Wednesday, September 29, 2004

cassius hueffer

a couple of days ago i mentioned the spoon river anthology and its relation to epigrams from the greek anthology. so here is one for today:

Cassius Hueffer

THEY have chiseled on my stone the words:
"His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him
That nature might stand up and say to all the world,
This was a man."
Those who knew me smile
As they read this empty rhetoric.
My epitaph should have been:
"Life was not gentle to him,
And the elements so mixed in him
That he made warfare on life
In the which he was slain."
While I lived I could not cope with slanderous tongues,
Now that I am dead I must submit to an epitaph
Graven by a fool!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Ars photographica

Expressa solis spiculo
      nitens imago, quam bene
      frontis decus, vim luminum
      refers et oris gratiam!

O mira virtus ingeni
      novumque monstrum! Imaginem
      naturae Apelles aemulus
      non pulchriorem pingeret.

De se ipso

Iustitiam colui; certamina longa, labores,
      ludibria, insidias, aspera quaeque tuli.
At fidei vindex non flectar: pro grege Christi
      dulce pati ipsoque in carcere dulce mori.


Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty
Without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man
Without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning flattery
If inscribed over Human Ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of "Boatswain," a Dog
Who was born at Newfoundland,
May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey
Nov. 18, 1808.


Epitaph To A Dog

When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth-
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power-
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on-it honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one-and here he lies.


A ridle proposed by Sir Walter Rawley to the Lady Bendbow

I cannot bend the Bow wherein to shoot I sue.
It is not made of oake but is made of youe.
This bow must have a string the string must have a shaft
The shaft must have a noch, whereat my Lady laught.


Una candida cerva sopra l'erba
verde m'apparve con duo corno d'oro,
fra due riviere all'ombra d'un alloro,
levando 'l sole a la stagione acerba.
Era sua vista si dolce superba
ch' i' lasciai per seguirla ogni lavoro,
come l'avaro che 'n cercar tesoro
con diletto l'affanno disacerba.
"Nessun mi tocchi," al bel collo d'intorno
scritto avea di diamanti et di topazi.
"Libera farmi al mio Cesare parve."
Et era 'l sol gia volto al mezzo giorno,
gli occhi miei stanchi di mirar, non sazi,
quand' io caddi ne l'acqua et ella sparve.


Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, alas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I, by no means, my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore,
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I, may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about,
"Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame."


Ad domnam Radigundem

Tempora si solito mihi candida lilia ferrent
aut speciosa foret suave rubore rosa,
haec ego rure legens aut caespite pauperis horti
misissem magnis munera parva libens.
Sed quia prima mihi desunt, vel solvo secunda:
profert qui vicias ferret amore rosas.
Inter odoriferas tamen has quas misimus herbas
purpureae violae nobile germen habent.
Respirant pariter regali murice tinctae
et saturat foliis hinc odor, inde decor.
Haequod utrumque gerunt pariter habeatis utraque,
et sit mercis odor flore perenne decus. (Venantius Fortunatus)



Olim fungus ego, silex verebar,
ne non utibilis viro emineret
penis, qui puero excitatus altum
moentis caput extulit torosis.
tum nec apposita manu fovere,          5
nec sum tangere, nec repellere ausus,
nimirum metuens adulta stirps haec
ut posset pathico orbe comprehendi.
vos iam intelligitis, viri et puellae,
multo sed magis improbae puellae,           10
quam stulte, illepideque rusticeque
summae laetitiae meae dolebam.
nec si grandior exiisset alnu
idcirca fore mi magis verendam,
aut plus penivorae arduam puellae.           15
(Thomae Campiani Epigrammatum Liber Secundus, CXXXIX a)


‘Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend’
Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum: verumtamen justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.
THOU art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
  Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,         5
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again         10
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build—but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.


Anglica lingua fuit rudis et sine nomine rhythmus
Nunc limam agnoscit docte Viate tuam.
Nobilitas didicit te praeceptore Britanna
Carmina per varios scribere posse modos.