Author Topic: John Keats, Ode on a Grecian urn -> Τζων Κητς, Ωδή σε μια ελληνική υδρία  (Read 8713 times)

elena petelos

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I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

The "Dominion Wide Mouth" Jar said to be (by Roy Harvey Pearce) the "source" for the "Anecdote of the Jar."



John Keats, Ode on a Grecian urn -> Τζων Κητς, Ωδή σε μια ελληνική υδρία

No definitive text exists for "Ode on a Grecian Urn." During Keats's lifetime, it was published in two versions. In addition, four handwritten transcripts made by friends who read Keats's handwritten version(s) survive. Editors of Keats's poems must make a choice among these versions or occasionally combine features from two or more of the variants. The problem of interpretation is particularly acute with the much-quoted couplet in the last stanza. The meaning of the lines changes, as well as the intention of the poem, in these variants. I have included all three, for your comparison and consideration.



THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,  
  Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,  
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express  
  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:  
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape          5
  Of deities or mortals, or of both,  
    In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?  
  What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?  
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?  
    What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?   10
  
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard  
  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;  
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,  
  Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:  
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave   15
  Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;  
    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,  
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;  
    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,  
  For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!   20
  
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed  
  Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;  
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,  
  For ever piping songs for ever new;  
More happy love! more happy, happy love!   25
  For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,  
    For ever panting, and for ever young;  
All breathing human passion far above,  
  That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,  
    A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.   30
  
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?  
  To what green altar, O mysterious priest,  
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,  
  And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?  
What little town by river or sea-shore,   35
  Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,  
    Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?  
And, little town, thy streets for evermore  
  Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell  
    Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.   40
  
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede  
  Of marble men and maidens overwrought,  
With forest branches and the trodden weed;  
  Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought  
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!   45
  When old age shall this generation waste,  
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe  
  Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,  
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all  
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'   50
  
http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/urn.html


Version 1
This version is based on a comparison of the four transcripts by friends. They agree on the wording, but not on capitalization.
Beauty is Truth,–Truth Beauty,–that is all
      Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Version 2

This version appeared in the Annals of the Fine Arts, for MDCCCXIX. It was probably published in January 1820.
Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.–That is all
      Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Version 3

This version appeared in the volume of poetry published in July 1820, during Keats's lifetime. It is not clear that he was well enough to correct typographical errors.
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"–that is all
      Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
« Last Edit: 14 Jun, 2010, 15:45:16 by spiros »


msbutterfly

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John Keats, Ode on a Grecian urn
« Reply #1 on: 13 Jan, 2007, 14:21:34 »
Ode on a Grecian urn by John Keats

THOU still unravish’d bride of quietness,  
  Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,  
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express  
  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:  
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape           5
  Of deities or mortals, or of both,  
    In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?  
  What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?  
  What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?  
    What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?           10
  
2.

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard  
  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;  
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,  
  Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:  
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave      15
  Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;  
    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,  
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;  
  She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,  
    For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!                   20
  
3.

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed  
  Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;  
And, happy melodist, unwearied,  
  For ever piping songs for ever new;  
More happy love! more happy, happy love!                  25
  For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,  
    For ever panting, and for ever young;  
All breathing human passion far above,  
  That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,  
    A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.            30
  
4.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?  
  To what green altar, O mysterious priest,  
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,  
  And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?  
What little town by river or sea shore,                        35
  Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,  
    Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?  
And, little town, thy streets for evermore  
  Will silent be; and not a soul to tell  
    Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.                  40
  
5.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede  
  Of marble men and maidens overwrought,  
With forest branches and the trodden weed;  
  Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought  
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!                                 45
  When old age shall this generation waste,  
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe  
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,  
  “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,”—that is all  
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.          50
« Last Edit: 07 Jan, 2010, 14:25:27 by wings »



spiros

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Ω! Νύφη, ακόμα απάρθενη, της ησυχίας της ιερής!
Συ ψυχοπαίδι της Σιωπής, του Χρόνου π' αργοσβυεί,
Ειδυλλιακέ ανιστορητή, που μύθο ολάνθιστο μπορείς
Να λες γλυκύτερα κι απ' ό,τι ο στίχος θέλει ειπεί:
Τι θρύλος φυλλοστόλιστος στην πλάση σου στοιχειώνει
Θεών ή Θνητών ή και των δυο,
Στα Τέμπη ή σε κοιλάδα Αρκαδική;

