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In Paradisum amisam* summi poeta Johannis Miltoni.
UI legis Amissam Paradisum, grandia magni
Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis? Res cunctas, et cunctarum primordia rerum,
Et fata, et fines continet iste liber. Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi;
Scribitur et toto quicquid in orbe latet; Terræque, tractusque maris, coelumque profundum
Sulphureumque Erebi Aammivomumque fpecus ; Quæque colunt terras, portumque et Tartara cæca,
Quæque colunt fummi lucida regna poli;
Et fine fine Chaos, et fine fine Deus;
In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
Quæ canit, et quanta, prælia dira tuba.
Et quæ cæleftes pugna deceret agros ! Quantus in ætheriis tollit se Lucifer armis,
Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaele minor! Quantis, et quam funestis concurritur iris
Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit !
Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt :
Et metuit pugnæ non superesse suæ,
Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Admiftis flammis infonuere Polo,
Et caffis dextris irrita tela cadunt.
• Published with the second edition of Paradise Loft, in 1674.
Ad pænas fugiunt, et ceu foret Orcus asylum
Infernis certant condere se tenebris. Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Graii
Et quos fama recens vel celebravit anus. Hæc quicunque leget tantum cecinisse putabit
Mæonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.
SAMUEL BARROW, M. D.
ON PARADISE LOST.
THEN I beheld the poet blind, yet bold,
In Nender book his vast design unfold,
Yet as I read, foon growing less severe,
Or if a work so infinite he spann'd,
Pardon me, mighty poet, nor despise
That majesty which through thy work doth reign Draws the devout, deterring the profane.
And things divine thou treat'st of in such state
Where could'st thou words of such a compass find?
Well mightest thou scorn thy readers to allure
See note in Life, p. cvii.
HE measure is English Heroic Verse, with
out Rime, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter; grac't indeed since by the use of some famous modern Poets, carried away by Custom, but much to thir own vexation, hindrance, and constraint, to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse then else they would have exprest them. Not without cause, therefore, some both Italian and Spanish Poets of prime note, have rejected Rime both in longer and shorter Works, as have also, long since, our best English Tragedies, as a thing of itself, to all judicious eares, triveal and of no true musical delight; which confifts only in apt Numbers, fit quantity of Syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoyded by the learned Ancients both in Poetry and all good Oratory. This neglect then of Rime, so little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be esteem'd an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem from the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing.”