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Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.'
The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fix'd in steadfast gaze,

Bending one way their precious influence;
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer, that often warn'd them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.
And, though the shady gloomi
Had given day her room,

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed;
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame

The new-enlighten'd world no more should need :
He saw a greater sun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could bear.
The shepherds on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustick row;
Full little thought they than,
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below:*
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep:



When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook ;

i While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed ware. Another glorious line. The whole stanza breathes the essence of descriptive poetry.

j And, though the shady gloom, &c. Mr. Bowle saw with me that this stanza is a copy of one in Spenser's “ April :"

I sawe Phæbus thruste out his golden hede

Vpon her to gaze:
But, when he saw howe broade her beames did sprede,

It did him amaze.
Hee blusht to see another sunne belowe,
Ne durst againe his fierie face outshowe, &c.-T. WARTON.

k That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below. That is, with the shepherds on the lawn. So, in Spenser's “May," which Milton imitates in “Lycidas:"

I muse what account both these will make,
The one for the hire which he doth take;
And the other for leaving his lordes taske,

When great Pan account of shepheards shall aske. We should recollect that Christ is styled a shepherd in the sacred writings. Mr. Bowle observes, that Dante calls bim Jupiter, “ Purgat.” c. vi. v. 118; and that this passago is literally adopted by Pulci, " Morgant. Magg.” c. ii. v. 2.--T. WARTON.


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Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
The air, such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heavenly close.
Nature, that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the aery region thrilling,
Now was almost won,
To think her part was done,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling:
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all heaven and earth in happier union.
At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light,

That with long beams the shamefaced night array'd;
The helmed cherubim,
And sworded seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd,
Harping in loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes,” to Heaven's new-born heir.
Such musick," as 'tis said,
Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator great
His constellations set,

And the well-balanced world on hinges hung;
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.
Riog out, ye crystal spheres ;
Once bless our human ears,

have power to touch our senses so;
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
And let the bass of Heaven's deep organ blow;o

1 Nature, that heard such sound. I suppose this is one of the stanzas which Warton deemed a conceit. I can hardly call it so.

m With unexpressive notes. So, in “Lycidas," v. 176:

And hears the unexpressive nuptial song, The word, which is the object of this note, was perhaps coined by Shakspeare, “As you Like it," a. iii. s. 2:

The fair, the chaste, the unexpressive she.-T. WARTON. This stanza is sublime, and in Milton's peculiar manner.

n Such musick. This stanza also is of equal excellence; and so the stanza which follows.

o And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow. Here is another idea caught by Milton from St. Paul's cathedral while he was a




And, with your ninefold harmony,”
Make up full consort to the angelick symphony.
For, if such holy song
Enwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold;
And speckled Vanity!
Will sicken soon and die,

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;
And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day."



Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,

Orb'd in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between,
Throned in celestial sheen,

With radiant feet. the tissued clouds down steering;!
And heaven, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.



But wisest Fate says no,
This must not yet be so;

The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy,
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss ;

So both himself and us to glorify:

school-boy. Milton was not yet a puritan : afterwards, he and his friends the fanaties would not have allowed of so papistical an establishment as an organ and choir, even in heaven.-T. Wartox.

I think, to name the organ, in speaking of the music of the spheres, is rather the bathos.

p And, with your ninefold harmony. There being "nine infolded spheres," as in “ Arcades,” v. 64.–Newton.

9 And speckled Vanity, &c. Plainly taken from the "maculosum nefas" of Horace, “Od." v. 4. 28.-Jos. Wartox.

Vanity dressed in a variety of gaudy colours. Unless he means spots, the marks of disease and corruption, and the symptoms of approaching death.-T. Wartox.

And Hell itself vill pass away,

And leare her dolorous mansions to the peering day.
The image is in Virgil, “ Æn." viii. 245:-

Regna recludat
Pallida, Dis invisa ; superque immane barathrum

Cernatur, trepidentque immisso lumine Manes.-T. WARTON.
The Alexandrine here is sonorous and majestic.

s With radiant feet. Isaiah lii. 7:—“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings——that publisheth salvation ; that saith unto Sion, Thy God reigneth?"DUNSTER.

