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But that the same forever more must stand,
never, Hath with his blood confirmed the same forever. ..
Adam no sooner had his judgments past
Now winged Time, God's speedy messenger,
Thus ends the version of the Paradise Lost. The remainder of the book is taken up with a description of the barriers to a return,-an elaba orate personification of the attributes of Justice, Mercy, and Love, who, with their appropriate surroundings, are set upon the eastern gate, “to keep the way of the tree of Life.”
Having now traced the story with some regularity, we will go back a little to quote from each work, a portion of the introduction to one of the Books, as showing strong mutual resemblance, and also as disclosing the spirit and motive which prompted both authors in their labors. Milton thus opens his Seventh Book:
Descend from Heaven, Urania, by that name
I now must change
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Here follows a corresponding introduction to one of Peyton's strophes :
Urania, sovereign of the Muses nine,
If all the world within my power did stand,
The child-like poetry of the older poet is here well set against the grand communings with spiritual things to which Milton was able to give expression.
We are well aware that the lines of Peyton show to much less advantage when placed beside the polished verse of Milton, than when read as an isolated work. Nor have we in these extracts done justice to the complete poem. We have selected those portions only which seemed to harmonize most fully with Milton. Many of the best passages are in the second division, which we have scarcely noticed, as it falls without our plan, unless the rapid view of coming events which the Angel shows to Adam, just before the final loss of Paradise, be compared with the more extended history of succeeding generations given by Peyton.
Before we began our task, when this curious book lay as a new and strange thing before us, we were strongly impressed, not only by the similarity of its plan to that of the Paradise Lost but by its own individuality,—the freshness and originality of its narrative. There are in the range of its contents lively pictures of men and manners, pathetic accounts of sufferings caused by religious bigotry; lessons of patience and long suffering useful for any and all times; lessons of loyalty peculiarly fitted for the poet's time; lessons in sound doctrine certainly needed in our time.
Nor is the dignity of the subject lowered by the faultiness of style manifest in the composition. The general character of this is rough: but it is often strong, and sometimes beautiful. We feel in reading it as we feel when meeting some old person whom nature has gifted with a solid and keen mind, which the experience of a
long and varied life has cut and sharpened to a brilliancy beyond our own elaborate polish. Toward such a one we have no spirit of faultfinding. Eccentricities of manner and homeliness of speech are forgotten in the usefulness of the truths enforced, and in the unconscious beauty of the thoughts expressed. Thus when we pore over the heavy lettering of these yellow pages, where, in most cases, the orthography is. obsolete, and in many instances, the words them selves have lost their significance, where occasional mistakes are corrected with the pen, per. haps in the author's own hand-where every rhetorical change is noted in the margin, and every source of information and allusion honestly referred to: when, transported by these associations, we go back to that period of English history, and English life, and remember how much this man found to contend against, not only in his individual experience, but also in the compar atively rude state of letters and poverty of books: when, to sum up all, we can see so clearly the elaborate development of a long cherished idea, painfully thought out into language, and committed to the world with somewhat more than an author's ambition and desire, with a deep appreciation of the nobleness of his theme, and a pious wish to promote God's glory,-we forget his faults and crudities, we admire his thought and its expression, we look upon him as a poet in the highest sense,
-a creator. And then we consider his youth, -only thirtyone when the work was accomplished, as a vignette on the title page informs us. Surely this was a good fight in those days, when Time moved rather after the manner of the “ Cycles of Cathay," than of the years of modern Europe.
This book should be reprinted. Its usefulness would be manifold. It would help to eluci. date history, and to show the development of language ; by contrast with the later and more perfect poem, it would demonstrate the vantage ground afforded by the large compass of scholar