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medes, inventor of the Doric letters, composed a poem called the Iliad, whilst Troy was standing, in which he celebrates the war of Dardanus against the Paphlagonians,and that Homer formed himself upon his model, closely copying him : it is asserted by others, that he availed himself of the poems of Dictys the Cretan, who was of the family of Idomeneus, and lived in the time of the Trojan war: but these fables are still less probable than the story of his contest with Hesiod, and of the prize being decreed. against him. Orpheus, Musæus, Eumolpus and Thamyris, all of Thrace; Marsyas, Olympus, and Midas, all of the Ionian side of the Meander, were poets antecedent to Homer; so were Amphion, De modocus, Philammon, Phemius, Aristæus author of the Arimaspia, Isatides, Drymon, Asbolus the Centaur, Eumiclus the Cyprian, Horus of Samos, Prosnautis of Athens, and the celebrated Sybill.

The five poets, who are generally styled the masters of epic poetry, are Homer, Antimachus the Colophonian, Panyasis of Halicarnassus, Pisander of Camirus, and Hesiod of Cuma : and all these were natives of the Asiatic coast.

Before I cease speaking of Homer, I cannot ex. cuse myself from saying something on the subject of Mr. Pope's translation, which will forever remain a monument of his excellence in the art of versification : it was an arduous undertaking, and the translator entered upon it with a candid confession that he was 'utterly incapable of doing justice to Homer:'

he also says. That if Mr. Dryden had translated - the whole work, he would no more have attempted

Homer after him than Virgil, his version of whom (notwithstanding some human errors) is the most noble and spirited translation he knows in any language.' This is a declaration, that reflects as much

honour on Mr. Pope, as it does on Mr. Dryden; great as his difficulties were, he has nevertheless executed the work in such a manner as to leave stronger reasons why no man should attempt a like translation of Homer after him, than there were why he should not have undertaken it after Mr. Dryden. One thing above all surprises me in his execution of it, which is “ The Catalogue of the Ships ; a difficulty that I should else have thought insurmountable in rhyme; this however he has ac. complished in the smoothest metre, and a very curious poem it is : no further attempt therefore re. mained to be made upon Homer, but of a translation in blank verse or in literal prose; a contemporary of eminence in the republic of letters has lately given a prose translation of the Iliad, though Mr. Pope had declared in his preface that no literal translation can be just to an excellent original in a superior language-It is easy to see what Mr. Pope aims to obtain by his position, and we must interpret the expression of the word just to mean that no such literal translation can be equal to the spirit, though it shall be just to the sense of its original : he knew full well, that no translation in rhyme could be literal, and he was therefore interested to premise that no literal translation could be just ; whether ho bas. hereby vindicated his own deviations from the sense of his author, and those pleonasms, which tho shackles of rhyme have to a certain degree driven him into, and probably would have driven any other man much more, must be left with the classical reader to judge for himself: some of this description, and in particular a learned Lecturer in Rheto. ric, who has lately favoured the public with a collection of essays, pronounce of Mr. Pope's poem 6 that it is no translation of Homer :' the same all.

thor points out the advantages of Miltonic verse ; and it must be confessed that Miltonic verse seems to be that happy medium in metre, which stands the best chance of giving the compressed sense of Ho. mer without debasing its spirit: it is a stern criticism to say that Mr. Pope's “is no translation of , Homer;' his warmest admirers will admit that it is not a close one, and probably they will not dispute but that it might be as just, if it had a closer resemblance to its original, notwithstanding what he says in the passage I have quoted from his preface. It is agreed therefore that an opening is still left between literal prose and fettered rhyne; I should conceive it might be a pleasant exercise for men of talents to try a few specimens from such passages in the Iliad, as they might like best, and these perhaps might engage some one or more to proceed with the work, publishing a book at a time (as it were experimentally) by which means they might avail themselves of the criticisms of their candid judges, and make their final compilation more corre&t : if this was ably executed, a very splendid work might in time be completed, to the honour of our nation and language, embellished with engravings of designs by our eminent masters from select scenes in each rhapsody, according to the judgment of the artist.

