Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE GENIUS OF MR. JOHN HALL, ON HIS EXACT TRANSLATION OF HIEROCLES, by RICHARD LOVELACE



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TO THE GENIUS OF MR. JOHN HALL, ON HIS EXACT TRANSLATION OF HIEROCLES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tis not from cheap thanks thinly to repay
Last Line: Thy soul is fled into hierocles.
Subject(s): Hall, John (1627-1656); Translating & Interpreting


'TIS not from cheap thanks thinly to repay
Th' immortal grove of thy fair order'd bay
Thou plantedst round my humble fane, that I
Stick on thy hearse this sprig of elegy;
Nor that your soul so fast was link'd in me,
That now I 've both, since 't has forsaken thee:
That thus I stand a Swiss before thy gate,
And dare for such another time and fate.
Alas! our faiths made different essays,
Our minds and merits brake two several ways;
Justice commands I wake thy learned dust,
And truth, in whom all causes centre must.
Behold! when but a youth thou fierce didst whip
Upright the crooked age, and gilt Vice strip;
A senator prætextat, that knew'st to sway
The fasces, yet under the ferula;
Rank'd with the sage ere blossom did thy chin,
Sleeked without, and hair all o'er within;
Who in the school couldst argue as in schools,
Thy lessons were ev'n academy rules.
So that fair Cam saw thee matriculate
At once a tyro and a graduate.
At nineteen, what essays have we beheld!
That well might have the book of dogmas swell'd;
Tough paradoxes, such as Tully's, thou
Didst heat thee with, when snowy was thy brow,
When thy undown'd face mov'd the Nine to shake,
And of the Muses did a decade make.
What shall I say? by what allusion bold?
None but the sun was e'er so young and old.
Young reverend shade, ascend a while! whilst we
Now celebrate this posthume victory,
This victory that doth contract in death
Ev'n all the pow'rs and labours of thy breath:
Like the Judæan hero, in thy fall
Thou pull'st the house of Learning on us all,
And as that soldier conquest doubted not,
Who but one splinter had of Castriot,
But would assault ev'n death so strongly charm'd,
And naked oppose rocks, with this bone arm'd;
So we, secure in this fair relic, stand
The slings and darts shot by each profane hand;
These sovereign leaves thou left'st us are become
Cereclothes against all time's infection.
Sacred Hierocles! whose heav'nly thought
First acted o'er this comment ere it wrought,
Thou hast so spirited, elixir'd, we
Conceive there is a noble alchemy,
That's turning of this gold to something more
Precious than gold we never knew before.
Who now shall doubt the metempsychosis
Of the great author, that shall peruse this?
Let others dream thy shadow wandering strays
In th' Elysian mazes, hid with bays;
Or that, snatch'd up in th' upper region,
'Tis kindled there a constellation:
I have inform'd me, and declare with ease,
Thy soul is fled into Hierocles.





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