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Escend from Heav'n, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art call’d, whose voice divine Following, above th’ Olympian hill I soar, Above the flight of Pegaséan wing. The meaning, not the name I call : for thou
Nor 1. Defcend from Heav'n, Urania,]
on the snowy top Descende cælo, Hor. Od. III. IV. 1.
Of cold Olympus but here it is better apply'd, as now his subject leads him from Heaven and snowy is an epithet often given to Earth. The word Urania in to this mountain by the ancient Greek fignifies beau’nly; and he poets : but he calls' it old, that is invokes the heav'nly Muse as he had fam'd of old and long celebrated, done before, I. 6. and as he had as he says old Euphrates, I. 420. and said in the beginning that he intended mount Cafius old, II. 593. His to foar above th Aonian mount, so heavenly Muse was before the bills, now he says very truly that he had which were from the beginning, as effected what he intended, and soars it follows. above tb Olympian bill, above the
9. flight of Pegaséan wing, that is his
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top fubject was more sublime than the loftieft Alights of the Heathen poets.
of old Olympus dwell, but heav'nly
born,] 'Tasso in his invocation has Dr. Bentley proposes Parnassus in- the fame sentiment. Gier. Lib. Cant. ftead of Olympus, but the mountain
1. St. 2. Olympus is likewise celebrated for the seat of the Muses, who were O Musa, tu, che di caduchi allori therefore called Olympiades, as in Non circondi la fronte in Helicona; Homer, Iliad II. 491. Ολυμ Ma sù nel cielo infra i beati chori glofea Msal. And some would Hai di stelle immortali aurea coread cold Olympus, as in I. 516.
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
An 8 Before the bills appear'd, or foun- printer and poet, Fairy Queen, B. 2.
tain flow'd, &c.] Prom Prov. Cant. 2. St. 39. VIII. 24, 25, 30. When there were
Thus fairly she attempered her feast, no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains, abounding
And pleas'd them all with meet
satiety. with water: Before the mountains were feled, before the hills was I I agree with the Doctor that thee is brought forth: Then was I by him as better than thy temp'ring. Thyer. one brought up with him; and I
15 Thy temp'ring :) This is said daily bis delight, rejoicing always be in allufion to the difficulty of respifore him, or playing according to the ration
on high mountains. This Vulgar Latin (ludens coram eo omni empyreal air was too pure and fine tempore) to which Milton alludes, for him, but the heavenly Muse when he says and with her didh, play temper'd and qualify'd it so as to &c. And so he quotes it likewile in make him capable of breathing in his Tetrachordon, p. 222. Vol. I. it: which is a modest and beautiful Edit. 1738. “God himself conceals “ not his own recreations before make favorable allowances for any
way of bespeaking his reader to. " the world was built ; I was, faith failings he may have been guilty of " the eternal Wisdom, daily his di; in treating of so sublime a subject. "light, playing always before him."
(as once and drawn empyreal air, Bellerophon, &c.) Belleropbon Thy temp'ring;] Dr.Bentley makes was a beautiful and valiant youth, himlelf very merry in his insulting son of Glaucus; who refusing the manner, with the word remp’ring, amorous applications of Antea wife and culls it the printer's blunder ; of Prætus king of Argos, was by but I think the following application her false suggeltions like those of of it in Spenser may justify both Joseph's miitress to her husband,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
20 Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within fent into Lycia with letters defiring It is thus translated by Cicero in his his destruction; where he was put third book of Tusculan Difputations. on several enterprises full of hazard, in which however he came off con.
