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down from the immense height. The Saviour's The Poem is also chargeable with a defect of answer confounds him. Despairing of reaping the sentiment, or deviation from a capital doctrine of fruit of his infernal labours, and overwhelmed inspiration. with confusion, he finally leaves the Redeemer, and a bright troop of angels descends and ministers Amicus Miltonus, sed magis amica veritas. to him.

Poetical license does not extend to the violation of Having noticed so particularly the beauties of divine truth. The proper Divinity of the Eternal this admirable Poem, we proceed impartially to Son, so unequivocally revealed in the Holy Scrip. point out its defects. They are glaring and un- tures, is kept entirely out of sight. Thus the Poet pardonable in a Christian Poet, whose fable or has injured himself no less than in excluding the plot is necessarily borrowed from divine revelation, scene of the crucifixion from the action of his which will not bear elision or distortion, much Poem. He has torn the sun from the firmament; less contradiction. They are of two kinds :-a de

and, as when that luminary retires from the world fect of action, and of sentiment. If the Author

every object loses its colour and beauty, su the had entitled his performance “ The Temptation absence of this stupendous doctrine casts a gloom of Christ,” the action of the Poem as it stands at

over his work, and occasions incongruities which present would have been complete. But as he pro- would disgrace an author far below the rank of poses to sing

Milton. He has thus deprived himself of a prin

ciple equal in energy to the famous one so well Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,

known to the ancients, and hinted at in the fol

lowing precept of Horace. we have a right to expect a celebration of all those acts of almighty love and power by which the Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus work was accomplished. That Paradise was re

Inciderit. gained, and human redemption effected, by the single act of our Saviour's temptation in the wil

But we hasten through this part of our subject.derness, is in open contradiction to the Sacred We have no pleasure in exposing the defects of Scriptures. They plainly declare that he saved us this Samson among poets; it is like uncovering by his obedience unto death: that his temptation the nakedness of a father. was initiatory to his glorious Priesthood, and but a portion of the hardness which it became him to

To conclude our observations, there is no opendure, who, as the Captain of our salvation, was portunity here for the introduction of the splendid perfected through sufferings. It was indeed the machinery which dazzles and delights us in Parafirst of a grand series of victories over our spiritual

dise Lost. There the Poet had enemies, but

Ample room and verge enough.
He triumph'd when he fell!

He was relating events which could not possibly,

in some cases, fall within the limits of human obWhat a theme woull the life, the discourses, the

servation.-He could launch out into infinite space, miracles of Jesus have afforded for such a pen as Milton's! But the closing scene, the tragedy of gencies, whose nature, whose habits and powers are

visit unknown regions, and converse with intelliCalvary, might furr ish the inatter of an angel's

so interesting, that the bare mention of their name song. The imagination of men ever since they

opens the ear of curiosity, and prepares it for a were placed on the earth have made wide excur

feast of delight. The reverence and sympathy of sions in search of objects which should fully em

man for those elder parts of the creation are ploy and satisfy thưir exquisite powers:—they

powerfully excited by obscure hints and notices of have created delightful fictions, and because the

their operations in the Holy Scriptures. He is plain and usual event of human life are too com- led to consider them as his guardians, his monimon and uninteresting, they have brought the

tors, and his future companions in the world of gods themselves from heaven to enliven the scene, bliss. Paradise Lost had anticipated what of and painted in glowing colours the benevolent this nature would have given lustre and interest manners and wonderful exploits of their conde- to this performance, but whatever could embellish scending and social divinities. But, О what a field it as far as it goes, has been employed. The disis here! The imagination may rove in these reali- play of the Poet's geographical and mythological ties, and lose itself in wonders. The sober judg learning is truly surprising. Indeed, when we ment has no vagaries to reprove or condemn, for consider the difficulties he had to encounter here excess is impossible. All that the mind of in supplying so dignified a Hero as the Son of the man could conceive is beggared and shamed by Most High God with proper sentiments, and in the reality. A more extended action, therefore, giving variety to a long Poem, consisting almost was necessary for doing justice to the subject, and wholly of dialogue, we cannot hesitate to pro. affording full scope for the unrivalled powers of the 'nounce it one of the most noble productions of the Poet.

human inind.



