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l^arijari College l/t&rarg 



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Palgrave's Golden Treasury 
of Songs and Lyrics 

Book Second 

Edited with Notes 

W. Bell, M.A. 


Macmillan and Co., Ltd. 

New York : The Macmillan Company 

Ail rights reserved 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

} v:<A' 


>^^</c Cc c^ ;^ c-rtu^ 

Fixst Edition, 189a 
Reprinted 1900, 1909. 1904* 



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This little Collection differs, it is believed, from otheis 
in the attempt made to include in it all the best original 
Lyrical pieces and Songs in our language (save a very 
few regretfully omitted on account of length), by writers 
not living, — and none beside the best. Many familiar 
verses will hence be met with ; many also which should 
be familiar: — the Editor will regard as his fittest readers 
those who love Poetry so well that he can offer them 
nothing not already known and valued. 

The Editor is acquainted with no strict and exhaustive 
definition of Lyrical Poetry ; but he has found the task 
of practical decision increase in clearness and in facility 
as he advanced with the work, whilst keeping in view 
a few simple principles. Lyrical has been here held 
essentially to imply that each Poem shall turn on some 
single thought, feeling, or situation. In accordance with 
this, narrative, descriptive, and didactic poems, — unless 
accompanied by rapidity of movement, brevity, and 
the colouring of human passion, — ^have been excluded. 
Humorous poetry, except in the very unfrequent instances 
where a truly poetical tone pervades the whole, with what 
is strictly personal, occasional, and religious, has been 
considered foreign to the idea of the book. Blank verse 
and the ten-syllable couplet, with all pieces markedly 


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dramatic, have been rejected as alien from what is com- 
monly understood by Song, and rarely conforming to 
Lyrical conditions in treatment But it is not antici- 
pated, nor is it possible, that all readers shall think the 
line accurately drawn. Some poems, as Oray's Elegy, 
the Allegro and Penseroso, Wordsworth's Ruth or 
Campbell's Lord Ullin, might be claimed with perhaps 
equal justice for a narrative or descriptive selection: 
whilst with reference especially to Ballads and Sonnets, 
the Editor can only state that he has taken his utmost 
pains to decide without caprice or partiality. 

This also is all he can plead in regard to a point even 
more liable to question ; — what degree of merit should 
give rank among the Best. That a poem shall be worthy 
of the writer's genius, — that it shall reach a perfection 
commensurate with its aim, — that we should require 
finish in proportion to brevity, — that passion, colour, 
and originality cannot atone for serious imperfections 
in clearness, unity or truth, — that a few good lines do 
not make a good poem — ^that popular estimate is service- 
able as a guidepost more than as a compass, — above all, 
that excellence should be looked for rather in the whole 
than in the parts, — such and other such canons have 
been always steadily regarded. He may however add 
that the pieces chosen, and a far larger number rejected, 
have been carefully and repeatedly considered ; and that 
he has been aided throughout by two friends of independ- 
ent and exercised judgment^ besides the distinguished 
person ^ addressed in the Dedication. It is hoped that by 
this procedure the volume has been freed from that one- 
sidedness which must beset individual decisions ; — but 
for the final choice the Editor is alone responsible. 
^Alfred Tennyson, Poeb Laureate. 


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Chalmers* vast collectioii, with the whole works of 
all accessible poets not contained in it, and the best 
Anthologies of different periods, have been twice system- 
atically read through ; and it is hence improbable that 
any omissions which may be regretted are due to over- 
sight. The poems are printed entire, except in a very 
few instances where a stanza or passage has been omitted. 
These omissions have been risked only when the piece 
could be thus brought to a closer lyrical unity ; and, as 
essentially opposed to this unity, extracts, obviously such, 
are excluded. In regard to the text, the purpose of the 
book has appeared to justify the choice of the most 
poetical version, wherever more than one exists; and 
much labour has been given to present each poem, in 
disposition, spelling, and punctuation, to the greatest 

In the arrangement, the most poetically-effective order 
has been attempted. The English mind has passed 
through phases of thought and cultivation so various and 
so 0()po8ed during these three centuries of Poetry, that a 
rapid passage between old and new, like rapid alteration 
of the eye's focus in looking at the landscape, will always 
be wearisome and hurtful to the sense of Beauty. The 
poems have been therefore distributed into Books corre- 
sponding, I. to the ninety years closing about 1616, II. 
thence to 1700, III. to 1800, IV. to the half century just 
ended. Or, looking at the Poets who more or less give 
each portion its distinctive character, they might be 
called the Books of Shakespeare, Milton, Gray, and 
Wordsworth. The volume, in this respect, so far as the 
limitations of its range allow, accurately reflects the 
natural growth and evolution of our Poetry. A rigidly 


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chronological sequence, however, rather fits a collection 
aiming at instruction than at pleasure, and the wisdom 
which comes through pleasure: — within each book the 
pieces have therefore been arranged in gradations of 
feeling or subject. And it is hoped that the contents of 
this Anthology will thus be found to present a certain 
unity as "episodes," in the noble language of Shelley, 
"to that great Poem which all poets, like the co-operating 
thoughts of one great mind, have built up since the 
beginning of the world/' 

As he closes his long survey, the Editor trusts he may 
add without egotism, that he has found the vague general 
verdict of popular Fame more just than those have 
thought, who, with too severe a criticism, would confine 
judgments on Poetry to "the selected few of many 
generations." Not many appear to have gained reputation 
without some gift or performance that, in due degree, 
deserved it: and if no verses by certain writers who 
show less strength than sweetness, or more thought than 
mastery of expression, are printed in this volume, it 
should not be imagined that they have been excluded 
without much hesitation and regret, — far less that they 
have been slighted. Throughout this vast and pathetic 
array of Singers now silent, few have been honoured 
with the name Poet, and have not possessed a skill in 
words, a sympathy with beauty, a tenderness of feeling, 
or seriousness in reflection, which render their works, 
although never perhaps attaining that loftier and finer 
excellence here required, — better worth reading than 
much of what fills the scanty hours that most men spare 
for self-improvement, or for pleasure in any of its more 
elevated and permanent forms. — And if this be true of 


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even mediocre poetry, for how much more are we 
indebted to the best 1 Like the fabled fountain of the 
Azores, but with a more various power, the magic of this 
Art can confer on each period of life its appropriate 
blessing : on early years Experience, on maturity Calm, 
on age Youthfulness. Poetry gives treasures "more 
golden than gold," leading us in higher and healthier 
ways than those of the world, and interpreting to us the 
lessons of Nature. But she speaks best for herself. Her 
true accents, if the plan has been executed with success, 
may be heard throughout the following pages: — wher- 
ever the Poets of England are honoured, wherever the 
dominant language of the world is spoken, it is hoped 
that they will find fit audience. 



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Pbefacb to thb Golden Tbbasukt, 

L Ode on the Morning of Chriat's 
Nativity, . - - . 

n. Song for Saint Cecilia's Day, 1687, 
in. On the late Maasacre in Piedmont, 

IV. Horatian Ode upon Cromwell'B 

Return from Ireland, - 

V. Lycidas, .... 

VI. On the Tombs in Westminster 

Abbey, . - - - 

Vn. The Last Conqueror, - 

Vm. Death the Leveller, - 

IX. When the Assault was Intended 

to the City, - 

X. On his Blindness, • 

XI. Character of a Happy Life, - 

Xn. The Noble Nature, 

XIIL The Gifts of God,- 

XIV. The Retreat, 

XV. To Mr. Lawrence, 

J. Dryden, 
J. MiUon. 

J. MUUm, 
J, MUUm, 
SirH, Wotton, 
B. Jonson^ 
O. Herbert^ 
H. Vaughan, 
J. Milton, 




A. Marvdi, 12 

J, MiUon, 16 

F, Beaumont, 22 
J, ShirUy, 22 

/. Shirley, 23 



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To Cyriack Skinner, 

J. Milton, 



A Hymn in Praise of Neptune, 

T. Campion f 



Hymn to Diana, 

B. Jofuon, 



Wishes for the Supposed Mis- 


B. Orashaw, 



The Great Adventurer, - 




The Picture of little T. C. in a 

Prospect of Flowers, - 




Child and Maiden, - 

Sir a SedUy, 



Constancy, - - J. Wilmot, 

Earl of Rochester 



Counsel to Girls, - . - 

R. Herrick, 



To Lucasta, on Going to the 

Wars, - . - . 

Oolonel Lovdaee 



Elizabeth of Bohemia, - 

8irH. Wotton, 



To the Lady Margaret Ley, - 




The True Beauty, - 

T, Carew, 



To Dianeme, . . - • 

R. Herrick, 



"Love in thy youth, fair Maid, 

be wise," . . - . 




To a Rose, - - . • 

E. Waller, 



ToCelia, . . . . 

B, Jonson, 



Cherry-Ripe, - - . - 




Corinna's Maying, - 

R. Herrick, 



The Poetry of Dress, 1 - 

R. Herrick, 



>» >» 2 - - 

R, Herrick, 



»> it 3 - • 




On a Girdle, - - - - 

E. WaUer, 



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C0KTENT8. xiii 


XXXIX. A Mystical Ecstasy, - • F. QvaritB, 48 

XL. To Anthea who may command 

him any thing, - - • R, Berriek, 49 

XLL "Lovenotmeforoomelygraoe,'' Anon,, 60 

XLIL '* Not Cetia, that I jnster am,'' Sir 0. Sediey, 00 

XLin. To Althea from Prison, - - Colonel Lov^aee, 61 
XIIV. To Lucasta, on Going Beyond 

the Seas, • - . . Colonel Lovdact, 62 

XLY. Encouragements to a Lover, • Sir J, Suckling^ 63 

XLVT. A Supplication, • - 'A. Cowley^ 68 

XLVU. The Manly Heart, . • . &. WUh^, 64 

XLVin. Mehmcholy, ..../. Fletcher, 66 

XLIX. The Forsaken Bride, - • Anon.f 67 

L. "Upon my lap my sovereign 

sits," Anon., 68 

LI. Fair Helen, .... Anon., 69 

LIL The Twa Corbies, - - - Anon., 60 
LIII. On the Death of Mr. William 

Hervey, - - - -A. Ootoley, 61 

LIV. Friends in Paradise, • • H. Vaughan, 63 

LV. To Blossoms, - • • • 7?. Herrick, 64 

LVL To DaflFodils, - - . - i?. Herrick, 66 

LVIL The Girl Describes Her Fawn, A. Marvell, 66 

LVm. Thoughts in a Garden, - - A. MarveU, 67 

LIX. Fortunati Nimium, - » • T. Campion, 69 

LX. L'AUegro, -.../. MUtan, 71 

LXI. H Penseroso, -..-/. AiiUcn, 76 


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LXn. Song of the Emigrants in Ber* 

muda, - • • 'A, Ma/nkR^ 80 

LXm. At a Solemn Music, • -J, MUUm, 82 

LXIV. Noz Nocti Indicat Sdentiam, W, HMngton, 83 

LXV. Hymn to Darkness, - J. Norris ofBemerton, 84 

LXVI. A Vision, - - - - H. Vaugkan, 86 

LXYII. Alexander's Feast, or, The 

Power of Music, • -J, Dryden, 86 

Notes, 91 

Index of Wbitebs, with dates of Bibth and Death, - 298 

Index of First Lines, 299 

Index to the Notes, 301 


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Tm Notes on Milton's LyddtUy I'AllegrOt Jl Pemeroto, and SonneU bays 
alxeady appeared in this aeries of English Classics for schools. They are 
now re-issued along with similar Notes by the same editor on the remaining 
portion of the Second Book of The Ootdtn Trtoiury. 


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This is the month, and this the happy mom 

Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King 

Of wedded maid and virgin mother bom, 

Our great redemption from above did bring ; 

For so the holy sages once did sing 5 

That he our deadly forfeit should release, 

And with his Father work us a perpetual peace. 

That glorious Form, that light unsufferable. 

And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty 

Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-table 10 

To sit the midst of Trinal Unity, 

He laid aside ; and, here with us to be, 

Forsook the courts of everlasting day, 

And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay. 

Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein 15 

Afford a present to the Infant-God? 

Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain, 

To welcome him to this his new abode, 

O.T. II. A ^ 


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Now while the heaven, by the sun's team untrod, 

Kath took no print of the approaching light, 20 

And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright f 

See how from far, upon the eastern road, 

The star-led wizards haste with odours sweet: 

O run, prevent them with thv humble ode 

And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; 86 

Have thou the honour first thy LoixL to greets 

And join thy voice unto the angel quire, 

From out his secret altar touch'd with hallowed fire. 

The Htmw. 

It was the winter wild 

While the heaven-bom Child 80 

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies ; 

Nature in awe to him 

Had doff'd her gaudy trim, 

With her great Master so to sympathize: 

It was no season then for her 35 

To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour. 

Only with speeches fair 

She woos the gentle air 

To hide her guilty front with innocent snow; 

And on her naked shame, 40 

Pollute with sinful blame. 

The saintly veil of maiden white to throw ; 

Confounded, that her Maker's eyes 

Should look so near upon her foul deformities. 

But He, her fears to cease, 46 

Sent down the meek-eyed Peace; 


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She, crown'd with olive green, came softly sliding 

Down through the turning sphere 

His ready harbinger, 

With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; BO 

And waving wide her myrtle wand, 

She strikes a universal peace through sea and land. 

No. war, or battle's sound 

Was heard the world around : 

The idle spear and shield were high nphung; 66 

The hookM chariot stood 

XJnstain'd with hostile blood ; 

The trumpet spake not to the arm6d throng; 

And kings sat still with awful eye, 

As if they surely knew their soviun Lord was by. 80 

But peaceful was the night 

Wherein the Prince of Light 

His reign of peace upon the earth began: 

The winds, with wonder whist, 

Smoothly the waters kist 66 

Whispering new joys to the mild Oce^n — 

Who now hath quite forgot to rave, 

While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave. 

The stars, with deep amaze. 

Stand fix'd in steadfast ga2e, 70 

Bending one way their precious influence; 

And will not take their flight, 

For all the morning light. 

Or Lucifer that often wam'd them thence ; 

But in their glimmering orbs did glow 76 

Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them ga 

And though the shady gloom 
Had given day her room, 


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The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, 

And hid his head for shame, 80 

As his inferior flame 

The new-enlighten'd world no more should need ; 

He saw a greater Sun appear 

Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could bear. 

The shepherds on the lawn 86 

Or ere the point of dawn 

Sate simply chatting in a rustic row ; 

Full little thought they than 

That the mighty Pan 

Was kindly come to live with them below ; 90 

Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep 

Was aU that did their silly thoughts so busy keep. 

When such music sweet 

Their hearts and ears did greet 

As never was by mortal finger strook — 96 

Divinely-warbled voice 

Answering the stringed noise, 

As all their souls in blissful rapture took : 

The air, such pleasure loth to lose, 

With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close. 

Nature that heard such sound 101 

Beneath the hollow round 

Of Cynthia's seat the aery region thrilling, 

Now was almost won 

To think her part wjis done, 106 

And that her reign ha«) here its last fulfilling; 

She knew such harmony alone 

Could hold all heaven and earth in happier union. 

At last surrounds their sight 

A globe of circular light 110 


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That with long beams the shamefaced night array'd ; 

The helm6d Cherubim 

And sworded Seraphim 

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd, 

Harping in loud and solemn quire 115 

With unexpressiye notes, to Heaven's new-bom Heir. 

Such music (as 'tis said) 

Before was never made 

But wh^ of old the Sons of Morning sung^ 

While the Creator great 120 

His constellations set, 

And the well-balanced world on hinges hung ; 

And cast the dark foundations deep, 

And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keepi 

Ring out, je crystal spheres ! 126 

Once bless our human ears. 

If ye have power to touch our senses so ; 

And let your silver chime 

Move in melodious time ; 

And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow: 130 

And with your ninefold harmony 

Make up full consort to the angelic symphony. 

For i£ such holy song 

Enwrap our fancy long. 

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold ; 135 

And speckled Vanity 

Will sicken soon and die, 

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould ; 

And Hell itself will pass away, 

And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day. 140 

Yea, Truth and Justice then 
Will down return to men, 


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OrVd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, 

Mercj will sit between, 

Throned in celestial sheen, 146 

With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering ; 

And Heaven, as at some festival, 

Will open wide the gates of her high palace -halL 

But wisest Fate says No; 

This must not yet be so; 150 

The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy 

That on the bitter cross 

Must redeem our loss ; 

So both Himself and us to glorifjr : 

Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep 155 

The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep, 

With such a horrid clang 

As on Mount Sinai rang 

While the red fire and smouldering clouds outbrake; 

The aged Earth aghast 160 

With terrour of that blast 

Shall from the surface to the centre shake. 

When, at the world's last 8essi6n, 

The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread His throne. 

And then at last our bliss 165 

Full and perfect is, 

But now begins ; for from this happy day 

The old Dragon under ground 

In straiter limits bound, 

Not half so far casts his usurpM sway ; 170 

And, wroth to see his kingdom fail. 

Swinges the scaly horrour of his folded taiL 

The oracles are dumb ; 
No voice or hideous hum 


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Runs through the arch6d roof in word» deceiviDg : 175 

Apollo from his shrine 

Oan no more divine, 

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving : 

No nightly trance or breath^ spell 

Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic celL 180 

The lonely mountains o'er 

And the resounding shore 

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament ; 

From haunted spring and dale 

Edged with poplar pale 185 

The parting Genius is with sighing sent ; 

With flower-inwoven tresses torn 

The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn. 

In consecrated earth 

And on the holy hearth 190 

The Lars and LemurSs moan with midnight plaint; 

In urns, and altars round 

A drear and dying sound 

Af&ights the Flamens at their service quaint; 

And the chill marble seems to sweat, 195 

While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted seat. 

Peor and Baalim 

Forsake their temples dim, 

With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine; 

And mooned Ashtaroth 200 

Heaven's queen and mother both, 

Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine ; 

The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn, 

In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mourn. 

And sullen Moloch, fled, 205 

Hath left in shadows dread 


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His burning idol all of blackest hue ; 

In yain with cymbals' ring 

They call the grisly king, 

In dismal dance about the furnace blue ; 2J0 

The brutish gods of Nile as fast 

Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste. 

Nor is Osiris seen 

In Memphian grove, or green. 

Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud . 215 

Nor can he be at rest 

Within his sacred chest ; 

Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud ; 

In vain with timbrelPd anthems dark 

The 8able-8tol6d sorcerers bear his worshipt ark. 220 

He feels from Juda's land 

The dreaded Infant's hand ; 

The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn ; 

Nor all the gods beside 

Longer dare abide, 226 

Nor Typhon huge ending in snaky twine : 

Our Babe, to show his Grodhead true, 

Can in his swaddling bands control the damn6d crew. 

So, when the sun in bed 

Curtain'd with cloudy red 230 

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave, 

The flocking shadows pale 

Troop to the infernal jail. 

Each lettered ghost slips to his several grave; 

And the yellow-skirted fays 236 

Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved maze 

But see, the Virgin blest 
Hath laid her Babe to rest ; 


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Time i% our tedious soug should here have ending : 

Heayen's youngest-teemed star 240 

Hath fixed her polish'd car, 

Her sleeping Lord with hand-maid lamp attending: 

And all about the courtly stable 

Bright-hamess'd angels sit in order serviceable. 

J. Milton, 



From harmony, from heavenly harmony 

This universal frame began : 
When Nature underneath a heap 

Of jarring atoms lay 
And could not heave her head, 6 

The tuneful voice was heard from high 

Arise, ye more than dead I 
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry 
In order to their stations leap^ 

And Music's power obey, 10 

From harmony, from heavenly harmony 

This universal frame began : 

From harmony to harmony 
Through all the compass of the notes it ran, 
The diapason dosing full in Man. 15 

What passion cannot Music raise and quell ? 

When Jubal struck the chorded shell 
His listening brethren stood around, 

And, wondering, on their faces fell 
To worship that celestial sound. flO 


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Less than a god they thought there oould not dwell 
Within the hollow of that shell 
That spoke so sweetly and so well. 

What passion cannot Music raise and quell? 

The tmmpef s loud clangor 25 

Excites us to arms, 
With shrill notes of anger 

And mortal alarms. 
The double double double beat 
Of the thundering drum 80 

Cries * Hark ! the foes come ; 
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat t' 

The soft complaining flute 

In dying notes discovers 

The woes of hopeless lovers, 36 

Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute. 

Sharp violins proclaim 
Their jealous pangs and desperation, 
Fury, frantic indignation, 
Depth of pains, and height of passion 40 

For the fair disdainful dame. 

But oh ! what art can teach. 
What human voice can reach 

The sacred organ's praise? 
Notes inspiring holy love, 40 

Notes that wing their heavenly ways 

To mend the choirs above. 


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Orpheus could lead the savage race, 
And trees unrooted left their place 

Sequacious of the lyre : 50 

But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher: 
When to her Organ yocal breath was given 
An Angel heard, and straight appear'd — 

Mistaking £arth for heaven 1 

Orand Chorru. 

As from the power of sacred lays M 

The spheres began to move, 
And sung the great Creator's praise 

To all the blest above; 
So when the last and dreadful hour 
This crumbling pageant shall devour, 60 

The trumpet shall be heard on high, 
The dead shall live, the living die, 
And Music shall untune the sky. 

■/. Dryden, 



Avenge, O Lord ! thy slaughtered saints, whose bones 
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold; 
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old 
When all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones 
Forget not : In thy book record their groans 
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold 
Slain by the bloody Piemontese, that rolPd 
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans 


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The vales redoubled to the hills, and they 

To Heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow 10 

O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway 

The triple Tyrant, that from these may grow 

A hundred-fold, who, having learnt thy way, 

Early may fly the Babylonian woe. 

J, Milton, 



The forward youth that would appear, 
Must now forsake his Muses dear, 

Nor in the shadows sing 

His numbers languishing. 

Tis time to leave the books in dust, 6 

And oil the unusM armour's rust. 

Removing from the wall 

The corslet of the halL 

So restless Cromwell could not cease 

In the inglorious arts of peace, 10 

But through adventurous war 

Urg6d his active star: 

And like the three-fork'd lightning, first 
Breaking the clouds where it was nurst^ 

Did thorough his own side 16 

His fiery way divide : 

For 'tis all one to courage high. 
The emulous, or enemy; 


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And with such, to enclose 

Is more than to oppose. SO 

Then burning through the air he went 
And palaces and temples rent; 

And Caesar's head at last 

Did through his laurels blast. 

Tis madness to resist or blame 26 

The face of angry heaven's flame; 

And if we would speak true, 

Much to the Man is due 

Who, from his private gardens, where 

He lived reserve and austere, 30 

(As if his highest plot 

To plant the bergamot) 

Could by industrious valour climb 
To ruin the great work of time, 

And cast the Kingdoms old 36 

Into another mould. 

Though Justice against Fate complain, 
And plead the ancient Rights in vain — 

But those do hold or break 

As men are strong or weak. 40 

Nature, that hateth emptiness. 
Allows of penetration less, 

And therefore must make room 

Where greater spirits come. 

What field of all the civil war 46 

Where his were not the deepest scar? 

And Hampton shows what part 

He had of wiser art. 


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Where, twining subtle fears with hope, 

He wove a net of such a scope 50 

That Charles himself might chase 

To Carisbrook's narrow case, 

That thence the Boyal actor borne 

The tragic scaffold might adorn: 

While round the arm6d bands 56 

Did clap their bloody hands : 

He nothing common did or mean 
Upon that memorable scene, 

But with his keener eye 

The axe's edge did try; 60 

Nor caird the Gods, with vulgar spite, 
To vindicate his helpless right ; 

But boVd his comely head 

Down, as upon a bed. 

— ^This was that memorable hour 65 

Which first assured the forced power : 

So when they did design 

The Capitol's first line, 

A Bleeding Head, where they begun. 

Did fright the architects to run ; 70 

And yet in that the State 

Foresaw its happy fate I 

And now the Irish are ashamed 

To see themselves in one year txmed : 

So much one man can do 75 

That does both act and know. 

They can afiirm his praises best, 
And have, thousch overcome, confest 


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How good he is, how just 

And fit for highest trast; 80 

Nor yet grown stiSer with command, 
But still in the Republic's hand — 

How fit he ifi to sway 

That can so well obeyl 

He to the Commons' feet presents 86 

A Kingdom for his first year's rents^ 

And (what he may) forbears 

His fame, to make it theirs: 

And has his sword and spoils ungirt 

To lay them at the Public's skirt. 90 

So when the falcon high 

Falls heavy from the sky, 

She, having kill'd, no more does search 
But on the next green bough to perch. 

Where, when he first does lure, 95 

The falconer has her sure. 

— What may not then our Isle presume 
While victory his crest does plume? 

What may not others fear 

If thus he crowns each year ? 100 

As Caesar he, ere long, to Gktul, 
To Italy an Hannibal, 

And to all States not free 

Shall climacteric be. 

The Fict no shelter now shall find 105 

Within his parti-cblour'd mind. 

But from this valour, sad 

Shiink underneath the plaid — 


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Happy, if in the tufted brake 

The English hunter him mistake, 110 

Nor lay his hounds in near 

The Caledonian deer. 

But Thou, the War's and Fortune's son, 
March indefatigably on; 

And for the last effect 115 

Still keep the sword erect : 

Besides the force it has to fright 
The spirits of the shady night, 

The same arts that did gain 

A power, must it maintain. 120 

A. MarveU. 



En this Monody the Author bewaiUi a learned Friend, unfortunately 
drowned In his passage from Chester on the Irish Seas, 1687 ; and, 
by occasion, foretells the ruin of our corrupted Clergy, then in 
their height 

Tet once more, O ye laurels, and once more, 

Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere, 

I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, 

And with forced fingers rude 

Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year, 6 

Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear 

Compels me to disturb your season due ; 

For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime. 

Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer. 

Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew 10 

Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme. 


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He must not float upon his watery bier 
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, 
Without the meed of some melodious tear. 

Begin, then. Sisters of the sacred well 15 

That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring ; 
Begin, and somewhat loudlj sweep the string. 
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse : 
So may some gentle Muse 

With lucky words favour my destined um, 20 

And as he passes turn, 
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud ! 

For we were nursed upon the self -same hill. 
Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill ; 
Together both, ere the high lawns appeared 25 

Under the opening eyelids of the Mom, 
We drove a-field, and both together heard 
What time the grey-fly winds her sultry horn, 
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night. 
Oft till the star that rose at evening bright 90 

Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheeL 
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute. 
Tempered to the oaten flute ; 
Bough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel 
From the glad sound would not be absent long; 35 

And old Damoetas loved to hear our song. 

But, oh I the heavy change, now thou art gone, 
Now thou art gone and never must return ! 
Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves. 
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, 40 

And all their echoes, mourn. 
The willows, and the hazel copses green. 
Shall now no more be seen 
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. 
As killing as the canker to the rose, 45 

Or taint- worm to the weanling herds that graze. 
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, 
G.T. n. B 


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When first the white-thorn blows ; 
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear. 

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep 50 
Closed o*er the head of your loved Lycidas? 
For neither were ye playing on the steep 
Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, 
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, 
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream. 56 

Ay me ! I fondly dream 

"Had ye been there," . . . for what could that have doneV 
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore, 
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son, 
Whom universal nature did lament, 60 

When, by the rout that made the hideous roar. 
His gory visage down the stream was sent, 
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore? 

Alas! what boots it with uncessant care 
To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade, 65 

And strictly meditate the thankless Muse? 
Were it not better done, as others use, 
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, 
Or with the tangles of Ne«ra's hair? 
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise 70 

(That last infirmity of noble mind) 
To scorn delights and live laborious days ; 
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find. 
And think to burst out into sudden blaze. 
Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, 76 

And slits the thin-spun life. "But not the praise," 
Phoebus replied, and touched my trembling ears : 
"Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil. 
Nor in the glistering foil 

Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies, 80 

But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes 
And perfect witness of all- judging Jove ; 
As he pronounces lastly on each deed. 


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Of 80 much fame in heaven expect thy meed.'' 
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honoured flood, 86 

Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with yocal reeda. 

That strain I heard was of a higher mood. 

But now my oat proceeds, 

And listens to the herald of the sea, 

That came in Neptune's plea. 90 

He asked the waves, and asked the felon winds, 

What hard mishap hath doomed this gentle swain? 

And questioned every gust of nigged wings 

That blows off from each beaked promontory. 

They knew not of his story ; 95 

And sage Kippotad^s their answer brings, 

That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed : 

The air was calm, and on the level brine 

Sleek Panopd with all her sisters played. 

It was that fatal and perfidious bark, 100 

Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark. 

That sunk so low that sacred head of thine. 
Next, Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, 

His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, 

Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge 105 

Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe. 

" Ah ! who hath reft," quoth he, " my dearest pledge ? * 

Last came, and last did go. 

The Pilot of the Galilean Lake ; 

Two massy keys he bore of metals twain 110 

(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain). 

He shook his mitred locks, and stem bespake : — 

"How well could I have spared for thee, young swain. 

Enow of such as, for their bellies' sake, 

Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold I 115 

Of other care they little reckoning make 

Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast. 

And shove away the worthy bidden guest. 

Blind mouths ! that scarce themselves know how to hold 


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A sheep-hook, or have learnt aught else the least 120 

That to the faithful herdman's art belongs ! 

What recks it them? What need they? They are 

sped ; 
And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs 
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw ; 
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, 126 

But, swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, 
Hot inwardly, and foul contagion spread ; 
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw 
Daily devours apace, and nothing said. 
But that two-handed engine at the door 130 

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 
Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues. 135 

Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use 
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, 
On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely looks. 
Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes. 
That on the green turf suck the honeyed showers, 140 
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers. 
Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies. 
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine. 
The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet, 
The glowing violet, 146 

The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine. 
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive heac^ 
And every flower that sad embroidery wears; 
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed. 

And daffodillies fill their cups with tears, 150 

To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies. 
For so, to interpose a little ease. 
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise. 
Ay me 1 whilst thee the shores and sounding seas 


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Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled ; 166 

Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, 

Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide 

Yisifst the bottom of the monstrous world ; 

Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied, 

Sleep*st by the fable of Bellerus old, 160 

Where the great Vision of the guarded mount 

Looks towards 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, 166 
For Lyddas, your sorrow, is not dead. 
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor. 
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed. 
And yet anon repairs his drooping head, 
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore 170 

Flames in the forehead of the morning sky: 
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high. 
Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves, 
Where, other groves and other streams along. 
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves, 176 

And hears the unezpressive nuptial song. 
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love. 
There entertain him all the Saints above, 
In solemn troops, and sweet societies. 
That sing, and singing in their glory move, 180 

And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes. 
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more ; 
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore. 
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good 
To all that wander in that perilous flood. 186 

Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills, 
While the still mom went out with sandals grey : 
He touched the tender stops of various quills. 
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay : 


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And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, 190 

And now was dropt into the western bay. 
At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue : 
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new. 

•/. Milton, 

VL xa 


Mortality, behold and fear 

What a change of flesh is here ! 

Think how many royal bones 

Sleep within these heaps of stones ; 

Here they lie, had realms and lands, 5 

Who now want strength to stir their hands, 

Where from their pulpits sealed with dust 

They preach, *In greatness is no trust/ 

Here's an acre sown indeed 

With the richest royallest seed 10 

That the earth did e'er suck in 

Since the first man died for sin 

Here the bones of birth have cried 

* Though gods they were, as men they died I ' 

Here are sands, ignoble things, 16 

Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings : 

Here's a world of pomp and state 

Buried in dust once dead by fate. 

F, Beaumont, 

VTL xoi. 


Victorious men of earth, no more 
Proclaim how wide your empires are ; 


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Though you bind-iu every shore 

And your triumphs reach as far 

As night or day, 6 

Yet you, proud monarchs, must obey 
And mingle with forgotten ashes, when 
Death calls ye to the crowd of common men. 

Devouring Famine, Plague, and War, 

Each able to undo mankind, 10 

Death's servile emissaries are; 
Nor to these alone confined. 

He hath at will 
More quaint and subtle ways to kill; 
A smile or kiss, as he will use the art, 16 

Shall have the cunning skill to break a heart. 

J. Shuley. 



The glories of our blood and state 

Are shadows, not substantial things; 
There is no armour against fate ; 
Death lays his icy hand on kings: 

Sceptre and Crown 5 

Must tumble down. 
And in the dust be equal made 
With the poor crooked scythe and spade. 

Some men with swords may reap the field. 

And plant fresh laurels where they kill : 10 

But their strong nerves at last must yield; 
They tame but one another still : 
Early or late 
They stoop to fate^ 


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And must give up their murmuring breath 15 

When they, pale captiyes, creep to death. 

The garlands wither on your brow; 

Then boast no more your mighty deeds ; 
Upon Death's purple altar now 
See where the victor- victim bleeds: 20 

Your heads must come 
To the cold tomb; 
Only the actions of the just 
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust 

J, Shirley. 



Captain, or Colonel, or Knight in arms, 

Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize, 

If deed of honour did thee ever please, 

Guard them, and him within protect from harms. 

He can requite thee ; for he knows the charms 6 

That call fame on such gentle acts as these, 
And he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas, 
Whatever dime the sun's bright circle warms. 

Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower: 

The great Emathian conqueror bid spare 10 

The house of Findarus, when temple and tower 

Went to the ground : and the repeated air 

Of sad Electra's poet had the power 

To save the Athenian walla from ruin bare. 

J. MilUm. 


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-5- xciv. 


When I consider how my light is spent 
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, 
And that one talent which is death to hide 
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent 

To serve therewith my Maker, and present 6 

My true account, lest He returning chide,— 
Doth Grod exact day-labour, light denied? 
I fondly ask : — But Patience, to prevent 

That murmur, soon replies ; God doth not need 

Either man's work, or his own gifts : who best 10 

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state 

Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed 
And post o'er land and ocean without rest : — 
They also serve who only stand and wait. 

J, Milton, 

XI. xcv 


How happy is he bom and taught 
That serveth not another's will ; 
Whose armour is his honest thought 
And simple truth his utmost skill 1 

Whose passions not his masters are, 5 

Whose soul is still prepared for death. 
Not tied unto the world with care 
Of public fame, or private breath ; 


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Who envies none that chance doth raise 
Nor vice ; who never understood 10 

How deepest wounds are given by praise ; 
Nor rules of state, but rules of good : 

"Who hath his life from rumours freed, 
Whose conscience is his strong retreat; 
Whose state can neither flatterers feed, 16 

Nor ruin make accusers great; 

Who God doth late and early pray 

More of His grace than gifts to lend ; 

And entertains the harmless day 

With a well-chosen book or friend; 20 

— ^This man is freed from servile bands 
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall ; 
Lord of himself, though not of lands; 
And having nothing, yet hath all. 

Sir B. WoUmi. 



It is not growing like a tree 
In bulk, doth make Man better be; 
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year, 
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere : 

A lily of a day 5 

Is fairer far in May, 
Although it fall and die that night — 
It was the plant and flower of light. 
In small proportions we just beauty's see ; 
And in short measures life may perfect be. 10 

B, Jonmm. 


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When God at first made Maa, 
Having a glass of blessings standing by ; 
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can : 
Let the world's riches, which dispersal lie^ 

Contract into a span. 5 

So strength first made a way ; 
Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure : 
When almost all was out, Gh)d made a stay, 
Perceiving that alone, of all his treasure, 

Best in the bottom lay. 10 

For if I should (said he) 
Bestow this jewel also on my creature. 
He would adore my gifts instead of me. 
And rest in Nature, not the Qod of Nature 

So both should losers be. 16 

Yet let him keep the rest. 
But keep them with repining restlessness: 
Let him be rich and weary, that at least. 
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness 

May toss him to my breast. 20 

O. IlerbwU 

XIV. xcvni. 


Happy those early days, when I 
Shined in my Angel-infancy 1 


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Before I understood this place 

Appointed for my second race, 

Or taught my soul to fancy aught 6 

But a white, celestial thought; 

When yet I had not walked above 

A mile or two from my first Love, 

And looking back, at that short space 

Could see a glimpse of His bright face ; 10 

When on some gilded cloud or flower 

My gazing soul would dwell an hour, 

Ajid in those weaker glories spy 

Some shadows of eternity ; 

Before I taught my tongue to wound 15 

My conscience with a sinful sound, 

Or had the black art to dispense 

A several sin to every sense. 

But felt through all this fleshly dress 

Bright shoots of everlastingness. 20 

O how I long to travel back. 

And tread again that ancient track ! 

That I might once more reach that plain, 

Where first I left my glorious train ; 

From whence th' enlightened spirit sees 26 

That shady City of palm trees ! 

But ah I my soul with too much stay 

Is drunk, and staggers in the way : — 

Some men a forward motion love. 

But I by backward steps would move; 30 

And when this dust falls to the urn, 

In that state I came, return. 

H. Vattghan^ 


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XV. xoix 


Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son. 
Now that the fields are dank and ways are mire, 
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire 
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won 

From the hard season gaining? Time will run 5 

On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire 

The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire 

The lily and rose, that neither sow'd nor spun. 

What neat repeust shall feast us, light and choice. 
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise 10 
To hear the lute well touch'd, or artful voice 

Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air? 

He who of those delights can judge, and spare 

To interpose them of t^ is not unwise. 

J, Milton. 



Ctriack, whose grandsire, on the royal bench 
Of British Themis, with no mean applause 
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws. 
Which others at their bar so often wrench. 

To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench 

In mirth, that after no repenting draws ; 

Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause. 

And what the Swede intend, and what the French. 


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To measure life learn thou betimes, and know 
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way ; 10 
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains. 

And disapproves that care, though wise in show, 
That with superfluous burden loads the day, 
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains. 

J. MilUm, 



Of Neptune's empire let us sing, 

At whose command the waves obey; 

To whom the rivers tribute pay, 

Down the high niouu tains sliding ; 

To whom the scaly nation yields 5 

Homage for the crystal fields 

Wherein they dwell ; 
And every sea-god pays a gem 
Yearly out of his watery cell. 
To deck great Neptune's diadem. 10 

The Tritons dancing in a ring. 
Before his palace gates do make 
The water with their echoes quake, 
Like the great thunder sounding : 
The sea-nymphs chaunt their accents shrill, 16 

And the Syrens taught to kill 
With their sweet voice. 
Make every echoing rock reply. 
Unto their gentle murmuring noise. 
The praise of Neptune's empery. 20 

T. Campitm, 


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QcjEBN and Huntress, chaste and &ir. 

Now the sun is laid to sleep, 
Seated in thy silver chair 

State in wonted manner keep; 

Hesperus entreats thy light, 5 

Goddess excellently bright. 

£arth, let not thy envious shade 

Dare itself to interpose ; 
Cynthia's shining orb was made 

Heaven to clear when day did close : 10 

Bless us then with wished sight, 
Goddess excellently bright. 

Lay thy bow of pearl apart 

And thy crystal-shining quiver; 
Give unto the flying hart 16 

Space to breathe, how short soever : 
Thou that mak'st a day of night. 
Goddess excellently bright I 

B. Jomon, 

XIX. cm. 


Whoe'er she be, 

That not impossible She 

That shall command my heart and me ; 

Where'er she lie, 

Lock'd up from mortal eye 5 

In shady leaves of destiny: 


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Till that ripe birth 

Of studied Fate stand fortli, 

And teach her fair steps tread our earth; 

Till that divine 10 

Idea take a shrine 

Of crystal flesh, through which to shine : 

— Meet you her, my Wishes, 

Bespeak her to my blisses, 

And be ye call'd, my absent kisses. 15 

I wish her beauty 

That owes not all its duty 

To gaudy tire, or glisfring shoe-tie: 

Something more than 

Tafifata or tissue can, 20 

Or rampant feather, or rich fan. 

A face that's best 

By its own beauty drest, 

And can alone command the rest: 

A face made up 25 

Out of no other shop 

Than what Nature's white hand sets ope. 

Sydnaean showers 

Of sweet discourse, whose powers 

Can crown old Winter's head with flowers. 90 

Whate'er delight 

Can make day's forehead bright 

Or give down to the wings of night. 

Soft silken hours, 

Open suns, shady bowers ; 35 

'Bove all, nothing within that lowers. 


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Days, that need borrow 

No part of their good morrow 

From a fore-spent night of sorrow: 

Days, that in spite 40 

Of darkness, by the light 

Of a clear mind are day all night 

life, that dares send 

A challenge to his end, 

And when it comes, say, 'Welcome, friend' 46 

I wish her store 

Of worth may leave her poor 

Of wishes ; and I wish no more. 

—Now, if Time knows 

That Her, whose radiant brows 00 

Weave them a garland of my vows; 

Her that dares be 

What these lines wish to see: 

I seek no farther, it is She. 

lis She, and here 56 

Lo ! I unclothe and clear 
My wishes' cloady character. 

Such worth as this is 

Shall fix my flying wishes, 

And determine them to kisses. 60 

Let her full glory. 

My fancies, fly before ye ; 

Be ye my fictions : — but her story. 

R, CrcukatOi 


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OvBR the mountains 

And over the waves, 

Under the fountains 

And under the graves; 

Under floods that are deepest, 5 

Which Neptune obey ; 

Over rocks that are steepest 

Love will find out the way. 

When there is no place 

For the glow-worm to lie ; 10 

Where there is no space 

For receipt of a fly ; 

Where the midge dares not venture 

Lest herself fast she lay ; 

If love come, he will enter 15 

And soon find out his way. 

You may esteem him 

A child for his might; 

Or you may deem him 

A coward from his flight; 20 

But if she whom love doth honour 

Be conceaFd from the day. 

Set a thousand guards upon her, 

Love will And out the way. 

Some think t-o lose him 85 

By having him confined ; 
And some do suppose him, 
Poor thing, to be blind ; 


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Biit if ne'er ao close je wall him, 

Do the best that you may, 80 

Blind love, if so ye call him. 

Win find out his way. 

You may train the eagle 
To stoop to your fist ; 

Or you may inveigle 35 

The phoenix of the east; 
The lioness, ye may move her 
To give o'er her prey ; 
But you'll ne'er stop a lover: 
He will find out his way. 40 


XXI. ov. 


Ser with what simplicity 

This nymph begins her golden daysl 

In the green grass she loves to lie, 

And there with her fair aspect tames 

The wilder flowers, and gives them names; 6 

But only with the roses plays, 

And then does tell 
What colours best become them, and what smell. 

Who can foretell for what high cause 

This darling of the Gods was born? 10 

Yet this is she whose chaster laws 

The wanton Love shall one day fear, 

And, under her command severe, 

See his bow broke, and ensigns torn. 

Happy who can 16 

Appease this virtuous enemy of man ! 


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O then let me in time compound 
And parley with those conquering ejtsSj 
Ere they have tried their force to wound ; 
Ere with their glancing wheels they drive 20 
In triumph over hearts that strive, 
And them that yield but more despise : 
Let me be laid, 
Where I may see the glories from some shade. 

Mean time, whilst every verdant thing 25 

Itself does at thy beauty charm, 
Reform the errors of the Spring; 
Make that the tulips may have share 
Of sweetness, seeing they are fair. 
And roses of their thorns disarm; 30 

But most procure 
That violets may a longer age endure. 

But O young beauty of the woods, 
Whom Nature courts with fruits and flowers. 
Gather the flowers, but spare the buds; 35 

Lest Flora, angry at thy crime 
To kill her infants in their prime, 
Should quickly make th' example yours ; 
And ere we see- 
Nip in the blossom — all our hopes and thee. 40 

A. MaarveU, 



Ah, ChlorisI could I now but sit 

As unconcem'd as when 
Your infant beauty could beget 
No happiness or pain I 


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When I the dawn used to adniiro, 6 

And praised the coming day, 
I little thought the rising fire 

Would take my rest away. 

Your charms in harmless childhood lay 

Like metals in a mine ; 10 

Age from no face takes more away 

Than youth conceal'd in thine. 
But as your charms insensibly 

To their perfection prest, ' 
So love as unperceived did fly, 16 

And centered in my breast. 

My passion with your beauty grew, 

While Cupid at my heart, 
Still as his mother favoured you, 

Threw a new flaming dart^ 20 

Each gloried in their wanton part : 

To make a lover, he 
Employed the utmost of his art — 

To make a beauty, she. 

Sir a SecUey. 



I CANNOT change, as others do. 

Though you unjustly scorn, 
Since that poor swain that sighs for you. 

For you alone was bom ; 
No, Phyllis, no, your heart to move 

A surer way TU try, — 
And to revenge my slighted love, 

Will still live on, and die. 


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When, kill'd with grief, AmintaH lies, 

And you to mind shall call 10 

The sighs that now unpitied rise, 

The tears that vainly fall, 
That welcome hour that ends his smart 

Will then begin your pain, 
For such a faithful tender heart 15 

Can never break in vain. 

J. Wilmot^ marl of Rochester. 

XXIV. oviii. 


Gather ye rose-buds while ye may, 

Old Time is still a-flying : 
And this same flower that smiles to-day 

Tomorrow will be dying. 

The glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun, 5 

The higher he's a getting 
The sooner will his race be run, 

And nearer he's to setting. 

That age is best which is the firsts 

When youth and blood are warmer; 10 

But being spent, the worse, and worst 

Times, still succeed the former. 

Then be not coy, but use your time ; 

And while you may, go marry : 
For having lost but once your prime, 15 

You may for every tarry. 

£L Henrick* 


by Google 


XXV cix 


Tell me not, Sweety I am unkind 

That from the nunnery 
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind. 

To war and arms I fly. 

True, a new mistress now I chase, 5 

The first foe in the field ; 
And with a stronger faith embrace 

A sword, a horse, a shield. 

Yet this inconstancy is such 

As you too shall adore; 10 

I could not love thee, Dear, so much. 

Loved I not Honour more. 

Colond Lovelace. 

XXVL ox. 


You meaner beauties of the night. 

That poorly satisfy our eyes 
More by your number than your lights 

You common people of the skies, 
What are you, when the Moon shall rise ? 6 

You curious chanters of the wood 
That warble forth dame Nature's lays, 

Thinking your passions understood 

By your weak accents ; what's your praise 

When Philomel her voice doth raise? 10 


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You violets that first appear, 
By your pure purple mantles known 

Like the proud virgins of the year 
As if the spring were aU your own, — 

What are you, when the Rose is blown? 16 

So when my Mistress shall be seen 
In form and beauty of her mind, 

By virtue first, then choice, a Queen, 
Tell me, if she were not design'd 

Th' eclipse and glory of her kind? 20 

Sir B. WotUm. 



Dauobtkr to that good Earl, once President 
Of England's Council and her Treasury, 
Who lived in both, unstain'd with gold or fee, 
And left them both, more in himself content. 

Till the sad breaking of that parliament 6 

Broke him, as that dishonest victory 

At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty, 

Kill'd with report that old man eloquent; — 

Though later bom than to have known the days 
Wherein your father fiourish'd, yet by you, 10 

Madam, methinks I see him living yet ; 

So well your words his noble virtues praise, 
That all both judge you to relate them true, 
And to possess them, honoured Margaret. 

«/. MUtofL 


by Google 


XXVIIl. cxiL 


He that loves a rosy cheek 

Or a coral lip admires. 
Or from star-like eyes doth seek 

Fuel to maintain his fires ; 
As old Time makes these decay, 5 

So his flames must waste away. 

But a smooth and steadfast mind, 
Gentle thoughts, and calm desires, 

Hearts with equal love combined. 
Kindle never-dying fires : — 10 

Where these are not, I despise 

Lovely cheeks or lips or eyes. 

T. Carew. 

XXIX. , cxiii. 


6w£ET, be not proud of those two eyes 
Which starlike sparkle in their skies ; 
Nor be you proud, that you can see 
All hearts your captives ; yours yet free : 
Be you not proud of that rich hair 6 

Which wantons with the lovesick air ; 
Whenas that ruby which you wear, 
Sunk from the tip of your soft ear, 
Will last to be a precious stone 
When all your world of beauty's gone. 10 

H. fferrick. 


by Google 


XXX. cxiv. 

Love in thy youth, fair Maid, be wise ; 

Old Time will make thee colder, 
And though each morning new arise 

Yet we each day grow older. 
Thou as Heaven art fair and young, 5 

Thine eyes like twin stars shining; 
But ere another day be sprung 

All these will be declining. 
Then winter comes with all his fears, 

And all thy sweets shall borrow; 10 

Too late then wilt thou shower thy tears,-- 

And I too late shall sorrow ! 


XXXL cxv. 


Go, lovely Rose: 
Tell her, that wastes her time and me, 

That now she knows, 
When I resemble her to thee, 
How sweet and fair she seems to be. 6 

Tell her that's young 
And shuns to have her graces spied. 

That hadst thou sprung 
In deserts, where no men abide, 
Thou must have uncommended died. 10 

Small is the worth 
Of beauty from the light retired : 

Bid her come forth. 
Suffer herself to be desired. 
And not blush so to be admired. 15 


by Google 

TO A ROSE. 43 

Then die ! that she 
The common fate of all things rare 

May read in thee : 
How small a part of time they share 
That are so wondroos sweet and fair I 20 

E, Waller. 

XXXIL cxvi. 


Dkink to me only with thine eyes, 

And I will pledge with mine; 
Or leave a kiss but in the cup 

And I'll not look for wine. 
The thirst that from the soul doth rise 6 

Both ask a drink divine : 
But might I of Jove's nectar sup^ 

I would not change for thine. 

I sent thee late a rosy wreath. 

Not so much honouring thee 10 

As giving it a hope that there 

It could not withered be ; 
But thou thereon didst only breathe 

And sent'st it back to me; 
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear, 15 

Not of itself but thee 1 

B. Jonson. 



There is a garden in her face 

Where roses and white lilies blow ; 

A heavenly paradise is that place. 
Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow; 


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There cherries grow that none may buy, 6 

Till Cherry-Ripe themselves do cry. 

Those cherries fairly do enclose 

Of orient pearl a double row, 
Which when her lovely laughter shows, 

They look like rose-buds fiU'd with snow : 10 
Yet them no peer nor prince may buy, 
Till Cherry-Ripe themselves do cry. 

Her eyes like angels watch them still ; 

Her brows like bended bows do stand. 
Threatening with piercing frowns to kill 15 

All that approach with eye or hand 
These sacred cherries to come nigh, 

—Till Cherry-Ripe themselves do cry ! 


XXXIV. cxviii. 


Get up, get up for shame I The blooming mom 
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn. 
See how Aurora throws her fair 
Fresh-quilted colours through the air: 
€^t up, sweet Slug-a-bed, and see 5 

The dew bespangling herb and tree. 
Each flower has wept, and bow'd tow4rd the east, 
Above an hour since ; yet you not drest, 
Nay ! not so much as out of bed ? 
When all the birds have matins said, 10 

And sung their thankful hymns : 'tis sin, 
Nay, profanation, to keep in, — 
Whenas a thousand virgins on this day, 
Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch-in May. 


by Google 


Bise; and put on your foliage, and be seen 16 

To come forth, like the Spring-time, fresh and green, 

And sweet as Flora. Take no care 

For jewels for your gown, or hair: 

Fear not; the leaves will strew 

Gems in abundance upon you : 20 

Besides, the childhood of the day has kept, 
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept: 

Come, and receive them while the light 

Hangs on the dew-locks of the night: 

And Titan on the eastern hill 26 

Retires himself, or else stands still 
Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying 
Few beads are best, when once we go a Maying. 

Come, my Corinna, come ; and coming, mark 

How each field turns a street ; each street a park 30 

Made green, and trimm'd with trees : see how 

Devotion gives each house a bough 

Or branch : Each porch, each door, ere this, 

An ark, a tabernacle is. 
Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove ; 36 

As if here were those cooler shades of love. 

Can such delights be in the street. 

And open fields, and we not see't? 

Come, we'll abroad : and let's obey 

The proclamation made for May : 40 

And sin no more, as we have done, by staying ; 
But, my Corinna, come, let's go a Maying. 

There's not a budding boy, or girl, this day, 
But is got up, and gone to bring in May. 

A deal of youth, ere this, is come 46 

Back, and with white-thorn laden home. 

Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream, 

Before that we have left to dream : 


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And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted troth, 
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth : 50 

Many a green-gown has been given ; 

Many a kiss, both odd and even : 

Many a glance too has been sent 

From out the eye, Love's firmament: 
Many a jest told of the keys betraying 66 

This night, and locks pick'd : — Yet we're not a Maying. 

— Come, let us go, while we are in our prime; 
And take the harmless folly of the time ! 

We shall grow old apace, and die 

Before we know our liberty. 60 

Our life is short and our days run 

As fast away as does the sun : — 
And as a vapour, or a drop of rain 
Once lost, can ne'er be found again : 

So when or you or I are made 66 

A fable, song, or fleeting shade; 

All love, all liking, all delight 

Lies drown'd with us in endless night. 
Then while time serves, and we are but decaying, 
Come, my Corinna ! come, let's go a Maying. 70 

R, Herrick, 

XXXV. cxix. 



A SWEET disorder in the dress 

Kindles in clothes a wantonness: — 

A lawn about the shoulders thrown 

Into a fine distractidn, — 

An erring lace, which here and there 6 

Enthrals the crimson stomacher, — 


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A cuff neglectful, and thereby 

Ribbands to flow confusedly, — 

A winning wave, deserving note, 

In the tempestuous petticoat, — 10 

A careless shoe-string, in whose tie 

I see a wild civility, — 

Do more bewitch me, than when art 

Is too precise in every part. 

R. Berriek. 



Whenas in silks my Julia goes 

Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows 

That liquefaction of her clothes. 

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see 

That brave vibration each way free ; 6 

O how that glittering taketh me ! 

R* JSerrick, 

XXXVII. cxxi. 

Mt Love in her attire doth shew her wit, 
It doth so well become her : 

For every season she hath dressings fit. 
For Winter, Spring, and Summer. 
No beauty she doth miss 
When all her robes are on : 
But Beauty's self she is 
When all her robes are gone. 



by Google 


XXXVIIL cxxii 


That which her slender waist confined 
Shall now my joyful temples bind : 
No monarch but would give his crown 
His arms might do what this has done. 

It was my Heaven's extremest sphere, 6 

The pale which held that lovely deer: 
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love 
Did all within this circle move. 

A narrow compass ! and yet there 

Dwelt all thaf s good, and all that's fair : 10 

Give me but what this ribband bound, 

Take all the rest the Sun goes round. 

E. WaUer. 

XXXIX oxxiii. 


E'bn like two little bank-dividing brooks, 

That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams, 

And having ranged and searched a thousand nooks,' 
Meet both at length in silver- breasted Thames, 
Where in a greater current they conjoin : 6 

So I my Best-Belov6d'8 am : so He is mine. 

E'en so we met; and after long pursuit. 

E'en so we join'd ; we both became entire ; 

No need for either to renew a suit, 

For I was flax and he was flames of fire : 10 

Our firm-united souls did more than twine ; 

So I my Be8t-Belov6d's am ; so he is mine. 


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If all those glittering Monarchs that oommand 
The servile quarters of this earthly ball, 

Shoald tender, in exchange, their shares of land, 16 
I would not change my fortunes for them all : 
Their wealth is but a counter to my coin : 

The world's but theirs ; but my Beloved's mine. 

F. QuarUi. 



Bid me to live, and I will live 

Thy Protestant to be : 
Or bid me love, and I will give 

A loving heart to thee. 

A heart as soft» a heart as kind, 5 

A heart a« sound and free 
As in the whole world thou canst find, 

That heart 111 give to thee. 

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay, 
To honour thy decree : 10 

Or bid it languish quite away, 
And 't shall do so for thee. 

Bid me to weep, and I will weep 

While I have eyes to see : 
And having none, yet I will keep 16 

A heart to weep for thee. 

Bid me despair, and I'll despair. 

Under that cypress tree : 
Or bid me die, and I will dare 

E'en Death, to die for thee. % 


by Google 


Thou art my life, ray love, my heart 

The very eyes of me. 
And hast command of every part, 

To live and die for thee. 

IL Merrick. 

XLL 01 XV 

Love not me for comely grace, 
For my pleasing eye or face, 
Nor for any outward part, 
No, nor for my constant heart, — 

For those may fail, or turn to ill, A 

So thou and I shall sever : 
Keep therefore a true woman's eye. 
And love me still, but know not why — 
So hast thou the same reason still 
To doat upon me ever ! 


XltTL oxxvi. 

Not, Celia, that I juster am 

Or better than the rest ; 
For I would change each hour, like them. 

Were not my heart at rest 

But I am tied to very thee 6 

By every thought I have; 
Thy face I only care to see, 

Thy heart I only crave. 

All that in woman is adored 

In thy dear self I find — 10 

For the whole sex can but afford 

The ha.ndsoi9e and the kind. 


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Why then should I seek further store, 

And still make love anew? 
When change itself can give no more, I A 

Tis easy to be true. 

Sir C. Sedley. 

XLIIL oxxvii 


When Love with unconfin^d wings 

Hovers within my gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 

To whisper at the grates ; 
Wlien I lie tangled in her hair 5 

And fettered to her eye, 
The Gods that wanton in the air 

Know uo such liberty. 

Wlien flowing cups run swiftly round 

With no allaying Thames, 10 

Our careless heads with roses crown'd, 

Our hearts with loyal flames ; 
When thirsty grief in wine we steep. 

When healths and draughts go free — 
Fishes that tipple in the deep L5 

Know no such liberty. 

Wlien like. committed linnets, I 

With shriller throat shall sing 
The sweetness, mercy, majesty 

And glories of my King ; 20 

When I shall voice aloud how good 

He is, bow great should be. 
Enlarged winds, that curl the flood, 

Know no such liberty. 


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Stone walls do not a prison make, 25 

Nor iron bars a cage ; 
Minds innocent and quiet take 

That for an hermitage : 
If I have freedom in my Ipve 

And in my soul am free, 30 

Angels alone, that soar above, 

Enjoy such liberty. 

CoUmd Lovdace. 

XLIV. oxxviii. 


If to be absent were to be 
Away from thee ; 
Or that when I am gone 
You or I were alone; 
Then, my Lucasta, might I crave 5 

Pity from blustering wind, or swallowing wave. 

But I'll not sigh one blast or gale 
To swell my sail. 
Or pay a tear to 'suage 

The foaming blue-god's rage; 10 

For whether he will let me pass 
Or no, I'm still as happy as I was. 

Though seas and land betwixt us both, 
Our faith and troth. 
Like separated souls, 15 

All time and space controls: 
Above the highest sphere we meet 
Unseen, unknown, and greet as Angels greet 


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So then we do anticipate 

Our after-fate, 20 

And are alive i' the skies, 
If thus our lips and eyes 
Can speak like spirits uncoiifined 
In Heaven, their earthy bodies left behind. 

Colond Lovelaoe. 

XLV. oxxix. 


Why so pale and wan, fond lover? 

Prythee, why so pale? 
Will, if looking well can't move her, 

Looking ill prevail? 

Prythee, why so pale? 6 

Why so dull and mute, young sinner? 

Prythee, why so mute? 
Will, when speaking well can't win her. 

Saying nothing do't? 

Prythee, why so mute? 10 

Quit, quit, for shame ! this will not move. 

This cannot take her ; 
If of herself she will not love. 

Nothing can make her : 

The D— 1 take her ! 16 

Sir J, Suclding, 



Awake, awake, ray Lyre ! 
And tell thy silent master's humble tale 
In sounds that may prevail ; 
Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire : 


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Though so exalted she 5 

And I so lowly be 
Tell her, such different notes make all thy harmony. 

Hark ! how the strings awake : 
And, though the moving hand approach not near, 

Themselves with awful fear 10 

A kind of numerous trembling make. 

Now all thy forces try ; 

Now all thy charms apply ; 
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye. 

Weak Lyre ! thy virtue sure 15 

Is useless here, since thou art only found 

To cure, but not to wound, 
And she to wound, but not to cure. 

Too weak too wilt thou prove 

My passion to remove ; 20 

Physic to other ills, thou'rt nourishment to Love. 

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre ! 
For thou canst never tell my humble tale 
In sounds that will prevail, 
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire ; 26 

All thy vain mirth lay by. 
Bid thy strings silent lie. 
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy master die. 

A, Cowley, 

XLVIL cxxxi. 


Shall I, wasting in despair, 
Die because a woman's fair? 
Or my cheeks make pale with care 
'Cause another's rosy are? 


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Be she fairer than the day 6 

Or the flowery meads in May — 

If she be not so to me 

What care I how fair she be? 

Shall my silly heart be pined 

'Cause I see a woman kind ; 10 

Or a well disposed nature 

Join^ with a lovely feature? 

Be she meeker, kinder, than 

Turtle-dove or pelican, 

If she be not so to me 15 

What care I how kind she be? 

Shall a woman's virtues move 

Me to perish for her love? 

Or her well-deservings known 

Make me quite forget mine own ? 20 

Be she with that goodness blest 

Which may gain her name of Best; 
If she seem not such to me, 
What care I how good she be? 

'Cause her fortune seems too high, 25 

Shall I play the fool and die? 
She that bears a noble mind 
If not outward helps she find, 
Thinks what with them he would do 
Who without them dares her woo; 30 

And unless that mind I see, 
What care I though great she be? 

Great or good, or kind or fair, 

I will ne'er the more despair; 

If she love me, this believe, 36 

I will die ere she sliall grieve; 


by Google 


If she slight me when I woo, 
I can scorn and let her go; 

For if she be not for me, 

What care I for whom she be? 40 

Q. Wither. 

XLYIIL oxxxii. 


Ebfiircs, all you vain delights, 

As short as are the nights 

Wherein you spend your folly : 

There's nought in this life sweet 

If man were wise to see't, 6 

But only melancholy, 

O sweetest Melancholy ! 
Welcome, folded arms, and fiz6d eyes, 
A sigh that piercing mortifies, 
A look that's fasten'd to the ground, 10 

A tongue chain'd up without a sound I 
Fountain heads and pathless groves, 
Places which pale passion loves ! 
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls 
Are warmly housed save bats and owls 1 15 

A midnight beU, a parting groan I 
These are the sounds we feed upon; 
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy vaUey ; 
Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy. 

J, FUtoher. 


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XLIX. oxxxiii. 


WALT waly up the bank, 

And waly waly down the brae, 
And waly waly yon bum-side 
Where I and my Love wont to gae ! 

1 leant my back unto an aik, 6 
I thought it was a trusty tree ; 

But first it boVd, and syne it brak, 
Sae my true Love did lichtly me. 

O waly waly, but love be bonny 

A little time while it is new ; 10 

But when 'tis auld, it wazeth cauld 

And fades awa' like morning dew. 
O wherefore should I busk my head? 

Or wherefore should I kame my hair? 
For my true Love has me forsook, 16 

And says he'll never loe me mair. 

Now Arthur-seat sail be my bed ; 

The sheets shall ne'er be prest by me : 
St. Anton's well sail be my drink. 

Since my true Love has forsaken me. 20 

Marti'mas wind, when wilt thou blaw 

And shake the green leaves aff the tree? 
O gentle Death, when wilt thou come? 

For of my life I am wearfe. 

Tis not the frost, that freezes fell, 26 

Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie ; 
'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry, 

But my Love's heart grown cauld to me. 
When we came in by Glasgow town 

We were a comely sight to see ; 30 


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My Love was clad in black velvet, 
And I mysell in cramasie. 

But had 1 wist, before I kist, 

That love had been sae ill to win ; 
I had lockt my heart in a case of gowd 35 

And pinn'd it with a siller pin. 
And, O ! if my young babe were bom. 

And set upon the nurse's knee, 
And I mysell were dead and gane, 

And the green grass growing over me ! 40 



Upon my lap my sovereign sits 
And sucks upon my breast; 
Meantime his love maintains my life 
And gives my sense her rest. 

Sing lullaby, my little boy, 5 

Sing lullaby, mine only joy ! 

When thou hast taken thy repast, 

Repose^ my babe, on me ; 

So may thy mother and thy nurse 

Thy cradle also be. 10 

Sing lullaby, my little boy, 

Sing lullaby, mine only joy ! 

I grieve that duty doth not woik 

All that my wishing would. 

Because I would not be to thee 15 

But in the best I should. 

Sing lullaby, my little boy. 

Sing lullaby, mine ojily joy I 


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Vet as I am, and as I may, 
I must and will be thine, 20 

Though all too little for thy self 
Vouchsafing to be mine. 

Sing lullaby, my little boy, 

Sing lullaby, mine only joy I 


LL oxxxy. 


I WISH I were where Helen lies; 

Night and day on me she cries; 

that I were where Helen lies 

On fair ELirconnell lea I 

Curst be the heart that thought the thought, 6 
And curst the hand that, fired the shot, 
When in my arms burd Helen dropt, 
And died to succour me 1 

think na but my heart was sair 

When my Love dropt down and spak nae mair: 10 

1 laid her down wP meikle care 

On fair Kirconnell lea. 

As I went down the water side, 
None but my foe to be my guide, 
None but my foe to be my guide^ 15 

On fair ELirconnell lea; 

I lighted down my sword to draw, 
I hack^ him in pieces sma', 
I hacked him in pieces sma'. 

For her sake that died for me. fiO 


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O Helen fair, beyond compare 1 
I'll make a garland of thy hair 
Shall bind my heart for evermair 
Until the day I die. 

that I were where Helen lies ! 26 

Night and day on me she cries; 
Out of my bed she bids me rise, 
Says, 'Haste and come to me !' 

Helen fair ! O Helen chaste ! 

If I were with thee, I were blest, 30 

Where thou lies low and takes thy rest 
On fair Kirconnell* lea. 

1 wish my grave were growing green, 
A winding-sheet drawn ower my een, 

And I in Helen's arms lying, 35 

On fair Kirconnell lea. 

I wish I were where Helen lies : 
Night and day on me she cries ; 
And I am weary of the skies. 

Since my Love died for me. 40 





As I was walking all alane 
I heard twa corbies making a mane ; 
The tane unto the t'other say, 
'Where sail we gang and dine to-day T* 


by Google 


'—In behint jon auld fail dyke, 6 

I wot there lies a new-slain Knight; 
And naebody kens that he lies there, 
But his hawkf his hound, and lady fair. 

'His hound is to the hunting gane, 
His hawk to fetch the wild -fowl hame, 10 

His lady's ta'en another mate, 
So we may mak our dinner sweet. 

'Ye'U sit on his white hause-bane, 
And 111 pick out his bonny blue eeu ; 
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair 16 

Well theek our nest when it grows bare. 

'Mony a one for him makes mane, 
But nane sail ken where he is gane ; 
O'er his white banes, when they are bare, 
The wind sail blaw for evermair.' 20 


LIII. oxxxvii. 


It was a dismal and a fearful night, — 

Scarce could the Morn drive on th' unwilling light, 

When sleep, death's image, left my troubled breast, 

By something liker death possest. 
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow, 6 

And on my soul hung the dull weight 

Of some intolerable fate. 
What bell was that] Ah me I Too much I know I 


by Google 


My sweet companion, and my gentle peer, 

Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here, 10 

Thy end for ever, and my life, to moan? 

O thou hast left me all alone t 
Thy soul and body, when death's agony 

Besieged around thy noble heart. 

Did not with more reluctance part 15 

Than I, my dearest friend, do part from thee. 

Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say, 

Have ye not seen us walking every day ? 

Was there a tree about which did not know 

The love betwixt us two? 20 

Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade, 
Or your sad branches thicker join, 
And into darksome shades combine, 

Dark as the grave wherein my friend is laid. 

Large was his soul ; as large a soul as e'er 25 

Submitted to inform a body here ; 

High as the place 'twas shortly in Heaven to have, 

But low and humble as his grave ; 
So high that all the virtues there did come 

As to the chiefest seat 30 

Conspicuous, and great ; 
So low that for me too it made a room. 

Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught, 

As if for him knowledge had rather sought ; 

Nor did more learning ever crowded lie 35 

In such a short mortality. 
Whene'er the skilful youth discoursed or writ, 

Still did the notions throng 

About his eloquent tongue ; 
Nojf could bis ink flow faster than his wi^. 40 


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His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit, 

Yet never did his God or friends forget. 

And when deep talk and wisdom came in view, 

Retired, and gave to them their due. 
For the rich help of books he always took, 45 

Though his own searching mind before 

Was so with notions written o'er, 
As if wise Nature had made that her book. 

With as much zeal, devotion, piety, 

He always lived, as other saints do die. 50 

Still with his soul severe account he kept, 

Weeping all debts out ere he slept. 
Then down in peace and innocence he lay, 

Like the sun's laborious light, 

Which still in water sets at night, 55 

Unsullied with his journey of the day. 

A. Cowley. 

LIV. cxxxviii. 


Thet are all gone into the world of light 1 

And I alone sit lingering here ; 
Their very memory is fair and bright, 

And my sad thoughts doth clear: — 

Tt glows and glitters in my cloudy breast, 5 

Like stars upon some gloomy grove, 
Or those faint beams in which this hill is dreat. 
After the sun's remove. 

I see them walking in an air of glory. 

Whose light doth trample on my days : 10 

My days, which are at best but dull and hoary, 
Mere glimmering and decays. 


by Google 


O holy Hope ! and high Humility, 

High as the heavens above ! 
These are your walks, and you have shew'd them me, 
To kindle my cold love. 16 

Dear, beauteous Death ! the jewel of the just, 

Shining no where, but in the dark ; 
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust, 

Could man outlook that mark ! 80 

He that hath found some fledged bird's nest, may know 

At first sight, if the bird be flown ; 
But what fair well or grove he sings in now, 
That is to him unknown. 

And yet, as Angels in some brighter dreams 26 

Gall to the soul, when man doth sleep ; 
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes, 
And into glory peep. 

H. Vaughan, 

LV. cacxnx. 


Fair pledges of a fruitful tree, 

Why do ye fall so fast? 

Your date is not so past, 
But you may stay yet here awhile 

To blush and gently smile, 6 

And go at last. 

What, were ye born to be 

An hour or half s delight, 

And so to bid good-night? 
T?was pity Nature brought ye forth 10 


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Merely to show your worth, 
And lose yoa quite. 

But you are lovely leaves^ where we 
May read how soon things have 
Their end, though ne'er so brave: 16 

And after they have shown their pride 
like yon, awhile, they glide 
Into the grave. 

JL Herrick^ 



Fair Daffodils, we weep to see 

Yon haste away so soon: 
As yet the early-rising Sun 

Has not attain'd his noon« 

Stay, stay, 6 

Until the hasting day 
Has run 

But to the even-song ; 
And, having pray'd together, we 

Will go with you along. 10 

We have short time to stay, as you. 

We have as short a Spring; 
As quick a growth to meet decay 
As you, or anything. 

We die, 16 

As your hours do, and dry 

Like to the Summer's rain; 
Or as the pearls of morning's dew 

Ne'er to be found again. 20 

R. Herrick, 

O.T. II, « 


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With sweeteRt mUk and sugar first 

I it at my own fingers nursed ; 

And as it grew, so every day 

It wax'd more white and sweet than they — 

It had so sweet a breath 1 and oft 5 

I blush'd to see its foot more soft 

And white, — shall I say, — than my hand? 

Nay, any lady's of the land ! 

It is a wondrous thing how fleet 

'Twas on those little silver feet: 10 

With what a pretty skipping grace 

It oft would challenge me the race: — 

And when 't had left me far away 

'Twould stay, and run again, and stay: 

For it was nimbler much than hinds, 15 

And trod as if on the four winds. 

I have a garden of my own, 

But so with roses overgrown 

And lilies, that you would it guess 

To be a little wilderness : 20 

And all the spring-time of the year 

It only lov6d to be there. 

Among the beds of lilies I 

Have sought it oft, where it should lie ; 

Yet could not, till itself would rise, 25 

Find it, although before mine eyes : — 

For in the flaxen lilies' shade 

It like a bank of lilies laid. 

Upon the roses it would feed. 

Until its lips e'en seem'd to bleed : 90 


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And then to me 'twould boldly trip, 

And print those rosea on mj lip. 

But all its chief delight was still 

On roses thus itself to fill, 

And its pure virgin limbs to fold 35 

In whitest sheets of lilies oold : — 

Had it lived long, it would have been 

Lilies without — roses within. 

A. MarvelL 

LVin. oxLii. 


How vainly men themselves amaze 

To win the palm, the oak, or bays, 

And their uncessant labour see 

Crown'd from some single herb or tree, 

Whose short and narrow-vergM shade 6 

Does prudently their toils upbraid ; 

While all the flowers and trees do close 

To weave the garlands of Repose. 

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here, 

And Innocence thy sister dear? 10 

Mistaken long, I sought you then 

In busy companies of men : 

Your sacred plants, if here below, 

Only among the plants will grow : 

Society is all but rude 15 

To this delicious solitude. 

No white nor red was ever seen 
So amorous as this lovely green. 


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'Fond lovers, cruel as their flame, 
Cut in these trees their mistress' name : 20 

Little, alas, they know or heed 
How far these beauties hers exceed! 
Fair trees ! wheres'e'er your barks I wound, 
No name shall but your own be found. 

When we have run our passions' heat 25 

Love hither makes his best retreat : 

The gods, who mortal beauty chase, 

Still in a tree did end their race : 

Apollo himted Daphne so 

Only that she might laurel grow : 30 

And Pan did after Syrinx speed 

Not as a nymph, but for a reed. 

What wondrous life is this I lead I 

Bipe apples drop about my head ; 

The luscious clusters of the vine 35 

Upon my mouth do crush their wine ; 

The nectarine and curious peach 

Into my hands themselves do reach ; 

Stumbling on melons, as I pass, 

Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass. 40 

Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less 

Withdraws into its happiness ; 

The mind, that ocean where each kind 

Does straight its own resemblance find ; 

Yet it creates, transcending these, 45 

Far other worlds, and other seas ; 

Amiihilating all that's made 

To a green thought in a green shad& 

Here at the fountain's sliding foot 

Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root, 50 


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Casting the body's vest aside 

My soul into the boughs does glide ; 

There, like a bird, it sits and sings, 

Then whets and claps its silver wings, 

And, till prepared for longer flight, 56 

Waves in its plumes the various light. 

Such was that happy Qarden-state 

While man there walked without a mate : 

After a place so pure and sweet. 

What other help coidd yet be meet ! (K) 

But 'twas beyond a mortal's share 

To wander solitary there : 

Two paradises 'twere in one. 

To live in Paradise alone. 

How well the skilful gardener drew 65 

Of flowers and herbs this dial new 1 
Where, from above, the milder sun 
Does through a fragrant zodiac run : 
And, as it works, th' industrious bee 
Computes its time as well as we. 70 

How could such sweet and wholesome hours 
Be reckon'd, but with herbs and flowers ! 

A, MarvdL 

LIX. cxLiii 


Jack and Joan, they think no ill, 
But loving live, and merry still; 
Do their week-day's work, and pray 
Devoutly on the holy-day : 


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Skip and trip it on the green, 6 

And help to choose the Summer Queen ; 
Lash out at a country feast 
Their silver penny with the best 

Well can they judge of nappy ale, 

Ajid tell at large a winter tale; 10 

Climb up to the apple loft, 

And turn Jbhe crabs till they be soft. 

Tib is all the father's joy, 

And little Tom the mother's boy : — 

AJl their pleasure is, Content, 15 

And care, to pay their yearly rent. 

Joan can call by name her cows 

And deck her windows with green boughs; 

She can wreaths and tutties make. 

And trim with plums a bridal cake. 20 

Jack knows what brings gain or loss, 

And his long fiail can stoutly toss : 

Makes the hedge which others break, 

And ever thinks what he doth speak. 

— Now, you courtly dames and knights, 26 

That study only strange delights, 

Though you scorn the homespun gray, 

And revel in your rich array; 

Though your tongues dissemble deep 

And can your heads from danger keep; 30 

Yet, for all your pomp and train. 

Securer lives the silly swain ! 

71 Campion, 


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Hbnce, loathed Melancholy, 

Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight bom 
In Stygian cave forlorn 

'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights 
unholy I 
Find out some uncouth cell, 5 

Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous 
And the night-raven sings ; 

There, under ebon shades and low-browed rocks, 
As ragged as thy locks, 

In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell 10 

But come, thou Goddess fair and free, 
In heaven yclept Euphrosyne, 
And by men heart-easing Mirth ; 
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth, 

With two sister Graces more, 15 

To ivy -crowned Bacchus bore : 
Or whether (as some sager sing) 
The frolic wind that breathes the spring, 
Zephyr, with Aurora playing, 

As he met her once a-Maying, 20 

There, on beds of violets blue. 
And fresh-blown roses washed in dew, 
Filled her with thee, a daughter fair, 
So buxom, blithe, and debonair. 

Haste thee. Nymph, and bring with thee 25 

Jest, and youthful jollity, 
Quips and cranks and wanton wiles, 
Nods and becks and wreathM smiles, 
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, 
And love to live in dimple sleek ; 30 


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Sport that wrinkled Care derides, 

And Laughter holding both his sides, 

Come, and trip it, as you go, 

On the light fantastic toe ; 

And in thy right hand lead with thee 35 

The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty ; 

And, if I give thee honour due, 

Mirth, admit me of thy crew. 

To live with her, and live with thee, 

In unreproved pleasures free ; 40 

To hear the lark begin his flight. 

And, singing, startle the dull night, 

From his watch-tower in the skies. 

Till the dappled dawn doth rise. 

Then to come, in spite of sorrow, 45 

And at my window bid good-morrow, 

Through the sweet-briar or the vine, 

Or the twisted eglantine ; 

"While the cock, with lively din, 

Scatters the rear of darkness thin ; 50 

And to the stack, or the barn-door, 

Stoutly struts his dames before : 

Oft listening how the hounds and horn 

Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn. 

