« PreviousContinue »
Where perhaps some beauty lies,*
Sometimes with secure * delight
71. lies, dwells, resides.
by Theo'critus; hence, a coun72. cynosure, any object that strongly try lass in general. attracts attention.
| 83. secure, free from care. 75. Corydon and Thyr'sis, names of 84. upland hamlets. “ Upland " is shepherds, used by Virgil.
here used, not in the primary 77. messes, dishes of food.
sense : the meaning is country 78. Phyl’lis, the name of a country girl hamlets as contrasted with the
that figures in Virgil's Eclogues; “ Towered cities” mentioned in
86. rebecs, a stringed instrument of 80. Thes'tylis, a female slave mentioned the fiddle kind.
LITERARY ANALYSIS.—72. The cynosure, etc. What figure of speech is this? (See Def. 20.)—What is the derivation of “cynosure?”
73–82. Hard by... mead. Is this a period or a loose sentence? (See Defs. 57,58.)-Change this sentence into the prose order.
75-80. Contrast the allusions in these lines with those in lines 92 – 106. Which are classical? Which are derived from old English folk-lore?
83. secure. How does the meaning here differ from the modern sense?
83-108, and 109-116. In the former passage we have a picture of rustic pleasures in the upland hamlets : what contrasting pictures have we in the latter passage?
And young and old come forth to play
94. Mab, the queen of the fairies; 97. Tells ... drudging goblin. Supply
junkets, sweetmeats, dainties. I he (that is, the last story-teller) 95, 96. She ... he: that is, some of as subject of “tells.” By the story-tellers.
“ drudging goblin” is meant a 96. And he ... led: that is, he (one of Robin Goodfellow, a domestic
the story-tellers) recounts that fairy that would do any kind of “ he was led by,” etc. There drudging work for a bowl of is said to be here an error in
milk. Milton's folk - lore: “Friar 105. he flings: that is, he flings himRush haunted houses, not self; he rushes. fields,” and the sprite that 109. then: that is, at some other time. played the prank referred to 112. weeds, garments; triumphs, pub. must have been Jack-o'-the lic shows or spectacles, as pag. Lanthorn, or Will-o'-the-Wisp. eants, tournaments, etc.
LITERARY ANALYSIS.—107, 108. Thus done ... asleep. Analyze this sentence.
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
113. store of ladies, many ladies. | 119. pomp, solemn procession. 114. Rain influence. According to the 120. mask, a masquerade.
doctrine of astrology, the rays | 124. If Jonson's learned sock: that is, or aspects flowing upon (Lat. if one of Ben Jonson's comedies influere, to fow upon) men ex be playing ; sock, a low-heeled ercised a mysterious power over shoe worn by comedians in their fortunes : hence the mod
ancient times. ern meaning of “influence.” In 128. Lydian airs. Of the three modes the passage above, the word is or styles of Greek music, the used in its original sense.
“Lydian” was the soft and 117. Hymen, the god of marriage.
LITERARY ANALYSIS.–113. whose bright eyes, etc. Observe the splendor of the imagery. What is the figure of speech, and from what is it taken? (See note on “influence.")
124. Jonson's learned sock. Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare, wrote tragedies as well as comedies. Can you tell why it is befitting in this poem to refer to him exclusively as a writer of comedies ?-Contrast with the “gorgeous Tragedy” in Il Penseroso (line 88, etc., page 60, of this book).
125, 126. sweetest Shakespeare ... wood-notes wild. Do you think that “sweetest” and “ warbling his native wood-notes,” etc., are adequate expressions to apply to the greatest literary artist that the world has ever seen?
In notes with many a winding bout
131. bout, a bend or turn-here a mu- ! jects. His wife, Eurydice, havsical passage.
ing died, he followed her into 133. wauton, sportive, flying free. In the infernal region, where the
this line the adjective describes god Pluto was so moved by the the appearance, the noun the music that Orpheus almost sucreality.
ceeded in carrying her back to 137–142. Or’pheus'... Euryd'ice. Or earth.
pheus, son of Apollo, who, with 139. Elysian, pertaining to Elysium, the music of his lyre, had the the abode of the blessed after power to move inanimate ob
LITERARY ANALYSIS. — 137–142. That Orpheus' self ... Eurydice. What is the figure of speech? (See Def. 34.) It is in Milton's best style-rich, chaste, and classic.
127–144. Commit to memory this splendid passage.
NOTE ON THE VOCABULARY.—Ninety per cent of the words in L'Allegro are of Anglo-Saxon origin-proper names being excluded and repetition of words counted.
The brood of Folly without father bred !
How little you bestead,*
Dwell in some idle brain,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
NOTES.-3. bestead, avail.
very lovely.—besoem, seem fit 6. fond, foolish.
for. 10. pensioners, retinue, followers.-Mor. 19–21. that starred Ethiop queen, etc.
pheus, the son of Sleep, and the The allusion' is to Cassiope'a, god of dreams.
wife of Cepheus, King of Ethio14. hit, meet, touch; to strike.
pia. The usual story is that it 16. O'erlaid with black: that is, darken
was the beauty of her daughter ed in visage.
Androm'eda that she declared 18. Prince Memnon's sister. Memnon to surpass that of the “sea
was an Ethiopian prince men nymphs" (Nereides). Cassiotioned by Homer. He was cel pea, as also her daughter, was ebrated for his beauty. The “starred," that is, placed among “sister" was Hem'era, and is the constellations after death, also supposed to have been 21. their powers = their divinity.
* This is an “allusion” in the proper sense of the word—that is to say, it is an oblique, or indirect, reference. The word is often misapplied to direct reference or mention.