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Their blossoms: with high woods the hills were
crown'd, With tufts the valleys, and each fountain side, With borders long the rivers: that earth now Seem'd like to Heav'n, a seat where Gods might dwell, Or wander with delight, and love to haunt 330 Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain’d Upon the earth, and man to till the ground None was, but from the earth a dewy mist Went
up and water'd all the ground, and each Plant of the field, which ere it was in th' earth 335 God made, and every herb, before it grew
On 321.- the corny reed] The Dr. Bentley thinks it plain that Milhorny reed ftood upright among the ton gave it or gemm'd with blossoms ; undergrowths of nature, like a grove taking gemm' for a participle as of spears or a battalion with its pikes hung is. But gemm'd may be a verb, aloft. Corneus (Latin) of or like as spread is. And to gem their blog horn, Virg. Æn. III. 22.
Soms is an expression of the same Forte fuit juxta tumulus, quo cornea poetical cast with that in IV. 219. summo
blooming ambrosial fruit. Virgulta, et denfis haftilibus horrida 331. though God had yet not
rain'd&c.) This is not taken, myrtus. Hume.
as the rest, from the first, but from 323 with frizled hair im- the second chapter of Genesis; but
plicit:] Hair, coma in Latin, the poet was Itudious to weave in is used for leaves, twigs and branches, all that Moses had written of the and implicit signifies intangled. The creation. Gen. II. 4, 5, 6. In the subject is low, and therefore he is day that the Lord God made the Earth forc d to raise the expreflion. and the Heavens, and every plant of 325.
or gemm'd the field before it was in the earth, Their blooms:] Pat forth their and every herb of the field before it blossoms, of gemmare (Latin) to bud grow: for the Lord God had not ca:fed forth.
Hume. it to rain upon the earth, and there
On the green stem ; God saw that it was good :
Again th’ Almighty spake, Let there be lights
340 The day from night; and let them be for signs, For seasons, and for days, and circling years, And let them be for lights as I ordain Their office in the firmament of Heaven To give light on the earth; and it was so. 345 And God made two great lights, great for their use To Man, the greater to have rule by day,
The was not a man to till the ground : earth: and it was fo. We see, when but there went up a mist from the he makes the divine Person speak, earth, and watir'd the whole face of he still keeps close to Scripture ; but the ground.
afterwards he indulges a greater la338. So ev'n and morn recorded the titude of thought, and gives freer
third day.] Recorded, cele- fcope to his imagination. brated, caus’d to be remember'd. 346. And God made two great This was done by the even and morn
lights,] The several glories ing chorus (ver. 275.) with evening of the Heavens make their appear. harps and matin (ver. 450.) What is ance on the fourth day. Addison. done by the voices and infruments The very words of Moses, And God is poetically ascrib’d to the time in made two great lights; not that they which they were employ’d. were greater than all other stars and
Richardson. planets, but are only greater lights 339. Again th' Almighty spake, with reference to Man, and there
Let there be lights &c.] Gen. fore Milton judicioully adds, I. 14, 15. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the Hea.
