Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freakt with jet,
The glowing violet,

145
The musk-rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears:
Bid amarantus all his beauty shed,
And daffadillies fill their cups with tears,

150 To strow the laureate herse where Lycid lies. For so to interpose a little ease, Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise. nuscript, as they now stand in 144. -and the pansy freakt the printed' copies; and for the with jet] Mr. Meadowcourt progarish columbine he substituted poses to read streakt with jet, the well-attired woodbine; and for which is a more usual word: sad escutcheon wears, sad em- but freakt is the word in Milbroidery wears.

ton's Manuscript as well as in all 142. The particular combina- the editions, and I suppose he tion of “ Rathe primrose” is per- meant the same as freckled or haps from a Pastoral called a spotted. Palinode by E. B. probably Ed- 152. For so lo interpose a little mond Bolton, in England's He

ease, licon, edit. 1614.

Let our frail thoughts dally with And made the rathe and timely prim

false surmise.] rose grow.

This is extremely tender and T. Warton. natural. He had said, 143. The tufted crow-toe,] This --the laureate herse where Lycid lies. is the hyacinth, that sanguine For so, says he, let us endeavour flower inscribed with woe, as above.

for a moment to deceive ourRichardson. An undoubted imitation of selves, and fancy that at least

his corpse is present. Spenser, in April.

Aye me! Whilst thee the shores, Bring hither the pinke, and purple

and sounding seas
cullumbine,
With gilliflowres;

Wash far away &c.
Bring coronations, and sops in wine,

-jacet ipse procul, qua mixta supreWorne of paramours: Strowe me the ground with daffa

Ismenon primi mutant confinia ponti, downdillies, And cowslips, and kingcups, and says Statius of young Crenæus loved lillies ;

killed fighting in the river IsThe prettie pawnce, And the chevisawnce,

menos, ix. 358. Richardson. Shall match with the faire flowre

153. Let our frail thoughts] delice.

Altered in the Manuscript from Bonle. Let our sad thoughts.

mum

Aye me! Whilst thee the shores, and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurld, 155
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world;
O whether thou to our moist vows denied,
Sleep’st by the fable of Bellerus old,

160

153. —with false surmise.] The seems rather to mean in some proper sense of the passage re- place, than to some place. quires a semicolon after surmise; 156. Whether beyond &c.) Wheand it appears in the edition of ther thy body is carried north 1638. The second edition, of wards or southwards. 1645, evidently from an over- Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,' sight, has a full point after surmise, which has been implicitly

the western islands of Scotland, continued ever since. T. Warton. Where thou perhaps under the whelm. 154. Whilst thee the shores,]

ing tide, Altered in the Manuscript from it is humming tide in Milton's Ma. floods. But Mr. Jortin says shores nuscript, is improper, and fancies it should

Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous be shoals, the shallow waters, world. brevia. In the Mask 115, The sounds and seas—the sounds, freta. Virgil, Æn. vi. 729. If Milton wrote shores, he per- Et quæ marmoreo fert monstra sub haps had in his mind this passage æquore pontus. of Virgil, Æn. vi. 362. where So classical is Milton in every Palinurus, who, like Lycidas, part of this poem. had perished in the sea, says, 156. See On the death of a Nunc me fluctus habet, versantque in fair Infant, note, v. 38. E. litore venti.

158, -monstrous world.] The On which line Pierius observes, sea, the world of monsters, Horace, Litus non tam de sicco, quàm de Od. i. iii. 18. Qui siccis oculis asperginibus et extrema maris ora,

monstra natantia. Virgil, Æn. vi. intelligitur. But yet, though a

729. Quæ marmoreo fert monstra dead body may be said to be sub æquore pontus. T. Warton. washed on the shore by the re

159. -moist vows] Our vows

As if turning tides, the shore can hardly accompanied with tears. be said to wash the body; and he had said vota lachrymosa. T. the expression is harsh and un

Warton. couth,

160. Sleep'st by the fable of

Bellerus old, &c.] Milton doubt-whilst thee the sounding seas Wash far away, &c.

