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UI legis Amiffam Paradifum, grandia magni
Carmina Miltoni, quid nifi cuncta legis?
Res cunctas, & cunctarum prin dia rerum,
Et fata, & fines continet ift. liber.
Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,
Scribitur & toto quicquid in orbe latet:
Terræque, tractufque maris, coelumque profundum,
Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque fpecus:
Quæque colunt terras, pontumque, & Tartara cæca,
Quæque colunt fummi lucida regna poli :
Et quodcunque ullis conclufum eft finibus ufquam,
Et fine fine Chaos, & fine fine Deus:

Et fine fine magis, fi quid magis eft fine fine,
In Chrifto erga homines conciliatus amor.
Hæc qui fperaret quis crederet effe futura?
Et tamen hæc hodie terra Británna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quæ protulit arma!
Quæ canit, & quanta prælia dira tuba!
-Cœleftes acies! atque in certamine cœlum!

Et quæ cœleftes pugna deceret agros!
Quantus in æthereis tollit se Lucifer armis !
Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaële minor!
Quantis, &
quam funeftis concurritur iris,

Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit !

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Dum vulfos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,
Et non mortali defuper igne pluunt :
Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,
Et metuit pugnæ non fupereffe fuæ.
At fimul in cœlis Meffiæ infignia fulgent,
Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotæ ftrident, et fæva rotarum
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flammæ vibrant, & vera tonitrua rauco
Admiftis flammis infonuere polo :
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, & impetus omnis,
Et caffis dextris irrita tela cadunt;

Ad pœnas fugiunt, & ceu foret Orcus afylum,
Infernis certant condere fe tenebris.

Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graii,

Et quos

fama recens vel celebravit anus.

Hæc quicunque leget tantùm ceciniffe putabit
Mæonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.





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,

Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument
Held me a while mifdoubting 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 fpite)
The world o'erwhelming to revenge his fight.





Yet as I read, ftill growing less severe,
I lik'd his project, the success did fear;

Through that wide field how he his way fhould 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 scenes, and show 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 fhare.

Thou haft not miss'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'st of in such state
As them preferves, and thee, inviolate.
At once delight and horror on us feize,
Thou fing'st with so much gravity and ease;
And above human flight doft foar aloft
With plume so strong, 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 fuch a vaft expence of mind? Juft Heaven thee, like Tirefias, to requite Rewards with prophecy thy loss of fight.

Well might'ft thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure; While the town-bays 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, transported by the mode, offend, And while I meant to praise thee must commend. Thy verfe created like thy theme fublime, Number, weight, and meafure, needs not rhyme.



On his Poem entitled PARADISE LOST. Thou! the wonder of the prefent age,

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An age immerft in luxury and vice;

A race of triflers; who can relish naught
But the gay issue of an idle brain :

How couldst thou hope to please this tinfel race?
Though blind, yet with the penetrating eye
Of intellectual light thou dost survey

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."


F. C. 1680.



HE measure is English heroic verse without

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rhyme, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; rhyme being no neceffary adjunct or true ornament of poem or good verse, in longer works efpecially, but the invention of a barbarous age, to fet off wretched matter and lame meter; graced indeed fince by the ufe of fome famous modern poets, carried away by cuftom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to exprefs many things otherwise, and for the moft part worse than elfe they would have expreffed them. Not without cause therefore some both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rhyme both in longer and shorter works, as have also 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 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. B


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