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In Paradifum amissam* fummi poetæ Johannis Miltoni.
UI legis Amiffam Paradifum, grandia magni Carmina Miltoni, quid nifi cuncta legis? Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum, Et fata, et fines continet ifte liber. Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi; Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet; Terræque, tractufque maris, cœlumque profundum Sulphureumque Erebi flammivomumque fpecus; Quæque colunt terras, portumque et Tartara cæca, Quæque colunt fummi lucida regna poli; Et quodcunque ullis conclufum eft finibus ufquam, Et fine fine Chaos, et fine fine Deus;
Et fine fine magis, fi quid magis eft fine fine,
In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
Quæ canit, et quanta, prælia dira tuba.
Et quæ cœleftes pugna deceret agros ! Quantus in ætheriis tollit fe Lucifer armis,
Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaele minor!
Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit!
Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, et impetus omnis
• Published with the fecond edition of Paradife Loft, in 1674.
Ad pœnas fugiunt, et ceu foret Orcus afylum
Et quos fama recens vel celebravit anus.
SAMUEL BARROW, M. D.
ON PARADISE LOST.
HEN I beheld the poet blind, yet bold,
Yet as I read, foon growing lefs severe,
That majesty which through thy work doth reign Draws the devout, deterring the profane.
And things divine thou treat'ft of in such state
Where could'st thou words of fuch a compass find?
Well mightest thou fcorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; While the town-bayes writes all the while and spells, And like a pack-horfe tires without his bells: Their fancies like our bushy points appear, The poets tag them, we for fashion wear. I too tranfported by the mode offend, And while I meant to praise thee must commend.* Thy verfe created like thy theme sublime, In number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.
See note in Life, p. cvii.
HE measure is English Heroic Verfe, without Rime, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rime being no neceffary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verfe, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter; grac't indeed fince by the ufe of some famous modern Poets, carried away by Cuftom, but much to thir own vexation, hindrance, and constraint, to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse then else they would have exprefst them. Not without cause, therefore, fome both Italian and Spanish Poets of prime note, have rejected Rime both in longer and shorter Works, as have alfo, long fince, our best English Tragedies, as a thing of itself, to all judicious eares, triveal and of no true mufical delight; which confifts only in apt Numbers, fit quantity of Syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling found of like endings, a fault avoyded by the learned Ancients both in Poetry and all good Oratory. This neglect then of Rime, fo little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be esteem'd an example fet, the first in English, of ancient liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem from the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing."