Thursday, September 05, 2013


A Great Thing

B.L. Gildersleeve (1831-1924), "Brief Mention," American Journal of Philology 37 (1916) 494-505 (at 498), rpt. in Selections from the Brief Mention of Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, ed. C.W.E. Miller (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1930), p. 369:
[I]t is a great thing to breathe the same pellucid air with Vergil, to feel Horace playing about the heart-strings, to hear the music of the voiceful sea from which the Iliad and the Odyssey have risen.
The phrase "to feel Horace playing about the heart-strings" recalls Persius 1.116-117:
omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
tangit et admissus circum praecordia ludit.
The phrase "the voiceful sea from which the Iliad and the Odyssey have risen" recalls the last couplet of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's sonnet "Fancy in Nubibus, or The Poet in the Clouds":
O! It is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
  Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please,
  Or let the easily persuaded eyes
Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould
  Of a friend's fancy; or with head bent low
And cheek aslant see rivers flow of gold
'Twixt crimson banks; and then, a traveller, go
From mount to mount through CLOUDLAND, gorgeous land!
  Or list'ning to the tide, with closed sight,
Be that blind bard, who on the Chian strand
  By those deep sounds possessed with inward light
Beheld the ILIAD and the ODYSSEE
  Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?