Page images


To gratulate the sweet return of morn;
Nor yet amidst this joy and brightest morn
Was absent, after all his mischief done,
The prince of darkness, glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came,
Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
Desp’rate of better course, to vent his rage, 445
And mad despite to be so oft repell’d.
Him walking on a sunny hill he found,
Back'd on the north and west by a thick wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,
And in a careless mood thus to him said.

450 Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God,


gil, where Neptune is represented 430. And grisly Spectres,] Very with his trident laying the storm injudicious to retain this popular which Æolus had raised, ver. 142. fuperftition in this place.

Warburton. Sic ait, et dicto citius tumida æquora placat,

432. And now the fun &c] There Collectasque fugat nubes, folem is in this description all the bloom

of Milton's youthful fancy. See que reducit.

an evening scene of the same kind There is the greater beauty in the in the Paradise Loft. II. 488. English poet, as the scene he is describing under, this charming

As when from mountain tops

&c. figure is perfectly consistent with the course of nature, nothing being 435. Who all things now behold) more common than to see a stormy Doth not the fyntax require, that night succeeded by a pleasant fe

a pleasant se. we should rather read rene morning Thyer, Who all things now beheld?

453. As


After a dismal night; I heard the wrack ,
As earth and sky would mingle ; but myself
Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them
As dang’rous to the pillar'd frame of Heaven, 455
Or to the earth's dark basis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable,
And harmless, if not wholesome, as a sneeze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone;
Yet as being oft times noxious where they light 460
On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in th'affairs of

Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point,
They oft fore-signify and threaten ill:
This tempeft at this desert most was bent; 465
Of men at thee, for only thou here, dwell'st.
Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
The perfect season offer'd with


aid To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong All to the push of fate, pursue thy way 470


453. As earth and sky would

mingle ; ] Virgil Æn. I. 137. Jam cælum terramque, meo fine

numine, venti,

Miscere, et tantas audetis tollere

moles ? Richardson. 455. As dang’rous to the pillar'd

frame of Heav'n,] So also in the Mask

Of gaining David's throne no man knows when,
For both the when and how is no where told,
Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt ;
For angels have proclam’d it, but concealing
The time and means: each act is rightliest done, 475
Not when it must, but when it


be beft. If thou observe not this, be sure to find, What I foretold thee, many a hard assay Of dangers, and adversities, and pains, Ere thou of Israel's scepter get fast hold; 480 Whereof this ominous night that clos'd thee round, So many terrors, voices, prodigies May warn thee, as a sure fore-going sign.

So talk'd he while the Son of God went on And stay'd not, but in brief him answer'd thus. 485

Me worse than wet thou find'st not; other harm Those terrors which thou speak’st of, did me none; I never fear’d they could, though noising loud And threatning nigh; what they can do as figns


if this fail,

tremble, and are astonish'd at his reThe pillar'd firmament is rotten- proof: Thyer. ness.

467. Did I not tell thee, &c] In both, no doubt, alluding to Job This sentence is dark and perXXVI. 11. The pillars of Heaven plex'd, having no proper exit.

501. For


Betokening, or ill boding, I contemn

490 As false portents, not fent from God, but thee Who knowing I shall reign past thy preventing, Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I accepting At least might seem to hold all pow'r of thee, Ambitious Spi'rit, and wouldst be thought my God, And storm'st refus’d, thinking to terrify

496 Me to thy will ; desist, thou art difcern'd And toil'st in vain, nor me in vain molest.

To whom the Fiend now swoln with rage reply'd. Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born; 500 For Son of God to me is yet in doubt : Of the Meffiah I have heard foretold By all the Prophets ; of thy birth at length Announc'd by Gabriel with the first I knew, And of th' angelic fong in Bethlehem field,

505 On thy birth-night, that fung thee Saviour born. From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye



*501. For Son of God to me is yet briel told the blessed woman (Luke

in doubt:] The Tempter had I. 35. The Holy Ghost fall come upon heard Chrift declar'd to be Son of thee, and the power of the Highest God by a voice from Heaven. He shall overshadow thee; therefore also allows him to be virgin-born. He that holy thing which shall be born hath no fcruples about the annun- of thee shall be called the Son of God,) ciation, and the truth of what Ga- and yet he doubts of his being the


Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,
Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred;
Till at the ford of Jordan whither all

Flock to the Baptist, I among the rest,
Though not to be baptiz’d, by voice from Heaven
Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God belov’d.
Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view
And narrower scrutiny, that I might learn 515
In what degree or meaning thou art callid
The Son of God, which bears no fingle sense;
The Son of God I also am, or was,
And if I was, I am ; relation stands;
All men are Sons of God; yet thee I thought 520
In some respect far higher so declar'd.
Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,
And follow'd thee still on to this waste wild ;
Where by all best conjectures I collect
Thou art to be


525 Good

Son of God notwithstanding. This relates to what he was more than is easily accounted for. On the mar, worth calling Son of God, that terms of the annunciation Christ is worthy to be called Son of God might be the Son of God in a sense in that high and proper sense, in very particular, and yet a mere which his son ship would infer his man as to his nature : but the doubt divinity, Calton.

538. — what

« PreviousContinue »