« السابقةمتابعة »
Of eolour glorious and effeet so rare?
Here matter new to gaze the devil met
Undazzled; far and wide his eye eommands;
For sight no obstaele found here, nor shade, C18
But allsunshine. As when his beams at noon
Culminate from the equator, as they now
Shot upward still direet, whenee no way round
Shadow from body opaque ean fall; and the air,
No where so elear, sharpen'd his visual ray eio
To objeets distant far; whereby he soon
Saw within ken a glorious angel stand,
The same whom John saw also in the sun:
His baek was turn'd, but not his brightuess hid;
Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar C25
Cireled his head; nor less his loeks behind
Illustrious on his shoulders fledge with wings
Lay waving round: on some great eharge employ'd
He seem'd, or fix'd in eogitation deep.
Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope 030
To find who might direet his wandering flight
To Paradise, the happy seat of man,
His journey's end, and our beginning woe.
But first he easts to ehange his proper shape;
Whieh else might work him danger or delay: 035
And now a stripling eherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet sueh as in his faee
Youth smiled eelestial, and to every limb
Suitable graee diffused, so well he feign'd;
Under a eoronet his flowing hair 040
In eurls on either eheek play'd; wings he wore
Of many a eolour'd plume sprinkled with gold;
His habit fit for speed sueeinet; and held
Before his deeent steps a silver wand.
He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright, 045
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd
Admonish'd by his ear; and straight was known
The arehangel Uriel, one of the seven,
Who in God's presenee nearest to his throne
Stand ready at eommand, and are his eyes 0&o
That run through all the heavens, or down to the earth
Bear his swift errands, over moist and dry,
O'er sea and land: him Satan thus aeeosts:—
Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that stand
Where all his sons thy embassy attend;
And here art likeliest by supreme deeree
Like honour to obtain, and as his eye
To visit oft this new ereation round;
Unspeakable desire to see, and know
All these his wondrous works, but ehiefly man,
His ehief delight and favour, him for whom
All these his works so wondrous he ordain'd.
Hath brought me from the quires of eherubim
Alone thus wandering. Brightest seraph, tell
In whieh of all these shining orbs hath man
His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
But all these shining orbs his ehoiee to dwell;
That I may find him, and, with seeret gaze
Or open ailmiration, him behold,
On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd
Worlds, and on whom hath all these graees pour'd;
That both in him and all things, as is meet,
The universal Maker wo may praise;
Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes
To deepest hell; and, to repair that loss,
Created this new happy raee of men
To serve him better: wise are all his ways.
So spake the false dissembler unpereeived;
Fair angel, thy desire, whieh tends to know
88fi. Thongh wisdom wake. There is not, in my opinion, a nobler sentiment, or one more poetieally expressed in the whole poem. What great art bus the
poet shown in taking off the dryness of a mere moral sentenee, by tbrowing it into the form of a short and btnutifuI allegory 1—Tnter.
That brought them forth, but hid their eauses deep?
I saw, when at his word the formless mass,
This world's material mould, eame to a heap:
Confusion heard his voiee, and wild uproar no
Stood ruled; stood vast infinitude eonfined;
Till at his seeond bidding darkness fled,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung.
Swift to their several quarters hasted then
The eumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; 715
And this ethereal quintessenee of heaven
Flow upward, spirited with various forms,
That roll'd orbieular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
Eaeh had his plaee appointed, eaeh his eourse; 730
The rest in eireuit walls this universe.
Look downward on that globe, whose hither side
With light from henee, though but refleeted, shines;
That plaee is earth, the seat of man; that light
His day, whieh else, as the other hemisphere, 725
Night would invade: but there the neighbouring moon,
So eall that opposite fair star, her aid
Timely interposes; and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing, through mid heaven,
With borrow'd light her eountenanee triform 7.'o
Henee fills and empties to enlighten the earth;
And in her pale dominion eheeks the night.
