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Where couldit thou words of such a compass find ?
Whence furnith such a vast expence of mind?
Juft Heaven thee, like Tirefias, to requite
Rewards with prophecy thy loss of fight.

Well might'ft thou scorn thy readers to allure
With tinkling rhyme, of thy own sense fecure;
While the town-bays writes all the whide and spells,
And like a pack-horse tires without his bells:
Their fancies like our bushy-points appear,
The poets tag them, we for fafhion wear.,
I too, transported by the mode, offend,
And while I meant to praife thee must commend.
Thy verse created like thy theme sublime,
Number, weight, and meafure, needs not rhyme.



To Mr. JOHN MILTON, On his Poem entitled PARADISE LOST. O

Thou! the wonder of the present age,

An age immerft in luxury and vice;
A race of triflers; who can relish naught
But the gay issue of an idle brain :
How couldft thou hope to please this tinsel race ?
Though blind, yet with the penetrating.eye
Of intellectual light thou dost 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.



HE measure is English heroic verse without

rhyme, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin ; rhyme being no necessary adjunct or true ornament of poem or good verse, in longer works especially, but the invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame meter; graced indeed since by the use of some famous modern poets, carried away by custom, but much to their own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse than else they would have expressed them. Not without cause therefore some both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rhyme both in longer and shorter works, as have also long since our best English tragedies, as a thing of itself, to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true musical delight; which consists only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoided by the learned Ancients both in poetry and all good oratory. This neglect then Vol. I. B


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

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This first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole sub

ject, Man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was plac'd : Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his fide many legions of Angels, was by the coinmand of God driven out of Heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action pass'd over, the poem haftes into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now falling into Hell, describd here, not in the center (for Heaven and Earth may be fuppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurs’d) but in a place of utter darkness, fitlieft call'd Chaos : Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonish'd, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him; they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded : They rise, their numbers, array of hattel, their chief leaders nam’d, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy or report in Heaven; for that Angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determin thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence tempt. Pandemonium the palace of Satan rises, suddenly built out of the deep: The infernal peers there fit in council.

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