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“The next, with dirges * due, in sad array, * Dirge, a funeral ser-
Slow through the church-way path we saw
him borne :

Array, procession. 115 Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay

Lay, the inscription. Graved * on the stone beneath yon aged Graved, carved




I 20

state of mind.


Epitaph, an inscrip

tion on a tomb.
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,

A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown ;
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,

And Melancholy * marked him for her own. Melancholy, a gloomy
Large was his bounty,* and his soul sincere ; * Bounty, what he gave

Heaven did a recompense as largely send : Sincere, truthful,
He gave to Misery (all he had), a tear;
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished),

a friend. 125 No further seek his merits * to disclose, Merits, goodness.

Or draw his frailties * from their dread Frailties, weakabode. *

Dread abode, the (There they alike in trembling hope repose),

The bosom of his Father and his God.




Foreign strand, coun. tries other than one's own native land,

BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,

“This is my own, my native land !"

Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned, 5 As home his footsteps he hath turned,

From wandering on a foreign strand ! *
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel-raptures swell:

High though his title, proud his name, 10 Boundless his wealth as wish can claim ;

Despite those titles, power, and pelf, *
The wretch, concentred * all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,

And, doubly dying, shall go down
15 To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,

Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung,

Pelf, riches.
Concentred, &c.,
thinking of no one
but himself, being
Renown, respect,
honour, fame.

LYCIDAS.*-John Milton.



disturb before


John Milton (1608-1674) among English poets ranks next to Shakspeare. His youth was spent in long and very earnest study; and to what he thus acquired, he added still more by travelling in foreign countries. He was Latin Secretary to Oliver Cromwell, and for the last twenty-two years of bis life was totally blind. Chief poems : L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, Comus, Lycidas, Samson Agonistes; Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, in which he has discarded rhyme, and given us the most splendid specimen of blank verse in the language. Laurel is a symbol Yet once more, 0 ye laurels,* and once more, Myrtle, dedicated to Ye myrtles * brown, with ivy* never sere, Venus, was symboli- I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude ; cal of love.

And, with forced fingers rude, Ivy, represented lasting friendship.



leaves before the mellowing year. 5 Sere, dry, faded, Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear, withered. Crude, unripe.

Com pels me to disturb * your season due : To disturb, &c., to For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,

Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer : season, before proper time. Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew

IO Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.

He must not float upon his wat’ry bier Welter, roll to and

Unwept, and welter * to the parching wind, Meed, 'reward.

Without the meed * of some melodious tear. * Melodious tear, a la- Begin then, Sisters * of the sacred well,

15 mentation in verse.

That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring ; Sisters, &c., the nine Muses, supposed to Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string; have lived at the foot Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse : of Mount Olympus; So may some gentle Muse the classical abode of the gods.

With lucky words * favour my destined urn; Muse, poet.

And, as he passes, turn, Lucky words, &c., with words of good And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

For we were nursed upon the selfsame hill, kindly office for me Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill. when I am in my grave.

Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd Sable shroud, my dark Under the opening * eyelids of the morn, Opening, &c., at day- We drove afield,* and both together heard

What time the grey fly winds her sultry horn,

Battening Battening, feeding or

our focks with the fresh dews of fattening.


Oft till the star, that rose at evening bright, Westering, going to Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering * wards the west.




omen do the same


A field to the fields.




* Lycidas : in this poem Milton bewails a learned friend, Edward King, unfortunately drowned in his passage from Chester, on the Irish Sea, 1637. The name Lycidas was adopted from the Greek poet Theocritus.





Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to the oaten flute ;



en flute, the shep

herds' pipe, made of Rough Satyrs * danced, and Fauns * with cloven dry oat straws. 35 From the glad sound would not be absent long; Satyrs and Fauns, And old Dametas * loved to hear our song.

according to the an

cients, were But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone, gods, half man, half Now thou art gone, and never must return !

goat, who attended

upon Bo is. Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves, Damætas, one of Vir40 - With wild thyme and the gadding* vine o'ergrown, gil's characters, but And all their echoes, mourn :

here referring to their

college tutor. The willows, and the hazel copses green,

Gadding, winding Shall now no more be seen

about, straggling. Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. 45 As killing as the canker * to the rose,

Canker, something Or taint-worm to the weanling * herds that graze, away.

that gnaws, or eats Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, Weanling, lamb When first the white-thorn blows;

newly weaned. Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear. 50 Where were ye, nymphs,* when the remorseless Nymphs, goddesses

who watched

different places.
Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas ?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,

Bards, the Druid
Where your old bards,* the famous Druids, lie,

poets. Nor on the shaggy top of Mona * high,

Mona, the Isle of 55 Nor yet where Deva * spreads her wizard stream: Anglesea.

Deva, the river Dee, Ay me! I fondly dream,

in olden times said Had ye been there : for what could that have done? to have been the What could the Muse herself that Orpheus * bore,

haunt of magicians.

