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Sunk though he be beneath the wat’ry floor ;
166. —is not dead, &c.] See diate reference to the subject of Ode on the Death of a fair In- the poem.
T. Warlon. fant, v. 29. note. E.
174. Where other groves and 168. So sinks the day-star] other streams along,] Virgil, Æn. The thought of a star's being vi. 641. washed in the ocean, and thence -solemque suum, sua sidera norunt. shining brighter, is frequent And Ariosto, cant. xxxiv. st. 72. among the ancient poets: and
There other rivers stream, smile at the first reading I conceived
other fields that Milton meant the morning Than here with us, and other plains star, alluding to Virgil, Æn. viii. are stretch'd, 589.
Sink other valleys, other mountains
rise. &c. Qualis ubi oceani perfusus Lucifer unda &c.
175. With nectar pure his oozy
locks he laves,] Like Apollo in but upon farther consideration I Horace, Od. iii. iv. 61. rather think that he means the
Qui rore puro Castaliæ lavit sun, whom in the same manner Crines solutos. he calls the diurnal star in the
176. And hears the unexpressive Paradise Lost, X. 1069: and Homer, if the hymn to Apollo it was at first List'ning the uner
nuptial song,] In the Manuscript be his, compares Apollo to a star in mid-day, ver. 441.
pressive &c. This is the song in
the Revelation, which no Αστερι ειδομενος μεσω ηματι. .
could learn but they who were not 169. Compare Gray's Bard. defiled with women, and were vir-Hath quench'd the orb of day?
gins: Rev. xiv. 3, 4. The auTo-morrow he repairs the golden flood. thor had used the word unexpres
T. Warton. sive in the same manner before
in his Hymn on the Nativity, 172. Through the dear might st. 11. of him that walk'd the waves,] A
Harping in loud and solemn quire designation of our Saviour by a
With unexpressive notes to heav'n's miracle which bears an imme- new-born heir.
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
the uncouth swain to th' oaks and rills,
Nor are parallel instances want- 179. In solemn troops, and sweet ing in Shakespeare. As you like societies,] Compare Par. Lost, xi. it, act ii. s. 2.
82. The fair, the chaste, and unerpressive By the waters of life wheree'er they
she. And in like manner insuppressive
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light,
&c. is used for not to be suppressed.
T. Warton. Julius Cæsar, act ii. s. 2.
183. Henceforth thou art the Nor th’ insuppressive mettle of our genius of the shore,] This is said spirits.
in allusion to the story of Meli176. So in the Latin poem, certa, or Palæmon, who with his Ad Patrem, v. 37.
mother Ino was drowned, and Immortale melos, et inenarrabile car.
became a sea-deity propitious to
mariners. Ovid, Met. iv. Fast.
T. Warton. vi. Virgil, Georg. i. 436. 177. In the blest kingdoms meek
Votaque servati solvent in littore of joy and love.] That is, in the
Glauco, et Panopeæ, et Inoo Meliblest kingdoms of meek joy and love; a transposition of the adjective, which we meet with also And as Mr. Jortin observes, it is in the Paradise Lost, ix. 518.
pleasant to see how the most
antipapistical poets are inclined So spake domestic Adam in his care,
to canonize and then to invoke in which verse domestic is with their friends as saints. See the out doubt to be joined to care, poem on the fair Infant, st. 10. and not to Adam, as the common
184. —and shalt be good &c.] opinion is. So also in the same
The same compliment that Virgil book, ver. 225.
pays to his Daphnis, Ecl. v. 64. -and th' hour of supper comes un. Deus, deus ille, Menalca. carn'd.
Sis bonus 8 felixque tuis ! &c.
While the still morn went out with sandals grays
188. He touch'd the tender stops and Moschus had respectively of various quills,] By stops he written a bucolic on the deaths means not such stops as belong of Daphnis and Bion. And the to the organ, but what we now name Lycidas, now first imported call the holes of any species of into English pastoral, was adoptpipe or flute. Thus Browne, ed, not from Virgil, but from Britan. Past. b. ii. s. 3.
Theocritus, Idyll. vii. 27. What musicke is there in a shep- -ΛΥΚΙΔΑ φιλε, φαντι τυ σαντες herd's quill,
Eje pese ETPIKTAN Men' üsugorov, &T5 If but a stop or two therein we spie?
Eva And Drayton, Mus. Elys.
αμητηρισσι. . Teaching every stop and kay,
His character is afterwards fully To those that on the pipe do play. justified in the Song of Lycidas. So in Hamlet, where the Players And he is styled “ dear to the enter with the Recorders, “Govern
“ Muses,' v. 95. And our au" these ventages with your
finger thor's shepherd Lycidas could " and thumb:look
“ build the lofty rhyme." A you, these
Lycidas is again mentioned by stops.” T. Warton. 189. With eager thought war
Theocritus, Idyll. xxvii. 41. And bling his Doric lay :] He calls it
a Lycidas supports a Sicilian diDoric lay, because it imitates alogue in one of Bion's Bucolics, Theocritus and other pastoral yii. See Epitaph. Damon. v. 192.
T. Warton. poets, who wrote in the Doric dialect. Though Milton calls
190. And now the sun had himself as yet uncouth, he war
stretch'd out all the hills,] He bles with eager thought his Doric Ecl
. i. 83.
had no doubt Virgil in his eye, lay; earnest of the poet he was to be, at least; as he promises Et jam summa procul villarum cul. in the motto to these juvenile
Majoresque cadunt altis de montibus poems of edit. 1645.
umbræ. -baccare frontem Cingite, ne vati noceat mala lingua Virgil's is an admirable descripfuturo,
tion of a rural evening, but I
know not whether Milton's is not This looks very modest, but see what he insinuates. The first setting so by degrees,
better, as it represents the sun part of Virgil's verse is, Aut si ullra placitum laudarit baccare
And now the sun had stretch'd out
all the hills, frontem &c.
