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* The gray dawn, "_"Par. Lost," vii. 373. "Sci," beads
pipe. He mentions the stops of an organ, bat in apotki memner, "AL
This is a Doric las, because Theocritus and Moschus bad ante
English pastoral, was adopted, not from Virgil, but froin Theatrita, "HE".
Mr. Warton is mistaken in asserting that the name of "Lady I will conclude mr remarks on this poem with the just observa del * The particular beauties of this charining pastoral are too striking to sudrat upon ; but what gives the greatest grace to the wbole, is that satura 1 and irregularity which run quite through it, than which nothing cookke heart express the warm affection which Milton had for his friend, and the entrar peru
I see no extraordinary wildness and irregularity, accurding to Dr. Verg, 1:14 in the conduct of this little poem. It is true, there is a rers anghel ut be full of classical imitations : but this, I think, is oming, not to ar deander
into English pastoral br Milton: for Lisle, in his " Pastorall dedicata alla
So Ph. Fletcher, "Parp. Isl." c. vi st. 77. edit. 1633. "Toplam Tubes
por entirely to the vigour and lustre of the expresion; but, in a good bye 18
That sing, and singing in their glory more,
, the shepherds weep no biet: Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore
, In thy large recompense
, and shalt be gradi
Thus sang the uncouth swain to the caks od na
To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures bet?
And wipe the tears far euer frem tis os
d And skal legado de
, “ El" r. b
Deas Deus ille, Menska! Sis bonus 0, felixque tuis de-Tira • The still merr staat er wil Azudas prop,
says, that he who desires to know whether he has a true taste for history or Dot, should consider whether he is pleased with Livy's manner of telling a story ; so, perhaps it may be said, that he who wishes to know whether he has a true taste for poetry or not, should consider whether he is highly delighted or not with the perusal of Milton's“ Lycidas.” If I might venture to place Milton's works, according to their degrees of poetic excellence, it should be perhaps in the following order : Paradise Lost, Comus, Samson Agonistes, Lțeidas
, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso. The last three are in such an exquisite strain, says Fenton, that though he had left no other monuments of his genius behind him, his name had been immortal.—Jog. WARTON.
Of “ Lycidas,” the diction is harsh, the rhymes uncertain, and the numbers unpleasing : what beauty there is, we must therefore seek in the sentiments and images. It is not to be considered as the effusion of real passion ; for passion runs not after remote allusions and obscure opinions : passion plucks no berries from the myrtle and ivy, nor calls upon Arethuse and Mincius, nor tells of “rough satyrs” and “Fauns with cloven heel.” Where there is leisure for fiction there is little grief. In this poem there is no nature, for there is nothing new : its form is that of a pastoral, casy, vulgar, and therefore disgusting ; whatever images it can supply are long ago exhausted ; and its inherent improbability always forces dissatisfaction on the mind.
When Cowley tells of Harvey
, that they studied together, it is easy to suppose how much he must miss the companion of his labours, and the partner of his discoveries ; but what image of tenderness can be excited by these lines ?
We drove afield, and both together heard
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night.
the representation may be allegorical, the true meaning is so uncertain and remote, that it is never sought because it cannot be known when it is found, Among the flocks, and copses, and
flowers, appear the
heathen deities ; Jove and Phæbus, Neptune and Æolus, with a long train of mythological imagery, such as a college casily supplies. Nothing can less display knowledge, or less exercise invention, than to tell how a shepherd has lost his companion, and must now feed his flocks alone, without any judge neither god can tell. He, who thus grieves, will excite no sympathy; he who thus praises,
This poem has yet a grosser fault. With these trifling fictions are mingled the most awful and sacred truths
, such as ought never to be polluted with such irreverend combinations. The shepherd likewise is now a feeder of Sheep, and afterwards an ecclesiastical but here they are indecent, and at least approach to impiety; of which, however, I believe the writer not to have been conscious. Such is the power of reputation justly' acquired, fancied that he read “ Lycidas ". *with pleasure had he not known its author.-- Johnson. thain of mythological imagery, such as a college easily supplies ; but it is such 'also, as even the court itself could now have easily supplied. The public diversions, and books of all time overrun with classical pedantries
: but what writer, of the same period, has made these obsolete fictions the vehicle of so much fancy and poetical description? How
beautifully has he applied this sort of allusion to the cuidical rocks of Denbighshire, to Mona, this was the age of pastoral ? and'set'. Lyelidosted has but ple of the bucolic cant, now se fashionable
. The satyrs and faung are but just mentioned. If any trite rural topics occur,
will confer no honour.
break. But though he began to sing at day break, he was egte
He touch'al le tender steps erenicu quick
& Wilh enger theugt! weariling lis Derist key
his translation of " Du Bartas," 1625, 4to, says
My former shepherd's song denied Fas
bow are they heightened !
for the loss of him. Grief is eloquent, but not formal.”—Niwres,
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night.
