« ZurückWeiter »
Then rough-hewn, and lastly rugged. All in From ver. 1. to ver. 8, as now printed.
Ver. 9. And twenty battles more,
So it was at first written, afterwards corrected to Sonn. xii.
the present reading, Worcester's laureat wreath. Ver. 4. Of owls and buzzards.
Ver. 11, & 12, as now printed. This sonnet Ver. 10. And hate the truth whereby they should is in a female hand, unlike that in which the 8th be free.
sonnet is written.
Ver. 1. As now printed.
Move on her two main nerves.
us'd to scan,
With Midas' eares, misjoining short Ver. 10. What power the church and what the and long.
civill means, In the first of these lines "When most were wont to
Thou leachest best, which few have scan” had also been written.
Both spiritual power and civill, what.
each means, Thou didst reform thy art the chief
Thou hast learn'd well, a praise which among.
few have won.
Lastly, as now printed.
thy right hand.
Afterwards altered to firm hand. And WarburThan old Gasell, whom Dante woo'd to ton has said it should have been altered further sing.
to “ firm arm." There are three copies of this sonnet; two in This sonnet is also in a female hand, unlike Milton's hand; the third in another, a man's either of the two last. hand. Milton, as Mr. Warton observes, had an Sonnets xviii, xix, xx, do not appear in the amanuensis on account of the failure of his eyes. manuscript. Sonn. xiv.
The four first lines are wanting.
Ver. 8. As now printed.
In the hand of a fourth woman, as it seemse
Ver. 3. to ver. 5, as now printed.
Afterwards altered to Heaven's hand.
- but still attend to steer
Up hillward. Faith show'd the way, and she who saw So at first written, afterwards altered to the prethem best
sent reading. Thy hand-maids, &c.
Ver. 12. Of which all Europe talks from side
This sonnet is written in the same female hand
as the last.
No variations, except in the spelling. This is
in a fifth female hand; beautifully written; imiSony, XV.
tating also Milton's manner of beginning most of Title.“ On the &c. At the siege of Colchester.” the lines with small initial letters; which is not
From ver. 2. to ver. 13, as now printed. See the case with the other female hands.
APPENDIX TO THE SONNETS.
Sonnet, said to be written by Milton in 1665, when
ON THE MORNING OF
he retired to Cha!funt in Buckinghamshire on ac- , Then, laughing, they repeat my languid layscount of the plague; and to have been seen in- “Nymphs of thy native clime, perhaps, "scribed on the glass of a window in that place.
they cry, I have seen a copy of it written, apparently in a “ For whom thou hast a tongue, may feel thy coeval hand, at the end of Tonson's edition of
praise; Milton's Sinaller. Poems in 1713, where it is also But we must understand ere we comply!” said to be Milton's. It is re-printed from Dr. Birch's Life of the poet, in Fawkes and Woty's Do thou, my soul's soft hope, these triflers awe; Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 67. But, Tell them, 'tis nothing, how, or what, I writ! in this sonnet, there is a scriptural mistake; Since love from silent looks can language draw, which, as Mr. Warton has observed, Milton was And scorns the lame impertinence of wit. not likely to commit. For the Sonnet improperly represents David as punished by pestilence for his adultery with Bathsheba. Mr. Warton,
ODES. however, adds, that Dr. Birch had been informed by Vertue the engraver, that he had seen a satirical medal, struck upon Charles the Second, abroad, without any legend, having a correspondent device. This sonnet, I should add, va
CHRIST'S NATIVITY. ries from the construction of the legitimate son- | This is the month, and this the happy moin, net, in consisting of only ten lines, instead of
Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King, fourteen.
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born, Pair mirrour of foul times! whose fragile sheen, For so the holy sages once did sing,
Our great redemption from above did bring; Shall, as it blazeth, break; while Providence,
That he our deadly forfeit should release, Aye watching o'er his saints with eye unseen, And with bis Father work us a perpetual peace. Spreads the red rod of angry pestilence,
To sweep the wicked and their counsels hence; That glorious form, that light unsufferable,
Who Heaven's lore reject for brutish sense; Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council.
