Page images
PDF
EPUB

Tu saltem lente rapidos age, Phæbe, jugales,

Qua potes, et sensim tempora veris eant ;
Brumaque productas tarde ferat hispida noctes,

Ingruat et nostro serior umbra polo.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ELEG. VI.
Ad CAROLUM DEODATUM ruri commorantem, qui cum Idibus Decem!

sua carmina excusari postulasset si solito minus essent bona, quod
quibus erat ab amicis exceptus, haud satis felicem operam Musis
affirmabat, hoc habuit responsum :-

Mirto tibi sanam non pleno ventre salutem,

Qua tu, distento, forte carere potes.
At tua quid nostram prolectat Musa Camænam,

Nec sinit optatas posse sequi tenebras ?
Carmine scire velis quam te redamemque colamque ;

Crede mihi, vix hoc carmine scire queas :
Nam neque noster amor modulis includitur arctis,

Nec venit ad claudos integer ipse pedes.
Quam bene solennes epulas hilaremque Decembrem,

Festaque celifugam quæ coluere deum,
Deliciasque refers, hiberni gaudia ruris,

Haustaque per lepidos Gallica musta focos P!
Quid quereris refugam vino dapibusque poesin?

Carmen amat Bacchum, carmina Bacchus amat :
Nec puduit Phæbum virides gestasse corymbos,

Atque hederam lauro præposuisse suæ.
Sæpius Aoniis clamavit collibus, Euce!

Mista Thyoneo turba novena choro.
Naso Corallæis mala carmina misit ab agris ;

Non illic epulæ, non sata vitis erat.
Quid nisi vina, rosasque, racemiferumque Lyæum,

Cantavit brevibus Tëia Musa modis ?
Pindaricosque inflat numeros Teumesius Euan”,

Et redolet sumtum pagina quæque merum ;
Dum gravis everso currus crepat axe supinus,

Et volat Eleo pulvere fuscus eques.
Quadrimoque madens lyricen Romanus laccho,

Dulce canit Glyceran, flavicomamque Chloen.
Jam quoque lauta tibi generoso mensa paratu

Mentis alit vires, ingeniumque fovet.
Massica fæcundam despumant pocula venam,
Fundis et ex ipso condita metra cado.

P Haustaque per lepidos Gallica musta foces ! Deodate had sent Milton a copy of verses, in which he described the fe mas.-T. WARTON.

9 Teumesius Euan. Teumesus is a mountain of Bæotia, the district in which Thebes was inhabitants were called Teumesii. Milton here puzzles his readers unnecessary learning. The meaning of the line is this : _" The Thel inspires the numbers of his congenial Pindar, the Theban poet.”_T. War

!

35

40

45

50

Addimus his artes, fusumque per intima Phoebum

Corda; favent uni Bacchus, Apollo, Ceres.
Scilicet haud mirum, tam dulcia carmina per te,

Numine composito, tres peperisse deos.
Nunc quoque Thressa tibi cælato barbitos auro

Insonat, arguta molliter icta manu ;
Auditurque chelys suspensa tapetia circums,

Virgineos tremula quæ regat arte pedes.
Illa tuas saltem teneant spectacula Musas,

Et revocent, quantum crapula pellit iners.
Crede mihi, dum psallit ebur, comitataque plectrum

Implet odoratos festa chorea tholos,
Percipies tacitum per pectora serpere Phæbum,

Quale repentinus permeat ossa calor;
Perque puellares oculos, digitumque sonantem,

Irruet in totos lapsa Thalia sinus.
Namque Elegia levis multorum cura deorum est,

Et vocat ad numeros quemlibet illa suos;
Liber adest elegis, Eratoque, Ceresque, Venusque,

Et cum purpurea matre tenellus Amor.
Talibus inde licent convivia larga poetis,

Sæpius et veteri commaduisse mero.
At qui bella refert', et adulto sub Jove cælum,

Heroasque pios, semideosque duces,
Et nunc sancta canit superum consulta deorum,

Nunc latrata fero regna profunda cane;
Ille quidem parce, Samii pro more magistri,

Vivat, et innocuos præbeat herba cibos ;
Stet prope fagineo pellucida lympha catillo,

Sobriaque e puro pocula fonte bibat.
Additur huic scelerisque vacans, et casta juventus,

Et rigidi mores, et sine labe manus :
Qualis, veste nitens sacra, et lustralibus undis,

Surgis ad infensos, augur, iture deos.
Hoc ritu vixisse ferunt post rapta sagacem

Lumina Tiresian, Ogygiumque Linon,
Et lare devoto profugum Calchanta, senemque

Orpheon, edomitis sola per antra feris ;

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

" Nunc quoque Thressa libi, &c. The Thracian harp. Orpheus was of Thrace.-T. WARTON.

s Auditurque chelys suspensa tapetia circum, &c. Mr. Warton has observed, that here is a reference to the mode of furnishing halls or state-apartments with tapestry, which had not ceased in Milton's time. Compare “Comus," v. 324.- Topd.

