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By the Rev. HENRY BOYD, A.M. 



VOL. Ill, 


Printed hy A Sirnlian, New-Street Sqinre; 









Vol. ni. B 

c 3 r 


TO TH|l 


In this Effay 1 fliall confine myfelf to the illuftration 
of an opinion, which often occurs in this part of 
Dante's Poem; not taken up at random by him, 
but probably learned from the Writings of Saint 
Augustine, with which he was very converfant ; as, 
if neceffary, could be proved from various parts of his 
Work. At leaft, if he did not learn this notion there, 
he, like many other Writers, inferred it from fome 
ftrong expreffions in his Works. The opinion which I 
mean is, the idea oi feeing all things in God j a notion, 
which, in the end of the feventeenth century, had been 
rendered fo celebrated by Malebranche. 

When Augustine ufes fuch ftrong expreffions aa 
thefe : lUuminandi fumiiS'-^Lumen non fumus *. — Vis 
nofce quid eft ? — Tenebra : detente te magiftro intimo in 
jfcbola pe^oris f, &c. And, though in other parts of 

* Sermo de Verbis Apoilolorum. f Confcflionesi lib. iz« c. 9* 

B a hia 

t 4 1 

his Works, he fpeaks in very high drains of God^s 
being the Light of our Minds, of our being illuminated 
immediately by the rays of the Divine Light ; yet he 
feems to apply thefe expreffions merely to our illumi- 
nation in moral and divine things, and not to the per- 
ception of objefts by the Senfes. 

This opinion feems to be founded on the immutable 
ideas of Plato ; which, according to him, are ever 
prefent with the Divine Mind, and the exemplars or 
patterns by which all things were made. The latter 
Platonifts differed from their Founder in this, that 
they made the eternal ideas not to be diftindb from the 
Deity, but to be in the Divine intelleft as the objedts 
of thofe conceptions which the Divine Mind muft al- 
ways have had, not only of every thing which he has 
made, but of every poflible exiftence, and of all the 
relations of things ; and they added, that, " by a pro- 
per purification and abftradion from the obje&s of 
fenfe, we may be, in fome meafure, united to the 
Deity, and in the eternal Light be enabled to difcem 
the mod fublime intelledual truths/' 

Whatever might be the cafe with Augustine, pro- 
bably fome of the other Dodors of the Church might 
have received a tinfture • of this opinion through the 
Alexandrian fchool, and communicated it to the 
Mystics of modem ages ; among whom Dante, as 
veil as Fenelon, may be reckoned ; though, in the 
time of the Tuscan Bard, they had not, as fru: as I 

* See Re ID on the latcHcftual Powers of Man, voL L p. 137. 


C 5 ] 

know, obtained that name. Malebranche, to the 
former theory, is fuppofed to have firft made this 
addition, that we perceive even the objeds of fenfe in 
the ideas of the Deity. But fomething of a fimilar 
kind occurs fo often in the Paradiso of Dante, that 
this opinion muft be referred to a more ancient origin. 
The introduction, indeed, of this idea is fo frequent, 
that it was deemed neceffary to premife fomething of 
this once celebrated opinion by way of illuftration. 
The premifes on which this theory is founded, may, per- 
haps, admit of difpute ; but it is fo captivating to the , 
fancy, that a Poet may eafily obtain pardon for having 
adopted a fyftem, which formerly was defended by 
the graved Philoibphers, and in which, among other 
things. Dr. Reid obfer\'es, " that the arguments of 
Bifhop Berkeley are to be found in their full force/* 
Malebranche, whofe remarkable coincidence with 
our Author, has obliged us to give fome account of his 
fyftem, was a man whofe penetrating genius led him to 
enter into a more minute inveftigation of the powers of 
the human Mind^ than any one before him. He lays 
it down as a principle admitted by all Philofophers, 
and which could not be called in queftion, that we 
do not perceive external objeds immediately, but by 
means of images, or ideas of them prefent id the 
Mind. " I fuppofe," fays he, " that every one will 
grant, that we perceive not the objeds that are with- 
out us immediately, and of thcmfelves. We fee the 
Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and an infinity of objefts 
without us : and it is not at all likely, that the Soul 
fidlics out of the Body, and, as it were, takes a walk 

