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Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,
Alone as they. About them frisking play'd

All beasts of th' earth, since wild, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forest or'den;
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw
Dandled the kid ; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
Gambol'd before them ; th' unwieldy elephant 345
To make them mirth us'd all his might, and wreath'd
His lithe proboscis; close the serpent fly
Infinuating, wove with Gordian twine
His breaded train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unheeded ; others on the grass 350


3:47. His lithe proboscis ;] His could unty, but Alexander cut it timber trunk, so pliant and useful with his sword. His breaded train, to him, that Cicero calls it, elephan- his plaited twisted tail. And of his torum manuth, the elephants hand. fotal guile gave proof unheeded; That

Hume. intricate form into which he pat

himself was a sort of symbol or 348. Infinuating, wove with Gor- type of his fraud, thoʻ'not then dian twine

regarded. Hume and Richarfin. His breaded train,&c.]Infinuating, We may observe that the poet is wrapping, or rolling up, and as it larger in the description of the ferwere imbosoming hiinself. Virgil pent, than of any of the other frequently uses the words finuofus animals, and very judiciously, as and finuare to express the winding he is afterwards inade the instrumotions of this animal. With Gora ment of so much mischief; and at dian twine, with many intricate the same time an intimation is turnings and twistings, like the fa- given of his fatal guile, to prepare mous Gordian knot, which no body the reader for what follows.

351. Couchd,

Couch'd, and now fill’d with pasture grazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating; for the sun
Declin'd was hasting now with prone carreer
To th' ocean iles, and in th' ascending scale
Of Heav’n the stars that ulher evening rose : 355
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd sad.

O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold!
Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'd
Creatures of other mold, earth-born perhaps, 360


351. Couch'd,] Let the reader and again ver. 156. obierve how artfully the word

Πατερι δε yoor coucb'd is placed, so as to make the

xar xndeck

λυγρα sound expressive of the sense,

Ast'. others on the grass and in several other places. Couch'd.

And the English reader may see Such a reft upon the firft fyllable fimilar instances in our English of the verse is not very common, Homer. Pope's Homer, B. 16. but it is very beautiful when it is fó

ver. 445• accommodated to the sense. The learned scader


observe a Chariots on chariots roll; the beauty of the like kind in these clashing spokes verses of Homer, Iliad. I. 51. Shock; / while the madding steeds

brake short their yokes. Αυταρ επειτ' αυτοισι βελος εχεπευκες εφιεις

And in the Temple of Fame, ver. Βαλλ' αιει δε συραν νεκνων καιoλo 8ς. θαμειαι. .

Amphion there the loud creating and Iliad. V. 146.


Strikes, and behold a sudden Τον δ' ετερον ξιφεί μεγαλω κληιδα Thebes aspire !

wap whor Πληξ.

And it is observable that this pause

Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright
Little inferior ; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, fo lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such

The hand that form’d them on their shape hath pour'd.
Ah gentle pair, ye little think how nigh
Your change approaches, when all these delights
Will vanish and deliver

ye to woe, More woe, the more your taste is now of joy ; Happy, but for so happy ill secur'd

370 Long


is usually made upon the verb, to and from hence our author seems mark the action more strongly to to have borrow'd his metaphor of the reader.

the fca es of Heaven, weighing

night and day, the one ascending 352. Or bed:ward ruminating ;] as the other links. Chewing the cud before they go to reit. Hume.

357. Scarce thus at length fuild

Speech recover'd fad.] Tho' 354. Torb'ocean iles,] The ilands Satan came in quest of Adam and in the western ocean ; for that the Eve, yet he is ftruck with such sun set in the sea, and rose out of astonishment at the fight of them, it again, was an ancient poetic no what it is a long time before he tion, and is become part of the can recover his speech, and break phraseology of poetry. And in forth into this foliloquy: and at ih' ascending scale of Heav’n. The the same time this dumb admirabalance of Heaven or Libra is one tion of Satan gives the poet the of the twelve signs, and when the better opportunity of inlarging his Sun is in that sign, as he is at the description of them. This is very autumnal equinox, the days and beautiful. nights are equal, as if weigh'd in a balance :

362. Little inferior;] For this

there is the authority of Scripture. Libra diei somnique pares ubi fe- Thou hast made him a little lower cerit horas.

than the Angels, Pal. VIII. 3. Heb. Virg. Georg. I. 208.

389.--- yet

11. 7.

I seek, 375

Long to continue, and this high seat your

Heaven Ill fenc'd for Heav'n to keep out such a foe As now is enter'd ; yet no purpos’d foe To

you, whom I could pity thus forlorn, Though I unpitied : League

League with

you And mutual amity so strait, so close, That I with you must dwell, or you with me Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please, Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such Accept your Maker's work ; he


380 Which I as freely give ; Hell shall unfold, To entertain you two, her widest gates, And fend forth all her kings; there will be room, Not like these narrow limits, to receive Your numerous ofspring; if no better place, 385 Thank him who puts mc loath to this revenge On you who wrong me not for him who wrong'd.


it me,

339 - yet public reason juf!, &c.] 395. Then from his lofty stand on Public reason compels me, and that that high tree &c.] The tree public reason is honor and empire of life, higher than the rest, where inlargd with revenge, by conquer- he had been perching all this while ing this new world. And thus S.1- from ver. 196. And then for the tan is made to plead public reason transformations which follow, what jus, and neceffity to excuf bis de changes in Ovid's Metamorphosis vilish deeds; i he tyrant's plia, as the are so natural, and yet so surprizing poet calls it, probably with a view as these ? he is well liken'd to to his own times, and particularly the fiercest beasts, the lion and the to the plea for flip-moncy. tiger, and Adain and Eve in their

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And should I at your harmless innocence
Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
Honor and empire with revenge inlarg’d, 390
By conqu’ring this new world, compels me now
To do what else though damn'd I should abhor.

So spake the Fiend, and with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree 395
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and unespy'd
To mark what of their state he more might learn 400
By word or action mark’d: about them round
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spy'd
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,


native innocence to two gentle did not do it for want of attention, fawns.

and that it was not merely the ef

feet of his blindness. See inttances 400. To mark what of their flate of it in my note on III. 147. and be more might learn

we have another following here, By word or action markd:] Tho' ver. 405. the poet uses mark and mark'd too, yet such repetitions of the fame Strait couches close, then rising word are common with him; so

changes oft common that we may suppose he

His couchant watch. Pearce. VOL. I.

410. Turnia

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