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Crooked eclipses : as coming athwart the Sun's
apparent course.
Wordsworth, thinking probably of the 'Venus' and
the 'Lucrece,' said finely of Shakespeare: 'Shake-
speare could not have written an Epic; he would
have died of plethora of thought.' This prodigality
of nature is exe plified equally in his Sonnets. The
copious selection here given (which from the wealth
of the material, required greater consideration than
any other portion of the Editor's task),-contains
many that will not be fully felt and understood with-
out some earnestness of thought on the reader's part.

But he is not likely to regret the labour. 26 42 upon misprision growing : either, granted in error,

or, on the growth of contempt. 43 With the tone of this Sonnet compare Hamlet's

Give me that man That is not passion's slave' &c. Shakespeare's writings show the deepest sensitiveness to passion :-hence the attraction he felt in the

contrasting effects of apathy. 20 44 grame : sorrow. Renaissance influences long im

peded the return of English poets to the charming

realism of this and a few other poems by Wyat. 29 45 Pandion in the ancient fable

father to Philomela. 29 47 In the old legend it is now Philomela, now Procne

(the swallow) who suffers violence from Tereus. This song has a fascination in its calm intensity of passion; that 'sad earnestness and vivid exactness' which Cardinal Newman ascribes to the

master-pieces of ancient poetry. 31 50 proved : approved.

51 censures : judges.

52 Exquisite in its equably-balanced metrical flow. 32 53 Judging by its style, this beautiful example of old

simplicity and feeling may, perhaps, be referred to

the earlier years of Elizabeth. Late forgot: lately. 35 57 Printed in a little Anthology by Nicholas Breton,

1597. It is, however, a stronger and finer piece of
work than any known to be his.-St. 1 silly : simple ;
dole : grief; chief : chiefly. St. 3 If there be .
obscure : Perhaps, if there be any who speak harshly
of thee, thy pain may plead for pity from Fate.
This poem, with 60 and 143, are each graceful

variations of a long popular theme. 36 58 That busy archer : Cupid. Descries : used actively;

points out. The last line of this poem is a little obscured by transposition. He means, Do they call

ungratefulness there a virtue ? '(C. Lamb). 37 59 White Tope : suggested, Mr. Bullen notes, by a

passage in Propertius (iii, 20) describing Spirits in the lower world :

Vobiscum est Iope, vobiscum candida Tyro.

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PAGE NO. 38 62 cypres or cyprus,-used by the old writers for crape :

whether from the French crespe or from the Island whence it was imported. Its accidental similarity in spelling to cypress has, here and in Milton's

Penseroso, probably confused readers. 39 63 ramage : confuse noise. 41 66 'I never saw anything like this funeral dirge,' says

Charles Lamb, 'except the ditty which reminds Ferdinand of his drowned father in the Tempest. As that is of the water, watery; so this is of the earth, earthy. Both have that intenseness of feeling, which seems to resolve itself into the element which it

contemplates.' 43 70 Paraphrased from an Italian madrigal

Non so conoscer poi Se voi le rose, o sian le rose in voi. 44 72 Crystal : fairness. 45 73 stare : starling. 74 This ‘Spousal Verse' was written in honour of the

Ladies Elizabeth and Katherine Somerset. Nowhere
has Spenser more emphatically displayed himself as
the very poet of Beauty : The Renaissance impulse
in England is here seen at its highest and purest.
The genius of Spenser, like Chaucer's, does itself
justice only in poems of some length. Hence it is
impossible to represent it in this volume by other
pieces of equal merit, but of impracticable dimen-
sions. And the same applies to such poems as the

Lover's Lament or the Ancient Mariner. 46 entrailed: twisted. Feateously: elegantly. 48 shend : shame. 49 a noble peer : Robert Devereux, second Lord Essex,

then at the height of his brief triumph after taking Cadiz; hence the allusion following to the Pillars of Hercules, placed near Gades by ancient legend.

Elisa : Elizabeth. 50 twins of Jove : the stars Castor and Pollux: baldric,

belt; the zodiac. 52 79 This lyric may with very high probability be assigned

to Campion, in whose first Book of Airs it appeared (1601). The evidence sometimes quoted ascribing it to Lord Bacon appears to be valueless.

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Summary of Book Second. This division, embracing generally the latter eighty years of the Seventeenth century, contains the close of our Early poetical style and the commencement of the Modern. In Dryden we see the first master of the new : in Milton, whose genius dominates here as Shakespeare's in the former book,the crown and consummation of the early period. Their splen


did Odes are far in advance of any prior attempts, Spenser's excepted: they exhibit that wider and grander range which years and experience and the struggles of the time conferred on Poetry. Our Muses now give expression to political feeling, to religious thought, to a high philosophic statesmanship in writers such as Marvell, Herbert, and Wotton : whilst in Marvell and Milton, again, we find noble attempts, hitherto rare in our literature, at pure description of nature, destined in our own age to be continued and equalled. Meanwhile the poetry of simple passion, although before 1660 often deformed by verbal fancies and conceits of thought, and afterwards by levity and an artificial tone,-produced in Herrick and Waller some charming pieces of more finished art than the Elizabethan: until in the courtly compliments of Sedley it seems to exhaust itself, and lie almost dormant for the hundred years between the days of Wither and Suckling and the days of Burns and Cowper.-That the change froin our early style to the modern brought with it at first a loss of nature and simplicity is undeniable: yet the bolder and wider scope which Poetry took between 1620 and 1700, and the successful efforts then made to gain greater clearness in expression, in their results have been no slight compensation.

58 85 1. 8 whist: hushed.

1. 32 than: obsolete for then : Pan : used here for the

Lord of all. 59 1. 38 consort: Milton's spelling of this word, here

and elsewhere, las been followed, as it is uncertain whether he used it in the sense of accompanying, or

simply for concert. 61 1. 21 Lars and Lemures : household gods and spirits

of relations dead. Flamens (1. 24) Roman priests.