^ B 3 throuygh 

C 6 3 

through Heaven, to cTontemplate all thefe objefts : flic 
fees them not therefore by themfelves ; and the imme- 
diate objefl; of the Mind, for example, when it fees 
the Sun, is not the Sun, but fomething that is inti- 
mately united with the Soul ; and it is that which I 
call an idea. So that, by the word idea here, I un- 
derftand nothing elfe but what is the immediate objeft, 
or neareft to the Mind, when we perceive any objefl:. 
It ought to be carefully attended to, that, in order to 
the Mind perceiving any objedl, it is abfolutely necef- 
fary that the idea of that objefl: be adlually prefent with 
it. Of this It is not poflible to doubt. The things which 
the Soul perceives, are of two kinds ; they are either 
in the Soul, or they are without the Soul. Thofe that 
are wthin the Soul, are its own thoughts ; that is to 
fay, all its different modifications ; the Soul has no 
need of ideas for perceiving thefe things : but with re- 
gard to things without the Soul, we cannot perceive 
them but by means of ideas */' 

Having laid this foundation, as a principle common 
to all Philofophers, and which admits of no doubt, he 
proceeds to enumerate all the poflible ways by which the 
ideas of fenfible objecls may be prefented to the Mind : 
Either, ift. They come from the Bodies which we 
perceive; or, 2dly, The Soul has the power of pro- 
ducing them in itfelf ; or, 3dly, They are produced 
by the Deity, either in our creation, or occafionally as 
there is ufe for them ; or, 4thly, The Soul has, in it- 
felf, virtually and eminently, as the Schoolmen fay, 

♦ Recherche de la Vcriic, ii'"' parlie, chap; i. dc la Nature des 

- all 

C 7 3 

all the perfections which it perceives in Bodies ; or, 
5thly, The Soul is united with a Being polTeffed of all 
perfedibn, who has in himfelf the ideas of all created 
things. This he takes to be a complete enumeration 
of all the poi&ble ways by which the ideas of external 
objefts can be prefented to the Mind. He employs a 
whole chapter upon each, refuting the four firft*, and 
confirming the laft t, by various arguments, of which 
it will be neceflary to give fome account* * 

Suppofing the poffibility of our feeing all things in 
God ; partly, becaufe God has in himfelf the ideas of 
all things which he has created ; and partly, becaufe 
he is intimately united to our Souls by his prefence : 
if thus, the works of God may be feen in God, if it 
pleafes him to difcover to the Mind, united to him, 
that in himfelf, which reprefents thefe things, M. 
Malebranche endeavours to prove that he will do 
fo, rather than create continually a number of new 
ideas in every Mind. 

I ft. This appears probable from the fimplidty of 
the divine operation. It appears not only from Rea- 
fon, but the whole ceconomy of Nature, that God 
jiever does that by very difficult ways, which may be 
done by methods that are fimple and eafy. He does 
nothing in vain, and without Reafon. That which 
charaderizes his Wifdom and his Power, is not to do 
little things by great means. This would be irrational, 
and the character of a limited intelligence ; but, on 

♦ Recherche dc la Verite, ii"** partie, chap. 29 ^y ^ S* 
t Ibid. chap. 6. 

B4 the 

[ 8 ] 

the contrary, the general charafter of Iiis operations is^ 
to do great things by funple and eafy means. It is 
thus, that by extcnfioa alone he produces whatever we 
fee admirable in Nature, and even that which gives life 
and motion to animals *. As for thofe who will needi 
hvf^fub/iantial forms ^ &c. in animals, diflferent from 
their blood and the organs of their body, in order to 
the performance of their fundions, they do, in effed:, 
fuppofe God to be defedive in his tmderftanding, or that 
he is not able to effe£l thefe admirable things by ex* 
tenfion only : they meafure the power of God^ and his 
fovereign wifdom, by the minutenefs of their own in* 
tellefl. Since, therefore, God may produce in our 
Minds ideas of all things, merely by vdlling that they 
ihould fee what is in the midft of themfelves ; that is, 
the ideas in him that have a relation to thofe things, 
and which reprefent them j there is no reafon to fup- 
pofe that he (hould do it otherwife, or that for fuch a 
purpofe he fliould produce as many infinites of infinite 
ideas, as there are created Men : or more briefly thus,-^ 
God a6h by the moil (imple means poflible ; and there- 
fore, fmce to make us underitand by exhibiting to 
our Minds his own ideas is pofCble in itfelf, and alfo 
a much more fimple v^y than to create ideas on pur« 
pofc for that end, it is ii;L all reafon to be prefumed, 
that we underftand in that way, rather than in the other. 
The next argument offered by this Writer to ren* 
der it probable that we fee things, becaufe God wiUs 

♦ This Idea of the Mechanifm of Animals he borrowed from 
Des Cartes. It is mentioned very gravely by NorriSi in his 
Idea of tht Intelligible World, part ii. chap. a. 


