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I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
Yet once more, has an allusion dialect, by which in English we not merely to some of Milton's are to understand an antiquated former poems on similar occa- style. But of the three or four sions, but to his poetical con- words in Lycidas which even we positions in general, or rather to now call obsolete, almost all are his last poem, which was Comus. either used in Milton's other He would say, "I am again, in poems, or were familiar to read“ the midst of other studies, un- ers and writers of verse in the "expectedly and unwillingly year 1638. The word sere, or “called back to poetry, &c." dry, in the text, one of the most Neither are the plants here men- uncommon of these words, octioned, as some have suspected, curs in P. L. b. x. 1071. And appropriated to elegy. They are in our author's Psalms, ii. 27. T. symbolical of general poetry. Warton. Theocritus, in a Epigram cited 3. I come to pluck your berries in the next note, dedicates myr. harsh and crude,] 'This beautitles to Apollo. In the mean ful allusion to the unripe age of time, I would not exclude an- his friend, in which death shatother probable implication : bytered his leaves before the mellowplucking the berries and the ing year, is not antique, I think, leaves of laurel, myrtle, and ivy, but of those secret graces of he might intend to point out the Spenser. See his Eclogue of Japastoral or rural turn of his poem.nuary in the Shepherd's CalenT. Warlon.
dar. The poet there says of 2. Ye myriles brown.] Brown himself under the name of Colin and black are classical epithets Clout, for the myrtle. Theocritus, Epig.
Richardson, Tαι δι ΜΕΛΑΜΦΥΛΛΑΙ ΔΑΦΝΑΙ τιν, 5. Shatter your leares before
the mellowing year.] So in P. L. Ovid, Art. Amator. lib. jii. 690.
b. x. 1066. Ros inaris, et lauri, nigraque myrtus
-shuttering the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees. olet,
T. Warlon. Horace contrasts the brown myr- 6. Bilter constraint, and sad tle with the green ivy, Od. i. occasion dear,] So in Spenser, XXXV. 17.
l'aery Queen, b. i. cant. i. st. 53. Læta quod pubes edera virenti
Love of yourself, she said, and dear Gaudeat, pulla magis atque myrto.
CO:straint, 2. —with ivy never sere.]
Let me not sleep, but waste the A
weary night notion has prevailed, that this In secret anguish, and unpitied plaint. pastoral is written in the Doric
Compels me to disturb your season due:
10. Who would not sing for giacs, in the Genethliacum Acad. Lycidas ?] Virgil, Ecl. x. 3. Cantabrig. ibid. 1631. 4to. p. 39.
Of Latin iambics in Rex Redux, -neget quis carmina Gallo?
ibid. 1633. 4to. p. 14. See also He knew, in Milton's Manuscript ZINDAIA,
ΣΥΝΩΔΙΑ, from Cambridge, it is he well knew.
ibid. 1637. 4to. Signat. C. 3. I 10. He knero
will not say how far these perHimself to sing, &c.]
formances justify Milton's pane-
seu condis amabile carmen.
De Arte poet. 436.
997. Hurda chanical or unnatural expedients, The lofty rhyme is “ the lofty of the drama that then subsisted.
See P. L. b. i. 16. T. Non hic cothurni sanguine insonti
12. He must not float upon his Nec flagra Megæræ ferrea horrendum watry bier.). So Johnson, in intonant;
Cynthia's Revells, acted by the Noverca nulla sævior Erebo furit;
boys of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel,
Sing some mourning straine
Over his watrie hcarse.
Indeplorato non comminuere sepulon the King's Recovery, Cantab. chro. 1632. 4to. p. 43. Of Latin ele
Without the meed of some melodious tear.
Begin then, sisters of the sacred well,
14. Without the meed] With- Jupiter, as Hesiod says in the out the reward. Spenser, Faery invocation for his poem on the Queen, b. ii. cant. iii. st. 10. generation of the Gods. -but honour, virtue's meed,
Μουσαων “Ελικωνιαδων αρχώμεθ αειδειν, Doth bear the fairest flow'r in ho- Αισ “Ελικωνος εχουσιν ορος μεγα το ζαnourable seed.
θεοντε, -melodious tear.] For
Και σε περι κρηνης ιοειδεα ποσο' απαλοιsong, or plaintive elegiac strain,
Ορχουνται, και βωμον ερισθενεος Κρανιω the cause of tears. Euripides in like manner, Suppl. v. 1128.
Begin we from the Muses still to sing, • Πα δακρυα φερεις φιλα-ολωλοτων. That haunt high Helicon, and the “Where do you bear the tears of
pure spring, “ the dead, i. e. the remains or
And altar of great Jove, with print.
less feet “ ashes of the dead, which occa“sion our tears ?" Or perhaps
passage is corrupt. See note on the place, edit. Markland. 18. Hence with denial vain, and The same use of tears, however, coy excuse,] The epithet coy is occurs, ibid. v. 454.
Δακρυα do at present restrained to Person. “ ετοιμαζουσι." Hurd.
