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Enow of such, as for their bellies' sake
Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold ?
Of other care they little reck’ning make,
Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest;
Blind mouths,—that scarce themselves know how

to hold
A sheep-hook, or have learned aught else the least
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs !
What recks it them? What need they? They

are sped ; And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw ; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But, swoll'n with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread : Besides what the grim wolf 1 with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said : But that Two-handed Engine 2 at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more."

Return, Alpheüs, 3 the dread Voice is passed, That shrunk thy streams ; return, Sicilian Muse, And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Their bells, and flow'rets of a thousand hues. Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, On whose fresh lap the swart-star “ sparely looks ; Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes, That on the green turf suck the honied show'rs, And purple all the ground with vernal flow'rs. 1 The Church of Rome; with special reference doubtless to the Romanising tendencies of Laud's party.

There has been much discussion as to the meaning of this phrase (see Masson's “Milton," iii. 154-156). The probable reference is to Rev. ii. 12, and iii. 20.

: With this reference to the river-god who loved Arethusa, Milton brings his poem back most skilfully to its proper subject. • Sirius, the dog-star.

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Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And ev'ry flow'r that sad embroid'ry wears :
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureat hearse where Lycid lies.
For, so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise ;
Ay me! Whilst thee the shores and sounding



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Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide,
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world ;
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old, a
Where the great vision of the guarded Mount 3
Looks towards Namancos and Bayona's hold ;
Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth ;
And, O ye Dolphins, waft the hapless youth.
Weep no more, woeful Shepherds, weep no

For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the wat’ry floor ;
So sinks the Day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore

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· The sea-depths inhabited by monsters.

· St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, was anciently called Bellerium; and from this Milton coins the name Bellerus.

3 St. Michael's Mount. St. Michael is said to have appeared as a "' vision

on this Mount, which was therefore named after him. • On the coast of Gallicia, or Northern Spain.


Flames in the forehead of the morning sky :
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of Him that walked the

waves ;
Where, other groves, and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms meek of Joy and Love.
There entertain him all the Saints Above,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing and, singing, in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.

Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more ;
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that per'lous flood.
Thus sang the uncouth swain to th' oaks and

While the still Morn went out with sandals gray ;
He touched the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay :
And now the sun had stretched out all the hills,
And now was dropped into the western bay.
At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue :
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

With this great elegy we reach the close of Milton's first period of poetic production. Let the reader now look back and consider how the writings of these six quiet years at Horton provide a record of intellectual growth, of deepening moral fervour, of a steady change in the poet's whole temper and attitude to life. Step by step, as I have tried to show, we can trace in them the gradual movement of his mind

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toward the Puritanism with which henceforth he was to be so intimately associated. As Mr. Stopford Brooke, reversing the order of our own study, has said, “The Milton of Lycidas' is not the Milton of Comus.'

. The Milton of • Comus' is not the Milton of the 'Penseroso,' still less of the · Allegro ''; while, again, to push the analysis a stage further back, The Milton of the Penseroso' is not the Milton of the Ode to the Nativity.' Nothing of the Renaissance is left now but its learning and its art." Yet, as the last sentence should remind us, Milton's progressive Puritanism did not involve the repudiation of the classic culture in which he had been bred. If at the age of thirty nothing of the Renaissance was left to him but its learning and its art, we must never forget that at least these were left. Had they not been left, “ Paradise Lost” would have been an impossibility. The great fact upon which we have to fix our attention is that Milton became a Puritan without ceasing to be a humanist; only, from this time onward, the art and the learning of the Renaissance were not to be cultivated for their own sakes; they were to be employed in the service of those religious and moral truths which had now become the dominant factors in his life.


IV ILTON did not at once carry out his plan of settling in London. He

resolved instead upon a Continental tour. He had become, in his own words, " anxious to visit foreign parts, and particularly Italy.' His craving for Italy, the centre and home of Renaissance culture, shows the continued strength of the humanist and the artist in him. Accordingly he left London in May 1638, well provided with letters of introduction which assured his admission to the best literary circles of the Continent, and designing to spend at least three years abroad. He went first to Paris, where he met the celebrated Dutch philosopher and theologian, Grotius. Thence he made his way to Nice, where he took ship for Genoa, and passing on through Leghorn and Pisa, reached Florence in August. In Florence, which he had always more particularly esteemed for the elegance of its dialect, its genius, and its taste," he lingered about two months, living on terms of intimacy rith many persons of rank and learning," and regularly frequenting the “ literary parties,' or clubs of dilettanti, which he notes as a delightful feature in the life of the Tuscan capital. In Rome, which was the next place on his itinerary, he spent nearly three months, immersed in the antiquities of the Eternal City, and again finding a warm welcome from men

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