t 9 ] 

that the ideas that are m bimj and that reprefent 
themy fliould be difcovered to us ; and not becaufe we 
have as many ideas created in us as are neceffary to re- 
prefent things to us; /x, becaufe this places created 
SfHrits in a more entire dependence upon God : for, 
upon this fuppofition, vre fee nothing but what he is 
willing we ihould fee ; we can fee nothing, therefore, 
but what God himfelf makes us fee. To this purpofe 
he quotes the expreflion of Saint Paul (2 Cor. iii. 5.), 
Ti&tff we are not fufficient of ourfelves to think any 
thing as of ourfelves^ hut ourfufficiency is of God. It is 
God himfelf who enlightens Philofophers in that know« 
ledge which ungrateful Man calls natural ; for God has 
Jbewed it unto them. — ^He is the true Light which 
lightenetb every Man that cometh into the World ; that 
he is not only the Light efficiently^ by caufing light in 
us, but objedively ; i. e* He himfelf is the immediate 
objed of our Minds, .by thofe ideas or reafons of things 
that are contained in him. He is not only called the 
Light, but the Truth alfo, apparently with a view to 
confirm this dodrine. 

In his next argument he expatiates upon our manner 
of feeing things : He fays, " We find, by experience, 
that when we want to fix our Mind upon any particu- 
lar objed, we firft caft our view on all beings, and 
afterwards apply ourfelves to the confideration of that 
objed which we propofe to think on. And as we 
thus can range round all beings, and defire to fee 
fbmetimes one, and fometimes another, it is certain,*^ 
he thinks, ^^ that all beings are prefent to our minds ; 
but that camK)t be any otherwife than as God is pre- 


i: lo 3 

finit to them, who in the fimplidty of his being coxi« 
tains all beings/' 

But what is more to his pwpofe, he remarks, uiider 
this head, *' that the Mind, in all probability, would not 
be able to reprefent to itfelf the imiverfal ideas of kinds 
and fpecies, unlefs it faw all beings included in one ; 
for every creature being a particular exifteiice, we can- 
not fay that we fee any thing created j when we fee, for 
inflance, the abftrad idea of a triangle : and he thinks, 
that we cannot well give an account how the Mind 
comes to know feveral abftraft and general truths, un« 
lefs it be by the prefence of him who can enlighten 
the Mind by an infinite variety of ways/' 

He continues to obferve, that the mod fublime and 
folid proof of the exiftence of the Deity, or that which 
fuppofes the feweft of all things, is the idea which we 
have of infinite. It is plain, that the Mind does per* 
ceive infinite^ though it does not comprehend it ; and 
that it has a very diftind idea of God, which it could 
not have but by the union which it has with him ; for 
it is not to be conceived, that the idea of a being in- 
finitely perfedt, fuch as we have of God, fliould be 
created; that is, he deems it impoflible that any 
thing but God himfelf, any idea of him, fliould repre- 
fent him to our Minds : in other words, he aiferts, 
that he himfelf is the immediate objed of the Mind, 
when he exhibits fuch evidences and views of himfelf j 
and if he himfelf be the immediate objed of our 
Mind, the divine ideas muil be fo too ; and thus 
we perceive things in God, viz. by thofe ideas of bis 
that reprefent tbenu 


He offers, afterwards, fome arguments by way of 
illuftration ; the firft of which is, the univerfality of 
that Reafon whereof Man is partaker : *' It is agreed," 
fays he, " that all Men are capable of knowing truth; 
and even the mod ealightened among the Philofo- 
^phers agree that Man partakes of a certain Reafon ; 
therefore it is that they define him to be an animal 
partaking of Reafon. But there is nobody but knows, 
at leaft confufedly, that the effential difference of Man 
confifts in his neceffary union with univerfal Reafon, 
What includes this Reafon no one knows, nor feemi 
much concerned to difcoven I fee certain Truths 
that all may fee as well as myfelf ; I do not fee them in 
the Mind of any Man, nor any Man in mine : there 
muft, therefore, be an univerfal Reafon that enlightens 
me, and all other intelligent Beings j for, if the Reafon 
that I confult were not the fame that anfwers to the 
Chinefe, it is evident that I could not be fo certain as I 
am, that the Chinefe did fee the fame Truths that I 
fee. There is, therefore, a fovereign and univerlal 
Reafon that all Men confult whenever they enter into 
themfelves ; on which occafion he cites a paffage from 
Saint Augustine : " If we both fee that it is true 
what you fay, and both fee that it is true what I fay, 
where is it that we fee it ? not J in you, nor you in me, 
but both in that immutable Truth which is fuperior to 
our Minds ♦." 

