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certain Diomus, bubulcus Siculus, as having been the first who invented the form of the eclogue or pastoral dialogue, different from the idyl in which shepherds sung singly, as well as from the sacred hymns which were sung in chorus before the image of Diana. The song or ode of the shepherds while leading their herds to pasture was called Bucoliasmos.

Meli's eclogues, appropriated to the various seasons of the year, and enlivened by songs, and his idyls or episodes of pastoral life, engross the first volume of the collection of his works. Love is the inspiring genius, but Love innocent and lawful, divested of classical licentiousness and of modern' selfishness; it is Love such as has been dreamt of in all ages by delicate and susceptible minds, though seldom found to exist in reality. In the first idyl we have a picture of a beautiful evening in the spring season. The shadows of the mountains spread, growing apace,-and the fields are already moist with dew. The cheerful smoke rises high. from the rustic dwellings. The loitering flocks return leisurely towards the fold, browzing as they go along; some are seen descending the cliffs, and others issuing out of the woods and scrambling over the shelvy sides of the valley, and at last all bounding together joyfully in the open plain. Before and after them the grey shaggy dogs walk, sternly and gravely watching the motions of their playful charge. The shepherds come last with their crooks and their wallets, some playing the reed and the pipe. You hear the cows bellowing after their young ones, or striding towards them to protect them from the nightly attempts of the wicked wolf. The birds are hushed to rest; the lark alone, the earliest and latest of the feathered tribe, is seen fluttering about the fields, picking the strayed grains, and singing its customed lay. But deeper far, and loftier, the nightingale tunes its song, which, mellowed by distance, resounds over the valley, and imparts an indescribable softness to the heart of the listener. The shepherd Dametas, meantime seated on the brow of the hill, by the side of his beloved, gazes wistfully at the valley and mountains, and distant plains, which are vaguely seen through the misty twilight; often turning to glance at his Phillis, his heart full of the hallowed feelings of the hour, he vents them in the following song, accordant to the congenial harmony of surrounding nature.

"THE SONG OF SPRING.*

(A SICILIAN AN ACREONTIC.)

1.

"Hail! scenes of still repose and smiling green,
The soft asylum of all tender hearts,

Where sweetly blended all the charms are seen
Which Nature from her boundless stores imparts;
Her grace to hills and verdant vales she gave,
And to the murm'ring rills the meads that lave;
And in her kind and genial wishes strove,
To form a world of bliss, an atmosphere of love.

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Sti silenzii, sta virdura,

Sti muntagni, sti vallati L'ha criate la natura Pri li cori innamurati. Lu susurru di li frunni,

Di la sciumi lu lamentu,
L'aria, l'ecu chi rispunni,
Tuttu spira sentimentu.
Ddà farfalla accussi vaga;
Lu muggitu di li tori;
L'innocenza, chi vi appaga,
Tutti parranu a lu cori.
Stu frischettu insinuanti
Chiudi un gruppu di piaciri
Accarizza l'alma amanti ;
E ci arroba li suspiri.
Ccà l'armuzza li soi porti
Apri tutti a lu dilettu;
Sulu è indignu di sta sorti
Cui non chiudi amuri in pettu.
Sulu è reu, cui pò guardari

Duru, e immobili sta scena;
Ma lu stissu nun amari
E' delittu insemi; e pena.
Donna bella senza amuri,

E' na rosa fatta in cira;
Senza vezzi, senza oduri,
Chi nun veggeta ne spira.
Tu nun parri o Dori mia?
Stu silenziu, mi spaventa;
E' possibili, ch' in tia
Qualchi affettu nun si senta ?

Sti toi languidi pupiddi

Mi convincinu abbastanza
Chi l'amuri parra in iddi
Chi c'c focurin abbundanza.

Dimmi forsi fa paura
A lu cori to severu
Un affettu di natura?
Un amuri finu e veru.

E l'amuri un puru raggiu,
Chi lu Celu fa scappari.
E ch' avviva pri viaggiu
Suli, luna, terra, e mari.
Iddu duna a li suspiri

La ducizza chiu esquisita;
Ed aspergi di piaciri
Li miserii di la vita.
Mugghia l'aria, e a sò dispettu
Lu Pasturi a li capanni
Strinci a se l'amatu oggettu;
E' si scorda di l' affanni.
Quann unitu a lu liuni

Febbu tutin sicca ed ardi
Lu Pasturi ntra un macchiuni
Pasci l'alma cu li sguardi.

Quannu provi la ducizza
Di dui cori amanti amati
Chiancirai l'insipidizza
Di li tempi già passati.
E sti pianti, sti sciuriddi
Chi pri tiu su stati muti
A lu cori ognunu d'iddi
Ti dirrà: jorna e saluti.
Ch' a lu focu dil' affetti
Ogn' irvuzza chiacchiaria
Un commerciu di diletti
S' aprira ntra d' iddi e tia.
Godi o Dori e fa gudiri

Stu momentu che t'e datu
Nun e nostru l' avveniri
E pirdutu lu passatu."

2.

The tender sighs of lovers echoes find,
The brilliant butterfly its wings displays,
The warm wish wafted by the wand'ring wind,
Returns responsive in soft am'rous lays;
The lowing herds, the feathered tribes on trees,
Sweetly re-murmur to the breathing breeze;
Love reigns around, and at its thrilling call,
The bliss-inspiring wish pervades the breasts of all.

3.

The soul tumultuous yields to mighty Love,
And feels the attraction of the genial hour ;
The tender whispers breathe along the grove,
And own the sway of a resistless power.
Unblest is he who spurns what Love bestows,
(That sweet composer of all human woes,)
Nor fiercer pangs can guilt remorseless find,
Than callousness of heart and gloominess of mind.

