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with Lycaon, whose daughter was turned into the plaustrum celeste." But Milton had strict mythological authority. Although the northern constellation Bootes was represented by some as the stellified Icarus, by others he was represented as the stellified Arcas, the Eponymic hero of the Arcadians; and this Arcas, in some mythologies, was that very son of Lycaon whose flesh was served up by his father before Zeus, and whom the disgusted God restored to life, while he destroyed the rest of the house of Lycaon. In that case, he was a brother of Callisto alias Helice, daughter of Lycaon, who was stellified as the Greater Bear, or Northern Wain, or Arctos. Even if Arcas is not taken as the son of Lycaon, but as the son of Callisto or Helice by Zeus (which is one form of the myth), he was still Lycaonian, as being the grandson of Lycaon; and so anyway Milton hits right in the jumble. Both Bootes (Arcas, son or grandson of Lycaon) and Arctos, the plaustrum cæleste or Northern Wain (Callisto or Helice, daughter of Lycaon and sister or mother of Arcas), were Lycaonian offshoots up in heaven; and the only question, in this passage, is whether Bootes regarded the “plaustrum coeleste” which he was following as his sister or as his mother. See Ovid, Met. II. 466-507; also note to L'Allegro, line 8o. Martial (IV. iii. 5, 6) conjoins the two.constellations :

“Sidus Hyperborei solitus lassare Bóótæ,

Et madidis Helicen dissimulare comis.” 43.

" caruisti puellâ.Warton noted the expression as from Ovid, Art, Amat. II. 249.

49—52. 6 Desere,' Phæbus ait,” etc. Warton compares this passage with Ovid, Amor. I. xiii. 35–40. The aged husband of Aurora or Eos is Tithonus; her lover, the Æolides venator, is Cephalus, son of Æolus, the “Attic boy” of Penseroso, 124. She saw him first hunting on Mount Hymettus. Ovid (Met. VI, 681) calls him “Æolides Cephalus.

58. Pandit ut omniferos luxuriosa sinus: not unlike Buchanan's line in his Elegy on May above mentioned :

“Omniferos pandens copia larga sinus.”

Ecce, coronatur ... Idæam pinea turris Opim: i.e. the lofty forehead of the Earth is crowned with wood, as that of Ops, or Cybele, the goddess of fertility, the great all-bearing mother, is crowned with a tower of pines. For the “towered Cybele” see note Arcad. 20—25. Tibullus, as Warton noted, has the phrase Idææ Opis(I. iv. 68); and this may have suggested the pines of Mount Ida for the crown of the goddess.


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65, 66. Floribus Tænario placuit diva Sicana Deo." The Tænarius Deus” is Pluto : so called from the black cavern,

61, 62.





in the promontory of Tænarus in Laconia, which was regarded as one of the mouths of Hell, and up through which Hercules dragged the hell-dog Cerberus. He carried off the diva Sicana, or Sicilian goddess, Proserpine, as she was gathering flowers. 74.

hinc titulos adjuvat ipsa tuos”: because Phæbus was also the God of Medicine.

83. Tethy Tartesside lymphâ.Tethys is the ocean generally; the “ Tartessis lymphais the Tartessian sea, the sea west of the Spanish Tartessus, the Atlantic. See note, Eleg. III. 33.

91. “Semelëia fata": the fate of Semele, who was burnt up by the presence of Jove in his full godhead.

93. “sapientiùs: i.e. more wisely than when you entrusted your chariot to Phaethon : an ingenious linking, as Warton remarked, of this speech of Tellus to Phoebus in Milton's Elegy with the speech of the same goddess to the same god in Ovid (Met. II. 272 et seq.), where she complains of her horrible scorching by Phaethon's escapade.—“ Cumin the same line is simply “when”; and “tu” and “tuo are slyly emphatic.

