Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
“Mormoranti Famosi”
By Erasmo di Valvasone (1523–1593)
Translated by James Glassford, of Dougalston

YE 1 murmuring and fabled currents sweet,
  Fairer than crystal, more than crystal pure,
  So may the skies regard you, and secure
  From the fierce dog-star and his blaze of heat,
Still in these Alps your sparkling courses fleet        5
  No harm betide, nor any cloud obscure,
  Nor shepherd swain disturb, nor herd impure,
  Nor hostile thing your waters ever meet;
Still may your faithful Naiads wear the crown
  Of happy love, and a perennial pride        10
  Wait on your banks, by Flora’s finger wrought,—
If this my faithful look you carry down
  Upon the silver bosom of your tide
  To her who leads and tempers all my thought.
Note 1. Erasmi di Valvasone was born about the year 1523, and was the author of the Angeleida, which Hayley and Warton affirmed that Milton had copied in certain passages of his Paradise Lost. I would here mention that James Glassford, whose excellent translations of this and several other sonnets are given in this volume, was born at Dougalston, in Scotland, at the close of the last century. Some of his translations first appeared in the London Magazine in 1823, and were afterwards collected together and published under the title of Lyrical Compositions from the Italian Poets in 1834. A writer in the Edinburgh Review observes respecting them—“We have been greatly pleased with this little volume, as much from its general character as from the grace and polish of its execution. It is evidently the production of one possessing a quick natural sensibility to natural beauty, improved by art and study, and no inattentive observer of the poetry of our times.” [back]

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