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Yet as I read; ftill growing lefs fevere, I lik'd his project, the success did fear ; Through that wide field how he his way should find, O'er which lame faith leads understanding blind; Left he perplex'd the things he would explain, And what was eafy he thould render vain.

Or if a work fo infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that fome lefs fkilful hand'
(Such as difquiet always what is well,
And by ill imitating would excel)

Might hence prefume the whole creation's day
To change in scenes, and fhow it in a play.
Pardon me, mighty Poet; nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, furmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy labours to pretend a share.

Thou haft not mifs'd one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper doft omit:

So that no room is here for writers left,.
But to detect their ignorance or theft.

That majefty which through thy work doth reign,
Draws the devout, deterring the profane.
And things divine thou treat't of in fuch state
As them preferves, and thee, inviolate.
At once delight and horror on us feize,
Thou fing'ft with fo much gravity and ease;
And above human flight doft foar aloft
With plume fo ftrong, fo equal, and fo foft.
The bird nam'd from that Paradise you fing
So never flags, but always keeps on wing.
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Where couldst thou words of fuch a compass find? Whence furnish such a vaft expence of mind? Juft Heaven thee, like Tirefias, to requite Rewards with prophecy thy lofs of fight.

Well might'ft thou fcorn thy readers to allure
With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure;
While the town-bays writes all the while and fpells,
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, offend,

And while I meant to praise thee must commend.
Thy verfe created like thy theme fublime,
Number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.


To Mr. JOHN MILTON, On his Poem entitled PARADISE LOST

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Thou! the wonder of the present age,

An age immerst in luxury and vice; A race of triflers; who can relish naught But the gay iffue of an idle brain :

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How couldst thou hope to please this tinsel race?
Though blind, yet with the penetrating eye
Of intellectual light thou doft furvey
The labyrinth perplex'd of Heaven's decrees;
And with a quill, pluck'd from an angel's wing,
Dipt in the fount that laves th' eternal throne,
Trace the dark paths of providence divine,

"And justify the ways of God to Man.".

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HE measure is English heroic verse without

TH rhyme, as that of Homer in Greek, and of

Virgil in Latin; rhyme being no necessary adjunct or true ornament of poem or good verse, in longer works especially, but the invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame meter; graced indeed fince by the use of some famous modern poets, carried away by cuftom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to exprefs many things otherwife, and for the most part worse than else they would have expreffed them. Not without caufe therefore fome both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rhyme both in longer and shorter works, as have also long fince our best English tragedies, as a thing of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true mufical delight; which confifts only in apt numbers, fit quantity of fyllables, and the fense variously drawn out from one verfe into another, not in the jingling found of like endings, a fault avoided by the learned Ancients both in poetry and all good oratory. This neglect then VOL. I.



of rhyme fo little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be efteemed an example fet, the first in English, of ancient liberty recovered to heroic poem, from the troublesome and modern bondage of rhyming.






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