Изображения страниц

in these men the highest strength and prodigality of its nature. They interpreted the age to itself—hence the many phases of thought and style they present : — to sympathize with each, fervently and impartially, without fear and without fancifulness, is no doubtful step in the higher education of the Soul. For, as with the Affections and the Conscience, Purity in Taste is absolutely proportionate to Strength : —and when once the minel has raised itself to grasp and to delight in Excellence, those who love most will be found to love most wisely. Page No. 200 clxvi stout Cortez : History requires here Balóða (A.T.) It may be noticed, that to find in Chapman's Homer the ‘pure serene’ of the original, the reader must bring with him the imagination of the youthful poet; —he must be ‘a Greek himself,’ as Shelley finely said of Keats. 206 clxix. The most tender and true of Byron's smaller poems. — clxx This poem, with ccxxxvi, exemplifies the peculiar skill with which Scott employs proper names : — nor is there a surer sign of high poetical genius. 227 CzcI The Editor in this and in other instances has risked the addition (or the change) of a Title, that the aim of the verses following may be grasped more clearly and immediately. 235 cxcviii Nature's Eremite: like a solitary thing in Nature. —This beautiful Sonnet was the last word of a poet deserving the title ‘marvellous boy’ in a much higher sense than Chatterton. If the fulfilment may ever safely be prophesied from the promise, England appears to have lost in Keats one whose gifts in Poetry have rarely been surpassed. Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth, had their lives been closed at twenty-five, would (so far as we know) have left poems of less excellence and hope than the youth who, from the petty school and the London surgery, passed at once to a place with them of ‘high collateral glory.” 237 cc. It is impossible not to regret that Moore has written so little in this sweet and genuinely national style. ccII A masterly example of Byron's command of strong thought and close reasoning in verse: – as the next is equally characteristic of Shelley's wayward intensity, and CCIV of the dramatic power, the vital identiPage No.

69 Lxvi


71 74


the pastoral poetry of Theocritus and Virgil. L. 16 oat: pipe, used here like Collins' oaten stop l. 1, No. cxlvi, for Song. L. 24 Hippotades : Aeolus, god of the Winds. Pazlo/e (l. 27) a Nereid. The names of local deities in the Hellenic mythology express generally some feature in the natural landscape, which the Greeks studied and analyzed with their usual unequalled insight and feeling. Pazzoze represents the boundlessness of the ocean-horizon when seen from a height, as compared with the lim

ited horizon of the land in hilly countries such as

Greece or Asia Minor. Camus (l. 31) the Cam; put
for King's University.
l. 2 The sanguine flower: the Hyacinth of the an-
cients; probably our Iris. The pilot (l. 5) Saint
Peter, figuratively introduced as the head of the
Church on earth, to foretell ‘the ruin of our corrupted
clergy, then in their heighth' under Laud's primacy.
L. 24 the wolf: Popery. Alpheus (l. 28) a stream in
Southern Greece, supposed to flow underseas to join
the Arethuse.
l. 1 Swart star: the Dogstar, called swarthy because
its heliacal rising in ancient times occurred soon after
midsummer. L. 22 moist vows: either tearsul pray-
ers, or prayers for one at sea. Bellerus (1.23 a giant,
apparently created here by Milton to personisy Belle-
rium, the ancient title of the Land's End. The great
Pision : — the story was that the Archangel Michael
had appeared on the rock by Marazion in Mount's
Bay which bears his name. Milton calls on him to
turn his eyes from the south homeward, and to pity
Lycidas, if his body has drifted into the troubled wa-
ters off the Land's End. Finisterre being the land
due south of Marazion, two places in that district
(then by our trade with Corunna probably less un-
familiar to English ears) are named, – Namtancos
now Mujio in Galicia, Bayona north of the Minho, or
perhaps a fortified rock (one of the Cies Islands not
unlike Saint Michael's Mount, at the entrance of Vigo
Bay. L. 33 ore: rays of golden light.
1. 19 Doric day: Sicilian, pastoral.
The assault was an attack on London expected in

Page No.

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

74 lxx 1. Io 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 foet : 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

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

73 Lxxvi Fazonius: the spring wind. o
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, coin-
cidently with the dissolution of the third Parliament
of Charles's reign. Hence Milton poetically compares

[ocr errors]

his death to that of the Orator Isocrates of Athens,
after Philip's victory in 328 B.c.
xcIII These are quite a Painter's poems.
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.
Wały wały : an exclamation of sorrow, the root and
the pronunciation of which are preserved in the word
caterwaul. Brae, hillside : burn, brook : busk, adorn.
Saint A atton's well ; at the foot of Arthur's Seat by
Edinburgh. Cramtasie, crimson.
&zard, maiden.
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 Seven-
teenth Century, and have therefore been placed in
Pook II.
The remark quoted in the note to No. xlvi.1 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
his own. 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 lette, 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’A 2/ēgro and // 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

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Classical and Italian manner. The meaning of the
first is that Gaiety is the child of Nature; of the sec-
ond, that Pensiveness is the daughter of Sorrow and
l. 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.)
l. 22 the mountain nymph ; compare Wordsworth's
Sonnet, No. ccx.
l. 14 is in ażosition to the preceding, by a grammat-
ical license not uncommon with Milton. L. 19 tells
his tale: counts his flock. Cynosure (l. 32) the Pole
l. 1 Corydon, Thyrsis &c. : Shepherd names from the
old Idylls.
l. 16 %nson'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 music.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Cassiopeia, the legendary Queen of Ethiopia, and
thence translated amongst the constellations.
l. 33 Cynthia : the Moon: her chariot is drawn by
dragons in ancient representations.
l. 28 Hermes, called Trismegistus, a mystical writer
of the Neo-Platonist school.
l. 5 Thebes &c. : subjects of Athenian Tragedy.
Buskin'd (l. 8) tragic. L. Io Musaeus : a poet in
Mythology. L. 15 him that left half-fold: Chau-
cer, in his incomplete ‘Squire's Tale.” L. 22 great
bara's : Ariosto, Tasso, and Spenser are here intended.
L. 29 frounced: curled. The Attic Boy (l. 30)
Emigrants supposed to be driven towards America by
the government of Charles I. -
l. 9, 10 But a AA/es, &c. A fine example of Marvell's
imaginative hyperbole.

l. 2 concent: harmony.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »