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Conscia, vel sub aquis gemmas. Sic denique in

65

ævum

Ibit cunctarum series justissima rerum;
Donec flamma orbem populabitur ultima, late
Circumplexa polos, et vasti culmina cœli;
Ingentique rogo flagrabit machina mundi.*

De Idea Platonica quemadmodum Aristoteles
intellexit.t

DICITE, sacrorum præsides nemorum deæ,
Tuque O noveni perbeata numinis

Memoria mater, quæque in immenso procul
Antro recumbis otiosa Æternitas,
Monumenta servans, et ratas leges Jovis,
Cœlique fastos atque ephemeridas Deum;

Would so imblaze the forehead of the deep, &c.

64. Probably he recollected Horace, Od. iii. iii. 49.

Aurum irrepertum, et sic melius si-
tum,
Cum terra celat.

E.

*This poem is replete with fanciful and ingenious allusions. It has also a vigour of expression, a dignity of sentiment, and elevation of thought, rarely found in very young writers.

† I find this poem inserted at full length, as a specimen of unintelligible metaphysics, in a scarce little book, of universal burlesque, much in the manner of Tom Brown, seemingly published about the year 1715, and entitled, "An Essay towards the "Theory of the intelligible world

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"intuitively considered. De"signed for forty nine Parts, "&c. by Gabriel John. En"riched with a faithfull account " of his ideal voyage, and illus"trated with poems by several "hands; as likewise with other "strange things, not insuffer"ably clever, nor furiously to "the purpose. Printed in the

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year One thousand seven hun"dred et cætera." 12mo. See p. 17.

3. This is a sublime personification of Eternity. And there is great reach of imagination in one of the conceptions which follows, that the original archetype of Man may be a huge giant, stalking in some remote unknown region of the earth, and lifting his head so high as to be dreaded by the gods, &c.

v. 21.

Quis ille primus, cujus ex imagine
Natura solers finxit humanum genus,
Eternus, incorruptus, æquævus polo,
Unusque et universus, exemplar Dei?
Haud ille Palladis gemellus innubæ
Interna proles insidet menti Jovis ;
Sed quamlibet natura sit communior,
Tamen seorsus extat ad morem unius,
Et, mira, certo stringitur spatio loci :
Seu sempiternus ille siderum comes
Coeli pererrat ordines decemplicis,
Citimumve terris incolit lunae globum :
Sive inter animas corpus adituras sedens,
Obliviosas torpet ad Lethes aquas :
Sive in remota forte terrarum plaga
Incedit ingens hominis archetypus gigas,
Et diis tremendus erigit celsum caput,
Atlante major portitore siderum.
Non, cui profundum cæcitas lumen dedit,
Dircæus
augur vidit hunc alto sinu

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11. Haud ille Palladis gemellus innubæ, &c.] "This aboriginal "Man, the twin-brother of the virgin Pallas, does not remain " in the brain of Jupiter where "he was generated; but, although partaking of Man's "6 common nature, still exists "somewhere by himself, in a "state of singleness and abstrac"tion, and in a determinate place. Whether among the stars, &c."

13. Quamlibet ejus natura "sit communior," that is, communis.

15." Et (res mira!) certo, &c."

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25. Tiresias of Thebes.

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16. The i in sempiternus is unquestionably long. Symmons.

17. In another place, he makes the heaven ninefold.

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18. That part of the moon's orb nearest the earth.

19. See Virgil, Æn. vi. 713.

-Animæ, quibus altera fato
Corpora debentur, Lethæi ad fluminis
undam,
Eternos latices et longa oblivia po-

tant.

But this is Plato's philosophy,
Phæd. Opp. 1590. p. 400. C. col.

1.

Non hunc silente nocte Pleïones nepos
Vatum sagaci præpes ostendit choro;
Non hunc sacerdos novit Assyrius, licet
Longos vetusti commemoret atavos Nini,
Priscumque Belon, inclytumque Osiridem.
Non ille trino gloriosus nomine

Ter magnus Hermes, ut sit arcani sciens,
Talem reliquit Isidis cultoribus.
At tu, perenne ruris Academi decus,

(Hæc monstra si tu primus induxti scholis)
Jam jam poetas, urbis exules tuæ,
Revocabis, ipse fabulator maximus;
Aut institutor ipse migrabis foras.

Ad Patrem.*

NUNC mea Pierios cupiam per pectora fontes
Irriguas torquere vias, totumque per ora

27. -Pleiones nepos] Mercury. Ovid, Epist. Heroid. xv. 62.

