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sense of the word, by the combined overshadowing of the hour and of thought.
12 "Like one that hath been led astray.”—This calls to mind a beautiful passage about the moon, in Spenser's Epithalamium:
Who is the same that at my window peeps?
Is it not Cynthia, she that never sleeps,
13" Where glowing embers."-Here, also, the reader is reminded of Spenser.-See p. 124:
A little glooming light much like a shade.
14" And may my lamp at midnight hour
The picturesque of the "be seen" has been much admired. Its good-nature seems to deserve no less approbation. The light is seen afar by the traveller, giving him a sense of home comfort, and, perhaps, helping to guide his way.
15" Call up him that left half told
Chaucer, with his Squire's Tale. But why did Milton turn Càmbuscàn, that is, Cambus the Khan, into Cambùscan. The accent in Chaucer is never thrown on the middle syllable.
The poet bewails the death of his young friend and fellow-student, Edward King, of Christ's College, Cambridge, who was drowned at sea, on his way to visit his friends in Ireland. The vessel, which was in bad condition, went suddenly to the bottom, in calm weather, not far from the English coast; and all on board perished. Milton was then in his twenty-ninth year, and his friend in his twenty-fifth. The poem, with good reason, is supposed to have been written, like the preceding ones, at Horton in Buckinghamshire.
Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
Begin, then, sisters of the sacred well,
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favour my destin'd urn,
And, as he passes, turn,
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud :
For we were nurst upon the self-same hill, Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill; Together both, e'er the high lawns appear'd Under the opening eyelids of the Morn, We drove a-field, and both together heard What time the grey-fly winds her sultry horn, Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night Oft till the star, that rose, at evening, bright, Tow'rds heav'n's descent had slop'd his west'ring wheel.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to the oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danc'd; and Fauns with cloven heel
But, O the heavy change, now thou art gone,
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
Shall now no more be seen
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas? 18
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: 19
Had ye been there-for what could that have done?
Whom universal Nature did lament,
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies,
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed."
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood, Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds, That strain I heard was of a higher mood:
But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the herald of the sea
That came in Neptune's plea ;
He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds,
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow,
"Ah! who hath reft" (quoth he) "my dearest pledge?"
Last came, and last did go,21
The pilot of the Galilean lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain,
(The golden opes, and iron shuts amain,)
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake :
"How well could I have spar'd for thee, young swain,22
"Enow of such, as for their bellies' sake
"Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold?
"Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
"A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least
"That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!
"What recks it them? What need they? They are sped; "And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs "Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; "The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, "But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw,