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And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,

Blind Melesigenes, thenee Homer eall'd,

Whose poem Phoebus ehallenged for his own: wo

Thenee what the lofty grave tragedians taught

In ehorus or iambiek, teaehers best

Of moral prudenee, with delight reeeived

In brief sententious preeepts, while they treat

Of fate, and ehanee, and ehange in human life, 200

High aetions and high passions best deseribing;

Thenee to the famous orators repair,

Those aneient, whose resistless eloquenee

Wielded at will that fieree demoeratie,

Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greeee 270

To Maeedon and Artaxerxes' throne:

To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,

From Heaven deseended to the low-roof'd house

Of Soerates; see there his tenement,

Whom well inspired the oraele pronouneed 275
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
Melliflnous streams, that water'd all the sehools
Of Aeademieks old and new, with those
Surnamed Peripatetieks, and the seet

Epieurean, and the Stoiek severe. 280
These here revolve, or, as thou lik'st, at home,
Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight:
These rules will render thee a king eomplete
Within thyself, mueh more with empire join'd.

To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied: 285
Think not but that I know these things, or think
I know them not; not therefore am I short
Of knowing what I ought: he, who reeeives

of Mitylene ln Lesbos, an talund of the 1 Atoiians. Dorv,n: the edes of Pimiae.

250. Melesigenet. .Miiton here follows the opinion of some, that Homer was born near the Meles, a river of Asia Minor, near 8myrns.

201. Tragedy uas termed lofty by the aneients, frnm its style, but at the same time not withont a referenee to the eleveted buskin whieh the aetors wore.

2tJ2. Chorus or laml-iek. The two eonstitnent parts of the aneient tragedy were—the dialogoe, written ln lambieXmen sure, and the CBorus, whieh eonsisted of various measures. The eharaeter here given by our author of the aneient tragedy, is very just and noble; and the Engiish reader eaunot form a better idea of it in its highest bennty and perfeetion, than by reading our anthor's "t-a,n."ou Agonlstes."—Nbwton.

271. As Perleles and others fulwined over Greeee to Artarerres' tbronr, against the Persian king, so Demosthenes was the orator partieularly who Jiel mined over Greeee to Maeedot,. against Phiiip; esIwy elally when he was besieging Olynthus, | a tribntary eity of Athens. Henee some'

of his orations are ealled u Phiiippies"

and others '' Olynthiaes."

278. Old and new. The aeadendek seet of Phiiosophers, iike the Greek eomedy, hnd its tbree epoebs—old, ndddle, and new. Plato was at the head of the old aeademy, Areesiias of the ndddle, and Carneades of the new.—Duxster.

283. Thesc rules: Rather, their rules; or the word these may refer )o iine 204— to the brief sententious preeepts.

2fto. 7b whom. Ae. This auswer of onr 8aviour is as mueh to be admired for soiid reasoning, and the many subiime i truth" eontained in it, as the preeeding I spee,h of Satan is for that floe vein of 1 poetry whieh runs tbrongh it. And we - may observe in general, that Miiton has : qnite, tbroughont this work, tbrown the 1 ornament.- of poetry on the side of error, whether it was that he thonght great trutbs be,t expressed in a grave, unaffeeted style, or intended to snggest thia fine moral to the reader—that simple, naked truth wiil always 1a an over-mateh for falsehoed, thongh reeommended by I the gayest rbetortek and adorned with ! the most bewltt lung eolours.—Tuyer.

Light from above, from the fountain of light,

No other doetrine needs, though granted true; 200

But these are false, or little else but dreams,

Conjeetures, faneies, built on nothing firm.

The first and wisest of them all profess'd

To know this only, that he nothing knew;

The next to fabling fell, and smooth eoneeits; M

A third sort doubted all things, though plain sense:

Others in virtue plaeed felieity,

But virtue join'd with riehes and long life;

In eorporal pleasure he, and eareless ease:

The Stoiek last in philosophiek pride, too

By him eall'd virtue; and his virtnous man,

Wise, perfeet in himself, and all possessing

Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,

As fearing God nor man, eontemning all

Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life, 305

Whieh, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he ean,

For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,

Or subtle shifts eonvietion to evade.

