Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Cum centilinguis Fama, proh! semper mali

Cladisque vera nuntia,
Spargit per urbes divitis Britanniæ,

Populofque Neptuno fatos,
Ceffiffe morti, et ferreis sororibus,

Te, generis humani decus,
Qui rex facrorum illa fuifti in insula

Quæ nomen Anguillæ tenet.
Tunc inquietum pectus ira protinus

Ebulliebat fervida,
Tumulis potentem sæpe devovens deam:

Nec vota Naso in Ibida
Concepit alto diriora pectore ;

Graiusque vates parcius
Turpem Lycambis execratus est dolum,

Sponsamque Neobolen suam.
At ecce diras ipse dum fundo graves,

Et imprecor neci necem,
Audiffe tales videor attonitus fonos

Leni, sub aura, Alamine:




14. Quæ nomen Anguilla tenet. ] Ely, so called from its abundance of eels. Mr. Bowle cites Capgrave, “ Locus ille five cænobium a “ copia anguillarum Hely modo nuncupatur.” Vit. Sanct. f.141. b. Capgrave wrote about 1440.

20. Archilochus, who killed Lycambes by the severity of his iambics. Lycambes had cspoused his daughter Neobule to Archilo. chus, and afterwards gave her to another. See Ovid's Ibis, v. 54.



Cæcos furores pone, pone vitream

Bilemque, et irritas minas :
Quid temere violas non nocenda numina,

Subitoque ad iras percita ?
Non eft, ut arbitraris elusus miser,

Mors atra Noctis filia,
Erebove patre creta, five Erinnye,

Vastove nata sub Chao :
Aft illa cælo missa ftellato, Dei

Messes ubique colligit;
Animasque mole carnea reconditas

In lucem et auras evocat;


37. Animasque mole carnea reconditas.] Sce below, v. 46.

Fædum reliqui carcerem. “ The foul prison of the body.” And Note on Il Pens, v. 92. And our author's APOL. SMECTYMN. §. iii. This frail MANSION OF “ FLESH.” PROSE-WORKS, i, 118. Plato says, that philosophers confider the foul, as " Aydidepéry as rõ cángeti, wij algorixona muinn, svay

Διαδεδομένην , χαζομένην δε ώασερ δι' EPΓΜΟΥ.”. Animam ligatam in corpore aique "implicitam, ac per ipfam, quafi per carcerem, res confiderare coattam.And just below he mentions the straitness of this Prison. PHÆD. Opp. edit. 1590. p. 386. G. col. 2. Compare these fine lines from Comus, V. 463.

Till all be made immortal : but when luft,
By unchaste looks, loose gefture, and foul talk,
But most by leud and lavish act of fin,
Lets in defilement to the inward parts ;
The soul grows clotted by contagion,
Imbodies, and imbrutes, till the quite lose
The divine property of her first being.
Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp
Oft leen in charnel vaults and fepulchers,
Ling'ring, and fitting by a new-made grave,
As loath to leave the body that it lov'd,
Uuu 2

And 40

Ut cum fugaces excitant Horæ diem

Themidos Jovisque filiæ ;
Et fempiterni ducit ad vultus patris :

At justa raptat impios

furvi luctuosa Tartari, Sedefque fubterraneas. Hanc ut vocantem lætus audivi, cito

Fædum reliqui carcerem, Volatilesque faustus inter milites


And link'd itself by carnal sensuality

To a degenerate and degraded state. From the same philosophy, as I have observed. But although Milton was confessedly a great reader of Plato, yet all this whole system had lately been brought forward by May, in his CONTINUATION of LuCAN'S HISTORICALL Poem, Lond. 1630. 12°. The following lines in May, bear a strong resemblance with what I have just cited from Milton. B. iv. Signat. F. 4.

Within the heavens they shall for ever be,
Since here with heaven they made affinitie.
But those darke soules, which drowned in the flesh
Did never dreame of future happiness,
That while they lived here, believ'd, or lov'd
Nothing but what the bodies taste approv'd ;
When they depart from hence, shall feare the fight
Of heaven, nor dare t'approach that glorious light;
But wander still in dismall darknesse, neare
Their bodies, whom alone they loued here.
Those fad and gaftlie vifions, which to fight
Of frighted people do appeare by night,
About the tombes and graves, where dead men lie,
Are such darke foules, condemn'd t'accompanie
Their bodies there; which foules, because they be

Gross and corporeal, men do therefore see. In this Book, May has translated almost the whole of Plato's PHÆDON, which he puts into the mouth of Cato. 40. See Hesiod's THEOGONY. And Ovid, Metam. ii. 118.



Ad astra sublimis feror :
Vates ut olim raptus ad cælum fenex

Auriga eurrus ignei.
Non me Bootis terruere lucidi

Sarraca tarda frigore, aut
Formidolofi Scorpionis brachia,

Non ensis Orion tuus. Prætervolavi fulgidi solis globum,

55 Longeque fub pedibus deam Vidi triformem, dum coërcebat suos

Frænis dracones aureis. Erraticorum fiderum per ordines,

Per lacteas vehor plagas,
Velocitatem sæpe miratus novam ;

Donec nitentes ad fores
Ventum est Olympi, et regiam crystallinam, et

Stratum smaragdis atrium.


58. Frænis dracones aureis.] See Il Pens. V. 59.

63. Donec nitentes ad fores, &c.] Milton's natural disposition, so conspicuous in the Paradise Lost, and even in his Prose works, for describing divine objects, such as the bliss of the saints, the splendour of heaven, and the music of the angels, is perpetually breaking forth in some of the earliest of his juvenile poems. And here, more particularly in displaying the glories of heaven, which he locally represents, and cloaths with the brighteit material decorations, his fancy, to say nothing of the apocalypse, was aided and enriched with descriptions in romances. By the way, this sort of imagery, so much admired in Milton, is much more practicable than many readers seem to suppose.

63. -Regiam chrystallinam. - ] It is the same idea in the Ode ON THE Nativ. ft. xiii. v. 125. Ring out ye CRYSTAL spheres.



Sed hic tacebo, nam quis effari queat, ,

Oriundus humano patre, Amenitates illius loci ? Mihi

Sat eft in æternum frui.

Naturam non pati senium *.
EU, quam perpetuis erroribus acta fatiscit
Avia mens hominum, tenebrisque immersa

Oedipodioniam volvit fub pectore noctem !


[ocr errors]

See PARAD. REG. B. i. 81.

Heaven above the clouds

Unfold her CRYSTAL doors. And PARAD. L. B. vi. 771.

He on the wings of Seraphs rode sublime

On the CRYSTALLINE ky. Again, B. i. 741.

Thrown by angry Jove

Sheer o'er the CRYSTAL battlements. And B. vi. 756.

Over their heads a Crystal firmament,

Whereon a fapphire throne, &c. Again, ibid. 860.

The CRYSTAL wall of heaven which opening wide, &c. The “ CRYSTALLine sphere" is from the Ptolemaic or Gothic system of astronomy, Parad. L. B.ji.482. And so perhaps Spenser, TEARES OF THE Muses, viii.

From hence we mount aloft unto the skie,

And looke into the CRYSTALL firmament. • This was an academical exercise, written in 1628, to oblige one of the fellows of Christ's college, who having laid aside the levities of poetry for the gravity and solidity of prose, imposed the boyish task on Milton, now about nineteen years old. “ Quidam ædium noitra. “rum Socius, qui Comitiis hisce academicis in Disputatione philoso

* phica

« ZurückWeiter »