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Desert and bare, unfightly, unadorn'd,
reed Imbattel'd in her field, and th' humble Thrub, And bush with frizled hair implicit: last Rose as in dance the stately trees, and spread 324 Their branches hung with copious fruit, or gemm’d
Their 321. The smelling gourd,] A mere Dr. Bentley very juftly reads here mistake of the printer: the author The swelling gourd: and to the reagave it The swelling gourd; as Pro- fons which he gives, may be added, pertius, IV. II. 43.
that Milton here assigns to each of the Cæruleus cucumis tumidoque cucur- which fuits with all of the same species:
other tribes or species, an epithet bita ventre.
: but smelling, tho' it suits with some Those, that stifly maintain that smel- kinds of the gourd, does not suit with ling was Milton's word and interpret all the particulars of that tribe, as wel. it the melon, feem not to attend, that ling does. Pearce. The mistake was he had the word smelling two lines ealy of w for m: and Dr. Bentley's before, and would not have doubled emendation is certainly right; and to it so soon again : and that he does the authority which he has brought not name here any particular plant, from Propertius we may add another but whole tribes and species; the from Virgil, Georg. IV. 121. vine, the gourd, the recd, the thrub,
tortusque per herbam the bush, the tree. Gourds are as nu
Cresceret in ventrem cucumis. merous a family, as molt of the other, and include the melon within But we have not alter'd the text, as the general name; which tho it the common reading makes sense, smells, it swells likewise. Bentley. tho' not such good sense as the other.
321. - tbs
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 i Upon the earth, and man to till the ground
None was, but from the earth a dewy mist
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
321. -the corny reed] The Dr. Bentley thinks it plain that Milhorny reed stood upright among the ton gave it or gemm’d with blossoms ; undergrowths of nature, like a grove taking gemmd 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 bloshorn, Virg. Æn. III. 22.
Joms is an expression of the same Forte fuit juxta tumulus, quo cornea blooming ambrosial fruit.
poetical cast with that in IV. 219.
Pearce. summo Virgulta, et densis 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 studious to weave in is used for leaves, twigs and branches, all that Moses had written of the and implicit fignifies 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 bloloms:] Put forth their and every berb of the field before it blossoms, of gemmare (Latin) to bud grew: for the Lord God had not caused forth.
Hume. it to rain upon ibe earth, and there
green stem; God saw that it was good : So ev'n and mořn recorded the third day.
Again th' Almighty spake, Let there be lights
was not a man to till the ground: earth: and it was so. We see, when but there went up a mift from the he makes the divine Person speak, earth, and water'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 feveral glories ing thorus (ver. 275.) with evening of the Heavens make their appearharps and matin (ver. 450.) What is ance on the fourth day. Addison. done by the voices and inftruments 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 judiciously adds, I. 14, 15. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the Hea
great for their use ven, to divide the day from the night ;
To Man, ibe greater to have rule
by day, and let them be for fagns, and for
The less by night altern ; seasons, and for days, and years: And 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,
Of fitude is afterwards ; the greater light out in their full luftre and glory till to 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 them 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 earth, and to rule over the day, and different. He says that the light wer 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 good. 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 fun's orb, which was become now says that of celestial bodies the sun was the great palace of light. But let it
for A framd, and then the moon and be remember'd that this is all hypoRars, observing this order of crea- thesis, and that the Scripture detertion, we fuppose, according to the mins nothing one way or another. degrees of usefulness to men. The fun, he says, was unlight some forft; 358. And fow'd with pars the and it is most 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 line
templa C 3
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 stars] So the sun 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 unnecessary, and even
Largus item liquidi fons luminis,
æthereus sol bad with the word conferta.
Irrigat affidue cælum candore re
centi : 361.
made porous to receive And drink the liquid light, firm to and by other flars 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 stone, 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 fome time retain it so as to inlighten foften dit into her horns, which is cera dark place.
tainly properer for the planet Venus, 362. And drink the liquid light,} have full printed it his korns.
tho' Dr. Bentley and Mr. Fenton Dr Bentley finds fault with the word light being repeated so often, and 370. First in his eas the glorious in two places substitutes some other lamp was seen,] It is indeed expression 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 judiciously observes) to so bad as when both verses rime tokeep frictly to the word, tho' fre- gether, as in II. 229.