Small engines may set great machines in motion, as weak advocates sometimes open strong causes; in that hope and with no other presumption whatever, I shall conclude this paper with a few lines translated from the outset of the Iliad, which the reader, whose patience has hitherto kept company with me, may or may not peruse as he thinks fit.

Sing, Goddess Muse, the wrath of Peleus' son,
Destructive source of all the numerous ills
That vox'd the sons of Greece, and swept her hose

Of valiant heroes to untimely death;
But their unburied bodies left to feast
The dogs of Troy and carrion birds of prey ;
So Jove decreed (and let Jove's will be done!)
In that ill hour, when first contention sprang
'Twixt Agamemnon, of the armies chief,
And goddess-born Achilles. Say, what power
Mongst heav'n's high synod stirr'd the fatal strife!
Son of Latona by almighty Jovem
He, for the king's offence, with mortal plague
Smote the contagious camp, vengeance divine
For the insulted honour of his priest,
Sage Chryses; to the stationed fleet of Greece,
With costly ransom off'ring to redeem
His captive daughter, came the holy seer;
The laurel garland, ensign of his God,
And golden sceptre in his hand he bore;
And thus to all, but chief the kingly sons,
Of Atreus, suppliant he address'd his suit.

Kings, and ye well-appointed warriors all!
So may the Gods, who on Olympus' height
Hold their celestial mansions, aid your arms
To level yon proud towers, and to your homes
Restore you, as to me yon shall restore
My captive daughter, and her ransom take.
In awful reverence of the god I serve.

He ceas'd; th' assembled warriors all assent,
All but Atrides, he, the general voice
Opposing, with determind pride rejects
The proffer'd ransom and insults the suit.

Let me not find thee, Priest! if thou presum'st
Or here to loiter, or henceforth to come,
'Tis not that sceptre, no, nor laurel crown
Shall be thy safe-guard: hence! I'll not restore
The captive thou demand'st; doom'd for her life
In distant Argos, where I reign, to ply
The housewife's loom and spread my nightly couch;
Fly, whilst thy flight can save thee, and begone!

No more; obedient to the stern decree,
The aged suitor turns his trembling steps
To the surf-beaten shore; there calls his God,
And in the bitterness of anguish prays.

Hear me, thou God, who draw'st the silver bow; Hear thon, whom Chrysa worships; hear, thou king Of Tenedos, of Cilla; Sminthens, hear!

And, if thy priest hath ever deck'd thy shrine
Or on thy faming altars offer'd up
Grateful oblations, send thine arrows forth ;
Strike, strike these tyrants, and avenge my tears !

Thus Chryses prayed, nor was the pray'r unheard;
Quick at his call the vengeful God uprear'd
His tow'ring stature on Olympus' top;
Behind him hung his bow ; onward he strode
Terrific, black as night, and as he shook
His quiver'd arrows, the affrighted air
Echo'd the dreadful knell : now from aloft
Wide o'er the subject fleet he glanc'd his eye,
And from his silver bow with sounding string
Launch'd th’ unerring shaft: on mules and dogs
The missile death alighted; next to man
Spread the contagion dire; thep thro' the camp
Frequent and sad gleam'd the funereal fires.
Nine mournful days they gleam'd; haply the tenth
With better omens rose; Achilles now
Conven'd the Grecian chiefs, thereto inspir’d
By Jove's fair consort, for the Goddess mourn'd
The desolating mischief : at the call
Of great Achilles none delay'd to come,
And in full council thus the hero spake.

If quick retreat from this contagious shore
Might save a remnant of our war-worn host,
My voice, Atrides, would advise retreat ;
But not for me such counsels : call your seers,
Prophets and priests, interpreters of dreams,
For Jove holds commerce with mankind in sleep,
And let that holy convocation say
Why falls Apollo's vengeance on our heads ;
And if oblations can avail for peace
And intermission from this wasting plague,
Let victims bleed by hecatombs, and glut
His altars, so his anger be appeas'd.

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