ing which way the waves might

carry the body of Lycidas, Far

away, that is, in some remote drowned in the Irish sea, imaplace, whatsoever it be. He gines it was either driven north

[ocr errors]

Where the great vision of the guarded mount
Looks tow’ard Namancos and Bayona's hold ;.

ward beyond the Hebrides, or “ still there; which kind of monelse so far southward as to lie “ sters to deal with was his old sleeping near the fable, or fabu- “ exercise.” Of this race of gilous mansions of old Bellerus, ants, we may suppose, was Bellewhere the great vision of the rus: but whoever he was, the guarded mount looks towards alteration in Milton's Manuscript the coast of Spain. But where was certainly for the better, to can we find the place which is take a person from whom that thus obscurely described in the particular promontory was delanguage of poetry and fiction? nominated, rather than one who The place here meant is probably gave name to the county at a promontory in Cornwall, known large. The fable of Bellerus and at present by the name of the the vision of the guarded mount is Land's End, and called by Dio- plainly taken from some of our dorus Siculus Belerium promon- old romances, but we may pertorium, perhaps from Bellerus one ceive what place is intended, the of the Cornish giants, with which Land's End, and St. Michael's that country and the poems of mount in Cornwall

. old British bards were once filled. 160. So Drayton, Polyolb. s. A watch-tower and light-house xxiii. formerly stood on this

non- Then Cornwall creepeth out into the tory, and looked, as Orosius says, westerne maine, towards another high tower at As, lying in her eye, she pointed still Brigantia in Gallicia, and con

at Spaine. sequently toward Bayona's hold. But what is the meaning of See Orosius and Camden, who « The Great Vision of the Guardconcludes his account of this « ed Mount?" And of the line part of Cornwall with saying, immediately following, “ Look that no other place in this island “ homeward angel now, and melt looks directly to Spain. Meadow- “ with ruth?" I fatter myself I court.

have discovered Milton's original It may be farther observed, and leading idea. that Milton in his Manuscript Not far from the Land's End had written Corineus, and after- in Cornwall, is a most romantic wards changed it for Bellerus. projection of rock, called Saint Corineus came into this island Michael's Mount, into a harbour with Brute, and had that part of called Mounts-bay. It gradually the country assigned for his share, rises from a broad basis into a which after him was named very steep and narrow,

but Cornwall. To Corineus, says craggy, elevation. Towards the “ Milton in the first book of his sea, the declivity is almost per“ History of England, Cornwall, pendicular. At low water it is

as we now call it, fell by lot; accessible by land: and not “ the rather by him liked, for many years ago, it was entirely “ that the hugest giants in rocks joined with the present shore, “ and caves were said to lurk between which and the Mount,

Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth:
And, O ye Dolphins, waft the hapless youth.

there is a rock called Chapel-rock. Michael, anciently covered with On the summit of Saint Michael's thick wood, as we learn from Mount a monastery was founded Drayton and Carew. There is before the time of Edward the still a tradition, that a vision of Confessor, now a seat of Sir Saint Michael seated on this Crag, John Saint Aubyn. The church, or Saint Michael's chair, appeared refectory, and many of the apart- to some hermits: and that this cir. ments, still remain. With this cumstance occasioned the foundmonastery was incorporated a ation of the monastery dedicated strong fortress, regularly garri- to Saint Michael. And hence soned: and in a Patent of Henry this place was long renowned for the Fourth, dated 1403, the mo- its sanctity, and the object of nastery itself, which was ordered frequent pilgrimages. Carew to be repaired, is styled Fortali- quotes some old rhymes much to tium. Rym. Fød. viii. 102, 340, our purpose, p. 154. ut supr. 341. A stone-lantern, in one of the angles of the Tower of the Who knows not Mighel's Mount and

Chaire, church, is called Saint Michaels

The pilgrim's holy vaunt ? Chair. But this is not the ori. ginal Saint Michael's Chair. We Nor should it be forgot, that this are told by Carew, in his Survey monastery was a cell to another of Cornwall, “ A little without on a Saint Michael's Mount in “ the Castle (this fortress] there Normandy, where was also a is a bad (dangerous] seat in a Vision of Saint Michael. craggy place, called Saint Mi

But to apply what has been “chael's Chaire, somewhat daun- said to Milton. This Great Vision “gerous for accesse, and there- is the famous Apparition of Saint fore holy for the adventure." Michael, whom he with much Edit. 1602, p. 154. We learn sublimity of imagination supposes from Caxton's Golden Legende, to be still throned on this lofty under the history of the angel crag of Saint Michaels Mount in Michael, *that “ Th' apparacy on Cornwall

, looking towards the “ of this angell is manyfold. Spanish coast. The guarded “ The fyrst is when he appeared mount on which this Great Vision in mount of Gargan, &c." appeared, is simply the fortified Edit. 1493. fol. cclxxxii

. a. Wil- Mount, implying the fortress liam of Worcestre, who wrote above mentioned. And let us his travels over England about observe, that Mount is the pecu1490, says in describing Saint liar appropriated appellation of Michael's Mount, there was an this promontory. So in Daniel's “ Apparicio Sancti Michaelis in Panegyricke on the King, st. 19. “ monte Tumba antea vocato “ From Dover to the mount." Le Hore Rok in the wodd." With the sense and meaning of Itinerar. edit. Cantab. 1778. p. the line in question, is immediately 102. The Hoar Rock in the Wood connected that of the third line is this Mount or Rock of Saint next following, which here I

Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more, 165 For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,

now,

now for the first time exhibit Are won with pity and unwonted properly pointed.

ruth. Look homeward, Angel, now,

Fairfax, cant. ii. st. 11.

and melt with ruth.

All ruth, compassion, mercy he Here is an apostrophe to the

forgot. Angel Michael, whom we have

164. And, O ye dolphins, wuft just seen seated on the Guarded the hapless youin] Alluding to Mount. “O Angel, look no

what Pausanias says.of Palæmon longer seaward to Namancos toward the end of his Attics, " and Bayona's hold: rather turn

“ that a dolphin took him up, your eyes to another object.

“ and laid his body on the shore “ Look homeward, or landward,

« at Corinth where he was “ look towards your own coast

" deified.” Richardson. and view with pity the

165. Weep no more, &c.] Mil“corpse of the shipwrecked ton in this sudden and beautiful “Lycidas floating thither.” But transition from the gloomy and I will exhibit the three lines

mournful strain into that of hope together which from the context.

and comfort seems pretty plainly Lycidas was lost on the seas near

to imitate Spenser in his 11th the coast,

Eclogue, where bewailing the

death of some maiden of great Where the great vision of the blood, whom he calleth Dido,

guarded mount Looks toward Namancos and Bay

in terms of the utmost grief and ona's hold;

dejection, he breaks out all at Look homeward, Angel, now, and once in the same manner. Thyer. melt with ruth.

165. Spenser's November, Écl. The Great Vision and the Angel

xi. are the same thing: and the verb Cease now my Muse, now cease thy look in both the two last verses

sorrowes sourse !

She raignes a goddess now amid the has the same reference. The

saints, poet could not mean to shift the That whilom was the saint of shepapplication of look, within two

heards light; lines. Moreover if in the words

And is enstalled now in heavens

hight. Look homeward angel nowthe

No danger there the shepheard can address is to Lycidas, as Mr.

astert, Thyer supposed, a violent, and Fayre fields and pleasant leas there too sudden, an apostrophe takes beene, place; for in the very next line

The fields aye fresh, the groves aye Lycidas is distinctly called the

greene.

There lives she with the blessed gods hapless youth. To say nothing,

in blisse, that this new angel is a hapless There drinks she nectar with ambro. youth, and to be wafted by dol

sia mixt, &c. phins. T. Warton.

See the Epitaphium Damonis, 163. — and melt with ruth:] v. 201-218. and Ode on the With pity. Spenser, Faery Queen, Death of a fair Infant, st. x. T. b. i. cant. vi. st. 12.

Warton. VOL. IV.

M

« AnteriorContinuar »