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Thy verse ereated, like thy theme, sublime,
Id number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.
EPIGRAM ON MILTON.
Thref Ports, in three distant ages born, Greece, Italy, and England, did adom: The first in loftiness of thought surpassed; The next, in majesty; in both the last. The foree of Nature could no farther go: To make a third she' joined the former two.
FROM AN ACCOUNT OP
THE GREATEST ENGLISH POETS. BY ADDISON.
But Milton next, with high and haughty stalks,
Unfetter'd, in majestic numbers, walks:
No vulgar hero can his Muse engage,
Nor earth's wide scene confine his hallow'd rage.
See! sec! he upward springs, and, towering high,
Spurns the dull province of mortality;
Shakes Heaven's eternal throne with dire alarms,
And sets th: Almighty Thunderer in arms! i
Whate'er his pen describes I more than see,
W hilst every verse array'd in majesty,
Bold and sublime, my whole attention draws.
And seems above the critie's nicer laws.
How are you struck with terror and delight,
When angel with arehangel copes in fight!
When great Messiah's outspread banner shines,
How does the chariot rattle in his lines!
What sound of bra7.en wheels, with thunder, scare
And stun the reader with the din of war!
With fear my spirits and my blood retire,
To see the seraphs sunk in clouds of fire:
But when, with eager steps, from hence I rise,
And view the first gay scene of Paradise;
What tongue, what words of rapture, can express
A vision so profuse of pleasantness!
ADDRESS TO GREAT BRITAIN. From Thomson's Summer.
-For lofty sense,
Creative fancy, and inspection keen
Through the deep windings of the human heart,
Is not wild Shakspeare thine and Nature's boast)
ls not each great, each amiable, Muse
Of classic ages in thy Milton met?
A genius universal as his theme;
Astonishing as chaos; as the bloom
Of blowing Eden fair; as Heaven sublime'
DR. JOHNSON'S PROLOGUE
Acted at the Drury-Lane Theatre, April 5. I750 far the benefit ofMHton't grand-daughter.
Ye patriot erowds, who burn for England's fame, Ye nymphs, whose bosoms beat at M:>.Ton's name. Whose generous zeal, unbought by flattering
Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times;
At length our mighty Bard's victorious lays
GRAY'S PROGRESS OF POESY.
Nor second He that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of eestasy;
The seerets of th' abyss to spy,
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and tnwr
The living throne, the sapphire blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light.
Closed his eyes in endless night
COLLINS'S ODE ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER.
High on some cliff, to Heaven up-piled,
Of rude aceess, of prospect wild,
Where, tangled round the jealous steep,
Strange shades o'erbrow the vallies deep,
And holy Genii guard the rock,
Its glooms embrown, its springs unlock,
V." hile on its rich ambitious head
An Eden, like his own, lies spread;
1 view that oak the fancied glades among,
By which as Milton lay, his evening car,
From many a cloud that dropp'd ethereal dew,
Nigh sphered in Heaven, its native strains i ould
hear, On which that ancient trump he reached was
Thither oft his glory greeting,
In vain: Such bliss to one alone
Of all the sons of Soul was known; And Heaven and Fancy, kindred powers, Have now o'erturn'd th' inspiring bowers, Or curtain'd close such scene from every future
Rise, hallow'd Miltoj1! rise, and say,
How, at thy gloomy close of day; How, when 'depress'd by age, beset with wrongs;' When ' fall'n on evil days and evil tongues:'
When Darkness, brooding on thy sight,
Exil'd the sovereign lamp of light: .Say, what could then one cheering hope diffuse? What friends were thine, save Memory and the
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 scone that Tiber's bank supplied;
Each grace, that play'd on Arno'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 rcceiv'd, retain'd, combin'd. And thence the nightly visitant that came To touch thy bosum with her saered 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.
DR. ROBERTS' EPISTLE ON THE
ADDRESSED TO CHRISTOPHER ANSTEY, E8O
Poet of other times! to thee I bow
With lowliest reverence. Oft thou tak'st mysoul,
And wall'st it by thy potent fiartnony
To that empyreal mansion, where* thtne eai
Caught the soft warblings of a seraph's harp,
What time the nightly visitant unlock'd
The gates of Heaven, and to thy mental sight
Display'd celestial scenes. She from thy lyrx
With indignation tore the tinkling bells,
And turn'd it to sublimest argument.
COWPER'S TABLE TALK.
Ao Es elaps'd ere Homer's lamp appear'd,
THE SAME AUTHOR'S TASK, B. Ill
'n the pure fountain of eternal love,
.las 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 horne such fruit in other days
On all her branches: Piety has found
Friends in the friends of science, and true prayer
Has llow'd from lips wet with Castaliaa dews.
