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Tow'ard heav'n's descent had slop'd his west'ring wheel.
But O the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return! Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, 40 script before Milton altered To th’ waters fall their tunes attemper them,
right. Oft till the ev'n-star bright
So P. L. vii. 598. Toward heav'n's descent had slop'd
Temper'd soft tunings. his burnish'd wheel.
T. Warton. 31. -his west'ring wheel] 34. Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Drawing toward toward the
west. Fauns &c.] Virg. Ecl. vi. 27. Chaucer, Troilus and Creseide, b. ii. ver. 905.
Tum vero in numerum Faunosque
ferasque videres -the sonne
Ludere Gan westrin fast, and dounward for to wrie.
Mr. Thyer adds another instance. 31.) And Spenser has to west.
Ye sylvans, Fauns, and Satyrs, that
emong F. Q. v. Introd. 8.
These thickets oft have daunc'd after And twice hath risen where he now
his pipe ; &c. doth west
Past. Ecl. on the death of Sir P. And wested twice where he ought rise aright.
T. Warton. 36. And old Damælas lov'd to 33. Temper'd to th' oaten flute,] bably Dr. William Chappel, who
hear our song.] He means proBoethius III. Metr. 12.
had been tutor to them both at Illic blanda sonantibus Chordis carmina temperans.
Cambridge, and was afterwards Richardson.
Bishop of Cork and Ross in Ire
land. So Phineas Fletcher, a popular 39. Thee, Shepherd, thee the author in Milton's days, Purpl. woods, &c.] This line was thus Isl. c. ix. st. 3.
given in the edition of 1638. Tempering their sweetest notes unto
Thee shepherds, thee the woods, and thy lay.
T. Warton. And again, Poeticall Miscel. Camb. 1638. p. 55. Spenser also 40. With wild thyme and the has, of birds.
gaddling vine o'ergrown,] Tully,
And all their echoes mourn.
-the steep, Where your
in a beautiful description of the Η κατα Πηνειω καλα τεμπεα, η κατα
Πινδω ; growth of the vine, says, that it spreads itself abroad "multiplici
Ου γαρ δη ποταμοιο μεγαν ροον τειχισ'
Αναπω, “ lapsu et erratico." De Senect.
Ουδ' Αισνας σκοπιαν, ουδ' Ακιδος Γερον T. Warton.
udwg. 45. As killing as the canker to 50. But see also Spenser's the rose,] Shakespeare is fond Astrophel, st. 22. of this image, and, from his very
Ah where were ye the while his frequent repetitions of it, seems
shepherd peares, &c. to have suggested it to Milton.
T. Warton. T. Warton.
52. 47. Or frost to flow'rs, that
old Bards, the their gay wardrobe wear,] Milton had first written, their gay buttons Mr. Richardson's conjecture upon
famous Druids, lie, &c.] wear ; but corrected it in the this passage, I think, is the best Manuscript.
I have seen, that this steep, 50. Where were ye, Nymphs, where the Druids lie, is a place &c.] He imitates Virgil, Ecl. x.
called Kerig y Druidion in the 9.
mountains of Denbighshire, or Quæ nemora, aut qui vos saltus Druids' stones, because of the habuere puellæ
stonechests or coffins, and other Naiades, indigno cum Gallus amore
monuments there in abundance, periret ? Nam neque Parnassi vobis juga, supposed to have been of the nam neque Pindi
Druids. See Camden. Mona Ulla moram fecere, neque Aonia is the isle of Anglesey, or the Aganippe.
shady island as it was called by as Virgil had before imitated the ancient Britons. And Deva Theocritus, Idyl. i. 66.
is the river Dee, the meaning of Πα που' αρ' ησθ' οκα Δαφνις επακετο;
which word Deva is by some πα πoκα νυμφαι ;
supposed to be divine water.
Where your old Bards, the famous Druids,
See Camden's Cheshire. And citing her own history; where for the same reason that it is she mentions her thick and dark here called wizurd stream, it has groves as the favourite residence the name of ancient, hallow'd Dee of the Druids. in our author's Vacation Exercise; Sometimes within my shades, in and Spenser thus introduces it many an ancient wood, among his rivers, Faery Queen, Whose often-twined tops great Pheb. iv. cant. 11. st. 59.
bus fires withstood,
The fearlesse British priests, under And Dee, which Britons long
an aged oake, &c. ygone Did call divine, that doth by Chester Where, says Selden; “the British tend.
“ Druids tooke this isle of AnAnd Drayton in his Polyolbion,
glesey, then well-stored with
" thicke woods and religious Song x.
in so much that it was A brooke it was, suppos'd much as then called Inis dowil, The bus'ness to have seen,
« dark isle, for their chiefe resiWhich had an ancient bound 'twixt Wales and England been,
“ dence, &c.” s. ix. vol. iii. p. And noted was by both to be an 837, 839. Here are Milton's auominous flood,
thorities. For the Druid-sepulThat changing of his foards, the chres, at Kerig y Druidion, he future ili or good
consulted Camden. T. Warton. Of either country told, of either's war or peace,
54. --shaggy top] So P. L. The sickness or the health, the dearth vi. 645. The angels uplift the or the increase &c.
hills, These places all look toward By their shaggy tops. Ireland, and were famous for
T. Warton. the residence of the Bards and
55. Nor yet where Deva spreads Druids, who are distinguished her wizard stream:] In Spenser, by most authors, but Milton the river Dee is the haunt of speaks of them as the same, and magicians. Faery Queen, i. ix. 4. probably as priests they were The Dee has been made the Druids, and as poets they were scene of a variety of ancient Bards. For Cæsar, who has British traditions. The city of given us the best and most Chester was called by the Britons authentic account of the ancient the Fortress upon Dee; which Druids, says, that
was feigned to have been founded things they learn a great number by the giant Leon, and to have of verses. Magnum ibi nume- been the place of King Arthur's rum versuum ediscere dicuntur. magnificent coronation. De Bel. Gall. lib. vi. c. 13.
