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Nigh spherd in Heaven, its native strains could | To the fell house of Busyrane, he led
The unshaken Britomart; or Milton knew, On which that ancient trump he reach'd was When in abstracted thought he first conceir'd hung;
All Heaven in tumult, and the seraphim Thither oft his glory greeting,
Came towering, arm'd in adamant and gold, From Waller's myrtle shades retreating, With many a vow from Hope's aspiring tongue My trembling feet his guiding steps pursue; In vain: Such bliss to one alone
| Apart, and on a sacred hill retir'd, Of all the sons of soul was known;
Beyond all mortal inspiration fir'd, And Heaven and Fancy, kindred powers,
The mighty Miiton sits:-An host around Have now o'erturn'd the inspiring bowers, Of listening angels guard the holy ground; Or curtain'd close such scene from every fu- | Amaz'd they see a human form aspire ture view.
To grasp with dar ng hand a seraph's lyre COLLINS. Inly irradiate with celestial beams,
Attempt those high, those soul-subduing themes
And celebrate, with sanctity divine,
The starry field from warring angels won,
And God triumphant in his Victor son. R 188, hallow'd Milton! rise, and say,
Nor less the wonder, and the sweet delight, How, at thy gloomy close of day;
His milder scenes and softer notes excite, How, when “ depress'd by age, beset with When, at his bidding, Eden's blooming grove wrongs;"
Breathes the rich sweets of innocence and love. When "fall’n on evil days and evil tongues :" With such pure joy as our forefather knew
When Darkness, brooding on thy sight, When Raphael, Heavenly guest, first met his Exild the sov'reign lamp of light:
view, Say, what could then one cheering hope diffuse; | And our glad sire, within his blissful bower, What friends were thine, save Memory and the Drank the pure converse of the etherial Pover, Muse?
Round the best bard his raptur'd audience Hence the rich spoils, thy studious youth
throng, Caught from the stores of ancient Truth: And feel their souls imparadis'd in song. Henee all thy busy eye could pleas'd explore,
HAYLEY'S ESSAY ON EPIC POETRY, EPIST. III. When Rapture led thee to the Latian sbore;
Each scene, that Tiber's bank supplied ;
Each grace, that play'd on Arno's side; Ages elaps'd ere Homer's lamp appear'd, The tepid gales, through Tuscan glades that fly; And ages ere the Mantuan swan was heard: The blue serene, that spreads Hesperia's sky; To carry Nature lengths unknown before, Were still thine own: thy ample mind
To give a Milton birth, ask'd ages more. - Each charm receiv'd, retaiw'd, combin'd, Thus Genius rose and set at order'd times, And thence “the nightly visitant,” that came And shot a day-spring into distant climes, To touch thy bosom with her sacred flame, Ennobling every region that he chose; Recall'd the long-lost beams of grace;
He sunk in Greece, in Italy he rose; That whilom shot from Nature's face,
And, tedious years of Gothic darkness pass'd, When God, in Eden, o'er her youthful breast Emerg'd all splendour in our isle at last. Spread with his own right hand Perfection's gor Thus lovely halcyons dive into the main, geous vest.
Then show far off their shining plumes again.
COW PER'S TABLE TALK.
Punosophy, baptiz'd FROM THE REV. THOMAS WARTON'S ADDRESS TO THE
In the pure fountain of eternal love,
Has eyes indeed; and, viewing all she sees
As meant to indicate a God to man, Lo! this the land, whence Milton's Muse of fire Gives him bis praise, and forfcits not her own. High soar'd to steal from Heaven a seraph's lyre; Learning has borne such fruit in other days And told the golden ties of wedded love
On all her branches: Piety has found
Friends in the friends of science, and true prayer
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage!
And in bis word sagacious. Such 100 thine,
Milton, whose genius had angelic wings, Nor then let dreams, of wanton folly born, And fed on manna. And such thine, in whom My senses lead through flowery paths of joy; Our British Themis gloried with just cause, But let the sacred Genius of the night
| Immortal Hale! for deep discernment prais'd, Such mystic visions send, as Spencer saw, And sound integrity, not more than fam'd When through bewildering Fancy's magic For sanetity of manners undefil'd. maze,
COW PER'S AUTHOR'S TASK, B. nl.
And thou, with age oppress'd, beset with wrongs, He sings no mortal war:--his strains
When fled the infernal host, to thundering Chaos Or light of cherubim, the empyreal throne,
He bath'd it with Affliction's tear;
And to posterity bequeath'd Then, with fresh vigour, like a giant rose,
The cherish'd hope to Nature dear. And strode sublime, and pass'd, with generous | No grateful praise his labours cheer'd, rage,
No beam beneficent appear'd
To penetrate the chilling gloom;-
And hangs the votive verse on his unconscious
tomb ! See! where the British Homer leads
FROM POEMS AND PLAYS BY MRS. The Epic choir of modern days;
WEST, 1799. Blind as the Grecian bard, he speeds
To realms unknown to pagaps lays:
Tue 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.
