Page:Cox - Sappho and the Sapphic Metre in English, 1916.djvu/16

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14 Sappho and the Sapphic Metre in English the initials of Sewell, and it states, erroneously of course, that Cowley was the first translator of Anacreon. Why Thomas Stanley was thus overlooked it is impossible to say. The portion of this volume devoted to Sappho has a sub-title thus : " Odes of Sappho done from Greek by Mr. A. Philips," and there is a so-called life of Sappho occupying four pages, chiefly devoted to a somewhat fantastic exposition of the Leucadian legend. The trans- lations themselves have already been noticed. It was some years after this before another translation of the poetess appeared in English. In 1735 John Addison published an edition of Anacreon and Sappho, in which at the end there is a section devoted to the works of the poetess. At the beginning of this portion of the volume there is an engraving by Van der Gucht, of a " busto " at Wilton House. As was customary there is first a biographical account in which as much as was known or could be reasonably conjectured about her family and friends is set down, and the Leucadian legend is appar- ently accepted. The Sapphic portion of the volume extends from page 247 to the end at page 279. The author gives his own version of the immortal hymn, in which he says in twenty-eight lines what Philips said in forty-two, and he also gives translations of the other known fragments. As a translator he is certainly just as successful as Philips, but there is nothing specially dis- tinguished in his work in this connection. He justly rejects the mistaken chronology which made Anacreon a contemporary of Sappho. The Greek text in this edition is placed opposite the English version, and the Greek type is unpleasant on account of the number of ligatures. There are included eight of the shorter frag- ments, and among them that which most arrests our attention is the following:

Δέδυκε μεν ἀ σελάννα
καὶ Πληΐαδες, μέσαι δὲ
νύκτες πάρα δ᾽ ἔρχετ᾽ ὤρα,
ἔγω δὲ μόνα κατεύδω.

Sappho and the Sapphic Metre in English 1 5 Addison's translation of this is comparatively successful, but he requires five lines to convey his meaning. A rendering more nearly literal would be the following:

The silver moon has left the sky,
The Pleiades also have gone;
Midnight comes — and goes. The hours fly
But solitary still I lie.

This John Addison published an edition in English of Petronius in 1736. "The Works of Anacreon, Sappho, Bion, Moschus and Musaeus. Translated into English by a Gentleman of Cambridge," is the title of the small octavo published in 1760, and containing versions of the Sapphic frag- ments so far as they were then known. The author was Francis Fawkes, and he precedes his translations with a few biographical and critical notes. The trans- lations themselves do not differ materially, in general from those which had preceded them. In his introduction Fawkes traverses Addison's favourable criticisms of Ambrose Philips, and calls certain of his lines " amazingly rough and awkward." He thinks that Addison's friend- ship for Philips may have influenced his judgement, and this is probably true. The next edition of the poetess was that in which the introductory poem entitled: " The Classic, a Poem," is signed E. B. G., initials which belong to E. Burnaby Greene. The book is called " The Works of Anacreon and Sappho, with Pieces from Ancient Authors and Occasional Essays," etc. The imprint is " London, Printed for J. Ridley in St. James' Street, 1768." It is a small octavo. The two chief portions of Sappho's works occupy pages 139 to 146 inclusive, and the so-called fragments, pages 165 to 169. The Hymn to Aphrodite occupies forty-two lines, and the translation is very free and decidedly mediocre. As was usual with his predecessors, this translator also ignores the Sapphic metre. The biographical remarks in this edition are stereotyped and uninteresting, and their