Down steering.
The old writers use this word simply for moving. Thus our author, in “Samson
Agonistes," ver. 110:-

I hear
The tread of many feet steering this way.-HURD.






Yet first, to those ychain'd in sleep,
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep;"
With such a horrid clang
As on Mount Sinai rang,

While the red fire and smouldering clouds out brake:
The aged earth aghast,
With terrour of that blast,

Shall from the surface to the centre shake;
When, at the world's last session,
The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread his throne.
And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,

But now begins; for, from this happy day,
The old dragon, under ground
In straiter limits bound,

Not half so far casts his usurped sway;
And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly horrour of his folded tail.
The oracles are dumb;
No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetick cell.
The lonely mountains o'er,
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;Y

u The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep. A line of great energy, elegant and sublime.-T. Warton.

Swindges the scaly horrour of his folded tail. This strong image is copied from the descriptions of serpents and dragons in the old romances and Ariosto. There is a fine picture by Guido, representing Michael the archangel treading on Satan, who has such a tail as is here described.—Jos. WARTON.

The oracles, &c. Attention is irresistibly awakened and engaged by the air of solemnity and enthusiasm that reigns in this stanza and some that follow. Such is the power of true poetry, that one is almost inclined to believe the superstitions real.-Jos. Warton.

This is a noble note of Jos. Warton, who, though he had not the detached, abstruse, and curious knowledge, and deep research of his brother, had, perhaps, more sensibility of taste. Here is just enough of that dim imagery, and those mysterious epithets, to set the imagination into that magical stir, which it is the essence of true poetry to

* The lonely mountains o'er, &c. Dr Newton observes, that this allusion to the notion of the cessation of oracles at the coming of Christ, was allowable enough in a young poet. Surely, nothing could have been more allowable in an old poet. And how poetically is it extended to the pagan divinities, and the oriental idolatries -T. Warton.

V A roice of vecping heard and loud lament. This is scriptural. Matt. ii. 18: “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping," &c.—T. WARTON.




From haunted spring and dale
Edged with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent:
With flower-inwoven tresses torn,
The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.

In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,

The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint:
In urns, and altars round,
A drear and dying sound

Affrights the flamens at their service quaint;
And the chill marble seems to sweat, a
While each peculiar Power forgoes his wonted seat.


Peor and Baälim
Forsake their temples dim,

With that twice-batter'd god of Palestine ;
And mooned Ashtaroth,


and mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine:
The Libyck Hammon shrinks his horn;
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mourn :
And sullen Moloch, filed,
Hath left in shadows dread

His burning idol all of blackest hue :
In vain with cymbals' ring
They call the grisly king,

In dismal dance about the furnace blue :



z The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn. An exquisite Alexandrine, both for the imagery and the music of the metre.

a The chill marble seems to sweat. Among the prodigia at the death of Julius Cæsar, Virgil notices, "mestem illacrymat templis ebur, æraque sudant.” Georg. i. 480.-DUNSTER,

White each peculiar Power forgoes his wonted scat.
Virgil, “Æn.” ii. 351.

Excessere omnes, adytis arisquo relictis,

c Heaven's queen and mother both,
She was called "regina coeli" and "mater Deum." See Selden.--NEFTOX.

d And sullen Moloch, fled, &o. This imagery, but with less effect, was afterwards transferred into the “ Par. Lost," b. i. 392; where these dreadful circumstances, of themselves sufficiently striking to the imagination, are only related : in our Ode, they are endued with life and action, they are put in motion before our eyes, and made subservient to a new purpose of the poet by the superinduction of a poetical fiction, to which they give occasion. Milton, like a true poet, in describing the Syrian superstitions, selects such as were most susceptible of poetical enlargement; and which, from the wildness of their ceremonies, were most interesting to the fancy.-T. Warton.

. In dismal dance about the furnace blue. So in “Macbeth," as Mr. Steevens has observed to me:

And round about the caldron sing.-T. WARTON.

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