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Thy verse ereated, like thy theme, sublime,

Id number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.

EPIGRAM ON MILTON.

BY DRYDEK.

• %

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

TO THE
MASK OF COMUa

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

rhymes,

Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times;
Immortal patrons of sueceeding days,
Attend this prelude of perpetual praise!
Let Wit, condemn'd the feeble war to wage
With close malevolence, or public rage;
Let Study, worn with virtue's fruitless lore,
Behold this Theatre, and grieve no more.
This night, distinguished by your smiles, shall tell,
That never Britain can in vain excel;
The slighted arts futurity shall trust,
And rising ages hasten to be just.

At length our mighty Bard's victorious lays
Fill the loud voice of universal praise;
And baffled Spite, with hopeless anguish dumb,
Yields to renown the centuries to come;
With ardent haste each candidate of fame,
Ambitious, catehes at his towering name:
He sees, and pitying sees, vain wealth bestow
Those pageant honours which he scorned below,
While erowds aloft the laureat bust behold,
Or trace his form on cireulating gold.
Unknown,—unheeded, long his oflspring lay,
And want hung threatening o'er her slow decay.
What though she shine with no Miltonian fire,
No favouring Muse her morning-dreams inspire,
Yet softer claims the melting heart engage,
Her youth laborious, and her blameless age;
Hers the mild merits of domestic life,
The patient sufferer, and the faithful wife.
Thus graced with humble Virtue's native charrca,
Her grandsire leaves her in Britannia's arms:
Secure with peace, with competence, to dwell,
While tutelary nations guard her cell.
Yours is the charge, ye fair, ye wise, ye brave l
'Tis yours to erown desert—beyond the gravo.

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

FROM

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

hung;

Thither oft his glory greeting,
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

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

view.

From
MASON'S ODE TO MEMORY.

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.

From

DR. ROBERTS' EPISTLE ON THE
ENGLISH POETS.

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,
And ages ere the Mantuan swan was heard:
To carry Nature lengths unknown before,
And give a Milton birth, ask'd ages more.
Thus Genius rose and set at order'd 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 pius'd,
Emerg'd all splendour in our islu at last.
Thus lovely haleyons dive into the main,
Then show far off their shining plumes again.

THE SAME AUTHOR'S TASK, B. Ill

-philosophy, baptized

'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.

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BOOK I.

THE ARGUMENT.

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
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our nro,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heav'nly Muse, that on the seeret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Row out of Chaos: or if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook, that flowed
Fart by the oracle of God; 1 thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous 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 knowest; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread.
Dove-like, sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant . what in me is dark
Illumine; what is low raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view.
Nor the deep tract of Hell; say first, what cause
Moved our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
Th' infernal serpent; he it was, whose guile
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceived
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
Of rebel angels; by whose aid aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have cquall'd the Most High
If he opposed; and, with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heav'n, and battle probd.
With vain attempt. Him the almighty power
Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion. down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fite,
Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with K'i horrid crew
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness, and lasting pain,
Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate

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

changed

From him, who, In the happy realms of light, Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine

Myrads though bright! If hewhom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
In equal ruin! into what pit thou seest,
From what height fall'n; so much the stronger

proved

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

mind,

And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
That with the mightiest raised me to contend,
Ami to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits anned,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
Ilia utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What tho' the field be losf!
All is not lost; th' 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
Kttort from me. To bow anil sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Wht-from the terror 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 empyreal substance can not fail;
Since, through experience of this great event,
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
We may with more suceessful hope resolve
To wage, by force or guile, eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and, in th' excess of Ioy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven."

So spake th' apostate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair:
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer.

"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 '•*

ours)

Have left us in this our spirit and strength entire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do 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 undiminished, or eternal being,
To undergo eternal punishment?"
Whereto with speedy words th' arch fiend rephei

"Fall'n Cherub! to be weak is miserable
Doing or suffering; but of this be sure,
To do aught good never will he our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil;
Which ofttimes may suceeed, sb as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I foil not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
But see! the.angry victor hath recalled
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates ol Heaven, the sulphurous h:ut.

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

rolled

In liillows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
\loft, incumbent on the dusky air
Fhatlelt unusual weight; till on dry land
He lights, if it were land that ever burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire;

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

sole

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

gloom

For that celestial light? Be it so! since ho
Who now is sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equalled, foree hath made su-
preme

Above his equals! Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells. Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal world! and thou, profoundest hell,
Receive thy new possessor! one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time:
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of hell, a hell of Heaver..
What matter where if I he still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at lensl
We shall be free: the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy; will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in Heaven!
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th' associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonished on th' oblivious pool
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion; or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in lull i

So Satan spake, and him Beelezebub
Thus answered. "Leader of those armies bright.
Which hutth' Omnipotent none could have foilell
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edjpe
Of battle when it raged, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they he
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire
As we erewhile, astounded and amazed; x

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

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