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EREWHILE of musick, and ethereal mirth,
In wintry solstice, like the shorten'd light,
For now to sorrow must I tune my song,
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight
He, sovran Priest, stooping his regal head,
Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide;
These latest scenes confine my roving verse;
* I cannot agree with Sir Egerton Brydges that this Ode or Elegy is “ unaccountahly inferior" to the preceding Ilymn. True, this is not so highly finished as the other, but there are in it exquisite touches of beauty. A beloved friend and accomplisbed scholar of Oxford (J. W.) writes me-"That third stanza has often suffured my eyes and quickened my heart's pulsation : what it saddening, melancholy tendernessma climax of pathos and of dear human sympathy in the last two lines !"
1. Errwhile, &c. llence we may con- 13. Most perfect Hero. See leb. ii. 10. jerture that this Ode was probably com- 26. Cremon's trump.
Vida's Chrispo-ed soon after that on the “Vativity," timl," which our author seems to think And this, perhaps, was a college exercise the finest Latin poem on a religious subat Easter, as the last was at Christmas.- ject, is here called Cremona's trump, beT. WARTON.
cause Vida was born at Cremoni.
Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief;
The leaves should all be black whereon I write;
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
There doth my soul in holy vision sit,
Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock
For sure so well instructed are my tears,
Might think the infection of my sorrows loud
This subject the author finding to be above the years he had when
he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.
28. Of lute, or vinl: That is, gentle; 43. That sad sepulchral rock: That is, not noisy or loud like the trumpet. the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem.
34. The leares, &c. Conceits were not 51. Take up a wrrping. Jer. ix. 10. confined to woris only. Mr. Stevens has 52. The gentle neighbourhood. A sweetly a volume of Elegies, in which the paper beautiful couplet, wbich, with the two is black and the letters white: that is. in preceding lines, opened the stanze so all the title-pages. Every intermediate well, that I particularly grieve to find it leaf is also black. What a sudden change, terininate feebly in a most miserably disfrom this (hikish idea to the noble apos- gusting concetto.-DUNSTER. trophe, the sublime rapture and imagivation of the next stanza.--T. WARTOX.
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.*
His infancy to seize!
Will pierce more near his heart.
ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT, DYING
OF A COUGH.+
O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted.
• The “Circumcision" is better than the Passion," and has two or three Miltonie lines.- BRYDES.
† The “ Elegy on the Death of a Fair Infant" is praised by Wurton, ard we'l characterized in his last note upon it; but it has more of research and alourel fabry than of feeling, and is not a general favourite.--BRYDES. It was writen :1 the age of seventeen.
20). Emptied his glory. An expression r, putation,”—but, as it is in te original, taken from Phil, ii. 7, but not as in our ÉUUTOV EKEVWOC,) ** He emptied hiuisvil." translation," He made himself of no --NEWTON
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,
For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer,
Of long uncoupled bed and childless eld,
So, mounting up in icy-pearled car,
But, all unwares, with his cold-kind embrace
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
But then transform’d him to a purple fower:
Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,
0, no! for something in thy face did shine
&. Aquilo, or Boreas, the North wind. Yet, in the eighih stanza, the person laenamoure l of Orithyia, the daughter of menter is alternately support to have Erechthen. King of Athens.
been sent down to earth ia the shape of 12. Infamous, the common accent in two divinities, OC Or whom is styled a old Enlish portry.
"just maid," and the other a sweet 23. Fir so Apollo, &c. From these lince smiling youth.” But the child was verone would suspeci, although it does not tainly a niece, a daughter of Milton's immedintely follow, that a boy was the sister Philips. subject of the ide; but in the last stanza 10. Were, instend of are, for rhyme.the poet says expressly,
47. Earth's soms, the giants.--50. Maid, Then thou, the mother of so sweet a child,
Justice.-64. Youth, Mercy, Her false-imagined loss cease to lament, 07. To turn swifi-rusting, &c. Among VI.
Resolve me then, O soul most surely blest,
0, say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
up, and in fit place did reinstall ?
Of sheeny Heaven, and thou, some goddess fled,
Or wert thou that just Maid, who once before
Or any other of that heavenly brood,
Or wert thou of the golden-winged host,
Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
But, O! why didst thou not stay here below
the blessings which the Hearen-loved inno- pression, and versification; even in the cepce of this child might have imparted, conceits, which are many, we perceive by remaining upon earth, the application strurg und peculiar marks of genius. 1 to present circumstances, the supposition think Milton has here given a very re that she might have averted the pe-ti markable specimen of his ability to suc lence now raging in the kingdom, is hap- ceed in the Spenserian stanza. lle mores piiy and beautifully conceived. On the with great ease and address amidst the whole, from a boy of seventeen, this (de ! embarrassment of a frequent return of is an extraordinary effort of fancy, ex- rhyme.-T. Warton.