1740 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

Anonymous, "Occasioned by the generous Encouragement given by W. B[enso]n, Esq. for a Translation of Paradise Lost into Latin Verse" Daily Gazetteer (8 March 1740).



While th' Iliad and Aenied loud proclaim
Thro' the whole wond'ring World their Authors Fame,
While ev'ry Nation, ev'ry Tongue conspires
T' enrol their Genius, and applaud their Fires:
Milton's Lost Paradise, stupendous Song,
With Poetry's sublimest Graces strong;
Where Genius and Invention all confess,
Than Virgil's greater, scarce than Homer's less:
This grand Production of his boundless Mind,
Long to Britannia's Island lies confin'd:
His Country's Language weighs its Pinions down,
And stops its Flight to its immense Renown.

This, deeply mov'd, B—n's great Spirit views,
The Friend of ev'ry Science, Art and Muse.
He, with the noblest Soul's true Greatness bless'd,
While with Britannia's Honour burns his Breast;
Grieves to behold th' Accomplish'd Work Divine
With such contracted partial Splendours shine:
And to remove th' Obstruction of its Rays,
And make it pour its full unbounded Blaze,
Commends th' Immortal Poem to be sung
In tuneful Maro's universal Tongue.
And oh! ye list'ning Nations, when ye hear
Th' enrapt'ring Sounds, let B—n's Name be dear;
B—n, so largely lib'ral to convey
To you those Pleasures you can ne'er repay;
A Critick, whom their own the Muses claim,
Who reads his Milton with a Milton's Flame;
Not less judicious to admire his Lays,
Than singly gen'rous to diffuse his Praise.