But there is another and per54. Nor on the shaggy top of haps a better reason, why Deva's Mona high,] In Drayton's Poly- is a wizard stream. In Drayton, olbion, Mona is introduced re- this river is styled the hallowed,
Aye me! I fondly dream
ye been there, for what could that have done?
and the holy, and the ominous But to return to the text imflood. Polyolb. s. x. vol. iii. p. mediately before us. In the 848. s. ix. vol. iii. p. 287. s. iv. midst of this wild imagery, the vol. ii. p. 731. Again,“ holy tombs of the Druids, dispersed
, « Dee," Heroicall Epist. vol. i. over the solitary mountains of p. 293. And in his Ideas, vol. Denbighshire, the shaggy sumiv. p. 1271. And Browne, in mits of Mona, and the wizard his Britannia's Pastorals, b. ii. s. waters of Deva, Milton was in V. p. 117. edit. 1616.
his favourite track of poetry. He Never more let holy Dee
delighted in the old British traOre other rivers brave, &c.
ditions and fabulous histories.
But his imagination seems to Much superstition was founded
measure on the circumstance of its being warmed, and perhaps directed the ancient boundary between
to these objects, by reading DrayEngland and Wales: see Dray. ton; who in the Ninth and ton, s. X. See also s. iii. vol. ii. Tenth Songs of his Polyolbion p. 711. s. xii. vol. iii. p. 901. has very copiously enlarged, and But in the Eleventh Song, Dray, almost at one view, on this scenton calls the Weever, a river of
ery. It is, however, with great Cheshire, “ The wizard river," force and felicity of fancy, that and immediately subjoins, that Milton, in transferring the clasin prophetick Skill it vies with sical seats of the Muses to Brithe Dee, s. xi. vol. iii. p. 861. tain, has substituted places of the Here we seem to have the origin most romantic kind, inhabited and the precise meaning of Mil- by Druids, and consecrated by ton's appellation. In Comus, the visions of British bards. And Wizard also signifies a Diviner it has been justly remarked, how where it is applied to Proteus, coldly and unpoetically, Pope, in V. 872.
his very correct pastorals, has on By the Carpathian wizard's hook. the same occasion selected only
Milton appears to have taken the fair fields of Isis, and the a particular pleasure in mentionwinding vales of Cam. ing this venerable river. In the But at the same time there is beginning of his first Elegy, he an immediate propriety in the almost goes out of his way to substitution of these places. They specify his friend's residence on are in the vicinity of the Irish the banks of the Dee; which he seas, where Lycidas was shipdescribes with the picturesque wrecked. It is thus Theocritus and real circumstance of its asks the Nymphs, how it came tumbling headlong over rocks to pass, that when Daphnis died, and precipices into the Irish sea. they were not in the delicious El. i. 1.
vales of Peneus, or on the banks Occidua Devæ Cestrensis ab ora,
of the great torrent Anapus, the Vergivium prono quà petit amne
sacred water of Acis, or on the salum.
summits of mount Etna: because
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
all these were the haunts or the And the two last of these editions habitation of the shepherd Daph- were printed under Milton's eye. nis. These rivers and rocks have Hence Mr. Warton reads, a real connection with the poet's
Aye me! I fondly dream! subject. T. Warton.
Had ye been there, &c. 56. Aye me! I fondly dream Had ye been there, for what and he thus explains the pascould that have done?]
« Ah me! I am fondly We have here followed the point
“ dreaming! I will suppose you ing of Milton's manuscript in
“ had been there-but why should preference to all the editions: “ I suppose it, for whať would and the meaning plainly is, I
“ that have availed ?" The words fondly dream of your having in Italics supplying the ellipsis. been there, for what would that
E. have signified ? Mr. Thyer con
58. What could the Muse &c.] jectured that the passage should Milton had first written thus, be so pointed, and Milton has so What could the golden hair'd Calliope pointed it, though he does not For her inchanting son ! often observe the stops in his
When she beheld (the Gods far-sighted
be) Manuscript. Mr. Jortin likewise
His goary scalp roll down the Thraperceived this to be the sense, cian lee : and asks whether this transposition would not be better than but in his Manuscript he altered the common reading.
these lines with judgment. And
afterwards his goary visage was Had ye been there-Aye me, I fondly
a correction from his divine visage. dream For what could that have done?
58. P. L. vii. 37. Of Orpheus What could the Muse &c:
torn in pieces by the Bacchana
lians. 56. Perhaps the passage may be understood thus, “ I fondly
Nor could the Muse defend
Her son. “ dream of your assistance if ye “ had been there, for what could And his murderers are called your presence have availed ?
“ that wild rout," v. 34. Calliope " What could the Muse herself, was the mother of Orpheus. 66 &c.”
Lycidas, as a poet, is here tacitly The printed copies of 1638, compared with Orpheus. .
T. 1645, and 1673, have it,
60. -Universal nature.] So Aye me, I fondly dream! Had ye been there for what could
“ universal Pan," P. L. iv. 266. that have done?
T. Warton. VOL. IV,