Page images
PDF
EPUB

XV.

ARCADES,

Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess

Dowager of Derby at Harefieldt, by some noble persons of her family, who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state,

with this song

Song I.

LOOK nymphs, and shepherds look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook;

* This poem is only part of an Dowager of Derby being married Entertainment, or Mask, as it is to John Earl of Bridgwater, bealso entitled in Milton's Manu- fore whom was presented the script, the rest probably being of Mask at Ludlow, we may cona different nature, or composed ceive in some measure how Milby a different hand. The Count- ton was induced to compose the ess Dowager of Derby, to whom one after the other. The alliance it was presented, must have been between the families naturally Alice, daughter of Sir John and easily accounts for it: and Spenser of Althorp in Northamp- in all probability the Genius of tonshire, Knight, and the widow the wood in this poem, as well of Ferdinando Stanley, the fifth as the attendant Spirit in the Earl of Derby: and Harefield is Mask, was Mr. Henry Lawes, in Middlesex, and according to who was the great master of Camden lieth a little to the north music at that time, and taught of Uxbridge, so that I think we most of the young nobility. may certainly conclude, that Mil

+ Part of an entertainment preton made this poem while he re- sented to the Countess of Derby at sided in that neighbourhood with Harefield, &c.] We are told by his father at Horton near Cole- Norden, an accurate topographer brooke. It should seem too, who wrote about the year 1590, that it was made before the Mask in his Speculum Britanniæ, under at Ludlow, as it is a more im- Harefield in Middlesex, “ There perfect essay: and Frances the “ Sir Edmond Anderson, Knight, second daughter of this Countess « Lord Chief Justice of the

[ocr errors]

5

This, this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend;
Here our solemn search hath end.

10

Fame, that her high worth to raise,
Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise;

Less than half we find exprest,
Envy bid conceal the rest.

v. 106.

were,

“ Common Pleas, hath a faire taynment at Altrope, 1603. Works, “ house standing on the edge of 1616. p. 874. « the hill. The river Colne pass

This is shee, « ing neare the same, through

This is shee, “the pleasantmeadows and sweet

In whose world of grace, &c. "pastures, yielding both delight We shall find other petty imita“ and profit.”. Spec. Brit. p. i. tions from Jonson. Milton says, page 21. I viewed this house a few years ago, when it was for Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress the most part remaining in its original state. It has since been Yet Syring well might wait on her. pulled down: the porter's lodges So Jonson, ibid. p. 871. Of the on each side the gateway are

queen and young prince, converted into a commodious That is Cyparissus' face, dwelling-house. T. Warton. And the dame has Syrinx' grace ; 1. Look nymphs, and shep

O, that Pan were now in place, &c. herds look, &c.] See the ninth Again, Milton says, v. 46. division of Spenser's Epithala

And curl the grove mion. And Spenser's Aprill, in

In ringlets quaint. praise of Queen Elizabeth. So Jonson, in a Masque at Wel

beck, 1633. v. 15. See, where she sits upon the grassie

When was old Sherwood's head more See also Fletcher's Faithful Shep- But see below, at v. 46. And

quaintly curld? herdess, a. i. s. 1. vol. iii. p. 150. Obserrat. on Spenser's F. Q. vol. T. Warton.

ii. 256. T. Warton. 5. This, this is she.] Milton had here been looking back to

10.' We may justly now accuse Jonson, the most eminent mask

&c.]. These lines were thus at writer that had yet appeared first in the Manuscript

. and had fallen upon some of his

Not seems guilty of abuse

And detraction from her praise formularies and modes of address.

Less than half she hath exprest, For thus Jonson, in an Enter- Envy bid her hide the rest.

greene, &c.

15

Mark what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads;
This, this is she alone,

Sitting like a Goddess bright,

In the centre of her light. Might she the wise Latona be, Or the tow'red Cybele, Mother of a hundred Gods; Juno dares not give her odds ;

Who had thought this clime had held A deity so unparalleld?

20

25

[As they come forward, the Genius of the wood appears, and

turning toward them, speaks.]