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, child-like 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.
Tab Am book proposes, first In brief, the whole subject, nun's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was placed t then touches the prime cause of his fall, the lerpent, or rather Satan in the serpent; who, revolting from Cud, and drawing to his side many legions of Angels, was, by the command of God, driven out of Heaven, with all his erew, into the great deep. Which action passed over, the poem hMens into the midst of things, presenting Satan with -his •ngeb mw fallen into Hell, deseribed here, not in the centre, Ifor heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, ceruiuly not yet aecursed,) but in a place of utter darkness, fltlien railed Chaos. Here Satan, with his angels, lying on the burnin1; lake, thunderstruck and astonished, after a certain •pace recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in order owl dignity lay by him: they confer of their miserable fall. Katan awakens ajl his legions, who lay till then in the ss.ne manner confounded . They rise; their numbers; array "f battle; their chief leaders named, aecording to the Idols known alterwanls in Canaan and the countries adIoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet cf regaining heaven; but tells them l,,stly of a new world and • new kind of creature to be ereated, aecording to an ancient prophecy or report in heaven; for thatangela were long before this risible ereation, was the opinion of many ancient 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, •uddenly built out of the deep: the infernal peers there sit in council
Oe man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view.
At once, &a far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round.
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of wo,
Kegions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
A nd rest can never dwell, ho|ie never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed;
Such place eternal Justice had prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far removed from God and light of heav'n,
As from the centre thrice to th' utmost |xile.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmed
"With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
Hi soon discerns; and welt'ring by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named
Beelzebub. To whom th' arch enemy,
And thence in Heav'n called Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began.
"If thou beest he; but O how fall'u! how
From him, who, In the happy realms of light, Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myrads though bright! If hewhom mutual league,
He with his thunder: and till then who knew The force of those dire arms? yet not for those, , Nor what th* potent victor in his rage Can else inflict, do I repent or change, Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
So spake th' apostate angel, though in pain,
"O prince, O chief of many throned powers, That led th' embattled seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds Fearless, endangered Heav'n's perpetual King, -And put to proof his high supremacy, Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fats; Too well ! sec and rue 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 the gods and heavenly essences Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns, Though all our glory, extinct, and happy stale Here swallowed up in endl'-ss misery. But what if he our Conqueror (whom I now Of force believe almighty, since no less Than such could have o'erpowered such force '•*
Have left us in this our spirit and strength entire
"Fall'n Cherub! to be weak is miserable
Shot ;i 1 •. r us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid
The fiery surge, that from the precipice
Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not slip th' oec ision, whether scorn,
Or satiate fury, yield it from our foe.
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
The seat of desolation, void oflight,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tent
From off Ihe tossing of these fiery waves;
There rest, if any rest can harbour there:
Ami, reassembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we mav henceforth most offend
Our enemy; our own loss how repair;
How overeome this dire calamity;
What reinforeement we may gain from hope;
If not, what resolution from despair."
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blazed, his other parts K'side Prone on the flood, extending long and large, Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as huge •As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that warred on Jove, Bnareos or Typhon, whom the den By ancient Tarsus held; or that sea beast Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim th' ocean stream: Him, haply, slumb'ring on the Norway foam, The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell, With fixed anchor in his scaly rind Moors by the side under the lee, while night Invests the sea, and wished morn delays: So stretehed out huge in length the areh fiend lay, Chained on the burning lake: nor ever thence Had risen or heaved his head, but that the will And high permission of all-ruling Heaven Left him at large to his own dark designs; That with reiterated crime she might Heap on himself damnation, while he sought Evil toothers; and, enraged, might see How all his malice served but to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace, and merey, shown On man by him seduced, but on himself Treble confusion. wrath, and vengeance poured. Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool Hi* nighty stature; on each hand the flames, Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and
In liillows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale.
And such appeared in hue, as when the foree
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side
Of thundering JEtna, whose combustible
And fuelled entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involved
With stench and smoke: such resting found ths
Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate, Both glorying to have Vaped the Stygian flood As gods, ami by their own recovered strength, Not by the sufferance of supernal power.
"Is this the region, this the soil, the clime," Said then the lost arehangel, "this the seat That we must change for Heaven; this moumfjl
For that celestial light? Be it so! since ho
Above his equals! Farewell, happy fields,
So Satan spake, and him Beelezebub
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height"
He scaree had ceased, when the superior ieno Was moving toward the shore: hi• pond'n us shield