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Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
1. *This is the month, &c.] The . Et subito elisos ad sua fana Deos. sixth Elegy to his friend Deodate See st. xix.-xxvi. appears to have heen sent about the close of the month December.
The oracles are dumb, &c. &c. Deodate had enquired how he The rest of the Ode chiefly conwas spending his time. Milton sists of a string of affected con. answers, v. 81.
ceits, which only his early youth, Paciferum canimus cælesti semine
and the fashion of the times, can regem,
excuse. But there is a dignity Faustaque sacratis sæcula pacta li. and simplicity in st. iv. “ No
“ war, or battle's sound, &c." Vagitumque Dei, et stabulantem
worthy the maturest years, and paupere tecto
the best times. Nor is the poetry Qui suprema suo curi patre regna colit;
of st. v. “ But peaceful was the Stelli parumque solum, modulantes " night, &c." an expression or que athere turmas.
two excepted, unworthy of MilThe concluding pentameter of ton. T. Wurton. the paragraph points out the best 5. Sages] The prophets of part of this ode.
the Old Testament. T. Wartor.
Hath took no print of the approaching light, 20 And all the spangled host keep watchin squadrons bright?
25 Have thou the honour first, thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the Angel quire,
I. It was the winter wild, While the heav'n-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
23. The star-led wizards) Wise' this hath touched thy lips, and men. So Spenser calls the an- thine iniquily is taken away, and cient philosophers, the antique thy sin purged. In his Reason wizards, F. Q. iv. xii. 2. And he of Church Government our ausays that Lucifera's kingdom was thor has another beautiful alluupbeld by the policy,
sion to the same passage, which And strong advizement of six wisurds we quoted in a note upon the old.
Paradise Lost, i. 17.-" that eterThat is, six wise counsellors. “ nal Spirit who can enrich with Ibid. i. iy. 12. 18. See also “all utterance and knowledge, Comus, v. 872. (24.) prevent them, " and sends out his Seraphim. come thither, before them. T. “ with the hallowed fire of his Warton.
“ altar, to touch and purify the 28. From out his secret allar “ lips of whom he pleases." As touch'd with hallow'd fire.) Allud. Mr. Pope's Messiah is formed ing to Isaiah vi. 6, 7. Then flew upon passages taken from the one of the Seraphims unto me, prophet Isaiah, he very properly having a live coal in his hand, invocates the same divine Spirit. which he had taken with the tongs
- thou my voice inspire, from off the altar. And he laid
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips • it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, with fire.
Nature in awe to him
With her great Master so to sympathize :
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow,
The saintly veil of maiden white to throw,
She crown'd with olive green, came softly sliding
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing, 50 And waving wide her myrtle wand, She strikes an universal peace through sea and land.
32. Nature in awe to him, &c.) 52. Perhaps Dr. Newton's obHere is an imitation of Petrarch's jection is too nice. Roman third Sonnet.
phraseology however, by which Era 'l giorno, ch' al sol si scoloraro he would excuse the expression
Per la pieta del suo fattore i rai; strike a peace, is here quite out
of the question. It is not a
J. Warlon. league or agreement of peace 52. She strikes an universal between two parties that is inpeace] The expression is a little tended. A quick and universal inaccurate, Peace to strike a diffusion is the idea. It was peace : but otherwise it is classi. done as with a stroke. T. War. cal, foedus ferire.
IV. No war, or battle's sound Was heard the world around :
The idle spear and shield were high up hung, 55 The hooked chariot stood, Unstain'd with hostile blood,
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng, And kings sat still with awful eye, As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by. 60
His reign of peace upon the earth began:
55. The idle spear and shield 64. The winds with wonder were high up hung.) So Proper- uchist] Whist, silenced, as in tius, ii. xxv. 8.
Spenser, Faery Queen, b. vii.
cant. 7. st. 59. Et vetus in templo bellica parma vacat.
So was the Titaness put down and But chivalry and Gothic manners and in Shakespeare, Tempest, were here in Milton's mind. T. act i. sc. 5. Ariel's song. Warion.
The wild waves whist. 64. The winds, &c.] Ovid,
It is commonly used as an interMetam. ii. 745.
jection commanding silence. And Perque dies placidos hyberno tempore hence, I suppose, the game of septem
Whist hath its name, as it requires Incubat Halcyone pendentibus æquore silence and attention.
nidis : Tum via tuta maris; ventos custodit
64. In Stanyhurst's Virgil, In
tentique ora tenebant, is translated, et arcet Æolus egressu, &c. .
They whisted all, b. ii. 1. T. T Warton. Warton.
VI. The stars with deep amaze Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,
70 Bending one way their precious influence, And will not take their flight, For all the morning light,
Or Lucifer that often warn’d them thence; But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
75 Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.
VII. And though the shady gloom Had given day her room,
The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, And hid his head for shame,
80 As his inferior flame
The new enlighten’d world no more should need; He saw a greater sun appear Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could bear.
VIII. The shepherds on the lawn, Or e'er the point of dawn,
77. And though the shady gloom, -Heaven awakened all his eyes &c.] This stanza is a copy of To see another sunne at midnight
rise. one in Spenser's Aprill. I saw Phæbus thrust out his golden
And afterwards he adds, “ the hed
“ cursed oracles were strucken Upon her to gaze :
• dumb." T. Warton. But when he saw, how broad her 86. Or e'er the point of dawn,] beames did spred,
Ere with e'er or ever following is It did him amaze. He blusht to see another sun belowe: changed into or ; and there are Ne durst againe his fierie face out. frequent instances of it not only showe, &c.
in all our old writers, but likeSo also G. Fletcher on a similar wise in the English translation of subject in his Christ's Victorie, the Bible. p. i. st. 78.