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55

IV.
No war, or battle's sound
Was heard the world around:

The idle spear and shield were high up hung,
The hooked chariot stood,
Unstain'd with hostile blood,

The trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by. 60

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But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of light

His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds with wonder whist
Smoothly the waters kist,

65
Whisp'ring new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.

vacat.

55. The idle spear and shield 64. The winds with wonder were high up hung.) So Proper- whist] Whist, silenced, as in tius, ii. xxv. 8.

Spenser, Faery Queen, b. vii.

cant. 7. st. 59. Et vetus in templo bellica parma

So was the Titaness put down and

whist : But chivalry and Gothic manners and in Shakespeare, Tempest, were here in Milton's mind. T. act i. sc. 5. Ariel's song. Wartón.

The wild waves whist. 64. The winds, &c.] Ovid, It is commonly used as an inter, Metam. ii. 745.

jection commanding silence. And Perque dies placidos hyberno tempore

hence, I

game

of septem

Whist hath its name, as it requires Incubat Halcyone pendentibus æquore silence and attention. nidis :

64. In Stanyhurst's Virgil, InTum via tuta maris; ventos custodit

tentique ora tenebant, is translated, Eolus egressu, &c.

They whisted all, b. ii. 1. . T. T Warton. Warton.

suppose, the

et arcet

VI. The stars with deep amaze Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,

70 Bending one way their precious influence, And will not take their flight, For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence; But in their glimmering orbs did glow,

75 Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

VII.
And though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,

The sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame

The new enlighten'd world no more should need ;
He saw a greater sun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could bear.

VIII.
The shepherds on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,

80

85

77. And though the shady gloom,

-Heaven awakened all his eyes &c.] This stanza is a copy of

To see another sunne at midnight

rise. one in Spenser's Aprill. I saw Phæbus thrust out his golden And afterwards he adds, “ the hed

- cursed oracles were strucken Upon her to gaze :

“ dumb." T. Warton. But when he saw, how broad her

86. Or e'er the point of dawn,] beames did spred,

Ere with e'er or ever following is It did him amaze. He blusht to see another sun belowe: changed into or; and there are Ne durst againe his fierie face outo frequent instances of it not only showe, &c.

in all our old writers, but like. So also G. Fletcher on a similar wise in the English translation of subject in his Christ's Victorie,' the Bible.

p. i. st. 78.

90

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they then,
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

IX.
When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,
As never was by mortal finger strook,

95 Divinely-warbled voice Answering the stringed noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took: The air such pleasure loath to lose, With thousand echoes still prolongs each heav'nly close.

89. That the mighty Pan sacred writings. Mr. Bowle reWas kindly come io live with fers to Dante, Purgat. c. vi. v. them below.)

118. That is, with the shepherds on

- sommo Giove, the lawn. So in Spenser's May, Che fosti'n in terra per noi crocifisso. which Milton imitates in Lycidas. And says that this passage is I muse what account both these will literally adopted by Pulci, Mormake;

gant. Magg. c. ii. v. 2. T. The one for the hire which he doth Warton. take,

96. Divinely-warbled voice] And th' other for learning his lord's

Rather divinely-warbling. As all taske, When great Pan account of Shep- their souls in blissful rapture took. heards shall aske.

So in Par. Lost, ii. 554. Of the Again,

music of the milder angels.

-Took with ravishment For Pan himself was their inherit

The thronging audience. Again in July,

-each heavenly close. So Shake

speare speaks of a musical close. The brethren twelve that kept yfere

K. Richard II. a. ii. s. 1. The flocks of mighty Pan. The same designation of Christ The setting sun, and music at the

close, occurs again in his September.

As the last taste of sweets is sweetest We should indeed recollect, that last. Christ is styled a shepherd in the

T. Warton.

ance.

101

105

110

X.
Nature that heard such sound,
Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the airy region thrilling,
Now was almost won
To think her part was done,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling;
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all heav'n and earth in happier union.

XI.
At last surrounds their sight
· A globe of circular light,

That with long beams the shame-fac'd night array'd; The helmed Cherubim, And sworded Seraphim,

Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd, Harping in loud and solemn quire, With unexpressive notes to heav'n's new-born Heir.

XII.
Such music (as 'tis said)
Before was never made,

But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator great
His Constellations set,

115

120

103. -—the airy region thrill- 116. With unexpressive notes] ing,] Piercing the air. So in See Lycidas, ver. 176. Spenser, Faery Queen, b. i. cant. 117. Such music as 'tis said.] iii. st. 42.

See this music described, Par. With thrilling point of deadly iron Lost, vii. 558. seq. T. Warton. brand :

119. But when of old the sons and cant. vi. st. 6. thrilling shrieks: of morning sung,] As we read and in other places.

in Job xxxviii. 7. When the morn112. helmed] See Par. Lost, ing stars sang together, and all the vi. 840. T.Warton.

sons of God shouted for joy.

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And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung, And cast the dark foundations deep, And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.

XIII. Ring out ye crystal Spheres,

125 Once bless our human ears,

(If ye have pow'r to touch our senses so,) And let your silver chime Move in melodious time,

And let the base of heav'n's deep organ blow, 130
And with your ninefold harmony
Make

up
full consort to th' angelic symphony.

XIV.
For if such holy song
Inwrap our fancy long,

Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold,
And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die,

And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould,
And hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day. 140

125. Ring out ye crystalSpheres,] 136. And speckled Vanity See the notes, P. L. iii. 482. E. Will sicken soon and die.]

130. And let the base of heav'n's Plainly taken from the maculosum deep organ blow.) An idea catched nefas of Horace, Od. v. 4. 23. by Milton from St. Paul's cathe- J. Warton. dral while he was a schoolboy. Vanity dressed in a variety of He was not yet a puritan. After- gaudy colours. Unless he means wards he and his friends the spots, the marks of disease and fanatics would not have allowed corruption, and the symptoms of of so papistical an establishment approaching death. T. Warlon. as an organ and choir, even in 139. And hell itself will

pass heaven. T. Warton.

away, 131. And with your ninefold And leave her dolorous mansions harmony] There being nine in- to the peering day.] folded spheres, as in Arcades, ver. The image is in Virgil, Æn. viii. 64. where see the note.

245.

135

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