Abbildungen der Seite

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 list'ning how the hounds and horn Chearly rouse the slumbʼring morn,

45. Then to come in spite of Again, ibid. p. 70. sorrow,] These two poems, L'AL

But cheerful birds chirping him sweet legro and Il Penseroso, are cer- good morrowes. tainly the best of Milton's pro

T. Warton. ductions in rhyme, for the rhymes in Lycidas are irregular: but yet

Milton perhaps remembered we may observe that several Virgil in these descriptions of things are said, which would the morning, and the morning not have been said but only for

sounds; the sake of the rhyme, and we Evandrum ex humili tecto lux sushave an instance, I conceive, in citat alma the line before us. Mr. Pope, I

Et matutini volucrum sub culmine

Æn, viii. 455. have been informed, had remarked several defects of the And Gray certainly copied both same kind in these two poems; Virgil and Milton. and there may be some truth

The breezy call of incense-breathing and justness in the observation,

morn, which Dryden has made in the

The swallow twitt'ring from the dedication of his Juvenal, that straw-built shed,

rhyme was not Milton's talent, The cock's shrill clarion, and the 5 he had neither the ease of doing

echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their “ it, nor the graces of it;" but

lowly bed. then it must be said, that he had

E. talents for greater things, and there is more harmony in his

47, 48. Sweet-briar and egblank verse than in all the rhym- lantine are the same plant. By ing poetry in the world.

the twisted eglantine he there46. And at my window bid good fore means the honeysuckle. morrow,] Sylvester's Du Barlas, T. Warton. in the Cave of Sleep, p. 315. ed.

51. -Rouse the

slumb'ring 1621.

morn,] Compare an elegant triplet -Cease, sweet chantecleere,

of an obscure poet, John HabingTo bid good morrowe.

ton, Castara, ed. 1640. VOL. III.


[ocr errors]

p. 8.



From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill:
Some time walking not unseen
By hedge-row elms, on hillocs green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state,
Rob’d in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight,



The nymphes with quivers shall Fairfax, cant. i. st. 72.

adorne Their active sides, and rouse the

So every one in arms was quickly dight.

62. Literally from a very puWith the shrill musicke of their erile poetical description of the horne.

morning in one of his academic T. Warton.

Prolusions. Ipsa quoque tellus 57. -Not unseen.] In the in adventum solis, cultiori se inPenseroso, he walks unseen, v. 65. duit vestitu, nubesque juxta variis Happy men love witnesses of chlamydatæ coloribus, pompa sotheir joy; the splenetic love lenni, longoque ordine, videntur solitude. Hurd.

ancillari surgenti Deo. Pr. W. 59. Right against the eastern gate, vol. ii. p. 586. Where the great sun begins his This morning Jandscape of state, &c.]

L'Allegro has served as a repoHere is an allusion to a splendid sitory of imagery for all succeedor royal procession. Gray has ing poets on the same subject. adopted the first of these lines Much the same circumstances in his Descent of Odin. The however, amongst others, are eastern gate is a common image. assembled by the author of See Milton's poem In Quintum Britannia's Pastorals, who wrote Novembris, 133. Drayton, Po- above thirty years before, b. iv. lyolb. st. xiii. Shakespeare, Mids. iv. p. 75. ed. 1616. Ñ. Dr. a. iii. s. 9. Compare By this had chanticlere, the village. also Browne, Brit. Past. b. i. s. clocke, v. and b. ii. s. iii. And Tasso, Bidden the good wife for her maides c. xiv. 3. T. Warton.

to knocke: 62. The clouds in thousand

And the swart plowman for his break

fast staid, liveries dight,] And so in Il Pen

That he might till those lands were seroso,

fallow laid:

The hills and vallies here and there And storied windows richly dight.

resound Dight, dressed, adorned; a word With the re-ecchoes of the deepeused by Spenser, and our old mouth'd hound: writers. Faery Queen, b. i. cant.

Each sheapherd's daughter with her iv. st. 6.

cleanly peale,

Was come afield to milke the morn. With rich array and costly arras dight. ings meale;

[ocr errors]


While the ploughman near at hand
Whistles o’er the furrow'd land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.


And ere the sunne had clymb’d the Pipe, Egl. v. edit. 1614. 12mo.

easterne hills, To guild the muttring bournes and Signat. E. 4. v. 7. he is describ

ing the dawn of day. petty rills; Before the lab’ring bee had left the When the shepheards from the fold hive,

All their bleating charges told ; And nimble fishes, which in rivers And, full careful, search'd if one dive,

Of all the flock was hurt, or gone, &c. Began to leape, and catch the drowned

And in Lilly's Gallathea, written flie,

1592, Phillida, disguised like a I rose from rest.

boy, says, “My mother said, I 67. And every shepherd tells his " could be no lad till I was tale

“ twentie, nor keepe sheepe till Under the hawthorn in the dale.] “ I could tell them.” A. ii. s. i. An image perhaps conveyed by But let us analyse the context. Shakespeare, Third P. K. Henr. The poet is describing a very VI. a. ii. s. v.

early period of the morning; Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter and this he describes, by selectshade

ing and assembling such pictuTo shepherds looking on their silly

resque objects as accompany that sheep, &c.


