1708 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

Thomas Yalden, "On the Reprinting of Mr. Milton's Prose-Works, with his Poems written in his Paradise Lost" Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany Poems (1708) 177-78.



These sacred Lines with Wonder we peruse,
And praise the Flights of a seraphick Muse:
Till thy seditious Prose provokes our Rage,
And soils the Beauties of thy brightest Page.
Thus here we see transporting Scenes arise,
Heav'ns radiant Host, and opening Paradise;
Then trembling view the dread Abyss beneath,
Hell's horrid Mansions, and the Realms of Death.

Whilst here thy bold majestick Numbers rise,
And range th' embattl'd Legions of the Skies,
With Armies fill the azure Plains of Light,
And paint the lively Terrors of the Flight,
We own the Poet worthy to rehearse
Heav'n's lasting Triumphs in immortal Verse;
But when thy impious mercenary Pen
Insults the best of Princes, best of Men;
Our Admiration turns to just Disdain,
And we revoke the fond Applause again.

Like the fall'n Angels in their happy State,
Thou shard'st their Nature, Insolence, and Fate:
To Harps divine, immortal Hymns they sung,
As sweet thy Voice, as sweet thy Lyre was strung.
As they did Rebels to th' Almighty grow,
So thou prophan'st his Image here below.
Apostate Bard! may not thy guilty Ghost,
Discover to its own eternal Cost,
That as they Heav'n, thou Paradise hast lost.