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Anno AEtatis 17.
In obitum Praeconis Academici Cantabrigiensis.f
TE, qui conspicuus baculo fulgente solebas
Tu si jussus eras acies accire togatas,
Talis in Iliaca stabat Cyllenius aula
Talis et Eurybates ante ora furentis Achillei
Rettulit Atridae jussa severa ducis.
Saeva mimis Musis, Palladi saeva nimis,
Turba quidem est telis ista petenda tuis.
Westibus hunc igitur pullis, Academia, luge,
Fundat et ipsa modos querebunda Elegeia tristes,
Anno AEtatis 17.
In obitum Praesulis Wintoniensis.f
MCESTUS eram, et tacitus nullo comitante sedebam, Haerebantgue animo tristia plura meo,
12. These allusions are proofs of our author's early familiarity with Homer.
17. Magna sepulchrorum regina,] A sublime poetical appellation for Death; and much in the manner of his English poetry.
* This Elegy, with the next on the death of Bishop Andrewes, the Odes on the death of Professor Goslyn and Bishop Felton, and the Poem on the Fifth of November, are very correct and manly performances for a boy of seventeen. This was our author's first year at Cambridge. They
discover a great fund and command of ancient literature.
t Lancelot Andrewes, Bisho of Winchester, had been originally Master of Pembroke-Hall in Cambridge; but long before Milton's time. He died at Winchester House in Southwark, Sept. 26, 1626. See the last note.
It is a great concession, that he compliments Bishop Andrewes, in his Church Governm. b. i. iii. “But others better ad“vised are content to receive “ their beginning [the bishops]
Protinus en subiit funestae cladis imago
Intempestivis ossa cremata rogis:
Et memini Heroum quos vidit ad athera raptos,
At te praecipue luxi, dignissime Praesul,
* from Aaron and his sons: “among whom Bishop Andrewes “ of late years, and in these “ times [Usher] the primate of “Armagh, for their learning are “reputed the best able to say “what may be said in their “opinion.” This piece was written 1641. Prose Works, vol. i. 45. But see their arguments answered, as he pretends, ibid. ch. v. p. 47. seq. 4. Fecit in Angliaco quam Libitina solo;]. A very severe plague now raged in London and the neighbourhood, of which 354.17 persons are said to have died. See Whitelock's Mem. p. 2. and Rushworth, Coll. vol. i. p. 175, 201. Milton alludes to the same pestilence, in an Ode written in the same year, On the Death of a fair Infant, v. 67. To turn swift-rushing black Perdition hence, Or drive away the slaughtering Pes. tilence. 9. Tunc memini clarique ducis, &c.] I am kindly informed by WOL. I W.
Sir David Dalrymple, “The two “Generals here mentioned, who “ died in 1626, were the two “champions of the Queen of “Bohemia, the Duke of Bruns“ wick, and Count Mansfelt: “Frater means a Sworn Brother “in arms, according to the mili“tary cant of those days. The “Queen's, or the Palatine, cause “was supported by the German “ princes, who were heroes of “Romance, and the last of that “race in that country. The “protestant religion, and chi“valry, must have interested “ Milton in this cause. The next “couplet respects the death of “Henry, Earl of Oxford, who “ died not long before.” See Carte's Hist. Eng. iv. p. 93. seq. 172, seq. Henry, Earl of Oxford, Shakespeare's patron, died at the siege of Breda in 1625. Dugd. Bar. ii. 200. See Howell's Letters, vol. i. sect. 4. Lett. xv. And note on El. iv. infr. 74. If this be the sense of Fratris, werendi is not a very suitable epithet. T
Delicui fletu, et tristi sic ore querebar, 15
Nonne satis quod sylva tuas persentiat iras,
Quodgue afflata tuo marcescant lilia tabo,
Et crocus, et pulchrae Cypridi sacra rosa,
Nec sinis, ut semper fluvio contermina quercus
Et tibi succumbit, liquido quae plurima coelo
Et quae mille nigris errant animalia sylvis,
Et quot alunt mutum Proteos antra pecus. Invida, tanta tibi cum sit concessa potestas,
Quid juvat humana tingere caede manus? Nobileque in pectus certas acuisse sagittas,
Semideamque animam sede fugasse sua 2
Talia dum lacrymans alto sub pectore volvo,
Et Tartessiaco submerserat acquore currum
Condiderant oculos noxque sopordue meos: Cum mihi visus eram lato spatiarier agro,
Heu nequit ingenium visa referre meum. Illic pumicea radiabant omnia luce,
Ut matutino cum juga sole rubent.
Ac veluti cum pandit opes Thaumantia proles,
Non dea tam variis ornavit floribus hortos
Ditior Hesperio flavet arena Tago.
Aura sub innumeris humida nata rosis,
41. “The ground glittered, “ as when it reflects the manifold “ hues of a rainbow in all its “glory.” We have Thaumantias Iris, in Ovid, Metam. iv. 479. See also Virgil, ix. 6.
43. Non dea tam variis ornavit
floribus hortos Alcinoi, Zephyro Chloris amata levi.]
Eden is compared to the Homeric garden of Alcinous, Par. Lost, b. ix. 489. b. v. 341.
Chloris is Flora, who according to ancient fable was beloved by Zephyr. See Ovid, Fast. l. v. 195. seq. She is again called Chloris by our author, El. iv. 35. Yet there, and according to the true etymology of the word, she is more properly the power of vegetation. Chloris is Flora in Drummond's Sonnets, Signat. E. 2. ut supr. In Ariosto, Mercury steals Vulcan's met made for Mars and Venus to captivate Chloris, Orl. Fur. c. xv. 57.
Chlorida bella, che per aria vola, &c.
45. In the garden of Eden, “the crisped brooks roll on orient “pearl and sands of gold.” Par. Lost, b. iv. 237. 47. Serpit odoriferas per opes levis aura Favoni, Aura sub innumeris humida nota rosis, I So in the same garden, v. 156. But with a conceit. —Gentle gales Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole These balmy spoils.
Compare Cymbeline, a. iv. s. 2.
—They are as gentle As zephyrs blowing below the violet, Not wagging his sweet head. We have Favonius for Zephyr, Lucretius's genitabilis aura Favoni, in Sonn. xx. 6. Where see the note. 49. Talis in extremis terra Gangetidis oris