From the side of some hoar hill, 55 

Through the high wood echoing shrill 

Sometime walking, not unseen, 

By hedgerow elms, on hillocks green, 

Right against the eastern gate 

Where the great Sun begins his state, 60 

Robed in flames and amber light, 

The clouds in thousand liveries dight ; 

While the ploughman, near at hand. 

Whistles o'er the furrowed land. 

And the milkmaid singeth blithe, 65 

And the mower whets his scythe, 


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And every Ahepherd tells his tale 

Under the hawthorn in the dale. 

Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, 

Whilst the landskip round it measures : 70 

Busset lawns, and fallows gray, 

Where the nibbling flocks do stray ; 

Mountains on whose barren breast 

The labouring clouds do often rest ; 

Meadows trim, with daisies pied ; 76 

Shallow brooks, and rivers wide ; 

Towers and battlements it sees 

Bosomed high in tufted trees, 

^Where perhaps some beauty lies. 

The cynosure of neighbouring eyes. 80 

Hard by a cottage chimney smokes 

From betwixt two aged oaks, 

Where Corydon and Thyrsis met 

Are at their savouiy dinner set 

Of herbs and other country messes, 85 

Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses ; 

And then in haste her bower she leaves, 

With Thestylis to bind the sheaves ; 

Or, if the earlier season lead, 

To the tamied haycock in the mead. DO 

Sometimes, with secure delight. 

The upland hamlets will invite, 

When the merry bells ring round, 

And the jocund rebecks sound 

To many a youth and many a maid 95 

Dancing in the chequered shade. 

And young and old come forth to play 

On a sunshine holiday. 

Till the livelong daylight fail : 

Then to the spicy nut-brown ale, 100 

With stories told of many a feat, 

How Faery Mab the junkets eat. 


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She was pinched and pulled, she said ; 

And he, by Friar's lantern led, 

Tells how the drudging goblin sweat 106 

To earn his cream-bowl duly set, 

When in one night, ere glimpse of mom, 

His shadowy flail had threshed the com 

That ten day-labourers could not end ; 

Then lies him down, the lubber fiend, 110 

And, stretched out all the chimney's length, 

Basks at the fire his hairy strength, 

And crop-full out of doors he flings, 

Ere the first cock his matin rings. 

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep, 115 

By whispering winds soon lulled asleep. 

Towered cities please us then, 

And the busy hum of men, 

Where throngs of knights and barons boldj 

In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold, 120 

With store of ladies, whose bright eyes 

Rain influence, and judge the prize 

Of wit or arms, while both contend 

To win her grace, whom all commend 

There let Hymen oft appear 125 

In saffron robe, with taper clear, 

And pomp, and feast, and revelry, 

With mask and antique ^pageantry ; 

Such sights as youthful poets dream 

On summer eves by haunted stream. 130 

Then to the well-trod stage anon, 

If Jonson's learned sock be on, 

Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child, 

Warble his native wood-notes wild. 

And ever, against eating cares, 135 

Lap me in soft Lydian airs, 

Married to immortal verse, 

Such as the meeting soul may pierce, 


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In notes with many a winding bout 

Of linked sweetness long drawn out 140 

With wanton heed and giddy cunning, 

The melting voice through mazes running 

Untwisting all the chains that tie 

The hidden soul of harmony ; 

That Orpheus' self may heave his head 146 

From golden slumber on a bed 

Of heaped Elysian flowers, and hear 

Such strains as would have won the ear 

Of Pluto to have quite set free 

His half -regained Eurydice. 160 

These delights if thou canst give, 

Mirth, with thee I mean to live. 

•/. Milton, 



Hence, vain deluding Joys, 

The. brood of Folly without father bred! 
How little you bested. 

Or fill the fixM mind with all your toysl 
Dwell in some idle brain, 6 

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, 
As thick and numberless 

As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, 
Or likest hovering dreams, 

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. 10 

But, hail ! thou Goddess sage and holy 1 
Hail, divinest Melancholy I 
Whose saintly visage is too bright 
To hit the sense of human sight, 


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And therefore to our weaker view 15 

Overlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue; 

Black, but such as in esteem 

Prince Memnon's sister might beseem, 

Or that starred Ethiop queen that strove 

To set her beauty's praise above 20 

The Sea-Nymphs, and their powers offended. 

Yet thou art higher far descended : 

Thee bright-haired Vesta long of yore 

To solitary Saturn bore ; 

His daughter she : in Saturn's reign 25 

Such mixture was not held a stain. 

Oft m glimmering bowers and glades 

He met her, and in secret shades 

Of woody Ida's inmost grove. 

Whilst yet there was no fear of Jove. 30 

Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure, 

Sober, steadfast, and demure. 

All in a robe of darkest grain. 

Flowing with majestic train, 

And sable stole of cypress lawn 35 

Over thy decent shoulders drawn. 

Come ; but keep thy wonted state, 

With even step, and musing gait, 

And looks commercing with the skies, 

Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes: 40 

There, held in holy passion still, 

Forget thyself to marble, till 

With a sad leaden downward cast 

Thou fix them on the earth as fast 

And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet, 45 

Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet. 

And hears the Muses in a ring 

Aye round about Jove's altar sing ; 

And add to these retired Leisure, 

Tliat in trim gardens takes his pleasure ; 50 


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But, first and chiefest, with thee bring 

Him that yon soars on golden wing, 

Gaiding the fiery-wheelM throne, 

The Cherub Contemplation ; 

And the mute Silence hist along, 55 

'Less Philomel will deign a song, 

In her sweetest saddest plight, 

Smoothing the rugged brow of Night, 

While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke 

Qently o'er the accustomed oak. 60 

Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly, 

Most musical, most melancholy ! 

Thee, chauntress, oft the woods among 

I woo, to hear thy even-lK>ng ; 

And, missing thee, I walk unseen 65 

On the dry smooth>shaven green, 

To behold the wandering moon, 

Biding near her highest noon, 

Like one that had been led astray 

Through the heaven's wide pathless way, 70 

And oft, as if her head she bowed. 

Stooping through a fleecy cloud 

Oft, on a plat of rising ground, 

I hear the far-off curfew sound. 

Over some wide-watered shore, 76 

Swinging slow with sullen roar; 

Or, if the air will not permit. 

Some still removM place will fit. 

Where glowing embers through the room 

Teach light to counterfeit a gloom, 80 

Far from all resort of mirth, 

Save the cricket on the hearth, 

Or the bellman's dropsy charm 

To bless the doors from nightly harm. 

Or let my lamp, at midnight hour, 85 

Be seen in some high lonely tower, 


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Where I may oft outwatch the Bear, 

With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere 

The spirit of Plato, to unfold 

What worlds or what vast regions hold 90 

The immortal mind that hath forsook 

Her mansion in this fleshly nook ; 

And of those demons that are found 

In fire, air, flood, or underground, 

Whose power hath a true consent 96 

With planet or with element. 

Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy 

In septred pall come sweeping by, 

Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line, 

Or the tale of Troy divine, 100 

Or what (though rare) of later age 

Ennobled hath the buskined stage. 

But, O sad Virgin I that thy power 

Might raise Musseus from his bower; 

Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing 105 

Such notes as, warbled to the string, 

Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek, 

And made Hell grant what love did seek ; 

Or call up him that left half-told 

The story of Cambuscan bold, 110 

Of Camball, and of Algarsife, 

And who had Canacd to wife. 

That owned the virtuous ring and glass, 

And of the wondrous horse of brass 

On which the Tartar king did ride; 116 

And if aught else great bards beside 

In sage and solemn tunes have sung, 

Of turneys, and of trophies hung. 

Of forests, and enchantments drear, 

Where more is meant than meets the ear. 120 

Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career, 

Till civil- Buited Mom appear, 


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Not tricked and frounced, as she was wont 

With the Attic boy to hunt, 

But kerchieft in a comely cloud, 126 

While rocking winds are piping loud, 

Or ushered with a shower still, 

When the gust hath blown his fill, 

Ending on the rustling leaves. 

With minute drops from off the eaves. 130 

And, when the sun begins to fling 

His flaring beams, me. Goddess, bring 

To archM walks of twilight groves. 

And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves. 

Of pine, or monumental oak, 135 

Where the rude axe with heavM stroke 

Was never heard the nymphs to daunt, 

Or fright them from their hallowed haunt 

There, in close covert, by some brook, 

Where no profaner eye may look, 140 

Hide me from day's garish eye, 

While the bee with honeyed thigh, 

That at her flowery work doth sing. 

And the waters murmuring, 

With such consort as they keep, 145 

Entice the dewy-feathered Sleep. 

And let some strange mysterious dream 

Wave at his wings, in airy stream 

Of lively portraiture displayed. 

Softly on my eyelids laid ; 150 

And, as I wake, sweet music breathe 

Above, about, or underneath. 

Sent by some Spirit to mortals good, 

Or the unseen Genius of the wood. 

But let my due feet never fail 165 

To walk the studious cloister's pale, 

And love the high embowld roof, 

With antique pillars massy proof, 


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And storied windows richly dight, 

Casting a dim religious light. 160 

There let the pealing organ blow, 

To the full-voiced quire below, 

In service high and anthems clear, 

As may with sweetness, through mine ear, 

Dissolve me into ecstasies, 165 

And bring all heaven before mine eye& 

And may at last my weary age 

Find out the peaceful hermitage, 

The hairy gown and mossy cell. 

Where I may sit and rightly spell 170 

Of every star that heaven doth shew, 

And every herb that sips the dew, 

Till old experience do attain 

To something like prophetic strain. 

These pleasures. Melancholy, give ; 175 

And I with thee will choose to live. 

•/. Milton, 



Where the remote Bermudas ride 

In the ocean's bosom unespied. 

From a small boat that row'd along 

The listening winds received this song. 

'What should we do but sing His praise 5 

That led us through the watery maze 

Where He the huge sea monsters wracks, 

That lift the deep upon their backs, 

Unto an isle so long unknown, 

And yet far kinder than our own? 10 


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He lands us on a grassy stage, 

Safe from the storms, and prelate's rage: 

He gave us this eternal Spring 

Which here enamels everything, 

And sends the fowls to us in care 16 

On daily visits through the air. 

He hangs in shades the orange bright 

Like golden lamps in a green night, 

And does in the pomegranates close 

Jewels more rich than Ormus shows : 20 

He makes the figs our mouths to meet, 

And throws the melons at our feet ; 

But apples, plants of such a price, 

No tree could ever bear them twice. 

With cedars chosen by His hand 25 

From Lebanon He stores the land ; 

And makes the hollow seas that roar 

Proclaim the ambergris on shore. 

He cast (of which we rather boast) 

The Gospel's pearl upon our coast ; 30 

And in these rocks for us did frame 

A temple where to sound His nama 

Oh I let our voice His praise exalt 

Till it arrive at Heaven's vault. 

Which thence (perhaps) rebounding may 35 
Echo beyond the Mexique bay ! ' 
— ^Thus sung they in the English boat 
A holy and a cheerful note : 
Ajid all the way, to guide their chime. 
With falling oars they kept the time. 40 

A. MarveU. 

o.T. n, 


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Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy, 
Sphere-bom harmonious Sisters, Voice and Veree ! 
Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ, 
Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce; 
And to our high -raised phantasy present 5 

That undisturbed Song of pure concent 
Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne 

To Him that sits thereon, 
With saintly shout and solemn jubilee; 
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row 10 

Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow ; 
And the Cherubic host in thousand quires 
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires, 
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms, 

Hymns devout and holy psalms 15 

Singing everlastingly : 
That we on Earth, with undiscording voice 
May rightly answer that melodious noise ; 
As once we did, till disproportion'd sin 
Jarr*d against nature's chime, and with harsh din 20 
Broke the fair music that all creatures made 
To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayd 
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood 
In first obedience, and their state of good. 
O may we soon again renew that Song, 25 

And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long 
To his celestial consort us unite, 
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light ! 

/. Milton^ 


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LXIV. cxLviii. 


Whbn I survey the bright 
Celestial sphere : 
So rich with jewels hung, that night 
Doth like an Ethiop bride appear; 

My soul her wings doth spread, 6 

And heaven- ward flies, 
The Almighty's mysteries to read 
In the large volumes of the skie& 

For the bright firmament 

Shoots forth no flame 10 

So silent, but is eloquent 
In speaking the Creator's name. 

No unregarded star 
Contracts its light 
Into so small a character, 16 

Removed far from our human sight. 

But if we steadfast look. 
We shall discern 
In it as in some holy book. 
How man may heavenly knowledge learn. 20 

It tells the Conqueror, 

That far-stretch'd power 
Which his proud dangers trafiic for, 
Is but the triumph of an hour. 

That from the farthest North 25 

Some nation may 
Yet undiscover'd issue forth, 
And o'er his new-got conquest sway. 


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Some nation yet shut in 

With hilla of ice, 30 

May be let out to scourge his sin, 
Till they shall equal him in vice. 

And then they likewise shall 
Their ruin have ; 
For as yourselves your Empires fall, 35 

And every Kingdom hath a grave. 

Thus those celestial fires, 
Though seeming mute. 
The fallacy of our desires 
And all the pride of life, confute. 40 

For they have watch'd since first 
The World had birth : 
And found sin in itself accursed. 
And nothing permanent on earth. 

W, ffabingion. 

LXV. oxLix. 


Hail thou most sacred venerable thing 1 
What Muse is worthy thee to sing? 
Thee, from whose pregnant universal womb 
All things, ev'n Light, thy rival, first did come. 
What dares he not attempt that sings of thee, 5 

Thou first and greatest mystery ? 
Who can the secrets of thy essence tell? 
Thou, like the light of God, art inaccessible. 


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Before great Love this monument did raise, 
This ample theatre of praise; 10 

Before the folding circles of the eHej 

Were tuned hj Him, Who is all harmony; 

Before the morning Stars their hymn began, 
Before the council held for man, 

Before the birth of either time or place, 15 

Thou reign'st unquestioned monarch in the empty space. 

Thy native lot thou didst to Light resign, 

But still half of the globe is thine. 
Here with a quiet, but yet awful hand. 
Like the best emperors thou dost command. 20 

To thee the stars above their brightness owe, 

And mortals their repose below : 
To thy protection fear and sorrow flee, 
And those that weary are of light, find rest in thee. 

•/. Noi-ris of Bamertoii. 



I SAW Eternity the other night, 

Like a great ring of pure and endless light, 

All calm, as it was bright : — 
And round beneath it. Time, in hours, days, years. 

Driven by the spheres, 5 

Like a vast shadow moved ; in which the World 

And all her train were hurl'd. 

H, Vauffkan. 


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TwAS at the royal feast for Persia won 

By Philip's warlike sou— 

Aloft in awful state 

The godlike hero sate 

On his imperial throne; 6 

His valiant peers were placed around, 

Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound 

(So should desert in arms be crown'd); 

The lovely Thais by his side 

Sate like a blooming Eastern bride 10 

In flower of youth and beauty's pride : — 

Happy, happy, happy pair! 

None but the brave 

None but the brave 

None but the brave deserves the fair! 15 

Timotheus, placed on high 
Amid the tuneful quire. 
With flying fingers touched the lyre : 
The trembling notes ascend the sky 

And heavenly joys inspire. 20 

The song began from Jove 
Who left his blissful seats above— 
Such is the power of mighty love ! 
A dragon's fiery form belied the god ; 
Sublime on radiant spires he rode 25 

When he to fair Olympia prest. 
And while he sought her snowy breast ; 
Then round her slender waist he curl'd, 
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the world. 


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—The listening crowd admire the lofty sound ! 30. 

A present deity 1 they shout around : 

A present deity 1 the vaulted roofs i-eboond 1 

With ravish'd ears 

The monarch hears, 

Assumes the god, 35 

Affects to nod 

And seems to shake the spheres. 

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung, 
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young: 
The jolly god in triumph comes ! 40 

Sound the trumpets, beat the drums t 
Flush'd with a purple grace 
He shows his honest face : 

Now give the hautboys breath ; he comes, he comes 1 
Bacchus, ever fair and young, 45 

Drinking joys did first ordain ; 
Bacchus* blessings are a treasure. 
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure : 
Rich the treasure, 

Sweet the pleasure, 50 

Sweet is pleasure after pain. 

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain ; 
Fought all his battles o'er again ; 
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the 

slain ! 
The master saw the madness rise, 55 

His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ; 
And while he Heaven and Earth defied 
Changed his hand and check'd his pride. 
He chose a mournful Muse 

Soft pity to infuse : 60 

He sung Darius great and good, 


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By too severe a fate 

Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen, 

Fallen from his high estate. 

And weltering in his blood ; 66 

Deserted, at his utmost need, 

By those his former bounty fed ; 

On the bare earth exposed he lies 

With not a friend to close his eyes. 

— With downcast look the joyless victor sate, 70 

Revolving in his alter'd soul 

The various turns of Chance below ; 

And now and then a sigh he stole, 

And tears began to flow. 

The mighty master smiled to see 75 

That love was in the next degree ; 
'Twas but a kindred sound to move, 
For pity melts the mind to love. 
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures 
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasurea 80 

War, he sung, is toil and trouble, 
Honour but an empty bubble, 
Never ending, still beginning ; 
Fighting still, and still destroying ; 
If the world be worth thy winning, • 85 

Think, O think, it worth enjoying : 
Lovely Thais sits beside thee, 
Take the good the gods provide thee 1 
— ^The many rend the skies with loud applause ; 
So Love was crown'd, but Music won the cause. 90 
The prince, unable to conceal his pain, 
Gkized on the fair 
Who caused his care, 
And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd, 
Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again : 96 

At length with love and wine at once opprest 
The vaiiQuish'd victor sunk upon her breast 


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Now strike the golden lyre again .- 
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain ! 
Break his bands of sleep asunder 100 

And rouse him like a rattling peal of thunder: 
Hark, hark ! the horrid sound 
Has raised up his head : 
As awaked from the dead 

And amazed he stares around. 105 

Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries, 
See the Furies arise ! 
See the snakes that they rear, 
How they hiss in their hair. 

And the sparkles that flash from their eyes ! 110 

Behold a ghastly band 
Each a torch in his hand ! 

Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain 
And unburied remain 

Inglorious on the plain : 116 

Give the vengeance due 
To the valiant crew ! 

Behold how they toss their torches on high, 
How they point to the Persian abodes 
And glittering temples of their hostile gods. 120 

— The princes applaud with a furious joy ; 
And the King seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy ; 
Thais led the way 
To light him to his prey, 
And like another Helen, fired another Troy 1 125 

— Thus, long ago, 

Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow, 

While organs yet were mute, 

Timotheus, to his breathing flute 

And sounding lyre • 130 

Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire. 


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At last divine Cecilia came, 

Inveiitress of the vocal frame ; 

The sweet enthusiast from her sacred fitore 

Enlarged the former narrow bounds, 135 

And added length to solemn sounds, 

With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before. 

— Let old Timotheus yield the prize 

Or both divide the crown ; 

He raised a mortal to the skies ; 140 

She drew an angel down ] 

J. Dryden. 


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This division, embracing the latter eighty years of the Seven- 
teenth century, contains the close of our £arly poetical style 
and the commencement of the Modem. 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 consumma- 
tion of the early period. Their splendid 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 Foetry. Our Muses now give 
expression to political feeling, to religious thought, to a high 
philosophic statesmanship in writers such as Maxell, 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 thou^^t, 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 Bums 
and Gowper. — ^lliat the change from our early style to the 
modem brought with it at first a loss of nature and simplicity is 
tmdeniable: yet the far 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. 



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No. I. 


This Ode was conceived very early in the morning of Christmas 
Day, 1629, when Milton had lately passed his twenty -first year, 
and was in his sixth academic year at Cambridge. In his sixth 
elegy, addressed to his friend Charles Diodati, the poet thus 
alludes to the composition of the Ode : 

" Wouldst thou (perhaps 'tis hardly worth thine ear), 
• Wouldst thou be told my occupation here ? 
The promised king of peace employs my pen. 
The eternal covenant made for guUty men, 
The new-bom deity with infant cries 
Filling the sordid hovel where he lies ; 
The hymning angels, and the herald star, 
That lead the wise, who soucht him from afar, 
And idols on their own unhallowed shore, 
Dashed, at his birth, to be revered no more, 
This theme, on reeds of Albion I rehearse, 
The dawn of that blest day inspired the verse ; " etc. 

{Gowper^s Translation). 

In the previous year he had addressed his native lan^age in a 
Vacation Exercise and expressed his wish to find a subject suited 
to his muse and to the capabilities of the language — uie " reeds 
of Albion:" 

'* Yet had I rather, if I were to choose, 
Thy service in some graver subject use, 
Such as may make thee search thy cofifers round. 
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound : 
Such where the deep transported mind may soar 
Above the wJieeling poles, and at Heaven* s door 
Look in," 

Christ's nativity was that * graver subject,' which suited the 
character of his muse so well that the result was what Hallam con- 
sidered to be perhaps the finest ode iu the English language. **A 
grandeur, a simplicity, a breadth of manner, an imagination at 
once elevated and restrained by the subject, reign throughout it. 
If Pindar is a model of lyric poetry, it woulabe hard to name 
any other ode so truly Pindaric ; but more has natuitiUy been 
derived from the Scriptures." This mixture of classical and 
Biblical influences is illustrated in the accompanying notes ; the 
key-note of the poem is struck when Nature, with all the religions 
of antiquity, is treated as guilty — as representing a fallen world 
which is to be redeemed by '' the mighty Pan.'' 


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I. IrOroductum, 

1. Occasion of the poem : 

(a) Time and iPorpose of the Nativity, - lines 1-7 
(h) The manner of it, 8-14 

2. Poet's address to his Muse : 

The Wise Men of the East come to worship 
Christ, angels praise him, and hast thon 
no offering ? 16-28 

II. The Hymn. 

1. Guilty Nature fears his coming, - - - 29-44 

2. But Peace is his harbinger, .... 45-52 

(a) Wars have ceased, .... 63-60 

(6) The winds and waters are at rest, - 61-68 

(c) The stars are fixed "with deep amaze," 69-76 

(d) The sun withholds **his wonted speed," 77-84 
(c) The shepherds sit " simply chatting," - 85-92 

3. Heavenly Music announces him. 

(a) The music described, - - - - 93-100 
(6) Its effects on Nature, - - - .- 101-108 
(c) Its accompaniments, - . - - 109-116 
{d) Such music never before lieard, except 

at the Creation of the Universe, - - 117-124 
(There is here a skilful transition from the heavenly 
music to the thought of "the music of the 

4. What would follow if "the Music of the 

Spheres " could be heard now, - - 125-148 

(a) The Age of Gold would return. 
(h) Vanity would die. 
(c) Sin would melt away. 
{d) Hell itself would pass away. 

5. Why this is at present impossible i 

(a) Christ must die on the Cross, - - 149-154 
(6) The trump of doom must soimd, - • 155-162 

(e) The Last Judgment must be held, when 

our bliss will be perfect, - - - 163-166 

6. What has actually occurred : 

(a) The old Dragon is bound, - . . 167-172 
(6) The heathen Oracles are dumb, and the 
gods routed, like ghosts at sunrise : — 

i. Those of Greece and Rome, - 173-196 
ii. Those of Syria, - - - . 197-210 
iii. Those of Egypt, - - - 211-236 
(c) The Heavenly Babe sleeps attended by 

angels, ' 237-244 


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In 1630 Milton wrote a fragment on The Passion^ in the open- 
ing stanza of which he thus alludes to the Nativity Ode : 

*' Erewhile of music, and ethereal mirth, 
Wherewith the stage of Air and Earth did ring. 
And joyous news of Heavenly Infantas birth, 
My muse with Angels did divide to sing." 

From this poem and from the lines Upon the Circumcision it has 
been thought that the poet intended to write a series of Odes on 
the great festivals of the Christian Church. The reason he 
gives for having failed to complete that on T?ie Passion is as 
follows : "'This subject the author finding to be above the years 
he had when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was 
begun, left it unfinished." 

The Vebsb. 

The Introduction consists of four stanzas of seven lines — ^the 
first six decasyllabic (5xa), the seventh an Alexandrine {6xa), 
The same stanza had already been used by Milton in his poem 
On the Death of a Fair Infant (1626), and it is similar to that in 
which Spenser wrote his Fcmr Hymns, Ruins of Time, etc. , and 
Shakespeare his Lucrece. But Spenser's form is decasyllabic 
throughout, the break between the stanzas being therefore less 
distinctly marked than in Milton's poem. The rhyme formula, 
however, is the same in both, viz. ahahhcc. The earlier form 
was used by Chaucer (see Clerk*s Tale, TroUus and Cresseide, 
etc.), and was the favourite measure of the English poets down 
to the time of Queen Elizabeth ; but it cannot be positively 
asserted that Chaucer invented it, as it is said to have been used 
prior to his time by the French poet Machault. In his essay on 
the language and versification of Chaucer, T^rwhitt states that 
" in the time of Gascoigne it had acquired the name of rhythme 
roi/all [or * Rhyme Royal '] ; * and surely,* says he, * it is a royall 
kinde of verse, serving best for grave discourses.* ** It will be 
noted that by the arrangement of the rhymes the stanza is made 
to turn, as on a pivot, on the fourth line, which has three lines 
on each side of it: this line is "the last of a quatrain of alternate 
rhymes and first of a quatrain of couplets ; thus — 

dbabb c e 

This stanza is evidently adapted from an eight-lined decasyllabic 
stave; it is, in fact, a modification of the ottava rima of the 
Italians (in which Boccaccio, Tasso and Ariosto wrote), the 
rhyme formula of which was abababcc. By the excision of 
the fifth line we get the eight-line stanza of Chaucer and early 


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French poetry, and if the last line be chan^d into an Alex- 
andrine we get the introductory stanza of Milton's Ode. It is 
interesting to compare this with the stanza — usually known as 
"the Spenserian stanza" — of the Faerie Queene, which has nine 
lines, the last being an Alexandrine. This was evolved out of 
another eight-line stanza (used by Chaucer in his Monica Tale), 
very different in structure from that referred to above, the 
rhyme formula beins ababbebe, Spenser added an Alexandrine, 
the rhymes being ababbcbce. It will be seen, therefore, that, 
looking only to metrical structure, Milton*s introductory stanzas 
correspond to the stanza of the Faerie Queene with the sixth and 
seventn lines omitted, or to that of the Four Hymns with the 
last line changed into an Alexandrine. 

The remainder of the poem, i.e. the Ode proper, is in eight- 
lined stanzas, the structure of which may be thus indicated : 

No. of line (1). (2). (3). (4). (6). (6). (7). (8). 
No. of feet 3. 3. 5. 3. 3. 5. 4. 6. 
Rhymes a. a. &. c e. 6. d. eC 

Wherever in lines (3) and (6) the final syllable is -ing, that 
syllable is supernumerary; see the third stanza of the Ode 
proper for an example. And ** as an Alexandrine itself 
IS susceptible of internal trisyllabic variation as well as 
disvllabic, and as it may also have a supernumerary final 
svllable ... we may have Alexandrines of thirteen syllables": 
this remark of Professor Masson's is illustrated by lines 140 and 

1. the month. See above, on the date of the composition of 
the Ode. 

2. Wherein, on which. Modem prose usage requires in with 
reference to space of time ('the month in which *) and on with 
reference to a point of time (' the morning on which '). In the 
latter nase in was once common, but the change to the use of on 
took place as early as the sixteenth century : comp. Wickliffe, 
Acify xiii. 14, '*ln the day of Sabbath," and see Abbott's Shake- 
apearian Grammar y § 161. 

Heaven's Eternal King. Comp. Par. Beg. I 236: **Thy 
Father is the Etenial King who rules All Heaven and 

3.^ virgin mother : comp. Andrewes' 9th Sermon on the 
Nativity, *And where they {i.e. faith and reason) meet, they 
make no less a miracle than Mater and Virgo, or Deus and 
Homo.* Crashaw calls the Virgin Mary * maiden wife and 
maiden mother too.' 

4i redemption, ransom, buying back. Pansom is the same 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


word through the French, disguised by the difference of vowel- 
sound and of the final letter (Fr. ronton: in An^ren RiwU spelt 
mufwuft). Comp. P. L. xii. 422 : '* Ere the third dawning light 
Return, the stars of mom shall see him rise. The ranwm paid, 
which man from death redeems. His death for man " : also Oal, 
Iv. 4. 

5. holy sages ... sing : comp. UAUeg. 17 and note. The sages 
referred to are the Old Testament writers. 

0. deadly forfeit, the penalty of death. ' Forfeit,' that which 
is imposed as a punishment, and hence the punishment itself : 
comp. Scums, Agon, 508, ''And let another hand, not thine, 
exact Thy penal forfeit from thyself." The word is radically a 
participle (comp. 'perfect,' etc.), and is from Low Latin /om- 
foLctum, a trespass, something done amiss or beyond limits 
{forts, out of doors, seen in the word foreign ; and fucere, to 

release, remit, secure the remission of. Compare M, for 
Af.y. 1. 526, " Thy slanders I forgive, and therewithal Bemit thy 
other forfeits.** 'Release' (and its doublet relax) were once 
frequent in this somewhat technical sense: comp. "The king 
made a ^preat feast, ... and he made a relettse to the provinces,^ 
Esther, vl 18 ; " The statute of mortmain was at several times 
reldxed by the legislature " (Swift) ; the word has still this legal 
sense : " Releases are a discharge or conveyance of a man's right 
in lands," ete. (Blackstene's CommerUaries), 

7. with. As the Father demands the penalty, the Son has to 
covenant with Him : see Par, Lost, iii 144, 227. So that ' with ' 
here denotes not 'along with,' but is used as in the phrase, "I 
will use my interest tmth him " : comp. Lat. apud or inter, 

work us, t.e. bring about on our behalf. Comp. Par, Lost, i, 
642, " wrought our fall " ; *6. iv. 48, " Yet all his good proved ill 
in me. And wrouglU but malice." 

peace. Comp. Isaiah, ix. 6, "the Prince of Peace''; also 
Lvke, ii. 14, and Andrewes' 13th Sermon, "Ipse est Paz nostra'* 
{Eph, ii. 14). 

8. nnsufferable. We now say 'insufferable': see notes on 
'uncessant,' Lyddas, 64 ; and ' unexpressive,' Lye. 176. 

0. fkr-beaming Uase. Comp. Par. Lost, iii 1-6 : 

" Hail, holy Light ! ofi&pring of Heaven first-bom ! 
Or of the Eternal co-eternal beam 
May I express thee unblamed ? since God is light, 
And never but in unapproached light 
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee, 
Bright effluence of bright essence increate." 

Beam is here intransitive, but In South's Sermons, i. 8, we find 


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"Gkxl beams this light into man's understanding." The phrase 
^ blaze of majesty * occurs again in Arcadea, 2. 

10. wonti used, was accustomed. See notes, Lye. 67 and 11, 
Peru. 37. 

11. Bit the midst : comp. Par. Losty iii. 62. 'The midst' may 
here be used attributively = midmost (comp. Par. Lost, v. 165, 
"Him first, Him least, Him midst**); but more probably sin 
the midst, as the omission of the preposition in adverbial phrases 
was common in Eliz. English: see Abbott, § 202. * Midst' 
occurs twelve times in Shakespeare as a substantive = the middle, 
'in the midst' being a corruption of 'in middest,' found in 
Spenser (F. Q. vi. 3. 25), which again is from M. E. in middes, 
derived from A.S. a midde or on-midden. See further in note 
on UAUeg'. 4. On the origin of such peculiar phrases as * in our 
midst,' * in their midst,* see Marsh's Lect. on Eng. Lang, xviii. 

Trtnal Unity. Comp. Andrewes' 13th Sermon : ** Being Ode 
na^taZitiay if we consider it as a nativity, they that calculate or 
cast nativities in their calculations stand much upon triplicities 
and trigons ^xaA. trine aspects "; also Spenser's Hymn of Heavefnly 
Love, 64, "^nwaZ triplicities." 

12. to be, in order to be. 

14. darksome house. Comp. B. Pens. 92 and note, "Her 
mansion in this fleshly nook " : also the Platonic doctrine that 
the body is the soul's prison {Phaedo, vi.), and Virgil's J^n. vi.' 
734, Clausas tenebris et ca/rcere caeca, ** (Souls) shut up in dark- 
ness and a blind prison." Many adjectives ending in -soma are 
now obsolete ; on this point see Trench's English Fast and Pre- 
sent, V. ; -some is the A.S. and early English sum, German sam : 
and reappears as an independent word in same. Trench gives a 
list : wansum, lovesum, healthsome, heedsome, etc. 

mortal day. On Milton's uses of 'mortal' see Lye. 78, 
note. Locke calls the body " the clay cottage," and Byron has 
" the clay-cold bonds which round our being <3ing," ChUde H, P. 
iii. 73. 

15. vein, strain, mood. The figurative uses of this word are 
remarkable. Comp. Rich. III. iv. 2, ' the giving vein ' ; satirical 
vein ; vein of metal ; improve my vein (t.e. natural disposition). 

16. Afford a present, bestow or yield a gift. There is no refer- 
ence here to the power or resources of his muse ; ' to afford ' in 
the 17th century was frequent in the sense of ' to give of what 
one has,' a sense surviving in such phrases as "the food which 
the country affords"', comp. Sams. Agon. 910, ^^ Affwd me 
place"; Wimt. Tale, iv. 4. 16; Hen. VIIL i. 4. 17; etc. 

17. strain : see note, II. Pens. 174. In the edition of 1645 it 
is spelt strein (Fr. estreindre, to stretch or press). 



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19. while the heaven, etc. For allusions to the horses oi the 
Son comp. Shakespeare, 1 Hen. iv. "heavenly-harnessed team," 
and Rich, III, v. 3. : in the Faithful Shepherdess Fletcher speaks 
of night's "lazy team." "The horses and chariot with which 
Helios traverses the heavens are not mentioned in the Iliad and 
Odyssey, but first occur in the Homeric hymn on Helios, and 
both are described minutely by later poets " (Smith's Classical 
Diet.), untrod: comp. UAUeg. 131. 

20. took : a form of the past tense used as a past participle. 
Shakespeare has took for 'taken,' shaJced and shook for 'shaken,' 
arose for 'arisen,' etc. Comp. IL Pens. 91, 'forsook'; Lines (m 
Shak, 12, 'hath took*; Arcades^ 4, 'to be mistook'; Comus, 
658, 'was took,' etc. print: comp. Arc. 85, 'print of step'; 
Corntts, 897, 'printless feet.' 

21. spangled host keep watch. On the watchfulness of the 
stars comp. Comus, 112, "the starry quire Who, in their nightly 
watchfvl spheres," etc. : comp. also Comus, 1003, " far above in 
spangled sheen," and Addison's well-known lines, 

" The spacious firmament on high. 
With all the blue ethereal sk^. 
And spangled heavens, a shining frame. 
Their great Original proclaim.*' 
See note on Lycidas, 170, "new-spangled sheen." 

23. star-led wizards. Comp. St, Malt, ii. 2, and marginal 
reference: also Par, Reg. i. 249, "A star ... Guided the wise 
men thither from the East." ' Wizards ' = wise men : there is no 
reference to magical powers. Comp. F, Q, iv. 12. 2, where the 
ancient philosophers are called "antique wizards"; also Lye, 
55, " Deva's wizard stream," and note ; also Comus, 571, 872. 

24. prevent, anticipate, forestall. See the Bible Concordance 
and Trench's Select Glossary, where this, the radical sense of the 
word (Lat. pre-venio, to come before) is illustrated. Comp. 
Comus, 285, "Perhaps forestalling night prevented them," where 
the word seems to have sometmn^ of both earlier and later 
meanings; Par. Lost, vi. 129, "At this prevention more in- 
censed'^; ib, ii. 467, iii. 231. 

ode : see introductory note on the following poem. 

25. lowly: used adverbially. Comp. Par. Lost, viii. 173, 
"Be fett^y wise" ; AWs WeU, ii 2, "I will show myself highly 
fed and lowly taught." 

27. the angel quire. See note, II. Pens. 162, and comp. Par. 
Beg, L 242, "At thy nativity a glorious cJioir of angels ... sung." 

28. secret altar, etc. An allusion, as Newton points out, to 
Isaiah, vi. 6. 7, " Then flew one of the seraphim imto me, having 
a live coal ... from off the altar ; and he touched my mouth with 


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it, and said, Lo, ... thine iniquity is taken away." Comp. also 
a passage in Milton*s Beason of Church Government (1641), "that 
eternal spirit who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, 
and sends out His seraphim with the hallowed fire of His altar, 
to touch and purify the lips of whom He pleases." * Secret * : 
for this use of * secret * in the sense of * set apart * comp. Par. 
Lost, I 6, *' Secret top of Oreb"; Milton has 'separate* in the 
same sense in Sams, Agon. 31. 

30. WUle. See Abbott, § 137. « While now means only 
'during the time when,' but in Eliz. English both while and 
whiles meant * up to the time when.* ** In line 19 while denotes 
a space of time, and here a point of time. This line is metrically 
irregular: it may be scanned, 'While | the heavjen bo|m Child*; 
comp. line 104. 

31. All. See not«, 77. Pens. 33. 

32. in awe to lilm, i.e. standing in awe of him. This use of to 
instead of of is explained by the grammatical development of the 

this dative was mistaken for a nominative, the phrase became 
'Men stood awe of me,* and finally 'Men stood in awe of me. 
Comp. Layamon, 11,694, "Him ne stod aeie to nathing'* (1205), 
which in the edition of 1250 becomes, " Him ne stod eye of no 

33. dolf d, put off. Dojf is a contraction of ' do off,* as don of 
'do on,* and dup (to undo a door) of 'do up*: comp. Nares* 
Glossary on dout = do out. 

gaudy trim, holiday attire. This is not the 'gaudy* of 
n PenserosOy 6 ( = showy), but of * eaudy-day * ( = festival) in 
Tennyson*s Enid : comp. Ant. and Uleop. iii. 13. 182, " Let's 
have another gaudy-mght " (Lat. gaudium, gladness). 

34. 80, thereby. 

35. no season, unseasonable, out of place. 

Insty paramour : see note, Lye. 123. 'Paramour,' lover, is 
the French par amour, by love, an adverbial phrase. Comp. the 
origin of 'debonair,* L'AUeg. 24, and 'demure,' /I Pens. 32. 

41. Pollute: formed directly from Lat. participle poUuiuss 
polluted. Such verbs as * to pollute,' * to instruct,^ ' to accept, 
'to exhaust,' 'to devote,* etc., are all formed from Latin par- 
ticiples, and this fact frequently led to the employment of tnese 
verbs as if thev were participles : hence in Milton we find 'pol- 
lute * = polluted, ' instruct * = mstructed, ' elevate * = elevated, etc 
When the participial force of these words was entirely forgotten 
a second participial sign was added, and hence the current forms 


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'polluted,* etc. See Trench, JSng. Past and Present ^ vi. j also 
I^of. Masfion*8 Essay on Milton's English, and Abbott, § 342. 
Compare 'whist,' line 64, and note. 

41. Binftil Uame. < Blame ' = crime, fault (comp. Macb, iv. 3. 
124) ; as * blameful * = guilty, and * blameless ' = innocent. All 
Nature is here regarded as guilty; comp. Spenser's Hymn of 
Heavmly Lovey 218, "Then rouse thyself, Earth, out of thy 
soil . . . Unmindful of that dearest Lord of thine." 

42. saintly veil. Comp. Par, Losty ix. 1054, "Lmocence that, 
as a veil. Had shadowed them from knowing ill, was gone," etc. 

maiden white, unsullied purity. See Latham's Dictionary 
for examples of * maiden * applied to (o) flowers and weapons, 
e,g. 'maiden sword,' 1 Hen. tv. v. 4. 134 ; (b) a fortress that has 
never been taken ; (c) an oration {* maiden speech ') ; {d) assizes 
where no one is condemned : etc. 

44. 80 near, so closely. This is a more natural interpretation 
than to regard the phrase as = he being so near. 

45. cease, put an end to, cause to cease. See note on Lye, 133: 
and compare Oymb, v. 5, ''would cease The present power of 
life"; Timon o/Ath. ii. 1, "Be not ceased with slight denial." 
Compare the force of the word in such imperatives as *' Cease 
then this impious rage," Par. Lost, v. 845. 

46. meek-eyed. Comp. Comus, 213, "pure-eyed Faith, white- 
handed Hope." 

47. olive green. Comp. 3 Hen, VI, iv. 6: "An olive branch 
and laurel crown, As likely to be blest in peace and war." 

48. the taming sphere. What Spenser {H. of Heavenly Love, 
25) calls "that mighty bound which doth embrace the rollinc 
spheres," the allusion being to the old cosmology which regarded 
the universe as a frame-work of sphere within sphere, the Earth 
being at the centre. See note, line 125. 

49. harbinger. Here used in its radical sense = one preparing 
a lodging or 'harbour' for another: its current meaning is 'fore- 
runner,' in which the essence of the original signification is lost. 
The M.E. is herbergeour (A.S. Jiere, an army, and beorgan, to 
shelter) = one who prepares lodgings for an army: comp. Bacon's 
Apophthegms^ 54, "There was a harbinger who had lodged a 
gentleman in a very ill room." T^he origin of the word is 
disguised by the intrusion of the letter n, as in 'messenger' from 
msssa^ey 'porringer* from porridge^ etc. See Trencn's Select 
Olossary and comp. Milton e Song on May Morning , 1 ; Macb, i. 
4. 46; Hand, i, 1. 122; Morris, Outlines; etc. 

50. turtle wing. The name 'turtle' belongs originally to a 
species of dove : comp. M, W. of W. iii. 3, "We'll teach him to 
know turtles from jays"; Chaucer, Cant, Tales, 10013, "The 


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turtles voice is heard, mine owen sweet"; and No. xlvii., line 14. 
The name is from Lat. tur'tur, a word which imitates the coo of 
the dove. * Turtle ' applied to the sea- tortoise is the same word : 
** the English sailors having a difficulty with the Portuguese tar- 
taruga, a tortoise or a turtle, and the Span, tortuga, a tortoise, 
overcame that difficulty by substituting the Eng. turtle with a 
grand disregard of the difference between the two creatures." 
(Skeat). The turtle-dove is a type of true love. 

51. myrtle. According to Dr. Johnson, the 'emblem of 
supreme command.' At this time there was peace throughout 
the Roman dominions ; hence the plant may here be the symbol 
of peace. 

52. strikes, produces suddenly and as if by enchantment. 
Comp. the procedure of the enchanter Comus {Une 659), **I/I 
but tvave this wand, Your nerves are all chained up," etc. Latham 
quotes Dryden's lines: **Take my caduceus! ... And strike a 
terror through the Stygian strand." Dunster sees in Milton's 
use of 'strike' a recollection of the Lat. phrase /oerftw /eWre, to 
strike a bargain, but there is no thought of a compact here : the 
idea is the suddenness of the result, as in the phrases 'struck 
dumb,* * awe-struck,' etc 

53. No war. Of lines 53-84 Landor says that they form " the 
noblest piece of lyric poetry in any modem language that I am 
conversant with. 

55. idle spear ...hung. Here Milton, as he often does, 
introduces a custom of chivalry into classical times ; comp. Sams. 
Agon, 1736, where Samson's father resolves to build his son a 
monumebt "with all his trophies hung" — ^the hanging up of 
trophies over the tomb of a hero being a practice of Gk>thic 
chivalry. See also Bich, III. i. 1, "Our bruised arms hung up 
for monuments." For a similar mixture of elements which, in 
other hands than those of Milton, might be incongruous, compare 
the blending of classical mythology and Christianity in Lyddas. 

56. hooked chariot; the covinus or falcatae qtuidrigae (Livy, i 
37, 41) of the Romans, who seem to have adopted it from the 
Kelts, the name covinus being Keltic. The wheels or axle-trees 
were armed with cutting instruments or hooks : comp. F, Q. v. 
8. 28, "With iron wheels and hooks armed dreadfully." 

59. awfUl, awe-struck. Here used subjectively : comp. Bich. II. 
iii. 3. 76, "To pay their aw/td duty to our presence." Contrast 
with the objective sense = awe-inspiring : 2 Hen. VI, v. 1. 98, 
" An awful princely sceptre " ; also No. Lxv., line 19. Similarly 
awesome and aweless occur in both senses. 

60. sovran : Milton's spelling of the word * sovereign,' in 
which the g is due to a mistaken notion that the last syllable is 
cognate with reign. It is from Lat. superanum=ch.iei (Ital. sov- 
rano, O.F. souverain). Comp. Comus, 41, 639. Milton only once 


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has 'sov'raign {Par, Reg. i 84) while *Bovran' occurs nineteen 

64. wbist, hushed: see note, II Pens, 55. In Tempest, i. 2.379; 
"the wild waves whist'*; Sandys, y'rans, of Ovid's Meta, "In 
dead of night, when all was whisht and still." * Whist,* originally 
an interjection, was used as a verb, *to whist' = to command 
silence, the participle 'whist' (for 'whisted,' Abbott, § 342) being 
equivalent to * silenced.* 

65. Idst. Comp. M, of Ven, v. 1, "When the sweet wind did 
gently kiss the trees." The spelling Ust is due to the final sharp 
consonant: when this is doubled, as in jklsSj kiss, smell, etc., one 
of the letters is dropped before t ; hence pa^^f, kist, smelt. 

66. Oce^: read as Ocean. Comp. M, of Ven. v. 1. 1, 
" tossing on the ocedn " ; T, A, iv, 2, 101. 

67. Who. Here used of an irrational thing, which, by pathetic 
fallacy, is endowed with f orgetfulness : comp. Bape of Luc, 1805, 
"The dispcrs'd air wJio answered"; Abbott, § 264. 

forgot, forgotten. This use of the past tense for the past 
participle was common in Elizabethan English: comp. Abbott, 
§ 343. It is due to the fact that the A.S. past participle was 
formed by prefixing ge- to all verbs (see note, line 155), and 
affixing en or ed. When the prefix ge was weakened to i- or y- 
or dropped altogether, and the suffix reduced to -e silent, the 
past participle sometimes corresponded with the past tense, and 
the form of the past tense came to be used for the participle. 

68. Mrds of calm, halcyons ; the fable being that the sea was 
always calm while these birds were breeding— during the seven 
days preceding and the seven succeeding the shortest day of the 
year. In cltueical mythology AlcyQne or Halc^dnS was the 
daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx : husband and wife having 
called themselves Zeus and Hera, they were for their presumption 
metamorphosed into birds. Another version is that the husband 
perished at sea, and the grief- stricken wife having drowned 
herself the two were changed into birds : see Ovid's Meta. xi. 745, 
*' Perque dies placidos hiberno tempore septem Incubat Halcyone 
pendentibus aequore nidis"; 1 Hen, VI. i. 2. 131, "Halcyon 
days " (called in Greek dXKvwiSei iifUpcu and in Latin alcyonei dies 
or Alcedonia), In the phrases * halcyon beaks * {King Lear, u, 2. 
84), * halcyon bill * (Marlowe, Jew of Malta), * halcyon with her 
turning breast ' (Stover, Life and Death of Wolsey), the allusion is 
not to tranquiUity but to the old belief that a halcyon, when 
suspended, shows which way the wind blows. In scientific 
nomenclature the unaspirated forms are employed to denote 
certain zoophytes: alcyonium, alcyonic, alcyonite, alcyonoid, 

brooding. Comp. Par, Lost, Tii. 243, "On the watery 

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calm His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread"; also 
UAlleg. 6, and note there. There is no doubt that in the 
present case * brooding ' is to be taken literally. 

69. amaze. The use of 'amaze' as a substantive is almost 
obsolete, its place being taken by * amazement*: comp. Addison's 
C<Uo, iv. 3. 68, ** With pleasure and amaze I stand transported." 
See further. No. lviii., 1. 

70. Every word in this line intensifies the notion of 'fixedness.* 
On 'steadfast,' see notes II Pens, 32, and line 111, below. 

71. precious influence. Compare UAlleg. 122, "Whose bright 
eyes Rain infltience" and note there : also note on II Pens, 24. 
Shakespeare has *the skiey influences,' M,for M. iii. 1 ; 'planetary 
influence,' K, Lear, i. 2. 135; and for some of his numerous 
allusions to astrology see his Sonnets, 14, 15, 25, 26 ; Rom. and 
Jul. i. 4, V. 3 ; King Lear, i. 2, 136; ii. 2; iv. 3; Tvoelfth Night, 
i. 3, i. 4; ii. 1, ii. 5; Much Ado, i. 3; ii. 1 ; v. 2. See also 
Trench's Stiidy of Words on the astrologicid element in the English 
vocabulary. ' Precious ' : Milton wrote pretiovs (Lat. pretiam, 
value), the c being due to old French fyrecios, 

73. For alL These two words in combination are equivalent to 
'notwithstanding': comp. Milton's second sonnet. On the Detrac- 
tion, etc., 14, ** For aU this waste of wealth and loss of blood," 
where all does not qualify ivaste. It is sometimes said that, 
when the phrase is expanded, all is found to be the subject of an 
unexpressed verb, the meaning of 'notwithstanding' being ex- 
pressed by /or alone: this would explain the above examples, but 
not such as the following : Tindale, Acts, xvi. 39, "They have 
beaten us openly .../or oi? that we are Romans" ; John, xxi. 11, 
" For all there were so many " ; CyrrU). v. 4. 209, " For oW he be 
a Roman " ; or line 74 of this poem. See Abbott, § 154. 

74. Lucifer, i.e. the planet Venus, as the morning-star or licht- 
brineer {lux, licht ; fero, to bear) : Milton's conceit is that day- 
break is a wammg for the stars to disappear. See further in the 
notes on No. xvni. Grammatically * for all * governs ' Lucifer.' 

75. orbs. Either denoting the stars themselves as in M. of Ven, 
V. 1, "There's not the smallest orb," etc., or their orbits, as in 
Par, Lost, v. 860, " When fatal course had circled his full orb." 
Milton also has 'orb' in the sense of 'wheel* {Par. Lost, vi. 828), 
and 'eye' {Par. Lost, iii. 25). Comp. M. N, D. iii. 2. 61, "Venus 
in her glimmering sphere," 

76. bespake. Not merely 'spake,* but 'spake with authority.' 
Milton sometimes uses the compound form as a mere equivalent 
for the simple verb: see note. Lye. 112. The verb is used in 
Par, Lost, ii. 849 ; iv. 1005 ; and Par, Beg, i. 43. 

Ud, bade (the strong form being the more common). The 
form bode is obsolete. Bid has arisen out of the past participle 


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bidden: see note on 'forgot,' line 67. This is one of those verbs 
after which the simple infinitive (without to) is used. Such 
omission of to now occurs with so few verbs that to is often 
called the sign of the infinitive ; but in Early English the only 
sign of the infinitive was the termination -en {e.g, speken^ to 
speak ; he can speken). The infinitive, being used as a noun, 
had a dative form called the gerund which was preoeeded by to ; 
and confusion between the ^erundial infinitive and the simple 
infinitive led to the general use of to. Comp. Arcade/t, 13, 
"Envy bid conceal the rest"; in Lye, 22, bid is a different verb 
(see note there). 

78. Had given, etc.; had given place to day. 'Her' may 
refer either to * gloom' or *day,* but comp. Milton's Vdcation 
Exerdse^ 58, **To the next I may resign my room," on the analogy 
of which *her' would refer to * gloom.' 

79. Compare what is said of the moon in II Pens, 59, and see 
also P. L. iv. .35. On wonted, see note, 1. 10. 

80. bid Mb head, etc. Warton quotes from Spenser's Shep- 
herds* Calendar; April, 75-83, 

** I sawe Phoebus thrust out his golden hedde, 
Upon her to gaze ; 

But, when he sawe how broade her beames did spredde, 
It did him amaze. 

He blusht to see another Sunne below, 
Ne durst againe his fyrye face out showe : 
Let him, if he dare. 
His brightnesse compare 
With hers, to have the overthrowe." 

81. As, as if, as though. This use of 'as* to introduce a 
supposition is archaic: comp. Havelock the Dane, 508, ^'Starinde 
ala he were wod"; 2 Hen, VL i. 1. 103, ** Undoing all, as all had 
never been " ; Par. Reg. iv. 447, " I heard the wrack, As earth 
and sky would mingle" ; Tennyson's Enid, 210, ''As to abolish 
him." See Abbott, §§ 101, 107. 

82. new-enllgliten'd : adj. compounded of a participle and a 
simple adverb. CJomp. ** new-intrusted," Comus, 36; ** new- 
enlivened, " ibid. 228 ; * * new-spangled, " Lye. 1 70 ; * * new-created, " 
Par. Lost, iii. 89; " smooth -aittied," Comus, 86. 

84. burning axletree. Comp. Comus, 95, **the gilded car of 
day His gloiving axle doth allay": A en. vi. 482, * 'Atlas azem 
umero torquet"; Sandys, Ovid's Meta. i. 7, "And bum heaven's 
axletree"; TroUus and Gressida, i. 3. 65, "Strong as the axle- 
tree In which the Heavens ride." * Axletree ' = axis, M.E. axle- 
tre, was in earlier use than the simple word aode, and included 
all the senses of that word as well as of aons. The only 
surviving sense of the word is that of 'the fixed bar on the 


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rounded ends of which the wheels of a carriage revolve,' being 
replaced in its other si^ifications by 'axle' or 'axis.' Aade does 
not occur in Old English at all, but has been taken from the 13th 
cent, compound axle-tree = ax-tree (O.E. eaas, axle; <r€ow = beam, 
as in roof-^ee, saddle-^ree, door-^ree, boot-^rec, etc.). 

85. shepherds: see Luke, ii 8. lawn: see note, VAUeg. 71» 
and comp. Par, Lost, iv. 252, ''latons or level downs." 

86. Or ere. * Or ' = ere = before : about this there is no dispute, 
the use of or for ere (A.S. aer) being common enough; comp. 
Psalm xc. 2; HanUety i. 2. 183; Temp, i 2. 11, etc. But it is dis- 
puted whether *ere' in the combination *or ere* is (1) a 
corruption of eW = ever, so that * or ere * = before ever ; or (2) 
the preposition * ere * = before, so that * or ere * = ere ere = before 
before (a reduplication due to the meaning of or having nearly or 
altogether died out). The latter is the view favoured by Skeat, 
who regards such a phrase as * or ever ' as due to a confusion of 
ere with e'er. The former is adopted by Prof. Hales on the 
ground that ere, on the analogy of such phrases as *ere ttoice' 
{M. for M, iv. 3. 92), * erp yet ' (Par. Lost, x. 584), is clearly 
adverbial and modifies a clause : in the text * or ere the point of 
dawn ' is, therefore, equivalent to 'Be/ore ever the point of dawn 
(had come).' To this explanation there are few objections except 
that in Early English we have * before er,* * before or,* where the 
second word can hardly be a corruption of ever, and that it is 
more likely that ever should replace ere than vice versa. See 
Abbott, § 131. 

point of dawn. This is the French point de Jour : comp. 
Genesis, xxv. 32, "at the point to die"; Davies* Immor. of Soul, 
** when time's first point began. " 

88. than, then. TTian and tJten are radically the same word : 
usage has differentiated them. 

89. mighty Fan. Pan being the god of flocks and shepherds 
among the Greeks, and Christ being spoken of in Scripture as 
*the Good Shepherd' {John, x. 11, Heh. xiii. 20), Milton here 
follows Spenser in speaking of Christ as the true Pan — the true 
God of shepherds. See Spenser's Shepherd^ s Calendar, May, 64 : 
" When great Pan accoimt of shepherds shall ask,", with the 
Gloss: "Great Pan is Christ, the very God of all shepheards 
which calleth himself e the greate, and good shepheard. The 
name is most rightly (methinkes) applyed to Him ; for Pan sicni- 
fieth all, or omnipotent, which is onely the Lord Jesus. And by 
that name (as I remember) he is called of Eusebius, in his fifte book 
De Preparat. Evang., who thereof telleth a proper storye to that 
purpose. Which story is first recorded of Plutarch, in his booke of 
the ceasing of Oracles ; and of Lavetere translated, in his booke of 
walking spriffht<es ; who sayth, that about the same time that our 
Lord simered His most bitter passion, for the redemption of man. 


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certain passengers sayling from Italy to Cyprus, and passing by 
certaine Hes called Paxae, heard a voyce calling alowde Thamus, 
Thamus ! (now Thamus was the name of an iSgyptian, which 
was Pilote of the ship) who, giving care to the cry, was bidden, 
when he came to Palodes, to tel that the great Pan was dead : 
which he doubting to doe, yet for that when he came to Palodes, 
there sodeinly was such a calme of winde, that the shippe stoode 
still in the sea unmoved, he was forced to cry alowd that Pan was 
dead ; wherewithall there was heard suche piteous outcryes and 
dreadfull shriking, as hath not bene the like. By whych Pan, 
though of some be understoode the great Satanas, whose kingdome 
at that time was by Christ conquered, the gates of hell broken up, 
and death by death delivered to eternal death (for at that time, 
as he sayth, all Oracles surceased, and enchaunted spirits, that 
were wont to delude the people, thenceforth held theyr peace i) 
and also at the demaund of the Emperoure Tiberius, who that 
Pan should be, answere was made him by the wisest and best 
learned, that it was the sonne of Mercuric and Penelope ; yet I 
thinke it more properly meant of the death of Christ, the onely 
and very Pan then suffering for his flock." Mrs. Browning hsu3 
a poem entitled " The Dead Pan," which is founded on the same 
tradition. Comp. Cowley's lines : 

" And though ParCs death long since all or'cles brokCf 
Yet still in rhyme the fiend Apollo spoke." 
90. Was ... come : see note, Lycidcis, 97. Wit^ some intransi- 
tive verbs of motion (e.g. to go, come, arrive, enter), either of the 
auxiliaries be and Jiave is used ; in Elizabethan writers both foims 
are common : thus * I am arrived ' expresses my present state, 
while * I have arrived ' expresses the activity which preceded the 
present state. This distinction of meaning is not now strictly 
observed, and the auxiliary have is in general use. 

92. Was. The verb is singular because * their loves ' and ' their 
sheep * each form a single subject or topic of conversation. 

Billy thoughts, simple thoughts. This is evidently sug- 
gested by Spenser's H, of Heavenly Love : 

•'When Him the silly Shepherds came to see. 
Whom greatest Princes sought on lowest knee." 

On the changes of meaning undergone by many words which first 
signified goodness, and finally foolishness, see Trench's Study of 
Words, and Select Glossary : ** * silly ' (the same as German selig) 
has successively meant (1) blissful (so the Prompt, Parv,), (2) 
innocent, (3) harmless, (4) weakly foolish. * sdy woman, full 
of innocence,' Chauc<$r, Legend of Fair Women^ 1252." The 
M.E. form was sely, A.S. sadig or gescelig, happy. Comp. No, 
XLVII., 1. 9. 

93. such ... aa : see note, UAlleg. 29. 


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95. strook, produced. MUton use? ishree forms of the partf' 
cvple—strookiCom, 301, Par. Lost, ii. 165, vi. 863, x. 413, xi. 264, 
Par. Beg. iv. 676), struck {Sams. Agon. 1686), strucken {Par. Lost, 
ix. 1064), his choice being determined by the demands of rhyme 
and rhythm. There is a£o a form stricken. * To strike music' is, 
of course, applicable to stringed instruments : comp. Alexander's 
Feast, 99 ; Collins' Ode on The Passions, 23. 

96. DiYlnely- warbled voice. As in ' warbled string ' '{Arcades, 
87) 'warbled' may be taken in an active sense = warbling, or 
passively = made to warble or trill. The perfect participle fre- 
quently occurs in Elizabethan English in this sense : comp. Sams. 
Agon. 1 19, 'languished ' = languishing ; ih. 186, * festered ' = fester- 
ing; Par. Lost, iv. 699, 'flourished = flourishing. 

97. stringed noise, i.e. the music of the heavenly harps (see 
No. LXiii., 1. 13). On this sense of * noise,' see note, II Pens. 61, 
and comp. ** God is gone up with a merry noise," Book of Common 
Prayer, PsaXms, xlvii. 6 ; "one noise {i.e. company) of fiddlers," 
Ben Jonson's Epicosne; "that melodious nxyise, No. lxiii., 1. 18 ; 
also F. Q. i. 12. 39. 

98. As : 'such as' or 'as (which).' in blissful rapture took. 
On this use of * take '= charm, captivate, compare note on 'taketh,' 
No. xxxvi., 1. 6 : and see Gomua, 658 : "Silence was took ere she 
was ware." On 'rapture,' see note, II Pens. 46. 

99. loth, reluctant. The same as 'loath' (M.E. loth-. A.S. 
Idth, hateful). That which we are loath to do is loathsome or 
loatUy {Temp. iv. 1 ; 2 Hen. IV. iv. 4). 

100. thousand : see Abbott, § 87. 

close. Here used in its technical sense = the final cadence 
of a piece of music: Rich. II. ii. 1. 12, and Com. 648; also 
Drydcn's Fables, "At every dose she made, the attending throng 
Reply'd." Curiously enough Dryden also has dose in the sense 
of beginning : " In the dose of nisht Philomel begins her heavenly 
lay," the close of day being the beginning of night. 

101. Nature : nom. to 'was ' (line 104). 

102. hallow .. seat. Either implying that the Moon is a 
hollow shell or that the sound fills the vault of heaven in which 
the Moon is placed. 

103. Cynthia's : see notes, No. xviii. ; and II Pens. 69. aery 
region: comp. Com. 231, "thy airy shell " = the atmosphere, 
thrilling: attributive to 'sound,* 1. 101 = warbling, or perhaps 
with some reference to its radical sense of piercing (comp. nostrU). 

104. won, persuaded. In this sense followed by an infinitive : 
comp. Par. Lost, xii. 602, * * They win great numbers to receive 
With joy the tidings." 


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106. Its. Oneofthethreeiustancesof the occurrence of the word 
ita in Milton's poetiy (the other two being in Par, Lost, i. 254, 
iv. 813) : see notes, II Pens. 128, and line 139 of this poem. 

107. alone, by itself. Nature was therefore no longer required. 
The meaning is not *and no other,* for Nature had hitherto 
done so. 

108. in liappier union. The sense is compressed : ' She knew 
that such harmony as was now heard could by itself hold all 
heaven and earth in union *; and further, ' She knew that this 
union would be happier than that produced by Nature,* viz. the 
harmony of the spheres. Comp. Arcades, 71. 

109. Burrounds, encompasses. Milton is said to be the first 
author of note who used the word in this current sense, which it 
has acquired through a supposed connection with round, Shake- 
speare does not use it. Its original sense is * to overflow * (Lat. 

their Bight = them seeing : see note. Lye, 184 ; and comp. 
Ham, V. 1. 286. 

1 10. globe of circular light. Put, by hypallage, for ' a circular 
globe (or body) of light.* For this use of globe comp. Par, Lost, 
ii. 612, "a globe of fiery seraphim*'; so that the phrase 'circular 
globe ' is not necessarily redundant. Milton's language regarding 
figures, e,g, circle, wheel, globe, orb, cube, sphere, etc., is 
somewhat confusing: see Sams, Agon, 172 ('Bpnere* = circle); 
Par, Lost, v. 693 (* orb * = circle) ; ib. vi. 662 (* cube ' = square) ; 
etc. Comp. Marsh's Lect, on Eng, Lang, xxvi 

111. with long beams ... array*d: clothed the modest night 
with its long rays. Comp. Comus, 340, "long-levelled rule of 
streaming light " : Sams. Agon. 649, ** Heaven's fiery rod,** 
shamefaced : corrupted from shame-fast ; comp. F, Q. iv. 10. 60, 
*'shamefastness.*' The termination /cw< = firm : see notes, II 
Pens. 32, and line 70, above. 

112. helmed, helmeted (A.S. ?ielm, that which protects: helmet 
is a dimin. ). Cherubim . . . Seraphim : Hebrew plurals ; the English 
Bible has the irregular double plural cherubims {Qen, lit. 24; 
Exod, XXV. 18). Shakespeare has cherubim as a singular {OtheUo, 
iv. 2. 63) and Dryden cherubin. When the word cJierab is applied 
to a beautiful cluld, the plural now current is cherubs : cherubim 
or cherubims being used of celestial spirits only. For other 
words with their original plural and an English plural both in 
use, see Morris, Eng, Accidence § 84; beau, focus, appendix, 
formula, etc. Comp. At a Solemn Music, 10, 12. 

114. dUplay*d. Comp. II Pens. 149. 

116. nnezpressive : see notes, Lycidas, 176, 64; and comp. As 
You Like It, Hi. 2. 28, "The fair, the chaste and unexpressive 


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117. Such music. Warton refers to Par, Lost, vii. 558 et seq. 

119. The allusions to the *sons of the morning' and the 
creation of earth, sea, and sky are explained by Job xxxviii. 4-11, 
** Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? 
declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the 
measures thereof, if thou knowest ? or who hath stretched the 
line upon it ? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened ? 
or who laid the corner stone thereof ; When the morning stars 
sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy ? Or who 
shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had 
issued out of the womb ? When I made the cloud the garment 
thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling-band for it. And brake 
up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, 
Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further : and here shall thy 
proud waves be stayed." See also Isaiah xiv. 12. 
sung, sang. See note on ' sunk,' Lye. 102. 

122. weU-balanced world: comp. Par, Lost, iv. 1000, "The 
pendulous round Earth with balanced air In counterpoise," 
lilxi£^eB : comp. Par. Beg. iv. 413, " From the four hinges of the 
world." A hinge is strictly that upon which anything hangs. 

123. cast, laid (Lat. jacere) i comp. 2 Kings, xix. 32, and P.L. 
vi. 869. 

124. weltering : see note. Lye. 13. 

oosy: see note. Lye. 175 ; and comp. Par. Lost, vii. 303, 
Vac. Ex., 92, Tempest, i, 2. 252. 

125. Bing out, ye crystal spheres. Milton's references to the 
music of the spheres are numerous : comp. Arcades, 62 : 

"Then listen I 
To the celestial Siren's harmony. 
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres," etc. 

Also Comus, 112, "the starry quire " ; %b. 243, "give resounding 
grace to all Heavens harmonies** ; f6. 1021, "Higher than the 
sphery chime " ; Par. Lost, v. 620, 

" Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere 

Of planets and of fixed in all her wheels 

Resembles nearest, mazes intricate, 

Eccentric, intervolved, yet regular. 

Then most, when most irregular they seem ; 

And in their motions harmony divine 

So smooths her charming tones, that God's own ear 

Listens delighted." 
Also No. LXiM., 1.2," Sphere-horn harmonious Sisters, Voice and 
Verse." In the present case, as in the lines quoted from Arcades 
Milton refers (1) to the Pythagorean doctrine of the music of the 


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Siberes; and (2) to that system of astronomy developed by 
udoxus, Plato, Aristotle, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and others, 
which is usually called the Ptolemaic system. 

(1) Pythagoras (b.c. 580), having remarked that the pitch ci 
notes depends on the rate of vibration, and also that the planets 
move with difii&rent velocities, was led to extend the same re- 
lation to the planets and to suppose that they emit sounds pro- 
portional to their respective distances from the Earth, thus 
forming a celestial concert too melodious to affect the gross ears 
of mankind. This is what is meant by the music or harmony of 
the spheres. Plato supposes this harmony to be produced by 

(2) According to the Ptolemaic system of astronomy the Earth 
was the centre of our universe, and the apparent motions of the 
other heavenly bodies were due to the fact that they were fixed 
in transparent or crystal spheres enclosing the central Earth at 
different distances. Plato recognized only eight of such spheres, 
the outermost beinff that of the Fixed Stars. Later, two more 
spheres were added-— the crystalline sphere outside of that of the 
iuced stars, and, beyond all, the Tenth Sphere, called the Primum 
Mobile or * first moved,' which contained all the others. In the 
above passage from Arcades Milton speaks of the music of the 
spheres as being produced by the nine Muses that sit upon the 
nine inner spheres. 

Shakespeare alludes to the music of the spheres in a beautiful 
passage (Jf. of V. v. 1. 61) : 

'* There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st 
But in his motion like an angel sings. 
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins," etc. 

Gomp. also Peridesy v. 1. 230; Ant, and CUop. v. 2. 83; etc. 
For a detailed account see Plato's Republic (Bk. x.), where a 
theory is ^given of the relation of the Fates to the Pythagorean 
system. Fate or Necessity has on her knees a spindle of adamant, 
and the timing of this spindle directs the motions of the heavenly 
bodies. "The spindle turns on the knees of Necessity; and on 
the upper surface of each circle is a siren who goes round with it, 
hymnmg a single sound and note. The eight together form one 
harmony, and round about at equal intervals there is another 
band, three in number, each sitting upon her throne : these are 
the Fates, daughters of Necessity, who are clothed in white rai- 
ment and have crowns of wool upon their heads, Lachesis and 
Clotho and Atropos, who accompany with their voices the har- 
mony of the sirens." 

126. human ears. The heavenly harmony is inaudible to men's 
impure ears: comp. Arc. 72, "the heavenly tune which none can 
hear Of human mould with gross unpurg^d ear"; also Com* 
458. 997. 


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127. touch our senBes. Comp. II Pens. 13, "too bright To 
hit the sense of human sight" ; AI. of V, y. 1. 76, Gor, v. 2. 11. 

128. BUvercMme. Comp. Com. 1021, "sphery chime." * Chime' 
is strictly * harmony ' : the word is cognate with cymbal (1. 208). 

130. bass ...organ. Comp. note, No. ii., 1. 44. On this line 
Warton says : "Milton was not yet a Puritan. Afterwards, he 
and his friends, the fanatics, would not have allowed of so papist- 
ical an establishment as an organ and a choir, even in Heaven. " 

132. coxiBOrt, accompaniment. The word is sometimes mis- 
takenly written concert: see note, E Pens. 145, and No. lxiii., 
1. 27. Mr. Palgrave thinks it uncertain whether the word is 
here used in the sense of accompanying or simply of concert, to : 
see notes. Lye, 13, 33, 44. 

134. Enwrap : see note, VAlleg. 136. 

135. the age of gold ; the reign of Saturn, a time of peace and 
happiness : see note, II Pens. 24. Comp. Ovid's Mela. i. 89 et 
seq, : Aurea prima sata est aetas^ etc. ; and As You Like It, i. 1, 
** fleet the time cfirelessly, as they did in the golden world." 

136. speckled Vanity. Why should Vanity be so described ? 
Either (as Warton thinks) because Milton had in mind the 
maculosum ne/as (foul crime) of Horace, Odes, iv. 6. 22, * speckled' 
being equivalent to * corrupt * ; or because * speckled ' = spotted, 
variegated, and therefore 'showy.' It would almost seem that 
Milton had in view Spenser's description of the vain serpent, 
(Virgil's Onai, 250) : ** An huce great Serpent, all toith speckles 
pied ... And with proud vaunt his head aloft doth hold; His crest 
above, spotted with purple dye." Comp. Par. Lost, ix. 429, 
'* specked with gold" ; M. N. D, i. 1. 110, Rich, II. iii 2. 134. 

138. leprous ... mould. The leprosy of sin is a common meta- 
phor. The * earthly mould ' is the Earth itself (see Mayhew and 
Skeat's M, E, Diet. ; on molde = in the earth, in the world). 
Comp. Horn. vi. 6, and IVie Princess, iv. 203. 

139. Hell itself ... her. Here Tier and itself are both used of 
Hell, an instance of the unsettled usage of the pronouns in 
Milton's time: see notes on its, 1. 106, and his, J I Pens. 128. 
Milton's use of her in this case may be due either to his fondness 
for the feminine personification or to the fact that A.S. J^el is 
feminine : so in 1. 148, A.S. Heo/gnheing feminine. Comp. Com, 
222, where her is used of a cloud, the Lat. ntibes being fern. See, 
further, notes on II Pens, 92, 143. 

140. Warton quotes ^n. viii. 245, Regna redudat pallida, 
etc., " (As if Earth) should expose the realms of gha,stly gloom 
which the gods hate, and from above the vast abyss were to 
be seen, and the spectres dazzled by the influx of day." 
peering day. 'To peer' is to pry or peep (active) or to come 


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just into sight (neuter) ; the latter is the meaning here. Comp. 
Tarn. Shrewt iv. 3, "Honour peereth through the meanest habit." 
But Dunster probably exaggerates the significance of the word 
when he says : " The peering day here is the first dawn of the 
Gospel, by the birth of the Redeemer." 

142. return to men. An allusion to Astrea, the goddess of 
Justice, who durins the golden age Lived among men; but 
when that age passed away, withdrew with her sister Pudicitia 
(Purity). In the lines on the Death of a Fair Infant, 50, Milton 
calls her " that just Maid who once before Forsook the hated 
earth." Comp. Jouson's Golden Age Restored, 

143. Orb'd ... between. This is the reading of the second 
edition (1673) ; the first edition (1646) had : 

** Th' enameld Arras of the Rainbow wearing. 
And Mercy sat between." 
* Orb*d in* = encircled by, either partially or totally (in which case 
we may suppose a double rainbow, as suggested b^ Dunster). 
like glories, ».6. similar to the glorious tints of the rainbow. 

145. sheen, brightness. Comp. Com. 893, * azum sheen ' ; %b, 
1003, * spangled sheen * Epit. on M. of W. 73, * clad in radiant 
sheen* ; F, Q, ii. 1. 10, * So fair and sheen' (adj.) ; On Death of 
Fair Infant, 48, * sheeny * (adj. ). Sheen is cognate with show, 

146. tissued: either * variegated' or * interwoven.' Comp. 
Com. 301, " plighted clouds " ; also No. xix., 1. 20, note. 

steering. Contrast the intrans. use of the verb < steer ' 
(ssmove) in Sams. Agon, iii, "The tread of many feet steering this 
150. yet : see note, // Pens. 30. 

152. bitter cross. Comp. 1 Hen. IV, i. 1. 25, " those blessed 
feet ... were nailed For our advantage on the hitter cross" : also 
M.for M, ii. 2. 74, Rich, III, i. 2. 194. 

163. loss : what we have lost. Comp. Pour. Lost, iii. 280-302. 

164. 1)otli Himself, etc. Comp. Par. Lost, iii. 296, 

" "Dymg rise; and rising, with him raise 
Bus brethren ransomed with his own dear life." 

155. ytihain'd. See note on * yclept,' i^'^^egr. 12. Spenser has 
yclad, ybent, ygo, ypent, yrapt, ytost, ywrake, etc. In M.E. 
the prefix ge- was weakened to t- or y- and disappeared altogether 
in the northern dialect. 

156. wakeful. Here used objectively : comp. ' dreadful,' line 
164, and < awful ' (see note, 1. 59). 

tramp of doom : comp. No. ii., Song for St. Cecilia* s Day, 
lines 59-62. 


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168. The references are to the giving of the Mosaic Law ; see 
Eosodus, xix. 

160. aged Earth. Gomp. JRom. and Jtd, iL 3, *'The earth, 
that's nature's mother'' (a classical notion) ; 1 Hen, IF. iii 1. 
32, "the old beldam Earth." 

aghast: Milton wrote 'agast,' for which 'aghast' has 
been erroneously substituted and is still employed. It is the 
participle of an old verb agasten (a- intensive ; O.E. gae^an, 
totemfy); comp. Chaucer, Legend of O. W, 1171, "What 

may it be That me agasteth in myn slep " ; Spenser, F, Q. 
i. 9. 21, "Or other griesl^ thing that him aghast.** The 
fuller form of the past participle a < agasted,' and the present 

participle = ' agasting,' are both obsolete ; comp. Stanyhurst's 
jEneid, ii. 29, * ' Shivering mothers ... do wander agasted. " (Comp. 
the two participles roast and roasted). The imetymologioaL spell- 
ing with gh appears first in Scotch about 1426, and became genend 
al^t 1700 : it is probably due to a supposed connection with 
gJuutf gJiaist, ghost. Still another false derivation is seen in the 
forms agazed, a>ga^ed; comp. 1 //en. FJ. L 1. 126, "The whole 
army stood agaaed on him.'^ This spelling is due to supposed 
connection with gaae, an error rendered possible by the fact that 
the vowel is long in O.E. ga,estani hence agdsed, (Comp. lit, 
lighted; p&st, p&ced, etc.). ' 

161. terrour: Fr. terreur. The spelling points to the fact 
that the word came into English from the Lat. terror, in- 
directly through French; but (see note on horroury 1. 172) 
the spelling alone is not conclusive evidence of this. Comp. 
AlPs fVeU,u,S,4. 

162. Comp. Par, Lost, vi 217 : 

" All Heaven resounded, and had Earth been then, 
All Earth had to her centre shook," 

centre. So in Com, 382, ' centre ' s centre of the Earth, 
and in Par, Lost, i. 686, "Men also ... Ransacked the centre," 
Sometimes the word was used of the Earth itself, as the fixed 
centre of the whole universe according to the Ptolemaic astronomy 
{Par. Beg. iv. 534). Comp. Hamlet ii. 2. 169. 

163. last session, the Last Judgment. * Session ' and ' assize ' 
(a cognate word through the French ; Lat. sedere, to sit) are both 
commonly applied in our literature, with such adjs. as greai, 
last, etc. to the Day of Judgment : comp. Haropole's Prick of 
Conscience, 5614: "The aythen men at that great assys" \ Syl- 
vester's Du Bartas, i. 2 : " When God his Sizes holds." Session, 
assessment, assize, excise (a corruption of assize), size, etc. are 
cognate. Comp. Par, Lost, ii. 514. 

164. spread, displayed : comp. Par. Lost, ii. 960, 


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167. But now : and only now. 

