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engaged in that undertaking, and he has accordingly produced a miserable abortion. Ample amends, however, were soon afterwards made by the genius of Mary Sidney, which has seldom been more successfully employed than in translating this affecting composition,—an effort that will bear, and which I shall put to the test of, comparison with the happiest of subsequent attempts.

Nigh seated where the river flowes

That watreth Babells thanckfull plaine,
Which then our teares in pearled rowes
Did help to water with their raine:
The thought of Sion bred such woes,
That though our harpes we did retaine,

Yet uselesse, and untouched there,

On willowes only hang'd they were.

Now while our harpes were hanged soe,
The men, whose captives then we lay,
Did on our griefs insulting goe,

And more to grieve us thus did say:
You that of musique make such show
Come sing us now a Sion lay.
O no, we have nor voice nor hand
For such a song, in such a land.

Though farre I lye, sweete Sion hill,

In forraine soile exil'd from thee,
Yet let my hand forgett his skill,
If ever thou forgotten be:

Yea, lett my tongue fast glued still
Unto my roofe lye mute in me,
If thy neglect within me spring,
Or ought I do but Salem sing *.

Passing by, in pursuit of the comparison I have mentioned above, the Psalms of King David, translated by King James, Oxford, 1631, and which, though exact as to the sense of the original, have little poetry to boast of, we are immediately attracted by the name of George Wither, whose "Psalmes of David, translated in lyric verse +," appeared in 1632. This is a version which may, in many respects, vie with that of the Sidneys,—an opinion which will not readily be disputed, perhaps, after reading the following lines :

As nigh Babel's streams we sate,
Full of griefs and unbefriended,
Minding Sion's poor estate,

From our eyes the tears descended;
And our harps we hanged high
On the willows growing nigh.

* Sidney Psalms, pp. 263, 264.

"The Psalmes of David translated into lyrick verse, according to the scope of the original. And illustrated with a short argument, and a brief prayer or meditation, before and after every psalme, by Geo. Wither." 1632, 12mo.

For (insulting on our woe)

They that had us here enthralled,
Their imperious power to show,
For a song of Sion called:

Come, ye captives, come, said they,

Sing us now an Hebrew lay.

But, oh Lord, what heart had we,
In a foreign habitation,
To repeat our songs of Thee,

For our spoiler's recreation?

Ah, alas! we cannot yet
Thee, Jerusalem, forget.

Oh, Jerusalem; if I

Do not mourn, all pleasure shunning,
Whilst thy walls defaced lie,

Let my right hand lose his cunning;
And for ever let my tongue

To my palate fast be clung.

Nearly a century and a half elapsed after the translation of George Wither, before any metrical version worthy of being put in competition either with his or that of the Sidneys made its appearance. Not that labourers were wanting in the mine, for, during this period, several entire translations of the holy psalmist had been published; amongst which may be mentioned those of William Barton, M. A., Miles Smyth, and the generally received version of

Nicholas Brady and Nahum Tate. But these are often grossly deficient in poetical spirit, and it was not until the year 1765 that a translation, of a character decidedly superior, was completed by James Merrick, M. A. Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. From this version, which, though occasionally too paraphrastic, is yet faithful to the Hebrew text, and throughout animated in its style, and polished in its versification, I shall now select my next specimen of comparative translation.

Where Babylon's proud water flows
We sat and wept, while in us rose
The dear remembrance of thy name,
O fair, O lost Jerusalem!

Our silent harps the willows bore,
Whose boughs along th' extended shore

Their shades outspread-while thus the foe
Insulting aggravates our woe:

Come, tune to mirth your sullen tongue;
Rise, Hebrew slaves, and give the song ;

Such strains as wont your fane to fill

On captive Zion's boasted hill.
How shall we yield to the demand?
How, exiles in a foreign land,

Presume the heaven-taught song to raise,
And desecrate the hallowed lays?
If Sion from my breast depart,
Forget my hand its tuneful art;

Fast to my palate cleave my tongue,
If when I form my sprightliest song,
Aught to my mirth supply a theme,
But thou, O loved Jerusalem!

During the very year in which this version by Merrick was printed, there came forth another from a member of the sister university, who apparently, from the vigour of his poetical powers, seemed fully adequate to the task, the well known Christopher Smart of Pembroke Hall. But, whether owing to a want of taste, or to that unhappy hallucination of mind to which he was occasionally subject, the attempt, which was rather indeed a paraphrase than a translation, disappointed the public; and though he was shortly afterwards succeeded by a few who endeavoured to supply a more popular representation of the Hebrew bard, it is only from what has been undertaken within these few years that I can hope to bring forward what may successfully be put into competition with the versions which I have already produced from the hundred and thirtyseventh psalm.

One of the happiest of these is from a little volume entitled " Specimens of a New Translation of the Psalms," by Thomas Dale, B. A. of Corpus

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