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But else in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,


62. Hath lock'd up mortalsense,] mony, the three daughters of He had written at first Hath Necessity perpetually sing in chain'd mortality.

correspondent tones. In the 64. —the nine infolded spheres,] mean time, the adamantine spinAccording to the doctrine of the dle, which is placed in the lap ancients, as it is explained by or on the knees of Necessity, Cicero. Somnium Scipionis 4. and on which the fate of men Novem tibi orbibus, vel potius and gods is wound, is also reglobis, connexa sunt omnia: and volved. This music of the then he enumerates them in this spheres, proceeding from the order, heaven or the sphere of rapid motion of the heavens, is the stars, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, so loud, various, and sweet, as the Sun, Venus, Mercury, the to exceed all aptitude or proporMoon, and the Earth. And in tion of the human ear, and there the next chapter he speaks of fore is not heard by men. Morethe music of the spheres. Quid? over, this spherical music consists hic, inquam, quis est, qui com- of eight unisonous melodies: the plet aures meas tantus et tam ninth is a concentration of all the dulcis sonus? and describes it, rest, or a diapason of all those and accounts for mankind's not eight melodies; which diapason, hearing it. Hic vero tantus est or concentus, the nine Sirens sing totius mundi incitatissima con- or address to the supreme Being. versione sonitus, ut eum aures This last circumstance, while it hominum capere non possint: justifies a doubtful reading, illussicut intueri solem adversum ne- trates or rather explains a pasquitis, ejusque radiis acies vestra sage in these lines, At a solemn sensusque vincitur. See also Ma- Music, v. 6. crobius in Somn. Scip. lib. ii. That undisturbed song of pure concap. 4. Ergo universi mundani

cent, corporis sphæræ novem sunt, &c. Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd 64. This is Plato's system.


To Him that sits thereon. Fate, or Necessity, holds a spindle of adamant: and, with her three Milton, full of these Platonic daughters, Lachesis, Clotho, and ideas, has here a reference to Atropos, who handle the vital this consummate or concentual web wound about the spindle, Song of the ninth sphere, which she conducts or turns the hea- is undisturbed and pure, that is, venly bodies. Nine Muses, or unallayed and perfect. The PlaSyrens, sit on the summit of the tonism is here, however, in some spheres; which, in their revolu- degree christianized. tions produce the most ravishing These notions are to be found musical harmony. To this har- in the tenth book of Plato's Re

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And sing to those that hold the vital sheers,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measur'd motion draw
After the heav'nly tune, which none can hear



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public, in his Timæus, and other Music of the Spheres, having exparts of his works; but they plained Plato's theory, assigns a cannot be well understood or

similar reason. “ Quod autem digested without the assistance “ nos hanc minime audiamus harof Proclus, who yet has partly “ moniam, sane in causa videtur clouded the system with new esse, furacis Promethei audarefinements. Hence we are to “ cia, quæ tot mala hominibus interpret Spenser in the Platonic « invexit, et simul hanc felicitaHymne in Honour of Beautie. “ tem nobis abstulit, qua nec For Love is a celestiall harmonie unquam

frui licebit, dum sceOf likewise hearts, composed of starres “ leribus cooperti belluinis, cu

piditatibus obrutescimus. At T. Warton.

“ si pura, si nivea gestaremus 72. After the heav'nly tune, “pectora—tum quidem suaviswhich none can hear &c.] To the o sima illa stellarum circumsame purpose Shakespeare speak- “ euntium musica personarent ing likewise of the music of the aures nostræ et opplerentur." spheres. Merchant of Venice, Prose Works, vol. ii. 588. See

, act v. sc. 1.

Obserrat. on Spenser's F. Q. ii. There's not the smallest orb, which

32. On the same principle, the thou behold'st,

airy music which the waking But in his motion like an angel sings, poet hears in Il Penseroso, was Still quiring to the young-ey'd che

sent only “ by some spirit to rubims; Such harmony is in immortal sounds! mortals good.v. 153. And in But whilst this muddy vesture of his Prose Works, he mentions decay

those“ celestial songs to others Doth grossly close us in, we cannot inapprehensible, but not to those hear it,

“ who were not defiled with 72. After the heav'nly tune,

“ women, &c." Apol. Smeclymn. which none can hear

p. 178. edit. Tol. It is the same Of human mould, with gross un- philosophy in Comus, v. 457.

purged ear.) I do not recollect this reason in

And in clear thought, and solemn Plato, the Somnium Scipionis, or


Tell her of things which no gross ear Macrobius. But our author, in

can hear. an academic Prolusion on the

T. Warton.

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Of human mould with gross unpurged ear;
And yet such music worthiest were to blaze
The peerless height of her immortal praise,
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,

inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds, yet as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can show,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state:

ye may all that are of noble stem Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.


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nor soil

Song II. O’ER the smooth enamellid green, Where no print of step hath been,

85 73. With gross unpurged ear;] cred resture's hem.] Fairfax, in Compare Shakespeare, Mids. N. the metrical dedication of his Dr. a. iii. s. 1.

