Adona to Æacus

Adona, a seraph, the tutelar spirit of James, the “first martyr of the twelve.”—Klopstock: The Messiah, iii. (1748).

Adon-Ai, the spirit of love and beauty, in lord Lytton’s Zanoni (q.v.).

Adonais, an elegy by Percy Bysshe Shelley on John Keats (1821). As he was born in 1796, he was about 25 at his death. The Quarterly Review attacked his Endymion, and Byron, who had no love for Reviewers, says this hastened his death.

John Keats, who was killed by one critique,
Just as he really promised something great,
If not intelligible without Greek,
Contrived to talk about the gods of late, …
Poor fellow, his was an untoward fate;
’Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle,
Should let itself be snuffed out by an article.
   —Bryon: Don Juan.

Keats left behind 3 vols. of poems, much admired.

Adonbec el Hakim, the physician, a disguise assumed by Saladin, who visits sir Kenneth’s sick squire, and cures him of a fever.—Sir W. Scott: The Talisman (time, Richard I.).

Adonis, a beautiful youth, beloved by Venus and Pro serpina, who quarrelled about the possession of him. Jupiter, to settle the dispute, decided that the boy should spend six months with Venus in the upper world, and six with Proserpina in the lower. Adonis was gored to death by a wild boar in a hunt.

Shakespeare has a poem called Venus and Adonis. Shelley calls his elegy on the poet Keats Adonais, under the idea that the untimely death of Keats resembled that of Adonis. George IV. was called by Hunt “The fat Adonis of 50.”

(Adonis is an allegory of the sun, which is six months north of the horizon, and six months south. Thammuz is the same as Adonis, and so is Osiris.)

Adonis Flower, the pheasant’s eye or red maithes, called in French goute de sang, and said to have sprung from the blood of Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar.

O fleur, si chère à Cythérée,
Ta corolle fut, en naissant,
Du sang d’Adonis colorée.

Adonis’s Garden. It is said that Adonis delighted in gardens, and had a magnificent one. Pliny says (xix. 4), “Antiquitas nihil prius mirata est quam Hesperidum hortos, ac regum Adonidis et Alcinöi.”

An Adonis’ garden, a very short-lived pleasure; a temporary garden of cut flowers; an horticultural or floricultural show. The allusion is to the fennel and lettuce jars of the ancient Greeks, called “Adonis’ gardens,” because these plants were reared for the annual festival of Adonis, and were thrown away when the festival was over.

How shall I honour thee for this success?
Thy promises are like Adonis’ gardens,
That one day bloom’d, and fruitful were the next.
   —Shakespeare. 1 Henry VI. act i. sc. 6 (1589).

Adoram, a seraph, who had charge of James the son of Alpheus.—Klopstock: The Messiah, iii. (1748).

Adosinda, daughter of the Gothic governor of Auria, in Spain. The Moors having slaughtered her parents, husband, and child, preserved her alive for the captain of Alcahman’s regiment. She went to his tent without the least resistance, but implored the captain to give her one night to mourn the death of those so near and dear to her. To this he complied, but during sleep she murdered him with his own scimitar. Roderick, disguised as a monk, helped her to bury the dead bodies of her house, and then she vowed to live for only one object, vengeance. In the great battle, when the Moors were overthrown, she it was who gave the word of attack, “Victory and Vengeance!”—Southey: Roderick, etc., iii. (1814).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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