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u legis Amiffam Paradifum, grandia magni
Carmina Miltoni, quid nifi cuncta legis?
Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum,
Et fata, et fines continet ifte liber.
Intimna panduntur magni penetralia mundi,
Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet:
Terraeque, tractufque maris, coelumque profundum,
Sulphureumque Erebi, flaimivomumque 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, fa quid magis eft fine fine,
In Chrifto erga homines conciliatus amor.
Haec qui fperaret, quis crederet effe futura?
Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quæ protulit arna!
Quae canit, et quanta prælia dira tuba!
Coeleftes acies! atque in certamine cœlum!
Et quæ cœleftes pugna deceret agros!
Quantus in æthereis tollit fe Lucifer armis!
Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaële minor!
Quantis, et quam funeitis concurritur iris,
Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit?
A 2



Dum vullos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,

Et non mortali defuper igne pluunt:
Sta: dubius, cui fe parti concedat, Olympus,
Et metuit pugnæ non fupereffe fuae.
At fimul in coelis Meffiæ infignia fulgent,
Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotae ftrident, et faeva rotarum
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flammæ vibrant, et vera tonitrua rauco
Admiftis flammis infonuere polo:

Excidit attonitis mens omnis, et impetus omnis,
Et caffis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad poenas fugiunt, et ceu foret Orcus afylum,
Infernis certant condere fe tenebris.
Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graii,
Et quos fama recens vel celebravit anus.
Haec quicunque leget tantum ceciniffe putabit
Maeonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.




HEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
In flender book his vaft defign 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 faw him ftrong)
The facred truths to fable and old fong,
(So Samplon grop'd the temple's pofts in fpite)
The world o'erwhelming to revenge his fight.
Yet as I read, ftill growing less severe,
I lik'd his project, the fuccefs 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 eafy he should render vain.
Or if a work fo infinite he fpann'd,
Jealous I was that fome lefs fkilful hand
(Such as difquiet always, what is well,
And by ill imitating would excell)
Might hence prefume the whole creation's day
To change in scenes, and fhow it in a play,
Pardon me, mighty Poet; nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, furmife.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy labours to pretend a fhare.


Thou haft not mifs'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 majesty, which through thy work doth reign, Draws the devout, deterring the profane.

And things divine thou treat'ft of in fuch state,
As them preferves, and thee, inviolate.

At once delight and horror on us seize,
Thou fing'ft with fo much gravity and ease;
And above human flight doft 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 fuch a vaft expence of mind?
Juft Heaven thee, like Tirefias, to requite
Rewards with prophecy thy lofs of fight.

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Well might'ft thou fcorn thy readers to allure
With tinkling rhyme, of thy own fenfe fecure;
While the town-bays writes all the while and spells,
And like a pack-horfe tires without his bells:
Their fancies like our bufhy-points appear,
The poets tag them, we for fafhion wear.
I too, tranfported by the inode, offend,

And while I meant to praise thee, must commend.
Thy verfe created like thy theme fublime,
Number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.


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


An age immers'd in luxury and vice;
A race of triflers; who can relifh naught
But the gay iffue of an idle brain:

How couldst thou hope to please this timfel race?
Though blind, yet with the penetrating eye
Of intellectual light thou doft furvey

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.

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F. C. 1680.


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