ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Menleco, "To the Memory of John Milton, on reading his Paradise Lost" British Magazine 4 (November 1749) 483-85.
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
1749: John Milton
In Milton's page, where ev'ry line displays
The noble author in immortal lays,
Where judgment sound, and sense, alike can charm,
To captivate the breast, and bosom warm;
Amaz'd, we wonder! reading, we admire!
And think, some God the author did inspire:
Nor think that man to such a height can soar,
Unless he's aided by some heav'nly pow'r;
Where sense, religion, all in him combine,
Candid the maxims, moral and divine.
Advent'rous page bespeaks the author bold,
A noble diction vast designs t' unfold:
Great as the theme, his flight, in eager strain,
And tow'rs aloft, amid the starry train;
From pole to pole he skips, in airy flight,
Extends his pinions to the realms of light:
Unequals beauty fil'd the unbounded lays,
And sings immortal to JEHOVAH'S praise.
There Satan, leader of the Stygian pow'rs,
Conspires rebellion in the peaceful bow'rs;
He in the quarter of the north appears,
Refulgent, dazzling with his mighty peers:
A council grand the lofty poet draws,
Vaunting admire, and Satan gains applause.
One, only one, oppos'd the base intent,
And reas'ning, speaks, to stop the dire invent;
On him revengeful pour their threat'ning heat,
And vows that Heav'n of war shall be the seat.
Forth journeying thro' the Heav'ns (amazing thought!)
Two furious armies are to battle brought;
Where shields and helmets, spears, a dazzling shew,
Each spirit monstrous, all to battle go:
In furious combat Satan overthrown,
Hurl'd headlong, falling to the sulphur'ous gloom.
Here sinks the muse, and quits the Heav'nly light,
And wanders thro' the vast abyss of night,
Describing Satan in that horrid plight;
His sinking thoughts imaginations tell,
Infernal councils in the heart of Hell.
Satan conspires man's ruin, GOD to spight,
And weary, travels thro' the gloom of night.
Here bids his muse ascend the new-made world,
And leave curs'd spirits into ruin hurl'd.
The earth's creation with what beauty deck'd,
Noble the theme, by no mean language check'd,
The lofty lays assume a softer thought,
And Paradise with transient beauties fraught;
With harmony there sing a lover's song,
There Eve transports her Adam with meek tongue;
There Paradise bloom'd in its early deat,
The care of angels, and of man the seat.
Thrice happy Adam! hadst thou kept thy place,
No wand'ring steps had brought thee to disgrace;
There seraphs guarding, warn'd thee from the tree;
'Twas Eve that tempted first the serpent; she
Both cropt and eat o' the interdicted branch,
Both sinning fell, and into ruin launch'd.
On earth descends the SON and GOD of all,
On impious man a gentle curse let fall:
Speak, noble muse, not man alone was curst,
The serpent guilty eats eternal dust.
The nicer judgment first lets Adam know;
Michael, descending to his shade below,
Darts from imperial Heav'ns to this globe,
To human shape lets fall th' immortal robe;
Foretells to Adam of the future times,
And points the Sav'our in his noble lines;
Then gently leads them to the eastern gate,
They part with Eden, once their happy seat.
Here falls the pen, here stops the lofty muse,
No idle nonsense readers to amuse;
He ends with beauty, as he first begun;
Connects the noble, meaner thoughts to shun;
Soars in a strain none but himself could sing,
In gravest language wakes the sounding string;
With eloquence pronounce th' unequal'd task,
Decks the beginning, and adorns the last.
In vain my eager muse attempts to rise,
To sing thy praise, thou truly great and wise.
What breast can fathom, or, what tongue can tell,
What vast ideas did thy bosom swell?
How shall I give to thee the praise that's due?
Far short, my muse; to thee I bid adieu.