168. old Dragon : see Bev, xx. 2, " (An angel) laid hold on the 
dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound 
him for a thousandT years." So in Sanu, Agon. 1692, and in Par, 
Lost, X. 629, dragon = serpent. Corap. Com, 393, ' dragon watch,' 
and Tennyson's Dream of F, W, 265, * dragon^ eyes,* where 
the reference is to the dragon's keenness of vision, an idea con- 
tained in the name (6r. dipKOfiai, to see). Gomp. further, II Pens, 
59, and M, N. D, iii. 2. 379 where the allusion is to its swiftness. 

169. vtraiter. * Strait' is a doublet of itrict Gomp. F. Q. 
L 11. 23, " in stroAghter bandes," where * strait ' is confused with 
* straight.' 

171. wrotb. Milton first wrote wraJth, the older form (A.S. 
wrdtht angry). Wrath is not found as a subst. in A.S. 

172. Swinges . . . talL Gomp. Rev. xii. 4, and the account of the 
Great Dragon in i^. Q. L 11. 113 : 

'* His huge long tayle, wound up in hundred foldes, 
Does overerored his lone bras-scaly back ... 
It sweepeth all the land behind him farre " : 
also ib. 23. 

*' His hideous tayle then hurled he about." 

Browne refers also to a passage of Marvell's First Anniversary 
which seems to have been suggested by Milton's lines: "And 
stars still fall, and still the dragon's tail Swinges the volumes of 
its horrid JUUL" So Waller, with reference to the whale, speaks 
of its "tail's impetuous swinge," * Swinges '= brandishes, oeats 
about : this is the only case in which Milton uses the word, which 
is really the causal form of string, Gomp. drink and dreneh, me- 
thinks and think, sit and set, faXL and/e/Z, etc. The intrusive d in 
the form sirindges (used in the original editions) is due to the 
soft g, borrour : see note on * terrour,' 1. 161 ; this word comes 
directly from Latin, the spelling being due to force of analogy. 
Gomp. Com, 38, "the nodding Jiorror of whose shady brows," 
where the word has its radical sense of shagginess (Lat. horrere, 
to bristle), as it may have here. Or 'horror' may = object of 
horror: see note on 'sorrow,' Lye, 166, and Gomp. Dryden's 
Trans, of Ovid's Meta. : ** Shook the shady honours of her head." 
folded : see description of Spenser's dragon, quoted above. 

173. oracles are dumb. " The idea, from this point to line 236, 
is tiutt of the sudden paralysis of the gods and enchantments of 
tiie Pagan religions at the birth of Ghrist " (Masson). So Rabelais 
in Pantagrud, iii. 24, says : " You must know that the oracles are 
all of them become as dumb as so many fishes since the advent of 
that Saviour King, whose comins into the world has made all 
oracles and prophecies to cease. See also Gloss on Shepherd? s 


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GaXendar^ May, quoted in the notes on 1. 89. The period at 
which oracles ceased to nve forth their deliverances has been the 
subject of controversy. Eusebius and many Christian writers held 
the view here adopted by Milton, that they became silent at the 
birth of Christ, and doubtless the superstition, which had long 
lost its hold on the public mind, gradually disappeared before the 
light of Christianity. Nevertheless, there is abundant evidence 
that the oracles were consulted during several centuries of the 
Christian era, and edicts against them were issued by various 
emperors. Many of the Christian fathers regarded them, somewhat 
inconsistently, as due to the inspiration of the devil ; and this 
might be the view held by Milton (see lines 167-170 and Par, Reg, 
455, where Christ is made to say to Satan ; <* No more shalt thou 
by oracling abuse The Gentiles ; henceforth oracles are ceased.") 
See further in notes, 11. 176, 177, 178. ' Oracle ' (Lat. oraculum^ 
a double diminutive from orare^ to speak) is a term applied to the 
utterances or responses of a deity, to the deity responding, or to 
the place where the response is uttered. 

174. hideous hum. Comp. Virgil's account of the cave of the 
Cumaean Sibyl when Aeneas went to consult her before descending 
into the lower world {JEn, vi. 42-100) ; when inspired by the 

d Apollo she " from her cell shrills forth awful mysteries and 
ms again from the cavern, robing her truth in darkness." 

175. deceiTlag, deceitful, or (at least) ambiguous. 

176. Apollo ... shrine. The most famous oracles of antiquity 
were those of Apollo : he was consulted at over twenty of these, 
e.g. Delphi, Abdera, Delos, Lesbos, etc. A 'shrine' is a place 
sacred to a divinity : see note on * cell,' L 180. Comp. Virgil's 
^n, ii. 351 : Excesatre omnes, adytia arisque relictia, 

177. divine, i,e, utter presages or cause them to be uttered. In 
his essay on the Pagan Oracles De Quincey says : *< The fathers 
regarded it as a duty of Christianity to destroy Oracles ; and 
holding that baseless creed, some of them went on to affinn, in 
mere defiance of history, that Christianity had destroyed Oracles. 
But why did the fathers fancy it so special a duty of me Christian 
faith to destroy Oracles ? Simply for these two reasons viz., that 
(1) Most falsely they BxippoBea prophecy to be the main function 
of an Oracle ; whereas it did not enter into the main business of 
an*Oracle by so much as once in a thousand responses. (2) Not 
less erroneously they assumed this to be the inevitable parent of 
a collision with Christianity, for all prophecy, and the spirit of 
prophe<^, they supposed to be a regular prerogativeof Christianity, 
sacred, m fact, to the true faith by some inalienable right. But 
no such claim is anywhere advanced in Scripture." 

178. steep of Delphos. 'Delphos' is the mediaeval form of 
' Delphi,' the name of a small town in Phocis, situated on the S. W. 


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extremity of Mt. Parnassus in Greece. Here was the most cele- 
brated oracle of Apollo, the oracular divinations being uttered by 
a priestess called Fythea or the Pythoness in the temple of that 
god. From a chasm in the centre of the building rose a mephitic 
vapour, and the priestess sat on a tripod over the chasm, so that 
she might be readily intoxicated by the exhalations. The words 
she uttered while in this frenzied state were believed to be the 
revelations of Apollo. The Delphic oracle was finally suppressed 
by Theodosius, The name Delphos (applied to Delphi) is used by 
Milton, Par, Reg, i. 458, and by Shakespeare, Wint, TcUe, ii. 1. 
Comp. Lines on Shakespeare, "Delphic lines "=orao.ilar lines: 
Gray's Prog, of Poesy , 66, " Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's 

179. nightly. Comp. II Pens. 84, Arc. 48. 'Nightly' here = 
nocturnal, pertaining to night. It is an adj. , though its force is 
that of an adverb. Comp. Wordsworth, "The nightly hunter 
lifting up his eyes " = The hunter lifting up his eyes a^ night. 
trance: state of ecstasy; see note, II Pens. 165. Sometimes 
the paroxysms of the priestess were so dreadful that the priests 
and suppliants fled m terror: comp. Virgil's J^n. vi. 100. 
tareatlied spell; spell due to the exhalations from beneath the 
tripod: on * spell see note, II Pens. 170; the word was first 
used in a good sense, but occurs in the bad sense of ' magic ' as 
early as Gower's Con/essio Amantis (1393). 

180. pale-eyed. Afterwards used in Pope's Eloisa, 21, 
"Shrines where their vigils pale-eyed virgins keep." Comp. 
Hen. V. iv. 2. 47, "pale-dead eyes "; Shakespeare has also *pale- 
visaged,' * pale-faced,' * pale-hearted,' *pale hope,' etc. cell, i.e. 
the adytum or innermost shrine, accessible only to the priests 
and the initiated (Lat. ceUa). 

181. o'er: attributive to 'mountains.' 

183. voice of weeping. Comp. the language of Isaiah^ Ixv. 19, 
and MaU. ii. 18. The allusion is explained by the Gloss quoted 
in the notes on line 89. 

184. haunted spring. Comp. UAlleg. 130, II Pens. 137 and 
164, "unseen Genius of the wood"; Com. 267; Lye. 183, "the 
Genius of the shore "; Par. Lost, i. 783, iii. 27. 

185. poplar pale. The silver-poplar (in Horace, alba popUlus). 

186. parting, depjirting. Comp. Par. Lost, viii. 630, "the 
parting sim "; ib. xii. 589, •" The hour precise exacts our parting 
nence." See Nares' Glossary for other illustrative passages {e.g, 
' timely-parted ' = lately dead), and index to Globe Spenser 
(part = depart ; parture = departure). 

188. Comp. nPens. 133, 137, 154. 

189. consecrated : see note on 'sacred,' Lye. 102. 


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191. Lars and Lemures. Line 189 refers to the latter, and line 
190 to the former. See Leigh Hnnt*s Essay on the Household 
Gods of the Ancients : '* The Lares or Lars were the lesser and 
most familiar household gods; and though their offices were 
afterwards extended a good deaX in the same way as those of the 
Penates (gods of the house and family), with whom they are 
often wrongly confounded, their principal sphere was the 
fireplace. This was in the middle oi the room, and the statues 
of the Lares generally stood about it in little niches. They are 
said to have been in the shape of monkeys ; more likely mannikins, 
or rude little human images.... Some writers make them the 
offspring of the goddess Mania, who presided over the spirits of 
the dead; and suppose that originaUy they were the same as 
those spirits; which is a very probable as well as agreeable 
superstition, the old nations of Italy having been accustomed to 
bury their dead in their houses. Upon this supposition, the 
good or benevolent spirits were called Familiar Lares and the 
evil or malignant ones, Larvae and Lemures." Milton seems 
here to refer to Lemures in the same sense as Ovid, viz., shades, 
ghosts of the dead, Lat. manes, 

192. round : prep, governing ' altars.' 

194. Flamens: Roman priests devoted to the service of a 
particular deity, quaint, precise. In modem English it means 
odd or curious, and in Milton's poetry it usually conveys the idea 
of strangeness as well or of exactness or nicety. The word is 
from Lat. cognituSt known or remarkable, and Chaucer has it in 
the sense of * famous ' ; hence ' skilful ' and * cunning * (in a good 
sense) ; hence * cunning ' (in a bad sense), as in T& Plowrruin*8 
Crede (1394), *' the devell is full queynte" In French it became 
coint, which was treated as if from Lat. compttu, neat, ingenious, 
and hence acquired the sense of ' pretty ' or * neat,* as in Temp, 
i. 2. 317, "My quaint Ariel." Comp. 'uncouth,* VAUeg. 6, 
note ; No. vii., line 14 ; and Lye. 139. 

195. chill marble ... sweat. Dunster refers to Oeorgica i. 480, 
for the prodigies at the death of Caesar : ** the ivory in the fanes 
sheds tears for sorrow, and the brass sweats." 

196. foregoes, etc. Comp. No. xix., 39, note. In this line 
' peculiar * = special. * Foregoes * = gives up, a corruption of 
* forgoes,* due to confusion with * foregone * ( = gone before). The 
prefix/or- (seen in forbear, forbid, forget, forgive, forlorn, forsake, 
iorswear) has the sense of/rom or is an intensive (cf. Ger. ver). 

197. Compare the catalogue of fallen angels in Par, Lost, i 
376-521. Peor ; t.e. Baal-Peor, or the Baal of Poor {Num. xxiii. 28 ; 
XXV. 3, 18 ; Josh, xxii 17). Milton follows Jerome, who identifies 
Chemos (see Par, Lost, L 405) with Baal-Peor and the Greek 
Priapus. Baalim : see Judges, viii. 33, 1 Sam, vii. 4 ; 2 Chron. 
xxviiL 2, etc. ; also Par, Lost, i 422, *' Baalim and Ashtaroth, 


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those male, these feminine." The BsaI of the Phoenicians here 
referred to is the Sungod, the Baal (Heb. ba'al, lord; plor. 
baalim) or lord of the heavens : the BatJs of different tribes or 
sanctuaries were not necessarily regarded as identical, so that in 
the Bible we find frequent mention of *'the Baalim." As the 
principle of life he was worshipped as Baal-Peor, and other 
aspects are marked by such names as Baal-zebub, Ish-bosheth 
(where bosheth = ' shameful thing,' substituted for * Baal *), etc. 

199. twlce-batter'd god. See Par, Lost, i. 462, «Dagon his 
name, sea monster, upward man And downv^rd fish;" SavM, 
Agon, 4b3>7, 468 ; 1 Sams, v. 3, where allusion is made to Dagon's 
twice fallinff before the ark of God. Palestine : Dagon was a 
national god of the Philistines, who have given their name to 
Palestine (comp. the transfer of the name * Asia ' from a small 
district of Lydia to a whole continent). 

200. moonM Ashtaroth, etc. Ashtoreth, Ashtaroth or As- 
tarte, goddess of the Sidonians and Philistines, whose worship 
was introduced among the Israelites during the period of the 
Judges {Judg, iL 13, 1 Sam. viL 4). The name is properljr a 
plunJ, and in the Old Testament is sometimes associated with 
the plural Baalim. On this account some (including Milton, Par, 
Lost, i. 422) would identify Baal with the male principle of life 
and Ashtaroth with Ashera, the female principle among the 
Syrians and others. But Ashera was an impure deitv, while 
Ashtaroth is not so represented. *'The key to this difficulty is 
probably to be sought in the Aa^rrian mythology, where we find 
that the planet Venus was worshipped as the chaste goddess Istar, 
when she appeared as a morning star, and as the impure Bilit or 
Beltis, Myhtta of Herod. (L 199), when she was an evening star. 
These two goddesses, associated yet contrasted, seem to correspond 
respectively to the chaste Ashtoreth and the foul Ashera, though 
the distinction between the rising and setting planet was not 
kept up among the Western Semites, and tiie nobler deity came 
at length to be viewed as the goddess of the moon ** (Ency, BritL 
iii.). Milton here regards her as goddess of the moon (see Par, 
Lost, vL 978), though the Greek goddess Astarte was identified 
with Aphrodite or Venus (see Com, 1002, " Assyrian Queen "). 

201 Heaven's queen, etc. She is so called in Jerem. xliv. 25, 
** to bum incense to the queen of Jieaven." Newton says, *She 
was called regina coeli and mater Deum * (Selden's De Diis Sfp^is). 

202. tapers* holy sblne, t.e. on her altars. On < taper,' see note 
L*AUeg,\26, ' Shine ' = lustre, as in sim-«Atn«, moon-«^ine : the 
use of 'shine* as a subst. is found in Spenser, Shakespeare, 
Jonson, Dryden, and others; comp. F, Q, i. x. 67, "passing 
brightness ... and too exceeding «Ayne"; Ven, and Adon, "her 
silver shine" ; Jonson's Oynth, Rev, <'a heart with shin/s about it." 
See Naves* Glossary under shine and sheen. 


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203. Idbyc Hammon, i.e. the Libyan or Aethiopian god Ammon, 
called by the Greeks Zeus Ammon and by the Romans Jupiter 
Ammon. See Par. Loaty iv. 276, "Old Cham (=Ham, son of 
Noah) whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove." The 
reference to his horn shows that Milton is thinking of that type 
of Ammon with which the later Greek and Roman writers were 
most familiar, which connected him with the ram-headed god 
Khnum or Chnoumis, the spirit of the waters ; and perhaps the 
poet does not clearly distinguish him from Apis, the bull-god, 
whose name, like that of Ammon, means * the hidden god.' The 
classical writers regarded the horns of Ammon as significant of 
his office as protector of the flocks, the Aethiopians being a 
nomadic people. It is probable that the worship of Ammon was 
introduced from Egypt into Aethiopia; he was worshipped at 
Mero3 in Aethiopia, Thebes, and Ammonium. On his conquest of 
Egypt, Alexander the Great called himself the son of Ammon, and 
his portraits show him wearing the ram*s horn. 

Blirinks ; used transitively : see Lye. 133, note. 

204. Tliaznmuz. Oomp. Par. Lost, i. 446, " Thammuz came 
next behind. Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured the Sytian 
damsda to lament his fate"; and Gom. 999, ** Where young 
Adonis oft reposes, " etc. These two passages shew that Thammuz 
was identified with Adonis, and Astarte with Venus. Keightley, 
in his Mythology^ says: ** The tale of Adonis is evidently an 
eastern myth ... He appears to be the same with the Thammuz 
mentioned by the prophet Ezekiel (viii. 14), and to be a Phoenician 
personification of the sun, who during part of the year is absent, 
or, as the legend expresses it, with the goddess of the under world : 
during the remainder with Astarte, the regent of heaven." The 
mourning of the Tyrian maids is an allusion to the anniversary 
ceremonies held in Syria and round the Mediterranean to per- 
petuate the memory of Venus's grief for Adonis, who died of a 
wound received from a wild boar. On the myths of Adonis 
and Ammon see Frazer's Oolden Bough, i. 3. 4 ; iL 3. 12. 

205. sullen Moloch : comp. Par. Lost, L 392, "Moloch, horrid 
king, besmear*d with blood Of human sacrifice and parent's tears," 
etc. Moloch or Molech or Milchdm, the national god of the 
Ammonites, to whom children were offered up in sacrifice (see 
Paalm, CYi. 38, Jer. vii 31, Esek. xvi. 20, 2 Kings, iii 27, Lev. 
XX. 1-5). In the Old Testament there seems to be some confusion 
between Moloch and Baal : see especially Jer, xxxii. 35, and ib, 
xix. 5, where the names are used as if interchangeable, and human 
sacrifices are ascribed to both. Classical writers have identified 
Moloch with Saturn. Warton quotes from Sandva' Travels, a 
book popular in Milton's time : " Wherein [the valley of Tophet] 
the Hebrews sacrified their children to Moloch : an idol of brass, 
having the head of a calf, the rest of a kingly figure with arms 
extended to receive the miserable sacrifice, scared to death with 


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his burning embracemente. For the idol was hollow within, and 
filled with fire. And lest their lamentable shrieks should sad the 
hearts of their parents, the priests of Moloch did deaf their ears 
with the continuid clon^ of trumpets aind timbrels.*' Milton 
here pictures Moloch fleemg from his own altar at the moment of 
Christ's birth and while his worshippers were in the act of sacri- 
ficing to him. The priests danced round the fire, and endeavoured 
to r^all their god. 

207. all: see note, UAUtg, 33. 

208. cymbal's ring : the clash of the cymbals in which the 
cries of the victims were drowned ; see note, 1. 128. 

209. grisly. Radically the same as grue-somt = horrible, causing 
terror (comp. Ger. grausig, causing horror ; graua, horror). In 
Par, Lost, iv. 821, Satan is called "the grisly king"; comp. Com, 
603, "all the grisly legions," and see index, Globe Speiiser; 
* grieslie, ' * grisely. ' 

210. dance : comp. Macbethy Act iv. 

211. bmtislL In direct allusion to their form. "The distin- 
guishing peculiarity of the ancient Egyptian religion, with respect 
to worship, is the adoration of sacred animals as emblems oi the 
gods ... The most celebrated of these were the bulls Apis at Mem- 
phis and Mnevis at HeliopoUs, both sacred to Osiris, though some 
say the latter was sacred to the sun." The crocodile was sacred 
to Sebak, the jackal and probably more than one allied species 
to Anubis ; the cat to Pasht, and so with innumerable anmials. 
The eods of Egypt are referred to in Juvenal's 15th Satire, in 
Herod, ii, and in Lucian's De Sacr, Conip Far, Lost, t 477 : 
" A crew who imder names of old renown, Osiris, Isis, Orus, and 
their train, With monstrous shapes, and sorceries abused Fanatic 
Egn^t and her priests, to seek Their wandering gods disguised 
in brutish forms Rather than human." 

212. Isia, the consort of Osiris and mother of Horus. At first 
the {[oddess of the earth, and afterwards of the moon: then 
identified by the Greeks with Demeter and the Argive lo. Her 
worship prevailed extensively in Greece, and was introduced into 
Rome m the time of Sulla. In the public processions those ini- 
tiated in her mysteries wore masks representing dogs' heads : see 
Smith's Class. Diet, and Ency, Britt., article 'Egyvt,* Spenser, 
F, Q. V. 7, says : ** They wore rich mitres shaped like the moon 
To i^ow that Iris doth the moon portend, Like as Osiris signifies 
the sun." See Frazer's Qolden Bought vol. L chap. 3, § 6, on 
Osiris and Isis. 

Onis ... Anubis. The children of Osiris and Isis were Orus 
(s Horus or Har) and Anubis or Anup. The former was repre- 
sented as * hawk-headed,' the latter as 'jackal-headed.' Horus 
assisted his father Osiris in judging the dead, while Anubis had 


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the duty of weighing the souls of the departed and of presiding 
over funeral rites. He is also sometimes called the sun-god : 
comp. Virgil's ^n, viii. 698. 

213. Osiris. Milton here identifies Osiris, long regarded as the 
sun-god and the Nile-god and the most celebrated deity in the 
Egyptian Pantheon, with Apis the bull-god, respectfully following 
the classical writers {e.g. Juvenal, Satires^ viii. 29). This 
identification was due to the fact that the bull, worshipped at that 
time as a divinity, came to be regarded as a symbol. In U. 216-7 
Milton alludes to the legend that Osiris, originallv king of Egypt, 
had been, on his return from travels in foreign lands, muraered 
by his brother Typhon, who cut his body into pieces and threw 
them into the NUe. After long search Isis discovered them, and 
defeated Typhon with the aid of her son Horus. Mr. Palgrave*s 
note is as follows : — Osiris, the Egyptian god of Agriculture (here 
perhaps by confusion with Apis, figured as a Bull), 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 imoer the 
influences of the winter darkness. Horus, the son of Osiris, as the 
New Year, in his turn overcomes Typhon. 

214. MempMan grove. After the fall of Thebes, Memphis 
became the capital of Egypt : it contained the splendid temple of 
the bull-god Apis. 

215. nnsliower'd : in allusion to the small rain-fall of Egypt, 
a coimtry which is watered by the Kile's overflow, with : oomp. 
Lye. 29, note. 

217. chest, ark (as in line 220). Comp. Henry son's Moral 
Fables, 8: **The cheese in Arhe and meill in Kist," Chaucer has 
chest in the sense of cofiSn (comp. 6r. K6<fnyos, a chest): ''He is 
now ded and nailed in his chest" ProL to Cltrk^s Tale, On 
' sacred ' ( = ' worshipt ' in L 220), comp. not-e, Lye. 102. 

218. Bhroad : see note. Lye, 22, "my sable shroud,** 

219. timbrell'd anthems, anthems sung to the accompaniment 
of the timbreL 'Timbrel,* a dimin. from M.E. timbre, cognate 
with Lat. tympanum, a drum. Comp. Exod. xv. 20; and Pope's 
line, "Let weeping Nilus hear the timbrel sound," Trans, of Ist 
Thebaid of Statins. On 'anthem,' see II Pens. 163, note. 

220. 8ahle-8to]6d. On 'stole,' see note, Jl Pens. 35, and comp. 
* sable- vested* (Gk. KvaifdtrroKos) in Par, Lost, ii 962. worshipt : 
see note on *kist,* line 65. MUton also has 'worshiped.' 

221. Comp. Isaiah, xix. 1, "Behold, the Lord rideth upon a 
swift cloud, and cometh unto Egypt; and the idols of Erarpt 
shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt ^all 
melt in the midst of it.** 


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223. eyn. There were a large number of plurals in en in Old 
English, only one of which (oxen) is now in common use as a 
plural, though others are now used as singulars (welkin, chicken, 
etc. ). Chaucer has the form ye, plur. vgii, commonly written eye, 
eyen : Spenser frequently uses eyen = O.E. eagan, Frov. Eng. ee»; 
and/oeii = O.E. fan, /on, foes (see Morris, § 80). Shakespeare 
{Ant. and Chop, ii. 7. 121) has cyiie = eyes, and e^ioon = shoes 
(Ham, iv. 5). Comp. dtrnghteren, aistren, assen, hem, etc., all 
found in old writers: kine, children, and brethren are double 

224. beside, besides, other : see note, H Pens, 116. 

226. Typhon: the Egyptian god. Set, called by the Greeks 
Typhon, was a brother of Osiris : he is represented sometimes 
with the head of a fabulous monster, sometimes as a crocodile, 
etc. For the use of * twine,' comp. Com, 105. 

227. Our Babe, etc. The allusion is explained by the story of 
the infant Hercules strangling, in his cradle, the two serpents 
sent by Hera to destroy him. 

228. crew : see note, L'AUeg, 38. 

229. So : in the same way. Comp. Cowley's Hymn to Light, 
41, ** When, Goddess, thou lift'st up thy wakened head, Out of 
the Moming*s purple bed," etc 

231. PlllowB ... waye. Comp. Shelley's LivM written in the 
Euganean Hills : 

" Lo ! the sun upsprings behind. 
Broad, red, radiant, naif -reclined 
On the level quiverine line 
Of the waters crystalHne." 

Also Par, Reg, iv. 426; H Pens, 121. 

orient, bright. The Lat. oneness rising; hence (from 
being applied to the sun) = eastern {Com, L 30); and hence 
generally 'bright' or 'shining': comp. Com, 65, Par, Lost, i. 546. 

232. flookliig shadows, etc. Comp. M, i^. D. iii 2; 

"Yonder shines Aurora's harbinger. 
At whose approach ghosts, wandering here and there, 
Troop home to churchyards," etc 

See further, UAlUg, 49, note; Hamlet, L 5. 89-91. 

234. his several grave, t.e. his separate or particular grave. 
Radically ' several ' is from the verb ' sever ' (Lat. separo) and in 
this sense could be used with singular nouns : comp. Much Ado, 
V. 3. 29, Shak. Sonnet, 137, Oomus, 25. It was also used as a 
subst. =an individual, an enclosed place, etc.; and the adverb 
had the sense of ' separately ' or * privately ': comp. JvL Caesar, 


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iii. 2. 10, "severcUly we hear them." In the modem sense of 
'various,' 'divers,* 'sundry,* the adj. is used only with plural 
nouns, and cannot stand as a subst. See Abbott, § 61 ; Morris, 
§ 249 ; and Nare8* Glossary, On ' his * = its, see notes, 11. 106, 139. 

235. fiiys, fairies. Strictly 'fay' (Fr. fie, an elf) is the personal 
name, while the derivative ' fairy * is an abstract noun = enchant- 
ment : the latter, though at first wrongly^ used, has now nearly 
displaced the former. See Kei^htley *s Fa%ry Mythology, * Tellow- 
skirted ' : yellow is a colour widely associated with enchantment. 

236. night-steeds. Comp. Com. 553, "The drowsy frighted 
steeds that draw the litter of close-curtained sleep : '* also Par, 
Lost, ii. 662. Shakespeare alludes frequently to the dragons that 
draw Night's chariot (M, N, D. iii. 2. 379, uym. ii. 2, Tro, and 
Cress, V. 9) and to night as the time for fairies and ghosts {Ham, 
ill 2; M, N. D. v. 2; (b. ii. 1). See also 11 Pens. 59, note. 

moon-loved maie ; intricacies of their moon-light dance. 
Comp. M. N. D. ii. 1. 141, "If you will patiently dance in onr 
round, And see our moon-light revels, go with ns'*; and Par, 
Lost, L 781, "fauy elves Whose midnight revels ... Some belated 
peasant sees, ... While overhead the moon Sits arbitress.** 

238. Hath: see note, L'AUeg, lOS. 

239. Time is, etc., = 'It is time that,' etc 

240. yoimgest-teemddslast bom or 'latest bom*: comp. 'later 
bom,' Sonnet to Lady Mar, Ley. The allusion is to the Star in 
the East (see lines 19 and 23, notes) 

241. fixed ... car : the star remained fixed over the spot where 
Christ lay at Bethlehem. ' Polished ' s bright : comp. Com. 95, 
" the gilded car of day." 

242. liand-mald lamp. Dunster thinks the allusion is to the 
parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt, xxv : comp. Milton's tSonn, to a 

Virtuous Totmg Lady, '* Thy care is fixed and zealously attends 
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light." 

243. courtly stable. The stable where the kings from the East 
did homage to the Prince of Peace. 

244. Bright bamess'd, clad in shining amiour. In old books 
' hamess * almost alwa3rs means body-armour for soldiers : comp. 1 
Kings, xx. 11; Chaucer's (7o7i<. TdUs, 1615, " Aame89 right enouffh 
for thee" (said to a knight) ; Macbeth, v. 5. 52, "At teast we ll 
die with hamess on our back ;" Par. Lost, viL 202, "hamessed 
at hand " (applied to an equipage). 

serviceable, ready to serve. 0>mp. King Lear, iv. 6. 
257 ; and Son. on his Blindness, " They also serve who only stand 
and wait." 


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No. IL 


This ode was composed for the festival of St. Cecilia, November 
22, 1687, very shortly after the publication of The Hind and the 
Panther, It would appear from a note in his copy of Spenser's 
Faerie Queene that Dryden had previously had an idea of a song 
for St. Cecilia's Day, suggested by a st^inza of Spenser's poem 
(Bk. vii. 7. 12): 

"Was never so great joyance since the day 
That all the gods whylomejassembled were 
On Haemus lull in their divine array, 
To celebrate the solemn bridall cheare 
Twixt Peleus and Dame Thetis pointed there; 
Where Phoebus selfe, the god of Poets hight, 
They say, did sing the spousall hymne'full cleere, 
That all the gods were ravisht with delight 
Of his celestial song, and Musick's wondrous might." 

St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, has been honoured as a 
martyr ever since the fifth century, and in England the festival 
held on the day sacred to her was revived in 16^3. In 16S7 and 
1697 Dryden wrote the ode for the occasion : Pope wrote it — a 
very formal production — ^in 1708. The story regarding St. 
Cecilia, as delivered by the Notaries of the Roman Catholic 
church, and thence transcribed into the Golden Legend {Legenda 
Aurea) and similar books, tells that she was a noble Roman lady, 
bom about 295; that, though a convert to Christianity, her 
parents married her to a pagan nobleman named Yalerianus, 
whom she informed that she was nightly visited by an angel. 
Yalerianus was permitted to see the angel on condition that he 
would embrace Christianity. This he did, and was informed by 
the angel that he would be crowned with martyrdom in'^a short 
time. Both he and Cecilia died as martyrs about 320. The 
legend says little about her musical genius, but there is a 
tradition that she excelled in music and invented the organ. 
Hence the perversion of the legend to the effect that her music, 
and not her purity, drew the angel from heaven. See Longfellow's 
Qolden Legend^ and Chaucer's Seconde Nonnea Tale : the latter is 
almost literally a translation from the life of St. Cecilia in the 
Legenda Aurea of Jacobus Januensis. The following are extracts 
from Chaucer's poem: 

'*This maiden bright Cecile, as her life saith, 
Was come of Romans and of noble kind. 
And from her cradle f oster'd in the faith 
Of Christ, and bare his Gospel in her minds 


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She never ceased, as I written find, 
Of her prayer, and (rod to love and dread ... 
And while that th' oreans maden melody, 
To Gk)d alone thus in her heart snng she; 
O Lord, my soul and eke my body gie 
Unwemm^d, lest that I confounded be." 

The fact that Milton's Hymn on the Nativity and the poem 
now under consideration are both described as odes raises the 
question of the nature of an Ode. The one is in regular stanzas, 
the other is more irregular ; the one has a chorus, the other has 
not. It would seem, therefore, that irregularity of metre and 
stanza and the presence of a choric strain are not essential to the 
Ode, and many of the finest odes in the English language are of 
perfectly regmar structure. The Greek ^di) meant a song or 
lyrical composition, and many English odes are framed on the 
model of the Pindaric odes. Hence the use of irregular metres 
and arbitrary divisions into stanzas (without regard to the 
demands of music) supposed to be in the style of Pindar — a 
practice largely due to the influence and example of the poet 
Cowley (1618-1667). Dryden's Song for St. CfecUia's Day is, 
in fact, an imitation of Cowley*s Ode on the Resurrection, and 
Cowley's Odea have been ''the forerunners of a whole current of 
loud-mouthed lyric invocation not yet silent after two centuries." 
An ode is a species of lyric, but when not intended to be sung or 
chanted, the classical models are no longer suitable and the 
broken lines and other irregularities which, after Cowley, were 
supposed to be specially fitted for the Ode, have little real 
meaning and tend to artificiality. To find a definition of an ode 
that wm apply to all the best modern specimens is difficult; Mr. 
Gosse would include **any strain of enthusiastic and exalted 
lyrical verse, directed to a fixed purpose, and dealing progres- 
sively with one dignified theme." In Oreat Odea a recent writer 
discusses this question and finally says: "There can be little 
dou}>t that the term woald be almost meaningless if it were 
allowed to comprise every lyrical form. If the ode be at once 
'a high remote chant' and an impassioned apostrophe it musfc 
cease to be distinctive, must become as liberal a term as * lyric ' 
itself. Are we to call the *Hyran on Christ's Nativity,' and the 
*Ode to the West Wind,* or *To the Skylark,* by one common 
name? Yet each has been accepted as an ode. It may be 
suggested that any poem finely wrought, and full of high 
thmking, which is of the nature of an apostrophe, or of 
sustained intellectual meditation on a single theme of general 
purport, should be classed as an ode. This, it seems to me, may 
fairly be accepted if, further, the distinction between the 
personal and impersonal lyric be observed, and if it be understood 
iha,t the form must neither be narrative nor dramatic, nor, again, 
be of an obtrusively choric nature.** 


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1. heavenly harmony, etc. The idea expressed in the opening 
Unes is that of Pythagoras (b.o. 530), who is said to have heen 
the first to speak of the universe as a cosmos, from its orderliness 
or arrangement (Lat. mundus), '*The new and startling feature 
in the Pythagorean philosophy, as opposed to the Ionic systems, 
was that it n>und its dpx'flt its key of the universe, not in any 
known substance, but in number and proportion. This miffht 
naturally have occurred to one who had Ustened to the teachmg 
of Thales and Anaximander. After all it makes no difierence, he 
might say, what we take as our original matter; it is the law of 
development, the measure of condensation, which determines the 
nature of each thing. Number rules the harmonies of music, the 
proportions of sculpture and architecture, the movements of the 
heavenly bodies, it is Number which makes the universe into a 
Kda/ios, and is the secret of a virtuous and orderly life *' {ThoUes to 
CHcero, Mayor). According to the Pvthagoreans the soul was 
itself a harmony, dwelling in the body as in a prison (conip. 
Plato*8 Fhaedo, vL 62b). On the music of the spheres, see note, 
Hymn Nat. 125. 

2. universal frame, the fabric of the universe, frame which is 
the universe. This makes the phrase more significant than if we 
regard * universal' as merely = total. Gomp. Spenser's Hymn of 
H, Love, 22: 

''Before this tooricPs great frame, in which all things 
Are now contained, found any being-place, 
Ere flittering Time could wag his eyas wings 
About that mighty bound which doth embrace 
The rolling spheres, and parts their hours by space. 
That High Eternal Power which now doth move 
In all these things, moved in itself by love." 

The phrase occurs also in Milton, Par. Lost, v. 153, ''Almigbty, 
thine this universal frame." The word 'frame' conveys the 
notion of something whose parts are fitted together: comp. 
*Tocal frame,' Alex. Feast, 133. 

began, took its rise: comp. Alex. Feast, 25. 

3. Nature ... Jarrincr atoms. Comp. Par. Lost, 11. 894: 

"Eldest Night 
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold 
Eternal anarchy. Amidst the noise 
Of endless v^rs, and by confusion stand. 
For Hot, Ck)ld, Moist, and Dry, four champions fierce. 
Strive here for masterv, and to battle bring 
Their emhryon c^oms. 


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Comp. also Ovid's Meia, i. 5, Rndia indigestcLque molea, eto. 
* Jarring ' = discordant, not yet harmonized: what Ovid calls 
diseordia semina rerum ; comp. also No. Lxni. ' Atoms * (Ok. 
arofJLos, indivisible) : comp. Holland's Plutarch's Mor. 807, " Epi- 
curus saith, That the principles of all things be certain Atomes' " ; 
see also Munro's Lucretius, index. 

5. heave her head. ' Heave ' = raise, is frequent in Milton: 
comp. Comus, 885, * heave thy rosy head*; L*AUeg. 146; Sam, 
Agon, 197. The phrase is Miltonic ; before Milton's time 'heave' 
had a less restricted sense, comp. Spenser, F, Q, i. 2. 39, " His 
raging blade he heft (heaved)," Chaucer's Prol, 550, **IIeve a 
dore of harre (oflF its hinge)"; Bich, HI, iv. 4, '* Painted queen ; 
one heaved on high " (t. e, exalted, now obsolete). It was Dryden's 
use of Miltonic phrases, among other things, that led to such 
fulsome eulogies as that of Lee : 

" To the dead bard your fame a little owes, 
For Milton did the wealthy mine disclose 
And rudely cast what you could well dispose ... 
Till through the heap your mighty genius shined, 
He was the golden ore which you refined ! " 

6. The: used specifically. Voice, i,e, words; namely, <* Arise, 
ye more than dead." 

7. je more than dead. In such phrases of address f/e continued 
to be commonly used, even after ye and you had come to be used 
with little discrimination. This confusion between ye and you 
did not exist in old English : ye was alv^ys used as a nominative, 
and you as a dative or accusative. In the English Bible the dis- 
tinction is very carefully observed, but in the dramatists of the 
Elizabethan period there is a very loose use of the two forms " 
(Morris) : it is the same in Milton. ' More than dead ': as 
'more' is here adverbial, and no adjective is expressed after it, 
we may interpret the phrase as= ' worse than if ye were dead '; 
for a body, thoush dead, is nevertheless organized, but these 
atoms were discordant. 

8. cold and hot, etc. See * the four champions ' alluded to in 
Par, Lost, ii. 898 (quoted above). Comp. Ovid's Meta, i. 19 : 

**Frigida pugnabant caZidxs, humentia sieciSf 
Mollia cum duris, sine pondere habentia pondus." 

The early sages of Greece distinguished four elements, — earth, 
water, air, and fire ; and with these were associated corresponding 
qualities— hot and cold, dry and moist. 

9. in order ... leap : instantaneously form the Cosmos. 

14. oompass, range. Comp. *' You would sound nie from my 
lowest note to the top of my compasSy** Ham. iii. 2. The word 
is here used in its special application to music (see next note) : 


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In M.E. it meant a circle ("As the point in a ciompaa^** Gower's 
Canf, Amant. iii 92) ; bnt it has also the more general sense oi 
extent or grasp: comp. ** compass of my wits," Bom. and Jul. 
It. 1. 

15. diapason ... Van, Man being the full and completed 
harmony. The best illustration of the meaning will be found in 
No. 63, At a Solemn Music, 17-28. ' Diapason '; in music a 
name given by the Greeks to the interval of the octave, and so 
called because it embraces all the sounds of the perfect system or 
scale : it is also used in the sense of the compass of any voice or 
instrument. The word (Gk. 5(aira<ru)v) is a contraction of the 
phrase diit raaQv x^P^^^ trvfi^xavia, a symphony extending through 
all the notes ; so that diapason » ** fchrough-all." Comp. 
Holyday 's Distich : 

" All things are wonder since the world began ; 
The world's a riddle, and the meaning's man." 

closing: see note, Hymn Nat, 100, and Comus^ 548, "ert 
a dose.** flill : see note on * shrill,* VAlleg, 66. 

16. passion, feeling or emotion : see note, II Pens, 41. On 
the power of music comp. Alex, Feast ; Collins' Ode on the Pas- 
sions (No. 178 in Gold, Treas.); Congreve's Mourning Bride; 
M, N. D. ii. 1. 150, " Music hath chaims to soothe the savage 
breast"; and Herrick's poems on Music (pages 160, 161, Mr. 
Palgrave's edition), e,g, 

" Music, thou queen of heaven, care-charming spell. 
That strik'st a stillness into hell ; 
Thou that tam'st timers and fierce storms that rise. 
With thy soul-meltmg lullabies." 

raise and quell, excite and soothe. Quell is M.E. quellen, 
to kill : quell and kiU are probably not cognate. 

17. Jubal: comp. Gen, iv. 21, <*He was the father of all such 
as handle the harp and pipe;" and George Eliot's Legend oj 
Jubal, Marvell, in Musics Empire, says : 

" Jubal first made the wilder notes agree, 
And Jubal tuned Music's Jubilee ; 
He called the echoes from their sullen cell. 
And built the organ's city, where they dwell.** 

chorded shell. The first lyre is said to have been made 
by stretching strings over the shell of a . tortoise. So in 
Lat. testvdo and in Gk. x^^^s, both meaning a tortoise, were 
applied to the lyre; comp. Horace's ode to his lyre, L 32, 
**Dapibus supremi Grata testudo Jovis"; also v. 14, "cava 
testudine. " * Chorded * (Gk. x^P^t string of a musical instrument) : 
chord and cord are radically the same : comp. Par, Lost, xi« 561, 
and Collins' Ode, 3, 


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20. ctfeatial sound; comp. Collin's Ode, ''Music, sphere- 
descended maid." 

21. Less : object of * dwell,' and = a less being. Comp. the 
stories of the behayiour of savage tribes under similar circum- 
stances, the unfamiliar being objects of worship. 

25. trumpet's loud dane^or. * Clangor * (3 ffen, VT, iL 3. 18, 
and *clanff' (Tarn. Shrew, i. 2. 207) are both applied to the 
sound of tne trumpet (Lat. clangere, to resound). On the effect 
of the trumpet comp. Sidney's Apologie for Poetry; also 
jEn. ix. 501. 

27. slirill: comp. Othello — 

" Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump. 
The spirit-stirring drum, th' ear-piercing fife." 
In Collin's Ode it is '' the war-denouncing trumpet." 

28. mortal alaims, i.e. calls to deadly combat. In this case, 
as in * mortcd ' wound, ' mortal ' retains its active sense : 2 ffen. 
VI. iii. 2, "The mortaX worm"; Ant. and Cleop. v. 2, "thou 
mortal wretch." * Alarms * : originally an exclamation meaning 
•To arms!' (Old Fr. alarme), as in Piers Plow, xxiii. 92, 
" Alarme I Alarme I quath that Lorde " ; then used as a general 
name for a call to arms (as in Hall's Chnm. 680, "When the 
alarme came to Odice, every man made to horse and harness ") ; 
then a warning sound of any kind ; then any warning of danger ; 
then anything that excited apprehension. In the seventeenth 
century, owing to ignorance of its derivation, it was sometimes 
taken for ' all arm' and so written : comp. C. Butler's Fern. Men. 
130, " As if the drum did sound an all-cvrm.** The form alarum, 
still in use as the name of an apparatus which sounds a warning, 
is due to the rolling of the r. 

29. double double, etc. The line imitates the rapid beat of the 
drum during an alarm : throughout the poem the endeavour to 
express the character of the various instruments is evident. 
Comp. Collins' Ode, ''The doubling drum with furious beat. 

33. flute. Associated with love-songs, " music being the food 
of love": see Twelfth Night, i. 1. 1-4, and Cant. Tales, 79-91, 
where the young Squire, a lover, " singing he was or floyting all 
the day." 

34. discovers, makes known. This negative use of the prefix 
dis' is common in Milton {Pa^. Lost, iiL 546), and Shakespeare 
{At. of V. il T. I.) Comp. dis-hwrden (where the Romance pre- 
fix is used with an English word), disallow, disarray, (Spenser's 
Epith. ), disedge (Tennyson's Enid), etc. 

36. dirge, lament. A word of curious origin, being a contrac- 
tion of Lat. dirige, * direct thou,* imperative of dirigere. Dirige 
was the initial word of an anthem sung in the funeral service ox 

o.T, n. \ 


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office for the dead, translated from PwUm v. 8, Dirige, DonUne, 
in conspeciu tuo vitam meam, etc. The word has now become a 
general name for a funeral hymn or lament ; comp. Piers Plow. 
IV. 467, ^*plcK€bo and dirige" and Fuller's Cfhurch History^ 
where the form dirige is useid (see Trench, English Past and 
Present, viiL). For a similar nse of initisd words as general 
names, compare ^paternoster,' *ave maria,' and (sometimes) *Te 
Deumj* ; as m 3 Hen, VL ii. 1. 162, "Nmubering our Ave-Maries 
with our beads'*; Burton's Anal, of Md, iL 2. 4, **To say so 
many paternostersy avemaries, creeds." warbling lute. On 
*warblmg,' see note, Hymn Nat, 97. The lute is associated 
with love-melancholy : 1 Hen, IV, i. 2, ''melancholy as a lover's 
lute"; Hen, VIIL iii. 1. 1, "Take thy lute, wench; my soul 
grows sad with troubles," eta (the rest of the passage illustrating 
Rne 48 of this poem) ; ^Hute or violl still more apt for moumfid 
things," Milton, The Pa^ion, 27. ' Lute ' is from Arabic al ud, 
al being d^. art. (as in algebra) reduced to L 

37. Sharp vlollxui. On expressiveness of the viol, comp. that 
by Shelley To a Lady, with guitar, 43, et seq, : " The artist who 
this viol wrought To echo all harmonious thought," etc. Comp. 
OoUins' Ode, "the brisk awakening viol." There are four 
varieties of the violin generally used, viz.: the violin, the viola, 
the violoncello, and the double bass. The names are from Ital. 
violo (a word perhaps cognate with fiddle), of which the diminu- 
tive is violino, the violin. The form violoncello is from the Ital. 
violone, augmentative form of violo, Spenser alludes to the violin 
{Shep, OaL) and Shakespeare to the viol (BieK II, i. 3. 162), and 
viol-de-gamboys (Twelfth Night, i, 3), a violoncello with six 
strings. On Dryden's application of the word 'sharp' to the ' 
violin, Todd says, "It is a judicious remark of Mr. Mason that 
Dryden with propriety gives this epithet to the instrument; 
because, in the poet's tmie, they could not have arrived at 
that delicacy of tone, even in the best masters, which they 
now have in those of an inferior kind. See Essays on English 
Church Mustek, by the Rev. W. Mason, M.A., rtecentor of 
York, 17»5." 

39, 40. The trochaic effect of these lines admirably marks the 
contrast with the preceding stanza. 

41. dlsdaixiftil, haughty. Disdain, negative of deign (to think 
worthy). In the negative form the g, which is radical, is lost ; 
see note, //. Pens, 56. 

44. organ's. Comp. Pope's Ode on St, CecUia^s Day : 

" While in more lengthen'd notes, and slow, 
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow " : 

also Par, Lost, L 708, viL 596 ; H, Pens, 161 and note ; Shake- 
speare's Temp, iii. 3. 98, " the thunder ... that deep and dread- 

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ful organ-pipe.** Milton's fondness for the organ is well known : 
Leigh Hunt, in his essay on The Pianoforte^ says, ''Chaucer, 
Spenser, Shs^espeare and Milton all mention the orcan ... Milton 
was an organ player, and Gay a flute player, (now like the 
differences of their genius ! ). " The early history of the instru- 
ment is obscure : the name is a translation of the Lat. organum 
which seems to jhave been used as a general name for musical 
instruments : organa dicuntur omnia instrumenta muaicorum (St. 
Au^stin). Later the word was applied only to wind instruments 
and finally to the complex instrument now so called. "In old 
books, the instrument of music is commonly called tJie organa or 
a pair of organs ; the plur. orgone or orgoon (answering to Lat. 
organa) occurs in Piers Plow, cxxi. 7> Chaucer's Cant, Tales, 
14857 ; Chaucer also has the plur. organs , Cant. Tales, 15603. 
The use of the plural is due to the fact that the instrument is a 
combination of pipes. 

46. wing ... ways. * Ways is here a cognate accusative : 
comp. "your toinged thoughts," Hen, V, v. prol, 8; "winged his 
upward jaight " (Dryden). 

47. To mend the choirs above ; to add to the beauty of the 
music in heaven ! Comp. II Pens, 161-166. The line is not in 
good taste. 

48. Orpheus : see notes, II Pens, 105, and UAlleg. 145. 

49. unrooted. This is Dryden's word : most editions read up- 
rooted (first suggested by Broughton). 

50. Sequacious of, following (Lat. sequax), a classicism (Ovid's 
Meta, xi. 2). The word is now almost obsolete, as well as the 
substantives seqvadousness and sequacity, 

51. raised ... higher : outdid Orpheus. 

52. vocal, endowed with a voice: comp. Par, Lost, ix. 530, 
" impulse of vocal air," ib, v, 204, " made vocal by my song," Lye, 
86, Alex, Feast, 133. 

53. straight: comp. UAlleg, 69, and last two lines of Alex. Feast. 

55. Comp. lines 1-6, and Hym, Nat. 125, notes. 

57. Bung : see note, Hym. Nat, 119. Oreator's praise. Comp. 
Habington's Nox Nocti, "the bright firmament ... eloquent In 
speaking the Creator's name "; also Addison's well-known hymn, 

** The spacious firmament on high ... 
Their great Original proclaim.^' 

59. So, answering to cw in line 55 : lines 55-58 form an adv. 
clause and 59-63 the principal clause. ' Asl by the power of 
Music the Universe arose, souy Music it will be dissolved.' 

60. pageant: comp. note, L Alleg. 128. Here, as often, 'page- 

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antry ' indicates want of stability ; comp. Pope, ''the gaze of fools, 
and pageant of a day. " 

61. trompet : comp. 1 Cor, xv. 52, and Hymn Nat, 166. 

62. the Uving die. Comp. 1 These, iv. 16, " Then we that 
are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up," 

63. untTine the sky. The verbal contradiction between 
* Music ' and * untune * is very striking : the meaning is that the 
sound of the last trumpet will put an end to that harmony which 
has hitherto upheld the Universe. Comp. Arc. 70. 

" Keep unsteady nature to her law. 
And the low world in measured motion draw, 
After the heavenly tune. " 

For a figurative use of * untune ' comp. King Lear, iv. 7, " Th' 
untuned and jarring senses"; and Wordsworth's Sonnet (No. 
326 in Gold. Treas.)^ "For this, for everything, we are oiU of 
tune." On the force of un- in *imtune* see note H Pens. 88. 
Dr. Johnson's criticism on the conclusion of the ode is that it is 
** striking, but it includes an image so awful in itself, that it can 
owe little to poetry ; and I could wish the antithesis of music 
untuning had found some other place." See further in the notes 

to No. LXVII. 

No. in. 


Milton's sonnets are of interest not merely from the circum- 
stances of their composition and from the subjects of which they 
treat, but also from the fact that they are, in metrical structure, 
closer to the Italian type than those of any other English poet. 
The sonnet came to us originally from Italy, and hence Milton 
speaks of it as the Petrarchian stanza. It is a poem of fourteen 
decasyllabic lines, the first eight forming the octave, and the 
remaining six the sestet. The octave consists of two -quatrains, 
and has its rhymes arranged thus— a bba, abba. In the strict 
Italian type, a pause or oreak in the thought occurs at the end 
of the octave, but this rule is often disregarded by Milton. The 
rhymes of the sestet are less strictly governed by rule, and the 
forms usually employed by Milton are all common in the sonnets 
of Petrarch, Dante, Tasso, and Vittoria Colonna. In the Italian 
sonnet a final rhyming couplet was not allowed, and Milton uses 
it only once {Son. xvi.) : in Spenser and Shakespeare, on the other 
hand, this rhyming couplet is always present. The sonnet must be 


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absolutely complete ip itself and must be dignified and full of* 
strength. It must be the direct expression of some recU emotion, 
of some incident that has stirred the poet's soul. Judged by 
these requirements Milton's sonnets are seen to be worthy of the 
form in which they are cast ; they are not fanciful expressions 
of some simulated feeling, but are straightforward, majestic and 
impassioned. Wordsworth might well say of the Sonnet that, in 
Milton's hands, "the thins became a trumpet, whence he blew 
soul-animating strains, — ams ! too few!" 

This sonnet, written in 1655, refers to a massacre in April 
of that year of the inhabitants of certain Piedmontese valleys 
in North Italy. These people (Vaudois or Waldenses) had, 
in their poverty and seclusion, preserved a simplicity of 
worship resembling that of the early days of Christianity ; but 
in January, 1655, they were ordered by the Turin government 
to conform to the Catholic religion. Those who refused were to 
leave the country within three days under pain of death. 
Remonstrances were vain, a massacre was ordered, and for many 
days the Waldenses were exposed to the most frightful atrocities. 
When the news reached England the indignation reached a white 
heat, and Cromwell sent letters (written in Latin by Milton) and 
an ambassador to the offending Duke of Savoy demanding the 
withdrawal of the cruel edict ; a Fast Day was appointed ; and 
the sum of £40,000 was subscribed for the relief of the sufferers. 
The result was that they were allowed to return in peace to their 
valleys and to worship in their own way. 

3. Even them who kept thy trath : see note above. 'Kept so 
pure ' = preserved so free from the ritual that had crept into the 
koman Catholic Church. * Them ' is the object of * forget not. * 

4. worshiped stocks. Milton considered Roman Catholicism 
to be idolatrous. * Worshiped,' also spelt worskipt. Now that 
the pai-ticiples of such words are almost exclusively formed by 
•ed the final consonant is doubled, thus, toorshipped ; this indi- 
cates the nature of the vowel sound ; compare the sound of 
'hoped' and * hopped,' 'striped* and 'stripped.' 

5. in thy book, etc. Here again we have biblical phraseology: 
comp. Psalm xvi. 8, " My tears, are they not in thy book ? " 

their groans Who, t.e. the groans of them who: see note, 
L'AUeg, 124. 

7. Slain, who were slain, rolled Mother with infiant, etc 
Such an incident actually took place. "A mother was hurled 
^own a mighty rock with a little infant in her arms; and three 
days after was found dead with the child alive, but fast clasped 
between the arms of the mother, which were cold and stiff, 
insomuch that those that found them had much ado to get the 


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• 9. " The valleyB redoubled ( = re-echoed) their cries to the hills, 
and the hills in turn redoubled them to heiCven." 

10. martyred Uood and ashes sow, an allusion to Tertullian's 
saying, '*The blood of martyrs is the seed <^ the Church." 
Milton prays that this massacre may be the means of spreading 
Protestantism wherever Roman Catholicism prevails. 

11. doth sway, governs, holds sway. Comp. Par, Lost, x. 376, 
•* let him still victor sway." 

12. Tlie triple Tyrant, the Pope, in allusion to the triple 
crown {tricorontfer) or tiara worn oy him as head of the Roman 
Catholic Church. Comp. Fleteher's words in Locusts — 

" Three mitred crowns the proud impostor wears, 
For he in earth, in hell, in heaven will reign." 

that from these, eto., in order that from the blood and 
ashes of the Waldenses the number of Protestants may increase 
a hundredfold. 'Hundredfold' is here treated as a plural ante- 
cedent of 'who.* 

13. thy way, €h>d's way, the true religion. 

14. fly, flee from, avoid. For this uso of 'fly' comp. Sams, 
Agon. 1541. 

fhe Bat^loniaa woe, Papacy: see Bev. zvii. and xviiL 
The Puritans considered the Church of Rome to be the Babylon 
there mentioned. 

No. IV. 


Thbrb are five poems by Andrew Marvell, the friend of Milton, 
in the Golden Treasury y~^o&. 4, 21, 57, 58, and 62 of this book. 
Apart from ite personal and historical interest, which can be 
realized only after careful study of the period to which it 
refers and of Marvell's political opinions, the first of these 
poems compels admiration by the felicity with which the author 
has employed classical form and expression. On this point 
Trench says, " In its whole treatment it reminds us of the 
highest to which the greatest Latin artist in lyrical poetry did, 
when at his best, attain. To one unacquainted with Horace, thi% 
ode, not perhaps so perfect as are the odes of Horace in form, 
and with occasional obscurities of expression which Horace would 
not have sufiered to remain, will give a truer notion of the kind 
of greatness which he achieved than, so far as I know, could from 


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any other poem in the language be obtained." Horace imitated 
the less elaborate form of the ode favoured by Anacreon and the 
lesser .^iolian poets:, ''this slighter form of ode is what we 
generally call tne Horatian, because the Greek originals, which 
are known to us only in fragments, were familiar to Horace, and 
by him affectionately studied andcevived " (Gosse). The student 
should read the ode along with Marvell's First Anniversary and 
Poem upon the Death of the Protector, Dryden's Heroic Stanzas 
on Cromwell, Milton's political and controversial Sonnets, and the 
latter's praise of Cromwell at the close of his second Defensio 
PoptUi Anglicani: also Waller's Panegyric on CromwelL See 
further on Marvell in the notes to Nos. 21, 57, 58, and 62 ; and 
Palgrave's note : — "Cromwell returned from Ireland in 1650, Sknd 
Marvell 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 de- 
clined to register his decrees, he expelled by armed violence: 
one despotism, by natural law, replacing sknother. The poet's 
insight has, however, truly prophesied that result in his last two 
lines. This ode, be3rond doubt one of the finest in our language, 
and more in Milton's style than has been reached by any other 
poet, is occasionally obscure from imitation of the condensed 
Latin syntax." 

1. forward, ardent, eager: comp. Two Oent, iL 1, "Yonll 
still be too Jforward." appear. For this use of the word see 
Coriolanus, iv. 3. 35, " Your noble Tullus Aufidius will appear 
well in these wars " : * appear ' = be distinguished. 

3. Nor = and not. There is here no alternative, and the use of 
nor is probably due to confusion arising from the negative force 
of the verb * forsake.' Comp. Abbott, § 408. 

4. sing ... numbers langnishlng, compose love songs. On 
*8ing' comp. notes UAUeg, 7 and 17: and for this use of 
'numbers' comp. Milton's Lines on Shakespeare, 10, **Thv easy 
numbers flow." 'Numbers,* like the synonymous word, rime 
{Lycidas, 11 and note), is here used for verse, as in Pope's lines on 

•'As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, 
I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came." 

5. 'Tis time, etc. Contrast the spirit of Horace's i-eproach to 
Iccins {Odes, i. 29) who is about to exchsknge his books for Iberian 
armour; "Cum tu coSmtos nndi(}ue nobiles Libros Panaeti, 
Socraticam et domum Mutare loricis Iberis, Pollicitus meliora, 

6. armoor's rust = rusty armour (by the figure of speech called 

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Double Enallage or interchange of parts of speech) t comp. 
Sams, Agon, 924, " nursing diligence " = diligent nursing. With 
'unused armour' comp. *the idle spear and shield' of Hymn 
Nat, 55. 

8. corslet, a piece of body armour : also spelt corselet (lit. ' a 
little body ' : comp. corset), ftiakespeare has ' corslet ', Cor, v. 
4. 21, " He is able to pierce a corslet with his eye.** 

9. cease, linger : here applied to a person, like Lat. cesso, to 
be inactive, to loiter. Comp. * cease,' Hymn Nat, 45, and note. 

10. iii£:lorlotis. Comp. Gray's Elegy, 15th stanza, " Some mute 
inglorious Milton here may rest." Cromwell had reached the 
mature ase of 43 (comp. line 30) when in 1642 he left his quiet 
home and farm to fight in the Civil War. Marvell, in the First 
Anmiveraouryy says of Cromwell : 

** For all delight of life thou then didst lose. 
When to command thou didst thyself depose, 
Resigning up thy privacy so dear, 
To turn uie neadstrong people's charioteer." 

12. his active star. 'Star' here signifies genius or natural 
powers (as shown by the next stanza). The language is that of 
astrology : see notes on VAUeg. 122, II Pens, 24:, and comp. AWs 
Well, i. 1. 204, "bom under a charitable star" ; Much Ado, v. 
2, *• under a rhyming planet"; Bick, 11, iv. 1, "dishonour my 
fair stars." ' Active ' may be taken as part of the predicate. 

13. like the tbree-fork'd ll£:ht]iixig. Comp. Horace's praise of 
Drusus, Odea, iv. 4 : 

" Qualem ministrum fulminis alitem ... 

Olim juventas, et patrios vigor 

Nido laborum propnlit inscium." 
The meaning is that Cromwell's natural powers could not lie 
hidden : as Shakespeare says in Cym, iii. 3. 79, " How hard it is 
to hide the sparks of nature." * Fork'd ': comp. Dry den's jEn, 
vL 791, <* the glittering blaze Of pointed lightnings and their 
forky rays." 

14. clouds. Comp. Milton's tribute to Cromwell in his 16th 
sonnet; ''Cromwell, our chief of men, who through a cloud," 

15. thorough, through. The word is really a later form of the 
preposition through (spelt tlioru in Havelock, 631, and thuruh in 
the Ancren RiwU, The later form is due to the metathesis of 
the letter r. Comp. M, N, D, n, 1. 2, The Fairy's Song ; 

•* Over hill, over dale 

Thorough bush, tliorough brier, 
Over park, over pale. 
Thorough flood, thorough fire." 


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16. HUB, itB. See notes II Pens, 128 and Hymn Nat, 106. 

17. 'tis aU one, eta The meaning, as given by Mr. Palgrave, 
is : " Rivalry and hostility are the same to a lofty spirit, and 
limitation more hateful than opposition." 'All one ' = one and 
the same, quite the same : comp. Layamon, 29080, " Tha weoren 
has oUan" ; Wyclif s Wicket, 5, " It is ... a& one to deny Christes 
wordes for heresye and Christe for an heretyke." 

19. such, t.e. such as possess high courage, enclose: Lat. 
mcludOy to obstruct or hinder. 

21. burning. Cromwell is here identified with his star. The 
allusion is to his success in quelling opposition in Scotland Sknd 
Ireland: see line 85. In May, 1650, Cromwell returned from 
Ireland, having in the short period of nine months reduced that 
country to comparative obedience after a series of sieges. 

23. *' And at last, through his military successes, secured the 
downfall of the monarchy." 'Caesar's head* may be taken 
abstractly as equivalent to * Caesarism or monarchy that does not 
respect popular liberties,* and concretely in allusion to Charles's 
execution. Comp. Milton's Sonnet to CromweU, 5 : "On the fieek 
of crovmid Fortune proud Hast reared God's trophies and his 
work pursued." ' liturels ' : frequent in the sense of ' successes,* 
especially military victories. Cromwell had not yet, however, 
won the 'laureate wreath' of Dunbar (Sept. 1650), or of Worcester 
(Sept. 1654), if, as is probable, this ode was composed in the 
summer of 1650. 

26. face ... flame. The allusion is explained by line 12, where 
Cromwell's star is said to burst forth like lightning from the 
clouds. The line is equivalent to "the flaming face of angry 
heaven " : comp. note, line 6. 

29. fh>m bis private gardens. Comp. Horace, Odea L 12, 
To Auffuatus : 

" Hunc, et incomtis Curium capillis, 
Utilem bello tulit, et Camillum 
Saeva i>aupertas, et avitus apto 
Cum lure fundus." 
Comp. also Marvell's poem Upon the Death ofCromweU : 
" He (whom nature all for peace had made. 
But angry Heaven unto war had swayed, 
And so less useful where he most desired. 
For what he least afifected was admired) " : 
also Lucan. 9, 199 : "Praetulit arma togae, sed pacem armatus 
amavit," etc.; and Wordsworth's ^appy Warrio7\ 

31. highest plot, first care, chief anxiety. The omission of the 
substantive verb, especially where it would be in the subjunctive, 
is not uncommon : comp. Abbott, §§107, 387, 403. 


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32. bergamot, a kind of pear-tree : Fr. bergamoUe, ItaL ber- 
gamoitay from Bergamo, a town in Lombardy. 

33. by induBtrioiu Yalour. This phrase possibly = by valour 
and by industry ; see note on II Pens. 98. 

34. To ruin ... time. A striking image : Time is here regarded 
not as a destroyer (Ovid's Edaxrerum, Meta. xv.), but as builder, 
political constitutions being a gradual growth, the course of which 
is interrupted or changed by revolutions. Comp. Marvell on The 
First Anniversary of Cromwell's Protectorship : 

" 'Tis he the force of scattered time contracts, 
And in one year the work of ages acts." 

35. cast ... another mould. Comp. Dryden's Heroic Stanzas 
on Cromwell : **He fought, secure of fortune as of fame, Till by 

%ew maps the Islands may be shown Of conquests," etc. The 
reference may be to Cromwell's desire to amend the constitution. 
The syntax of lines 28-36 should be carefully observed. 

39. plead, offer as a plea. The meaning of the stanza is not 
simply that Mieht is Right, but that the Heaven-sent man of 
action, who embodies Fate, has no regard for ancient Rights 
merely as such : see the next stanza. Comp. Cicero's saying. 
Silent enim leges inter arma, MiL 4. 10. Lines 39 and 40 are 

41. hateth emptiness. An allusion to the Aristotelian tenet 
of the impossibility of the existence of a vacuum, expressed in the 
maxim, ** Nature abhors a vacuum." The doctrine was received 
by the Schoolmen, who spoke of nature's /tt^a vacul For this 
use of * emptiness,' comp. Dry den's To my Lord Chancellor ^ 41 : 

"Nor could another in your room have been. 
Unless an emptiness had come between." 

42. penetration. The doctrine of the impenetrability of 
matter is here alluded to. ''Nature, which abhors a vacuum, 
still less allows new matter to penetrate where there is already 
matter." Cromwell made room for himself by destroying other 

45. In many of the engagements during the Civil War, Crom- 
well was in the thick of the fight, e,g, at Winceby, in 1643, his 
horse was killed in the first charge, and fell upon him ; as he 
rose, he was again struck down, but recovered himself. 

46. were : see Abbott, § 301. 

47. Hampton. When King Charles was a prisoner at Hampton 
Court, he was in hopes that in the struggle between the Inde- 
pendents and Presbyterians he might be chosen mediator; but 
at the same time he lived in alarm for his personal safety, and at 
last resolved to seek safety in flight. 


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49. twining rniMle fears witb hope. Gomp. F, Q. iy. 6. 37, 
" It*B beat to hope the best, though of the worst aflfrayd ** ; and 
Com, 410, ** Where on equal poise of hope and fear Does arbi- 
trate the event." * Twining ' = weaving, and 'subtle* belongs 
to the predicate, = weaving cunningly. 'Subtle* has therefore 
something of its original sense = miely woven (Lat. evbtUia) : 
Shakespeare and Jonson both have the word in the sense of 
'smooth' : see Na/res* Glossary, 

60. 800t>e, reach. * Comp. M, for M, i. 1, "Your scope is 
as mine own": Spenser, M, Hubbard's Tale, **To aim their 
counsels to the fairest scope.** 

61. * That might drive Charles into Carisbrook Castle.' 
Charles left Hampton Court privately on 11th November, 1647, 
and went to Titchfield, where he could not long remain con- 
cealed. He therefore made overtures to Hammond, governor of 
the Isle of Wight (which was not far off), but was imprisoned by 
that officer in Carisbrook Castle, case = prison. 

63. the Boyal actor. 'Actor* may be here employed in its 
legal sense, t.c. the principal or complainant : Selden, Laws oj 
Ejigland, L 20, "The King may not ... determine causes in 
which himself is a,ctor.** On lines 63-64, Trench says: "lines 
which in the noble justice they do to a fallen enemy, and to the 
courage with which ne met the worst extremities of fortune, are 
worthy to stand side by side with that immortal passage in which 
Horace celebrates the heroic fashion with which Cleopatra 
accepted the same,** viz. Odes i. 37. 21-32: Quae generosius 
perire qwaerens ... Non humilis mvlier triumpho, 

65. round: attrib. to 'armed bands.* The allusion is to the 
indi^ities Charles suffered at his execution, and to his dignified 
bearmg in the midst of them. 

69. keener eye, t.e. keener than the edge of the axe itself; or 
it may be used absolutely. The King did not flinch. 

62. his helpless right, t.e. the right of him helpless. 

66. assured the forc^ power : securelv established that power 
acquired by force of arms. Comp. Dry den's (Ediptbs, " As weak 
states each other's power asatare." Palgrave takes 'forced* in 
the sense of 'fated.* 

68. The Gapitors first line, etc. See Livy^ i. 66, for the allusion. 
The Capitol or Temple of Jupiter at Rome is said to have been 
so called because in digging its foundations a human head was 
found in a fresh condition. This was at once accepted as an omen 
that Rome should be the Jiead of the world (Lat. caput, head). 
Marvell turns this legend to excellent account in lines 67-72. 

69. begun : see note on ' sung,* Hymn Nat. 119. 


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70. to run . %,e. * so that they ran,' or * into running.' 

73. See note, line 21. Comp. Dryden's Stanzas, 17 ; ** Her 
safety rescued Ireland to him owes." 

78. confest : on the spelling of this word, see note, Hymn 
Nat, 65. Many of Cromwell's bitterest enemies admitted that 
his conquest of Ireland led to a degree of peace and prosperity 
without example in that country. 

82. still in the BepubUc's band ; still at the service of the 
country. It was after his return from Ireland that he was nomi- 
nated captain-general of all the forces of the Commonwealth, for 
the purpose of acting against the Scotch. Comp. Marvell's 
First Anniversary : 

" Abroad a king he seems, and something more, 
At home a subject on the equal floor." 

83. How lit ... obey. Comp. Dryden's Stanzas, 20 : 

** When, past all offerings to Feretrian Jove, 
He Mars deposed and arms to gowns made yield, 
Successful counsels did him soon approve 
As fit for close intrigues as open field." 
Contrast the words of York in 2 //en. VI. v. 1. 6, " Let them 
obey that know not how to rule." 
85. presents a kingdom. The allusion is to Ireland. 
87. what he may: *as far as he can,' (Lat. qwxi possit), 
forbears : declines. Comp. * Forbear his presence,' King Lear, i. 
2; "Angry bulls the combat do forbear" (Waller); "All this 
thing I must as now forbear " Cant, Tales, 887. As a transi- 
tive verb * forbear' usually governs an infin. or participial 

89. nnglrt. There is a zeugma in 'ungirt' as applied to 
* sword * (literally) and to * spoils ' (figuratively). * Spoils * : here 
used in the sense of ' that obtained by the sword ' (Lat. spolium, 
spoil, booty). Comp. 1 Hen. VI. ii 1, "I have loaden me with 
many spoils Using no other weapon but his name." Dryden 
alludes (see note on line 83 above) to Cromwell's conquests as 
" offerings to Feretrian Jove," «.e. spolia opifna. 

90. to lay them at the Public's skirt. It was in 1653 that 
Cromwell expelled the Parliament and assumed the reins of 
power: Marvell's language is applicable only to the circum- 
stances of the year 1650, and the poet is justified in comparing 
him to the hawk that, having killed its quarry, returns quietly 
to the lure of the falconer, ready to be flown again when occa- 
sion offers : he was unlike the ill-trained hawk that * carries ' or 
flies off" with the quarry and refuses to be lured back. 


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91. Falconry or hawking has a technical language of its own 
which Marvel! follows closely. * High ' = high-flying or soaring ; 
' falls heavy ' = stoops or descends to strike the prey ; ' kill ' and 
'search,' also used technically; * perch,* applied to the resting- 

Slace of the bird when off the falconer's wrist ; * when he first 
oes lure ' = at the first lure, the lure being a figure or resemblance 
of a fowl made of leather and feathers to which, when necessary, 
a real bird was attached to induce the hawk to return to hand. 
*Lure,* like most terms of the chase, is of French origin, (old 
French, loerre): comp. Chaucer's CarU, Tales, 6997 2 "With 
empty hand men may no hawkes lure," 

97. preBume, expect, venture. 

98. his crest does plume, t.e. adorns his crest, sits like a plume 
upon his crest. Comp. Par. Lost, iv. 988, "His stature reached 
the sky, and on his crest Sat horror plumed. * Plume ' is strictly 
a feather worn as an ornament, and is sometimes used generally 
of the crest or ornament of the helmet, even though it may not 
consist of feathers: comp. Chapman's Iliad iii., "caught him 
by the horse-hair plume thai dangled on his crest " ; 1 Hen. IV, 
V. 5, " His valour shown upon our crests to-day " ; Sams. Agon. 
141, "Soiled their crested helmets in the dust." Comp. the 
figurative use of the words ' crest-fallen ' and ' crestless.' 

100. crownB, dignifies, renders illustrious ; comp. Hen. VIII. 
V. 4, " no day without a deed to crown it." 

101. ' Ere long he will be to France a second Caesar and to 
Italy a second Hannibal,' i.e. a conqueror : an allusion to Caesar's 
victories in Gaul (b.o. 57-50) ana to the Second Punic War. 
Marvell probably mentions France and Italy because he looked 
upon Cromwell as the defender of the Protestant faith, and in 
fact it was afterwards the grand object of Milton's foreign policy 
to unite the Protestant States, with Britain at their head, in 
a defensive league against Popery ; compare Milton's sonnet, 
"Avenge, Lord, thy slaughtered saints." Difficulties with 
France were, however, avoided by an alliance : as Dryden in his 
Stanzas says : " Fame of the asserted sea, through Europe blown. 
Made France and Spain ambitious of his love." Comp. The First 
Anniversary, passim. 

103. aU states not flree, %.e. where the subjects did not enjoy 
ci\'il and religious liberty. Comp. Marvell, in Ejffigiem Oliveri 
Cromwell : 

" Haec est quae toties inimicos umbra fugavit, 
At sub qu& cives otia lenta terunt." 

104. shall climacteric be, i.e. shall threaten them with over- 
throw. The allusion is to the ancient belief that certain years in 
life complete natural periods, and are hence peculiarly exposed 
to disease and death. According to some these periods were 


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every sevenbh year : others admitted only those ages obtained by 
multiplying 7 by the odd numbers, 3, 5, 7, and 9 ; the grand 
climacteric being the 63rd year (and, some held, the 81st also). 
The word * climacteric,' often used as a noun, is an adjective 
from * climacter * = a critical time of life (Gk. KkifiaK-Hip, the step 
of a ladder ; kXT/m^, a ladder). Comp. Sir T. Browne's Vvlqar 
ErrourSy ** sixty-three, commonly esteemed the great dimactericcU 
of our lives. '* So Cromwell's day of power was to prove a critical 
time for oppressive states. 

106. Pict: here put for the people of Scotland. The later 
Roman authors allude frequently to the Scoti and the Ptcit, 
though it would appear that 'Picti' or Picts was the generic 
term, and * Scoti * or * Scots ' a specific term. Eumenius, who 
first mentions the Picts, alludes to the CcUedones cUiique Picti. 
The derivation of the word has been disputed — that from p%ctu% 
painted, is absurd ; some give the Gael pictich, plunderers, A.S. 
pi?Ua8 or peohtaa, the Picts. Spenser, ia F. Q., speaks of ** spoil- 
ful Picts and swarming Easterfings." 

106. parti-coloured, changeable, treacherous. So Milton, 
Sonnet on Fair/ax, "the false North displays Her broken 
league"; and Dryden's StanzaSy 17, ** Treacherous Scotland, to 
no interest true," etc., on which passage the Globe Dryden com- 
m?nt8 thus : ''Scotland is called treacherous on account of the 
rising of 1648 under the Duke of Hamilton for Charles I., and 
the war afterwards carried on by the Scots for Charles 11., which 
ended, after the defeat of Charles at Worcester, in the complete 
subjugation of Scotland. Only eighteen months later, Dryden 
trans&rred all his enthusiasm to Charles, and Scotch ' treachery ' 
was then virtue." The truth seems to be that the Scots neither 
acted insincerely towards the English Parliament nor agreed to 
surrender the King in return for a payment of money. They 
afterwards found that in the conduct of the war and the policy 
pursued towards the King they had themselves been misled. 
Comp. also Waller's Panegyric on Cromwell: "The seat of 
empire, where the Irish come, And the unwilling Scots, to fetch 
their doom." 

107. tills valour, i.e. the valour of Cromwell, sad : this word 
belongs to the predicate ; comp. note on ' shiill,' VAUeg. 56. 

108. plaid. The pronunciation required here is nearly that of 
the original Celtic word : it is said to be akin to Lat. pe//i«, 
a skin. In older writers the word is frequently spelt jplad. 

109. tufted brake, broken ground covered with an irresular and 
tangled growth of bushes: comp. * tufted trees,* VAUeg. 78. 
The English conqueror might ' mistake ' or fail to find his Scotch 
enemies in such a hiding-place, as hounds might fail to find the 


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114. inde&tigably. Comp. The First Anniversary i "While 
indefcUigaMe Cromwell tries, And cuts his way still nearer to the 
skies" ; also P. L. ii 408. 

116. erect, ready to strike. Li this stanza the verbs are in the 

117. '*The sword must be kept ready to strike, not only 
because the dark spirits of conspiracy and rebellion must be 
checked, but also because the power that is gained by the sword 
must be maintained by the sword." There is an anacoluthon, or 
confusion of grammatical constructions, in lines 117-120. The 
stanza begins as if *the sword* were to be the grammatical 
subject as well as the subject of thought : * The sword, besides 
the power it has to fight, etc. , alone has the power to keep what 
it has won.' But in line 119 the idea expressed by the * sword ' 
is given in the words ' the same arts.' 

No. V. 

