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She'll make you start at every noise you hear,
And visions strange shall to your eyes appear,
Tims would it be, if you to her were wed:
Nay, better far it were that you were dead.
Her voice is low, and gives a hollow sound;
She hates the light, and is in darkness found;
Or sits with blinking lamps, or tapers small,
Which various shadows make against the wall.
She loves nought else but noise which discord makes
As croaking frogs, whose dwelling is in lakes;
The raven's hoarse, the mandrake's hollow groan,
And shrieking owls, which fly in th' night alone;
The tolling bell, which for the dead rings out;
A mill, where rushing waters run about;
The roaring winds, which shake the cedars tall,
Plough up the seas, and beat the rocks withal.
She loves to walk in the still moonshine night, ,
And in a thick dark grove she takes delight;
In hollow caves, thateh'd houses, and low cells,
She loves to live, and there alone she dwells.
Then leave her to herself alone to dwell,
Let you and I in Mirth and Pleasure swell,
And drink long lusty draughts from Bacchus' bowl,
Until our brains on vaporous waves do roll;
Let's joy ourselves in amorous delights;
There's none so happy as the carpet knights.
Melancholy. Then Melancholy, with sad and sober face, Complexion pale, but of a comely grace, With modest countenance thus softly spake May I so hapjty be your love to take? True, I am dull, yet by me you shall know More of yourself, and so much wiser grow; I search the depth and bottom of mankind, Open the eye of ignorance that's blind; All dangers to avoid I watch with care, And do 'gainst evils that may come prepare; I hang not on inconstant fortune's wheel, Nor yet with unresolving doubts do reel; I shake not with the terrors of vain fears, Nor is my mind fill'd with unuseful cares; I do not spend my time, like idle Mirth, Which only happy is just at her birth; And seldom lives so long as to be old, But if she doth, can no affections hold; Mirth good for nothing is, like weeds doth grow, Or such plants as cause madness, reason's foe. Her face with laughter crumples on a heap, Which makes great wrinkles, and ploughs furrows deep; Her eyes do water, and her skin turns red, Her mouth doth gapo, teeth bare, like one that's dead, She fulsome is, and gluts the senses all, ■ . Offers herself, and comes before a call; Her house is built upon the golden snnds, Yet no foundation has, whereon it stands;
A palace 'tis, and of a great resort,
It makes a noise, and pives a loud report,
Yet underneath the roof disasters lie,
Beat down the house, and many kill'd thereby:
I dwell in groves that gilt are with the sun,
Sit on the banks by which clear waters run;
In summers hot, down in a shade I lie,
My music is the buzzing of a fly;
I walk in meadows, where grows fresh green grass,
In fields, where corn is high, I often pass;
Walk up the hills, where round I prospects see,
Some brushy woods, and some all champaigns bo;
Returning back, I in fresh pastures go,
To hear how sheep do bleat, and cows do low;
In winter cold, when nipping frosts come on,
Then I do live in a small house alone:
Although 'tis plain, yet cleanly 'tis within.
Like to a soul that's pure and clear from sin;
And there I dwell in quiet and still peace,
Not fill'd with cares how riches to increase;
I wish nor seek for vain and fruitless pleasures,
No riches are, but what the mind intreasures.
Thus am I solitary, live alone,
Yet better loved the more that I am known;
And though my face ill-favor'd at first sight,
After acquaintance it will give delight.
Refuse me not, for I shall constant be,
Maintain your credit and your dignity.
OP THE THEME OF LOVE
0 Love, how thou art tired out with rhyme!
THE FUNERAL OF CALAMITY.
Calamity was laid on Sorrow's hearse,
JOHN MILTON. Ifi08—167.1.
Is not each great, each amiable Muse
Nor second He, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th* abyss to spy.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and timet
The living Throne, the sappbtre-blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaae.
He saw ; but, blasted with excess of light.
Closed his eyes In endless night. Gaat.
Thy soul was like a stir, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice, whose sound was like the sea;
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free;
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness: and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.
Fa* above all the poets of his own age, and. in learning, invention, ana sublimity, without an equal in the whole range of English literature, stands Joht Milton. He was born in London, December 9, 1608. His father, who was a scrivener, and who had. suffered much for conscience' sake, doubtless infused into his son those principles of religious freedom which made him, in subsequent years, the bulwark of that holy cause in England. He was also early instructed in music, to which may doubtless be attributed that richness and harmony of his versification which distinguished him as much as his learning and imagination. His early education was conducted with great care. At sixteen he entered the University of Cambridge. After leaving the university, where he was distinguished for his scholarship, he retired to the house of his father, who had relinquished business, and had purchased a small property at Horton in Buckinghamshire. Here he lived five years, devoting his time most assiduously to classical literature, making the wellknown remark that he "cared Not How Late He Came Into Life, Onli That Re Came Fit." While in the university lie had written his grand tt Hymn on the Nativity, any one verse of which was sufficient to show that a new and great light was about to rise on English poetry:" and there, nt his father's, he wrote his a Comus," and « Lycidas," his " L'Allegro," and " II Penseroso," and his "Arcades."
In 1G38 he went to Italy, the most accomplished Englishman that ever visited her classical shores. Here his society was courted by "the choicest Italian wits," and he visited Galileo,1 then a prisoner in the Inquisition. On his return home, he opened a school in London, and devoted himself with great assiduity to the business of instruction. In the mean time, he entered into the religious disputes of the day, engaging in the controversy singiu handed against all the royalists and prelates; and though numbering amnnp
1 "The Tuscan artist." Paradise Lost, book I. line 298.
his antagonists such men as Bishop Hall and Archbishop Usher, proving himself equal to them all. In 1043 he married the daughter of Richard Powell, a high royalist; but the connection did not prove a happy one, his wife being utterly incapable of appreciating the loftiness and purity of the poet's character. In 1649 he was appointed foreign secretary under Cromwell, which office he held till the death of Cromwell, 1658.
For ten years Milton's eyesight had been failing, owing to the « wearisome studies and midnight watchings" of his youth. The last remains of it were sacrificed in the composition of his "Defcnsio Populi," (Defence of the People of England;) and by the close of the year 1652 he was totally blind: "Dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon." At the Restoration he was obliged to conceal himself till the publication of the act of oblivion released him from danger. He then devoted himself exclusively to study, and especially to the composition of "Paradise Lost" The idea of diis unequalled poem was probably conceived as early as 1642. It was published in 1667. For the first and second editions the blind poet received but the sum of five pounds each I In 1671 he produced his "Paradise Regained," and "Samson Agonistes." A long sufferer from an hereditary disease, his life was now drawing to a close. His mind was calm and bright to the last, and he died without a struggle, on Sunday, the 8th of November, 1674.
It is hardly necessary here to make any criticisms upon the works of this "greatest of great men," as essays almost numberless may be found upon his life and writings.1 His chief poetical works are—1. His " Paradise Lost," in twelve books, which is an account of the temptation and fall of our first t/arents. 2. " Paradise Regained," in four books, depicting the temptation and triumph of "the second Adam, the Lord from Heaven." 3. "Samson Agonistes,''2 a dramatic poem, relating die incidents of die life of the great champion of the Israelites, from the period of his blindness to die catastrophe that ended in his death. 4. "Lycidas," a monody on the death of a beloved
1 The best edition of Milton's poetry Is that of Todd: London, 1S09, 7 vols. This contains the Invaluable verbal Index. Another excellent edIUon has been edited by 81r Egerton Brydgea, In 6 vols., the first volume of which Is taken up with his life, written with that taste and discrimination so characteristic of the author, to whom English literature Is under lasting obligations. The best edition of his prose works Is by Symmons, 7 vols. 8vo. Ills prose and poetry have been published tn London In one large royal 8vo. An edition of his prose works bos been edited In this country by the Rev. Rums W. Qrlswold. An eloquent Essay on Milton mny be found In Macaulay's Miscellanies; another In the Retrospective Review, xlv. 282; and another In the London Quarterly, xxxvl. 29. In the following numbers of the Spectator, Addison has wrIUen a series of admirable criticisms on the "Paradise Lost:" 262, 207, 273, 279, and so on for fifteen more numbers, at intervals of six, being published every Saturday. In No. 78 of the Observer, by Cumberland, there are some remarks upon the "Samson Agonistes." Consult, also, Hallaui's "Literature of Europe;" and read an admirable article on Milton in Dr. Citannlng's works.
Of Johnson's "Life," Sir Egerton Brydges JusUy remarks: "It Is written In abad, malignant, and even vulgar spirit. The language Is sometimes coarse, and the humor pedantic and gross. The criticism on the Paradise Lout Is powerful and grand: the criticism on the other poems is mean, false, and execrable -ImaginalL't Biography, 1. 149. Of Addison's "Essay," the same writer says: "It ought to be ».udlcd and almost got by heart by every culUvntcd mind which understands the English language. It Is In all respects a masterly performance; Just In thought, full of taste and the finest sensibility, eloquent and beautiful In composition, widely learned, and so clearly explanatory of the true principles of poetry, tliat whoever Is master of Uielu cannot mistake In his decision of poetical merit. It puts Milton above all other poels on such tests as cannot be resisted."— lift, I. 271.
2 That U, "the champion," "the combatant," from the Greek aysmoriri, (aeoiusfei,) "a combatant at the public games."
friend, (Mr. Edward King,) who was shipwrecked in the Irish Sea. 5. °L'Allegro," an ode to mirth. 6. "11 Penseroso," an ode to melancholy. 7. «■ Comus, a mask," the purest and most exquisite creation of the imagination and fancy in English literature. 8. "Arcades,"1 a part of a mask 9 "Hymn on the Nativity." 10. "Sonnets."
ODE ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY."
This is the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heaven's eternal King,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,
That glorious form, that light unsuffcrable,
And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,
To sit the midst of Trinal-Unity,
He laid aside; and, here with us to be,
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain,
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright 1
See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wizards haste with odors sweet |
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And join thy voice unto the angel quire,
From out his secret altar touch'd with hallow'd fire.
1 "Arcades," that la, the Arcadian shepherds: or course, It la of a paatoral character.
a " When It U recollected that this piece was produced by the author at the age of twenty-one, all deep thinkers, of fancy and sensibility, must pore over It with delighted wonder. The vigor, the grandeur, the Imaginativeness of the conception; the force and maturity of language; the bound, the i.-atherlng strength, the thundering roll of the metre; the largeness of the views; the extent of the k-amlng; the solemn and awful tones; the enthusiasm, and a certain spell In the epithets, which puts the reader Into a state of mvstertous excitement,—all these may be better felt than described."— Sir