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Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright
Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that form’d them on their shape hath pour’d.
Ah gentle pair, ye little think how nigh 366
Your change approaches, when all these delights
Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,
More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;
Happy, but for so happy ill secur’d

370

Long

is usually made upon the verb, to and from hence our author seems mark the action more strongly to to have borrow'd his metaphor of the reader.

the scales of Heaven, weighing

night and day, the one ascending 352. Or bedward ruminating :] as the other únks. Chewing the cud before they go to relt. Hume.

357. Scarce thus at length faild

speech recover'd fad.] Tho' 354. To tb ocean iles,] The ilands Satan came in queft of Adam and in the western ocean ; for that the Eve. yet he is ftruck with such fun set in the sea, and rose out of astonishment at the sight of them, it again, was an ancient poetic no- that it is a long time before he tion, and is become part of the can recover his speech, and break phraseology of poetry. And in forth into this soliloquy : and at tb' afcending scale of Heav'n, The the same time this dumb admirabalance of Heaven or Libra is one tion of Satan gives the poet the of the twelve figns, and when the better opportunity of inlarging his fun is in that sign, as he is at the description of them. This is very autumnal equinox, the days and beautiful. nights are equal, as if weigh'd in 2 balance :

362. Little inferior;] For this

there is the authority of Scripture, Libra diei fomnique pares ubi fe. Thou haft made him a littler lower cerit horas :

than the Angels, Psal. VIII. 5. Heb. Virg. Gcorg. I. 208. II. 7. Dd4

389. Pet

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Long to continue, and this high seat your Heaven
Ill fenc'd for Heav'n to keep out such a foe
As now is enter'd; yet no purpos’d foe
To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn,
Though I unpitied: League with you I seek, 375
And mutual amity so strait, so close,
That I with you must dwell, or you with me
Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please,
Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet fuch
Accept your Maker's work; he gave it me, : 380
Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfold,
To entertain you two, her widest gates,
And send forth all her kings; there will be room,
Not like these narrow limits, to receive
Your numerous ofspring; if no better place, 385
Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge
On you who wrong me not for him who wrong'd.

And 389. —- yet public reason just, &c.] 395. Then from his lofty stand on Public reason compels me, and that that high tree &c.] The tree public reason is honor and empire of life, higher than the reft, where inlarg'd with revenge, by con- he had been perching all this while quering this new world. And thus from ver. 196. And then for the Satan is made to plead public reason transformations which follow, what jufi, and nicelsity to excuse his de- changes in Ovid's Metamorphofis vilish der 's ; the tyrant's plea, as the are so natural, and yet so surprifing poet calls it, probably with a view as these? He is well likend to to his own times, and particularly the fiercest beasts, the lion and the to the plea for ship-money. tiger, and Adam and Eve in their

And should I at your harmlefs innocence. . .
Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
Honor and empire with revenge inlarg’d, 390
By conqu’ring this new world, compels me now
To do what else though damn’d I should abhor. .

So spake the Fiend, and with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree 395
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and unespy’d
To mark what of their state he more might learn 400
By word or action mark'd: about them round
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spy'd
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,

Strait native innocence to two gentle did not do it for want of attention. fawns.

and that it was not merely the ef.

fect of his blindness. See instances 400. To mark what of their fate of it in my note on III. 147. and be more might learn

we have another following here, By word or action markd:) Tho'ver. 405. the poet uses mark and mark'd too, yet such repetitions of the same Strait couches close, then rising word are common with him; so

him; 10 changes oft common that we may suppose he His couchant watch. Pearce.

410. Turn'd

Strait couches close, then rising changes oft 405
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seise them both
Grip'd in cach paw: when Adam first of men
To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
Turn’d him all ear to hear new utterance flow. 410

Sole partner, and sole part, of all these joys,
Dearer thyself than all; needs must the Power
That made us, and for us this ample world,
Be infinitely good, and of his good
As liberal and free as infinite;

415
That rais'd us from the dust and plac'd us here
In all this happiness, who at his hand
Have nothing merited, nor can perform

Ought 410. Turn'd him all ear &c.] A Sole partner, and fole part, of all pretty expression borrow'd from the these joys, Latin,

So the passage ought to be read Totum te cupias, Fabulle, nasum. (I think) with a comma after part;

Bentley. and of here signifies among. The So in the Malk, I was all ear. sense is, among all these joys Thou

Richardson. alone art my partner, and (what is 411. Sple partner, &c. 1 The more) Thou alone art part of me, Ipeeches of these two first lovers as in ver. 487. how equally from passion and sin- Part of my soul I seek thee, and cerity. The professions they make to one another are full of warmth, My other half. but at the same time founded upon truth. In a word they are the gal. Of in Milton frequently fignifies Jantries of Paradise. Addison. among. The want of observing

420

Ought whereof he hath need, he who requires
From us no other service than to keep
This one, this easy charge, of all the trees
In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
So various, not to taste that only tree
Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life;
So near grows death to life, whate'er death is, 425
Some dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou know'st
God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that trec,
The only sign of our obedience left
Among so many signs of pow'r and rule
Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given - 430
Over all other creatures that possess
Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard

430

One

this made Dr. Bentley read beft thou eates thereof, thou shalt surely part for fole part, thinking that sole die. And in like manner when part is a contradiction, and so it is Adam says afterwards as he understands of here, to be

dominion given the mark of the genitive case go Over all other creatures that pollefs yern'd of part. Pearce.

Earth, air, and fea, 421. This one, this easy charge, &c.] It was very natural for Adam it is taken from the divine commil. to discourse of this, and this was fion, Gen. I. 28. Have dominion what Satan wanted more particu- over the fish of the sea, and over the larly to learn; and it is express d fowl of the air, and over every live from God's command, Gen. II. ing thing that moveth upon the earth. 16, 17. Of every tree of the garden These things are so evident, that it thou mayef freely eat; but of the tree is almost superfluous to mention of knowledge of good and evil, thou them. If we take notice of them, balt not cat of it, for in the day that it is that every reader may be sen

sible

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