Imágenes de páginas

Dum solus teneros claudebam cratibus hædos.
Ah quoties dixi, cum te cinis ater habebat,
Nunc canit, aut lepori nunc tendit retia Damon,
Vimina nunc texit, varios sibi quod sit in usus!
Et quæ tum facili sperabam mente futura
Arripui voto levis, et præsentia finxi,

Heus bone numquid agis? nisi te quid forte retardat,
Imus ? et arguta paulum recubamus in umbra,
Aut ad aquas, Colni, aut ubi jugera Cassibelauni?
Tu mihi percurres medicos, tua gramina, succos,
Helleborumque, humilesque crocos, foliumque hya-



Quasque habet ista palus herbas, artesque medentum. Ah pereant herbæ, pereant artesque medentum, Gramina, postquam ipsi nil profecere magistro.

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

The Crates are the wattled cotes in Comus, v. 345.


149. Aut ad aquas Colni, aut ubi jugera Cassibelauni?] The river Colne flows through Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, in Milton's neighbourhood. Our author's father's house and lands at Horton near Colnbrook, were held under the Earl of Bridgewater, before whom Comus was acted at Ludlow-Castle. Milton's mother is buried in the chancel of Horton church, with this Inscription on a flat stone over the grave." Heare lyeth "the body of Sara Milton the "wife of John Milton, who died "the 3d of April, 1637.”

[blocks in formation]

That spreads her verdant leaf to th morning ray:

He lov'd me well, and oft would beg
me sing,

And in requital ope his leathern scrip,
And shew me simples of a thousand
Telling their strange and vigorous
faculties, &c.

See note on El. vi. 90.

Ipse etiam, nam nescio quid mihi grande sonabat
Fistula, ab undecima jam lux est altera nocte,
Et tum forte novis admoram labra cicutis,
Dissiluere tamen rupta compage, nec ultra
Ferre graves potuere sonos: dubito quoque ne sim
Turgidulus, tamen et referam, vos cedite sylvæ.

: 160

Ite domum impasti, domino jam non vacat, agni. Ipse ego Dardanias Rutupina per æquora puppes Dicam, et Pandrasidos regnum vetus Inogeniæ, Brennumque Arviragumque duces, priscumque Belinum,

155. He hints his design of quitting pastoral, and the lighter kinds of poetry, to write an epic poem. This, it appears by what follows, was to be on some part of the ancient British story.

Et tandem Armoricos Britonum sub lege colonos; 165
Tum gravidam Arturo, fatali fraude, Iögernen,
Mendaces vultus, assumptaque Gorloïs arma,
Merlini dolus. O mihi tum si vita supersit,

162. Ipse ego Dardanias, &c.] The landing of the Trojans in England under Brutus. Rhutupium is a part of the Kentish


Brutus married Inogen, the eldest daughter of Pandrasus a Grecian king; from whose bondage Brutus had delivered his countrymen the Trojans. Brennus and Belinus were the sons of Molutius Dunwallo, by some writers called the first king of Britain. The two sons carried their victorious arms into Gaul and Italy. Arviragus, or Arvirage, the son of Cunobelin, conquered the Roman general. Claudius. He is said to have founded Dover castle.


[blocks in formation]

Tu procul annosa pendebis fistula pinu,

Multum oblita mihi; aut patriis mutata Camœnis 170
Brittonicum strides, quid enim? omnia non licet uni
Non sperasse uni licet omnia, mi satis ampla

Merces, et mihi grande decus (sim ignotus in ævum
Tum licet, externo penitusque inglorius orbi)
Si me flava comas legat Usa, et potor Alauni,
Vorticibusque frequens Abra, et nemus omne Treantæ,



"rural pipe, shall be hung up "forgotten on yonder ancient pine: you are now employed "in Latin strains, but you shall "soon be exchanged for English 66 poetry. Will you then sound "in rude British tones?-Yes"We cannot excel in all things. "I shall be sufficiently contented "to be celebrated at home for


English verse." Our author says in the Preface to Ch. Gov. b. ii. "Not caring to be once "named abroad, though perhaps "I could attain to that: but " content with these British "islands as my world." Prose Works, vol. i. 60.

171. Brittonicum] In lengthening the first syllable of this word, contrary to the usage of Virgil, Horace, &c. Milton is supported by Lucretius, vi. 1104. Symmons.

175. Si me flava comas legat Usa, et potor Alauni,] Usa is perhaps the Ouse in Buckinghamshire. But other rivers have that name, which signifies water in general. Alaunus is Alain in Dorsetshire, Alonde in Northumberland, and Camlan in Cornwall; and is also a Latin name for other rivers.

