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The purple morning left her crimson bed,
And Spenfer, who excels in description, has the fame fort of images diverfified.
Now when the rofy-finger'd morning fair,
-The day forth-dawning from the east,
Milton's defcriptions of the Morning are exquifitely drawn ; and though he has departed as much as poffible from the beaten track, yet fome traces of the former poets may be evidently feen.
Now morn her rofy fteps in th' eaftern clime
And now went forth the morn,
No defcriptions of the morning can be more animated and fublime than those of SHAKESPEAR; yet his thoughts bear great affinity to the preceding.
Look where the morn in ruffet mantle clad,
These paffages may be justly rank'd among grand and fublime thoughts; and though the out-lines feem to have been drawn by Homer, on which they have run their feveral divifions, yet they have all acquitted themselves, so as to obtain the applause of the learned and judicious; for men of judgment will ever confider that nature is still the fame, and that where the fame object is to be described, the fame thoughts, and often the fame words, will occur, if the descriptions are just and natural.
We have attributed the first instance of describing the morning in this beautiful manner to Homer, yet it is to be obferv'd, that there is much of this fublime imagery in the facred writings, from whence fome hints may probably have been taken. Thus it is faid of the fun, that He cometh forth out of his chamber as a bridegroom, and exulteth as a giant who is to run his race.
Befides thefe thoughts, which captivate with their grandeur and fublimity, there are others that equally affect us by their agreeablenefs or beauty. The first please, because they have fomething great, which always charms the mind, whereas these please only because they are agreeable. Comparisons and defcriptions, taken from florid and delightful fubjects, form agreeable thoughts, in the fame manner as those we take from grand fubjects form thofe that are fublime.
The writings of the holy penmen are replete with these thoughts; but as the beauties of the bible are in every hand, and to be feen every day, we fhall felect what examples we have room to admit from our English poets. The defcription, however, which Solomon has given us of Wisdom, ought not to be omitted, because it is fufficient, one would think, to make every man in love with her.
Length of days are in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
There are many paffages in Mr. Smart's poem on the Immenfity of the Supreme Being, which contain agreeable thoughts; but that of the Ring-dove's neft is, I think, remarkably fo:
What are yon tow'rs,
Her penfile house the feather'd artist builds-
Innumerable are the beauties of this agreeable kind that might be drawn from the poets, both ancient and modern. Those who would see more of these descriptive beauties, may abundantly gratify their curiofity in our volume of Rhetoric, where many are inferted to illuftrate the figures in that science. It is to be observed, however, that those where the tender paffions are concern'd, are not only more affecting, but often more pleafing than others, as may be seen by this fpeech of Eve to Adam, in Milton's Paradife Loft.; and by other paffages which we shall infert from that ever to be admired poem.
With thee converfing, I forget all time,
Adam on feeing Eve afleep with unusual discomposure in her looks, regards her, as Mr. Addifon obferves, with a tenderness not to be expressed, and awakens her with the lofteft whisper that ever was conveyed to a lover's ear, ca
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
The paffage relating to Eve's dream, where the fancies herself awakened by Adam, is extremely beautiful; and will appear the more fo, when we confider that it was a dream in which the devil is fuppofed to have tainted her imagination by inftilling into her mind thofe high conceits engendering pride.
Close at mine ear, one call'd me forth to walk
That part of the narration, where Adam is faid to have
cheared and inftructed Eve, is amazingly beautiful; and the effect his admonition produced in her, and his behavi our on that occafion, is finely conceived, and most exquifitely described.
So chear'd he his fair spouse, and she was chear'd,
From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair.
In that part of the Episode where Adam relates to the angel the circumstances he found himself in upon his creation, the author has raised our curiofity, and he has abundantly gratified it; for nothing could on that occafion have been better conceived, or better expreffed, especially the account Adam gives of the posture he found himself in, the landscape round him, his address to the fun, and of the dream in which he beheld the formation of Eve.
-As new wak'd from foundest fleep,
And thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay,
Under his forming hands a creature grew,