Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Escend from Heav'n, Urania, by that name

If rightly thou art call’d, whose voice divine Following, above th’ Olympian hill I soar, Above the flight of Pegaséan wing. The meaning, not the name I call : for thou

5

Nor 1. Defcend from Heav'n, Urania,]

on the snowy top Descende cælo, Hor. Od. III. IV. 1.

Of cold Olympus but here it is better apply'd, as now his subject leads him from Heaven and snowy is an epithet often given to Earth. The word Urania in to this mountain by the ancient Greek fignifies beau’nly; and he poets : but he calls' it old, that is invokes the heav'nly Muse as he had fam'd of old and long celebrated, done before, I. 6. and as he had as he says old Euphrates, I. 420. and said in the beginning that he intended mount Cafius old, II. 593. His to foar above th Aonian mount, so heavenly Muse was before the bills, now he says very truly that he had which were from the beginning, as effected what he intended, and soars it follows. above tb Olympian bill, above the

9. flight of Pegaséan wing, that is his

Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top fubject was more sublime than the loftieft Alights of the Heathen poets.

of old Olympus dwell, but heav'nly

born,] 'Tasso in his invocation has Dr. Bentley proposes Parnassus in- the fame sentiment. Gier. Lib. Cant. ftead of Olympus, but the mountain

1. St. 2. Olympus is likewise celebrated for the seat of the Muses, who were O Musa, tu, che di caduchi allori therefore called Olympiades, as in Non circondi la fronte in Helicona; Homer, Iliad II. 491. Ολυμ- Ma nel cielo infra i beati chori glofea Msal. And some would Hai di stelle immortali aurea coread cold Olympus, as in I. 516.

Thyer.
A 3

8. Before

for thou

rona.

10

Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
of old Olympus dwell'st, but heav'nly born,
Before the hills appear'd, or fountain flow'd,
Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy fister, and with her didst play
In presence of th' almighty Father, pleas'd
With thy celestial fong. Up led by thee
Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd,

An 8 Before the hills appear'd, or foun- printer and poet, Fairy Queen, B. 2.

tain How'd, &c.] From Prov. Cant. 2. St. 39. VII. 24, 25, 30. When there were

Thus fairly she attempered her feast, no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains, abounding

And pleas’d them all with meet

satiety. with water: Before the mountains were fettled, before the hills was I I agree with the Doctor that thee is brought forth: Then was I by him as better than thy temp'ring. Thyer. one brought up with him; and I was

7

15 Thy temp'ring :) This is said daily bis delight, rejoicing always be in allusion to the difficulty of respi. fore him, or playing according to the ration on high mountains. This Vulgar Latin (ludens coram eo omni empyreal air was too pure and fine tempore) to which Milton alludes, for him, but the heavenly Muse when he says and with her didn play temper'd and qualify'd it so as to &c. And so he quotes it likewife in make him capable of breathing in his Tetrachordon, p. 222. Vol. I, it: which is a modest and beautiful

a Edit. 1738. “God himself conceals way of bespeaking his reader to

. “ not his own recreations before

make favorable allowances for any " the world was built; I was, faith failings he may have been guilty of " the eternal Wisdom, daily his de: in treating of so sublime a subječi. light, playing always before him."

17.

(as once 14

and drawn empyreal air, Bellerophon, &c.] Bellerophon Thy temp’ring ;] Dr.Bentley makes was a beautiful and valiant youth, himself very merry in his insulting son of Glaucus; who refusing the manner, with the word temp'ring, amorous applications of Antea wife and calls it the printer's blunder; of Prætus king of Argos, was by but I think the following application her false suggestions like those of of it in Spenser may justify both Joseph's miltrefs to her husband,

sent

An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy temp'ring ; with like safety guided down

15
Return me to my native element :
Lest from this flying steed unrein’d, (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime)
Dismounted, on th' Aleian field I fall
Erroneous there to wander and forlorn.

20 Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound

Within fent into Lycia with letters defiring It is thus translated by Cicero in his his destruction; where he was put third book of Tusculan Difputations. on several enterprises full of hazard, in which however he came off con.