This poem was written in November, 1637, and appeared in a 
volume of memorial verses published at Cambridge in 1638 as a 
tribute to Mr. Edward King. King, a son of Sir John King, 
Secretary for Ireland, had been admitted to Christ's College, 
Cambridge, in 1626, so that he was a fellow-student of Milton's. 
He was made a Fellow in 1630, and seems to have become 
extremely popular. He was a young man of ' hopeful parts,' 
and had shown some skill in poetical compoeition. In 1633 he 
took his degree of M.A., and remained at Cambridge to study 
for the Church. In the vacation of 1637 he sailed from 
Chester on a visit to his friends in Ireland: the ship was 
wrecked off the Welsh coast, and King went down with it. 
His death was much lamented by his college friends and they 
got together a collection of tributary verses to which Milton 
contributed Lycidas, 

Lycidou is a pastoral elegy, t.e. the poet speaks as a shepherd 
bewailing the loss of a fellow-shepherd. The subjoined analysis 


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will guide the student in reading it. We do not look in the poem 
for the keen sense of personal loss that we find in Tennyson's In 
Memoriam or in Milton's own Epitaphium Damonis, nor for the 
sustained scorn that animates Shelley's Adanaia; but in its tender 
regret for a dead friend, in its sweet '* touches of idealised 
rural life," in its glimpses of a suppressed passion that was soon 
to break forth, and in its mingling of a truly religious spirit with 
all its classical imagery, it reveals to us the greatness of the 
poetical genius of Milton. It ''marks the point of transition 
from the early Milton, the Milton of mask, pastoral, and idyll, 
to the quite other Milton, who, after twenty years of hot party 
struggle, returned to poetry in another vein, never to the 'woods 
and pastures' of which he took a final leave in Lycidas," (Patti- 


I. The pastoral proper (the poet sings as shepherd) ; 

1. Occasion of the poem, 1-14 

2. Invocation of the Muses, .... 15-22 

3. Poet's personal relations with Lycidas, - - 23-36 

4. Strain of sorrow and indignation; the loss 

great and inexplicable :— 

(1) Poet's own sense of loss, - - - - 37-49 

(2) The guardian Nymphs could not prevent it, 60-67 

(3) The Muse herself could not prevent it, 

though he was her true son, - - - 58-63 
[First rise to a higher mood : the true poet and the 

nature of his reward,] 64-84 

(4) Neptune was not to blame for the loss, - 85-102 
(6) Camus, representing Cambridge, bewails 

his loss, - - . ^ - - . 703-107 
(6) St. Peter, the guardian of the Church, 

sorely misses Lycidas as a true son, - - 108 112 
[Second rise to a higher mood : The false sons of the 

Church and their coming ruin,] - - - - 113-131 


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(7) All nature may well mourn his loss, - • 132-151 

(8) Sorrow loses itself in " false surmise," and 

Hope arises, 152-164 

5. Strain of joy and hope : Lycidas is not dead, 165-185 

n. The Epilogue (the poet reviews the shepherd's song), 186-193 


Honody: an ode in which a single mourner bewails (Greek 
monos, single : ode, a song or ode). Lycidas is a typical example 
of the Elegy, with much of the intense feeling peculiar to uie 
less sustained Ode proper ; but its form is that of the Pastoral, 
and its varied metrical structure is totally unlike that of the 
modem elegiac stanza. 

helglit : so s^lt in both the editions published in Milton's life- 
time, though his usual spelling is * highth.' 

1. Tet once more. These words have reference to the fact that 
Milton had written no English verse for throe years, and tibiat he 
did not yet consider himself sufficiently matured for the poet's 
task. The words do not imply that he is once more to write an 
elegiac poem, as if he were referring back to his poems, On the 
death of a Fair Infant and Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winches- 
ter : he is thinking of Comtts (written in 1634). 

laurels, etc. Laurels, myrtles and ivy are here addressed 
because they are, in classical poetry, associated with the Muses, 
and not because the poet thinks them to be specially suggestive 
of moumins. The laurel has been associateci with poetry since 
the time of the Greeks, who believed that it communicated the 
poetic spirit : the Romans regarded it as sacred to Apollo. Ck>mp. 
Son. XVI. 9. 

2. myrtles brown. 'Brown' is a classical epithet of the 
myrtle ; in one of his Odes Horace contrasts the orown myrtle 
with the evergreen ivy. It was sacred to Venus, and at Gfreek 
banquets each singer held a myrtle bough. 

ivy never sere, eversreen ivy : it was sacred to Bacchus, and 
in Virgil we read of the laurel of victory being twined with the 
ivy. Horace also speaks of ivy as being used to deck the brows 
of the learned : in Christian art it is tne symbol of everlasting 

G.T. II, 


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' Sere '=dry, withered ; the same word as sear (A.S. sedrian, 
to diy up), and cognate with the verb * to sear/ i.e. to bum up. 

3. I oome, etc. ** I come to make a poet's garland for myself," 
•.e. to write a poem. 

harsh and crude, bitter and unripe, because plucked before 
their due time 1 this refers to the poet's own unripeness, not to 
that of Lycidas. Milton's ' mellowmg year ' had not yet come ; 
his opinion was that poetry was a ** work not to be raised from 
the heat of youth . . but by devout prayer to that eternal 
Spirit who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge." 
'Crude* is literally *raw*; hence 'unprepared,* as 'crude 
■alt* ; and hence * undeveloped,* e,g. — 

" Deep versed in books, and shallow in himself, 
Orttae, or intoxicate, collecting toys.** 

Par, Beg. iv. 
* Cruel * (Lat. crudelia) is from the same root. 

4. forced fingers rude. On the order of the words compare 
note on UAUeg, 40. ' Forced * = unwilling, not because the poet 
was unwilling to mourn his friend*s loss, but unwilling yet to 
turn again to poetry. * Rude * : comp. II Pens, 136. 

6. Sliatter your leaves. ' Shatter * is a doublet of scatter, and 
here (as in Par, Lost, x. 1063) the former is used where we should 
now use the latter. 'Shatter* suggests the employment of 
force, and therefore agrees with the sense of the preceding line. 

mellowing year : time of maturity. « Mellow * has here an 
active sense, i.e. 'making mellow.' The word originally means 
' soft * like ripe fruit, and hence its present use : it is cognate 
with melt and mild. Warton objects to the phrase here u^ as 
inaccurate, because the leaves of the laurel, myrtle, and ivy are 
not affected by the mellowing year: the poet, however, is in- 
fluenced by the personal application of the words, and is thinking 
of the poetical fruit he was himself to produce. 

6. sad occasion dear : see note on 1. 4. The original sense of 
' dear * is * precious * (A.S. deore), and hence its present meanings 
in EngUsh, viz. 'costly* and 'beloved.* But it is used by 
Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton in an entirely different sense : 
comp. 'my dearest foe,* 'hated his father dearly,* 'dear peril,' 
etc. Some would say that ' dear * is here a corruption of dire, 
but this is a mere assumption, though the sense is similar. Craik 
suggests "that the notion properly involved in it of love, having 
first become genersklised into that of a strong affection of any 
kind, had thence passed on to that of such an emotion the very 
reverse of love.** The fact seems to be that ' dear ' as ' precious ' 
oame to denote close relation, and hence was applied generally to 
^)iatever intimately concerned a person. 

, Digitized 

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7. compels : the verb is singnlar, though there are two nomina- 
tiTes, for both together convey the one idea that, but for the 
occasion of Lycidas* death, the poet would not have been con- 
strained to write. 

to disturb your season due : to pluck you before vour proper 
season* On * due * see II Pens, 155. * Season * is often used to 
denote * the usual or proper time*; e,g. we speak of fruit as being 
' in season,' when it is fit for use, and the adjective * seasonable ' 
= occurring in good time : comp. Son, ii. 7. 

8. ere Ids prime: see note on UAUeg, 107. 'Prime* here 
denotes * the best part of life ' : contrast its meaning in Son, ix. 1. 

9. peer, equal (Lat. par) : see Arc, 75. 

10. Wlio would not sing, etc. : a rhetorical question, equivalent 
to • No one could refuse to sing,* etc. i comp. * Neget qma carmifia 
QaUof* Virgil, Ed, x. 3. The name Lycidas occurs in the pas- 
torals of Theocritus and in Virgil's ninth Edogue. 

Imew Himself to sing, was himself able to sing, i.e, was a 
poet. Comp. Horace's phrase, * * JReddere qui vocefe jam acit puer. " 

11. build the lofty rhyme: comp. the Lat. phrase "condere 
carmen," to build up a song (Hor. Epis, i. 3). ' JBuild ' has refer- 
ence to the regular structure of the verse : it may also allude to 
the fact that King had written several short poetical pieces in 
Latin. • Rhyme * is here used for * verse * ; the original spelling 
was *rime,* and 'rhyme' does not occur in English before 1550: 
there is now a tendency to revert to the older and more correct 
spelling. The A.S. nm meant 'number,' and rimcraft, arith- 
metic ; then the word was applied in a secondary sense to verse 
having regularity in the number of its syllables and accents, and 
finally to verse having final syllables of like sound. The change 
of t to y, and the insemon of h is due to confusion with the Greek 
word rhythTHos, measured motion. Shakespeare has ' rime * ; and 
Milton in his prefatory remarks on the verse of Par, Lost uses 
the spelling 'rmie,*ana speaks of it as the "jingling sound of 
like endings." 

13. welter, roll about : in Par. Lost, i. 78, Milton speaks of 
Satan as weltering in Hell, in which case the use of the word more 
nearly accords with modem usage. 

to, here seems to have the sense of ' in accordance with * : 
comp. lines 33, 44. The use of the prepositions in Elizabethan 
writers is extremely varied. 

It will be noticed that there is no rhyme to this line ; so with 
lines 1, 16, 22, 39, 51, 82, 91, 92, 161. But though these lines 
have no rhymes adjacent to them, they do not detract from the 
music of the verse : there are only about sixty different endings 
in the whole poem, and if assonantal rhymes be admitted the 
number is still further reduced. Besides, though line 1 has no 


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adjacent rhyme, similar final sounds occur in lines 61, 6«% 165, 
167, 182, 163, lust as lines 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, 14 rhyme together. 
This partly explains the resonance and beauty of the verse. 

14. meed, recompense : comp. ** A rosy garland is the victor's 
meed.** Tit, Andron, L 2. 

melodioas tear, tearful melody, an elegiac poem. Comp. 
the title of Spenser's Tears of the Muses; alS> Epkaph on M, of 

15. Bisters of the sacred well, the nine Muses, daughters of 
Jove : thev are often mentioned in C4reek poetry as the nymphs of 
Helicon, because Mount Helicon in Boeotia was one of their 
favourite haunts ; on this mountain were two fountains sacred to 
the Muses ; hence liiilton*s allusion to ' the sacred welL' Hesiod, 
in his Theogontft speaks of the Muses of Helicon dancing round 
"the altar of the mighty son of Kronos,*' t.e. Jupiter: this 
explains the allusion to " the seat of Jove ** (Hales). A simpler 
explanation is that the sacred well is the Pierian fountain at the 
foot of Mount Olympus, where the Muses were born, and that 
the ' seat of Jove * is Mount Olympus. 

17. Bomewliat loudly, not too softly. 

sweep the strlngr, strike the lyre. Elsewhere Milton calls 
music " stringed noise." 

IS. Hence : see note UAUeg. 1 . 

coy ezcose. ' Coy * = hesitating : the word is generally 
applied only to persons in the sense of ' shy * ; it is the same word as 
'quiet,* both being from Lat. quietus ^ the former through French. 
Shakespeare uses it as an intrans. verb, and it also occurs in 
Elizabethan English in the sense of ' to allure.* 

19. Muse, poet inspired by the Muse : hence the pronoun ' he * 
in 1. 21 : see Son, i. 13, note. lines 19 to 22 form a parenthesis : 
L 23 resumes the main theme. 

20. Indcy words, words of good luck, words expressing a good 
wish : see note, Epitaph on M, of IV. 31. 

my destined nm. The sense is : '' As / now write a poem 
to the memory of Lycidas, so may some one, when / am dead, 
write kindly words about me," or *so* may be the precative «c, 
as in Hor. Odes, i. 3. * Destined urn * = the death that I am 
destined to die: 'urn* is the vessel in which the Romans de- 
posited the ashes of their dead, sometimes inscribed with the name 
and history of the dead : comp. * storied urn,* Gray's Elegy, 41. 

21. as he passes, in passing : comp. Gray's Elegy, 20, ' passing 
tribute of a sigh.* 

' Turn,* i.e. may turn, co-ordinate with *may favour* and (may) 
'bid,' optative mood. 


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LYCroAS. 149 

22. bid fair peace, etc. : < pray that sweet peace may rest upon 
me in death.' *Bid,* in the sense of *pray,' has probably no 
radical connection with * bid ' = to command, and is nearly obso- 
lete ; * to bid beads * was originally * to pray prayers ' (A.S, bed, 
a prayer). The word bead was then applied to the little balls used 
for counting the prayers, and is now used of any small ball. * Be ' 
is infinitive : see note, Ode on the Marmng of Ghriet'a Nativity , 76. 

sable sliroud: 'the darkness in which I am shrouded,' 
previously referred to figuratively as * my destined urn.' Some 
mterpret the words literally = * my black coffin. * Etymologically 
* shroud ' is something cut off, and is allied to * shred ' ; hence used 
of a garment. In Par, Lost, x. 1068, Milton uses it in this sense, 
and in Comus, 147, in the general sense of a covering or shelter. Its 

§ resent uses as a noun are chiefly restricted to * a dress for the 
ead ' and (in the plural) to part of the rigging of a vessel 

23. nursed, etc. : a pastoral way of saying that they had been 
members of the same college at Cambridge, viz. Christ's. 

24. Fed the same flock, employed ourselves in the same pur- 

25. the high lawns : comp. UAlleg. 71. 

26. Under the opening eyelids, etc., i.e. at dawn. Mom ia 
here personified: comp. Job^ iii 9, "Neither let it behold the 
eyelids of the morning " ; Shakespeare's Romeo and Jtiiiet, ii. 3, 
** the grey-eyed mom '' ; see also Son. i. 5. The poet represents 
himself and Lycidas as spending the whole day together, from 
dawn to sultry noon, and from noon to dewy eve. As Warton 
points out, Milton was a very early riser, both in winter and 
summer, and the sunrise had great charm for him. In this poem, 
however, he may refer to the fixed hours of college duty. 

27. We drove a-field. The prefix a is a corruption of on, the 
noun and preposition being fused together in one adverb : see 
UAUeg, 20. *We' is in agreement with *both,*l. 27; and the 
verb * drove * may be regarded as transitive, its object * the same 
flock ' being understood. 

heard What time, etc. There are two possible renderings 
of this passage: (1) 'heard at what time the grey-fly,' etc., the 
object of * heard ' being the whole of line 28 ; or (2) * heard the 
grey-fly at what time (she) winds,' etc. The latter, though it 
makes the object of the principal verb also the subject of the 
dependent verb, is preferable, for in Latin it frequently happens 
that words belonging to the principal clause are drawn into the 
relative clause. 

28. grey-fly, the trumpet-fly, so called from the sharp humming 
sound produced by it, generally in the heat of the day ; hence 
the allusion to its "sultry horn." 


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29. Battening, sc. 'and afterwards.' Battening = feeding, 
making fat : here used transitively, though generiuly intran- 
Bitivesto grow fat. The same root is seen in better. In this 
line toith = along with, at the time of. 

30. Oft till tlie star, etc. <Oft' modifies 'battening.' The 
star here referred to is Hesperus, an appellation of the planet 
Venus : see note, Hymn to Diana, 6. In Gomua, 93, it is "the 
star that bids the shepherds fold.'' 

31. sloped Ms westering wheel : similarly in Comus, 98, the 
setting sun is called ' the dope sun,' and we read of ' his glowing 
axle ' just as here we read of the star's ' wheel ' or course in the 
heavens. * Westering *= passing towards the west: now obsolete. 

32. rural ditties : pastoral language for the early poetic efforts 
of Milton and King. ' Ditty ' (Lat. dictatum, somethinff dictated) 
originally meant the words of a song as distinct from the musical 
accompaniment ; now applied to any little poem intended to be 
sung : comp. "am'rous ditties," Par, Lost, L 447. 

33. Tempered, attuned, timed (Lat. temperare, to regulate) ; the 
word qualifies ditties, and hence the semi-colon at end of L 33. 
Masson has a semi-colon at end of 1. 32 ; ' tempered ' would then 
be absolute construction, or it would qualify * Satyrs.' 

to the oaten flute. ' To ' ; see note L 13. The oaten flute 
is the flute or pipe made of reeds, and. the favourite instrument 
in pastoral poetry : in Latin it is avena ( = oats, a straw, and 
hence a shepherd's pipe) : comp. lines 86, 88. ' Oaten ' ; the ter- 
mination * en ' denotes * made of ' : modem English has a tendency 
to use the noun as an adjective in such cases, e,g. a gold ring. 
Most of the adjectives in ' en ' that still survive do not now denote 
the material, but simply resemblance, €.g. ' golden hair ' =-hair of 
the colour of gold. Such adjectives as birchen, beechen, firen, 
glassen, homen, treen, thomen, etc, are now obsolete. 

34. Satyrs ... Fauns ; pastoral language for the men attending 
Cambridge at the same time as Milton and King. The Satyrs of 
Greek mythology were the representatives of the luxuriance of 
nature, and were always described as engaged in light pleasures, 
such as dancing, playmg on the lute, or syrinx (see Arc. 106), 
etc. The Romans confounded them with their Fauni, repre- 
sented as half men, half goats (Lat. semicaper)^ with cloven feet 
and horns ; the chief was Faunus, whom the Romans identified 
with Pan (see Arc. 106). 

36. old Damostas : this pastoral name occurs in ^u^gil) Theo- 
critus, and Sidney : it here probably refers to Dr. W. Chappell, 
the tutor of Christ's College in Milton's time. Masson thinks it 
maybe *' Joseph Meade or some other well-remembered Fellow 
of Christ's." 


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38. Now thou, etc., i.e. now that thou art gone = seeing that 
thou art gone : comp. So7i, xx. 2, and Wordsworth's Simon Lee, 25. 

muBt return : ' must * here expresses certainty with regard 
to the future = thou wilt certainly never return. In ordinary 
use it implies either compulsion, e,g. * He must obey me,* or per- 
mission, e.g. * You must not come in ' : the latter is the origmal 
sense of the A.S. verb motan (past tense moste). 

39. Thee : object of * mourn,* 1. 41. Ovid {Met. xi.) similarly 
represents birds, beasts, and trees as lamenting the death of 

40. gadding, straggling. To gad is to wander about idly : 
Bacon calls Envy a gadding passion, and in the Bible we find — 
** Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way," Jer. ii. 
Cicero uses the word erraticus (wandering) in connection with 
the vine. 

41. their echoes, i,e, of the caves: comp. Song to Echo in 
Comtta. In Shelley's Adonais the same idea occurs — 

" Lost Echo sits amid the voiceless mountains, 
And feeds her grief with his remembered lay. ** 

42. hazel copses green. See note UAUeg. 40. 

'Copse,* a wood of small growth, is a corruption of coppice 
(Fr. couper, to cut). 

44. Fanning : moving their leaves in unison with the music : 
with ' to ' in this line, comp. 'to * in lines 13 and 33. 

45. Lines 45 to 48 are in apposition to ' such/ line 49 : thus 
' Thy loss to shepherd's ear was such ' = ' Thy loss to shepherd's 
ear was as killing as,* etc. The word ' such * is redundant, being 
rendered necessary by the separation of the words ' as killing^ 
from the rest of the principal clause. 

killing, deadly, terrible. 

canker: see Arc, 53; the more definite form 'canker- 
worm * is often used, just as ' taint-worm * is used in the next 
line. Warton notes that Shakespeare is fond of this simile. 

46. taint- worm, also called the 'taint.' "There is found in 
summer a spider called a taint, of a red colour, and so little that 
ten of the largest will hardly outweigh a grain.** Browne, 
Vulgar Erroura. * Taint * is cognate with tint, ttnge, and tincture, 

weanling herds, young animals that have just been weaned 
from the mother's milk. Ling is the diminutive suffix, as in 
ye&rling, daxling, iovLndling, 'To wean * (A.S. wenian) is strictly 
'to accustom to,* but is now used only in the sense of 'to dis- 
accustom to.' The connection between the two meanings is 
obvious. ' Weanling * also occurs as * yeanling * or * eanling? 

47. gay wardrobe, bright and varied colours. By metonymy 

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'wardrobe/ in which clothes are kept, is applied to its contents : 
the flowers are here said to clothe themselves in gay colours. 
« Wardrobe * = guard-robe (Fr. garde-robe) i the usual law in 
such compounds is that the first word denotes the purpose for 
which the thing denoted by the second is used, e.g. inkstand, 
teaspoon, writing-desk. 

48. wMte-thom, hawthorn : the flower is sometimes called 
"May blossom." 

49. to shepherd's ear, sc, 'when heard by him.' The use of 
' killing ' is here an instance of syllepsis : as applied to the herds, 
etc., it means literally 'deadly'; as used in this line it means 

50. Where were ye, etc. This is imitated from the first Idyll 
of Theocritus, and the tenth Eclogue of Virgil, **but with the 
substitution of West British haunts of the Muses for their Greek 
haunts in those classic passages." 

remorseless deep, impit^g or cruel sea ; an instance of 
the pathetic fallacy which attributes human feelings to inanimate 

52. neither. This answers to 'nor' in line 55, so that the 
sense is "You were playing neitTier on the steep ... nor on the 
shaggy top." 

the steep, 'the mountain where the Druidic bards are 
buried.' Milton probably refers to a mountain in Carnarvon, 
called Penmaenmawr, or to Kerig-i-Druidion in Denbigh, where 
there was a burying-place of the Druids. The Druids were the 
minstrels, priests, and teachers amons the ancient Celts of 
Britain: in his History of England Milton calls them "our 
philosophers, the Dmids." The word 'your' implies that the 
bards were followers of the Muses. 

54. OMLgey top of Mona high : the high interior of the island 
of Anglesey (known by the Romans as Mona), once the chief 
haunt of the Welsh Druids. The island was once thickly wooded : 
Selden says, " The British Druids took this isle of Anglesey, then 
well-stored with thick wood and religious groves ; m so much 
that it was called Inis Dovnl, ' The Dark Isle,' for their chief 
residence." This explains the allusion in the words 'shaggy 

55. Deva ... wizard stream, the river Dee, on which stands 
Chester, the port from which King sailed on his ill-fated voyage. 
In his poem At a Vacation Exercise Milton calls it "ancient 
hallowed Dee." Spenser also speaks of it as haunted by 
magicians, and Drayton tells how, being the ancient boundary 
between England and Wales, it foreboded evil fortune to that 
country towards which it changed its course and good to the 
other. The word * wizard ' is therefore very appropriately used 


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LYCIDA& 153 

here. In fact these lines (52-55) are interesting for two reasoDB : 
(1) their appropriateness to the subject, seeing that King was 
drowned on the Welsh coast ; (2) their evidence that Milton had 
already been engaged in careful readinjp; of British legendary 
history with a view to the composition of an epic poem on some 
British subject — ^the first hints of which are conveyed in the 
Latin poems Mansus (1638) and Epitaphium Damonia (1639). In 
the former of these we find reference to the Druids, and in the 
latter to King Arthur. 

* Wizard ' is one of the few sur^'ival8 in English of words with 
the termination ard or art^ e.g. sluggard, braggart: the suffix 
had an intensive, and also a somewhat contemptuous force, 
though here * wizard ' merely denotes ' magical' 

56. Ay me ! this exclamatory phrase = ah me ! Its form is 
due to the French aymi = < ah, for me ! ' and has no connection 
with * ay ' or ' aye ' = yes. Comp. Lat. me fniaerum, 

fondly, foolishly : comp. 11 Peria. 6 and Son. xix. 8. 

57. There is an anacolouthon or break in the construction in 
the middle of this line. The poet, in addressing the nymphs, is 
about to say, 'Had you been there, you might have saved 
Lycidas* ; but, recollecting that their presence could have done no 
good, he adds, ' for what could that nave done ? ' 

58. the Muse herself : Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry, and 
mother of Orpheus, who is here called ' her enchanting son ' (see 
VAlleg, 145, note). His grief for the loss of Eurydice led him 
to treat the Thracian women with contempt, and in revenge they 
tore him in pieces in the excitement of their Bacchanalian 
festivals (here called ' the hideous roar '). His head was thrown 
into the river Hebrus, and, being carried to the sea, was washed 
across to Lesbos, an island in the Mgeasi Sea. His Isrre was also 
swept ashore there. Both traditions simply express the fact that 
Lesbos was the first great seat of the music of the lyre. 

60. universal nature, all nature, animate and inanimate : see 
note on line 39. 

61. rout, a disorderly crowd (as explained above). The word 
is also used in the sense of ' a defeat * ; and is cognate with rouU, 
rote, and rut. The explanation is that all come from the Lat. 
ruptua, broken : a ' rout ' is the breaking up of an army, or a 
crowd broken up ; a ' route ' is a way broken through a forest ; 
a * rote ' is a beaten route or track, hence we say '* to learn by 
rote " ; and a * rut * is a track left by a wheel 

62. Tisane ; see note on II Pens. 13. 

63. iwlft Hehnu : a translation of Virgil's volucrem Hehrum 
(J^n. L 321), supposed to be a corrupt reading, as the river ia 
not swift. 


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64. what boots It, etc. : < Of what profit is it to be a poet in 
these days when true poetry is slighted ? Would it not be 
better, as many do, to give one*s self up to trifling. ' The pas- 
sage is of interest, because (1) it illustrates Milton's high aspira- 
tions, and (2) it directs our attention to the historical fact that 
the literary outburst which began in 1580 was over. The poets 
who were alive in 1637 were such as Wither, Herrick, Shirley, 
May, Davenant, Suckling, Crashaw, etc. : they could not be 
compared with Spenser, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Ben Jonson, 
Beaumont, Fletcher, and others. 

The word * boot* (A.S. 6d<= profit) is now chiefly preserved in 
the adjective bootless == profitless, and in the phrase to boot = in 
addition (where 'boot' is a noun governed by the preposition 
*to,' not the infinitive) : from this noun comes the A.S. verb 
hitan, to amend, to make better, 

nncessant, incessant. The tendency of modem English is 
to use a prefix belonging to the same language as the body of the 
word, so that * cessant,' which is of Latin origin, takes the Lat. 
negative prefix in. This rule was not recognised in older Eng- 
lish ; hence in Milton we find such forms as * unactive,* * nnces- 
sant,' and in other writers, * unpossible,* • unglorious,' *un- 
patient,' 'imhonest,* etc. On the other hand, there are 
anomalies in our present English that did not exist in the 
Elizabethan literature, e.g, 'uncertain' (formerly and more 
regularly * incertain *), * unfortunate,' etc : comp. L 176. 

65. tend : the trans, verb (as here) is a short form of < attend.' 
'Tend,' to move in a certain direction, is intransitive. 

homely, slighted, etc. These adjectives qualify 'trade, 
not 'shepherd.' 'Trade' here denotes the practice of poetry. 
In lines 113-120 the shepherd's trade is not poetry, but the 
work of the Church. The former application of the words is 
found in all pastoral poetry, the latter in the Scriptures. 

Li Com. 748, Milton gives the derivation of ' homely * ; ' It is 
for homely features to keep home * ; comp. Son, xii a. 20, note. 
Spenser, m his Shepherd's Calendar, speaks of the 'homely 
shepherd's quilL' 

66. strictly, rigorously, devotedly. 

meditate the thanUess Muse: apply one's self to the 
thankless task of writing poetry. 

'Meditate' is here used transitively like the Lat. meditor, 
which does not mean merely to ponder or think upon, but to 
apply one's self with close attention to a subject. The phrase 
occurs in Virgil {td, L 2 ; vL 8). As a transitive verb, * medi- 
tate ' has now the meaning of 'purpose'; e,g, he meditated 


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'Thankless/ as applied to the Muse,* is ' ongratefal ' : comp. 
Virgil, JSn. \u. 425. 

67. Were it not, etc. : subjunctive mood. 

use, are accustomed (to do). The present tense of the 
verb ' to use ' is obsolete in this sense : we can say ' he used to 
do this,' but not 'he uses to do this.' The present tense is 
found in the following passage : ** They use to place him that 
shall be their captain upon a stone always reserved for that 
purpose." — Spenser, Compare such words as ought, must, durst, 
wot, wont, etc., all originally past tenses : see note, 11, Pens, 37. 

68. Amaryllis ...Nessra's hair. These are the names of ima- 
ginary shepherdesses from the Greek and Latin pastorals. (See 
Virgil's first three Eclogues,) Milton expresses, in one of his 
prose works, great fondness for the ' smooth elegiac poets,' but 
in the last of his Latin Elegies he announces his intention of 
turning his mind to other subjects — 

..." Learning taught me, in his shady bower, 

To quit Love's servile yoke, and spurn his power. '* 

Cowper's TrandcUion. 
Warton thinks that the allusion to Amaryllis and Neiera is 
made with special reference to certain poems by Buchanan in 
which he addresses females by these names. 

69. tangles, locks or curls ; comp. Peele's David and Bethsahe — 

" Now comes my lover tripping like the roe. 
And brings my longings tangled in her hair." 

70. Fame is the spur that incites the noble mind to high 
efforts : comp. Par. Heg, iii 25 — 

" Glory, the reward 
That sole excites to high attempts the flame 
Of most erected spirits, most tempered pure 
Ethereal, who all pleasures else despise. 
All treasures and all gain esteem as dross. 
And dignities and powers, all but the highest.** 
Also Spenser : *^ Due praise, that is the spur of doing well." 

dear, in the sense of Lat. darus, noble, pure. * Spirit ' is 
the object of * doth raise.' 

71. This bracketed line is in apposition to • Fame,' though in 
reality it is not fame that is meant but the love of fame, which, 
as Massinger says, is * the last weakness wise men put ofL* The 
idea is found in 7'acUus: "Etiam sapientibus cupido f^loriae 
novissima exuitur " ; and by the use of the word that in Ime 71, 
Milton seems to signify that he regarded the expression as a well- 
known one. 

72. This line states the high efforts to which the love of fame 

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will incite men, viz., ''to scorn delights and live laborious 

73. guerdon, reward: grammatically, object of 'find.' The 
formation of this word is peculiar ; the second part is from Lat. 
donum, gift ; and the first part from an old High German word 
meaning 'back,' and corresponding to the I^t. prefix re in 
reward, etc, 

74. Uaze : comp. Arc 74 and Par, Beg, iii. 47 : ** For what is 
glory but the blaze of fame ? " The whole of the passage in Par, 
If eg., like this part of Lycidas, has a certain biographical 
interest, for we see here Milton's estimate of the worth of 
popular applause. 

75. blind Fury ; nomin. to verb * comes.* 

The three goddesses of vengeance were called Furies by the 
Romans, but Milton's reference to ' the abhorred shears' shows 
that he is thinking of one of the Fates (see Arc, 65, note), viz. 
Atropos. She is here said to be blind because she is no respecter 
of persons. Milton probably used the word Fury in a genera] 
sense as signifying the cruelty of Fate, or he mav mean to denote 
Destiny : comp. Shak. King John, iv. 2, *' Think you I have the 
shears of Destmy." 

76. tUn-spun life, t.e. the thin-spun or fragile thread of life, 
in allusion to the uncertainty of human life as shown in the case 
of Edward King. For the form of the adjective comp. 11 Pens, 

" But not the praise." Phoebus {i.e. Apollo), as the god of 
song, here checks the poet, reminding him that though Fate may 
deprive the poet of life it cannot deprive him of his due meed of 
true praise. The construction is, " Fate slits the thin-spun life, 
but does not slit the praise " : there is therefore a zeugma in 
' slits ' ; it is applied to life in its literal sense ' to cut,' and to 
praise in the sense of ' to intercept.' 

77. touched my trembling ears, Le, touched the ears of me 
trembling : comp. note on L'Alleg, 124. Masson's acute note on 
this is: "A fine poetical appropriation of the popular super- 
stition that the tingling of a person's ears is a sign that people 
are talking of him. What Milton had been saying about poetic 
fame might be understood, he saw, as applicable to himself." 
Comp. Virgil's Eclog, vi 3. The rhymes of lines 70-77 are 

78. * Fame is not found in this life, and dwells neither in the 
glitterine leaf displayed in the world, nor in the wide-spread 

mortal soil, this earth. The epithet mortal is transferred 
from life to the scene of life. ' Mortal ' here denotes * associated 


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with death * ; Milton also uses it in the senses of ' causing death ' 
B fatal, and 'human.' 

79. Nor ... nor, neither ... nor : common in poetry, 
glisterlxi^r; from the same base as glisten, glitter, glint, 

gleam, glow, 

fioil, applied to a leaf or thin plate of shining metal placed 
under a gem to increase its lustre (Lat. folium, a leaf) : so Fame 
is not a gem that requires to be set off by the use of some foil ; it 
shines by its own lignt. * Set off* qualifies * Fame,* not * foiL' 

80. lies, dwells ; as often in Old English. Comp. L*AUeg, 79. 

81. by, by means of, ».e. because it is jjerceived by. Comp. 
** God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity." 

82. perfect witness, searching and infallible discrimination. 
The old spelling of this word (which is found in Milton) is per/et, 
the Frencn form being par/ait (Lat. perfectus^ done thoroughly). 

83. pronounces lastly, decides finally : see Son, xxi 3, note. 

84. meed : see line 14, note. This ends the sublime strain of 
Phoebus, which (as Milton says in line 87) "was of a higher 
mood " than the ordinary pastoral. He now returns again to his 
' oaten pipe ' (see Analysis), 

85. Arethuse : see Arc. 30. The poet invokes the fountain 
of Arethusa in the island of Ortygia, off Sicily, because Theocritus 
was a Sicilian; hence the words *' Sicilian Muse,*' 1. 133. He 
also invokes the Mincius, which falls into the river Po, below 
Mantua in North Italy, because Virgil was a native of Mantua. 
Hence the significance of the words ' honoured flood ' and * vocal 

88. my oat, my pastoral muse. The construction is peculiar, 
*oat* being apparentlv nominative to 'proceeds* and * listens.* 
We may either take the nominative / out of the possessive my, 
or suppose that the Muse listens ; but see note on UAUeg, 122, 
"judge the prize.'* 

89. the Herald of the Sea : Triton, represented by the Romans 
as bearing a ' wreathed horn * or shell, which he blew at the com- 
mand of iTeptune in order to still the waves of the sea. He is 
here supposed by Milton to appear * in Neptune's plea,* i.e, to 
defend mm from the suspicion of having caused Lycidas* death 
by a storm, and to discover the real cause of the shipwreck. 
* Hea * and ' plead ' are cognate words. 

91. felon, here used attributively. The origin of the word is 
doubtful ; its radical sense is probably ' treacherous * (as in this 
passage). In the MS. the poet wrote feUon, but this is not, as 
some think, a different word, though it may be cognate with 
fdl = fierce. 


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92. The mark of interrogation at the end of this line and 
the use of the present perfect tense * hath doomed/ show that 
it gives the actual words of Triton's question; otherwise the 
dependent verb (by sequence of tenses) would have been *had 

93. of nigged wings, * rugged- winged,' having mgged wings, 
i.e. tempestuous. 

94. eadi beakM promontory, each pointed cape. Observe the 
proximity of the words every and each, where we might have 
expected every ... every, or eeu:h ... each: comp. Com. 19 and 311. 

• Every ' is radically = ever each (Old English everoele) : it de- 
notes each without exception, and can now only be used with 
reference to more than two objects ; * each ' may refer to tvjo or 

95. They {i,e, the waves and winds) knew nothing of the fate 
of Lycidas. Observe the double or feminine rhymes, — promon- 
tory, story, 

96. sage Hippotad^s ; the wise ruler of the winds, Molva, son 
of Hippot^ : he brings the answer of the winds to the effect 
** that not a blast was from its dungeon strayed." * Hippotad^s ' 
is a Greek patronymic, formed by the suffix -des, seen in 
Boreades, son of Boreas; Priamides, son of Priam, etc. Comp. 
Homer's Odyssey, x. 2. 

97. was ... strayed : in modem English we say ' had strayed ' ; 
the auxiliary *have* being now more common than 'be.' See 
note, Son. ii 6, and comp. 'was dropt,* L 191. 

Ills dungeon : the winds are probably here personified, 
hence the pronoun ' his ' (but see note, II Pens. 128). Milton's 
language here is evidently suggested by Yirnl's picture of the 
winds {^n. i. 50), where they are represented as confined within 
a vast cave : Vir^ there speaks of ^Eolia as the * fatherland ' of 
the winds, thus poetically endowing them with personality. 

* Dungeon,' prison, literally * the chief tower ' : it is another 
form of the old French word donjon, from Lat. dominionem, and 
therefore cognate with 'dominion,' 'domain,' etc. 

leyel brine, the placid sea. ' Brine ' denotes salt water, 
)ya '* 
are salt. 

and by a figure of speech is applied to the ocean whose waters 

99. Fanop^ and ber sister, the daughters of Nereus, hence 
called Nereids : in classical mythology they were the nymphs 
who dwelt in the Mediterranean Sea, distinct from the fresh- 
water nymphs, and the nymphs of the great Ocean. Their names 
and duties are given in the Faery Queene, iv. 11. 49; see also 
Virgil, Georg. i. 437. 


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100. fiital and pexfldions bark, the ill-fated and treacherous 
ship in which Kins sailed: it went down in perfectly calm 
weather, and hence me force of Triton's plea on Neptune's behalf. 

* Bark,' al^ spelt * barque, ' is etymologically the same as * barge' ; 
bat the latter is now only used of a kind of boat. * Fatal ' s ap- 
pointed by fate ; * perfidious ' ^^ faithless (Lat. per, away ; and 
fides, faith). 

101. Bnllt In the eclipse : this circumstance is imagined by the 
poet in order to account for the wreck of the ship, eclipses being 
popularly supposed to brins misfortune upon all undertakings 
begun or carried on while 9iey lasted. The moon's eclipse was 
specially unlucky, but in Shakespeare's Namlet we reaa also of 
"disasters in the sun," and similarly in Par. Lost, i. 697. An 
eclipse was supposed to be a favourite occasion for the machina- 
tions of witches : in Macbeth, iv. 1 we read that ** slips of yew 
slivered in the moon's eclipse ** formed one of the ingredients in 
the witches' cauldron. 

xlgged with curses dark. To rig a ship is to fit it with 
the necessary sails, ropes, etc. ; and b^ a bold figure the poet 
says that King's vessel was fitted out with curses ; at least this 
is the sense if 'with ' be taken to mean 'by means of.' Some 
prefer to interpret ' with ' as ' in the midst of,' the sense being 
that the ship was cursed by the witches while it was being rigged. 

102. That sunk: 'that,' relative pronoun, antecedent 'bark.' 
' Sunk ' = sank; for the explanation compare Morris's English 
Accidence — " The verbs swim, begin, run, drink, shrink, sink, ring, 
sing, sprijig, have for their proper past tenses sivam, began, ran, 
etc. , preserving the original a ; but in older writers (sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries) and in colloquial English we find 
forms with u, which have come from the passive participles." 

that sacred head of thine. This is a pleonastic expression : 
it will be noticed that when the noun denotes the possession of 
one object only, this form is inadmissible unless preceded by a 
demonstrative (as here), e,g. we can say 'that body of yours,' 
because a person has only one body, but we cannot say ' a body 
of yours,' as this word would imply that one of a number was 
referred to. 

'Sacred': etymologically signifies the same as 'consecrated,' 
'set apart,' and hence 'devoted*: it may be used here of Lycidas 
as devoted to death : comp. Par. Lost, iii. 208 — " To destruction 
sacred and devote." 

103. Camus : "the genius of the Cam River and of Cambridge 
University was naturally one of the mourners for Lycidas." 

* Reverend sire ' is an allusion to the antiquity of the University. 
Sire, sir, senior, seignior, and signor all owe their origin to the 
Qomin, or accus, form of the Lat. senior, elder. 


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103. went footing alow, passed slowly alons, wended his way 
slowly. As Camus oomes forward to bewail Lycidas we should 
naturally read * came ' in this line instead of * went,' because in 
modem English the meanings of ' go ' and * come ' are ^opposed. 
But it is not so here : toent is radically the past tense of wend 
(A.S. toendan, to turn), but is now used in p&ce of the obsolete 
past of go ; so that it has become necessary to make a new form 
for the past tense of 'wend,' viz. wended. For *go ' cf. Shake- 
speare, 2 Hm, IV, ii. 1. 191 ; M, N, D, i. 1. 115. Wend is the 
causal form of toindj and is therefore peculiarly appropriate to 
the winding Gam. It is now nearly obsolete except in the phrase 
* to wend one's way.' 

* Foot * as a verb is generally followed by the cognate accusative 
*it,' but it then denotes uprightly movement, and is therefore 
unsuitable here (see UAueg. 33). 'Slow-footing' occurs in 
Spenser as a compound adjective. 

104. His mantle lialry, etc. Here 'mantle' and ' bonnet' are 
in the absolute case. The * hairy mantle ' is the hairy river-weed 
that is found floating on the Cam, and the * bonnet ' is the sedge 
that grows in the nver and along its edge. In his first Elegy 
Milton alludes to the reedy or sedgy Cam (arundiferum Canrnm, 
juncoaas Cami pcUudes), * Bonnet/ now generally applied to a 
head-dress worn by women, here denotes (as it still does in Scot- 
land) a man's cap. 

105. Ikiwrouglit with flgnres dim, having indistinct markings 
worked into it. ' Inwrought ' is a participiM adjective (as if from 
a verb inworh, which is not in use), qualifying 'bonnet ' : to work 
in figures into cloth, etc., is to embroider or adorn. Milton 
refers to the peculiar natural markings seen on the leaves of 
sedge, especially when they begin to wither. 

The edffe of the 'sedge bonnet' of the Cam is said to be 
like the edge of the hyacinth because it is marked : the hyacinth 
was fabled by the ancients to have sprung from the blood of the 
Spartan youth Hyacinthus, and the markings on the petals were 
said to resemble the words d2 dX (alas ! alas !) or the letter T, the 
Greek initial of Hyacinthus : hence the significance of the words 
' sanguine ' and ' inscribed with woe. ' The poet Drummond calls 
the hyacinth "that sweet flower that bears in sanguine spots the 
tenor of our woes." Similarly Milton fancies that the markings 
on the sedge may signify the grief of Cambridge for the death of 

106. like to that sanguine flower. Here the preposition ' to 
is expressed after ' like ' : see note on H Pens. 69. ' Sanguine,* 
bloody, an illustration of Milton's fondness for the primary sense 
of words (Lat. sanguis, blood) : its present meaning is 'hopeful,' 
and the connecting link between tne two meanings is found in 
the old theory of uie four humours of the body, an excess of the 


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bloody humour making persons of a hopeful disposition. In the 
primary sense we now use * sanguinary. 

107. reft: comp. * bereft,' Son. xxii. 3. 

quoth he, he said : this verb always precedes its nomina- 
tive, and is used only in the first and third persons : it is really 
a past tense (though occasionally used as a present), and the 
original present is seen only in the compound be-qtieath. 

pledge, child: comp. Lat. pignuSt a pledge or security, 
also applied (generally in the plural) to children or relations. 

108. Last came ... did go : see note on II Pens. 46. 

109. The Pilot of the Galilean Lake : St. Peter, here introduced 
as Head of the Church, because King had been intended for the 
(Church. St. Peter was at first a fisherman on the Sea of GsJilee 
{Matt. iv. 18) and became one of the disciples of Christ. It was 
of him that Christ said : " Upon this rock will I build my 
church ; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I 
will give unto thee t?ie keys of the kingdom of heaven. " ( Matt, xvi 
18. S. V.) It was he also whom Christ constituted the Shepherd 
of the Christian flock by his parting charge : "Feed my lambs.'* 
{John XXL 15. ) In both of his capacities, as Head and Shepherd 
of the Christian Church, he mourns the death of one who 
promised to be a true disciple, unlike the fsJse shepherds 
who crept into the Church "for their bellies' sake." 

110. Two massy keys : the keys that St. Peter carried as the 
symbol of his power are usually spoken of as two in number 
(though there is no such statement in the Scriptures), because he 
had power both in heaven and hell, the golden one opening the 
gates of heaven, and the iron one forcibly closing them : comp. 
Com. 13: 

" that golden key 
That opes the palace of eternity." 

'Massy,' massive : see note II Pens. 158. 

of metals twain, made of two dififerent metals: twain 
(cognate with two) is, in older English, used (1) predicatively, (2) 
when it follows the noun (as here), and (3) as a noun. 

111. amain, with force : a is here the usual adverbial prefix 
(see note 1. 27) ; main = strength or force, as in the phrase * with 
might and main.' The adjective ma«n, = principal, is only in- 
directly connected with it, being from jLat. magnuSf great. 
' Ope ' for * open ' is found in poetry, both as verb and adjective. 

112. mitred locks, locks crowned with a bishop's head-dress, 
St. Peter being regarded as the first bishop of the Church. 

stem bespake, said with indignation. Milton sometimes 
used the verb bespeak as a transitive verb = to address (a person); 

G,T. II, L 


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in modem English both these senses are obsolete and it now de- 
notes * to speak f or t* * to engage beforehand.' 

113. Here for the second time the poem rises far above the 
ordinary pastoral strain and Milton puts into the mouth of St. 
Peter his first explicit declaration of his sympathy with the 
Puritans in their opposition to the attempt of Archbishop Laud 
to introduce changes in the ritual of the English and Scottish 
Qiurches, an attempt which hastened the downfall of Charles I. 
and Laud himself : see notes on Son, xii a., zv., xvi As early as 
1584, Spenser had also written in vehement strain against the 
corruptions of the Church, and there is a faint echo of Spenser's 
language here and there throughout Milton's indignant lines. 
(See AncUysia). 

spared for thee, etc., t.c. given up, in return for you, 
an ample number of the corrupt clergy. 

114. Enow : here used as in Early English to denote a number ; 
it is also spelt aTiow, and in Chaucer ynowe, and is the plural of 
enough. It still occurs as a provincialism in England. 

such as : see UAUeg. 29. 

for tbelr bellies' sake : comp. Son, xvi. 14, where the 
reference is to the Presbyterian clergy ; here he means the Epis- 
copalian ministers. 

115. The Church is a sheepfold into which the "hireling 
wolves " (see Son, xvi. 14), %.e, the corrupt clergy, intrude them- 
selves ; their only care being to share the endowments of the 
Church. One of Milton's pamphlets was entitled The likeliest 
Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church, Comp. Par. Lost, 
iv. 192, and John, x. 12. 

116. "They make little reckoning of any care other than," 

117. scramble: this word, and 'shove' in the next line, ex- 
press the eager and rude striving for those church endowments 
that are here c£tUed ' the shearers' feast.' The ' worthy bidden 
guest ' denotes the conscientious and faithful clergy. 

119. Blind mouths ! a figure of speech into which Milton con> 
denses the greatest contempt. * Mouths ' is put by synecdoche 
for * gluttons,' and * blind *^ is therefore quite applicable. They 
are bund guides "whose Gospel is their maw" {Son. xvi. 14). 
By saying that they scarcely know how to hold a sheep-hook or 
crook (which is the symbol of the shepherd's task) the poet signi- 
fies their unfitness for *the faithful herdman's art, ' t.e. for pastoral 

120. the least, may be regarded as an adverbial phrase modi- 
fying * belongs,'=in the least ; or it may be attributive to * aught.* 


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121. herdman : this spelling, which occurs in the Bible, is not 
now in use, nor is it that of Muton*s manuscript ; he wrote * herds- 
man,' which is current in the restricted sense of * one who herds 
ecUtle.* Milton applies it to a shepherd, the word being then 
used generally. 

122. What recks it ihem?=what does it reck them ?=what do 
they care ? Here we have an old impersonal use of the verb ' to 
reck,' which still survives in the adjective reckless. 

They are sped, they have sped = they have cained their 
object. For the use of the auxiliary * are * instead of * have,' see 
note on 1. 97. One of the early meanings of speed is ' success,' and 
to speed is to be successful (as in this Une) : comp. Par. Lost, x, 
39. It occurs in older En|;lish both of good and ill success, said 
also in the sense of 'to assist' (Shakespeare has * God speea the 
Parliament '), * to send away quickly,* * to destroy,' etc. 

123. when they list, when it pleases them. The verb list is, in 
older English, generally used impersonally, and in Chaucer we 
find * if thee lust ' or * if thee list *=if it please thee. It is derived 
from A.S. lust, pleasure, and survives in the adjective listless, of 
which the older form was lusUess, The noun lust has lost the 
meaning it had in A.S. and still has in German, and now signifies 
'longing desire.' 

lean and flashy songrs: pastoral language for 'their 
teaching, which is without substance or nourishment to their 
hearers.' * Flashy *= showy but worthless: comp. Dryden, 
**jlashy wit"; and Bacon, " distilled books are ...flashy things." 

124. Orate, etc. : ' sound harshly on their weak and wretched 
oaten pipes ' — a description in pastoral language of the preaching 
of the careless clergy. ' Grate and ' scrannel ' are here skilfully 
chosen to express contempt. ' Grate ' : the nominative of this 
verb is ' songs,' the sense being intermediate between the active 
form ' they grate their songs,' and the passive, ' their songs are 
grated.' Hence some would regard this as a middle voice. In 
Latin and Greek the passive voice arose from the middle or 
reflective verb. Comp. //. Pens. 161. 

scrannel, not found in English dictionaries, being a pro-. 
▼incialism=3'lean' : the harsh sound of the word also suits the 
passage. Comp. Virgil's Ed, iii. 26. 

125. Tile hungry sheep, the neglected congregations. Compare 
Milton's Epitaph Damon. — 

" Nor please me more my flocks ; they, slighted, turn 
Their unavailing looks on me, and mourn." 

CovrpeT^s Translation, 

126. swoln with wind, etc., with minds filled with unsound and 
nnwholesome teaching. 


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nuik=coar8e» foul : * draw '= inhale, e,g, to dratv breath f 
comp. Par. Loatf viii. 284, " From where I first drew air." The 
Lat. Juturio has the same sense. 

127. Bot inwardly, etc., have their hearts corrupted, and dis- 
seminate false doctrines. 

128. Besides. The meaning is : "While all this injury to the 
Church is taking place, there is smother source of loss to which 
the English clergy seem to be indifferent, viz. the desertions to 
ijie Church of Rome that are so frequent." 

the grim wolf, the Church of Rome : comp. Matt vii. 16, 
"Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's 
clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves." Also Acta, xx. 29, 
"Grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the 
flock." * Privy ' = secret. * Apace * = rapidly, at a great pace : 
comp. notes on amain, a-fidd, 

129. and nothing said. Milton may here refer to Archbishop 
Laud's leaning towards Popeiy. Grammatically, there would 
seem to be a confusion here between two constructions : (1) ' and 
nothinff (is) said,' and (2) * nothing (being) said.' The latter 
would be the absolute construction, and in Shakespeare it some- 
times happens that a noun intended to be used absolutely is 
diverted, by a change of thought, into a subject ; the opposite 
process may have taken place here. 

130. two-handed engine. The sense is, " But the instrument of 
retribution is ready and punishment will swiftly fall upon the 
corrupt Church." * Engine ' = instrument, its literal sense being 
< something skilful ' (Lat. ingemum, skill) : it is therefore cognate 
with ingenious, ingenuity, and has been corrupted into gin = a 
snare. Comp. Par. Lost, i. 749, " Nor did he 'scape by all his 
engines* (».e. schemes). 

'Two-handed ' is applied to swords, axes, etc, that require to 
be wielded with both hands. The nature of the instrument that 
is here called a ' two-handed engine ' has been much discussed ; 
the various interpretations are : — 

(1) That it denotes the axe by which Laud was afterwards to 
be beheaded in 1645, Milton's words being thus prophetic. This 
view may be set aside : it certainly did not occur to any one at 
the time of the publication of Lycidas, when the power of Laud 
was at ite height. 

(2) That the axe is that alluded to metaphorically in the Scrip- 
tures as the instrument of reformation: see St. Matt, ill 10, 
" And now the axe is laid to the root of the tree ; therefore every 
tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down." In 
Milton's treatise Of Reformation in England he speaks of "the 
axe of God's reformation hewing at the old and hollow trunk of 
Papacy." This view is both the most obvious and the most prob- 


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(3) That there is an allusion to the *< two-edged sword " which 
proceedeth out of the mouth of the Living One (see Hev, i. 16). 

(4) That the poet refers to the powers of the pure Gospel as 
contained in the Old and New Testaments. 

(5) That the English Parliament with its two Houses is 
meant, *' the agency by which, three or four years afterwards, 
the doors of the Church of England were dashed in." 

(6) That it denotes eivU and ecdeaiasticai power. See note on 
Son, zvii. 12. 

132. The poet again descends to the level of the ordinary 
pastoral, though it should be observed that in lines 113-131 he 
has skilfully adapted pastoral language to an unusual theme. 
The ''dread voice" is the voice <3 St. Peter, and it is to this 
passage that Milton refers in the sub-title to the poem prefixed 
on its republication in 1645. '* In 1638 it had been bold enough 
to let the passage stand in the poem, as published in the Cam- 
bridge memorial volume, without calling attention to it in the 
title^' (Masson). 

Alpheiu : see Arc, 30, note. 

133. That shrank thy streams, t.e. which silenced my pastoral 
muse. The figure is a Scriptural one : <* The waters st!cK>d above 
the mountains; at thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy 
thunder they hasted away," PacUm, civ. 7. 'Shrunk' is here 
used in an active or causal sense = made to shrink, as in the 
phrase ' to shrink cloth.' 

SiciUaii Muse, the muse of pastoral poetry : see note on 
L 85. 

134. hither cast* t.e. come hither and cast. Compare the Lat. 
idiom, ae in sUvas oMiderutU, *'they hid themselves into the 
woods," t.e. "they went into the woods and hid there," Ovid, 
See also L 139. 

135. bells, bell-shaped blossoms. Plants with bell-shaped 
flowers are technically called ' campanulate ' (ItaL campana, a 

flowerets : ' floweret ' is diminutive of ' flower.' 

136. use, dweU, frequent. The verb is quite obsolete in this 
sense : comp. note, 1. 67. In Spenser we find, " In these strange 
ways, where never foot did t«e. * 

137. The construction is, " Where the mild whispers of shades, 
and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, dwelL" 

138. lap ; by a common figure we speak of 'the lap of earth,' 
'the earth's bosom,' etc : comp. Gray's JSkgy, "Here rests his 
head upon the lap of earth"; also Bicn, II. v. 2, " the ^reen lap 
of the new-come spring." The word has no connection with 
' lap ' « wrap {L*Alleg. 136). 

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tbe swart star sparely looks, i.e, '* where the mfluence of 
the burning dog-star is scarcely felt," the flowers being therefore 
fresh and bright. The swart star is Sirius or Canicula, a star 
just in the mouth of the constellation Canis, hence called the 
dog-star (Lat. canis, a dog). Hence also the term ''dog days." 
To the Greeks and Romans this star appeared at the hottest time 
of the year, and was by them regarded as the «ause of the great 
heat, it is therefore here called 'swart/ t.e. swart-making, 
because by exposure to heat the face becomes swarthy or brown. 
Milton frequently transfers an epithet from the object of an 
action to the agent : comjp. " oblivious pool " = pool that makes 
one oblivious {Par. Lost, i. 266), "forgetful lake," etc. There 
are four forms of the adjective : the earliest is swart, then swarty, 
swarth, and finally swarthy : all four forms occur in Shakespeare. 
For the technical sense of ' looks,' comp. Arc. 52. It may be 
noted that in Epit. Damon. Milton speaks of the evil influence of 
the planet Saturn upon the fortunes of shepherds. 

139. quaint enameUed eyes, i.e. blossoms neat and bright. 
The centre of a blossom is sometimes called an ' eye ' ; the name is 
also given to a tender bud or even to a flower (as here). Milton's 
use of the word ' enamelled ' is illustrated in Arc. 84, and his use 
of 'quaint' in Arc. 47; see notes. Comp. Peele's David and 
Bethsahe : " May that sweet plain ... be still enamelled with dis- 
coloured (i.e. variegated) flowers." 

140. honeyed showers, sweet and refreshing rain. ' Honeyed ' 
is here used figuratively; comp. "honeyed words "= flattery. 
It is sometimes, but less correctly, spelt ' honied ' : comp. II 
Pens. 142. 

141. purple, here used as a verb. The meaning is that the 
spring flowers are so abundant that they cive the green turf a 
purple tint: comp. Par. Lost, vii. 28, " When mom purples the 
east." In Latin purpuretis is common in the sense of ' dazzling.' 

vernal, pertaining to Spring (Lat. ver). 

142. Lines 142-151 form (as Masson says) " the most exquisite 
flower-and-colour passage in all Milton's poetry. His manuscript 
shows that he brought it to perfection by additions and after 
thoughts." "For musical sweetness and dainty richness of 
floral colour, it beats perhaps anything else in all Milton. It is 
the call upon all valleys of the landscape, and the banks of cJl 
the secret streamlets, to yield up theur choicest flowers, and 
those dearest to shepherds that they may be strewn over the 
dead body of Lycidas." A similar fancy is found in Shake- 
speare: "With fairest flowers ... I'll sweeten thy sad grave." 
Cymb. iv. 2. 

Those critics who judge the beauty of any poetical reference 
to nature by its fidelity to actual fact may readily object that 


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Milton would here bring together flowers that are never found in 
bloom at the same time of the year. But the season of the year 
does not enter into Milton's thoughts except in so far as it 
enables him to characterize some of the flowers. His only con- 
cern is to honour the grave of his feUow-shepherd by heaping 
upon it a rich offering of nature's fairest and sweetest flowers — 
flowers that, by their purity or their " sad embroidery," are well 
fitted to ** strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies." 

In connection with this passage Mr. Ruskin writes : — " In 
Milton it happens, I think, generally, and in the case before us 
most certainly, that the imagination is mixed and broken with 
fancy, and so the strength of the imagery is part of iron and part 
of clay." Lines 142, 145, and 147 he considers 'imaginative'; 
lines 144 and 146 'fanciful'; line 143 'nugatory'; and line 148 
* mixed.' 

rafhe, early : the root of this word survives in the com- 
parative ratlieri comp. **The rcUlier lambs be starved with 
cold" (Spenser), where rcUher is an adjective. Tennyson has: 
" the men of ratJie and riper years " [In Mem, ex.). Bather is 
now used only as an adverb, except perhaps in the phrase ' I had 
rather ' ; in ' I would rather ' it is certainly an adverb. The 
Old English ra^A= early (adj.) ; nUhe=soon. (adv.). 

that forsaken dies, t.e. 'that dies because it is forsaken 
by the sun-light,' a reference to the fact that it is often found in 
shady places. Milton at first wrote ' unwedded,' showing that 
he had in mind Shakespeare's words, " Pale primroses tlmt die 
unmarried, ere they can behold Bright Phoebus (i.e, the sun) in 
his strength " : Winter's Tale iv. 4. 

143. tufted crow-toe. This plant is more commonly called 
"crow-foot," both names having reference to the shape of the 
flower : comp. ' bird's foot trefoil' belonging to the same order of 
plants. Another similar plant is the tinted vetch, and this 
epithet correctly describes the appearance of all these plants 
when in flower. 

pale Jessamine. * Jessamine ' or jasmine, a plant which 
belongs originally to the East; hence the name, from Persian 

144. pink, a flower which has civen name to a particular 
colour ; similarly the colour called * violet ' receives its name 
from the flower, and ' mauve ' is the colour of the ' mallow.' 
The reverse process is seen in 'carnation,' this flower having 
received its name from itafleshi/ colour (Lat. caro, flesh). Some 
varieties of the pink are white. 

pansy fireaked with Jet, a species of violet havine gene- 
rally dark spots in the centre of its blossoms. * Freaked '= 
spotted or marked ; this word is now little used except in the 


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diminntive freekleassBmaXL dark spots (as those on some faces). 
Shakespeare speaks of the * freckled cowslip.' 

146. w^-attired woodbine, i.e. the honey-suckle with its 
clusters of flowers. * Well-attired ' does not here mean well- 
clothed or covered with leaves, but 'having a beautiful kecui- 
dress of flowers. ' * Tire ' (the prefix being dropped) occurs in the 
same sense. The word is now eztendea to the whole dress : 
comp. On Timtj 21. 

147. banc: tbe penslYe bead : ' pensive ' is here used prolepti- 
cally, t.e. it denotes the result of the action expressed by the 
verb 'hang' : comp. Arc. 87. 

148. sad embroidery ; or, as Milton originally wrote, ** sor- 
row's livery," t.e. colours suited to mourning. *To embroider' 
is strictly to adorn with needlework, hence used in the SMise of 
* to ornament,' and finally * to diversify by difierent colours.' 

149. amaranthus, a plant so called because its flowers last 
long without withering. In Par, Lost it occurs as * amarant,' 
the adjective being ' amarantine,' which comes directly from the 
Greek amaratUos, unfadinff. The word is cognate with 'am- 
brosia,' the food of the gods, both having their counterpart in 
the Sanskrit amrita, immortaL 

bis beauty shed : ' his ' here stands for ' its ' : see note on 
nPtna. 128. 'Shed' is the infinitive after 'bid'; so is 'fill' in 
the next line. 

150. dafflidlllles, more commonly written Mafibdils.' There 
is also a more colloquial form, dq^adovm-dUly, which occurs in 
Spenser. Comp. Par. Lost, ix. 1040, "Pansies and violets and 
asphodelJ" * I&fibdil ' and ' asphodel ' are the same, both name 
8knd thin^ : the initial e^ is no part of the word, and in earlier 
English it was written affodille, which is from an old French 
word asphodile, which again is from the Greek asphodeloa, a 
flower of the lily tribe. The dew-drops resting in the hollow of 
the lilies are here spoken of as tears shed for Lycidas. 

151. laureate hearse, the poet's tomb. The word 'laureate' 
here signifies that Lycidas was a poet and was lamented by 
poets. Another interpretation is that it refers to the fact that 
King had obtained an academical degree : see note on Son, xvL 
9. ' Hearse ' now denotes the carriage in which the dead are 
carried to the grave, and even the meaning which Milton here 
gives it is not tiie primary one. The changes of meaning which 
this word has shown are: (1) a harrow, i.e, a frame of wood 
fitted with spikes, and used for breaking up the soil ; (2) a frame 
of similar shape in which lighted candles were stuck durins 
church service ; (3) a frame for lights at a funeral ; (4) a funenu 
ceremony, a monument, etc. ; (5) a frame on which a dead body 


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is laid ; (6) a carriage for a dead body ; comp. BpUaph on 
M, of W. 68. *Lycid'=Lycidas, the sumx being dropped. 

152. The sense is: 'Let us thus, in order to comfort our- 
selves for a little, please our weak fancies by imagining that we 
actually have the corpse of Lycidas to strew with flowers, even 
while, alas ! his bones are being drifted about by the waves.' 

Some editions read a comma after * for,' and connect ' so ' with 
* to interpose ' : it seems better to read ' so ' with ' for,' thus 
making * to interpose,' etc., a clause of purpose. 

154. There is a zeugma in toash as applied to * shores ' and 
*seas.* Comp. Virgil's jEn. vL 362: **my body is sometimes 
tossed by the waves, and sometimes thrown on the shore." The 
pathetic aUusions in Lyddas to Bang's death at sea may be com- 
pared throughout with Virgil's language on the death of the 
pilot Palinurus, especially in the closmg lines of Book v. : 
" nimium caelo et pelago confise sereno, 
Kudus in ignota, Palinure, jacebis harena." 

156. Helirldes, or Western Isles, a range of about 200 islands, 
scattered along the western coast of Scotland. King having 
been wrecked in the Irish Sea, his body may (according to 
Milton) have been carried far north to the Hebrides or far south 
to the coast of Cornwall, these two parts being the extremities of 
Great Britain. 

157. whaimifig « the compound 'overwhelming' is more com- 
monly used. 

158. the bottom of the monstrouB world, t.e. the bottom of the 
sea, "there being more room for the marvellous amon^ the 
creatures of the deep than among the better known inhabitants 
of the land." ' Monstrous ' is therefore here used literally = full 
of monsters. Comp. Par. Lost, ii. 624, " Nature breeds. Perverse, 
all monstrous, all prodigious things"; also Virgil's Aen, 729, 
*' Quae marmores fert monstra sub aequora pontus." 

159. Or whether. This would naturally answer to ' whether ' 
in line 156, but there is another anacolouthon, or change of con- 
struction ; the first * whether ' introduces an adverbial phrase, 
while the second introduces a complete sentence. 

to our moist vows denied, i.e. your body being denied to 

A.rfn1 rvrtLxrtvra < 'M'nia'f. ' la ■nivkriAT'lir a-rk-nlinn.'hlA \jQ the CVCS 

There may 

our tearful prayers. * Moist ' is properly applicable to the eyes 
of those praying for the recovery of Lycidas*^ body. There may 
be an allusion in ' vows ' to those promises of thanksgiving and 

offerings made to Neptune that he might restore the bodies of 
those who had been drowned. Comp. Arc* 6. 

160. fable of BelleruB old, i.e. the fabled abode of the old 
Cornish giant Bellerus. Bellerium was the Latin name for 
Land's End in Cornwall, and Milton * fables ' this name to have 


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been derived from Bellems, though no each name occurs in the 
catalogue of the old ComlBh giants. There was, however, a giant 
named Corineus, said to have come into Britain with Brute, and 
in his first diuft of the poem Milton wrote 'Corineus,' not 

* Bellerus * (pron. Bellems), 

161. great Vision of the guarded mount. The 'guarded 
mount* is St. Michael's Moimt, near Land's End, on which 
there is a crag called St. Michael's Chair. The tradition is that 
the ' vision ' (or apparition) of the Archangel had been seen 
seated on this crag. Milton, therefore, 8pea& of the Mount as 

* guarded ' by the Archangel. 

162. Looks toward Namancos, etc. Namancos is in the pro- 
vince of Gallicia, near Cape Einisterre, in Spain (the name 
being found in old maps). Bayona is also in GeJlicia. *' It was 
a boast of the 0>mish people that there was a direct line of sea- 
new from Land's End passing France altogether and hitting no 
European land till it reached Spain " (see map of Europe). 

hold = stronghold, castle. 

163. Angel, ».e. St. Michael, who is here asked to cease looking 
towards Spain and to turn his gaze to the seas around him, where 
the shipwrecked Lycidas lies. Some would take 'Ansel' as 
addressed to Lycidas, who would then be regarded as a glorified 
spirit looking down upon his weeping friends : that this is not 
the meaning is evident from the language of 1. 164. 

rath, pity : comp. Son, ix. 8. 

164. dolphins, sea-animals ; here alluded to because Arion, an 
ancient Greek bard, when thrown overboard by sailors on a 
voyage to Corinth, was supported on the backs of dolphins whom 
he had charmed by his music. 

waft, a word generally applied to winds, sometimes also to 
water, is here used (» the dolphins to signify their swift passage 
through the sea. 

165. The poem here becomes a strain ot joy (see Analysis), 
which may be compared with that which closes Milton's other 
famous elegy on the death of Charles Diodati two years after 
Lycidas was composed. The following extract from the latter 
(Cowper's translation) will partly enable the student to compare 
the two pieces — 

*' CecLse then my tears to flow I 
Away with grief, on Damon ill bestowed ! 
Who, pure himself, hasfouTid a pure abode. 
Has passed the showery arch, henceforth resides 
With saints and heroes, and from flowing tides 
Quaffs copious immortalUy and joy, , . . 
Thy brows encircled with a radiant band. 
And the green palm-branch waving in thy hand« 


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Thou in immortal nuptials shalt rejoice. 
And join with seraplU thy a>ccording voice. 
Where rapture reigns, and the ecstatic lyre 
Guides the blest orgies of the blazing quire." 

woftil, also spelt 'woeful.* 

166. your sorrow, object of your sorrow ; by synecdoche the 
name of a passion or emotion is often put for the object that 
inspires it, e.g. joy, pride, delight, care, nope, etc. 

l8 not dead, i.e. he lives in Paradise. 

167. watery floor, the surface of the sea : comp. " level brine," 
L 98, and the Lat. aemwr (a level surface) applied to the sea. 
Shakespeare calls the sky the ** floor of heaven. 

168. day-star, the sun, which, to one looking seaward, seems 
to sink, at setting, into the ocean. Comp. Com, 96 — 

" And the gilded car of day 
His glowmg axle doth allay 
In the steep Atlantic stream." 

169. anon, after a short time, %,e, at sunrise. Comp. UAUeg, 

repairs Ills drooping head, renews his brightness. 

170. trldcB ; here used transitively in the sense of *to display': 
see n Pens. 123, note. 

new-spangled ore, bright golden rays. ' Ore ' = metal, 
the newly-risen sun being like a ball or disc of gold. * Spangled ' 
= sparklmg : a spangle is strictly a small ^late of shining metal 
used as an ornament, and hence in poetry it is common to speak 
of the stars as spansles, and of the sky as ' spangled with stars.* 
Comp. Shakespeare^ Taming of the Shrew, iv. 6. : see also Par, 
Lost, xl 128. 

172. So. The meaning is, 'As the sun sinks into the sea in 
the evening but rises again in the morning with renewed beauty, 
so Lycidas sank low into the sea, but rose again through the 
saving power of Christ, to take his place in Paradise. 

' Sunk ' =3 sank : see 1. 102, note. 

173. the dear might of Him, etc. = the power of that dear 
Saviour over whom the waves of the sea had no power. Milton 
thus appropriately illustrates Christ's power by a reference to 
that one of his muracles which shows ms rule over the waters. 
See Matt. xiv. 22. 

* Walked * : here used transitively ; comp. II Pens. 166. 

174. Where, i.e. 'mounted high (to that place) w?ie}-e,* etc. 
along, a preposition governing 'groves' and 'streams.' 

176. His locks that were wet with the sea ooze he washes with 
the pure nectar of heaven. 


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' Oozy,' slimy ; ' ooze * is the soft mud found at the bottom of 
the sea. ' To ooze ' is to flow gently, as^ooze would do. 

* Nectar,* the drink of the gods: in Deaih of a Fair Infant^ 
Milton speaks of the *' nectared head '* of a goddess, and in Par» 
Lout J he tells us that there is a '' nectarous humour " in the veins 
of the angels. 

176. nnezpressive nuptial song, t.e. inexpressible marriage 
sons : see Rev, xix. 9, where all true believers are spoken of as 
bidden to the marriage feast of the Lamb of God. In the two 
preceding lines the language of Lycidas is that of classical 
mythology; in this line and the six following, the imagery is 
Christian; and then the poet reverts to mythology. "We 
might say that these things are ill-fitted to each other. So they 
would be, were not the art so fine and the poetry so overmaster- 
ing ; were they not fused together by genius into a whole so that 
the unfitness itself becomes fascination. '* ( Brooke. ) 

* Unexpressive ' : both Shakespeare and Milton use adjectives 
with the termination -ive where we now use -ible or 'Cible, Comp. 
incomprehensive, plausive, insuppressive, etc., occurring in 
Shakespeare. For the prefix -un see note on L 64 above. The 
word ' unexpressive ' has therefore, in modem English, become 
in-eospre88'ible. * Nuptial ' is from Lat. nuhere, to marry ; oomp. 
* connubial.* 

177. For the order of the words comp. UAUeg, 40. 
Ungdoms meek, abodes of the meek. 

178. * There aU the saints above entertain him.* 

179. sweet societies. What Milton here calls < sweet societies * 
of angels, he calls (in Pour, Lo8% xi. 80) 'fellowships of joy.* 
Milton believed in a complete angelic system, with a most 
elaborate division into orders and degrees of rank — a system 
widely recognised in mediaeval Christian tradition. In Pa7\ Lost 
he makes large use of this belief; in this poem it is merely 
hinted at. 

181. The language of this line is taken from the Scriptures : 
se& Isaiah, xxv. 8, and Bev, vii. 7, " God shall wipe away aU 
tears from their eyes.** 

for ever, once and for all. 

182. This line is to be compared with line 165. 

183. the Genius of the shore : see Arc, 25, 26 ; II Pens, 154* 
It is common in Latin poetry to represent a drowned person as 
becoming the genius or guardian spirit of the locality where he 
met his fote, his office being to prevent future voyagers from a 
like disaster ; hence Milton says, " (thou) shalt be good {i.e. pro- 
pitious) to all that wander,** ere. The Latin bonus occurs in the 
sense of 'propitious,* Virgil's EcL v. 04. 


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184. In tliy large recompenBe, i.e. as a great recompnse to 
thee, *' The use of the possessive pronouns and of the inflected 
possessive case of nouns and pronouns was, until a comparatively 
recent period, very much more extensive than at present, and 
they were employed in manv cases where the preposition with 
the objective now takes its place " {Marsh). 

185. wander In that perUous flood, t.e. sail over that dangerous 

186. The epilogue begins here (see analysis) : its separateness 
from the rest of the poem is indicated by the fact that in it 
Milton lays aside his "oaten flute " and resumes his own person- 
ality, and by the metrical and rhyming structure of the eight 
lines of which it consists. It is, in fact, a stanza in OUava Rima^ 
the arrangement of rhymes being ah ah ah cc. 

nnooutli : see note, L'AUeg. 5. 

187. with sandals grey, i.e, at the ffrey dawn. Gomp. "grey- 
hooded even," Com, 188. Hie shepherd had begun to sing at 
daybreak, but in his eagerness he had continued till evening. 

188. He toucbed the tender stops of varloiiB quills, t. e. through- 
out his song he had passed through various moods and had sung 
in various metres. ' Quill ' is here used in its primary sense, =a 
reed, which Milton has i^^dy called * oaten pipe ' : the applica- 
tion of this word to the feather of a bird is secondary. The 
'stops' of a reed or flute are the small holes over which the 
fingers of the player are placed, also called vent-holes or (as in 
Shakespeare) 'ventages*: comp. Com, 345, ''pastoral reed with 
oaten stops." 'Die epithet ' tender * is here transferred from the 
music itself to the stops, from the effect to the cause. 

189. ihoni^t^ care : comp. Mait. vi. 25, " Take no thought for 
your life," etc. 

Doric lay, pastoral song, so called because Theocritus, 
Bion, and Moschus wrote their pastorals in the Doric dialect of 
the Greek tongue : see note on VAlleg. 136. 

190. ' The sun, beinfflow, had lengthened the ahadowa of the 
hills.* Comp. Virgil, Eel L 83. 

191. was dropt, had dropt : see note, 1. 97, and 8<m, ii. 6. 

192. twltcbed, plucked tightly around him. 

Ills mantle blue. The colour is that of a shepherd's 
dress, hence the allusion. It is very improbable that any alle- 
gorical sense is intended. 

193. To-morrow, etc. : comp. the Purple Island, by Fletcher— 

" Home, then, mv lambs : the falling drops eschew : 
To-morrow shall ye feast in pastures new." 


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On this poem Mr. Palgrave has the following note : --Strict 
Pastoral Poetry was first written or perfected by the Dorian 
Greeks settled in Sicily ; but the conventional 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 mythology—or 
what may be called the modem mythology of Camus and Saint 
Peter— to direct Christian images. Yet tne poem, if it gains in 
metrical interest, sufi^ers 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 

No. VL 


This poem and the two that follow it should be made to illustrate 
one another. Perhaps the best commentary on all three is found 
in Addison's reflections in Westminster Abbey: ''When I am 
in a serious humour I very often walk by myseu in Westminster 
Abbey, where the gloominess of the place, and the use to which 
it is applied, with the solemnity of the building and the condition 
of the people who lie in it, are apt to fill the mind with a kind of 
melancnoly, or rather thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable 
...Upon my going into the church, I entertained myself with 
the digging of a grave ; and saw in every shovelful of it that 
was thrown up, the fragment of a bone or skull, intermixed 
with a kind of fresh mouldering earth, that some time or other 
had a place in the composition of a human body. Upon this I 
began to consider with myself what innumerable multitudes of 
people lay confused together under the pavement of that ancient 
cathedral ; how men and women, friends and enemies, priests and 
soldiers, monks and prebendaries, were crumbled amongst one 
another, and blended together in the same common mass ; how 
beauty, strength and youth, with old age, weakness and 
deformity, lay undistinguished in the same promiscuous heap of 
matter." We may compare also Herbert's beautiful poem 
entitled Church Monummta, No. xli. in Palgrave's " Treasury of 
Sacred Song." The simple majesty of Beaumont's lines is the 
more remarkable in that the piece consists of ordinary rhyming 
couplets of four accents; the initial trochaic effect should be 

1. Mortality: abstract for concrete. Addison calls West- 
minster Abbey a ''magazine of mortality" : comp. also Byron's 
Ode to Napoleon, " Thy scales, Mortality, are just.*' 


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3. r<^al bones: comp. King John^ v. 7. 68, and Richard's 
famous soliloquy on the uncertainty of the kingly state, Bich, IL 
iii. 2. 

5. bad realms. Here the relative is omitted, and in the 
next line * who ' may be taken as= ' and they.' The omission of 
the relative shows the attributive force of the clause, and this 
use of * who * is common : see Abbott, §§ 244, 263. 

9. acre. So Longfellow says of the burial-ground, 

"This is the field and Acre of our God, 
This is the place where human harvests grow." 
Oomp. the term 'God's acre,* applied to a burial-ground (Ger. 

10. royallest seed. For example, the chapel of Henry VII. in 
Westminster Abbey contains the tombs of that king and of his 
queen and mother, of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, James I. 
and his queen, Charles II., William and Mary, Queen Anne, etc. 

12. for, because of : see Abbott, § 150. 

13. bones of Urtb ; bones of the great. * Birth,' = high birth ; 
comp. certain uses of 'family,' 'descent,' etc., and K, John II. 
i. 430, "a match of birth." 

15. sands. An incorrect reading is 'wands.' 

17. world of pomp, etc. Comp. 3 Hen, VI. v. 2, " Why, what 
is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust ? And, live we how we 
can, yet die we must." 

18. once dead, dead once for all : see Abbott, § 57. Comp. 1. 3 
of No. VIII. 

No. vn. 


This poem on the might of death is from Cupid and Death, a 
masque which appeared in a small volume published in 1653. 
Nothing is more remarkable in the literature of the early part of 
the seventeenth century than the delightful son^s scattered 
throughout the plays of that period ; take, for example, Nos. vii., 
vm., xvin., etc. in this book. Of Shirley's songs, Mr. Saintsbury 
says : "Every one knows ' The glories of our bk)od and state,' but 
this is by no means his only good song ; it worthily closes the list of 
the kind — a kind which, when brought together and perused 
separately, exhibits, perhaps, as well as anything else of equal 
compass, the extraordinary abundance of poetical spirit in the 
age. For songs like these are not to be hammered out by the 
most dilisent ingenuity, not to be spim by the light of the most 
assiduously fed lamp. The wind of such inspiration blows where, 


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and only where, it listeth." It has been said of Shirley (1506- 
1666) that he brought sweet echoes of the grand Elizabethan 
music into the playhouse of the time of Charles I. 

3. bind-in, enclose: comp. Hich. II. ii. 1, "bound in with the 
triumphant sea *' ; also 2 Hen, VI, iii. 2. 

5. As night or day. Comp. No. lxv., 1. 18, ''half of the globe 
is thine." 

7. forgotten ashes : comp. Rich, II, i. 2, '* Pale cuhes of the 
house of Lancaster " ; also wen. xviii. 27. 

8. ye : here used as object. In the Elizabethan dramatists 
there is a very loose use of the two forms, ye and you; see 
Abbott, § 236, and note. No. ii., 1. 7. 

oommon men. Comp. Hen, V, iv. 7, "Sort our nobles 
from our common men." In the year 1411 we find a comun man 
distinguished from a high official : see also the New English 
Dictionary for illustrations. 

12. Nor ...coniined: 'nor is he confined to these alone'; for 
death comes to men in many other ways. Comp. B. andF.'s 
Custom of Courts, ii. 2, "Death hath so many doors to let out 

14. More quaint, more fine or delicate. See notes. Hymn NcU. 
194 ; Lycidas, 139 ; L^AU, 5. 

15. will nae ... ShaU have. Will here denotes choice or purpose 
(Abbott, § 316) : shall denotes inevitable result (Abbott, §§ 315, 
317). With the whole poem compare the dirge in Ford's Broken 
Heart : 

" Crowns may flourish and decay, 
Beauties shine, but fade away ; 
Youth may revel, yet it must 
Lie down m a bed of dust. 
Earthly honours flow and waste. 
Time alone doth change and last," eta 



This piece forms the song of Calchas in Shirley's Contention oj 
Ajax and Ulysses, iii. (printed, 1659), 'suns before the body of 
Ajax as going to the Temple.' See Homer's Odyssey, xi This 
song is said to have been a favourite with Charles II. 

1. blood, lineage. A common reading is 'birth.' Comp, TV. 
and Cress, iii 3, " a prince of 5/ood, a son of Priam." 


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4. icy band on kings. Gomp. Ovid, Am. iii. 9. 19 : 
*' Scilicet omne sacrum Mors importtma profanat, 
Omnibus obscuras injicit ilia manus " ; 
also Horace, OdeSj i. 4. 12, pcUlida morSj etc. 

8. Bcsrthe and spade. Emblems of humble life, as in Swift*s 

" Here nature never difference made. 
Between the sceptre and the spade.** 

9. reap : comp. Bev. xiv. 15 ; Par. Lostt ii. 339. 

11. strong: nerves. Comp. Mcuib. iii 4, '* My firm nerves shaU 
never tremble " ; also our use of to nerve = to strengthen, nerve- 
^eM=weak, etc. The Greek neur(m=9. sinew ; comp. 'sinews of 
war* (called by Milton in his Sonnet, xvii., *' nerves of war.") 

12. They tame, etc., 'after all they merely overcome one 
another * : they cannot conquer death. 

13. Early or late, sooner or later. 

17. In this stanza the poet passes with striking effect to the 
form of direct address. 

garlands, the victor's wreath. But see Trench's Select 
Glossary on the use of garland in the technical sense of * royal 
crown or diadem,' as in 2 Hen. VL iv. 4. 

19. purple altar. The colour is here associated with regal or 
military state (as in Par. Lost^ xi. 240) ; or it may denote 'blood- 
stained,' as in Dryden's " Tiber rolling with a purple flood " : 
see Marsh's Lect, on Eng. Lang. iii. 

20. victor-victim. The two parts of this beautiful compound 
word are not cognate. Milton has ' victor ' in this attributive 
sense; comp. Par. Lost, vi. 525, 590. Compare "the vanquished 
victor" of No. lxvii., 1. 97. 

24. Smell sweet, etc. Comp. Habington's To Castara, 
** Fame will build columns on our tomb, 
And add a perfume to our dust " ; 
also, from the same poet, "The bad man's death is horror, but 
the just keeps something of his glory in his dust." 

No. IX. 


The title is Milton's own. This sonnet is inspired by his high 
conception of the poet's task, and of the power that lies in the 
name of a great poet to avert disaster and to requite those who 

Q.T, II, II 


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honour the Muses. It was written in Noyember, 1642. The 
battle of Edgehill was fought in October of that year, and the 
royal army then marched to attack London. This was the 
'assault* expected, and Milton, having been an active pam- 
phleteer on the side of the Parliament, might naturally nave 
feared that his house would not escape the RoyaUsts if they 
succeeded in entering the city. The * assault ' never took place, 
for the royal army retreated when the parliamentary army, 
under the Earl of Essex, moved out to meet it. 

1. Colonel is here a trisyllable, though usually a dissyllable. 
It is from the Ital. Cotondio, the leader of the little column {i.e. 
at the head of a regiment). It has no connection with Lat. 
corona, a crown. {SketU, ) 

Knight in Arms, a title conferred on persons of hieh rank as 
a recognition of military prowess. See Shak. Bich, IL i. 3. 

2. Whose chance. This is a peculiar construction, which may 
be resolved into ' whose lot it may be to seize.' It implies doubt, 
not that the house will be seized, but as to the particular officer 
that may seize it. 

these defenoeless doon. The word < these ' is used because 
the sonnet was written as if to be affixed to the door of Milton's 
house ; it would thus be a mute appeal to the besiegers. 

3. ever, at any time, on any occasion. 

4. him within, etc., 'protect from injury him that is within.' 

5. He can requite thee, i.e. the poet can reward you by 
rendering you famous "in his immortal verse.** Comp. Shake- 
speare*s Son. 81 — 

"Your monument shall be my gentle verse." 
' Requite * is literally the same as 'repay,* from re and quU = freed 
or discharged. 

charms, magic verses : comp. II Pens, 83 and note. 

6. call, ' bring down or bestow fame on such honourable acts 
as these,* viz., guarding the poet*s house and protecting him. 

8. Whatever clime. These words are in apposition to ' lands 
and seas.* 'Clime' (comp. Com. 977) is radically the same as 
' climate, * and here used in its original sense = a region of the 
earth. • Climate * has now the secondary sense of ' atmospheric 

The meaning of the line is, ' Wherever the sun shines.' 

9. the Muses* bower, poetical language for 'the poet*s house ' ; 
comp. Lye. 19. 

10. Bmathian conqueror, Alexander the Great (the Sikander of 
Indian history), king of Macedonia, of which Emathia was ^ 


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lild spare : see note, Arc, 13. 

11. hoiifle of PlndaraB. Pindar (B.C. 522-442), the greatest 
lyric poet of Greece, was said to have been bom at Thebes ; this 
city had been subdued by Philip of Macedonia, the father of 
Alexander the Great, on whose accession the Thebans attempted 
to recover their liberty (b.o. 336). Alexander, to punish them, 
destroyed the whole city with the exception of the temples and 
Pindar's house. 

temple and tower. Some legends affirm that the temples 
were not destroyed. 

12. repeated air, t.e. the air or chorus having been recited. 
The adjective here is not a mere attribute, but has the force of 
an adverbial clause giving the circumstances under which the 
event took place ; * the air had the ]x>wer to save Athens, because 
it was repeated.' Comp. the Latin use of participles and of 
clauses with qvi and quippe qui in such cases. 

13. sad Electra*8 poet, Euripides (B.a. 480-406), here called 
"sad Electra's poet" because m one of his tragedies he deals 
with the history and character of Electra, the daughter of 
Agamemnon, and because it was a chorus from this tragedy that 
moved the Spartans to spare Athens. Euripides (like Homer 
and Ovid) was one of Milton's favourite classical authors. 

The adjective 'sad' is sometimes taken as qualifying 'poet,' 
Euripides having been of a serious and austere disposition : such 
an arrangement of the words would not be allowable in modem 
English, though there would be no ambiguity in Latin. The 
more obvious reading is to refer ' sad ' to Electra, who, owing to 
the murder of her father by her mother, often bewails her sad lot. 

14. To save, etc. The Spartans took Athens, B.c. 404, and 
deliberated as to how the city should be dealt with. It was pro- 
posed by some to destroy it utterly, but a Phocian singer having 
recited part of a chorus from the Electra of Euripides while the 
decision was still in suspense, the hearers' were so moved that 
they agreed it would be dishonourable to destroy a city that had 
given birth to such great poets. Comp. Browning's BcUauation'a 

No. X. 


This^ sonnet, probably written in 1655, is one of Milton's first 
references in poetry to that blindness which had gradually crept 
upon him since 1644, and had in 1652 blotted out his sight for 
ever. He continued, in spite of his affliction, to act as Secretary 


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for Foreign Tongaes to the Council of State daring Cromwell s 
protectorate: the references in this sonnet to his enforced 
'waiting' are to the poetical work for which he considered 
himself set apart. 

1. spent, exhausted. 

2. Ere half mj days, «c. 'are spent.' His blindness was total 
when he was 44 years old : he di^ in 1674. 

dark world and wide. These are touching words in the 
mouth of a blind man. 

3. that one talentw The full construction is, 'and (when I 
consider how) that one talent, which (it) is death to hide, (is) 
lodged with me useless.' Talent (Lat. talentum, a balance) = 
something weighed in a balance ; hence applied to * money ' and 
metaphorically (as in the Scripture parable of the talents) to 
' God s gift ' : the word has thus acquired the sense of * a natural 
gift or ability,' and there is even an adjective from it — 'talented "^ 
= clever, possessing natural ability. Milton modestly compares 
himself to the servant who had received only one talent (see 
Matt. XXV.). 

which is death to hide, i.e. to hide which is death. To 
leave one's powers unemployed is equivalent to mental and 
spiritual death. 

4. more bent, se. ' is ' : * bent,' determined. 

6. lest He retunilng chide, i.e. lest He, on His return, reprove 
me for sloth. This use of the present participle, instead of an 
adverbial clause, is a Latinism : see note, Son, xiiL 14. In the 
parable mentioned above, we read : " After a long time the lord 
of these servants cometh and maketh a reckoning with them." 

7. Doth Gk>d exact day-labour. The allusion is to St. John, 
ix. 4 : " We must work the works of him that sent me, while it 
is day ; the night cometh, when no man can work." 

light denied : absolute construction, equivalent (as often in 
Latin) to a conditional clause, = if light is denied. 

8. I fondly ask. < Fondly ' = foolishlv : see II Pens. 6, note. 
This is the principal clause on which the preceding seven lines 
depend : the whole passage well illustrates the involved nature 
of MUton's syntax. It may be analyzed thus — 

A. Principal dause : I fondly ask, etc 

Under ( 1. Doth God . . denied (subet clauBe). 
A. (2. When I consider . . chide (adv. clsuae). 

Under/ (1) How my light le spent (suhet. clause). 

2. \h) (How) that one talent . . useless (suhet. clause). 
Under (1) a. Ere half . . wide (adv. clause). 
TT«^-« /o\ i *• Which is death to hide (adj. dause). 
Under (2) ^ ^ Though my soul . . account (adY. dause). 
Under e. (a) Lest . . chide (adv. dause). 

10. his own gifts, f .e. the talents entrusted by Him to man. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


10. Wbo : for conBtniction, see Abbott, § 251. 

12. thoasands, i.e, thousands of angels. * Angel' is literally 
* messenger.' See Par. Lost, iv. 677. 

13. post, hasten. Primarily j>o«< = something fixed; then a 
fixed place or stage on a line of road ; then a person who travels 
from stage to stage ; and finally any quick traveller. 

14. stand and wait, i.e. * those who, unable to do more, calmly 
submit to God*s purposes, also render Him genuine service.' 

No. XI. 


Thebb are two pieces by Sir Henry Wotton in this book (Nos. zi. 
and XXVI.) ; the latter is " a fine specimen of gallant and courtly 
compliment," and the former shows that the author, though a 
courtier and a diplomatist, was master of his own conscience 
and desire : as Mr. Hales puts it, he was one ** who, living on the 
world and a master of its ways and courtesies, was yet never of 
it — ^was never a worldling. " His advice to the young poet Milton, 
when the latter was starting for the continent after having sent 
Sir Henry a copy of his uomus, is well known : *' ' Thoughts 
close, countenance open' will go safely over the whole wond." 
The verses on A Happy Life are characterized by Palgrave as **a 
fine specimen of a peculiar class of poetry — ^that written by 
thoughtful men who practised this art but little. Jeremy Taylor, 
Bishop Berkeley, Dr. Johnson, Lord Macaulay, have left similar 
specimens. " This piece was probably written about 1 614 ; it was 
quoted from memory to Drummond of Hawthomden by Ben 
Jonson in 1618 or 1619. There is great variety in the readings 
of the poems, e.g. 'not tied,' 'untied,' in stanca 2; 'Or vice,' 
'nor vice,' in stanza 9, 'accusers,' 'oppressors,' in stanca 4; 
' well-chosen,' ' religious,' in stanza 5, etc 

3 annonr : comp. 1. 3, No. vni. ; also Par, Lost^ xii 491, 
" spiritual armoury able to resist Satan's assaults." 

4. simple trath, the plain truth (Latin rimpleXf single, without 
duplicity) , see Trench, Study of Words, iii 

6. still, always : this sense is frequent in poetry. 

IOl Nor. The construction is ' that chance or vice doth raise.' 
Nor is due to the influence of the preceding none. 

Who never understood, etc. ; who are totally unversed in 
that flattery which is intended to injure, and who, though 
ignorant of statecraft, are well acquainted with the laws of a 
good life. 


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15. neither . . . Nor. The alternatives are * state ' (prosperity or 
splendour) and * ruin.* 

17. ' Who late and early doth pray God to lend more of Hia 
grace than of His gifts.' 

19. entertains, whiles away, beguiles. This use is common in 
Shakespeare, and is found in Milton's Par. Lost^ ii. 526, ''enter- 
tain the irksome hours. " But we do not now speak of entertaining 
the time ; we entertain oursdvts or othere, Comp. No. xvi. for a 
similar idea. 

23. Lord ; «c. he is. 

No. XII. 


THfiSE lines, which Trench entitles "True Growth," are from 
**A Pindaric Ode to the immortal memoiy and friendship of that 
noble pair. Sir Lucius Gary and Sir H. Morison," the ode being 
comprised in the collection called Uiiderwoods, The ode consists 
of four strophes or turns, with ahtistrophes and epodes, and the 
extract here given forms the third strophe. In the first strophe 
occur the lines : " For what is life, if measured by the space, Not 
by the act?" 

2. doth make, etc. : (that) doth make Man (to) be better. 

3. standing, etc. The opposed terms used throughout this 
piece should be noted ; * bntk * and * small proportions,' * three 
hundred year' and 'short measures,' 'standing' and 'fall,' 'oak' 
and 'log.' Man's growth is not to be estimated in terms of space 
or time, but, like the flower's, by the extent to which he fulfils 
the end of his being: comp. Par. Lost^ viii. 90, "Great or bright 
infers not excellence." 

year. In nouns expressing a specific quantity or number, 
the singular form is often used: comp. a twelvemoTi^, a fortn^At, 

4. dry, 1»ld, and sere. Gomp. As You Like It, iv. 3, ' ' Under an 
oak whose boushs were mossed with age. And high top bald with 
dry antiquity.** For ' sere,' comp. Lye. 2, note. 

8. It was, etc. : «c. ' for ' or ' because.' 



This poem, called by Herbert The Pulley (as indicating that 
which draws man to God), is from his collection of sacred lyrics 


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entitled The Church, or (a name given after Herbert's death), The 
Temple or Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations^ published in 
1631. The collection has a certain amount of coherence due to 
the fact that it reveals the spiritual experience and conflict of 
Herbert's own life ; it forms " the enigmatical history of a diffi- 
cult resignation" to a life of disappointment. As Mr. Gosse says: 
*' Herbert, and with him most of the sacred poets of the age, are 
autobiographical ; they analyze their emotions, they ta^e them- 
selves to task, they record their straggles, their defeats, their 
consolation." The connection of thought in Herbert's poems is 
indicated to some extent by the titles of the pieces : The Church 
Porch (*a rule of life for himself and other pious courtiers*), 
Superliminare (On the Threshold), T?te Altar, The Sacrijice, Church 
Music, CJivrch Loch and Key, The Church Floor, etc. They are 
full of the conceits and quaint turns of expression common in the 
' metaphysical ' writers of the first half of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, but the ingenuity is (in Herbert's case) justified by the 
skill with which he marries sound to sense, by the music of his 
verse, and by his felicity of expression. The present poem has 
been described as "the story of the world written with the point 
of a diamond"; Strength, ^oeauty. Wisdom, Honour, and JPlea- 
sure, are gifts of God to man, which do not, after sXL, satisfy his 
being. **Man never is, but iJways to be blest," yet the denial of 
the one remaining gift, Rest, leads man through sheer weariness 
and despair to seek peace in God. 

2. glass : compare the box in the mythological story of Pan- 
dora, and contrast the Christian and the Pagan points of view. 

5. Contract, etc. : be brought together. 

8. made a stay, stayed his hand. 

No. XIV. 


There are three pieces by Vaughan in this collection, Nos. xiv., 
Liv., and LXVi. On the first of these Mr. Palgrave says : ** These 
beautiful verses should be compared with Wordsworth's ereat 
Ode on Immortality ; and a copy of Vaughan's very rare Little 
volume appears in the list of Wordsworth^ library. In imagina- 
tive intensity Vaughan stands beside his contemporary Maxwell." 
The poem occurs in SUex ScintiUans, Le. The Flint (of the heart) 
yielding sparks (of spiritual fire), a collection of poems of which 
the first edition of the first part appeared in 1650 ; the second 
edition appeared in 1847. On points of similarity to Words- 
worth's great ode see Trench's HouseJiold Book of English Poetry, 


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notes ; and the close comparison made by Mr. George Macdonald. 
The whole subject is discussed at length in Shairp*s Sketches in 
Historvand Poetry; he says, "Wordsworth, we may be sure, had 
read * The Retreate,' and, if he read it, could not nave failed to 
be arrested by it. No doubt, the whole conception is expanded by 
Wordsworth into a fulness of thought and a splendour of imagery 
which Vaughan has nowhere equalled. But the points of re- 
semblance CKBtween the two poets are numerous and remarkable. 
The Platonic idea of dpdfiyricris is at the root of both — the belief 
that this is not our first state of existence, that we are haunted 
by broken memories of an ante-natal life. Indeed, this })elief 
was held by Vaughan, and expressed in several of his other 
poems much more explicitly than it is by Wordsworth." In 
contrast to the marked resemblances, marked differences in the 
two poems have been pointed out : ** The fading of the early 
vision Wordsworth attributes to custom, lying upon the soul 
' with a weight heavy as frost ' ; Vaughan, on the other hand, 
traces it to a moral cause, to wit, his ' teaching his tongue to 
wound his conscience with a sinful sound*; and Wordsworth 
has not brought home the sense of immortality present in the 
vivid feelings of childhood so penetratingly as Vaughan has 
done in these two consummate lines — * And felt throu^ all this 
fleshly dresse Bright shootes of everlastingnesse.' " 

Vaughan looked up to Herbert as his master in poetry, and, 
though the latter has written nothing equal to l^he Retreat, 
Herl^rt's usual level of poetic excellence is higher than his 
disciple's. Besides carefully reading Wordsworth's ode along- 
side of The Retreatf the student may refer to the passage of 
Wordsworth's Prelude, i, beginning "Need I dread from thee 
Harsh judgments " ; also Eeat's Ode on the Poets {O. T. rv. 
ccix.) ; Wordsworth's The Inner Vision {O, T, rv. cccxvii) ; and 
Byron's YoiUh and Age (O. T, cclxvi.). 

2. Sbined, shone. In Early English shine is a strong verb, 
shinen being past part., and shone past tense. But as early as 
the fourteenth century shined occurs as a past tense: oomp. 
Milton's Son, xxiii. 11, **Love, sweetness, goodness in her 
person shined so clear." Comp. note, Hymn NcU. 202. 

4. my second race, my second existence. Comp. the Platonic 
doctrine of Reminiscence, and Wordsworth's note in connection 
with his own Ode ; also ** Blank misgivings of a creature Moving 
about in worlds not realized." 

6. white, celestial thought. Oomp. the opening stanza of 
Wordsworth's ode : 

'* There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, 
The earth, and every common sight 

To me did seem 
Apparelled in celestial light." 


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7. above A mile, more than a mile. In Wordsworth's ode 
Life is a daily journey ** farther from the East/' from the original 
celestial life ; here the child is said to have made but a short 
journey, and is still able to catch glimpses of the glories he has 
left behind. 

14. shadows, etc. : comp. Wordsworth's ** shadowy recollec- 
tions," and Tennyson's In Mem, xliv. 

17. black art, knowledge of evil. Contrast with ^ white' in 
line 6. 

18. several, separate, distinct. Radically several is connected 
with separate. It is now used only with plural nouns. Comp. 
Par. Lostf ii. 524, "each his several way." The idea of the 
poet is that every human power involves a capacity for its 
misuse, for some form of evil. Comp. Gomvs, 839, "through the 
porch and inlet of each sense." See note, Hymn Nat. 234. 

19. fleshly dress: comp. II Pens. 92, "her mansion in this 
fleshly nook," and note there given ; also No. xliv., 1. 24. 

24. train, course. 

26. City of palm trees: comp. "palms of Paradise" {In 

27. too much stay. It is impossible, after the experiences of 
life, to return to the pure innocence and the insight of infancy. 
Years bring, as Wordsworth says, " the inevitable yoke." 

''Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight, 
And custom lie upon thee with a weight 
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as lue." 
Comp. Sams. Agon. 1670, " drunk with idolatry " ; and Words- 
worth's Nature of the Poet {O. T. cccxxiii.) : 

" So once it would have been, — 'tis so no more ; 
I have submitted to a new control : 
A power is gone, which nothing can restore ; 

A deep dutress hath humanized my souL 
Not for a moment could I now behold 

A smiling sea, and be what I have been : 
The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old ; 
This, which I know, I speak with mind serene." 

31. urn: comp. Lye. 20. 

32. that state, %.e. angel-infancy: when I die I would fain 
return to my former innocence. Shairp notes that " there is one 
thought about childhood in Vaughan which Wordsworth has 
not. It is this — that hereafter in the perfected Christian man- 
hood the child's heart will reappear. His poem of The Retreat 
closes with the wish that 

" When this dust falls to the urn, 
In that state I came return." 


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Again, in another poem, he calls childhood 
" An age of mysteries which he 
Must live twice who wonld God's face see, 
Which angels guard, and with it play, 
Angels I whom foul men drive away." 

No. XV. 


This sonnet, written in 1655 or 1656, proves that even in his 
blindness Milton could be L' Allegro as well as II Penseroso. It 
is addressed to a son of that Henry Lawrence who was President 
of Cromwell's Council (1654) and a member of his House of Lords 
(1657). We do not know which of his sons is meant, but it was 
probably Henry, then about twenty-two years of age. He was 
one of a number of young men who, admiring Milton's eenius, 
delighted to visit him, to talk with him, read to him, walk with 
him, or write for him. 

1. of Ylrtnons father virtaous son : comp. Horace — 

** matre pulchra, filia piUchrior." 

2. Now that the fields, etc. : now, when the fields, etc. The 
use of ' that ' for * when ' was once extremely common, but its 
use is now rare except after the adverb * now.' (Abbott, § 284.) 

ways are mire. The use of the noun * mire ' instead of the 
adjective * miry ' is significant of the state of the London streets 
in rainy weather. 

3. Where shall we sometimeB meet ? a question which implies 
that, as they can neither walk into the country nor in the streets, 
they mnst meet indoors. 

4. Help waste, ue. help each other to spend : see note, Arc, .13. 
Compare Horace, '*morantem saepe diem mero fregi," Odes, 
ii. 7 ; also Milton's Epita/phiwm Damonis, 45. 

what may be won, etc. : ' thus gaining from the inclement 
season whatever good may be got by meeting together'; the 
pleasures indoors wUl compensate for the loss of our walkis out- 

6. FaYoniUB : a frequent name in Latin poetry for Zephyr, the 
West Wind (see UJitleg. 19) ; it was this wind that introduced 
the spring, ' melting stern winter,' as Horace says. In one of 
hiB masques Jonson calls Favonius ''father of the spring." 

reinsikire : here used literally, ' to breathe new life into.' 


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8. neithar sowed nor spun: an allasion to Matt, vi. 28, 
** Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, 
neither do they spin, yet I say unto you that even Solomon in 
all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.** * Spun ' is here 
a past tense ; see note. Lye, 102. 

9. neat. This is from I^at. nitiduSf bright, attractive, 
light and choice, temperate and well-chosen. 

10. Of Attic taste, ' such as would please the simple and refined 
Athenian taste. * There may also be a kind of allusion to the fact 
that their food would be seasoned with 'Attic salt,' a common 
term for sparkling wit — ^for what are called in L* Allegro ** quips 
and cranks." 

11. artful, showing art or skill. This is its radical sense; it 
is now used in a less dignified sense, viz., wily or cunning. A 
similar change of meaning is seen in artless, cunning^ etc. See 
note, VAlleg, 141. 

12. Warble: infinitive after * hear.' 
Immortal notes : comp. UAlleg. 137. 

Tuscan, Italian ; Tuscany being a compartment of Italy. 

13. spare To interpose, etc., i,e, 'use them sparingly.' The 
Lat. pareere with an infinitive = *to refrain from ' ; ana the Latin 
verb temfterare may mean either *to refrain from* or *to spare.* 
There is therefore no doubt of Milton's meaning. 

14. not unwise, very wise. By a figure of speech the two 
negatives strengthen the affirmative sense: comp. 'no mean 
applause ' in the next sonnet, and note, No. xix., 1. 2. 

No. XVL 


This sonnet was written about the same time as the preceding 
one, and in a similar mood of cheerfulness. Milton wishes, in 
Cyriack Skinner's company, to throw off for a time the cares and 
worries of his Secretaryship, and calls upon his friend to lay 
aside his study of politics and of mathematical and physical 
science. Cjrriack Skinner was grandson of Sir Edward Coke, the 
famous lawyer and judge (1549-1634), and author of numerous 
legal works of great value. 

1. bencb Of Britisli Themis. Coke was Solicitor-General in 
1592, and afterwards Attorney-General. ' Bench,' a long seat, 
hence a judge's seat, and so used metaphorically for Law and 
Justice. Themis, "the personification of the order of things 
established by law, custom, and equity." 


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2. no mean applause : see note, No. xv., 1. 14, above. 

3. Pronounced. Pronuntiatio is a Latin term for the decision 
of a judge, and we speak of a judge j^*o»ounc»n^ sentence. Comp. 
Lye, 83. 

In liis volumes, e.g. the Institutes of the Laws of England^ 
Beporta, in 13 vols., and Commentaries on Lyttleton, 

4. at tbeir liar, i.e. in administering the law: *bar' is used 
metaphorically for ' a legal tribunal.' 

wrencli, pervert, twist. Wrench and wrong are both allied 
to wriiig ; so that wrong means strictly ' twisted,* just as right 
means ' straight.' 

5. * To-da^ resolve with me to drench deep thoughts in such 
mu:th as will not afterwards bring regret.' *To drench deep 
thoughts' may be compared with such phrases as 'to drown 

6. after, afterwards. 

7. Let Eadid rest, etc. : lay aside the study of mathematics 
physical science, and political questions. Skinner was a diligent 
student of all these subjects. Euclid, the celebrated mathe- 
matician, is here by metonymy put for his works : the name has 
almost become synonymous with Geometry. 

Archimedes (b.c. 287-212), a mathematician and physicist of 
the highest order, lived at Syracuse : when that city was taken, 
he was killed while intent upon a mathematical problem. He 
wrote on conic sections, hydrostatics, etc- 

8. what the Swede Intend, «c. ' let rest.' The verb being plural 
' Swede ' must here be plural, just as we say 'the Swiss, the 
French,* * the Dutch,* etc., to denote a whole nation. * Swede,* 
however, is not now so used,* the adjective being * Swedish * and 
the noun (singular only) 'Swede*; hence some editions read 
reaovnds. When this sonnet was written, Charles X. of Sweden 
was at war with Poland and Russia, and Louis XIV. of France 
with Spain. 

9. To measnre life, etc., t.e. learn in good time how short life 
is, so that you may make the most of it. As Milton says in Par. 
Lost, ** What thou liv'st Live well ; how long or short permit to 
Heaven.** * Betimes * (by-time) = in good time : the final s is the 
adverbial suffix. 

11. For other things, etc., i.e. Heaven has tenderly ordained 
that there shall be a time for mirth as well as anxious thought, 
and disapproves of the conduct of those who make a display of 
their anxiety and refuse to rejoice even when they may well do so. 
Comp. " Learn to jest in good time : there*s a time for all things *' 
{Com, of Errors, ii. 2); also *'Be not therefore anxious for the 


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morrow : for the morrow will be anxious for itself : sufficient 
unto the day is the evil thereof" {Matt. xi. 34). 

No. XVII. 


This hymn is printed in Davison's Poetical Bhapaody with the 
heading, ''This hymn was snng by Amphitrite, Tbamesis, and 
other Sea-Nymphs, in Gray's Inn Miuque, at the Court, 1594." 

On Campion's lines Basia (No. xxv. O, T., Bk. i.) Mr. Palgrave's 
note is : **From one of the three Song-books of T. Campion, who 
appears to have been author of the words which he set to music. 
His merit as a lyrical poet (recognized by his own time, but since 
then forgotten) has been again brought to light by Mr. Bullen's 
taste and research." See also Rhys^ edition of Campion (Lyric 
Poets Series). Cunpion was a physician by profession, and was 
famous in his own day as a poet and a musician. He appealed 
first to the public as a poet in 1595 in Poemata, a collection of 
Latin elegiacs and epigrams. In 1602 he published OhaervcUiona 
on the Art of English Poesie, in which he disparaged " riminff " ; 
in 1602 he was the * inventor' of a masque presented before 
King James I. at Whitehall, and from time to time he brought 
out other masques, in which he found scope for the display of his 
musical and poetical genius. Amongst English masque- writers 
the praise of N'eptune is a favourite subject, affording abundant 
opportunity for delicate flattery of the rulers of our island- 
kingdom : comp. especially Milton's GomuSf IL 18-29. On Cam- 
pion see further in the notes on Nos. xxxin. and lix. 

1. Neptune's empire. Com. Sam. L 1. 118, ''the moist star 
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands." The student 
should refer also to Milton's OomuSt IL 867-889, with the allusion 
to "earth-shaking Neptune's mace," "scaly Triton's winding 
shell," "the songs of Siren's sweet," "the Nymphs that nightly 
dance," etc. ; also to Jonson's masque, Neptune's Triumph, 
" The mighty Neptune, mighty in his styles, 
And large command of waters and of isles." 

2. whose, of whom. The antecedent is the genitive ' Neptune's 
= of Neptune: see Abbott, § 218. Comp. Par, Lost, ii. 59, "the 
prison of His tyranny who," etc. 

5. scaly nation, the fishes and other inhabitants of the sea. 
The sea-gods, e.g, the Tritons, were represented in mythology as 
half -man, half -fish. Comp. Oomus, 18-27. Milton applies the 
epithet scaly to Triton, to Sin, and to the crocodile : comp. Pope's 
Wmdsor Forest^ 139. 


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11. Tritons. 'Triton/ as a singular term, applies to the son 
of Poseidon (Neptune) and Amphitrite : he was the trumpeter of 
Neptune, the thunder of the ocean being the blowing of liis 
conch or shell ('wreathed horn' in Wordsworth). As a plural 
the name applies to Neptune's attendants. 

16. Syrens, sirens (Gr. Zctp^iref), sea-nymphs who by their 
8ong8 lured mariners to destruction. In the Odyssey they are 
two in number, but more generally three are named (see Oomvs, 
253, 878). 

18. rejdy, re-echo : the object of the verb is praUe, 1. 20. 

19. noise. On the wider sense of noise, see note, II Pens. 61. 

20. empery, kingdom or sovereign authority ; from Old Fr. 
emperie (Lat. imperium). Comp. Cymh, i. 7, and Hen. V, i. 2, 
"ample empery O'er France." The word is now only poetical or 
rhetorical ; it occurs in Scott, Keats, and Coleridge. 

No. xvm. 


This is a song sung by Hesperus in Ben Jonson's Oynthia*s 
Bevels, or the Fountain of Self -Love, ** a comical satire," acted in 
1600 by the children of the Queen's Chapel. The play was 
designed to ridicule the quaint absurdities of the courtiers, 
and hence excited the indignation of the members of ** the special 
fountain of manners, the Court." The Hymn to Diana opens the 
third scene of Act v. , and is sung by Hesperus to the accompani- 
ment of music. Cynthia is a surname of Diana, the goddess 
unmoved by love. When Apollo was regarded as identi<^ with 
the Sun or Helios, nothinjz was more natural than that his sister 
should be regarded as Selene or the Moon, and accordingly 
the Greek Artemis is, at least in later times, the goddess of 
the moon. At Rome Diana, identified with Artemis, was the 
eoddess of light; she was also regarded as the goddess of the 
nocks and the chase and the huntress among the immortals. In . 
works of art she is represented sometimes as the goddess of the 
moon, having her head veiled and a crescent moon above her 
forehead ; and sometimes as a huntress with bow and arrow " : 
see note, H Pens. 59. The metrical structure and rhyming 
arrangement of this hymn are noteworthy. In the dedication to 
Cynthia's Revels, Queen Elizabeth and King James I. are alluded 
to as Cynthia and Phoebus. 

1. Chaste and fair. Comp. Collins' Ode to the Passions, ''the 
oak-crowned sisters and their chaste-eyed Queea" ; As You Like It^ 


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iii. 2, " and thou, thrice crowned qneen of night ** ; Comua, 441 ; 
Peridea, ii. 6, "she'll wear Diana's livery^'; Af. of F. i. 2; 
Af.N. D. ii. 2;1 Hen. IV.L 2; etc. 

2. Now, now that. 

3. Bilyer chair. Silver (also pearl, ciystal, etc. ) is associated 
with the moon as gold is with the sun; and all the attributes of 
Diana as goddess of the moon are white and clear like silver. 
Comp. Per. iv. 6. 2, "celestial Diana, goddess arpcw^tTie"; Per. 
V. 2. 249, "by my ftUver bow"; Shelley's Skylark^ "the arrows of 
that silver sphere"; Scott's Kenilworth, introd., "The moon, 
sweet regent of the sky, silvered the walls of Cumnor Hall " ; 
L. L. L. iv. 3, "Now shines the silver moon," etc. 

4. State in wonted manner. Comp. tl. Pens. 37, "keep thy 
wonted state," note. In Arcades^ 14 and 81, there is a reference to 
the older and more restricted use of the word — a seat of honour 
or a canopy : the whole passage is worth quoting here : 

" Mark what radiant state she spreads 
In circle round her shining throne. 
Shooting her benms like silver threads : 
This, this is she alone 
Sitting like a goddess bright 
In the centre of her light." 
On ' wonted,' see notes E. Pens. 37, and Hymn Nat.. 10. 

5. HespeniB: see note, Lycidas, 30. In the present case 
Hesperus is the singer of the hymn. The planet Venus, as the 
morning star, was called Phosphorus or Lucifer, and, as the 
evening star, Hesperus. See Tennyson's In Mem. 121, " Sweet 
Hesper-Phosphor, double name." 

6. excellently, surpassingly. The use of this adverb to modify 
an adjective was once very common. 

7. envions. In Pom. and Jul. ii. 2. 46, this epithet is applied 
to the moon herself. 

11. wished, wished for. Comp. Comus, 574, "his wished 
prey " y Mid 950, "his wished presence," 

13. bow of pearl : comp. " the moon, like to a silver bow New- 
bent in heaven" {M. N. D. i. 10). 

14. crystal-shining. Such compound epithets denoting like- 
ness (' shining like crystal ') are more common in the form ending 
mdov edi e.g. h^mey-motUhed, chicken-hearted^ eto. 

16. how short soever, howsoever short. Comp. Par. Lost, ii. 260, 
"In wha^ place soeW*' ; S. A. 1015, ** which way soever men 
refer it." 


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No. XIX. 


Crashaw's poems, partly secular, partly sacred, were published 
in 1646 under the title Steps to the Temple ; Sacred Poems, with 
other Delights of the Muses. The Wishes was probably written 
about 1630-4 ; it consists of forty-two stanzas, but Mr. Palgrave 
has here reduced it to twenty-one. It is, next to Musters Duel, 
the best-known of CrashaVs poems. Simcox says: **Crashaw 
is full of difiFuseness and repetition; in the Wishes he puts in 
every fantastic way possible the hope that his Supposed Mistress 
will not paint ; often the variations are so insignificant that he 
can hardly have read the poem before sending it to press. " In the 
name he gave to his collected poems, Crashaw shows the influence 
of Herbert (see notes on No. xni.), whom he resembles in his 
cast of thought, being '* not inferior to him in richness of fancy, 
though his conceits are more strained, and less under the control 
of taste. His devotional strains exhibit great copiousness and 
beauty of language.'' Gosse points out that Crashaw's works 
present the omy important contribution to English literature 
made by a pronounced Catholic, embodying Catholic doctrine, 
during the whole of the seventeenth century. 

2. not impossible : an instance of the figure of speech called 
Litotes or MeiosiSy in which two negatives are used as a feeble 
equivalent of an affirmative : comp. Sams. Agon. 180, " not un- 

She : comp. As You Like Ity iii. 2. 10, "The unexpressive She ' ; 
also Abbott, introd. pp. 5, 14, and § 224, on He and She used for 
* man * and * woman. * 

6. leaves of destiny, book of fate. 

8. Btadled, ordained. 

9. teach ... tread : see Abbott, § 349. 

11. take a shrine, etc., embody itself in. A shrine is a deposi- 
tory of sacred things; A.S. scrfn, an ark: comp. Comus, 461, 
" the unpolluted temple of the mind " ; II Pens^ 92, note ; and 
M. of V. ii. 7. 40, "this shrine, this mortal-breathing saint." 

14. Bespeak her to, engage her for : see Lyt. 112, note; Par. 
Lost, ii. 849 ; Hymn Nat. 76, note. 

18. tire: see note on 'well-attired,' Lye. 146; and compare 
Ttoo Oent. iv. 4. 190, A. and G. ii. 6. 22. 

^listirlng : see note, Lye. 79, 

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20. Taffata. "Taffeta, taffety, a thin glossy silk stuff, with 
wavy lustre [Fr., — ItoU., — Pers.): Persian tdftah, woven (Skeat). 
Comp. Chaucer's Prologue^ 441 : 

'* In sanguine and in perse he clad was, all 
Lined with taffata and with sendall." 

Comp. also *' Taffata phrases, silken terms precise. Three-piled 
hyperboles " {L. L. L. v. 2), and see Brewer's Diet, of Phrase 
and Fable. 

tiflflue, cloth interwoven with gold or silver : comp. Hymn 
Nat, 146, ** the iwsMfd clouds," The word is cognate with ^ea:- 
ture {Fr, tissu, woven ; Lat. texere^ to weave). 

can ; a finite verb : comp. Abbott, § 307. 

21. rampant. Bamp, *' to rove, frish or jump about, to play 
gambols or wanton tricks " (Phillips, 1706). 

24. alone, by itself, without the help of art. 

26. shop. Comp. Ben Jonson's The Forest, iv. : 

** I know thou whole art but a shop 
Of toys and trifles, traps and snares 
To take the weak, or make them stop.'' 

27. ope, open; an adjective. Comp. Nares' Oloss., "ope- tide," 
the early spring, the time of opening ; Comiis, 626 ; Par, Lost, 
xi. 423; S, A, 452 ; King John ii. 1. 449 ; Abbott, § 343. 

28. Sydnaean showers. Some verses are here omitted, referring 
to her cheek, lips, eyes, tresses, etc. In line 28 the allusion is 
either to the conversations in Sidney's Arcadia, or to Sidney 
himself as a model of * gentleness ' in spirit and demeanour (Pal- 
grave). Queen Elizabeth called Sidney "the jewel of her 
dominions." Compare Mr. Palgrave's note: "Sidney's poetry 
is singularly unequal ; his short life, his frequent absorption in 
public employment, hindered doubtless the development of his 
genius. His great contemporary fame, second only, it appears, 
to Spenser's, mu3 been hence obscured. At times he is heavy and 
even prosaic; his simplicity is rude and bare; his verse un- 
melodious. These, however, are the 'defects of his merits.* In 
a certain depth and chivalry of feeling, — in the rare and noble 
quality of disinterestedness (to put it in one word),— he has no 
superior, hardly perhaps an equal, amongst our poets ; and after 
•'or beside Shakespeare's Sonnets, his Astrophel and Stella, in the 
editor's judgment, offers the most intense and powerful picture 
of the passion of love in the whole range of our poetry." 

32. day's forehead. Comp. Lycidas, 171, "Flames in the fore- 
head of the morning sky " ; Cor, ii. 1. 67, " the forehead of the 
morning"; Comxis, 733, "Imblaze the forehead of the deep," etc, 

G.T. II, N 


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33. down ... wings of night, t.e. give soothing sleep. Compare 
n Pern, 146, and note, " dewy-featliered Sleep"; also Mach. ii 
3. 81, "Sliake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit." 

34. Bllken honra. Gomp. Hen. V, it, chorus, *' Silken dalli- 
ance in the wardrobe lies ; also note on ' taffata,' line 20 above. 

37. DajTB, etc The poet wishes that her days niay be ahso- 
hUdy pleasant, not merely pleasant by contrast with sorrowful 

39. fore-spent, forspent, wasted: comp. F. Q. iv. 5. 34 
** Rawbone checks forespent,*^ The intensive prefix for is fre- 
quently confused with /ore ; comp. forewa^tedi forego^ etc. 

42. a (dear mind. Gomp. Milton's Comua, 381-S, *' He that 
has Uffht within his own clear breast May sit i' the centre, and 
enjoy Dright day." 

43. Life, etc. ; ' life that, in the courage of innocence, dares 
challenge Death to C9me at any moment ' : comp. No. xi. , 1. 6, 
" Whose soul is still prepared for death." 'Say,* infinitive co- 
ordinate with ' send,' and governed by ' dares.' 

. 46. store. * I wish her such store of good qualities that she 
may have little left to wish for.* On *store,* comp. UAlhg, 121, 

50. Her, here used substemtively ; ''the not impossible She** 
of line 2. 

51. WeaTe them, i,e, weave (for) themselves. 

66. nnelothe, etc. : ' If such a person exist, I now reveal and 
clearly express what my wishes may have left vague.' 

62. ye ; see note. No. vn., 1. 8. 

63. notions; 'though these are merely my fancies, yet may 
they be realized in her — be her history.' 

No. XX. 


This is given in Percy*s BeHques, under the title Love wUl find 
out the way, and with the remark, '< This ancient song is siven 
from a modern copy." The great adventurer is Love, and the 
imagery throughout the piece is suggested by the classical Gupid, 
the ffod of love. He is representea as a wanton boy, playful and 
mischievous, with bow, arrows, sometimes a torch, quiver, and 
wings ; the eyes are often covered, so that he shoots blindly. His 
darts could pierce the fish at the bottom of the sea, the birds in 


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the air, and even the gods themselves. The immensity of space 
was his home. 

12. receipt, admission. Comp. the Biblical use of receive in 
Acts, i. 9 ; Mark, xvi. 19. 

14. fast; A.S. faest, firm, tight. 

18. for, as regards ; in allusion to Cupicfs being a mere boy. 
See Abbott, § 149. 

20. firom, on account of. 

flight, the power of flying ; in allusion to his wings. 

23. Set, even if you should set. 

25. lose, get rid of, be freed from; comp. * to lose a fever.' 

34. stoop to your flat. To stoop is a term of falconry ; the 
hawk is said to stoop when descending with closed wings upon the 
quarry : see the terms used by Marvell in his Horatian Ode (No. 
IV. ,1. 91, note). It would be an impossible task to teach an eagle 
to stoop to {i.e. in accordance with, at a signal from) the hand. 
For this use of to, comp. Lye. 33, 44, notes. 

35. inveigle. Radically to inveigle is *t6 blind*; hence *to 
entice. ' 

With this account of Cupid compare the Proclamation of the 
Graces in Johnson's masque, produced at the marriage of Ramsay, 
Lord Haddington, to Lady Elizabeth Ratcliff : 
'* Beauties, have you seen this toy, 
Called Love, a little boy, 
Almost naked, wanton, blind ; 
Cruel now, and then as kind ? 
If he be amongst ye, say : 
He is Venus' runaway." 

No. XXI. 


Deltoate humour, delightfully united to thought, at once simple 
and subtle. It is full of conceit and paradox, but these are 
imaginative, not as with most of our seventeenth century poets, 
intellectual only (Palgrave). See further in the notes on Nos. 
IV., LVii., LViii., and lxii. 

14. broke, broken : see Abbott, § 343, on the tendency in 
Elizabethan English to use the curtailed forms of the past 


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14. enaigns, banners, badges : Marvell has, 

** Then flowers their drowsy eyelids raise. 
Their silken ensigns each displays." 

16. Tirtaoufl, powerful : see note, II Pem, 113. 

17. oompoimd: comp. 2 Hen. VI, iL 1, compound this strife; 
K. John ii. 1. 281, *^ compound whose right is worthiest." 

18. parley, confer, seek to come to terms. In ComuSy 241, 
Milton calls Echo " sweet Queen of Parley." * Parley * is con- 
versation (Fr. parUr^ to speak), and is cognate with parlour ^ 
paroUj palaver, parliam/ent, pa/rlance, etc. 

22. And them, etc., 'and only despise the more those who 

25. Mean time, meantime, in the meantime : in Shakespeare 
the preposition is frequently omitted. 

26. does ... charm, is charmed or enchanted. 

28. tolipa. Tulip is a doublet of turban, from Turkish tulbatid^ 
Persian duJhand, 

36. Flora : see note, UAUeg, 20. 

38. make the example yours, treat you as you treated the 
budding flowers. 

No. xxn. 


This is Victoria's song in The Mulberry Garden, Sedley's most 
famous comedy, publuhed in 1668. A version of it (here followed 
by Mr. Palgrave) was published without the author's name in 
Allan Ramsay's Tea-TaJble Miscellany in 1724. An additional 
stanza was as follows : 

" Though now I slowly bend to love, 

Uncertain of my fate. 

If your fair self my chains approve 

I shall my freedom hate. 

Lovers, like dying men, may well 

At first disordered be. 

Since none alive can truly tell 

What fortune they must see." 
There are two pieces by Sedley in the Oolden Treasury (Nos. xxn. 
and xiiii. ). He was one of the brightest satellites of the Court of 
Charles II., and became so great a favourite for his taste and ac- 
complishments that Charles is said to have asked him if he had 
not obtained from Nature a patent to be Apollo's viceroy. He 
is the lisideiuB of Dryden's ISssay of Dramatic Poesy, 


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7. rising lire, i,e, the sunrise of her beauty. Another reading 
is "growing fire." 

14. prest, pressed forward. 

15. as unperceiyed, equally unoonsciously. Another version of 
line 16 is, " And in my bosom rest." 

21. Bach, i.e. Cupid and his mother Venus. 

their : this syntax is common in Elizabethan writers; see 
Abbott, § 12. In this instance their may be used as referring to 
two subjects, one masculine and one feminine. 

In the original version there are the following readings : — LI, 
*' that I now could sit'*; L 8, must take; 1. 11, took ; 1. 15, Fond 
love ; 1. 18, And Cupid. 

No, xxm. 


Thesb verses are by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, on whose 
poems the judgment of Horace Walpole, in his Royal and Noble 
Authors, was that they *'have much more obscenity than wit, 
more wit than poetry, more poetry than politeness." 

3. swain : a word of common use in pastoral poetry, as were 
such names as Phyllis, etc. (see L'Alleg, 83, note). This song is 
sung by Amintas to Phyllis. 

No. XXIV. 


This appeal To the Virgins to make much of time is from Herrick's 
Hesperides, " an ill-arranged group of lyrical poems addressed to 
friends and eminent contemporaries, amatory poems, epithalamia, 
epigrams, fairy poems, and shwt occasional odes and poems on 
all kinds of subjects." " The Hesperides is one of the sunniest 
books in English literature, consummate in finish, exquisite in 
fancy, fresh and natural throughout, and rich in sweet and de- 
lightful pictures of the homely English country and the quaint, 
kindly, old-world customs of her folk. His love poems are stamped 
with a real abandon that is not Horatian and not Anacreontic, 
but all his own, and ever throughout his joyousness the ear 
detects an undertone of melancholy. In unforced sweetness of 
melody and perfect harmony of sound and sense, Herrick rises 
above all his brethren among the Caroline lyrists, and, indeed, 


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follows closely in the steps of Shakespeare. Like the master he 
is thoroughly natural, unaffected, and English. " For the spirit 
of this Counsel to Oirls compare Horace's Odes, i. 11 ; iii. 8 and 
29; also the Carpe Diem of Shakespeare (No. xxxv. O.T.), 
**0 Mistress mine, where are you waning?"... Youth's a stuff 
will not endure"; also Burton's curious comment in his Anatomy 
of Melancholy t iii. 2. 5. 5, " Let's all love dum vires annique 
sinuntj while we are in the flower of years and while time serves," 
etc. Mr. Palgrave's note is as follows : With this popular lyric 
compare one of the many lovely songs of modem Greece, the 
Smymiote Garden, as translatea in Mr. H. F. Tozer's interest- 
ing Highlands of Turkey (1869). The lover hears a bird singing : 

** For ever, while it warbled, 
I seemed to hear it saying 
' Young man, avoid delaying. 
Pull soon your joys are o'er. 
And you, fair maids, go marry, 
Be wise, no longer tany ; 
For time is ever flying 
And will return no more.* " 

But it is difficult here not to suspect that the accomplished 
translator was conscious of Herrick. 
2. still : comp. No. lviii., 1. 28 ; Com, 560 ; and Abbott, § 69. 
a-flylsg : see note, UAUeg. 20. 

5. Lamp of HeaTen. Comp. Spenser's Epithcdamium, 19 : 
'* Before the world's light-giving lamp His golden beam upon the 
hills doth spread." Some of the expressions in this poem suggest 
the influence of Spenser. Comp. also Gay's Trivia, iii. 5, with 
reference to the moon, "0 may thy silver lamp,'* etc.; also 
Comus, 198, with reference to the stars, *' filled their lamps with 
everlasting oil " ; the Greek lampds, a torch, used of the sun ; 
Shelley's To a Skylark, the moon's " intense lamp " ; etc. 

6. a-gettinff : see note, 1. 2 above. 

7. his race. Comp. Psalm, xix. 5, and Comus, 100. 

10. youtb and blood. Comp. Comus, 670, " When the fresh 
blood grows lively and returns brisk as the April buds in 
primrose season"; also No. lviii., line 25, "When we have run 
our passion's heat " ; also Kingsley's well-known lines, 
** When all the world is young, lad. 
And all the trees are green ; 

Young blood must have its course, lad. 
And every dog his day." 

11. being spent, t.e. ' that age being spent ' ; absolute 


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13. coy, hesitating : see note, Lye, 18. 

15. but once. *But' belongs not to *once,* but to 'having 
lost '* : see Abbott, § 129, on the way in which, in Elizabethan 
English, hvjt varies its position. 

No. XXV. 


There are three lyrics by Richard Lovelace in this collection 
(Nos. XXY. , XLiii. , and xliv. ). Of these the first is the best, being in 
fact his finest poem, containing " no line or pajrt of a line that could 
by any possibility be improved." He published his Lucastain 
1649 : the name is formed from Lux casta, his epithet for his 
. betrothed, Lucy Sacheverell, who married another on the stray 
report that Lovelace had died of his wounds received at Dunkirk. 
''In some of the lyrics of Lovelace we see the courtly spirit 
deepened by the troubles of the Civil War." The spirit of this 
piece should be contrasted with that of Byron's AU for Love 
{O, T. IV. ccxii.), " talk not to me of a name great in story," etc. 

1. Sweet. For this word as a substantive, comp. Ham, ilL 2, 
200 ; Johnson's CatUine, i., *' Wherefore frowns my sweet** 

2. that, because, in that : see Abbott, § 284. 

nunnery. Mr. Gosse notes that this beautiful fi^re is to be 
found in Habington's poem To Roses in the bosom of Castara : 
" Ye blushing virgins happv 
In the chaste nunnery of her breasts." 
Compare, however, Herrick's poem (No. xciv. in O. T, edition), 
" And snuffging there they seemed to be 
As in a flowery nunnery." 
8. A sword, etc. Compare the Cavalier war-song which, 
accordinj^ to Motherwell, was found "written in an old hand in 
a copy of Lovelace's Lucasta, 1679 " : 

" A steed, a steed, of matchless speed 1 
A sword of metal keen ! 
All else to noble hearts is dross, 
All else on earth is mean," etc. 



See notes on No. xr. This piece is in praise of Elizabeth, 
daughter to James I. , and ancestor of Sophia of Hanover : it is 




characterized by Palgrave as a fine specimen of gallant and courtly 

I. meaner beantles : comp. Spenser's F, Q, vi., 

•* So far as doth the daughter of the day 
All other lesser lights in licht excel ; 
So far doth she in beautiful array 
Above all other lasses bear the bell " ; 
also F, Q. vi. 9, ** That all the rest'like lesser lamps do dim.** 

5. Moon Bliall rise : comp. Keats' Ode to a Nightingale, ''and 
haply the Queen- Moon is on her throne, Clustered around by all 
her starry Fays." Also Hor. Odes, iii. 16, "Nox erat, et coelo 
f ulgebat luna sereno Inter minora sidera " ; Carmen Sec, 99, 
" Siderum regina bicomis audi, Luna, puella." 

7. dame Nature. ' Dame ' in the sense of ' mother ' : comp. 
Par. Lost, ix. 612, "universal Dame," 

8. nnderstood, interpreted, fully expressed. 
10. Fhllomti : see note, H Pens, 56. 

II. Tiolets, etc. : comp. Herrick's To Violets, 

* * Welcome, maids of honour, 

You do bring 

In the spring, 
And wait upon her. 
She has virgins many, 

Fresh and fair ; 

Yet you are 
More sweet than they." 



This was written in 1644 or 1645 ; it is the latest of the 
sonnets printed in the edition of 1645. Phillips, the nephew 
and biographer of Milton, relates that during the time the poet 
was deserted by his first wife he "made it his chief diversion 
now and then of an evening to visit the Lady Margaret Ley. 
This lady, being a woman of great wit and ingenuity, had a 
particular honour for him, and took mucli delight in his company, 
as likewise Captain Hobson, her husband, a very accomplished 
gentleman." Both she and her father are in this sonnet compli- 
mented on their political views. 

1. that good Earl : James Ley, bom 1552, was made Lord 
High Treasurer of England in 1624, and Lord President of the 


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Council in 1627. Both these offices are alluded to in the sonnet. 
'*He had been removed from the High Treasurership to the less 
laborious office of President of the Council, ostensibly on account 
of his old age, but really, it was thought, because h^ was not 
sufficiently compliant with the policy of Charles and Buckingham. 
He died in March, 1628-9, immediately after the dissolution of 
Charles's third Parliament ; and, as the sonnet hints, his death 
was believed to have been hastened by political anxiety at that 
crisis " (Masson). 

The construction * Daughter to that good Earl' should be 
noticed ; the proposition of is commonly used. 

once President. 'Once' is here an adverbial adjunct to 
'President,' for when a noun stands in attributive relation to 
another noun, it may be modified by adverbs. It is not neces- 
sary, therefore, to explain * once ' as an adverb modifying * was ' 

2. her, «.«. England's. 

3. in both unstained, i.e. not having, in either of these offices, 
sullied his reputation by taking bribes. * Fee ' is from the A.S. 
feoh, cattle, projperty, now used of the price paid for services : 
see note, Son. xii. 7. 

4. more in himself content. This does not mean that he 
resigned of his own accord but that, " when dismissed, he went 
wilmiffly " : the construction is, *' (being) more content in him- 
self (than in the enjoyment of office)." 

5. sad brealdng. There is here a play upon the word ' break ' 
applied in 1. 5 to the dissolving of Parliament, and in 1. 6 to the 
effects of this upon the old Earl. In the former sense we speak 
of the breaking up of an assembly, and in the latter of a person's 
spirits or health being broken. Milton calls the dissolution of 
Charles's third Parliament a sad one, because it showed that the 
King had entered upon that line of conduct which led to the Civil 
War. The demonstrative tJuU implies that the Parliament re- 
ferred to is too well known to need further mention : comp. 1. 8. 

6. as that dishonest Tictory, etc., i.e. in the same way as the 
victory at Chaeronea broke the heart of Isocrates. The word 
* dishonest' is here used in the sense of Lat. inhonestiis = dis- 
honourable : in the same way our word * honesty ' has not the 
high sense of the Lat. honestas = all that is honourable. Milton 
calls the victory dishonest because it was * fatal to liberty ' : in it 
Philip of Macedon defeated the combined Athenian and Theban 
forces, B.C. 338, Greece thus losing her independence. Chaeronea 
was a city of Boeotia. See No. Lxvii. , 1. 43, note. 

8. with report * With ' = by means of. The use of the instru- 
mental with is not now so common as in earlier English, and is 


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never used to denote the agent. In Chauoer we find ** slain with 
( =by) cursed Jews." 

tliat old man eloqnent : Isocrates, one of the most famous 
of Greek orators, who, at the age of ninety-nine, died four days 
after hearing the report of the disaster at the Ohaeronea. So the 

food Earl of the sonnet died four days after the dissolution of 

9. Tbough later bom, etc., ''though I was bom too late to 
have known your father at his best, yet, methinks, I am able 
from seeinc you to judge what he was like." Milton does not 
mean that ne was bom after the Earl's death, for the Earl died 
twenty years after Milton's birth. 

Than in this line is a conjunction introducing an elliptical 
clause depending on later. It is difficult to give a satisfactory 
syntactical explanation of such clauses : we may expand it into, 
'Though I was bom later than (I should have been in order) to 
have Imown ' : see note on than, Son, xvii. 2. 

10. by yon, through or by means of you. 

11. methlnlCB, it seems to me. Here me is the dative, and 
thinks is an impersonal verb (A.S. thincan, to appear), quite dis- 
tinct from the verb ' I think,' which is from the A.S. thencan, to 
cause to appear. For a similar relation compare drink with 
drench ( = to cause to drink). 

yet. In this line yet = vi^ to the present time; in the 
previous line yet = nevertheless. 

13. That all both Judge you. That here introduces a clause of 
consequence in adverbial relation to weUf and co-ordinate with 
80 : comp. " He spoke so fast thai I could not understand." 

Both in this line is strangelv placed : the ordinary form would 
be : ' All judge you both to relate them («.e. your father's virtues) 
truly, and to possess them.' The co-ordinate words are rekUe 
and possess ; the one is preceded by both, the other by and. 



This piece, also called Disdain Returned, is the only specimen 
here given of Carew's lyrics. He is the author of the beautiful 
lines, " Give me more love, or more disdain," and of the fine song, 
" Ask me no more where Jove bestows." Thomas Carew (1589- 
1639) was " the precursor and representative of what may be 
called the courtier and conventional school of poetry, whose chief 
characteristic was scholarly ease and elegance." Percy givea 
this x>oem in his Beliques, iii. 111. 


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2. coral : in allusion, of coarse, to the bright colour of the red 
coral of commerce, found in the Mediterranean. Dryden con- 
trasts * the common coral ' with the * alabaster white.' 

4. FueL Comp. Campion's lyric, "Fire that must flame is 
with apt fuel fed^* {Lyrics from Elizabethan Song-Boohs). 

10. Kindle. Oomp. Habingtoh's well-known line, <' Virtuous 
love is one sweet endless flame"; and Shakespeare's Sonnet (No. 
xxxi. O, T.) 

** Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come." 
See further on * kindle,' No. xxxv., 1. 2, note. 

No. XXIX. 

2. Btarllke sparkle. Spenser has ** In her eyes the fire of love 
doth spark" : comp. Fletcher's Piscatory Edog, vi. 19, "Her 
eyes do spcurh as stars " ; and Par, Lost, ii. 387. 

3. you. Te was more common in this construction : see note. 
No. VII., 1. 8, and Abbott, § 236. 

that : see Abbott, § 284. 

4. yet, as yet. In this sense we now use as yet : see Abbott, 

5. rich hair : comp. Horace, Odes^ iv. 10. 3, " Those locks that 
now play loosely on your shoulders shall fall off," etc. 

6. wantons, revels: comp. Par. Lost, v. 294, *< Nature here 
wantoned as in her prime." 

lOYesick air. Such ' pathetic fallacies ' are common in poetry 
in reference to the air : comp. Hen. VA. 1, ** The air, a chartered 
libertine"; GhUde Harold, 4v. 12, "The eloquent o»r"; etc. 
Love-sick, sick for love : comp. thougJU-sick {Ham. iii. 4. 51), 
lion-sick {Tr. and Cress, ii. 3. 13), fancy-free {M. N. D. ii. 1. 
164), etc. 

7. whenas, since, seeing that. This compound is still found in 
modem poetry as an archaism : comp. MarmioUy i. 28, " Whenas 
the Palmer came in hall." As and that were originally afiixed to 
xohen and tohere in order to give a relative meaning to the 
interrogatives ; and when these interrogatives were recognized 
as conjunctive adverbs the force of cw was to make the meaning 
more deiinite. In whereas the sense of place has now disappeared, 
but whenas has not lost all reference to time (see No. xxxvi., 1. 1), 
though it more frequently denotes logical connection (as in this 


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8. Sunk, hung. 

tip: comp. Shenstone'a Economy, iii. 85, ** Sweetly-fashioned 
tip of Silvia's ear." 

10. world, etc., your collective charms: comp. L. L. L. iv., 
"My contiiient of beauty." With this poem comp. Herrick's 
The GhangeSf addressed to Coririna : 

" Be not proud, but now incline 
Tour soft ear to discipline ; ... 
You are young, but must be old, 
And, to these, ye must be told, 
Time, ere long, will come and plow 
Loathed furrows in your brow : 
And the dinmess of your eye 
Will no other thing imply, 
But you must die 
As well as L" 

No. XXX. 

Ok these lines Mr. BuUen says : '*I give this song from Beloe's 
Anecdotes, where it is said to be taken from Walter Porter's 
Madrigals and Airs, 1632. I have searched far and wide for the 
song-book, but have not yet been able to discover a copy." 

10. borrow : comp. OtheUo i. 3. 215. The word generally im- 
plies only a temporary transfer, but this restriction is now 
disregarded, e.g. to borrow words or customs. 

No. XXXI. 


On this poem Archbishop Trench notes that Waller appears to 
have had in his eye the graceful epigram of Rufinus beginning 
ir^/xirw COL, 'Po56/cX€ia, roBe aT4<l>os. Edmund Waller (1605-1687) 
was counted a great poet in his own day, but his poetry, though 
easy, flowing, and felicitous, "lacks sincerity and strength. 
Pope has eulogized his stveetness, which word we may allow if 
we limit its meaning to elegance, ease, and grace, without 
passion, energy, or creative force. His importance in English 
poetry is that he revived the heroic couplet. 

2. wastes, etc. : here a kind of zeugma. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


4. reaemble, liken, compare : here nsed in an obsolete active 
sense ; like the Lat. simiUare, to make like ; so in i^. Q, iii. 10. 
21, "And th' other... He did resemble to his lady bright"; 
Raleigh, Hist, of World, ** Most safely may we resemble ourselves 
to God." 

7. Bhuns, declines. For this use of ' shun ' with an infinitive 
comp. Acts, XX. 27, " I have not shunned to declare unto you all 
the counsel of God " ; and in another of Waller's poems, ** The 
lark still shuns on lofty boughs to build." 

graces, charms : this is the usual sense in the plural ; in 
one passage of Milton, however, it means * favour ' {Sams. Agon. 
360), ** given with solemn hand as graces." 

spied, espied : Spenser has * spy ' in the senses of ' a keen 
glance * and * an eye.* 

9. In deserts: comp. Gray's lines, "Full many a flower is 
bom to blush unseen," etc. 

11. Small 18 the worth, etc. Comp. Comus, 745, <* Beauty is 
Nature's brag, and must be shown In courts, at feasts," etc. ; also 
Shakespeare's Sonnet, iv., "Unthrifty loveliness, why dost thou 
spend Upon thyself thy beauty's legacy?" 

13. Bid : governing the three imperatives 'come,' 'suffer,' and 

16. Then, i.e. after having delivered your message. 

17. rare : the original and usual sense of ' scarce ' passes into 
that of 'incomparable': comp. Wint. TaJe,i.2. 

20. wondrous. The adverbial use of this word, condemned by 
Johnson as barbarous, was very commmon in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries : comp. Pope's Bape of the Lock, iii., 
"women, wondrotu fond of place"; Par. Lost, v. 116. 

No. xxxn. 


This song is versified from passages in the love-letters of 
Philostratus the Sophist. It is comprised in Ben Jonson's 
The Forest, a collection of short lyrics first published in 1616, 
and including some of the finest of Jonson's lines. 

3. leave... but: hyperbaton for 'leave but a kiss,' or 'only 
leave a kiss' ; see note. No. xxiv., L 15. 

8. change, i.e. exchange it. 

9. late, lately. 

10. Not 80 much : see note, No. xlii., 1. 1. 


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11. there, with thee. 

13. didst ...senVst; see note, // Pens. 46. For a similar 
idea comp. Herrick's poem, No. 94, in Palfi;rave*8 edition of that 
poet. Jonson has another song addressed to Celia, in Volpone, 
or the Fox : 

" Come my Celia, let us prove, 
While we may, the sports of love," etc 



This lyric is set to music in An ffovre'a RecrecUum in Musihe, 
published in 1606, and in Robert Jones's UUimum Vale (1608). 
The piece is now attributed to Campion (see notes. No. xvn.), of 
whom Mr. Bullen says : " It is time that Campion should again 
take his rightful place among the lyric poets of England. He 
was, like Shelley, occasionaUy careless in regard to the ob- 
servance of metrical exactness, and it must be owned that he had 
not learned the art of blotting. But his best work is singularly 
precious. Whoever cannot feel the witchery of such poems as 
* Hark, all you ladies that do sleep ! ' or ' Thrice toss these oaken 
ashes in the air,' is past praying for. In his own day his fame 
stood high ...Camden did not hesitate to couple his name with 
the names of Spenser and Sidney, but he has been persistently 
neglected by modem critics " (Preface to Lyrics from MizabetJuin 
Song- Books). It may be compared with the Cherry- Ripe of 
Herrick : 

** Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry. 

Full and fair ones ; come and buy ; 

If so be you ask me where 

They do grow ? I answer, there 

Whose my Julia's lips do smile ; — 

There's the land, or cherrv*isle ; 

Whose plantations fully show 

All the year where cherries grow." 

2. roses, etc. Comp. Spenser's description of Belphoebe {F, Q. 
u. 3): 

** In her cheeks the vermeill red did shew 
like roses in a bed of lilies shed." 

3. paradise : see No. lviii., 1. 63, note. 

6. Cberry-Bipe : this being the cry of the fruit-sellers ; see 
Nares' Glossary, 

themselves : here the subject of * do cry,' being used with- 
out the simple pronoun ; ** (they) themselves do cry * Cherry- 


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Ripe,'" or (less probably) "they do cry themselves (to be) 
cherry-ripe." The use of himself j themadves, etc., as nominatives 
is common enough in Eliz. English (see Abbott, § 20), as it was 
in Early English, Ptcra Plow, 12,689, "if himself wolde." 
Them is a dative : at first sdf (t.«. the same) was added in order 
to define the subject, the pronoun being repeated in the dative 
before &elfi hence * he him-self,' * they them-selves.' The dative 
with sdfthen came to be used alone, and even as a nominative. 
Finally, when «e(/'came to be regarded as a substantive it was 
added to possessives, e,g, my-self, your-self, Beauty's self, etc. 

8. orient pearl ; see Hymn Nat., 1. 231, note. 

9. when ... snow : comp. F, Q. ii. 3 : 

'* And when she spake, 
Sweete words, like dropping honey, she did shed : 
And twixt the pearls and rubins softly brake 
A silver sound that heavenly music seemed to make.** 

10. They : grammatically redundant ; comp. Abbott, §§ 248, 9, 
and the relic of an Anglo-Saxon idiom in such passages as 
Chaucer's Prol. 43-5, "A knight there wba ...That from the 
time that he first began to riden out, he loved chivalry." 

11. no ... nor : comp. Abbott, § 396. 

13. angels, guardian spirits. * Angel ' is common in this 
sense ; comp. 'her good an^el,' and (since the face is here com- 
pared to a garden or paradise) refer to Oenesis, ii. 22-4. 

still, always : see note. No. xxiv., 1. 2. 

14. bended bows : comp. EeeUs. xliii. 12, ** The hand of the 
Most High hath heinded it," said of the rainbow. Except in a 
few phrases with a special sense (e.<7. ' on bended knees '), bended 
is replaced by bent in accordance with the eeneral law that verbs 
ending in Id, nd, rd, change the d into t for the past tense and 

16. approach... to oome niffh. The phrase seems redundant, 
but ' approach ' had an older sense = to resolve or set about ; e,g, 
"Shunne evil, and approch to do wel" (Hellowes' Ouenara*8 
Bpist. 15). 



A LTBic more faultless and sweet than this cannot be found in 
any literature. Keeping with profound instinctive art within 
the limits of the key chosen, Herrick has rea,ched a perfection 
very rare at any period of literature in the tones of playfulness, 
natural description, passion, and seriousness which introduce 


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and follow each other, like the motives in a sonata by Weber or 
Beethoven, throughout this little masterpiece of * music without 
notes ' (Palgrave*s note). 

On the observances connected with the first of May see 
Chambers's Book of Days, i. 569 ; they are a survival of the 
Floralia of the Romans, who, in their turn, derived their festival 
from the East, where Sun-worship was associated with similar 
ceremonies. In England the festival has been shorn of much of 
its glory, but in Italy the anniversary is still kept up, young 
people going out at daybreak to collect boughs with which to 
decorate the doors of their relatives and friends. " In England, 
as we learn from Chaucer and Shakespeai*e and other writers, it 
was customary during the Middle Ages for all, both high and 
low— even the court itself — to go out on the first May morning 
at an early hour * to fetch the flowers fresh. ' Hawthorn branches 
were also gathered : these were brought home about sunrise, with 
accompaniments of horn and tabor and all possible signs of joy 
and merriment. The people then proceeded to decorate the 
doors and windows of tneir houses with the spoiL By a natural 
transition of ideas they gave the hawthorn bloom the name of 
the ' May * ; they called the ceremony * the bringing home the 
May ' ; they spoke of the expedition as ' going a-Maying.' " 

2. the god nnsliom, i.e. Apollo, the sun-god : comp. Milton's 
Vac, Ex, 37f *' listening to what unaJuym Apollo sings" (Lat. 
ApoUo imberhia). 

3. Aurora : see the notes on L*Alleg., U. 19, 20. 

4. ftesh-quilted : comi>. '< the tissued clouds " {Hymn NcU, 146), 
and **the plighted (i.e. interwoven) clouds" {Comua, 301), with 
the notes there. 

5. SlU£:-a-l>ed : comp. Hie-abed.' **The buttercup is no slug- 
abedy" N. and Q. (Aug. 11, 1894). The obsolete verb slug is 
cognate with slouch and dach. Shakespeare has '* Thou drone, 
thou snail, thou slug, thou sot," Com. of Err. ii. 2. 196 : " Why, 
lady^ fie, you slug-a-bed," Mom. and Jul. iv. 5. 2. 

7. bow'd, as if saluting the rising sun. 

10. matlxiB: see note, UAUeg. 114. 

13. Wlienas : see note. No. xxix., 1. 7. 

17. Flora : see note, UAUeg. 20. 

22. Afi^ainst you come, against your coming, in expectation of 
your coming. Against is essentially a preposition, but becoming 
by ellipsis a conjunction or conj. adverb; thus, 'against (the 
time) at which or that I come' == against I come. Comp. Hamlet 
i. 1. 158, ***gainst that season comes," and see Wordsworth's 
ShaJcespeare and the Bible on the occurrence of this idiom in 
Oen. xliii. 25 ; Exod. vii. 15 ; Hamlet ii. 2, iii. 4 ; Bom. and Jul. 


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IV. 1 ; etc. This use of against with reference to time is found 
in Spenser {ProthaX. 17), Hooker, and Dryden. 

orient pearls unwept: comp. ffymn Nat, 231, note; 
8, A. 728; and M. N, D, iv. 1. 69, "That same dew which 
sometimes on the buds Was wont to swell like round and orient 

25. Titan, the sun, so called by Ovid and Virgil : comp. Bom, 
and Jul, ii. 3, "Titan's fiery wheels" ; Gymb, iii. 4. 166. 

26. Retires : here used reflectively. 
28. beads, prayers : see note. Lye, 22. 

30. turns, turns into, becomes ; so many young people are out 
in the fields that they are as busy as streets. 

34. talMmade : in allusion to the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, 
Levit, zxiii. 40-43, "And ye shall take you on the first day the 
bouehs of goodly trees and willows of the brook; ... ye shall 
dwell in booths seven days," etc. 

35. interwove: see note, No. xxi., 1. 14. 

39. we'll abroad : the verb of motion omitted, as frequently in 
Shakespeare. Comp. Ham, ii. 2. 170, ii. 2. 265, iii. 1. 171> 
iii. 3. 4, iii. 4. 198. 

48. left to dream, left ofip dreaming. 

49. plighted troth : see notes, No. xLiv., 1. 14 ; No. XLix., 1. 8. 

50. their priest, %.e, with a view to marriage. 

51. green-gown, a romp in the new-mown hay or on the grass. 
54. firmament: comp. No. xxix., 11. 1, 2. 

No. XXXV. 


With the sentiments of these lines compare The Sweet Neglect, a 
song in Ben Jonson's play, " The Silent Woman," imitated from 
a l^tin poem printed at the end of Petronius (see Percy's 
Reliqttes, in. ii.); and Herrick's own Art above Nature (No. 86, 
Palgrave's edition) : 

" I must confess mine eye and heart 
Dotes less on nature than on art." 
2. Kindles, produces. The verb kindle in the sense of 'to 
produce * is radically distinct from Idndle in the sense of * to 
mflame,' being perhaps connected with kind (A.S. cynd)^ nature. 
But Herrick may have the latter meaning in view. (iomp. As 
Ton Like It, iii. 2. 358, " The cony that you see dwell where nbe 

G.T. II, 


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18 hndUd**; Wyclif, Luke^ iii. 7> ** Kyndlyngis of eddris" = genera- 
tion of vipers/ See No. xxviii., 1. 10, note. 

3. lawn, see II Pens, 35, note. 

4. line distraction, pleasing confusion : pron. dis-trac-ti-on. 
See Abbott, § 479. 

5. erring, stray. 

7. negleotftil, neglected, worn carelessly. Here the word is 
nsed passively, as in awful (full of awe), thankful, etc. ; not 
actively as in awful (exciting awe, see No. lxvii. 3), thankful 
(thankworthy, P. of T, v. A. 285) : see Abbott, § 3. 

tlierel^t beside it (by- there) : here used strictly as an adverb 
of place. 

3. Bibbands : a corruption of ribbon due to a wrongly-supgosed 
connection with hand ; the M.E. form is riban {Piers Plow, li. 16, 
"ribanes of gold" s golden threads). Gomp. other corruptions 
due to the same endeavour to find some etymological connection 
for a word, e,g, horefumnd, cray/EsA, causeu;ay, pentAoiMe, etc. 

12. wild civllLt7> careless grace : an instance of oxymoron or 
joining together of apparent contrarieties. Comp. Hor. Odes, i. 
5. 5, '* simplex munditiis"; and on 'civil' see II Pens. 122, note. 

13. Do : plural in agreement with lawn, lace, cuff, etc., taken 
collectively. Comp. the sentiment of Goldsmith's Deserted Vil' 
lage, 253 : 

" To me more dear, congenial to my heart. 
One native charm, than all the gloss of art." 
The last stanza of Jonson's Sweet Neglect runs thus : 
*' Give me a look, give me a face. 
That makes simplicity a ^ace ; 
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free : 
Such sweet nefflect more taketh me. 
Than all th' aaulteries of arfc, 
That strike mine eyes, but not my heart." 


1. Wbenas : see note. No. xxix., 1. 7 ; also No. xxxiv., 1. 13. 

2. flows ... UqneCaotion, in allusion to the graceful flowinff 
appearance of her silk dress. Gomp. Spenser, F, Q, i. 1, <* tinsel 
trappings woven like a wave," 

5. Iirave vibration, the fine shimmering of the glossy silk. 
•Brave,* fine, showy; so * bravery * = finery (comp. JS, A. 717): 
^r. brave^ gay, fine, and Scotch hraw ; see Nares' Qlossarv. 


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6. taketb me, captivateB my heart ; comp. Prov. vi. 25, 
" Neither let her take thee with her eyelids"; Par. Lost, ii. 664, 
" Took with ravishment the thronging audience"; also, Hymn 
Nat, 1. 98, note. 