He argues again from the neceflity and immutability 
of that Reason which we confult : " It is certdn 

* Eclairciflement fur la nature dc& Idccs, torn. ii. p. 426. Ed. 
Amft. 1688* 


[ 14 a 

that the ideas of things are immutable, and that efer* 
nal Truths and Laws are neceflary. It is impoflibte 
that they (hould not be fuch as they are ; but I fee 
nothing in myfelf that is immutable or neceflary* I 
nught not be, or not be what I am. It is pofGble 
Aere may be Spirits too which are not at all like me ; 
and yet I am well aflured there cannot be Spirits that 
fee other Truths, or other Laws, than thofe which I 
fee. Every Spirit mud needs fee that two and two 
make four ; and that one's Friend is to be preferred 
before one's Dog : therefore it is neceffary to conclude 
that the Reafon which all Men confult, is a neceflary 
and immutable Reafon." 

He draws his next argument from the Infinitude of 
the fame Reafon : the Mind of Man clearly perceives 
that there are, or may be, an infinitude of intelligible 
Triangles, Tetrajgons, Pentagons, and others of the 
like figures. It does not only conceive that the ideas 
of figures will fiever be wanting to it, and that it will 
always difcover new ones, though it fhould eternally 
apply itfelf to that fort of ideas only ; but it alfo per- 
ceives infinitude in extenfion. The Mind fees clearly 
that the number which multiplied produces five, or 
any of the numbers between four and nine, between 
nine and Cxteen, between fixteen and twenty-five, is a 
quantity in relation, a fra£Hon whofe terms contain more 
figures than can be made from one pole of the world 
to the other: it fees clearly that it is a relation fuch as 
God only can comprehend ; and that it is impofTible to 
exprefs it exadly, becaufe to exprefs it exadly re- 
quires a fra^on whofe t^'o terms are infinite* Many 



C 13 3 

fuch examples might be afligned ; from whence it may 
be concluded, not only that the Mind of Man is li- 
mited, but that the Reafon which he confults is infi- 
nite ; for, in fine, the Mind clearly fees Infinitude in his 
Reafon, though it does not comprehend it. Since it can 
compare incommenfurable numbers with one another^ 
and perceive, though it cannot compare, them with 
unity, or to confider only what, it is plain that the Realbn 
which Man confults is infinite, fince we cannot exhaufl: 
it, and it has always fomething to anfwer on what- 
ever demand. 

*' But if it be true, that the Reafon, of which all 
Men participate, is univerfal, infinite, immutable, and 
neceffary, it cannot be different from that of God him- 
felf ; for nothing but an infinite can comprehend an 
infinite Reafon. All particular Beings are created ; uni- 
verfal Reafon muft be uncreated." To this he adds, " It 
is not only infinite and immutable, but it is necefiary 
and independent; for God cannot a£t but according 
to this univerfal immutable Reafon *• In fome fenfe 
he is himfelf dependent upon it ; as under its guidance 
all his operations are conduced ; but God only con- 
fults himfelf; he depends upon nothing elfe : therefore 
this reafon is his reafon, co-eternal and unfubflantial ; 
in fhort, it can fcarcely, even in idea, be diftinguifhcd 
from himfelf. We know that God cannot punifli an 
innocent perfon ; that he cannot fubjed Spirit to Body ; 
that he is obliged (as we may fay) to follow order. 
We fee, therefore, the very rule by which he ads, 

* See Clarke's Sermon on God's omnipotence. 


C 14 ] 

That Wifdom we contemplate in the eternal rule of 
Right, is the Wifdom of God himfelf ; nor can we 
conceive any thing elfe that deferves the name of true 
Wifdom. Solomon himfelf has aflured us that the 
Wifdom which is co-eternal with God, by which he has 
cftabliflied that order which we fee in his Works, is the 
fame with that which prefides over all Spirits, the fame 
which Legiflators confult in order to make juft and 
reafonable Laws *. The Scripture, indeed, fpeaks 
of another Wifdom, which it calls the Wifdom of 
this World ; but it exprefsly aflerts, that when the 
latter comes in competition with the former, it comes 
imder the denomination of Folly. 

** In fhort, if that Reafon which we confult were 
not neceflary, univerfal, immutable, and independent, 
we could not poffibly have any real fcience. If it were 
not neceffary that twice four was equal to eight, or 
that the three angles of a triangle were not equal to two 
right ones ; what proofs would we have that thefig 
Truths were not like thofe opinions which have their 
day in certain Univerfities, and then drop into obli- 
vion ? Would we in that cafe perceive clearly that 
God could not ceafe to will as he has willed, if his 
will was free, /• e. detached from right Reafon ? or 
would we fee that God has not willed certain things 
for one certain time, for one certain place, for certain 
perfons, or for certain orders of being, as would be 
the cafe if he were entirelv free, and indifferent whether 
he adted according to the rules of right Reafon pr 

* Proverbs, c. viii, 



C 15 ] 

not? IndifFerence and the eternal fitnefs of things 
are incompatible together. 