4.

A maiden fair that never love's fire knows,
Nor feels the gentle tumults of the heart,
Is like a lifeless, painted, waxen rose,
That ne'er does bloom, or balmy scent impart ;
Its leaves expand not, nor its charms unfold.
Thus art thou, Phillis, listless, mute and cold ;

Feels not thy breast love's sweet and hurried throes,
Nor melts thy soul in flames, or sinks in thrilling woes?

5.

But the dear glance of those deluding eyes
Betrays the silent secret of thy breast,
The warmth within the vivid ray supplies,
And in the tender look Love stands confest;
Perhaps the name alone awakes thy fears,
And wounds thy chaste and unpolluted ears;
But lawful Love unfolds resistless charms

When pure affection's flame congenial bosoms warms.

6.

From Heaven descending Love itself first came
Escaping from the blissful skies above :

Its charms its great original proclaim,

(For Heaven's first pow'r, like that of earth, is Love,)

In its bright course it kindled Sun and Moon,

And earth and ocean felt the blissful boon;

A secret joy lurks in the sigh sincere,

And conscious rapture in the sadly-pleasing tear.

7.

When clouds o'ercast the sky and tempests lower,
And frighted mortals dire destruction wait,
The weary shepherd seeks his lonely bow'r,
To meet the bosom of his loving mate,
The tempest's howl he spurns-the burning ray
That blasts and withers on the scorching day
Assails him not to the deep glen he steals
Nor any flame or heat but that of Hymen feels.

8.

When once the blissful sense of mutual love,
Shall reign triumphant in thy bosom's throne,
No longer will thy wav'ring fancies rove,
Nor any other lord save Love will own :
The past is gone; for that 'tis vain to weep,
The present moment prompts us joys to reap;
The lengthening shade, the rose's transient bloom,
The flight of time betray,—and our eventful doom.

9.

As blissful Love its genial ray expands,

Relenting nature feels its sovereign sway,
The herbs and flow'rs that overspread the lands,
The teeming fields and smiling meads look gay-
Then, Phillis dear, with nature sympathize,
Let Love inspire thy breast and melt thine eyes;
The present hour enjoy, as that alone

Belongs to thee and me; the past is dead and gone."

But the

The third eclogue is a maritime one, or pescatoria, as the Italians name it. This species of composition was cultivated in the 16th century in Italy, by Count San Martino and Bernardino Rota. Afterwards Ongaro wrote his Alceo, a maritime fable or drama, on the plan of Tasso's Aminta, which was performed with much solemnity at Nettuno on the Roman coast. invention of the musical drama superseded both pastoral and maritime plays. Among the lyric poets who sung of the fishermen's occupations and loves, were Bernardo Ratto, Cavalier Marino, Paterno, and Mertola. The compositions of the latter were collected in a volume, called Le Piscatorie. Andrea Calmo also wrote some Rime Piscatorie in the Venetian dialect, which were published in 1553.

Meli has happily adapted the language of the fishermen of his native country, combining it with the grace of his verse, without injuring the natural simplicity of the dialogue. In Sicily, a noble island, hemmed in by a long line of delightful coast, and rich in a variety of maritime scenery, the avocations of fishermen upon a blue tideless sea, seem to partake of the romantic spirit that still

hovers round that favourite region. Meli introduces a groupe of fishing girls chattering and joking, and telling of their loves, in the absence of their parents. Their very names Pidda, Lidda, and Ridda sound congenial to their condition. The beginning of the dialogue affords a specimen of that striking cadence for which the poetry of the Italian dialects, and especially of the southern ones, is remarkable.

"Mentri lu Gnuri è a Mari cu la Varca

E la mia Gnura Mà l'ammari 'ncrocca
Iamu a ghiucari ntra la rina e l'arca?"

To which invitation to go and romp on the sands, Lidda pru-
dishly replies, that she is afraid of meeting some rude swain.
"leu vegnu ddocu chiui? E chì su locca ?
Ddocu mentr'eu sidia, mi 'ntisi diri :

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Ridda also tells a story of having seen a fisherman concealed behind the rocks, who addressed her in an amorous song, which frightened her out of her senses, but Pidda, who is the eldest of the three, loses patience at this affected simplicity, and exclaims“Eb via ... muzzica ccà stu jiditeddu ;

E vaja franca, ca ni canuscema

Avemu tutti lu 'Nnamurateddu;"

litterally: "Come, poor innocents, bite my little finger; but let that pass, we know each other, and that each of us has her sweetheart."

Lidda at last casts off her shyness and sings the following pretty ditty :-

Quannu a Culicchia jeu vogghiu parrari

Ca spissu spissu mi veni lu sfilu;
A la finestra mi mettu a filari;
Quann' iddu passa poi rumpu lu fila;
Cadi lu fosu; ed eu mettu a gridari:
Gnuri pri carità proitimilu;

Iddu lu pigghia; mi metti a guardavi;
Ieu mi nni vaju suppilu suppilu.

"When I wish to speak to my sweetheart, which occurs pretty often, I seat myself at the window to spin, and when he is passing underneath I manage to break the thread; the spindle falls, and I cry out dolefully, oh friend, be so kind as to pick it up for me, he does so, and looks at me, when I feel out of myself for joy."

The singing and the confession are interrupted by the harsh voice of Lidda's mother, announcing the return of the fishermen, and the frolicksome trio disperses.

In Idyl VII. we have the sombre but magnificent elegy of Polemum, a poem complete of its kind. Polemuni is the image of man persecuted by fate, forsaken by his fellow-creatures, an outcast of nature, dejected and despairing-he is one of those awful exceptions to the benignant system of compensations so wisely supported by Providence. The victim is here represented as seated on a lonely cliff overhanging the deep waves that

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