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal
clay. II. In the concluding note on the seventh Sonnet, Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred rein
Afford a present to the Infant-God? it has been observed that other Italian sonnets and compositions of Milton, said to be remain To welcome him to this bis new above,
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain, ing in manuscript at Florence, had been sought Now while the Heaven, by the Sun's team untrod, for in vain by Mr. Hollis. I think it may not be improper here to observe, that there is a tradi- And all the spangled host keep watch in squa
Hath took no print of the approaching light, tion of Milton having fallen in love with a young
drons bright? lady, when he was at Florence; and, as she understood no English, of baving written some See, how from far, upon the eastern road, verses to her in Italian, of which the poem, sub- | The star-led wisards haste with odours sweet: joined to this remark, is said to be the sense. O run, prevent them with thy humble ode, It has often been printed ; as in the Gentleman's And lay it lowly at his blessed feet; Magazine for 1760, p. 148; in Fawkes and Wo- | Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet, ty's Poetical Calendar, 1763, vol. viii. p. 68; in And join thy voice unto the angel-quire, the Annual Register for 1772, p. 219; and in From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd the third volume of Milton's poems in the Edi
fire. tion of the Poets, 1779. But to the original no reference is given, and even of the translator no mention is made, in any of those volumes. The
THE HYMN. poem is entitled. A fragment of Milton, from It was the winter wild, the Italian,
While the Heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies; When, in your language, Tụnskill'd address
Nature in awe tu hiin,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
This ode, in which the many learned allu“Why, to our tongue's disgrace, does thy dumb sions are highly poetical, was probably composed love
as a college-exercise at Cambridge, our author Strive, in rough sound, soft meaning to impart being now only twenty-one years old. In the He'must select his words who speaks to move, edition of 1645, in its title it is said to have been
And point his purpose at the hearer's heart.” written in 1029.
It was no season then for her
When such music sweet To wanton with the Sun, her lusty paramour.
Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook ; Only with speeches fair
Answering the stringed noise,
The air, such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heaThe saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
venly close, Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Nature that heard such sound, Should look so near upon her foul deformities.
Beneath the hollow round But he, her fears to cease,
Of Cynthia's seat, the aery region thrilling, Sent down the meek-ey'd Peace;
Now was almost won
And that her reigo had here its last fulfilling; His ready harbinger,
She knew such harmony alone With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing; Could hold ail Heaven and Earth in happier And, waving wide her myrtle wand,
union. She strikes an universal peace through sea and
At last surrounds their sight land.
A globe of circular light, No war, or battle's sound,
That with long beams the shamefac'd night Was heard the world around:
The helmed Cherubim,
(array'd ; The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
And sworded Seraphim,
[play'd, The hooked chariot stood
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings disUnstain'd with hostile blood;
Harping in loud and solemn quire, The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven's new-born
Before was never made,
But when of old the sons of morning sung, Wherein the Prince of light
While the Creator great His reign of peace upon the Earth began:
His constellations set, The winds, with wonder wbist,
And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung; Smoothly the waters kist,
And cast the dark foundations deep, Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
. While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed
Ring out, ye crystal spheres,
Once bless our human ears, The stars, with deep amaze,
If ye have power to touch our senses so; Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,
And let your silver chime Bending one way their precious influence ;
Move in melodious time; And will not take their flight,
And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow; For all the morning light,
And, with your pinefold harmony, Or Lucifer that often war'd them thence;
Make up full consort to the angelic symphoy, But in their gliinnering orbs did glow, Until their Lord hiinself bespake, and bid them For, if such holy song go.
Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold; And, though the shady gloom
And speckled Vanity Had given day her room,
Will sicken soon and die, The Sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould; And hid his head for shame,
And Hell itself will pass away, As his inferior flame
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering The new-enlighten'd world no more should need:
day. He saw a greater Sun appear Than his bright throne, or burning axletree, Yea, Truth and Justice then could bear.
Will down return to men,
Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing, The shepherds on the lawn,
Mercy will sit between, Or e'er the point of dawn,
Thron'd in celestial sheen, Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down Full little thought they then,
And Heaven, as at some festival, (steering; That the mighty Pan
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall. Was kindly come to live with them below; Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
But wisest Fate says no, Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep. This must not yet be so,
The babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
His burning idol all of blackest hue; That on the bitter cross
In vain with cymbals' ring Must redeem our loss;
They call tbe grisly king, So both himself and us to glorify:
In dismal dance about the furnace blue : Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep,
The brutish gods of Nile as fast, The wakeful trump of doom must thunder Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste. through the deep;
Nor is Osiris seen With such a horrid clang
In Memphian grote or green, As on mount Sinai rang,
Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings While the red fire and smouldering clouds out
loud: The aged Earth aghast
Nor can he be at rest With terrour of that blast,
Within his sacred chest; Shall from the surface to the centre shake;
Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud, Wheh, at the world's last session,
In vain with timbrell'd anthems dark The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipt arko throne.