** Some may fay that thefe Laws of right Reafon and 
fitnefs are fo ordered by the decrees of God ; but 
where do they find this decree ? It muft dther be 
feen in God, or in their own Minds. Do they find 
it in any modification of their own Minds ? if not, 
they muft fee it in God. 

** One fees at the firft glance that the nature of num- 
bers and all intelligible ideas is immut?ibl^, neceflary, 
and independent ; twice fdur muft neceflkrily be eight, 
and the fquare of the diagonal muft be double to the 
fquare : this can by no means be fuppofed to depend 
upon a decree. The Truths contemplated in the Wif- 
dom of God are eternal ; the Soul was made to con- 
template them. It is here that order is feen which he 
has fitted us to follow. 

** If we were bound to particular ideas alone, and 
could form no conception of Infinitude, our liberty of 
thinking would evidently be very much abridged, nor 
could we fix our affections on any but particular 
things ; we could love nothing but what we faw ; an 
infinite Being we never could love, for we could form 
no idea of fuch a Being." 

But befides, if thefe Laws were not in their nature 
immutable and neceflary, the cleareft and ftrongeft 
proofs of our Religion would be deftroyed in their 
firft principles; no lefs than freedom of thinking, 
and thofe fciences which depend upon axioms. It is 
plain that the Chriftian Religion, which propofes a 
Mediator and a San£tifier, founds its promifes upon 


C i<5 3 

the idea of original tranfgreffion, and the corruption 
of our nature. But where is the proof of this cor- 
ruption ? " the Flefli contends againft the Spirit,** you 
will fay, " and brings it into fubje£Uon/* This is true, 
but this is no diforder ; the Libertine will aflert, ** it 
is according to the decrees of God, who has made 
things as they are. Now, under this fuppofition, how 
will we prove that it is a breach of order that the 
Flefii fliould overcome the Spirit, or the dictates of 
Reafon, if there are no immutable di£tates of Reafon, 
no eternal fitnefs, independent of any decrees. If 
this order depended upon arbitrary decrees, the next 
moment might give birth to new promulgation, and 
we would always have to enquire what Laws we 
ought to obey. 

** If this were an order which the Deity, by the 
attributes of his nature, cannot infringe, (for he can- 
not will diforder,) an order of which all Mankind have 
a confentaneous idea, all the former confequences 
follow : if the contrary be fuppofed, and that all de- 
pends upon arbitrary will and power, I can fee nothing 
but an univerfal confufion that can be the confe- 

*' Poets and Philofophers have been found who 
have afferted, that we can find no difference between 
juft and unjuft aflions, and that we ought not to 
blufh for deeds that the generality of Mankind have 
marked with infamy. No anfwer can be given to 
them, but on the principles of immutable order, and 
the Laws which eternal Reafon has laid down for our 
deportment in all circumltances« 

3 '' The 

t 17 3 

** The Almighty himfelf has appealed to the comtnon 
fenfe of mankind ; to that law, to which the Pagans 
themfelves were confcious that they were fubjefted, when 
he calls upon all mankind to judge between him and 
his people * ; or, lA other words, when he appeals to 
the neceflary and immutable laws of Juftice, If we 
confider the murder of Agrippina by her Son by 
any other rules, it might be afked, in what he offend- 
ed ? He followed the natural movement of his hatred* 
God had laid him under no reftriftions. What was 
the law of the Jews to him, you will fay ; he had the 
law of Nature to refer to.— -Doubtlefs— and what is 
this law, but an invincible proof of an eftabliflied order 
of things, to which the Mind of every man has accefs, 
and of which the degrees of conviftion mark the dif- 
ference of the rational and irrational Man, who attends 
to the didates of Univerfal Reafon, or obeys the calls of 
Paffion ? The clofer a man unites himfelf by medita- 
tion, and the power given him of forming abftraft 
ideas, to the Univerfal Reafon^ the lefs danger he will 
incur of being led aftray by his animal propenfities. 

" In a (imple being like God, it is not eafy to con- 
ceive this wonderful variety of ideas, the prototypes of 
all things which he has made ; but when we confider 
that this infinite variety implies infinite order, it will 
render the conception lefs difficult. The idea of a 
watch, that, befides its ordinary mechanifm, exhibits 
the revolutions of the planets, mufl be held in higher 

* Ifaiahy iii. 3. 