176. Vorticibusque frequens Abra,] So Ovid, of the river Evenus. Metam. ix. 106.

Vorticibusque frequens erat, atque im-
pervius amnis.

And Tyber is "densus vortici-
"bus," Fast. vi. 502.

Abra has been used as a Latin name for the Tweed, the Humber, and the Severn, from the British Abren, or Aber, a river's mouth. Of the three, I think the Humber, vorticibus frequens, is intended.

Leland proves from some old monkish lines, that the Severn was originally called Abren; a name, which afterwards the Welch bards pretended to be derived from King Locrine's daughter Abrine, not Sabrine, drowned in that river. Comm. Cygn. Cant. vol. ix. p. 67. edit. 1744. In the Tragedy of Locrine, written about 1594, this lady is called Sabren. Suppl. Shakesp. vol. ii. p. 262. a. iv. s. 5. Yes, damsels, yes, Sabren shall surely die, &c.

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

Et Thamesis meus ante omnes, et fusca metallis
Tamara, et extremis me discant Orcades undis.

Ite domum impasti, domino jam non vacat, agni.
Hæc tibi servabam lenta sub cortice lauri,
Hæc, et plura simul; tum quæ mihi pocula Mansus,
Mansus Chalcidicæ non ultima gloria ripæ,

Bina dedit, mirum artis opus, mirandus et ipse,
Et circum gemino cælaverat argumento :
In medio rubri maris unda, et odoriferum ver,
Littora longa Arabum, et sudantes balsama sylvæ,
Has inter Phoenix divina avis, unica terris,
Cæruleum fulgens diversicoloribus alis,
Auroram vitreis surgentem respicit undis;
Parte alia polus omnipatens, et magnus Olympus: 190

That is, the river Aby, which just before is called Abis. Ptolemy, enumerating our rivers that fall into the eastern sea, mentions Abi; but probably the true reading is Abri, which came from Aber. Aber might soon be corrupted into Humber. The derivation of the Humber from Humber, king of the Huns, is as fabulous, as that the name Severn was from Abrine or Sabrine. But if Humber, a king of the Huns, has any concern in this name, the best way is to reconcile matters, and associate both etymologies in Hun-Aber, or Humber.


176. —nemus omne Treantæ,] The river Trent. In the next line, he calls Thamesis, meus, because he was born in London.

177. fusca metallis Tamara,]




The river Tamar in Cornwall, tinctured with tin-mines.

182. Mansus Chalcidica non ultima gloria ripa,] Manso celebrated in the last poem, and a Neapolitan. A people called the Chalcidici are said to have founded Naples. See the third Epigram on Leonora, v. 4. Corpora "Chalcidico sacra dedisse rogo." And Virgil's tenth Eclogue, Chalcidico versu, v. 50. And Æn. vi. 17.


183. Perhaps a poetical description of two real cups thus richly ornamented, which Milton received as presents from Manso at Naples. He had flattered himself with the happiness of shewing these tokens of the regard with which he had been treated in his travels, to Deodate, at his return. Or perhaps this is an allegorical description of some of Manso's favours.


Quis putet? hic quoque Amor, pictæque in nube


Arma corusca faces, et spicula tincta pyropo;
Nec tenues animas, pectusque ignobile vulgi
Hinc ferit, at circum flammantia lumina torquens,
Semper in erectum spargit sua tela per orbes
Impiger, et, pronos nunquam collimat ad ictus.
Hinc mentes ardere sacræ, formæque deorum.

Tu quoque in his, nec me fallit spes lubrica, Damon, Tu quoque in his certe es, nam quo tua dulcis abiret Sanctaque simplicitas, nam quo tua candida virtus? 200 Nec te Lethæo fas quæsivisse sub. orco,


Nec tibi conveniunt lacrymæ, nec flebimus ultra,
Ite procul lacrymæ, purum colit æthera Damon,
Æthera purus habet, pluvium pede reppulit arcum ;
Heroumque animas inter, divosque perennes,
Æthereos haurit latices, et gaudia potat
Ore sacro. Quin tu, cœli post jura recepta,
Dexter ades, placidusqus fave quicunque vocaris,
Seu tu noster eris Damon, sive æquior audis
Diodotus, quo te divino nomine cuncti
Cœlicolæ norint, sylvisque vocabere Damon:
Quod tibi purpureus pudor, et sine labe juventus

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]



of his verse, the poet has in this place happily translated the name of his friend Deodati into Greek. But Milton was fond of these versions of a name which was so susceptible of translation. In each of the two familiar letters to his friend, which are extant, he calls him Theodotus. Sym


« AnteriorContinuar »