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But with addition strange; yet be not sad:
May come and go, so unapproved; and leave
Be not dishearten'd then; nor cloud those looks,
So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd;
From either eye, and wiped them with her hair:
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste.
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment,
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
To add more sweetness; and they thus began:
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fall'st.
And ye five other wandering fires, that move
In mystic dance not without song, resound
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
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts
To wed her elm; she, spoused, about him twines
Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfill'd
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
Of Galileo, less assured, observes
Imagined lands and regions in the moon:
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
Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er his breast
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,
Risen on mid-noon; some great behest from Heaven