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UI legis Amiffam Paradifum, grandia magni
Carmina Miltoni, quid nifi cuncta legis ?

Res cunctas, & cunctarum primordia rerum,
Et fata, & fines continet ifte liber.
Intima panduntur magni penetralia mundi,
Scribitur & toto quicquid in orbe latet:

Terræque, tractufque maris, cœlumque profundum,
Sulphureumque Erebi, flammivomumque fpecus:
Quæque colunt terras, pontumque, & Tartara cæca,
Quæque colunt fummi lucida regna poli:
Et quodcunque ullis conclufum eft finibus ufquam,
Et fine fine Chaos, & fine fine Deus :

Et fine fine magis, fi quid magis eft fine fine,
In Christo erga homines conciliatus amor.
Hæc qui fperaret quis crederet esse futura ?

Et tamen hæc hodie terra Britanna legit.
O quantos in bella duces! quæ protulit arma!
Quæ canit, & quanta prælia dira tuba!
Cœleftes acies! atque in certamine cœlum!
Et quæ cœleftes pugna deceret agros!
Quantus in æthereis tollit fe Lucifer armis !

Atque ipfo graditur vix Michaële minor!
Quantis, & quam funeftis concurritur iris,
Dum ferus hic ftellas protegit, ille rapit!

- A'


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Tiv 3

Where couldst thou words of fuch a compafs find
Whence furnish such a vaft expence of mind?
Juft Heaven thee, like Tirefias, to requite
Rewards with prophecy thy lofs of fight.

Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure
With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense secure;
While the town-bays writes all the while and spells,
And like a pack-horse tires without his bells:
Their fancies like our bushy-points appear,
The poets tag them, we for fashion wear.
I too, transported by the mode, offend,
And while I meant to praise thee must commend.
Thy verfe created like thy theme fublime,

Number, weight, and measure, needs not rhyme.



On his Poem entitled PARADISE LOST.

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Thou! the wonder of the prefent age,

An age

immerft in luxury and vice;

A race of triflers; who can relish naught

But the gay iffue of an idle brain :

How couldst thou hope to please this tinfel race?
Though blind, yet with the penetrating eye
Of intellectual light thou doft furvey

The labyrinth perplex'd of Heaven's decrees;
And with a quill, pluck'd from an angel's wing,
Dipt in the fount that laves th' eternal throne,
Trace the dark paths of providence divine,
"And justify the ways of God to Man."


F. C. 1680.


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HE measure is English heroic verfe without rhyme, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; rhyme being no neceffary adjunct or true ornament of poem or good verfe, in longer works efpecially, but the invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame meter; graced indeed fince by the use of fome famous modern poets, carried away by cuftom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwife, and for the most part worse than elfe they would have expreffed them. Not without caufe therefore fome both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rhyme both in longer and shorter works, as have alfo long fince our beft English tragedies, as a thing of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true mufical delight; which confifts only in apt numbers, fit quantity of fyllables, and the fense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling found of like endings, a fault avoided by the learned Ancients both in poetry and all good oratory. This neglect then VOL. I.



of rhyme fo little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be efteemed an example fet, the first in English, of ancient liberty recovered to heroic poem, from the troublesome and modern bondage of rhyming.






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