Imatges de pÓgina

But with addition strange; yet be not sad:
Evil into the mind of God or man

May come and go, so unapproved; and leave
No spot or blame behind: which gives me hope
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream,
Waking thou never wilt consent to do.

Be not dishearten'd then; nor cloud those looks,
That wont to be more cheerful and serene
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world:
And let us to our fresh employments rise
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers,
That open now their choicest bosom'd smells,
Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store.

So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd;
But silently a gentle tear let fall

From either eye, and wiped them with her hair:
Two other precious drops, that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell
Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse,
And pious awe that fear'd to have offended.

So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste.
But first, from under shady arborous roof
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of day-spring and the sun, who, scarce uprisen,
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean-brim,
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide landskip all the east
Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains,
Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
Their orisons, each morning duly paid'
In various style; for neither various style
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise

In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment,
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.







An injudicious poet would have made Adam talk through the whole work in such sentiments as these: but flattery and falsehood are not the courtship of Milton's Adam, and could not be heard by Eve in her state of innocence; excepting only in a dream produced on purpose to taint her imagination. Other vain sentiments of the same kind, in this relation of her dream, will be obvious to every reader. Though the catastrophe of the poem is finely presaged on this occasion, the particulars of it are so artfully shadowed, that they do not anticipate the story which follows in the ninth book. I shall only add, that though the vision of itself is founded upon truth, the circumstances of it are full of that wildness and inconsistency which are natural to a dream. Adam, conformable to his superior character for wisdem, instructs and comforts Eve upon this occasion.-ADDISON.

Each morning duly paid.

As it is very well known that our author was no friend to set forms of prayer, it is no wonder that he ascribes extemporary effusions to our first parents; but even while he attributes strains unmeditated to them, he himself imitates the Psalmist.-NEWTON. He has expressed the same notions of devotion, as Mr. Thyer has observed, in similar terms, b. iv. 736, &c. And it has been said of the poet, that he did not in the latter part of his life use any religious rite in his family: but, as Dr. Gillies remarks, unless the proofs be very clear; he who observes how careful Milton is to mention the worship of Adam and Eve, b. iv. 720, v. 137, ix. 197, and xi. 136, will not be easily induced to believe that he entirely neglected the worship of God in his family.-TODD.


Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced, or sung
Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence
Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,
More tuneable than needed lute to harp

To add more sweetness; and they thus began:
These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly seen

In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.

Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs

And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing: ye in heaven;
On earth join all ye creatures to extol

Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,

Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet; praise him in thy sphere
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul
Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,






And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fall'st.
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st,
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;


And ye five other wandering fires, that move

In mystic dance not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth

Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run

These are thy glorious works.


The Morning Hymn is written in imitation of one of those psalms, where, in the overflowing of gratitude and praise, the psalmist calls not only upon the angels, but upon the most conspicuous parts of the inanimate creation, to join with him in extolling their common Maker. Invocations of this nature fill the mind with glorious ideas of God's works, and awaken that divine enthusiasm which is so natural to devotion: but if this calling upon the dead parts of nature is at all times a proper kind of worship, it was in a particular manner suitable to our first parents, who had the creation fresh upon their minds, and had not seen the various dispensations of Providence, nor consequently could be acquainted with those many topics of praise which might afford matter to the devotions of their posterity. I need not remark the beautiful spirit of poetry which runs through the whole hymn, or the holiness of that resolution with which it concludes.-ADDISON.

h That in quaternion run.

That in a four-fold mixture and combination run a perpetual circle, one element occasionally changing into another, according to the doctrine of Heraclitus, borrowed from Orpheus: "Et cum quatuor sint genera corporum, vicissitudine eorum mundi continuata natura est: nam ex terra, aqua; ex aqua, oritur aër; ex aëre, æther; deinde retrorsum vicissim ex æthere, aër; inde aqua; ex aqua, terra infima. Sic naturis bis, ex quibus omnia constant, sursus, deorsus, ultro, citro commeantibus, mundi partiuin conjunctio continetur." Cicero de Nat. Deor. ii. 33.-NEWTON.

Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix

And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Authour rise;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls: ye birds,
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend,

Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,

To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord! be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.

So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts
Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm.
On to their morning's rural work they haste,
Among sweet dews and flowers, where any row
Of fruit-trees over-woody reach'd too far
Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check
Fruitless embraces or they led the vine

To wed her elm; she, spoused, about him twines
Her marriageable arms, and with her brings
Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn
His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld
With pity heaven's high King, and to him call'd
Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign'd
To travel with Tobias, and secured
His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid.
Raphael, said he, thou hear'st what stir on earth
Satan, from hell 'scaped through the darksome gulf,
Hath raised in Paradise; and how disturb'd
This night the human pair; how he designs
In them at once to ruin all mankind:
Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend
Converse with Adam; in what bower or shade
Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retired,
To respite his day-labour with repast,











Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
As may advise him of his happy state;
Happiness in his power left free to will,
Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not, too secure: tell him withal
His danger, and from whom; what enemy,
Late fallen himself from heaven, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence? no, for that shall be withstood;
But by deceit and lies: this let him know,
Lest, wilfully transgressing, he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonish'd, unforwarn'd.

So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfill'd
All justice: nor delay'd the winged saint1
After his charge received; but from among
Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood

Flew through the midst of heaven: the angelic quires,





Veil'd with his gorgeous wings, up springing light,

On each hand parting, to his speed gave way

Through all the empyreal road; till, at the gate

Of heaven arrived, the gate self-open'd wide

On golden hinges turning, as by work


Divine the sovran Architect had framed.

From hence no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,

Star interposed, however small, he sees,

Not unconform to other shining globes,

Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd
Above all hills: as when by night the glass


Of Galileo, less assured, observes

Imagined lands and regions in the moon:
Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades

Delos or Samos first appearing, kens

A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight

i Nor delay'd the winged saint.


Raphael's departure from before the throne, and his flight through the choirs of angels, are finely imagined. As Milton everywhere fills his poem with circumstances that are marvellous and astonishing, he describes the gate of heaven as framed after such a manner, that it opened of itself upon the approach of the angel who was to pass through it.

Raphael's descent to the earth, with the figure of his person, is represented in very lively colours. Several of the French, Italian, and English poets have given a loose to their imaginations in the description of angels; but I do not remember to have met with any so finely drawn, and so conformable to the notions which are given of them in Scripture, as this in Milton. After having set him forth in all his heavenly plumage, and represented him as alighting upon the earth, the poet concludes his descript a with a circumstance which is altogether new, and imagined with the greatest strer ̧th of fancy:

-Like Maia's son he stood,

And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd

The circuit wide.

Raphael's reception by the guardian angels; his passing through the wilderness of sweets; his distant appearance to Adam; have all the graces that poetry is capable of bestowing. The author afterwards gives a particular description of Eve in her domestic employments.-ADDISON.

He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing:
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till within soar
Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phoenix, gazed by all as that sole bird,
When, to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights, and to his proper shape returns
A seraph wing'd: six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine: the pair that clad

Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colours dipp'd in heaven; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of angels under watch; and to his state,
And to his message high, in honour rise:
For on some message high they guess'd him bound.
Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm;
A wilderness of sweets: for nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.
Him through the spicy forest onward come
Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat







Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun


Shot down direct his fervid rays, to warm

Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs:

And Eve within, due at her hour prepared

For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please

True appetite, and not disrelish thirst


Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream,

Berry, or grape: to whom thus Adam call'd:

Haste hither, Eve, and worth thy sight behold,
Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape
Comes this way moving; seems another morn

Risen on mid-noon; some great behest from Heaven
To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe
This day to be our guest. But go with speed,
And, what thy stores contain, bring forth, and pour
Abundance, fit to honour and receive
Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow



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