He feels from Juda's land And then at last our bliss
The dreaded infant's hand, Full and perfect is,
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn; But now begins; for, from this happy day,
Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our babe, to show his Godhead true. And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Can in his swaddling bands controll the damned Swindges the scaly horrour of his folded tail. The oracles are dumb,
So, when the Sun in bed, No voice or hideous hum
Curtain'd with cloudy red, Runs through the arched roof in words deceiv.
Pillows his chin upon an orient wave, ing.
The flocking shadows pale Apollo from his shrine
Troop to the infernal jail, Can no more divine,
Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave; With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos lear. And the yellow-skirted Fayes No nightly trance, or breathed spell, [ing. Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moona Inspires the pale-ey'd priest from the prophetic
lov'd maze. cell.
But see, the Virgin blest The lonely mountains o'er,
Hath laid her babe to rest; And the resounding shore,
Time is, our tedious song should here hare A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
ending : From haunted spring and dale, Edg’d with poplar pale,
Heaven's youngest-teemed star
Hath fix'd her polish'd car, The parting genius is with sighing sent;
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp at: With flower-inwoven tresses torn
(tending: The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets and all about the courtly stable
Bright-harness'd angels sit in ord er serviceable. mourn.
In consecrated earth,
; A drear and dying sound
Wherewith the stage of air and Earth did ring Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint; And joyous news of Heavenly Infant's birth, And the chill marble seems to sweat,
My Muse with angels did divide to sing; While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted But headlong joy is ever on the wing, seat.
In wintery solstice like the shorten'd light,
Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living Peor and Baälim
night. Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-batter'd god of palestine; For now to sorrow must I tune my song, And mooned Ashtaroth,
And set my harp to notes of saddest woe, Heaven's queen and mother both,
Which on our dearest Iord did seize ere loug, (so, Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine; Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than The Libye Hammon shrinks his horn,
Which he for us did freely undergo: In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Tham. muz mourn.
• This Ode was probably composed soon after And sullen Moloch, fed,
that on the Nativity. And this perhaps was
a college exercise at Easter, as the last was at Hath left in shadows dread
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight Through the soft silence of the listening Night; Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human Now mourn ; and, it sad share with us to bear wight!
Your fiery essence can distil no tear,
Burn in your sighs, and borrow
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease :
Sore doth begin
Just law indeed, but more exceeding love!
For we, by rightful doom remediless,
High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust
Emptied his glory, even to nakedness; And former sufferings, other where are found;
And that great covenant which we still transgress Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound ; | Entirely satisfied ; Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
And the full wrath beside of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful of vengeful justice bore for our excess things.
And seals obedience first, with wounding smart,
This day; but 0, ere long, Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief;
Huge pangs and strong
Will pierce more near his heart,
The leaves should all be black whereon I write,
DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT, nish white. See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
DYING OF A COUGH'. That whirl'd the prophet up at Chebar flood; 0
FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted, My spirit some transporting cherub feels,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly, To bear me where the towers of Salem stood,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted Once glorious towers, now sunk in guiltless Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry; blood;
Por he, being amorous on that lovely dye There doth my soul in holy vision sit,
That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic
But kill'd, alas ! and then bewail'd his fatal bliss, Mine cye hath found that sad sepulchral rock For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer, That was the casket of Heaven's richest store,
By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got, And here though grief my feeble hands up lock, He thought it touch'd his deity full near, Yet on the soften'd quarry would I score
If likewise he some fair one wedded not, My plaining verse as lively as before;
Thereby to wipe away the infamous blot For sure so well instructed are my tears,
Of long-uncoupled bed and childless eld, That they would fitly fall in order'd characters. Which, 'mongst the wanton gods, a foul reproach Or should I thence hurried on viewless wing
was held. Take up a weeping on the mountains wild,
So, mounting up in icy-pearled car, The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring
Through middle empire of the freezing air Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild;
He wander'd long, till thee he spied from far; And I (for grief is easily beguild)
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care; Might think the infection of my sorrows loud
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair, Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant
But, all unwares, with his cold kind embrace cloud.
Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair hiding
place. This suhject the author finding to be above the
years he had, when he wrote it, and nothing Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
But then transform'a him to a purple flower :
Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no Ye flaming powers, and winged warriors bright, That erst with music, and triumphant song, First heard by happy watchful shepherds' ear, 1 Written in 1625, and first inserted in ediSo sweetly sung your joy the clouds along tion 1673. He was now seventeen. WARTON.
V PON THE