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Has flow'd from lips wet with Castalian dews.
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike fage!
Sagacious reader of the works of God,
And in his word fagacious. Such too thine,
MILTON, whofe genius had angelick wings,
And fed on manna. And fuch thine, in whom
Our British Themis gloried with just cause,
Immortal Hale! for deep difcernment prais'd,
And found integrity, not more than fam'd
For fanctity of manners undefil'd.

AND THOU, with age opprefs'd, befet with wrongs,

And "fall'n on evil days and evil tongues, "In darkness and with dangers compafs'd "round,"

What stars of joy thy night of anguish crown'd?
What breath of vernal airs, or found of rill,
Or haunt by Siloa's brook, or Sion's hill,
Or light of Cherubim, the empyreal throne,
The effulgent car, and inexpreffive One?
Alas, not thine the foretaste of thy praise;
A dull oblivion wrapt thy mighty lays.
A while thy glory funk, in dread repose ;
Then, with fresh vigour, like a giant rose,

And ftrode fublime, and pafs'd, with generous

rage,

The feeble minions of a puny age.

From the Poetical Works of William
Prefton, Efq. Dublin, 1793.

SEE! where the BRITISH HOMER leads
The Epick choir of modern days;
Blind as the Grecian bard, he speeds

To realms unknown to Pagan lays :
He fings no mortal war :-his strains
Defcribe no hero's amorous pains;

He chaunts the birth-day of the world, The conflict of Angelick Powers, The joys of Eden's peaceful bowers, When fled the Infernal Hoft, to thundering Chaos

hurl'd,

Yet, as this deathlefs fong he breath'd,
He bath'd it with Affliction's tear;
And to Posterity bequeath'd

The cherish'd hope to Nature dear,
No grateful praise his labours cheer'd,
No beam beneficent appear'd

;—

To penetrate the chilling gloom ;Ah! what avails that Britain now

With fculptur'd laurel decks his brow,

And hangs the votive verfe on his unconscious

tomb!

From Poems and Plays by Mrs.
Weft, 1799.

MR. ADDISON'S CRITICISM

ON THE

PARADISE LOST,

Cedite, Romani fcriptores; cedite, Graii. Propert. El. 34, lib. 2. ver. 65,

THERE is nothing in nature more irksome than general difcourfes, especially when they turn chiefly upon words. For this reason I shall wave the difcuffion of that point which was started fome years fince, Whether Milton's Paradife Loft may be called an heroick poem ? Thofe, who will not give it that title, may call it (if they please) a divine poem. It will be fufficient to its perfection, if it has in it all the beauties of the highest kind of poetry; and as for those who allege it is not an heroick poem, they advance no more to the diminution of it, than if they should say Adam is not Æneas, or Eve Helen.

I fhall therefore examine it by the rules of epick poetry, and fee whether it falls short of the Iliad or Æneid, in the beauties which are effen

V

tial to that kind of writing. The first thing to be confidered in an epick poem, is the FABLE, which is perfect or imperfect, according as the action which it relates is more or lefs fo. This ACTION should have three qualifications in it. First, It should be but one action. Secondly, It fhould be an entire action. Thirdly, It should be a great action. To confider the action of the Iliad, Eneid, and Paradife Loft, in these three feveral lights. Homer, to preserve the unity of his action, haftens into the midst of things; as Horace has obferved. Had he gone up to Leda's egg, or begun much later even at the rape of Helen, or the investing of Troy; it is manifest, that the story of the poem would have been a series of feveral actions. He therefore opens his poem with the difcord of his princes, and artfully interweaves, in the several succeeding parts of it, an account of every thing material which relates to them, and had paffed before that fatal diffenfion. After the fame manner, Æneas makes his first appearance in the Tyrrhene feas, and within fight of Italy, because the action, propofed to be celebrated, was that of his fettling himself in Latium. But because it was necessary for the reader to know what had happened to him in the taking of Troy, and in the preceding parts of his voyage, Virgil makes his hero relate it, by way of episode, in the second and third

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