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Through the sweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine:
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,

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And to the stack, or the barn-doot,
Stoutly struts his dames before:
Oft liftning how the hounds and horn
Chearly rouse the slumb'ring morn,
From the fide of some hoar hill,

55 Through the high wood echoing Thrill : Some time walking not unseen By hedge-row elms, on hillocs green, Right against the eastern gate, Where the great fun begins his state,

60 Rob's

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of gray.

* he was up and stirring, in win- Shakespear. Much Ado about No.

ter often ere the sound of any thing. Act 5. Sc. 8. « bell awake men to labor, or to -- and look the gentle day, “ devotion; in summer as oft with

Before the wheels of Phæbus, " the bird that first rouses, or not

round about “ much tardier, to read good au** thors &c": "And few minds, I

Dapples the drousy east with spots

: believe, but such as are innocent and unftain'd with guilty pleasures 45. Then to come in spite of forrow,] have

any great taste for these pure These two poems, L'Allegro and and genuin ones which the poet Il Penseroso, are certainly the best describes. Thyer.

of Milton's productions in time,

for the rimes in Lycidas are irre, 44. the dappled dawn] The gular: bút yet we may observe word is used and explain'd in that several things are faid, which

E 4

would

Rob'd in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight,
While the plow-man near at hand,
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,

65
And the mower whets his fithe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Strait mine

eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the landskip round it measures,
Ruffet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray,

Mountains

70

would not have been said but only And storied windows richly dight. for the sake of the rime, and we

a have an instance, I conceive, in Dight, dress'd, adorn'd; a word the line before us. Mr. Pope, I

used by Spenser, and our old have been informd, had remark a writers. Faery Queen. B. 1. Cant.

. feveral defects of the same kind in 4. St. 6. these two poems; and there may With rich array and costly arras be fome truth and juftness in the digbt. observation, which Dryden has

Fairfax Cant. 1. St. 72.
made in the dedication of his Ju-
venal, that “ rime was not Mil-

So
every

one in arms was quickly « ton's talent, he had neither the dight. “ ease of doing it, nor the graces 69. Strait mine eye bath caught 66 of it;" but then it must be faid, new pleafures ) There is in that he had talents for greater my opinion great beauty in this things, and there is more harmony abrupt and rapturous ftart of the in his blank 'verse than in all the poet's imagination, as it is exriming poetry in the world.

tremely well adapted to the sub62. The clouds in thousand liveries ject, and carries a very pretty aldight,] And so in Il Penseroso lusion to those sudden gleams of

Mountains on whose barren breast
The lab'ring clouds do often rest,
Meadows trim with daisies pied,

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Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it fees
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes.

8 Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes, From betwixt two aged oaks, Where Corydon and Thyrsis met, Are at their favory dinner set

Of

1

vernal delight which break in upon or the little bear next to our pole, the mind at the fight of a fine as in the Mask 342. I find the prospect. Tbyer.

same expression in Democritus Ju72. Where the nibbling flocks do nior or Burton's treatise of Me.

Aray, ] Nibbling Theep is an lancholy, as quoted by Mr. Peck. expression in Shakespear." Tem- “ 'Tis the general humor of all peft & peł Aá 4. Sc. 3. And fray is not “ lovers ; she is his stern, his pole- . in the sense of wander, go aftray, “ star, his guide, his Cynosure, but only fignifies feed at large, as “ his Hesperus and Vesperus, &c.

“ . in Virgil Ecl. I. 9.

p. 512. Ille meas errare boves, ut cernis,

84. Are at their favory dinner set et ipsum

Of herbs, &c] Mr. Thyer thinks

with me that this is an allusion to Ludere

quæ
vellem calamo

per-
misit agresti.

Virgil Ecl. II. 10.

Theftylis et rapido fessis messoria 80. The Cynosure of neighb'ring

bus æftu eges.] As if he had said, the Allia serpyllumque herbas conpole-ítar of neighboring eyes: an tundit olentes, affected expression. Cynosura is And tho' Phillis is the cook here, the constellation of Urfa minor Thefiylis is introduc'd soon after.

92. The

8s

90

Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses ;
And then in haste her bow'r she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheayes ;
Or if the earlier season lead
To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocond rebecs found
To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd shade;
And
young

and old come forth to play On a sunshine holy-day,

95

a

Till

66 &c".

а

92. The upland hamlets ] Upland " villagers also must have their in opposition to the hay-making“ visitors to inquire what lectures scene in the lower lands. Thyer. " the bagpipe and the rebec reads

94. And the jocord rebecs found] Rebec is a three-stringed fiddle, de- 96. Dancing in the chequer'd rived from the French rebec or the Jhade ; ] Shakespear's Titus Italian ribecca, and these, says Andronicus Act 2. Sc. 4. Skinner, à Rebacchando, ubi Re sensum auget, quia fc. hoc inftru

The green leaves quiver with

the cooling wind, mento in conviviis, comeffationi

And make a chequer'd fhadow bus et sympofiis uti folebant; and

on the ground. therefore Milton properly bestows upon it the epithet jocond. He ufes Virgil Ecl. V. 5. the word again in his Areopagitica Sive fub incertas Zephyris mop. 149. Vol. 1. Edit. 1738. The tantibus umbras. Richardson.

101. Witte

Till the live-long day-light fail;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,

100
With stories told of many a feat,
How faery Mab the junkets eat,
She was pincht, and pullid she said,
And he by friers lanthorn led
Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,
To earn his cream-bowl duły set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flale hath thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-lab’rers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,
And stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,

105

IIO

And

66 Your

101. With ftories told of many a him likewise in this particular. feat, &c ] These stories of

106. To earn his cream bowl duly Faeries and Goblins formerly made fet, &c] Reginald Scot gives a part of the belief of the country brief account of this imaginary people, and with great propriety Spirit much in the same manner therefore are made the subjects of with this of our author. their conversation over their 'nut- grand-dames, maids, were wont brown ale at night. Shakespear" to set a bowl of milk for him, too in compliance with these vul- “ for his pains in grinding of gar notions has introduc'd the like

“ malt or mustard, and sweeping faery tales in several of his plays, “ the house at midnight his and particularly in his Midsum- " white bread and milk was his mer Night's Dream : and no won- “ standing fee.” Discovery of der that Milton, who has so often Witchcraft.

Lond. [1588 and ] imitated Shakespear, has imitated 1651. 4° p. 66. Peck.

119. Where

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