1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

William Cameron, in "Poet's Manual" Poems (1813) 109-110.



How bright o'er Eden's blissful bowers arose
The Muse's beam, their beauties to disclose!
While Genius, Learning, mingled thick their rays,
Nor earth, nor heaven, confin'd the orient blaze.
How shone its radiance o'er each distant clime,
Each mazy tract of ancient dusky time,
Down thro' the caverns of primeval Night,
Her deeds of darkness full reveal'd to sight
Pierc'd the deep files of dread, celestial war,
While rode Messiah on cherubic car.
He frowned — direct his bolts of vengeance sped,
His lightnings flew, the rebel legions fled,
With sudden terror and confusion driven,
Rush'd thro' the rending battlements of heaven,
Thro' yawning chaos, with tremendous yell,
Plung'd 'midst the horrors of profoundest hell.
Fierce flam'd the blaze that thro' the boundless sphere,
Each path illum'd, untrodden, dark and drear.
Unhailed it rose and spreading fir'd the skies,
It set unwept, unmark'd by mortal eyes.
The Bard, desponding, left his seat sublime,
Darkly to roam thro' an ungenial clime;
Polemics, pedants, casuists to engage,
With learned lumber clog the Muse's page,
In marish dull his sky-wove weeds to drench,
There wallowing low his mighty rage to quench.