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185

To future men, and in their dwellings peace:
Glory to him, whose just avenging ire
Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight
And th' habitations of the just; to him
Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordain’d
Good out of evil to create, instead
Of Spi'rits malign a better race to bring
Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse
His good to worlds and ages infinite.
So
sang

the Hierarchies : Mean wbile the Son

190

3

sistit ;

immediately following, and Ille, velut pelagi rupes immota, reagrees better with the words of

Ut pelagi rupesSt. Luke, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good But Milton seldom repeats the till towards men.

words without the additional 186. -to him

beauty of turning them too, as Glory and praise,]

in this place; and in this book It may be worth remarking how before, he turns the words, ver. 184. -though fall’n on evil days, Glory to him, &c. and here, to On evil days though fall'n and evil

tongues ; kim glory and praise One would wonder how it could ever have and I know not whether the been objected to Milton that English verse has not in this there were

no turns of the respect the advantage of the words in him, when there are Greek and Latin. more beautiful repetitions and

192. Mean while the Son, turns of the words in him than &c.] The Messiah, by whom, in almost any poet.

A bare as we are told in Scripture, the repetition of the words often worlds were made, comes forth. gives great force and beauty io in the power of his Father, surthe sentence, as in Iliad. xx. 371. rounded with an host of angels,

and clothed with such a majesty Του δ' εγω αντιος ειμι, και augue as becomes bis entering upon a

tugas 101x8V, Es tupi zsipas souzs, kerros do artwo work, which according to our Fiongou.

conceptions appears the utmost and Iliad. xii. 127.

exertion of Omnipotence. What

a beautiful description has our Τα οαριζεμεναι, ατε παρθενος ηλθεος τι, author raised upon that hint in Παρθενος πίθεος, τ', οαριζετον αλλη.

one of the prophets! And behold

there came four chariots out from and Virg. Æn. vii. 586.

between iwo mountains, and the VOL. II.

с

λοισιν.

195

On his great expedition now appear’d,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd
Of majesty divine; sapience and love
Immense, and all his Father in him shone.
About his chariot numberless were pour'd
Cherub and Seraph, potentates and thrones,
And virtues, winged Spi'rits, and chariots wing'd
From th' armoury of God, where stand of old
Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg’d
Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand,
Celestial equipage ; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them Spirit liv’d,
Attendant on their Lord : heav'n open’d wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound

200

205

were

mountains mountains of -and saw what numbers numbruss. (Zech. vi. 1.) I have be

berless fore taken notice of these cha

The city gates out pour'd. riots of God, and of the gates And so in Virg. Æn. i. 214. of heaven; and shall here only Fusi per herbam, and vii. 812. add, that Homer gives us the agris effusa juventus, and fresame idea of the latter, as open- quently elsewhere. But the ing of themselves; though he word poured has still more proafterwards takes off from it by priety here, as it shews the reatelling us, that the hours first of diness and forwardness of the all removed those prodigiousangels to attend the Messiah's heaps of clouds which lay as a expedition : they were so earbarrier before them. Addison. nest as not to stay to form them197. About his chariot num

selves into regular order, but berless were pour'd

were poured numberless about his Cherub and Seraph,]

chariot. Pearce. Dr. Bentley calls cherub pour'd

206. Her ever-during gates,] an awkward expression: but yet So in Par. Reg. i. 281. we read in ii. 997.

Heaven opened her eternal doors.

As in Psal. xxiv. 7, 9. everlasting -Heav'n gates

doors. Dunster. Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands.

206. -harmonious sound

On golden hinges moving,] Par. Reg. iii. 310.

Gates moving sound on hinges.

On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory in his pow'rful Word
And Spirit coming to create new worlds.
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore 210
They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turn’d by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault

rum

coruscus.

creare

So iii. 37. Thoughts move har- Prima videbatur moliri exordia remonious numbers. Horace ex

Ipse micans radiis, ac inullâ luce presses it in the same manner, Ep. ii. ii. 86.

And that he had this in his eye Verba lyræ motura sonum conne- is I think the more probable, ctere digner ?

because his account of the creThe infernal doors had no such ation of light and its being afharmony; they grated harsh terwards transplanted into the thunder that shook Erebus, ii. sun's orb, which was not yet 881. Richardson.

created, carries a strong allusion 210. On heav'nly ground they to the succeeding lines, stood, &c.] I do not know any

Jamque videbatur fulvå de nube thing in the whole poem more sublime than the description Stelligeri convexa poli, terrasque, which follows, where the Mes- fretumque, siah is represented at the head

Et lucem simul undivagam, mox

unde micantes of his angels, as looking down

Et solis radios, et cæli accenderet into the chaos, calming its con

ignes. fusion, riding into the midst of

Thyer. it, and drawing the first outline of the creation. Addison.