I WHO erewhile the happy garden sung,

At least if so we can, and by the head

60 By one man's disobedience lost, now sing

Broken be not intended all our power Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,

To be infring'd, our freedom and our being, By one man's firm obedience fully


In this fair empire won of earth and air; Through all temptation, and the Tempter foil'd 5 For this ill news I bring, the woman's Seed In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,

Destin'd to this, is late of woman born:

65 And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.

His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,

But his growth now to youth's full flower, disThou Spirit who least this glorious eremite

playing Into the desert, his victorious field,

All virtue, grace, and wisdom, to achieve Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear. By proof th' undoubted Son of God, inspire, 11 Before him a great prophet, to proclaim 70 As thou art wont my prompted song, else mute, His coming, is sent harbinger, who all And bear through height or depth of Nature's Invites, and in ihe consecrated stream bounds

Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them so With prosp'rous wing full summ'd, to tell of deeds Purified to receive him pure, or rather Above heroic, though in secret done,

15 To do him honour as their king: all come, 75 And unrecorded left through many an age,

And he himself among them was baptiz'd; Worthy t' have not remain'd so long unsung. Not thence to be more pure, but to receive

The testimony of heaven, that whom he is Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice Thenceforth the nations may not doubt. I saw More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried The prophet do him reverence, on him rising SO Repentance and heaven's kingdom nigh at hand 20 Out of the water, heaven above the clouds To all baptiz'd: to his great baptism flock'd

Unfold her crystal doors, thence on his head With awe the regions round, and with them came A perfect dove descend, whate'er it meant, From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd

And out of heaven the Sov'reign voice I heard, To the flood Jordan, came as then obscure,

This is my Son, belov'd, in him am pleas'd. 85 Unmark'd, unknown; but him the Baptist soon 25 His mother then is mortal, but his sire Descried, divinely warn'd, and witness bore He who obtains the monarchy of heaven, As to his worthier, and would have resign'd

And what will he not do t' advance his Son ? To him his heavenly office; nor was long

His first-begot we know, and sore have felt, His witness unconfirm'd: on him baptiz'd

When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep; 90 Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove 30

Who this is we must learn, for man he seems The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice

In all his lineaments, though in his face From heaven pronounc'd him his beloved Son. The glimpses of his father's glory shine. That heard the adversary, who roving still

Ye see our danger on the utmost edge About the world, at that assembly fam'd

Of hazard, which admits no long debate, 95 Would not be last, and with the voice divine 35

But must with something sudden be opposid, Nigh thunder-struck, th' exalted Man, to whom Not force, but well couch'd fraud, well woven Such high attest was given, awhile survey'd

snares, With wonder; then with envy fraught and rage Ere in the head of nations he appear Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid-air

Their king, their leader, and supreme on earth. To council summons all his mighty peers,

40 1, when no other durst, sole

undertook 100 Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involvid, The dismal expedition to find out A gloomy consistory; and them amidst

And ruin Adam, and th' exploit perform'd With looks aghast and sad he thus bespake: Successfully; a calmer voyage now

Will waft me: and the way found prosp'rous once O ancient powers of air and this wide world, Induces best to hope of like success."

105 For much more willingly I mention air, 45 This our old conquest, than remember hell,

He ended, and his words impression left Our hated habitation; well ye know

Of much amazement to the infernal crew, How many ages, as the years of men,

Distracted and surpris'd with deep dismay This universe we have possess'd, and rul'd

At these sad tidings; but no time was then
In manner at our will th' affairs of earth, 50 For long indulgence to their fears or grief: 110
Since Adam and his facile consort Eve

Unanimous they all commit the care
Lost Paradise, deceiv'd by me, though since And management of this main enterprise
With dread attending when that fatal wound To him their great dictator, whose attempt
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve

At first against mankind so well had thriv'd
Upon my head : long the decrees of heaven 55 In Adam's overthrow, and led their march 115
Delay, for longest time to him is short:

From hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light, And now too soon for us the circling hours

Regents and potentates, and kings, yea gods This dreaded time have compass'd wherein we Of many a pleasant realm and province wide. Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound So to the coast of Jordan he directs

His easy steps, girded with snaky wiles, 120 All righteous things: therefore above my years,
Where he might likeliest find this new declar'd, The law of God I read, and found it sweet,
This Man of men, attested Son of God,

Made it my whole delight, and in it grew
Temptation and all guile on him to try;

To such perfection, that ere yet my age So to subvert whom he suspected rais'd

Had measur'd twice six years, at our great feast 210 To end his reign on earth, so long enjoy'd ; 125

I went into the temple, there to hear But contrary, unweeting he fulfill'd

The teachers of our law, and to propose The purpos'd counsel pre-ordain'd and fix'd

What might improve my knowledge or their own; Of the Most High, who in full frequence bright And was admir'd by all : yet this not all Of angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake:

