« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
been seldom at the usurper's court, and the cir fice to public principles, than any advice. From cumstance of his having given him advice to spare ordinary men this was more than could be exthe liberties of the people, form some apology pected; but Milton prescribed to others such for this negative adherence. But if the people, austerity of duty, that, in proportion to the altiaccording to his own ideas, were capable of liberty tude of his character, the world, which looked to after Cromwell's death, they were equally so before him forexample, had a right to expect his practical it; and a renunciation of his profits under the virtue to be severe. despot would have been a nobler and fuller sacri
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
AN EPITAPH ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATICK
POET WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE*,
Ye flaming powers, and winged warriors bright,
His infancy to seize !
Will pierce more near his heart.
What needs my Shakspeare for his honour'd bones
SONNET TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
ON MAY MORNING.
O) NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy spray
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still,
Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill, While the jolly Hours lead on propitious May. Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day,
First heard before the shallow cuckow's bill,
Portend success in love ; ( if Jove's will Have link'd that amorous power to thy soft lay,
Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh ;
As thou from year to year hast sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why :
Whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.
(* We have copied this title at full length from the poem as it was first printed : “ It is true," says Sir Walter Scott, “that Milton descended to upbraid the unfortunate Charles I., that the chosen companion of his private hours was one William Shakspeare, a player." (Life of Dryden, p. 9. Nothing is more untrue, and we quote the passage : “ The poets, and some English, bave been so mindful of decorum, as to put never more pious words in the mouth of any person than of a tyrant. I shall not instance an abstruse author, wherein the king (Charles I.) might be less conversant, but one whom we well know was the closet companion of these, his solitudes, William Shakspeare, who introduces the person of Richard III." sc. speaking such stuff, he goes on to say, as the king has written, and deep dissemblers indulge in. What is there in this disrespectful to the "sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child," of his juvenile verses ?]
Now the bright morning Star, day's harbinger,
Hail, bounteous May! that dost inspire
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing !
Æolian charms, and Dorian lyric odes,
And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer callid, WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Whose poem Phæbus challenged for his own. Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught And that one talent which is death to hide,
In chorus or iambic, teachers best Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent Of moral prudence, with delight received To serve therewith my Maker, and present In brief sententious precepts, while they treat My true account, lest He returning chide ;
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life ; Doth God exact day-labour, light denied, High actions and high passions best describing ; I fondly ask ? but Patience to prevent
Thence to the famous orators repair,
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best: His Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece,
They also serve who only stand and wait.'
SAMSON BEWAILING HIS BLINDNESS AND
(Attendant leading him.)
FROM SAMSON AGONISTES.
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave, A LITTLE onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on ;
Relieves me from my task of servile toil, And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Daily in the common prison else enjoin’d me, Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Where I a prisoner chain’d, scarce freely draw Came vested all in white, pure as her mind :
The air imprison'd also, close and damp, Her face was veild, yet to my fancied sight
Unwholesome draught : but here I feel amends, Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
The breath of heaven fresh blowing, pure and sweet, So clear, as in no face with more delight.
With day-spring born; here leave me to respire.-
Laborious works ; unwillingly this rest
From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
Times past, what once I was, and what am now. Built nobly, pure the air and light the soil, O wherefore was my birth from Heaven foretold Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts Twice by an angel, who at last in sight And eloquence, native to famous wits
Of both my parents all in flames ascended Or hospitable, in her sweet recess.
From off the altar, where an offering burnd, City or suburban, studious walks and shades ;
As in a fiery column, charioting See there the olive grove of Academe,
His godlike presence, and from some great act Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Or benefit reveal'd to Abraham's race? Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long; Why was my breeding order'd and prescribed There, flowery hill, Hymettus, with the sound
As of a person separate to God, Of bees' industrious murmur, oft invites
Design’d for great exploits ; if I must die Lo studious musing ; there Ilissus rolls
Betray'd, captived, and both my eyes put out, Iis whispering stream: within the walls then view Made of my enemies the scorn and gaze ; l'he schools of ancient sages ; his who bred To grind in brazen fetters under task Treat Alexander to subdue the world,
With this heaven-gifted strength? O glorious yceum there, and painted Stoa next :
Put to the labour of a beast, debased (strength "here shalt thou hear and learn the secret power Lower than bond-slave! Promise was that I of harmony in tones and numbers hit
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver ; by voice or hand, and various-measured verse, Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him
FROM BOOK IV. OF PARADISE REGAINED,
Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves,
With God not parted from him, as was fear'd, Himself in bonds, under Philistian yoke.
