Orion/Note

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

I HAVE adopted the Greek mythological names throughout this poem, with a view of getting rid of commonizing associations. It has become an arduous, if not impossible task for the popular imagination to rise up to the purely poetic conception of such abstractions as a Juno, a Neptune, a Diana, amidst all the perverting associations with which they are now surrounded. As to such a change being more correct in writing from an old Greek fable, there can hardly be two opinions. The gods and goddesses of ancient Italy were perfectly distinct from those of ancient Greece, although certain prominent attributes existed in common between the Jupiter of the Romans, and Zeus of the Greeks; between Diana, and Artemis; between Vulcan, and Hephæstos; Neptune, and Poseidon, &c. It has been my object to create new associations, founded upon those of the antique age which are the most purely poetical and suggestive. With this view, the names are of no great importance to those who do not recognise them classically, and I trust that my fable would be perfectly intelligible to all classes of readers, by whatever names the characters were designated. Meantime, the design of this poem of "Orion" is far from being intended as a mere echo or reflection of the Past, and is in itself, and in other respects, a novel experiment upon the mind of a nation.

R. H. H.