Vol, ni. C t eftimation 

[ i8 3 

cftimation than one of the common regiflers of Time ; 
if we purfue this idea, we will perceive the reafon why 
the Deity fhould place a greater value upon created In- 
telligences, than inanimate matter, however curioufly 
arranged. Eternal truth refuhs from this order, and 
from the relations they bear to each other in the Divine 
comprehenfion, to which we muft have recourfe in order 
to know them- As God muft love himfelf, on accoimt 
of his tranfcendent, rational, and moral perfeQ:ion, his 
love muft be expanded on all that refemble him, in 
proportion to the degrees of that limilitude. Some- 
thing analogous to this we can perceive, when, libe- 
rated from the dominion of the Pai&ons, we enter into 
the fublime taflc of felf-contemplation, ITiis immedi- 
ately unites us to the Divinity, and in him we fee that 
difplay of light and order which irradiates our under- 
ftanding, and inflames our affedions." 

Towards the conclufion he mentions an exception 
to the rule he had laid down, that created Intelligences 
are held by the Deity in higher eftimation than inani- 
mate matter. ** This,'* he fays, ** cannot be the cafe 
with depraved Souls ; for the law is inviolable, that 
God cannot love what is fo unlike himfelf as a cor- 
rupted Mind muft be ; and that he has even more re- 
gard for their organized bodies, than he can have for 
them." " Why then," it may be alked, " are they ftiil 
preferved in being ?" He anfwers, " By the media- 
tion and interceffion of Jesus Christ, who ftill in- 
terefts himfelf fo far for them, as to procure them lei- 
fure for Fepentance, if they will attend to the calls of 



C '9 ] 

the Holy Spirit : without him they would be annihi- 
latedy and by his Judgment they will be finally con- 
figned to eternal punifhment, if they continue to with- 
fiand the conflant applications of divine Grace/' 


C 31 3 




SPEECH attributed to SOCRATES, on the Means of acquiring 
the Love of God, or the First Good. 

oOCRATES having given a mythological account of 
the birth of Love, which he fays he had learned from 
DioTiMA, a Prophetefs, proceeds to recite his dia- 
logue with her. After feyeral difcuflions of the nature 
and attributes of this Pafiion, Diotima proceeds to 
defcribe its nature at full length, nearly in the following 
words : 

'' Do you fuppofe that Men love any thing but 
apparent good?" is the queftion (he addreffes to 
Socrates, To this he gives his aflent, 

" Dio. We therefore may fimply affirm, that good 
is the objeft of human Love. 

Soc, Certainly. 

Dio. Are we not to add, that communion with the 
objed of his wifhes is eflential to this defire I 

C 3 Sooi 

C a* 3 

Soc, Thi^ addition is neceffary. 

Dio. And that this communion ihonld be perpetual ? 

Soc. Doubtlefs. 

Dio. Love, therefore, on a comprehenfive view oi 
the fubje£l, appears to be a deiire of fome infeparable 

Soc. You are perfedly right. 

Dio. Thefe, therefore, being the general attributes 
of Love, can you define the reafons why it purfues its 
objed, or its mode of operation, and by what exer* 
tion or propenfity it attains the name of Love ? 

Soc. If 1 could have fatisfied myfelf on this fubjed^ 
my admiration of your wifdom never would have carried 
me fo far to confult you. 

Dio. I will therefore explain this fubjeft to you : 
In the firfl place, know that there is a propagation of 
the Mind infpired by Beauty, as well as of the Body. 

Soc. I certainly would require fomething like in* 
fpiration to underfland you, for here I am quite in the 

Dio. You fhall foon underfland my meaning. Bodi 
the Body and Mind of man are endowed by Nature with 
powers to propagate their likenefs. When we cometo a 
certain age, the genial propenfity makes its aiq>earance ; 
but Beauty, real or imaginary, is neceffary to bring it to 
effe£t. The refult of animal Love is a corporeal pro« 
geny : This, however, is the operation of fuperior 
power, the effe£t of celefUal energy in a material fub* 
je£t. In a difproportioned and incongruous objeS tiiis 
cannot be effected. What is deformed or difcordant, 
cannot be the inftrument of this Divine energy ; for 


L 23 ] 

Beauty can only concord with Divinity. Beauty, 
therefore, is the prime caufe, and prefiding Goddefs 
even of this lower fpecies of generation. When, there- 
fore, this genial propenfity meets with an object with 
which it fympathizes, this is the confequence ; a con- 
trary eflFeft enfues, when the objeft infpires antipathy. 
To be precluded from this privilege, is contrary to Na- 
ture ; nor is it fo much the love of progeny, as 
a defire of prolonging our being to other generations ; 
or, as we may fay, an inftindive longing after immor^ 
tality : for (what was obferved before) it appears, that 
Love wifties a conftant enjoyment of the objeft of its 
defire ; therefore it muft defire immortality, as the me- 
dium of fruition. Hence it appears that a fpecies of 
immortality is the objefl: even of this inferior Paflion. 

