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Mother of a hundred gods?
As they come forward, the Gemus of the wood appears, and, turning
towards them, speaks:Gen. Stay, gentle swains; for, though in this disguise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes; Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluice Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskin'd nymphs, as great and good; I know, this quest of yours, and free intent, Was all in honour and devotion meant To the great mistress of yon princely shrine, Whom with low reverence I adore as mine; And, with all helpful service, will comply To further this night's glad solemnity; And lead ye, where ye may more near behold What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold; Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone, Ilave sat to wonder at, and gaze upon: For know, by lot from Jove I am the power Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower, To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove And all my plants I save from nightly ill Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill: And from the boughs brush off the evil dew, And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites. When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground; And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
23. Give her olds. This certainly seems this pastoral fragment of a Mask by our no very elevant phrase, but it was a modle author. of compliment usual in Milton's time.- 31. Arethuse. It was fabled that AreTODD.
tbuss, a nymph, and one of Diana's at20. Stay, &c. That is, though ye (the tendants, being pursued by the river-god actors being of Lady Derby's own family) Alpheus, was changed into a fountain, are disguised like rustics, and wear the and flowed under the earth across the habit of shepherds. I perceive ye are of Adriatic, and c: me up at Ortygia, an island honourable birth, your nobility cannot in the lay of Syracuse. be concealed.
31. Quíst: Inquiry, search.
44. By lot: By allotment. dia, in the Peloponnesus, were devoted 46. To curl: To dress with curls. to pastoral life; and hence the scene of 57. Tassell d horn. So spenser, (Faerie many ancient pastoral poems, as well as / Queene, i. viii. 3: of Sir Philip Sidney's " Arcadia," is laid
A horn or bugle small there. llence, of course, the name of Which hung adowne his side in twisted gold
And tassels gay.
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Follow me, as I sing,
62. Then listen I, &c. This is Plato's melodies; which diapason or concentus system. Fate, or Necessity, holds a spin- the pine Syrens sing or address to the dle of adamant; and, with her three Supreme Being. This last circumstance daughters Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos) illustrates, or rather explains the sixth, who handle the vital web wound alout seventh, and eighth lines of the “Ode at the spindle, she conducts or turns the a Solemn Music:"heavenly bodies. Nine Muses, or Syreus, That undisturbed song of pure concent, &c. sit on the summit of the spheres, which, in their revolutions, produce the most Milton, full of these Platonic ideas, has ravishing musical harmony. To this here a reference to this consummate or harmony the three daughters of Neces- concentual song of the ninth Aphere, sity perpetually sing in correspondent which is disturbed and pure, that is tones. In the mean time the adamantine unalloyed and perfect. The Platonism spindle, which is placed in the lap or on is here, however, in some degree Christhe knees of Necessity, and on which the tianized.-T. WARTON. fate of men and gods is wound, is also 1 81. Glittering state. The Nymphs and revolved. Tinis MUSIC OF THE SPHERES, Shepherds are here directed by the Genius proceeding from the rapid motion of the to look and advance towards a glittering heavens, is so loud, various, and sweet, state, or canopy, in the midst of the stage, as to exceed all aptitude or proportion in which the Countess of Derby was of the hunan ear, and therefore is not placed as a Rural Queen. It does not heard by men. Moreover, this spherical oprear that the second song, which here music consists of eight unisonous melo immediately follows, was now sung. dies; the ninth is a concentration of all Some machinery or other matter interthe rest, or a diapason of all those eight | vened.---T. WARTOX.
Under the shady roof
III. SONG. Nymphs and shepherds, dance no more By sandy Ladon's lilied banks; On old Lycæus, or Cyllene hoar,
Trip no more in twilight ranks ; Though Erymanth your loss deplore,
A better soil shall give ye thanks.
