Sivut kuvina

Wallowing unwieldy', enormous in their gate
Tempest the ocean: there leviathan,
Hugest of living creatures, on the deep
Stretch'd like a promontory sleeps or swims
And seems a moving land, and at his gills 415
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out a sea.
Mean while the tepid caves, and fens and shores
Their brood as numerous hatch, from th’


that soon

Bursting And how smooth is the verse that best critics and commentators upon describes the seal and dolphin sport. Job by the leviathan understand the ing upon the smooth water! crocodile, and Milton in several paron smooth the seal,

ticulars describes the leviathan like And bended dolphins play:

the author of the book of Job, and

yet by others it seems as if he It is much finer than if it had all meant the whale. See the note upon been express'd in a single line. The Book I. 200. verse is bent, as I may fay, to be


and at his trunk spouts out better suited to the bended dolphin :

a fea.] as in the rough measures following Et acceptum patulis mare naribus one almost sces porpoises and other

efflant. Ovid. Met. III. 686. unwieldy creatures tumbling about in the ocean.

421. They fumm'd their pens,] Pens 412. Tempest the ocean:] Milton from penna a feather. Summ'd is a has here with very great art and term in falconry; a hawk is said to propriety adopted the Italian verb be full fumm'd, when his feathers tempeftare

. He could not poflibly are grown to their full ftrength. So have expressed this idea in mere

Par. Reg. I. 14: English without fome kind of cir. With prosp'rous wing full summ’d. cumlocution, which would have

Richardson. weaken’d and enervated that energy 422. With clang despis’d the ground, of expression which this part of his under a cloud description requir'd. Besides no In prospekt ;] That is, the birds were word could be more proper in the so many that the ground, from whence beginning of the verse to make it they rose, would have appeared to labor like the troubled ocean, which be under a cloud, if one had seen he is painting out. Thyer, it at a distance: in this sense we have 412. there leviatban,] The ver. 555. how it (the world) fou'd


[ocr errors]

Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd
Their callow young, but feather'd soon and fledge 420
They summ’d their

pens, and soaring th' air sublime
With clang despis’d the ground, under a cloud
In prospect; there the eagle and the stork
On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries build:
Part loofly wing the region, part more wise 425
In common, rang’d in figure wedge their way, ,

Intelligent in prospect from his throne. Pearce. dentibus : feffos duces ad terga reciUnder a cloud, the ground being piunt. Nat. Hift. L. 10. Sect. 32: shaded by the multitude of birds But as this migration of birds is one seem'd as when a cloud passes over of the most wonderful instincts of it. Richardson.

nature, it may be proper to add 423. there the eagle and the stork some better authorities to explain On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries and justify our author than Pliny,

build:] These birds build their Jerem. VIII. 7. takes notice of this erries, that is their nests in such high remarkable instinct; Yea the stork in places. In Job XXXIX. 27, 28. the Heaven knoweth ber appointed it is said particularly of the eagle, times, and the turtle, and the crane, Dath the eagle mount up at thy com- and the swallow observe the time of mand, and make her neft on high ? their coming, &c. So very intelligent She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, are they of reasons. And as Milton upon the crag of the rock, and the instances in the crane particularly, strong place. And Pliny says of them, we will quote what the ingenious Nidificant in petris et arboribus. author of Spe&tacle de la Nature fays L. 10. Seet. 4.

upon this occasion. Dial. XI. “ Ás 426. --rang’d in figure wedge "to wild ducks and cranes, both the

their way,] Pliny has de- “ one and the other at the approach fcribed certain birds of passage, fly: “ of winter fly in quest of more ing in the form of a wedge, and “ favorable climates. They all af{preading wider and wider. Those “ semble at a certain day like swalbehind relt upon those before, till “ lows and quails. They decamp the leaders being tir'd are in their “ at the same time, and 'tis very turn receivid into the rear. A tergo agreeable to observe their fight. fenfim dilatante fe cuneo porrigitur “ They generally range themselves agmen, largèque impellenti præbe- “ in a long column like an I, or tür auræ." Colla imponunt præce. " in two lines united in a point like

Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Their aery caravan high over seas
Flying, and over lands with mutual wing
Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane 430
Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air


vert hid

6. a V reverfed." And so as Milton Harmonious numbers ; as the wakesays,

ful bird --rang'din figure wedge their way.

