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Beneath huge Etna vanquish'd Typhon lies,
The warrior horfe, his ample cheft he rears,
Triton, who boafts his high Neptunian race,
• Two Gods contending-According to fable, Neptune and Minerva disputed the honour of giving a name to the city of Athens. They agreed to determine the contest by a difplay of their wisdom and power, in conferring the most beneficial gift on mankind. Neptune ftruck the earth with his trident and produced the horse, whose bounding motions are emblematical of the agitation of the fea. Minerva commanded the olive tree, the symbol of peace and of riches, to fpring forth. The victory was adjudged to the goddefs, from whom the city was named Athens. As the Egyptians and Mexicans wrote their history in hieroglyphics, the tafte of the ancient Grecians cloathed almost every occurrence in mythological allegory. The founders of Athens, it is moft probable, difputed whether their new city fhould be named from the fertility of the foil or from the marine fituation of Attica. The former opinion prevailed, and the town received its name in honour of the goddess of the olive tree.'
+ While Pallas bere appears to wave her band-As Neptune ftruck the earth with his trident, Minerva, fays the fable, ftruck the earth with her lance. That the waved her hand while the olive boughs fpread, is a fine poetical attitude, and varies the picture from that of Neptune, which follows."
A fell of purple on his bead be bore In the Portuguese,
Thus rendered by Fanshaw,
He had (for a Montera) on his crown The thell of a red lobfter overgrown. The description of Triton, who, as Fanshaw fays,
Was a great nafty clown
is in the ftyle of the claffics. His parentage is differently related. Hefiod makes
Montera, the Stanish word for a buntsman's cap.'
But all was cover'd with the flimy brood,
This book affords us a pleafing and gallant account of a piece of chivalry between twelve Portuguese and twelve Englifh knights, for the honour of as many English ladies. The apparatus is nobly exhibited, and the intereft of fuch an affair ftrongly fuftained.
The defcription of a dreadful ftorm, à bufinefs that had been fettled in the palace of Neptune, fucceeds. It is, indeed, horribly fublime. The following lines are a part of it:
The fhriek fhrill rolling on the tempeft's wings;
him the fon of Neptune and Amphitrité. By Triton, in the phyfical fenfe of the fable, is meant the noife, and by Salacé, the mother by fome afcribed to him, the falt of the ocean. The origin of the fable of Triton, it is probable, was founded on the appearance of a fea animal, which, according to fome ancient and modern naturalifts, in the upward parts refembles the human figure. Paufanias relates a wonderful ftory of a monftroufly large one, which often came afhore on the meadows of Boeotia. Over his head was a kind of finny cartilage, which, at a distance, appeared like hair, the body, covered with brown feales; the nofe and ears like the human, the mouth of a dreadful width, jagged with the teeth of a panther; the eyes of a greenish hue; the hands divided into fingers, the nails of which were crooked, and of a fhelly fubftance. This monfter, whofe extremities ended in a tail like a dolphin's, devoured both men and beafts as they chanced in his way. The citizens of Tanagra, at last, contrived his destruction. They fet a large veifel full of wine on the fea thore. Triton got drunk with it, and fell into a profound feep, in which condition the Tanagrians beheaded him, and afterwards, with great propriety, hung up his body in the temple of Bacchus; where, fays Paufanias, it continued a long time.'
High o'er the deluged hills. Along the shore
And rowls his eyes to heaven, and fpreads his hands, While to the clouds his vessel rides the fwell, And now her black keel ftrikes the gates of hell; Oh thou, he cries, whom trembling heaven obeys, Whose will the tempeft's furious madness fways, Who, through the wild waves, led'ft thy chofen race, While the high billows flood like walls of brass: Oh thou, while ocean bursting o'er the world Roar'd o'er the hills, and from the fky down hurl'd Rush'd other headlong oceans; oh, as then The fecond father of the race of men Safe in thy care the dreadful billows rode, Oh! fave us now, be now the faviour God! Safe in thy care, what dangers have we past! And shalt thou leave us, leave us now at lait To perish here our dangers and our toils To spread thy laws unworthy of thy fmiles; Our vows unheard-Heavy with all thy weight, Oh horror, come! and come, eternal night!' This noble prayer was heard, and the filver ftar of Love' appeared in the ftorm and fhewed them the coaft of India.
The feventh book celebrates the arrival of Gama in India, and here Camoëns appears to have followed Virgil more clofely than in any other part of his work. In the eighth book he purfues his original purpose of interweaving the hiftory of Portugal in his poem; and for this end the paintings on the naval enfigns are fubstituted in imitation of the hiftoric shields of Achilles and Eneas, whilft one of the heroes of the expedition explains them to the Indian king. In this book, though in general lefs interefting than the reft, we meet with many beautiful defcriptions from the original, and many strokes of genius from the hand of the Tranflator. Nothing can be more ele
gant than the following fimile representing the probable growth and effects of the Portuguese power in India :
When foftly ushered by the milky dawn
Of thefe proud cedars fix the ftubborn root, Such fhall your power before them fink decay'd, And India's ftrength fhall wither in their shade.' In the ninth book we are prefented with a most interesting engagement between the Indian fleet and the Europeans, during which Gama was treacheroufly detained a prifoner at the Indian court. The true hero, is, on this awful occafion, depictured in his conduct, and the ftupendous effect of fire arms on a people unaccustomed to them is again powerfully described.
When foftly usher'd by the milky dawn
The fun firft rifes. I deceive myfelf greatly, fays Caftera, if this fimile is not the moft noble and the most natural that can be found in any poem. It has been imitated by the Spanish comedian, the illuftrious Lopez de Vega, in his comedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, A&t I. Scene I.
Como mirar puede fer
I quando fe enciende, no."
Caftera adds a very loofe tranflation of thefe Spanish lines in French verfe. The literal English is, As the fun may be bebeld at its rifing, but when illuftriously kindled, cannot. Naked however as this is, the imitation of Camoëns is evident. As Caftera is fo very bold in his encomium of this fine fimile of the fun, it is but juftice to add his tranflation of it, together with the original Portuguese, and the translation of Fanshaw. Thus the French translator:
Les yeux peuvent foûtenir la clarté du foliel naifant, mais lorsqu'il s'eft avancé dans fa carriere lumineufe, & que fes rayons répandent les ardeurs du midi, on tacheroit en vain de l'envisager; un prompt aveuglement feroit le prix de cette audace.
Thus elegantly in the original;
Em quanto he fraca a força defta gente,
After this the Poet, as if he wifhed at once to give fome reJaxation to his hero, his readers, and himself, fets fail for the luxurious regions of love. Whether he has not here, in fome fmall degree, deviated from the LAWS of the Epic, we shall not ftop to inquire. It is a fufficient fatisfaction to us, that, if he goes out of his way, he goes-to give us pleasure :
Give way, ye lofty billows, low fubfide,
She taught the nymphs-in willing breafts that heaved
White as her fwans-A diftant fleet compared to fwans on a lake is certainly an happy thought. The allufion to the pomp of Venus, whofe agency is immediately concerned, gives it befides a peculiar propriety. This fimilie however is not in the original. It is adopted from an uncommon liberty taken by Fanshaw ; The pregnant fayles on Neptune's furface creep, Like her own Swans, in gate, out-cheft, and fether.
+ Soon as the floating verdure caught their fight-As the departure of Gama from India was abrupt (fee his life) he put into one of the beautiful islands of An