108. Puniceum crocum.See L'Allegro, 124, and note there. 119. sera crepuscula.Warton quotes Ovid, Met. I. 219

"Ingredior, traherent cum sera crepuscula noctem.” 122. “Semicaperque Deus, semideusque caper." Warton, quoting from Ovid, has “Semicaper Pan(Met

. XIV. 515), and " Semicaperve Deus(Fast. IV. 752), and Todd refers to Statius (Theb. VI. 112) for “ Semideúmque pecus," and to Ovid (Art. Amat. II. 24) for the line

“Semibovemque virum, semivirumque bovem.” 125. “ Mænalius Pan.Mänalus was a mountain in Arcadia, the principal country of Pan; and hence he is called “Mænalius Deus” (Ovid, Fast. IV. 650). See Arcad. 102, and note there. 129. "cupit malè tecta videri: from Virgil, Ed. III. 66:

“Et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri."
Te referant

Jupiter.As Mr. Keightley remarks, there seems to be a heightening of the strain in this close

O that the Golden Age might return to the Earth, and spring be perpetual there!



of the poem.



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17, 18.

19, 20.

Festaque cælifugam quæ coluere Deum.

Milton means simply “these December festivities of yours”; but he recollects that the Roman Saturnalia, or festivities in honour of Saturn, and of the golden days of primitive equality when this god resided on earth, were held in the middle of December.

"Sapirls Aoniis clamavit collibus EUÆ

Mista Thyoneo turba novena choro.i.e. “More than once the nine Muses, in a crowd together, have shouted Euæ on the Aonian (Boeotian) hills, mingled with the Bacchic dance-revel.” Thyoneus was one of the names of Bacchus, after his mother Semele, or Thyone ; and Bæotia or Aonia was the central seat of the Muses. They are represented as companions of Bacchus in the legends; but Milton's particular fancy in these lines seems to be an invention of his own for his purpose.

Naso Corallæis,etc. : i.e. “The poet Ovid (P. Ovidius Naso) sent bad verses from the scene of his banishment, the country of the savage Coralli; and the reason was that there was no feasting there, and no vines planted.” The poems written by Ovid during his exile at Tomi on the Euxine sea (A.D. 8—18) were his Tristia, his Epistolæ ex Ponto, and his Ibis, besides parts of his Fasti ; and these, in the judgment of critics, were not so good, or at least not so graceful, as his previous poems, all written in Rome, or elsewhere in Italy, amid the luxuries of civilised society. Ovid himself acknowledges something of this change. Thus, Epist. ex Ponto, IV. ii. 15—22 :

“Nec tamen ingenium nobis respondet ut ante ;

Sed siccum sterili vomere littus aro.
Scilicet ut limus venas excæcat in undis,

Læsaque suppresso fonte resistit aqua,
Pectora sic mea sunt limo vitiata malorum,

Et carmen venâ pauperiore fluit.
Si quis in hac ipsum terrâ posuisset Homerum,

Esset, crede mihi, factus et ille Getes." He also speaks in other places of his hard fare in exile, the hardships of the climate, etc. Thus Epist. ex Ponto, I. iii. 49–52 :

“Orbis in extremi jaceo desertus arenis,

Fert ubi perpetuas obruta terra nives.
Non ager hic pomum, non dulces educat uvas;

Non salices ripâ, robora monte virent.” The Coralli, mentioned by Ovid as the pelliti Corallior “furclad Coralli” (Epist. ex Ponto, IV. viii. 83), were not actually the people among whom he was living at Tomi, but one of those tribes

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21, 22.

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of the Getæ or Scythians of the Danube with whom he was brought into contact, and to whose visits the shores at Tomi were too subject (nimium subjecta). In Epist. ex Ponto, IV. ii. 37, 38, he says :

“Hic mea cui recitem nisi flavis scripta Corallis,

Quasque alias gentes barbarus Ister habet ? " He did learn the language of these Getæ, and compose verses in it, which were received with applauses at Tomi.

