« 上一頁繼續 »
Some few that I have known in days of old
I. ON A YOUNG LADY.
As much virtue as could die;
Corper. (1) This accomplished lady was the sister of Sir Philip Sidney, who has been styled by Coleridge “the star of serenest brilliancy in the glorious constellation of Elizabeth's court."
(1) Prelates' rage--See note 4 below.
(2) Like golden, &c.--No one can have seen an orangery, even in our own country, who will not acknowledge the truth and beauty of this line.
(4) Gospel's pearl, dc-The emigrant's had left their country to avoid perse. cution for their religious opinions ;-hence their thankfulness that here they would be unmolested.
Thus sang they in the English boat
LYRICS FROM THE OLDER WRITERS.
I. THE SONGS OF BIRDS.
What bird so sings, yet so does wail ?
Lyly (born 1553).
Thorough bush, thorough brier;
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
(1) Prick song-Elaborate and ornamented music pricked out in harmony-as distinguished from plain song, which consisted of simple melody.
(2) Heaven's gates-See the “Reveillé," p. 172, where we find Shakspere using the same expression--probably borrowed from Lyly. Milton also adopts it (see p. 340):
“Ye birds That singing up to heaven's gate ascend." (3) To dev her orbs, &c.— The orbs are the fairy rings, as they are popularly called, and the fairy's office was to dew or water them after they had been worn dry by the merry little dancers.
The cowslips tall her pensioners' be;
Shakspere (born 1564).
When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
As man's ingratitude ;
Although thy breath be rude.
(1) Pensioners-Body-guard. “They were" (says Charles Knight) “Queen Elizabeth's favourite attendants. They were the handsomest men of the first families--tall as the cowslip was to the fairy, and shining in their spotted gold coats like that flower under an April sun.” (2) Ways be foul—the roads are dirty. (3) Keel-skim, according to some ; others say it means to cool.
(4) Saw-from say--a saying. Shakspere, in " The Seven Ages” (see p. 283), speaks of “wise saws, and modern instances."
(5) Crabs--i. e. apples, which it was usual to put into the wassail-bowl.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
As benefits forgot;
And Phæbus 'gins arise,
On chaliced flowers that lies; 2
their golden eyes;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
After summer, merrily;
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Here shall we see
But winter and rough weather.
(1) His steeds, dc.-i. e. the sun begins to drink up the dew from the cups of the flowers; a more exquisite application of the mythological fable can scarcely be conceived.
(2) That lies —i.e. the springs that lies. See a remark on a similar expression in note 2, p. 140.
(3) 'Bin—an old form of the 3rd person, for which we now have is and are.