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Would soon unbosom all their echoes mild,
Might think th' infection of my sorrows loud 55 Had got a race of mourners on some pregnant cloud. This subject the author finding to be above the years he had, when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.
On Time *.
FLY envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
* In these poems where no the manuscript that the poet had date is prefixed, and no circuma written To be set on a clock-case. stances direct us to ascertain the 12. -individual] Eternal, in. time when they were composed, separable. As in P. L. iv. 485. we follow the order of Milton's v. 610. See note on dividual, own editions. And before this P. L. vii. 382. T. Warton. copy of verses, it appears from 14. — sincerely good.] Purely,
And perfectly divine,
15 With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine About the supreme throne Of him, ť whose happy-making sight alone When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime, Then all this earthy grossness quit, Attir'd with stars, we shall for ever sit, Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O
Upon the Circumcision.
perfectly, good; as in Comus, v. 434—443. In the present 455. T. Warlon.
instance he wishes to make angels 18. -happy-making sight,] The weep. But being of the essence plain English of beatific vision of fire, they cannot produce 7. Your fiery essence can distil water. At length he recollects no tear,
that fire may produce burning Burn in your sighs,]
sighs. It is debated in Thomas Milton is puzzled how to recon- Aquinas whether angels have cile the transcendent essence of not, or may not have, beards. angels with the infirmities of T. Warlon. men. He met with a similar 10. He who with all heav'n's difficulty in describing the repast heraldry whilere of Raphael in Paradise; P. L. Enter'd the world.]
Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
His infancy to seize!
Will pierce more near his heart*.
Great pomps and processions are improbus ille puer: crudelis tu quoproclaimed or preceded by he- que maler. ralds. It is the same idea in
Richardson. P. L. i. 752.
20. Emptied his glory,] An exMeanwhile the winged heralds by pression taken from Phil. ii. 7. command
but not as it is in our translation, Of sovereign power, &c.
He made himself of no reputation, And again, b. ii. 516. Or herald- but as it is in the original, Sævtor ry may mean retinue, train, the ExtYwOT, He emptied himself. procession itself; what he other. 24. --for our excess,] He has wise calls pomp. See the note, used the word in the same sense P. L. viii. 60. T. Warton.
Paradise Lost, xi. 111. 15. O more exceeding love or Bewailing their excesslaw more just ?
but I think with greater proJust law indeed, but more ex- priety there than here. ceeding love !)
* It is hard to say, why these Virgil, Ecl. viii. 49.
three odes on the three grand Crudelis mater magis, an puer im- incidents or events of the life of probus ille ?
Christ, (the Nativity, the Passion,
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of heav'n's joy,
the Circumcision,) were not at Compare L'Allegro, 137. See first printed together. I believe also King James's Furies in the they were all written about the Invocation. year 1629. T. Warton.
-marrying so my heavenly verse 2. Sphere-born harmonious sis- Unto the harpe's accorder. ters, voice and verse.] So, says In that King's Poeticall Exercises, Mr. Bowle, Marino in his Adone, Edinb. 4to. no date, printed by c. vii. 1.
R. Waldegrave. T. Warton. Musica e Poesia son due sorelle. 6. -of pure concent,] So we
T. Warton. read in the manuscript, and in 3. Wed your divine sounds, &c.] the edition of 1673, and we In the manuscript it appears that prefer the authority of both to he had written these lines thus
these lines thus ihe single one of the edition in at first.
1645, which has of pure content, Mix your choice words, and happiest
6. Concent, not consent, (which sounds employ
Tonson first reads, ed. fol. 1695.) Dead things with inbreath'd sense is the reading of the Cambridge able to pierce,
manuscript. Hence we should And as your equal raptures temper'd correct Jonson, in an Epithalasweet
mium on Mr. Weston, vol. vii. 2. In high mysterious happy spousal mect, Snatch aus from earth a while,
” And in the Foxe, a. iii. s. iv. p. Us of ourselves and native woes beguile, 483. vol. vii. Works, ed. 1616. And to our high-rais'd phantasy pre- And perhaps Shakespeare, K. sent, &c.
Henr. V. a. i. s. 2. 3. Jonson has amplified this For government, tho' high, and low, idea, Epigr. cxxix. on E. Filmer's
and lower Musical work, 1629.
Put into parts, doth keep in one
consent, &c. What charming peals are these ? They are the marriage-rites
And Lilly's Midas, 1592. a. iv. Of iwo the choicest pair of man's s. 1. And Fairfax's Tasso, c. delights,
xviii. 19. Concent and concented Musick and Poesie: French Air and English Verse here occur in several places of Spenser. wedded lie, &c.
The undisturbed song of pure
Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
concentisthe diapason of the music 14. Compare P. L. vi. 882. of the spheres in Plato's system. and the Epitaph. Damon. 216. See P. L. v. 025, and the, note Lætaque frondentis gestans umbra. on Arcades, 64. But Plato's ab
cula palmæ. stracted spherical harmony is
T. Warton. here ingrafted into the song in the Revelations. T. Warton.
17-25. That we on earth, &c. 7. the sapphire-colour'd
- renew that song ] throne] Alluding to Ezek. i. 26.
Perhaps there are no finer lines And above the firmament that was
in Milton, less obscured by conover their heads, was the likeness of
ceit, less embarrassed by affected a throne, as the appearance of a
expressions, and less weakened sapphire stone.
by pompous epithets. And in io. -in burning ron] He had
this perspicuous and simple style written at first in triple row.
are conveyed some of the noblest 14. With those just spirits &c.]
ideas of a most sublime philoThese lines were thus at first in
sophy, heightened by metaphors the manuscript.
and allusions suitable to the sub
ject. T. Warton. With those just spirits that wear 18. May rightly answer that
the blooming palms, Hymns devout and sacred psalms,
melodious noise ;] The following Singing everlastingly,
lines were thus at first in the while all the starry rounds and arches manuscript. blue
By leaving out those harsh ill sounding Resound and echo Hallelu;
jars That we on earth &c.
Of clamorous sin that all our music The victorious palms is in allusion
mars to Rev. vii. 9. clothed - with white
And in our lives, and in our song
May keep in tune with hear'n, till robes, and palms in their hands.
God ere long &c.