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INTRODUCTION TO PARADISE LOST. OF Man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the World, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
5 That shepherd, 4 who first taught the chosen seed, In the beginning how the heavens and earth Rose out of Chaos :6 or, if Sion hill? Delight Thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd Fast by the oracle of God,' I thence
Invoke Thy aid to my adventurous song, 10 1 Milton invokes God Himself to in- forth at the creation. Notice the
spire him to sing of the loss of inversion of the sentence. God Eden and its results.
taught Moses "how the heavens 2 Oreb, or Horeb, a lower peak of and earth rose, &c., in the begin
Mount Sinai, which still bears ning," not “ taught Moses in the the same name. The word means beginning," &c. " the dry,” “ the desert.” Some, ? Sion hill, one of the hills on however, think it was the general which Jerusalem was built. It name for the whole mountain was spoken of as the dwelling group, of which Sinai was a par- place of God—“O Thou that ticular peak.
dwellest in Zion"-from the 3 Sinai, the mountain in the Arabian Temple being in Jerusalem.
Peninsula, near the Red Sea, 8 Siloa's brook. The spring and where God delivered the Law to pool of Siloam are at the S.E. Moses.
corner of Jerusalem, 4 Moses--who lived, at the time, as a 9 The Temple. shepherd, in that region.
10 He invokes God to help him out 5 the chosen seed, the people of of Zion, and from beside Siloa's Israel.
brook, if that delight Him more 6 Chaos, the dark and shapeless than Horeb or Sinai, i.e. if He now confusion which Scripture says
dwell there, existed before God brought order
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Say first-for Heaven hides nothing from Thy view,
The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,
il Mount Helicon, in Boeotia, in
Greece, the seat of the Muses. 12 The Holy Spirit. 13 Gen. 1, 2. Milton uses the Hebrew
word exactly aright when he says,
“dove like, sat'st brooding." 14 That through all the grandeur of
this great subject of discourse.
15 assert, maintain successfully
(the wisdom and goodness of Pro
vidence.) 16 On account of one restraint-one
prohibition, "although lords, "&c. 17 Eve.
To set himself in glory above his peers,
18 sky, the upper sky, which the 22 Eyes full of misery and terror, pure ether fills.
mingled with pride and hate. 19 adamantine, unbreakable_lit. 23 obdurate, hardened against hard as diamond,
(God). 20 penal fire, fire kindled as a 21 As the ken, or range of sight, of an punishment
angel. 21 After falling from heaven, Satan, with his host, lay stunned, and confounded. 25 utter-outer, farthest off-hence,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
He scarce had ceased, when the superior Fiend
perfect, total. 26 As thrice from the centre of the
earth to the pole on which, not the world, but the universe re
volves. i the shore of the burning lake. 2 Of surpassing hardness, such as we
may suppose of a shield tempered
in the ethereal or heavenly re
gions 3 optic glass, the telescope. 4 Galileo. He first employed the
telescope for astronomical pur
poses, in 1609. 5 A height close to Florence. 6 Valdarno, the Vale of the River
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
' ammiral, or admiral, here, of the
ship, also, an admiral. torrid, scorching. 9 nathless, nevertheless, an old
and " belt." It was supposed to bring stormy weather at some
English word used by Chaucer,
but seemingly not by Shakspeare. 10 inflamed, burning. Il strow. This would now be strew. 12 Vallombrosa, "The shady val
ley,” 18 miles from Florence.
Milton was at Florence in 1638. 13 Etrurian, Tuscan. 14 sedge, flags or coarse grass. The
Red Sea is in Hebrew "The
Weedy Sea." 15 The constellation Orion is called
armed because of its "sword"
seasons. 16 Busiris, an Egyptian king, very
hostile to foreigners. Milton supposes it was he who pursued the Israelites when they fled from
Egypt. 17 Memphian, from Memphis, the
capital of Lower Egypt. It stands
for Egyptian. 18 perfidious, treacherous. 19 sojourners of Goshen, the
Israelites. Goshen was a district of Lower Egypt, near the coast, on the east side of the Nile, and thus close to Memphis.