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1642, when the troops of Charles I reached Brent-
destroyed (B.C. 335) and the citizens massacred by
XIV. appreciating Racine : but
cribed to them.
style, and worthy of, the 'pure Simonides.'
be compared with Wordsworth's great Ode, No.
son by his mother to Sir E. Coke :- hence, as pointed
France with the Spanish Netherlands.
conversations in the 'Arcadia,' or to Sidney himself
as a model of 'gentleness' in spirit and demeanour.
ancestor to Sophia of Hanover. These lines are a
fine specimen of gallant and courtly compliment.
Earl of Marlborough, who died March, 1628–9, coin-
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.
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,
Celarunt plantae virides, et concolor umbra.
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
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
Cerberus we should read Erebus, who in the My-
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.
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
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
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.