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From mount to mount through Cloudland, gorgeous land !
Or listening to the tide, with closed sight,
By those deep sounds possessed with inward light,
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.3
(1) Chian strand-It was an ancient tradition that Homer was born at Chios.
(2) Beheld-i. e. with his mental eye conceived the plan of the famous poems above mentioned.
(3) At a solemn musicmi. e. lines written at, or on, a sacred concert or oratorio.
(4) Pledges -i. e. earnests or foretastes of the joys of heaven.
(5) Wed your, &c.—Milton speaks in his “L'Allegro,” of airs “married to immortal verse.” (See p. 310.)
(6) Mixed power, &c.-i. e. employ your united power, which is able to penetrate and breathe life even into dead things, and to our, &c.
(7) Phantasy-the old spelling for fancy.
(1) Concent--from the Latin con, together, and centus (for cantus), singing, harmony-in allusion to Plato's conceit of the music of the spheres.
(9) Aye--always, ever.
(10) Noise--music. So the word used to be sometimes employed in prose. See Psalm xlvii. 5 : “God is gone up with a merry noise, and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet."-Cranmer's version.
As once we did, till disproportioned' sin
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.3
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones,
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans5
To Heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow
O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway
A hundred fold, who, having learned thy way,
(1) Disproportioned-mismatched, disorderly.
(2) Diapason–from the Greek diá, through, and Tagôv, of all-_" the interval of the octave, so called because it includes all admitted musical sounds" --here, metaphorically, full harmony.
(3) This sublime prayer, as it may truly be called, was written on occasion of the barbarous massacre in 1655, inflicted by the Duke of Savoy on his Protestant subjects, the Vaudois.
(4) So pure of old-The Vaudois appear to have kept themselves separate from the church of Rome from time immemorial.
(5) Their moans, &c.—The simplicity of the expression, the fulness of meaning, and the fine movement of the verse, make this sentence truly sublime.
(6) The triple tyrant—the Pope. So designated, probably, from his wearing the triple crown.
(7) Babylonian woe-the woe denounced on the spiritual Babylon, which is by many considered to be the Roman Catholic church.
TO A FRIEND.
Her breathing soft and low,
Kept heaving to and fro.
So slowly moved about,
To eke her living out.
Our fears our hopes belied
And sleeping when she died.
(1) Wisely doting-to dote, connected with the Dutch dutten, and the French, doter, radoter, probably meant originally to sleep, or dream, then to rave, to talk or act foolishly: hence the pointed antithesis, in the above phrase. (2) This beautiful line reminds us of Gray's expression (see p. 127)_
“Where ignorance is bliss
'Tis folly to be wise;" and also of the exquisite story of Cupid and Psyche, as told by Apuleius (book iv. 28). Psyche was perfectly happy in the love of Cupid, or Eros, until her curiosity prompted her to try to ascertain who he was—and then he vanished for ever!
Night is the time for rest ;-
gay romance of life;
To plough the classic field,
(1) Like Brutus—in allusion to the phantom of Cæsar, which is said to have appeared to Brutus before the battle of Philippi.
(2) Stalworth—from the Anglo-Saxon stæl-weorth, worth stealing or taking, and therefore (says Richardson), by inference-brave, strong, daring. Jamieson derives its equivalent stalwart from the Anglo-Saxon stalferhth, steel mind or spirit-a much more probable derivation.
Night is the time to pray ;-
DEATH OF AN INFANT.1
Death found strange beauty on that infant brow,
With ruthless haste he bound
There had been a murmuring sound
EARLY RISING AND PRAYER.?
To do the like; our bodies but forerun
(1) This subject has not often been more gracefully and tenderly handled than in the above lines. The picture here presented matches with that by the same elegant hand in p. 88.
(2) The author of these striking lines was a Welsh private gentleman, who lived in the 17th century. It is rare to find so much meaning in so few words.