great for their use
To Man, the greater to have rule ven, do divide the day from the night;
The less by night altern;
years : let them be for lights in the firmament that is alternate, a word added to of the Heaven, to give light upon the Moses his account, as in their vicif
The less by night altern; and made the stars,
; And set them in the firmament of Heaven To'illuminate the earth, and rule the day 350 In their vicissitude, and rule the night, And light from darkness to divide. God saw, Surveying his great work, that it was good : For of celestial bodies first the sun A mighty sphere he fram’d, unlightsome first, 355 Though of ethereal mold: then form’d the moon Globose, and every magnitude of stars, And sow'd with stars the Heav'n thick as a field;
Of Fitude is afterwards; the greater light out in their full luftre and glory till ta rule the day, and the leffer light to the fourth day, the air perhaps or rule the night: be made the stars also. atmosphere not being sufficiently And God set obem in the firmament of clear'd before to transmit their rays the Heaven, to give light upon the to the earth. Milton's hypothesis is cartb, and to rule over the day, and different. He says that the light over the night, and to divide the light was transplanted from ber cloudy from the darkness: and God saw that forine or tabernacle, wherein the had it was goed. Gen. I. 16, 17, 18. So sojourn'd the three first days, and far, we see, he keeps close to Scrip- on the fourth day was plac'd in the ture, but then he lanches out, and sun's orb, which was become now says that of celestial bodies the fun was the great palace of light. But let it forf framd, and then the moon and be remember'd that this is all hypofiers, observing this order of crea- thesis, and that the Scripture detertion, we suppose, according to the mins nothing one way or another. degrees of usefulness to men. The fun, he says, was unlightfome first; 358. And fow'd with pars the and it is moft probable, that the Heav'n thick as a field:) This bodies of the sun and moon &c were allusion is extremely elegant, Manil. formed at the same time as the body V.726. of the earth on the first day, but they were not made those complete Tunc conferta licet cæli fulgentia luminous bodies, they did not shine
Of light by far the greater part he took,
And Cernere feminibus denfis, totisque quently repeated, than to vary it by micare
phrases and circumlocutions. Floribus :
364. Hither as to their fountain where Milton seems to have read other fars] So the fun is conserta, which is much more beauti- called by Lucretius, V. 282. the ful;, and his reading seems to be fountain of light, of liquid light. proved by the word denfis, which would be unnecesiary, and even
Largus item liquidi fons luminis,
æthereus fol bad with the word conferta.
Richardson. Irrigat aslidue cælum candore re
and by other stars are meant the retain
planets, as appears by mentioning Her gather'd beams,] Porous yet particularly the morning planet Venus. firm. Milton seems to have taken And hence the morning planet gilds this thought from what is said of the
her horns ; Bologna itone, which being plac'd In the first edition it was his horns, in the light will imbibe, and for but the author in the second edition some time retain it so as to inlighten foften'd it into her horns, which is cera dark place. Richardson. tainly properer for the planet Venus, 362. And drink the liquid light, have still printed' it bis berns.
tho' Dr. Bentley and Mr. Fenton Dr Bentley finds fault with the word light being repeated fo often, and 370. Firs in his east the glorious in two places substitutes some other lamp was feen,] It is indeed expreffion in the room of it; but a little inaccurate to make this as when Milton was describing the well as the former verse conclude creation of light, it was better (as with the word seen; but this is not Dr. Pearce judiciouily observes) to to bad as when both verses rime tokeep strictly to the word, tho fre- gether, as in II. 220.
And hence the morning planet gilds her horns ; ;
His This horror will grow mild, this However it would have been more darkness light;
artificial, if the structure had been Besides what hope the neverending different. We know very well that flight:
there are parallel instances even in and in VI. 34.
Homer and Virgil; but tho’ fome
may think them beauties in Greek far worse to bear
and Latin, we think them none in Than violence; for this was all
an English poem professedly written thy care :
in blank verse. In all such cases
we must say with Horace, De Arte By facred unction, thy deserved Poet. 351. right.
Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, Go then thou mightiest in thy Fa- non ego paucis ther's might:
Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria and in XI. 230.
fudit, One of the heav'nly hoft, and by
Aut humana parum cavit natura. 372.
jocond to run None of the meanest, some great His longitude through licau'n's lich potentate :
road;] Dr. Bentley calls long
tude here mere nonsense; and thereThe bent of nature ; which he thus But we must not part with longitude
fore reads His long carreer through &c. express d.
so easily: it fignifies the sun's course True opener of mine eyes, prime from east to weft in a ftrait and diAngel bleft.
rect line: a::d we find Milton uang There are perhaps two or three other the word after much the same maninfances in the poem: but the jingle ner in III. 576. This Passage alludes of the rime is pretty well avoided to Pfal. XIX. 5. where it is said of by the pause in the verses, or by the sun, that be rejoiceth as a giant in their running into one another. rux his course. Pearce.
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