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And ever, against eating cares,
These delights if thou canst give,
extraordinary, he pleases with a certain wild and native eleganu p. 194.-T. Warton.
Milton shows his judgment here in celebrating Shakspeare's tragedies : but for models of the latter, he refers us rightly, il Grecian scene, verse 97.--HURD.
The present editor reprinted Phillips's “ Theatrum,” as far poets, in 1800, and again at Geneva, in 1824.
n Bout. “ Bout" is a fold or twist, and often used in this sense by S 1, xi. 3.-Todd.
o With wanton heed and giddy cunning. “Cunning” is used in the same sense, in our translation of 1 thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning," Ps. c. rightly paraphrases, —"Let my fingers their melodious skill forge - Topp.
P The melting voice through mazes running
Untxisting all the chains that lie
The hidden soul of harmony. Mr. Malone thinks that Milton has here copied Marston's con 1607. Suppl. Shaks. vol. i. 588:
Cannot your trembling wires throw a chair
Of powerful rapture 'bout our mazed sense But the poet is not displaying the effect of music on the senses, on music. Milton's meaning is not, that the senses are enchair but that, as the voice of the singer runs through the manifold mai all the chains are untwisted which imprison and entangle the hi perfection, of harmony. In common sense, let music be made to hidden powers.—T. WARTON.
9 Of heap'd Elysian flowers. Seo " Paradise Lost," b. iii. 359. Mr. Warton adds, that Mi distinction from that of most other poets; that it is marked w Pope has borrowed Milton's " Elysian flowers," in his “ Ode TODD.
HENCE, vain deluding Joys“,
The brood of Folly without father bred !
How little you bested,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
Or likest hovering dreams,
*Hence, vain deluding Joys, &c. The opening of this poem is formed from a distich in Sylvester, the translator of “ Du Bartas," p. 1084:
Hence, hence, false pleasures, momentary joyes !
b As thick, &c. This imagery is immediately from Sylvester's Cave of Sleep in “ Du Bartas," p. 316, edit. fol. 1621. He there mentions Morpheus, and speaks of his “ fantasticke swarms of dreaincs that hovered," and swarms of dreams
Green, red, and yellow, tawney, black and blew : and these resemblo
The unnum bred moats which in the sun do play. And these dreams, from their various colours, are afterwards called the “ gawdy swarme of dreames."
Не ce Milton's “ fancies fond,” “ gaudy shapes,” “ numberless gay motes in the sun-beams," and the “hovering dreams of Morpheus.”—T. Warton.
c The fickle pensioners, &c. “ Fickle” is transitory, perpetually shifting, &c. “ Pensioners” becaine a common appellation in our poetry, for train, attendants, retinue, &c. As in the “ Mids. Night's Dream," a. ii. s. 1, of the faery queen :
The cowslips tall her pensioners be, This was in consequence of queen Elizabeth's fashionable establishment of a band of military courtiers by that name. They were some of the handsomest and tallest young men, of the best families and fortune, that could be found: they gave the mode in dress and diversions : they accompanied the queen in her progress to Cambridge, where they held torches at a play on a Sunday in King's College chapel.—T. Warton.
d Prince Memnon's sister. That is, an Ethiopian princess, or sable beauty. Memnon, king of Ethiopia, being an auxiliary of the Trojans, was slain by Achilles. See Virg. “ AĚn.” i. 493. "Nigri Memnonis arma." It does not however appear that Memnon had any sister. Tithonus,
Or that start'd Ethiop queen @ that strove
Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure,
Forget thyself to marble', till according to Hesiod, had by Aurora only two sons, Memnon : 981. This lady is a creation of the poet.-DUNSTER.
e Or that starrid Ethiop queen. Cassiope, as we learn from Apollodorus, was the wife of Cephe boasted herself to be more beautiful than the Nereids, and challer in revenge, persuaded Neptune to send a prodigious whale in them, she was directed to expose her daughter Andromeda to delivered Andromeda, of whom he was enamoured, and transpor where she became a constellation. Hence she is called " that sta Aratus, “ Phænom."' v. 189, seq. But Milton seems to have Gothic print of the constellations, which I have seen in early ed where this queen is represented with a black body marked with
" His daughter she. The meaning Milton's allegory is, that Melancholy is the < is typified by the “ bright-hair'd” goddess of the eternal fire. god of saturnine dispositions, of pensive and gloomy minds.-T.
& And sable stole of cypress laron. Here is a character and propriety in the use of the stole, whic ology of the present day, is not only perpetually misapplied, but a veil which covered the head and shoulders; and, as Mr. Bowl by such of the Roman matrons as were distinguished for the strie Cypress is a thin transparent texture.-T. WARTON.
h Decent shoulders. Not exposed, therefore decent; more especially, as so covered.
i Forget thyself to marble. It is the same sort of petrifaction in our author's epitaph on Sh
There thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dust make us marble by too much conceiving. In both instances excess of thought is the cause.—T. WARTON.
With a sad leaden downward casti
i Vith a sad leaden downward cast. Hence, says Mr. Warton, Gray's expressive phraseology, of the same personage, in his Hymn to Adversity :"
With leaden eye that loves the ground.-TODD.
k Trim gardens. Mr. Warton here observes, that affectation and false elegance were now carried to the most elaborate and absurd excess in gardening ; and he notices, among similar monuments of extravagance in other countries, "the garden at Hampton-court, where in privet are figured various animals, the royal arms of England, and many other things.” The architecture du jardinage, he thinks, may be also discovered in the “ spruce-spring,” the ** cedarn alleys," the “crisped shades and bowers,” in “ Comus :" and the “ trim garden ” in “ Arcades,” v. 46.— Todd.
| Him that yon soars on golden wing
The cherub Contemplation. By contemplation, is here meant that stretch of thought, by which the mind ascends to the first good, first perfect, and first fair ; and is therefore very properly said to “soar on golden wing, guiding the fiery-wheeled throne :" that is, to take a high and glorious flight, carrying bright ideas of Deity along with it. But the whole imagery alludes to the cherubic forms that conveyed the fiery-wheeled car in Ezekiel, x. 2, seq. See also Milton himself, “ Par. Lost,” b. vi. 750 : so that nothing can be greater or juster than this idea of “divine Contemplation." Contemplation, of a more sedate turn, and intent only on human things, is more fitly described, as by Spenser, under the figure of an old man ; time and experience qualifying men best for this office. Spenser might then be right in his imagery ; and yet Milton might be right in his, without being supposed to ramble after some fanciful Italian.-HURD.
m And the mute Silence hist along. I always admired this and the seventeen following lines with excessive delight. There is a spell in it, which goes far beyond mere description : it is the very perfection of ideal, and picturesque, and contemplative poetry.
n Most musical, most melancholy. “L'Allegro" began with the morning of the day, and the lively salutations of the lark : "Il Penseroso," with equal propriety, after a general exordium, opens with the night: with moonshine, and the melancholy music of the nightingale. –T. Warton.
Thee, chauntress, oft, the woods among,
And on, &c.
and having that appearance of positive descent, as the kind of cloud disperse around her.-— DUNSTER.
p Trilh sullen roar. This finely descriptive epithet is adopted from the “sulle “ King Henry IV.” P. 11. or “ the surly sullen bell” in his ses
Observe that the toll of bells always comes across a spreading melancholy. Thus I have been long accustomed to listen to it with deep emotion. This mention of the curfeu is much fine which opens Gray's " Elegy," though that has always been so ju
9 Some still removed place will fit. That is, “ some quiet, remote, or unfrequented place will moved " is the ancient English participle passive for the Latin re
r Or the bellman's drousy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm. Anciently the watchman, who cried the hours, used sundry bo
* Be seen in some high lonely tower. The extraneous circumstance“ be seen,” gives poetry to a pa which is only, ** Let me study at midnight by a lamp in a lofty is created which strikes the imagination.-T. WARTON.
This is oue of those happy observations so characteristic of The midnight wanderer sees through the dark a distant light in a hig his eye, and moves bis imagination, if he has any mind and sen cation of mind to the description of scenery is what alone gives i of poetry.