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I, who ere-while the happy garden sung,
Thou Spirit, who led'st this glorious Eremite
7 waste] Spens. Fairy Queen, i. i. 32.
Far hence, quoth he, in wasteful wilderness,' Dunster. 14 summ'd] Drayton's Polyolbion. Song xi. • The muse from Cambria comes, with pinions summ’d and sound.'
Todd. VOL. JI.
Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice More awful than the sound of trumpet, cry'd Repentance, and heaven's kingdom nigh at hand 20 To all baptiz’d: to his great baptism flock'd With awe the regions round, and with them came From Nazareth the Son of Joseph deem'd, To the flood Jordan; came, as then obscure, Unmarkt, unknown; but him the Baptist soon Descry’d, divinely warn’d, and witness bore As to his worthier, and would have resign'd To him his heavenly office, nor was long His witness unconfirm’d: on him baptiz'd Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice From heaven pronounc'd him his beloved Son. That heard the adversary, who, roving still About the world, at that assembly fam’d Would not be last, and, with the voice divine Nigh thunder-struck, th’ exalted man, to whom Such high attest was giv'n, a while survey'd With wonder; then, with envy fraught and rage, Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air To council summons all his mighty peers, Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd, A gloomy consistory; and them amidst With looks aghast and sad he thus bespake.
42 consistory] Virg. Æn. iii. 677.
• Concilium horrendum. Thyer.
Omai dintorno a questo consistoro
O ancient Powers of air and this wide world, (For much more willingly I mention air, This our old conquest, than remember hell, Our hated habitation ;) well ye know How many ages, as the years of men, , This universe we have possess’d, and ruld In manr.er at our will th' affairs of earth, Since Adam and his facil consort Eve Lost paradise deceiv’d by me, though since With dread attending when that fatal wound Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve Upon my head; long the decrees of heaven Delay, for longest time to him is short ; And now too soon for us the circling hours This dreaded time have compast, wherein we Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound, At least if so we can, and by the head Broken be not intended all our power To be infring’d, our freedom, and our being, In this fair empire won of earth and air : For this ill news I bring, the woman's seed,
I Destin'd to this, is late of woman born; His birth to our just fear gave no small cause, . But his growth now to youth's full flow'r, displaying All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear. .
57 circling] So P. L. vi. 3. vii. 342, · Circling years.' Dunster.
67 youth's full flow'r] Hom. Il. iv. 484, nens čvdos. Lucret. i. 565, ævi contingere florem. iii. 771, ætatis tangere florem. Si. Ital. xvi. 406, primævæ flore juventæ.
Before him a great prophet to proclaim
82 crystal] Crystal was a favourite expression among our elder poets for bright.' It occurs nearly twenty times in Milton. It is often used, when no allusion to 'crystal as a substance is meant, as in Shakesp. Hen. VI. p. i. act i. sc. 1. • Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky.' Dekker's Satiromastix, Sig. K. 4, ed: 1602, «Bow their crystal knees.'
Ye see our danger on the utmost edge
He ended, and his words impression left
94 edge] Shakesp. All's Well, &c. Act iii. sc. 3.
We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake
Newton. 97 well-woven] Sil. Ital. iii. 233.
• Docilis fallendi, et nectere tectos
Dunster. 104 waft] P. L. ii. 1041.
Now with ease,