1. attire ; see Lye. 146, and No. xix., 1. 18, notes. 

wit, intelligence, good taste ; the radical sense of the word 
still appears in such words as ludf-wit^ unwitting (A.S. witan, to 
know). See L' Alley, 123, note. 

5. mlBB, lack. 

7. Beauty's self : see note on Orpheus' self, VAlleg, 145. 

No. xxxvin. 


With this piece we may compare Herrick's Upon Juliana Bibhon, 
On Waller, see notes, No. xxxi. 

5. eztremest, outermost : an emphatic superlative common 
enough in Shakespeare {As You Like It, ii. 1), Bacon, Dryden, 
Addison, and others ; such usages as * most extreme,' ' the 
greatest extremes,' are not uncommon. 

§. pale, enclosure ; see note, E Pens, 156. 

8. Did ... move. Johnson notes as a defect of Waller's versifi- 
cation his frequent use of the expletive do, saying that ** though 
he lived to see it almost universally ejected, he was not more 
careful to avoid it in his last compositions than in his first." 

9. compass: comp. Tr, and Cress, i. 3. 276, ** Than ever Greek 
did compass in his arms." 



With better taste and less difiuseuess, Quarles might (one would 
think) have retained more of that high place which he held in 
popular estimate among his contemporaries (Palgrave's note). 
He wrote abundantly in prose and verse, and his books were 
extremely popular in his own day. His chief poetical work is 


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the collection known as Divine Emblems (1690), often dall, but 
often felicitous ; his prose essays and meditations form what he 
called the Enchiridion (1640), containing occasional fine passages. 

8. became entire : according to the Platonic view of love, the 
one being the complement of the other; they '*did more than 
twine" (1. 11), for they became one, 

10. flax : comp. 2 Hen, VI, v. 2, '* To my flaming wrath be oil 
and ./feu:." 

16. Iwouldnotdiange, etc., i,e. exchange : comp. No. xxxviii., 
11. 11, 12. 

17. ' Their wealth in proportion to mine is but as a counter 
(an imitation coin) to a real coin.' 

To, in comparison with : comp. Spenser, Prothal, 48, 
« even the gentle stream seemed foul to them " ; Ham. i, 2. 140, 
** Hyperion to a satyr'*; and the use of the Greek T/>6t. 

No. XL. 

1. Bid me to live : Comp. Hor. Orfe«, iii. 9. In current use 
the infinitive without to follows the verb hid^ but compare lines 
.3, 9, etc. ; to is probably inserted to meet the demands of rhythm* 
On this inconsistency in the use of to see Abbott, § 349. 

2. Protestant, champion, witness, confessor. 

12. And 't: see note on bended^ No. xxxiii., L 14. « 

22. very eyee : see note, No. xlii., 1. 5. 

No. XLI. 

These lines are from John Wilbye's Second Set of Madrigals, 1609. 
6. So, so that. 

9. So, in this way, on this condition. 

10. doat npon. The usual spelling is dote, Comp. II Pens. 6, 
on changes of meaning in such words as * fond,' ' dote,' etc. The 
word is nere used in its later sense, not in the sense of M.E. doten, 
to be foolish; in Shakespeare we find both meanings : '* Unless 
the fear of death doth make me dote^* {Com, of Err, v, 1); "All 
their wayers and love Were set on Hereford whom they doted 
on (2 ^en, IV, ii. 1). An intermediate stage of meaning is found 
in *' Should ravish dolers (t.e. foolish lovers) with a false aspect" 
{L. L, L, iv. 3. r^' 


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No. XLII. 

On Sir Charles Sedley see notes to No. xxil 

I. Not, Gelia, that. The construction with not (hcU is elliptical, 
and that has the force of because (see Abbott's Shak, Oram, ), ='(I 
remain true to you) not because I juster am, etc. 

5. Yory thee, thy very self : the use of very as an emphatic 
adjective is common enough, though not with a pronoun, very 
being from Lat. veniSt true or real, in which sense we find it 
iaTwoOent,ul 2, *'vety friend"; Wint. Tale, i. 2, ''verier 
wag"; Comu8, 428, " very desolation." 

7, 8. only, i.e, the face of thee alone j the heart of thee alone; 
Abbott, §420. 

II. can but afford, can supply no more than. This use of afford 
is rare with reference to individuals : comp. Greene's PandostOj 
36, "He wondered how a country maid could afoord such courtly 

13. store: see note, VAlleg. 121. 

15. change. The spirit of the last two lines is finely expressed 
in Suckling's poem on Constancy, 



Sbb notes on No. xxv. Lovelace was twice imprisoned, in April, 
1642, and again in 1648 : on the former occasion he wrote this 
song. Althea cannot be identified, but she is said to have become 
the poet's wife. 

1. iinconflnM. Perhaps here in the wider sense of * unconfin- 
able * : see note, UAUeg, 40. Shakespeare has the word *■ uncon- 
finable' in M, W. of W, ii. 2. 

3. brings : the subject is * Love,' object < Althea.* 

4. grates, grated windows of the prison : Shakespeare has "to 
look through the grate " (if. W. qf Jr. iL 2), injthe sense of * to be 
in prison.' 

5. tangled, etc. Comp. Lycidas, 69, and Herrick's lines (No. 
xov. O. T, edit): 

" It chanced a ringlet of her hair 
Caught my poor soul as in a snare ; 
Which ever since has been in thruU." 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


7. Gods. Palgrave notes : " Thus in the original ; Lovelace 
in his £Btncifnl way making here a mythological allusion. Birds, 
commonly substituted, is without authority." 

wanton, revel : comp. Par. Lost, v. 294, "Nature here wan- 
toned as in her prime.*' 

10. With no allaying Thames, t.e. undiluted with water. For 

this special use of aUay (really a doublet of aUevicUe) compare 
Elyot, Govemour, 36, "Galen will not permit that pure wine 
without alaye of water should be given to children. " Ben Jonson, 
Mcignetie Lady, iii. 1. 496, has, "He only takes it in French wine, 
With an aUay of water." There was a M.E. verb aleggen, to put 
down or mitisate, and this was confused in form and sense with 
the old Fren<m aleger, to alleviate. " Amidst the overlapping of 
meanings that thus arose, there was developed a perplexing net- 
work of uses of allay and allege, that belong entirely to no one of 
the original verbs, but combine the senses of two or more of 
them " (see New Eng, Diet,), 

11. careless, undisturbed, free from care ; as in Pope's line, 
" wisely corcfew, innocently gay," and in the older use of the 
unrelated word secure (comp. L'AUeg. 91, and Abbott, §3). 

with roses. There is a zeugma in ' crowned ' as applied both 
to * heads ' and * hearts' : comp. Alex, Feast, 7. These two lines 
are in the absolute construction. 

13. thirsty grief. As Burton {Anat. of Mel, ii., § 5. 1) says, 
" For which cause the ancients called Bacchus Ltber pater a liber- 
ando, ...Therefore Solomon, Prov, zzxL 6, bids wine be given to 
him that is ready to perish and to him that hath grief of heart " : 
comp. Hot, ii. 11. 17, "Dissipat Evius Curas edaces"; i. 7. 31, 
** Nunc vino pellite curas." 

14. healths : comp. Mach. iii. 4, " Come, love and health to all, 
I drink to the general joy of the whole table." 

15. tipple, drink freely. This less restricted use of the word 
was never common, nor is it the original sense. Tipple is fre- 
quentative of tip, i.e, to tilt the wine-glass. 

17. like committed linnets, like capd linnets : comp. 2 //en, 
IV, i. 2, "the nobleman that C077imt^^«(2 the prince." Another 
reading is "linnet-like confined," probably suggested by the 
thought that the plural * linnets' does not accord with the singu- 
lar pronoun *L' 

18. sing: comp. II Pens, 117. 

23. Enlarge, at large, unconfined : comp. Hen, V, ii. 2, 
" Enlarge the man committed yesterday." 

30. in my soul am ftee. Comp. Par, Lost, i. 254, "The mind 
is its own place " ; Comns, 383, " He that hides a dark soul and 


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foul thoughts ... Himself is his own dungeon " ; also the old song 
of Loyaiiy Confined ; here are two stanzas : 

*' That which the world miscalls a jail, 
A private closet is to me ; 
Whilst a good conscience is my bail. 
And innocence my liberty : 
Locks, bars, and solitude together met 
Make me no prisoner, but an anchoret. 
• • • • 

My soul is free as ambient air, 
Although mv baser part's immew'd. 
Whilst loyal thoughts do still repair 
T' accompany my solitude : 
Although rebellion do my body bind, 
My king alone can captivate my mind." 

See also Byron's " Eternal Spirit of the Chainless Mind" {Q, T. 


No. XMV. 


See notes on ISos. xxv. and XLUi. by the same author. 
3. tliat : 8C, if it were. 

9. 'fluafre: comp. No. xix., L 36, '&ove = above; also Abbot, 

10. Mae-god's, t.e. Neptune's. Ovid speaks of Neptune as 
caeruUfia detis : comp. Comw, 29, in allusion to the blue-haired 
deities of the sea. 

13. seas and land, «& be. 

14. faitb, and troth ... controls. The verb is singular as faith 
and troth may be taken ass plighted faith or trothplight (see 
Wint. TcUe, i. 2. 278). Troth is a variant of truth, aa we see 
in Jlf . JV. Z>. ii 2. 36, '* And to speak troth, I have forgot our 
way " : see further Nares' Glossary. 

15. separated souls: perhaps in allusion to the Platonic theory 
of love. 

19. anticipate, realize beforehand. 

22. eyes Can speak: comp. ChUde H. P. iii. 21, **Eyes looked 
love to eyes which spake again." 

24. earthy : comp. II Pens. 92. Earthy bodies may be here 
contrasted with spiritual bodies, the body being turned to the 
soul's essence (see Convus 459-63, for this Platonic idea). 


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No. XLV. 


This is Orsame's Song in Aglaura, a tragi-comedy which has 
been described as "a monster of tedious pedantiy," and was 
produced in gorgeous style in the year 1637-8, when Suckling was 
about thirty years of age. " The temper expressed in * Why so 
pale and wan ' was in sympathy with the age, and gave a delight 
which seems to us extravagant ; Suckling's admiration for Shake- 
speare not preventing him from being one of the chief heralds of 
the poetry of the Reformation/* 

1. fond : see note, H Pens, 6. 

2. Frythee ; also written prithee and pr'ythee, familiar fusions 
of * 1 pray thee.* 

3. * If looking well cannot move ner, will looking ill succeed 
in doing so.' 

11. Quit, leave oflF. The intransitive use of the verb arose 
from the suppression of the object; hence the transition from 
abandon to cease, 

12. take : see note, No. xxxvi., L 6, and Hymn Na^ 98. 

13. of berself, of her own accord : comp. Longfellow's En- 
dymion, 4 : 

'* Like Dian's kiss, unasked, unsought, 
Love gives itself." 

No. XLVI. 


This piece is from the DavideiSf an epic on the subject of the life 
of King David. This epic is one of Cowley's more ambitious 
works, the others being the Pindaric Odea and the Mistress, a 
series of love poems. Cowley was in his own day considered the 
greatest of English poets, but to modem readers he is best known 
€U3 a prose essayist. The best commentary on this piece will be 
found in Nos. ii. and lxyii., where the power of music is the 
theme. See further on No. liii. 

11. numerous, harmonious: comp. Par, Lost v. 150, ** prose 
or numerous verse " ; also the use of * niunbers * in the sense of 
verse, as in No. iv., 1. 4, and Milton's Lines on Shakespeare, 

15. virtue : see note, 11 Pens, 113. 

21. nourialunent, etc. : comp. Tioelfih Night, 1. 1, "If music 
be the food of love, play on"; A, and (7. iL 6. 1, ** music^ moody 
food Of us that trade in love." 


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In 1613 George Wither had written Abuses Stript and Whipt, a 
series of satires in which he attacked the clergy ; in 1615, while 
in prison on account of these satires, he wrote a group of pas- 
toral elegies called The Shepherd's ITttn^tngr, in which asFhilarete 
(i.e. lover of virtue), aided by his dogs (viz. the satires referred 
to above), he again attacked various abuses ; and in The Mistress 
ofPhUarele, he sings the praises of Faire Virtue, a perfect woman. 
In 1618 he had written a poem called WiiJier^s Motto, the motto 
being Nee habeo, nee careo, nee euro (I have not, I want not, I 
care not), and in the i)oem before us he carries this spirit into 
the affairs of love. This song, The Manly Heart, also known as 
The Shepherd's Resolution, first appeared in Fidelia, 1615. Wither's 
fame owes much to the insight of Charles Lamb (see Swinburne's 
Miscellanies) ; he had been depreciated by Pope and his contem- 
poraries, and even Percy, though including this poem in his 
Reliques, speaks of the author as 'not altogether devoid of 
cenius.' "As a religious poet Wither, in the words of Charles 
Lamb, reached a starry height far above Quarles, and his sweet 
fancy and exquisite tenderness irresistibly provoke his reader's 
love.'' He was a voluminous writer and his work is throughout 
characterized by manliness, frankness, and independence. 

4. 'Gause, here used to suit the trochaic effect of the verse. 
Comp. Maeb, iii. 6. 21, ** But, peace ! for from broad words and 
^ cause he failed." Even in prose we have **I will never despair, 
cause I have a God ; I will never presume, cause I am but a man " 
(Felltham, Resolves, i. 60). See Abbott, § 460. 

6. meads. 'Mead' is that which is mowed, the M.E. mede 
being akin to math in ' aftermath ' = an after-mowins. Mead is 
from the nominative and meadow from the dative moed-we : comp. 
the double forms shade and shadow (see Skeat's Princ, ofE. Etym.^ 
§ 212). 

7. If she be, etc. Comp. Sheridan's Duenna, i. 2: 

*' I ne'er could any lustre see 
In eyes that would not look on me ; 
I ne'er saw nectar on a lip 
But when my own might nectar sip." 
Comparison is sometimes made with Shelley's 'Love's Philosophy ' 
((?. T. ccxxviii.), "What are all these kissings worth. If thou kiss 
not me," but there the idea is essentially distinct. 
9. sUly : see Hymn Nat., 1. 92, note. 

pined, tormented, made to pine. 'Pine' is obsolete in this 
active sense, which was common enough in the seventeenth cen- 


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tury ; in fact the M. E. verb pinen is almost always transitive a 
to torment ; the subst. pine, meaningpain or torment (Lat. poena), 
Comp. Chaucer, C. T, 1326, •* Well I wot that in this world 
great pine is ** ; and see Nares' Glossary, 

14. Tartle-dove : see note. Hymn Nat. 50. 

pelican : here regarded as an instance of extreme affection, 
in allusion to the notion that young pelicans were fed on their 
mothers* blood ; see Bich, II, ii. I; K, Lear, iii. 4, '* pelican 
daughters," etc. 

19. wdll deservlngs known, ie. the knowledge of her merits 
(a Latinism): comp. P, L, ii. 21, "this loss recovered " = the re- 
covery of this loss ; Sams, Agon. 1253, " offered fight " = offer of 
fight; No. Lxvii., 1. 1, etc. 

26. play the fool : comp. 2 Sam. z. 12, "let us play the man " ; 
2 Hen, IV. ii. 2, "ThnB we play the fool with time*'; Hen, VIII. 
ii. 2, ** To play the woman." 

33. Great, etc. This line recapitulates in inverse order the 
qualities specified in the four preceding stanzas, viz., beauty, 
tenderness, goodness, and rank. 

34. the more. * The ' (0. E. thS) before comparatives is an 
adverb, the instrumental case of the definite article the; the 
more, O.E. tJiS mare = Lat. eo magis, in that degree more. Comp. 
M.E. never tlie bet = none the better (Chaucer, C, T. 7533), where 
^vever is used as in this poem. See Morris, Eng, Accid, § 312. 



This poem is now generally believed to be the work of Fletcher, 
the friend and fellow-worker of Beaumont. It is a song in the 
play called TJ^e Nice Valour, printed in 1647, and but for the 
fact that Milton's poem was published two years previously " it 
would," Trench thinks, '*be difficult not to think that we had here 
the undeveloped germ of It Penseroso of Milton." It is certainly 
very difficult not to think so, — so difficult that we are compelled 
to suppose that Fletcher's poem, though not printed, haa been 
well known some years before The Ntce Valour appeared. In 
The English Potts Bradley speaks of them as "the wonderful 
verses which suggested II Penseroso and are hardly surpassed by 
it." There is a third famous poem on Melancholy, published in 
1621, which certainly suggested some of the imagery of II 
Penseroso and must have Deen known to Fletcher. This is 
"The Author's Abstract of Melancholy, AtoXo7wj," prefixed by 
Burton to his famous Anatomy of Melancholy, In 7Vie Nic% 


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VcUour tbe poem under notice appears as ** The Passionate Lord's 

I. Hence : see note, L'Alleg. 1. 

vain deU£:lits : see notes, II Pens. 1, 2, 

7. sweetest, etc.: see notes, VAlhg. and E Pena,^ passim. 

8. flx^d eyes : see notes, II Pens. 4 and 39. 

9. mortifies, chastens and subdues. Comp. the phrase 'to 
mortify the flesh'; also M, of V, i. 1, **Let my liver rather heat 
with wine Than my heart cool with mortifying groans." 

10. look, etc. I comp. 21 Pens, 43, note. 

II. tonirud, etc.: comp. H Pens, 45, 55. 

12. Fountain heads, etc. : briefly, retired spots. 

13. pale passion: comp. H Pens. 41, **held in holy pcusion 
still," and note ; also Collins' The Passions : 

" With eyes upraised as one inspired, 
Pale Melancholy sat retired.* 

14. Moonlight, etc : comp. II Pens, 59, note. 

15. save hats, etc. This seems to include bats and owls among 
fowls, and in M. E. ' fowl ' is applied to birds in general: comp. 
Scott's Ancient Gaelic Melody (see Legend of Montrose): 

" Birds of omen, dark and foul. 
Night-crow, raven, hat and oioi." 

It must be remembered however that savey hut and except, are 
used with more license in poetry than in prose: comp. Par, Lost, 
ii. 333, 336, and 678. Even in Milton's prose we find, *'No 
place in Heaven or earth, except Hell, where Charity may not 

16. parting, i.e. of the dying. 

19. dainty sweet, delicately sweet. 'Dainty' was first a 
substantive ; the attributive use is a secondary one. 

No. XLIX. 


This is one of the most touching and beautiful of the older 
Scottish songs. It is given by Percy with the following note : 
* ' This is a very ancient song, but we could only give it from a 
modern copy. Some editors, instead of the four last lines in the 


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second stanza, have these, which have too much merit to be 

wholly suppressed : 

* When cockle shells turn siller bells, 
And mussels grow on every tree, 
When frost and snaw sail warm us a*. 
Then sail my love prove true to me.*" 

The ballad is usually entitled Waly, WcUy, and was first published 
in Allan Ramsay's Tea-Tahle Miscellany in 1724, ana marked 
* Z ' as an Old Song. Some have dated it about the middle of 
the sixteenth century. Part of it (by Mr. Chambers all of it) hcus 
been pieced into a later ballad on the Marchioness of Douglas, 
married 1670, and deserted by her husband (see AUingluim's 
Ballad Book) ; but there is not sufficient eWdence to connect it 
with any historical person or event. See further in Shairp's 
Sketches in History and Poetry, where he says : '* Let no English- 
man read it, ' Waily, Waily,* as they sometimes do, but as 
broadly as they can get their lips to utter it — '0 Wawly, 

1. waly, waly: an exclamation of sorrow, the root and the 
pronunciation of which are preserved in the word ca^rwatU, 
It is the A.S. tcala : comp. the exclamation weUaway, M.K weil- 
awey f-A,S. wd, Id, wd, lit. woet lo! woe/ This expression, 
being misunderstood, was turned into "weal (is) away, *'well- 
a-day," etc. 

2 et seq, bra«, hillside ; bum, brook ; yon, see note, H Pens. 
52 ; wont, see note, R Pens. 37 ; gae, go ; aik, oak ; syne, then, 
afterwards (comp. the phrase ' Aidd langsyne '). In old Scottish 
poetry we find 'syn ellis'= since else : O.E. sins is from A.S. 
siththan= after that. 

5. aik. The word ocom has no connection with aik or oak, the 
suffix having been changed from a notion that A.S. €ucem meant 
an oak'Com. Hence, as Skeat points out, Chaucer's expression 
'* accrues of oaks" is correct, not tautological. 

8. true. There is no contradiction here ; true = troth = plighted: 
see note, No. xliv., L 14. 

lichtly, lightly, make light of, slight, despise. LichUy is 
found also as an aaj.= contemptuous, and as a noun : there are 
also the noun lichUyness, and the verb lichtliejie- to slight. 

9. but ; another version is gin, '* a Scottish idiom to express 
great admiration," see the ballad of Edom o* Gordon, 

13. boflk, adorn, dress ; this word is etymologically connected 
with hovaid in the sense of ' readv,* ' prepared,' and in the ballad 
of Edom 0* Gordon there is the pnrase ^^ousk and houn,** 

14. luunt. comb. 

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15. forsook: see // Pens. 91, '*the immortal mind that hath 
forwoh," and note there on the use of the form of the past tense 
as a past participle ; comp. LIS. 

17. Artliar-Beat, Arthur's Seat, a hill near Edinburgh, on the 
slope of which is the well referred to in 1. 19. 

25. fell, fiercely : comp. note, Lye. 91. 

32. cramasle, crimson. The word is from the Arabic kermez, 
qirmiz, the kermes inseclj, which yields the dye : carmtjie is 
a doublet of this word : comp. II Pens. 33, note. The French is 
cramoisi, also used in the wide sense of any dark, reddish, 
ingrained colour. 

33. wist, known : pres. tense, / toot ; past, tuist, in all persons ; 
ppr. witting (A.S. witan, to know). 

35. gowil, gold ; siller, silver. The old ballads delight in such 
epithets : see article on ** Ballad " {Ency. Brit. ) ; " a curious note 
of primitive poetry is the lavish and reckless use of gold and 

No. L. 

This beautiful example of early simplicity is found in a Song- 
book of 1620 (Palgrave), viz. Martin reerson's PrivcUe MiuiCy of 
which only one perfect copy, preserved in the Bodleian Library, 
is extant. 

6. lullaby ; the word is irom lull, an imitative word from the 
repetition of lu lu, a drowsier form of the more cheerful la la 
used in singing : comp. M, N. D. ii. 2. 14, ^'LuUa, lulla, lullaby." 

21. for, in return for. 

No. LL 


The ballad of Helen of Kirconneil appears in Scott's Afinntrelay of 
the Scottish Border, the first two volumes of which were published 
in 1802, the third in 1803, containing no fewer than forty ballads 
not before published; among these are Helen of Kirconneil, 
The Twa Corbies, etc. Scott gives a worthless * First Part * of 
this ballad, conprising six verses (" My captive spirit's at thy 
feet," etc. ). Other versions are given by Herd, Ritson, Jamieson, 
and others. Wordsworth has a ballad {Ellen Irioin) of little 
merit, on the same story. Adam Fleming, says tradition, loved 
Helen Irving or Bell (for this surname is uncertain as well as the 


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date of the occurrence), daughter of the Laird of Kirconnell, in 
Dumfriesshire. The lovers being together one day by the river 
Kirtle, a rival suitor suddenly appeared on the. opposite bank and 
pointed his gun : Helen threw herself before her sweetheart, 
received the bullet, and died in his arms. Then Adam Fleming 
fought with his guilty rival and slew him (Allingham's Ballad 
Book, G. T. Series). 

7. Imrd (bird), damsel, young lady. 

11. meikle, great, much. Mtu:h is shortened from old Saxon 
mochdj A.S. mycdy much, great, many. 

21. compare, comparison : used as a substantive in such phrases 
as "beyond compare" (Par. Lost, i. 588), "above compare" 
{Par, Lost, vi. 705, S. A, 556). 

No. LIL 


Ok this ballad see the notes on No. li. It is given by Scott " as 
written down, from tradition, by a lady. " It is a singular cir- 
cumstance, says Sir Walter, ** that it should coincide so very 
nearly with the ancient dirge called The Three Ravens, published 
by Mr. Ritson in his * Ancient Songs ' ; and that, at the same 
time, there should exist such a dinerence as to nukke the one 
appear rather a counterpart than a copy of the other." But it is 
not strange that the same ballad should appear in an old Scottish 
as well as an old English form ; there are many ballads of which 
this is true, e.g, Ltttle Musgrave, Edom o* Gordon, Hugh of 
Lincoln, etc. There are, in fact, three versions of The Twa 
Corbies, one English and two Scottish: (1) The Three Ravens 
given by Ritson, who says that it is much older, not only than 
the date of the book from which, he took it (Ravenscroft's 
Afelismata, 1611), but than most of the other pieces contained in 
it. (2) The version given in Scott's Minstrelsy, (3) A different 
version which appears in Motherwell's Minstrelsy, 

Mr. Palgrave has included such ballads as this, and Nos. XLix. 
and u. , in the Second Book of the Oolden Treasury on the ground 
that, if not in their origin, at any rate in their present form, they 
appear to be due to the seventeenth century. 

1. all : see note, UAUeg, 33, and comp. Hymn Nat, 207. 

alaae, alone. ^ /one = all-one, M. E. al one : comp. o72/y=one- 
ly; cUone=sX'On.e, Lone is therefore a shortenea form. See 
Marsh's Lect. on Eng. Lang, xiv., where my lane, her lone, etc., 
are explained as due to hasty pronunciation of me all one, her all 
one, etc. 


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2. oorliieB, ravens, carrion crows: Fr. eorheau, Lat. corvwi, 
Etymologically the English word crow can claim no relationship 
with corvua : see Mtiller's Lectures, i. 412. 

mazie, moan. 

3. tane... t'other, or (in another version), t'ane... t*ither, the 
one ... the other : a familiar Scottish fusion of the words. These 
words were used not only as substantives, but often in old Acts 
of Parliament as adjectives, e,g. "the tane half of the lands"; 
there is also the form tanehal/= one-halt Comp. **Thei 
bronghten the tother forth " ; see Irving's Scot. Poetry, p. 88. 

5. f)ELll, turf, sod. 

d. wot: see note. No. xlix., L 33. 

13. haiue-tNiiie, neck-bone, from haia or Aato«e, the neck or 
throat, O.E. Iwlce', comp. Piers Plow, "hongen bi the hals." 
There is a verb to hcUse, %.e, to embrace or hug. 
14 een, old plural eyen, eyes : see note, Hymn NdL 223. 
16. theek, thatch : radically allied to dech, jpvotecty integument, 
Motherwell's version of the fourtli stanza runs thus : 
*' Ye shall sit on his white hause-bane, 
I will pick out his bonnie blue een ; 
Yell take a tress of his yellow hair. 
To theek your nest when it grows bare ; 
The gowden down on his young chin 
Will do to rowe my young ones in." 

No. LIII. 


Abbaham Cowley (1618-1667) nowhere shows to greater advan- 
tage than in his elegiac verses on his friends Hervey and Orashaw. 
Mr. William Hervey (or Harvey) was his fellow-student at Cam- 
bridge, and the ]9oem here given, which appeared in Cowley's 
collected poems in 1656, tnerefore suggests comparison with 
Mattiiew Arnold's Thyrsis, Milton's Lycmas, and Tennyson's In 
Jliemoriam, It is evidently the sincere expression of a personal 
loss. Mr. Palgrave points out that ''the poetical and the prosaic, 
i^ter Cowley's fashion, blend curiously in this deeply- felt elegy," 
but some of the stanzas are very beautiful. 

2. unwilling light : comp. " the morning's war, When dying 
clouds contend with growing light," 3 Hen, VI. ii. 5. 1. 

3. sleep, death's Image : comp. ** death-counterfeiting sleep," 
ff. N. D. ui. 2. 364 J ** Still sleep mocked death," W. T, v. 3. 20. 


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14. around, here an adverb =' on all sides/ intensifying the 
significance of ' besieged. ' 

17. lleldB of Cambridge, etc. : comp. Lye, 23-31. 

26. inform, to give form to, to animate. 

30. clilefest ; see note, II Pens. 51. 

41. spirits, essence. 

55. in water : in allusion to the classical belief that the sun set 
in the ocean ; in Comua 95, Milton refers to the opinion of the 
ancients that the waves of the Atlantic hissed as the fiery wheels 
of the sun's chariot touched them. 

No. LIV. 


This poem, otherwise entitled Communion voith the Holy Dead, or 
(more briefly) The Departed, is one of the best known, as it is one 
of the finest, of Vaughan's poems. Vaughan's spiritual experi- 
ences led him to dwell in his poetry upon such themes as the 
littleness of time and the greatness of eternity (see No. Lxvi., 
notes), the sinfulness of sin, the death and saving grace of Christ, 
and the life bevond the grave. And as The Retreat suggests a 
comparison witn Wordsworth's Ode on Immortality , so this poem 
refers to several of the fundamental questions raised in Tennyson's 
In Memoriam. Comp. also Donne's Sonnet to Death, 

4. (dear : *' the memory of dead friends doth brighten my sad 
thoughts." Comp. In Mem. xciv. 

8. remore, removal, going down. For this use of the verb as 
a substantive, comp. Ham. iv. 5. 63, *' author of his own remove"; 
if. for 3f. i 1. 44 ; and for substantives of similar formation see 
Ham. L 1. 67, Rich. II, L 2. 2, and Abbott, § 461. 

10. trample on, overpower, throw into the shade. 

13. This stanza refers to Christ, who humbled Himself for man's 
sake. Comp. In Mem. xxxvi. 

16. your walks, Christ's abode, Paradise. 

17. beauteous Death: comp. In Mem. Ixxiv., Ixxxii. 

19. mysteries : comp. In Mem. xxxi., and No. lxiv., L 7 ; also 
II Pens. 89-92. 

28. strange thoughts: comp. In Mem, xliv., cxxiv., cxxx., 
exxxi. ; also No. xiv., notea passim. 


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No. LV. 

L pledges, ofi&pring : comp. Lye, Wl, note. 

3. date, allotted period. The use of *so* here shows that 
' date ' denotes not a point of time but a length of time : comp. 
Shakespeare {O, T, zxiiL), "Summer's lease hath all too short 
a date. The application of date (Lat. datum, given) to time 
is due to the fact that in classical Latin datum was employed 
on documents to mark the time and place of writing, e.g, datum 
Bomae, given {i,e, written) at Rome ; comp. the legal phrase, 
** Given under my hand and seal this day." 

not BO past. But, etc. After negatives this adversative use 
of hut is still found colloquially : more commonly hut is replaced by 
that with a negative in the dependent clause, e.g. ''Your date is 
not so past Tha^ you may not stay," etc. : see Abbott, § 121, and 
comp. No. LXiv., 16. 

7. Wliat, interjectional : but compare the use of what = why, as 
in Par, Lost, ii. 94 : see Abbott, §§ 253, 297. 

8. hour or half s ; doubly elliptical. The possessive suffix is 
added only to the latter alternative. English ia remarkable for 
the manner in which complex phrases are treated as if they were 
one word capable of inflexion. 

10. *Twas pity: in such short phrases the article was often 

15. brave, fine : see note, No. xxxvi., 1. 5. 

16. pride, glory : comp. Par, Lost, vii, 477, ** Summer's ^jrWe." 

The complex, metrical, and rhyming structure of this piece and 
the next should be noted. In the first the rhyme formula is 
ahhech, and the initial lines of the three stanzas rhyme to- 
gether the whole piece bein^ thus compactly bound together, 
in the second the formula is ahchddceae, an arrangement 
which marks the equal ebb and flow of the verse while maiU' 
taining the unity of the stanza as a whole. 

No. LVL 


See not«s on Nos. xxiv. and Lv. 
1. Daffodils : see note. Lye, 150. 
4. his noon: see note, II, Pens. 68. 

GT. IT. P 

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This description forms about a third part of Marvell's poem of 
The Nymph complaining for the Death of her Fawn, In the 
opening the nymph recounts the manner of the fawn's death, 
her reoeiving it as a gift from a faithless lover who ''left his 
fawn, but took his heart," her. joy in the society of her pet, and 
her conviction that its love was *' far more better than the love 
of false and cruel man." Then follows the description here 
given, on which Palgrave says: "Perhaps no poem in this 
collection is more delicately fancied, more exquisitely finished. 
By placing his description of the fawn in a youns; girl's mouth, 
Marvell has, as it were, legitimated that abundance of imag- 
inative hyperbole to which ne is always partial; he makes us 
feel it natural that a maiden's favourite should be whiter than 
milk, sweeter than su^ar — 'lilies without, roses within.' The 
poet's imagination is justified in its seeming extravagance by 
the intensity and unity with which it invests his picture." In 
the conclucling portion of the poem the nymph declares her 
determination to preserve in a vial the dying tears of her 
favourite, to fill up the vial with her own tears, to die and to 
have over her grave a weeping statue of herself cut in marble : 

*' Then at my feet shalt thou be laid, 
Of purest alabaster made ; 
For I would have thine image be 
White as I can, though not as thee." 



Makvbll here throws himself into the very soul of the Garden 
with the imaginative intensity of Shelley in his West Wind, 
This poem appears also as a translation in Marvell's works. 
The most stritong 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, 
Simplicitas ! vos ergo diu per templa, per urbes 
Quaesivi, regum perque alta palatia, frustra : 
Sed vos hortorum per opaca silentia, longe 
Celarunt plantae virides, et concolor umbra." 

(Palgrave's note.) 


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" The element of enjoyment of nature/* says Stopford Brooke, 
" seen already in Walton's ConvpUtU Angler^ is most strong in 
Andrew Marvell, Milton's friend. In imaginative intensity, in 
the fusing together of personal feeling and thought with the 
delight received from nature, his verses on the Emigrants in the 
Bermudas, and the Thoughts in a Garden, and the little poem 
The Oirl describes her Fawn, are like the work of Wordsworth 
on one side, like good Elizabethan work on the other. They are 
like Milton's songs, the last and the truest echo of the lyrics of 
the time of Elizabeth, but they reach beyond them in the love 
of nature. " 

1. amaze, bewilder, perplex. The word is obsolete in this 
reflexive sense: comp. Milton's Colast, 367, "I amaze me"; 
Walton's Angler, ** I might easily amaze myself." See further 
Hymn Na^, 67, note. 

2. the palm, the oak, or bajTB ; used in a general way for 
military, civil, and academic honours. The bay is the laurel 
wreath awarded to poets and scholars : comp. Drayton's Pcly. 
16, " Whether they Her beauty should extol or she admire their 
hay " ; Brown's Pastorala, i. 1 : 

** I played to please myself on rustic reed. 
Nor sought for hay, the learned shepherd's meed." 

The palm is the token of victory. The Romans gave a crown of 
oak -leaves to him who saved the life of a citizen : comp. Coriol. 
i. 3, and see notes on Lycidas, 11. 1, 2. 

3. imcessant : see note on * unexpressive,* Lye. 176, and comp. 
Abbott, § 442. 

6. narrow- vergr^d, of small compass. 

6. upbraid, reproach. The smallness of the honour when 
compared with the extent of their labour is so disproportionate 
as to be a kind of reproach. 

7. alL The contrast here is between * some single ' in line 4, 
and ' all ' in line 7. 

12. Comp. UAUeg, 118, "the husy hum of 
men"; Hom^ and JvH. iii. 1, "the public haunt of men"; and 
Homer's 5fMS6v r' dvOpibirup {II. x. 13). 

13. If here below ; elliptical for * if they grow here below (t.e. 
on this earth) at all.' 

16. all but rude, little better than barbarous. 

16. To, in comparison with. Comp. Ham. iv. 6. 125, "Treason 
can but peep to what it would." 


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18. amorons: probably here used passively in the obsolete 
sense of ' lovely ' or ' lovable.' 

19. Fond ; see II Pern. 6. 

22. hers. The original is her, there bring an elliptical com- 
parison = * How far these beauties exceed (the beauties of) her ' : 
comp. n Pens, 20, note). 

25. rnn, etc. : when the passion of Love has run its course. 

28. BtiU, always : see Abbott, § 69. 

29. Daphne, an Arcadian goddess who was pursued by Apollo, 
and having prayed for aid wsus changed into a laurel tree (Gk. 
ia4>vri) : comp. uomuSy 661, "As Daphne was, Root-bound, that 
fled Apollo.*^ 

31. Pan... Byrlnz. Syrinx was an Arcadian nymph who, 
being pursued by Pan, fled into the river Ladon, and at her own 
request was changed into a reed, of which Pan then .made his 
flute (called a syrinx). Comp. Arcadea^ 106, ** Though Syrinx 
your Pan's mistress were," etc. In Spenser's ShepMrdPa Cal- 
ender [Ed, iv.) Pan represents Henry VIII., and Syrinx Anne 
Boleyn, and in Jonson's Satyr Queen Anne is compared to the 
same nymph. Pan was the god of flocks and shepherds among 
the Greeks ; from the fact that he was accustomed to startle 
travellers came the phrase r6 Ucuf iKbv (det/ui), Panic fear ; hence 
the word panic. 

37. nectarine : originally an adjective, as in '* nectarine fruits " 
(Par. Lost, iv. 332) ; now applied to a variety of the peach. 

cnriouB, exquisite, satisfying the curious or fastidious taste 
[Comus, 714, ** the curioua taste "). 

39. melons, etc. With the whole of this passage compare 
No. LXii., 11. 21-24. 

41. This whole stanza suggests reference to such poems as 
Keats' The Poet's Dream : 

" From these create he can 
Forms more real than living man " {O, T, cccxxiv.) ; 

Wordsworth's Nature and the Poet {O. T, cccxxxiii.) : 

'* The light that never was on sea or land. 
The consecration, and the Poet's dream " ; 

the same poet's Inner Vision ((?. T. cccxvii.) and Ode on Intmor- 
tality\ and Shelley's Invitation ((?. T, cccvii.) and Ode to the 
West Wind (cccxxii. ). 

43. kind, nature (A.S. cynde, natural): comp. ''her own 
natural hind " (Ode on Immortality), 


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46. Far other, i.e. very different: comp. Vomus, 612, **far 
other arms." As other has here its radical sense of different, it 
may be modified by an adverb. 

47. Aiinlhllating, etc. In an ecstasy of imaginative delight 
the poet almost becomes one with the scene he contemplates. 

61. body's vest. Comp. Jl. Pens. 91, and Merch. of Venice, 
"this muddy vesture of decay." In * body's vest ' the genitive 
is explanatory : see No. LXii., L 30, note. 

54. whets, trims, prunes. 

56. the various light. This line beautifully describes the 
iridescence or play of colour on the plumage of a bird. * Various,' 
changing, varied : comp. Par, Lost, vii. 317. 

57. Garden-state, i,e. in the Garden of Eden {Qen. ii. 8). 

59. After : here denotes both temporal and logical sequence. 

61. beyond ... share, greater happiness than is permitted to 

63. paradises ... Paradise. The first is a general term denot- 
ing a state of the highest felicity ; the second is the * Garden- 
state ' of line 58 (Gk. Trapddettros, a park or pleasure ground : the 
Word is of Eastern origin ; comp. Pers. firdaus, a garden, paradise). 
Contrast Byron's Don Juan, ii. 172, "All who joy would win 
Must share it, — Happiness was bom a twin." 

66. dial. The new dial of flowers and herbs refers to the fact 
that the passage of time is marked by the opening and closing 
of the flowers. Hence the idea of ' a floral clock,' here called * a 
fragrant zodiac,' 1. 68. For a similar idea see Vaughan's song on- 
Man in Treas. of Sacred Song. For the use of *dial ' in the sense 
of a clock, comp. "Then he drew a dial from his poke "{As You 
Like It), ii.7 ; also, Othello, iii. 3. 171. The word is from Low Lat. 
dialis, relating to a day ; comp. the radical and current senses of 
journal, annvm, etc. 

66. The sun in its course moves across the flowery face of the 
garden as the shadow moves along the sun-dial. 

67. milder : used absolutely, as often in Latin ; comp. E Pens. 
11. 15 and 140. 

68. zodiac: here used in the general sense of 'course.' The 
zodiac is that belt of the sky marked out by the ancients because 
the apparent places of the sun, moon, and planets known to them 
were always within it. Each of its twelve parts, called signs, 
bad a constellation named after an animal, e.g. the Bam, the 
Bull, etc. : hence its name, from Gk. zddion, dim. of zoon, an 


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No. LIX. 


This piece is by Campion, on whom see the notes to Nos. xvn. 
and XXXIII. : it appears in his Two Boohs of Airs (1613?), being 
one of the * Divine and Moral Poems * contained in the first book. 
" A sweeter example of an old pastoral lyric could nowhere be 
found, not even in the pages of Nicolas Breton " (BuUen). It is 
in praise of a contented countryman and his wife, and the title 
under which it appears in the OcHden Treatmry is suggested by 
Virgirs Oeorg, ii. 458, " fortunatos nimiura, sua si bona norint, 

5. trip it : see note, VAUeg, 33. 

7. lash out, spend lavishly or recklessly. Lash still occurs as 
a provincial word in the sense of 'lavish' or 'extravagant.* 
Jamieson connects it with Fr. lasche = relaxed. 

9. nappy, strong, tasty : Bums has, 

** And whiles twa pennyworth o* nappy 
Can make the bodies unco happy." 

Nap occurs as a cant term for strong beer. 

12. crabs : crab-apples, often roasted and plunged into the 
wassail-bowl: comp. MarmioUy ** the hissing crabs." 

13. Tib, a familiar name for a girl. The names Tib and Tom 
often go together : comp. AWs Well, ii. 2, 24, " AsTiVs rush for 
Tom*s forefinger " ; in the game of gleek Tib is the ace of trumps 
and Tom the knave of trumps. 

19. tatties, nosegays (a provincial term). 

31 . for, in spite of : see Abbott, § 154. 

32. securer : see note, UAlleg. 91. 

silly : see note. Hymn Nat.t 1. 92, and No. xlvii., 1. 9. 

Nos. LX. AND LXI. 


These titles are Italian and may be translated 'the cheerful 
man' and 'the thoughtful man.' Milton probably chose the 
words not so much l^cause they exactly expressed the charac- 
teristics of the two men represented as because they were less 
likely to lead to misconception of his meaning than the words 
'Mirth* and 'Melancholy.* Allegro comes from Lat. alcLcer, 
from which we have the word 'alacrity,* and there is an air 
of briskness pervading the whole poem so called; the move- 


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ment never flags. We have, ** Haste thee, nymph," etc., 1. 26; 
"Come, and trip it," 1. 33; **/n haste her bower she leaves,*' 
L 87; *'Out of doors he flings," 1. 113; and in many other 
ways animation and buoyancy are indicated. The whole piece, 
too, is full of sound, from the morning song of the lark to the 
whisperine winds of evening, and from the merry bells of 
the upland hamlets to the busy hum of men in towered cities. 
So far, at any rate, the title L* Allegro is not at variance with 
the poet's meaning. 

PeTiaerosOf from the same root as pensive, avoids the association 
of ill-humour which belonged to the word * Melancholy,' though 
the Italian word pensiero means * anxious' or *full of care.' 11 
Penseroso, however, is not full of care; his mind is traliquil 
and contemplative, and, like the ancient Greek philosopher, he 
has learned to be able to endure his own company. Solitude is 
to him the nurse of Contemplation. There is therefore less 
rapidity and continuity of movement, and fewer sounds in the 
Penserofo than in the Allegro; everything in it moves more 
slowly cmd quietly. 

The two poems are companion pieces, and the student must 
study them together in order to observe how far the one is the 
complement, rather than the contrast, of the other. The sub- 
joined analysis may serve to some extent as a ffuide ; it caimot, 
however, obviate the necessity for careful study of the means 
by which the poet effects his purpose in each piece. The two 
pieces may be viewed as pictures of two moods of Milton's own 
mind — the mind of a young and high-souled student open to all 
the impressions of nature. They are described by Wordsworth 
{Preface, 1815) as idylls in which the appearances of external 
nature are given in conjunction tcith the character and sentiments 
of the observer. They are not mere descriptions of any scene or 
scenes that actually came under Milton's eye, though tnere is no 
doubt that the scenery round Horton has left its traces upon the 
pictures. Each records the events of an ideal day of twenty-four 
hours — beginning in L* Allegro with the song of the lark and in 
II Penseroso with that of the nightingale. It is impossible to 
say with certainty which was written &8t ; but l^ere can be no 
hesitation in saying that Jl Penseroso is a man much more after 
Milton's own heart than L' Allegro, t.e. he represents a much 
more characteristic mood of Milton's mind, and the many ways 
in which this preference reveals itself should not fail to attract 
the student's notice. 

Mr. Palgrave's note on these poems is as follows : It is a 
striking proof of Milton's astonishing power, that these, the 
earliest great Lyrics of the Landscape in our language, should 
still remain supreme in their style for range, variety, and 
melodious beauty. The Bright and the Thoughtful aspects 
of Nature and of Life are their subjects : but each is preceded 


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by a mythological introduction in a mixed Classical and Italian 
manner. — ^With that of V Allegro may be compared a similar 
mythe in the first Section of the first Book of S. Marmion's 
graceful Cupid and Psyche^ 1637. 



1. * Loathed Melancholy ' banished 
from L' Allegro's presence : 

(a) Her parentage stated. 
(&) Her fit abode desoribed. 


S. Welcome to * heart-easing Mirth': 
UiS Her description. 
(6) Her parentage. .. 11-24 

8. Mirth's companions. 

4. Pleasures of the Morning : 

(a) The lark's song. 

(6) Other sights and sounds of the 
glorious sunrise (Allegro be- 
ing not unuen and oui-of- 
doori). 41-68 

6. Pleasures of the bright Noon-day 
and Afternoon : 
(a) The landscape. 
(6) Country employments and 
enjoyments. .. .. 69-09 

6. Sodal pleasures of the Byening— 
tales told by the fireside. 


7. Pleasures of the Midnight-hour, 
while otheri tlem : 

(a) The reading of old Romances. 

(b) The reading of C!omedy. 


8. Music lulls him to sleep : 

(a) The music suited to his mood; 

(&) Melting music associated with 

sweet thoughts. 186-lGO 

[0. L' Allegro does not look beyond 
these delights.] 

Il Pbnseboso. 

1. 'Vain deluding joys' banished 
from II Penseroeo's presence : 
(a) Their parentage stated. 
(6) Their fitabode described. 1-10 

8. Welcome to *diyinest Melancholy*: 
(a) Her description. 
(6) Her parentage. .. 11-30 

S6-40 8. Melancholy's companions. 81-65 

4. Pleasures of the Evening : 

(a) The nightingale's sons. 

(&) Other sights and sounds of the 

moonlit evening (Penseroeo 

being unaun and L cut-of' 

doon, then ii. in-doon. 66-84 

6. Pleasures of the * Midnight-hour': 
(a) The studv of Philosophy. 
(6) The studv of Tragedy and 
other serious literature. 


6. Lonely pleasures of the stormy 
Morning. .. .. 121-180 

7. Pleasures of the ' flaring ' Noon- 
day (but only in the shade), 
untU tUep comet, 181-160 

8. Music wakes him from sleep ; 
(a) The music suited to his mood. 
(6) The ' pealing organ ' associated 
with the 'studious doister.' 

9. n Penseroso's aspirations. 167-174 

10. Acceptance of Mirth. 161-168 10. Acceptance of Melancholy. 176-176 


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1. Henoe: adverbs, when thus used to convey a command, 
have the meaning of a whole sentence, e.g, hence = go hence; 
compare the imperative use of away ! up ! down ! etc. ' Hence* 
represents an A.S. word heon-an, where the suffix denotes 
'from*; see note on Arcades, 3. 

loathed = loathsome, hateful ; the adjectival use of the past 
participle is frequent in Milton, cuid in Elizabethan English it 
conveyed meanings now generally expressed by adjectives with 
such terminations as -able, -aome, -fvl, etc.; see note on 1. 40. 
Contrast the epithet here applied to Melancholy with that used 
in U Penser08o, 12. 

2. Having personified Melancholy, Milton turns to ancient 
mythology to find a parentage for her. He makes her the 
daughter of Night, for ' melancholy' means literally 'black bile,' 
that humour of the body which was formerly supposed to be the 
cause of low spirits ; m Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy we 
read : "The night and darkness makes men sad, the like do all 
subterranean vaults, dark houses in caves cmd rocks, desert 
places cause melancholy in an instcmt." Melancholy being thus 
associated with darkness, it was natural that Muton should 
make her the offspring of ' blackest Midnight.' But in classical 
mythology (Nyx) Night is the wife of Erebus or Darkness, and 
their children are ^ther (Sky) and Hemera (Day). Milton dis- 
regards this relationship, and rightly feels that he may alter the 
ancient tales to suit his own purpose ; what can be more natural, 
therefore, than to justify the epithet * loathed ' by making Melan- 
choly the ofi&princ of the loathsome monster Cerberus? To have 
derived her from Night and Darkness would merely have intensi- 
fied the notion of blcu^kness, and would not have implied anything 
necessarily abhorrent. 

Cerbenu was the dog that guarded the gates of Hell, usually 
described as a monster with three heads, with the tail of a 
serpent, and with serpents round his neck. 

3. Btyglan cave : the den of Cerberus was on the further bank 
of the river Styx, at the spot where the spirits of the dead were 
landed by Charon. Virgil ia Aen, vL makes Charon say : 

' ' This is the place for the shadows, for Sleep and slumberous Night, 
The bodies of the living may not be ferried in my Stygian bark." 

The Styx, literally 'the abhorred,' was the chief river of the 
lower world, around which it flowed seven times. To swear by 
Styx was regarded as the most solemn of oaths. 

forlorn, desolate : now used only as an adjective. This is the 


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past participle of the old yerh forleosen, to lose utterly; the 
prefix /or has an intensive force, as ia forswear, 

4. 'Mon^rst, common in poetry for * amongst/ afl ''midst* for 
' amidst.' * A ' is a prefix = in, and ' amongst ' is literally ' in a 
crowd/ as 'amidst' is 'in the middle.' The adverbs in st^ as 
amongst, amidst, tohilst, are derived from obsolete forms in «, as 
amonges, amiddes, whiles, which again come from the original 
adverbs among, amid, while, 

horrid shapes, etc. Barton, in AruU. of Mel., associates 
' terrors and afifrights ' with mehfcncholy. * Shape ' may be used 
here in the sense of Lat. umbra, a mere shape or shadow, a 
departed spirit. Comp. II Pens, 6. ' Unholy ' = impure. 

6. some uncouth cell, t.e. some unknown and horrible abode. 
Radically, 'uncouth' means 'unknown': A.S. un, not; and 
cuth, the past participle of cunnan, to know. Its secondary 
meaning is 'ungraceful' or 'ugly,' and in all the cases in which 
Milton uses this word it seems probable that he has taken 
advantage both of its prunary and its later senses : see Lye, 186, 
Par, Lost, ii. 827, v. 98, vi. 362. In early English 'couth* 
occurs as a present, a past, and a participle, and it still survives 
in the word ' could ' and in the Scotch * unco ' = strange. Similar 
changes of meanins have occurred to the words 'quaint,' 'bar- 
barous,' 'outlandish,' etc., because that which is unfamiliar is 
apt to be regarded unfavourably. 

The word ' cell ' is used in a similar connection in // Pens. 169. 

6. "Where Darkness covers the whole place as with its wings. " 
Darkness is here personified, so that 'his' does not stand for 
' its ' ; on the other hand, if the word ' brooding ' is to be taken 
litendly, we should have expected ' her ' to be used instead of 
' his.' The explanation probably is that Milton makes Darkness 
of the male sex, like the Lat. Erebus, and that 'brooding' is not 
used literally, but = covering. In the following passage the 
word seems to partake of both meanings : — 

" On the watery calm 
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread. 
And vital virtue infused. — Par, Lost, vii^ 243. 

In Tennyson's Tv)o Voices we have ** brooding twilight." The 

primary sense of 'brood' is 'to sit upon in order to breed*; 

hence a person is said to brood over his injuries when his desire 

is to obtain vengeance. 

Jealous wings : ' darkness is very properly associated with 

jealousy or suspicion,' and there may be also an allusion to the 

watchful care of the brooding fowl. ' Jealous ' and ' zealous ' are 

radically the same. 

7. night-raven : in L* Allegro night is associated with the 
raven, in II Pens, with the nightingiSe. The raven was formerly 


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regarded as a bird of evil omen and of prophetic powers : Shelley, 
in Adonais, speaks of the ^' obscene raven." In Marlowe's Jewe 
of Malta we read — 

'* Like the sad-presaging raven that tolls 
The sick man s passport in her hollow beak " ; 
and in Machtth^ i. 4 — 

" The raven himself is hoarse 
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan 
Under my battlements." 

sings, radically = rings or resounds, applied by Milton to 
the- strong notes of the raven, as by Shakespeare to the noise of 
a tempest : "We hear this fearful tempest «w^," Rich. II ^ II. L 
Comp. * rings,*!. 114. 

8. There, i.e. in the *' uncouth cell"; an adverb depending on 
dwtU^ line 10. 

ebon shades, shades as black as ^bcmy^ i.e. total darkness. 
* Ebon * is the adjectival form, spelt * heben ' in Spenser. Ebony 
is a kind of wood so called on account of its hardness (Heb. ebtn^ 
a stone), and a.s it is usually black, the name has come to be 
used as a synonym both for hardness and blackness. 

low-browed, overhanging or threatening : comp. II Pens. 58. 
A person with prominent brow is called * beetle-browed,* f.e. 
'with biting brows,' brows which project like em upper jaw. 

9. ragged: Milton represents Melancholy with her hair di- 
shevelled, and her fit abode amongst rugged and disordered rocks. 
In the English Bible ' ragged * occurs in the sense of * rugged ' : 
Isaiah, ii 21. 

10. In dark Cimmerian desert, i.e, in some desert shrouded 
in Cimmerian darkness. " In the Odyssey the Cimmerians are a 
people dwelling beyond the ocean-stream in a land of perpetual 
darkness ; afterwards the name was ^ven to a people m the 
region of the Black Sea (whence Otmea).** (Masson.) The 
phrase ''Cimmerian darkness** is common in English poetry, and 
Milton can hardly be accused of tautology in speaking of a 
" dark Cinmierian desert**; he intensifies the notion of darkness. 

The student should note by what means, in the first ten lines 
of the poem, Milton creates so repugnant a picture of Melancholy 
that the reader turns with relief and delight to the representa- 
tion of Mirth which follows : these means are : — 

1. Accumulation of words conveying associations of horror, 

e.g, blackest Midnight, cave forlorn, shrieks, etc. 

2. Imagery that intensifies the horror of the picture, e,g, 

Stygian cave, brooding Darkness, etc. 

3. Irregular metre, the rest of the poem being in octosyllabio 

couplets whose tripping sweetness pleases the ear after 


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the rougher cadence of lines 1-10. The separateness of 
these Imes is farther marked (both in L* Allegro and II 
Penseroao) by the peculiar arrangement of the rhymes : 
the formula iBaboacddeec. 

1 1 . fair and tree : both adjectives are frequently found together 
in English poetry to denote beauty and gracefulness in woman. 
We find in Chaucer's Knightea TaU : "Of fayre young Venus, 
fresh and free " ; and the words occur in the same sense even 
before Chaucer's time. Tennyson applies them to a man : comp. 
" Lord of Burleigh, fair and free.'* 

12. ydiept, named : past participle of the verb ' to clepe,' from 
A.S. dipiant to call. In Elnglish the past participle of all verbs 
of the strong conjugation was originally formed by the suffix en 
and the prefix ge. The suffix en has now disappeared in many 
cases and the prefix ge in all. The y in 'yclept' is a corrup- 
tion of ge, as m yfallen, yfoimde, ygo, ylent, yshape, ywritten, 
all of which are found in Chaucer. The y also took the form % in 
Early English, as imaked. ispoken, iknowen, etc. Shakespeare 
has yclept, yclad, etc. Milton in one case prefixes y to a present 
participle. See note on On Shakespeare, 4. 

Euphrosyne (the li^ht-hearted one), one of the three Graces 
of classical mythology, me others being Aglaia (the bright one) 
and Thalia (the blooming one). They were represented as 
daughters of Zeus, and as the goddesses who purified and 
enhanced aU the innocent pleasures of life. Milton desires to 
signify their service to man more clearly by giving them another 
genealogy ; he suggests two aJtematives, and himself prefers the 
latter : — (1) That they are the offspring of Venus (love) and 
Bacchus (good cheer), or (2) of Zephyr (the * frolic wind ') and 
Aurora (the goddess of the morning). From these parents 
Euphrosyne is beeotten in the mon& of May, i.e. " it is the 
early freshness of the summer morning that best produces Cheer- 
fulness " (Masson). 

13. heart-easing Mirth: Burton, in Anat. of Mel., prescribes 
" Mirth and merry company " to ease the heart of the melancholy. 
With ' heart-easing ' (compounded of a participle preceded by its 
object) compare such adjectives as heart-rending, tale-bearing, 
soul-stirring, etc. 

14. at a Mrth, at one birth : the words ' a,' * an,' and ' one ' are 
all derived from the same Anglo-Saxon word : comp. the phrase 
/one at a time.' 

16. ivy -crowned : the ivy was sacred to Bacchus, the god of 

17. There is a change in the construction here, there being no 
preceding * whether' answering to 'whether' in this line: the 


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mAonin^ is, • Whether lovely Venus bore thee, or whether the 
frolic wind, 'etc. 

le sager sing, f.e. some poets have more wisely written. 
Poets are often called * singers, but it is not known to what 
poets Milton can be referring: probably he merely chose this 
way of modestly recommending his own view. 

18. frolic wind, %.e, frolicsome wind. The word 'frolic' is 
now used only as a noun and a verb, never as an adjective. 
Yet its original use in English is adjectival, and its form is that 
of an adjective : it is radically the same as the German /rd'A/tcA, 
so that lie in/rolic corresponds exactly to the sufiix ly in cleanly, 
ghastly^ etc. By the end of the seventeenth century it came to be 
used as a noun, and its attributive sense being forgotten, a new 
adjective was formed — frolicsome, from which again came a new 
noun — ^frolicsomeness. In Comu8 59 it is used as an adjective : 
••ripe and frolic." 

breathes the spring : this transitive use of the verb is fre- 
quent in Milton, with such objects as * odours,' 'flowers,' 'smell, 'etc. 

19. Zephyr, the personification of the pleasant West wind : in 
Pa/r, Lost, v. 16, he is represented as wooing Flora — 

" With voice 
MQd as when Zephyrua on Flora breatJies." 

20. *Aa' here introduces a clause of time. 'Once' does not 
here denote 'on a single occasion' as opposed to the adverb 
'often,' but 'at a former time,' as in the phrase 'once upon a 
time ' (Lat. dim), 

a-Ma3dng, enjoying the sports suitable to May. Comp. 
the song of Aurora, Zeph3rr and f'lora in The PencUes of Jonson — 

" See, see, O see who here is come a-maying 1 " etc. 
To which May answers : 

" All this and more than I have gift of saying 
May vows, so you will oft come here a-maying." 
Also see Song on May Momingy 5. 

EiVen in ancient times there were May sports, when the 
Roman youth engaged in dancing and singing in honour of Flora, 
the goddess of fraits and flowers. Formerly throughout England 
the sports and customs connected with May-day were observed 
with the greatest zest. 

' A-Maying ' = on Maying : in 0. E. writers after the Norman 
Conquest the verbal noun with the preposition 'on' was used 
after verbs of motion, eg. ' he wente on hunting ' ; afterwards on 
was corrupted into a. ' Maying ' is, therefore, not a participle 
used as a noun, but the verl^l noun or gerund. The participle 
originally ended in ende or inde and the noun in ung ; but both 
BOW end in ing, and hence they are often confused. 


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21. There, t.e. where Zephyr met Aurora: an adverb ^modi- 
fying 'filled.' The nom. to < filled' is 'wind/ line 18. 

22. fresli-Uown is compounded of a participle and a simple 
adverb, ' fresh * being equal to * freshly ' : the common adverbial 
suffix in Anelo-Sazon was e, the omission of which has reduced 
many adverbs to the same form as the adjectives from which 
they were derived. See note, II Pens, 66. 

roses wasbed in dew : a similar phrase occurs in Shake- 

" 1 11 say she looks as clear 
As morning roses newly washed in dew." 

Taming of the Shrew, ii. I. 173. 
Comp. also — 

** Her lips like roses overwasht with dew.'* — Greene, Arcadia. 

24. bnzom, lively. The spelling of this word dissuises its 
origin ; it is huck-aomey which arose out of the A.S. oocsum or 
6m^w = * easily bowed,* 'flexible* (A.S. bugan, to bow, and 
the suffix sum, * like,* as in ' darksome,' etc. ). So that the word 
first meant 'pliable,' then 'obedient,' then ' good-humoured ' or 
* lively,' and finally ' handsome.' It is now used ordinarily of the 
handsomeness of stout persons. In its primary sense it was 
implied to unresisting substances, e.g, "the buxom air" {Par. 
Lostj n. 842), and the transition to the sense of ' obedient * is 
a natural one : comp. Spenser*s F, Q, iii. 4 — 

" For great compassion of their sorrow, bid 
His mighty waters to them tmxome be." 
In Shakespeare's Per. i. 1 we find — 

" A female heir 
So huxom, blithe, and full of face " ; 
and Milton seems to have recollected this passage. 

debonair, elegant, courteous : this word, when broken up, 
is seen to be a French phrase — de hon aire, literally ' of a good 
mien or manner ' ; de = of , hon is from Lat. honus^ good, and 
aire = manner. Comp. the use of 'air' in the phrase 'to give 
one's self a»V«,' f.e. to be vain. ' Debonair ' has thus been formed 
out of three words by mere juxtaposition. See note, II Pens. 32. 

25. Haste fbee. In such phrases the pronoun may be said to 
be used reflectively: comp. 'sit thee down,' 'fare thee well.' 
In Early Elnglish, however, the pronoun was in the dative, 
marking that the agent was affected by the action, but not that 
he was the direct object of it : such a dative is called the ethic 
dative. In Elizabethan writers the use of thee after verbs in the 
imperative is so common that in many cases its original sense 
seems to have been lost si^ht of, and the pronoun consequently 
seems to be a mere corruption of the nominative thou. 


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25. Nymph, maiden: the word denotes literally * a bride.' In 
Greek mytholog|y the goddesses haunting mountains, woods, and 
streams were called nymphs ; see line 36. 

torlng' here governs the following words : — Jest, Jollity, 
quips, cranks, wiles, nods, becks, smiles. Sport, and Laughter, all 
of which are the names of Mirth's companions. They are per- 
sonifications of the attributes of happy youth. 

26. Jollity, from the adjective * jolly,' light-hearted : its 
original sense is 'festivity.* It is not etymologically connected 
with * joviality ' (from Jove, the joyful planet), though its mean- 
ing is similar. See note. Son. i. 3. 

27. Quips, sharp sayings, witty jests. Comps^re ''This was a 
good qmp that he gave unto the J ewes " {Latimer). The word is 
radically connected with whip^ * that which is moved smartly,* 
and a dmiinutive from it is quibble. 

cranks, i.e. turns of wit. * Crank ' is literally a crook or 
bend ; hence the word is applied to an iron rod bent into a right 
angle as in machinery, and to a form of speech in which words 
are twisted away from their ordinary meaning. Shakespeare 
uses * crank ' in the sense of a winding passage, Cor. i. 1. 141, and 
(as a verb) = to wind about, i. Hen. IV. i. 98 ; and l^Iilton has, 
" To show us the ways of the Lord, straight and faithful as they 
are, not full of cranib and contradictions. Whenever language 
is distorted or used equivocally we have a crwnk in the sense of 
the above passage. 

wanton wiles, playful tricks. ' Wile ' is really the same 
word as 'guile,' which in Earlier English was written 'gile.' 
Compare ward and guard, wise and guise, warden and guardian ; 
the forms in ' gu ' were introduced into English by the Normans. 

28. Nods and becks, signs made with the head and the finger. 
The word ' beck ' is generally applied to signs made in either of 
these ways, though Milton here distinguishes them ; it is a mere 
contraction of ' beckon,' to make a sign to, cognate with ' beacon. ' 

wreathed smiles, so called because, in the act of smiling or 
laughing, the features are wreathed or puckered. A wreath is 
literally that which is * writhed * or twisted. Compare * wrinkled 
care,' L 31. 

29. This line and the next are attributive to ' smiles.' ' Such ' 
qualifies * smiles,' and the clause introduced by * as * is relative. 
A» after tuvoh is generally regarded as a relative pronoun. Milton 
is fond of this construction ; see lines 129, 138, 148. 

Hebe's Cheek: Heb^, in classical mythology, was the 
goddess of youth, who waited upon the gods and filled their cups 
with nectar. Later traditions represent her as a divinity who 
had power to restore youth to the aged. Compare Cornvs 290 : 
** A3 smooth as Hebe's their unrazored lips," 


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30. ' And are wont to be found in sleek dimples.' ' Dimple ' is 
literally a little * dip ' or depression : compare dingle, dapple, 
etc. For ' sleek '»soft or smooth, see Lye. 99. 

3L We speak of Sport deriding or laughing away dull care : 
compare Prtyverbs, xvu. 22, '* A merry hea^ is a good medicine, 
but a broken spirit drieth up the bones." See Burton's Anat, of 
Mel.t where Care is said to be Mean, withered, hollow-eyed, 
wrinkled,* etc. 

32. Laughter, here said to be holding his sides, just as, in 
popular language, excessive laughter is said t6 be ' side-splitting.' 
• Sport ' and • Laughter * are objects of the verb ' bring, '^L 26. 

33. trip it : ' to trip ' is to move with short, light steps as in 
dancing ; * it ' is a cognate accusative, as if we said * to trip a 
tripping,' and adds nothing to the meaning of the verb. This 
use of ' it ' is extremely common in Elizabeuian writers ; Shake- 
speare has to fight it, speak it, revel it, dance it, etc. , where (as 
Abbott suggests) the pronoim seems to indicate some pre-existing 
object in vie mind of the person spoken of. In other cases, such 
as queen it, foot it, saint it, sinner it, etc., the pronoun seems to 
be added to show that the words have the force of verbs. 

34. light fSBOitastlo toe: the toe (or foot) is called * fan- 
tastic' because in dancing its movements are unrestrained or 
'full of fancy.' * Fantastic' is now used only in the sense of 
' grotesque ' or ' capricious,' but in the time of Shakespeare and 
Milton fancy and fantasy (which are radically the same word) 
had not been desvnonymised . this explains why^ an event that 
had merely been imasmed or ' fancied ' is described by Shake- 
speare as 'fantastic. 'To trip the light fantastic toe' is a 
pnrase now ordinarily used a8='to dance.' Compare Comtis, 
144, 962 : " light fantastic round." 

36. Liberty is here naturally associated with Mirth ; in Bur- 
ton's Anat. of Mel. there is a chapter on "Loss of liberty as a 
cause of Melancholy." She is here called a mountotn-nymph, 
because mountain fastnesses have always given to their possessors 
a certain amount of security against invasion and oppression, 
and because nowhere is the love of liberty more keen. Oomp. 
Cowper's lines — 

" Tis liberty alone that gives the flower 
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume;" 
And Wordsworth — 

" Two voices are there — one is of the sea. 
One of the mountains — each a mighty voice ; 
In both from age to age thou didst rejoice. 
They were thy chosen music. Liberty,** etc 

37. due : see note on II Pens. 156, 


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38. cmWy formerly spelt erue, is common as a sea-term (being 
applied to the company of sailors on a ship) ; and, like many other 
sea-terms in English, is of Scandinavian origin. Its original 
sense is * a company * and it is used here by Milton in this unre- 
stricted sense. The word is common in his poems, but in every 
other case he uses it in a bad sense, applying it to evil spirits or 
hateful things. ' To admit of ' is 'to make a member of . ' 

39. her, i.e. Liberty. 

40. imreproved pleasures firee, free and innocent pleasures. 
This is a favourite arrangement of words in Milton — a noun 
between two adjectives : it generally implies that the final 
adjective qualifies the idea conveyed by the first adjective and 
noun together; comp. "hazel copses green," !Lyc. 42; also " native 
wood-notes wild," 1. 134. Unreproved=unreprovable ; comp. 
* unvalued * for * invaluable ' in Milton's Lines On Shakespeare, 
11. In Shakespeare we find *unavoided* for 'unavoidable,* 
'imagined* for * imaffinable,* * unnumbered * for * innumerable,' 
etc. (see Abbott's Sh(3c, Grammar, § 376). The passive participle 
is often used to signify, not that which was and is, but that 
which was and therefore can be hereafter,) In much the same 
way we still speak of *an untamed steed,* 'an unconquered 
army,* 'a dreaded soimd.* See also note. Lye. 176. 

41. To hear, like * to live * in 1. 38, is an infinitive of purpose 
dependent upon the verb * admit.* 

42. startle is an infin. dependent, along with 'begin,* upon * to 
hear. ' Warton notes that tiiere is a peculiar propriety in * startle ;* 
the lark's is a sudden shrill burst of son^, which is often heard 
just before sunrise and may therefore oe said to scare away 
the darkness. Comp. Par. Reg. ii. 279. 

43. watch-tower : the lark sings high up in the air, so high 
that, though it may be filling one's ears with its melody, it is 
often impossible to see the songster. Hence Shakespeare speaks 
of it as singing " at heaven's gate,'* and Shelley likens it to a 
•* high-bom maiden in a palace tower J** 

44. dappled, i.e. having the sky covered with small grey 
clouds : literally, it means * marked with small dips ' or hollows ; 
it has no connection with dab. See note on 1. 30. * Till ' here 
introduces a clause in the indicative ; in line 99 the verb is in the 
subjunctive mood : see note on 11 Pens. 44. 

45. Then to come, etc.: dependent, like 'startle,' upon the 
verb *to hear' in 1. 41. It refers to the lark which is, at day- 
break, to appear at L' Allegro's window to bid him good morning. 
This is a fancy frequent in poetry — ^that the morning song of birds 
is a friendly greeting to those who hear them. The only diffi- 
culties connected with this interpretation are (1) that in making 
the lark alight at the window of a human dwelling Milton seenui 

G.T. II. 9 


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to be forgetful of a lark's habits ; the ordinary poetical conceit 
does not apply to this bird, which does not seeK man's company, 
and is a "bird of the wilderness'* : (2) that the verb 'hear' is 
usually followed by an infinitive without 'to/ whereas in this 
case *to come' is used. These difficulties disappear if we re- 
member that Milton's references to nature are not always strictly 
accurate (see notes passim) ; and that ' to come ' follows at some 
distance from 'hear,* thus rendering the introduction of *to' 
necessary as a sifin of the infinitive. 

Prof. Masson, however, rejects this view as nonsense : he says : 
" The words ' Then to come ' in line 45 refer back to, and depend 
upon, the previous words * Mirths admit me' of line 38.*' On 
this view, it is not the lark, but UAUegro himself, that comes to 
his own window and bids his friends good morning. This avoids 
the two difficulties above noticed, but raises others. The ques- 
tion is referred to here merely because, in order to appreciate the 
arguments, the student must thoroughly master the syntax 
of lines 37-48. 

45. In spite of sozrow, f.e. in order to spite or defy sorrow. 
'Spite* is a contracted form of 'despite,* and is cognate with 
'despise.* This is a peculiar use of the phrase 'in spite of*; 
ordinarily, when a person is said to do something in spite of 
sorrow, it is implied that he did it although he loas sorrowful. 
This is obviously not the meaning in this passage, for there is no 
sorrow in the heart of the lark (or of L* Allegro himself). 

46. Ud : see note on Lye, 22. 

47. sweet-lniar (also spelt brier), a prickly and fragrant shiiib, 
the wild-rose or eglantine. 

48. twisted eglantine. Etymologically 'eglantine* denotes 
something prickly (Fr. aiguUle^ a needle), but since Milton has 
just named the sweet-briar, which is commonly identified with 
the eglantine, and calls the eglantine ' twisted ' (which it is not), 
it is probable that he meant the honeysuckle. ' Twisted ' may 
properly be applied to creeping or climoing plants. 

49. cock. The crowing of the cock is universally associated 
with the dawn ; hence Milton speaks of this bird as scattering 
the last remnants of darkness by his crowing. So in Shakespeare 
we have a reference to the superstition that spirits vanished at 
cock-crow. In classical times the cock was sacred to Apollo, 
the god of the sun, because it announced sunrise. Comp. the 
Easi^m proverb, used to a person to intimate that the n>eaker 
can dispense with his services — " Do you think there will be no 
dawn if there is no cock ? " 

The adjective ' thin ' may be taken as qualifying ' rear ' : so we 
speak of the thin or straggling rear of an army as distinct from . 
its close and serried van. 


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L'ALLEaRO. 243 

52. Btontly strata Ids damee before, walks with conscious pride 
in front of the hens. In Latin we find the cock described as the 
ffoUus rixo8U8f pugnacious fowl. Cowper speaks of the ' wonted 
strut ' of the cock. ' Before,' in this line, is a preposition goyem- 
ingj dames ': ' dame ' is from Lat. domina, a lady. 

The bold step of the cock is well expressed by the rhythm of 
this line in contrast with that of the preceding one. 

53. listening : this word refers to UAUegro himself : it intro- 
duces another of his *unreproved pleasures' of the morning. 
The word ' oft ' shows that the poet is not recounting the plea- 
sures of one particular morning, but morning pleasures m generaL 

64. 'The sounds made by the barking hounds and the hunts- 
man's horn joyfully awaken the morning.' Similarly in Gray*s 
E^^gy the cock-crow and the " echoing horn" are both referred 
to as morning sounds. Gray was (as Lowell notes) greatly in- 
fluenced by a study of Milton's poetry. 

dieerly, cheerily or cheeriuUy : in the phrase ' be of good 
cheer,* we see the primary sense of the word * cheer,' which is 
from a French word meaning 'the face.' A bright face is the 
index of a cheerful spirit. 

55. hoar. This may imply that the hill ap]^ars gray through 
the haze of distance, or, more literally, that it is white with frost 
or rime, the hunters being astir before the rising sun has melted 
the frozen dew {hoar-frost). In Arc, 98 Milton applies * hoar ' to 
a mountain in the more usual sense of 'old': comp. 'hoary- 

56. lilgh wood, because on the side of a hill. ' Echoing ' here 
qualifies 'hoimds and horn.' 

sliriU. In modem English the use of adjectival forms as 
adverbs is conmion ; in many cases they represent the old adverb 
ending in -e (see note on 1. {&). It must not be supposed, how- 
ever, that wherever an adjective is used with a verb its force is 
that of an adverb : e,g, ** through the high wood echoing shrill" 
or "Hope springs eternal in the human breast." Here it is not 
correct to say that ' shrill ' merely means * shrilly,' and ' eternal ' 
means ' eternally ' ; the adjectives have a distinct use in pointing 
to a quality of the agent rather than of the act. 

57. Sometime, t.e. 'for some time,' or 'at one time or other.' 
The ffenitive form ' sometimes ' has a different meaning = occa- 

not unseen : see Analysis and note 11 Pens, 65 ; " Happy 
men love witnesses of their joy ; the splenetic love solitude.^' 
Burton, in Anat, of Mel. , says of the melaiicholy : " They delight 
in floods and waters, desert places, to walk alone in orchards, 
gardens, private walks," etc. 


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58. elms. Warton notes that the elm seems to have been 
Milton's favourite tree, judging from its frequent mention both 
in his Latin and English poems. The scenery in the neighbour- 
hood of Horton may account for this, though it must not be 
supposed that Milton is in this poem describing any actual scene. 
Masson says : "A visit to Horton any smnmer's day ... to stroll 
among the meadows and pollards by the banks of the sluggish 
Golne, where Milton must nave so often walked and mused, may 
be recommended to lovers of Literature and of English History." 

69. This line is dependent on * walking * : • right * is an adverb 
modifying the preposition 'against.' Comp. 'He cut right 
throujgh the enemy,' * I have got half through my work,' eta 
' Against ' implies that L' Allegro is walking with his face turned 
directly to the rising sun. 

the eastern gate, a favourite image in poetry for that part 
of the sky from which the sun seems to issue. In classical 
mythology the god of the sun was represented as riding in a 
chariot through the heavens from East to West, and in one of 
his Latin poems {Eleg, iii.) Milton represents the sun as the 
* light-bringing ' king, whose home is on the shores of the Ganges 
(».e. in the far East). Comp. " Hark, hark 1 the lark at Heaven's 
gate sings," Cymbeline II. iii. 

60. begins bis state, begins his stately march towards his 
•other goal' in the west. Comp. Arc. 81, note. 

61. amber light, amber-coloured light : noun used as adjective. 

62. 'The clouds (being) arrayed in numerous colours.' Gram- 
matically, ' clouds ' is here used absolutely. In Latin a noun or 
pronoun in the ablative along with a participle was often used as 
a substitute for a subordinate clause, and Milton is fond of this 
construction. Here, line 62 is an adverbial clause modifying 
'begins.' In English, the noun is generally said to be the 
nominative absolute, but in the cose of pronouns, the form shows 
whether the nom. or obj. is used. Milton uses both ; comp. 
" Him destroyed, for whom all this was made," and " Adam shall 
live with her, /extinct." Modem writers prefer the nom. case 
both for nouns and pronouns. In Anglo-Saxon the dative was 

liveries here refers to dress, as when we speak of a servant's 
livery. Its primary sense was more general— anything delivered 
or served out, whether clothes, food, or money : a peer was even 
said to have livery of his feudal holdings from the king. As the 
livery of a servant is generally of some distinctive colour, 
Milton applies the word to the many-hued clouds. It may also 
imply that the clouds, as servants, attend their master, the Sun, 
in his stately march. 