Alasl what ean they teaeh, and not mislead,

Ignorant of themselves, of God mueh more, 810

And how the world began, and how man fell

Degraded by himself, on graee depending?

Mueh of the soul they talk, but all awry,

And in themselves seek virtue, and to themselves

All glory arrogate, to God give none; 810

Bather aeeuse nim under usual names,

Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite

Of mortal things. Who therefore seeks in these

True wisdom, finds her not; or, by delusion,

Far worse, her false resemblanee only meets, 320

An empty eloud. However, many books,

Wise men have said, are wearisome: who reads

Ineessantly, and to his reading brings not

A spirit and judgment equal or superiour,

lAnd what he brings what need he elsewhere seek?) 325

Uneertain and unsettled still remains,

Deep versed in books, and shallow in himself,

Crude or intoxieate, eolleeting toys

And trifles for ehoiee matters, worth a sponge;

As ehildren gathering pebbles on the shore. 330

Or, if I would delight my private hours

With musiek or with poem; where, so soon

As in our native language, ean I find

203. The first: 8orrates. The next: | 327. Deep versed, Ae.

Plato, whom our author, in one of his Knowledge i, proud tBat he hu leara'd ,o

Latin poems, terms "fabulator maxi- moeB;

m,ls." Wisdom is Bumble tBat Be knows no more.

200. A third tart: 8oeptieks. the disei- Omptr.

pies of Pyrrbe. Otbers: the Platonieks I 320. Wnrth a sponge. As the sponge la

and PeripateGeks. used for blotting out, so uoortl, a sponge

200. In eorporal pleasure he: Epieunu. iiterally moans not worth preaerv ing,

That solaee? All our law and story strew'd

With hymns, our psalms with artful terms inseribed, SS8

Our Hebrew songs and harps, in Babylon

That pleased so well our vietors' ear, deelare

That rather Greeee from us these arts derived;

111 imitated, while they loudest sing

The viees of their deities, and their own, 340

In fable, hymn, or song, so personating

Their gods ridieulous, and themselves past shame.

Remove their swelling epithets, thiek laid

As varnish on a harlot's eheek; the rest.

Thin sown with aught of profit or delight,' 345

Will far be found unworthy to eompare

With Sion's songs, to all true tastes exeelling,

Where God is praised aright, and godlike men,

The Holiest of Holies, and his saints,

lSueh are from God inspired, not sueh from thee,) 850

Unless where moral virtue is express'd

By light of Nature, not in all quite lost.

Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those

The top of eloquenee; statists indeed,

And lovers of their eountry, as may seem; 355

But herein to our prophets far beneath,

As men divinely taught, and better teaehing

The solid rules of eivil government,

In their majestiek unaffeeted style,

Than all the oratory of Greeee and Rome. 380
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so;
What ruins kingdoms, and lays eities flat:
These only with our law best form a king.

So spake the Son of God: but Satan, now 305
Quite at a loss, (for all his darts were spent,)
Thus to our Saviour with stern brow replied:

Sinee neither wealth nor honour, arms nor arts,
Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor aught
By me proposed in life eontemplative 370
Or aetive, tended on by glory or fame,
What dost thou in this world? The wilderness
For thee is fittest plaee; I found thee there,
And thither will return thee: yet remember
What I foretell thee: soon thou shalt have eause 370
To wish thou never hadst rejeeted, thus
Nieely or eautiously, my offer'd aid,

341. Personating: To eelebrate londly; from the Latin persons.

340. Wiil far be found, 4e . Undoubtedly these were Miiton'8 own sentiments, thongh deiivered in an assumed eharaetev. II must, however, bo observed, that Cbrist is here answering 8atan's speeeh, and eonnteraeting his exqnisito panegyriek on the phiiosophers, poets, and

orators of Athens. Yet at the same time
1 ean eoneeive that 8atan's speeeh, whieh
here he means to eonfute, and whieh no
man was more able to write than himself,
eame from the heart. The writers of
dialogne in feigned eharaeters have great
advantage.—J. Warton.
304. Xatut): 8tatesmen.

Whieh would have set thee in short time with ease

On David's throne, or throne of all the world,

Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season, 880

When propheeies of thee are best fullilled.

Now eontrary, if I read aught in heaven,

Or heaven write aught of fate, by what the stars

Voluminous, or single eharaeters,

In their eonjunetion met, give me to spell; 3M

Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate

Attend thee, seorns, reproaehes, injuries,

Violenee and stripes, and lastly eruel death:

A kingdom they portend thee; but what kingdom,

Real or allegonek, I diseern not; 800

Nor when; eternal sure, as without end,

Without beginning; for no date preflx'd

Direets me in the starry rubriek set.

So saying, he took, lfor still he knew his power
Not yet expired,) and to the wilderness 300
Brought baek the Son of God, and left him there,
Feigning to disappear, Darkness now rose,
As daylight sunk, and brought in lowering Night,
Her shadowy offspring; unsubstantial both,
Privation mere of light and absent day. 400
Our Saviour meek, and with untroubled mind
After his aery jaunt, though hurried sore,
Hungry and eold, betook him to his rest,
Wherever, under some eoneourse of shades,
Whose branehing arms thiek intertwined might shield 41is
From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head;
But, shelter'd, slept m vain; for at his head
The tempter wateh'd, and soon with ugly dreams
Disturb'd his sleep. And either tropiek now
'Gan thunder, and both ends of heaven; the elouds, 410
From many a horrid rift, abortive pour'd
Fieree rain with lightuing mix'd, water with fire
In ruin reeoneiled: nor slept the winds
Within their stony eaves, but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell 4i5
On the vex'd wilderness, whose tallest pines,
Though rooted deep as high; and sturdiest oaks,
Bow'd their stiff neeks, loaden with stormy blasts,
Or torn up sheer, Ill wast thou shrouded then,
0 patient Son of God, yet only stood'st 420
Unshaken! Nor yet stay'd the terrour there;
Infernal ghosts and hellish furies round
Environ'd thee; some howl'd, some yell'd, some shriek'd,
Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou

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Sat'st unappall'd in ealm and sinless peaee!
Thus pass d the nifjht so foul, till Morning fair
Came forth, with pilgrim steps, in amiee gray;
Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar
Of thunder, ehased the elouds, and laid the winds,
And grisly speetres, whieh the fiend had raised
To tempt the Son of God with terrours dire.
And now the sun with more effeetual beams
Had eheer'd the faee of earth, and dried the wet
From drooping plant or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Clear'd up their ehoieest notes in bush and spray,
To gratulate the sweet return of morn.
Nor yet, amidst this joy and brightest morn,
Was absent, after all his misehief done,
The prinee of darkness; glad would also seem
Of this fair ehange, and to our Saviour eame;
Yet with no new deviee; lthey all were spent,)
Rather by this his last affront resolved,
Desperate of better eourse, to vent his rage
And mad despite to be so oft repell'd.
Him walking on a suuny hill he found,
Baek'd on the north and west by a thiek wood.
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,
And in a eareless mood thus to him said:

Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God,
After a dismal night: I heard the wraek,
As earth and sky would mingle; but myself
Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them
As dangerous to the pillar' d frame of heaven,
Or to the earth's dark basis undorneath,
Are to the main as ineonsiderable
And harmless, if not wholesome, as a sneeze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone:
Yet, as being ofttimes noxious where they light
On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent,
Like turbuleneies in the affairs of men,
Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point,
They oft fore-signify, and threaten ill:
This tempest at this desert most was bent;
Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'st.
Did I not tell thee, if thou didst rejeet

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427. Amiee Gray: Front the Latin awieir>, to elothe. The eombination awiee gray. is from what is ealled grains awielust a gray habit worn by eeelesiasties and piigrims.

432. And no,o the mn, Ae. "There 1n, in this deseription, all the bloom of Miiton's youthful faney."—Tans. "II is impossible to forbear remarking that this deseription exhibits some of the finest

iines whieh Miiton has written in all his

poems."—J. Wabton.

440. I)t won1ed shape: That is, ln his own proper shape, and under no disgnise.

407. Did 1 not tell tbet, 4e . Here is something to be understoed: the thing told, we may suppose to be what 8atan had before said, iii. 351—

vby kingdom tBough foretold

8y propBet or by angel, unless thou
Endeavour, na thy rather David did
Thou never shalt obtain.

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