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poetry, but as it expresses that enmity which was now produced in the animal creation. The poet, to shew the like changes in nature, as well as to grace his fable with a noble prodigy, represents the sun in an eclipse. This particular incident has likewise a fine effect upon the imagination of the reader, in regard to what follows; for at the same time that the sun is under an eclipse, & bright cloud descends in the western quarter of the heavens, filled with an host of angels, and more luminous than the sun itself. The whole theatre of nature is darkened, that this glorious machine may appear in all its lustre and magnificence.

-Why in the east
Darkness ere day's mid-course and morning light
More orient in that western cloud that draws
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And slow descends, with something hear’nly fraught?

He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly bands
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt;
A glorious apparition-

I need not observe how properly this author, who always suits his parts to the actors whom he introduces, has employed Michael in the expulsion of our first parents from Paradise. The archangel on this occasion neither appears in his proper shape, nor in that familiar manner with which Raphael the sociable spirit entertained the father of mankind before the fall. his port, and behaviour, are suitable to a spirit of the highest rank, and exquisitely described in the following passage.

His person,

-Th' archangel soon drew nigh,
Not in his shape celestial, but as man
Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms
A military vest of purple flow'd
Livelier than Melibæan, or the grain
Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old
In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof.

His starry helm, unbuckler, shew'd him prime
In manhood where youth ended; by his side
As in a glist'ring zodiac hung the sword,
Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the spear.
Adam bow'd low: he kingly from his state
Inclined not, but his coming thus declared.

Eve's complaint upon hearing that she was to be removed from the garden of Paradise is wonderfully beautiful : the sentiments are not only proper to the subject, but have something in them particularly soft and womanish.

Must I then leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave
Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend
Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both. O flow'rs
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation and my last
At even, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave you names ;
Who now shall rear you to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee, lastly, nuptial bower, by me adorn'd
With what to sight or smell was sweet: from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild, how shall we breathe in other air

Less pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits ! Adam's speech abounds with thoughts which are equally moving, and of a more masculine and elevated turn. Nothing can be conceived more sublime and poetical than the following passage in it.

This most afflicts me, that departing hence
As from his face I shall be hid, deprived
His blessed count'nance ; here I could frequent,
With worship, place by place where he vouchsafed
Presence divine, and to my sons relate,
On this mount he appear'd, under this tree
Stood visible, among these pines his voice
I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd;

So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory
Or monument to ages, and thereon
Offer sweet smelling gums and fruits and flowers.
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footsteps trace !
For though I fled him angry, yet recall'd
To life prolong'd and promised race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore.

The angel afterwards leads Adam to the highest mount of Paradise, and lays before him a whole hemisphere, as a proper stage for those visions which were to be represented on it. I have before observed how the plan of Milton's poem is in many particulars greater than that of the Iliad or Æneid. Virgil's hero, in the last of these poems, is entertained with a sight of all those who are to descend from him; but though that episode is justly admired as one of the noblest designs in the whole Æneid, every one must allow that this of Milton is of a much higher nature. Adam's vision is not confined to any particular tribe of mankind, but extends to the whole species.

In this great review which Adam takes of all his sons and daughters, the first objects he is presented with exhibit to him the story of Cain and Abel, which is drawn together with much closeness and propriety of expression. That curiosity and natural horror which arises in Adam at the sight of the first dying man, is touched with great beauty.

But have I now seen death? is this the way
I must return to native dust ? O sight
Of terror foul and ugly to behold,
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel !

The second vision sets before him the image of death in a great variety of appearances. The angel, to give bim a general idea of those effects which his guilt had brought upon his posterity, places before him a large hospital, or lazar-house, fill?d with persons lying under all kinds of mortal diseases. How finely has the poet told us that the sick persons languished under lingering and incurable distempers, by an apt and judicious use of such imaginary beings as those I mentioned in my last paper.

Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, Despair
Tended the sick, busy from couch to couch;
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invoked

With vows as their chief good and final hope. The passion which likewise rises in Adam on this occasion is very natural.

Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry-eyed behold! Adam could not, but wept,
Tho' not of woman born; compassion quella

His best of man, and gave him up in tears. The discourse between the angel and Adam which follows, abounds with noble morals.

As there is nothing more delightful in poetry than a contrast and opposition of incidents, the author, after his melancholy pros. pect of death and sickness, raises up a scene of mirth, love, and jollity. The secret pleasure that steals into Adam's heart as he is intent upon this vision, is imagined with great delicacy. I must not omit the description of the loose female troop, who seduced the sons of God, as they are called in scripture.

For that fair female troop thou saw'st that seem'd
Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
Yet empty of all good, wherein consists
Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ;
Bred only and compleated to the taste
Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance,
To dress and troule the tongue, and roll the eye.
To these that sober race of men, whose lives
Religious titled them the sons of God,

Shall yield up all their virtuc, all their fame,
Ignobly to the trains and to the smiles
Of those fair atheists-

The next vision is of a quite contrary nature, and filled with the horrors of war. Adam at the sight of it melts into tears, and breaks out in that passionate speech,

- what are these
Death's ministers, not men: who thus deal death
Inhumanly to men, and multiply
Ten thousand fold the sin of him who slew
His brother: for of whom such massacre
Make they but of their brethren, men of men !

Milton, to keep up an agreeable variety in his visions, after having raised in the mind of his reader the several ideas of terror which are conformable to the description of war: passes on to those softer images of triumphs and festivals, in that vision of lewdness and luxury which ushers in the flood.

As it is visible that the poet had his eye upon Ovid's account of the universal deluge, the reader may observe with how much judgment he has avoided everything that is redundant or puerile in the Latin poet. We do not here see the wolf swimming among the sheep, nor any of those wanton imaginations which Seneca found fault with, as unbecoming the great catastrophe of nature. If our poet has imitated that verse in which Ovid tells us that there was nothing but sea, and that this sea had no shore to it, he has not set the thought in such a light as to incur the censure which critics have passed upon it. The latter part of that verse in Ovid is idle and superfluous, but just and beautiful in Milton.

Jamque mare et tellus nullum discrimen habebant,
Nil nisi pontus erat, deerant quoque littora ponto.

Now seas and earth were in confusion lost;
A world of waters, and without a coast!


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