But favouring and assisting to the end.
Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail O loss of sight, of thee I most complain !
Or knock the breast ; no weakness, no contempt, Blind among enemies, 0 worse than chains, Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair, Dungeon, or beggary, or decrepit age !
And what may quiet us in a death so noble. Light, the prime work of God, to me is extinct, Let us go find the body where it lies And all her various objects of delight
Soak'd in his enemies' blood, and from the stream, Annull’d, which might in part my grief have eased, With lavers pure, and cleansing herbs, wash off Inferior to the vilest now become
The clotted gore. I with what speed the while Of man or worm : the vilest here excel me ; (Gaza is not in plight to say us nay), They creep, yet see ; I, dark in light, exposed Will serd for all my kindred, all my friends, To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong,
To fetch him hence, and solemnly attend Within doors or without, still as a fool,
With silent obsequy, and funeral train, In power of others, never in my own;
Ilome to his father's house : there will I build him Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half. A monument, and plant it round with shade O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, Of laurel ever green, and branching palm, Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
With all his trophies hung, and acts inrollid Without all hope of day!
In copious legend, or sweet lyric song.
The virgins also shall on feastful days
Visit his tomb with flowers, only bewailing When she deserts the night,
His lot unfortunate in nuptial choice, Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
From whence captivity and loss of eyes. Since light so necessary is to life,
Chorus. All is best, though we oft doubt And almost life itself, if it be true
What th' unsearchable dispose That light is in the soul,
of highest Wisdom brings about, She all in every part ; why was the sight
And ever best found in the close. To such a tender ball as the eye confined,
Oft he seems to hide his face, So obvious and so easy to be quenchid ?
But unexpectedly returns, And not as feeling through all parts diffused, And to his faithful champion hath in place That she might look at will through every pore? Bore witness gloriously ; whence Gaza mourns, Then had I not been thus exiled from light, And all that band them to resist As in the land of darkness yet in light,
His uncontrollable intent ; To live a life half dead, a living death,
His servants he with new acquist And buried : but O yet more miserable !
Of true experience from this great event, Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave,
With peace and consolation hath dismiss'd,
And calm of mind all passion spent.
The first Scene discovers a wild Wood. Among inhuman foes.
The Attendant Spirit (lescends or enters. Before the starry threshold of Jove's court
My mansion is, where those immortal shapes SPEECHES, OF MANOAH THE FATHER OF SAM
Of bright aërial spirits live insphered
In regions mild of calm and serene air,
Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot Manoah. Samson hath quit himself
Which men call Earth, and with low-thoughted care Like Samson, and heroically hath finish'd
Confined, and pester'd in this pin-fold here, A life heroic; on his enemies
Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being, Fully revenged, hath left them years of mourning, Unmindful of the crown that Virtue gives, And lamentation to the Sons of Caphtor
After this mortal change, to her true servants, Through all Philistian bounds, to Israel
Amongst the enthron'd gods, on sainted seats.
That opes the palace of Eternity :
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds Therefore, when any favour'd of high Jove With the rank vapours of this sin-worn mould. Chances to pass through this advent'rous glade,
But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star Of every salt-flood, and each ebbing stream, I shoot from heaven to give him safe
convoy, Took in by lot 'twixt high and nether Jove, As now I do : but first I must put off Imperial rule of all the sea-girt isles,
These my sky-robes, spun out of Iris' woof, That like to rich and various gems inlay
And take the weeds and likeness of a swain The unadorned bosom of the deep,
That to the service of this house belongs, Which he to grace his tributary gods
Who with his soft pipe, and smooth-dittied song, By course commits to several government,
Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar, And gives them leave to wear their sapphire crowns, And hush the waving woods ; nor of less faith, And wield their little tridents': but this isle, And in this office of his mountain watch, The greatest and the best of all the main,
Likeliest, and nearest to the present aid He quarters to his blue-hair'd deities ;
Of this occasion. But I hear the tread And all this tract that fronts the falling sun,
Of hateful steps. I must be viewless now. A noble peer of mickle trust and power
Comus enters with a charming-rod in one hand, his glass Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide
in the other; with him a rout of morsters, headed like An old and haughty nation proud in arms :
sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise like men and Where his fair offspring, nursed in princely lore, women, their apparel glistering; they come in, making Are coming to attend iheir father's state,
a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in their hands. And new-entrusted sceptre ; but their way
Comus. The star that bids the shepherd fold, Lies through the perplex'd paths of this drear wood, Now the top of heaven doth hold, The nodding horror of whose shady brows And the gilded car of Day, Threats the forlorn and wandering passenger ; His glowing axle doth allay And here their tender age might suffer peril, In the steep Atlantic stream, But that by quick command from sovereign Jove
And the slope sun his upward beam I was despatch'd for their defence and guard ;
Shoots against the dusky pole, And listen why; for I will tell you now
Pacing toward the other goal
Of his chamber in the East.
