« AnteriorContinuar »
Evolat in tepidos Cypridos ille sinus. At mihi risuro tonuit ferus ore minaci,
Et mihi de puero non metus ullus erat. Et modo qua nostri spatiantur in urbe Quirites, Et modo villarum proxima rura placent. Turba frequens, facieque simillima turba dearum, Splendida per medias itque reditque vias: Auctaque luce dies gemino fulgore coruscat: Fallor? An et radios hinc quoque Phoebus habet? Hæc ego non fugi spectacula grata severus, Impetus et quo me fert juvenilis, agor, Lumina luminibus male providus obvia misi, Neve oculos potui continuisse meos. Unam forte aliis supereminuisse notabam, Principium nostri lux erat illa mali. Sic Venus optaret mortalibus ipsa videri, Sic regina Deum conspicienda fuit. Hanc memor objecit nobis malus ille Cupido, Solus et hos nobis texuit ante dolos. Nec procul ipse vafer latuit, multæque sagittæ, Et facis a tergo grande pependit onus: Nec mora, nunc ciliis hæsit, nunc virginis ori, Insilit hinc labiis, insidet inde genis: Et quascunque agilis partes jaculator oberrat, Hei mihi, mille locis pectus inerme ferit. Protinus insoliti subierunt corda furores,
57. See note El. i. 50. In Milton's youth the fashionable places of walking in London were Hyde Park, and Gray's Inn walks. This appears from Sir A. Cokain, Milton's contemporary. Poems, Lond. 1662.
Uror amans intus, flammaque totus eram.
Findor, et hæc remanet: sequitur pars altera votum,
Ponar in exemplo primus et unus ego.
The application is beautiful from a young mind teeming with classical history and imagery. The allusion, in the last couplet, to Vulcan, is perhaps less hapPy, although the compliment is greater. In the example of Amphiaraus, the sudden and striking transition from light and the sun to a subterraneous gloom, perhaps is more to the poet's purpose.
Et tua fumabunt nostris altaria donis,
Solus et in superis tu mihi summus eris.
Nescio cur, miser est suaviter omnis amans:
HÆC ego, mente olim læva, studioque supino,
Præbuit, admissum dedocuitque jugum. Protinus extinctis ex illo tempore flammis,
Cincta rigent multo pectora nostra gelu. Unde suis frigus metuit puer ipse sagittis, Et Diomedeam vim timet ipsa Venus.*
1. The elegiac poets were among the favourite classical author's of Milton's youth, Apol. Smectymn. "Others were the "smooth Elegiac Poets, whereof "the schools are not scarce: "whom, both for the pleasing "sound of their numerous writ66 ing, which in imitation I found "most easy, and most agreeable "to nature's part in me; and "for their matter, which what it "is, there be few who know not, I was so allured to read, "that no recreation came to me "better welcome." Prose W. vol. i. 100.
5.-umbrosa Academia] The studious walks, and shades, "the
"olive grove of Academe, "Plato's retirement." Par. Reg. iv. 243.
10. Et Diomedeam vim timet ipsa Venus.] Ovid makes this sort of allusion to Homer's incident of Venus wounded by Diomed. In the Remedy of Love,
Non ego Tydides, a quo tua saucia
In liquidum rediit æthera, Martis equis.
See also Metam. xiv. 491. And
These lines are an epilogistic
poet is bound; and thus entangled he is delivered a prisoner to Næra. El. ix. p. 46. ut supr.
Fervida, tot telis non proficientibus, ira
Fugit ad auxilium, dia Neæra, tuum;
Et capiti assistens, te dormitante, capillum
Aureolum flava tollit ab orbe comæ : Et mihi ridenti (quis enim non talia vincla
Rideat?) arridens brachia vinxit
Luctantemque diu, sed frustra, eva-
Captivum, dominæ restituitque
This fiction is again pursued in his Epigrams. Lib. i. xlv. p. 77.
Liber eram, vacuo mihi cum sub corde Neæra
Ex oculis fixit spicula missa suis : Deinde unam evellens ex auricomante
Vertice, captivis vincla dedit manibus:
Risi equidem, fateor, vani ludibria Nexus,
Hoc laqueo facilem dum mihi spero fugam :
Ast ubi tentanti spes irrita cessit, ahenis
Non secus ac manicis implicitus genui.
Et modo membra pilo vinctus miser abstraher uno.
And to this Neæra many copies are addressed both in Buchanan's Epigrams, and in his Hendecasyllables. Milton's insinuation, as others use, cannot therefore be doubted. Why should I "strictly meditate the thankless 66 muse, and write sublime poetry "which is not regarded? I had "better, like some other poets, "who might be more properly "employed, write idle compli"ments to Amaryllis and Neæra." Perhaps the old reading, "Hid " in the tangles of Neæra's hair," tends to confirm this sense.
should be remembered, that Buchanan was now a popular and familiar modern Latin classic, and that Milton was his rival in the same mode of composition. And of our author's allusions to
him, instances have before occurred, and will occur again. I am obliged to an unknown critic, for the leading idea of this very just and ingenious elucidation of a passage in Lycidas,