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U I legis Amisam Paradisum, grandia magni

Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis?
Res cunctas, & cunctarum primordia rerum,

Et fata, & fines continet iste liber. Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,

Scribitur & toto quicquid in orbe latet : Terræque, tractusque maris, cælumque profundum,

Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque fpecus : Quæque colunt terras, pontumque, & Tartara cæcą,

Quæque colunt summi lucida regna poli :
Et quodcunque ullis conclusum est finibus usquam,

Et fine fine Chaos, & fine fine Deus :
Et fine fine magis, fi quid magis eft fine fine,

In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Hæc qui speraret quis crederet efle futura ?

Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces ! quæ protulit arma!

Quæ canit, & quanta prælia dira tuba!
Cæleftes acies ! atque in certamine coelum!
Et quæ

pugna deceret agros! Quantus in æthereis tollit se Lucifer armis!

Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaële minor ! Quantis, & quam funestis concurritur iris, Dum ferus hic stelias protegit, ille rapit ! VOL. I.



Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,

Et non mortali defuper igne pluunt:
Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,

Et metuit pugnæ non superesse fuæ.
At fimul in cælis Mesfiæ insignia fulgent,

Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotæ ftrident, et fæva rotarum

Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flaminæ vibrant, & vera tonitrua rauco

Admistis flammis insonuere polo :
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, & impetus omnis,

Et cassis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad poenas fugiunt, & ceu foret Orcus afylum,

Infernis certant condere se tenebris.
Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graii,

fama recens vel celebravit anus. Hæc quicunque leget tantùm cecinisse putabit Mæonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.


Et quos


HEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,

In slender book his vast design unfold,
Messiah crown'd, God's reconcil'd decreę,
Rebelling Angels, the forbidden tree,
Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument
Held me a while misdoubting his intent,
That he would ruin (for I saw him strong)
The sacred truths to fáble and old song,
(So Sampson grop'd the temple’s posts in spite)
The world o'erwhelming to revenge his fight,


Yet as I read, ftill growing less severe,
I likid his project, the success did fear ;
Through that wide field how he his way should find,
O'er which lame faith leads understanding blind;
Left he perplex'd the things he would explain,
And what was eafy he should render vain.

Or if a work so infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet always what is well,
And by ill imitating would excel)
Might hence presume the whole creation's day
To change in scenes, and how it in a play.

Pardon me, mighty Poet; nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy labours to pretend a fare.
Thou hast not miss d one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper doft omit:
So that no room is here for writers left,
But to detect their ignorance or theft.

That majesty which through thy work doth reign,
Draws the devout, deterring the profane.
And things divine thou treat'it of in such state
As them preserves, and thee, inviolate.
At once delight and horror on us seize,
Thou sing 'st with so much gravity and ease ;
And above human fight doft foar aloft
With plume so strong, so equal, and fo foft.
The bird nam'd from that Paradise you sing
So never flags, but always keeps on wing.

A 3


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