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62. dl^ht, a nearly obsolete word = arrayed : comp. II Pens. 159. 
It is a short form of dighted, from the verb *to dight' (A.S. 
dihtan, to set in order), which, as Masson remarks, still sur- 
vives in the Scottish word dicJU, to wipe or clean. 

65. Uithe : see note on 1. 56. 

67 tells his tale -counts his sheep, in order to find if any 
have gone amissing during the night. 'Tale' is thus used in 
the sense of ' that which is told or counted,' which was one of its 
meanings in Early Eng.: A.S. talUy a number. In the Bible 
* tell * and * tale ' are frequently used in this sense, Oen, xx, 6, 
Psalms xxiL 17, Exod. v. 18 ; and in the works of writers nearly 
contemporary with Milton the words are used of the counting of 

*To tell a tale' may also mean 'to relate a story,' and the 
shepherds may be supposed to sit and amuse themselves with 
simple narratives. But, as Milton in the previous lines refers to 
such rural occupations as are suited to the early morning, and 
represents each person as engaged in some ordinary duty, it 
seems likely that in this line also some piece of business is 
meant, and not a pastime. The morning hours are not usually 
those devoted to story-telling. 

69. Straight, straightway, immediately. '* There is, in my 
opinion, great beauty in this abrupt and rapturous start of the 
poet's imagination, as it is extremely well adapted to tiie sub- 
ject, and carries a very pretty allusion to those sudden gleams of 
vernal delight which break in upon the mind at the sight of a 
fine prospect " (Thyer). See note, Univ. Carrier^ ii. 10. 

70. Whilst it (».e. the eye) measures the landscape round; 
sweeps over the surrounding scene. Landscape, speljb oy Milton 
landskip^ which resembles the A.S. form, landscipe= ^hjid- 
shape,' the aspect or general appearance of the country The 
word is borrowed from the Dutch painters, who applied it to 
what we now call the background of a picture. * Scape ' is 
rsulically the same as the suffix -ship, seen m ladyship, worship, 
friendship, etc. , where it serves to form abstract nouns. * Round ' 
is an adverb modifying * measures, '= around. 

71. Eusset lawns, and fallows grey : * lawn ' is always used by 
Milton to denote an open stretch of grassy ground, whereas in 
modem usage it is applied to a smooth piece of ^ass-grown 
land in front of a house. The origin of the word is disputed, 
but it seems radically to denote ' a clear space ; it is said to be 
cognate with Uan used as a prefix in the names of certain Welsh 
towns, e.g. Llandaff, Llangollen. Comp. Lye, 25. 'Fallow' 
literally denotes * pale-coloured,' e.g. tawny or yellow: hence 
applied to land ploughed but not bearine a crop, as it is gene- 
rally of a tawny colour ; and finally to £01 land that has been 


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long left unsown and is therefore grass-grown. It is in this last 
sense that Milton uses it, and as the word has lost all signifi- 
cance of colour (when applied to land) he adds the adjective 
'grey' to distinguish it from those fields that are 'russet' or 
reddish-brown : the former are more distant, the latter nearer 
at hand. See note 1. 55. 

72. stray : comp. Lat. errare, to wander. 

73. Hoimtalns, alon^ with 'lawns,' 'fallows,' 'meadows/ 
' brooks,' and ' rivers,' is in apposition to ' new pleasures,' 1. 69. 

74. lalxraring <flond8, so called because they bring forth rain 
and storms. The image of clouds resting on the mountain-top is 
well expressed by Sh«Uey : — 

" I sift the snow on the mountains below. 
And their g^reat pines groan aghast ; 
And all the night ^tis my pillow white. 
While I deep in the arms of the blast.** 

The Cloud. 

75. trim: comp. 'trim gardens,' Jl Pens. 60, 'daisies trim,* 
Com. 120. The student should note the prevailing position of 
the adjectives in lines 71, 75, 76, 126, etc. Where contrast is 
intended, as in line 76, the two nouns are placed together and 
the adjectives apart ; so in Latin frequently. 

pled, variegated. The word literally means 'variegated 
like a magpie ' ; it is a common epithet in poetry and is applied 
by Shakespeare to daisies {L. L. L. v. ii.). It is therefore 
probable that in this passage also ' pied ' qualifies ' daisies ' ; 
otherwise it might be taken as an attribute of 'meadows.' 
Comp. piebald, applied to animals. 

77. Towers and battlements it {i.e. the eye) sees. This thought 
may have been suggested to Milton by the fact that his eye, in 
taMng in the landscape around Horton, would often light on the 
towers of Windsor Castle in the distance : comp. Com. 935. 

78. Bosomed, embosomed. 

79. Where perhaps some beautiful lady dwells, a centre of 
attraction. Lines 79 and 80 form an attributive adjunct to 
' towers and battlements.' 

beauty : see note on Lye. 166. 

1108= dwells; comp. Lye. 53, and Shakespeare, 'When 
the court lay at Windsor^ {M. W. of W. ii. 2). 

80. oynosore, now applied generally to an object of great 
interest : so CEdled because the CVnosura, the stars composing 
the tail of the constellation of the Lesser Bear, was the mark by 
which the Phoenician sailors steered their course at sea. ' Cyno- 
sure ' is from the Greek hynoa oura, a dog's tail : comp. Com, 
342 : " Tyrian Cynosure." A star by which sailors steer is also 


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c&lled a ' lode-star/ a word which is nsed metaphorically in the 
same way as * cynosure*: comp. " Your eyes are lodestars J* M, 
N. D. i. 1. 

neighbouxing : 'neighbour' is radically ' near-dweUer ' 
(A.S. neahMr). 

81. Hard 1^, near at hand: 'by '= alongside, an adverb 
modifying ' smokes ' ; * hard * is an adverb of degree modifying 
' by.' Comp. the sense of < by ' in the phrases chse by^ /cut hy, 
to put a thing by {%.e. aside). 

82. From: a preposition may, as here, govern an adverbial 

83. Where, in which cottage. Corydon, Thyrsis, Thestylis 
occur frequently in pastoral poetry as the names of shepherds, 
and Phyllis as the name of a female. See Virgil's Bucolics, 
Theocritus, Spenser, etc. 

met: 'having met together, they are seated at their 
savoury dinner of herbs and other country dishes.' 

85. mesaeB, dishes of food. 'Mess' originally meant some* 
thing placed on a table (Lat. missum) : the word here has no 
connection with 'mess,' a disordered mixture, which is a variant 

86. neat-handed : ' neat ' is a kind of transferred epithet, 
referring not to the woman's hands but to the appearance of the 
food prepared by her. So a skilful carpenter may be called 
'neat-handed,' a good needlewoman 'neat-fingered,' etc 

97. bower, here refers to the cottage. A ' bower ' is strictly 
something biUU, a dwelling-place : it came to be applied to the 
inner chamber occupied by a lady. 

With Thestylis: 'with' here means 'in company with,' a 
woman being generally employed at harvest-time to assist in 
binding the com into sheaves. 

89. Or. The construction is : ' Either she leaves her bower to 
bind the sheaves, or (she goes) to the tanned haycock.' This is 
evidently the meaning ; ' she goes ' being implied in the previous 
verb ' leaves.' This construction, by which two nouns or phrases 
are connected with one verb which really suits only one of them, 
is common in Milton, and is called zeugma. 

earlier season, because the hay-harvest is earlier than the 

90. tann^ed haycock, a pile of dried hay. The word ' cock ' (by 
itself) means a ' small pile of hay ' : it is radically distinct from 
the word * cock ' in any other sense. 

mead, meadow. The form in -ow (comp. arrow, sparrow, 
marrow, sorrow) is due to an A. S. suffix -we. 


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91. secure, free from care, not fearing harm. This is the 
primary sense of the word [Lat. se (for sine) = free from, cura = 
care]: it therefore corresponds exactly to the English w<H*d 
* care-less.' It is used in this sense in the Bible and in such 

** Man may securely sin, but safely never." 

In Latin securus is sometimes applied to that which frees from 
care. In modem English * secure' means *safe,* OLCtuaUy free 
from danger. 

92. "Milton again notes a paragraph in the poem, changing 
the scene. It is now past mid-day and into the afternoon ; and 
we are invited to a rustic holiday among the * upland hamlets ' 
or little villages among the slopes " (Masson). 

upland bamlets: as the poet here introduces us to the 
primitive amusements and superstitions of village life we may 
take * upland' to mean 'far removed from large cities.' The 
word * uplandish ' was formerlv used in the sense of * rude * or 
* unrefined,' because, in the uplands, the refinements of town-life 
were unknown. Comp. note on 1. 5. * Hamlet ' = ham-let, a 
little home (A.S. ham) : comp. the affix in the names of certain 
towns — ^Nottingham, Birmingham, etc. 

' invite : the object of this verb is not expressed. 

94. Jocund, merry : from the Lat. jucundus, pleasant. (It has 
no radical connection with the words joke, jociUar, as is some- 
times stated.) 

rebecks. The rebeck was a three-stringed fiddle, played 
with a bow. The name is the same as the Persian rabdb, applied 
to a two-stringed instrument said to have been introduced into 
Europe by the Moors. The.modem violin has four strings. 

95. many a youth. * Youth ' = young- th, the state of being 
young ; it is now used both in its aostract and concrete senses : 
in the latter it applies properly, as here, to a young man. 

*Many a' is a peculiar idiom, which has been explained 
variously. One theory is that 'many' is a corruption of the 
French mesnie, a train or company, and ' a ' a corruption of the 
preposition * of,' the singular noun being then substituted for the 
plural through confusion of the preposition with the article. A 
more correct view seems to be that 'many' is the A.S. mant^, 
which was in old English used with a singular noun and without the 
article, e.g. manig mann = many men. In the thirteenth century 
the indefinite article began to be inserted, thus mony enne thing 
= * many a thing,' just as we say * what a thing,' ' such a thing.' 
This would imply that ' a ' is not a corruption of ' of,' and that 
there is no connection with the French word mesfUe. 


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96. cbequered shade. The meaning may be illustraied by a 
passage from Shakespeare — 

" The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind, 
And make a chequered shadow on the ground." 

Titus Andron. ii. 4. 

Comp. **a shadow -chequer'd lawn," Tennyson's JRecoU. of 
Arabian JSig?U8, 

The radical meaning of * chequered * or * checkered ' is * marked 
with squares ' (like a chess-board) ; hence it is here applied to the 
ground marked in dark and light. The game of draughts which 
is played on a chess-board is sometimes called ' checkers.' The 
word * check ' is derived^ through the French, from the Persian 
sMhy a king, the name given to the principal piece on the chess- 
board : * chess * is merely a corruption of the plural * checks.* 

97. 'And (to) young and old (who have) come forth to play.' 
* Come ' is the past participle agreeing with 'young and old.' 

to play : infinitive of purpose after a verb of motion ; in 
early Elnglish the gerund was used, preceded by the preposition 

98. sniiBhine holiday : comp. Com, 959. ' Sunshine ' is a noun 
used as an adjective. Milton wrote ' holyday,' which shows the 
origin of the word. The accent in such compounds (comp. blue- 
bell, blackbird, etc.) falls on the adjective ; it is only in this way 
that the ear can tell whether the compounds {e.g, h6liday) or the 
separate words [e.g, h6ly day) are being used. 

99. livelong, longlasting : see On Shakespeare, 8, note. For 
'fail,' the subjunctive after 'till,' compare L 44. 

100. We have here to supply a verb of motion before * to,' e.g. 
'they proceed' : comp. lines 90 and 131. 

spicy XLut-hrown ale, a drink composed of hot ale, nutmeg, 
sugar, toast, and roasted crabs or apples. It was called Lamffs 
wool from its frothy appearance, and Shakespeare refers to it as 
"^ssip's bowl," while another Elizabethan writer calls it "the 
spiced wassel bowL' 

101. feat, exploit, wonderful deed. 'Feat,' like 'fact,' is 
radically 'something done' (Lat. factum). For 'many a,' see 
1. 95. 

102. Faery Mab. Mab was the fairy who sent dreams, and 
hence a person subject to dreams is said to be 'favoured with 
the visits of queen Mab. ' See an account of her powers in this 
respect in Borneo and Juliet, 1. iv. Ben Jonson alludes to the 
likmg of the fairies for cream : — 


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•* When about the cream-bowla sweet 
Ton and all your elves do meet. 
This is Mab, the mistress-fairy, 
That doth nightly rob the dairy. 
She that pincJies country wenches, 
If they scrub not clean their benches.' 

Milton's spelling ' faery ' comes nearer to the early English word 
'faerie/ which meant 'enchantment.' 

Jmikets, also spelt juncates. The original sense is 'a 
kind of cream-cheese served up on rushes ' (ItaL giuncOf a rush) : 
it was then applied to various Kinds of delicacies made of cream, 
then to any delicacv, and finally to a 'merrymaking.' Hence 
the verb ' to junket, t.e. to revel Milton here means < dainties.' 

eat : here past tenser ate. 

103. She ... he, etc. One of the girls tells how she was pinched 
in her sleep by tiie fairies (the popular superstition being that 
only lazy servants were treated in this way), and then a young man 
tells his experience : at one time he was led astray by the ignis 
fatuua, and at another time he had suffered from the tricks of 
Robin Goodfellow. 

104. The construction is awkward : we may read either 

(1) ' And he (was) led by Friar's lantern ; (he) tells how ' etc., or 

(2) * And he, (having been) led by Friar's lantern, tells how ' etc. 
The former reading is preferable as it separates the two stories 
regarding the * Friar's lantern ' and the * drudging goblin,' but it 
leaves the verb ' teUs ' without a subject. This, however, occa- 
sionally happens in Milton. The other reading is grammatically 
easy, but confuses the two stories. A third suggestion is to read 
Tales for Telia in line 105, putting a colon at led. 

Friar's lantern. This refers to the flickering light often 
seen above marshy ground and liable to be mistaken by the 
belated traveller for the light of a lamp. It is popularly called 
Jack o' lantern or Will o' the Wisp. This explams Milton's use 
of the word * lantern,* but it does not explain why he should call 
it * Friar's ' lantern. He may refer to a spirit popularly called 
Friar Rush, who, however, neither haunted fields nor carried a 
lantern, but played pranks in houses during the night ; he is 
therefore distinct from Jack o' lantern. * Friar ' is a member of 
a religious order (Lat. fiuter, Fr. /r^re, a brother). 

105. drudging goblin : sometimes called Robin Gk>odfellow or 
Hobgoblin (or Puck as in Shakespeare). Comp. AwU of Mel. I. 
li. : ' A bigger kind there is of them (t.e. terrestrial demons) called 
with us hobgoblins and Robin Goodfellows, that would in those 
superstitious times grind com /or a mess of milky cut wood, or do 
any manner of drudgery work, ... to draw water, dress meat, 


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or any such thing.' It is to be noted that the individuality of 
these famiUtiar spirits is often not very clear. Milton confuses 
Jack o* lantern and Friar Bush, while keeping Robin Ooodfellow 
distinct ; Shakespeare does not distinguish Robin Goodfellow, 
Jack o' lantern, and Puck (see Midsummer NigJWs Dream, ii. 1); 
while Burton makes Bobin Goodf ellow a house spirit and speaks 
of men being '* led round about a heath with a Puck in the night." 
Scott makes the same mistake as Milton, and Ben Jonson in The 
Sad Shepherd introduces * Puck-hairy * or ' Bobin Goodf ellow/ a 
hind. See note on // Pens, 93. 

* To drudge * is to perform hard and humble work. * Gob- 
lin/ a supernatural being, g^enerally represented as of small size 
but great strength ; sometimes mischievous, sometimes kindly 
disposed. In the form Jiob-gcblin * hob ' is a corruption of Bobin ; 
hence Bobin Groodf ellow and Hobgoblin are the same. 

105. sweat; here past tense of a strong verb (O.E. stoat 
or siDot) ; it is now treated as a weak verb, and the past tense is 
sweated. Comp. such weak verbs as creep, leap, quake, swell, 
wash, weep, otwhich the old preterites were crop, leep, quoke, 
swal, wesh, wep. 

106. To earn : infin. of purpose. 

duly sot, t.«. placed as the goblin's (fue : * set ' qualifies 

107. ere : comp. 1. 114 and Lye. 25. * Ere '= before, now used 
only as a conjunction or preposition : in A.S. a^r was an adverb 
as well, and not a comparative but a positive form = soon. 

108. shadowy flail ; being wielded b^r a spirit, the flail is here 
called ' shadowy ' = invisible. * Flail ' is from Lat. flageUuTn, a 

hatli : Milton always used this older inflexion, and never 
the form Jias. 

109. end. The goblin performed in one night a task that ten 
labourers working a whole day could not have completed ; end= 
complete. Notice that *ena* and * fiend* (pron. fend) here 
rhyme together. 

110. Then the lubber fiend lies (him) down. Comp. 'haste 
thee,* 1. 25 and note ; ' him ' is here reflective. 

lubber fiend : ' lubber ' is generally applied to a big clumsy 
fellow, whereas Bobin Goodfellow was a small and active fairy, 
who could scarcely be " stretched out all the chimney's length." 
Milton may have referred to ' Xo&-lie-by-the-fire, the giant son 
of a witch mentioned in Fletcher*8 Kniaht of the Burning Pestle, 
Shakespeare calls Puck a * lob of spirits. 

111. eblmnoy'B lenirtli, i.e. the width of the fireplace or hearth. 
* Chimney' in the sense of fireplace is obsolete except in 


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compounds, e.g, chimney-piece, chimney-comer. It now means 
* flue ' or passage for smoke ; as such passages did not exist in 
Roman houses, the Lat. camintu (from which chimney is derived) 
meant a furnace, brazier, or fireplace. 

112. Basks ... strength. *To bask* is to 'lie exposed to a 
pleasant warmth.' The word is here used transitively, its object 
being ' strength,* and its meaning ' to expose to warmth.' 

hairy: an epithet transferred from the person to an 
attendant circumstance; comp. * dimpled mirth,* 'wrinkled 
care,* 'pale fear,' 'gaunt hunger.* Ben Jonson speaks of Puck 
as being hairy, and strength is often associated with abundant 
growth of hair : see Sampson Agoniates, pamm. 

113. crop-ftUl, with well-filled stomach. The 'crop' is the 
first stomach of fowls. 

flings, t.e. flings himself, darts. This verb is one of a 
number that may be used reflectively without having the reflec- 
tive pronoun expressed : comp. ' he pushed into the room,* ' he 
has changed very much,* etc. 

114. first cock ; because one cock sets the others a-crowing. 

matin, morning call (Fr. matin, morning) ; comp. Par, 
Lost, v. 7, " The shrill matin-song of birds on every bougn." In 
Par. Lost, vL 626, it occurs as an adjective, and in Hamlet 
Shakespeare uses it as a noun = morning: *'The glow-worm 
shows the matin to be near." The word matins is now used for 
morning prayers. 

115. Thus done the tales. Absolute construction (as inl. 62) 
=The tales (being) thus done, they (t.e. the villagers) creep to 

116. liilled=being lulled, attributive to < they.* 

117. Towered dtles ... then. 'Then* does not here denote 
^ afterwards ' as it does in line 100 ; it marks a transition from 
mirth in the country to mirth in the city, and the poet now 
recounts the entertainments of citv life, as L* Allegro might read 
of them in romances and tales of chivalry. This explains the 
allusions to 'throngs of knights,' contests of 'wit or arms,' 
' antique pageantry, etc. These are not the events of one day 
except in the sense that L* Allegro might, on his return from the 
village rejoicings, retire to his own room to read about them. 

'Towered, 'having towers (Lat. turrita, an epithet which Milton 
himself applied to London in one of his Latin Elegies). Comp. 
Arc 21. There is no doubt that the poet, during his stay at 
Horton, paid occasional visits to London, and Warton imers 
from expressions in the first Elegy that he had in his youth 
enjoyed the theatre. 


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118. hum, nominative, along with * cities/ to 'please.' 

119. knUrhtfl and barons : it is interesting to note the original 
meaning of these and other words that are now titles of rank. 

* Knight *= A.S. cniJitf a youth ; * baron ' meant at first no more 
than ' man ' or ' husband ' ; ' duke ' = Lat. dtiXy a ' leader ' ; 
' count ' is really Lat. cornea^ a companion ; and ' earl ' is Old 
Saxon erl, a man. 

120. weeds, garments. Comp. the use of the word by Shake- 
speare — 

<' I have a woman's longing 
To see great Hector in his weeds of peace,** 

Tr. and Ores, iii. 3. 

•Weeds of peace* denotes the ordinary dress as opposed to 
'weeds of war,* t.e.' armour, etc. The use of the word is now 
generally confined to the phrase * a widow's weeds,* ».e. a widow's 
mourning dress. Comp. ComuSt 16, 189, 390. 

hlgli triumplis, grand public entertainments, such as 
masques, pageants, processions, tournaments, etc. Comp. Sams. 
Agon, 1312 and Bacon's Essay Of Masques and Triumphs, Such 
exhibitions were extremely popular from the time of Henry "Vlll. 
to Charles I. See Arcades, introductory note. 

121. store of ladles, many ladies. The word < store * is found 
in this sense in Sidney, Spenser, and others. It is now applied 
only to inanimate objects to denote abundance. 

122. Bain, pour forth. * To rain * in the sense of < to pour 
forth in abundance * is a common expression : comp. * to stream,* 

* to shower,* ' to overflow.* 

influence. This word is now chiefly used in the sense of 

* power ' or * authority,' but a trace of its original meaning still re- 
mains in such phrases as ' magnetic influence,' ' the influence (t.<?. 
inspiration) of the Spirit. ' Ito literal meaning is aflomng in (Lat. 
in, &nd Jluere, to flow), and in this sense it was used in astrology 
to denote '* a flowing in, an influent course of the planets, their 
virtue being infused into, or their course working on, inferior 
creatures." This was originally the only meaning of the word, 
and in this sense Milton and Shakespeare employ it : in this 
passage it implies that the bright eyes of the ladies were like the 
stars in ' working on ' those upon whom their glances fell. 

Burton, in Ana>t, of MeL, says: 'Primary causes are the 
heavens, planets, stars, etc., by their influence (as our astrologers 
hold) producing this and such, like effects.' It is well to re- 
member how strong a hold the belief in astrology had (and still 
has) on the human mind ; up to the end of the eighteenth 
century the almanacs in common use in England were full of 
astrological rules and theories, and even an astronomer like 


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Kepler was not entirely free from belief in such matters. It is 
not surprising, therefore, that the science of astrology has left 
its traces on the language in such words as 'influence/ 'disas- 
trous,' * ill-starred,' 'ascendency,* etc. Comp. notes on Arc, 52, 
n Pern, 24. 

Judge the prise, adjudge or award the prize. We may 
take 'eyes* as nominative to both of the verbs 'rain* and 
' judgje,' the ladies showing b^r their eyes Whom they regard as 
the victor. But Milton occasionally connects two verbs rather 
loosely with one noun, just as he, on the other hand, makes one 
verb refer by zeugma to two nouns in different senses. We may 
therefore read, * who judge,' the relative being implied in 
' whose,' 1. 121. Comp. II Fens, 156, Lye. 89. 

123. Of wit or arms: comp. 'gowns, not arms,* Son, xvii 
The contests of loii in which ladies were the judges may be those 
* Courts of Love * which were so popular in France until the end 
of the fourteenth century and had so great an influence on the 
poetical literature both of France and England. The contests of 
arms may refer to those tournaments in which mounted knights 
fought to show their skill in arms, the victor generally receiving 
his prize at the hands of some fair lady. Comp. II Pens. 118. 

124. her grace whom, i.e. the grace of her whom. The rela- 
tive pronoun here relates, not to the noun preceding it, but to 
the substantive implied in the possessive pronoun, ms, her, etc. 
being genitives = of him, of her, etc., they have here their full 
force as ]^ronouns, and are not pronominal adjectives (as they 
are sometmies called). The same idiom is found in Latin, e.g. 
mea seripta timentis, 'my writings who (I) fear '= the writings of 
me who am in fear. Comp. Arc. 75, Son. xviiL 6. Graces 

125. Hymen ... in saffjron robe. Hymen, being the god of mar- 
riage, Milton here refers to elaborate marriage festivities which 
often included masques and other spectacles : comp. Ben 
Jonson*s Hymenaeiy where Hymen enters upon the stage ' in a 
saffron-coloured robe, his under vestures white, his socks yeUow, 
a yellow veil of silk on his left arm, his head crowned with roses 
and marjoram, in his right hand a torch of pine-tree.' Comp. 
Milton's fifth Elegy, 105 : 

Exulting youths the Hymeneal sing. 
With Hymen's name, roofs, rocks, and valleys ring j 
He, new attired, and by the season drest 
Proceeds, all fragrant, in his saffron vest. 

{Coioper^s traTidation), 

Jn works of art» Hymen is represented as a youth bearing a 
torch. Milton uses 'taper,* now restricted to a small wax- 


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candle ; from this use we get the adjectives * taper *= taper-like, 
long and slender, and ' tapering.* The radical sense of 'taper' is 
' that which glows or shines.' 

125. appear : after the verb let the simple infinitive without 
to is used : let Hymen (to) appear.' 

127. pomp and feast and revelry : these words depend upon 
the verb * let.' Milton here used the word * pomp * in its classi- 
cal sense (Greek pomp4)=SiSi imposing procession. Comp. Sams, 
Agon. 1312, and note on 1. 120. 

128. mask : see introduction to Uomvs in this series. 
antique pageantry, representations or emblematic spec- 
tacles in which mythological cnaracters were largely introduced. 
* Pageantry ' is an interesting word. The sufi^ -ry has a collec- 
tive or comprehensive force (which has gained in some cases an 
abstract sense) as in cavalry, infantry, poetry, etc. Pageant 
meant (1) a moveable platform ; then (2) a platform on which 
plays were exhibited; hence (3) the play itself; and (as the plays 
nrst exhibited in this way made large use of spectacular effect) 
(4) a spectacle or show. 

' Antique,' belonging to earlier times (Lat. antiquus, also spelt 
anticw). This word has gone through changes of meaning 
similar to those of the word * uncouth' (see 1. 6), viz. (1) old, (2) 
old-fashioned or out of date, and hence (3) fantastic : there is, 
however, this difference — that while * uncouth ' has had all three 
senses, 'antique' has had only the two first, the third being 
taken by the form ' antic' 

129. Snch sights, etc. These words stand in apposition to 
*pomp,' * feast,' etc. Some suppose that Milton here refers to 
the early works of Ben Jonson, who was a proUfio writer of 
masques. But surely they have a deeper significance; they 
imply that the imagery of the poem is not that of mere recol- 
lection, but the product of a youthful nature, full of joyous 
emotion, and affected by circumstances of time and place. A 
youthful poet, a haimted stream, and a summer evening form a 
combination that does not lead to mere description. 

131. Then to the well-trod stage, ae. ' let me go ' : this means 
that L'Allegro turns from the stories of chivalry to the comedies 
of Shakespeare and Jonson : comp. note 1. 1 17. By calling the 
stage ' well-trod ' Milton may hint at the abundance of dramatic 

anon, soon after (A.S. on dn^ in one moment) : an adverb 
modifying the verb of motion understood. 

132. Jensen's learned sock. Ben Jonson (1574-1637) was alive 
when Milton paid him this compliment. There is no doubt that 
Milton must have admired Jonson for his classical learning and 
for his lofty sense of the poet's task. He calls him ' learned ' on 


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acoount of the profuse display of classical knowledge and dramatic 
art in his comedies and masques. On this point he is often con- 
trasted with Shakespeare. Hazlitt says: "Shakespeare gives 
fair play to nature and his own genius, while the other trusts 
almost entirely to imitation and custom. Shakespeare takes his 
groundwork in individual character and the manners of his age, 
and raises from them a fantastical and delightful superstructure 
of his own ; the other takes the same groundwork in matter-of- 
fact, but hardly ever rises above it." Fuller compares Jonson 
to a Spanish galleon and Shakespeare to an English man-of-war : 
'* Master Jonson, like the former, was built far higher in learn- 
ing ; solid but slow in his performances. Shakespeare, like the 
latter, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn with all 
tides, and take advantage of all winds, by the quickness of his 
wit and invention." 

sock : here used as emblematic of comedy in general, as 
* buskin * is used of tragedy (comp. II Pens. 102). The sock (Lat. 
socdLS) was a kind of low slipper worn by actors in the comedies 
of ancient Rome. * Sock ' here cleverly refers to Jonson's liking 
for the classical drama : it was, less fittingly, used by Jonson 
himself of Shakespeare. 

133. Or (if) sweetest Shalceapeare, Fancy's child, etc. Milton 
speaks of Shakespeare with reference only to his comedies 
and to that aspect of them that would appeal most readily to 
the cheerful man. A comedy like Measure, for Measure could 
hardly bQ adequately characterised as * native wood-notes wild,* 
but such a comedy would no more accord with the mood of 
L' Allegro than the tragedy of Hamlet. Milton's language here is 
sufficiently accounted for by the fact that he is contrasting" 
Shakespeare as master of the romantic drama with Jonson as 
master of the classical drama, that he is paying a tribute to his 
striking natural genius {* native wood-notes '), and that he regards 
him as indeed a poet, being <of imagination all compact' 
('Fancy's child'). L' Allegro cannot be expected to use the 
language of the lines On /Shakespeare: he represents a special 
mood of the human spirit, a mood with which Milton is not so 
fully in sympathy as that of II Penseroso. * Fancy ' (Phantasy) 
is here used in a less restricted sense than now : we would now 
use * Imagination. ' The student should note the pleasing rhythm 
and alliteration of lines 133, 134. 

135. ag^ainst eating cares, to ward off gnawing anxiety. It is 
a common figure to speak of care or sorrow eating into the heart 
as rust conges iron. Comp. Lat. euros edaces, Horace, Odesy 
ii. 11 ; mordaces soUieitudines, Odes, i. 18. The preposition 
' against, from the notion of counteraction implied in it, has a 
variety of uses : comp. ' he fought against (in opposition to) the 
enemy * ; * he toiled against (in provision for) my return,* 


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1.36. Milton now refers to the delights of music, and it is well 
to notice how he * marries ' the sound to the sense by the recur- 
rence of the liqvid or smooth-flowing consonants (1, m, n, r) in 
lines 136-144. 

Lap me, let me be wrapped or folded : ' lap ' is a mere 
corruption of *wrap.* Comp. Comus, 257 : "lap it m Elysium." 

Lydian airs, soft and sweet music. "Of the three chief 
musical modes or measures among the ancients, the Dorian, 
Phrygian, and Lydian, the first was majestic {Par, Lost, i. 550), 
the second sprightly, the third amorous or tender." Comp. 
Lye. 189. 

137. IKEaxTied to, associated with. Comp. Wordsworth — 
" Wisdom married to immortal verse." — Excurs. viii. 

Shakespeare (Sonnet cxvi. ) s})eaks of ' the marriage of true minds.' 
By a similar metaphor we say that a person is wedded to a habit 
or a theory. 

<* Immortal verse " is poetry which, like that of Milton himself, 
" the world should not willingly let die " ; see Comua, 516. 

138. * Such as may penetrate the soul that meets it or sympa- 
thises with it. * Comp. Cowper — 

** There is in souls a sympathy with sounds, 
And as the mind is pitched, the ear is pleased 
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave." 
In this line * pierce ' rhymes with * verse.* 

139. iMut, a turn or bend, referring here to the melody. ' Bout ' 
is another form of * bight,* and is cognate with ' bow.* 

140. long drawn out : the scansion of this line will show its 
appropriateness to the sense, 'Long,' an adverb modifying 
'drawn out.* 

141. wanton heed and giddy cuiming : the music, in order to 
be expressive, must be free or unrestrained, yet correctly and 
skilfully rendered. 'Wanton heed* and 'giddy cunning* are 
examples of oxymoron. ' Cunning *=: skill (A.S. cunnan, to 
know, be able), now used in the restricted sense of 'wiliness.* 
Comp. the similar degradation of meaning in craft, originally 
'strength*; art/id; designing; etc. 

142. Yoice, here absolute case along with the participle 
' running * : comp. 1. 62, note. For the sense of ' melting * comp. 
n Pens, 165. 

mazes, the intricate or difficult parts of the music. 

143. Untwisting all, etc. : comp. note on Arc, 72. The har- 
mony that is in the human soul is generally deadened or im- 
prisoned, and it is only by sweet music or some other stimulus 
that touches a chord within us that the hidden harmony of the 
90ul reveals itself. See Shakespeare, Mer, of Venice^ v, 1. 61. 

G.T. II, R 


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146. That, so that : the use of * that ' instead of * so that * to 
introduce a clause of consequence, is common in Elizabethan 
writers and in Milton himself. 

Orpheus* self: 'Orpheus himself' we should now sa]^. 
' Self ' was originaUy an adjective = ' same/ in which sense it is 
still used with pronouns of the third person (as himaelf, herself). 
Then it came to be regarded as a substantive, and was preceded 
by the possessive pronoims or by a noun in the possessive case (as 
myself, ourselveSf Orpheus* self). In the latter sense it is not 
used with pronouns of the third person : we cannot say his-seif, 
but him-self, 

Orpheus, **in the Greek mythology, was the unparalleled 
singer and musician, the power of whose harp or lyre drew 
wild beasts, and even rocks and trees, to follow him. His wife 
Eurydice having died, he descended into Hades to recover her if 
possible. TTJH music, charming even the damned, prevailed with 
Fluto (the god of the lower world), who granted his prayer on 
condition that he should not look on Eurydice till he had led her 
completely out of Hades and into the upper world. Unfor- 
tunately, on their way upwards, he turned to see if she was 
following him ; and she was caught back ** (Masson). Comp. 11 
Pens, 105, Lye, 68. 

heave, raise, lift up : comp. Comus, 886 : "heave thy rosy 

146. golden slumber. 'Golden' may here mean simply 'happy,' 
or it may be used because Orpheus is amongst the gods. Homer 
often applies ' golden ' to that which belongs to the gods. Comp. 
aurea qtuesy in Milton's Meg, iii. 

147. Blysiaa flowers : Elysium was the abode of the spirits of 
the blessed, where they wandered amidst flowers and beauties of 
every kind. Comp. Com, 257, 996. 

148. ' Such music as would have moved Pluto to set Eurydice 
completely free.' In Quint, Nov, 23, Milton calls Pluto sun^ 
manuSf chief of the dead. 

149. to have quite set free : ' to have set ' is here inflnitive of 
resull^ and the perfect tense denotes something that had not 
been accomplished and is no longer x>ossible : comp. the meanings 
of 'he hoped to he present ' and 'he hoped to have been present.' 
Quite =■ unconditionally or completely. 

150. Eurydice : see note on 1. 146 above ; also H Pens, 105. 

151. These delights, etc. : the last two lines of the poem recall 
the closing lines of Marlowe's PassioncUe Shepherd — 

" If these delights thy mind may move, 
Then live with me and be my love." 
Milton here accepts the mood of Mirth, but only on the condition 
that its pleasures are such as he has enumerated. 


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1. Hence : comp. note on U Allegro 1. The opening lines recall 
certain lines by ^Ivester — 

"Hence, hence, false pleasures, momentary joyes, 
Mocke us no more with your illuding toyes ! " 
vain deluding Joys : 'vain ' is the Lat. vanus^ empty, which 
is always opposed to vera, true. In U Allegro the poet has 
described true mirth ; and now * to commendation of the true, he 
joins condemnation of the false.' 'Deluding' is deceitful, not 
what it appears to be. 

2. These *Joys* are said to be the brood (i.e. breed or off- 
spring) of Folly by no father, in order to imply that they are the 
product of pure or absolute foolishness ; they are by nature 
essentially and altogether foolish. So the goddess Night, one of 
the first of created beings, is said by Greek poets to have given 
birth without a husband to Death, Dreams, Sleep, etc. 

Notice the use of the cognate words * brood * and * bred * in the 
same line. 

3. How little you bested ; of how little avail you are. * Bested' 
is the present indicative, but the past participle is the only part 
of the verb now in common use, as in the phrase 'to be hard 
bestead,* ».«. to be in sore need of help. *To stead ' occurs fre- 
quently in Shakespeare in a transitive sense = to profit, to assist, 
but the word * stead ' now occurs only in phrases, e,g, * to stand 
in good stead,* and in compounds, e.g. steadfaat, steady, home- 
stead, bedstead, instead, etc: comp. names of places, e.g. 
Hampstead, Kronstadt, etc. Its root is the verb 'stand,' and its 
literal sense is 'place.' 

4. flU the flz^d mind : satisfy the thoughtful or sober mind ; 
comp. Spenser's F. Q. iv. 7. 

toyB, trifles. In the Arutt. of Mel. we read of persons who 
"complain of toys, and fear without a cause." 

5. idle brain, foolish mind. The Old Eug. idel means 'empty 
or vain*; in this sense we speak of 'an idle dream.* 'Bram' 
may be used here for mind, but it may be noted that, just as 
melancholy was supposed to be due to a certain humour of the 
body, so ' a cold and moist brain ' was believed to be an insepar- 
able companion of folly. 

6. flancies fond, foolish imaginations. 'Fond' has here its 
primary sense of ' foolish, '/©jmcd being the past participle of an 
old yerDfonnen, to be foolish. It is now used to express great 
liking or affection, the idea of folly having been almost lost, 
except in certain uses of the word in the north of England and 
in Scotland. Chaucer uses fonne = a fool, and fondling is still 


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lued either as a term of endearment or to denote a fool. It may 
be noted that in a similar way the word dote originally meant 

* to be silly * and now * to love excessively.' Comp. Lye. 56, Son, 
xiz. 8, Sams. Agon, 1686. 

6. possess, occupy, fill : ' occupy the imaginations of the foolish 
with gaudy shapes or appearances.' In the Engli^ Bible we 
read of <*a man possessed of a devil," f.e. occupied by an evil 

For 'shapes,' comp. L*AUeg. 4. 

7. tbldc, abundant, close together, here qualifying * shapes ' : 
comp. '* thick-coming fancies, Macbeth, v. 3. Tne dif&rent 
senses of the word are seen in 'thick as hail,' 'thick fluid,' 

* thickly populated,' 'thick-head,' thick-skinned,' 'a thick fog,' 
'a thick stick,' etc. 

8. motes, particles of dust : here called ' gay ' because dancing 
in the sunbeam. See Matt, viL 3. 

people tlie sun-beams. The specks of dust are said to 
people or occupy the sunbeams because it is chiefly in the direct 
rays of the sun that they become visible. By using the verb ' to 
people' Milton strengthens the comparison between them and 
the shapes or images that occupy the idle imagination. 

9. Ukest, adj. superlative degree, qualifying 'shapes.' 'Like' 
is now an exception to the rule for the formation of the compara- 
tive and superlative forms of monosyllabic adjectives: we say 
'more like, 'most like.' But, in Milton's time, there was 
greater grammatical freedom, and in Comus^ 57 he uses "more 
like. " He also has such forms as resolutest, exquisitest, elegantest, 
moralest, etc. , which according to present usage are inadmissible. 
In such phrases as ' like his father,' ' like ' has come to have the 
force of a preposition, but in the phrase ' likest hovering dreams,' 
the noun is governed by ' to * understood, as in Latin it would 
be in the dative case. 

10. fickle pensioners ...train, inconstant attendants of sleep. 
Morpheus, the son of Sleep and the god of Dreams : the name 
means literally 'the G^aper,' he who creates those shapes or 
images seen in dreams. Morpheus was generally represented 
with a cup in one hand and in the other a bunch of poppies, from 
which opium is prepared : hence the word 'morphia.' 

'Pensioners,' followers. Queen Elizabeth had a body^ard of 
handsome young men of noble birth, whom she st;^ed her 
Pensioners. A 'pensioner' is strictly one who receives a pen- 
sion, and hence a dependent. ^ 'Train,' something drawn along 
(Lat. traho, to draw) ; hence train of a dress (line 34), of carriages, 
of followers. 

See note on L'AUegro, 10, regarding the imagery and metre of 
the first ten lines of this poem. 


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11. hall I an old form of salutation, meaning 'may you be in 
health ' : the word is cognate with hale, heal, etc. 

12. dlvlnest. The superlative degree of adjectives is often 
used in Latin to mark a high degree of a quality, when the thing 
spoken of is not compared with the rest of a class. This is the 
€U)8olute use of the superlative, as here. 

13. visage, face, mien (Lat. wsum, * that which is seen*). The 
word is now mostly used to express contempt. 

14. To hit the sense, etc. : to be distinguishable by human 
eyes. It is a fact that light may be of such intensity that the 
sense of sight loses all discriminative power. So we speak of a 
* blinding * flash of light. For the use of the verb * hit' compare 
Arcades, 77 ; in Antony and Gleop, ii. 2 Shakespeare speaks of a 
pei^ume hitting the sense of smell. The expression is obsolete. 

15. weaker view, feeble power of vision. 'Weaker* is used 
absolutely: comp. * divinest,* 1. 12, and 'profaner,*L 140. This 
is also a Latin usage. 

16. 0*erlaid, overlaid, covered, in order to reduce the intensity 
of the brightness of Melancholv*s face. Milton thus skilfully 
converts the association of blackness and melancholy, which in 
L* Allegro makes her repulsive, into an expression of praise, and 
at the same time connects Melancholy with Wisdom — one of 
the purposes of the poem. Li the Anat, of Mel, there is a 
reference to the disputed question whether 'all learned men, 
famous philosophers, and lawgivers have been melancholy.* 

Comp. Exodus, xxxiv. 29, where Moses is said, after having 
been in God's presence, to have covered his face with a veil in 
order that the children of Israel might be able to look upon him. 

staid, steady, sober, grave: the root is 'stay.* 

17. Black, but etc. There is an ellipsis here, the construction 
being : (It is true that she is) black, but (it is) such black as 
might become a beautiful princess like Prince Menmon's sister. 

such as : see note on UAUeg, 29 : comp. lines 106, 145. 

in esteem, in our estimation. ' Esteem * as a verb is now 
used onlv to express high regard for a person; but the noun, 
though chiefly used in the same sense, may be used along with 
adjectives which convey a contrary meaning, e.g, poor esteem, 
low esteem, etc. 'Esteem,* 'aim, and 'estimate' are cognate 
(Lat. aestimo), 

18. Prince Memnon*8 sister : Memnon, the son of Tithonus and 
Eos (Aurora), was king of the Ethiopians, and fought in aid of 
Priam in the Trojan war ; he was killed by Achilles. Though 
dark-skinned, he was famous for his beauty, and his sister 
(Hemera) would presumably be even more beautiful. The 


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morning dew-drops were said by the ancient Greeks to be the 
tears of Aurora for her dead son, Memnon. 

18. beseem, snit, become. This is the original sense of the 
simple verb 9eem ; compare the adjective «eem^y= becoming, 
decent. < Beseem ' here governs < sister ' and < queen. ' 

19. starred Etbiop queen : Cassiopea, wife of Cepheus, king of 
Ethiopia. According to one version of her story, she boasted 
that the beauty of her daughter Andromeda exceeded that of the 
Nereids; according to another version (adopted by Milton) it 
was her own beauty of which she boasted. fx>r her presumption 
Ethiopia was ravaged by a sea-monster, from whose laws Andro- 
meda was saved by her lover Perseus. After death both mother 
and daughter were starredy i.e. changed into stars or constella- 
tions. This is probably why Milton calls the former * starred': it 
miffht, however, mean 'placed amongst the stars,' or even 

* adorned with stars,' as she was so represented in old charts of 
the heavens. 

20. 1. above tlie Bea-Nsrmphs : this is an instance of elliptical 
comparison {compctrcUio compendiaria), the full construction 
being, 'to set her beauty's praise above (that of) the Sea- 

21. *And (by so doing) offended their powers.' * Powers '= 
divinities (Lat. numina). 

22. biglier far descended, far more highly descended. 'Higher' 
is an adverb modifying ' descended.' * To be of high descent *= 

* to be of noble birth.' 

23. Tliee is the object and Vesta the nom. of ' bore.' 
Iirlght-liaixed : with this compound adjective comi>are 

neat-handed, smooth-shaven, civil-suited, dewy-feathered, wide- 
watered, fresh-blown, hi^h-embowed, etc., all of which occur in 
these poems. They consist of an adjective and a participle, the 
adjective representing an adverb. 

Vesta. As in the case of Mirth, Milton gives Melancholy 
that genealogy which he thinks best suited to his purpose. 
Vesta, among the Romans, was the goddess of the domestic 
hearth; every dwelling was, therefore, in a sense a temple of 
Vesta. Her symbol was a fire kept bumins on her altar by the 
Vestals, her virgin priestesses ; and by making her the mother 
of Melajicholy, Milton signifies that the melancholy of H Pen- 
seroso is not the gloominess of the misanthrope nor the unhappi- 
ness of the man of impure heart, but the contemplative disposi- 
tion of a pure and sympathetic souL 

long of yore, long years aco. * Of yore ' is an adverbial 
phrase like 'of old' and is modified by 'long.' The original 
sense of ' yore ' is ' of years,' ».e. in years past. 


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24. BoUtazy SatnxiL The Bomansattribnted the introduction of 
the habits of civilized life to Saturn, the son of Uranus and 
Terra, and it seems to be for this reason that Milton makes 
Vesta, the pure goddess of the hearth, his daughter. He is 
called ' solitary ' either because he devoured his own offspring or 
because he was dethroned by his sons ; in either case it is clear 
that Milton signifies that Melancholy comes from Solitude or 
Retirement. Ci astrology the planet Saturn was supposed, by 
its influence, to cause melancholy, and persons of a gloomy 
temperament are said to be ScUurmne ; m the old science of 
palmistry also, there was a line on the palm of the hand called 
the Saturnine line, which was believed to indicate melancholy. 

25. His daughter she ; she was his daughter. Some editors 
read 'she (being) his daughter,* making the construction abso- 
lute. But it must be remembered that in Latin the noun or 
pronoun in the absolute clause cannot be the subject or object of 
the principal clause, as it would be here; and, ftuilier, the 
punctuation favours the view that ' his daughter she ' is to be 
taken as an independent clause. 

26. was not held a stain, was not considered to be a reproach. 
A^hological genealogies are apparently governed by no law. 
' Held ' is here a verb of incomplete predication. 

27. Oft, original form of * often,' which was at first used only 
before vowels or the letter hi comp. L* Allegro, 53. 

C^Ummdrinfi: ... glades. 'Glimmer' is a frequentative of 
' gleam,' t.e. gleaming at intervals. ' Glade ' is an open space in 
a wood. 

29. woody Ida. This probably refers to Mt. Ida in the island 
of Crete ; Zeus or Jupiter was said to have been brought up in a 
cave in that mountain, though some traditions connect his name 
with Mt. Ida in Asia Minor. Here Saturn met Vesta before 
Jove (le, Jupiter) was bom. Saturn's reign was called the 
Golden Age of Italy. 

30. yet, as yet, up to that time. In modem English we 
cannot omit * as * before * yet ' when * yet ' precedes the verb ; if 
we do, the meaning of 'yet' would be changed to 'nevertheless.* 
In Shakespeare this omission of ' as * before ' yet ' is common in 
negative cLstuses. 

fear of Jove. Saturn was dethroned Iw his sons, and his 
realm distributed by lot between Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto. 
See Comu8 20, and Keats' Hyperion, 

31. pensive, thoughtful: comp. Lye. 147. It is from Lat. 
pendo, to weigh : so we speak of a person weighing his words. 

|lun^ a woman who devotes herself to celibacy and seclu- 


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aion ; hence the word is well applied to the daughter of pure 
Vesta and solitary Saturn : comp. 1. 103. 

31. devout ; radically the same word as ' devoted ' ; the former 
is used in the general sense of ' pious/ applied to those given up 
or vowed to rehgious exercises ; while the latter is used of strong 
attachment of any kind, — ^to God, to any sacred purpose, to 
friends, etc 

32. steadfast, constant, resolute : comp. * staid,' line 16 ; and 
' bested/ line 3. The suffix -fast means * firm,' as in the phrases 
*fast bound,' 'fast asleep,' 'fast colour,' and in the words 
* fasten' and 'fastness.' 

demure, modest. Trench points out that this is the 
primary meaning of the word, though it now implies that the 
modesty is assumed. It is from the Trench de (bona) meurs, i,e, 
of good manners. The Latin word mores (manners) was used in 
the sense of ' character' ; hence our word moral. For the form of 
the word, comp. 'debonair,* VAlleg, 24. 

33. All : this may be taken as an adverb modifying the phrase 
' in a robe of darkest grain.' Comp. ' all in white ' ^on, xxiii.) ; 
all=from head to foot. 

grain, purple colour. It is interesting to trace the various 
uses of this word to its primary sense ' a small seed. ' It came to 
be applied to any small seed-like object, then to any minute 
particle {e.g. grains of sand); it was thus used of the small 
cochineal insects, whose bodies yield a variety of red dyes, and 
finally to the dyes so obtained. Hence 'grain,' as used here, 
denotes a dark purple, sometimes called Tynan purple. But, as 
these dyes were very durable, ' to dye in grain * came to mean 
' to dye deeply ' or ' to dye in fast colours ' ; and, more generally 
still, we speak of a habit or a vice being ' ingrained ' in a person^s 
character. Comp. Com, 750, Par, Lost, v. 285, xL 242, and 
Chaucer's Squire's Tale — 

" So deep in grain he dyed his colours." 
(The word 'grain,' from its sense of 'particle,' is applied also to 
the arrangement of particles or the texture of wood or stone, 
and even of cloth.) 

35. And (in) sable stole of csrpress lawn, in a black scarf of fine 
linen crape. 

' Sable,' here used in the sense of ' black,' this being the colour 
of the best sable fur. The stole (Lat. stola) worn by Roman 
ladies was a long flounced robe, reaching to the feet, short- 
sleeved, and girded round the waist. Muton, however, means 
a hood or veil, which was first passed round the neck and then 
over the face : such a stole was worn to denote mourning. The 
word is now used onlv of a long narrow scarf, fringed at both 
ends, and worn by ecclesiastics. 


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' Cypress' (often spelt ei/prus) by itself denotes * crape,* a word 
which is probably from the same root (Lat. crispus, curled) ; 
when combined with * lawn/ it denotes crape of the finest kind. 
The spelling gave rise to the theory that ' cypress ' was so caUed 
because first made in the island of Cyprus (which has given a 
name to copper), but this is doubtful. 

*Lawn' is really a sort of fine linen: a bishop's surplice is 
made of it. Comp. Pope's line — 

" A saint in crape is twice a saint in laion," 

36. decent shoulders. The Latin decens meant either ' graceful ' 
or 'becoming.' Milton uses the word in the former sense else- 
where, and may also do so here. If it is used in the latter sense 
it is proleptic, the stole being drawn over the shoulders so as to 
be becoming. 

37. wonted state, usual stately manner. Here ' state ' refers 
to the dignified approach of the goddess : in Arc. 81 it has its 
older and more restricted sense = seat of honour. * To keep 
state ' was to occupy the seat of honour. 

* Wonted ' = accustomed. This is apparently the past par- 
ticiple of a verb to wont (see Com. 332) ; but the old verb wonen, 
to dwell or to be accustomed, had woned or wont for its participle. 
The fact that ' wont ' was a participle was forgotten, and a new 
form was introduced — * wonted ' ( = won-ed-ed). The two forms 
have now distinct uses : ' wont ' is used as a noun = custom, or 
as a participial adjective with the verb * to be ' (see line 123) ; 
* wonted ' is used only as an adjective, never predicatively. 

38. musiiig gait, contemplative manner of walking. * Gait ' is 
cognate with * gate ' = a way, perhaps the same word : it is a 
mistake to connect either of these words radically with the 
verb *go.' 

39. And (with) looks commercing, ete. Milton may mean 
not only that the looks of the goddess were turned to heaven, 
but also that she was communing with heaven : this would give 
additional significance to 1. 40. The use of the word ' commerce ' 
has been restricted in two ways — (1) by being applied only to 
trade, whereas Shakespeare, Milton, and others use it of any 
kind of intercourse, and (2) by beingused only as a norm, whereas 
Milton used it as verb and noun. He also accents it here on the 
second syllable. The Latin commerdum was of general applica- 
tion : comp. Ovid's Tristia, v. 10, " Exercent illi socise commercia 

40. rapt, enraptured : to be rapt in thought is to be so occupied 
with one's thoughts as to become oblivious to what is around, as 
if the mind or soul had been carried away (Lat. rapttts, seized) : 
comp. 'ecstasies,' 1. 165 and note, and Com. 794. Milton also 
used the word of the actual snatehing away of a person : ' What 


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accident hath rapt him from us/ Par, Lost, ii 40. (The stadent 
should note that there is a participle *rapt' from the English 
verb * rap,' to seize quickly ; from this root comes ' rape,' while 
'rapine/ 'rapid,' 'rapacious,' etc., are from the Latin root.) 

40. soul, nominative absolute. On the expressiveness of the 
eye, comp. Tennyson's line — 

** Her eyes are homes of silent prayer." 

41. There, in that position. 

held in holy passion BtiU, held motionless through holy 
emotion. ^Passion' (Lat. patior) is here used in its primary 
sense of ' feeling or emotion ' : it is used in this sense in the Bible 
[Acta, ziv. 15, Jaa. v. 17). It was then applied to pain or suffer- 
ing, as in the phrase 'Passion week.' The word is now used 
chiefly of anger or eager desire. There are two cognate adjec- 
tives, paiient and passive. 

Forget thyself to marble, become as insensible as a marble 
statue to all around. Comp. On SfiaJcespeare, 14. The same idea 
occurs in the phrase ' to be petrified with astonishment.' 

43. With a sad leaden, etc. : with the eyes cast down towards 
the earth as if in sadness or deep thought. " Leaden-coloured 
eye-sockets betoken melancholy, or excess of thoughtfulness " 
(Masson). The poet Gray has the same idea : " With leaden eye 
that loves the ground." 

44. fl^ subjunctive after ' till,' because referring to the future. 
The subjunctive mood after ' till ' and ' when ' is now generally 
superseded by the indicative : comp. lines 44, 122, 173. 

as fast, as steadfastly (as they were before fixed on the 
skies) : see note on 1. 38. 

46. Spare Fast. Frugality of life is here personified and repre- 
sented as lean. Milton, in his writings, frequently associates 
plain living with high thinking, and in his own habits he waa 
extremely frugal and abstemious. In his sixth Elegy he declares 
that, though the elegiac poets may be inspired by good cheer, 
the poet who wishes to sing of noble and elevated themes (to 
' diet with the gods ') must follow the frugal precepts of Pytha- 
goras : ' the poet is sacred ; he is the pnest of heaven, and hin 
bosom conceives, and his mouth utters, the hidden god.' This 
is the idea conveyed in lines 47, 48. See Comus 764 for the 
praises of temperance, and also Son. xx. 

doth diet And hears. There is here a change of ffram- 
matical construction due to change of thought : we should say 
either ' doth diet and (doth) hear ' or ' diets and hears.' 

47. Muses: the eoddesses who presided over the different 
kinds of poetry and the arts and sciences were daughters of 
Jupiter, and lived on Mount Olympus. 


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48.' Aye, ever, always. 'Sing,* 'infinitive after 'hecbrs.' 

50. trim, well-kept, and pleasing to the eye : comp. UAUeg, 
75. Li Milton*8 time the style of gardening was extremely 
artificiaL Shakespeare and Milton both have the word * trim ' 
in the sense of ' adornment.' 

bis, is not here used for tto. Leisure being personified. 

51. first and cMefest, above all. According to modem usage 
the form * chiefest ' would be a double superlative, but, as Milton 
avoids double comparatives and superlatives, it is probable that 
' chief ' is not to bs taken in its strict sense, but merely as de- 
noting a high degree of importance ; it would therefore admit 
of comparison. Shakespeare, on the contrary, often used a 
double comparative or superlative merely for emphasis. 

52. yon, yonder, an adverb; in Milton it is generally an 
adjective: comp. Arc, 36. It is now used only as an adjective, 
and 'yonder' as an adjective or adverb. 

soaTB on g61den wing, etc. '<A daring use of the ^reat 
vision, in Ezehidy chap, x., of the sapphire throne, the whe^ of 
which were four cherubs, each wheel or cherub full of eyes all 
over, while in the midst of them, and underneath the throne, was 
a burning fire. Milton, whether on any hint from previous 
Biblical commentators I know not, ventures to name one of these 
cherubs who guide the fiery wheelings of the visionary throne. 
He is the Cherub Contemplation. It was by the serene faculty 
named Contemplation that one attained the clearest notion of 
divine things, — mounted, as it were, into the very blaze of the 
Eternal " (Masson). In Com. 307 Milton makes Contemplation 
the nurse of Wisdom. 

* Cherub' and 'Contemplation' are in apposition to 'him,' 
1. 52. ' Contemplation ' is to be pronounced nere as a word of 
five syllables. 

55. hist along : imperative of the verb ' to hist ' = to bring 
silently along, or to call to in a whisper. The word is here very 
expressive ; Silence is summoned by the word which is used to 
command silence. There is no doubt that 'hist,' 'hush,' and 
'whist' are imitative sounds all used originally as interjections ; 
they were afterwards used as verbs, their past participles being 
hist, hushed, and wJiisL Hence Skeat thinks that ' hist ' in the 
above line is a past participle = hushed, t.e. " bring along with 
thee the mute, hushed Silence." This is an improM.ble render- 
ing. * Hist ' is now used only as an interjection, and ' whist * 
only as an interjection and the name of a game at cards. 

It may be noted that as Silence is here personified, there is no 
tautology in describing her as ' mute.' 

56. 'Less, unless. 'Un' in the word 'unless' is not th« 
negative prefix, but the preposition *on.' 


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66. FMlomel, the iiightingale (GRreek Ph/ilomUa = lover of 
melody). According to legend, she was a daughter of Pandion, 
Kine of Attica, and was clubnged at her own praver into a night- 
ingale to escape the vengeance of her hrother-in-law Tereos. See 
Son, i. and notes. 

deign a song, he pleased to sing (Lat. dignor = to think 

57. plight, strain. There are two words '.plight' of diverse 
origin and use, and editors of Milten differ as to which is used 
here. (1) ' Plight ' = something plcUted or interwoven, and so 
applicable to a strain of sounds interwoven, as in the nightingale's 
song: Milton, in this sense, speaks of the 'plighted clouds,' 
Com, 301. (2) ' Plight^' = something promised, a duty or condition, 
now chiefly used to signify an unfortunate condition (A.S. pliht, 
danger). The former is probably the meaning here. 

58. Smoothing the ragged brow of Night, i.e, softening the 
stem aspect of night. See the same idea of the power of music 
repeated in Com. 251— 

" Smoothing the raven down 
Of darkness till it smiled." 

• Smoothing * qualifies * Philomel.' 

59. While Cynthia, etc. : the nightingale's song being so sweet 
that the moon in rapture checks herself in her course in order to 

Cynthia, a surname of the Greek Artemis, the goddess of the 
moon, as Gynthius was of her brother Apollo, the ^m1 of the sun ; 
both were bom on Mount Gynthus in the isle of Delos. The 
Romans identified their goddess Diana with Artemis, and in this 
character she rode in a chariot drawn by four stags. Milton, 
however, here and elsewhere, speaks of cu^agons being yoked to 
her chariot : this applies rather to Geres, the goddess of plenty. 
Shakespeare refers frequently to the ** dragons of the Night." 

On * check,' see note on L'AUeg. 96. 

60. the accustomed oak, the oak where the nightingale was 
accustomed to sins, and where the poet perhaps had often listened 
to it. He may r^er (as Masson suggests) to some particular oak 
over which he had himself often watched the moon, thus giving a 
personal touch to his bold fancy. The use of the definite article 

* the ' favours this view. 

61. shunn'st the noise of folly, avoidest the revels of the foolish. 
' Noise,' in Elizabethan writers, has often the sense of ' music,' 
and it is used by Ben Jonson and Shakespeare to denote ' a com- 
pany of musicians.' The 'noise of folly' might thus mean 'a 
company of foolish singers or revellers.' 


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62. Most muBieal, most melanclioly ! As in 1. 57 the poet 
associated sweetness and sadness, so also in this line, almost as if 
music and melancholy were causally related. Comp. Shelley, To 
a Skylark — 

" Our sincerest laughter 
With some pain is fraught ; 
Our sweetest songs are those that tell ot saddest thought." 

63. I often woo thee, chauntress, among the woods in order to 
hear thy even-song. * Chauntress,* the feminine of *chaunter,* 
one who chants or sings. * To enchant ' is to charm by song. 

65. miflslng tbee, if I miss thee, i.e. if I do not hear thy song. 

unseen : see note on ' not unseen,* UAUeg, 57. It has been 
argued from these words that H Penseroso must have been written 
before L* Allegro, 

66. emootli-Bhayen green, where the grass has been newly cut. 
' Green * a« a noun applies to ' a flat stretch of grass-grown land.* 
For the form of the compound adjective see note on L AUeg, 22, 
and comp. * wide- watered,* 'civil-suited,* * high-embow^d,* etc. 

67. wandering moon. The epithet < wandering * is frequently 
applied to the moon in Latin and Italian poetry : "vo^ga luna, * 
Horace, Sat. L 8 ; ** errantem lunam,*' Virgil, JEn, i. 742. 

68. noon : here used in its general sense = highest position ; 
comp. the general use of the word ' zenith.* Ben Jonson speaks 
of the "noon of night,*' and Milton in Sams. Agon, applies it to 
men — " amidst their highth of rwon, " The word is in prose usually 
restricted to the sense of * mid-day ' ; it is derived from the Lat. 
nonus, ninth, and the church services held at the ninth hour of 
the day (3 p.m.) were called nones. When these were changed to 
midday, the word ' noon * was used to denote that hour, and nence 
its present use. 

Some interpret ' highest noon * as implying that the moon is 
nearly full. 

69. Like one : see note on 1. 9. ' Like * is an adjective ; ' one * 
is governed by * to ' understood. 

72. Stooping : Keightley*s note on this is : " He alludes here 
to that curious optical illusion by which, as the clouds pass over 
the moon, it seems to be she, not they, that is in motion. This 
is peculiarly observable when the wind is high, and the clouds 
are driven alons with rapidity.** 'Stooping and 'riding* are 
co-ordinate attnoutes of ' moon.' 

73. plat of rising ground, 'level top of some hillock.' 'Plat 
is a plot or small piece of level ground : plot is the A.S. form of 
the word. Its relation etymologically with, flat plate, etc., is 
doubtful, though commonly taken for granted. 


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74. enrfew found. * Curfew' (Fr. eotivre-/ett = fire-ooyer), 
the bell that was rung at eight or nine o'clock in the evening as 
a signal that all fires and lights were to be extinguished. As this 
custom was still in force in Milton's time the sound would be 
familiar to him, though he is not here closely detailing his own 
experiences. It must be remembered also that 'curfew' or 
'curfew bell' was sometimes used in the more general sense of 
* a bell that sounded the hours. ' *. Sound, ' infinitive after * hear'; 
'to' (the so-called sign of the infinitive) being omitted after such 
verbs as make, see, hear, feel, bid, eto. 

75. some wide-watered shore, the shore of some wide 'water.' 
These words do not show whether the poet refers to a lake, a 
river {e,g, the Thames), or even the sea-shore, for the word 
wcUer may be used of any of these, and shore may be em- 
ployed in its primary sense of 'boundary' or 'edge.' It is 
pointed out by Masson that in every other case in wmch Milton 
uses the word ' shore ' he refers to the sea or to some vast ex|Mmse 
of water. 'Some' shows that the poet is describing an ideal 
scene, not an actual one. 

76. Swinging idow : this would be an apt desciiption of the 
sound of the distant sea, but it more probably refers to the 
curfew. Shakespeare has ' sullen bell ' {King Jienry IV. Pt. IL 
i. 1). Notice the effect of the rhythm and alliteration of this 
line in bringing out the meaning. 

77. air, weather, state of the atmosphere. 

78. Some stiH removed place, some quiet and retired spot 
(comp. 1. 81). The Latin participle remotuft (=moved back) 
meant either ' retired ' or ' distant ' : Milton here uses ' removed ' 
in the former sense, and Shakespeare has the same usage, em- 
ploying also the noun ' removedness'= solitude. In modem 
English, when 'remote' is used without any qualification, it 
almost always denotes distance, either in time or place. 

wUl fit, will be suited to my mood. In lines 77, 78, we 
find a future tense both in the principal and conditional clauses. 
This sequence of tenses is allowable in English, but the tense of 
the conditional clause may be varied, e.g. : 

(1) Fut. Indie. " If the air vnU not permit,'' etc 

(2) Pres. Indie. " If the air does not permit^** etc. 

(3) Pres. Subjunc " If the o,iT do not permit,** ete. 

The first form is the least common, though many Indian studente 
use it invariably : it is a good rule to avoid it. 

79. tlirongli tbe room; adverbial phrase modifying ' to counter- 

80. Teach light, ete. : the red-hot ashes merely serve to make 
the darkness visible. It will be observed that the poet has now 


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shifted the scene from the country to the town, or at least from 
out-of-doors to indoors. 

81. This line qualifies ' place,' line 78. 

82. 8aye= except. The meaning is that the room would be 
perfectly quiet except for the cmrping of the cricket on the 
hearth or the cry of the night-watchmcui. The cricket is an 
insect somewhat resembling a grasshopper, which makes a chirp- 
ing noise. 

83. bellman's drowsy charm. The watchman who, before the 
introduction of the modem police system, patrolled the streets at 
night, calling the hours, looking out for fires, thieves, and other 
nocturnal evils. He was accustomed to drawl forth scraps of 
pious poetry to • charm ' away danger. The word * drowsy may 
miply that these ^ardians of the night were of little use, being 
often half or whoUy asleep. 

84. nlglitly liann : comp. note on Arcades, 48. 

85. let my lamp. ''Evidently we are now back in the country, 
in the turret of some solitary mansion, where there are boolcis, 
and perhaps astronomical instruments. How fine, however, not 
to give us the inside view of the turret-room first, but to imagine 
some one far off outside observing the ray of light slanting from 
its window ! " (Masson). The construction is, * Let (you) my 
lamp (to) be seen : ' * let ' is imperative, with an infinitive com- 

87. oatw&tdi the Bear. ' Out ' as a prefix here means beyond 
or over, as in outweigh, outvote, outwit, outrun, etc. ; and 
' watch '= wake. *'To outwatch the Bear" is therefore to re- 
main awake till daybreak, for the constellation of the Great Bear 
does not set below the horizon in northern latitudes, and only 
vanishes on account of the daylight. WcUch and toake are cog^ 
nate with wadt: hence Chaucer's allusion in the 8quire*8 Tale, 
where the maker of the wonderful brass horse is said to '* have 
waited many a constellation Ere he had done this operation." 

88. Wltb tbriee great Hermes, t.e. reading the books attributed 
to Hermes Trismeeistus (t.e. ' thrice-great '). He was an ancient 
Egyptian philoso^er named Thot or Theut, whom the Greeks 
identified with their cod Hermes (the Latin Mercury) ; the new 
Platonists regarded him as the source of all knowledge, even 
Pjrthagoras and Plato having (it was pretended) derived their 
philosophy from him. A large number of works, really composed 
m the fourth century a.d., were ascribed to him, the most impor- 
tant beinff the Poemander, a dialogue treating of nature, the 
creation of the world, the deity, the numan soul, etc. 

or ungphere Tbe spirit of Plato, " or may bring back the 
spirit of Plato from heaven," f.e. may search out the doctrines of 


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Plato by a careful study of hiii writings. ' Unsphere ' is a hybrid 
(EInglisn and Greek) ; the verbal prefix denotes the reversal of 
an action as in unlock, unload, etc, and is distinct from the 
negative prefix in untrue, uncouth, etc. ' Unsphered ' is obsolete, 
so is ' insphered * {Com, 3-6) : we stUl speak, however, of a per- 
son's sphere or rank, but without the literal reference which the 
word always has in Milton's writings. 

89. to unfold What worlds : infinitive of purpose = to unfold 
those worlds which, etc. The allusion is to one of Plato's 
dialogues, the PhaedOy in which he discusses the state of the soul 
after the death of the body. Gomp. ComuB 463-475. 

91. forsook, forsaken. 'Forsook,' a form of the past tense, 
here used as a past participle. It must not be supposed that the 
word ' forsaken ' did not exist. MUton, like Shakespeare {Othello 
iv. 2), deliberately uses a form of the past tense : comp. Are. 4. 

92. Her mansion in this fleshly nook, her temporary abode in 
the body. Trench points out that ' mansion ' in our early litera- 
ture is frequently used to denote a * place of tarrying,' which 
might be for a longer or a shorter time : this is evidently the 
sense here : comp. Contua 2. The * fleshly nook ' is the body, so 
called in order to contrast it with the * immortal mind.' I/>cke 
calls the body the ' clay cottage ' of the mind, and in the Bible it 
is sometimes compared to a temple or tabernacle (2 Cwr, v. 1, 
2 Pet, L 13) ! comp. 'earthy,' Son, xiv. 3. 

The use of the possessive ' her ' in this line may be explained 
by the fact that the Lat. mens (the mind) is feminine : it must be 
remembered also that its was not yot in general use and that 
Milton is fond of the feminine personification : comp. 1. 143. 

93. And of those demons. This, like ' worlds,' depends gram- 
matically upon ' unfold,' but as ' to unfold of ' is an awkward 
construction we may here supply some verb like * tell.' This is 
an instance of zeugma. 

In Plato's TimaeuSj Pfiaedo, Critias, etc., we find references 
to the Greek c{atmo7ia= spirits, who were not necessarily bad ; in 
fact it was a subject of discussion with some of the Platonists 
whether there were bad, as well as good, spirits. During the 
Middle Ages the different orders and powers of demons or spirits 
were very variously stated : one writer (quoted io. Anat, of Md.) 
gives six kinds of sublunary spirits — "fiery, aerial, terrestrial, 
watery, and subterranean, besides fairies, satvrs, nymphs, etc." 
Milton here refers to four of these classes, each being conversant 
with one of the four elements — fire, air, water, earth. This 
division of the elements or elemental forms of matter dates £rom 
Uie time of the Greek philosopher Empedocles (b.o. 470). 

95. consent; the demons are in sympathetic relation with 
certain planets and elements ; t,g, one writer made ** seven kinds 


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of aethereal spirits or angels, according to the number of the 
seven planets, and in Pcur. Reg, ii. Milton represents the fallen 
aneels as presiding, nnder Satan, as powers over earth, air, fire, 
and water, and causing storms and disasters. 

' Consent ' is here used in its radical sense (L. con, with, and 
smtirey to feel), an exact rendering of the Greek sym-pathy, 
Comp. 1 Henry VL L 1. 

97. Sometime, on some occasion : comp. VAUeg, 57. H Pen- 
seroso here passes to the study of the greatest and most solemn 
tragic writers. 

98. sceptred pall, kingly robe. Both the pall and the sceptre 
were insignia of royalty, and in ancient dtreek tragedies the 
kmgs and queens wore a sleeved tunic {chiton) falling to the feet, 
and over this a shawl-like garment called by the Romans padla. 
Prof. Hales suggests that * m sceptred pall * may here mean * with 
pall and with sceptre,' f.e. two things are expressed by one : 
comp. 11. 75 and I4i8. 

99. Presenting Thebes, etc. * Present' is here used in its 
technical sense, 'to represent'; we now speak of a theatrical 
* representation.' Comp. Arcades^ svb-titU, 

Aeschylus has a drama called Seven against Thebea ; this city 
is also referred to in the Antigone and (Edipvs of Sophocles, and 
the Baechae of Euripides. Pelops (from whom the Peloponnesus 
is said to have derived its name) was the father of Atreus and 
great-grandfather of Agamemnon ; his name was so celebrated 
that it was constantly used by the poets in cozmection with his 
descendants and the cities tnev inhabited. And the 'tale of 
!lSH)y divine' {i,€, the story of the Trojan war) is dealt with in 
various plays by Sophocles and Euripides. Troy is here called 
' divine because, during its long siege, the gods took the keenest 
interest in the contest. 

101, 102. These lines certainly refer to Shakespeare's great 
tragedies, and the words ' though rare' probably express Milton's 
sense both of Shakespeare's superiority over his contemporaries, 
and of the comparative barrenness of the English tragic drama 
until Shakespeare arose. (Comp. the preface to Sama, Agon.) 
We thus see clearly that the language applied to Shakespeare in 
L*AllegrOi 133, referred to one aspect of the poet ; here we have 
the other. 

baskined stage, the tragic drama. ' Buskin ' (Lat. 
cothumtu) was a high-heeled boot worn by Greek tragic actors 
in order to add to uieir stature, and so to their dignity : comp. 
L*A Ueg, 132. The words * buskin ' and * sock * came to denote 
the kinds of drama to which they belonged ; and even to express 
certain styles of composition: thus Quintilian says, "Comedy 
does not strut in tragic buskins, nor does tragedy step along iq 

a.T. II, 8 


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the slipper of comedy." Grammatically, *what' ib nom. to 

* hath ennobled/ its suppressed antecedent being obj. of * pre- 

103. sad Virgin, •.«. Melancholy : oomp. L 31. 

that thy pcywer, etc. : 'would that thy power,' or 'I 
would that thy ^wer.' This construction (whi^ has aU the 
force of an interjection) is often used to express a wish that 
cannot be realized. 'Raise' (L 104), 'bid' (C 105), and 'caU' 
(L 109) are all co-ordiaate verbs. 

104. Mnsseus, like Orpheus, a semi-mythological personage, 
represented as one of the earliest Greek poets. Milton here 
expresses a wish that his sacred hymns could be recovered. For 

* bower,' comp. Son, viii. 9. 

105. For the story of Orpheus, see note on L* Allegro, 145. 

106. warbled to the string, sung to the accompaniment of a 
stringed instrument : see note on Arc, 87. 

107. Drew iron tears. This expresses the inflexible nature of 
Pluto, the god of the lower world. In the same way we speaJc 
of an • iron will,' * iron rule,' etc. 

109. him that, etc.: Chaucer, who left his Squire*8 Tale un- 
finished. In this tale (one of the richest of the Canterbury 
Tales) we read of the Tartar king, Cambus Khdn. Chaucer, like 
Milton, writes the name as one word, but, unlike Milton, and 
more correctly, he does not accent the penult. The following 
extracts (from Tyrwhitt's edition of Chaucer) explain the alln- 
sions — 

This noble king, this Tartar Cambuscan, 
Had two sounds by Elfeta his wife. 
Of which the eldest son hight Algarsife, 
That other was ycleped Camballo, 
A daughter had this worthy king also, 
That youngest was, and hight3 Canace . . « • 
In at the hall3 door all suddenly 
There came a knight upon a steed of brass. 
And in his hand a broad mirror of glass ; 
Upon his thumb he had of gold a ring 
And by his side a naked sword hanging. 
The king of ' Araby and Ind ' had sent the horse as a present to 
Cambuscan, and the mirror and ring to Canac^. liulton may 
have included Chaucer sonongst the ' great bards ' in whom U. 
Penseroso delighted, because the thought of the earliest Greek 
poets suggested Chaucer, " the well of English undefiled," or (as 
Masson thinks) because the reference to the lost poems of Greece 
suggested the unfinished poem of Chaucer. Milton was well 
acquainted with the Squires TcUe and with subsequent continu%- 
tions of it {e.g. bv Spenser). 


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112L wlio liad Canao^ to wife : (of him) who was Ganac^'s hus- 
band. Chaucer does not mention his name (except where he 
mistakenly calls him Camballo) : Spenser makes her the wife of 
Triamond. 'To wife'; in such phrases 'to' seems to denote 
the end or purpose. 

113. Tliat, rel. pronoun, antecedent Canac^. 

Ylrtuons, full of power or efficacy. The Lat. virtus^ 
manly excellence. In the English Bible ' virtue ' is used in the 
sense of strength or power (comp. Com. 165), and we still say 
* by virtue of *=by the power of. But the adjective * virtuous ' 
now denotes only moral excellence. 

The ring referred to above, when worn on the thumb or 
carried in the purse, enabled the wearer to understand the 
language of birds and the healing properties of all herbs. The 
glass or mirror enabled its owner to look into the future and into 
men's hearts. 

114. of the wondrous horse, ac. the story. Readers of the 
Artibian Nights Entertainment will remember the story of the 
enchanted horse, regarding which Warton says : " The imagina- 
tion of this story consists m Arabiskn fiction, engrafted on Gothic 
chivalry. Nor is this Arabian fiction purely the sport of arbitrary 
fancy ; it is, in a great measure, founded, on Arabian learning. 
The idea of a horse of brass took its rise from the mechanical 
knowledge of the Arabians, and their experiments in metals." 

116. If aught else, whatever else. This is a Latinism : many 
clauses in lAtin introduced by 8t quid^ si quando, etc. are best 
introduced in English by such words as 'whatever,' 'when- 
ever,' etc. 

great bards beside, other great bards. The poets referred 
to are such as Ariosto, Tasso, and Spenser, in whose romances 
Milton was well read. In one of his prose works he says : " I 
may tell you whither my younger feet wandered. I betook me 
among those lofty fables and romances which recount in solemn 
cantos the deeds of knighthood." 'Beside' as an adverb is 
now almost displaced by the later form 'besides.' 

117. sage and solemn tunes, wise and dignified verse, as that 
of the Spenserian stanza. For ' solenm ' see Arc, 7, note. 

118. tomeys. 'Tumey,'aform of 'tourney' (Fr. toumay), a 
mock-fight, so called from the swift turning of the horses in the 
combat. ' Tournament ' is merely a Latinised form of the word ; 
comp. UAlleg, 123. 

trophieB hung. These were arms or banners taken from a 
defeated enemy and hung up as memorials. The word is from 
the Greek tropin a turning, i.e, causing the enemy to turn, 

119. enchantments, use of magic arts. Radically, 'enchant- 


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ment' = magio verses sung when it was desired to place a person 
under some spell (Lat. incantare, to repeat a chant) : comp. lines 
63, 83, and Lye, 69. 

