Mr Elliott

Liberty, a Canzonet to Nysa

Specimen of translation from Metastasio

Thanks to thy pow’r of giving pain,
Nysa, at length I breathe again;
 At length Heav’n pities me,
For now I feel thy snares are brok,
My soul shakes off the lover’s yoke
 Nor dreams of Liberty.

No ardor now — calm is my breast,
So calm that nought of love suppressed
 ’Neath anger’s mask is seen.
No more my changing color tells
I hear thy name, no longer swells
 My heart to meet its queen.

I sleep, thou’rt not in ev’ry dream — 
I wake, but thou art not the theme
 That fills my earliest thought.
I wander far, nor wish thee near;
And by thy presence, once so dear,
 Nor pain nor pleasure’s brought.

Unmov’d I dwell upon thy charms;
No self-reproach my heart alarms
 To think I did thee wrong;
Confus’d no more when thou draw’st nigh,
E’en to my rival’s self can I
 Of thee the tale prolong.

Glance upon me thy looks disdain,
Or kindly speakst thou, all is vain,
 Thy favor or thy scorn;
No more those lips shall I obey,
No more those eyes shall know the way
 They to my heart had torn.

Whate’er shall joy or pain me now,
Be smiles or gloom upon my brow,
 ’Tis nor thy gift nor fault:
Without thee pleases now the grove,
The hill, the mead, with thee I move
 Tired, where no joys exalt.

I own my shame — to break the dart
Thou there had fix’d, it rent my heart — 
 It almost kill’d to cure:
But, from oppression, grief and pain
T’escape, and all himself regain,
 What cannot Man endure?

The bird that’s caught in limy snares
Struggling for flight his plumage tears
 But freely darts away;
His feathers lost restor’d by time,
He cautious grows, lest treach’rous lime
 Again his flight betray.

I know thy think’st my former flame
Still burns — that lovers thus declaim — 
 That cure would end my song:
No — ’tis the nat’ral wish to tell
Of risks and scapes that erst befell
 Makes me the verse prolong.

I now relate, the trial o’er,
My suff’rings — thus of wounds he bore
 The scars the warrior shows:
Thus blithe the slave set free displays
The cruel chain that many days
 He dragged mid scorn and woes.

I speak, content with that alone,
Nor care, so easy am I grown,
 If I’m believ’d by thee;
Nor ask, if thou approv’st the line,
Nor if tranquility is thine
 Whene’er thou talk’st of me.

You lose a heart sincere — I go
Far from a faithless girl, nor know
 Who first need comfort ask:
No more you’ll meet a love so true — 
To find a nymph as false as you
 Will be an easy task.