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Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more, 165 For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
now for the first time exhibit Are won with pity and unwonted
ruth. properly pointed.
Fairfax, cant. ii. st. 11.
All ruth, compassion, mercy he
forgot. Here is an apostrophe to the Angel Michael, whom we have
164. And, O ye dolphins, waft just seen seated on the Guarded the hapless youth] Alluding to Mount. “ O Angel, look no
what Pausanias says of Palæmon longer seaward. to Namancos toward the end of his Attics, " and Bayona's hold: rather turn
" that a dolphin took him up,
" and laid his body on the shore your eyes to another object. “ Look homeward, or landward,
" at Corinth where he “ look towards your own coast
" deified.” Richardson. now, and view with pity the
165. Weep no more, &c.] Milcorpse of the shipwrecked ton in this sudden and beautiful
Lycidas floating thither.” But transition from the gloomy and I will exhibit the three lines mournful strain into that of hope together which from the context.
and comfort seems pretty plainly Lycidas was lost on the seas near
to imitate Spenser in his 11th Eclogue, where bewailing the
death of some maiden of great (Where the great vision of the blood, whom he calleth Dido,
guarded mount Looks toward Namancos and Bay. dejection, he breaks out all at
in terms of the utmost grief and ona's hold; Look homeward, Angel, now, and once in the same manner. Thyer. melt with ruth.
165. Spenser's November, Écl. The Great Vision and the Angel
xi. are the same thing: and the verb Cease now my Muse, now cease thy look in both the two last verses
sorrowes sourse !
She raignes a goddess now amid the has the same reference. The
saints, poet could not mean to shift the That whilom was the saint of shepapplication of look, within two
heards light; lines. Moreover if in the words And is enstalled now in heavens
hight.Look homeward angel now—the
No danger there the shepheard can address is to Lycidas, as Mr.
astert, Thyer supposed, 'a violent, and
Fayre fields and pleasant leas there too sudden, an apostrophe takes beene, place; for in the very next line
The fields aye fresh, the groves aye
greene.Lycidas is distinctly called the
There lives she with the blessed gods hapless youth. To say nothing, in blisse, that this new angel is a hapless There drinks she nectar with ambro. youth, and to be wafted by dol- sia mixt, &c. phins. T. Warton.
See the Epitaphium Damonis, 163. -and melt with ruth:] v. 201-218. and Ode on the „ With pity. Spenser, Faery Queen, Death of a fair Infant, st. x. T. b. i. cant. vi. st. 12.
Warton. VOL. IV.
Sunk though he be beneath the wat’ry floor;
175 And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
166. —is not dead, &c.] See diate reference to the subject of Ode on the Death of a fair In- the poem. T. Warton. fant, v. 29. note. E.
174. Where other groves and 168. So sinks the day-star] other streams along,] Virgil, Æn. The thought of a star's being vi. 641. washed in the ocean, and thence solemque suum, sua sidera norunt. shining brighter, is frequent And Ariosto, cant. xxxiv. st. 72. among the ancient poets: and
There other rivers stream, smile at the first reading I conceived
other fields that Milton meant the morning Than here with us, and other plains star, alluding to Virgil, Æn, viii. are stretch'd, 589.
Sink other valleys, other mountains
rise. &c. Qualis ubi oceani perfusus Lucifer
175. With nectar pure his oozy unda &c.
locks he laves,] Like Apollo in but upon
farther consideration I Horace, Od, iii. iv. 61. rather think that he means the
Qui rore puro Castaliæ lavit sun, whom in the same manner Crines solutos. he calls the diurnal star in the
176. And hears the unexpressive Paradise Lost, X. 1069: and Homer, if the hymn to Apollo nuptial song,] In the Manuscript
it was at first List' ning the unexbe his, compares Apollo to a star in mid-day, ver. 441.
pressive &c. This is the song in
the Revelation, which 10 Αστερι ειδομενος μεσω ηματι.
could learn but they who were not 169. Compare Gray's Bard. defiled with women, and were vir--Hath quench'd the orb of day?
gins: Rev. xiv. 3, 4. The au
thor had used the word unexpresTo-morrow he repairs the golden flood.
T. Warton. sive in the same manner before
in his Hymn on the Nativity, 172. Through the dear might st. 11. of him that walk'd the waves,] A
Harping in loud and solemn quire designation of our Saviour by a
With unexpressive notes to heav'n's miracle which bears an imme.
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
the uncouth swain to th' oaks and rills,
Nor are parallel instances want- 179. In solemin troops, and swert ing in Shakespeare. As you like societies,] Compare Par. Lost, xi. it, act iii. s. 2.
82. The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive By the waters of life wheree'er they
she. And in like manner insuppressive
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light,
&c. is used for not to be suppressed.
T. Warton. Julius Cæsar, act ii. s. 2.
183. Henceforth thou art the Nor th' insuppressive mettle of our genius of the shore,] This is said spirits.
in allusion to the story of Meli176. So in the Latin poem, certa, or Palæmon, who with his Ad Patrem, v. 37.
mother Ino was drowned, and Immortale melos, et inenarrabile car.
became a sea-deity propitious to
mariners. Oyid, Met. iv. Fast.