1, and, such as were familiar It was suggested to me by the

to an early riser. He is waked late ingenious Mr. Headley, that by the lark, and goes into the the word tale does not here im- fields. The sun is just emerging, ply stories told by shepherds, and the clouds are still hovering but that it is a technical term

over the mountains. The cocks for numbering sheep, which is

are crowing, and with their lively still used in Yorkshire and the

notes scatler the lingering remains distant counties. This interpre- of darkness

. Human labours and tation I am inclined to adopt, employments are renewed, with which I will therefore endeavour the dawn of the day. The to illustrate and enforce. Tale hunter (formerly much earlier at and tell, in this sense, were not his sports than at present) is unfamiliar in our poetry, in and beating the covert, and the slumabout Milton's time. For in- bering morn is roused with the stance, Dryden's Virgil, Bucol. cheerful echo of hounds and iii. 33.

horns. The mower is whetting And once she takes the tale of all my his scythe to begin his work. lambs.

The milk-maid, whose business And in W. Browne's Shepheard's is of course at day-break, comes


Strait mine eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the landscape round it measures,
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray,
Mountains on whose barren breast
The lab’ring clouds do often rest,
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.


abroad singing. The shepherd night,” had no cause to tell opens his fold, and takes the tale the tale of their sheep in the of his sheep, to see if any were morning. And this description lost in the night, as in the passage is therefore as appropriate here, just quoted from Browne. Now, as it would be trite and general for shepherds to tell tales, or to in the case of the English shepsing, is a circumstance, trite, herd at the dawn of day. "I common, and general, and be- have given Warton's note on the longing only to ideal shepherds: passage at full length, because I nor do I know, that such shep- have sometimes found persons herds tell tales, or sing, more in strangely reluctant to do Milton the morning than at any other justice in this point. E. part of the day. A shepherd 69. Strait mine eye

hath caught taking the tale of his sheep which new pleasures] There is in my are just unfolded, is a new image, opinion great beauty in this abcorrespondent and appropriated, rupt and rapturous start of the beautifully descriptive of a period poet's imagination, as it is exof time, is founded in fact, and tremely well adapted to the subis more pleasing as more natural. ject, and carries a very pretty T. Warton.

allusion to those sudden gleams 67. Some perhaps will cite, of vernal delight which break in in opposition to Warton's argu- upon the mind at the sight of a ment, Milton's description of the fine prospect. Thyer.

. shepherds in his Hymn on the 72. Where the nibbling flocks do Morning of Christ's Nativity, st. stray,] Nibbling sheep is an exviii.

pression in Shakespeare. TemThe shepherds on the lawn

pest, act iv. sc. 3. And stray is Or e'er the point of dawn,

not in the sense of wander, go Sat simply chatting in a rustic row; astray, but only signifies feed at Perhaps their loves, or else their large, as in Virgil, Ecl. i.9.

sheep, Was all that did their silly thoughts

Ille meas errare boves, ut cernis, et

ipsum so busy keep.

Ludere quæ vellem calamo permisit But in fact they, “ who kept agresti. “ watch over their flocks by


Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom’d high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,




77. Towers and battlements it cite expectation by concealment,

by gradual approaches, and by Bosom'd high in tufted trees.] interrupted appearances. T. WarThis was the great mansion-house ton. in Milton's early days, before 80. The Cynosure of neighb'ring the old-fashioned architecture eyes.] As if he had said the had given way to modern arts pole-star of neighbouring eyes: and improvements. Turrets and an affected expression. Cynosura battlements were conspicuous is the constellation of Ursa minor, marks of the numerous or the little bear next to our pole, buildings of the reign of King as in the Mask 342. I find the Henry VIII. and of some rather same expression in Democritus more ancient, many of which yet Junior, or Burton's treatise of, remained in their original state: Melancholy, as quoted by Mr. nor was that style altogether Peck. “It is the general huomitted in Inigo Jones's first mour of all lovers: she is his manner. Browne, in Britannia's “stern, his pole-star, his guide, Pastorals, has a similar image, “his Cynosure, his Hesperus and b. i. s. 5. p. 96.

Vesperus, &c.” p. 512. -yond palace, whose brave turret

80. But Shakespeare has" your tops

eyes are lode-starres." Mids. Over the statelie' wood survay the N. Dr. a. i. s. 1. And our author, copse.

“ But since he must needs be Browne is a poet now forgotten, “ the load-star of reformation.” but must have been well known P. W. vol. i. 9. And this was to Milton.

no uncommon compliment in Where only a little is seen, Chaucer, Skelton, Sydney, Spenmore is left to the imagination. ser, and

other old English poets, These symptoms of an old palace, as Mr. Steevens has abundantly especially when thus disposed, proved. See also Grey's Notes have a greater effect than a dis- on Shakespeare, vol. i. p. 43. seq. covery of larger parts, and even Lond. 1754. And in the Spanish a full display of the whole edi. Tragedy, 1603. fice. With respect to their rural Led by the load-star of her heavenly residence, there was a coyness in our Gothic ancestors. Modern Milton enlivens his prospect by seats are seldom so deeply am- this unexpected circumstance, bushed. They disclose all their which gives it a moral charm. glories at once; and never ex- T. Warton.


« ZurückWeiter »