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120

Tow'red cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold
In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
Of wit, or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear
In saffron robe, with taper clear,

125

car

119 Where throngs of knights Pris ne doit ne peult estre and barons bold &c.] It may donne, sans les dames : perhaps be objected that this is a pour elles sont toutes les prolittle unnatural, since tilts and nesses faietes, et par elles en tourneaments were disused when “ doit estre le pris donne." See Milton wrote this poem: but also c. cxxvii. and the articles of when one considers how short a the Justes at Westminster, 1509. time they had been laid aside, Hardyng's Chron. c. xlv. Robert and what a considerable figure of Gloucester, vol. i. 190. and these make in Milton's favourite Geoff. Monm. b. ix. c. xiv. T. authors, his introducing them Warton. here is easily accounted for, and

125. There let Hymen oft apI think as easily to be excused. pear Thyer.

In saffron robe, with taper 120. triumphs] Triumphs clear, &c.] are shews, such as masks, revels, For, according to Shakespeare, &c. See note on Sams. Agon. Love's Lab. Lost, act iv. s. 3. 1312. Pomp also had a technical

For revels, dances, masks, and merry sense in masques, train, retinue,

hours procession.

See notes on P. L. Fore-run fair love, strewing her way viii. 60. and Sams. Agor. 449 and

with flowers. 1312. T. Warlon.

In these pageantries, exhibited 121. With store of ladies,] An with great splendour, and a waste expression probably taken

from of allegoric invention, at the nupSydney's Astrophel and Stella, tials of noble personages, the st. 106.

classical Hymen was of course But here I doe store of faire ladies introduced as an actor, with his meete..

proper habit and symbols. Thus T. Warton.

in Jonson's “ Hymenæi, or the 122. Rain influence, and judge “solemnities of Masque and Barthe prize] Here Mr. Bowle cites “riers at a Marriage,” is this Perce-forest, v. 1. c. xii. fol. 109. stage-direction: On the other

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And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry,
Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream.

130
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
And ever against eating cares,

135 Lap me in soft Lydian airs, “ hand entered Hymen, in a saf- Shakespeare's Comedies, rather

fron-coloured robe, his under- than his Tragedies. For models “ vestures white, his sockes yel. of the latter, he refers us rightly,

low, a yellow veile of silke on in his Penseroso, to the Grecian “ his left arm, his head crowned scene, v. 97. Hurd. “ with roses and marjoram, in There is good reason to sup“ his right hand a torch.Works, pose that Milton threw many ed. 1616. Masques, p. 912. see additions and corrections into also ibid. p. 939. See also the Theatrum Poetarum, a book Spenser's Epithalamion, st. ii. published by his nephew, Edand the Poeticall Miscellanies of ward Philips, in 1675. It conPh. Fletcher. Cambr. 1613. 4to. tains criticisms far above the T. Warlon.

taste of that period: among these 132. If Jonson's &c.] We see is the following judgment on by this, that Milton's favourite Shakespeare, which not dramatic entertainments were then, I believe, the general opiJonson's Comedies, and Shake- nion, and which perfectly coinspeare's Plays: and in a few cides both with the sentiment words he touches the distin- and words of the text. guishing characteristics of these tragedy, never any expressed two famous poets, the art of Jon- “a more lofty and tragic height, son and nature of Shakespeare, never any represented nature the learning of the one and the more purely to the life: and genius of the other: and there is “ where the polishments of art this farther propriety in his prais" are most wanting, as probably ing of Shakespeare, that while “ his learning was not extraorhe commends, he imitates him. “ dinary, he pleases with a cerLove's Labour's Lost, act i. sc. 1. “ tain wild and native elegance, This child of fancy, that Armado &c." Mod. Poets, p. 194. T. hight.

Warton. 134. Warble his native wood- 135. And ever against eating notes wild.] Milton shews his

cares, judgment here, in celebrating Lap me in soft Lydian airs, &c.]

p. 58.

was

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140

Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony;
That Orpheus self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed

145

So also in the Mask, speaking of berton, on Leonidas, considers Circe and the Sirens,

the uncertain mixture of iambic Who as they sung, would take the and trochaic verses, of which prison'd soul,

we have here an example, as a And lap it in Elysium

blemish in our poet's versifiIt

may be observed, that Milton's . cation. I own, I think this miximagination glows with a parti- ture has a good effect in the cular brightness not only in this passage before us, and in many charming passage, but in every others. As in Il Penseroso, v. other where he has occasion to 143. describe the power of music, That at her flowery work doth sing. which shews how fond he was of it, and finely exemplifies Horace's Which is an iambic verse, changmaxim,

ing to trochaic in the next line, Verbaque provisam rem non invita

And the waters murmuring. sequentur.