That spot to whieh I point is Paradise,
Adam's abode; those lofty shades his bower:
Thy way thou eanst not miss, me mine requires. 735
Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan, bowing low,
710. Tin's etherenl, Ae. Our author borrowed this notion from Aristotle and others of the aneient phiiosophers, who supposed that besides the four elements, there was iikewise an ethereal qnintessenee or fifth essenee, out of whieh the 1dars and heavens were formed, and that 'ts motion was orbieulae.—Newtox.
742. Niphutes. This is a range of mountain.'' in Armenia, forndng a part of the great ehain of Mount Taurus, and sonth of lake Van. This ridge is ehosen as the one on whieh 8atan iights, as it is in the supposed region of Paradise.
'' Satan, after having wandered upon the surfaee, or utmost wall of the universe, diseovers at last a wide gap in it. whieh led into the ereation, and is deseribed as the opening tbrongh whieh the angels pass to and fro into the lower world, upon their errands to mankind. Hia sitting upon the brink of this passage,
and taking a survey of the whole faee of nature that appeared to him new and fresh ln all its beauties, with the simiie iilustrating this eireumstanee, fills the ndnd of the reader with as surprising and glorious an idea as any that arisew in the whole poem. He looks down into that vast hollow of the universe with the eye, or as Miiton ealls it in his first book, with the ken of an angei. Be surveys all the wonders in this immense amphitheatre that iies between both the poles of heaven, and takes in at one view the whole ronnd of the ereation.
Hls Iiight between the several world* that shined on every side of him, and the partieular deseription of the sun, are set forth in all the wantouness of & luxuriant imagination. His shape, speeeh, and behaviour, upon his transforming himself into an angel of iight, are touehed with exqnisite beauty."—Advisox.
REMARKS ON BOOK 1V.
We may eonsider the beanties of the fourth book under three heads. In the first are those pietures of still-life, whieh wo meet with in the deseription of Eden, Paradise, Adam's bower, Ae.: in the next are tho maehines, whieh eomprehend the speeehes and behaviour of the good and had angels: in the hut is the eonduet of Adam and Eve, who are the prineipal aetors in the poem.
In the deseription of Paradise, the poet has observed Aristotle's rule of lavishing all the ornaments of dietion on the weak inaetive parts of the fable whieh are not supported by the beanty of sentiments and eharaeters. Aeeordingly, the reader may observe, that the expressions are more florid and elaborate in these deseriptions, than in most other parts of the poem. This deseription of Paradise is wonderfully beantiful, and formed upon the short sketeh whieh wo have of it in Holy Writ. Milton's exuberanee of imagination has poured forth sueh a redundaney of ornaments on this seat of happiness and iunoeenee, that it wonld be endless to point ont eaeh partieulav.
We are in the next plaee to eonsider the maehines of the fourth book. 8atan, being now within prospeet of Eden, and looking ronnd upon the glories of the ereation, is filled with sentiments different from those whieh he diseovered whilst he was in helL The plaee inspires him with thoughts more adapted to it .
The thonght of 8atan's transformation into a eormorant, vev. 100, and plaeing himself on the Tree of Life, seems raised uy)on that passage in the Iliad, where two deities are deseribed as perehing on the top of an oak, in the shape of vultures.
The deseription of Adam and Eve, as they first appeared to 8atan, is exquisitely drawn, and suIfieient to make the fallen angel gnze upon them with all that astonishment, and those emotions of envy, in whieh he is represented.
There is a fine spirit of poetry in the lines whieh follow, wherein they are deseribed as sitting on a bed of flowers by the side of a fountain, amidst a mixed assembly of animals. The speeehes of these first two lovers flow eqnally from passion and sineerity: the professions they make U) one another are full of warmth; bnt at the same time founded on troth: in a word, they are the gallantries of Paradise. The part of Eve's speeeh, in whieh she gives an aeeonnt of herself upon her first ereation, and the mauner in whieh she was bronght to Adam, is, I think, as beantiful a passage as any in Miiton, or perhaps in any othor poet whatsoevev. These passages are all worked off with so mueh art, that they are eapable of pleasing the most delieate reader, withont offending the most severe:
That day I oft remember, when from sleep, Ae.
