صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And all their echoes mourn.
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
Shall now no more be seen,
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flow'rs, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.

Where were ye, nymphs, when the remorseless deep Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas ? 51 For neither were ye playing on the steep,

in a beautiful description of the

H xara II mysia pada rutia, rura

Dovda growth of the vine, says, that it spreads itself abroad - multiplici Ou yag on TOTA JOIA pesyar poor syre

Αναπώ, “ lapsu et erratico." De Senect. Oude Actuees orosiar, oud Axidos ilçer 8. xv. T. Warton.

vowe. 45. As killing as the canker to 50. But see also Spenser's the rose,] Shakespeare is fond Astrophel, st. 22. of this image, and, Irom. nis very Ah where were ye the while his frequent repetitions of it, seems

shepherd Peares, &c. to have suggested it to Milton.

T. Warton. T. Warton.

52. — the steep, 47. Or frost to flow'rs, that

Where your old Bards, the their gay wardrobe wear,] Milton

famous Druids, lie, &c.] had first written, their gay buttons Mr. Richardson's conjecture upon wear ; but corrected it in the this passage, I think, is the best Manuscript.

I have seen, that this sleep, 50. Where were ye, Nymphs, where the Druids lie, is a place &c.] He imitates Virgil, Ecl. x. called Kerig u Druidion in the 9.

mountains of Denbighshire, or Quæ nemora, aut qui vos saltus Druids' stones, because of the habuere puellæ

stonechests or coffins, and other Naiades, indigno cum Gallus amore

monuments there in abundance, periret? Nam neque Parnassi vobis juga, supposed to have been of the nam neque Pindi

Druids. See Camden. Mona Ulla moram fecere, neque Aonia is the isle of Anglesey, or the Aganippe.

shady island as it was called by as Virgil had before imitated the ancient Britons. And Deva Theocritus, Idyl. i. 66.

is the river Dee, the meaning of Πω που' αρ' ησθ' όκα Δαφνις ιτακετο;

which word Deva is by some Ta kona yupi par ;

supposed to be divine water.

Where your old Bards, the famous Druids, lie,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: . 55

[ocr errors]

See Camden's Cheshire. And citing her own history; where for the same reason that it is she mentions her thick and dark here called wizard stream, it has groves as the favourite residence the name of ancient hallow'd Dee of the Druids. in our author's Vacation Exercise; Sometimes within my shades, in and Spenser thus introduces it many an ancient wood, among his rivers, Faery Queen,

Whose often-twined tops great Phe. b. iv. cant. 11. st. 59.

bus fires withstood,

The fearlesse British priests, under And Dee, which Britons long

an aged oake, &c. Did call divine, that doth by Chester Where, says Selden, “the British tend.

“ Druids tooke this isle of AnAnd Drayton in his Polyolbion,

“ glesey, then well-stored with Song x.

“ thicke woods and religious

“ groves, in so much that it was A brooke it was, suppos'd much " then called Inis dowil, The bus'ness to have seen,

dark isle, for their chiefe resiWhich had an ancient bound 'twixt Wales and England been,

“ dence, &c.” 8. ix. vol. iii. p. And noted was by both to be an 837, 839. Here are Milton's auominous flood,

thorities. For the Druid-sepul. That changing of his foards, the chres, at Kerig y Druidion, he

future ill or good Of either country told, of either's

consulted Camden. T. Warton. war or peace,

54. -shaggy top] So P. L. The sickness or the health, the dearth vi. 645. The angels uplift the or the increase &c.

hills, These places all look toward -By their shaggy tops. Ireland, and were famous for

T. Warton. the residence of the Bards and 55. Nor yet where Deva spreads Druids, who are distinguished her wizard stream:] In Spenser, by most authors, but Milton the river Dee is the haunt of speaks of them as the same, and magicians. Faery Queen, i. ix. 4. probably as priests they were The Dee has been made the Druids, and as poets they were scene of a variety of ancient Bards. For Cæsar, who has British traditions. The city of given us the best and most Chester was called by the Britons authentic account of the ancient the Fortress upon Dee; which Druids, says, that among other was feigned to have been founded things they learn a great number by the giant Leon, and to have of verses. Magnum ibi nume- been the place of King Arthur's rum versuum ediscere dicuntur. magnificent coronation. De Bel. Gall. lib. vi. c. 13.

But there is another and per54. Nor on the shaggy top of haps a better reason, why Deva's Mona high,) In Drayton's Poly. is a wizard stream. In Drayton, olbion, Mona is introduced re- this river is styled the hallowed,

Aye me! I fondly dream
Had ye been there, for what could that have done ?

and the holy, and the ominous But' to return to the text imflood. Polyolb. s. X. vol. iii. p. mediately before us. In the 848. s. ix, vol. ïïi. p. 287. s. iv. midst of this wild imagery, the vol. ii. p. 731. Again, holy tombs of the Druids, dispersed “ Dee," Heroicall Epist. vol. i. over the solitary mountains of p. 293. And in his Ideas, vol. Denbighshire, the shaggy sumiy. p. 1271. And Browne, in mits of Mona, and the wizard his Britannia's Pastorals, b.ii. s. waters of Deva, Milton was in v. p. 117. edit. 1616.

his favourite track of poetry. He Never inore let holy Dee

delighted in the old British traOre other rivers brave, &c.

ditions and fabulous histories.

But his imagination seems to Much superstition was founded

have been in some measure on the circumstance of its being

warmed, and perhaps directed the ancient boundary between

to these objects, by reading DrayEngland and Wales: see Dray- ton: who in the Ninth and ton, s. X. See also s. iii. vol. ii.

Tenth Songs of his Polyolbion p. 711. s. xii. vol. iii. p. 901.

has very copiously enlarged, and But in the Eleventh Song, Dray. almost at one view, on this scen

ton calls the Weever, a river of ery. It is, however, with great - Cheshire, “ The wizard river," and immediately subjoins, that Milton, in transferring the clas

river:.

for

force and felicity of fancy, that in prophetick Skill it vies with

sical seats of the Muses to Brithe Dee, ś. xi. vol. iii. p. 861.

tain, has substituted places of the Here we seem to have the origin

most romantic kind, inhabited and the precise meaning of Mil

hy Druids, and consecrated by ton's appellation. In Comus, the visions of British bards. And Wizard also signifies a Diviner

it has been justly remarked, how where it is applied to Proteus, coldly and unpoetically Pope, in v. 872.

his very correct pastorals, has on By the Carpathian wizard's hook the same occasion selected only

Milton appears to have taken the fair fields of Isis, and the a particular pleasure in mention- winding vales of Cam. ing this venerable river. In the But at the same time there is beginning of his first Elegy, he an immediate propriety in the almost goes out of his way to substitution of these places. They specify his friend's residence on are in the vicinity of the Irish the banks of the Dee; which he seas, where Lycidas was shipdescribes with the picturesque wrecked. It is thus Theocritus and real circumstance of its asks the Nymphs, how it came tumbling headlong over rocks to pass, that when Daphnis died, and precipices into the Irish sea. they were not in the delicious El. i. 1.

vales of Peneus, or on the banks Occidua Devo Cesirensis ab ora,

of the great torrent Anapus, the Vergivium prono qua petit amne sacred water of Acis, or on the salum.

summits of mount Etna: because

What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself for her inchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His goary visage down the stream was sent,

[ocr errors]

all these were the haunts or the And the two last of these editions habitation of the shepherd Daph were printed under Milton's eye. nis. These rivers and rocks have Hence Mr. Warton reads, a real connection with the poet's

Aye me! I fondly dream! subject. T. Warton.

Had ye been there, &c. 56. Aye me! I fondly dream Had ye been there, for what

and he thus explains the pascould that have done 21 sage, “ Ah me! I am fondly We have here followed the point

“ dreaming! I will suppose you ing of Milton's manuscript in

had been there--but why should preference to all the editions:

I suppose it, for what would and the meaning plainly is, I

« that have availed ?" The words fondly dream of your having

in Italics supplying the ellipsis. been there, for what would that have signified ? Mr. Thyer con- v

58. What could the Muse &c.] jectured that the passage should Milton had first written thus, be so pointed, and Milton has so What could the golden hair’d Calliope pointed it, though he does not For her inchanting son! often observe the stops in his

When she beheld (the Gods far-sighted

be) Manuscript. Mr. Jortin likewise

His goary scalp roll down the Thra-. perceived this to be the sense; ."

cian lee : and asks whether this transposition would not be better than

but in his Manuscript he altered the common reading.

these lines with judgment. And

afterwards his goary visage was Had ye been there-Aye me, I fondly

a correction from his divine visage. dream For what could that have done ?

58. P. L. vii. 37. Of Orpheus What could the Muse &c.

torn in pieces by the Bacchana

lians. 56. Perhaps the passage may be understood thus, “ I fondly

-Nor could the Muse defend

Her son. “ dream of your assistance if ye “ had been there, for what could And his murderers are called your presence have availed? “ that wild rout," v. 34. Calliope “ What could the Muse herself, was the mother of Orpheus. « &c.”

Lycidas, as a poet, is here tacitly The printed copies of 1638, compared with Orpheus. T. 1645, and 1673, have it,

Warton.

60. - Universal nature.] So Aye me, I fondly dream! Had ye been there-for what could

« universal Pan," P. L. iv. 266. that have done?

T. Warton.
VOL IV.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?

Alas! what boots it with incessant care
To tend the homely slighted shepherd's trade,
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?
Were it not better done as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair ?
Fame is the spur that the clear spi'rit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble mind)

63. Down the swift Hebrus to otium ingrato labori prætulerat. the Lesbian shore.] In calling Virg. Æn. vii. 425. Hebrus swift, Milton, who is

I nunc, ingratis offer te, irrise, periavaricious of classical authority, clis. appears to have followed a verse in the Æneid, i. 321.

68. To sport with Amaryllis in -Volucremque fuga prævertitur He.

the shade,

Or with the tangles of Neæra's brum.

hair ?] But Milton was misled by a

Amaryllis, a country lass in The

A wrong, although a very ancient,

" ocritus and Virgil. Neæra, Æreading. Even Servius blames his author for attributing this

gon's mistress in Virgil's third epithet to Hebrus, “ Nam quietis

Eclogue. Peck. " simus est, etiam cum per hye

But Mr. Warton shews, that in

all probability Milton is here “ mem crescit." [See Burman's Virgil, vol. i. p. 05. col. i edit glancing at Buchanan, whose ad

dresses to Amaryllis and Neæra 1746. 4to.] Besides, what was

were well known at the time. the merit of the amazon huntress

See note at the end of the Elegies. Harpalyce to outstrip a river, I even if uncommonly rapid? The 69. Or with the tangles &c.] genuine reading might have been So corrected in the Manuscript Eurum, as Rutgersius proposed.' from Hid in the tangles &c. -Volucremque fuga prævertitur Eu- . 70. Fame is the spur &c.] The

T. Warton.

reader may see the same senti.

ment inlarged upon in the Para. 66. And strictly meditate the dise Regained, iii. 25. and conthankless Muse?] Meditate the firmed in the notes by numerous Muse, Virg. Ecl. i. 2. Musam quotations from the heathen phimeditaris. The thankless Muse, losophers. that earns no thanks, is not 71. That last infirmity of noble thanked by the ungrateful world: mind.] Abate Grillo, in his Letas ingratus in Latin is used in a tere, has called “ questa sete di passive as well as active signifi- « fama et gloria, ordinaria infircation. Sallust, Cat. xxxviii. “ mita degli animi generosi.”'

rum.

« السابقةمتابعة »