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"Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet With charm of earliest birds.” Euphrosyne, Thalia, and Aglae, the three graces.—Thalia is the name of one of the muses, as well as of one of the graces.
Buxom,-obedient, yielding with cheerfulness.
" Winnows the buxom air.” Par, Lost. .
Blithe.-Softly-gay. Debonaire.—Neatly-gracefal. . Msany words which were used by good writers in the time of Milton would not be suitable to modern conversation or writing.
Buxom-is now commonly applied to per-' sons of the lower order ; a buxom lass means a strong healthy girl.
Blithe,- is seldom used except in poetry.
Debonaire (which in French originally means, of a good air and manner) is now genesally used in a sense rather ludicrous, we say a smart debonaire fellow, in opposition to slo. venly, and inferiour to well-bred.
“ Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee,
Sport that wrinkled Care derides, ;
“ Make haşte, thou cheerful nymph, Euphrosyne, and bring with thee jest, jollity, quips, cranks, wiles, nods, becks, and smiles such smiles' as are seen on the cheek of Hebe, the goddess of youth, the attendant of the gods_such smiles as we see in the dimpled cheeks of beauty. Bring also with you Sport and Laughter, who appears holding his sides, lest they should burst with merriment.- Of these imaginary and allegorical persons, some are at present scarcely to be met with.;
Quips, - were severe jibes that excited laughter.
Cranks.Puns, or ludicrous meanings given to phrases.
Becks.---Beckonings, such as pass between persons in 'play. "Wreathed smiles. The muscles of the face seem to take a circular or curling form when we smile.
In these lines, Jest, Jollity, Quips, &c. &c. are introduced as persons who accompany Mirth, not as qualities of her mind... Son
con i suoi
“ Come, and trip it as you go to:
Or the twisted eglantine. “ Come, O goddess of Mirth, dancing lightly with fanciful steps, and lead the mountain nymph, Liberty, in your right hand, and permit me, who honour you, to accompany you, and to live with that goddess and with you, and to enjoy every blameless pleasure ; to hear the lark begin the day, seeming to startle Night from her repose before the dawn of the morning; and then let him come to my window, through the sweet-briar, the vine, or the eglantine, which surround it, as if he meant to wish me good morrow !”.
The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty.—Milton calls Liberty a mountain-nymph, because the
inhabitants of mountainous countries have usually been more attached to their liberties, and have preserved them longer, than those who live in towns or in flat countries. The ancient Britons in Wales, the people of Switzerland, and many others, may be pointed out as, examples.
Of thy crew,-means, of thy company, or followers.
To live with her, and live with thee. By her is meant Liberty; and by thee, Mirth.
And, singing, startle the dull night. This is a beautiful line : the shrill note of the lark is here supposed to waken the night.
Eglantine,--is now another name for that species of rose which is usually called sweetbriar. It is probable that formerly the pame eglantine belonged to some other species of rose.
Whilst the cock, with lively din,
Stoutly struts his dames before. " Whilst the crowing cock seems to dispel the darkness as he struts before his hens from their roost to the barn-door or the corn-stack, to pick up food.
At that hour, when the lively crowing of the cock chaces away all the inhabitants of
Popular superstition bad formerly a thousand foolish notions, that are now almost forgotten amongst the people, though they still furnish images to poets. The vulgar believed, that there existed fairies, and goblins, and ghosts, which were sometimes to be seen at night, but never in the day-time; and they supposed, that when the cock crew in the morning, all these inhabitants of night were banished."
The rear of darkness,--perhaps means the rear of the troops of thin ghosts, which were abroad in the dark. Ghosts were supposed to be figures, or something that appeared like figures, without solid substance, like mists, which may be faintly seen, but not felt.
“Oft list’ning how the hounds and horn,