a good sound to be som
looseness and variety of the metre. Milton's car was a -HORD.
dews on their flocks. We cannot blame pastoral imagery, a carry with them so much natural painting. In this piece t] than sorrow : but let us read it for its poetry. It is true, tha from the myrtle and ivy, por calls upon Arethuse and Mincius with cloven heel :" but poetry does this; and in the hands of liar and irresistible charm. Subordinate poets exercise no in a shepherd has lost his companion, and must feed his flocks alo skill in piping: but Milton dignifies and adorns these comtion expected touches of picturesque beauty, with the graces of senti of original genius. It is objected “ here is no art, for there nothing that there may be art without novelty, as well as novel that this objection will vanish, if we consider the imagery wh local circumstances. Not to repeat the use he has made of t) Isle of Man, and the river Dee, near which Lycidas was shipwr introduction of the romantic superstition of St. Michael's Mou looks the Irish seas, the fatal scene of his friend's disaster.
But the poetry is not always unconnected with passion. Th ancient sepulchral rite, but it is made preparatory to a stroke a variety of flowers to decorate his friend's hearse, supposing th forgetting for a while that it was floating far off in the ocean. some consolation that he was to receive the decencies of burial. it is natural and pathetic. But the real catastrophe recurs ; a opens a new vein of imagination.
Dr. Johnson censures Milton for his allegorical mode of t studied together, under the fictitious images of rural employme can be no tenderness; and prefers Cowley's lamentation of th panion of his labours, and the partner of his discoveries. I kn of subject Cowley has more tenderness; I am sure he has less he has more wit, and more smart similes. The sense of our occasion is obvious, and is just as intelligible as if he had used that, when Lycidas died, the woods and caves were deserted thyme and luxuriant vines, and that all their echoes mourned ; no longer waved their joyous leaves to his soft strains : but for a meaning; a meaning, which is as clearly perceived as it is is the sympathy of a true poet. We know that Milton and the same hill;" that they did not "feed the same flock by fou that “rongh Satyrs” and “Fauns with cloven heel” never danc but who hesitates a moment for the application ! Nor are such i not less far-fetched and unnatural, than when Cowley says th together every night with such unremitted diligence, that the ti for love, looked down upon the twin students with wonder frou tenderness, when he wishes, that, on the melancholy event, t Cambridge, under which they walked, would combine themsels dark as the grave in which his departed friend was newly laid ? censured for mixing religious disputes with pagan and pastoral thority of the Mantuan and Spenser, now considered as models in me add, that our poetry was not yet purged from its Gothic con mate notions of discrimination and propriety so far prevailed, the growing improvements of English composition. These irre must not be tried by modern criticism.--T. Warton.
The rhymes and numbers, which Dr. Johnson condemns, app of the poet's judgment; exhibiting in their varied and arbitrar gracefulness, which infinitely exceed the formal couplets or alt Elegy. Lamenting also the prejudice which has pronounced disgusting, I shall never cease to consider this monody as the swe and tender mind ; entitled, as well by its beautiful melody, as b its sentiments and language, to the utmost enthusiasm of admira
L'ALLEGRO AND IL PENSEROSO.
L'ALLEGRO AND IL PENSEROSO.
It will be no detraction from the powers of Milton's original genius and invention to remark, that he seems to have borrowed the subject of · L'Allegro " and “ Il Penseroso," together with some particular thoughts, expressions, and rhymes, more especially the idea of a contrast between these two dispositions, from a forgotten poem prefixed to the first edition of Burton's “ Anatomie of Melancholy," entitled “ The Author's Abstract of Melancholy ; or a dialogue between Pleasure and Pain.” Here Pain is Melancholy. It was written, as I conjecture, about the year 1600, I will make no apology for abstracting and citing as much of this poem, as will be sufficient to prove to a discerning reader how far it had taken possession of Milton's mind. The measure will appear to be the same ; and, that our author was at least an attentive reader of Burton's book, will be perhaps concluded from the traces of resemblance which may be noticed in passing through the “ L'Allegro” and “ Il Penseroso.”
When I goe musing all alone,
All my joyes to this are folly;
Nought so sweet as Melancholy !
All other joyes to this are folly;
Nought so sweet as Melancholy !
All my griefes to this are folly ;
Nought so damnde as Melancholy! In Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Nice Valour, or Passionate Madman," there is a beautiful song on Melancholy, some of the sentiments of which, as Sympson long since observed, appear to have been dilated and heightened in the “ Il Penseroso.' Milton has more frequently and openly copied the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher than of Shakspeare: one is therefore surprised, that in his panegyric on the stage, he did not mention the twin-bards, when he celebrates the learned sock” of Jonson, and the “wood-notes wild" of Shakspeare : but he concealed his love.-T. WARTON.
I will add the song from “ Nice Valour,” together with the remarks of an inge. nious critio on its application to “ Il Penseroso :”