GENIUS.
STAY gentle swains, for though in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes ;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluice

30

18. Sitting like &c.] It was through your eyes;] Dr. Symat first,

mons, Life of Milton, p. 98. refers Seated like a goddess bright, &c.

to Shakespeare, Alls well that

ends well, 23. Juno dares not &c.] The Manuscript had at first,

The honour, Sir, which fames in

your fair eyes. Ceres dares not give her odds; Who would have thought this clime had held &c.

30. Divine Alpheus, &c.] A 23. --give her odds;] Too famous river of Arcadia, that lightly expressed for the occasion. sinking under ground passeth Hurd.

through the sea without mixing 27. . I see bright honour sparkle his stream with the salt waters,

351

Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse ;
And

ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair silver-buskin’d nymphs as great and good,
I know this quest of yours, and free intent
Was all in honour and devotion meant
To the great mistress of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine,
And with all helpful service will comply
To further this night's glad solemnity ;
And lead ye where ye may more near behold
What shallow-searching Fame has left untold ;
Which I full oft amidst these shades alone
Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon :
For know by lot from Jove I am the Power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.

40

45

nunc

and riseth at last with the foun- 44. I am the Power] It was tain Arethuse near Syracuse in at first, Sicily. Virg. Æn. iii. 694.

-I have the power. -Alpheum fama est huc Elidis am

46. —and curl the grove] So nem, Occultas egisse vias subter mare, qui

Drayton, Polyolb. s. vii. vol. ii.

p. 789. “ Banks crown'd with Ore, Arethusa, tuo Siculis confunditur

« curled groves."

And so in undis.

several other places; and in a 34. —this quest] Inquiry, line which Jonson perhaps research, P. L. ii. 830. “ To search membered, ibid. s. xxxii. vol. iji. with wandering quest.And so p. 1111. also P. L. ix. 414. Ode F. Inf.

Where Sherwood her curl'd front into 18. Comus, 321. T, Warton.

the cold doth shove. 41. What shallow-searching Jonson also and Browne apply Fame &c.] At first the verse run the same epithet frequently to thus,

the woods or the tops of trees. Those virtues which dul Fame hath Compare note on P. R. ii. 289. left untold.

T. Warton. 44. -by lot] Allotment, Com. 47. With ringlets quaint,] It 20. Took in by lot. T. Warton. was at first, In ringlets quaint.

50

And all my plants I save from nightly ill
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill :
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue,
Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites,
Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round,
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground,
And early ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbʼring leaves, or tassell’d horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless ; 60

55

[ocr errors]

“ We fet a

47. Quaint is here in the sense And from the leaves brush off &c.
of Shakespeare, Mids. N. Dr. a.

54. I fetch my round,] So in
ii. s. 1.

Cymbeline, a. i. s. 2. “ I'll fetch
And the quaint mazes in the wanton

a turn, &c.” And in the Acts
green,
For lack of tread are undistinguish- Apost. xxviii. 13.
able.

compass." But the phrase is
T. Warton.

still in use. T. Warton.
48. And all my plants I save

57. —tasselld horn] Spenser,
from nightly ill

Faery Queen, b. i. cant. viii. st. 3.
Of noisome winds, and blasting

-an horn of bugle small,
vapours chill.]

Which hung adown his side in twisted
This is the office of a kindred gold
spirit in Comus, supposed to

And tassels gay.
dwell in rural shrine, as the Ge-

58. See L'Allegro, 56." Through
nius at Harefield in oaken bower.

“ the high wood echoing shrill."
Com. 269.

T. Warton.
Forbidding every bleak untimely fog 59. Number my ranks, and visit
To touch the prosperous growth of
this tall wood.

every sprout.] Tasso, Gier. Lib.
T. Warton.

c. xiii. 8. But there the inchanted

forest is consigned to bad demons.
49. —and blasting vapours
chill:] In the Manuscript it is Prendete in guardia questa silva, e
or blasting vapours chill.

queste

Piante, che numerate a voi conseg-
50. And from the boughs &c.]
It was at first,

T. Warton.

no,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »