‘Master Evelyn’: the well-known
author of ‘Sylva,’ translated the
first book of Lucretius, ‘De Rerum Natura.’
The winged lion’s not so fierce in fight
As Liberi’s hand presents him to our sight;
Nor would his pencil make him half so fierce,
Or roar so loud, as Businello’s verse;
But your translation does all three excel,
The fight, the piece, and lofty Businel.
As their small galleys may not hold compare
With our tall ships, whose sails employ more air;
So does th’Italian to your genius vail,
Moved with a fuller and a nobler gale. 10
Thus, while your Muse spreads the Venetian story,
You make all Europe emulate her glory;
You make them blush weak Venice should defend
The cause of Heaven, while they for words contend;
Shed Christian blood, and pop’lous cities raze,
Because they’re taught to use some different phrase.
If, list’ning to your charms, we could our jars
Compose, and on the Turk discharge these wars,
Our British arms the sacred tomb might wrest 19
From Pagan hands, and triumph o’er the East;
And then you might our own high deeds recite,
And with great Tasso celebrate the fight.
 ‘Sir T. Higgons’: a knight of
some note, who translated the
‘Venetian Triumph,’ an Italian poem by Businello, addressed to
Liberi, the painter.
1 Chloris! yourself you so excel,
When you vouchsafe to breathe my thought,
That, like a spirit, with this spell
Of my own teaching, I am caught.
2 That eagle’s fate and mine are one,
Which, on the shaft that made him die,
Espied a feather of his own,
Wherewith he wont to soar so high.
3 Had Echo, with so sweet a grace,
Narcissus’ loud complaints return’d,
Not for reflection of his face,
But of his voice, the boy had burn’d.
 ‘Eagle’s fate’: Byron copies
this thought in his verses on Kirke
Here, Caelia! for thy sake I part
With all that grew so near my heart;
The passion that I had for thee,
The faith, the love, the constancy!
And, that I may successful prove,
Transform myself to what you love.
Fool that I was! so much to prize
Those simple virtues you despise;
Fool! that with such dull arrows strove,
Or hoped to reach a flying dove; 10
For you, that are in motion still,
Decline our force, and mock our skill;
Who, like Don Quixote, do advance
Against a windmill our vain lance.