1782 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

William Hayley, in Essay on Epic Poetry (1782) 64-65.



Apart, and on a sacred hill retir'd,
Beyond all mortal inspiration fir'd,
The mighty MILTON sits — an host around
Of list'ning Angels guard the holy ground;
Amaz'd they see a human form aspire
To grasp with daring hand a Seraph's lyre,
Inly irradiate with celestial beams,
Attempt those high, those soul-subduing themes,
(Which humbler Denizens of Heaven decline)
And celebrate, with sanctity divine,
The starry field from warring Angels won,
And GOD triumphant in his Victor Son.
Nor less the wonder, and the sweet delight,
His milder scenes and softer notes excite,
When at his bidding Eden's blooming grove
Breathes the rich sweets of Innocence and Love.
With such pure joy as our Forefather knew
When Raphael, heavenly guest, first met his view,
And our glad Sire, within his blissful blower,
Drank the pure converse of th' aetherial Power,
Round the blest Bard his raptur'd audience throng,
And feel their souls imparadis'd in song.