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Under the opening eyelids of the morni,
We drove afield); and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Battening our flocks 1 with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star, that rose at evening bright,
Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel m.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to the oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long ;
And old Damætas loved to hear our song.

But, O, the heavy change, now thou art gone,

Now thou art gone, and never must return ! this is a subject which he delineates with the lively pencil of a lover. In the “ Apology for Smectymnuus,” he declares, “Those morning haunts are where they should be, at home; not sleeping or concocting the surfeits of an irregular feast, but up and stirring in winter often before the sound of any bell awakens men to labour or devotion ; in summer, as oft as the bird that first rouses, or not much tardyer, to read good authors,” &c. “Prose Works”i, 109. In “L'Allegro," one of the first delights of his cheerful man is to hear the "lark begin his flight.” His lovely landscape of Eden always wears its most attractive charms at sun-rising, and seems most delicious to our first parents “at that season prime for sweetest scents and airs.” In the present instance, he more particularly alludes to the stated early hours of a collegiate life, which he shared "on the self-same hill,” with his friend Lycidas at Cambridge.-T. WARTON.

This is a beautiful note of T. Warton, characteristic of that amiable critic and poet, and such as few others, if any, could have written.

i Under the opening eyelids of the morn. Perhaps from Thomas Middleton's “Game at Chesse,” an old forgotten play, published about the end of the reign of James I. 1625.

Like a pearl
Dropt from the opening eyelids of the morn

Upon the bashful rose.-T. WARTON.
The "eyelids of the morning" is a phrase of sublime origin. See Job, iï. 9. “Neither
let it see the dawning of the day, or, as in the margin, “the eyelids of the morning."
See also chap. xli. 18. And Sophocles, “Antigone, v. 103.–TODD.

; We drove afield. That is, “we drove our flocks afield.” I mention this, that Gray's echo of the passage in the “Church-yard Elegy,” yet with another meaning, may not mislead many careless readers. “How jocund did they drive their team afield !"-T. WARTON. Gray seems to have had every expression of Milton by heart.

Her sultry horn. “We continued together till noon,” &c. The gray-fly is called by the naturalists the gray-fly, or trumpet-fly; and “sultry horn" is the sharp hum of this insect at noon, or the hottest part of the day. But by some this has been thought the chaffer, which begins its flight in the evening.–T. WARTON.

| Battening our flocks. To “batten” is both neutral and active, to grow or to make fat. The neutral is most common, Shakspeare's “Hamlet." a. iii. s. 4.

Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed,
And batten on this moor?-T. WARTON.

m His westering wheel.
Drawing toward the west. So in Chaucer's "Troil and Creseide, ” b.ii. 905.

The sonne
Gan westring fast and dounward for to wrie.-NEWTON.



Thee, shepherd, thee, the woods, and desert caves ,
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
And all their echoes, mourn:
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
Shall now no more be seen
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose P,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white-thorn blows ;-
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep
Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas 9 ?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old bards, the famous druids, lie;
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high";
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream .
Ay me! I fondly dream!



Thee, shepherd, thee, the woods, and desert caves, &c. The passage most similar, in all its circumstances, to the present, is in the opinion of Mr. Dunster, the lamentation for Orpheus in Ovid, “Met.” xi. 43.

Te mostæ volucres, Orpheu; te turba ferarum,
Te rigidi silices, tua carmina sæpe secutæ
Fleverunt sylvæ; positis te frondibus arbos.—TODD.

The gadding vine. Dr. Warburton supposes, that the vine is here called "gadding,” because, being married to the elm, like other wives she is found of gadding abroad, and seeking a new associate. Tully, in a beautiful description of the growth of the vine, says, that it spreads itself abroad, “multiplici lapsu et erratico." "De Senectute.”—T. WARTON.

P As killing as the canker to the rose. The whole context of words in this and the four following lines is melodious and enchanting.

4 Where were ye, &c. This burst is as magnificent as it is affecting.

* Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high. In Drayton's "Polyolbion,” Mona is introduced reciting her own history; where she mentions her thick and dark groves as the favourite residence of the Druids. For the Druid-sepulchres, in the preceding line, at Kerig y Druidion, in the mountains of Denbighshire, he consulted Camden's “Britannia.”—T. WARTON.

Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream. In Spenser, the river Dee is the haunt of magicians. Merlin used to visit old Timon, in a green valley under the foot of the mountain Rauranvaur in Merionethshire, from which this river springs. · Faerie Queene,” 1. ix. 4. The Dee has been made the scene of a variety of ancient British traditions. The city of Chester was called by the Britons the “fortress upon Dee;" which was feigned to have been founded by the giant Leon, and to have been the place of king Arthur's magnificent coronation : but there is another and perhaps a better reason, why Deva's is a "wisard” stream. In Drayton, this river is styled the “hallowed," and the “holy,” and the “ominous flood.” In our author's Vacation Exercise,” Dee is characterised "ancient hallow'd Dee,” v. 91. Much superstition was founded on the circumstance of its being the ancient boundary between England and Wales : and Drayton, in his Tenth Song, having recited this part of its history, adds, that, by changing its fords, it foretold good or evil, war or peace, dearth or plenty, to either country. He then introduces the Dee, over which king Edgar had been rowed by eight kings, relating the story of Brutus. Milton appears to have taken a particular pleasure in mentioning this venerable river. In the beginning of his first Elegy, he almost








been there—for what could that have done?
What could the Muset herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,
Whom universal Nature did lament,
When, by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His gory visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?

Alas! what boots it with uncessant care
To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade,
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ?
Were it not better done, as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tạngles of Neæra's hair ?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise 4,
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,

And think to burst out into sudden blaze", goes out of his way to specify his friend's residence on the banks of the Dee; which he describes with the picturesque and real circumstance of its tumbling headlong over rocks and precipices into the Irish Sea. But to return home to the text immediately lying before us.

In the midst of this wild imagery, the tombs of the Druids, dispersed over the solitary mountains of Denbighshire, the shaggy summits of Mona, and the wizard waters of Deva, Milton was in his favourite track of poetry. He delighted in the old British traditions and fabulous histories : but his imagination seems to have been in some measure warmed, and perhaps directed to these objects, by reading Drayton; who, in the Ninth and Tenth Songs of his “Polyolbion,” has very copiously enlarged, and almost at one view, on this scenery. It is, however, with great force and felicity of fancy, that Milton, in transferring the classical seats of the Muses to Britain, has substituted places of the most romantic kind, inhabited by Druids, and consecrated by the visions of British bards; and it has been justly remarked, how coldly and unpoetically Pope, in his very correct Pastorals, has on the same occasion selected only the “fair fields of Isis, and the "winding vales" of Cam : but at the same time there is an immediate propriety in the substitution of these places, which should not be forgotten, and is not I believe obvious to every reader. The mountains of Denbighshire, the Isle of Man, and the banks of the Dee, are in the vicinity of the Irish seas where Lycidas was shipwrecked. It is thus Theocritus asks the nymphs, how it came to pass, that, when Daphnis died, they were not in the delicious vales of Peneus, or on the banks of the great torrent Anapus, the sacred water of Acis, or on the summits of mount Ætna : because all these were the haunts or the habitation of the shepherd Daphnis. These rivers and rocks have a real connexion with the poet's subject. -T. WARTON.

Here is another note of T. Warton, which combines a thousand charms of poetry, history, and taste.

What could the Muse, &c. See “Paradise Lost,” b. vii. 37, of Orpheus torn in pieces by the Bacchanalians :“Nor could the Muse defend her son. And his murderers are called “that wild rout,” v. 34. Calliope was the mother of Orpheus. Lycidas, as a poet, is here tacitly compared with Orpheus. They were both victims of the water.-T. WARTON,

u Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise, &c. These noble sentiments, Mr. Warton has observed, Milton afterwards dilated or improved in “Paradise Regained,” b. iii. 24, &c.—TODD.

No lines have been more often cited, and more popular than these ; nor more justly instructive and inspiriting.

v And think to burst out into sudden blaze. He is speaking of fame. So in “Paradise Regained,” b. iii. 47 "For what is glory but the blaze of fame,” &c.—T. WARTON.





Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears W,
And slits the thin-spun life. “But not the praise »,"
Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears Y :
“Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to the world?, nor in broad rumour lies ;
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes a,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove:
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.”

O, fountain Arethuse b, and thou honour'd flood,
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds !
That strain I heard was of a higher mood :
But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the herald of the sea
That came in Neptune's plea :
He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds",
What hard mishap hath dooin'd this gentle swain ?

w Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears. In Shakspeare are “the shears of Destiny” with more propriety, “King John," a. iv. s. 2. The king says to Pembroke,

Think I bear the shears of destiny? Milton, however, does not here confound the Fates and the Furies. He only calls Destiny a Fury.-T. WARTON.

* But not the praise, &c. “But the praise is not intercepted.” While the poet, in the character of a shepherd, is moralising on the uncertainty of human life, Phoebus interposes with a sublime strain, above the tone of pastoral poetry : he then, in an abrupt and elliptical apostrophe, at “O fountain Arethuse,” hastily recollects himself, and apologises to his rural Muse, or in other words to Arethusa and Mincius, the celebrated streams of bucolic song, for having so suddenly departed from pastoral allusions, and the tenor of his subject : "but I could not,” he adds, "resist the sudden and awful impulse of the god of verse, who interrupted me with a strain of higher mood, and forced me to quit for a moment my pastoral ideas : but I now resume my rural oaten pipe, and proceed as I began.” In the same manner, he reverts to his rural strain, after St. Peter's “ dread voice,” with “Return Alpheus.”—T. WARTON.

y Phoebus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears. Virgil, “Ecl.” vi. 3 :

Cynthius aurem
Vellit, et admonuit.-PECK.

· Nor in the glistering foil

Set off to the world.
Perhaps with a remembrance of Shakspeare, “Henry IV.” part 1. a. i. s. 2:-

And, like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,
Shall show more goodly, and attract more eyes,
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.-T. WARTON.

1 Those pure eyes. Perhaps from Scripture :-"God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.” And hence an epithet, sufficiently hackneyed in modern poetry, “Comus," v. 213 :“Welcome, pure-eyed Faith.”—T. Warton.

B 0, fountain Arethuse. In giving Arethusa the distinctive appellation of “fountain,” Milton closely and learnedly attends to the ancient Greek writers. -T. Warton.

{ The felon winds. i, e. the cruel winds. -TODD.




And question'd every gust of rugged wings
That blows from off each beaked promontory
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotades their answer brings e,
That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd;
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark f,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.

Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow ,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dimh, and on the edge
Like to that sanguine flower, inscribed with woe.
Ah! who hath reft, quoth he, my dearest pledge i?

d Each beaked promontory.
That is, prominent or projecting like the beak of a bird.—T. Warton.

. And sage Hippotades their answer brings. Æolus, the son of Hippotas.-T. WARTON.

That fatal and perfidious bark,

Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark. Although Dr. Newton mentions the “Ille et nefasto,” and “Mala soluta navis exit alite,” of Horace, as two passages similar to this, yet he has not observed how much more poetical and striking is the imagery of Milton : that the ship was “built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses.”—Jos. WARTON. Evidently with a view to the enchantments of “Macbeth :"

Slips of yew,

Silver'd in the moon's eclipse. Again, in the same incantation :-"Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark.” The shipwreck was occasioned, not by a storm, but by the bad conduct of the ship, unfit for so dangerous a navigation.—T. WARTON.

8 Went footing slow. “Footing slow,” as Mr. Dunster observes, as meant to mark the sluggish course of the river Cam, is exactly Claudian's description of the Mincius,—“tardusque meatu Mincius.”—TODD.

+ Figures dim. Alluding to the fabulous traditions of the high antiquity of Cambridge : but how Cam was distinguished by a “hairy mantle” from other rivers which have herds and flocks on their banks, I know not; unless "the budge doctors of the Stoick fur,” as Milton calls them in “Comus,” had lent him their academic robes. —WARBURTON.

It is very probable, that the “hairy mantle,” being joined with the "sedge bonnet," may mean his rushy or reedy banks. It would be difficult to ascertain the meaning of “figures dim.” Perhaps the poet himself had no very clear or determinate idea; but, in obscure and mysterious expressions, leaves something to be supplied or explained by the reader's imagination.-T. WARTON.

The “mantle hairy," and the “bonnet sedge,” are thus ably illustrated in a note by Mr.Plumptre,subjoined to his elegant Greek translation of “Lycidas,"1797:~"Chlamydem scilicet e conferva rivulari, quæ copiose Camo innatat; petasum vero ex ulva notis quodammodo per folia incertis, intus signata, et ad marginem foliorum ferrata, more hyacinthini al, al.” The “figures dim” may be considered as referring to the "sedge bonnet;" in which opinion Mr. Plumptre and Mr. Dunster concur; and the latter also remarks, that on sedge leaves, or flags, when dried, or even beginning to wither, there are not only certain dim, orindistinct, and dusky streaks, but also a variety of dotted marks ("scrawled over”) as Milton had at first written, on the edge, which withers before the rest of the flag.-TODD.

The last part of Warton's note contains a sagacious observation, as to the spells of poetry, and as just as sagacious.

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