Thyer. Again,

There let the pealing organ blow The Lydian music was very soft To the full-voic'd quire below. and sweet, and according to Cas

Dr. J. Warton. siodorus, (Varior. lib. ii. ep. 40.

And again, p. 105. ed. fol. 1621. ad Boethium,) contra nimias cu

See also Shakespeare, Troil, and ras, animæque tædia reperta, re

Cres. act i. sc. 3. And he has missione reparabat et oblecta

married lineaments, for harmony tione animos corroborabat. And of features, in Rom. and Juliet. so Dryden, in his excellent Ode

T. Warton. on St. Cecilia's day,

146. From golden slumber on a Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,

bed Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures.

Of heap'd Elysian flowers,] 136. Lap me in soft Lydian Compare P. L. iii. 358. Milton's airs.] An acute critic, Dr. Pem- florid style has this distinction

Of heap'd Elysian flow’rs, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regain’d Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

150

XIV.
Il Penseroso*.

HENCE vain deluding joys,

The brood of folly without father bred, How little

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys?

you bestead,

from that of most other poets, serving, that this poem, both in that it is marked with a degree its model and principal circumof dignity. T. Warton.

stances, is taken from a song in 151. These delights if thou canst praise of melancholy in Fletcher's give,

comedy called The Nice Valor, or Mirth, with thee I mean to live.) Passionate Madman. The reader The concluding turn of this and will not be displeased to see it the following poem is borrowed here, as it is well worth tranfrom the conclusion of two beau- scribing. tiful little pieces of Shakespeare, Hence all you vain delights, entitled, The Passionate Shep- As short as are the nights herd to his Love, and the

Wherein you spend your folly ; Nymph's Reply to the Shep

There's nought in this life sweet,

If man were wise to see't, herd;

But only Melancholy, If these delights thy mind may move,

Oh sweetest Melancholy. Then live with me, and be my love.

Welcome folded arms, and fix'd eyes,

A sigh that piercing mortifies, These two poems are printed at A look that's fasten'd to the ground, length in the notes upon the A tongue chain'd up without a sound. third act of the Merry Wives of Fountain heads, and pathless groves, Windsor, in Mr. Warburton's Places which pale passion loves ; edition.

Moon-light walks, when all the fowls * Il Penseroso is the thought

Are warmly hous'd, save bats and

owls; ful melancholy man; and Mr.

A midnight bell, a parting groan, Thyer concurred with me in ob- These are the sounds we feed upon; 5

Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hovering dreams

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.

10

cer.

Then stretch our bones in a still forth without a father. Theog. gloomy valley,

212. Nothing's so dainty sweet, as lovely Melancholy.

-εσικτε δε φυλον ονειρων" 1. Hence vain deluding joys,

Ου τινι κοιμηθεισα θεα σεκε Νυξ ερεβεννη. . &c.] From a distich, as Mr. Mr. Thyer had made the same Bowle observes, in Sylvester, observation with me; and we the translator of Du Bartas, may be the more certain of this Workes, ed. fol. 1621. p. 1084.

allusion on account of the fol

lowing comparison -likest Hence, bence, false pleasures, mo

hovering dreams. mentary joyes, Mocke us no more with your illuding

7. As thick and numberless toyes !

As the gay motes that people The imagery which follows, v.

the sun-beams,] 5. and seq. is immediately from

A similitude copied from Chauhis Cave of Sleep in Du Bartas,

Wife of Bath's Tale, ver,

868. p. 316. ed. fol. 1621. (See note on L'Allegro, v. 10.) He there As thik as motis in the sunné beme. mentions Morpheus, and his

7. But it was now a common fantasticke swarme of dreames illustration. See Drayton, Mus. " that hovered" and yellow, tawny, black, and Elys. Nymph. vi. vol. iv. p. 1494. 66 blew" and these resemble

Randolph's Poems, ed. 1640. p.

97. Caxton's Golden Legend, ed. Th' unnumbered motes which in the 1483. fol. 306. b. Sylvester cersun do play

tainly suggested the idea. T. And afterwards he calls the Warton.

gawdy swarme of dreames." 10. The fickle pensioners of Hence Milton's fancies fond, Morpheus' train.] Fickle is trangaudy shapes, numberless gay sitory, perpetually shifting, as in motes in the sun-beams, and the Shakespeare's Sonnet cxxvi.hovering dreams of Morpheus.

“ Time's fickle glass."-PenT. Warton.

sioners became a common appel2. The brood of folly without lation in our poetry for train, father bred,] He assigns

attendants, retinue, &c. As in kind of origin to these fantastic the Mids. N. Dr. act ii. s. 1. of joys, as Hesiod does to dreams, the faery queen, which he says the Night brings The cowslips tall her pensioners be.

green, red,

the same

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