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Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie

The hidden soul of harmony;
That Orpheus self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed

So also in the Mask, speaking of
Circe and the Sirens,

Who as they sung, would take the prison'd soul,

And lap it in Elysium

It may
be observed, that Milton's
imagination glows with a parti-
cular brightness not only in this
charming passage, but in every
other where he has occasion to
describe the power of music,
which shews how fond he was of
it, and finely exemplifies Horace's
maxim,

Verbaque provisam rem non invita
Thyer.

The Lydian music was very soft
and sweet, and according to Cas-
siodorus, (Varior. lib. ii. ep. 40.
ad Boethium,) contra nimias cu-
ras, animæque tædia reperta, re-
missione reparabat et oblecta-
tione animos corroborabat. And

so Dryden, in his excellent Ode on St. Cecilia's day,

sequentur.

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures.

136. Lap me in soft Lydian airs,] An acute critic, Dr. Pem

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145

berton, on Leonidas, considers the uncertain mixture of iambic and trochaic verses, of which we have here an example, as a blemish in our poet's versification. I own, I think this mixture has a good effect in the passage before us, and in many others. As in Il Penseroso, v.

143.

That at her flowery work doth sing.

Which is an iambic verse, chang-
ing to trochaic in the next line,
And the waters murmuring.
Again,

There let the pealing organ blow
To the full-voic'd quire below.
Dr. J. Warton.

And again, p. 105. ed. fol. 1621. See also Shakespeare, Troil. and Cres. act i. sc. 3. And he has married lineaments, for harmony of features, in Rom. and Juliet.

T. Warton.

146. From golden slumber on a bed

Of heap'd Elysian flowers,] Compare P. L. iii. 358. Milton's florid style has this distinction

Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs, and hear

Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regain'd Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

XIV.

Il Penseroso*.

HENCE vain deluding joys,

The brood of folly without father bred,

How little you bestead,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys?

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serving, that this poem, both in its model and principal circumstances, is taken from a song in praise of melancholy in Fletcher's comedy called The Nice Valor, or Passionate Madman. The reader will not be displeased to see it here, as it is well worth transcribing.

Hence all you vain delights,
As short as are the nights

Wherein you spend your folly; There's nought in this life sweet, If man were wise to see't,

But only Melancholy,
Oh sweetest Melancholy.
Welcome folded arms, and fix'd eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that's fasten'd to the ground,
A tongue chain'd up without a sound.
Fountain heads, and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves;
Moon-light walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly hous'd, save bats and
owls;

A midnight bell, a parting groan,
These are the sounds we feed upon;

Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hovering dreams

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.

Hence, hence, false pleasures, mo-
mentary joyes,
Mocke us no more with your illuding
toyes!

Then stretch our bones in a still forth without a father. Theog. gloomy valley,

212.

Nothing's so dainty sweet, as lovely
Melancholy.

1. Hence vain deluding joys, &c.] From a distich, as Mr. Bowle observes, in Sylvester, the translator of Du Bartas, Workes, ed. fol. 1621. p. 1084.

The imagery which follows, v.
5. and seq. is immediately from
his Cave of Sleep in Du Bartas,
p. 316. ed. fol. 1621. (See note
on L'Allegro, v. 10.) He there
mentions Morpheus, and his
"fantasticke swarme of dreames
"that hovered".
green, red,
"and yellow, tawny, black, and

""

"blew"-and these resemble

Th' unnumbered motes which in the sun do play.

5

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And afterwards he calls the gawdy swarme of dreames." Hence Milton's fancies fond, gaudy shapes, numberless gay motes in the sun-beams, and the hovering dreams of Morpheus. T. Warton.

2. The brood of folly without father bred,] He assigns the same kind of origin to these fantastic joys, as Hesiod does to dreams, which he says the Night brings

10

-έτικτε δε φύλον ονειρων
Ου σινι κοιμηθείσα θεα τίκι Νυξ ερεβεννή.
Mr. Thyer had made the same
observation with me; and we
may be the more certain of this
allusion on account of the fol-
lowing comparison likest
hovering dreams.

7. As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people
the sun-beams,]

A similitude copied from Chau-
cer. Wife of Bath's Tale, ver.
868.

As thik as motis in the sunné beme. 7. But it was now a common illustration. See Drayton, Mus. Elys. Nymph. vi. vol. iv. p. 1494. Randolph's Poems, ed. 1640. p. 97. Caxton's Golden Legend, ed. 1483. fol. 306. b. Sylvester certainly suggested the idea. T. Warton.

10. The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.] Fickle is transitory, perpetually shifting, as in Shakespeare's Sonnet cxxvi.— "Time's fickle glass."-Pensioners became a common appellation in our poetry for train, attendants, retinue, &c. As in the Mids. N. Dr. act ii. s. 1. of the faery queen,

The cowslips tall her pensioners be.

