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Culling their potent herbs, and baleful drugs, 255
Who as they sung, would take the prison'd soul,
And lap it in Elysium; Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause:
Yet they in pleasing slumber lull’d the sense, 260
And in sweet madness robb’d it of itself;
But such a sacred, and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss
I never heard till now. I'll speak to her,
And she shall be my queen. Hail, foreign wonder, 265

256. — would take the prison'd See Paradise Lost, ii. 660. and soul,

1019. and the notes there. And lap it in Elysium ;]

257. Silius Italicus, of a SiciSublimely expressed to imply lian shepherd tuning his reed, the binding up its rational fa- Bell. Pun. xiv. 467. culties, and is opposed to the

Scyllæi tacuere canes, stetit atra sober certainty of waking bliss.

Charybdis. But the imagery is taken from Shakespeare, who has employed The same situation and circum. it, in praise of music, on twenty stances dictated a similar fiction occasions. Warburton.

or mode of expression to either In the old play, the Return poet. But Silius avoided the from Parnassus, 1606, act i. s. 2. boldness, perhaps impropriety, Sweet Constable doth take the won.

of the last image in Milton. T.

Warton. dering ear, And lays it up in willing prisonment.

265. Hail, foreign wonder,

Whom certain these rough shades In L'Allegro, 136. Lap me in

did never breed, soft Lydian aires. We have

Unless the goddess, &c.] lapped in delightin Spenser,

penser, Thus Fletcher, Faith. Shep. act

Thi Faery Q. v. vi. 6. Prisoned was

as V. s. 1. vol. iii. p. 188. more common than imprisoned. See B. and Fletcher's Philaster,

Whate'er she be;

Be'st thou her spirit, or some divinity, and Shakespeare, passim. 1.

That in her shape thinks good to Warton.

walk this grove. 257. — Scylla wept, · And chid &c.]

But perhaps our author had an He had first writen,

unperceived retrospect to the

Tempest, act i. s. 2. - Scylla wonld weep And chide, then chiding her barking Ferd. Most sure the goddess *Waves &c.

On whom these aires attend.

Whom certain these rough shades did never breed,
Unless the goddess that in rural shrine
Dwell'st here with Pan, or Silvan, by blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog
To touch the prosp'rous growth of this tall wood. 270

LADY.
Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise
That is address'd to unattending ears ;
Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
How to regain my sever'd company,
Compell’d me to awake the courteous Echo 275
To give me answer from her mossy couch.

Comus.'
What chance, good Lady, hath bereft you thus?

--My prime request,

268. Dwell'st here with Pan, Which I do last pronounce, is, O you &c.] In the Manuscript he had wonder,

written at first Liv'st here with If you be maid or no ?

Pan, &c. and see what he says Where muid is crealed being, a of the Genius of the wood in woman in opposition to goddess. Arcades, and compare it with Comus is universally allowed to this passage. have taken some of its tints 270. To touch the prosp'rous from the Tempest. Compare the growth of this tall wood. We see Faerie Q. iii. v. 36. ii. iii. 33. and by the Manuscript with what B. and Fletcher's Sea-voyage, judgment Milton corrected. And act ii. s. 1. And Ovid, where in this view the publication of it Salmacis first sees the boy Her- by the learned and ingenious maphroditus, Meinm. iv. 320. Mr. Birch was very useful. In * -Puer, O dignissime credi

this line the Manuscript had prosEsse Deus; seu tu deus es, potes esse pering, which Milton with judgCupido, &c.

ment altered to prosperous; for And Browne's Britannia's Pus- tall wood implies full grown, to "torals, b. i. s. 4. p. 70. Homer, which prosperous agrees, but prosin the address of Ulysses to Nau- pering implies it not to be full sicaa, the father of true elegance grown. Warburton. as well as of true poetry, is the 277, &c. Here is an imioriginal author of this piece of tation of those scenes in the gallantry, which could not escape Greek Tragedies, where the diathe vigilance of Virgil. See Ar- logue proceeds by question and cades, v. 44. T. Warlon. answer, a single verse being

280

LADY.
Dim darkness, and this leafy labyrinth.

Comus.
Could that divide you from near-ushering guides?

LADY.
They left me weary on a grassy turf.

Comus.
By falsehood, or discourtesy, or why?

LADY.
To seek i’ th' valley some cool friendly spring.

COMUS.
And left your fair side all unguarded, Lady?

Lady.
They were but twain, and purpos'd quick return.

