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PREFACE.

[Ixtrifted from Dr. Newton's OAavo Edition of I773.J

iThatb been recommended to meby some great persons, as well as by several friends, to complete the edition of Milton s Poetical Works :for though the Paradise Lost bethefiower of epic poesy, and. the noblest effort of genius, yet here are other poems which are no less excellent in their kind, and if they have not that sublimityand majesty, are at leastequally beautifuland pleasing to the imagination. And the same method that was taken in the publication of the Paradise Lost, is pursued in this edition of the Paradise Reguind and other Poems, to exhibit the true and geguine text according to Milton's own editions. Of the Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistestbere was only one edition in Milton's life-time, in the year 1671; and this we have made our standard, correcting only what the Author himself would have corretled. Dr. Bentley pronounces it to be without faults, but there is a large table of errata at the end, which instead of being emended, beve rather been augmentedin tbefollowing editions, and'twere never correSled in any edition that I have seen before the present. Of the other Poems there were two editions in Milton slife-time,thefirstin 1645,beforehewas blind, and the other with some additions in 1673.

Of the Mask tbert was likewise an edition published by Mr. Henry Lawes in 1637 i and of the Mask and several other poems there are extant copies in Milton's own hand writing, preserved in the library of Trinity College in Cambridgei and all these copies and editions have been carefully collated and compared together. The Manuscript, indeed, hath been of singular service in rectifying several passages, and especially in the Sonnets, some of •which were not printed till many years after Milton's death, and were then printed imperfeel and deficient both in sense and metre, but are novj, by the help of the Manuscript, restored to their just harmony and original perfetlion.

The Latin poems I cannot say are equal to several of bis English compositionsi butyet they are not without their merit; they are not a cento, like most of the modern Latin poetry; there is spirit, invention, and other marks and tokens of a rising genius ;for it should be considered, &at the greater part of them were written while the Author was under twenty. They are printed correclly, according to bis own -editions in 164.5 an^ 167 3.

PARADISE REGAIN'D.

BOOK I.

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 5

In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,

And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.

Thou Spi'rit who ledst this glorious eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field,
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence
By proof th' undoubted Son of God, inspire, 11
As thou art wont, my prompted song else mute,
Andbearthrough highth or depth of Nature's bounds
With prosp'rous wing full summ'd, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done, 15

And unrecorded left through many an age,
Worthy to' have not remain'd so long unsung.

Now had the great Proclamer, with a voice
More awful than the sound of trumpet, cry'd
Repentance, and Heav'n's kingdom nigh at hand
To all baptis'di to his great baptism flock'd »i
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,
Utiniark'd* unknown; but him the Baptist soon
Descry'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore 26
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heav'nly office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd : on him baptis'd
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a dove 30

The Spi'rit descended, while the Father's voice
From Heav'n jronounc'tl him his beloved Son.
That heard the Adversary, who roving stiH
About the world, at that assembly fam'd
Would not be last, and with the voice divine 35
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, 40

Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
A gloomy consistory; and them amidst
With looks aghast and sad he thus bespake:

O ancient Pow'rs of Air and this wide world, For much more willingly I mention Air, 45

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 possess'd, and rtiPd
In manner at our will th' affairs of Earth, 50

Since Adam and his facil consort Eve
Lost Paradise deceir'd by rue, though since
With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head i long the decrees of Heav'n $5
Delay, for longest time to him is short;
And now too soon for us the circling hows.
This dreaded time have compass'd, wherein we
Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound,
At least if so we can, and by the head 60

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 i 6 5

His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,
But his growth now to youth's flull flower, display-
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve [ing
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
Before him a great prophet, to proclame 70
His coming, is sent harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the consecrated stream
Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them so
Purified to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honour as their king; all come, 75
And he himself among them was baptiz'd,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony' of Heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I saw
The prophet do him reverence, on him rising So
Out of the water, Heav'n above the clouds
Unfold her crystal doors, thence on his head

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