mea vota venustas
induit, expectans quid responsura moreris
deseror et lacrimis astans umector euntis.

quo lacrimis me usque exanimas ? quo me usque timentem
ne sit verum, angis, quod egeno lucis in aevo
nocte laborantum memini portendere famam,
ipsos, quae dederint, non posse resumere divos ?

hei mini, quam non his oculis Tithonus inhaerens,


In days far off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch — if I be he that watch'd —
The lucid outline forming round thee ; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings ;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy- warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While I lion like a mist rose into towers.

Yet hold me not for ever in thine East :
How can my nature longer mix with thine ?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,


ille ego si spiro, quam non hoc corde tuebar
gliscere te cingens iubar et pallentis apricos
stare comis cirros miramque subire videbar
te subeunte vicem, penitus magis ossa calescens
quo portae magis et rubor ardescebat obortae!
at tua labra mihi crebrum irrorantia nectar
os frontemque dabant resupino et lumina circum
oscula quis vernae non germina suavius halant
semireducta rosae ; nee secius oscula figens
nescio quid dementis inexpertique canebas.

1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryRichard Claverhouse JebbTranslations into Greek and Latin verse → online text (page 1 of 7)