Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they then,
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below ;
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

90

IX.

When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook,

95 Divinely-warbled voice Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took: The air such pleasure loath to lose, With thousand echoes still prolongs each heav'nly close.

89. That the mighly Pan sacred writings. Mr. Bowle reWas kindly come io lire with fers to Dante, Purgat. c. vi. v. them below.]

118. That is, with the shepherds on

- sommo Giove, the lawn. So in Spenser's Muy, Che fosti'n in terra per noi crocifisso. which Milton imitates in Lycidas. And says that this passage is I muse what account both these will literally adopted by Pulci, Mormake;

gant. Magg. c. ii. v. 2. T. The one for the hire which he doth Warton. take,

96. Divinely-warbled voice] And th' other for learning his lord's

Rather divinely-warbling. As all taske, When great Pan account of Shep. their souls in blissful raplure took. heards shall aske.

So in Par. Lost, ii. 554. Of the Again,

music of the milder angels.

-Took with ravishment For Pan himself was their inherit

The thronging audience. Again in July,

-each heavenly close. So Shake

speare speaks of a musical close. The brethren twelve that kept yfere

K. Richard II. a. ii. s. 1.
The flocks of mighty Pan.

The setting sun, and music at the The same designation of Christ

close, occurs again in his September.

As the last taste of sweets is sweetest We should indeed recollect, that last. Christ is styled a shepherd in the

T. Warton.

ance.

[ocr errors]

101

105

X.
Nature that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region thrilling,
Now was almost won
To think her part was done,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling;
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all heav'n and earth in happier union.

XI.
At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,

110 That with long beams the shame-fac'd night array’d; The helmed Cherubim, And sworded Seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd, Harping in loud and solemn quire, With unexpressive notes to heav'n's new-born Heir.

XII.
Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator great
His Constellations set,

115

120

103. --the airy region thrill- 116. With unexpressive notes) ing,] Piercing the air. So in See Lycidas, ver. 176. Spenser, Faery

Queen, b. i. cant. 117. Such music as 'tis said.] üi. st. 42.

See this music described, Par. With thrilling point of deadly iron Lost, vii. 558. seq. T. Warton. brand:

119. But when of old the sons and cant. vi. st. 6. thrilling shrieks: of morning sung,] As we read and in other places.

in Job xxxviii. 7. When the morn112. helmed] See Par. Lost, ing stars sang together, and all the vi. 840. T.Wartor,

SONS of God shouted for joy.

And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung, And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the welt'ring waves their oozy channel keep.

XIII. Ring out ye crystal Spheres,

125 Once bless our human ears,

(If ye have pow'r to touch our senses so,) And let your silver chime Move in melodious time,

And let the base of heav'n's deep organ blow, 130
And with your ninefold harmony
Make

up
full consort to th' angelic symphony.

XIV.
For if such holy song
Inwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold, 135
And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die,

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould, And hell itself will pass away, And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day. 140

125. Ring out ye crystalSpheres,] 136. And speckled Vanity See the notes, P. L. iii. 482. E. Will sicken soon and die.]

130. And let the base of heav'n's Plainly taken from the maculosum deep organ blow.) An idea catched nefas of Horace, Od. v. 4. 23. by Milton from St. Paul's cathe- J. Warton. dral while he was a schoolboy. Vanity dressed in a variety of He was not yet a puritan. After- gaudy colours. Unless he means wards he and his friends the spots, the marks of disease and fanatics would not have allowed corruption, and the symptoms of of so papistical an establishment approaching death. T. Warton. as an organ and choir, even in

i39. And hell itself will pass heaven. T. Warton.

away, 131. And with your ninefold And leave her dolorous mansions harmony] There being nine in. to the peering day.) folded spheres, as in Arcades, ver. The image is

The image is in Virgil, Æn, viii. 64. where see the note.

245.

145

XV.
Yea Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,

Orb’d in a rainbow ; and like glories wearing
Mercy will sit between,
Thron'd in celestial sheen,

With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering,
And heav'n, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.

XVI.
But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so,

The babe lies yet in smiling infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss

So both himself and us to glorify:
Yet first to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the

deep,

150

155

-Regna recludat

Γαιαν αναρρηξειε Ποσειδαων ενεσιχθων, , Pallida, diis invisa ; superque im. Οικια δε θνησοισι και αθανατοισι φανση mane barathrum

Εμερδαλι', ευρωενσα, σα τη στυγιουσι θεει Cernatur, trepidentque immisso lumine Manes.

E. Peering, that is, overlooking or 143. Orb'd in a rainbow ; and prying, is frequent in Spenser like glories wearing and Shakespeare. I will give Mercy will sit between,] one instance from Coriolan. a. ii. The author thus corrected it in s. 3.,

the edition of 1673: in the first And mountainous Error be too

edition of 1645 it was thus, deeply pild

Th' enamelld Arras of the rainbow For Truth to over-peer.

wearing; T. Warton. And Mercy set between, ge. Compare Homer, Il. Y. 61.

156. The wakeful trump of Edduri de ürinsebev avaš enegas

Adwvaus

doom must thunder through the Aures de sx Opovou adro, kai vaxt, pen or deep,] A line of great energy, iriges

elegant and sublime. T. Warlon.

XVII.
With such a horrid clang
As on mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire, and smouldring clouds out brake : The aged earth aghast,

160 With terror of that blast,

Shall from the surface to the centre shake; When at the world's last session, The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his throne.

XVIII. And then at last our bliss

165 Full and perfect is,

But now begins; for from this happy day
Th' old Dragon under ground
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway,

170 And wroth to see his kingdom fail, Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.

speare, p. 435.

157. With such a horrid clang] and Fairfax, xii. 46. Clang is clangour. So of a mul

A mass of solid fire burning bright titude of birds, Par. Lost, vii. Rolld up in smouldring fumes there 422.

bürsteth out: -Soaring the air sublime and xiii. 61. With clang despis'd the ground.

And in each vein a smouldring fire But see Steevens's note, Tam,

there dwelt. Shr, vol. iii. Johns. Steey. Shake

159. Spenser also has smouldry, T. Warton.

F. Q. i. vii. 13. and iii. xi. 21. 159. —and smouldring clouds] Smouldring or smouldry, hot, A word that I find neither in sweltering. Perhaps from the Junius, nor Skinner, nor Bailey, Anglo-Saxon, Smolt, hot weather. but in Spenser and Fairfax. T. Warton. Faery Queen, b. i. cant. viii, st. 9.

172. Swinges the scaly horror Inrolrd in dames, and smouldring of his folded tail.] These images dreariment :

are plainly copied from Spenser's b. i. cant. v. st. 3.

description of the old dragon: The smouldring dust did round about and no wonder Milton was fond him smoke:

of it in his younger years, for he

« PreviousContinue »