صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


The spirit of Plato to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook:
And of those Demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous tragedy
In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

that philofopher. And as Mr. Thyer observes, 99. Presenting Thebes on Pelops line, the word unspbere alludes to the Platonic no- Or the tale of Troy divine, ] These were the tion of different spheres or regions being af- principal fubjects of the ancient tragedies; and signod to spirits of different degrees of per- he seems to allude particularly to the Septem fection or impurity. The same term is used contra Thebas of Æschylus, and the Phænisse in the Mask ver. 2.

of Euripides, and the Antigone of Sophocles,

and the Thebais of Seneca, which present where those immortal shapes Thebes; and to the Thyestes of Seneca, and the Of bright aerial spirits live infpherd Agamemnon of Æschylus, which present Pelopss In regions mild of calm and ferene air. line; and to the Troades of Euripides and of

Seneca, and other tragedies which present the 98. In scepter'd pall ] The same as Horace tale of Troy divine, therefore called divine becalls palla honesta. De Arte poet. 278..

cause built by the Gods; for I think with

Mr. Thyer, that divine is not to be join'd with Post hunc perfonæ pallæque repertor honesta tale, as many understand it :- and as Mr. Jortin

, Æschylus

notes, it is called in. Homer. Insos ipri

104.. Might

[ocr errors]


Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.
But, O sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing

Such notes, as warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what love did seek.
Or call up him that left half told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,

That 104. Might raise Musæus from his bower,]

If to melancholy The poet Mufæus makes the most distinguish'd

Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing &c. figure in Virgil's Elysium. Æn. VI. 667.

See Warburton's Shakespear. Vol. 3. p. 118. Mufæum ante omnes, medium nam plu

107. Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,] rima turba Hunc habet, atque humeris extantem fufpi- sense of the following line of Seneca's upon

Our author here very strongly expresses the cit altis.

the same occasion, which I suppose he had in

view. Herc. Fur. 578. 105. Or bid the soul of Orpheus fing &c] It is a property of music, that the same strains Deflent et lacrymis difficiles Dei.

Tbyer. have a power to excite pain or pleasure, as the

109. Or call up him that left half told state is in which it finds the hearer. Hence Milton makes the self-fame strains of Orpheus Chaucer and his Squire's tale, wherein Cambus

The story of Cambuscan bold, &c] He means proper to excite both the affections of mirth

can is king of Sarra in Tartary, and has two and melancholy, just as the mind is then dif

sons Algarfife and Camball, and a daughter posed. If to mirth, he calls for such music,

named Canace. This Tartar king receives a That Orpheus self may heavę his head&c. present from the king of Araby and Ind, of


[ocr errors]


That own’d the virtuous ring and glass,
And of the wondrous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride;

And if ought else great bards beside
In fage and folemn tunes have sung,
Of turneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests, and inchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus night oft see me in thy pale carreer,
Till civil-suited morn appear,
Not trickt and frounct as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,

Bus a wondrous borse of brass that could transport great truth and propriety, that more is meant him thro’ the air to any place, and a sword of than meets the ear. And thus in these two rare qualities; and at the same time his daugh- little poems Milton makes his compliments to

3 ter Canace is presented with a virtuous ring and our greatest English poets, Johnson and Shake : glass, a glass by which she could discover fe- spear, Chaucer and Spenser. crets and future events, and a ring by which 122. Till civil-suited morn appear,] Paradise she could understand the language of birds. Regain'd. IV.426. This tale was either never finish'd by Chaucer,

till morning fair or part of it is loft : but Spenser has endevor'd

Came forth with pilgrim steps in amice gray. to supply the defect in his Faery Queen, and

Richardson. begins with such a handsome introduction and address to the spirit of Chaucer, that I should Shakespear for the same reason says of night, be tempted to transcribe it, if it would not Romeo and Juliet Act


4. prolong this note beyond its due measure. See

Come civil night, B. 4. Cant. 2. St. 32. &c. .

Thou sober-suited matron, all in black. 116. And if ought else great bards beside &c] Ariosto, and Spenser more particularly, of 123. Not trickt and frounct as she was wont whose allegorical poetry it may be said with With the Attic boy to hunt,] Shakespear calls






But kercheft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the guft hath blown his fill,
Ending on the russling leaves,
With minute drops from off the caves.
And when the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me Goddess bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown that Sylvan loves
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude ax with heaved stroke
Was never heard the Nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,




dress tricking. Mrs. Page in the Merry 125. But kercheft in a comely cloud,] Kerchef Wives of Windsor --Go get us properties is a head-dress from the French, couvre chef; and tricking for our faeries. Frounct is ano- a word used by Chaucer and Shakespear. Julius ther word to the same purpose, signifying Cæfar, Act 2. Sc. 3. much the same as frizled, crisped, curled. The 141. day's garish eye,] Garish, fplendid, Attic boy is Cephalus, with whom Aurora fell gaudy. A word in Shakespear. Richard III. in love as he was hunting. See Peck, and Act 4.


4 Ovid. Met. VII. 701.



While the bee with honied thie,
That at her flow'ry work doth fing,
And the waters murmuring
With such confort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather’d fleep;
And let some strange myfterious dream
Wave at his wings in aery stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid.
And as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some Spirit to mortals good,
Or th’unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloysters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antic pillars masly proof,




a garish flag

151. sweet music breathe &c] This Romeo and Juliet. Act 3. Sc. 4.

thought is taken from Shakespear’s Tempeit. 4

Fortin. all the world shall be in love with night,

Pillars melli proof,] That is proof And pay no worship to the garish fun.

against a great weight. So in the poem of 148. Wave at his wings] Wave is used here Arcades as a verb neuter.

branching elm star-proof, Ссса.



« السابقةمتابعة »