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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:
Terraeque, tractusque maris, cœlumque profundum,

Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque fpecus:
Quaeque colunt terras, pontumque, et Tartara caeca,
Quaeque 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 Chrifto erga homines conciliatus amor.
Haec qui fperaret quis crederet effe futura?

Et tamen haec hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quae protulit arma!
Quae canit, et quanta praelia dira tuba!
Cæleftes acies! atque in certamine cœlum!

Et quae cœleftes pugna deceret agros!


Quantus in aethereis tollit fe Lucifer armis!
Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaele minor!
Quantis, et quam funeftis concurritur iris,

Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit!
Dum vulfos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,
Et non mortali defuper igne pluunt:
Stat dubius cui fe parti concedat Olympus,
Et metuit pugnae non fupereffe fuae.
At fimul in cælis Meffiae infignia fulgent,

Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotae ftrident, et faeva rotarum
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flammae vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco
Admiftis flammis infonuere polo:
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, et impetus omnis,
Et caffis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad pœnas fugiunt, et ceu foret Orcus afylum,
Infernis certant condere fe tenebris.
Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graï,

Et quos fama recens vel celebravit anus.
Haec quicunque leget tantum ceciniffe putabit
Maconidem ranas, Virgilium culices.



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HEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
In flender book his vast design unfold,
Meffiah crown'd, God's reconcil'd decree,

Rebelling Angels, the forbidden tree,
Heav'n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument
Held me a while misdoubting his intent,

That he would ruin (for I saw him strong)

The facred truths to fable and old fong,

(So Sampfon grop'd the temple's posts in spight)
The world o'erwhelming to revenge
his fight.

Yet as I read, foon growing less severe,
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 easy he should render vain.

Or if a work fo infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that some less skilful 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 fcenes, and fhow it in a play.
Pardon me, mighty Poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy labors to pretend a share.

Thou haft not mifs'd one thought that could be fit,


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'ft of in such state
As them preferves, and thee, inviolate.
At once delight and horror on us seise,
Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease;
And above human flight dost foar aloft
With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
The bird nam'd from that Paradise you fing
So never flags, but always keeps on wing.

Where couldst thou words of fuch a compass find? Whence furnish such a vast expense of mind? Just Heav'n thee like Tirefias to requite Rewards with prophecy thy lofs of fight.

Well might'ft thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rime, 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 rime.




HE meafure is English heroic verfe without rime, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; rime being no necessary adjunct or true ornament of poem or good verfe, in longer works eSpecially, but the invention of a barbarous age, to fet off wretched matter and lame meter; grac'd indeed Since by the use of fome famous modern poets, carried away by cuftom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwife, and for the most part worse than elfe they would have exprefs'd them. Not without cause therefore fome both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note, have rejected rime both in longer and fhorter works, as have alfo long fince our beft 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 fenfe 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 of rime fo little is to be taken for a defect, though it may feem fo 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 riming.


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