1736 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

G. W., "To a Lady, with Paradise Lost" Gentleman's Magazine 6 (September 1736) 544.



When nature first her Milton's soul endue'd,
With conscious pride the wond'rous work she view'd,
Now for a virgin, cries the plastick dame,
To wake his genius, and expand its flame.
All that to words gives softness let her share;
To features grace, or dignity to air,
Like her who taught, the first form'd fire to sigh,
While new creation bloom'd beneath his eye.
But lab'ring long, she found the task more hard,
To form the beauty than to fire the bard:
Then struck him blind, her impotence to hide,
But his ideas her defects supply'd.
Vex'd and out done, her cares no more pursue
The toil, but copying after him, form'd you.