Of 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 The first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
subject, Man's disobedience, and the loss there- That shepherd, who first taught the chosen sced, upon of Paradise wherein he was placed : then In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth toaches the prime cause of his fall, the Ser Rose out of Chaos: Or, if Sion hill pent, or rather Satan in the serpent ; who, Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd revolting from God, and drawing to his side Fast by the oracle of God; I thence many legions of angels, was, by the command Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song, of God, driven out of Heaven, with all his That with no middle flight intends to soar crew, into the great deep. Which action pas- Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues sed over, the poem hastens into the midst of Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme. things, presenting Satan with his angels now And chiefly thou, o Spirit, that dost prefer falling into Hell described here, not in the cen- Before all temples the upright heart and pure, ter (for Heaven and Earth may be supposed as Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the yet not made, certainly not yet accursed) bat
first in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Wast present, and, with mighty wings out spread, Chaos: here Satan with his angels lying on Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss, the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonish- And mad'st it pregnant : what in me is dark, ed, aftera certain space recovers, as from con- Illumine; what is low, raise and support; fusion, calls up him who next in order and That to the heighth of this great argument dignity lay by him: they confer of their mi- I may assert eternal Providence, serable fall; Satan awakens all his legions, And justify the ways of God to men. who lay till then in the same manner cun Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thg founded. They rise; their numbers ; array view, of battle; their chief leaders named, according Nor the deep tract of Hell; say first, what cause to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy state, the countries adjoining. To these Satan di- Favour'd of Hearen so highly, to fall off Tects his speech, comforts them with hope yet From their Creator, and transgress his will of regaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of For one restraint, lords of the world besides? a new world and new kind of creature to be Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt? created, according to an ancient prophecy, The infernal Serpent ; he it was, whose guile, or report in Heaven; for, that angels were Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd long before this visible creation, was the opi- The mother of mankind, what time his pride nion of many ancient Pathers. To find out Had cast him out from Heavon, with all his the truth of this prophecy, and what to deter
host mine thereon, he refers to a full council. Of rebel angels ; by whose aid, aspiring What his associates thence attempt Pande- To set himself in glory above his peers, monium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly He trusted to have equall'd the Most High, built out of the deep: the infernal peers there If he oppos'd; and, with arnbitious aim sit in council.
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Rais'd impious war in Heaven, and battle proud, | And shook his throne. What though the field
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Whu from the terrour of this arm so late Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf, Doubted his empire ; that were low indeed, Confounded, though immortal : but his doom That were an ignominy, and shame beneath Reserv'd him to more wrath! for now the This downfall: since by fate the strength of gods thought
And this empyreat substance cannot fail, Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Since through experience of this great event Torments him : round he throws his baleful eyes. In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd, That witness'd huge affliction and dismay, We may with more successful hope resolre Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate ; To wage by force or guile eternal war, At once, as far as angels ken, he views
Irreconcileable to our grand foe, The dismal situation waste and wild ;
Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven." As one great furnace flam'd; yet from those So spake the apostate angel, though in pain, flames
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair : No light; but rather darkness visible
And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer. Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
“O prince, O chief of many throned powers, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace That led the embattled seraphim to war And rest can never dweh ; hope never comes Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds That comes to all : but torture without end Fearless, endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king, Still urges, and a fiery deluge, feu
And put to proof his high supremacy, With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd : Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or fates Such place eternal Justice had prepard
Too well I see, and rue the dire event, For those rebellious; bere their prison ordaind That with sad overthrow, and foul defeat, In utter darkness, and their portion set
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host As far remov'd from God and light of Heaven, In horrible destruction laid thus low, As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. As far as gods and heavenly essences O, how unlike the place from whence they fell ! Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd Invincible, and vigour soon returns, With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, Though all our glory extinct, and happy state He soon discerns, and weltering by Iris side Flere swallow'd up in endless misery. One next himself in power, and next in crime, But what if he our conqueror (whom I now Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd Of force believe almighty, since no less Beelzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,
Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as And thence in Heaven call'd Satan, with bold
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.
Strongly to suffer and support our pains, “ If thou beest he; but o, how fallin ! how That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, chang'd
Or do him mightier service as his thralls From him, who, in the happy realms of light, By right of war, whate'er his business be, Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst out- Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, shine
Or do his errands in the gloomy deer; Myriads though bright ! If he whom mutual What can it then avail, though yet we fed league,
Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being
Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend reJoin'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
As being the contrary to his high will
Whem we resist. If then bis providence Though chang'din outward lustre, that fix'd mind, Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit, Oar labour must be to pervert that end, That with the Mightiest rais d me to contend, And out of good still to find means of evil; And to the fierce contention brought along Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps Innumerable force of spirits arm'd,
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring, His inmost counsels from their destin'd aim. His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd But see, the angry victor bath recalld In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, His ministers of vengeance and pursuit