214. And surging waves,] We 211. They view'd &c.] Mil- have already given some inton's description of God the Son stances where we thought that and his attendant angels view. and and in have been misprinted ing the vast unmeasurable abyss, the one for the other: and I &c. has a great resemblance to question whether in this place the following passage in Vida.

we should not read In surging Christ. lib. i.

naves as mountains ; for it seems

better to say of the sea, Up from Hic superum sator informem specu.

the bottom turned in surging latus acervum, Eternam noctemque, indigestumque waves, than Up from the boitom profundum,

turned by surging waves.

Heav'n's highth, and with the centre mix the pole. 215

Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, peace,

214. Spenser has the word surg- giving the greater force and ing. Faery Queen, b. ii. c. xii. 21. emphasis to both! And how

nobly has he concluded the Sudden they see, from midst of all verse with a sponclee or foot of the main,

two long syllables, which is not The surging waters like a mountain

a common measure in this place, rise.

but when it is used, it necessa

rily occasions a slower pronunAnd our author in Par. Reg. iv.

ciation, and thereby fixes more 18. Dunster.

the attention of the reader! It 215. -and with the centre

is a beauty of the same kind as mix the pole.] It is certain that the spondee in the fifth place in in chaos was neither centre nor

Greek or Latin verses, of which pole ; so neither were there any there are some memorable exmountains as in the preceding amples in Virgil, as when he line; the angel does not say speaks of low valleys, Georg. iii. there were: he tells Adam there

276. was such confusion in chaos, as if on earth the sea in moun

Saxa per et scopulos et depressas

convalles : tainous waves should rise from

or when he would describe the its very bottom to assault heaven, and mix the centre of the majesty of the gods, Ecl. iv. 49. globe with the extremities of it. Cara Deùm soboles, magnum Jovis

incrementum : The aptest illustration he could possibly have thought of to

Æn. viii. 679. have given

Adam some idea of -Penatibus, et inagnis Diis : the thing. Richardson.

or great caution and circum216. Silence, ye troubled waves, spection, Æn. ii. 68. and thou deep, peace,] How

Constitit, atque oculis Phrygia ag. much does the brevity of the mina circuinspexit : command add to the sublimity and majesty of it! It is the same

or a great interval between two

. kind of beauty that Longinus men running, Æn. v. 320. admires in the Mosaic history of

Proximus huic, longo sed proximus the creation. It is of the same

intervallo. strain with the same omnific. The learned and ingenious Mr. Word's calming the tempest in Upton, in his Critical Observathe Gospel, when he said to the tions, hath given us a parallel raging sea, Peace, be still, Mark instance out of Shakespeare, and iv. 39. And how elegantly has says that no poet did ever equal he turned the commanding words this beauty but Shakespeare. In silence and peace, making one Macbeth, act Il. the first and the other the last What hath quench'd them hath in the sentence, and thereby giv'n me fire. Hark, peace.

220

Said then th' omnific Word, your discord end :
Nor stay’d, but on the wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn ;
For Chaos heard his voice: him all his train
Follow'd in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might,
Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepar’d

225

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harong.

224. -the fervid wheels,] Minerva's Ægis or buckler in Horace's epithet, Od. i. i. 4. the fifth book, with her spear

which would overturn whole Metaque fervidis evitata rotis.

Hume. squadrons, and her helmet that

was sufficient to cover an army 225. He took the golden compasses,] Prov. viii. 27. When he drawn out of a hundred cities. prepared the heavens I was there; above-mentioned passage appear

The golden compasses in the when he set a compass upon

the face of the deep. Dionys. Perieg. hand of him, whom Plato some

a very natural instrument in the ad finem.

where calls the divine geomeΑυτοι γαρ τα τρωτα θεμειλια τορνα- trician. As poetry delights in Και βαθυν οιμος εδειξαν αμετρητοιο θα

clothing abstracted ideas in alle

gories and sensible images, we They round the chaos, round the find a magnificent description world unborn

of the creation formed after the First deign'd their golden compasses same manner in one of the proto turn;

phets, wherein he describes the They thro' the deep chalk'd out our

almighty Architect as measurample road, And broke the lawless empire of the ing the waters in the hollow of flood.

his hand, meting out the heaKennet's Life of Dionysius. vens with his span, compre

Richardson. bending the dust of the earth in The thought of the golden com- a measure, weighing the mounpasses is conceived altogether in tains in scales, and the hills in a Homer's spirit, and is a very balance. Another of them denoble incident in this wonderful scribing the Supreme Being in description. Homer, when he this great work of creation respeaks of the gods, ascribes to presents him as laying the founthem several arms and instru- dations of the earth, and stretchments with the same greatnessing a line upon it: and in anof imagination. Let the reader other place as garnishing the only peruse the description of heavens, stretching out the north

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