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Tell me bright Spirit where'er thou hoverest,
Whether above that high first-moving sphere,
Or in th’ Elysian fields, (if such there were,)

Oh say me true, if thou wert mortal wight,
And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.

Wert thou some star which from the ruin'd roof
Of shak’d Olympus by mischance didst fall;
Which careful Jove in nature's true behoof
Took up, and in fit place did reinstall ?
Or did of late earth's sons besiege the wall

Of sheeny heav'n, and thou some goddess fled
Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head?

Or wert thou that just Maid who once before



38. Tell me bright Spirit 44. —didst

fall ;] This is somewhere'er thou hoverest, what inaccurate in all the edi. Whether above, &c.]

tions. Grammar and syntax reThese hypothetical questions are quire did fall. like those in Lycidas, "Whether 47. Or did of late earth's sons " beyond the stormy Hebrides, &c.) For when the giants in! " &c.” v. 156. originally from vaded heaven, the deities fled Virgil, Georg. i. 32.

and concealed themselves in va. Anne novum tardis sidus te mensibus rious shapes. See Ovid, Met. v. addas, &c.

319, &c. T. Warton. 48. Of sheeny heaven,] So in 39. ---that high first-moving Spenser, sphere,] The primum mobile, And beautifie the sheenie firmament. that first moved as he calls it, Sheen occurs in Hamlet, a. iii. Paradise Lost, iii. 483. where

S. 2. see the note.

And thirty dozen moons with bor. 40. -if such there were. He

rowed sheen, &c. should have said are, if the

T. Warton, rhyme had permitted. Hurd.

49. —nectar'd head?] As in 44. Of shak'd Olympus) For Lycidas, ver. 175. shaken. In Cymbeline, a. ii. s. 2.

With nectar pure his oozy locks he A sly, and constant knave, not to be

laves. shak'd.

50. —that just Maid] Astrea T. Warton.

or the Goddess of justice, who


Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth,
And cam’st again to visit us once more?
Or wert thou that sweet smiling Youth?
Or that crown'd matron sage white-robed Truth?
other of that heav'nly brood

55 Let down in cloudy throne to do the world some good?

IX. Or wert thou of the golden-winged host, Who having clad thyself in human weed, To earth from thy prefixed seat didst post, And after short abode fly back with speed, offended with the crimes of men Orb'd in a rainbow; and like glories forsook the earth. Ovid, Met. i.


Mercy will sit between &c. 150.

And Mercy is not unfitly repreUltima cælestum terras Astrea reliquit.

sented as a sweet smiling youth, 53. —that sweet smiling Youth?)

this age being the most suscepAt first I imagined that the au

tible of the tender passions. thor meant Hebe, in Latin Juo

53. The late Mr. John Heskin, venta, or Youth. And Mr. Jortin of Ch. Ch. Oxford, who published communicated the following note. an elegant edition of Bion and A word of two syllables is Moschus, was the author both of r wanting to fill up


this ingenious conjecture and of 66 of the verse.

It is


the reasons for it in the preceding “ find such a word, but impos

note. T. Warton. « sible to determine what word

57. Or wert thou of the golden“ Milton would have inserted. winged host.] Mr. Bowle cites “ He uses Youth in the feminine Spenser's Hymne of Heavenlie

Beautie, gender, as the Latins some" times use juvenis, and by this

-Bright Cherubins "fair youth he probably means Which all with golden wings are " the Goddess Hebe, who was overdight. « also called Juventas or Ju

And Spenser's Heavenly Love “ venta.” But others have pro- has golden wings. Tasso thus posed to fill up the verse thus, describes Gabriel's wings, Gier, Or wert thou Mercy that sweet smil. Lib. i. 14. ing youth?

Ali bianche vesti ch' han d' or le For Mercy is often joined with

cime. Justice and Truth, as in the Hymn on the Nativity, st. 15. See Il Penseroso, v. 52. T. War

ton. Yea Truth and Justice then Will down return to mon,


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As if to show what creatures heav'n doth breed,

Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
To scorn the sórdid world, and unto heav’n aspire?

But oh why didst thou not stay here below
To bless us with thy heav'n-lov’d'innocence, 65
To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe,
To turn swift-rushing black perdition hence,
Or drive away the slaughtering pestilence,

To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart?
But thou canst best perform that office where thou art. 70

Then thou the mother of so sweet a child
Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament,
And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild;
Think what a present thou to God hast sent,

a And render him with patience what he lent; 75

This if thou do, he will an offspring give, That till the world's last end shall make thy name to live.

