The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

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III. Thou once didst leave Almighty Jove,
      And all the Golden Roofs above: 
      The Carr thy wanton Sparrows drew;
      Hovring in Air they lightly flew,
      As to my Bower they wing’d their Way: 
      I saw their quivring Pinions play

IV. The Birds dismist (while you remain)
      Bore back their empty Carr again: 
      Then You, with Looks divinely mild,
      In evry heavnly Feature smil’d,
      And ask’d what new Complaints I made,
      And why I call’d you to my Aid

V. What Phrenzy in my Bosom rag’d,
      And by what Care to be asswag’d? 
      What gentle Youth I could allure,
      Whom in my artful Toiles secure? 
      Who does thy tender Heart subdue,
      Tell me, my
Sappho, tell me Who?

VI. Tho now he Shuns thy longing Arms,
      He soon shall court thy slighted Charms;
      Tho now thy Offrings he despise,
      He soon to thee shall Sacrifice;
      Tho now he freeze, he soon shall burn,
      And be thy Victim in his turn

VII. Celestial Visitant, once more
      Thy needful Presence I implore! 
      In Pity come and ease my Grief,
      Bring my distemper’d Soul Relief;
      Favour thy Suppliants hidden Fires,
      And give me All my Heart desires

Madam Dacier observes, there is something very pretty in that Circumstance of this Ode, wherein Venus is described as sending away her Chariot upon her Arrival at Sappho’s Lodgings, to denote that it was not a short transient Visit which she intended to make her.  This Ode was preserved by an eminent Greek Critick, [3] who inserted it intire in his Works, as a Pattern of Perfection in the Structure of it.

Longinus has quoted another Ode of this great Poetess, which is likewise admirable in its Kind, and has been translated by the same Hand with the foregoing one.  I shall oblige my Reader with it in another Paper.  In the mean while, I cannot but wonder, that these two finished Pieces have never been attempted before by any of our Countrymen.  But the Truth of it is, the Compositions of the Ancients, which have not in them any of those unnatural Witticisms that are the Delight of ordinary Readers, are extremely difficult to render into another Tongue, so as the Beauties of the Original may not appear weak and faded in the Translation.


[Footnote 1:  Leucas]

[Footnote 2:  Ambrose Philips, whose Winter Piece appeared in No. 12 of the Tatler, and whose six Pastorals preceded those of Pope.  Philips’s Pastorals had appeared in 1709 in a sixth volume of a Poetical Miscellany issued by Jacob Tonson.  The first four volumes of that Miscellany had been edited by Dryden, the fifth was collected after Dryden’s death, and the sixth was notable for opening with the

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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.