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1642, when the troops of Charles I reached Brent-
ford. *Written on his door' was in the original title
of this sonnet. Milton was then living in Aldersgate

LXX 1. 10 The Emathian conqueror: When Thebes was

destroyed (B.C. 335) and the citizens massacred by
thousands, Alexander ordered the house of Pindar to
be spared. He was as incapable of appreciating the
Poet as Lewis XIV. of appreciating Racine : but
even the narrow and barbarian mind of Alexander
could understand the advantage of a showy act of
homage to Poetry.
1. 12 the repeated air Of sad Electra's poet: Amongst
* Plutarch's vague stories, he says that when the Spar-
tan confederacy in 404 B.C. took Athens, a proposal to
demolish it was rejected through the effect produced
on the commanders by hearing part of a chorus from
the Electra of Euripides sung at a feast. There is
however no apparent congruity between the lines
quoted (167, 168 Ed. Dindorf) and the result as-

cribed to them. 76 LxxIII This high-toned and lovely Madrigal is quite in the

style, and worthy of, the 'pure Simonides.' 77 LXXV Vaughan's beautiful though quaint verses should

be compared with Wordsworth's great Ode, No.

CCLXXXVII. 73 Lxxvi Favonius: the spring wind. 79 Lxxvii Themis: the goddess of justice. Skinner was grand

son by his mother to Sir E. Coke :- hence, as pointed out by Mr. Keightley, Milton's allusion to the bench. L. 8: Sweden was then at war with Poland, and

France with the Spanish Netherlands. 81 Lxxix l. 13 Sydneian showers: either in allusion to the

conversations in the 'Arcadia,' or to Sidney himself

as a model of 'gentleness' in spirit and demeanour. 86 Lxxxiv Elizabeth of Bohemia : Daughter to James I, and

ancestor to Sophia of Hanover. These lines are a

fine specimen of gallant and courtly compliment. 87 Lxxxv Lady M. Ley was daughter to Sir J. Ley, afterwards

Earl of Marlborough, who died March, 1628-9, coincidently with the dissolution of the third Parliament of Charles's reign. Hence Milton poetically compares





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his death to that of the Orator Isocrates of Athens,

after Philip's victory in 328 B.C. 92 XCII, xcii These are quite a Painter's poems. 96 xcix From Prison: to which his active support of Charles

I. twice brought the high-spirited writer.
Inserted in Book II as written in the character of a

Soldier of Fortune in the Seventeenth Century. 103 Waly waly: an exclamation of sorrow, the root and

the pronunciation of which are preserved in the word caterwaul. Brae, hillside : burn, brook : busk, adorn. Saint Anton's well: at the foot of Arthur's Seat by

Edinburgh. Cramasie, crimson. 105

cvi burd, maiden. 106 cviii corbies, crows : fail, turf : hause, neck : theek, thatch.

- If not in their origin, in their present form this and the two preceding poems appear due to the Seventeenth Century, and have therefore been placed in

Book II. 109

The remark quoted in the note to No. XLVII applies equally to these truly wonderful verses, which, like ‘Lycidas,' may be regarded as a test of any reader's insight into the most poetical aspects of Poetry. The general differences between them are vast : but in imaginative intensity Marvell and Shelley are closely related. — This poem is printed as a translation in Marvell's works : but the original Latin is obviously

The most striking verses in it, here quoted as the book is rare, answer more or less to stanzas 2 and 6:

Alma Quies, teneo te! et te, germana Quietis,
Simplicitas ! vos ergo diu per templa, per urbes
Quaesivi, regum perque alta palatia, frustra :
Sed vos hortorum per opaca silentia, longe

Celarunt plantae virides, et concolor umbra.
L’Allégro and Il Penseroso. It is a striking proof of

Milton's astonishing power, that these, the earliest pure Descriptive Lyrics in our language, should still remain the best in a style which so many great poets have since attempted. The Bright and the Thoughtful aspects of Nature are their subjects : but each is preceded by a mythological introduction in a mixed

his own.


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Classical and Italian manner. The meaning of the first is that Gaiety is the child of Nature ; of the second, that Pensiveness is the daughter of Sorrow and

cxi I. 2: Perverse ingenuity has conjectured that for

Cerberus we should read Erebus, who in the My-
thology is brother at once and husband of Night.
But the issue of that union is not Sadness, but Day
and Aether : - completing the circle of primary Crea-
tion, as the parents are both children of Chaos, the
first-begotten of all things. (Hesiod.)
1. 22 the mountain nymph; compare Wordsworth's

Sonnet, No. ccx. 113


is in apposition to the preceding, by a grammat-
ical license not uncommon with Milton. L. 19 tells
his tale: counts his flock. Cynosure (1. 32) the Pole
1. 1 Corydon, Thyrsis &c. : Shepherd names from the
old Idylls.
1. 16 Jonson's learned sock:— the gaiety of our age
would find little pleasure in his elaborate comedies.
L. 20 Lydian airs: a light and festive style of an-

cient inusic. 116 cxul 1.

bestead: avail. L.


starr'd Ethiop queen : Cassiopeia, the legendary Queen of Ethiopia, and

thence translated amongst the constellations. 117

1. 33 Cynthia : the Moon : her chariot is drawn by

dragons in ancient representations. 118

1. 28 Hermes, called Trismegistus, a mystical writer

of the Neo-Platonist school. 119


5 Thebes &c. : subjects of Athenian Tragedy. Buskin'd (1. 8) tragic. L. 10 Musaeus : a poet in Mythology. L. 15 him that left half-told: Chaucer, in his incomplete ‘Squire's Tale.' L. 22 great bards : Ariosto, Tasso, and Spenser are here intended. L. 29 frounced: curled. The Attic Boy (1. 30)

Cephalus. 121 CXIV Emigrants supposed to be driven towards America by

the government of Charles I.
1. 9, 10 But apples, &c. A fine example of Marvell's

imaginative hyperbole. 123

1. 2 concent: harmony.



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2 II Rouse Memnon's mother: Awaken the Dawn from the

dark Earth and the clouds where she is resting. Au-
rora in the old mythology is mother of Memnon the
East), and wife of Tithonus (the appearances of Earth
and Sky during the last hours of Night). She leaves
him every morning in renewed youth, to prepare the
way for Phoebus (the Sun), whilst Tithonus remains in
perpetual old age and grayness.
1. 27 by Peneus' stream: Phoebus loved the Nymph
Daphne, whom he met by the river Peneus in the vale
of Tempe. This legend expressed the attachment of
the Laurel (Daphne) to the Sun, under whose heat the
tree both fades and flourishes.
It has been thought worth while to explain these allu-
sions, because they illustrate the character of the Grecian
Mythology, which arose in the Personification of natural
phenomena, and was totally free from those devasing
and ludicrous ideas with which, through Roman and
later misunderstanding or perversion, it has been asso-

ciated. 3 11 1. 1 Amphion's lyre : He was said to have built the

walls of Thebes to the sound of his music.
1. 9 Night like a drunkard reels : Compare Romeo and
Juliet, Act II. Scene 3: ‘The gray-eyed morn smiles'
&c. — It should be added, that three lines, which ap-
peared hopelessly misprinted, have been omitted in this

Poem. 4

Time's chest: in which he is figuratively supposed to lay up past treasures. So in Troilus, Act III. Scene 3,

Time hath a wallet at his back' &c. v A fine example of the highwrought and conventional

Elizabethan Pastoralism, which it would be ludicrous to criticise on the ground of the unshepherdlike or unreal character of some images suggested. Stanza 6 was

probably inserted by Izaak Walton. 8 IX This Poem, with xxv and xciv, is taken from Davison's

‘Rhapsody,' first published in 1602. One stanza has been here omitted, in accordance with the principle noticed in the Preface. Similar omissions occur in XLV, LXXXVII, C, CXXVIII, CLXV, CCXXVII, CCXxxv. The more serious abbreviation by which it has been attempted to bring Crashaw's “Wishes' and Shelley's




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'Euganean Hills' within the limits of lyrical unity,
is commended with much diffidence to the judgment
of readers acquainted with the original pieces.
Presence in line 12 is here conjecturally printed for
present. A very few similar corrections of (it is pre-
sumed) misprints have been made :-as thy for my,
XXII, 9: men for me, XLI, 3: viol for idol, cclii, 43 :
and one for our, 90: locks for looks, CCLXXI, 5 : dome
for doom, cclxxv, 23:- with two or three more less
This charming little poem, truly “old and plain, and
dallying with the innocence of love ' like that spoken
of in Twelfth Night, is taken, with v, XVII, XX,
XXXIV, and xl, from the most characteristic collec-
tion of Elizabeth's reign, ‘England's Helicon,' first

published in 1600.
XVI Readers who have visited Italy will be reminded of

more than one picture by this gorgeous Vision of
Beauty, equally sublime and pure in its Paradisiacal
naturalness. Lodge wrote it on a voyage to the
Islands of Terceras and the Canaries'; and he seems
to have caught, in those southern seas, no small por-
tion of the qualities which marked the almost con-
temporary Art of Venice, the glory and the glow
of Veronese, or Titian, or Tintoret, when he most
resembles Titian, and all but surpasses him.
The clear (1. 1) is the crystalline or outermost heaven
of the old cosmography. For resembling (1. 7) other
copies give refining: the correct reading is perhaps
revealing. For a fair there's fairer none : If you
desire a Beauty, there is none more beautiful than

Rosaline. 15 XVIII

that fair thou owest: that beauty thou ownest. 19 XXIII

the star Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken : apparently, Whose stellar influence is uncalculated, although his angular altitude froin the plane of the astrolabe or artificial horizon used by

astrologers has been determined. 21 XXVII keel: skim. 22 xxix expense : waste. 23 XXX Nativity once in the main of light: when a star has

risen and entered on the full stream of light ; -- an

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