68. Or drive away the slaughter- from a boy of seventeen, this ing pestilence,] It should be Ode is an extraordinary effort of noted, that at this time there was fancy, expression, and versificaa great plague in London, which tion. Even in the conceits, which gives a peculiar propriety to this are many, we perceive strong whole stanza.

and peculiar marks of genius. 68. The application to present I think Milton has here given circumstances, the supposition a very remarkable specimen of that the heaven-loved innocence of his ability to succeed in the Spenthis child, by remaining upon serian stanza. He moves with earth, might have averted the great ease and address amidst pestilence now raging in the the embarrassment of a frequent kingdom, is happily and beauti- return of rhyme. T. Warlon. fully conceived. On the whole,


II. Anno ætatis 19. At a Vacation Exercise in the

College, part Latin, part English. The Latin

speeches ended, the English thus began.
HAIL native language, that by sinews weak
Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak,
And mad’st imperfect words with childish trips,
Half unpronounc'd, slide through my infant-lips,
Driving dumb silence from the portal door,
Where he had mutely sat two years before:
Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task:
Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee,
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee:
Thou need'st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me I have thither pack'd the worst:
And, if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintiest dishes shall be serv'd up last.
I pray thée then deny me not thy aid
For this same small neglect that I have made:
But haste thee strait to do me once a pleasure,
And from thy wardrobe bring thy chiefest treasure,



These verses were made in Not those new-fangled toys, and 1627, that being the nineteenth trimming slight year of the author's age; and Which takes our late fantastics they were not in the edition of with delight.] 1645, but were first added in Perhaps he here alludes to Lilly's the edition of 1673.

Euphues, a book full of affected 13. --forecast,] See Sams. phraseology, which pretended to Agon. v. 254. T. Warton. reform or refine the English lan18. And from thy wardrobe guage; and whose effects, al

bring thy chiefest treasure, though it was published some

Not those new fangled toys, and trimming slight
Which takes our late fantastics with delight,

But cull those richest robes, and gay'st attire,
Which deepest spirits, and choicest wits desire:
I have some naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their passage out;
And weary of their place do only stay

25 Till thou hast deck'd them in thy best array; That so they may without suspect or fears Fly swiftly to this fair assembly's ears ; Yet I had rather, if I were to choose, Thy service in some graver subject use,

30 years before, still remained. The 19. Not those new-fangled toys] ladies and the courtiers were all Dressed anew, fantastically deinstructed in this new style; and corated, newly invented, Shakeit was esteemed a mark of igno- speare, Love's Lab. Lost, a. i. s. 1. rance or unpoliteness not to un- At Christmas I no more desire a rose, derstand Euphuism. He pro

Than wish a snow in May's newceeds,

fangled shows. But cull those richest robes, and In Cymbeline, we have simply gay'st attire,

fangled, a. v. s. 4.

“ Be not, as Which deepest spirits, and choicest

our fangled world, &c.” “Newwits desire. From a youth of nineteen, these and Fletcher. In our Church

fangled work” occurs in B. are striking expressions of a

Canons, dated 1603. sect. 74. consciousness of superior genius, and of an ambition to rise above vation in dress and doctrine.

new fanglenesse is used for innothe level of the fashionable And so Spenser, F. Q. i. iv. 25. rhymers. He seems to have retained to the last this contempt

Full vaine follies and new.fanglenesse. for the poetry in vogue.

In the See also Prefaces to Comm. Pr. Tractate on Education, p. 110. of Cerem. A. D. 1549. and our ed. 1673, he says, the study of Author's Prelatical Episcopacy, good critics “ would make them Pr. W. i. 37. and in Ulpian

soon perceive what despicable Fullwill's interlude, Like Wit to “ creatures our common rhymers like, Nichol Nerofangle is the vice. “ and play-writers be: and shew T. Warton. “ what religious, what glorious 29. Yet I had rather, if I were “ and magnificent use might be to choose, " made of poetry.” Milton's own Thy rvice in some graver subwritings are the most illustrious

ject use, &c.] proof of this. T. Warton.

It appears by this address of

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