Tasso to Queen Elizabeth, bids And I will purge thy mortal grossness his Muse not approach too boldly, That thou will like an airy spirit go.

her vesture's hem. And see Comus, v. 997.

I must not quit Milton's Genius List mortals, if your ears be true. without observing, that a Genius

T. Warton. is more than once introduced in

Jonson's Underwoods and Masques. 77. - Hand or voice could hit, See the poems on Lord Bacon's &c.] Parad. Reg. iv. 254.“. Tones birth-day, written 1620, vol. vi. “ and numbers hit by voice or

425. and in “ Part of the King's « hand.And, i. 171. “ The hand

“ Entertainment passing to his sung with the voice.” T. War

“ Coronation,” the Genius of ton.

London appears. Ed. fol. 1616. 81. And so attend ye toward her glittering state:) Jonson, ment at Theobald's, 1607, the dia

p. 849. And in the EntertainHymenæi, vol. v. 272.

logue is chiefly supported by a And see where Juno

Genius, p. 887. And the Fates Displays her glittering state and chair.

are represented teaching future A state is a canopy. See the things to the Genius of this piece, notes P. L. vii. 440. and x. 445. who is the Genius of the palace T. Warton.

of Theobald's, p. 888. T. Warton. 83. Approach, and kiss her sa- 84. -enamelld green.] Ena

Follow me as I sing,

And touch the warbled string,
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-proof.

Follow me,


I will bring you where she sits,
Clad in splendor as befits

Her deity.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.


Song III. NYMPHS and Shepherds dance no more

By sandy Ladon's lilied banks,

melled, with this application, oc- See Peacham's Minerva Britanna, curs repeatedly in Sylvester's p. 182. edit. 1612. 4to. But Du Bartas. And in Drayton, literally the same line is applied Sydney, and Peele. T. Warton. to a grove in the Faerie Queene,

87. —warbled string.] That i. i. 7. Where Spenser seems to is, the lute accompanied with the have imitated Statius, Theb. 1. x. voice. T. Warton.

85. 89.-branching elm star-proof.] Nulli penetrabilis astro That is, which will resist the evil Lucus iners. influence of the planets. It is a Compare our author, P. L. b. ix. vulgar superstition that one 1088. species of elm has this virtue.

Where highest woods impenetrable Warburton.

To star, or sun-light, spread their But I believe he means no umbrage broad. more than, proof against the rays Sylvester has “ Sun-proof arof the sun; impenetrable to star « bours," Du Bartas, p. 171. or sun-light, as he says P. L. ix. edit. 1621. Works. But star1086. where see the note. Hurd. proof is astrological, as in Martin's

One of Peacham's Emblems is Dumbe Knight, 1608. Reed's the picture of a large and lofty Old. Pl. iv. 479. grove, which defies the influence

Or else star-cross'd with some hagg's of the moon and stars appearing hellishness. over it. This grove, in the

T. Warton. verses affixed, is said to be,

97. By sandy Ladon's lilied Not pierceable to power of any starre. banks, &c.] This was the most VOL. III.



On old Lycæus or Cyllene hoar

Trip no more in twilight ranks,
Though Erymanth your loss deplore,

A better soil shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Mænalus
Bring your flocks, and live with us,
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the Lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.





beautiful river of Arcadia, and

Hic distentus aqua sata lambit pinguia the others are famous mountains

Ladon. of that country: and the poet But by lilied banks we are calls it sandy Ladon after Ovid, perhaps only to understand waterMet. i. 702.

lilies. Lilied seems to have been Donec arenosi placitum Ludonis ad

no uncommon epithet for the

banks of a river. So in SylVenerit,

vester, cited in England's Parand it might properly be said to nassus, 1600. p. 479. [Works, have lilied banks, since Diony- ut supr. p. 1201.] sius, as I find him quoted by By some cleare river's lillie-paved side. Farnaby, has called it Evxada por

T. Warton. ποταμον και εύστεφανον Λαδωνα.

* Alice, Countess Dowager of 97. I know not that Dionysius Derby, was the lady before whom mentions the river Ladon any this Mask was presented at Harewhere, but in the following verse

field. She married Ferdinando of the Periegesis, v. 417.

Lord Strange; who on the death Hχι δε ωγυγιος μηκυνεται υδασι Λαδων.

of his father Henry, in 1594, Ovid mentions Ladon more than became Earl of Derby, but died once, but without its lilies. Com- the next year. She was the pare Statius, Theb. ix. 573. And sixth daughter of Sir John SpenCallimachus, Hymn. Jov. v. 18. ser of Althorpe in Northampton

Festus Avienus, I believe, is shire. She was afterwards marthe only ancient Latin poet, if ried to Lord Chancellor Egerton, he deserves the name, who speaks who died in 1617. See Prelim. of the fertility of the fields N. on Comus. And Dugd. Baron. washed by Ladon. Descript. Orb. iii. 414, 251. She died Jan. 26, v. 574.

1635-6, and was buried at Hare

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