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As thou art wont, my prompted song else mure ;
(B. I. 17.) The summons of Satan to “all his mighty peers in mid air,'' is justly admired by all persons of taste. Suddenly stricken with amazement and fear at the Divine Inauguration of the Messiuh at his baptism, ben
“ With 'enry fraught and rage,
(B. I. 39–43. How fine the contrast with that splendid passage of mock magni. ficence and affected triumph, with which the same fallen and baugle ly spirit “displayed liis proud imaginings,” at the opening of ilie juterial council, in the introductory lines of the second Book of Paradise Lost.
“High on a throne of royal state, which far,
Satan exalted sal." The comparison of these two woudersully fine passages of the two poenis will show the perfect propriety and beauty of each; and that neither suffers by the comparison, because cach is in its proper place, and each speaks w a suitable fove and temper. The unuisguised sadness and melancholy of the chest-tullen “ Adverbury in the Paradise Regained; bis confession that the Messiah's
“ Growth nov to youth's flower, displaying
(B. I. 66–69. bat
"in his face
The glimpses of his Father's glory shone," that these and other circumstances made him "sce their danger on
the utmost edge of hazard;" all these are such exquisite and touching pictures of despair, that the contemplation of the entire passage, especially in contrast with the vaunting character of the similar one in the Paradise Lost, raises the mind to the highest conception and admiration of the wonderful powers of the Poel, thus almost to excite our interest in the fate of that Evil One, who afterwards, with deep remorse and deeper subulty, calls himself "That Spirit unfortunate. But the moral is equally fine with the art of this great master as a poet : for it is impossible to feel anything like true compasion, but the utmost abhorrence of the fraud and malice of the Devil, which he exhibits as the poem proceeds.
The mind and style of the author of Paradise Lost are recog. nized in the followiug lines at the breaking up of the council of demons, when
“Unanimous they all commit the care
B, I. III_118.
The exceħence of this passage, like many of the finest parts of Paradise Lost, consists in the nerve and plainess of the language, and its perfect destitution of figure. It is like fine, simple, and solemn music, the votes of the deep toned organ, 100 grand to admit of the added sound of minor instrumeuls. Of ibc same character is the affecting confession of Satay when discovered through his disguises by our Saviour. It is a tive lesson on the eterual misery necessarily entailed by siv upon the Eucny of man,
“ 'Tis true, I am that spirit unfortunate,
• The perfect passage which is the parallel to that in the text, in Paradise Lost, beginning with the noble climax, followed by the most melancholy conclusion, is perhaps the finest in that mighty poem.
“ Godlike shapes and forms
(P. L. B. T. 338-363
Kapt not my happy station, but was driven
B. I, 358-367.
There is something profoundly affecting in the confession of misery. thus wrung from this Spirit of inveterate evil, who, by a stroke of melancholy self-deception, too common to erring spirits among men, ternis himself “ unfortunate," when he was voluntarily wicked. I have heard that it has been said by a great modern Poes, that he could never read without lears that celebrated passage of Paradise Lost, in which Satan, struggling with his feelings, sheds " lears such as angels weep," ere he could deliver his sentiments to the assembly of revolted angels. * The same kind of emotion, in a yet higher degree, is excited on the perusal of this confession before au inzfinitely more awful presence than of
“ Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd
For his revolt."
P. I.. B. I. 609. There is a yet Aner passage of a similar character which we shall hereafter cire, in the third Book, of which there is also a paralle! one in Paradise Lost; but in this instance the passage of Paradise Regained will be found to be the finest. +
Satan continues his apologetic speech to our Lord in the most artful and insinuating style. He mentions how he
“ Came uinong the sons of God, when he
B. 1. 368-370,
He boasts of his " drawing the prond Ahab into frand:" and he adds a fine, yet reluctant, eulogium on youdness and virtue.
Though I have lost
* Thrice he assay'd, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
P. L. B. 1. 619.
+ Compare P. R. B. III. 204 with P. L. B. IV. 108.
To be belored of God; I have not lost
B. 1. 377-382. He then insinnates his desire "to see and approach whom he knew declared the Son of God." He alleges that although he was
ibought a loe to all mankind," he was their friend ; agd boasts of bis services to them. By the consummate art of tbe Poet this boast becomes bis condemnation. He proses bimself to be the graud Deceiver vf pen, as he was of their progenitors.
I lend ikem oft my aid,
B. I. 393-396.
Companions of bis misery and woe;" This " fellowship" alleviated not his pain; and that, it ras" small consolation to ruin man; for it "wounded” bim to reflect
Nan fallen shall be restored, I never more." The first part of our Lord's reply to this artful speech of Satan is 100 tine not to be cited.
! To whom our Saviour sternly thus replied:
B. I. 406-420;
püphony of some of his most delicious passages, and the picturesqne power ol his descriptions. Homer and Virgil, his great precursors, were masters of the various melody of versification, as of other and mightier poners. But the fullness and almost infinite variety of the Greek language, and the strength and melody of the Latin, rendered the achievement of perfection in melody and variety of verse comparatively easy in those beautiful langriages. Milton conquered the difficulties of a modern irregular language ; and his verse itself is scarcely inferior even to those mighty masters, with all the superiority of their several languages. In the picturesque, among modern poets, Dante is perhaps preeminent: Our Chaucer is also a master in this species of painting, notwithstanding the antique structure of his dialect. Spenser is full of it. Milton has furnished very perfect specimens of boib ihese excellencies of the art in all his poems. Paradise Regained is not deficient of them. I will conclude with one specimen of melody from the first book, and shall reserve my extracts from the other books to a future essuy. The difficulty of attaining to truth, and its sweetness when attained, were perhaps never more beautifully expressed than in the following exquisite lines.
“ Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk,
Smooth on the longer discoursed, pleasing to the ear,
“ He unobserred
Concluding lines of Par. Regd :