in the view; to which it may justly be replied that the word ‘hemisphere,’ if applied only to the earth, equally omits the sky, and the two defects balance each other.
‘Tinged with rose’ is undoubtedly a briefer expression for the untranslatable ‘rosata’ than ‘stained with roseate hues’ would be. The last line of the three finds an identical rendering in the two versions, and while ‘bel sereno’ is more literally rendered by ‘fair serene’ than by ‘light serene,’ yet the earlier phrase has the advantage of being better English
, serene being there used as an adjective only, whereas in the later translation it is used as a noun, a practice generally regarded as obsolete in the dictionaries.
Even where the word is thus employed, they tell us, it does not describe the morning light, but indicates, like the French
word ‘serein,’ an evening dampness; as where Daniel
says, ‘The fogs and the serene offend us.’
Summing up the comparison, so far as this one example goes, it would seem that the revised version of Longfellow
has but very slight advantage over its predecessor, while the loss of vividness and charm is unquestionable.
To carry the test yet farther, let us compare the three lines, in their two successive versions, with the prose version of Professor Norton
, which reads as follows: ‘I have seen ere now at the beginning of the day the eastern region all rosy, ’