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Lord Strangford, in his professed translations of some of the Rimas, bas indulged in a similar freedom of interpolation : his versions are to be considered rather as elegant imitations of the Portuguese bard. But in illustration of what we have remarked as to the extreme inadequacy of translation, we shall lay before our readers two versions of the same sonnet; both of which are sufficiently literal, or, at least faithful to the sense of the original, and both alike free from any palpable fault eitber of diction or of rhythm ; and yet when compared together, they seem neither to breathe the same meaning nor to speak the same language. The first of the two may pass for translation ; it is not, at any rate, transfusion. The second, whether it be inferior or superior to the original, the reader cares not: he feels it to be poetry.
• Alma minba gentil, que te partiste
Taõ cedo desta vida descontente;
lá no ceo eternamente,
Memoria desta vida se consente,
Naõ te esqueças de aquelle amor ardente,
Algūa cousa a dor, que me ficou
Roga a Deos que teus annos encurtou,
Quaõ cedo de meus olhos te levou.'
From scenes of pain and struggling virtue go;
Behold us lingering in a world of woe.
Fond mem'ry still the transient past pourtrays;
Which in these longing eyes was wont to blaze.
For the sad loss I never can repair,
And to the throne of grace prefer thy prayer,
May shorten mine, and give my soul relief.' In order to eke out the fourteen lines, there is in this version the usual portion of expletives and pleonasms; but not more ir point of quantity, we honestly think, than might be justified by the highest precedents in the same line. It is precisely in the filling up of the interstices between the main ideas, that the skill of the translator is most called for, and that he is sure to betray
whether he is a poet or a mere rhymester. The following is Mr. Southey's translation.
· Meek spirit, who so early didst depart,
Thou art at rest in Heaven! I linger here,
Thinking of all that made existence dear.
Remembrance of this mortal life endure,
Which still thou see'st in me.-) spirit pure!
May merit aught of thee; prefer thy prayer
To summon me, dear maid! to meet thee there.' The Rimas, or minor poems of Camoens, were not collected and published till sixteen years after bis decease: they appear, therefore, under every disadvantage, not having received the Author's revision, and being, in some cases, of doubtful genuineness. The original editor, the licentiate Fernaó Rodrigues Lobo Surrupita, • complains of the inconvenience arising from the errors to be met with in the various manuscripts which he had consulted ; this circumstance, he writes, would make his edition less correct than it ought to have been published; but he alleges, that his fears of increasing the difficulties, by hazarding his own corrections, had induced him to print the poems as he had found them.'
This ' ample collection, made with little discernment, and so long after the Author's death, contains many sounets of inferior merit which are decidedly, in the opinion of native critics, not his productions. But besides these, twelve sonnets are inserted by Surrupita as written by Camoens, which (with trifling variations in three of them) appear also in the works of Bernardes. One of the early biographers of Camoens, Faria e Souza, accuses Bernardes of baving taken undue advantage of the scattered state of his friend's minor poems, by surreptitiously appropriating the sonnets alluded to, as his own productions ; but there appears to be no ground whatever for the conjecture, which seems to have originated in his biographer's eagerness to exalt Camoens at the expense of his contemporaries. Considering the circumstances under which the Rimas were first collected, it is equally probable that the genuine works of Bernardes should by mistake have been attributed to Camoens. Mr. Southey, a very high authority in any matters relating to Portuguese or Spanish literature, has, in his Notes to “ Roderick, “ the last of the Goths," the following reference to Bernardes.
Diogo Bernardes, one of the best of the Portuguese poe's, was born on the banks of the Lima, and passionately fond of its scenery. Some of his sonnets will bear comparison with the best poems of their kind. There is a charge of plagiarism against him for having printed several of Camoens' sonnets as his own: to obtain any proofs on this subject would be very difficult; this, however, is certain, that his own undisputed productions resemble them so closely in unaffected tenderness, and in sweetness of diction, that the whole appear like the works of one author.'
One of the twelve disputed sonnets is given by Mr. Adamson in his select specimens of the Rimas : it begins,
• Se quando vos perdi, minha esperança,
A memoria perdera juntamente The following version will enable our readers to judge of Mr. A.'s poetical abilities, though not, we suspect, of those of Bernardes.
• O Hope, long lost ! if when thou tookst thy flight,
My inem'ry too had sped with thee to range;
How trifling had I felt the fatal change
Foe to my life whene'er I comfort know,
Malign conspires unto my view to show
From drear oblivion's gloom to stray no more,
Appear to flit.-Hard lot I must deplore !
The recollection of departed peace.” Delicacy of expression is often the only thing which rescues a thought from triteness. The chief fault of Mr. Adamson's sonnet is, an entire departure from simplicity in the diction, in which respect its character is the reverse of the original. Possibly, had be not been ambitious to preserve the precise form of the sonnet, he might have succeeded better by adopting a stanza of less artificial construction : he would not in that case bave rendered 'em quem tinha confiança,' by with whom I placed my fate;' nor have interpolated the feeble line,
• Malign conspires unto my view to show ;' nor have made other obvious sacrifices to the rigid requisitions of English rhyme. The beautiful sonnet,
• Quem diz que amor he falso, ou enganoso--' has been more fortunate in receiving translation from no fewer than three accomplished scholars ; Mr. Southey, Lord Strangford, and the author of “ Translations from Camoens,
&c." Oxford, 1818. The following is Mr. Southey's version as presented to us by Mr. Adamson.
• Is there who says that Love is like the wind,
Fickle, ungrateful, full of fraud and lies?
From Love all vengeance and all cruelties !
Believe not him who says Love is not so;
Let the vi!» slanderer live by men below
The utmost rigour of his power I prove,
Yet would not change the miseries of love
For all the world besides calls happiness.'
• Quando da bella vista, e doce riso-'
Dwell on the deep enjoyment of your sight,
I give my spirit to that one delight,
Full, satistied, absorb'd, my center'd mind
As empty as the unsubstantial wind.
A power for that to language is not given:
Could form the stars and yonder glorious heaven.'
Onde acharei lugar tao apartado--' is conjectured to have been composed during Camoens's unwilling sojourn at Sofala. Vol. XIV. N.S.
Where shall I find a place so set apart,
And days of sorrow will content me now.' Besides sonnets, Camoens composed cançons,' odes, sextinas, elegies, epistles, eclogues and redonhillas,' or what may perhaps be distinctively termed jeux d'esprit. Of this last description is the poem addressed. To a lady who swore by ber • eyes,' which Lord Strangford has imitated. Mr. Adamson has given a few specimens of these various compositions, but has not accompanied them, as in the case of the sonnets, with a metrical version.
The life of Camoens has been frequently written, but the biographical accounts transmitted to us are singularly vague and contradictory. There is scarcely an incident of his life that has not been variously stated or explained. Dom Jose Maria de Souza, in the memoir prefixed to the splendid edition of the Lusiad, published at Paris in 1817, bas pointed out several palpable blunders and mistatements on the part of preceding biographers, availing himself with advantage for this purpose, of the references to his own bistory in Camoens's minor poems. To this gentleman, Mr. Adamson represents himself to be much indebted for many valuable communications. His present undertaking, however, had been entered upon previous to the appearance of the Paris edition.
Luis de Camoens was, according to the best verified accounts, born at Lisbon in the year 1924-5. His family, which was originally Castiliar, bad, since its establishment in Portugal, been connected by marriage with several rich and powerful houses. His mother also is stated to have been of noble descent, baving sprung from the Macedos of Santarem. Simao Vaz de Camoens, the Poet's father, was educated for the sea service, and was commander of a vessel that was wrecked on the coast of Goa: he escaped from the wreck, but died soon afterwards in that city. When Luis was in his fourteenth year, be was sent to the university of Coimbra, where he passed the few oply bappy years of his life. His attachment to this scene of his early stu