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255

Culling their potent herbs, and baleful drugs,
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 lulld 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

soul,

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

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

257. Silius Italicus, of a Sici. Sublimely expressed to imply lian shepherd tuning his reed, the binding up its rational fa- Bell. Půn. 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,

of the last image in Milton. T. Sweet Constable doth take the won

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, Lydian aires. We have

Unless the goddess, &c.] lapped in delight" in Spenser, Thus Fletcher, Faith. Shep. act Faery Q. v. vi. 6. Prisoned was

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

-Whate'er she be; and Shakespeare, passim. 7.

Be'st thou her spirit, or some divinity,

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 uokindly 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,
Compellid 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 Cumus 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, Metam. iv. 320.

Mr. Birch was very useful. In -Puer, 0 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.

LADY.
How easy my misfortune is to hit!

285

allotted to each. The Greeks, 282. To seek i' the 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

-may guides ?] He had written at first

This night forestall him of the comfrom 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.

E

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.

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

290

289. Were they of manly prime, , Aspice, aratra jugo referunt suspensa or youthful bloom?] 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

Bobus fatigatis. P. L. V. 295. and xi. 245.

The Greeks have a single word His starry helm unbuckled shew'd him prime

that expresses the whole very In manhood, where youth ended. happily, βουλντος tempus quo boSee the notes on P. L. iii. 636.

ves solvuntur, as in Homer, Iliad T. Warton.

xvi. 779. 290. As smooth as Hebe's their Ημος δ ηελιος μετενεισσιτο βούλντενδί. unrazor'd lips.] Virgil, Æn. ix.

291. -the labour'd Ox 181.

In his loose traces from the furOra puer primå signans intonsa ju

row came.] venta.

This is classical. But the return Richardson.

'of

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

In England the ploughman alTill new-born chins

ways quits his work at noon. Are rough and razorable.

Gray, therefore, with Milton, T. Warton. painted from books and not from

the life, where in describing the 291. Two such I saw, what time the labour'd ox &c.] In the Mas departing day-light he says, nuscript it is such two: and the The ploughman homeward plo his notation of time is in the pastoral

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

oxen

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,
And play i'th' plighted clouds. I was awe-struck,

300

« &c.".

as

the next line, is from nature; “ and stood, and said unto me, and hedger, a word new in poetry, although of common use, Comus thus describes to the has a good effect. T. Warton. Lady the striking appearance of

293. And the swink'd hedger]. her Brothers; and after the same The swink'd hedger is the same manner, in the Iphigenia in Tau, as the labour'd ox, tired, fatigued.

ris of Milton's favourite Greek 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 sweat in

as preternatural beings and obcessantly.

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

Ακροισι δακτυλοισι πορθμενων ιχνος"

Ελεξι δ'. Ουκ ορατε ; δαίμονες σινες two editions in 1645 and 1673,

Θασσουσιν οιδε. Θεοσεβης δ' ημων τις ων which indeed we generally fol

Ανασχε χειρα, και προσαυξατ' ισιδων: low. The edition of 1637 points Ω ποντιας και Λευκοθέας, νεων φυλαξ, it otherwise,

Δισκοτα Παλαιμων,

Εισ' ουν επ' ακταις Ρασσετον 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. T'hyer,

301. And play i' th' plighted v. 21.

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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