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Et faciam vero per tua damna fidem.
Ipse ego, si nescis, strato Pythone superbum
Et quoties meminit Peneidos, ipse fatetur
Me nequit adductum curvare peritius arcum,
Inscius uxori qui necis author erat.
Jupiter ipse licet sua fulmina torqueat in me, Hærebunt lateri spicula nostra Jovis. -
Nec tibi Phoebeus porriget anguis opem. Dixit, et aurato quatiens mucrone sagittam,
87. Cydoniusque mihi, &c.] Perhaps indefinitely as the Parthus eques, just before. The Cydonians were famous for hunting, which implies archery. See Ovid, Metam. viii. 22. lf a person is here intended, he is most probably Hippolytus, Cydon was a city of Crete. See Euripides, Hippol. v. 18. But them he is mentioned here as an archer. Virgil ranks the Cydonians with the Parthians, for 'their skill in the bow, Æn. xii. 852.
Ibid. —et ille, &c.] Cephalus, who unknowingly shot his wife Procris.
88. Est etiam nobis ingens quoque victus Orion,] Orion was also a famous hunter. But for his amours we must consult Ovid,
Art. Amator. i. 731. See Parthenius, Erotic. cap.xx. • •
46. Nec tibi Phæbeus porriget anguis opem.] * No medicine ** will avail you. Not even the ** serpent, which Phoebus sent to ** Rome to cure the city of a ** pestilence." See Ovid, Metam. xi. 742.
Huc se de Latia pinu Pharleius anguis
Where see the fable at large.
His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings.
Where see the note.
Evolat in tepidos Cypridos ille sinus. At mihi risuro tonuit ferus ore minaci, Et mihi de puero non metus ullus erat. 50 Et modo qua nostri spatiantur in urbe Quirites, Et modo villarum proxima rura placent. Turba frequens, facieque simillima turba dearum, Splendida per medias itQue reditaue vias: Auctaque luce dies gemino fulgore coruscat: 55 Fallor; An et radios hinc quoque Phoebus habet: Haec ego non fugi spectacula grata severus, Impetus et quo me fert juvenilis, agor, Lumina luminibus male providus obvia misi, Neve oculos potui continuisse meds. 60 Unam forte aliis supereminuisse notabam, Principium nostri lux erat illa mali. Sic Venus optaret mortalibus ipsa videri, Sic regina Deum conspicienda fuit. Hanc memor objecit nobis malus ille Cupido, 65 Solus et hos nobis texuit ante dolos. Nec proculipse vafer latuit, multaeque sagittae, Et facis a tergo grande pependit onus: Necmora, nunc ciliis haesit, nunc virginis ori, Insilithinc labiis, insidet inde genis: 70 Et quascunque agilis partes jaculator oberrat, Hei mihi, mille locis pectus inerme ferit. Protinus insoliti subierunt corda furores,
57. See note El. i. 50. In 12mo. Written much earlier. A Milton's youth the fashionable young lady, he says, p. 85. places of walking in London were Hyde Park, and Gray's room,iii. Park, or Inn walks. . This appears from Away her previous time in Gray's Inn Sir A. Cokain, Milton's contem- walkcs. porary. Poems, Lond. 1662.
Ablata est oculis non reditura meis.
Et dubius volui saepe referre pedem.
Sic dolet amissum proles Junonia coelum,
Talis et abreptum solem respexit, ad Orcum
Nec licet inceptos ponere, neve sequi.
Vultus, et coram tristia verba loquil
Crede mihi, nullus sic infeliciter arsit,
Et tua fumabunt nostris altaria donis,
Nescio cur, miser est suaviter omnis amans:
Tu modo da facilis, postha-c mea siqua futura est,
HAEC ego, mente olim laeva, studioque supino,
Et Diomedeam vim timet ipsa Venus.*
1. The elegiac poets were among the favourite classical author's of Milton's youth, Apol. Smectymn. “Others were the “smooth Elegiac Poets, whereof “ the schools are not scarce: “whom, both for the pleasing “sound of their numerous writ“ing, which in imitation I found “most easy, and most agreeable “ to nature's part in me; and “ for their matter, which what it “ is, there be few who know “ not, I was so allured to read, “ that no recreation came to me “ better welcome.” Prose W. vol. i. 100.
5. —umbrosa Academia] The studious walks, and shades, “the
“ olive grove of Academe,
of beauty. In other words, his return to the University. They were probably written when the Latin poems were prepared for the press in 1645. * Milton here, at an early period of life, renounces the levities of love and gallantry. This was not the case with Buchanan, who unbecomingly prolonged his amorous descant to graver years, and who is therefore obliquely censured by Milton in the following passage of Lycidas, hitherto not exactly understood, v. 67. Were it not better done, as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair?
The Amaryllis, to whom Milton alludes, is the Amaryllis of Buchanan, the subject of a poem called Desiderium Lutetiae. See Silvae, iii. tom. ii. p. 50. Opp. Edinb. 1715, fol. It begins,
O formosa Amarylli, tuo jam septima bruma Me procul aspectu, &c.
The common poetical name, Amaryllis, might indeed have been accidentally adopted by both poets; nor does it at first sight appear, that Milton used it with any restrictive meaning. But Buchanan had another mistress whom he calls Neaera, whose golden hair makes a very splendid figure in his verses, and which he has complimented more than once in the most hyperbolical style. In his last Elegy, he raises the following extravagant fiction on the luxuriant tangles of this lady's hair. Cupid is puzzled how to subdue the icy poet. His arrows can do nothing. At length, he hits upon the stratagem of cutting a golden lock from Neaera's head, while she is asleep, with which the WOL. IV.
poet is bound; and thus entangled he is delivered a prisoner to Naera. El. ix. p. 46. ut supr.
Fervida, tot telis non proficientibus, tra Fugit ad auxilium, dia, Neaera, tuum ; Et capiti assistens, te dormitante, capillum Aureolum slavae tollit ab orbe come : Et mihi ridenti (quis enim non talia vincla Rideat?) arridens brachia vinxit Amor; Luctantemque diu, sed frustra, evadere, traxit Captivum, dominae restituitgue meaee
This fiction is again pursued in - his Epigrams. Lib. i. xlv. p. 77. ibid. Liber eram, vacuo mihi cum sub corde Neaera
Ex oculis fixit spicula missa suis : Deinde unam evellens ex auricomante
capillum Vertice, captivis vincla dedit manibus: Risi equidem, fateor, vani ludibria nevus, Hoc laqueo facilem dum mihi spero fugam : Ast ubi tentanti spes irrita cessit, ahenis Non secus ac manicis implicitus genui.
Et modo membra pilo vinctus miser abstraher uno.
And to this Neaera many copies are addressed both in Buchanan's Epigrams, and in his Hendecasyllables. Milton's insinuation, as others use, cannot therefore be doubted. “Why should I “strictly meditate the thankless “ muse, and write sublime poetry “which is not regarded? I had “better, like some other poets, “who might be more properly “ employed, write idle compli“ments to Amaryllis and Neaera.” Perhaps the old reading, “ Hid “ in the tangles of Neaera's hair," tends to confirm this sense. It X