Wreath'd round with charms unceasingly!She's perfect,--and she fails in nought
The principles which have guided me on the present occasion arethe same as those followed in the translation of Schiller'scomplete Poems that was published by me in 1851, namely, asliteral a rendering of the original as is consistent with goodEnglish, and also a very strict adherence to the metre of theoriginal. Although translators usually allow themselves greatlicense in both these points, it appears to me that by so doingthey of necessity destroy the very soul of the work they professto translate. In fact, it is not a translation, but a paraphrasethat they give. It may perhaps be thought that the presenttranslations go almost to the other extreme, and that a renderingof metre, line for line, and word for word, makes it impossibleto preserve the poetry of the original both in substance and insound. But experience has convinced me that it is not so, andthat great fidelity is even the most essential element ofsuccess, whether in translating poetry or prose. It was thereforevery satisfactory to me to find that the principle laid down byme to myself in translating Schiller met with the very general,if not universal, approval of the reader. At the same time, Ihave endeavoured to profit in the case of this, the younger bornof the two attempts made by me to transplant the muse of Germanyto the shores of Britain, by the criticisms, whether friendly orhostile, that have been evoked or provoked by the appearance ofits elder brother.
KLOPSTOCK would lead us away from Pindus; no longer for laurelMay we be eager--the homely acorn alone must content us;Yet he himself his more-than-epic crusade is conductingHigh on Golgotha's summit, that foreign gods he may honour!Yet, on what hill he prefers, let him gather the angels together,Suffer deserted disciples to weep o'er the grave of the just one:There where a hero and saint hath died, where a bard breath'd his numbers,Both for our life and our death an ensample of courage resplendentAnd of the loftiest human worth to bequeath,--ev'ry nationThere will joyously kneel in devotion ecstatic, reveringThorn and laurel garland, and all its charms and its tortures.
Then came Sir Breath (long known as fit
The crescent-moon clings round him now.What could this wondrous pair unite?
RAIN AND RAINBOW.
1789.*-----BY THE RIVER.
And the rocks gave back the song,So la, Ia! &c.
Comes it again.Aid me, ye Muses,
Pure is, may be rounded.+