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PREFACE.

(Extracted from Dr. Newton's Octavo Edition of 1773.]

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IThath been recommended to me by some great persons, as well as by several

friends, to complete the edition of Milton's Poetical Works: for though the Paradise Lost be the flower of epic poesy, and the noblest effort. of genius, yet bere are other poems which are no less excellent in their kind, and if they have not that sublimity and majesty, are at least equally beautifuland pleasing to the imagination. And the same method that was taken in the publication of the Paradise Lost, is pursued in this edition of the Paradise Reguin'd and other Poems, to exhibit the true and geguine text according to Milton's own editions. Of the Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistes there was only one edition in Milton's life-time, in the year 1671; and this we have made our standard, correeting only what the Author bimself would have corrected. Dr. Bentley pronounces it to be without faults, but there is a largetable of errata at the end, which instead of being emended, bèvé rather been augmentedin the following editions, and turre never corrected in any edition that I have seen before the present. Of the other Poems there were twoeditions in Milton's life-time, the first in 1645, before be was blind, and the other with some additions in 1673.

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Of the Mask there was likewise an edition published by Mr. Henry Lawes in 1637: and of the Mask and several other poems there are extant copies in Milton's own hand writing, preserved in the library of Trinity College in Cambridge : and all these copies and editions have been carefully. collated and compared together. The Manuscript, indeed, hath been of singular service in rectifying several passages, and especially in the Sonnets, some of which were not printed till many years after Milton's death, and evere then printed imperfect and deficient both in sense and metre, but are now, by the help of the Manuscript, re

stored to their just harmony and original perfe£tion. The Latin poems I cannot say are equal to several of

bis English compositions : but yet they are not without their merit; they are not a cento, like most of the modern Latin poetry; there is spirit, invention, and other marks and tokens of a rising genius ; for it should be considered, that the greater part of them were written while the Author was under twenty. They are printed correctly, according to his own editions in 1645 and 1673.

PARADISE REGAIN'D.

BOOK I.

I who ere while the happy Garden sung,
By one Man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
By one Man's firm obedience fully try'd
Through all temptation, and the Tempter foil'ds
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.

Thou Spi'rit who ledst this glorious eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field,
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence
By proof th’undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted song else mute,
And bear through highth or depth of Nature's bounds
With prosp'rous wing full summ'd, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,

15 And unrecorded left through many an age, Worthy to have not remain’d so long unsung.

Now had the great Proclamer, with a voice More awful than the sound of trumpet, cry'd Repentance, and Heav'n's kingdom nigh at hand To all baptis’d: to his great baptism flock'd With awe the regions round, and with them came

From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd
To the flood Jordan, came as then obscure,
Unmark'ą, unknown; but him the Baptist soon
Descry'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore 26
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heav'nly office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd : on him baptis’d
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a dove

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The Spi'sit descended, while the Father's voice
From Heav'n pronounc'd him his beloved Son.
That heard the Adversary, who roving still
About the world, at that assembly fam'd
Would not be last, and with the voice divine

35 Nigh thunder-struck, th' exalted Man, to whom Such high' attest was giv'n, a white survey'd With wonder, then with envy fraught and rage Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air To council summons all his mighty peers,

40 Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involvid, A gloomy consistory; and them amidst With looks 'aghast and sad he thus bespake :

O ancient Pow'rs of Air and this wide world, For much inore willingly I mention Air, 45 This our old conquest, than remember Hell, Our hated habitation; well

ye

know How many ages, as the years of men, This universe we have possessid, and rul'd In manner at our will th' affairs of Earth, 50 Since Adam and his facil consort Eve Lost Paradise deceiv'd by me, though since

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With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head : long the decrees of Heav'n

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Delay, for longest time to him is short ;
And now too soon for us the circling hours
This dreaded time have compass'd, wherein we
Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound,
At least if so we can, and by the head

60 Broken be not intended all our power To be infring'd, our freedom and our being, In this fair empire won of Earth and Air; For this ill news I bring, the woman's seed Destin'd to this, is late of woman born : His birth to our just fear gave no small cause, But his growth now to youth's full flower, displayAll virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve [ing Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear. Before him a great prophet, to proclame 70 His coming, is sent harbinger, who all Invites, and in the consecrated stream: Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them so Purified to receive him pure, or rather To do him honour as their king; all come, 75 And he himself among them was baptiz'd, Not thence to be more pure, but to receive' The testimony of Heav'n, that who he is Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I saw The prophet do him reverence, on him rising 80 Out of the water, Heav'n above the clouds Unfold her crystal doors, thence on his head

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