That twice-batter'd god (1. 29) Dagon. 62 1. 6 Osiris, the Egyptian god of Agriculture (here,

perhaps by confusion with Apis, figured as a Buill), was torn to pieces by Typho and embalmed after death in a sacred chest. This mythe, reproduced in Syria and Greece in the legends of Thammuz, Adonis, and perhaps Absyrtus, may have originally signified the annual death of the Sun or the Year under the influences of the winter darkness. Horus, the son of Osiris, as the New Year, in his turn overcomes Typł:0. L. 8 unshower'd grass : as watered by the Nile only. L. 33 youngest-teemed : last-born. Bright-harness'd

(1. 37) armoured. 64 87 The Late Massacre : the Vaudois persecution, carried

on in 1655 by the Duke of Savoy. No more mighty Sonnet than this collect in verse,' as it has been justly named, probably can be found in any language. Readers should observe that it is constructed on the original Italian or Provençal model. This form, in a


language such as curs, not affluent in rhyme, presents great difficulties; the rhymes are apt to be forced, or the substance commonplace. But, when successfully handlel, it has a unity and a beauty of effect which place the strict Sonnet above the less compact and less lyrical systems a loptel by Shakespeare, Sidney,

Spenser, and other Elizabethan poets.
65 88 Cromwell returneul from Ireland in 1650, and Marve!!

probably wrote his lines soon after, whilst living at
Nunappleton in the Fairfax household. It is hence
not surprising that (st. 21-24) he should have been
deceived by Cromwell's professed submissiveness to
the Parliament which, when it declined to register
his decrees, he expelled by armed violence :-one
despotism, by natural law, replacing another. The
poet's insight has, however, truly prophesied that
result in his last two lines.
This Odle, beyond doubt one of the finest in our lan-
guage, and more in Milton's style than has been
reached by any other poet, is occasionally obscure
from imitation of the condensed Latin syntax. The
meaning of st. 5 is 'rivalry or hostility are the same
to a lofty spirit, and limitation more hateful than op-
position. The allusion in st. 11 is to the old physical
doctrines of the non-existence of a vacuum and the
impenetrability of matter:-in st. 17 to the omen
traditionally connected with the foundation of the
Capitol at Rome :--forced, fated. The ancient beliei
that certain years in life complete natural periods
and are hence peculiarly exposed to death, is intro-

duced in st. 26 by the word climacteric.
68 89 Lycidas : The person here lamenteil is Milton's col-

lege contemporary, Edward King, drowned in 1637
whilst crossing from Chester to Ireland.
Strict Pastoral Poetry was first written or perfected
by the Dorian Greeks settled in Sicily: but the con-
ventional use of it, exhibited more magnificently in
Lycidas than in any other pastoral, is apparently of
Roman origin. Milton, employing the noble free-
dom of a great artist, has here united ancient inytho-
logy, with what may be called the modern mythology
of Camus and Saint Peter,-to direct Christian
images. Yet the poem, if it gains in historical in-
terest, suffers in poetry by the harsh intrusion of the
writer's narrow and violent theological politics.-
The metrical structure of this glorious elegy is partly

derived from Italian models.
69 1. 11 Sisters of the sacred well : the Muses, said to

frequent the Pierian Spring at the foot of Mount

70 1. 10 Mona : Anglesea, called by the Welsh poets, the

Dark Island, from its dense forests. Deva (1. 11) the
Dee: a river which may have derived its magical

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character from Celtic traditions: it was long the boundary of Briton and English. These places are introduced, as being near the scene of the shipwreck. Orpheus (1. 14) was torn to pieces by Thracian women. Amaryllis and Neaera (1. 24, 25) names used here for the love-idols of poets : as Damoetas previously for a shepherd. L. 31 the blind Fury: Atropos, fabled to

cut the thread of life. 71 89 Arethuse (1. 1) and Mincius : Sicilian and Italian

waters here alluded to as representing the pastoral poetry of Theocritus and Vergil. L. 4 oat: pipe, used here like Collins' oaten stop 1. 1, No. 186, for Song. L. 12 Hippotades : Aeolus, god of the Winds. Panope (1. 15) a Nereid. Certain names of local deities in the Hellenic mythology render some feature in the natural landscape, which the Greeks studied and analysed with their usual unequalled insight and feeling. Panope seems to express the boundlessness of the ocean-horizon when seen from a height, as compared with the limited sky-line of the land in hilly countries such as Greece or Asia Minor. Camus (1. 19) the Cam : put for King's University. The sanguine flower (1. 22) the Hyacinth of the ancients : probably our Iris. The Pilot (1. 25) Saint Peter, figuratively introduced as the head of the Church on earth, to foretell 'the ruin of our corrupted clergy, as Milton regarded them, then in their heighth'

under Laud's primacy. 72 1. 1 scrannel : screeching; apparently Milton's coin

age (Masson). L. 5 the wolf: the Puritans of the time were excited to alarm and persecution by a few conversions to Roman Catholicism which had recently occurred. Alpheus (1. 9) a stream in Southern Greece, supposed to flow underseas to join the Arethuse. Swart star (1. 15) the Dog-star, called swarthy because its heliacal rising in ancient times occurred soon after midsummer : 1. 19 rathe : early. L. 36 moist vows : either tearful prayers, or prayers for one at sea. Bellerus (1. 37) a giant, apparently created here by Milton to personify Belérium, the ancient title of the Land's End. The great Vision :—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 waters off the Land's End. Finisterre being the land due south of Marazion, two places in that district (then through our trade with Corunna probably less unfamiliar to English ears), are named, -Namancos 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.

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