And now was dropp'd into the western Richardson.
bay: See note on v. 2. This is a though it must be said that the Doric lay, becausc Theocritus image of the smoke ascending
And now was dropp'd into the western bay;
from the village-chimneys, which to express the warm affection Milton has omitted, is very na
which Milton had for his friend, tural and beautiful.
and the extreme grief he was in 190. But Milton, if he had for the loss of him. Grief is this passage of Virgil in his eye, eloquent, but not formal. judiciously omitted the image It must be owned, however, which Dr. Newton praises, as it that grief is not so learned as was unsuitable to the solitary is this poem, nor does it incline scene,
“ the oaks and rills," the heart to bitter sarcasms upon which he describes. E.
persons little, if at all, connected 193. To-morrow to fresh woods with the subject of sorrow. E. and pastures new.) Theocritus, I see no extraordinary wildness Idyll. i. 145.
and irregularity, according to Xaigizo syes do pass rus es üoticon this little poem. It is true there
Dr. Newton, in the conduct of αδιον
Jortin. is a very original air in it, al
though it be full of classical ini. 193. So Phineas Fletcher, Pur- tations: but this, I think, is ple Isl. c. vi. st. 77.
owing, not to any disorder in To-morrow shall ye feast in pastures the plan, nor entirely to the vi
gour and lustre of the expresAnd with the rising sunne banquet sion, but, in a good degree, to on pearled dew.
the looseness and variety of the T. Warton.
metre. Milton's ear was a good Mr. Richardson conceives, that second to his imagination. Hurd. by this last verse the poet says
Addison says, that he who (pastorally) that he is hastening desires to know whether he has to, and eager on new works: a true taste for history or not, but I rather believe that it was should consider, whether he is said in allusion to his travels into pleased with Livy's manner of Italy, which he was now medic telling a story; so, perhaps, it tating, and on which he set out may be said, that he who wishes the spring following. I will to know whether he has a true conclude
remarks upon this taste for poetry or not, should poem with the just observation consider whether he is highly of Mr. Thyer. The particular delighted or not with the perusal beauties of this charming pastoral of Milton's Lycidas. If I might are too striking to need much venture to place Milton's Works, descanting upon; but what gives according to their degrees of the greatest grace to the whole poetic excellence, it should be is that natural and agreeable perhaps in the following order ; wildness and irregularity which Paradise Lost, Comus, Samson runs quite through it, than which Agonistes, Lycidas, L'Allegro, nothing could be better suited Il Penseroso. The three last are
in such an exquisite strain, says Here the day-break is described Fenton, that though he had left by the faint appearance of the no other monuments of his ge- upland lawns uoder the first nius behind him, his name had gleams of light: the sun-set by been immortal. Dr. J. Warton. the buzzing of the chaffer: and
[Mr. Dunster hopes that Para- the night sheds her fresh dews dise Regained "slipped acci
their flocks. We cannot “ dentally out of this list." Mr. blame pastoral imagery, and Todd gives a note of Dr. War- pastoral allegory, which carry ton's on P. R. i. 44. which shews with them so much natural at least that he rated the Par. painting. In this piece there is Reg. very highly. E.]
perhaps more poetry than sorDoctor Johnson observes, that
But let us read it for Lycidas is filled with the heathen its poetry. It is true, that pasdeities; and a long train of my- sion plucks no berries from the thological imagery, such myrtle and ivy, nor calls upon College easily supplies. But it Arethuse and Mincius, nor tells is such also, as even the Court of rough Satyrs with cloven heel. itself could now have easily sup- But poetry does this; and in plied. The public diversions, the bands of Milton, does it and books of all sorts and from with a peculiar and irresistible all sorts of writers, more espe
charm. Subordinate poets excially compositions in poetry, ercise no invention, when they were at this time overrun with tell how a shepherd has lost his classical pedantries. But what companion, and must feed his writer, of the same period, has flocks alone, without any judge made these obsolete fictions the of his skill in piping : but Milvehicle of so much fancy and ton dignifies and adorns these poetical description? How beau- common artificial incidents with tifully has he applied this sort of unexpected touches of picturallusion, to the Druidical rocks esque beauty, with the graces of of Denbighshire, to Mona, and sentiment, and with the novelties the fabulous banks of Deva! of original genius. It is obIt is objected, that its pastoral jecled here is no art, for there form is disgusting. But this “ is nothing new." To say nowas the age of pastoral: and yet thing that there may be art Lycidas has but little of the bu- without novelty, as well as nocolic cant, now so fashionable. velty without art, I must reply, The Satyrs and Fauns are but that this objection will vanish, just mentioned. If any trite ru- if we consider the imagery which ral topics occur, how are they Milton has raised from local cirheightened !
cumstances. Not to repeat the
use he has made of the mounTogether both, ere the high lawns appear'd
tains of Wales, the isle of Man, Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
and the river Dee, near which We drove afield, and both together Lycidas was shipwrecked ; let
heard What time the gray-fly winds her the romantic superstition of St.
us recollect the introduction of sultry horn, Batt’ning our flocks with the fresh
Michael's Mount in Cornwall, dews of night,
wbich overlooks the Irish seas,