A poet of less judgment and invention than this great nnthor would have fonnd it very diffieult to have filled these tender parts of the poem with sentiments proper for a state of iunoeenee; to have desertbed the warmth of love, and the professions of it, withont artifwe or hyperbole; to have made the man speak the most endearing things withont deseending from his natural dignity, and the woman reeeiving them without departing from the modesty of eharaeter: in a word, to adjust the prerogatives of wisdom and beauty, and make eaeh appear to the other in its proper foree and loveliness. This mutnal subordination of tho two sexes is wonderfully kept up in the whole poem, as partieularly in the 8peeeh of Eve I have before mentioned, and upon the eonelusion of it; when the poet adds, that the devil turned away with envy at the sight of so mueh happiness, v. 402, Ae.
We have another view of onr first parents in their evening diseourses, whieh is full of pleasing images and sentiments snitable to their eondition and eharaeters. The speeeh of Eve, in partieular, is dressed up in sueh a soft and natural turn of words and sentiments, as eaunot be suffieiently admired.
8atan's planting himself at the ear of Eve under the form of a toad, in order to produee vain dreams and imaginations, is a striking eireumstanee; as his starting up in his own form is wonderfully fine, both in the literal deseription, and in the moral whieh is eoneealed under it. His answer upon his being diseovered, and demanded to give an aeeonnt of himself, is eonformable to the pride and intrepidity of his eharaetev.
Zephon's rebuke, with the in flu onee it had on 8atan, is exquisitely graeeful and morai. 8atan is afterwards led away to Gabriel, the ehief of the gnardian angels, who kept wateh in Paradise. His disdainful behaviour on this oeeasion is so remarkable a beauty, that the most ordinary reader eaunot bnt take notiee of it: Gabriel's diseovering his approaeh at a distanee is drawn with great strength and liveliness of imagination.
The eonferenee between Gabriel and 8atan abounds with sentiments proper for the oeeasion, and suitable to the persons of the two speakers. 8atan elothing himself with terror when he prepares for the eomhat is truly sublime, and at least eqnal to Homer's deseription of Diseord, eelebrated by Longinus; or to that of Fame, in Virgii; who are both represented with their feet standing upon the earth, and their heads reaehing above the elouds.—Addison.
Milton, like Dante, hud been unfortunate in ambition and in love. He had survived his health and his sight, the eomforts of his home, and the prosperity of his party. Of the great men by whom he had been distinguished, some had been taken away from the evil to eome: some had taken into foreign elimates their uneonqnerable hatred of oppression: some were pining in dungeons, and some had poured forth their blood on seaffolds. If ever despondeney and asperity eould be exeused in any man, they might have been exeused in Miiton; bnt the strength of bis mind overeame every ealamity. His temper was serious, perhaps stern; bnt it was a temper whieh no sufferings eould render sullen or fretfui. 8ueh as it was, when, on the eve of great events, he returned from h,s travels, in the prime of health and manly beauty, loaded with literary distinetions, and glowing with patriotie hopes—sueh it eontinned to be—when, after having experieneed every ealamity whieh is ineident to onr nature, old, poor, sightless, and disgraeed, be retired to his hovel to die!
Henee it was, that thongh he wrote the Paradise Lost at a time of life when images of beauty and tenderness are, in general, begiuning to fade, even from those minds in whieh they have not been effaeed by anxiety and disappointment, he adorned it with all that is most lovely and delightful in the physieal and in the moral world. Neither Theoeritus nor Ariosto had a Iiner or a more healthful sense of the pleasantuess of external objeets, or loved better to luxuriate amidst sunbeams and flowers, the songs of nightingales, the jniee of summer frnits, and the eoolness of shady fountains. His poetry reminds us of the miraeles of Alpine seenery: nooks and dells, beantiful as fairy land, are embosomed in its most rugged and gigantie elevations. The roses and myrtles bloom unehilled on the verge of the avalanehe.—Maeau I-ay.