The Latin Poems
This edition of Johnson's Latin Poems contains a Preface and Introduction followed by text, translation (prose), and brief notes on the poems. Several corrections have been made to the standard text. The notes deal with the obscurities and provide comment on style and treatment. It is often interesting to see how Johnson uses his Latin sources, especially Horace, to add a dimension to his meaning. There are numerous links with familiar episodes in Johnson's life, eg, his trip to the Hebrides, the revision of his dictionary, his recovery from illness; and there are instances (notable in the anguished appeals for mercy in his prayers), where the more distant Latin form enables Johnson to say things about himself that he would never have expressed in English. The reader will find new details added to the well-loved portrait. Niall Rudd is a retired Professor of Latin at Liverpool University
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22 ページ - The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead; The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake, Pleased the green lustre of the scales survey, And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
22 ページ - See a long race thy spacious courts adorn; See future sons and daughters yet unborn, In crowding ranks, on every side arise Demanding life, impatient for the skies! See barbarous nations at thy gates attend, Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend; See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings, And heap'd with products of Sabaean springs!
21 ページ - The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity. Lo, Earth receives him from the bending skies! Sink down, ye mountains! and ye valleys, rise! With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay! Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way! The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold: Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold! He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, And on the sightless eyeball pour the day: 'Tis he th...
20 ページ - Aonian maids, Delight no more. O Thou ! my voice inspire, Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire. Rapt into future times, the bard...
21 ページ - No more shall nation against nation rise, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes; Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er; The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more; But useless lances into scythes shall bend, And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end.