Atlantis magni Pleionesque nepos. 29. Non hunc sacerdos novit Assyrius,] Sanchoniathon, the eldest of the profane historians. His existence is doubted by Dodwell, and other writers.

33. Ter magnus Hermes,] Hermes Trismegistus, an Egyptian philosopher, who lived soon after Moses. See Il Pens. v. 88. "With thrice-great Hermes, &c."

35. At tu, perenne, &c.] You, Plato, who expelled the poets from your republic, must now bid them return, &c. See Plato's Timæus and Protagoras. Plato and his followers communicated their notions by emblems, fables,

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symbols, parables, allegories, and a variety of mystical representations. Our author characterises Plato, Par. Reg. b. iv. 295.

The next to fabling fell and smooth conceits.

* According to Aubrey, Milton's father, although a scrivener, was not apprenticed to that trade: he was bred a scholar and of Christ Church, Oxford, and that he took to trade in consequence of being disinherited. Milton was therefore writing to his father in a language which he understood. Aubrey adds, that he was very ingenious, and delighted in music, in which he instructed his son John. MS. Ashm. ut supr. See note on v. 66. below.

Volvere laxatum gemino de vertice rivum ;
Ut tenues oblita sonos audacibus alis

Surgat in officium venerandi Musa parentis.
Hoc utcunque tibi gratum, pater optime, carmen
Exiguum meditatur opus: nec novimus ipsi
Aptius a nobis quæ possint munera donis
Respondere tuis, quamvis nec maxima possint
$5! 10
Respondere tuis, nedum ut par gratia donis
Esse queat, vacuis quæ redditur arida verbis. :-}
Sed tamen hæc nostros ostendit pagina census,

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Et quod habemus opum charta numeravimus ista,...
Quæ mihi sunt nullæ, nisi quas dedit aurea Clio,
Quas mihi semoto somni peperere sub antro,
Et nemoris laureta sacri Parnassides umbræ.

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16. Read Parnessid. See note on v. 92. Mans.

17. Here begins a fine panegyric on poetry. 21.iremebundaque Tartara

carmen

Ima ciere valet, divosque ligare profundos,

Et triplici duro Manes adamante coercet.] As in Il Pens. v. 106.

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Such notes as warbled to the string
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,

Nec tu vatis opus divinum despice carmen, Quo nihil æthereos ortus, et semina cœli, Nil magis humanam commendat origine mentem, Sancta Prometheæ retinens vestigia flammæ. Carmen amant superi, tremebundaque Tartara carmen Ima ciere valet, divosque ligare profundos, Et triplici duro Manes adamante coercet. Carmine sepositi retegunt arcana futuri Phœbades, et tremulæ pallentes ora Sibyllæ;

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Carmina sacrificus sollennes pangit ad aras,
Aurea seu sternit motantem cornua taurum;
Sed cum fata sagax fumantibus abdita fibris
Consulit, et tepidis Parcam scrutatur in extis.
Nos etiam patrium tunc cum repetemus Olympum, 30
Æternæque moræ stabunt immobilis ævi;
Ibimus auratis per cœli templa coronis,
Dulcia suaviloquo sociantes carmina plectro,
Astra quibus, geminique poli convexa sonabunt.
Spiritus et rapidos qui circinat igneus orbes,
Nunc quoque
sidereis intercinit ipse choreis
Immortale melos, et inenarrabile carmen ;
Torrida dum rutilus compescit sibila serpens,
Demissoque ferox gladio mansuescit Orion;
Stellarum nec sentit onus Maurusius Atlas.
Carmina regales epulas ornare solebant,
Cum nondum luxus, vastæque immensa vorago
Nota gulæ, et modico spumabat cœna Lyæo.
Tum de more sedens festa ad convivia vates,
Esculea intonsos redimitus ab arbore crines,
Heroumque actus, imitandaque gesta canebat,
Et chaos, et positi late fundamina mundi,
Reptantesque deos, et alentes numina glandes,
Et nondum Ætneo quæsitum fulmen ab antro.
Denique quid vocis modulamen inane juvabit

it more commodious to sing in the specious obscurity of the Pindaric measure. Homer is said to have borrowed many lines from the responses of the priestess Daphne, daughter of Tiresias. It was suspected, that persons of distinguished abilities in poetry were secretly placed near the

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oracular tripod, who immediately clothed the answer in a metrical form, which was almost as soon conveyed to the priestess in waiting. Phœbas is a word in Ovid. See our author, above, El. vi. 73.

37. Immortale melos, &c.] See Lycidas, v. 176.

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