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NOTES ON BOOK VII.

1 VERSE 1. Descend from Heaven. "Descende cœlo," Hor. Od. iii. 4. 1. He invokes the heavenly Muse as he had done before, b. i. 6: and as he had said in the beginning that he "intended to soar above the Aonian mount,” so now he says very truly that he had effected what he intended, and "soars above the Olympian hill, above the flight of Pegasean wing;" that is, his subject was more sublime than the loftiest flight of the heathen poets.NEWTON.

2 Ibid. Urania. The word Urania, in Greek, signifies “heavenly.”—Newton.

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Ver. 8. Before the hills appear'd. From Prov. viii. 24, 25, and 30, where the phrase of Wisdom always "rejoicing' before God, is "playing," according to the Vulgate Latin; "ludens coram eo omni tempore."-NEWTON.

4 Ver. 21. Half yet remains unsung. Half of the episode, not of the whole work, is here meant. The episode has two

principal parts, the war in heaven, and the new creation.— NEWTON.

5 Ver. 25. Though fallen on evil days. The repetition and turn of the words is very beautiful: a lively picture this, in a few lines, of the poet's wretched condition. Though he was blind, "in darkness; and with dangers compass'd round, and solitude," obnoxious to the government, and having a world of enemies among the royal party, and therefore obliged to live very much in privacy and alone, he was not become hoarse or mute. And what strength of mind was it, that could not only support him under the weight of these misfortunes; but enable him to soar to such heights, as no human genius ever reached before!-NEWTON.

6 Ver. 33. Of Bacchus and his revellers. It is not improbable that the poet intended this as an oblique satire upon the dissoluteness of Charles the Second and his court; from whom he seems to apprehend the fate of Orpheus, who, though he is said to have charmed woods and rocks with his divine songs, was torn to pieces by the Bacchanalian women of Rhodope, a mountain of Thrace; nor could the Muse Calliope, his mother, defend him: “ so fail not thou, who thee implores." Nor was his wish ineffectual; for the government suffered him to live and die unmolested.— NEWTON.

7 Ver. 98. And the great light of day. Mr. Thyer is of opinion that there is not a greater instance of our author's exquisite skill in the art of poetry than this and the following lines. There is nothing more really to be expressed than Adam's telling Raphael his desire to hear the continuance of his relation: and yet the poet, by a series of strong and noble figures, has worked it up into half a score of as fine lines as any in the poem. Lord Shaftesbury has

observed, that Milton's beauties generally depend upon solid thought, strong reasoning, noble passion, and a continued thread of moral doctrine; but in this place he has shown what an exalted fancy and mere force of poetry can do.-NEWTON.

Lord Shaftesbury had not a very accurate idea of Milton's genius; which, if it had all the qualities here ascribed to it, was not less rich and gigantic in imagination and invention.

8 Ver. 107.

End.

Bid his absence, till thy song

The sun did stand still at the voice of Joshua.-NEWTON. Milton's favourite Ovid touches upon the suspense of day :

-et euntem multa loquendo

Detinuit sermone diem.

9 Ver. 121. Thine own inventions. So in Psalm cvi. 29: "Thus they provoked him to anger with their own inventions."-PEARCE.

10 Ver. 122. The invisible King. As God is styled, 1 Tim. i. 17, "the invisible King," so this is the properest epithet that could have been employed here, when he is speaking of "things not revealed, suppressed in night, to none communicable in earth or heaven," neither to men nor angels; as it is said of the day of judgment, Matt. xxiv. 36: "Of that day and hour knoweth no man: no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."-NEWTON.

11 Ver. 130. Nourishment to wind. See St. Paul, 1 Cor. viii. 1: "Knowledge puffeth up.”—TODD.

12 Ver. 144. Whom their place. See Job, vii. 10: "Neither shall his place know him any more."-NEWTON.

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13 Ver. 165. My overshadowing Spirit. See Luke i. 35 : "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee."-NEWTON.

14 Ver. 210.

They view'd.

From the shore

Here is a most magnificent picture, breathing all the powers of poetry.

15 Ver. 216. Silence, ye troubled waves. How much does the brevity of the command add to the sublimity and majesty of it! It is the same kind of beauty that Longinus admires in the Mosaic history of the creation: it is of the same strain with the same "Omnific Word's" calming the tempest in the Gospel, when he said to the raging sea, "Peace, be still." Mark iv. 39. And how elegantly has he turned the commanding words, silence and peace, making one the first and the other the last in the sentence, and thereby giving the greater force and emphasis to both!-NEWTON.

16 Ver. 225. He took the golden compasses. See Prov. viii. 27: "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the deep."RICHARDSON.

17 Ver. 232. Thus God the heaven created. The reader will naturally remark how exactly Milton copies Moses in his account of the creation. This seventh book of Paradise Lost may be called a larger sort of paraphrase upon the first chapter of Genesis: Milton not only observes the same series and order, but preserves the very words as much as he can.-NEwton.

18 Ver. 243. Let there be light, said God. Gen. i. 3."And God said, Let there be light; and there was light." This is the passage that Longinus particularly admires; and

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