I Al qui bella refert, &c. Ovid, Anacreon, Pindar, and Horace indulged in convivial festivity; and this also is an indulgence which must be allowed to the professed writer of elegies and odes : but the epic poet, who has a more serious and important task, must live sparingly, according to the dictates of Pythagoras. Milton's panegyrics on temperance both in eating and drinking, resulting from his own practice, are frequent.—T. W'Anton.

[ocr errors]

Sic dapis exiguus, sic rivi potor Homerus

Dulichium vexit per freta longa virum,
Et per monstrificam Perseiæ Phæbados aulam",

Et yada foemineis insidiosa sonis;
Perque tuas, rex ime, domos, ubi sanguine nigro

Dicitur umbrarum detinuisse greges.
Dis etenim sacer est vates, divumque sacerdos;

Spirat et occultum pectus, et ora, Jovem.
At tu, siquid agam, scitabere, (si modo saltem

Esse putas tanti noscere siquid agam)
Paciferum canimus cælesti semine Regem,

Faustaque sacratis sæcula pacta libris ;
Vagitumque Dei, et stabulantem paupere tecto,

Qui suprema suo cum Patre regna colit ;
Stelliparumque polum, modulantesque æthere turmas,

Et subito elisos ad sua fana deos.
Dona quidem dedimus Christi natalibus illa,

Illa sub auroram lux mihi prima tulit.
Te quoque pressa manent patriis meditata cicutis";

Tu mihi, cui recitem, judicis instar eris.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ELEG. VII.
ANNO ÆTATIS 19.

3

[ocr errors]

NONDUM, blanda, tuas leges, Amathusia, noram,

Et Paphio vacuum pectus ab igne fuit.
Sæpe cupidineas, puerilia tela, sagittas,

Atque tuum sprevi, maxime, numen, Amor.
Tu, puer, imbelles, dixi, transfige columbas;

Conveniunt tenero mollia bella duci :
Aut de passeribus timidos age, parve, triumphos;

Hæc sunt militiæ digna tropæa tuæ.
In genus humanum quid inania dirigis arma ?

Non valet in fortes ista pharetra viros.
Non tulit hoc Cyprius, neque enim deus ullus ad iras

Promptior, et duplici jam ferus igne calet.
Ver crat, et summæ radians per culmina villæ

Attulerat primam lux tibi, Maie, diem :
At mihi adhuc refugam quærebant lumina noctem,
Nec matutinum sustinuere jubar".

u Et per monstrificam Perseiæ Phæbados aulam.
Circe was the daughter of the Sun, and, as some say, of Hecate.—T. Wartos.

"Te quoque pressa manent patriis meditata cicutis. His English “ Ode on the Nativity.” This he means to submit to Deodate's inspection. “ You shall next have some of my English poetry.”

The transitions and connexions of this Elegy are conducted with the skill and address of a master, and form a train of allusions and digressions productive of fine sentiment and poetry. From a trifling and unimportant circumstance, the reader is gradually led to great and lofty imagery.—T. Warton.

w At mihi adhuc refugam quærebant lumina noctem,

Nec matutinum sustinuere jubar.
Here is the elegance of poetical expression : but he really complains of the wcakness of

15

[ocr errors]

20

[ocr errors]

30

35

40

Astat Amor lecto, pictis Amor impiger alis;

Prodidit astantem mota pharetra deum :
Prodidit et facies, et dulce minantis ocelli,

Et quicquid puero dignum et Amore fuit.
Talis in æterno juvenis Sigeius Olympo

Miscet amatori pocula plena Jovi;
Aut, qui formosas pellexit ad oscula nymphas,

Thiodamantæus Naide raptus Hylas.
Addideratque iras, sed et has decuissse putares;

Addideratque truces, nec sine felle, minas :
Et,—“Miser, exemplo sapuisses tutius," inquit :

“Nunc, mea quid possit dextera, testis eris:
Inter et expertos vires numerabere nostras,

