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Qui legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni

Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuucta legis?
Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum,

Et fata, et fines continet iste liber.
Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,

Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet: Terneque, tractusque maris, coelumque profundum,

Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque specus: Quaeque colunt terras, pontumque, et Tartara caeca,

Quaeque colunt summi lucida regna poli:
Et quodcunque ullis conclusum est finibus usquam,

Et sine fine Chaos, et sine fine Deus:
Et sine fine magis, si quid magis est sine fine,

In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Haec qui speraret quis crederet esse futura?

Et tamen haec hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quae protulit arma!

Quae canit, et quanta praelia dira tuba!
Coelestes acies! atque in certatmne coelum!

Et quae coelestes pugna deceret agros! Quantus in aethereis tollit se Lucifer armis!

Atque ipso graditur vix Michaele minor! Quantis, et quam funestis concurritur iris,

Dum ferus hie Stellas protegit, ille rapit! Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,

Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt:

Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,

Et metuit pugnae non superesse suae.
At simul in coelis Messiae insignia fulgent,

Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotae strident, et saeva rotarum

Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flaaimae vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco

Admistis flammis insonuere polo:
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, et impetus omnis,

Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad poenas fugiunt, et ceu foret Orcus asylum,

Infernis certant nondere se tenebris.
Cedite Romaui Scriptores, cedite Graii,

Et quos fama reeens vel celebravit anus. Haec quicjnque leget tantum cecinisse putabit

Masonidem ranas, Vu'gilium culiee9.

Samcel Barrow, M.D. ON PARADISE LOST.

When I beheld the poet blind, yet bold,

In slender book his vast design unfold,

Messiah crowned, God's reconciled deciee,

Bebelling angels, the forbidden tree,

Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument

Held me a while, misdoubting his intent,

That he would ruin (for I saw him strong)

The sacred truths to fable and old song

(So Samson groped the temple's posts in spite),

The world o'erwhelming to revenge his sight.

Yet as I read, soon growing less severe,
I liked his project, the success did fear;
Through that wide field how he his way should find.
O'er which lame faith leads understanding blind;
Lest he perplexed the things he would explain,
And what was easy he should render vain.

Or if a work so infinite he spanned,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet always what is well,
And by ill imitating would excel)
Might hence presume the whole creation's day
To change in scenes, and show it in a play.

Pardon me, mighty poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinced, and none will dare
Within thy labours to pretend a share.
Thou hast not missed one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit:
So that no room is here for writers left,
But to detect their ignorance or theft.

That majesty, which through thy work doth reign, Draws the devout, deterring the profane. And things divine thou treat'st of in such state As them preserves, and thee inviolate. At once delight and horror on us seize, Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease; And above human flight dost soar aloft With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft The hird named from that Paradise you sing So never flags, but always keeps on wing.

Where couldst thou words of such a compass find? Whence furnish such a vast expense of mind? Just Heaven thee, like Tiresias, to requite, Rewards with prophecy thy los3 of sight.

Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells. And like a pack-horse tires without his bells; Their fancies like our bushy points appear, The poets tag them, we for fashion wear. I, too, transported by the mode, commend, And while I mean to praise thee must offend. Thy verse, created like thy theme sublime, In number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.


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