" The next, with dirges * due, in sad array,* Dirge, a funeral serSlow through the church-way path we saw vice.

Array, procession. him borne: 115 Approach and read (for thou canst read) the

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


lay *


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, 120 And Melancholy * marked him for her own. Melancholy, a gloomy

state of mind. 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;

pure. 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,*

nesses. (There they alike in trembling hope repose),

Dread abode, the

grave. The bosom of his Father and his God.

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,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand ! * Foreign strand, coun-

tries other than one's If such there breathe, go, mark him well;

own native land.
For him no Minstrel-raptures swell:
High though his title, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim ;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,*

Pelf, riches.
The wretch, concentred * all in self,

Concentred, &c.,

thinking of no one Living, shall forfeit fair renown,*

but himself, being And, doubly dying, shall go down


Renown, respect, To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,

honour, fame. Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.



LYCIDAS.* -John Milton.




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 : LAllegro 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, O ye laurels,* and once more, or glory. Murtle, dedicated to Ye myrtles * brown, with ivy * never sere, * Venus, was symboli- I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude ; * cal of love.

terlast. And, with forced fingers rude,
Ivy, represented last-
ing friendship.

Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
Sere, dry, ` faded, Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
Crude, unripe.

Compels me to disturb * your season due :
To disturb, &c., to For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
disturb before due Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer :
season, before the
proper time.

Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew
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, fro. Meed, 'reward.

Without the meed * of some melodious tear.* Melodious tear, a la- Begin then, Sisters * of the sacred well, 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, the classical abode of So may some gentle Muse * the gods.

With lucky words * favour my destined um; 20 Muse, poet.

And, as he passes, turn, Lucky words, &c., with words of good And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.* omen do the same For we were nursed upon the selfsame hill, kindly office for me when I am in my

Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill. grave.

Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd 25 Sable shroud, my dark Under the opening * eyelids of the morn, tomb or grave, Opening, &c., at day. We drove afield,* and both together heard break.

What time the grey fly winds her sultry horn,
Afield to the fields.
Battening, feeding or

Battening * our flocks 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.



* Lycidos : 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.

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

Oaten 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 demiBut, О the heavy change, now thou art gone, gods, 'half man, half Now thou art gone, and never must return!

goat, who attended

upon Bacchus. 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

here referring to their And all their echoes, mourn :

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

that gnaws, or eats Or taint-worm to the weanling * herds that graze,

e, away. Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, Weanling, a lamb When first the white-thorn blows;

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

who watched over deep

different places.
Closed o’er the head of your loved Lycidas ?
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old bards,* the famous Druids, lie,

Bards, the Druid

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

Mona, the Isle of 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 o



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

Mount As he pronounces lastly * on each deed, Olympus. 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, on the east reeds! coast of Sicily... That strain I heard was of a higher mood : Mincius, the river Mincio, near Mantua, But now ny oat proceeds, where Virgil was And listens to the herald of the sea born.

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

90 the sea.

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
to punishment.

That blows from off each beaked promontory :
Swain, a young man.
His story, what had They knew not of his story ; *

95 happened to him.

And sage Hippotades * their answer brings, Hippotades, Æolus, ruler of the winds.

That not a blast was from his dungeon * stray'd : Dungeon, a close, The air was calm, and on the level brine deep prison.

the Sleek Panope * with all her sisters play'd. Panope, one of the fifty sea-nymphs. It was that fatal and perfidious * bark,

100 Perfidious, treach. Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark, erous.

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

am- 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 Cam.

“Ah! who hath reft," quoth he, “my dearest
Sanguine flower, the pledge ?*
Pledge, child.

Last came, and last did go.
Pilot,"'&c., St. Peter, The pilot * of the Galilean lake;
the head of the Two massy keys he bore of metals twain
Church, who had a

110 boat 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, en

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

Creep, and intrude,* and climb into the fold! 115 Intrude, to enter without permission.

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


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 are sped ; *

does it matter to

them. And, when they list, their lean and flashy * songs Sped, provided for. Grate on their scrannel * pipes of wretched straw; Flashy, showy, with.

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

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

sound. draw,*

Rank, here means a Rot inwardly, and foul contagion * spread : very bad taste or 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

disease. 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, A

Arcadia, supposed to

be connected with 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

flowers. Of shades, and wanton* winds, and gushing brooks, Wanton, wandering

at pleasure. On whose fresh lap the swart star* sparely *

no owalu svar paley Swart star, the doglooks;

star. Throw hither all your quaint * enameli'd * eyes, Sparely, rarely, sel

dom, sparingly. 140 That on the green turf suck the honey'd showers, Quaint, curious lookAnd purple all the ground with vernal flowers. ing, fanciful.

Enamelied, 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 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

ered bier.

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

Hebrides, two groups

of islands on the west Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide,

of Scotland. 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,


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