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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

.74 LXX I. 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

XIV. 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 Lxxi 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.

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, coin-
cidently 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


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 cXI 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 inixed

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 1. 14 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

Star. 114 1. 1 Corydon, Thyrsis &c. : Shepherd names from the

old Idylls. 115 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 cxui l. 3 bestead: avail. L. 19 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 1. 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.
1. 2 concent: harmony.


123 CXV

Summary of Book Third It is more difficult to characterize the English Poetry of the eighteenth century than that of any other. For it was an age not only of spontaneous transition, but of bold experiment: it includes not only such divergences of thought as distinguish the ‘Rape of the Lock' from the ‘Parish Register,' but such vast contemporaneous differences as lie between Pope and Collins, Burns and Cowper. Yet we may clearly trace three leading moods or tendencies : +the aspects of courtly or educated life represented by Pope and carried to exhaustion by his followers ; 2 the poetry of Nature and of Man, viewed through a cultivated, and at the same time an impassioned frame of mind by Collins and Gray: lastly, the study of vivid and simple narrative, including natural description, begun by Gay and Thomson, pursued by Burns and others in the North, and established in England by Goldsmith, Percy, Crabbe, and Cowper. Great varieties in style accompanied these diversities in aim : poets could not always distinguish the manner suitable for subjects so far apart; and the union of the language of courtly and of common life, exhibited most conspicuously by Burns, has given a tone to the poetry of that century which is better explained by reference to its historical origin, than by naming it, in the common criticism of our day, artificial. There is, again, a nobleness of thought, a courageous aim at high, and in a strict sense manly, excellence in many of the writers :— nor can that period be justly termed tame and wanting in originality, which produced poems such as Pope's Satires, Gray's Odes and Elegy, the ballads of Gay and Carey, the songs of Burns and Cowper. In truth Poetry at this as at all times was a more or less unconscious mirror of the genius of the age : and the brave and admirable spirit of Enquiry which made the eighteenth century the turning-time in European civilization is reflected faithfully in its verse. An intelligent reader will find the influence of Newton as markedly in the poems of Pope, as of Elizabeth in the plays of Shakespeare. On this great subject, however, these indications must here be sufficient.

Page No. 135 (xxu The Bard. This Ode is founded on a fable that Ed

ward I, after conquering Wales, put the native Poets to death. — After lamenting his comrades (st. 2, 3) the Bard prophesies the fate of Edward II and the conquests of Edward III (4): his death and that of the

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Black Prince (5): of Richard II, with the wars of York and Lancaster, the murder of Henry VI (the meek usurper), and of Edward V and his brother (6). He turns to the glory and prosperity following the accession of the Tudors (7), through Elizabeth's reign (8): and concludes with a vision of the poetry of

Shakespeare and Milton. 136 cxxi 1. 13 Glo'ster: Gilbert de Clare, son-in-law to Edward.

Mortimer, one of the Lords Marchers of Wales. 137 1. 21 Arvon : the shores of Carnarvonshire opposite

Anglesey. 138

1. 9 She-wolf: Isabel of France, adulterous Queen of

Edward II. 139 1. 7 Towers of Julius: the Tower of London, built

in part, according to tradition, by Julius Caesar. L. 13 bristled boar: the badge of Richard III. L. 19 Half of thy heart: Queen Eleanor died soon after the conquest of Wales. L. 29 Arthur: Henry VII named his eldest son thus, in deference to British

feeling and legend. 141 cxxv The Highlanders called the battle of Culloden, Dru

mossie. 142 cxxvi lilting, singing blithely : loaning, broad lane : bughts,

pens : scorning, rallying : dowie, dreary: daffin' and gabbin', joking and chatting : leglin, milkpail : shearing, reaping: bandsters, sheaf-binders : lyart, grizzled : runkled, wrinkled : fleeching, coaxing : gloam

ing, twilight: bogle, ghost : dool, sorrow. 144 CXXVIII The Editor has found no authoritative text of this

poem, in his judgment superior to any other of its class in melody and pathos. Part is probably not later than the seventeenth century : in other stanzas a more modern hand, much resembling Scott's, is traceable. Logan's poem (cxxvii) exhibits a knowledge rather of the old legend than of the old verses. — Hecht, promised : the obsolete hight: mavis, thrush : ilka, every: lav'rock, lark: haughs, valley-meadows: twined, part

ed from : marrow, mate : syne, then. 146 cxxix The Royal George, of 108 guns, whilst undergoing a

partial careening in Portsmouth Harbour, was overset about 10 A.M. Aug. 29, 1782. The total loss was believed to be near 1000 souls.

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