Qui miser in campis mærens erraqueror: but attempting vain-glo. Ipfe fuum cor edens, hominum vef
bat Aleis, riously to mount up to Heaven on the winged horse Pegasus, he fell
tigia vitans. and wander'd in the Aleian plains The plain truth of the story seems till he died. Hume and Richardfon. to be, that in his latter days he grew His story is related at large in the mad with his poetry, which Milton fixth book of Homer's Iliad; but begs may never be his own case : it is to the latter part of it that Mil- Les from this flying freed &c. He ton chiefly allades, ver. 200. Eg*c. fays this to diftinguith his from the anoz: dn xainsiyos annXO:To whose wing be foared, as he speaks,
common Pegasus, above the fight of ஏan Searar, Ητοι και καππεδιον το Αληλον οιος 21. Half yet remains unjung,] I αλατο,
understand this with Mr. Richardton, 'Or Jomar natedw, tátor éppes that 'tis the half of the epifode, not
of the whole work, that is here
meant; for when the poem was diBut when at last, distracted in his vided into but ten books, that edimind,
tion had this passage at the beginForsook by Heav'n, forsaking ha- ning of the seventh as now. The man kind,
episode has two principal parts, the Wide o'er th' Aleian field he chofe war in Heaven, and the new creato stray,
tion; the one was fung, but the A loog, forlorn, uncomfortable way. other remained unsung, and he is Popė. now entring upon it. --but narrower
Within the visible diurnal sphere ;
30 Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But bound. Bound here seems to be a supposes; and then all is good sense, participle as well as unfung. Half and there will be no need to read yet remains unsung; but this other with the Doctor, To hoarse or low. half is not rapt so much into the
Pearce. invisible world as the former, it is confined in narrower compass, and The repetition and turn of the words
25. — bough fallon on evil days,] bound within the visible sphere of is very beautiful, 24. More safe I fing with mortal
though fall'n on evil days, voice, unchang'd
On evil days though fall'n, and evil To hoarse or mute,] Dr. Bentley
tongues ; &c. reads with lofts voice. Why mortal A lively picture this in a few lines voice? says the Doctor. I answer, of the poet's wretched condition. because Milton had said in ver. 2. In darkness
, though is till understood ; that he had follow'd Urania's voice he was not become hoarse or mute di vine. Again (says the Doctor) if though in darkness, though he was his voice had grown hoarse, would blind, and with dangers compass'd it not have been still mortal? and round, and solitude, obnoxious to the what is a voice changed to mute? government, and having a world of Both these questions are fatisfy'd by enemies among the royal party, and putting only a comma, as in the therefore oblig'd to live very much first editions, (not a colon, as the in privacy and alone. And what Doctor has done) after mute. The strength of mind was it, that could words unchang'd to boarse or mute not only fupport him under the refer to I, and not to voice, as he weight of these misfortunes, but ena
But drive far off the barbarous diffonance
Say Goddess, what ensued when Raphaël,
Adam ble him to soar to such highths, as no 40.-- what ensued when Raphaël, human genius ever reached before? &c.] Longinus has observed, 31.- and fit audience find, though that there may be a loftiness in sen
few.] He had Horace in timents, where there is no passion, mind, Sat. I. X. 73.
and brings instances out of ancient, -neque te ut miretur turba, labores,
authors to support this his opinion. Contentus paucis lectoribus.
The pathetic, as that great critic
observes, may animate and inflame 33. Of Bacchus and his revelers,] the fublime, but is not essential to it. It is not improbable that the poet Accordingly, as he further remarks, intended this as an oblique fatir upon we very often find that those who the dissoluteness of Charles the se- excel most in stirring up the passions, cond and his court; from whom he very often want the talent of writing feems to apprehend the fate of Or. in the great and sublime manner, pheus, a famous poet of Thrace, and so on the contrary. Milton has who tho' he is faid to have charm'd hown himself a master in both these woods and rocks with his divine ways of writing. The seventh book, fongs, yet was torn to pieces by the which we are now entring upon, is Bacchanalian women on Rhodope a an instance of that sublime, which mountain of Thrace, nor could the is not mixed and worked up with Muse Calliope his mother defend passion. The author appears in a him. So fail not thou, who thee im. kind of composed and fedate maplores; nor was his with ineffectual, jesty; and tho' the sentiments do for the government suffer'd him to not give so great an emotion, as those live and die unmolested.
in the former book, they abound