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“The next, with dirges * due, in sad array, * Dirge, a funeral ser-
Array, procession. 115 Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Lay, the inscription. Graved * on the stone beneath yon aged Graved, carved
state of mind.
Epitaph, an inscrip
tion on a tomb.
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown ;
And Melancholy * marked him for her own. Melancholy, a gloomy
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,
LOVE OF COUNTRY.-Scott.
“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 ! *
High though his title, proud his name, 10 Boundless his wealth as wish can claim ;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, *
And, doubly dying, shall go down
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung,
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
* 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,
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
Bards, the Druid
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.
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 ?
Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair ?
(That last infirmity of noble minds)
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
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 :
That came in Neptune's * plea ;
swain ? *
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.
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,
ruler of the winds.
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
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
Swart star, the dog.
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,
streaked. 145 The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
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
anciently called Bel160 Sleep’st by the fable of Bellerus * old,
of islands on the west of Scotland.