« PreviousContinue »
"Lo! Granta waits to lead her blooming band, Not obvious, not obtrusive, she
No vulgar praise, no venal incense flings;
With modest pride to grace thy youthful brow, The laureate wreath, that Cecil wore, she brings, And to thy just, thy gentle hand,
V. 83. "Yielded with coy submission, modest pride."
V. 78. "Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired."
v. 12. W.- And so Galen. "De Curatione Morb. Animi: "
Σὺ δὲ σαυτὸν αἰδοῦ μάλιστα.
Par. Lost, iv. 310.
V. 84. Lord Treasurer Burleigh was chancellor of the University in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Gray. Milt. Son. xvi. 9: "And Worcester's laureate wreath." Luke.
"And with a willing hand restores
V. 85. Par. Lost, b. iv. 308, " gentle sway," from Horace, "lenibus imperiis," Epist. I. xviii. 44. W.. But the sentiment, as well as expression, was taken from Dryden. Thr. August. 284:
Add Milton. Eleg. i. 67: "Vos etiam Danaæ fasces submittite nymphæ." Luke. "With the submitted fasces of the main." Dryden. Astræa. Red.
V. 88. See Par. Lost, vii. 559.
"Neque altum Semper urguendo, neque, dum procellas Cautus horrescis, nimium premendo
V. 89. "Well knows to still the wild waves when they roar." Comus, v. 87. W. "The wild waves mastered him." Dryden. An. Mirabilis.
Submits the fasces of her sway,
While spirits blest above and men below
VIII. GRAND CHORUS.
"Thro' the wild waves as they roar,
With watchful eye and dauntless mien, Thy steady course of honour keep, Nor fear the rocks, nor seek the shore: The star of Brunswick smiles serene,
And gilds the horrors of the deep."
Hor. Od. II. x. v. 1. W. "Nor let her tempt that deep, nor make the shore." Prior. Ode.
"The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore,
Spread all his sails, and durst the deeps explore;
Young, in his "Universal Passion," Sat. vii. v. 169:
V. 93. Pope, in his Essay on Criticism, has a similarly beautiful image, v. 645:
THE FATAL SISTERS.
AN ODE. FROM THE NORSE TONGUE.
To be found in the Orcades of Thormodus Torfæus; Hafniæ, 1697, folio; and also in Bartholinus, p. 617, lib. iii. c. 1. 4to. (The song of the Weird Sisters, translated from the Norwegian, written about 1029. Wharton, Ms.)
Vitt er orpit fyrir valfalli, &c.
In the eleventh century, Sigurd, earl of the Orkney Islands, went with a fleet of ships and a considerable body of troops into Ireland, to the assistance of Sictryg with the Silken beard, who was then making war on his father-in-law Brian, king of Dublin: the earl and all his forces were cut to pieces, and Sictryg was in danger of a total defeat; but the enemy had a greater loss by the death of Brian their king, who fell in the action. On Christmas day (the day of the battle), a native of Caithness in Scotland, of the name of Darrud, saw at a distance a number of persons on horseback riding full speed towards a hill, and seeming to enter into it. Curiosity led him to follow them, till looking through an opening in the rocks, he saw twelve gigantic figures resembling women: they were all employed about a loom; and as they wove, they sung the following dreadful song; which when they had finished, they tore the web into twelve pieces, and (each taking her portion) galloped six to the north, and as many to the south. These were the Valkyriur, female divinities, Parcæ Militares, servants of Odin (or Woden) in the Gothic mythology. Their name signifies Chusers of the slain. They were mounted on swift horses, with drawn swords in their hands; and in the throng of battle selected such as were destined to slaughter, and conducted them to Valkalla, the hall of Odin, or paradise of the brave; where they attended the banquet, and served the departed heroes with horns of mead and ale: their numbers are not agreed upon, some authors representing them as six, some as four. See Magni Beronii diss. de Eddis Islandicis, p. 145, in Elrichs. Dan. et Sued. lit. opuscula, vol. i.
Now the storm begins to lower,
Glitt❜ring lances are the loom,
Where the dusky warp we strain,
Var. V. 5. Launces. Ms.
"How quick they wheel'd, and, flying, behind them shot Sharp sleet of arrowy show'r." Par. Reg. iii. 324. Gray. Avianus has a similar expression: "Ausa pharetratis imbribus ista loqui," Fab. xli. v. 6. "Sic et imbrem ferreum dicunt, cum volunt multitudinem significare telorum," Lactant. Epitome, c. xi. Virg. Æn. xii. 284: "Tempestas telorum ac ferreus ingruit imber." Many other examples could be given.
Thick storms of bullets ran like winter's hail,
Spanish Trag. Vid. Hawkins. Ant. Drama. V. 4. "The noise of battle hurtled in the air."
Julius Cæsar, act ii. s. 2. Gray.
V. 7. In Thomson. Masque of Alfred, p. 126, the weaving of the enchanted standard is thus described:
'Tis the same
While the sick moon, at their enchanted song
See the grisly texture grow!
Shafts for shuttles, dipt in gore,
Shoot the trembling cords along.
Mista, black terrific maid,
Sangrida, and Hilda, see, Join the wayward work to aid: 'Tis the woof of victory.
Ere the ruddy sun be set,
Pikes must shiver, javelins sing,
(Weave the crimson web of war)
Var. V. 15. Sword] Blade. MS.
V. 17. Mista, black] Sangrida, terrific. Ms.
V. 11. Dr. Warton, in his Notes on Pope (vol. ii. p. 227), has compared this passage of Gray to some lines in the Thebais of Statius, i. 720.
V. 17. The names of the Sisters, in the original, are Hilda, Hiorthrimula, Sangrida, and Swipula.