ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Anonymous, "Written on the first Leaf of Milton's Paradise Lost, that was sent to a Lady" London Magazine 22 (September 1753) 435.
1674: Andrew Marvell
1674 ca.: Thomas Ellwood
1688: John Dryden
1690: Thomas D'Urfey
1693: Rev. Samuel Wesley
1694: Joseph Addison
1694: Matthew Prior
1699: Samuel Say
1700: Henry Hall
1700: Samuel Cobb
1701: Matthew Prior
1708: Rev. Thomas Yalden
1709: Rev. Isaac Watts
1712: Rev. Thomas Newcomb
1712: Bezaleel Morrice
1713: Rev. Henry Felton
1714: John Hughes
1717: Bp. Francis Atterbury
1720 ca.: Ambrose Philips
1721: Judith Cowper Madan
1725 ca.: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
1728: James Ralph
1730: Aaron Hill
1731: Isaac Thompson
1736: G. W.
1737: Alexander Pope
1740: William Shenstone
1745: Rev. Sneyd Davies
1746: William Collins
1747: William Collins
1748: T. F.
1749: F. W.
1750 ca.: William Oldys
1752: S. S. S.
1755: Robert Lloyd
1756: Rev. Joseph Warton
1756: J. H.
1758: G. G.
1759: M. M.
1762: William Whitehead
1766: Rev. Richard Graves
1766: Robert Andrews of Bridgenorth
1770 ca.: Sir William Jones
1773: Rev. William Hayward Roberts
1773: Hester Mulso Chapone
1774: W. H.
1776: James Beattie
1777: N. N. D.
1782: William Hayley
1785: John Pinkerton
1785: A Lady
1790: Helen Maria Williams
1792: John Bennet
1793: William Cowper
1793: J. Laws
1795 ca.: John Blair Linn
1798: A. M.
1799: William Seward
1799: William Roscoe
1800: Thomas Green
1802: William Wordsworth
1803: George Dyer
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1807: Rev. Percival Stockdale
1808: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1810: R. Rylance
1810: Rev. S. B
1810: James Jennings
1812: William Henry Ireland
1813: Rev. William Cameron
1815: Robert Southey
1817: Richard Hatt
1819: Lord Byron
1819: Thomas Mulock
1819: Thomas Campbell
1822: W. W.
1824: William Hazlitt
1824: Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin
1824: John Abraham Heraud
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825: Thomas Babington Macaulay
1825: Bryan Waller Procter
1826: James Gates Percival
1827: F. S. E.
1828: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1830: George Wallingford Clarke
1830: John Abraham Heraud
1830 ca.: Rev. John Mitford
1830: Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen
1833: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1842: C. H. Timperley
1843: John Holland
1863: George Daniel
1880: Mark Pattison
1882: Epes Sargent
1899: Henry A. Beers
Ye gentle fair, whom love of virtue warms,
Who seek by worthiest deeds t' improve your charms,
Heedful attend to Milton's sacred song,
To you the dictates of his muse belong:
He for your use this well-wrought piece design'd;
To please and cultivate the human mind:
Let then the poet your affection share,
Your just regard will well reward his care.
Let Eve's unhappy fate the virgin warn,
Who makes the guidance of mankind her scorn,
Who vainly fearful of a state unknown,
Ventures to pass thro' life's vast wild alone.
How wretched was our general mother made?
Soon as from Adam's faithful side she stray'd!
Oh! think on this, ye fair, and haste to prove
The joy and safety of connubial love.
The path of life's a dark and dangerous way;
Alone who dare to tread it often stray;
But man, wise man, shall all your steps direct,
Guide you in doubts and in distress protect.
Fix then your choice; but let that choice be wise,
Let Eve's example teach you to despise
The glozing serpent's tongue, the outward show,
Of the pert coxcomb and the gaudy beau.
The one like Satan, vers'd in treacherous wiles,
By folly, dress'd in wisdom's garb beguiles:
The other with fair form and specious mien,
At first with wonder and delight is seen;
But tasted, like the fatal fruit it found,
Deceitful, hurtful, bitter and unsound;
Such for our sakes avoid, if not your own,
For by our poet's tale, 'tis clearly shown,
That man must be, when woman is undone.
But let the wise, the brave, the generous share
Your tenderest love, and most assiduous care;
These shall thro' life their happy consorts please,
Give nights of joy, and crown their days with ease.
Then shall fall'n man resume his pristine state,
And Providence reverse his wretched fate;
Then woman shall her first form'd grace maintain,
And man, that Paradise he lost, regain!