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Seem'd like to heaven, a seat where gods might dwell,
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt
Her sacred shades.

Forthwith the sounds and seas, each creek and bay,
With fry innumerable swarm, and shoals
Of fish that with their fins, and shining scales,
Glide under the green wave, in sculls that oft
Bank the mid sea : part single, or with mate,
Graze the sea-weed their pasture, and through groves
Of coral stray; or, sporting with quick glance,
Show to the sun their waved coats dropt with gold;
Or, in their pearly shells at ease, attend
Moist nutriment; or under rocks their food
In jointed armour watch : on smooth the seal
And bended dolphins play : part huge of bulk,
Wallowing unwieldy, enormous in their gait,
Tempest the ocean : there leviathan,
Hugest of living creatures, on the deep
Stretched like a promontory, sleeps or swims,
And seems a moving land ; and at his gills
Draws in, and at his trunk spouts out, a sea.
Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores,
Their brood as numerous hatch, from the egg

Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclosed
Their callow young ; but feather'd soon and fledge
They summ'd their pens; and, soaring the air

With clang despised the ground, under a cloud
In prospect; there the eagle and the stork
On cliffs and cedar-tops their eyries build :
Part loosely wing the region ; part, more wise,
In common, ranged in figure, wedge their way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth


Their airy caravan, high over seas
Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing
Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane
Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air
Floats as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes :
From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings
Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays :
Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed
Their downy breast; the swan with arched neck,
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit
The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
The mid aëreal sky: others on ground
Walk'd firm; the crested cock, whose clarion sounds
The silent hours; and the other, whose gay train
Adorns him, coloured with the florid hue
Of rainbows and starry eyes.




(Raphael loq.)

What if that light
Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air,
To the terrestrial moon be as a star,
Enlightening her by day, as she by night

* The somewhat timid and inadequate ideas of Raphael or Milton, in speculating on the question of the plurality of worlds, may be, perhaps, explained and excused by the trammels of theology. From the moment, however, of the destruction of the old delusions as to the universe and the establishment of the discoveries of Copernik, the fact of plurality'

This earth ? reciprocal, if land be there,
Fields and inhabitants : her spots thou seest
As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
Fruits in her softened soil, for some to eat
Allotted there; and other suns perhaps,
With their attendant moons, thou wilt descry,
Communicating male and female light;
Which two great sexes animate the world,
Stored in each orb perhaps with some that live:
For such vast room in nature unpossess'd
By living soul, desert and desolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute
Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far
Down to this habitable, which returns
Light back to them, is obvious to dispnte.

Book VIII.



ARGUMENT Not less, but more heroic, than the wrath Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage

might be thought to have followed as a matter of course. From still further investigation, reason and analogy have made it as absurd to doubt of the existence of innumerable other worlds, immeasurably greater than our atomic globe, as to doubt e.g. of the globular form of the earth. For the most charming treatment of this most interesting subject, the reader is referred to Fontenello's Entretiens sur la pluralité des Mondes, 1685, the first adequate publication on the subject, and to Voltaire's Micromegas, one of the wittiest of that writer's lighter productions. The popular prejudices opposed to the scientific theory of the origin of species are not unanalogous to those which were, and are still, adverse to the teaching of the plurality of worlds.

Of Turnus for Lavinia disespoused;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son ;
If answerable style I can obtain
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplored,
And dictates to me slumbering, or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse :
Since first this subject for heroic song
Pleased me, long choosing and beginning late;
Not sedulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroic deem'd; chief mastery to dissect
With long and tedious havoc fabled knights,
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, emblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshall’d feast

up in hall with sewers and seneschals :
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name
To person or to poem.

Book IX.



Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand
Soft she withdrew, and like a wood-nymph light,
Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's train,
Betook her to the groves ; but Delia's self

In gait surpass’d, and goddess-like deport,
Though not as she with bow and quiver arm’d,
But with such gardening tools as art, yet rude,
Guiltless of fire, had form’d, or angels brought.
To Pales, or Pomona, thus adorn'd,
Likest she seem'd ; Pomona, when she fled
Vertumnus; or to Ceres in her prime,
Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove.
Her long with ardent look his eye pursued
Delighted, but desiring more her stay.
Oft he to her his charge of quick return
Repeated : she to him as oft engaged
To be return'd by noon amid the bower,
And all things in best order to invite
Noontide repast, or afternoon's repose.
0, much deceived, much failing, hapless Eve,
Of thy presumed return ! event perverse !
Thou never from that hour in Paradise
Found'st either sweet repast or sound repose :
Such ambush, hid among sweet flowers and shades,
Waited with hellish rancour imminent
To intercept thy way, or send thee back
Despoild of innocence, of faith, of bliss !
For now, and since first break of dawn, the fiend,
Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come ;
And on his quest, where likeliest he might find
The only two of mankind, but in them
The whole included race, his purposed prey.
In bower and field he sought, where any tuft
Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay,
Their tendance, or plantation for delight;
By fountain or by shady rivulet
He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find
Eve separate; he wish'd, but not with hope

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