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Such sights as youthful poets dream
of this line as regarding the moon; and the five next lines tend to warrant the general contents of those notes by pointing to the practice of youthful poets studying the pictures in the moon on summer-nights ; and point to that practice as particularly adopted by Shakspeare, as attempted to be shewn in the preceding volumes : and this again (considering who speaks) is still strengthened by the expression in 136, Lap me in soft Lydian airs married to verse. The general drift, however, of the concluding lines of the poem from the 136th
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
line, seems to be to point to the music of the spheres (of which poetical fancy I have already said an explanation is not wanting); and a great share of that music, under’any explanation, must naturally be conceived to be attributable to the moon, whose planetary wanderings or mazes are particularly alluded to in the 142nd line. The two last lines of the Poem refer to the constant amusement resulting from the various poetical compositions to which the pictures in the moon have, in almost all known time, given rise.
Hence vain deluding joys,
The brood of folly without father bred, How little you bested,
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!
1. The character of Il Penseroso is to be ascribed not to the commonly-introduced or mide dlemost of the three outlines of Hudibras's face, but to the hithermost of them; that is to say, to the same dark shadows as constitute the prototype of Hamlet when “ transformed”' (fig. 66) or the same as constitute Anthonio in the Merchant of Venice 6 when grown sad by his losses.” In this character his cast of countenance is peculiarly contemplative, as alluded to in line 4 by the expression “fixed mind;" while the terms “brood of folly” in the second line and “idle brain” in the fifth are to be referred to lunacy, as supposed to be connected with the moon. VOL. IV.