Quid nisi vina ... cantavit Tëia Musa," etc. From Ovid he passes to Anacreon, a native of the Greek city of Teos or Teios on the Ægean coast of Asia Minor, and hence called “ Tëia Musa." By “brevibus modisthe short structure of the so-called Anacreontics is designated. Even in the mention of Anacreon Milton, as Warton noted, is guided by Ovid. Thus (Trist. II. 363-365):

“Quid nisi cum multo Venerem confundere vino

Præcepit lyrici Tëia Musa senis ?” 23—26. Pindaricosque infilat numeros," etc. Teumesius Euan is the Boeotian Bacchus, called Euan, from the cry to him by his priestesses in their revels, and Teumesius, from Teumesus, a mountain in Boeotia ; and the connexion of the passage is “Pindar's lyrics also, the Theban Pindar's, are inspired by the Bacchus of his native Boeotia.”—Dum gravis,” etc. : in allusion to the subjects of Pindar's odes, especially the chariot-races at the Olympic games, near Elis in the Peloponnesus.

Quadrimoque madens Lyricen Romanus,etc. Next in the list comes Horace, referred to by his Odes to Glycera and Chloe (I. 19 and 23), and called Lyricen Romanus by a whim of Milton's, Mr. Keightley thinks, inasmuch as Lyricen is a hybrid word, and Horace's name for himself (Epist. I. xix. 32, 33) is Latinus Fidicen." The “quadrimo Iaccho," or "four-years-old Bacchus," is suggested by Horace himself (Od. I. ix. 5—8):

“ Dissolve frigus, ligna super foco
Large reponens; atque benignius

Deprome quadrimum Sabinâ,

O Thaliarche, merum diotâ.” 37.

66 Thressa . barbitos.Thracian, because Orpheus was Thracian.

39—48. “ Auditurque chelys suspensa tapetia circum," etc. In the whole of this passage we have a charming picture of a room, as it might be on a winter evening, in some English country mansion in Milton's time, well lit, elegantly furnished, and full of young people gracefully enjoying themselves. We see the tapestried hangings, we hear the music, we see the fingers that make it at the instrument, and the bright eyes of the fair dancers. The psallit ebur

27, 28. 66

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almost modernises all, by making us think of whatever, two hundred and fifty years ago, was likest to a piano and had ivory keys. It may have been about thirty years earlier that Shakespeare (Sonnet 128) wrote

“How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st

Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway'st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap

To kiss the tender inward of thy hand !” 55–66.

At qui bella refert, ... augur iture Deos.I have already called attention (Introd. I. pp. 267, 268) to the peculiarly Miltonic significance of this passage, coming so powerfully after the quiet grace of the preceding context. I can only repeat that the passage is worth getting by heart. The “Samius magisteris Pythagoras, born at Samos. 67–70. Hoc ritu vixisse ferunt,” etc.

The mythical persons named are these : Tiresias, the Theban prophet, struck blind in his old age; the singer and philosopher Linus, also a Theban (hence called Ogygian, from Ogygia, one of the names of Baotia): the soothsayer and priest Calchas, who accompanied the Greeks to Troy; and Orpheus, the Thracian singer, in his old age. See Introd. to Par. Lost, II. pp. 104, 105.

71. Sic dapis exiguus, sic rivi potor Homerus." Here Milton flatly contradicts Horace, who insists on it as an axiom that no good poet was ever a water-drinker, and argues, on internal evidence, that Homer cannot have been such (Epist. I. xix. 1—6):

“ Prisco si credis, Mæcenas docte, Cratino,
Nulla placere diu nec vivere carmina possunt
Quæ scribuntur aquæ potoribus : ut male sanos
Adscripsit Liber Satyris Faunisque poetas,
Vina fere dulces oluerunt mane Camænæ.

Laudibus arguitur vini vinosus Homerus." Milton's personal philosophy led him to this contradiction of Horace, respecting Homer at least, though he had yielded the axiom in the earlier part of the Elegy as it respected certain orders of poets, including Horace himself. He had, doubtless, in his mind the grand figure of the blind old Homer of the legends, going from city to city, and living on alms, and sometimes poorly on those, in exchange for his songs. Once, it is said in the pseudo-Herodotean Life of Homer, the blind poet, till then known only by his name of Melesigenes, was induced, by an unusually kind reception he had met from the people of Cumæ, to petition the authorities of that city for a state-maintenance for the rest of his life, that he might wander no more, but make them and their city celebrated. The proposal

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