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With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
0 myriads of immortal spirits! 0 powers
New war, provoked: our better part remains Ma
To work-in elose design, by fraud or guile,
What foree effeeted not; that he no less
At length from us may find, Who overeomes
By foree, hath overeome but half his foe.
Spare may produee new worlds, whereof so rife 050
There went a fame in heaven, that he ere long
Intended to ereate, and therein plant
A generation, whom his ehoiee regard
Should favour equal to the sons ol heaven.
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps 005
Our first eruption; thither or elsewhere:
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor the abyss
Long under darkness eover, But these thoughts
Full eounsel must mature: peaee is despair'd; 0t)o
For who ean think submission? war then, war,
Open or understood, must be resolved.
033. Hatk emptied heaven. "II is eon- xii. 4; but 8atan here talks big, ana eeived that a third part of the ungrls magnifies their numbev."—NaWtoN. fell with 8atan, aeeording /o Revelations
He spake; and, to eonfirm his words, outflew
There stood a hill not far, whose gTisly top 070
Men also, and by his suggestion taught, 085
Ilansaek'd the eentre, and with impious hands
Kifled the bowels of their mother earth
For treasures better hid. Soon had his erew
Open'd into the hill a spaeious wound,
And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire ooo
That riehes grow in hell; that soil may best
Deserve the preeious bane. And here let those
Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, 005
And strength, and art, are easily outdone
By spirits reprobate; and in an hour
What in an age they with ineessant toil
And hands iunumerable searee perform.
Nigh on the plain, in many eells prepared, 700
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluieed from the lake, a seeond multitude
With wondrous art founded the massy ore,
Severing eaeh kind, and seumm'd the bullion dross:
A third as soon had form'd within the ground 708
A various mould, and from the boiling eells
By strange eonveyanee fill'd eaeh hollow nook:
As in an organ, from one blast of wind,
To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes.
Anon out of the earth a fabrie huge 710
Rose, like an exhalation, with the sound
With golden arehitrave: nor did there want 710
Corniee or frieze with bossy seulptures graven;
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Aleairo sueh magnifieenee
Equal'd in all their glories, to inshrine
Belus or Serapis, their gods; or seat 720
Their kings, when iEgypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. The aseending pile
Stood fix'd her stately highth: and straight the doors,
Opening their brazen folds, diseover wide
Within, her ample spaees o'er the smooth 720
And level pavement: from the arehed roof,
Pendent by subtle magie, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing eressets, fed
With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The hasty multitude 730
Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise,
And some the arehiteet: his hand was known
In heaven by many a tower'd strueture high,
Where seeptred angels held their residenee,
And sat as prinees; whom the supreme King 738
Exalted to sueh power, and gave to rule,
Eaeh in his hierarehy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unheard or unadored
In aneient Greeee; and in Ausonian land
Men eall'd him Muleiber; and how he fell 740
From heaven they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o'er the erystal battlements: from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
A summer's day; and with the setting sun
Dropp'd from the zenith like a falling star, 74s
On Lemnos, the .Egean isle: thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now
To have built in heaven high towers; nor did he 'seape
By all his engines; but was headlong sent 740
With his industrious erew to build in hell,
Meanwhile the winged heralds, by eommand
711. This sndden rising of Pandemol to be taken
, is supposed to be taken from of the moving stage-seenes in the time of Charle,. the t int. V£&. Cressets, beaeon iigbts, whieh had their top, and henee ealled
740. And how he feli. Olnwrvo how Miiton lengthens out the time of Vulean's fali. II wax not only all day long, but we are led throngh the parts of the day,—from morn to noon, then from noon to dewy eve; and, to add to the effeet, it was a summer't day.