Anciently, it was more generally The passage is undoubtedly combined. Thus Drayton, corrupt; Ilų is superfluous, and
Shepherd, these things are all too coy mars the context. The late Oxford editor seems to have given Whose youth is spent in jollity and the genuine reading, “Nes danguo
mirth, “Pigus Pine," [v. 1133.] T. War- That is, “This knowledge is too ton.
“hard for ine, &c.” Eclogues, vii. 15. Begin then, sisters of the Milton has the same use of
coy sacred well,
in the Apology for Smectymnuus. That from beneath the seat of “ Thus lie at the mercy of a Jove doth spring,]
coy flurting style, &c.”? Pr. W. He means Hippocrené, a foun- i. 105. ed. 1738. T. Warton. tain consecrated to the Muses on 21. And as he passes turn,] He mount Helicon, on the side of for the muse seems extraordinary. which was an altar of Heliconian See Mr. Jortin's note on ver. 973,
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
of Samson Agonistes, where this present place is from Job, the change of the gender is consi.' most poetical of all books. Job. dered.
curses the day in which he was 21. It is probably a corrupt born. Let the stars of the twilightreading. The muse is feminine thereof be durk, lei it look for further on at ver. 58 and 59. light but have none, neither let it And the mistake may have been see the dawning of the day. The caused by the concluding letter Hebrew (that Milton always folof the preceding word as being lows) hath neither let it see the the same as the first of the word eyelids of the morning, iii. 9. she. E.
Richardson. 22. And bid] So altered in the The opening eyelids was alManuscript from To bid &c. tered in the Manuscript from the.
23. For we were nurst &c.] glimmering eyelids. This is assigned as a reason for 26. Perhaps from Thomas Midwhat he had said before,
dleton's Game at Chesse, an old, Hence with denial vain, and coy ex- forgotten play, published about
the end of the reign of James the
First, 1625. 25. Together both, &c.] Here a new paragraph begins in the
Like a pearl, edition of 1645, and in all that
Dropp'd from the opening eyelids of followed. But in the edition of
Upon the bashful rose. 1638, the whole context is thus pointed and arranged.
Shakespeare has “the morning's For we were nurst upon the self
eye,” Rom. and Jul. act iii. s. 5. same hill,
Again, act ii. s. 3. Fed the same flock, by fountain,
The grey-eyed morn smiles on the shade, and rill;
frowning night. Together both, ere the high lawns
T. Warton. appear'd, &c. T. Warton.
27. “We continued together 25. Probably the new para- still noon, and from thence, &c." graph should begin at ver. 23. The gray-fly is called by the na" For we &c." E.
turalists, the gray-fly or trumpet26.--the opening eyelids of ihe fly. Here we have Milton's horn, morn,] This personizing every and sultry horn is the sharp hum thing that is the subject of ima- of this insect at noon, or the hotgination is a great part of the test part of the day. But by some merit of ancient poetry. The this has been thought the chaffer,
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
30 which begins its flight in the commonly known by the name evening. T. Warton.
of the cock-chaffer or dor-fly. 27. We drove afield,] That is, These in the hot summer months “ we drove our flocks afield.” Ilie quiet all the day feeding upon mention this, that Gray's echo the leaves of the oaks and wil. of the passage in the Church- lows, but about sunset fly about yard Elegy, yet with another with just such a sort of noise as meaning, may not mislead many answers the poet's description. careless readers.
The author could not possibly
have chosen a circumstance more How joyous did they drive the team afield.
proper and natural for a shep-,
herd to describe a summer's evenSee the note, P. R. ii. 365. on
ing by, nor have expressed it in Milton's delight in painting the beauties of the morning. In the
a more poetical manner. Thyer.
Shakespeare has an image of Apology for Smectymnuus he de. the same kind in his Macbeth, clares, Those morning haunts but he has expressed it with
are where they should be, at greater horror suitable to the “ home: not sleeping or con- occasion, act iii. s. 3. “cocting the surfeits of an irre“gular feast, but up and stirring,
ere to black Hecate's summons in winter often before the
The shard-born beetle with his drowsy “ sound of any bell awakens
Halb rung night's yawning peal, &c. men to labour or devotion; in
summer, as oft as the bird that 29. Battning our flocks with “ first rouses, or not much tar. the fresh dews of night,] To batten “ dier, to read good authors, is both neutral and active, to “ &c." Prose Works, i. 109. In grow or to make fat. The neutral L'Allegro, one of the first de- is most common. Shakespeare, lights of his cheerful man, is to
Haml. act iii. 8. 4. hear the “ lark begin her flight." Could you on this fair mountain His lovely landscape of Eden al- leave to feed, ways wears its most attractive And batten on this moor? charms at sun-rising. In the And Drayton, Ecl. ix. vol. iv, ut present instance, he more par, supr. p. 1431. ticularly alludes to the stated early hours of a collegiate life,
Their battening flocks on grassie leas which he shared, on the self-same
to hold. hill, with his friend Lycidas at Milton had this line in his eye. Cambridge. T. Warton. Batfull, that is plentiful, is a
28. What time the gray-fly frequent epithet in Drayton, winds her sultry horn,] By the especially in his Polyolbion. gray-fly in this place is meant no T. Warton. doubt a brownish kind of beetle 30. Oft till the star &c.] These powdered with a little white, two lines were thus in the Manu