Τι άνθρωποι ετούτοι ή ποιοι Θεοί; Τι κόρες, π' άντρας δε ζυγώνει,
Τι άγριο κυνήγι; ποιος αγώνας για φευγιό;
Και τι σουραύλια, κύμβαλα; ποιαν έκσταση μανιακή;

Γλυκές οι μελωδίες π' ακούγονται, μα πιο γλυκά
Πνένε οι ανάκουστες· γι' αυτό, αυλοί απαλοί, λαλείτε,
Μα όχι στης αίσθησης το αυτί, μα άυλη χάρη, πιο ακριβά,
Στο πνέμα τα τραγούδια σας αυλείτε:
Ωραία νιότη, κάτω απ' τις σκιές, ποτέ δε θέλει λείψει
Από τα χείλη σου ο σκοπός κι ουδέ τα φύλλα απ' τα δεντρά·
Απόκοτε αγαπητικέ, ποτέ φιλί δε θα χαρείς,
Αν και σιμά στον πόθο σου -μα μην σε πάρει η θλίψη,
Δεν μπόρειε αυτή να μαραθεί, θεράπειο αν δεν ιδείς στερνά,
Αιώνια εσύ θε ν' αγαπάς και κείνη ωραία θα τη θωρείς.

Αχ! σεις πανεύτυχα κλωνιά! τα φύλλα σας ποτέ
Δε θε να ρέψουν κι άνοιξη για πάντα θα στολίζει·
Κι ακούραστε, μακάριε μελωδέ,
Αιώνια το παιχνίδι σου νέα τραγούδια θα τονίζει·
Πιο ευτυχισμένη αγάπη! αγάπη τρισευτυχισμένη!
Πάντα θερμή και π' όλο μέλλεται να σε χαρούν,
Με αιώνια λαχτάρα, νεότητα παντοτινή,
Κι απ' ό,τι πνέει τ' ανθρώπινα τα πάθη γλυτωμένη,
Που κόρο στην καρδιά και θλίψη της κληρονομούν,
Στο μέτωπο ένα πυρετό, πίκρα στη γλώσσα τη στεγνή.

Ποιοι να 'ναι ετούτοι που έρχονται, ιερή μια συνοδία;
Και το δαμάλι που μουγγάει προς τα ουράνια,
Μυστηριακέ ιερέα, σε ποιο βωμό οδηγάς για τη θυσία,
Τα μεταξένια του πλευρά με λουλουδιών στεφάνια;
Σαν τι χωριό σε ακροθαλάσσι ή σε ρυάκι,
'Η σε πλαγιά βουνού, με ακρόπολη όλο ειρήνη,
Απ' το λαό του ν' άδειασε την άγια τούτη πρωινή;
Κι ω! συ χωριό, το κάθε σου δρομάκι,
Θα 'ναι για πάντα σιωπηλό· κι ούτε θα γείρει μια ψυχή
Ποτέ να πει, γιατί έχεις έρμο μείνει.

Ω! Αττικό παράστημα! φόρμα ωραιοπλασμένη
Με αγαλματένια αντρών γενιά, κόρες με ακράτη νιότη,
Με δάσου κλώνια και τη χλόη πατημένη·
Πλάσμα σιωπηλό! σαν την αιωνιότη
Λυτρώνεις απ' τη σκέψη, ω! παστοράλι εσύ νεκρό!
Κι έρμη, με τα γεράματα, τούτη η ελικιά σα θα 'ναι,
Θα μνήσκεις τότε ακόμα εσύ μέσ' της ζωής τον πόνο,
Φίλος του ανθρώπου, να του λες αιώνιο καιρό:
«Η ομορφιά 'ναι αλήθεια, η αλήθεια 'ναι ομορφιά», το μόνο
Που ξέρομε στη γη και όλοι να μάθουνε χρωστάνε.

μετάφραση: Γιάννης Ζερβός