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Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill, While the jolly hours lead on propitious May. Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day, 5

First heard before the shallow cuccoo's bill,

No poet has more frequently celebrated the nightingale than Milton. Where he fays in Parad. L. B. iv. 603.

—■— The wakeful nightingale,
She All Night Long her amorous descant fung, &c.

Perhaps he remembered Petrarch, Sonn.x.

El'rosignuol, che dolcemente a 1'ombra
Tutte Le Notte si lamcnta e piagne.

See also Parad. L. vii. 435. Where doctor Newton observes, " his "fondness for this little bird is very remarkable."

4. While the ji/ly hours lead on propitious May."] Because the night* ingale is supposed to begin singing in April. So Sydney, in EngLand's Hblicon, Signat. O. edit. 1614.

The nightingale, so soone as Aprill bringeth

Vnto her relted fense a perfect waking,

While late bare earth proud os new clothing springeth.

Singes out her woes, &c. ——

5. Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day.] So in Com Us, v.978.

And those happy climes that lie
Where day never Shots his Eye.

And in Lycidas, V. 26.

Under the opening Eyelids of the Morn.

Compare Browne, Brit. Past. B. ii. S. iii. p. 78.

When from a wood, wherein the Eye of Day
Had long a stranger beene. ——

6. first heard before the Jhallow cuccoo's bill, &c] That is, if they happen to be heard before the cuckow, it is lucky for the lover. But Spenser calls the cuckow the messenger of spring, and supposes that bis trumpet shrill warns all lovers to wait upon Cupid, Sons. Xix. Jonfon gives this appellation to the nightingale, in the Sad ShepHerd, A. ii. S. vi.

But best, the dear good angel of the spring.
The nightingale.'

Angel is messenger. And the whole expreffion seems to be literally

T t a from

Portend success in love j O if Jove's will
Have link'd that amorous pow'r to thy soft lay,

Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate
Foretel my hopeless doom in some grove nigh j
As thou from year to year hast fung too late 11

For my relief, yet hadst no reason why:

Whether the Muse, or Love call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

II.

Donna leggiadra il cui bel nome honora
L'herbosa val di Rheno, e il nobil varco,
Bene e colui d'ogni valore scarco
Qual tuo spirto gentil non innamoro,

Che dolcemente mostra si di fuora 5

De sui atti soavi giamai parco,
E i don', che son d'amor saette ed arco,
La onde 1' alta tua virtu s'infiora.

[graphic]

from a fragment of Sappho, preserved by the scholiast on Sophocles, Electr. v. 148.

HPOi. A' AITEAOi.', iuipiipuw iifJSr.
Veris nuntia, emabilittr cantons lufcinia.

Or from one of Simonides, of the swallow. Schol. Aristoph. Av. v. 1410.

• ,. ArrEAOS Oivr« EATQE aiiii<rttn, xv«»i« %iktiw.
Jiur.tia inclyta veris suevetlentis, fujta birunio.

Milton laments afterwards, that hitherto the nightingale had not preceded the cuckow as she ought: had always fung too late, that is, after the cuckow.

Quando Quando tu vaga parli, o lieta canti

Che mover possa duro alpestre legno 10

Guardi ciascun a gli occhi, ed a gli orecchi

L'entrata, chi di te si truova indegno;
Gratia sola di su gli vaglia, inanti
Che'l disio amoroso al cuor s'invecchi.

III.

Qual in colle aspro, al imbrunir di sera
L'avezza giovinetta pastorella
Va bagnando l'herbetta strana e bella
Che mal si spande a disusata spera

Fuor di sua natia alma primavera, 5

Cosi Amor meco insu la lingua snella
Desta il fior novo di strania favella,

I. Qual in cMe aspro, al imbrunir di sera.~[ To express the approach ef evening, the Italians fay, su /'imbrunir. And thus Petrarch, as Mr. Bowie observes, "imbrunir veggio la Sera." Canz. xxxvii. Milton had this Italian word in his head, where he uses the word Imbrown, in Par Ad. L. B. iv. 246.

— Where the unpierc'd shade

Imbrown'd the noontide bowers.

So also, in Ii Pbns. v. 134.

And shadows Brown that Sylvan loves
Of pine and monumental oak.

Compare Tasso, GilR. Lib. C. xiv. 70.

Quinci ella in cima a una montagna ascendc
Dishabitata, e tfombre escura, e Bruna.

3. Va bagr.ando i'btrbetta, &c ] See Petrarch's Canzone just quoted, v. 24.

Pa BAGBAK l'HERBE, &C, ——

Mentrc

Mentre io di tc, vezzosamente altera, Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso

E'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno. io

Amor lo volse, ed io a l'altrui peso Seppi ch' Amor cosa mai volse indarno.

Deh! foss' il mio cuor lento e'l duro seno

A chi pianta dal ciel si buon terreno.

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Canzone*.
Idonsi donne e giovani amorosi

M' accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Perche tu scrivi in lingua ignota e slxana
Verseggiando d' amor, e eome t'osi?
Dinne, se la tua spema sia mai vana, 5

E de pensieri lo miglior t' arrivi;
Cosi mi van burlando, altri rivi
Altri lidi t*aspettan, ed altre onde

* Not to disturb the numbers of the Sonnets, I have placed the Canzone here, according to the other editions. It is from Petrarch, that Milton mixes the Canzone with the Souetto. Dante regarded the Canzone as the most perfect species of lyric composition. Delia Volc. Eloqu. civ. But for the Canzone he allows more laxity than for the Sonnet. He fays, when the Song is written on a grave or tragic subject, it is denominated Canzone, and when on a comic, Cantilena, as diminutive.

7. Altri rit'l

Altri lidi t'/tspetlan, ed altre ende, &c] See" Lycidas, V. 174. Where other groves, and other shores along, &c. The Lady implied in the Italian Sonnets is perhaps Leonora, of whom more/ will be said hereafter.

Nelle Nelle cui verdi sponde

Spuntati ad hor, ad hor a la tua chioma 10
L' immortal guiderdon d' eterne frondi
Perche alle spalle tue soverchia soma >

Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
Dice mia Donna, e'l suo dir, e il mio cuore
Questa e lingua di cui si vanta Amoiie, 15

IV.
Diodati, e te'l diro con maraviglia,

Quel ritroso io ch'ampor spreggiar solea

£ de suoi lacci spesso mi ridea

Gia caddi, ov'huom dabben talhor s'impiglia. Ne treccie d' oro, ne guancia vermiglia 5

M' abbaglian si, ma sotto nova idea

Pellegrina bellezza che'l cuor bea,

Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia, Quel sereno fulgor d' amabil nero,

Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una, 10

5. Ne treccie d'oro, ne guancia vermiglia,

M'abbaglian si, &c] So in Comus, v. 758.
What need a vERMiL-tinctur'd lip for that,
Love-darting eyes, and tresses like the morn t

And on the Death Of A Fair Infant, V, 5.

That lovely dye

That did thy Cheek Envermb,ii,. —^—<

Milton's Eve has golden tresses.

E'l

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