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Ruin, and desperation, and dismay,
Who durst so proudly tempt the Son of God.
So Satan fell; and straight a fiery globe
Of angels on full sail of wing flew nigh,
Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft
From his uneasy station, and upbore
As on a floating couch through the blithe air;
Then in a flow'ry valley set him down
On a green bank, and set before him spread
A table of celestial food, divine,
Ambrosial fruits, fetch'd from the tree of life,
And from the fount of life ambrosial drink,
That soon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd
What hunger, if aught hunger had impair'd,
Or thirst; and, as he fed, angelic quires
Sung heav'nly anthems of his victory
Over temptation and the tempter proud.

True Image of the father, whether thron'd
In the bosom of bliss, and light of light

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595 600

581 globe] G. Fletcher's Christ's Triumph, st. xiii.

out there flies A globe of winged angels swift as thought.' Todd. 583 him] This inaccuracy has been remarked; and that him must refer to Satan; therefore I would suppose that him is used emphaticallyso Satan fell; but angels received him, and upbore. 587 spread] G. Fletcher's Christ's Triumph, &c. st. 61.

*But to their Lord, now musing in his thought,
A heavenly volley of light angels flew,
And from his father him a banquet brought
Through the fine element : for well they knew
After his lenten fast he hungry grew ;
And, as he fed, the holy quires combine
To sing a hymn of the celestial trine.' Dunster.

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610

Conceiving, or remote from heav'n, enshrin'd
In fleshly tabernacle and human form,
Wand'ring the wilderness, whatever place,
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with god-like force indu'd
Against th' attempter of thy Father's throne,
And thief of paradise ; him long of old
Thou didst debel, and down from heav'n cast
With all his army, now thou hast aveng'd
Supplanted Adam, and by vanquishing
Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
And frustrated the conquest fraudulent :
He never more henceforth will dare set foot
In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke:
For though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
A fairer paradise is founded now
For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou,
A Saviour, art come down to re-install
Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be,
Of tempter and temptation without fear.
But thou, infernal serpent! shalt not long
Rule in the clouds ; like an autumnal star,
Or light’ning thou shalt fall from heav'n, trod down
Under his feet: for proof, ere this thou feel'st
Thy wound, (yet not thy last and deadliest wound,)
By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in hell
No triumph. In all her gates Abaddon rues
Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe
To dread the Son of God: be all unarm’d

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625 630

605 debel] Virg. Æn. vi. 853.

• Debellare superbos. Newton

Shall chase thee with the terror of his voice
From thy demoniac holds, possession foul,
Thee and thy legions ; yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,
Lest he command them down into the deep
Bound, and to torment sent before their time.
Hail Son of the most High, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan! on thy glorious work
Now enter, and begin to save mankind

Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek
Sung victor, and from heav'nly feast refresh'd
Brought on his way with joy; he unobserv'd
Home to his mother's house private return'd.

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ADDITIONAL NOTE ON PARADISE LOST.

B. I. ver. 46. With hideous ruin and combustion] So in an Order of the two Houses, &c., in 1642, apud Clarendon's Hist. of the Reb. üi. 46, ed. 1826. and thereby to bring the whole kingdom into utter ruin and combustion.' A. Dyce.

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SAMSON AGONISTES,

A DRAMATIC POEM.

THE AUTHOR

JOHN MILTON.

Τραγωδία μίμησις πράξεως σπουδαίας, &c.

Aristot. Poet. cap

Tragedia est imitatio actionis seriæ, &c. per misericordiam et metun.

perficiens talium affectuum lustrationem.

OF THAT SORT OF DRAMATIC POEM WHICH IS

CALLED TRAGEDY.

TRAGEDY, as it was anciently composed, hath been ever held the gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other poems; therefore said by Aristotle to be of power, by raising pity and fear, or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is, to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight, stirred up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion; for so in physic, things of melancholic hue and quality are used against melancholy, sour against sour, salt to remove salt humours. Hence philosophers and other gravest writers, as Cicero, Plutarch, and others, frequently cite out of tragic poets, both to adorn and illustrate their discourse. The apostle Paul himself thought it not unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the text of holy scripture, 1 Cor. xv. 33; and Paræus, commenting on the Revelation, divides the whole book, as a tragedy, into acts, distinguished each by a chorus of heavenly harpings and song between. Heretofore men in highest dignity have laboured not a little to be thought able to compose a tragedy. Of that honour Dionysius the elder was no less ambitious,

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