To which my spirit aspird : victorious deeds 215

Flam'd in my heart, heroic acts, one while “ Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold, To rescue Israel from the Roman yoke, Thou and all angels conversant on earth 131 Then to subdue and quell o'er all the earth With man or men's affairs, how I begin

Brute violence and proud tyrannic power, lo verify that solemn message late,

Till truth were freed, and equity restor'd: 220 On which I sent thee to the Virgin pure

Yet held it more humane, more heavenly, first, In Galilee, that she should bear a Son

135 By winning words, to conquer willing hearts, Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God; [be And make Persuasion do the work of Fear; Then told'st her doubting how these things could At least to try, and teach the erring soul To her a virgin, that on her should come

Not wilfully mis-doing but unware

225 The Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest Misled; the stubborn only to subdue. O'er-shadow her; this Man born, and now up- These growing thoughts my mother soon perceivgrown


ing, To show him worthy of his birth divine

By wor. is at times cast forth, inly rejoic'd, And high prediction, henceforth I expose

And said to me apart,– High are thy thoughts, To Satan ; let him tempt and now assay

O Son, but nourish them, and let them scar

230 His utmost subtilty, because he boasts

To what height sacred virtue and true worth And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng 145 Can raise them, th ugh above example high ; Of his apostasy; he might have learnt

By matchless deeds express thy matchless Sire. Less overweening since he fail'd in Job,

For know, thou art no son of mortal man; Whose constant perseverance overcame

Though men esteem thee low of parentage, 235 Whate'er his cruel malice could invent.

Thy Father is th' eternal King who rules He now shall know I can produce a Man

150 All'heaven and earth, angels and sons of men; Of female seed, far abler to resist

A messenger from God foretold thy birth All his solicitations, and at length

Conceiv'd in me a virgin; he foretold All his vast force, and drive him back to hell, Thou shouldst be great, and sit

on David's throne, Winning by conquest what the first man lost, And of thy kingdom there should be no end. 211 By fallacy surpris'd. But first I mean

155 At thy nativity a glorious choir To exercise him in the wilderness;

Of angels in the fields of Bethlehem sung There shall he first lay down the rudiments To shepherds watching at their folds by night, Of his great warfare, ere I send him forth

And told them the Messiah now was born, 245 To conquer Sin and Death, the two grand foes, Where they might see him, and to thee they came, By humiliation and strong sufferance; 160 Directed to the manger where thou lay'st, His weakness shall o'ercome Satanic strength, For in the inn was left no better room; And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh;

A star, not seen before, in heaven appearing, That all the angels and ethereal powers,

Guided the wise men thither from the east,

20 They now, and men hereafter, may discern

To honour thee with incense, myrrh, and gold, From what consummate virtue I have chose 165

By whose bright course led on they found the place, This perfect Man, by merit call'd my Son,

Affirming it ihy star new graven in heaven, To earn salvation for the sons of men."

By which they knew the King of Israel born.

Just Simeon and prophetic Anna warn'd 255 So spake th' eternal Father, and all heaven By vision, found thee in the temple, and spake, Admiring stood a space, then into hymns

Before the altar and the vested priest, Burst forth, and in celestial measures mov'd 170

Like things of thee to all that present stood.Circling the throne and singing, while the hand This having heard, straight I again revolv'd Sung with the voice, and this the argument: The law and prophets, searching what was writ

Concerning the Messiah, to our scribes

261 “ Vict'ry and triumph to the Son of God

Known partly, and soon found of whom they spake Now ent'ring his great duel, not of arms,

I am; this chiefly, that my way must lie But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles. 175 Through many a hard assay, e'en to the death, The Father knows the Son; therefore secure Ere I the promis'd kingdom can attain, 263 Ventures his filial virtue, though untried,

Or work redemption for mankind, whose sins Against whate'er may tempt, whate'er seduce, Full weight must be transferr'd upon my head. Allure, or terrify, or undermine.