120. Wliere more Is meant, etc. : in which poetry there is a 
deeper meaning than is apparent on the sunace. The poets 
referred to in 1. 116 had generally a high moral purpose in their 
writings ; e,g, Spenser's Faerie Queene is a noble spiritual allegory, 
the particular references in it being *' secondary senses lying onlv 
on the surface of the main design." The same is true of Tasso^ 
Enchanted Forest, 

121. Thus, Nlgbt, etc. : ' thus let me be often seen by thee, O 
Night» in thy pale course.' 

pale career. Contrast * pale * with the epithets applied by 
poets to the dawn, e.g, * ruddy, ^ * rosy -fingered,* etc. 

122. oiTll-saited Mom. In L* Allegro the Sun appears in royal 
robes and surrounded by his liveried servants ; m II Penseroso 
Morning comes clad in the garb of a simple citizen and attended 
by wind and rain. 

•Civil,* from Lat. civia, a citizen, is here used in its primary 
sense. It is opposed to military or ecclesiastical, as in 'civil 
engineer,* * civil service.' It has also the meaning of 'polite * or 
'well-mannered,* as contrasted with boorish or rustic manners; 
but it has lost (as Trench points out) all its deeper significance : 
" a civil man once was one who fulfilled all the duties and obliga- 
tions flowing from his position as a civia," 

123. tricked and frounced : literally, ' adorned with fine clothes 
and having the hair frizzed or curled.' In Lyculas, 170, the sun 
is said to trick his beams: the verb is cognate with the noun 
* trick,' something neatly contrived. 

* Frounced * : the word originally meant * to wrinkle the brow,' 
and there is an old French phrase, fronser le froTit, with this 
meaning. The present form of the word is * flounce.' 

as, in the manner in which. For 'wont' see note on 
line 37. 

124. Attic boy ; the Athenian youth Cephalus, beloved by Eos 
(Aurora), the goddess of the dawn. It was while he was stag- 
hunting on Mount Hymettus in Attica that she fell in love witn 

125. kerchieft, having the head covered. ' Kerchief ' is exactly 
similar in form to * cur-few * {q.v, line 74) ; it is from Fr. couvre- 
chef, head-cover. The original meaning being overlooked we 
have now such compounds as 'hand-kerchief,' 'neckerchief,' 
' pocket-handkerchief.' 

comely, becoming : comp. Merry Wives of Windsor, iii 
8. 26. 


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126. pllklng, whistling : ' loud/ used adverbially. 

127. ushered, introduced (Lat. ostium y an entrance). The word 
here qualifies * Mom. * * Still * is an adjective qualifying * shower * : 
notice Milton's fondness for this word. 

128. liatb blown his fill, has exhausted itself, has ceased. As 
there is no personification here, his = its : in none of the poems 
in this volume does the word its occur. In fact, it is ahuost 
entirely ignored by Milton, being used only three times in the 
whole of his poetry ; this arose from the fact that its was then a 
new word, and also because he did not seem to feel the need for 
it, its place being taken in his involved syntax by the relative 
pronoun and other connectives, or by hiSf her, thereof, etc. The 
word its does not occur in the language till the end of the six- 
teenth century, the possessive case of the neuter pronoun it and 
of the masculme Ae being his. This gave rise to confusion when 
the old gender system decayed, and the form its gradually came 
into use until, by the end of the seventeenth century, it was 
generally adopted. 

Grammatically ' his fill ' denotes the extent to which ' the gust 
hath blown,* and is therefore an adverbial adjunct. Some, how- 
ever, would explain it as a cognate objective. 

129. Ending . . . \7ith minute-drops ; the end of the shower being 
marked by drops falling at intervals. ' Minute ' (accent on first 
syllable) is applied as an adjective to something occurring at 
short intervals, once a minute or so, e,g, * minute-guns,* 'minute- 
bells,* etc. Miniite (accent on second syllable) = very smalL 

130. eaves, projecting edge of thereof. This word is singular^ 
though often regarded as plural : the final ' s * is part of the root, 
and the plural properly should be eaveses (which is not used). 
An * eaves-dropper ^ is strictly one who stands under the drops 
that fall from the eaves, hence a 'secret listener.* 

132. flaring, glittering or flashing ; generally applied to a light 
whose brightness is offensive to uie eye, and is so used here to 
suit the mood of H Penseroso. * Flare * is cognate with ' flash.' 

me, Gtoddess, etc. ; i,e. Melancholy, bring me, etc. 

133. twilight groves and shadows brown, groves with such half- 
light as there is in the twilight, when the shadows cast on the 

?x>und are not deep black, but (as Milton says) ' brown. * Comp. 
ttr. Lost, iv. 254 — 

** Where the unpierced shade 
Imbrowned the noon-tide bowers." 
Also Par, Lost, ix. 1086— 

** Where highest woods, impenetrable 
To star or simlight, spread their umbrage broad, ^ 
And brown as evening 1 '* 


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The Italians express the approach of evening by a word meaning 
* to embrown.* 

134. Sylvan : Sylvanus, the eod of fields and forests. ' Sylvan ' 
is a misspelling of ' silvan ' (£at. mlwi, a wood) ; the spelling in 
y was made in order to assimilate ailva to the Greek hyl4, a wood, 
but the radical connection is doubtful 

135. monumental oaJc The obvious meaning of ' monumental ' 
is, as Masson suggests, 'memorial/ 'old,* * telling of bygone 
years. An aged oak is a memorial of the flight of time; it 
suggests also massiveness. 

136. rude axe with heaved stroke. This is an example of 
chiasmus, the epithet * rude * belonging to ' stroke/ and * heaved* 
to * axe. * * Heaved * = uplifted. 

137. nymphs, t.e. wood nymphs: comp. line 154. 

dannt, to frighten (from Lat. domitare, to subdue ; hence 
' indomitable '=not able to be daunted). 

138. hallowed haunt, abode sacred to them. 

139. covert, sheltered spot, thicket: a 'covert* is strictly a 
•cowrai place.* 

140. no profiuier eye, no unsympathetic eye. 'Profaner'= 
somewhat profane ; on this Latin use of the comparative see 1. 
15, note. * Profane* (IJat. pro, before, and fanum, a temple) was 
applied to those who, not being initiated into the sacred rites, 
were compelled to wait outside the temple during the sacrifices ; 
hence it came to mean (1) ' not sacred,* as in the phrase 'profane 
history,* and (2) * impure,* as in profane language.* II Penseroso 
applies it to those not in sympathy with his mood. 

141. day*B garish eye. Milton frequently speaks of the 'eye 
of day* (comp. Son, i. 5, Com, 978, Lyc» 26). * Garish *= staring 
or glaring, generally used, as here, to express dislike, though 
some Elizabethan writers use it in a good sense. There is an 
old English verb gfare=to stare, formed, by the change of « to r, 
from A. S. gasen, 

142. honeyed thigh. If this means that the bee collects honey 
on its thigh, it is a mistake ; it is the poUen or flower-dust that 
is thus collected, while the honey is sucked into the animal's 
body. Virgil, however, who probably knew more about bees 
than Milton did, uses a similar expression {Ed. i. 56). 

143. her : see notes on lines 92 and 128. 

sing, hum : the verb sing is very variously used by Eliza- 
bethan writers. 

145. consort, other sounds of nature that accompany the hum- 
ming of the bee, etc. * Consort * is here used concretely, and in 
its original sense (Lat. consors, a partner). Old writers fre- 


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qiiently confused it with ' concert ' = harmony, bnt the words 
are quite distinct, and in modem English they are never con- 

146. Entice : the nominatives of this verb are ' bee * and 
' waters.' Its meaning is * to induce to come ' ; by a common 
metaphor sleep is represented as s^y, as easily frighted, as 
requiring to be wooed or enticed. Gomp. 2nd Henry IV, iii. 1. 

dewy-featbered Sleep. We have here one of those com- 
pound epithets (so frequent in Milton) which have been described 
as poems in miniature. In most of these the first word qualifies 
the second, so that ' dewy-feathered sleep ' may mean ' Sleep 
with dewy feathers.' The god of Sleep (1. 10) was represented 
as winged, and he may be supposed to snake dew from his wings 
as the Archangel in Par, Lost v. 286 diffused fragrance by shaking 
his plumes. 

It is common, however, for poets to speak of the dew of sleep 
(comp. Richard III. iv. 1, Julius Caesar ii. 1) without any 
reference to its beins winged : we might therefore take * dewy- 
feathered ' to have the force of two co-ordinate adjectives ' dewy' 
and ' feathered ' : see note on 1. 98. 

147-150. This passage is a difficult one : Prof. Masson reads it 
thus, ' Let some strange mysterious dream wave (i.e, move to 
and fro) at his (t.e. Steep's) wings in airy stream,' etc. It is 
customary for poets to speak of Dreams as the messengers of 
Sleep (see L 10) ; here a dream is borne on the wings of Sleep 
and hovers over the poet in an airy stream of vivid images 
portrayed upon his mental eye. 

Some, however, take * his wings ' to denote the Dream's wings, 
in which case ai is difficult of explanation : one editor therefore 
suggests that it be struck out, and that ' wave ' be regarded as a 
transitive verb ! The previous view is preferable. (It is pos- 
sible also to hold that the Dream's wings are displayed (t.e. 
reflected) in the airy stream, and that he waves at this reflection, 
as we say a dog barks o^ its shadow reflected in a pool of water.) 

149. lively has its radical sense of ' life-like ' ; so we speak of 
a * life-like portrait,' a vivid picture (Lat. vivua^ living). 

151. Ixreatlie: a verb in the imperative addressed to the 
goddess Melancholy, as 'bring/ < hide,' and ' let' in the preced- 
mg lines. (Some would take it as an infinitive depending on 

153. to mortals good, good to mortals. * Good '= propitious ; 
comp. Lye* 184. In this line * Spirit ' is to be pronounced as a 

154. Genius, guardian spirit : see Arcades and Comus regard- 
ing the duties ol such spirits. 

156. due feet, my feet that are due at the places of worship 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


and leaminff. Due, duty, and debt are all from the Lat. debUuBf 
owed ; the uust directly, the others through French. 

160. To walk is here a transitive verb=to frequent, to tra- 

BtadiotUB Cloister's ]Mde ; the precincts or enclosure of 
some building devoted to learning ana (as the next line shows) 
to religious services. 'Cloister' is a covered arcade forming 
part of a church or coUege : Milton mav have been thinking of 
his life at Cambridge, though the details of the description do 
not ai>ply to any particular ouUding. The radical sense of the 
word is a cloaed-in place (Lat. dawnis, shut). 

'Pale' is a nouns enclosure ; etymologically, a place shut in 
by pales or wooden stakes ; hence our words paling, impale, and 
palisade. We still speak of the pale of the Churdi, the EngUah 
pale in Ireland, the pale of a subject, etc. 

157. love the bl^h-embow^d roof The poet here passes from 
the cloister to the inside of some church : (it may be the college- 
chapel that is in Milton's thoughts, or even St. Paul's Cathedral 
or Westminster Abbey). * High-embow6d,' f.c. arched or 
vaulted, as in the Gothic style of architecture, which Milton, 
with all his Puritanism, never ceased to love. " Observe that 
only at this point of the poem is Penseroso in contact with his 
fellow-creatures. Througnout the rest he is solitary " {MoMon), 

The grammatical construction is peculiar: we cannot say, 
< let my due feet never fail to love ' ; it is better therefore to 
read, 'let (me) love,' etc., me being implied in 'my feet.' See 
note on VAUeg. 122. 

158. antique : see VAUeg, 128, note. 

nias«y proof : proof against the great weight of the stone 
roof, because they are massive. Shakespeare and Milton use 
'proof * in the sense of ' strong,' and ' massy ' is an older form of 
the adjective than ' massive, occurring in Spenser and Shake- 
speare as well as here. Similar examples are 'adamantean 
proof ' applied to a coat of mail, not because it is proof against 
adamant, but because, being made of adamant, it is proof against 
assailants {Sams, Agon, 134); also virtue-proof = strong against 
temptation, because virtuous (Par. Lost, v. 384). The mtroduc- 
tion of a hyphen (' massy -proof '), which does not occur in the 
first and second editions, has caused some editors to interpret 
the words as ' proof against the mass they bear ' : in those cases, 
however, in which that against which the object is proof is men- 
tioned, the first part of the compound is a noun, e.g. star-proof, 
shame-proof, sunbeam-proof (Arc, 88). The first interpretation 
is therefore more probably eorrect. 

159. storied windows, windows of stained glass with stories 
from Scripture history represented on them. 'Story' is an 


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abbreviated form of 'bistory/ tbe latter being directly from 
Lat hiatoria, the other through the French. It has no connec- 
tion with 'story' (=part of a house), which means something 
built (comp. store). 

159. dlglit : see VAJUg, 62, note. 

160. religious light, such a light as is suited to a place of 
worship, and tending to prevent one's thoughts from being dis- 
tracted. 'Keligious,' like 'studious' (line 156), is a transferred 

161. pealing organ, loud-sounding organ. Milton has several 
references to the or^;an (comp. Par, Lost, i. 708, xi. 560) — an 
instrument upon which he could himself play. ' Blow,' used in 
a semi-passive sense, and applied to wind-instruments (such as 
the organ). Line 163 depends on 'blow,' giving the circum- 
stances of the action. 

162. quire, band of sineers or choristers. 'Quire' is another 
spelling of ' choir ' (Lat. c£ori/«, a band of singers, Greek choros, 
a band of sineers and dancers). A ' choir ' is now a body of trained 
singers who lead the voices of a congregation : tiie name is also 
applied to the part of the church in which they are seated. The 
'auire below here means 'the choir below the organ-gallery.' 
' Quire,' denoting a collection of sheets of paper, is an entirely 
different word, beinff cognate with the French cahier, a small 
book (or, more probably, with the Lat. qtuituor, four). See note. 
Epitaph on M, of W. 17. 

163. axLfbems, sacred music. 'Anthem' is a contraction of 
the A.S. ant^, which is corrupted from the Lat. antiphona 
(Greek anti, in return, and phdne, the voice) ; it is therefore 
radically the same as the English word arUiphon, which denotes 
music sung by choristers alternately, one half of the choir re- 
sponding to the other. 

dear, may mean 'clearly sung,' or (as in Lye, 70) 'pure' 
or 'noble.' 

164. As, relative pronoun, the antecedent ' such ' being omitted, 
as is usual in Chaucer and other old writers. 

165. 166. Dissolve me into ecstasies. The meaning of these 
beautiful lines cannot be adequately expressed in prose. The 
poet desires to hear music that will so melt his soul, so carry 
him out of himself, that he may almost learn the secrets of divine 
things. With 'dissolve' comp. 'melting voice' {L*AUeg. 142), 
and with ' ecstasies ' comp. ' rapt soul ' (Ime 40, note). 

' Ecstasy ' is the Greek ekataaia, standing or being taken out of 
one's self, as in a trance. I<^ came afterwards to denote madness, 
as we say of madmen that they are ' beside themselves '; but its 
present meaning is enthusiasm or very strong feeling. 


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168. peaoefU hermitage. This is a fitting conclusion to th« 
life of II Penseroso, thus alluded to by SoottjAfamUont ii.) — 

*' Here have I thought 'twere sweet to dwell. 
And rear again the chaplain's cell, 
Like that same peacefti hertnitage. 
Where Milton long*d to spend his age." 

Li old romances there is constant mention of hermits, men who 
had retired from society and were supposed to devote their lives 
to philosophic thought or religious contemplation. Burton, in 
AncU, of iiel.t savs: ''Voluntanr solitariness is that which is 
familiar with melancholy.'* 'Hermitage': in this word the 
suffix -o^e denotes place, as in 'parsonage ' ; < her-mit,' formerly 
written ' eremite/ is derived, through French and Latin, from 
Greek erimoa, solitary, desert. 

Li line 167 we have an example of the jussive subjunctive, s.e. 
the subjunctive expressing a wish or desire, 'And may ... find,* 
etc. : this corresponds to a Latin subjunctive introduced by quod 
or quod tUinam, 

169. lialry gown, earment of coarse shaegy cloth. In the 
English Bible we read of raiment of camel's hair worn by Elijah 
and John the Baptist. ' Gown ' and ' cell ' are objects of the verb 

170. spell, read slowly and thoughtfully. We talk of ' spelling 
out' the meaning of a difficult passage, as a child names the 
letters of a word, giving each its proper power. In the same 
way the poet would learn the nature and powers of the stars and 
herbs (comp. Son, xviL 6): A.S. spd, a story, as in gospel, 
Milton refers to this knowledge of the virtues of herbs in Conu 
620-640, and £^, Damon, 150-154. 

171. Of, concerning. In this line ' shew ' rhymes with ' ilew ' : 
this ^ints to the fact that, though the pronunciation show was 
f amihar, it was not universal ; the word is to be pronounced here 
like shoe: comp. Son, ii., where 'sheweth ' rhymes witi^ 'youth.' 

173. There may be a reference here to the old astrologers who 
claimed the power of predicting events from the study of the 
stars, but such a power was not the ambition of Milton: he 
rather means that wise experience of the aged, which enables 
them, throuffh their knowledge of the past, to judge the probable 
results of dinerent lines of action. 

do attain : subjunctive after ' till ' : comp. L 44. 

174. strain, utterance : we speak of a cheerful or a sad gtrain 
of speech or music, |>robably with a metaphorical allusion to the 
notes of a stringed instrument : ' strain ' is literally something 


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175. These pleasures, etc. ; comp. note on L'Alleg. 151. It 
will be noticed that the conditioTLcU nature of Milton's acceptance 
of Melancholy is not so distinctly expressed as that of Mirth. 

No. LXII. 


Bebmudas or Somers' Islands, British possessions in Mid- Atlan- 
tic, were so named respectively from Juan Bermudez, a Spaniard 
who first sighted them in 1515, and from Sir George Somers, an 
Englishman whose shipwreck here in 1609 was the immediate 
occasion of their being colonized from Virginia in 1611. Another 
accession of inhabitants was gained during the Civil Wars in the 
reign of Charles I., many having sought here a refuge from the 
troubles of that time ; it is to this that Marvell alludes. Some 
have endeavoured to identify the islands with the scene of 
Shakespeare's Tempest ; Berkelejr also chose them in 1726 
as the seat of a projected missionary establishment. The 

e>et's description of the scenery and products of the islands is 
rgely based on fact (obtained from Oxenbridge), but his chief 
concern is merely to give their beauty and fertility unstinted 
praise. In Chambers's Encyclopaedia we read: ''The soil is 
poor in quality, and not more than a fourth is cultivable at all ; 
but there being no winter frosts, crops can be prepared for March, 
April, May, or June, and the large quantities of early potatoes, 
onions, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables, which in these 
months fetch high prices at &e New York markets, enable the 
Bermudians to live comfortably on the income of their compara- 
tively small portions of ground. '' 

In the Treasury of Sacred Song Palgrave says regarding the 
poem under notice : " These emigrants are apparently supposed 
to be flying westward beyond the reach of Laud's ecclesiastical 
administration. But Marvell, at least in youth, held so equable 
an attitude between the contentions of his day, remaining, indeed, 
a lover of the monarchy at heart, that the motive of the poem 
was probably only chosen to gratify his intense feeling for natural 
scenery and imaginative hyperbole by this lovely picture." We 
may note how this feeling again reveals itself in tiie political poem 
celebratinjg the victory obtained by Blake over the Spaniards at 
Tenerifife in 1657 ; this is his picture of the island : 

"For lest some gloominess misht stain her sky, 
Trees there the duty of the clouds supply : 
noble trust which heaven in this isfe pours, 
Fertile to be, yet never need the showers 1 
A happy people, which at once do ^ain 
Thebenents, without the ills, of rain I 


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Both health and profit fate cannot deny, 
Where still the earth U moist, the air still dry ; 
The jarring elements no discord know, 
Fuel and rain together kindly grow ; 
And coolness there with heat does never fight, 
This only rales by day and that by night. '* 
Marvell was a firm friend of Protestant freedom and enlightened 
toleration. He was the true friend of Milton, with whom he 
was associated in the Latin Secretaryship, and his fine lines, 
beginning ''When I beheld the poet blind and old/' are well 
known. And to great learning, brilliant wit, and high personal 
charm he "joined the rarest quality of that evil time, a robust 
and intrepid rectitude." 

2. ocean's bosom : comp. Gomus, 21, " Sea-girt isles That, like 
to rich and various gems, inlay the unadorned bosom of the deep.** 

unespied, unseen and unwatched : the islands are not only 
remote, but also beyond the ken of the spies ("espial," 1 Hen, VI, 
4. 3) of the religious oppressor. Spenser has " rocks and caves 
long unespied " ; see also Dryden's Aeneid, ix. 783. 

3. row'd, used intransitively. The transition to this use of 
the verb is through the reflective form : comp. Par, Lostf viii 
438, " The swan ... rows her state with oary feet." 

4. llBtentng : comp. Par, Lost, viii. 663, and Hymn Nat. 64, 
" the winds with wonder whist.** 

5. Hi8 praise That, i.e. the praise of Him that : see note, L'AUeg, 

7. sea monsters : see Job. xli ; Lye. 158, ** the bottom of the 
monstrous world " ; Par. Lost, i. 462, etc 

wnudcs. • Wrack ' (A. S. torecan), to drive, cast forth ; 
hence to destroy or ruin. Wrack, wreck, and roel; ('To go to 
rack and ruin ') are radically the same. Comp. Par. Lost, xi. 
821, "universal wrack**; Drayton's Poly., Song 11, "wraci^l 
tempests " ; also Tempest, L 2. 26. 

12. prelate's rage : see introductory note above. 

14. enamels, beautifies : probably used here in the strict sense 
in which MUton uses it, 'to enamel' being literally 'to make 
bright.' Enamel is 'a molten or glass-like coating' (Fr. amel) : 
the sense of variegation or diversity is a secondary one : see Lye 
139, note. 

15. sends ... In care : comp. Exodus, xvi. 11. 

17. hangs ... does close. The different forms of the verb are 
due to the requirements of the verse : contrast this with // Pens, 
46, No. xxxn., 1. 13, and notes there. 

18. golden lamps, etc. This admirably expresses the appear- 
ance of the ripe fruit glowing against its background of dark 


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green foliage. It must be remembered that Manrell had made 
' the grand tour ' of his day, visiting France, Italy, Spain, etc. 

19. pomegranates : the allusion is to the hard translucent seeds 
of the pomegranate (Lat. pomum granatum^ the apple filled with 

20. Ormus: comp. Par, Lost, ii 2, ''the wealth of Ormus 
and of Ind." Ormus is properly Hurmtiz, a famous maritime 
city and minor kingdom near the mouth of the Persian Gulf. 
There are ^petarl fisheries near it, and the town was also a mart 
for diamonds. This passaffe has a bearing on the discussion 
whether, by the wealth of Ormus, Milton means pearls or dia- 

23. apples, pine-apples : a fine example (says Palgrave) of 
Marvell's imaginative hyperbole. The pine-apple plant bears 
only a single fruit. The word apple has from the earliest period 
been used with great latitude in naming fruits, e,g. Aelfric, 
Numb. xi. 6, " cucumbers thaet sind eorth-aeppla*' ; * Apple Punic,* 
obsolete name of the pomegranate ; ' oak-apple,' etc. 

25. cedars. The principal kind of tree in the islands is the so- 
called "Bermudas cedar,'' really a kind of juniper, which Marvell 
here erroneously identifies with the cedar of Lebanon. 

28. Proclaim the ambergris, i.e, reveal, throw up on the shore. 
Ambergris is the name of a valuable odoriferous substance, of 
ashy colour, found floating in tropical seas. Originally called 
aniberf the extended name amber^is (Fr. amhre-gris, gray amber) 
was applied to it in order to distmguish it from the fossil resin 
now called aniber. In Par, Beg, ii. 344, Milton calls it "Oris 
amber" ; comp. Drayton, Poly, xx. 337, " Their lips they sweet- 
ened had with costly amber-grease " : this corruption and others 
{e.g, amber-greece, ^eece of amber, amber de grece) are due to 
an attempt to explam the adjective gris^ whose meaning had been 

29. rather, sooner : we would sooner boast of the Gospel pearl 
than of the costly ambergris. On rathe = soon, early, see Lye, 
142, note ; and comp. In Mem. ex. 

30. Oospel's pearl: comp. "the pearl of great price" (Malt. 
xiii. 46). Notice this use of the explanatory genitive; *the 
pearl' and * Gospel' are in apposition: comp. ** body's vest," 
No. LViir., L 61. 

31. rocks ...A temple. Eingsley in his Essays says: '*The 
original idea of a Christian Church was that of a grot— a cave." 
This is a historic fact. 

34. Heaven's vault, the '' bowed welkin " of ComuSj 1015 ; the 
"vaulted arch" of Oymb. i. 6, and the coeli convexa of Virgil. 
A * vault ' is strictly an arched roof, hence a chamber with an 
arched roof. 


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35. Which, and it (t.e. our voice). 

36. Mdziqne bay, the Qulf of Mexico, S. W. of the Bermudas. 

39. chime ...time. The resemhlance in expression and cad- 
ence hetween these closing lines and Moore's Canadian Boat- 
song is obvious : 

" Faintly as tolls the evening chime 
Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time." 

No. Lxm. 

This ode was probably written by Milton before he left Cambridge. 

1. Birens : see note, No. xvii. , 1. 16. The spelling syren is 
incorrect : similar misspellings are seen in sylvan from Lat. sUva^ 
tyro from Lat. tiro, style from Lat. stilus. 

pledges : see note. Lye. 107, and comp. No lv., L 1. 

2. Sphere-horn : see note. Hymn Nat. 1. 125, and compare 
Arcades, 61 : 

'<In deep of night, when drowsiness 
Hath locked up mortal sense, then listen I 
To the celestial Sirens' harmony. 
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres, 
And sing to those that hold the vital shears." 

The allusion is to the Pythagorean notion of the music or 
harmony of the spheres, called by Tennyson, in PaTrnassus, ''the 
great sphere-music of stars and constellations"; comp. M. of V, 
V. 60-65 ; Twelfth Night, iii. 1. 121 ; Gomua, %11 ; Lye, 180. 

Voice and Verse : comp. Par, Lost, ii. 556, " For eloquence 
the soul, song charms the sense." 

3. Wed, etc. : comp. VAlleg. 137 and note, '' soft Lydian airs 
Married to immortal verse." On the power of music comp. 
UAUeg. 135-150, II Pens. 16M66. 

5. high-raised phantasy. Here 'phantasy' is used in the wide 
sense of Ima{/iTuUion, and the effect of the music upon the exalted 
imagination is to " bring all Heaven before our eyes." 

6. concent, harmony, Lat. concentus. This is to be dis- 
tinguished from consent, i.e. agreement, used in II Pens. 95 ; see 
note there. 

7. sapphire-colonr'd : comp. the account of "the empyreal 
Heaven " in Par. Lost, ii. 1049, " With opal towers and battle- 
ments adorned Of living sapphire " ; also Par. Lost, vi. 758. 


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10. Seraplilm. The word is from Hebrew Hrap\ to burn; 
hence the epithets 'bright,' * burning/ and * fiery* {Par, Lost, n. 
512). Milton is fond of these explanatory epithets : comp. Par, 
Lost, II. 677-68.3, and Hymn Nat. 113, note. 

12. Cherubic: see note, Hymn Nat. 112. Milton used this 
epithet six times in his poems, and habitually distinguishes 
ehertihs from seraphs : see Par. Lost, i. 324 ; vn. 198. 
quires : see note, H Pens. 162. 

18. noise: see notes, II Pens. 61, Hymn Nat. 97. In our 
sinful state we cannot * answer ' to the heavenly music, '* which 
none can hear Of human mould with gross unpurgM ear." 

19. dlsproportion'd, ugly, deformed : see the description of 
Sin in the allegory of Sin and Death, Par. Lost, n, 

20. chime, harmony : compare Hymn Nat. 128, note, and 
Gomua, 1021. Cfhime is from Lat. cymbalum. 

22. motion : comp. Arc. 71, " And the low world in measured 
motion draw After the heavenly tune." 

23. diapason: see note. No. ii., 1. 16, 'Hhe diapason closing 
full in Man." 

27. consort, harmony : see note. Hymn Nat. 132. 

No. LXIV. 


For the title see Psalm, xix. : *' The heavens declare the glory 
of God ; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto 
day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge." 

Habington (1606-1654) has himself, in his preface to Castara, 
supplied an estimate of his poetical abilities: **If not too 
indulgent to what is my own, I think even these verses will 
have that proportion in the world's opinion that heaven hath 
already allotted me in fortune : not too high as to be wondered 
at, nor so low as to be contemned." His Castara is a collection 
of lyrical pieces in praise of his wife, Lucy Herbert. He dwells 
constantly upon the purity of his Castara, and of his muse. 

4. Ethiop bride. For the allusion, comp. H Pens. 19, "that 
starred Ethiop queen," and note. 
7. Almighty's mysteries : comp. II Pens. 87-92. 
9. firmament, etc. Comp. Addison's well-known Ode : 
" The spacious firmament on high, 
With all the blue ethereal sky. 
And spangled heavens, a shining frame, 
Their great Original proclaim* 


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The unwearied sun, from day to day, 
Does his Creator's power display : 
And pMxahea to every land 
The work of an Almighty hand." 

11. silent ... eloquent. Again, comp. Addison's Ode : 

<' What thoueh, in solemn aUence, all 
Move round the dark terrestial ball ? 
What thouffh no real voice, nor sound, 
Amidst their radiant orbs be found ? 
In Reason*s ear they all rejoice. 
And utter forth a glorious voice ; 
For ever stngifig as they shine, 
* The hand that made us is divine.' " 

15. 80 small ... But, etc. : *no star is so insignificant that we 
shall not discern,* etc. See note, No. lv. 3, and Abbott, § 121. 

character, mark : the metaphor is maintained, the skies 
being a book and even the smallest star a significant mark or 
letter of that book (Gk. x^'-P^'^^^Pt ^^ engraved or stamped 
mark) : comp. the phrase, * printed characters,' and Gomus, 530, 
" reason's nuntage charcuOered in the face." 

21. the Conqueror: comp. Nos. vi., vn., viii. in this collection, 
and ccxciii., Bk. iv. 

26. some nation, etc., i.e. 'some nation, as yet undiscovered, 
may issue forth.' 

28. sway, hold sway, bear rule. 

35. 841, etc. ; like yourselves, as you do. 

38. seeming mute : comp. note, 1. 11. 

39. fallacy, vanity : comp. " fallacious hope," Par. Lost, n. 
568. ' To confute [i.e. to prove fallacious) the fallacy of our 
desires' seems tautological, but the phrase * fallacy of our 
desires ' = vain desires. 

41. watch'd: comp. Hymn Nai. 21, ''And aU the spangled 
host keep uHitch in squadrons bright" ; also 11. 117-124. 

44. notUng permanent. In this poem the permanence of the 
stars teaches man his own transitoriness ; in Taylor's Teaching 
from the Stars the opposite lesson is put into the mouth of the 

" When some thousand years at most, 

All their little time have spent, 

One by one our sparkling host, 

Shall forsake the firmament. 

We shall from our glory fall ; 

You must live beyond us aU«" 


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No. LXV. 


This is characterized by Mr. Palgrave as a " lyric of a strange, 
fanciful, yet solemn beauty — Cowley's style intensified by the 
mysticism of Henry More." Like Cowley, Norris adopted the 
Pmdaric form of ode in somewhat extreme form, and it is 
significant that it is in Cowley's Hymn to Light that his poetical 
genius reaches its zenith. To that hymn Thomas Yalden (1671- 
1736) wrote a counterpart, entitled Hymn to Darkness, which 
may be read alongside of Norris's hymn on the same subject. 
Norris (1657-1711) was a theologian and a student of Platonism, 
a man of amiable, pure, and anectionate character. His works 
are voluminous, the most important being an " Essay towards 
the Theory of an Ideal and Intelligible World"; his MisceUimies, 
published 1687, includes poems characteristic of his religious 
views ; in one of them occurs the phrase, " angel's visits, short 
and bright," which may have suggested similar expressions in 
Blair's Cfrave and Campbell's Pleasures of Hope. He became 
rector of Bemerton, near Salisbury, in 1692. 

The thought in this poem, that light arises out of darkness, 
should be contrasted with that in Blanco White's splendid 
sonnet To Night: ''Who could have thought such darkness lay 
concealed Within thy beams, O Sun I " 

1. venerable : see notes, 11. 4, 5. 

2. Mu8e...8i2ifi:: Comp. Par. Lost, iii. 17, "With other notes 
than to the Orphan lyre I sing of Chaos and Eternal Night." 
On the transitive use of * sing ' (= celebrate) see UAUeg. 17, note. 

3. universal womb: comp. Par. Lost, ii. 911, "This wild 
Abyss, the womb of Nature ; Comus, 130, "The dragon womb 
Of St^rgian darkness spots her thickest gloom " ; Par. Lost, v. 
180, "Ye elements, the eldest Birth of Nature's womb"; Par. 
Lost, ii 150, "the wide womb of uncreated Night." 

4. All things... did oome. Comp. Par. Lost, ii. 894, "eldest 
Night and Chaos"; id. 962, "sable-vested Night, eldest of 
things. " In the ancient cosmogonies Chaos was the first principle 
of alT things, and the poets represent Night and Chaos as exercis- 
ing dominion from the beginnmg. Thus Orpheus, in the begin- 
ning of his hymn to Night, addresses her as the mother of the 
gods and men and the origin of all things. Hesiod says that out 
of Chaos came Erebus and Night, and of these again were born 
the Sky and the Day (Light). In Par. Lost, iii. 1, Light is 
the "offspring of Heaven's first-bom," and in Par. Lost, vii. 
244, "first of things"; so, in Du Bartas, light is "God's 
eldest daughter " : comp. Genesis, L 


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7. essence: in Par, Lost, vii. 243, Light is ** quintessence 
pure. " 

' 8. like the light of Ck>d, etc. This is plainly an echo of Milton 
in his apostrophe to Light, Par, Lost, iii, 1-18, "since God is 
Light, and never but in unapproach^d light Dwelt from eternity ": 
comp. iHd, 375, 

'Hhee, Author of all being. 
Fountain of light, thyself invisible 
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sittest 
Throned inaccessible." 

9. great Love : comp. Spenser's Hymn of Heavenly Love, 22, 
and Ode on St. Cecilia s Day, 11. 1-15, notes. 

10. theatre: comp. Spenser's Sonnet y liv., "Of this world's 
theatre in which we stay." 

11. folding circles ... tuned : comp. In Mem. zvii., " circles of 
the bounding sky " ; and Ode on St, Cecilia^s Day, Grand Chorus, 
and lU 1-15, notes. 

13. morning Stars : the allusion is to Job, xxxviii. 4-11 ; comp. 
Hymn Nat. 119. 

14. council : see HymnNal. 10 : also Par. Lost, vii. 516, where 
God declares His pleasure to create another world and a new 
race, and the Son marks out in Chaos the boundaries of this 

16. imquestion'd : see note, No. XLin., L 1, on the form and 
sense of such epithets. 

monarch... empty space. Comp. Oomus, 250, ** empty- 
vaulted Night" ; 957, "Night sits monarch yet in the mid-sky.** 
In Par, Lost, it. Chaos is represented as the monarch, or rather 
the Anarch (1. 988) of empty space, and Night is "the consort of 
his reign.** 

17. native, original : comp. Par. Losti i. 634, "repossess their 
na^tve seat '* ; ii., "we ascend up to our noUive seat**; iii. 604, 
"native form'*; L*AUeg. 134, *^ native wood-notes wild** (Lat. 

19. awful; used objectively = awe-inspiring: see note. Hymn 
Nat. 59. 

23. fear and sorrow flee : comp. Shelley's To Night, " touching 
all things with thine opiate wand.** The thought here should 
be contrasted with that in Cowley's Hymn to Light, Refer also 
to Ovid's Meta. viii. 81, Gurartim ma^xnma nuirix, Nox. 

24. find rest. The poetical references to the blessedness of 
nightlv rest sire endless : comp. in the Golden Treasury, Nos. 
xL, xlvi., dxxxi., ccxxxii., cccxiv. The fourth stanza of the 
poem has not been given here : it begins " Though light and 
glory be the Almighty's throne, Darkness is his pavilion." 


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A VISION. 291 



Vattghan*s Platonic mysticism is well exemplified in this stanza, 
which opens his poem called The, World. "The mystic element 
is finely interfused through the thoughts of Vaughan ; indeed, it 
is the element in which his mind naturally expands itself and 
seems most at home. This is the solemn background against 
which Vaughan sees all the transitory ongoings of man. The 
mystery of the universe by which he is encompassed haunts 
him ; he longs to penetrate to the heart of it." 

2. a great ring. Comp. Shelley's well-known lines, 

" Life, like a dome of many- coloured glass, 

Stains the white radiance of eternity." 

5. drlTen by, etc. : i.e. Time is due to, and measured by, the 
revolutions of the spheres. For the Platonic notion, see Hymn 
Nat. 125, note. Comp. Herrick's Eternity : 

** years ! and age I farewell : 

Behold I CO, 

Where I do know 
Infinity to dwell, 
And these mine eyes shall see 

All times, how they 

Are lost i' the sea 
Of vast eternity : — 
Where never moon shall sway 

The stars ; but she. 

And night, shall be 
Drowned in one endless day." 



On the occasion of this poem, usually entitled "A Song in 
Honour of St. Cecilia's Day, 1697," see the notes on No. n. in 
this book, which was the corresponding ode for the year 1687. 

1. 'Twas, etc. : * it was at the royal feast given by Alexander 
in celebration of his conquest of Persia that,' etc. 

for Persia won, for the winning of Persia ; participial 
construction, common in Latin : comp. note, No. XLVii., 1. 19. 

2. Fhlllp's warlllce son. Alexander the Great, son of Philip U. 
of Macedon, was born b.o. 356. In 334 he set out on his great 


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expedition against Persia, and in 333 defeated Darius in Asia 
Minor. He then subdued Phoenicia, Tyre, and Egypt, after 
which he again met and overthrew Darius in the great battle of 
Arbela (Erbil), October, 331. From Arbela he marched to 
Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis, all of which surrendered to him. 

3. awful, awe-inspiring: used objectively; see notes Hymn 
Nat. 67, and No. lxv., 1. 19. 

state : the use of ' state * here points back to its older 
sense of *seat of honour*: comp. Par, Lost, ii. 1, "High on a 
throne of royal ata^e" ; Jomson's Hymenaei, "And see where 
Juno ... Displays her glittering staXe and chair ** ; see also 
Trench, Select Glossary, 

4. sate : the 0. E. past was sa^. 

6. peers : comp. Par, Lost, L 39 ; ii. 445, etc. 

7. myrtles : see note. Lye, 2, and comp. Horace, Od. i. 38. 

9. Tbais (pron. TM-is), an Athenian woman of great wit and 
beauty, who accompanied Alexander on his expedition into Asia 
(see Classical Bid,). 

11. flower, prime : comp. Bom. and Jvl, ii. 5, ** flower of 
courtesy " ; ** flower of the nation." 

13. None . . . deserves. ' None ' is here used as a singular, 
though in such sentences the plural verb would more generally 
be used. None is radically singular, being = no^ one, and used in 
Old English before vowels or aspirates. We find none as a plural 
as early as Chaucer, **noon holy men" {Prol. 178). 

16. Timotheus: a distinguished flute-player of Thebes, flourished 
under Alexander the Great, on whom his music made so powerful 
an impression that once in the midst of a performance by 
Timotheus of an Orthian Nome to Athena, Alexander started 
from his seat and seized his arms (Smith's Class. Diet, ). He is 
not to be confounded with that Timotheus (b.c. 446-357) who 
introduced the eleven-stringed lyre and in .many other ways 
developed the artificial forms of musical expression. Pope 
compares Dryden himself to Timotheus. 

17. tunefta quire : see No. ii. L 6, and note, II Pens. 162. 

21. began £rom Jove ; the song opened with allusion to the 
parentage of Alexander, fabled in order to flatter him. It was 
pretended that his father was Jupiter Ammon or the Libyan Jove 
(see Par. Lost, iv. 277), who appeared to Olymplas, the wife of 
Philip and mother of Alexander, in the form of a serpent. A 
similar descent was fabled for Scipio Africanus, who was said to 
have owed his birth to Jupiter Oapitolinus. Milton alludes to 
these fables in Par. Lost, ix. 494-510, with reference to Satan's 
appearance to Eve in the form of a serpent* 


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22. bliBsftil seats : comp. the language of Comus, 1-4. ' Seats ' 
is plural either because lionorific or in the sense in which the 
Lat. plur. sedes is sometimes used. 

23. power. Comp. Jonson's Hue and Cry after Cupid, in 
allusion to the power of love : 

''At his sight the sun hath turned, 
Neptune in the waters burned, 
Hell hath felt a greater heat ; 
Jove himself forsook his seat" 

24. belled : common in Dryden in the sense of 'to counterfeit.' 
To belie is * to tell lies about,' hence ' to calumniate ' [Hen, IV.i. 
1. 3) ; there is then a transition to the meanings ' to contradict ' 
{Bich, IL ii. 2. 77) and * to counterfeit.* 

25. SnUime, aloft (Lat. svblimis) : comp. Tennyson's Dream of 
Fair Women, 141 : 

"With whom I rode sublime, 
On Fortune's neck : we sat as God by God : 
The Nilus would have risen before his time. 
And flooded at our nod." 
See also Par, Losi^ ii 528. 

radiant spires, glittering coils (Lat. $pira^ applied by Virgil 
to the coils of a serpent ; hence spiral). The poet's meaning will 
be better understood from Milton's account of the position of the 
serpent when approaching Eve (Par, Lost, ix. 496) ; the erected 
hetui seemed to ride upon the coiled body. 

26. Olympia: see note, 1. 21. Olympias, Alexander's mother, 
was married to Philip b.o. 359, and died b.o. 316. 

29. Btamp'd, etc. : comp. Cymb. ii 5. 5. Perhaps there is a play 
upon the word, as applicable to a coin and a king. ' Sovereign ' : 
Dryden wrote sov'raign ; so it is in Hamlet, ii. 2. 27 (1st Fol.) ; up 
to about 1570 the intensive g is not found, M.E. being soverain 
(Lat. superanum). 

31. present deity : comp. Horace, Od. iii 5. 2, praesens Divtm 
habebUur Augustus ('Augustus will be considered a present 
deity '). 

32. rebound^ made to rebound, t.e. re-echo the words. This 
causal use of the verb is found in Dryden's trans, of Virgil's 
Eclogues, vi 19, "the vales his voice rebound And carry to the 
skies the sacred sound. " 

33. ravisli'd : comp. Comus, 144, " such divine enchanting 
ravishment," and IL Pens. 40, note ; see also Song of Sol, iv. 9. 

35. Assumes the s:od, affects a divine character. Comp. ITen. F., 
Prol, 6, "Then should the warlike 'H.a.rry „,aMume the port of 


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36. AffectB to nod. Comp. Dryden's Translation of Homer's II 
i. 517 et, seq : 

" On the faith of Jove rely, 
When, nodding to thy suit, he bows the sky '' ; 
also Virg. Aen, x. 115, and the note given on line 25, above. 
The Latin numen^o. nod, hence a command, hence the divine 
will, and finally (by metonymy) a divinity. 

38. son^, celebrated : see note, Lycidas, 102. 

39. Bacohus : comp. Horace, Ode to Bacchus^ iii. 25, and Ant, 
and Gleo, ii 7. 

40. joUy, festive. In Chaucer, Spenser, and others, * jolly ' is 
used in the sense of the French jolit pleasing, pretty ; in modern 
English it means merry, and implies boisterous mirth. Dryden 
here uses it in its radical sense, the word originally referring to 
such festivities as those of Christmas and YtUe, In Horace 
Bacchus iBJocosiLs and inverecundvs. 

42. pnrple : see note. Lye. 41. 

43. honest, handsome, goodly. The Latin Jtonentus is thus 
applied to men and things in respect of their appearance, as well 
as in the more general sense of * nonourable,* see note on xxvii., 
1. 6. See Jamieson's Scottish Diet, on the use of this word both 
in Scottish and in classical senses. 

44. hautboys. The hautboy or oboe is a high-toned instrument 
(hence the name). 

46. did first ordain. Comp. Comus, 46, 

** Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape, 
Crushed the sweet poison of misused wine. 
The epithet * drinking ' applies to * joys.' 

54. Blew the slain : a cognate object. There is no prolepsis 
here as in S. A. 439, ** Who slew'st them many a slain." Comp. 
Hor. Od. iii. 3. 65. 

55. The master, i.e. Timotheus. 

56. His, i.e. Alexander's: in 1. 57, * he ' = Alexander ; in 68, 
* his hand ' is the musician's and * his pride ' Alexander's. 

ardent, lit. burning, gleaming with martial fire : comp. 
Pope's Eiadj iii. 525, " From rank to rank she darts her ardent 
eyes " ; this literal sense is now almost obsolete except in the 
phrase 'ardent spirits.' 

58. Changed his hand. Comp. Herrick's To Music (O. T. 
edition, p. 161): 

" Begin to charm, and as thou strok'st mine ears 
With thine enchantment, melt me into tears. 
Then let thy active hand scud o'er thy lyre. 
And make my spirits frantic with the fire ; 


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That done, sink down into a silvery strain, 
And make me smooth as balm and oil again." 

59. Mnse, subject that inspires the Muse: comp. Lye. 19, 

61. Darius: Darius III., the last king of Persia, B.C. 336-331, 
murdered in the deserts of Parthia by Bessus, satrap of Bactria, 
and his associates, in 330. 

65. weltering : comp. Lye. 13, and Hymn NcU, 124, note ; also 
Shelley's poem Written in the Euganean Hills. 

67. those : relative omitted. 

68. exposed, left to chance : comp. ' to expose a child ' (Lat. 

69. not a friend : a stronger negative than * no friend * : < a' is 
here the numeral one (see note to L'AUeg, 14). 

71. RevolTlng, considering. The Lat. revolvo is used transi- 
tively in the sense of * to brood over,* * to reflect upon ' : comp. 
Cyrnb, iii. 3, "You may rcw/we what tales I told you.'* 

73. stole. Comp. the phrase ' to steal a glance.* 

76. love was in tlie next degree. Comp. Twelfth Night , iii. 1, 
" * I pity you.' * That's a degree to love.* " This thought is fre- 
quent in the poets: comp. B. and F.*s Sp. Curate^ v. 1, "Pity, 
some say, is the parent of future love *' ; but see also Cotton, 
Lovers Triumph jb, "And some say pity is the child of love," and 
Two Oent. iv. 4. 101, "Because I love him, I must pity him." 

79. Lydian : see note, UAlleg. 136. 

82. an empty bubble. Comp. As You Like It, ii. 5, " Seeking 
the bubble reputation in the cannon's mouth"; 1 Hen. IV. v. 1, 
" What is honour? a word," etc. ; and Hor. Od. v. 5, **inanae 
purpurae decua." With " toil and trouble," comp. Macb. iv. 1. 20. 

85. worth thy winning, worthy of bein^ won b^ thee. This 
use of * worth ' apparently resembles that of Lat. dignus with the 
ablative, the substantive denoting the extent or manner of the 
worth or value, e.g. * worth ten pounds,' * worth nothing,' 

* worth preserving'; "worth ambition" {Par. Loat^ i. 262), 
"worth the shame" {King Lear, ii. 4), "worthy thy sight" 
{Par. Losty v. 308). When the derived form * worthy * is used, 
it is generally followed by ' of,' but in Shakespeare we find 
"worthy love" {King John, ii. 2), "worthy death" {Cor. iii. 1, 
299), and in Dryden's Aurungezhe, "Be worthy me, as I am 
worthy you." On the frequent omission of the preposition after 
verbs and adjectives that imply value, worth, etc., see Abbott, 
§ 198a. In A.S. the word governed by 'worth' was inflected, 
and the disuse of the inflection has obscured the relation o| 

* worth ' to the following substantive. 


by Google 


88. good. Compare the Scriptural use of the word, 1 Chron, 
xxix. 3. With the sentiment of the line comp. ComvSi 720-724, 
and Horace, Od, iii. 8. 

thee : see Abbott, § 220. 

89. The many. Spenser has ** the rascal many ** {F, Q. i. 12. 9, 
V. 11. 59) ; and see Shakespeare, 2 Hen, IV. i. 3, etc. ; also comp. 
the Gk. ol ToWoL 

92. the £Bdr . . . care : comp. No. xlvii. , 1L 1 -4. This use of ' fair ' 
in reference to one individual = fair one, is less common than 
that in reference to a class, as in 1. 15. Comp. Aa You Like It, 
iii. 2, " the fair of Rosalind." 

95. sigh'd : comp. Horace, Od. v. 11. 

96. at once, simultaneously. 

97. yanqulBli'd victor : comp. " the victor- victim " of No. viii., 

98. again. The poet now illustrates a new mood or mode. 

strain : see note 11 Pens. 1 74, and contrast the modes of 
music described in UAlleg, and It Pens, 

100. bands of sleep. Comp. Pope's Odyssey, xx. 68, "the 
downy bands of sleep": also such figures as ** bands of sin" 
(Hampole's Pr, of Cons. 3207), *' fetters of prejudice," "ties of 
routine," etc. 

104. As, as if : comp. Tennyson's Enidj 210, " Caught at the 
hilt, as to abolish him." This use is common in abbreviated 
subordinate clauses. 

105. amazed, bewildered: comp. No. Lviii., 1. 1. 

107. Furies, the avenging deities, called by the Greeks 
Eumenides or Erinyes ; in Aeschylus they are ancient divinities 
dwelling in Tartarus, having serpents twined in their hair and 
blood dripping from their eyes. 

110. sparkles : comp. Comus, 80. 

111. Another scene is here called up. 

112. Each a torch, etc. The omission of the preposition {e.g. 
with) in adverbial clauses of circumstance is well illustrated in 
Abbott, § 202. ^ 

114. unburied. Among the ancients an unbumed or unbnried 
body was held to be disgraced, and the spirit was unhappy until 
a kindly stranger at least threw a few handfuls of earth on the 

117. crew : see note UAlleg. 38, and for another instance of a 
favourable use of the word comp. Lyly's Euphues^ ** a crew of 
gentlemen." Milton uses the word contemptuously in nearly 
every case, but Shakespeare has it both in good and bad senses > 


by Google 


see Jf. N. D, iii. 2. 9, Rich. Ill, iv. 6. 12, " valiant crew,'' the 

very phra&e here used by Dryden. 

120. hostile : perhaps merely in the sense which the Latin 

word sometimes has = ' belonging to the enemy.' 
122. flambeau : post-Restoration English for * torch.' 
125. another Helen. In allusion to the fact that the abduction 

of Helen led to the siege of Troy, and that Alexander is said to 

have set fire to Persepolis at the instigation of Thais : comp. 

Hor. Oe2. iii a 

128. organs : see note, No. ii., L 44. 

129. to : see Lye, 13. 

131. Cfonld : Dryden wrote cou'd ; the I in this word is due to 
the influence of shovld and tvouUd. 

132. Cecilia : see notes on No. ii. 

134. entbosiast : a word of Crashaw's in MuaicJ^a Dud : 

*' Her little soul is ravished and so poured 
Into loose ecstasies, that she is placed 
Above herself, Musick's enthusiast.'* 

135. narrow bonnds, i,e, of musical expression. She '* added 
length to solemn sounds," for the or^an, having a wind-reservoir, 
can give a sustained note of whicm a stringed instrument is 
incapable. Pope has evidently adopted this notion in his Ode 
for St, Cecilia* s Day : 

'* While in more lengtJiened notes, and slow. 
The deep majestic solemn organs blow." 
137. mother-wit ... arts: similarly opposed to each other by 
Spenser in Mother Hubbard's Tale, 1. 1136, 

** For whatsoever mother- wit or arte 
Could worke, he put in proofe." 
The word ' Nature's ' seems to be tautological. 

139. botb ; Timotheus and St. Cecilia. 

140. raised a mortal : see 1. 31. 

141. angel : see notes on No. ii. 


by Google 



Beaumont, Francis (1586-1616), 6. 

Campion, Thomas (c. 1567-1620), 17, 33, 59. 

Cabkw, Thomas (1589-1639), 28. 

CowLBT, Abraham (1618-1667), 46, 53. 

Crashaw, Richard (1615?-1652), 19. 

Dryden, John (1631-1700), 2, 67. 

Fletcher, John (1576-1625), 48. 

Habinoton, William (1605-1654), 64. 

Herbert, George (1593-1632), 13. 

Herrick, Robert (1591-1674?), 24, 29, 34, 35, 36, 40, 65, 56. 

Jonson, Ben (1574-1637), 12, 18, 32. 

Lovelace, Richard (1618-1658), 25, 43, 44. 

Marvell, Andrew (1620-1678), 4, 21, 57, 58, 62. 

Milton, John (1608-1674), 1, 3, 6, 9, 10, 15, 16, 27, 60, 61, 63. 

NoRRis, John (1657-1711), 65. 

Quarles, Francis (1592-1644), 39. 

Sedley, Charles (1629-1701), 22, 42. 

Shirley, James (1696-1666), 7, 8. 

Suckling, John (1608-9-1641), 46. 

Vaughan, Henry (1621-1695), 14, 54, 66. 

Waller, Edmund (1605-1687), 31, 38. 

WiLMOT, John (1647-1680), 23. 

Wither, George (1588-1667), 47. 

WoTTON, Henry (1568-1639), 11, 26. 

Anonymous, 20, 30, 37, 41, 49, 50, 51, 52. 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Ah, Chloris ! could I now but sit, 36 

As I was walking all alaue, 60 

A sweet disorder in the dress, 46 

Avenge, Lord ! thy slaughtered saints, whose bones, - 11 

Awake, awake, my Lyre I 63 

Bid me to live, and I will live, 49 

Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy, • - - 82 

Captain, or Colonel, or Knight in arms, - - - - 24 

Gyriack, whose grandsire, on the royal bench, - - - 29 

Daughter to that good Earl, once President, - - - 40 

Drink to me only with thme eyes, 43 

E'en like two little bank-dividing brooks, ... - 48 

Fair Daffodils, we weep to see, 66 

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree, --..-- 64 

From harmony, from heavenly harmony, .... 9 

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may, 38 

Get up, get up for shame 1 The blooming mom, - • - 44 

Go, lovely Rose, • - 42 

Hail thou most sacred venerable thing, - • - - 84 

Happy those early days, when I, 27 

Hence, all you vain delights, 66 

Hence, loathed Melancholy, 71 

Hence, vain deluding Joys, 76 

He that loves a rosy cheek, 41 

How happy is he bom and taught, 25 

How vainly men themselves amaze, 67 

I cannot change, as others do, 37 

If to be absent were to be, 62 

I saw Eternity the other night, 86 



by Google 



It is not growing like a tree, 26 

It was a dismal and a fearful night, 61 

I wish I were where Helen lies, 59 

Jack and Joan, they think no ill, 69 

Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son, - - • - 29 

Love in thy youth, fair Maid, be wise, 42 

Love not me for comely grace, 50 

Mortality, behold and fear, 22 

My Love in her attire doth shew her wit, • • - - 47 

Not, Celia, that I juster am, 50 

Of Neptune's empire let us sing, - - * - - • - 30 

Over the mountains, 34 

O waly waly up the bank, 57 

Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair, 31 

See with what simplicity, 35 

Shall I, wasting in despair, 54 

Sweet, be not proud of those two eyes, 41 

Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind, 39 

That which her slender waist confined, - - - - 48 

The forward youth that would appear, 12 

The glories of our blood and state, 23 

There is a garden in her face, - 43 

They are all gone into the world of light, - - - - 63 

This is the month, and this the happy mom, - - - 1 

Twas at the royal feast for Persia won, • - - - 86 

Upon my lap my sovereign sits, -:.-.- 58 

Victorious men of earth, no more, 22 

With sweetest milk and sugar first, 66 

Whenas in silks my Julia goes, 47 

When God at first made Man, 27 

When I consider how my light is spent, • • - - 25 

When I survey the bright, 83 

When Love with unconfin^d wings, 51 

Where the remote Bermudas ride, 80 

Whoe'er she be, 31 

Why so pale and wan, fond lover ? 53 

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more, - - - 16 

You meaner beauties of the night, 39 


by Google 


Acorn, 220. 
acre, 176. 
actor, 139. 
Adonis, 119. 
a-flying, 198. 
aflford, 97, 213. 
afield, 149. 
against, 208, 256. 
a-getting, 198. 
aghast, 113. 
alane, 222. 
alarm, 129. 
Alexander, 291. 
all, 99, 103, 120, 222, 264. 
all one, 137. 
allaying, 214. 
alone, 108, 222. 
amain, 161. 
Amaryllis, 155. 
amaranthus, 168. 
a-Maying, 207, 237. 
amaze, 103, 227. 
amazed, 296. 
ambergris, 285. 
amorous, 228. 
angel, 207. 
anon, 171, 255. 
anthem, 121, 281. 
anticipate, 215. 
antique, 255. 


Anubis, 120. 
apace, 164. 
appear, 135. 
apples, 285. 
approach, 207. 
Archimedes, 188. 
ardent, 294. 
Arethuse, 157. 
artful, 187. 
arts, 297. 
as, 104, 296. 
Ashtaroth, 118. 
assume, 293. 
assured, 139. 
atoms, 127. 
Attic, 276. 
attire, 211. 
Aurora, 208, 237. 
awe to, 99. 
awful, 101, 290. 292. 
axletree, 104. 
Aymel 153. 


Baalim, 117. 
Babylonian, 134. 
bark, 159. 
baron, 253. 
bask, 252. 
battening, 150. 
bays, 227. 
beads, 209. 


by Google 



beam, 98. 

Bear, 271. 

becks, 239. 

began, 126, 292. 

began, 139. 

belied, 293. 

Belleros, 169. 

bench, 187. 

bended, 207. 

bergamot^ 138. 

beseem, 262. 

beside, 122, 275. 

bespake, 103, 161. 

bested, 259. 

betimes, 188. 

bid, 103, 149. 

birth, 175. 

blame, 100. 

blaze, 156. 

blood, 176. 

blow, 281. 

blue-god, 215. 

bonnet, 160. 

boot, 154. 

borrow, 204. 

both, 202. 

bout, 257. 

brave, 210, 226. 

breaking, 201. 

bright-haired, 262. 

brine, 158. 

broke, 195. 

brood, 259. 

brooding, 102, 234. 

brutish, 120. 

bubble, 295. 

build, 147. 

burd, 222. 

busk, 220. 

buskined, 273. 

but, 114, 199, 206, 226. 

buxom, 238. 

by, 157, 202, 247. 


Caesar, 137, 141. 
can, 193. 

Oanao^, 275. 
canker, 151. 
Gambuscan, 274. 
Camus, 169. 
Capitol, 139. 
careless, 214. 
case, 139. 
cast, 109. 
. 'cause, 217. 
cease, 100, 136. 
Cecilia, 124, 297. 
cedars, 285. 
centre, 113. 
Cephalus, 276. 
Cerberus, 233. 
change, 212. 
character, 288.^ 
charm, 178, 196, 271. 
chauntress, 269. 
cheerly, 243. 
chequered, 249. 
cherry-ripe, 206. 
cherub, 267. 
cherubic, 287. 
Cherubim, 108. 
chest, 121. 
chiefest, 224, 267. 
chime, 111, 287. 
chimney, 261. 
chour, 281. 
chorded, 128. 
Cimmerian, 235 
civil, 210, 276. 
civil-suited, 276. 
clangor, 129. 
clear, 156, 281. 
climacteric, 141. 
clime, 178. 
cloister, 280. 
close, 107, 128. 
colonel, 178. 
commercing, 265. 
committed, 214. 
common, 176. 
compare, 222. 
compass, 127, 211. 
compound, 196. 
concent, 286. 


by Google 



confest, 140. 
consecrated, 116, 159. 
consent, 272. 
consort, 111, 278, 287. 
contract* 183. 
copse, 151. 
coral, 203. 
corbies, 222. 
corslet, 136. 
could, 297. 
covert, 278. 
coy, 148, 199. 
crabs, 230. 
cramasie, 221. 
cranks, 239. 
crape, 266. 
crest, 141. 
crew, 122, 241, 296. 
crown, 141. 
crude, 146. 
crystal-shining, 191. 
cunning, 267. 
curfew, 270. 
curious, 228. 
cymbal, 120. 
cynosure, 246. 
Qjmthia, 107, 190, 268. 
cypress, 264. 


Daffadillies, 168. 
daffodils, 225. 
Dagon, 118. 
dainty, 219. 
dame, 200. 
Damoetas, 150. 
Daphne, 228. 
dappled, 241. 
Darius, 295. 
darksome, 97. 
date, 226. 
daunt, 278. 
dear, 146. 
debonair, 238. 
decent, 265. 
deign, 268. 
deity, 293. 

Delphos, 116. 
demons, 272. 
demure, 264. 
deservings, 218. 
Deva, 162. 
devout, 264. 
dewy-feathered, 279. 
dial, 229. 

diapason, 128, 287. 
dight, 245, 281. 
dimple, 240. 
dirge, 129. 
discover, 129. 
disdainful, 130. 
dishonest, 201, 294. 
disproportioned, 287. 
ditty, 150. 
divine, 115. 
do, 206, 211, 266. 
doat, 212. 
doff, 99. 
dolphins, 170. 
Doric, 173. 
double, 129. 
dragon, 114. 
draw, 164. 
drench, 188, 202 
drudging, 250. 
due, 147, 240, 279. 
duly, 261. 
dungeon, 158. 


Each, 168. 
earthy, 215. 
eating, 256. 
eaves, 277. 
ebon, 236. 
eclipse, 169. 
ecstasies, 281. 
een, 122, 223. 
eglantine,. 242. 
Electra, 179. 
Elysian, 258. 
Emathian, 178. 
empery, 190. 
emptiness, 138. 


by Google 



enamels, 284. 
enchantment, 276. 
enclose, 137. 
engine, 164. 
enlarged, 214. 
enow, 162. 
ensigns, 196. 
entertain, 182. 
enthusiast, 297. 
enwrap. Ill, 257. 
ere, 105, 251. 
erect, 143. 
erring, 210. 
essence, 290. 
esteem, 261. 
Ethiop, 262, 287. 
Euclid, 188. 
Euphrosyne, 236. 
Eurydice, 258, 274. 
ever, 178. 
excellently, 191. 
exposed, 295. 
extremest, 211. 
eyn, 122, 223. 

Faery, 249. 
fair, 236, 296. 
falconry, 141, 195. 
fallacy, 288. 
fallow, 245. 
fame, 155. 
Fancy, 256. 
fantastic, 240. 
fast, 195, 266. 
fatal, 159. 
Fauns, 150. 
Favonius, 186. 
fays, 123. 
feat, 249. 
fee, 201. 
fell, 221. 
felon, 91. 
fiU, 277. 
flail, 251. 
flambeau, 297. 
Flamens, 117. 

flaring, 277. 

flashy, 163. 

fleshly, 185, 272. 

flings, 252. 

floor, 171. 

Flora, 196, 208, 237. 

flower, 292. 

flute, 129. 

fly, 134. 

foil, 157. 

fond, 156, 180, 216, 228, 259. 

footing, 160. 

for, 162, 196, 221, 230. 

for all, 103. 

forbear, 140. 

forced, 139, 146. 

forgoes, 117, 194. 

forehead, 193. 

foreign, 96. 

forespent, 194. 

forfeit, 96. 

forgot, 102. 

fork'd, 136. 

forlorn, 233. 

forsook, 221, 272. 

forward, 135. 

fowls, 219. 

frame, 126. 

freaked, 167. 

fresh-blown, 238. 

fresh-quilted, 208. 

Friar's lantern, 250. 

froUc, 237. 

fi-ounced, 276. 

Fury, 156, 296. 


Gadding, 151. 
gait, 265. 
garish, 278. 
gaudy, 99. 
genius, 172, 279. 
glimmer, 263. 
glistering, 157, 192. 
globe, 108. 
goblin, 250. 
golden, 258. 


by Google 



good, 279, 296. 
graces, 205. 
grain, 264. 
grate, 163, 213. 
green-ffown, 209. 
green-fly, 149. 
grisly, 120. 
guerdon, 166. 


HaU, 261. 

hairy, 252. 

halcvon, 102. 

hamlet, 248. 

Hammon, 119. 

Hannibal, 141. 

harbinger, 100. 

harmony, 126. 

hamess^l, 123. 

hath, 123, 261. 

hause-bane, 223. 

hautboys, 294. 

haycock, 247. 

hearse, 168. 

heave, 127, 258, 278. 

Hebe, 239. 

Hebrides, 169. 

Hebrus, 16.3. 

height, 145. 

Helen, 297. 

hehned, 108. 
hence, 233. 
her, 194, 272. 
Hermes, 271. 
hermitage, 2S2. 
Hesperus, 191. 
high-embowed, 280. 
hinge, 109. 
Hippotades, 158. 
his, 111,122,137.277. 
hist, 267. 
hit, 261. 
hoar, 243. 
homely, 164. 
honest, 201, 294. 
hooked, 101. 
horrour, 114. 

G.T. II. 

hostile, 297. 
Hymen, 254. 

Ida, 263. 
idle, 259. 
in, 96. 

indefatigably, 143. 
influence, 103, 253. 
inglorious, 136. 
interwove, 209. 
inveigle, 196. 
inwrought, 160. 
Isis, 120. 
its, 108, 111, 277. 
ivy, 145. 

Jarring, 126. 
jealous, 234. 
jessamine, 167. 
jocund, 248. 
jollity, 239. 
jolly, 294. 
Jonson, 256. 
Jove, 263, 292. 
Jubal, 128. 

judffe, 254 



Kerchieft, 276. 
kind, 228. 
kindle, 203, 209. 
kist, 102. 
knew, 147. 
knight, 253. 

Labouring, 246. 
lamp, 123, 198. 
landskip, 245. 
Up, 165, 257. 
Lars, 117. 
lash, 290. 
laureate, 168. 


by Google 



Uiirel, 146. 

Uwn, 105, 149, 210, 245. 

Lemaree, 117. 

leprooB, 111. 

less, 267. 

libyc, 119. 

Uchtly, 220. 

Ues, 157, 246. 

likest, 260. 

liquefaction, 210. 

list, 163. 

lively, 279. 

liyeries, 244. 

loathed, 283. 

look, 166. 

lose, 195. 

loth, 107. 

lovesick, 203. 

low-browed, 235. 

lowly, 98. 

lubber, 251. 

Lucifer, 103. 

lullaby, 221. 

lore, 141. 

lusty, 99, 163. 

lute, 130. 

Lydian, 257, 295. 

Mab, 249. 
maiden, 100. 
main, 161. 
mansion, 272. 
many, 248, 296. 
' married, 257. 
mask, 255. 
massy, 161, 280. 
matin, 208, 252. 
may, 140. 
mead, 217, 247. 
mean time, 196. 
meditate, 154. 
meed, 148, 157. 
meikle, 222. 
melancholy, 233. 
mellowing, 146. 
Memphian, 121. 

s, 247. 
methinks, 202. 
Mexique, 286. 
midst, 97. 
minute, 277. 
mistake, 142. 
mitred, 161. 
moist, 169. 
Moloch, 119. 
Mon{^ 152. 
'mongst, 234. 
monody, 145. 
monstrous, 169. 
monumentiBd, 278. 
mortal, 97, 129, 156. 
mortality, 174. 
mortifies, 219. 
mother-wit, 297. 
Musaeus, 274. 

muse, 148, 153, 266, 274. 295. 
must, 151. 
myrtle, 101, 145, 292. 


Namancos, 170. 
nappy, 230. 
narrow-verged, 227. 
native, 290. 
Nesera, 155. 
neat, 187. 
neat-handed, 247. 
nectar, 172. 
nectarine, 228. 
neglectful, 210. 
Neptuue, 189. 
nerves, 177. 
new-enlighten'd, 104. 
new-spangled, 171. 
nightly, 116, 271. 
night-raven, 235. 
night-steeds, 123, 268. 
no, nor, 135, 157, 181, 207. 
nod 294. 

noise, 107, 190, 268, 287. 
none, 292. 
noon, 225, 269. 
numbers, 135. 


by Google 



numerous, 216. 
nun, 263. 
nunnery, 199. 
nuptial, 172. 
nymph, 239. 

Oat, 167. 
oaten, 150. 
ode, 125, 145. 
oft, 263. 
Olympia, 293. 
oozy, 109, 172. 
once, 175, 201, 237. 
only, 213. 
ope, 161, 193. 
or ere, 105. 
oracle, 114. 
orb, 103, 112. 
organ. 111, 130, 297. 
orient, 122, 207, 209. 
Ormus, 285. 
Orpheus, 131, 258, 274. 
Orus, 120. 
Osiris, 121. 
other, 229. 
outwatch, 271. 

Pageant, 131, 255. 
pale, 211, 280. 
pale-eyed, 116. 
pall, 273. 
Pan, 105, 228. 
Panop^, 158. 
paradise, 206, 229. 
paramour, 99. 
parley, 196. 
parti-coloured, 142. 
parting, 116, 219. 
passion, 128, 266. 
peer, 147. 
peering, ill. 
pelican, 218. 
Pelops, 273. 
penetration, 138. 
pensioners, 260. 

pensive, 263, 
Peor, 117. 
perfect, 157. 
perfidious, 159. 
phantasy, 286. 
Philomel, 200, 268. 
Pict, 142. 
pied, 246. 
PUot, 161. 
Pindarus, 179. 
pined, 217. 
pink, 167. 
plaid, 142. 
pUt, 269. 
Plato, 271. 
play, 218. 
plea, 90. 
plead, 138. 
pledge, 161, 225, 286. 
plight, 268. 
plot, 137. 
plume, 141. 
Pluto, 268, 274. 
point, 105. 
pollute, 99. 
pomegranates, 285. 
pomp, 255. 
poplar, 116. 
possess, 260. 
post, 181. 
prest, 197. 
prevent, 98, 
prime, 147. 
profaner, 278. 
pronounce, 188. 
proof, 280. 
prythee, 216. 
purple, 166, 177, 294, 
PyUiagoras, 109, 126 

Quaint, 117, 166, 176. 
quell, 128. 
quills, 173. 
quilted, 208. 
quips, 239. 
quire, 98, 216, 281, 287. 202. 


by Google 



quit, 216. 
qaoth, 181. 


Ragged, 235. 
rampant^ 193. 
rank, 164. 
ranBom, 90» 
rapt, 265. 
rare, 205. 
rathe, 167. 
rather, 285. 
ravished, 293. 
rebeck, 248. 
rebound, 293. 
receipt, 195. 
reck, 163. 
redemption, 95. 
release, 96. 
remove, 224. 
removed, 270. 
reply, 190. 
requite, 178. 
resemble, 205. 
retires, 209. 
revolving, 295. 
rhyme, 147. 
ribbands, 210. 
ngged, 159. 
rout, 153. 
row, 284. 
ruth, 170. 

Sable-stoled, 121, 264. 
sacred, 116, 159. 
saffiron, 254. 
sage, 96, 237. 
St. Michael, 170. 
sanguine, 160. 
sapphire-colour'd, 286. 
sate, 292. 
Saturn, 111,263. 
Satyrs, 150. 
save, 219, 271. 
scaly, 189. 
scope, 139. 
scrannel, 163. 

season, 147. 

seats, 293. 

secret, 98. 

secure, 230, 248. 

sedge, 160. 

self. 207, 211, 268. 

sequacious, 131. 

Seraphim, 108, 287. 

sere, 146, 182. 

serviceable, 123. 

session, 113. 

several, 122, 185. 

Shakespeare, 256. 

shall, 176. 

shamefsbced, 108. 

shape, 234. 

shatter, 146. 

She, 192, 194. 

shall, 128. 

sheen, 112. 

shew, 282. 

shine, 118. 

shined, 184. 

shore, 270. 

shrill, 129, 243. 

shrine, 115, 192. 

shrink, 119, 165. 

shroud, 121, 149. 

shun, 205. 

Sicilian, 157, 165. 

silly, 106, 217, 230. 

silver, 191. 

simple, 181. 

sing, 96, 135, 214, 235, 237, 

278, 289. 
sire, 159. 
Sirens, 286. 
slope, 150. 
slug-a-bed, 208. 
societies, 172. 
sock, 255. 
soever, 191. 
sometime, 243, 273. 
sonnet, 132. 
sovereign, 293. 
sovran, 101. 
spangled, 98, 171. 
spare, 187. 


by Google 



speckled, 111. 

sped, 163. 

speU, 282. 

sphere, 100, 109, 286. 

sphere-bom, 286. 

spied, 205. 

spires, 293. 

spite, 242. 

spoils, 140. 

star, 136. 

starred, 262. 

startles, 241. 

state, 265, 292. 

stead, 259. 

steadfast, 103, 264. 

steep, 152. 

steering, 112. 

stiU, 181, 198, 207, 228, 295. 

stole, 121, 264. 

stoop, 195. 

stops, 173. 

store, 194, 213, 253. 

storied, 280. 

straight, 131. 

strain, 97, 282, 296. 

straiter, 114. 

stray, 246. 

strike, 10]. 

strook, 107. 

Stygian, 233. 

'suage, 215. 

subUme, 293. 

subtle, 139. 

suns, 131, 294. 

sunk, 159, 204. 

surround, 108. 

swain, 197, 247. 

swart, 166. 

sway, 288. 

sweat, 251. 

Swede, 188. 

sweet, 199. 

swinges, 114. 

Sydnaean, 193. 

Sylvan, 278. 

syne, 220. 

Syrens, 190. 

Syrinx, 228. 

Tabernacle, 209. 

taffibta, 193. 

taint- worm, 151. 

take, 98, 107, 211, 216, 

tale, 245. 

talent, 180. 

tane, 223. 

tangle, 155, 213. 

taper, 118, 264. 

teem, 123. 

tell, 245. 

tempered, 150. 

tend, 154. 

terrour, 113. 

Thais, 292. 

Thames, 214. 

Thammuz, 119. 

than, 105, 202. 

thankless, 154. 

that, 199, 203, 213, 215, 258. 

the, 218. 

Thebes, 273. 

thee, 238, 296. 

theek, 223. 

their, 108, 133, 197, 254. 

Themis, 187. 

themselves, 206. 

thereby, 210. 

they, 207. 

thorough, 136. 

thought, 173. 

thrilling, 107. 

thy, 173. 

timbrel, 121. 

Tib, 230. 

Timotheus, 292. 

tipple, 214. 

tire, 168. 

tissue, 112, 193. 

Titan, 209. 

to, 99, 147, 150, 151, 196» 201, 

212, 227, 266, 297. 
t'other, 223. 
touch, 111.' 
towered, 252. 
I train, 260. 


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tricka, 171. 276. 
trim, 267. 
Trinal, 37. 
trip it, 229, 240. 
triple, 134. 
Tritons, 190. 
triumph, 253. 
trophies, 275. 
troth, 209, 215. 
Troy, 273. 
tufted, 142, 167. 
tulip, 196. 
tuneful, 292. 
tumey, 275. 
turtle, 100, 218. 
Tuscan, 187. 
tutties, 230. 
twain, 161. 
twining, i39. 
two-handed, 164. 
Typhon, 122. 


Uncessant, 154, 227. 
unconfined, 213. 
uncouth, 234. 
unespied, 284. 
unexpressiye, 108, 172. 
unffirt, 140. 
universal, 126, 289. 
unquestioned, 290. 
unreproved, 241. 
unrooted, 131. 
unshorn, 208. 
unshowei^d, 121. 
unsphere, 271. 
unsufferable, 96. 
untrod, 98, 256. 
untune, 132. 
urn, 148, 185. 
use, 155, 165. 
ushered, 277. 


Vain, 259. 
various, 229. 

vault, 285. 
vein, 97. 
very, 212, 213. 
vest, 229. 
Vesta, 262. 
violin, 130. 
virtue, 216. 
virtuous, 196, 276 
visaffe, 153, 261. 
voccJ, 131. 
vows, 169. 


Wakeful, 112. 
waly, 220. 
wandering, 269. 
wanton, 203. 
warble, 107, 130. 
wardrobe, 161. 
was come, 106. 
weanling, 161. 
wed, 286. 
weeds, 253. 
well-attired, 168. 
welter, 109, 147, 296. 
went, 160. 
westering, 150. 
what, 149, 225. 
whelming, 169. 
whenas, 203, 210. 
wherein, 95. 
while, 99. 
whist, 102, 267. 
who, 102. 
whose, 189. 
wile; 239. 
will, 176, 270. 
wing, 131. 
wished, 191. 
wist, 221. 
wit, 211. 254, 
with, 96, 121, 201. 
wizard, 98, 152. 
womb, 289. 
won, 107. 
wondrous, 205. 
wont, 97, 155, 265. 


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wonted, 191, 265. 
work, 96. 

wonhipt, 121, 133. 
worth, 295. 
wot, 223. 
wracks, 284. 
wreathed, 239. 
wrench, 188. 
wroth, 114. 

Tchained, 112. 
jrolept, 236 

ye, yon, 127, 176, 203. 

year, 182. 

yellow, 123. 

yet, 112, 202, 203, 263. 

yon, 267. 

yore, 262. 

you, 127, 176, 203. 

yonngest-teem'd, 123. 

yonth, 248. 


liao, 229 



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