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RAPHAEL at the request of Adam relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his angels out of heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory and attendance of angels to perform the work of creation in six days: the angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into heaven.
DESCEND from heav'n, Urania, by that name
1. Descend from heav'n, Ura- 491. Oaupervades Mourai.
He nia,] Descende cælo, Hor. Od. calls it old, that is, famed of old iï. iv. 1. but here it is better and long celebrated, as he says applied, as now his subject leads old Euphrates, i. 420. and mount him from heaven to earth. The Casius old, ii. 593. word Urania in Greek signifies 5.
- for thou heavenly; and he invokes the Nor of the Muses nine, nor on heavenly Muse as he had done before, i. 6. and as he had said of old olympus dwell'st, but in the beginning that he intended heav'nly born] to soar above the Aonian mount, Tasso in his invocation has the so now he says very truly that same sentiment. Gier. Lib. cant. he had effected what he intended, i. st. 2. and soars above the Olympian hill,
O Musa, tu, che di caduchi allori above the flight of Pegaséan wing, Non circondi la fronte in Helicona ; that is, his subject was more
Ma sù nel cielo infra i beati chori sublime than the loftiest flights
Hai di stelle immortali aurea corona. of the heathen poets. The
Thyer. mountain Olympus is celebrated 8. Before the hills appear'd, or for the seat of the Muses, who fountain flow'd, &c.] From Prov. were therefore called Olym- viii. 24, 25, 30. When there were piades, as in Homer, Iliad. ii. no depths, I was brought forth;
Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse,
when there were no fountains too pure and fine for hi:n, but abounding with water: Before the the heavenly Muse temper'd and mountains were settled, before the qualified it so as to make him hills was I brought forth: Then capable of breathing in it: which was 1 by him as one brought up is a modest and beautiful way of with him ;
and I was daily his bespeaking his reader to make delight, rejoicing always before favourable allowances for any him, or playing according to the failings he may have been guilty Vulgar Latin (ludens corain eo of in treating of so sublime a omni tempore), to which Milton subject. . alludes, when he says, and with 17. (as once her didst play, &c. And so he Bellerophon, &c.] quotes it likewise in his Tetra- Belleruphon was a beautiful and Chordon, p. 222. vol. i. edit. 1738. valiant youth, son of Glaucus; “ God himself conceals not his who refusing the amorous appli
own recreations before the cations of Antea wife of Præteus “ world was built; I was, saith king of Argos, was by her false “ the eternal Wisdom, daily his suggestions, like those of Joseph's delight, playing always before mistress to her husband, sent
into Lycia with letters desiring 14.
and drawn empyreal air, his destruction ; where he was Thy temp'ring ;]
put on several enterprises full of Spenser, Faery Queen, b. ii. hazard, in which however he cant. ii. st. 39.
came off conqueror : but at
tempting vain-gloriously to Thus fairly she attempered her feast,
mount up to heaven on the And pleas'd them all with meet satiety.
winged horse Pegasus, he fell Thyer.
and wander'd in the Aleian plains
till he died. Hume and Richard15. Thy temp'ring;] This is said in allusion to the difficulty His story is related at large in of respiration on high moun- the sixth book of Homer's Iliad; tains. "This empyreal air was but it is to the latter part of it