« 上一頁繼續 »
And sweeten’d every muskrose of the dale.
^ 494. Thyrsis? whose artful strains &c.] This no doubt was intended as a compliment to Mr. Lawes upon his musical compositions; and a very fine one it is, and more genteel than that which we took notice of before, as that was put into his own mouth, but this is spoken by another. 494. The spirit appears habited like a shepherd; and the poet has here caught a fit of rhyming from Fletcher's pastoral comedy.
Milton's eagerness to praise his.
friend Lawes, makes him here forget the circumstances of the fable: he is more intent on the musician than the shepherd, who comes at a critical season, and whose assistance in the present difficulty should have hastily been asked. But time is lost in a needless encomium, and in idle enquiries how the shepherd could possibly find out this solitary part of the forest. The youth, however, seems to be ashamed or unwilling to tell the unlucky accident that had befallen his sister. Perhaps the real boyism of the Brother, which yet should have been forgotten by the poet, is to be taken into the account. T. Warion. 495. —To hear his madrigal.]
The madrigal was a species of musical composition now actually in practice, and in high vogue. Lawes, here intended, had composed madrigals. So had Milton's father, as we shall see hereafter. The word is not here thrown out at random. T. Warton. 496. And sweeten’d every &c.] In poetical and picturesque circumstances, in wildness of fancy and imagery, and in weight of sentiment and moral, how greatly does Comus excel the Aminta of Tasso, and the Pastor Fido of Guarini, which Milton, from his love of Italian poetry, must have frequently read! Comus, like these two, is a pastoral Drama, and I have often wondered it is not mentioned as such. Dr. J. Warton. 496. —of the dale.] In the Manuscript it was at first
—of the valley.
497. How cam'st thou here, good swain 2 &c.] In the Manuscript it is good shepherd: but that agrees not so well with the measure of the verse. And in the next verse the Manuscript had at first Leap'd o'er the pen, which was corrected into Slipt from his fold, as it is in the Manuscript, or the fold, as in all the editions.
How could'st thou find this dark sequester'd nook? 500
Storied of old in high immortal verse,
Immur’d in cypress shades a sorcerer dwells,
With many murmurs mix’d, whose pleasing poison
That brow this bottom glade, whence night by night
Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold,
With flaunting honey-suckle, and began, 545.
Canopied, in the same applica-
the epithets, which were simply
descriptive, for one which ascribed to the plant an attribute of an animated, or even of a sentient, being. See note on P. R. i. 500. Mr. Warton refers to Lycidas 146, “ nwell-attir'd woodbine,” and 40, “the gadding vine." And the same remark applies to these epithets, and to several others near them, “ cowslips wan,” “joyous leaves,” &c. %
547. To meditate my rural minstrelsy.) We have the expression “ rural minstrelsy” in Browne's Pastorals, b. i. s. i. p. 2. and in the Eclogues of Brooke and Davies, Lond. 1614; but the whole context is Virgil's “Syl“ vestrem tenui musam meditaris “ arena,” Bucol. i. 2. As in Lycidas, 66.
—meditate the thankless muse.
Close, in the next line, is a mu
sical close on his pipe. See the
That drag the tragic melancholy night,
flagging wings Clip dead men's graves — The idea and the expression of drowsy-flighted in the one are plainly copied from their dron’sy, slow, and flagging wings in the other: and Fletcher in the Faithful Shepherdess has much the same image, activ. Night, do not steal away: I woo thee yet To hold a hard hand o'er the rusty bit That guides thy lazy team.