Comus.
Perhaps forestalling night prevented them. 285

LADY.
How easy my misfortune is to hit!

allotted to each. The Greeks, 282. To seek i' th' valley some doubtless, found a grace in this cool friendly spring.) This is a sort of dialogue. As it was one different reason from what she of the characteristics of the Greek had assigned before, ver. 186. drama, it was natural enough for our young poet, passionately

To bring me berries, or such cooling

fruit, &c. fond of the Greek tragedies, to affect this peculiarity. But he They might have left her on judged better in his riper years; both accounts. there being no instance of this 285. Perhaps forestalling night dialogue, I think, in his Samson prevented them.] So in ShakeAgonistes. Hurd.

speare, Cymbal, act iii. s. 4. 279. — from near-ushering guides ?] He had written at first

This night forestall him of the com. from their ushering hands; and

ing day. in the next verse, They left me wearied. The first alteration See the notes, P. L. X. 1024. T. seems to be better than the last. Warton.

VOL. IV.

may

COMUS.
Imports their loss, beside the present need?

LADY.
No less than if I should my Brothers lose, ;

COMUS.
Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom?'

LADY.
As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips. 290

COMUS.
Two such I saw, what time the labour'd ox
In his loose traces from the furrow came,

289. Were they of manly prime, Aspice, aratra jugo referunt suspensa or youthful bloom 7] Were they juvenci: young men or striplings? Prime and in Horace, Od. iii. vi. 41. is perfection.

-sol ubi montium Nature here wanton'd as in her prime. Mutaret umbras, et juga demeret P. L. v. 295. and xi. 245.

Bobus fatigatis. His starry helm unbuckled shew'd

The Greeks have a single word him prime

that expresses the whole very In manhood, where youth ended. happily, Boudutos tempus quo boSee the notes on PL : 636. ves solvuntur, as in Homer, Iliad T. Warton.

. xvi. 779. 290. As smooth as Hebe's their Ημος δ' ηελίες μεσενεισσιτο βούλυτουδί. unrazor'd lips.] Virgil, Æn. ix.

291. - the labour'd ox 181.

In his loose traces from the fur. Ora puer prima signans intonsa ju

row came.] venta.

Richardson. This is classical. But the return

'of oxen or horses from the The unpleasant epithet un- plough, is not a natural circumrazor'd has one much like it in stance of an English evening. the Tempest, act ii. s. 5.

In England the ploughman al- Till new-born chins .. ways quits his work at noon. Are rough and razorable."

Gray, therefore, with Milton,

T. Wartoit. painted from books and not from 291. Two such I saw, what time a

the life, where in describing the the labour'd ox &c.] In the Ma. "

departing day-light he says, nuscript it is Such two: and the

The ploughman homeward plods his notation of time is in the pastoral

weary way. manner, as in Virgil, Ecl. ii. 66. The swink'd hedger's supper, in

And the swink'd hedger at his supper sat;
I saw them under a green mantling vine
That crawls along the side of yon small hill, 295
Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots;
Their port was more than human, as they stood:
I took it for a faëry vision
Of some gay creatures of the element,
That in the colours of the rainbow live,

300 And play i'thplighted clouds. I was awe-struck,

the next line, is from nature; and hedger, a word new in po. etry, although of common use, has a good effect. T. Warton.

and stood, and said unto me, “ &c.",

Comus thus describes to the Lady the striking appearance of

The swink'd hedger is the same manner, in the Iphigenia in Tau.

To swink is to work, to labour, tragedian Euripides, a shepherd as in Spenser's Faery Queen, b. describes Pylades and Orestes to ii. cant. vii. st. 8.

Iphigenia the sister of the latter, For which men swink and swent in- as preternatural beings and obcessantly.

jects of adoration, v. 246. 297. Their port was more than humàn, as they stood :] We have Βουφορβος ημων, καταχωρησεν παλιν, followed the pointing of Milton's

Ακροισι δακτυλοισι πορθμενων ιχνος:

Eniğe d'• Oux épats ; daípegyss TIVES two editions in 1645 and 1673,

Θασσουσιν οιδε. Θεοσεβης δ' ημων τις ων which indeed we generally fol Ανασχε χειρα, και προσαυξατ' εισιδων: low. The edition of 1637 points roytias Has Asuxadías, yowy Quick, it otherwise,

Δισκοτα Παλαιμων,

Εις' ουν επ' ακταις βασσετον Διοσκορω, Their port was more than human;

&c. as they stood, &c.

T. and this is followed by Dr. Dal. Compare note on v. 265.

Warton. ton.' Milton's Manuscript has no pointing here to direct us.

299. Of some gay creatures of 297. We have much the same

the element,] In the north of form of expression in the Epitaph

England this term is still made on the Marchioness of Winchester,

use of for the sky. Thyer. v. 21.

301. And play i' th plighted

clouds.] By using plighted here, And in his garland, as he stood, . instead of the more common Ye might discern a cypress bud.

word plaited, an unpleasant conSee Acts Apost. xxii. 13, 14. sonance was avoided--and play “One Ananias came unto me, i' th plaited clouds. Spenser

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