Et faciam vero per tua damna fidem.
Ipse ego, si nescis, strato Pythone superbum

Edomui Phæbum, cessit et ille mihi ;
Et quoties meminit Peneidos, ipse fatetur

Certius et gravius tela nocere mea.
Me nequit adductum curvare peritius arcum,

Qui post terga solet vincere, Parthus eques :
Cydoniusque mihi * cedit venator, et ille Y

Inscius uxori qui necis auctor erat.
Est etiam nobis ingens quoque victus Orion”,

Herculeæque manus, Herculeusque comes.
Jupiter ipse licet sua fulmina torqueat in me,

Hærebunt lateri spicula nostra Jovis.
Cætera, quæ dubitas, melius mea tela docebunt,

Et tua non leviter corda petenda mihi:
Nec te, stulte, tuæ poterunt defendere Musæ,

Nec tibi Phoebæus porriget anguis opem
Dixit ; et, aurato quatiens mucrone sagittam,

Evolat in tepidos Cypridos ille sinus.
At mihi risuro tonuit ferus ore minaci,

Et mihi de puero non metus ullus erat :
Et modo qua nostri spatiantur in urbe Quirites,

Et modo villarum proxima rura placent.
bis eyes, which began early. He has " light unsufferable," -“ Ode Nativ." v. 8.-
T. WARTON.

* Cydoniusque mihi, &c.
Perhaps indefinitely, as the “ Parthus eques,” just before. The Cydonians were famous
for hunting, which implies archery. If a person is here intended, he is most probably
Hippolytus. Cydon was a city of Crete. But then he is mentioned here as an archer.
Virgil ranks the Cydonians with the Parthians for their skill in the bow,“ Æn.” xii. 852.
-T. WARTON.

y Et ille, &c.
Cephalus, who unknowingly shot his wife Procris.-T. Warton.

2 Est etiam nobis ingens quoque victus Orion.
Orion was also a famous hunter.-T. WARTON.

* Nec tibi Phobaus porriget anguis opem. “No medicine will avail you : not even the serpent, which Phæbus sent to Rome to cure the city of a pestilence.” Ovid, “ Metam.” xv. 742.—T. WARTON.

45

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Turba frequens, facieque simillima turba dearum,

Splendida per medias itque reditque vias;
Auctaque luce dies gemino fulgore coruscat:

Fallor? An et radios hinc quoque Phæbus habet ?
Hæc ego non fugi spectacula grata severus ;

Impetus et quo me fert juvenilis, agor;
Lumina luminibus male providus obvia misi,

Neve oculos potui continuisse meos.
Unam forte aliis supereminuisse notabam :

Principium nostri lux erat illa mali.
Sic Venus optaret mortalibus ipsa videri,

Sic regina deum conspicienda fuit.
Hanc memor objecit nobis malus ille Cupido,

Solus et hos nobis texuit ante dolos :
Nec procul ipse vafer latuit, multæque sagittæ,

Et facis a tergo grande pependit onus:
Nec mora ; nunc ciliis hæsit, nunc virginis ori;

Insilit hinc labiis, insidet inde genis :
Et quascunque agilis partes jaculator oberrat,

Hei mihi ! mille locis pectus inerme ferit.
Protinus insoliti subierunt corda furores;

Uror amans intus, flammaque totus eram.
Interea, misero quæ jam mihi sola placebat,

Ablata est oculis, non reditura“, meis.
Ast ego progredior tacite querebundus, et excors,

Et dubius volui sæpe referre pedem.
Findor, et hæc remanet : sequitur pars altera votum,

Raptaque tam subito gaudia flere juvat.
Sic dolet amissum proles Junonia cælum,

Inter Lemniacos præcipitata focos :
Talis et abreptum solem respexit, ad Orcum

Vectus ab attonitis Amphiaraus equis.
Quid faciam infelix, et luctu victus ? Amores

Nec licet inceptos ponere, neve sequi.
0, utinam, spectare semel mihi detur amatos

Vultus, et coram tristia verba loqui !
Forsitan et duro non est adamante creata,

Forte nec ad nostras surdeat illa preces !
Crede mihi, nullus sic infeliciter arsit ;

Ponar in exemplo primus et unus ego.
Parce, precor, teneri cum sis deus ales amoris,

Pugnent officio nec tua facta tuo.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

b Turba, &c. In Milton's youth, the fashionable places of walking in London wero Hyde-Park, and Gray’s-Inn Walks.-T. WARTON.

c Non reditura. He saw the unknown lady, who had thus won his heart, but once. The fervor of bis love is inimitably expressed in the following lines. — Todd.

« PreviousContinue »