Qui miser in campis mærens erraqueror: but attempting vain-glo- Ipfe fuum cor edens, hominum vel

bat Aleis, riously to mount up to Heaven on the winged horse Pegasus, he fell

tigia vitans. and wander'd in the Aleian plains The plain truth of the story seems till he died. Hume and Richardfon. to be, that in his latter days he grew His story is related at large in the mad with his poetry, which Milton fixth book of Homer's Iliad; but begs may never be his own case : it is to the latter part of it that Mil- Left from this flying feed &c. He ton chiefly allades, ver. 200. Eg*c. fays this to distinguish his from the An' oz. dr xensivos annOeTo whose wing be foared, as he speaks,

common Pegasus, above the fight of ஏan Searar, Ητοι και καππεδιον το Αληλον οιος 21. Half yet remains unjung,] I αλατο,

understand this with Mr. Richardton, 'Or Jomar natedw, tátor éppes that 'tis the half of the epifode, not

of the whole work, that is here

meant; for when the poem was diBut when at last, distracted in his vided into but ten books, that edimind,

tion had this passage at the beginForsook by Heav'n, forsaking ha- ning of the seventh as now. The man kind,

episode has two principal parts, the Wide o'er th' Aleian field he chofe war in Heaven, and the new creato ftray,

tion; the one was fung, but the A long, forlorn, uncomfortable way. other remained unsung, and he is Popė. now entring upon it. --but narrower

bound,

ver. 4.

[ocr errors]

A 4

[ocr errors]

thou my

my song,

Within the visible diurnal sphere;
Standing on earth, not fapt above the pole,
More fafe I sing with mortal voice, unchang'd
To hoarse or mute, though fall’n on evil days, 25
On evil days though fall’n, and evil tongues ;
In darkness, and with dangers compass’d round,
And folitude ; yet not alone, while thou
Visit'st

my Numbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east: still
govern

30 Urania, and fit audience find, though few.

But bound. Bound here seems to be a supposes; and then all is good sense, participle as well as unfung. Half and there will be no need to read yet remains unsung; but this other with the Doctor, To hoarse or low. half is not rapt fo much into the

Pearce. invisible world as the former, it is

25. -- though fall'n on evil days,] confin'd in narrower compass, and The repetition and turn of the words bound within the visible sphere of is very beautiful, day 24. More safe I fing with mortal

though fall’n on evil days, voice, unchang'd

On evil days though fall'n, and evil To hoarse or mute,] Dr. Bentley

tongues ; &c. reads with lofty voice. Why mortal A lively picture this in a few lines voice?. says the Doctor. I answer, of the poet's wretched condition. because Milton had said in ver. 2. In darkness, though is fill understood ; that he had follow'd Urania's voice he was not become hoarse or mute divine. Again (says the Doctor) if though in darkness, though he was his voice had grown hoarse, would blind, and with dangers compofs'd it not have been still mortal? and round, and solitude, obnoxious to the what is a voice changed to mute? government, and having a world of Both these questions are satisfy'd by enemies among the royal party, and putting only a comma, as in the therefore oblig'd to live very much first editions, (not a colon, as the in privacy and alone. And what Doctor has done) after mute. The strength of mind was it, that could words unchang'd to boarse or mute not only support him under the refer to I, and not to voice, as he weight of these misfortunes, but ena

ble

[ocr errors]

40

But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revelers, the race
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears 35
To rapture, till the savage clamor drown'd
Both harp and voice ; nor could the Muse defend
Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art heav'nly, she an empty dream.

Say Goddess, what ensued when Raphaël,
The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn’d

Adam ble him to soar to such highths, as no 40. - what ensued when Raphaël, human genius ever reached before? &c.] Longinus has observed, 31.- and fit audience find, though that there may be a loftiness in sen

few.] He had Horace in timents, where there is no passion, mind, Sar. I. X. 73.

and brings instances out of ancient,

authors to support this his opinion. -neque te ut miretur turba, labores, Contentus paucis lectoribus.

The pathetic, as that great critic

observes, may animate and inflame 33. Of Bacchus and his revelers,] the fublime, but is not essential to it. It is not improbable that the poet Accordingly, as he further remarks, intended this as an oblique fatir upon we very often find that those who the dissoluteness of Charles the se- excel most in stirring up the passions, cond and his court; from whom he very often want the talent of writing feems to apprehend the fate of Or. in the great and sublime manner, pheus, a famous poet of Thrace, and so on the contrary. Milton has who tho' he is faid to have charm'd hown himself a master in both these woods and rocks with his divine ways of writing. The seventh book, fongs, yet was torn to pieces by the which we are now entring upon, is Bacchanalian women on Rhodope a an instance of that sublime, which mountain of Thrace, nor could the is not mixed and worked up with Muse Calliope his mother defend passion. The author appears in a him. So fail not thou, who thee im. kind of composed and fedate maplores; nor was his with ineffectual, jesty; and tho' the sentiments do for the government suffer'd him to not give so great an emotion, as those live and die unmolested.

in the former book, they abound

« НазадПродовжити »