Spring 1944 • Vol. VI No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1944 |

Rejecting Swinburne’s Sensibility

The Vigil Of Venus: Pervigilium Veneris: The Latin Text with an Introduction and English Translation by Allen Tate. Cummington Press. Believe that much of Mr. Tate's trouble with this poem arises from the particular text which he used for his translation. The Pervigilium Veneris is a poem of unknown authorship and uncertain date celebrating the eve of the great spring festival of Dionê—Venus Verticordia, Venus Turner of Hearts—which began as a popular festival observed on the first three nights of April, and which was later revived by the emperor Hadrian as a part of the official religion. Its language is the popular speech which must always have been spoken in Rome, even in classical times, characterized by a looseness of syntax, a softening of structure, which, in the Petvigilium, definitely looks foward to the disintegration of Latin into its romance supplanter. No definite date can be assigned to it, as I have said; but it can hardly be earlier than Hadrian, and it

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