At Pandsemoninm, the high eapital
Of Satan aud his peers: their summons eall'd
From every band and squared regiment
By plaee or ehoiee the worthiest; they anon
Avith hundreds and with thousands trooping eame 700
Attended: all aeeess was throng'd; the gates
And porehes wide, but ehief the spaeious hall,
(Though like a eover'd field, where ehampions bold
Wont ride in arm'd, and at the soldan's ehair
Defied the best of Panim ehivalry tes
To mortal eombat, or eareer with lanee,)
Thiek swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air,
Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees
In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive 770
In elusters: they among fresh dews and flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their straw-built eitadel,
New rubb'd with balm, expatiate, and eonfer
Their state affairs: so thiek the aery erowd 770
Swarm'd and were straiten'd; till, the signal given,
Behold a wonder! they, but now who seem'd
In bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons,
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that Pygmean raee 780
Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves,
Whose midnight revels, by a forest side,
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while over-head the moon
Sits arbitress, aud nearer to the earth 780
Wheels her pale eourse: they, on their mirth and danee
Intent, with joeund musie eharm his ear:
At onee with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus ineorporeal spirits to smallest forms
Redueed their shapes immenso, and were at large, 780
Though without number still, amidst the hall
Of that infernal eourt. But far within,
And in their own dimensions, like themselves,
The great seraphie lords and eherubim
In elose reeess and seerot eonelave sat; 705
A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full, After short silenee then,
And summons read, the great eonsult began.
704. .Udan's ehaiv. "8oldan is an old B.mrlLsh word for 8ultan. He here allndes to those aeeonnts of the single oe)ihats botwoen the 8anwens and Cbristians in 8pain and Palestine, of whieh the old romanees are fuli. l\mim, another word found in aneient poetry, for Bzgany—Toon.
771. "II is not nerossory to enlarge
upon the poetry of this beautiful passage."—Brvooks.
774. Expatiate used in its Latin sense, "to walk abroad."
785. Arbitrate: wiIness, speetatress. Tiearer to the earth, is said in allusion to the populur superstition that witehes and fairies have great power over the moon.
V.t1. Freqoent, in the Latin sense of erowded.
REMARKS ON BOOK 11.
Ix traeing the progress of this poem by deliberate and minnte steps, oar wonder and admiration inerease. The inexhaustible invention eontinnes to grow upon us: eaeh page, eaeh line, is pregnant with something new, pieturesqne, and great: the eondensity of the matter is withont any parallel: the imagination often eontained in a single parage is more than eqnal to all that seeondary Iwets have produeed: the fable of the voyage throngh Chaos is alone a sublime poem. MiitonV deserii'tions of materiality have always tonehes of the spiritnal, the lofty, and the empyreai.
Miiton has too mueh eondensation to be flnent: a line or two often eonveys a world of images and ideas: he expatiates over all time, all spaee, all possibiiities: he unites earth with heaven, with hell, with all intermediate existenees, animate and inanimate; and his iilustrations are drawn from all learning, historieal, natural, and speeulative. In him, almost always, ''more is meant than meets the eav." An image, an epithet, eonveys a rieh pieture.
What is the subjeet of observation may be told without genins; but the wonder and the greatuess lie in invention, if the invention be noble, and aeeording to the prineiples of possibiiity.
Who eonld have eoneeived,—or, if eoneeived, who eould have expressed.—the voyage of 8atan through Chaos, but Miiton? Who eould have invented so many distinet and grand obstaeles in his way? and all pieturesqne, all poetieal, and all the topies of intelleetnal meditation and refleetion, or of spiritnal sentiment?
All the faeulties of the mind are exereised, stretehed, and elevated at onee by every page of " Paradise Lost."
Invention is the Iirst and most indispensable essential of trne poetry; but not the only one: the invention must have eertain high, moral, sound, wise qnalities: and, in addition to these, sueh as nre pieturesqne or spiritnai. It is easy to invent what is improhable or uunaturai. Nothing will do whieh eaunot eommand our belief.
Inventions either of eharaeter, imagery, or sentiment, taken separately in small fragments, may still have foree and merit; but when they form an integral and appropriate part of a long whole, how infinitely their power, depth, and bearings, are inerensed!
In poetry, we must eonsider both the original eoneeptions and the illustrations: eaeh derives interest and strength from the other: u mere eopy of an image drawn from nature may have some beauty; bnt the invention and the essential poetry lie in their eomplex use, when applied as an embodiment to something intelleetnai. Imagery is almost always so used by Miiton; and so it was used by Homer and Virgii. This gives a new light to the mind of the reader, and ereates eombinations whieh perhaps did not before exist: the poet thus spiritnalises matter, and materialises spirit. When what is presented is merely sueh seenery of nature as the painter ean give by lines and eolours, it falls far short of the poet's power and eharm. Poetry, purely deseriptive, is not of the first ordev.
There are lines in the "Paradise Lost," whieh would seem to be mere abstraet opinions; bnt they are not so; inset as they are into the eourse of a sublime, dense-wove narrative, they derive eolour and eharaeter