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Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Till the livelong daylight fail:
and horns; the mower is whetting his scythe to begin his work; the milk-maid, whose business is of course at daybreak, comes abroad singing; the shepherd opens his fold, and takes the tale of his sheep, to see if any were lost in the night. Now for shepherds to tell tales, or to sing, is a circumstance trite, common, and general, and belonging only to ileal shepherds; nor do I know that such shepherds tell tales or sing more in the morning than at any other part of the day. Ahepherd taking the tale of his heep which are just unfolded, is a new image, correspondent and appropriate, beautifully descriptive of a period of time, is founded in fact, and is more pleasing as more natural.-WARTON. pide for pied, 77. Towers and battlements. This was the great mansion-house in Milton's early days. Lefore the old fashioned architeture had given way to modern arts and improvements. Turrets and battlements were conspicuous marks of the numerous new buildings of the reign of King Henry
VIII., and of some rather more ancient many of which yet remained in their original state, unchanged and undecayed. Where only a little is seen, more is left to the imagination. These symptoms of an old palace, especially when thus dis po ed, have a greater effect than a discovery of larger parts, and even a full display of the whole edifice. The embosomed battlements, and the spreading top of the tall grove, on which they reflect a reciprocal charm, still further interest the fancy, from the novelty of combination; while just enough of the towering structure is shown to make an accompaniment to the tuf.cd expanse of venerable verdure, and to compose a picturesque association. With respect to their rural residence, there was a coyres in our Gothic ancestors: modern seats are seldom so deeply ambushed-they disclose all their glories at once, and never excite expectation by en cealment. by gradual approaches, and by inter rupted appearances.-T. WARTON,
With stories told of many a feat,
102. Fuery Mab. See Shakspeare, Rom. and Juliet. Act I.. sc. iv. This bewitch ing fancy sketch of Queen Mab is quoted in “Compendium of English Literature," p. 139.
103. He was pinch'd. He and she are persons of the company assembled to spend the evening after a country wake at a rural junket.-T. WARTON.
104. Friar's lantern is the Jack-o'-lantern, which led people in the night into marshes and waters. Milton gives the philosophy of this superstition, "Para dise Lost." (ix. 634-642.) In the midst of a solemn and learned enarration, his strong imagination could not resist a romantic tradition consecrated by popular credulity.-T. WARTON,
105. Drudging goblin. This goblin is Robin Goodfellow. His cream-bowl was earned, and he paid the punctuality of those by whom it was duly placed for his refection, by the service of threshing with his invisible fairy flail, in one night, and before the dawn of day, a quantity
of corn in the barn, which could not have been threshed in so short a time by ten labourers. He then returns into the house, fatigued with his task; and, overcharged with his reward of the creambowl, throws himself before the fire, and, stretched along the whole breadth of the fire-place, basks till the morning.-T. WARTON.
117. Tower'd cities, &c. Then, that is, at night. The poet returns from his digression, perhaps disproportionately prolix, concerning the feats of fairies and goblins, which protract the conversation over the spicy bowl of a village-supper, to enumerate other pleasures or amusements of the night or evening. Then is, in this line, a repetition of the first Then," line 100. Afterwards, we have another "Then." with the same sense and reference, line 131. Here, too, is a transition from mirth in the country to mirth in the city.-T. WARTON.
120. Triumphs: Shows, masks, revels.
Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
That Orpheus' self may heave his head
These delights, if thou canst give,
142. The melting voice, &c. Milton's meaning is not, that the senses are enchained or amazed by music; but that, as the voice of the singer runs through 'he manifold mazes or intricacies of sound, all the chains are untwisted
which imprison and entangle the hidden soul, the essence or perfection of har mony. In common sense, let music be made to show all, even her most hidden powers.-T. WARTON.
(THE THOUGHTFUL, OR PENSIVE MAN.)
HENCE, vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly without father bred!
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams;
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
The Sea-Nymphs, and their powers offended:
Thee bright-hair'd Vesta, long of yore,
His daughter she; in Saturn's reign,
19. That starr'd Ethiop queen. Cassiope, as we learn from Apollodorus, was the wife of Cepheus, King of Ethiopia. She bosted herself to be more beautiful than the Nereids, and challenged them to a trial, who, in revenge, persuaded eptune to send a prodigious whale into Ethiopia. To appease them, she was directed to expose her daughter An romeda to the monster; but Perseus delivered
10. Fickle: Transitory, perpetually | Andromeda, of whom he was enamoured, shifting. Pensioners: train, attendants. and transported Cassiope into heaven, 18. Memnon's sister: that is, an Ethi where she became a constellation. Hence opian princess, or sable beauty. Mem- she is called “that starr'd Ethicp queen.” non, King of Ethiopia, and an auxiliary-T. WARTON. of the Trojans, was slain by Achilles.
25. His daughter she. The meaning of Milton's allegory is, that Melancholy is the daughter of Genius, which is typified by the bright-hair'd" goddess of the eternal fire. Saturn, the father, is the god of saturnine dispositions, of pensive and gloomy minds.-T. WARTON.
30. Before Saturn was driven from his ancient kingdom by his son Jupiter. nursed on mount Ida.
Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure,
Aye round about Jove's altar sing.
Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly,
35. Cyprus lawn, a veil of a thin, transparent texture.
36. Decent: Not exposed, covered. 54. Cherub Contemplation. By contemplation, is here meant that stretch of thought, by which the mind ascends to the first good, first perfect, and first fair; and is therefore very properly said to "soar on golden wing, guiding the fiery wheeled throne:" that is, to take a high and glorious flight, carrying bright ideas of Deity along with it. But the whole imagery alludes to the cherubic forms
that conveyed the fiery-wheeled car in Ezekiel, x. 2. See also Milton himself, "Paradise Lost," (vi. 750:) so that nothing can be greater or juster than this idea of "divine Contemplation."-HURD.
55. Mute Silence. I always admired this and the seventeen following lines with excessive delight. There is a spell in it, which goes far beyond mere description: it is the very perfection of ideal and picturesque and contemplativ poetry.-BRYDGES. *