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One of the main similarities that can be found in both poems is the use of a flower that grants immortality. When Sabrina drowns in the river and is brought to the sea god, she is bathed "In nectar'd leaves strew'd with Asphodil" (Comus 838). The Asphodil is the flower of Hades and the dead. The immortality bringing flower is also used when Milton calls to Nature to shower his friends' watery grave with flowers, "Bid Amaranthus all his beauties shed" (Lycidas 149). The Asphodil is the flower of Hades and the dead and the Amaranthus is a flower whose color never fades. He is using this imagery to convey that both Sabrina and Lycidas are going to be granted eternal life with God.
Another similarity found in the poems is that both Sabrina and Lycidas become water nymphs who protect the innocent when they die. "For maid'nhood she loves, and will be swift/To aid a virgin, such as her self" (855-56). Sabrina doesn't want other maidens to fall victim to the horrors the river can hold. In Lycidas, he becomes a sea nymph to protect those sailors that cross the Irish Sea. "Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shoar/...and shalt be good/To al that wander in that perilous flood" (183-185).
The selections from Comus and Lycidas also share the use of Classical elements. After Sabrina drowns in the river, the water Nymphs "[bring] her strait to aged Nereus hall" (835). Nereus is the god of the Mediterranean Sea where he, like Sabrina and Lycidas, saves travelers on the water from destruction. Line 123-33 of Lycidas, "Return Alphéus, the dread voice is past/That shrunk thy streams..." is a direct call to the Classics. The "Dread Voice" is that of Saint Peter, who had been speaking in the previous lines. The Saint had left and the Classical elements can now return and lament poor Lycidas.
Since both poems share many qualities, the passages in Lycidas are very helpful in understanding the episode with Sabrina in Comus.
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