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Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon;
END OF PARADISE LOST.
I, who erewhile the happy garden sung,
Thou Spirit, who ledst this glorious eremite?
Now had the great proclaimer, with a voice
1 “Paradise Regained," observes Jortin, “has not met with the approbation that it deserves. It has not the harmony of numbers, the sublimity of thought, and the beauties of diction, which are in * Paradise Lost.' It is composed in a lower and less striking style, a style suited to the subject. Artful sophistry, false reasoning, set off in the most specious manner, and refuted by the Son of God with strong unaffected eloquence, is the peculiar excellence of this poem. Satan there defends a bad cause with great skill and subtlety, as one thoroughly versed in that craft."
2 The same as our "hermit.”
3 So in Paradise Lost, vii. 421:-" They summed their pens." The term is properly applied to a hawk in full feather.
Repentance, and Heaven's kingdom nigh at hand,
“O ancient powers of air3 and this wide world,
fatal wound Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve Upon my head : long the decrees of Heaven Delay, for longest time to him is short; And now, too soon for us, the circling hours This dreaded time have compassed, wherein we 1 i. e. to such as were baptized, since by John's baptism they were prepared for the reception of the Gospel.
? Milton probably uses this term with a sly reference to the meetings of the Pope and his Cardinals, under the same name. 3 Cf. Eph. ii. 2; vi. 12
Must bide the stroke of that long-threatened wound, At least, if so we can, and by the head Broken be not intended all our power, To be infringed, our freedom and our being, In this fair empire won of earth and air : For this ill news I bring, the woman's seed Destined to this, is late of woman born; His birth to our just fear gave no small cause, But his growth now to youth's full flower, displaying All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear. Before him a great prophet, to proclaim His coming, is sent harbinger, who all Invites, and in the consecrated stream Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them so Purified to receive him pure, or, rather, To do him honour as their king; all come, And he himself among them was baptized, Not thence to be more pure, but to receive The testimony of Heaven, that who he is Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I saw The prophet do him reverence; on him rising Out of the water, Heaven above the clouds Unfold her crystal doors; thence on his head A perfect dove descend, whate'er it meant; And out of Heaven the sovran voice I heard, • This is my Son beloved, in him am pleased.' His mother then is mortal, but his Sire He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven, And what will he not do to advance his Son ? His first-begot we know, and sore have felt, When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep; Who this is we must learn,' for man he seems In all his lineaments, though in his face The glimpses of his Father's glory shine. Ye see our danger on the utmost edge Of hazard, which admits no long debate, But must with something sudden be opposed (Not force, but well-couched fraud, well woven snares) 1 Our author favours the opinion of Ignatius and others, who believed that the devil, though he might know Jesus to be some extraordinary person, yet knew him not to be the Messiah, the Son of God; and the words of the devil, “if thou be the Son of God," seem to express his uncertainty concerning that matter.--Newton.
Ere in the head of nations he appear,
He ended; and his words impression left
Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold,