Imatges de pÓgina




I, WHO ere-while the happy garden sung,
By one man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd paradise to all mankind,

By one man's firm obedience fully try'd
Through all temptation, and the tempter foil'd s
In all his wiles, defeated, and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.

Thou Spirit, who led'st this glorious Eremite Into the desert, his victorious field,

Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence
By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute,
And bear thro' highth or depth of nature's bounds
With prosperous wing full summ'd to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,

And unrecorded left through many an age,
Worthy t' have not remain'd so long unsung.
Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice

7 waste] Spens. Fairy Queen, i. i. 32.


'Far hence, quoth he, in wasteful wilderness.' Dunster. 14 summ'd] Drayton's Polyolbion. Song xi.

The muse from Cambria comes, with pinicns summ'd and




More awful than the sound of trumpet, cry'd
Repentance, and heaven's kingdom nigh at hand
To all baptiz'd: to his great baptism flock'd
With awe the regions round, and with them came
From Nazareth the Son of Joseph deem'd
To the flood Jordan, came, as then obscure,
Unmarkt, unknown; but him the Baptist soon 25
Descry'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heavenly office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd: on him baptiz'd
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a dove
The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice
From heav'n pronounc'd him his beloved Son.
That heard the adversary, who, roving still
About the world, at that assembly fam'd
Would not be last, and, with the voice divine
Nigh thunder-struck, th' exalted man, to whom
Such high attest was giv'n, a while survey'd
With wonder, then, with envy fraught and rage,
Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air
To council summons all his mighty peers,
Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
A gloomy consistory; and them amidst
With looks aghast and sad he thus bespake.

42 consistory] Virg. Æn. iii. 677.


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gloomy consistory] See Dante Il Paradiso, xxix. 66.

'Oinai dintorno a questo consistoro

Puoi contemplare assai.'





O ancient Powers of air and this wide world, For much more willingly I mention air, This our old conquest, than remember Hell, Our hated habitation; well ye know How many ages, as the years of men, This universe we have possest, and rul'd In manner at our will th' affairs of earth, Since Adam and his facil consort Eve Lost paradise deceiv'd by me, though since With dread attending when that fatal wound Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve Upon my head; long the decrees of heav'n Delay, for longest time to him is short; And now too soon for us the circling hours This dreaded time have compast, wherein we Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound, At least if so we can, and by the head Broken be not intended all our power



To be infring'd, our freedom, and our being,
In this fair empire won of earth and air:
For this ill news I bring, the woman's seed,
Destin'd to this, is late of woman born;
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,
But his growth now to youth's full flow'r, displaying
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve

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57 circling] So P. L. vi. 3. vii. 342, Circling years.' Dunster.

67 youth's full flow'r] Hom. Il. iv. 484, »ßns äv0o5. Lucret. i. 565, ævi contingere florem. iii. 771, ætatis tangere florem. Sil. Ital. xvi. 406, primævæ flore juventæ.

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