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And hourly born, with forrow infinite
To me; for when they lift, into the womb.
That bred them they return, and howl and gnaw
My bowels, their repast; then bursting forth 800
Afreth with conscious terrors vex me round,
That rest or intermiffion none I find.
Before mine eyes in opposition fits
Grim Death my son and foe, who sets them on,
And me his parent would full soon devour 805
For want of other prey, but that he knows
His end with mine involv'd; and knows that I
Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane,
Whenever that shall be; fo fate pronounc'd.
But thou, O Father, I forewarn thee, shun 810
His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
To be invulnerable in those bright arms,
Though temper'd heav'nly, for that mortal dint,
Save he who reigns above, none can resist.

She finish’d, and the fubtle Fiend his lore 815 Soon learn'd, now milder, and thus answer'd smooth.

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809. fo fate pronounc'd.] The I. 5. AO d'TENHETO Bxam. Sie Heathen poets make Jupiter supe- fata Deùm rex fortitur, volvitque rior to fate: the will of Jupiter vices, says Virgil, Æn. III. 375. was perform’d, says Homer, Iliad. Et fic fata Jovis pofcunt, Æn. IV.

Dear Daughter, since thou clam’st me for thy fire,
And my fair son here show'st me, the dear pledge
Of dalliance had with thee in Heav'n, and joys
Then fweet, now fad to mention, through dire change
Befall’n us unforeseen, unthought of; know 821
I come no enemy, but to fet free
From out this dark and dismal house of pain
Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly host
Of Spi’rits, that in our just pretences arm'd 825
Fell with us from on high: from them I go
This uncouth errand sole, and one for all i
Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread
Th’unfounded deep, and through the void immense
To search with wand'ring quest a place foretold 830
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now
Created vast and round, a place of bliss
In the pourlieus of Heav'n, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room, though more remov'd, 835
Left Heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude

· Might

614. But Milton with great pro. 817. Dear Daughter,] Satan had priety makes the fall’n Angels and now learned his lore or lesson, and Sin here attribute events to fate, the reader will observe how art. without any mention of the Su- fully he changes his language; he preme Being

Í 2


Might hap to move new broils: Be this or ought Than this more secret now defign’d, I haste To know, and this once known, shall soon return, And bring ye to the place where Thou and Death Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen 841 Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd With odors; there ye shall be fed and fillid Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey. He ceas’d, for both seem'd highly pleas’d, and Death Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile, to hear 846 His famin should be fill'd, and blest his maw Destin’d to that good hour : no less rejoic'd His mother bad, and thus bespake her fire. • The key of this infernal pit by due, 850


had said before, ver. 745. that he And he shows plainly how he unhad never seen sight more deteftable; derstood the word by his use of it but now it is dear daughter, and in his View of the state of Ireland, my fair son.

“ Thinking thereby to make them e

“ more tractable and buzom to his Wing filently the buxom air,] « government." Buxom, as when we say a buxom lafs, is vulgarly understood for

846. Grinn'd horrible a ghaftly merry, wanton; but it properly

smile,] Several poets have fignifies flexible, yielding, from a endevored to express much the Saxon word signifying to bend. It som

1 same image. Thus Homer says of is likewise made the epithet of the A:

vite made the epithet of the Ajax, Iliad. VII. 212, air by Spenser, Fairy Queen, B. 1. C. 11. St. 37.

Med rowl Brorvegirl egowe And therewith scourge the buxom FACI. air so fore.


And by command of Heav’n’s all-pow'rful king
I keep, by him forbidden to unlock
These adamantin gates; against all force
Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
Fearless to be o’ermatch'd by living might. 855
But what owe I to his commands above
Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
To fit in hateful office here confin'd,
Inhabitant of Heav’n, and heav'nly-born, 860
Here in perpetual agony and pain,
With terrors and with clamors compass’d round
Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed?
Thou art my father, thou my author, thou


And Statius of Tydeus, Thebaid. 855. Fearless to be o'ermarch'd by VIII. 582.

living might.] In some edi.

tions it is living wight, that is crea. - formidabile ridens.

ture, and we have living wight be.

fore ver. 613: and this is likewise And Cowley of Goliah, Davideis, Dr

Cis, Dr. Bentley's reading, for living B. III.

might, says he, would not except Th’ uncircumcis'd smild grimly even God himself, the ever-living with disdain.

and the almighty. But God him

self muft necessarily be excepted And as Mr. Thyer observes, Ariosto here; for it was by his command and Tasso express it very prettily that Sin and Death fat to guard thus, Afpramente forrise and Sorrise the gates, and therefore living might amaramente. But I believe it will cannot possibly be understood of be readily allowed, that Milton has God, but of any one else who greatly exceedcd them all. should endevor to force a passage,

T 3

868. The

My being gav'st me; whom should I obey 865
But thee, whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon
To that new world of light and bliss, among
The Gods who live at ease, where I shall reign
At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end. 870

Thus saying, from her fide the fatal key,
Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
And tow'ards the gate rolling her bestial train,
Forthwith the huge portcullis high up drew,
Which but herself, not all the Stygian Powers 875
Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole turns
Th’intricate wards, and every bolt and bar


868. The Gods who live at ease,] ly as highly gratified by the mi. Word for word from Homer, 806 nute detail of particulars our auPHz Kovẫes,

Bentley. thor has given us. It may with 'Tis Šin who speaks here, and she justice be farther observed, that in Speaks as an Epicurean.

no part of the poem, the versifica

Richardson. tion is better accommodated to the 871. Thus saying, from her fide &c.] fenfe. The drawing up of the portIt is one great part of a poet's art cullis, the turning of the key, the to know when to describe things sudden shooting of the bolts, and the in general, and when to be very flying open of the doors are in some circumstantial and particular. Mil- sort described by the very break ton has in these lines Show'd his and sound of the verses. Tbger. judgment in this respect. The first 873. And tow'ards the gate rolling opening of the gates of Hell by b er beftial train,] A modern Sin is an incident of that impor- riming poet would perhaps have tance, that, if I can guess by my said, own, every reader's attention must And rolling tow'rds the gate her be greatly excited, and consequent beftial train,


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