« PreviousContinue »
STUDIES FROM THE ENGLISH POETS.
ARGUMENT. The subject of the Poem proposed. Man's disobedience and subsequent loss
of Paradise. The cause of his Fall is Satan, who, by revolting from God, and seducing to his side legions of Angels, is driven from Heaven with all his crew into the great deep. The Poem now presents Satan and his Angels on the burning lake, thunderstruck and astounded. He awakens his legions; they rise; ---their numbers, battle-array, and leaders, whom the poet identifies with the Pagan deities. Satan addresses them, and comforts them with the hope of yet regaining Heaven; but tells them of an ancient prophecy of a New World, and a new being to be created. To discover the truth of this prophecy, he calls a council; Pandemonium, Satan's palace, suddenly rises from the deep. Here the infernal spirits hold a council.
OF Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
1 Not subject to, but producing, 3 Oreb or Horeb, one of the emideath.
nences of Sinai; a mountain-range 2 By “one greater Man" is meant of Arabia Petræa, at the N. end of Christ, who was to restore fallen man, the Red Sea. and redeem him from the consequence 4 Moses. See Exod. iii. 1. of his disobedience.
In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth
Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
1 Chaos, a Greek word, signifying tia, a province of Greece, specially a vast void, or confused mass of favoured by the Muses. matter.
5 The Spirit of God. 2 A mountain on the S. side of 6 Principal, or chief, as in grand Jerusalem.
juror, Grand Seignor, &c. 3 “ The oracle of God” - the tem- 7 “What time," a Latin idiom for ple of Jerusalem.
when. 4 Aonia, an ancient name of Bæo