صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Mother of a hundred gods?
Juno dares not give her odds.

Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparallel'd?




As they come forward, the Gemius of the wood appears, and, turning

towards them, speaks:
Gen. Stay, gentle swains; for, though in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluice

Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair silver-buskin’d nymphs, as great and good;
I know, this quest of yours, and free intent,
Was all in honour and devotion meant
To the great mistress of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine;
And, with all helpful service, will comply
To further this night's glad solemnity;
And lead ye, where ye may more near behold
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone,
Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon:
For know, by lot from Jove I am the power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove
And all my plants I save from nightly illo
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill:
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue,
Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites,
Or hurtful worm with canker'd renom bites.
When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground;
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassellid horn




23. Give her olds. This certainly seems this pastoral fragment of a Mask by our no very elegant phrase, but it was a modle author. of compliment usual in Milton's time.- 31. Arethuse. It was fabled that AreTODD.

tbuss, a nymph, and one of Diana's at20. Stay, &c. That is, though ye (the tendants, being pursued by the river-god actors being of Lady Derly's own famixy) Alphrus, was changed into a fountain, are disguised like rustics, and wear the and flowed under the earth across the habit of shepherds. I perceive ye are of Adrintir, and c: me up at Ortygia, an island honourable birth, your nobility cannot in the lay of Syracuse. be conceale.

34. Qurst: Inquiry, search. 28. Aroudy. The inhabitants of Arca- 44. By lot: By allotment. dia, in the Peloponnesus, were devoted 46. To curl: To dress with curls. to pastoral life; and hence the scene of 57. Tassell d horn. So Spenser, (Faerie many ancient pastoral poems, as well as Queene, i. viii. 3 :) of Sir Philip Sidney's " Arcadia," is laid

A horn or bugle small there. Hence, of course, the name of

Which hung adowne his side in twisted gold
And tassels gay.




Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless :
But else, in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial sirens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in musick lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measured motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear;
And yet such musick worthiest were to blaze
The peerless highth of her immortal praise,
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferiour hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds: yet, as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can show,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all, that are of noble stem,
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.





O'er the smooth enamell’d green
Where no print of step bath been,

Follow me, as I sing,
And touch the warbled string,

62. Then listen I, &c. This is Plato's melodies; which diapason or concentus system. Fate, or Necessity, holds a spin the nine Syrens sing or address to the dle of adamant; and, with her three Supreme Being. This last circumstanco daughters Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos) illustrates, or rather explains the sixth, who handle the vital web wound atout seventh, and eighth lines of the “Ode at the spindle, she conducts or turns the a Solemn Music:"heavenly bodies. Nine Muses, or Syreps,

That undisturbed song of pure concent, &c. sit on the summit of the spheres, which, in their revolutions, produce the most Milton, full of these Platonic ideas, has ravishing musical harmony. To this here a reference to this consuminate or harmony the three daughters of Neces. corcentual song of the ninth sphere, sity perpetually sing in correspondent which is undisturbed and pure, that is tones. In the mean time the adamantine unalloyed and perfect. The Platonism spindle, which is placed in the lap or on is here, however, in some degree Christhe knees of Secessity, and on which the tianized.---T. WARTON. fate of men and gods is wound, is also $1. Glittering state. The Nymphs and revolved. This MUSIC OF THE SPHERES, Shepherds are here directed by the Genius proceeding from the rapid motion of the to look and advance towards a glittering heavens, is so loud, various, and sweet, state, or canopy, in the midst of the stage, as to exceed all aptitude or proportion in which the Countess of Derhy was of the human ear, and therefore is not placed as a Rural Queen. It does not heard by men. Moreover, this spherical appear that the second song, which here music consists of eight unisonous melo immediately follows, was now sung dies; the ninth is a concentration of all Some machinery or other matter interthe rest, or a diapason of all those eight vened.---T. WARTON.

Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-proof.

Follow me;
I will being you where she sits,
Clad in splendour as befits

Hec deíty.
Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.




Nymphs and shepherds, dance no more
By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;
On old Lycæus, or Cyllene hoar,

Trip no more in twilight ranks ;
Thouglı Erymanth your loss deplore,

A better soil shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Mænalus
Bring your flocks, and live with us;
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.


