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your youth and beauty, and the homage they excite, form a spell more powerful to influence the disposition of your time, than can be produced by the hope of augmenting your literary reputation.
« Dr Russel is right; neither your ode or mine can properly be called a translation of the * Arabian ode. Each of us felt the necessity of adding the expansion of metaphor, the introduction of collateral circumstances, and a sort of moral application of them to the situation of the complainant. Without these sort of embellishments, a poem cannot deserve its name. The novel sounds
* Dr Russels literal Translation of an Arabian Ode.
My body is toss'd on the couch,
The stars succeed one another
Poetic Paraphrase of the above, by Miss Rogers.
In vain they ask-no gleam of hope is mine ;
Steal balmy fragrance as their beauties close ;
Nor thy soft magic soothes my soul to rest;
Anna Seward's Paraphrase of the Arabian Ode.
Wide o'er the drowsy world incumbent night,
Thro' the long hours, -alas, how long the hours !
of a remote language certainly rendered Dr Russel' very partial to this specimen of Arabic poetry. He owns that the point is simply,' all the waters of the sea cannot quench love.' This is a hackneyed idea in every language. It was natural that Dr Russel should be pleased to find it expressed in Arabic. We like to perceive the universal congeniality of human nature, and that the same passions produce similar ideas in every soil and clime ;-but can he think that a close translation of this little composition would be worth any thing as an English poem?
“ You remember the beautiful translation in the Spectator of the Lapland odes! I was once shewn a close translation of them, and copied it. There was much richer matter to work
upon in the Lapland poems; yet the author of the Spectator-paraphrases found it advantageous, if not necessary, to strengthen into visibility those ideas which, in a version nearly literal, are seen but as through a glass darkly; and also to add some
Slow pass the stars along the night's dun plain,
thoughts and images, of which no trace can be found in the originals, however exquisitely in keeping with the Lapland character, soil, and climate, as they appear to us in the ruder and faithful translations *, which you will find inclosed. After you have read them, have the goodness to reperuse the graceful lovely paraphrases of them in the Spectator. The fourth stanza of the second ode has great beauty in the close translation. The eulogium on summer is too much curtailed in the Spectator-version; but then there is a thought added, which makes ample recompence, viz.
" Tis mad to go---tis death to stay,
But to return to our Arabian poem.
“ This is the second time that you and I have written upon the same subject. It is little to the purpose of ascertaining the right of superiority between us, that we are mutually desirous of resigning the palm to each other, like Peter and the friar their snipe in the ballad of tragi-comical memory. That palm will be shifted from my brow to yours, and vice-versa, as the taste of the reader shall lean to the delicate or the strong, the sombre or the beautiful. Adieu !"
* The translations here mentioned are printed in Lord Kames's Sketches on Man.
COPY OF A LETTER, ADDRESSED TO Miss WESTON, FROM LICHFIELD, SEPT. 6, 1783.
« Soothing and welcome to me, dear Sophia, is the regret you express for our separation. Pleasant were the weeks we have recently passed together in this ancient and embowered mansion. I had strongly felt the silence and vacancy of the depriving day on which you vanished, only that I was obliged to attend to the preparations for accompanying my dearest father on our journey into the Peak; but that attention was blended with many a sigh, the pensive tribute to severed amity. How prone are our hearts 'perversely to quarrel with the friendly coercion of employment, at the very instant in which it is chasing the torpid and injurious mists of unavailing melancholy.
“ It grieves me to see you acknowledging that your brother is more injured than was apprehended by that wretch, who sheltered the barbarous ruin he meditated upon the son of his friend, to whom he owed obligations, under an impious