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Came forth with pilgrim steps in amice gray,
Who with her radiant finger stilld the roar
Of thunder, chas’d the clouds, and laid the winds,
And grisly spectres, which the Fiend had rais’d
To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
And now the sun with more effectual beams

430

Not dissimilar is the justly 428. Who with her radiant finger admired description of evening still'd the roar coming on, Par. Lost, iv. 598. Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, Now came still Evening on, and

&c.] twilight gray

This is a very pretty imitation Had in her sober livery all things of a passage in the first Æneid clad.

of Virgil, where Neptune is reWhere see the notes on Milton's presented with his trident lay. frequent notice of the twilighting the storm which Æolus had gray. The Roman poets give raised, ver. 142. night a sable or dusky amice.

Sic ait, et dicto citius tumida æquora Thus Silius Ytalicus, xv. 285.

placat, -nox atro circumdata corpus amictu.

Collectasque fugat nubes, solemque

reducit, And ibid. xii. 6i2. And Statius, There is the greater beauty in Thebaid. iii. 415. Virgil also There is the greater beauty in gives the Naiad Juturna a sort the English poet, as the scene of gray amice, whether from the he is describing under this charmgray mists that exhaled from the ing figure is perfectly consistent stream, or the gray willows that with the course of nature, noshaded its banks.

thing being more common than Jam tum effata caput glauco contexit by a pleasant serene morning.

to see a stormy night succeeded amictu.

Thyer. Glaucus was nearly gray,

since

We have here the ροδοδακτυλος it was the epithet given to the olive tree. Compare the descrip- Homer and Hesiod; but the

Hws, the rosy-fingered Aurora of tion of morning in Homer, Il. viii . 1. Has refoxonendos; in Ham- image, which in them is only

pleasing, is here almost sublime. let, a. i. s. 1.

Dunster. -the morn, in russet mantle clad Walks o'er the dew of yon high injudicious to retail this popular

430. And grisly spectres,] Very eastern hill.

WarThis is the civil-suited morn, 11. superstition in this place.

burton. Penseroso, i 22. See also Browne's Britannia's Pastorals, b. ii. s. 4.

432. And now the sun &c.]

There is in this description all It chanc'd one morn clad in a robe of the bloom of Milton's youthful

gray And blushing oft as rising to betray fancy. See an evening scene of Enticed &c.

the same kind in the Paradise Dunster. Lost, ii. 488.

440

Had cheer'd the face of earth, and dried the wet
From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now behold more fresh and green, 435
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Clear'd

up

their choicest notes in bush and spray
To gratulate the sweet return of morn ;
Nor yet amidst this joy and brightest morn
Was absent, after all his mischief done,
The prince of darkness, glad would also seemn
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came,
Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
Rather by this his last affront resolv’d,
Desp'rate of better course, to vent his rage,
And mad despite to be so oft repell’d.
Him walking on a sunny hill he found,
Back’d on the north and west by a thick wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,

445

As when from mountain tops &c.

Thy choir of birds about thee play, Thyer. And all the joyful world salutes the

rising day. Compare also part of Spenser's

Dunster. Sonnet xl.

435. Who all things now behold) -the fair sunshine in summer's day, Doth not the syntax require, that That when a dreadful storm away is

we should rather read flit, Through the broad world doth spread

Who all things now beheld ? his goodly ray ; At sight whereof each bird that sits 449. -in wonted shape,] That on spray,

is, in his own proper shape, and And every beast that to his den was

not under any disguise, as at each fled, Came forth afresh out of their late of the former times when he apdismay,

peared to our Lord. He comes And to the light lift up their droop. now hopeless of success, without ing head.

device or disguise, and, as the And the following stanza in poet expressly says, Cowley's Hymn to Light ;

Desperate of better course, to vent When, goddess, thou lift'st up thy

his rage waken'd head,

And mad despite to be so oft repell'd. Out of the morning's purple bed,

Dunster. VOL. III

P

450

And in a careless mood thus to him said.

Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God, After a dismal night; I heard the wrack As earth and sky would mingle; but myself Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them As dang’rous to the pillar'd frame of heaven, 455

Mr. Dunster may be right in stow the kingdoms of the world, this; but there is perhaps an ob- 155–194. His wonted shape may scurity as to the degree of con- very well therefore be undercealment assumed by Satan at stood of that in which he had different periods in the course of now for so long a time conversed these temptations, which we shall with Jesus. But it may be betin vain endeavour to clear up. ter to leave such matters undeAt first indeed he appears dis- termined. Milton did not disguised as an aged man in rural play any want of judgment, conweeds, b. i. 314; and it would sidering the peculiar difficulties seem from v. 498. that he re- of his subject, if he designedly tained that disguise till his dis- left these things unexplained. appearance, at the end of the first E. book. But in the interval he had 453. As earth and sky would answered undisguised,

mingle ;] Virgil, Æn. i. 137. 'Tis true I am that spirit unfor. Jam cælum terranque, meo sine nu. tunate, &c. b. i. 358.

mine, venti, So again, at his next appearance

Miscere, et tantas audetis tollere

moles ? he stood before Christ as a man,

Richardson. not rustic as before, but seemlier clad, &c. b. ii. 298. yet he ac

454. - these flaws,] See the costs Jesus under his former notes, Par. Lost, x. 698. E. character,

455. As dang'rous to the pillar'd

frame of heaven,] So also in the With granted leave officious I re

Mask, turn, &c. ij. 301.

-if this fail, As indeed his super-human The pillar'd firmament is rottenness. power was displayed in the sudden appearance and disap- Job xxvi. 11. The pillars of hea

In both, no doubt, alluding to pearance of the regal banquet, 337, 401. as well as by his con

ven tremble, and are astonished at veying our Lord to the specular his reproof. Thyer. mount , and back again through first Pyth.

Ode,

Ætna is termed by Pindar, the air to the wilderness, b. iii. 251, 394. And he had a second

Xiw ougastid time openly declared his proper which Mr. West translates, character, when he proposed the The pillar'd prop of heaven. conditions on which he would be

Dunster.

460

465

Or to the earth's dark basis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable,
And harmless, if not wholesome, as a sneeze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone;
Yet as being oft times noxious where they light
On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in th' affairs of men,
Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point,
They oft fore-signify and threaten ill :
This tempest at this desert most was bent ;
Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'st.
Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
The perfect season offer'd with my aid
To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong
All to the push of fate, pursue thy way
Of gaining David's throne no man knows when,
For both the when and how is no where told,
Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt ;
For angels have proclaim'd it, but concealing
The time and means: each act is rightliest done,
Not when it must, but when it

may

be best. If thou observe not this, be sure to find,

470)

475

467. Did I not tell thee, &c.] of the pains and dangers which This sentence is dark and per. awaited Jesus, if he persisted in plexed, having no proper exit. rejecting his offered aid, now at

467. The whole passage, from full age, fulness of time, his season, V. 467 to 483, should be com- when prophecies of him were best pared with the conclusion of the fulfilled. E. previous conversation, v. 368- 478. ---many an hard assay) 393, to which Satan manifestly Thus, b. i. 263. refers. It will then be evident

-that my way must lie that the sense of the passage is Through many a hard assay unto sufficiently complete, and that the death. Satan now repeats what he had

Dunster. before expressed, his conviction

480

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485

What I foretold thee, many a hard assay
Of dangers, and adversities, and pains,
Ere thou of Israel's sceptre get fast hold;
Whereof this ominous night that clos'd thee round,
So many terrors, voices, prodigies
May warn thee, as a sure fore-going sign.

So talk'd he while the Son of God went on
And stay'd not, but in brief him answer'd thus.

Me worse than wet thou find'st not; other harm
Those terrors which thou speak’st of, did me none;
I never fear'd they could, though noising loud
And threatning nigh; what they can do as signs
Betokening, or ill boding, I contemn

-490
As false portents, not sent from God, but thee;
Who knowing I shall reign past thy preventing,
Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I accepting
At least might seem to hold all pow'r of thee,
Ambitious Spi'rit, and would'st be thought my God, 495
And storm'st refus'd, thinking to terrify
Me to thy will ; desist, thou art discern'd
And toil'st in vain, nor me in vain molest.

To whom the Fiend now swoln with rage replied,
Then hear, O Son of David, virgin-born ;

500

500. Then hear, 0 Son of Du- blasphemous obloquy he still revid, &c.] This last speech of covers himself, and offers with Satan is particularly worthy of his usual art a qualification of our notice. The Fiend “ swoln what he had last said, and a jus with rage" at the repeated failure tification of his persisting in furof his attacks, breaks out into the ther attempts on the divine perlanguage of gross insult, profess- son, by whom he had been so ing to doubt whether our Lord, constantly foiled. These are the whom he had before frequently masterly discriminating touches, addressed as the Son of God, is with which the poet has admirin any way entitled to that ap- ably drawn the character of the pellation. From this wantonly Tempter: the general colouring

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