T. Warton. vi. Virgil, Georg. i. 436. 177. In the blest kingdoms meek
Votaque servati solvent in littore of joy and love.] That is, in the
Glauco, et Panupeæ, et Inoo Meliblest kingdoms of meek joy and love; a transposition of the adjective, which we meet with also And as Mr. Jortin observes, it is in the Paradise Lost, ix. $18.
pleasant to see how the most
antipapistical poets are inclined So spake domestic Adam in his care,
to canonize and then to invoke in which verse domestic is with their friends as saints. See the out doubt to be joined to care, poem on the fair Infant, st. 10. and not to Adam, as the common
184. -and shalt be good &c.] opinion is. So also in the same The same compliment that Virgil book, ver. 225.
pays to his Daphnis, Ecl. v. 64. and th' hour of supper comes un. -Deus, deus ille, Menalca. earn'd.
Sis bonus o felixque tuis! &c.
While the still morn went out with sandals
188. He touch'd the tender stops and Moschus had respectively of various quills,] By stops he written a bucolic on the deaths means not such stops as belong of Daphnis and Bion. And the to the organ, but what we now name Lycidas, now first imported call the holes of any species of into English pastoral, was adoptpipe or Aute. Thus Browne, ed, not from Virgil, but from Britan. Past. b. ii. s. 3.
Theocritus, Idyll. vii. 27. What musicke is there in a shep- -ΛΥΚΙΔΑ φιλε, φανει το παντες herd's quill,
Εμμεν ΣΥΡΙKΤΑΝ μεν υπειροχον, ενός If but a stop or two therein we spie?
Εν τ' αμητηρεσσι.
His character is afterwards fully To those that on the pipe do play. justified in the Song of Lycidas. So in Hamlet, where the Players
« dear to the
And he is styled enter with the Recorders, “Govern
“ Muses,” v. 95. And our au“these ventages with your finger
thor's shepherd Lycidas could " and thumb:-look
“ build the lofty rhyme.". A are the stops.” T. Warton.
Lycidas is again mentioned by
Theocritus, Idyll. xxvii. 41. And 189. With eager thought warbling his Doric lay :) He calls it a Lycidas supports a Sicilian di
] Doric lay, because it imitates alogue in one of Bion's Bucolics, Theocritus and other pastoral
vii. See Epitaph. Damon. v. 132.
T. Warton. poets, who wrote in the Doric
190. And now the sun had dialect. Though Milton calls himself as yet uncouth, he war
stretch'd out all the hills,] He bles with eager thought his Doric had no doubt Virgil in his eye,
Ecl. i. 83. lay; earnest of the poet he was to be, at least; as he promises Et jam summa procul villarum cul.
mina fumant, in the motto to these juvenile
Majoresque cadunt altis de montibus poems of edit. 1645.
umbræ. -baccare frontem Cingite, ne vati noceat mala lingua Virgil's is an admirable descripfuturo.
tion of a rural evening, but I
know not whether Milton's is not This looks very modest, but see what he insinuates. The first setting so by degrees,
better, as it represents the sun part of Virgil's verse is,
And now the sun had stretch'd out Aut si ultra placitum laudarit baccare
all the hills, frontem &c.
And now was dropp'd into the western Richardson.
bay : See note on v. 2. This is a though it must be said that the Doric lay, because Theocritus image of the smoke ascending
And now was dropp'd into the western bay;
from the village-chimneys, which to express the warm affection Milton has omitted, is very na
which Milton had for his friend, tural and beautiful.
and the extreme grief he was in 190. But Milton, if he had for the loss of him. Grief is. this passage of Virgil in his eye, eloquent, but not formal. judiciously omitted the image It must be owned, however, which Dr. Newton praises, as it that grief is not so learned as was unsuitable to the solitary is this poem, nor does it incline scene, “ the oaks and rills," the heart to bitter sarcasms upon which he describes. E.
person's little, if at all, connected 193. To-morrow to fresh woods with the subject of sorrow. E. and pastures new.] Theocritus, I see no extraordinary wildness Idyll. i. 145.
and irregularity, according to Xarpes syes d' ipagese reus es vorsport this little poem. It is true there
Dr. Newton, in the conduct of údroy
Jortin, is a very original air in it, al
though it be full of classical imi193. So Phineas Fletcher, Pur- tations: but this, I think, is ple Isl. c. vi. st. 77.
owing, not to any disorder in To-morrow shall ye feast in pastures the plan, nor entirely to the vi
gour and lustre of the expresAnd with the rising sunne banquet sion, but, in a good degree, to on pearled dew.
the looseness and variety of the T. Warton.
metre. Milton's ear was a good Mr. Richardson conceives, that second to his imagination. Hurd. by this last verse the poet says
Addison says, that he who (pastorally) that he is hastening desires
desires to know whether he has to, and eager on new works: a true taste for history or not, but I rather believe that it was should consider, whether he is said in allusion to his travels into pleased with Livy's manner of Italy, which he was now medi- telling a story; so, perhaps, it tating, and on which he set out may be said, that he who wishes the spring following. I will to know whether he has a true conclude my remarks upon
this taste for poetry or not, should poem with the just observation consider whether he is highly of Mr. Thyer. The particular delighted or not with the perusal beauties of this charming pastoral of Milton's Lycidas. If I might are too striking to need much venture to place Milton's Works, descanting upon; but what gives according to their degrees of the greatest grace to the whole poetic excellence, it should be is that natural and agreeable perhaps in the following order ; wildness and irregularity which Paradise Lost, Comus, Samson runs quite through it, than which Agonistes, Lycidas, L'Allegro, nothing could be better suited Il Penseroso. The three last are