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HEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
In slender book his vast design unfold,
Yet as I read, foon growing less severe,
Or if a work so infinite he spann'd,
Pardon me, mighty Poet, nor defpise
So that no room is here for writers left, | But to detect their ignorance or theft.
That majesty which through thy work doth reign, Draws the devout, deterring the profane. And things divine thou treat'st of in such state As them preserves, and thee, inviolate. At once delight and horror on us feise, Thou sing'st with so much gravity and ease; And above human flight dost foar aloft With plume so strong, so equal, and so soft. The bird nam'd from that Paradise So never flags, but always keeps on wing.
Where couldst thou words of such a compass find? Whence furnish such a vast expense of mind? Just Heav'n thee like Tiresias to requite Rewards with prophecy thy loss of sight.
Well might'st thou scorn thy readers to allure With tinkling rime, of thy own sense secure; Yol. I.
While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells,
HE measure is English heroic verse without
rime, as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; rime 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 ; grac'd 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 express’d them. Not without cause therefore fome both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rime both in longer and fhorter 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 of rime lo little is to be taken for a defect, though it may
seem fo perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be esteemed an example fet, the first in English, of ancient liberty recovered to heroic poem, from the troublesome and modern bondage of riming.
Critique upon the PARADISE LOST.
By Mr. ADDISO N.
Cedite Romani Scriptores, cedite Graii.
HERE is nothing in nature Paradise Lost, in these three seve
more irksome than general ral lights. Homer to preserve the discourses, especially when they unity
of his action haftens into the turn chiefly upon words. For this midit of things, as Horace has obreason I shall wave the discussion of served : Had he gone up to Leda's that point which was started some egg, or begun much later, even at years since, Whether Milton's Pa- the rape of Helen, or the investing radise Lost may be called an Heroic of Troy, it is manifest that the Poem! Those who will not give story of the poem would have been it that title, may call it (if they a series of several actions. He please) a Divine Poem. It will be therefore opens his poem with the fufficient to its perfection, if it has discord of his princes, and artfully in it all the beauties of the highest interweaves, in the several fuckind of poetry; and as for those ceeding parts of it, an account of who allege it is not an heroic every thing material which relates poem, they advance no more to to them, and had passed before this the diminution of it, than if they fatal dissension. After the same should say Adam is not Æneas, nor manner, Æneas makes his firlt apEve Helen.
pearance in the Tyrrhene feas, and I fall therefore examin it by within fight of Italy, because the the rules of epic poetry, and see action proposed to be celebrated whether it falls short of the Iliad was that of his settling himself in or Æneid, in the beauties which Latium. But because it was necefare essential to that kind of writing. fary for the reader to know what The first thing to be consider'd in had happened to him in the taking an epic poem, is the fable, which of Troy, and in the preceding is perfect or imperfect, according parts of his voyage, Virgil makes as the action which it relates is his hero relate it by way of episode more or less so. This action should in the second and third books of have three qualifications in it. First, the Æneid : the contents of both It should be but One action. Se- which books come before those of condly, It should be an Entire ac- the first book in the thred of the tion; and Thirdly, It should be a story, tho' for preserving of this Great action. To consider the unity of action, they follow it in the action of the Iliad, Æneid, and disposition of the poem. Milton,