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Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays:
Others on silver lakes and rivers bath'd
Their downy breast; the swan with arched neck

Sings darkling, and in shadiest co- From branch to branch the smaller vert bid

birds with song Tunes her nocturnal note.

Solac'd the woods, and spread their

painted wings In that charming description of

Till ev'n, nor then the solemn evening, iv. 598. nothing can nightingale be more charming than what is Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd said of the nightingale.

her soft lays. Silence accompanied; for beast and And upon Adam's and Eve's bird,

first coming together the nightinThey to their grassy couch, these to gale sung the epithalamium or their nests

wedding song, viii. 518. Were slunk; all but the wakeful nightingale;

-The amorous bird of night She all night long her amorous dese Sung spousal, and bid haste the evencant sungi

ing star Silence was pleas'd.

On his hill top to light the bridal

lamp. In that tender speech of Eve's to Adam, iv. 639.

Other poets mention the nightinWith thee conversing I forget all gale perhaps by way of simile, time, &c.

but none of them dwells, or de

lights to dwell, so much upon it Amongst other pleasing images

as our author.

And he exhe mentions twice

presses the same fondness and the silent night

admiration in other parts of his With this her solemn bird.

works. We will give an inAnd Adam and Eve are made

stance out of the Il Penseroso, as to sleep lulled by nightingales, it is rather more particular than iv. 771.

the rest. And when the evil Spirit

And the mute silence hist along, tempts Eve in her dream, he

'Less Philomel will deign a song, mentions this as

one of the

In her sweetest, saddest plight, strongest temptations to induce Smoothing the rugged brow of night. her to walk out in the cool even

Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of

folly, ing, v. 38.

Most musical, most melancholy ! Why sleep'st thou, Eve? now is the Thee chauntress oft the woods among pleasant time,

I woo to hear thy even song; The cool, the silent, save where si. And missing thee, I walk unseen lence yields

On the dry smooth-shaven green, To the night warbling bird, that now To behold the wand'ring moon awake

Riding near her highest noon. Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song. And in his sonnets, the first is And here when the poet is de- address'd To the nightingale. scribing the creation of all the 438. ---the swan with arched sorts and species of fowl, of neck] The ancient poets have singing birds he particularizes not hit upon this beauty, so the nightingale alone.

lavish as they have been in

440

Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet ; yet oft they quit
The dank, and rising on stiff pennons, tower

,
The mid aereal sky: Others on ground
Walk'd firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds
The silent hours, and th' other whose gay train
Adorns him, colour'd with the florid hue

445
Of rainbows and starry' eyes. The waters thus
With fish replenish’d, and the air with fowl,
Evening and morn solemniz'd the fifth day.

The sixth, and of creation last arose
With evening harps and matin, when God said,

450

their descriptions of the swan, Here is an affected and unHomer calls the swan long- natural conceit, like too many necked dovasyodrigor, but how others, even in Milton. He much more picturesque if he had means that the swan in swim. arched this length of neck! herming forms a superb canopy tings muntling proudly, her with her neck and head, under wings are then a little detached which she floats, or which she from her sides, raised and spread rows forward with her feet. (See as a mantle, which she does with the note, Par. Lost, X. 445.] an apparent pride, as is also T. Warton. seen in her whole figure, atti- 443. —the crested cock-] So tude, and motion. Richardson. Ovid calls him cristatus ales.

Dr. Bentley wonders that he Fast. i. 455. should make the swan of the

Nocte Deæ Nocti cristatus cæditur feminine gender, contrary to ales, both Greek and Latin. I sup- Quod tepidum vigili provocat ore

diem. pose he did it because he thought it would be more agreeable to 450. -when God said, &c.] the ear.

Rows his state sounds So Gen. i. 24. And God said, Let rather too rough.

the earth bring forth the living 439. Between her white wings creature after his kind, cattle and

mantling proudly, rows creeping thing, and beast of the Her state with oary feet;] earth after his kind. We obA state signified a canopy over served before, that when Milton a throne or chair of state. makes the divine Person speak, In this peculiar sense, and not he keeps closely to Scripture. under the general and popular Now what we render living creaidea of pomp or dignity, state ture is living soul in the Heis to be understood in this pas- brew, which Milton usually folsage.

lows rather than our translation ;

455

Let th' earth bring forth soul living in her kind,
Cattle and creeping things, and beast of th' earth,
Each in their kind. The earth obey'd, and straight
Opening her fertile womb teem'd at a birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms,
Limb’d and full grown : out of the ground up rose
As from his lair the wild beast where he wons
In forest wild, in thicket, brake, or den;
Among the trees in pairs they rose, they walk’d:
The cattle in the fields and meadows green: 460
Those rare and solitary, these in flocks

rose

and soul it should be here as in than things, because it is more ver. 318. living soul, and 392. conformable to the text of Scripsoul living. It is indeed fowl in ture. all the printed copies.

