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V I legis Amiffam Paradisum, grandia magni

Carmina Miltoni, quid nisi cuncta legis?
Res cunctas, & cunctarum prin idia rerum,

Et fata, & fines continet ift. "liber. Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,

Scribitur & toto quicquid in orbe latet: Terræque, tractusque maris, cælumque profundum,

Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque fpecus : Quæque colunt terras, pontumque, & Tartara cæca,

Quæque colunt summi lucida regna poli :
Et quodcunque ullis conclufum eft finibus ufquam,

Et fine fine Chaos, & fine fine Deus :
Et sine fine magis, fi quid magis est fine fine,

In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Hæc qui fperaret quis crederet esse futura ?

Et tamen hæc hodie terra Británna légit.
O quantos in bella duces ! quæ protulit arma!

Quæ canit, & quanta prælia dira tuba!
Cæleftes acies! atque in certamine cælum!
Et quæ

deceret agros! Quantus in æthereis tollit se Lucifer armis !

Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaële minor ! Quantis, &


funeftis concurritur iris, Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit ! VOL. I.



Dum vulsos montes ceu tela reciproca torquent,

Et non mortali desuper igne pluunt:
Stat dubius cui se parti concedat Olympus,

Et metuit pugnæ non superesse fuæ.
At fimul in cælis Meiliæ insignia fulgent,

Et currus animes, armaque digna Deo,
Horrendumque rotz strident, et sæva rotarum

Erumpunt torvis fulgura luminibus,
Et flammæ vibrant, & vera tonitrua rauco

Admistis flammis insonuere polo :
Excidit attonitis mens omnis, & impetus omnis,

Et caffis dextris irrita tela cadunt;
Ad pænas fugiunt, & ceu foret Orcus asylum,

Infernis certant condere se tenebris.
Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graii,

fama recens vel celebravit anus. Hæc quicunque leget tantùm ceciniffe putabit Mäonidem ranas, Virgilium culices.



'HEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,

In flender book his vast design unfold,
Mefliah crown'd, God's reconcil'd decree,
Rebelling Angels, the forbidden tree,
Heaven, Hell, Earth, Chaos, all; the argument
Held me a while misdoubting his intent,
That he would ruin (for I saw him strong)
The sacred truths to fable and old fung,
(So Sampson grop'd the temple's posts in spite)
The world o'erwhelming to revenge his light.

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Yet as I read, ftill growing less fevere,
I lik'd his project, the success did fear ;
Through that wide field how he his way should find,
O'er which lame faith leads understanding blind;
Left he perplex'd the things he would explain,
And what was easy he should render vain.

Or if a work so infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet always what is well,
And by ill imitating would excel)
Might hence presume the whole creation's day
To change in scenes, and show it in a play.

Pardon me, mighty Poet; nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy labours to pretend a share.
Thou hast not miss’d one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit:
So that no room is here for writers left,
But to detect their ignorance or theft.

That majesty which through thy work doth reign,
Draws the devout, deterring the profane.
And things divine thou treat'st of in such state
As them preserves, and thee, inviolate.
At once delight and horror on us seize,
Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease;
ind above human fight doft foar aloft

Vith plume so strong, fo equal, and so foft.
The bird nam'd from that Paradise you sing
So never flags, but always keeps on wing.

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