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Enow of such as for their bellies' sake
Of other care they little reck’ning make,
to hold 120 A sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought else the least
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs !
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw, 125 The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw,
114–131. In this terrible indictment by St. Peter of the priestly shepherds of the flock of English souls, Milton pours out with impassioned words his own stern judgment. For the Batisfaction of carnal desires such shepherds enter the fold by various doors other than the one door; for Milton could not forget the parable of shepherd and fold from the lips of the Great Shepherd. They creep, that is, they enter by intrigue and cunning ; they intrude, thrust themselves in with insolence; they climb, seek ambitiously for their own ends to mount step by step to high dignities. As the bishop is one who by his name oversees, so these are blind ; as the pastor is one who feeds another, so the most unnatural attributes would be blindness and eating, and blind mouths becomes a bold condemnation of iniquitous practice in false shepherds. For a striking study of the whole passage from which these points are taken, see Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies, 20–22.
123. When they list, when it is their pleasure. See John iii. 8.
128. The grim wolf with privy paw. The reference here is to the accessions which the Romish church was quickly making to
Daily devours apace, and nothing said; 130 But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.'
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past, That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse,
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast 135 Their bells, and flowerets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use,
Throw hither all your quaint enamell’d eyes, 140 That on the green turf suck the honeyed showers,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
The white pink, and the pansy freakt with jet, 145 The glowing violet, itself, through the influence of the court. It is barely possible that Milton was girding at the Privy Council, which with the king was practically the government of the realm, in opposition to the parliament.
130. Two-handed engine. The term engine was used indiscriminately of implements large and small. It took two hands to swing the executioner's axe.
132. The poet, remembering how far he has been led away from the theme he entered on, makes this sudden transition. The river Alpheus was fabled to have passed under the sea and reissued in Sicily.
135. Bells, i. e. bell-like flowers.
142. Rathe. This positive has died out of familiar use, but the comparative remains in rather, earlier, sooner. It appears from the manuscript of the poem, preserved at Cambridge, that this passage enum
imerating the flowers was an afterthought, and elaborated by Milton with great care.
143. Crow-toe hardly sounds as natural to us as crow foot.
The musk-rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine,
Bids amaranthus all his beauty shed,
To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
Whilst thee the shores and sounding
155 Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurl'd,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied, 180 Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vision of the guarded mount Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold; Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth, And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth.
Weep no more, woful Shepherds, weep no more, For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead, Sunk though he be beneath the wat'ry floor;
151. Hearse, tornb.
161. The guarded mount is St. Michael's mount on the coast of Cornwall.
162. Namancos and Bayona stand for a tower and castle in Spain.
163. Angel, i. e. St. Michael.
165. The poet rises above the thought of the dead body, washed hither and thither by the waves, to the imperishable spirit.
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head, no And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky.
Where other groves, and other streams along, 175 With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good 185 To all that wander in that perilous flood.
Thus sang the uncouth swain to th' oaks and rills, While the still morn went out with sandals gray, He touch'd the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay;
And now was dropt into the western bay ;
168. Day-star, sun. “Till thy day-star from on high visit me.”
186. Milton here speaks in his own voice, not in that of the feigned shepherd.
190. Stretch'd out all the hills, i. e. made long shadows.
193. A line often misquoted, fields being read for woods. Milton was on the eve of his departure for Italy.
“FRANCIS Bacon," says his great biographer, James Spedding," was born among great events, and brought up among the persons who had to deal with them. It was on the 22d of January, 1560-61, while the young Queen of Scotland, a two-months' widow, was rejecting the terms of reconciliation with England which Elizabeth proffered, and a new Pope in the Vatican was preparing to offer the terms of reconciliation with Rome which Elizabeth rejected, that he came crying into the world, the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and Ann, second daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, an accomplished lady, sister-in-law to the then Secretary of State, Sir William Cecil. ... What his mother taught him we do not know; but we know that she was a learned, eloquent, and religious woman, full of affection and puritanic fervor, deeply interested in the condition of the Church, and perfectly believing that the cause of the Nonconformists was the whole cause of Christ. . . . Neither do we know what his father taught him ; but he appears to have designed him for the service of the State, and we need not doubt that the son of Elizabeth's Lord Keeper, and nephew of her principal secretary, early imbibed a reverence for the mysteries of statesmanship, and
1 It is irregular to speak of Lord Bacon, though the form is s0 common as almost to be usage. He was Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, Viscount of St. Albans.