Sings darkling, and in shadiest co“ The duck or quail, who forms

Tunes her nocturnal note. « the point, cuts the air, and faci- In that charming description of even“ litates a passage to those who ing, IV. 598. nothing can be more “ follow; but he is charged with charming than what is said of the * this commilion only for a certain

nightingale. time, at the conclusion of which * he wheels into the rear, and ano Silence accompanied; for beast and " ther takes his post.” And thus bird, as Milton fays,

They to their graffy couch, these

to their neits with mutual wing Were sunk; all but the wakeful Easing their flight.

nightingale ;

She all night long her amorous de435. :- nor then the solemn nightina

scant sung; gale &c.] Of all finging birds,

Silence was pleas'd. we see that he instances in the nightingale particularly; and his fondness In that tender speech of Eve's to for this little bird is very remarkable, Adam, IV.639. and he expresses it upon every oc

With thee conversing I forget all casion. If the reader has not taken

time, &c particular notice of it, he will be surpris'd as well as pleas'd to see in amongst other pleasing images he how many passages and with what mentions twice admiration he speaks of this charm

the filent night ing songster. He compares his own

With this her folemn bird. making verses in his blindness to the nightingale's finging in the dark. And Adam and Eve are made to

Sleep lull'd by nightingales, IV.771, Then feed on thoughts, that volun These, lull'd by nightingales, emtary move

bracing flent,


III. 37.

Flotes, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes : From branch to branch the smaller birds with song Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings Till ev'n, nor then the solemn nightingale 435 Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft lays:


And on their naked limbs the The amorous bird of night flow'ry roof

Sung spoufal, and bid halte the Show'rd roses, which the morn

evening star repair'd.

On his hill top to light the bridal And when the evil Spirit tempts Eve

lamp. in her dream, he mentions this as Other poets mention the nightingale one of the strongest temptations to perhaps by way of fimile, but none

induce her to walk out in the cool of them dwells, or delights to dwell, | evening, V. 38.

so much upon it as our author. And Why sleep'it thou Eve? now is the he expresses the same fondness and pleasant time,

admiration in other parts of his The cool, the filent, save where works. We will give an instance silence yields

out of the Il Peníeroso as it is rather To the night warbling bird, that more particular than the rest,

now awake
Tunessweetest his love-labor'd song.

And the mute filence hift along,

'Less Philomel will deign a song, And here where the poet is describing In her sweetest, saddest plight, the creation of all the forts and species Smoothing the rugged brow of of fowl, of finging birds he parti night cularizes the nightingale alone. Sweet bird that fhunn'ft the noise

of foliy,
From branch to branch the smaller
birds with song

Most musical, most melancholy!

Thee chauntress oft the woods Solac'd the woods, and spread their painted wings

among Till ev’n, nor then the solemn

I woo to hear thy even-song; nightingale

And misling thee, I walk unseen Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd

On the diy smooth-shaven green, her soft lays.

To bchold the wand'ring moon

Riding near her highet noon. And upon Adam's and Eve's first coming together the nightingale fung And in his fonnets the first is ad the epithalamium or wedding song, dress'd To the nightingale.

VIII. 518.

439,- the

Others on silver lakes and rivers bath'd
Their downy breast; the fwani with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit 440
The dank, and rising on stiff pennons, tower
The mid aereal sky: Others on ground
Walk'd firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds
The filent hours, and th’ other whose
Adorns him, color'd with the florid hue

Of rainbows and starry' eyes. The waters thus
With fish replenish'd, and the air with fowl,
Evening and morn solemniz'd the fifth day.



gay train

438.- the kwan with arched neck]

450. when God said, &c.] So The ancient poets have not hit upon Gen. I. 24. And God said, Let the this beauty, fo lavish as they have earth bring forth the living creature been in their descriptions of the after his kind, cattle and creeping swan. Homer calls the swan long- thing, and beast of the earth after neck'd soargorespov, but how much his kind. We observ'd before, that more pittoresque if he had arched when Milton makes the divine Perthis length of neck! her wings mant- fon speak, he keeps closely to Scripling proudly, her wings are then a ture. Now what we render living little detach'd from her fides, rais'd creature is living foul in the Hebrew, and spread as a mantle, which she which Milton usually follows rather does with an apparent pride, as is than our translation; and soul it also seen in her whole figure, atti should be here as in ver: 388. living tude, and motion. Richardson. foul, and 392. foul living. It is inDr. Bentley wonders that he should deed fowl in all the printed copies, make the fwan of the feminine gen. Let th’ earth bring forth fowl living der, contrary to both Greek and

in her kind : Latin. I suppose he did it, because he thought it would be more agreea- but Dr. Bentley, Dr. Pearce, Mr. ble to the ear. Rows bis fate sounds Richardson, and common sense, all rather too rough.

condemn this reading; it is mani


[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »