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the laurel, myrtle, and ivy, the two former being dedicated to Apollo and Venus, and the third being the reward of learned brows.' (Horace, Odes, i. I. 29.)
1. 2. Landor remarks : Warton is less judicious than usual in censuring the “mellowing year” as affecting the leaves of the “ivy never-sere.” The ivy sheds its leaves in the proper season, though not all of them, and several hang on the stem longer than a year. sere = dry. (Macbeth, v. 5.)
1. 6. constraint ;- compulsion. “Love's own sweet constraint. (All's Well that Ends Well, iv. 2.)
1. 9. The repetition resembles that in Spenser's Astrophel (Elegy on Sir Philip Sydney):
Young Astrophel, the pride of shepherd's praise,
Young Astrophel, the rustic lasses' love. 1. 10. Like Virgil's 'neget quis carmina Gallo ?' (Eclogue x. 3.)
1. 11. Horace has ó seu condis amabile carmen.' (Epist. i. 3. 24.) Spenser, in the close of his Epithalamion, speaks of it as an endless monument, as Ovid had said of his Metamorphoses. Cf. ảoidàs étúpywoe, Euripides, Supplices 998.
1. 13. Cf. Nativity 124.
1. 15. In Spenser's Tears of the Muses, those divinities are addressed as they sit
• Beside the silver springs of Helicon.' But here the allusion is to Pieria, the spring near Mount Olympus.
1. 19. Muse ;-here used for the poet inspired by her.
1. 22. As shroud is Milton's word for 'recess,'hiding-place' (Comus 147; cf. Faery Queene, I. i. 6), it is thought to be here equivalent to 'grave.'
1. 23. •The hill is, of course, Cambridge; the joint feeding of the flocks is companionship in study; the rural ditties on the oaten flute are academic iambics and elegiacs; and old Damætas is either Chappell, whom Milton has long forgiven [the rustication affair], or some more kindly fellow of Christ's.' (Masson.) The passage may owe something to Horace (Odes, i. 28).
1. 25. Cf. L'Allegro 41, 47.
1. 26. “The eyelids of the morning' is the marginal reading of Job iii. 9. Henry More and Sylvester used the same phrase, which occurs also in Sophocles (Antigone 103). Cf. Comus 978, Sonnet ii. 5, Il Penseroso 141.
1. 27. The gray-fly is also called the trumpet-fly, and its “sultry horn' is its hum heard in the noon-tide heat.
1. 29. batten ;-feed or fatten. (Hamlet, iii. 4.) It is used as late as Pope's time.
1. 30. the star ;-any star that did so. The evening star appears, not rises, and it is never anywhere but on Heaven's descent.' (Keightley.) Milton's MS. has, as his first draft,
Oft till the even-star bright.' 1. 33. Cf. Paradise Lost, vii. 598. The oaten pipe' is the 'tenuis avena' of Virgil, and is often used by Spenser. So in Shakespeare, • When shepherds pipe on oaten straws.'
(Song at end of Love's Labour 's I.
1. 39. Resembling the opening lines of Spenser's Colin Clout's come Home Again. Cf. Ovid, Mc:amorphoses, xi. 44, &c. 1. 40. gadding ;-straying, 'erratic,' as Cicero calls it in De Senectute.
'Curl me about, ye gadding vines' is a line in Marvell's Appleton House. See Glossary to Spenser, Bk. II. Yeed. 1. 41. “And all the woods shall answer and their echoes ring.'
(Spenser, Epithalamion, the burden line.) 1. 45. canker ;-for 'cankerworm,' as •Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset ?'
(1 Henry VI. ii. 4.) 1. 46. A small red spider called 'taint' is by the country people accounted a deadly poison to cows and horses.
1. 52. “The steep is perhaps the Penmaenmawr, overhanging the sea opposite Anglesea.' (Keightley.)
* 1. 53. Keightley remarks that Milton here imitates Theocritus (i. 66) much more felicitously than Virgil had done (Eclogue x. 9), for the places named are all near that where King was lost. Drayton (Polyolbion ix.) personifies Mona as boasting of the ancient worship of the Druids there celebrated, and commemorating their doctrines of the immortality and transmigration of the soul.
1. 55. Cf. Vacation Exercise 98. 1. 58. Cf. Paradise Lost, vii. 37. the Muse berself ;-Calliope.
“What could the golden-haired Calliope ?' (Milton's MS.) 1. 61. rout;-See note on Paradise Lost, i. 747.
1. 66. Meditate ;—practise, as meditamus' in Virgil (Eclogue i. 2). Cf. Comus 547.
1.70. clear here =* illustrious,' noble' (clarus), as Bassanio says, 'clear honour' (Merchant of Venice, ii. 9). Spenser (Tears of the Muses) has
*Due praise, that is the spur of doing well.' 1.71. This line has been traced to Tacitus (Hist. iv. 6), “etiam sapientibus cupido gloriae novissima exuitur.
1. 72. • Not to wait for glory when one has done well, that is above all glory' (Milton, Academical Exercise vii.)
1.75. Milton, enraged against Atropos, calls her a Fury. So in Tennyson's In Memoriam xlix. the poet, in despairing mood, sees
•Life, a Fury scattering flame.' 1. 77. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue vi. 3. 1. 81. Cf. Comus 213; Paradise Regained, iii. 60; Habak. i. 13.
1. 85. See note on Arcades 30. Arethusa and Mincius are here named in allusion to Theocritus, the Sicilian poet, and to Virgil, born near the Mincius.
1. 90. In Neptune's plea ;—Keightley explains this • deputed by Neptune to hold a judicial inquiry. We have the Pleas of the Crown and the Court of Common Pleas.' Derived from placita (placere), the judgments delivered at the pleasure of the court.
1. 91. felon (Fr. felon, Ital. fellon) is perhaps akin to A.S. felle, .fell,' in the sense of cruel. Chaucer thus uses it in the Romaunt of the Rose,
• For daunger that is so felloun
1. 94. Marvell has
Theirs are not ships but rather arks of war
And beaked promontories sailed from far.' 1. 96. Hippotades;-Eolus, son of Hippotes. (Ovid, Metamorphoses, xiv. 224.)
1.99. Panope's sisters are the Nereids, among whom Panope is named by Spenser (Faery Queene, IV. xi. 49). 1. 101. Among the ingredients of the witches' caldron, Macbeth iv. I, are
Slips of yew, Slivered in the moon's eclipse.' 1. 103. “A damsel spied slow-footing her before.
(Faery Queene, I. iii. 10.) 1. 105. figures dim;—alluding to the fabulous traditions of the high antiquity of Cambridge.
I. 106. A commentator remarks, ‘On sedge leaves when dried, or even when beginning to wither, there are not only certain indistinct or dusky streaks, but also a variety of dotted marks on the edge 'scrawled over' (as Milton first wrote) which withers before the rest of the flag.' (Cf. note on Fair Infant 25.
1. 107. pledge;-child (Lat. pignus). Cf. Solemn Music 1.
1. 122. are sped;—are provided for. So says Mercutio, sardonically, when he has received his death-wound, “I am sped ;' and Petruchio in mockery (Taming of the Shrew, v. 2),
"We three are married, but you two are sped.' 1. 123. flasby ;-Bacon says of distilled books that they are mostly like common distilled waters, flashy things.'
1. 124. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue iii. 27. scrannel is thin, meagre ; used here contemptuously for Virgil's tenuis avena. No other instance has been produced of it.
1. 128. Milton has here copied the sentiments of Piers in Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar (May) which he has quoted in the Animadversions on the Remonstrants' Defence against Smectymnuus (1641).
The wolf may allude to the legendary origin of Rome. 1. 130. A double reference is here supposed to the axe of the Gospel (Matt. iii. 10, and Luke iji. 9) and to the axe of the headsman. But perhaps Laud's execution gave this after-significance. Another interpretation is that the engine is the sword of Michael (Paradise Lost, vi. 251) which is to smite off the head of Satan. According to some theologians, Michael, in prophecy, means Christ himself (Rev. xii. 7-10).
1. 132. See note on Arcades 30.
1. 136. use here=frequent, inhabit. "Where never foot did use' (Faery Queene, VI. Introd. 2).
1. 138. swart star ;- either from its heat causing plants to become brown or swart, or in the meaning of black, injurious, like 'sol niger' (Horace, Satires, i. 9. 73.)
sparely = rarely. (Keightley.) 1. 141. Some of the flowers named belong to the summer or autum (Keightley.)
1. 142. rathe ;— the old word for early,' whence ratber, earlier, sooner.
forsaken here = 'unwedded' which was the word Milton first wrote. (Winter's Tale, iv. 3.)
1. 143. The passage is imitated from Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar, April. Keightley remarks: 'the crow-foot grows singly; but, as it divides into several parts, Milton was justified in his epithet.' 1. 157. Milton first wrote “humming-tide. Cf. Pericles (iii. I),
And humming water must o'erwhelm thy corpse.' 1. 158. monstrous world ;-world of monsters. Cf. Horace, Odes, i. 3. 18; Aeneid vi. 729.
1. 160. Bellerus ;-coined by Milton from Bellerium.' He had previously written Corineus,' a Trojan, said to have come into Britain with Brute and to have been made lord of Cornwall. In the History of England Milton recites a 'grand fable' concerning his wrestling-match with a giant, whom he overcame and hurled into the sea.
1. 161. The vision here is that of the Archargel Michael, who is related to have appeared on the Mount, subsequently named after him, seated on a crag, looking seaward. A monastery was founded on the spot, and the so-called chair' is a fragment of the lantern of that building. To scramble round the pinnacle on which it is placed is a dangerous exploit, and is traditionally rewarded with marital supremacy. Milton supposes the Archangel still seated (as in the vision) looking to Namancos near Cape Finisterre, marked in Mercator's Atlas of 1623 and 1636 in the map of Galicia, where the Castle of Bayona is also conspicuous.
1. 163. The Angel here is the great vision of the previous verse. Some have supposed that Lycidas himself is addressed as "angel now, but this interpretation ignores the evident contrast of the usual looking to 'Namancos hold,' with the homeward' glance at the body of the hapless youth.' 1. 164. dolpbins ;— The allusion is to Arion and to the dolphins
“which him bore, Through the Ægæan seas from pirates' view.'
(Faery Queene, IV. xi. 23.) 1. 165. This transition is imitated from Spenser's Eleventh Eclogue. Keightley thus accentuates—
Weep nó more, woful shepherds, weep no more,' as also the
Sigh nó more, ladies, sigh no more,' of Shakespeare, and supports his view by quoting instances of repeated phrase with varied accent from classic and from English, German, and Italian writers,
1. 166. your, sorrow;-i.e. the object of it, like my love.' 1. 174. other ;-than those of earth. So another country,' Comus 633. 1. 175. Cf. Comus 838. 1. 181. Isaiah xxv. 8; Rev. vii. 17. .
1. 183. In the first eclogue of Sannazarius occurs a passage in which a drowned friend is adjured, whether inhabiting the air or the Elysian fields, to look on the affliction of the survivors, and which concludes thus :
'numen aquarum Semper eris, semper laetum piscantibus omen.'
1. 184. Virgil, Eclogue v. 64.
1. 186. uncouth ;-unknown; as in the proverb • uncouth, unkist,' cited in the Preface to the Shepherd's Calendar. Milton thus speaks in implied contrast with the future fame of which he justly felt assured.
1. 188. The stop is the hole of a flute or pipe. The word is thus used twice in Hamlet iii. 2. 'Quill (Lat. calamus) is a Spenserian word (Shepherd's Calendar, June, 67) for the shepherd's pipe.
1. 189 Doric lay;—Theocritus and Moschus respectively wrote a bucolic on the deaths of Daphnis and Bion. Both poets were natives of Syracuse, a Dorian colony.
1. 192. ''Twas Presbyterian true blue.' (Hudibras.) 1. 193. •To-morrow shall ye feast in pastures new.'
(Fletcher's Purple Island, vi. 77.)
Sonnet III. After the battle of Edgehill (Oct. 23, 1642) attempts were made by the Parliament to negociate with the King, who continued to advance on London. A messenger had been despatched to treat for an armistice, when Charles attempted to surprise a detachment of Parliamentary troops at Brentford. They were quickly reinforced : and though the king succeeded in occupying Brentford, his progress towards London was effectually barred.
l. 1. Colonel ;- This word was formerly written coronel, and is derived by Todd from Lat. corona, a ring or company of men. Spenser uses coronel' in his State of Ireland. It is here a trisyllable as in Hudibras,
"And out he rode a colonelling. But the modern pronunciation is at least as old as Massinger.
1. 5. Charms ;-carmina, magic verses. Cf. 'Virgil (Eclogue viii. 69). (Keightley.) See also Ovid, Metamorphoses, xiv. 58, and Paradise Lost, ii. 666.
l. 10. The poets give the name of Emathia to the whole of Macedonia. Emathia is properly a province, and the original seat of the Macedonian monarchy. Pliny is the authority for the story thus told by the old commentator on Spenser : “ Alexander destroying Thebes, when he was informed that the famous lyric poet Pindarus was born in that city, commanded straitly that no man should under pain of death do any violence to that house.'
1. 13. Sad is an epithet often given to Electra in Euripides, and even put into her own mouth by that dramatist. Keightley says that Sophocles is more properly her poet. The Chorus from the Electra of Euripides (v. 167, &c.), recited by a Phocian minstrel at the banquet of the conquerors of Athens, so wrought upon them that the city was saved from utter destruction—'ruin bare.'
Sonnet IV. 1. 2. Cf. 'Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads.
(Hamlet, i. 3.) 1. 5. Luke x. 42. Ruth i. 14. 1. 8. Spenser sometimes makes a word rhyme with itself; see Faerva