But hail thou Goddess, sage and holy,
Hail divinest Melancholy,
Whose saintly visage is too bright
To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view
O'erlaid with black, staid wisdom's hue;

This was in consequence of Qu. Elizabeth's fashionable establishment of a band of military courtiers by that name. They were young men of the finest figure, and of the best families and fortune. Hence, says Quickly, in the Merry Wives, act ii. s. 2. "And yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pensioners." T. Warton.

Morpheus, the minister of Somnus, or Sleep, so called because he feigns ras pogas, the very countenances, words, manners, and gestures of mankind, and exhibits them in dreams. So Ovid Met. xi. 634.

Excitat artificem simulatoremque
figuræ
Morphea.

Peck. 11.-sage and holy,] Melancholy is called sage, as Night was termed by the Greeks Ev@gon; and for the like reason; both being favourable to wisdom and contemplation. “ Tny vuxta #goo

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ειπον ΕΥΦΡΟΝΗΝ, μεγα προς εύρειν των ζητουμένων και σκέψιν ηγούμενοι την ήσυχίαν και το απερι “ σπαστον.” Plutarch. ΠΕΡΙ ΠΟAYпРАгм. Opp. ii. p. 521. fol. Francof. 1599. Hurd.

See also Marston's Scourge of Villanie, ut supr. lib. i. Proem.

Thou nursing mother of fair wisdom's lore,

Ingenuous Melancholy.

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See note on L'Allegr. v. 1. T. Warton.

12. Hail divinest Melancholy, &c.] Milton, says Mr. Bowle, has here some traces of Albert Durer's Melancholia. Particularly in the black visage, the looks commercing with the skies, and the stole drawn over her decent shoulders. The painter, he adds, gave her wings, which the poet has transferred to Contemplation, v. 52. I think it is highly probable, that Milton had this personification in his eye: and by making two figures out of one, and by giving Melancholy a kindred companion, to whom wings may be properly attributed, and who is distantly implied in Durer's idea, he has removed the violence, and cleared the obscurity, of the allegory, preserving at the same time the whole of the original conception. Mr. Steevens subjoins, "Mr. Bowle might "have added, that in Durer's "design, a winged cherub, per

66

haps designed for Contempla"tion, is the satellite of Melancholy. All transfer of plumage was therefore needless. "The poet indeed has taken the "wings from his goddess, and I "think with judgment: for al

though Contemplation is ex"cursive, Melancholy is attached "to its object." T. Warton.

16. O'erlaid with black, staid

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Black, but such as in esteem
Prince Memnon's sister might beseem,
Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above

The Sea-Nymphs, and their pow'rs offended:
Yet thou art higher far descended,
Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore
To solitary Saturn bore;

wisdom's hue.] Her countenance appears dark to the grossness of human vision, although in reality of excessive lustre. The bright visage was therefore overlaid with black, according to its visible appearance, by Durer in his portrait of Melancholy. It is the same general idea in Parad. L. iii. 377.

-But when thou shad'st The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud

Drawn round about thee, &c.

But this imagery is there extended and enriched with new sublimity for God even thus concealed, adds the poet, dazzles heaven, and forces the most exalted seraphim to retire, and cover their eyes with both their wings. T. Warton.

18. Prince Memnon's sister] Memnon, king of Ethiopia, son of Tithonus by Aurora, repairing with a great host to the relief of Priam king of Troy, was there slain by Achilles. Peck.

19. Or that starr'd Ethiop queen &c.] Cassiope, as we learn from Apollodorus, was the wife of Cepheus king of Ethiopia. She boasted herself to be more beautiful than the Nereids, and challenged them to a trial; who

VOL. III.

20

in revenge persuaded Neptune to send a prodigious whale into Ethiopia. To appease them, she was directed to expose her daughter Andromeda to the monster: but Perseus delivered Andromeda, of whom he was enamoured, and transported Cassiope into heaven, where she became a constellation. Bibl. ii. c. iv. s. 3. Hence she is called that starred Ethiop queen. See Aratus, Phænom. v. 189. seq. But Milton seems to have been struck with an old Gothic print of the constellations, which I have seen in early editions of the Astronomers, where this queen is represented with a black body marked with white stars. T. Warton.

23. Thee bright-hair'd Vesta, &c.] Mr. Bowle thinks, that this genealogy, but without the poetry, is from Gower's song, in Pericles Prince of Tyre. More especially as the verses immediately follow those quoted from the same song, L'Allegr. v. 25. See edit. Malone, Suppl. Sh. vol. ii. 7.

With whom the father liking took, And her to incest did provoke, &c. The meaning of Milton's alle

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