97. Ladon: A river of Arcadia. Ly- love, he found his arms filled with reeds. creus, Cyllene, Erymanthus, and Manalus, While he stood sighing at bis dissppointall mountains of the same country. ment, the wind began to agitate the

106. Syrina was a nymph of Arcadia reeds, which produced a low musical and danghter of the river Lalon. Pan sound. The god took the hint, cut seven fell in love with her, and pursued her of the reeds, and formed from them his till she reached the river Lalon, when, pastoral pipe, which he called ovous, thinking to embrace the object of his syrinx, after the name of the nymph.


In this Monody, the author bewails a learned friend, unfortunately

drowned in his passage from Chester on the Irish seas, 1637; and by occasion foretells the ruin of our corrupted clergy, then in their highth.

Yet once more, 0 ye laurels, and once more
Ye myrtles brown with ivy never sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude;
And, with forced fingers rude,

leaves before the mellowing year:

Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
Compels me to disturb your season due:
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.
Who would not sing for Lycidas? He knew

Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring;
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse:
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favour my

destined urn;
And, as he passes, turn,

And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud. * This poem first appeared in a Cambridge collection of verses on the death of Mr. Edward Kiny, fellow of Christ's college, printed at Cambridge in a tbin quarto, 1638. It consists of three Greek, nineteen Latin, and thirteen English poems.

Edward king, the subject of this Monoly, was the son of Sir John King, knight, secretary for Ireland, unler Queen Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I. He was sai ing from Chester to Ireland, on a visit to his friends and relations in that coun. try, when, in calm weather, not far from the English coust, the ship, a very crazy vessel, “a fatal and pertidious bark,” struck on a rock, and suddenly sunk to the bottom with all that were on board, not one escaping, August 10, 1637. King was now only twenty-five years old: he was perhaps a native of Ireland, and at Cambridge he was di-tinguished for his piety, and proficiency in polite literature.

This poem, as appears by the Trinity manuscript, was written in November, 1637, when Milton was not quite twenty-nine years old.-T. WARTON.



1. Yet once more. This has reference but are symbolical of general poetry lo his poetical compositions in general, T. Warton. or rather to his last poem, which was 3. I come to pluck, &c. This is a beau“Comus." He would say, "I am again, tiful allusion to the unripe age of his in the midst of other studies, unexpect friend, in which death shaltered his leaves elly and unwillingly called back to poe before the mellowing year. try; aguin compelled to write verses, in 11. And build the lofty rhyme: a beau con pequence of the recept disastrous loss tiful Latini-m, condere carmen. of my shipwrecked friend," &c. The 11. Melodious lear: the effect for the plants here mentioned are not as some

cause,--the melodious song. Sisters, the have suspected, appropriated to elegy, I Muses: Sacred Well, Helicon.




For we were nursed upon the self-same hill;
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove afield; and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star, that rose at evening bright,
Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to the oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long;
And old Damoetas loved to hear our song.

But, O, the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves,
With wild thyme and the adding vine o'ergrown,
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 flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white-thorn blows;-
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep 50
Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie;
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high;
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream.
Ay me! I fondly dream!




27. We drove afidd. That is, “we 36, Damoetas, a character in Virgil's drove our flocks afield." I mention this, third Eclogue. that Gray's echo of the passage in his 40. Gadding vine. Dr. Warburton supElegy, yet with another meaning, may poses that the vine is here called gadding, not mislead many careless readers. because, being married to the elm, like How jocund did they drive their team afield.

too many other wives she is fond of gad

ding abroad, and seeking a new associate. From the regularity of his pursuits, the 45. The whole context of words in this purity of his pleasures, his temperance, and the four following lines is melodious and general simplicity of life, Milton and enchanting.-BRYDGES. habitually became an early riser. Hence 50. Where were ye. This burst is as he gained an acquaintance with the beau- magnificent as it is affecting.–BRYDES. ties of the morning, which he so fre- 52. On the strep. In the midst of this quently contemplated with delight, and wild imagery, the tombs of the Druids, has therefore so repeatedly described, dispersed over the solitary mountains of in all their various appearances.--T. Denbighshire, the sbaggy summits of WARTON. See Milton's own account of Mona, and the wizard waters of Deva, his morning hours, “Compendium of the Dee) Milton was in his favourite English Literature," page 268.

track of poetry: all these, too, are in the 28. The sultry horn of the gray.fly, vicinity of the Irish Sea, where Lycidas (called by naturalists the Trumpet-lly) was shipwrecked, and thus they have a is the sharp hum of this insect at noon, real connection with the poet's subject or the hottest part of the day.


« السابقةمتابعة »