Cattle and creeping thing, and beast

of th' earth. Let th' earth bring forth fowl living in her kind:

455. Innumerous living crea

tures-] Innumerous is uncombut Dr. Bentley, Dr. Pearce,

mon. He has the expression Mr. Richardson, and common sense, all condemn this reading; which Pope has adopted into

innumerous boughs, Comus, 349. it is manifestly nothing but an his Odyssey. T. Warton. error of the press that has run

456. -out of the ground up through all the editions ; for fowl were all created the day

As from his lair the wild beast before, and not on this day.

where he wons We have therefore restored the

In forest wild,] true genuine reading.

Lair, or layer, an old Saxon Let th' earth bring forth soul living word signifying a bed. The use in her kind.

of this word is still kept up We are very cautious in admit- among us, as when we call the ting any alterations into the text different strata or beds of earth, of Milton; but in correcting some of clay, some of chalk, such mistakes as this we con- some of stone, &c. lairs. Wons ceive we do no more than Mil- is an old Saxon word signifying ton himself would have us do; to dwell or inhabit. Dr. Bentwho, after the table of errata in ley reads In forest wide, instead the first edition, says, Other of wild, wild beast going before; literal faults the reader of himself but Milton does not dislike such may correct. And for the same a repetition of the same word. reason we agree with Dr. Bent- 461. Those rare and solitary, ley, that in the next verse it these in flocks] Those, that is, should be creeping thing rather the wild beasts mentioned in

The

Pasturing at once, and in broad herds upsprung,

grassy clods now calv'd, now half appear'd The tawny lion, pawing to get free His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds, 465 And rampant shakes his brinded mane; the ounce, The libbard, and the tiger, as the mole Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw In hillocs: the swift stag from under ground Bore

up his branching head: scarce from his mould 470

ver. 457. these the tame, the of the beasts rising out of the cattle ; and it is a very signal earth, though Dr. Bentley conact of Providence that there are demns it as an insertion of the so few of the former sort, and editor's, is certainly not only so many of the latter, for the worthy of the genius of Milton, use and service of man.

but may be esteemed a shining 462. —broad herds] This will part of the poem. He supposes sound a little strange to the ear the beasts to rise out of the of an English reader, who must earth, in perfect forms, limbed therefore be told that he follows and full grown, as Raphael had Homer literally. Jliad. xi. 678. painted this subject before in -αισολια πλαστι’ αιγων.

the Vatican; and he describes Virgil hath a long herd, Æn. i. and attitudes, and in numbers

their manner of rising in figures 186.

too, suited to their various naet longum per salies pascitur tures. agmen.

467. The libbard,] The same Richardson.

as the leopard ; a word used by 463. The grassy clods now Spenser and the old poets, Faery calv'd,] Dr. Bentley quarrels Queen, b. i. cant. vi. st. 25. with this expression, and says,

470.

-scarce

from his mould that calred is a metaphor very Behemoth biggest born of earth heroical, especially for wild upheav'd beasts. But, as Dr. Pearce His vastness :) justly observes, to calve (from The numbers are excellent, and the Belgic word Kalven) signi- admirably express the heaviness fies to bring forth : it is a ge- and unwieldiness of the elephant, neral word, and does not relate for it is plainly the elephant to cows only; for hinds are said that Milton means. Behemoth to calve in Job xxxix. 1. and and leviathan are two creatures, Psalm xxix. 9. Mr. Addison par- described in the book of Job, ticularly commends this meta- and formerly the generality of phor: and the whole description interpreters understood by them

475

Behemoth biggest born of earth upheav'd
His vastness : fleec'd the flocks and bleating rose,
As plants : ambiguous between sea and land
The river horse and scaly crocodile.
At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,
Insect or worm : those wav'd their limber fans
For wings, and smallest lineaments exact
In all the liveries deck'd of summer's pride
With spots of gold and purple', azure and green :
These as a line their long dimension drew,
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of nature; some of serpent kind,

480

the elephant and the whale : but It is the same style of sound, and the learned Bochart and other the verse labours as much with later critics have endeavoured to broad bare backs and behemoth shew, that behemoth is the river biggest born as with metuens, horse, and leviathan the crocodile. molem, montes. And the labour It seems as if Milton was of the of these lines appears greater in former opinion, by mentioning contrast with the ease of the leviathan among the fishes, and following measures, which dethe river horse and scaly crocodile, scribe the lesser animals springver. 474. as distinct from behe- ing up as lightly and as thick as moth and leviathan; and there plants; is surely authority sufficient to justify a poet in that opinion. - fleec'd the flocks and bleating rose, Behemoth biggest born. The al

As plants. literation, as the critics call it, is very remarkable, all the words here and not a participle

and

478. —deck'd] It is a verb beginning with b. We had an. other instance a little before in decked their smallest lineaments

exact in all the liveries &c. the production of the mountains,

482. Minims of nature ;] This ver. 286.

word minims is formed from the —and their broad bare backs up- adjective minima, and in allusion

heave Into the clouds.

to the Vulgar Latin of Prov. It is the same kind of beauty

xxx. 24. Quatuor ista sunt minithat is admired in Virgil, Æn. i. ma terræ. The word was in use 61.

before for an order of friars, Hoc metuens, molcmque et montes in. Minim, minimi, so called from

affected humility super altos Imposuit.

a

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