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have invented a better plan, and of course to have written a bet'er poem. But lie does allow that, as it now stands, the four books " somewhat contracted, night make a tolerable episode, for which only the subject of them is fit.” Sir Egern Brydyes, - the only editor who has yet appeared worthy of our inimitable poet, and who has recently * published an edition of Milion's poetical works, to which I shall have occasion presently again to refer, -ijas well characterized this dogmatism of Warburton in thus pronouncing, judgment on Paradise Regained. “Warburton was a man of great subtilty, force and originality ; but lotally deficient in poetical taste. To have contracted the matter of these four books, would indeed have been a loss and a destruction. If the poem bad been estended to the length of “ Paradise Lost," it might indeed have contained that of which Warburton charges the omission as a great defect : but as the poem now stands, it is a perfect whole in itself.”
Doctor Johnson,who criticized Milton as a poet, though he hated bim as a republican, with a more just feeling of his power than marked his criticism of perhaps any other great writer, talks indeed of the varrowness of the basis of the poem; but he perceives that Milton did all that possibly could be done with the subject. “A dialogue without action” he observes, “can never p ease like an union of the narrative and dramatic powers. Had the poem," he adds, “ been written not by Milton, but by some
, imitator, it would have claimed and received universal praise.”—This is candid, and worthy of such a critic as Samuel Johnson; and it is pleasant to observe that in this instance his mind is not obscurçd by the prejudices which too often clouded the judgment of that great critic and moralist. But
except Dr. Johnson, until Şir Egerton Brydges, no critic. of eminence in the republic of letters has done justice to this“ brief epic," as it has been termed, of our noble poet. Yet respectable names,-such as Bishop Newton, Hayley, Thyer, Dunster and Peck,-have done themselves bonor by their just admiration of the poem as a whole, as well as by their insight into its many beauties which liave been overlooked by writers of greater celebrity. Prejudice and opinativeness—if I may use such a word- too often influence powerful miods in their judga
mant of things which they think do not demand, and to which therefore they do not give close attention. Hence the error,-if, as I huiubly think, it be an error,- of some great men respecting this poem,
The works of Milton were imong my carly studies as perhaps an enthusiastic reader, and likewise as more mature thinker, I find among nu: papers some remarks on the poem of Paradise Regained ; and I shall in a few monthly essay's give the substance niy
meditations on this subject. I hope to be able to demon. brate the justice of the following remark of one * of his early commentators,--" That the Paradise Regained is certainly a most admirable poem, and breatlies the very genius and spirit and soul of Milton in every line; and, in a word, is worthy not only pf bim, but even of,
“ Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer called,
Whose poem Phæbus challenged for his own." 11 I can thus act as a pioneer to younger readers to the study of the Forks of this accomplished scholar and high minded poet, and thus teach them to create within themselves a pure and permanent taste in literature, I shall rest contented.
Fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quae ferram valet, exsors ipsa secandi. I am deeply gratified at finding my thoughts echoed by such mind as Sir Egerton Brydges, who says—“That he deemed it an unquestionable duty of every one who understands the English language to study Milton next to the Holy Writings: this remark more especially applies to the description of the temptation in the wilderness. The “ Paradise Losi" is moral and didactic, but less su than the “ Paradise Regained.”—We may be forgiven (he says in another of his beautiful introductions) for dispensing with all poctry, of which the mere result is innocent pleasure; that is, they may lay it aside to whom it is no pleasure. But this is not the case with Milton's poetry: his is the voice of instruction and wisdom, to which he who refuses to listen is guilty of a crime. If we are so dull, that we cannot understand him without labour and pain, still we are bound to undergo that labour and pain. They who are not ashanied of their own ignorance and in. apprehensiveness, are lost.”
“ Here's Flowers for you."
TO OUR READERS,
To afford variety to our publication, we have determined to devote a page or two of each number to smaller pieces in verse, amp lyrical, descriptive, moral, and humorous : and we shall class the wbole under the title of " Exçlish ANTHOLOGY." As the epithet “ English," so long as the piece, whepcesoever derived, ap, pears in the English dress, it will be admissible : spirited translations and imitations, from other languages, will be especially welcome, as contributing to the one object of Pariety,--and en. suring a certain degree of excellence which has been stamped on the original. As to the term “Anthology," it is, as every one knows, in ils primary sense, a “Collection of flowers;" and it has been applied by both ancients and moderns to collections of poems. The Greek An, thology-as edited by Brunck, with the indexes and commentary by Jacobs,-extends to twelve octavo volumes; four of which only contain the poetry. All know the beautiful volume of “Collections from the Greek Anthology,” translated into English by the late Rev. Robert Bland and others : of which a new and enlarged edi, tion was published in 1833 by Mr. Merivale, one of the original contributors. It is one of the most delightful volumes, to the reader of taste, in the English language.
To aspire to the perfection of this volume is not to be thought of by any modern Anthology. The idea has, however, been acted upon in similar collections to the one here proposed. Two very pretty volumes were printed and published at Bristol, in 1799 and 1800, by Mr. Southey, under the title of “The Annual Anthology.” In tlic first sentenco of the “Advertisement” to the first volume the editor says “Similar collections to the present have long beeu known in France and Germany under the title of Almanacks of the Muses. In Germany they were first introduced by Brügher; and Scoil. LER and Voss each edite one at present.” (1799.):
In this Collection of Southey's “Annual Anthology" first appeared some of the most delightful pieces of the late Mr. Coleridge ; and of others of the editor's friends, since well known in the literary and scientific world. One is peculiarly interesting, an Extract from an untinished poem on Mount's Bay—by Humphrer Davy, (afterwards Sir Humphrey Davy.) The specimen shews that he might have excelled in poetry had he studied that art.
We invite our Correspondents to contribute to this Collection; and it is requested that each writer will give his name and adu dress, that the piece may be returned if found inconvenient to insert.
Ed. C. M.
To mo, great Milton, O how dear thou art,
Thou man of lofty thinking! Poesy
With spiritual beams informed thy sightless eye:
To Heaven ;-and with creative touch, upstart
Seraphic visions, with which memory,
Now thou art gone, that she may still her sigby
For aye hath wedded, never more to part.
My deep-impassioned soul, in bloom of youth,
When admiration was a thought of flame,
Could see no fault in thee :-all, all was truth,
If it were sanctioned with thy glorious name :
And though with thought mature conviction came,
Oh! I could wish it never had been sooth.
I love, yes I love the wild flowers,
They've an infantine magic for me :
They tell of our youth's brightest hours,
They are types of the fair and the freo.
Light as fairies they dance in the glade,
And laugh to the zephyr's lone sigh;
As pleasures, they're seen but to fade,
As hopes, they but blossom to die.
Come twine me a garland of flowers,
With the fairest young daughters of May, As they sleep in their shadowy bowers,
And smile all their sweetness away.
And place the wild Rose in the wreath,
With the Field-lily bending above,
The Jessamine shining beneath,
And Violet breathing its love.
Then there is the Cowslip's pale face,
And Primrose so mild, yet so gay:
0! gather them too, they're a race
That are born, live, and die in a day.
I love, yes I love the wild flowers !
Who so bappy, so lovely as these?
The creatures of sun-beams and showers,
Whose food is the dew and the breeze,
ED. C. M.