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E'l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero
Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,

E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran fuoco
Che Pincerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.

V.
Per certo i bei vostr'occhi, Donna mia
Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole
Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,

,2. —— Non fian lo mio solt

Si mi fercaoton forte. ] So Ariosto, Orl. Fur. C. viii. 20.

Percote il Sole ardente il vicin colic

Again, Cat. 35.

Percote il Sol nel colle e fa ritorno.
Milton has the fame Italian idiom in Par Ad. L. B.iv. 244.

• Where the morning fun first warmly Smote

The open field. ——

So also Shakespeare, Love's Lab. Lost, A.iv. S. iii.

As thy eyebeams when their frefli Rays have Smote
The dew of night that on my cheeks down flows.

Virgil fays of light, ÆK.viii. 25.

—— Summiquc Ferit laquearia tecti. And V. Flaccus, Argon, i. 496.

Percussaque sole iequuntur

Scuta vitum. ■

And Statius, Theb. vi. 666.

Qualis Bistoniis clypeus Mavortis in agris
Luce mala Pangæa Ferit. ——

I will add a parallel from Prudentius, as it illustrates another passage of Milton, Hymn. ii. 6.

Caligo terræ fciqditur
Solis Percuss A spiculo.

St

Mentre un caldo vapor (ne sentì pria) 5

Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole
Chiaman sospir; io non so che si sia:

Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela

Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco io
Quivi d' attorno o s'agghiaccia, o s'ingiela j

Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco
Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
Finche mia Alba riven colma di rose.

VI.

Giovane piano, e semplicetto amante
Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono
Faro divoto j 10 certo a prove tante

L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,

De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
Qando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,
S'arma di se, ed' intero diamante,

Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,

Di timori, e speranze al popol use IO

Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago,

So in Par Ad. L. B. vi. 15. Of morning.

From before her vanisiYd Night

Shot Throuch with orient beami.'

Uu E di

[graphic]

E di cetta sonora, e delle muse:
Sol troverete in tal parte men duro
Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago *.

VII.

On his being arrived to the age of 23.

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stbln on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom fhew'th.

* Milton had a natural severity of mind. For love-verses, his Italian Sonnets have a remarkable air of-gravity and dignity. They are free from the metaphysics of Petrarch, and are more in the manner of Dante. Yet he calls his seventh Sonnet, in a Letter printed from the Cambridge manuscript by Birch, a composition in the Petrarchiak stanza.

In 1762, the late Mr. Thomas Hall is examined the Laurentian library at Florence, for six Italian Sonnets of Milton, addressed to his friend Chimentelli; and, for other Italian and Latin compositions and various original letters, said to be remaining in manuscript at Florence. He searched also for an original bust in marble of Milton, supposed to be somewhere in that city. But he was unsuccessful in his curious inquiries. .

3. Stein en bis King my tbrtt and twentieth yar^\ Mr. Bowie here cites All's Well That Ends Well, A.v. S. iii. ■ — On our quick'st decrees The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time Steals, e'er we can effect them.

But the application of Steal is different. In Shakespeare, Time comes imperceptibly upon, so as to prevent, our purposes. In Milton, Time, as imperceptibly and silently, brings on his wing, in his flight, the poet's twenty third year. Juvenal mould not here be forgotten, in a passage of consummate elegance. 'sat. ix. 129. Durn serta, unguenta, puellas,

PoseimUS, OBKEPIT NON INTELLECT A senectuS.

Perhaps

Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, 5
That I to manhood am arriv'd so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits indu'th.

Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

It shall be still in strictest measure even 10

To that same lot, however mean or high,

Toward which Time leads me, and the will of
Heaven;
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.

VIII.

When the ajsauk was intended to the City.

Captain or Colonel, or Knight in arms,
Whose chance on these defenseless doors may seise,
If deed of honour did thee ever please,
Guard them, and him within protect from harms.

He can requite thee, for he knows the charms 5
That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas,
Whatever clime the fun's bright circle warms.

1. Captain er Colonel, or Knight in arms.] So Shakespeare, K. RiChard ii. A. i. S. iii. Where Bolingbroke enters " appellant in ar•* pour."

K,Ricb. Marshal, ask yonder Knight In Arms.

U u 2 Lift

Lift not thy spear against the Muses bow'r:
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare 10
The house of Pindarus, when temple' and tow'r

Went to the ground: And the repeated air
Of fad Electra's poet had the pow'r
To save th' Athenian walls from ruin bare.

10. The great Emathian conqueror did spare

The bouse of Pindarut. —] As a poet, Milton had as good right to expect this favour as Pindar. Nor was the English monarch less a protector of the arts, and a lover of poetry, than Alexander. As a subject, Milton was too conscious that his situation was precarious, and that his seditious tracts had forfeited all pretensions to his sovereign's mercy.

Mr. Bowie here refers us to Pliny, L. vii. c. 29. "Alexander Mag*' nus Pindari vatis familiæ penatibusque juffit parci, cum Thebas "caperet." And to the old commentator on Spenser's Pastorals, who relates this incident more at large, and where it might have first struck Milton as a great reader of Spenser.

11. — When temple and torv'r

Went to the ground.——] Temple and Tower is a frequent combination in the old metrical romances. See Sece of Jerusalem, MSS. Cott. Cal. A. 2. f.122. And Davie's Alexander, Bibl.Bodl. f. 112. Our author has it again, Parad. Reg. B. iii. 268.

O'er hill and dale,

Forest, and field, and flood, Temples And Towers.

And again, in the description of the buildings of Rome, ibjd. B.iv.34.

An imperial city stood

With Towres and Temples proudly elevate.

13. Of sad Eleilra's poa, Sec. ] Plutarch relates, that when the Lacedemonian general Lyfander took Athens, it was proposed in a council of war intirely to rase the city, and convert its site into a desert. But during the debate, at a banquet of the chief officers, a certain Phocian fung some fine anastrophics from a chorus of the Electra of Euripjdes j which so affected the hearers, that they declared it an unworthy act, to reduce a place, so celebrated for the production of illustrious men, to total ruin and desolation. The lines of Euripides are at v. 168.

'Ayctuifiiovsi u if et, xSvbtt H-
"S.(*»ti Tlf, Sec. U

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