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Riss, hallow'd Milton! rise, and say, How, at thy gloomy close of day; How, when “depress'd by age, beset with wro ;” When “fall'n on evil days and evil tongues:” When Darkness, brooding on thy sight, Exil'd the sov’reign lamp of light: Say, what could then one cheering hope diffuse; What friends were thine, save Memory and the Muse? Hence the rich spoils, thy studious youth Caught from the stores of ancient Truth: Hence all thy busy eye could pleas'd explore, When Rapture led thee to the Latian shore; Each scene, that Tiber's bank supplied; Each grace, that play'd on Armo's side; The tepid gales, through Tuscan glades that fly; The blue serene, that spreads Hesperia's sky; Were still thine own: thy ample mind Each charm receiv'd, retain'd, combin'd, And thence “the nightly visitant,” that came To touch thy bosom with her sacred flame, Recall'd the long-lost beams of grace; That whilom shot from Nature's face, When God, in Eden, o'er her youthful breast Spread with his own right hand Perfection's gorgeous vest. Mason.

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Arant, and on a sacred hill retir’d,
Beyond all mortal inspiration fir’d,
The mighty Milton sits:—An host around
Of listening angels guard the holy ground;
Amaz'd they see a human form aspire
To grasp with dar ng hand a seraph's lyre
Inly irradiate with celestial beams,
Attempt those high, those soul-subduing theme,
(Which humbler denizens of 'eaven decline,)
And celebrate, with sanctity divine,
The starry field from warring angels won,
And God triumphant in his Victor son.
Nor less the wonder, and the sweet delight,
His milder scenes and softer notes excite,
When, at his bidding, Eden's blooming grove
Breathes the rich sweets of innocence and love,
With such pure joy as our forefather knew
When Raphael, Heavenly guest, first met his
And our glad sire, within his blissful bower,
Drank the pure converse of the etherial Power,
Round the best bard his raptur'd audience
And feel their souls imparadis'd in song.
HAYLEY's Essay on Epic PoETRY, Epist. III.

Aces elaps'd ere Homer's lamp appeard,
And ages ere the Mantuan swan was heard:
To carry Nature lengths unknown before,
To give a Milton birth, ask’d s in ore.
Thus Genius rose and set at o times,
And shot a day-spring into distant climes,
Ennobling every region that he chose;
He sunk in Greece, in Italy he rose;
And, tedious years of Gothic darkness pass'd,
Emerg'd all splendour in our isle at last,
Thus lovely halcyons dive into the main,
Then show far off their shining plumes again.
cowper's TABLE TALx.

Philosophy, baptiz'd

In the pure fountain of eternal love,
Has eyes indeed; and, viewing all she sees
As meant to indicate a God to man,
Gives him his praise, and forfeits not her own.
Learning has borne such fruitin other days
On all her branches: Piety has found
Friends in the friends of science, and true prayer
Has flow'd from lips wet with Castalian dews.
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage!
Sagacious reader of the works of God,
And in his word sagacious. Such too thine,
Milton, whose genius had angelic wings,
And fed on manna. And such thine, in whom
Our British Themis gloried with just cause,
Immortal Hale! for deep discernment prais'd,
And sound integrity, not more than fam'd
For sanctity of manners undefil’d.

cowper's AUTHOR's TAsk, s. III.

Axnthou, with age oppress'd, beset with wrongs,
And “fall'n on evil days and evil tongues.
In darkness and with dangers compass'd round,”
What stars of joy thy night of anguish crown'd?
What breath of vermal airs, or sound of rill,
Orhaunt by Siloa's brook or Sion's hill,
Or light of cherubim, the empyreal throne,
The effulgent car, and inexpressive One?
Alas, not thine the foretaste of thy praise;
A doll oblivion wrapt thy mighty lays.
A while thy glory sunk, indread repose;
Then, with fresh vigour, like a giant rose,
And strode sublime, and pass'd, with generous

rage, The feeble minions of a puny age. pitom the Poetical works of william PREston, Esq. DuBLIN, 1793.

See: where the Barrish Homep leads The Epic choir of modern days;

Blind as the Grecian bard, he speeds To realms unknown to paganslays:

He sings no mortal war:—his strains
Describe no hero's amorous pains;
He chants the birth-day of the World,
The conflict of angelic powers,
The joys of Eden's peaceful bowers,
When fled the infernal host, to thundering Chaos

Yet, as this deathless song he breath'd,
He bath'd it with Affliction's tear;

And to posterity bequeath'd
The cherish’d hope to Nature dear.

No grateful praise his labours cheer'd,

No beam beneficent appear'd
To penetrate the chilling gloom;-

Ah! what avails that Britain now

With sculptur'd laurel decks his brow,
And hangs the votive verse on his unconscious

tomb : FROM PoEMS AND PLAYS HY Mas. west, 1799.


The measure is English heroic verse without rhyme, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin: rhyme being no necessary adjunct, or true ornament of poem or good verse, in longer works especially, but the invention of a barbarous age to set off wretched matter and lame metre; graced indeed since by the use of some famous modern poets, carried away by custom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse than else they would have expressed them. Not without cause, therefore some both, Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rhyme both in longer and shorter works: as have also long since our best English tragedies: as a thing of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true musical delight; which consists only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another; not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoided by the learned ancients, both in poetry and all good oratory. This neglect then of rhyme so little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it is rather to be esteemed an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recovered, to heroic poem, from the troublesome and modern bondage of rhyming,






The first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, Man's disobedience, and the lossthereupon of Paradise wherein he was placed: then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent; who, revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of angels, was, by the command of God, driven out of Heaven, with all his crew, into the great deep. Which action passed over, the poem hastens into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his angels now falling into Hell described here, not in the center (for Heaven and Earthmay be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed) but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos: here Satan with his angels lying on the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonished, aftera certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him: they confer of their miserable fall; Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded. They rise; their numbers; array of battle; their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy, or reportin Heaven; for, that angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many anoient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep: the infernal peers there sit in council.

Or Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: Or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the
Wast present, and, with mighty wingsoutspread,
Dove-like sat'stbrooding on the vast abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark,
Illumine; what is low, raise and support;
That to the heighth of this great argument
I may assert etermal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.
Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy
Northe deep tract of Hell; say first, what cause
Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favour'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides 2
Who first seduc’d them to that foul revolt?
The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his
Of rebel angels; by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equall'd the Most High,
If he oppos'd; and, with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,

Rais'd impious war in Heaven, and battle proud,
With vain attempt., Him the Almighty Power,
Hurl’d headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath! for now the
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him : round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate;
At once, as far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild ;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace flam’d ; yet from those
No light; but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell; hope never comes
That comes to all: but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd :
Such place etermal Justice had prepard
For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far remov’d from God and light of Heaven,
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.
O, how unlike the place from whence they fell
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm’d
With floods and whirlwinds oftempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and weltering by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beélzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,
And thence in Heaven call'd Satan, with bold
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.
“If thou beest he ; but O, how fall'n how
From him, who, in the happy realms of light,
Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst out-
Myriads though bright !
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin; into what pit thou seest [prov’d
From what heighth fall'n, so much the stronger
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms ? Yet not for those,
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward lustre,that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,
That with the Mightiest rais d me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits arm’d,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,

If he whom mutual

And shook his throne.
be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliantknee, and deify his power
Who from the terrour of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy, and shame beneath
This downfall: since by fate the strength of gods
And this empyreat substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.”
So spake the apostate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair:
And him thus answer'd soon his hold compeer.
“O prince, O chief of many throned powers,
That led the embattled seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate;
Too well I see, and rere the dire event,
That with sad overthrow, and foul defeat,
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as gods and heavenly essences
Can perish : for the mind and spirit remains
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallow’d up in endless misery.
but what if he our conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Ordo him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be,
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep;
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminish'd, or etermal being
To undergo etermal panishment?”
Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend re-
“Fall'ncherub, to be weak is miserable
Doing or suffering; but of this be sure,
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
When we resist. If them his providence
Out of our evil seek to bringforth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
Andout of good still to find means of evil;
Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His in most counsels from their destin'd aim.
But see, the angry victor hath recall’d
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

What though the field

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