« 이전계속 »
The poems in this division, beginning with Dryden's first poem on the death of the young Lord Hastings, are arranged in chronological order, with the exception of four at the end, the dates of the composition of which have not been ascertained. It has been necessary to correct the texts of almost all of them by collation with the first publications. The poem of “ Eleonora," which is longer and more ambitious than any of the others, and was published separately by Dryden, is printed with a separate title-page and introduction.
ELEGIES AND EPITAPHS.
UPON THE DEATH OF THE LORD HASTINGS.*
Must noble Hastings immaturely die,
* This is Dryden's first poem, written in 1649, when he was seventeen and at Westminster School. Lord Hastings had been his schoolfellow, and died June 24, 1649, at the age of nineteen, of small-pox. This young nobleman was the eldest son of the Earl of Huntingdon ; his extraordinary precocity and learning made his early death deeply and widely deplored. A volume of poems, containing thirty-three Elegies on his death, was published at the close of the year, bearing the title “Lachrymæ Musarum, the Tears of the Muses expressed in Elegies written by divers persons of nobility and worth upon the death of the most hopeful Henry, Lord Hastings, eldest son of the Right Honourable Ferdinando, Earl of Huntingdon, heir-general of the high-born Prince, George Duke of Clarence, brother to King Edward the Fourth." In this volume Dryden's poem appeared. It also contains poems by Herrick, Denham, and Marvel. The young nobleman was engaged to be married to a daughter of Sir Theodore Mayerne, a famous physician, who attended him in his illness. This poem is characteristic of a schoolboy full of classical erudition, and carries to an extreme the scholastic pedantry, discernible also, though in less degree, in Dryden's early political poems. The rhythm also of some of the lines is imperfect. This poem was reprinted in vol. i. of the edition of the “Miscellany Poems" of 1716. A few errors of consequence have crept into the text, as it has appeared in Scott's and other late editions : the text is here corrected from the original publication, which Scott had not seen.
His body was an orb,* his sublime soul
* Orb. Compare “ Eleonora," 272 :
“ The figure was with full perfection crowned,
Though not so large an orb, as truly round." Also“ Absalom and Achitophel," 830, and note.
+ This line has been usually printed incorrectly, the and being omitted. The second syllable of conglobate is short. It is mistakenly said in Todd's edition of Johnson's Dictionary, that Dryden in this passage has put the accent on the second syllable: the mi e arose out of the omission of and. There is an obvious imitation of this passage in Oldham's first poem, also an Elegy on the death by small-pox of a young friend (Mr. Charles Morwent):
"Those parts which never in one subject dwell,
But some uncommon excellence foretell,
And met together in one sphere,' 1 Tycho Brahe.
Rapt, snatched; the Latin raptus.
Naves, a Latin word which probably occurs nowhere else in English literature : spots, moles, or small excrescences of the body. This line has been usually incorrectly printed, and the note of interrogation dropped : it was changed for the worse by Derrick into
“So many spots like næves on Venus' soil." Dryden calls Lord Hastings Venus, as the perfection of beauty.
Which, rebel-like, with its own lord at strife,
But thou, O virgin widow, left alone, I
* For this rhyme of constellation see the poem to Charles II. on his Coronation, line 70, and note. Another example occurs in Dryden's Epilogue to “Sir Martin Marall," 1667:
“ As country vicars, when the sermon's done,
Run huddling to the benediction."
+ Metempsychosis. The third and fourth syllables both long. as in Greek.
I “ Three-legged grey-beards." This is part of the Sphinx's riddle guessed by (Edipus; the old man's stick being the third leg. $ Aches is here a word of two syllables, to be pronounced aitches.
This line has fared ill in reprinting this poem, an being omitted and the plural genitive antiquaries' being printed. It is printed in the original poem an antiquarics: antiquarie is the old spelling, and the apostrophe for the genitive was then not printed; the an determines the singular number.
Here Dryden addresses the young lady to whom Lord Hastings was betrothed, and whose skilful sire," Sir Thcodore Mayerne, attended him in his illness.