Orpheus was the son The Muse herself, for her enchanting son, of Calliope, the Muse 60 Whom universal nature did lament,

of Epic poetry.
When, by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His gory visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus * to the Lesbian shore ? Hebrus (the Maritza),

a river in the south Alas! what boots it with incessant care

of Turkey. 65 To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade,

And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ?
Were it not better done, as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,

Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair ?
70 Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise

(That last infirmity of noble minds)
To scorn delights and live laborious days;
. But the fair guerdon * when we hope to find,

Guerdon, reward. And think to burst out into sudden blaze, 75 Comes the blind Fury * with the abhorred shears, Fury, Atropos, one

of the three Fates. And slits the thin - spun life. “But not the








where born.

the sea.


Phoebus, Apollo, the Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembling god of poetry.

ears : “Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, Nor in the glistering foil Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies : 80

But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, Jove, was king of And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; the gods on Mount As he pronounces lastly * on each deed, Pronounces lastly, Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.” gives a final decision.

O fountain Arethuse,* and thou honour'd flood, 85 Arethuse, a celebrated fountain near Syra

Smooth-sliding Mincius,* crown’d with vocal cuse,

reeds! coast of Sicily.

That strain I heard was of a higher mood :
Mincius, the river
Mincio, near Mantua, But now my oat proceeds,
Virgil was And listens to the herald of the sea

That came in Neptune's * plea ;
Neptune, the god of

He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon * winds,
Felon, wicked, cruel. What hard mishap * hath doom'd * this gentle
Mishop, ill-luck, mis.

swain ? *
Doomed, condemned And question'd every gust of rugged wings
Swain, a young man. That blows from off each beaked promontory :
His story, what had They knew not of his story ;

95 happened to him.

And sage Hippotades * their answer brings, Hippotades, Æolus,

That not a blast was from his dungeon * stray'd : Dungeon, a close, The air was calm, and on the level brine deep prison. Panope, one of the Sleek Panope * with all her sisters play'd. fifty sea-nymphs. It was that fatal and perfidious * bark, Perfidious, treach

Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,

That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
Camus, river Next Camus,* reverend sire, went footing slow,*
Cam, on which Cam-
bridge is built.

His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, Footing slow, allud. Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge 105 ing to the slow, slug. Like to that sanguine flower * inscribed with woe. gish course of the

“Ah! who hath reft," quoth he, “my dearest Sanguine flower, the hyacinth. Pledge, child. Last came, and last did go. Pilot, &c., St. Peter, The pilot * of the Galilean lake; the head the Two massy keys he bore of metals twain

110 Church, who had a hoat on the Sea of (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain),* Galilee.

He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake : A main, with force.

“How well could I have spared for thee, young

swain, Enow, enough, Enow * of such, as for their bellies' sake plenty

Creep, and intrude,* and climb into the fold! Intrude,

115 without permission.

Of other care they little reckoning make,
Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest;

ruler of the winds.




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Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how

to hold 120 A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught * else the Aught, anything.

least That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs ! What recks it them ? * What need they? They What recks, &c., what

does it matter to are sped ; * And, when they list, their lean and flashy * songs Sped, provided for. Grate on their scrannel * pipes of wretched straw; Flashy, showy, with.

any real value. 125 The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,

Scrannel, producing But, swollen with wind and the rank * mist they weak screeching draw,*

Rank, here means a
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion * spread :
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw


Draw, breathe.
Daily devours apace, and nothing said :

Contagion, a catching 130 But that two-handed engine at the door

Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.”

Return, Alpheus,* the dread voice is past, Alpheus, a stream in That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse, Arcadia, supposed to

And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Arethusa. 135 Their bells and flowerets * of a thousand hues. Flowerets, little

Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades, and wanton* winds, and gushing brooks, Wanton, wandering
On whose fresh lap the swart star* sparely

Swart star, the dog.
Throw hither all your quaint * enamell’d * eyes, dom, sparingly!

Sparely, rarely, sel140 That on the green turf suck the honey'd showers, Quaint, curious lookAnd purple all the ground with vernal flowers. ing, fanciful,


smooth Bring the rathe * primrose that forsaken dies,

and glossy
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,

Rathe, early.
The white pink, and the pansy freak’d * with jet, Freaked, spotted or

streaked. 145 The glowing violet,

The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
With cowslips wan * that hang the pensive head, Wan, pale.
And every flower that sad embroidery wears :

Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
150 And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureat hearse * where Lycid lies.

Laureat hearse, an

ciently a monument For, so to interpose a little ease,

to the memory of the Let our frail * thoughts dally* with false surmise; dead, the laurel-covAy me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas

Frail, weak, 155 Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurl'd, Dally, delay, linger. Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, *

Hebrides, two groups
Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide,
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world; Bellerus, St. Michael's
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,

Mount, Cornwall;

anciently called Bel160 Sleep’st by the fable of Bellerus * old,




ered bier.

of islands on the west of Scotland.

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