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Distinct alike with multitude of

eyes ;
One spirit in them ruled ; and every eye
Glared lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among the accursed, that wither'd all their strength,
And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen.
Yet half his strength he put not forth P, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley ; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven :
The overthrown he raised; and as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd
Drove them before him thunder-struck, pursued
With terrours and with furies 9 to the bounds
And crystal wall of heaven ; which, opening wide,
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclosed
Into the wasteful deep: the monstrous sight
Struck them with horrour backward, but far worse
Urged thein behind : headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of heaven : eternal wrath
Burn'd after them to the bottomless pit.

Hell heard the unsufferable noise ; hell saw
Heaven ruining from heaven, and would have fled
Affrighted; but strict fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound.
Nine days they fell : confounded Chaos roar’d,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall
Through his wild anarchy; so huge a rout
Incumber'd him with ruin : hell at last "
Yawning received them whole, and on them closed ;
Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain.
Disburden'd heaven rejoiced, and soon repair’d
Her mural breach, returning whence it roll’d.

Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes,
Messiah his triumphal chariot turn’d:
To meet him all his saints, who silent stood

P Half his strength he put not forth. This fine thought is somewhat like that of the Psalmist, lxxviii. 38 : –“But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not; yea, many a time turned be bis anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.” - Newton.

9 Wilh terrours and with furies. See Job, vi. 4:—“The terrors of God do set themselves in array against me." And the fury of the Lord is a common expression in Scripture : -" They are full of the fury of the Lord," Isaiah, li. 20.-NEWTON.

i Hell at last Yarning received them, This is a fine imitation of Isaiah, v. 14: -“ Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure': and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and be that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”—Todd.

To meet him. See Rev, zü. 10.-STILLINGFLEET.

875

880

Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts,
With jubilee advanced ; and as they went,
Shaded with branching palm each order bright,
Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King,
Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion given,
Worthiest to reigns: he, celebrated, rode
Triumphant through mid heaven, into the courts
And temple of his mighty Father throned
On high ; who into glory" him received,
Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss.

Thus, measuring things in heaven' by things on earth,
At thy request, and that thou mayst beware
By what is past, to thee I have reveal’d
What might have else to human race been hid;
The discord which befell, and war in heaven
Among the angelic powers, and the deep fall
Of those too high aspiring, who rebell'a
With Satan; he who envies now thy state,
W’ho now is plotting how he may

seduce
Thee also from obedience, that, with him
Bereaved of happiness, thou mayst partake
His punishment, eternal misery;
Which would be all his solace and revenge,
As a despite done against the Most High,
Thce once to gain companion of his woe.
But listen not to his temptations; warn
Thy weaker "; let it profit thee to have heard,
By terrible example, the reward
Of disobedience : firm they might have stood,
Yet fell : remember, and fear to transgress.

t Worthiest to reign. The angels here sing the same divine song which St. John heard them sing in his vision, Rev. iv. 11.-NEWTON.

u Who into glory. See 1 Tim. üi. 16:—“Received up into glory ; " and Heb. i. 3:2 Sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."-Gillies.

Thus, measuring things in heaven. He repeats the same kind of apology here in the conclusion, that he made in the beginning of his narration. See b. v. 573, &c. And it is indeed the best defence that can be made for the bold fictions in this book, which, though some cold readers perhaps Day blaine, vet the coldest, I conceive, cannot but admire. It is remarkable too with what are and beauty the poet, from the height and sublimity of the rest of the book, descends bere, at the close of it, like the lark from her loftiest notes in the clouds, to the most prosaic simplicity of language and numbers ; a simplicity, which not only gives it variety, but the greatest majesty; as Milton himself seems to have thought, by always choosing to give the speeches of God and the Messiah in that style, though these I suppose are the parts of this pocm which Dryden censures as the flats which he often met with for thirty or forty lines together.-NEWTON.

w Thy aceaker. As St. Peter calls the wife, “the weaker vessel," 1 Pet. iï. 7.--NEWTON.

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BOOK VII.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

The seventh book is nothing but delight ;-all beauty, and hope, and smiles : it has little of the awful sublimity of the preceding books ; and it has much less of that grand invention, which sometimes astonishes with a painful emotion, but which is the first power of a poet : at the same time, there is poetical invention in filling up the details.

In every description Milton has seized the most picturesque feature, and found the most expressive and poetical words for it. On the mirror of his mind all creation was delineated in the clearest and most brilliant forms and colours ; and · he has reflected them with such harmony and enchantment of language, as has never been equalled.

The globe, with all its rich contents, thus lies displayed before us, like a landscape under the freshness of the dewy light of the opening morning, when the shadows of night first fly away.

Here is to be found every thing which in descriptive poetry has the greatest spell : all majesty or grace of forms, animate or inanimate ; all variety of mountains, and valleys, and forests, and plains, and seas, and lakes, and rivers ; the Sicissitudes of suns and of darkness; the flame and the snow; the murmur of the breeze; the roar of the tempest.

One great business of poetry is to teach men to see, and feel, and think upon the beauties of the creation, and to have gratitude and devotion to their Maker : this can best be effected by a poet's eye and a poet's tongue. Poets can present things in lights which can warm the coldest hearts : he who can create himself, can best represent what is already created.

ARGUMENT. RAPRAEL, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this world was first created ; that

God, after the expelling of Satan and his angels out of heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory, and attendance of angels, to perform the work of creation in six days; the angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into heaven.

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DESCEND from heaven a, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing.
The meaning, not the name I call; for thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top

Descend from Heaven. Descende cælo," 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 Pegascan wing:” that is, his subject was more sublime than the loftiest flight of beathen poets.—Newton.

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

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