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What wonder then if I delight to hear
Her dictates from thy mouth? most men admire
Virtue, who follow not her lore : permit me
To hear thee when I come (since no man comes)
And talk at least, though I despair to attain.
Thy Father, who is holy, wise, and pure, .
Suffers the hypocrite or atheous priest
To tread his sacred courts, and minister
About his altar, handling holy things,
Praying or vowing, and vouchsaf'd his voice
To Balaam reprobate, a prophet yet
Inspir'd ; disdain not such access to me.

To whom our Saviour with unalter'd brow.
Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope,
I bid not or forbid ; do as thou find'st
Permission from above; thou can’st not more.
He added not; and Satan bowing low

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482. most men admire Connexion of Sacred and Profane

Virtue, who follow not her lore:) History, b. xii. Dunster. Imitated from the well known 497. and Satun bowing low saying of Medea, Ov. Met. vii. His gray dissimulation,] 20.

An expression this, which your

little word-catching critics will -Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.

very probably censure, but read

ers of true taste admire. It is a 490. --and vouchsaf d his voice true instance of the feliciter au

To Balaam reprobate,] det. There is another of the An argument more plausible and same kind in this book, where more fallacious could not have the poet says, speaking of the been put into the mouth of the angelic quire, ver. 170. Tempter. Perfectly to appre -and in celestial measures mov'd, bend this remarkable piece of Circling the throne and singing, Scripture history, as well as the while the hand poet's judicious use of it in this

Sung with the voice. place, we may refer to Bishop

Thyer. Butler's excellent Sermon on the When criticism is employed character of Balaam, and to on words alone, it may deserve Shuckford's account of it in his Mr. Thyer's censure; but it

His gray dissimulation, disappear'd
Into thin air diffus'd : for now began
Night with her sullen wings to double-shade


must sometimes condescend to _nigrus nox contrahit alas. notice them; and in this instance And Tasso, viii. 57. and Spenser. it may safely pronounce that Fae

Faery Queen, b. vi. c. viii. 44. Milton would not have admitted into the Par. Lost so forced and

-and now the even-tide

His broad black wings had through affected an expression as “ bow

the heavens wide ing low his gray dissimulation."

By this dispread The meaning indeed is perfectly

But he might also bayeremarked, clear. Satan is still, as Mr. Dunster observes, under his as

that not one of these poets apsumed character of “ an aged

to plies any other epithet to the man in rural weeds." But the wings of night than one expres

sive of material qualities ; Milton words which he quotes from our author's Latin poem on the fifth

heightens the poetry of the of November, (where Satan is also



image by introducing the quaintroduced under the disguise of

lities of mind-sullen wings. And an old Franciscan friar,)

thus in l’Allegro, 6. —assumptis micuerunt tempora canis,

Where brooding darkness spreads hef "

jealous wings. if “ equivalent to his gray dissi- Fairfax indeed has added a simimulation here," are free from the lar idea to Tasso's description, conceit which we have blamed viii. 57. above. E.

· Sorgea la notte in tanto, e sotto l'ali 498. disappear'd

Recopriva del Cielo i campi immensi: Into thin air diffus'd:] So Virgil of Mercury, Æn. iv.

which is thus translated by Fair278.

But now the night dispread her lazy Et procul in tenuem ex oculis eva.

wings nuit auram,

Oe'r the broad fields of heaven's 498. And Shakespeare, Tem

bright wilderness. pest, act iv. sc. 2.

500. to double-shade --these our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits,

The desert;] and

He has expressed the same Are melted into air, into thin air. thought in Comus, 335.

Dunster. In double night of darkness, and of 500. – her sullen wings] Mr.

shades. Dunster cites Virg. Æn. vii. 369. (Where see the notes.] And the

reader will naturally observe Nox ruit, et fuscis tellurem amplecti.

how properly the images are tur alis,

taken from the place, where the And Manilius, Astron, v. 59. scene is laid. It is not a descrip

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The desert; fowls in their clay nests were couch'd ; And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam.

tion of night at large, but of doubt was, because the poet had a night in the desert; and, as before laboured this scene to the Mr. Thyer says, is very short, utmost perfection in his Parathough poetical. The reason no dise Lost.



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