Such a rural queen
97. Ladon: A river of Arcadia. Ly- | love, he found his arms filled with reeds. creus, Cyllene, Erymanthus, and Mirnalus, While he stood sighing at his disappointe all mountains of the same country. ment, the wind began to agitate the
106. Syring was a nymph of Arcadia reeds, which produced a low musical and danghter of the river Lailon. Pansound. The god took the hint, cut seven fell in love with her, and pursued her of the reeds, and formed from them his till she reached the river Laulon, when, pastoral pipe, which he called avotus, thinking to embrace the object of his syrinx, after the name of the nymph.
In this Monody, the author bewails a learned friend, unfortunately
drowned in his passage from Chester on the Irish seas, 1637; and by occasion foretells the ruin of our corrupted clergy, then in their highth.
YEt once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
* This poem first appeared in a Cambridge collection of verses on the death of Mr. Edward Kiny, fellow of Christ's college, printed at Cambridge in a thin quarto, 1638. It consists of three Greek, nineteen Latin, and thirteen English poems.
Edward King, the subject of this Monoly, was the son of Sir John King, knight, secretary for Ireland, under Queen Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I. He was saiing from Chester to Ireland, on a visit to his friends and relations in that coun. try, when, in calm weather, not far from the English coast, the ship, a very crazy vessel, a fatal and pertidious bark," struck on a rock, and suddenly sunk to the bottom with all that were on board, not one escaping, August 10, 1637. King was DOW only twenty-five years old: he was perhaps a native of Ireland, and at Cambridge he was distinguished for his piety, and proficiency in polite literature.
This poem, as appears by the Trinity manuscript, was written in November, 1637, when Milton was not quite twenty-nine years old.-T. WARTON.
1. Yet once more. This has reference but are symbolical of general poetry to his poetical compositions in general, T. WARTON. or rather to his last poem, which was 3. I come to pluck, &c, This is a heau“Comus." He would say, "I am again, tiful allusion to the unripe age of his in the midst of other studies, unexpect friend, in which death shattered his leaves elly and unwillingly called back to poe- before the mellowing year. try; aguin compelled to write verses, in 11. And build the lofty rhyme: a beau consequence of the recept disastrous logs tiful Latini-m, condere carmen. of my shipwrecked friend," &c. The 1 11. Melodious lear: the effect for the plants here mentioned are not as some cause,--the melodious song. Sisters, the have suspected, appropriated to elexy, I Muses: Sacred Wu, Helicon.
For we were nursed upon the self-same hill;
But, 0, the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep 50
27. We drove afidd. That is, “wel 36. Damnetas, a character in Virgil's drove our flocks afield." I mention this, I third Eclogue. that Gray's echo of the passage in his 40. Gadding vine. Dr. Warburton sup Elegy, yet with another meaning, may poses that the vine is here called gadding, not mislead many careless readers.
because, being married to the elm, like
too many other wives she is fond of gadHow jocund did they drive their team afield.
ding abroad, and seeking a new associate. From the regularity of his pursuits, the 45. The whole context of words in this purity of his pleasures, his temperance, and the four following lines is melodious and general simplicity of life, Milton and enchanting.-BRYDGES. habitually became an early riser. Hence 50. Where were ve. This burst is as
magnificent as it is affecting.-BRYDGES. ties of the morning, which he 80 fre- 52. On the strep. In the midst of this quently contemplated with delight, and wild imagery, the tombs of the Druids, has therefore no repeatedly described, dispersed over the solitary mountains of in all their various appearances.-T. Denbighshire, the shaggy summits of WARTON. See Milton's own account of Mona, and the wizard waters of Deva, his morning hours, “Compendium of (the Dee) Milton was in his favourite English Literature," page 268.
track of poetry: all these, too, are in the 28. The sultry horn of the gray.fly, vicinity of the Irish Sea, where Lycidas (called by naturalists the Trumpet-lly) was shipwrecked, and thus they have a is the sharp hum of this insect at noon, real connection with the poet's subjector the hottest part of the day.