Yet neither thus dishearten'd or dismay'd, Be frustrate all ye stratagems of hell,

180 The time prefix'd I waited, when behold And devilish machinations come to nought.” The Baptist (of whose birth I oft have heard, 270

Not knew by sight) now come, who was to come So they in heaven their odes and vigils tun'd: Before Messiah, and his way prepare. Meanwhile the Son of God, who yet some days I as all others to his baptism came, Lodg'd in Bethabara, where John baptiz'd,

Which I believ'd was from above: but he Musing and much revolving in his breast, 185 Straight knew me, and with loudest voice proHow best the mighty work he might begin


275 Of Saviour to mankind, and which way first Me him, (for it was shown him so from hearen,) Publish his godlike office now mature,

Me him, whose harbinger he was; and first
One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading, Refus'd on me his baptism to confer,
And his deep thoughts, the better to converse 190 As much his greater, and was hardly won:
With Solitude, till far from track of men,

But as I rose out of the laving stream,

280 Thought following thought, and step by step led on, Heaven open'd her eternal doors, from whence He enter'd now the bordering desert wild,

The Spirit descended on me like a dove, And with dark shades and rocks environ á round, And last, the sum of all, my Father's voice, His holy meditations thus pursu'd :

195 Audibly heard from heaven, pronounc'd me his,

Me his beloved Son, in whom alone “O what a multitude of thoughts at once

He was well pleas'd; by which I knew the time Awaken'd in me swarm, while I consider

Now full, that I no more should live obscure, What from within I feel myself, and hear

But openly begin, as best becomes What from without comes often to my ears, | Th' authority which I deriv'd from heaven. Il sorting with my present state compard ! 200 And now by some strong motion I am led 290 When I was yet a child, no childish play

Into this wilderness; to what intent To me was pleasing: all my mind was set

I learn not yet, perhaps I need not know; Serious to learn and know, and thence to do For what concerns my knowledge God reveals." What might be public good: myself I thought Born to that end, born to promote all truth, 205 So spake our Morning Star, then in his rise,

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And, looking round on every side, beheld 295 Much lustre of my native brightness, lost
A pathless desert dusk with horrid shades :

To be belov'd of God, I have not lost
The way he came not having mark'd, return To love, at least contemplate and admire 350
Was difficult, by hurnan steps untrod;

What I see excellent in good, or fair, And he still on was led, but with such thoughts Or virtuous; I should have so lost all sense. Accompanied of things past and to come 300 What can be then less in me than desire Lodg'd in his breast, as well might recommend To see thee and approach thee, whom I know Such solitude before choicest society.

Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent 385 Full forty days he pass'd, whether on hill

Thy wisdom, and behold thy godlike deeds? Sometimes, anon in shady vale, each night

Men generally think me much a foe Under the covert of some ancient oak,

305 To all mankind : why should I ? they to me Or cedar to defend him from the dew,

Never did wrong or violence: by them Or harbour'd in lone cave, is not reveal'd;

I lost not what I lost; rather by them

390 Nor tasted human food, nor hunger felt

I gaind what I have gain'd, and with them dwell Till those days ended, hunger'd then at last 309 Copartner in these regions of the world, Among wild beasts; they at his sight grew mild, If not disposer; lend them oft my aidl, Nor sleeping him nor waking harm'd; his walk Oft my advice, by presages and signs, The fiery serpent fled, and noxious worm;

And answers, oracles, portents, and dreams, 395 The lion and fierce tiger glar'd aloof.

Whereby they may direct their future life. But now an aged man, in rural weeds, 314 Envy they say excites me, thus to gain Following, as seem'd, the quest of some stray ewe, Companions of my misery and wo, Or wither'd sticks to gather, which might serve At first it may be, but long since with wo Against a winter's day, when winds blow keen, Nearer acquainted, now I feel, by proof, 400 To warm him, wet return'd from field at eve, That fellowship in pain divides not smart, He saw approach, who first with curious eye 319 Nor lightens ought each man's peculiar load. Perus'd him, then with words thus utter'd spake : Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd: (man,

This wounds me most, (what can it less?) that “Sir, what ill chance hath brought thee to this Man fallen shall be restor'd, I never more." 405 So far from path or road of men, who pass (place In troop or caravan? for single none

To whom our Saviour sternly thus replied: Durst ever, who return'd, and dropp'd not here “Deservedly thou griev'st, compos'd of lies His carcass, pind with hunger and with drouth. From the beginning, and in lies wilt end; I ask thee rather, and the more admire. 326 Who boasts release from hell, and leave to come For that to me thou seem'st the Man whom late Into the heaven of heavens: thou com'st indeed Our new baptizing Prophet at the ford

As a poor miserable captive thrall

411 Of Jordan honour'd and call'd thee Son

Comes to the place where he before had sat
Of God. I saw and heard; for we sometimes, 350 Among the prime in splendour, now depos'd,
Who dwell this wild, constrain'd by want come Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shunnid,
A spectacle of ruin or of scorn

415 To town or village nigh, (nighest is far,)

To all the host of heaven; the happy place
Where ought we hear, and curious are to hear, Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy,
What happens new: Fame also finds us out." Rather inflames thy torment, representing

Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable, To whom the Son of God: “ Who brought me So never more in hell than when in heaven. 420 hither,

335 But thou art serviceable to heaven's King. Will bring me hence; no other guide I seek." Wilt thou impute t' obedience what thy fear

Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ? “ By miracle he may," replied the swain; What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem " What other way I see not; for we here

Of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him 425 Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd With all inflictions ? but his patience won. More than the camel, and to drink go far, 340 The other service was thy chosen task, Men to much misery and hardship born;

To be a liar in four hundred mouths; But if thou be the Son of God, cominand

For lying is thy sustenance, thy food. That out of these hard stones be made thee bread, Yet thou pretend'st to truth; all oracles 130 So shalt thou save thyself, and us relieve

By thee are given, and what confess'd mor: true With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste." 345 Among the nations that hath been thy craft,

By mixing somewhat true to vent more lis. He ended, and the Son of God replied :

But what have been thy answers, what but dark, “ Think'st thou such force in bread? Is it not Ambiguous, and with double sepse delu ting, 435 written

Which they who ask'd have seldom understood, (For I discern thee other than thou seem'st) And not well understood as good not known? Man lives not by bread only, but each word

Whoever by consulting at thy shrine Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed 350 Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct Our fathers here with manna? In the mount To fly or follow what concern'd him most, 440 Moses was forty days, nor ate nor drank;

And run not sooner to his fatal snare? And forty days Elijah without food

For God hath justly given the nations up Wander'd this barren waste; the same I now: To thy delusions; justly, since they fell Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust, 355 Idolatrous: but when his purpose is Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art ?" Among them to declare hís providence 445

To thee not known, whence hast thou then thy Whom thus answer'd th' arch-fiend now un

truth disguis'd :

But from him, or his angels president 'Tis true I am that spirit unfortunate,

In every province? who themselves disdaining, Who, leagu'd with millions more, in rash revolt

T'approach thy temples, give thee in command Kept not my happy station, but was driven 360 What to the smallest tittle thou shalt say

450 With them from bliss to the bottomless deep; To thy adorers; thou, with trembling fear, Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd

Or, like a fawning parasite obeyet; By rigour unconniving, but that oft

Then to thyself ascrib'st the truth foretold. Leaving my dolorous prison I enjoy

But this thy glory shall be soon retrench'd; Large liberty to round this globe of earth, 365 No more shalt thou by oracle abuse

455 Or range in th' air ; nor from the heaven of heavens The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ceas'd, Hath he excluded my resort sometimes,

And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice I came among the Sons of God, when he

Shalt be inquir'd at Delphos or elsewhere; Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job

At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute. To prove him, and illustrate his high worth; 370 God hath now sent his Living Oracle

400 And when to all his angels he propos'd

Into the world to teach his final will, To draw the proud king Ahab into fraud,

And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwi'!
That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring, In pious hearts, an inward oracle
I undertook that office, and the tongues

To all truth requisite for men to know."
Of all his flattering prophets glibb'd with lies 375
To his destruction, as I had in charge;

So spake our Saviour; but the subtle fiend, 465 For what he bids I do; though I have lost

Though inly stung with anger and disdain,

“ Sharply thou hast insisted on rebuke,

Suffers the hypocrite or atheous priest And urg'd me hard with doings, which not will To tread his sacred courts, and minister But misery hath wrested from me: where 470 About his altar, handling holy things, Easily canst thou find one miserable,

Praying or vowing, and vouchsaf'd his voice 490 And not enforc'd oft-times to part from truth; To Balaam reprobate, a prophet yet If it may stand him more in stead to lie,

Inspir'd; disdain not such access to me." Say and unsay, feign, flatter, or abjure? But thou art plac'ä above me, thou art Lord; 475 To whom our Saviour with unalter'd brow: From thee I can and must submiss endure

Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope, Check or reproof, and glad to 'scape so quit.

I bid not or forbid; do as thou find'st

495 Hard are the ways of Truth, and rough to walk, Permission from above; thou canst not more." Smooth on the tongue discours'd, pleasing to th' And tunable as sylvan pipe or song;

[ear He added not; and Satan, bowing low What wonder then if I delight to hear 481 His gray dissimulation, disappear'd, Her dictates from thy mouth ? Most men admire Into thin air diffus'd: for now began Virtue, who follow not her lore: permit me Night with her sullen wings to double-shade 500 To hear thee when I come (since no man comes) The desert ; fowls in their clay nests were couch'd; And talk at least, though I despair t' attain. 485 And now wild beasts came forth the woods to Thy Father, who is holy, wise, and pure,



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