Here are three examples of student translations by A.S. Thelwall of Odes by Horace, and a curious song by his father 'without sibilants', ostensibly on musical grounds, but possibly for the benefit of elocution students with a lisp. They appeared in the Poetical Register of 1814.
|Book 2, Ode 9
To the poet Valgius, on the death of his son
Not always from black clouds the rains descend
On the dank field; nor doth the angry storm
For ever vex the troubled Caspian sea;
Nor yet the cold Armenian shore, my friend,
Thro, evĕry month doth stubborn ice deform,
And unthawed snow; nor Jove's high towĕring tree
For ever combat with the northern wind;
Nor widow'd ash aye strew its Gargan pride.—
Yet dost thou, Valgius, still deplore the fate
Of thy lost Mystes; rest thy griefs ne'er find
When Vesper rises, or the starry guide
Opes for the rapid sun, heavĕn's rosĕate gate.
The sage who liv'd three ages, did not mourn
His lost Antilochus thro' evĕry year;
Nor were the Phrygian sisters, or their sire,
For ever for young Troilus forlorn;
Their grief had end. Thou also dry the tear;
No more complain, but let us tune the lyre
And sing the trophies by Augustus won,
Who bids the cold Niphates own his might,
Who adds the swift Euphrates to his sway,
And bids his waves in gentler current run:
In narrŏwer bounds thĕ Alani, in affright,
Peaceful, bestride the steed, and shun the battle day.
Book 2, Ode 20
On no accustom'd and no feeble wing
A biform'd Poet, will I mount the skies,
On this base earth no longer lingering;
Superior to all envy, lo! I rise,
And leave your far-fam'd city. Tho' I spring
From humble parents, since with favŏuring eyes
You view me, O Mæcenas! I the shore
Of Styx escape, its bounding stream I spurn.
The skin grows rough upon my limbs, I soar
Blanch'd to a stately bird, and now discern
With plumage light my shoulders cover'd o'er,
My fingers into glossy feathers turn.
Swifter than Dædalus' too ventǔrous boy,
I pass the Bosphorus, resounding strand.
A bird of song, o'er stormy Syrtes fly,
And view the frozen Hyperborĕan land.
Colchians,—and Dacians, knowing to destroy
By semblant fear, the eager Marsian band
And far Geloni know me; fierce in war,
Thĕ Iberian views me, and who drinks the Rhone.
Be from my empty funĕral, dirges far,
Banish base grief and the complaining groan:
Restrain your clamour, be the funĕral car
And needless trophies hence, Fame shall protect her own.
|Book 3, Ode 20
in Sapphic metre
Do not you see more perilous a combat,
Than of her young yon lioness to plunder,
Waits ye? full soon your insolence dismay'd, will shun the destruction.
Thro' the surrounding populace she rushes,
Fierce to protect her elegant Nearchus:
Long is your conflict, difficult the toil that yields him to either.
He, the meanwhile, your recompense and umpire.
While ye send forth your javelins in combat,
Rends the light blooming coronal, and smiling treads on the palm branch,
Fans his soft ringlets redolent of perfume,
While the fresh breeze plays amorous around him,
Fairer than Nireus or the boy convey'd from watery Ida.
An English Song without Sibilants
by J. Thelwall Esq., set to music by Dr. Kemp
The Author does not mean to insinuate, by this specimen,
the necessity or propriety of a total exclusion of sibilants
from all compositions designed for music:
but the frequency of their recurrence has long and justly been a reproach,
not to our language but to our writers.
The following specimen at least may show that it is not necessary
to interrupt the melody of English song by an eternally recurring hiss.
The 's' in the word rose, sounded as it is written below, like 'z',
is the only even half sibilant that occurs in the whole twenty lines.
No—not the eye of tender blue,
Tho, Mary twere the tint of thine,
Or breathing lip, of glowing hue,
Might bid the opening roze repine,
Had long enthrall'd my mind;
Nor tint with tint, alternate aiding,
That o'er the dimpled tablet flow,
The vermil to the lily fading,—
Nor ringlet, bright with orient glow,
In manỹ a tendril twin'd.
The breathing tint, the beamy ray,
The linear harmony divine,
That o'er the form of beauty play,
Might warm a colder heart than mine,
But not for ever bind.
But when to radiant form and feature,
Internal worth and feeling join,
With temper mild and gay good nature,─
Around the willing heart they twine
The empire of the mind.
to St Matthew Pell Street