Monday April 9.
Finished not only the whole of Synesius’s poems, but four odes of Gregory, contained in the same little volume. And yet I really read nothing superficially. There is a great deal in Synesius which is very fine. He stands on a much higher step than Gregory does, as a poet; tho’ occasional diffuseness is the fault of each. I like the 7th. hymn extremely. A slip of paper in the first leaf, tells me that in Mr. Boyd’s opinion the 1st. 5th. & 6th. are perhaps the finest, next to the 9th. I wd. lay a very strong emphasis on perhaps. The 9th. is, I agree with him, decidedly the finest.
A & I walked out on the terrace opposite the drawing room windows. Oh I do wish, fervently wish, that something were settled. I cd. be happy—at least, happier, if it were.
My eyes ached tonight with reading today.
1. It is clear from E.B.B.’s letter to H.S.B. [16 April 1832], that she was reading an edition by Franciscus Portus (1511–81); see BC, 3, 306-307. This might have been Synesii Cyrenœi. Episcopi Ptolemaïdis, Hymni vario (Paris, 1618), which included Gregory Nazianzen’s odes commencing “Te immortalem monarcham,” “Quid tibi vis fieri,” “Te etiam nunc laudamus” and “Dubio procul quamplurima contingunt.”