Page images

Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd
To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage
Deliberate valor breath'd, firm, and unmov'd
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; 555
Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage


With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain,
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought
Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd、·
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now
Advanc'd in view they stand, a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield, 565
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose: he through the armed files
Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views; their order due,
Their visages and stature as of Gods;
Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength
Glories; for never, since created man,

Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these

551 soft recorders] See Giles Fletcher, Eclg. 1.

[ocr errors]

And while the sad Recorder sweetly plains.'

567 armed files] read 'ranked.' See book vi. 840. Then down their idle weapons drop.'

How then could they have them here ?-Bentl. MS.




Could merit more than that small infantry
Warr❜d on by cranes; though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's son,
Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
And all who since, baptis'd or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,
When Charlemain with all his peerage fell
By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
Their dread commander: he, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tow'r; his form had yet not lost



575 small infantry] See Basilides Athenæi, ix. 43. Who calls the Pigmies μικροὺς ἄνδρας: οἱ μικροὶ, φησὶν, ἄνδρες οἱ ταῖς γεράνοις διαπολεμοῦντες. See also Juliani Anticens. Epigr. iii. εïç тiva pikρóv. ed. Brunck, vol. iii. p. 9.

Αἵματι Πυγμαίων ἡδομένη γέρανος.

and Ovid. Fast. vi. 176.

[ocr errors]

Nec, quæ Pygmæo sanguine gaudet, avem.' Consult Millin's Monum. Inedit. i. 171, and Boissonade to Philostrat. p. 529. Also Plin. Nat. Hist. vii. 'Pygmæi, quos a gruibus infestari Homerus quoque prodidit.' (Hom. Il. iii. v. 7.)

691 Stood like a tower] See Statii Theb. iii. 356.

Bello me, credite, bello,

Ceu turrim validam

See also Il Purgatorio of Dante, v. 14. 'Sta come torre ferma :'

All her original brightness, nor appear'd
Less than Arch-angel ruin'd, and th' excess
Of glory obscur'd: as when the sun new-ris'n
Looks through the horizontal misty air,
Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds


On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs: darken'd so, yet shone
Above them all th' Arch-angel: but his face 600
Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd, and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
Far other once beheld in bliss, condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain,


it is also used in the Orlando Innamorato. Mr. Dyce refers to Q. Smyrnæus, lib. iii. ver. 63.


594 as when the sun] See Dante, Il Purg. c. xxx. ver.

'E la faccia del Sol nascere ombrata,

Sì che, per temperanza di vapori
L'occhio lo sostenea lunga fiata.'

598 fear of change] See Theb. Statii, i. ver. 708. Mutent quæ Sceptra Cometa.' Val. Flacc. Arg. lib. vi. ver. 608. fatales ad regna injusta Cometa.' And Crashaw's Steps to the Temple, p. 59.

'Staring Comets, that look kingdoms dead.'

See his Tutor A. Gill's Poems, p. 5.

Οὐδεὶς κομήτης ὅστις ου κάκον φέρει.


Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd
Of heav'n, and from eternal splendors flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd: as when heaven's fire
Hath scath'd the forest oaks or mountain pines,
With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar❜d 615
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half inclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth; at last 620
Words interwove with sighs found out their way.
O myriads of immortal spirits, O Powers
Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife
Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change
Hateful to utter: but what power of mind,
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth

609 amerc'd] See Quarles' Divine Poems, p. 18. T'avoid the Ninevites do I amerce



610 Alung] See Beaumont's Psyche, c. xx. st. 144. 'And sigh'd and sobb'd to think whence he was flung.' 614 their stately growth] See Young's Night Thoughts, N. 5. As when some stately growth of oak or pine.'

[ocr errors]

620 Tears] Compare Xenoph. Anabas. 1. iii. 2. ‹ Evvýγαγεν ἐκκλησίαν τῶν ἀυτοῦ στρατιωτῶν, και πρῶτον μὲν ἐδάκρυε πολὺν χρόνον ἑστὼς, οἱ δε ὁρῶντες ἐθάυμαζον καὶ ἐσιώπων, εἶτα ἔλεξε τάδε.”

Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd,
How such united force of Gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse? 630
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied heav'n, shall fail to reascend
Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat?
me, be witness all the host of heav'n,
If counsels different or danger shunn'd




By me have lost our hopes: but he, who reigns
Monarch in heav'n, till then as one secure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Consent, or custom, and his regal state
Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd,
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our own,
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provok'd; our better part remains
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not; that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds, whereof so rife 650
There went a fame in heav'n, that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the sons of heaven :
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps

642 tempted] Sylvester's Du Bartas, p. 827.

'She dared, and did attempt to tempt me too.' Todd.


« PreviousContinue »