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Distinct alike with multitude of
Hell heard the unsufferable noise ; hell saw
Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes,
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.
Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts,
Thus, measuring things in heaven' by things on earth,
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.
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.
DESCEND from heaven a, Urania, by that name
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.