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Sheds Tears at the fight of those he had involved in Mifery ib.
presented in the Characters of Adam and Eve.-- See their
Numbers various and harmonious
Of the Difficulty of writing a modern Epic Poem 349
Cadence of Syllables, but in a spirited Fiction, bold
If there is no Poetry without Verse, there can be rione in
the English Version of the Psalms of David, the Book of
degraded him in the eyes of the injudicious, tho' he
the Love of Liberty, public Virtue, and Patriotisi 369
would have admitted of coelestial Machinery, the Author
legorical turn, for many of them will not admit of
oling fome of the Person I puders valiant and amiable
Reading compared to Conversation----He who frequents
Company to observe only absurd and vicious Characters
ERRA T A VOL. I.
Ibid. Line 37,
F the sciences were to be estimated by their anti
quity, Poetry would undoubtedly bear the palm from all others, since it is, we may suppose, nearly as old as the Creation, and had its being almost with the first breath of mankind.
When · Adam came from the hands of his all-boun. tiful Creator, and found himself in the plains of Pao radise, amidst an infinite number of creatures, fo frarfully and wonderfully made *; when he saw every herb, plant, and flower rise up for his use and plcasure, and every creature submit to his will; when he heard the morning's dawn ushered in with the orisons of birds, and the evenings warbled down with notes of thanks and gratitude ; when all nature exulted in praise of the omnipotent Creator ; when the morning /lars fang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy t, could man, thus highly favoured of heaven, withold his tribute ? -No,
--when all things that breathe
of Job xxxviii, 70 B
And join'd their vocal worship to the Choir
And starry pole :-Thou also madft the night,
Poetry in its infant state was the language of devo.tion and love. It was the voice and expreffion of the heart of man when ravished and transported with a view of the numberless blessings that perpetually flowed from God the fountain of all goodness.
all things fmild With Fragrance, and wiib Joy their hearts o’erflow'd. fi
Enraptured thus with the love of God, and filled with an awful idea of his power, glory, and goodness; the foul, incapable of finding words in common language suitable to its lofty conceptions, and disdaining every thing low and vulgar, was obliged to invent a language intirely new. Tropes and figures were called in to express its sentiments, and the diction was dignified and embellished with metaphors, beautiful descriptions, lively images, fimilies, and whatever else could help to express, with force and grandeur, its passion and surprife : disdaining common thoughts and trivial expressions, it explores all Nature and aspires at all that is sublime and beautiful, in order to approach perfection and beatitude. Nor was this sufficient.The mind dissatisfied with culling only the most noble thoughts, arrayed in forcible and luxuriant terms, and perceiving the sweetness which arose from the melody of birds, called in music to its aid ; when these illustrious thoughts, dignify'd and dress’d with pomp and splendor, were
* Milton's Para lise Loft.