Midnight Shout and Revelry,
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Strict Age, and sour Severity,
Imitate the starry quire, || Had by him, ere he parted thence, a son
Who in their nightly watchful spheres, Much like his father, but his mother more,
Lead in swift round the months and years. Whom therefore she brought up, and Comus named, The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove, Who ripe, and frolic of his full-grown age,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move; Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields,
And on the tawny sands and shelves At last betakes him to this ominous wood,
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves. And in thick shelter of black shades imbower'd, By dimpled brook and fountain brim, Excels his mother at her mighty art,
The wood-nymphs, deck'd with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep :
Which these dun shades will ne'er report.-
Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport, All other parts remaining as they were ;
Dark-veil'd Cotytto! t' whom the secret flame And they, so perfect is their misery,
Of midnight torches burns ; mysterious dame ! Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
That ne'er art call’d, but when the dragon womb But boast themselves more comely than before,
Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom, And all their friends and native home forget,
And makes one blot of all the air, To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.
Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,
Wherein thou ridest with Hecate, and befriend And envious darkness, ere they could return, Us thy vow'd priests, till utmost end
Had stole them from me ; else, 0 thievish Night, Of all thy dues be done, and rone left out; Why wouldst thou, but for some felonious end, Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars The nice morn on the Indian steep
That Nature hung in heaven, and fill’d their lamps From her cabin'd loophole peep,
With everlasting oil, to give due light And to the tell-tale sun descry
To the misled and lonely traveller? Our conceal'd solemnity.
This is the place, as well as I may guess, Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth In a light fantastic round.
Was rife and perfect in my list’ning ear;
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory, Of some chaste footing near about this ground.
Of calling shapes, and beck’ning shadows dire, Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and trees; Our number may affright : some virgin sure
And airy tongues that syllable men's names
On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses. (For so I can distinguish by mine art)
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound Benighted in these woods. Now to my charms,
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong-siding champion, Conscience.
O welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope, About my mother Circe. Thus I hurl
Thou hovering Angel, girt with golden wings, My dazzling spells into the spungy air,
And thou, unblemish'd form of Chastity! Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
I see ye visibly, and now believe And give it false presentments, lest the place
That He, the Supreme Good, t' whom all things ill And my quaint habits breed astonishment, Are but as slavish officers of vengeance, And put the damsel to suspicious flight;
Would send a glist'ring guardian, if need were, Which must not be, for that's against my course :
To keep my life and honour unassail'd. I under fair pretence of friendly ends,
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud And well-placed words of glozing courtesy,
Turn forth her silver living on the night? Baited with reasons not unplausible,
I did not err; there does a sable cloud Wind me into the easy-hearted man,
Turn forth her silver lining on the night, And hug him into snares, When once her eye And casts a gleam over this tufted grove. Hath met the virtue of this magic dust,
I cannot halloo to my brothers, but I shall appear some harmless villager,
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest Whom thrift keeps up about his country gear.
I'll venture ; for my new enliven'd spirits But here she comes ; I fairly step aside,
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off. And hearken, if I may, her business here.
The LADY enters.
Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that livest unseen
Within thy airy shell,
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ;
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are ?
O if thou have Of such late wassailers ; yet 0, where else
Hid them in some flow'ry cave, Shall I inform my unacquainted feet
Tell me but where, In the blind mazes of this tangled wood ?
Sweet queen of parly, daughter of the Sphere; My brothers, when they saw me wearied out
So mayst thou be translated to the skies, With this long way, resolving here to lodge
And give resounding grace to all Heaven's har
monies. Under the spreading favour of these pines, Stept, as they said, to the next thicket side,
Enter ComUS. To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit
Comus. Canany mortal, mixture of earth's mould, As the kind hospitable woods provide.
Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ? They left me then, when the grey-hooded Even, Sure something holy lodges in that breast, Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phæbus' wain. To testify his hidden residence : But where they are, and why they came not back, How sweetly did they float upon the wings Is now the labour of my thoughts ; 'tis likeliest Of silence, through the empty vaulted night, They had engaged their wand'ring steps too far, At every fall smoothing the raven down