^What do you imagine, O Socrates! to be the 

caufe of this intenfe defire ? Do you not perceive 
the violence of this Paffion even arifing to a pitch of 
fury, in all animals of Earth, Sea, and Air ? What 
labour they undertake for the prefervation of their 
young ? The weakeft and moft pufillanimous creatures 
will not dread to affault the moft ferocious and robuft 
in defence of their offspring. For them they encounter 
famine, and death itfelf ; nor is there any living things 
however formidable at other times, which they would 
fcruple to engage, to procure fupport, or to aflford 
protedion, to their defencelefs brood. Man, you will 
fuppofe impelled to this by the exercife of his reafon- 
ing powers ; but what gives this impulfe to animals ? 
Can you aifign a caufe ? 
Soc. I cannot, 

C 4 Dia 

[ 24 ] 

Dio. And can you fuppofe yourfelf an adept in the 
myfteries of Love, while you remain ignorant of this ? 

Soc. For this reafon, O Diotima ! I applied to you, 
as I faid before, becaufe I know my need of inflruftion. 
Tell me, therefore, I requeft you, the caufe of this, and 
folve any other difEculties which may occur on this fub^ 

Dio. That every fpecies of Love ftiows a defire of im*. 
mortality is plain ; the grofs material Paffion can attain 
this by no other mode than fubftituting a rifmg gene^ 
ration for that which is going oft' the ftage ; for in the 
life of every animal, even while it continues apparently 
in its utmoft vigour, there is nothing conftant, every 
particle of the body undergoes a momentary change; the 
ikin, the flefli, the blood, the bones, the hair, and, in 
faft, the whole corporeal fyftem, ITiis not only is 
the cafe with the Body, but the Mind alfo is fubjed to 
the inroads of mutability ; manners, habitudes, opinions, 
propenfities, pleafurcs, joys, and fears, all are in a ftate 
of mceflant transformation ; nor can any of them be 
called precifely the fame for an inftant ; there is always 
a new fucceflion and dereliftion of parts. What is ftili 
more wonderful, fciences themfelves, in us, are in a 
conftant .flux ; opinions vanifli from our minds, and 
others arife in their ftead, or the old ones are renewed 
and prefcrvcd by frequent meditation and recolleftion. 
Thus, O SocRATi- s ! a fpecies of immortality is fecurecj 
to the Body, and every thing in its own nature 
mortal ; while to the Miiid, its immortality is fecured in 
another manner. If you had confidered that appetite 
for glory fo conimon among men, you would not 


C 25 ] 

have been fo much at a lofs on this fubjed. You fee 
with what ardent exertions they ftrive to attra£k 
general notice, and fecure a title to immortal 
glory! For this they expofe themfelves to greater 
labour, and more imminent danger, than any regard 
to their offspring could infpire ; for this they undergo 
the heavieft expences, nor are they afraid, for this^ to 
encounter death itfelf. Do you imagine that Alcestis 
would have died for her Hufband, Achilles for his 
Friend, or Codrus for his Country, had they not 
deemed themfelves fecure of immortality as a reward ? 
Soc, Certainly not, I am rather convinced that this 
defire of future fame is the general motive to great 
adions, and that higher degrees of virtue only inflame 
this propenfity the more in generous bofoms. Immor- 
tality is the objeft of their Paflion, as Beauty is of the 
mere corporeal inflinft ; nor is the animal impulfe to 
perpetuate the mere corporeal likenefs, ftronger in thofe 
who are fubje£t to its dominion, than in thofe who are 
endowed with the generous paflion to propagate the noble 
conceptions of the Mind, and thofe virtues which are its 
diftinguifhed and natural progeny. Poets, in this re- 
fpeft, may be called Parents ; alfo all Inventors of ufeful 
Arts, But the nobleft offspring of all, is that Prudence 
which is employed in rendering a State happy, and of 
which Juftice and Temperance are the principal ingre- 
dients. — ^Pregnant with thefe celeftial conceptions, the 
Mind feeks inftinftively a fecial Mind, for the pleafure 
of communication, and is delighted when it meets with 
a proper fubjeft with whom it can expatiate upon the 
p^ture, ^nd indulge in the praife, of Virtue. In the 


[ 26 ] 

communion of fuch Minds a progeny truly immortal 
comes to light, a progeny far dearer than the children 
who bear our nanue, and inherit our fortunes. When 
we contemplate, for inflance, the progeny of Homer 
and HfisioD; what children Lycurgus bequeathed 
to Greece ; how the inheritance of his immortal 
Spirit rendered them the Saviours of their country; 
who would not prefer fuch an offspring to all others ? 
Why need I mention Solon and other Legiflators, 
Greeks as well as Barbarians ; you fee how they are 
honoured on account of a poflerity fo renowned. You 
fee how many Temples have been dedicated to the 
Parents of fuch Children ; but who, ever heard of a 
Temple dedicated to a Man merely for having a Child 
in the common courfe of Nature ? You yourfelf, O 
Socrates! may be initiated into the myftery of pro- 
ducing fuch an offspring, and I will affift you with all 
my power. — ^The perfon who wifties to acquire this 
divine Paffion, ought to raife his Mind to it by degrees, 
and begin by the contemplation of Beauty in a iingle 
objed. Of this he ought gradually to acquire an ab* 
ftrafted view, by confidering its fimilarity with beauty 
in another objedl. If thus he gets an idea of this attrac- 
tive quality, he will find it abfurd to fuppofe, that it 
is different from itfelf, but that it mufl be the fame 
however extended, and by whatever numbers it is par- 
ticipated. This will lead him by eafy fteps to contem- 
plate the Beauty of the Mind ; and, if he find a per- 
fon endowed with this truly aetherial charm, although 
deficient in external attradions, to that Mind it is 
his duty to apply, to develop^ its latent graces, to excite 

7 its 


C a? 1 

tti ener^es, and to conceive at the fame time, and 
communicate, the Love of Virtue. Hence his fphere 
of intelledual vifion vnll by degrees be enlarged, fo as 
to comprehend the beauty of legiflative fyftems, and to 
take in the whole glorious circumference of moral 
duty, and perceive how amiable it is in all its relations 
and connexions. Such objefts as thefe will foon render 
mere corporeal Beauty contemptible in comparifon. 
When he proceeds thence to contemplate the Sciences, 
a fcene of fuperlative grandeur will open to his 
view ; no fmgle objeft will be deemed worthy his at* 
tention. He will not only fee, but feel, how degrading 
fuch purfuits are to a Mind capable of fuch amaz- 
ing expanfion. Loft in the contemplation of Beauty, 
as in a boundlefs ocean, he will then be able to con- 
template the wonderful fabric of Philofophy in all its 
proportions, various in its relations, but uniform in 
its tendency. He that has found his way hitherto, 
and can mount to this ftage through the diflPerent 
gradations of Love, exalted from an earthly paffion 
to a divine affeftion, will now find an objefl: worthy 
of his utmoft ardour, a fource of ineffable tranfport, 
which will repay all his labours ; for on this account 
they were all undergone. 

** The great uncreated felf-exifient Beings who not 
like other beings a mixture of perfedion and defeft, 
unites in himfelf all perfedions ; he that fees him, does 
not fee as here below, a fading image of moral excel- 
lence, but Virtue itfelf in a vifible form : from fuch 
an union new virtues will always take their birth, the 


C 2S D 

immortal offspring of a Soul exalted as far as Humanity 
can foar, and the Univerfal Parent will look with com- 
placence at the view of a Mortal putting on Immorta- 





L 31 ] 



The Poet defcribes his Afccnt* to the Firft: Heaven, or the 
Region of the Moon, under the Guidance of Bsatrick^— 
Their tirft Conference. 

His Glory, who, with folitary hand. 
Launches thro' boundlefs fpace the ftellar Band, 

And ftiines effulgent, or involves his Throne 
In darknefs, as he wills, in daring drains 
I fing, admitted to the lofty fanes, 

Fill'd with the Glory of th' Eternal One, 


There faw I things beyond Creation's bourne. 
Which none who from her flaming bounds return 

Can tell, when foaring Thought is launched fo far 
In Being's vaft Abyfs, that Mem'ry fails. 
Nor dares purfue, altho' with crowded fails 

She tries the Voyage o'er th' eternal Bar. 

But fome fmall remnant of that heav'nly Spoil, 
From that ftrange Voyage won with arduous toil, 

• The Ptolemaic Syftem is here followed, which makes the 
Earth the Centre of the S) ilem. 

C 3^ 3 

To her dear native foil, the Mufe fhall bear j 
If the blefs'd Pow'r of Infph-ation deign 
To breathe his Spirit thro' my iateft drain. 

And make it worthy of the wreath I wear. 


One fteepy Hill of Helicon to climb. 
Sufficient feem'd to me ; but circling Time 

Has led my footfteps to the bolder brow. 
That nearer leans upon the lofty Sky. 
O ! to my panting heart that ftrain fupply. 

Which made my Rival rue his hardy vow. 


Would*ft thou beftow an energy to laft. 
Till I could Iketch the heavenly fcene in hafte 

(Tho* but in (hadows) on the dim expanfe 
That fleets beneath the Moon before it fade ! 
I fee, I fee the myftic tints difplay'd. 

And Fancy eyes the fcene with eager glance ! 


Then would' ft thou fee me to thy hallowM bough 
Approach, and cull a garland for my brow. 

Worthy the Poet, and the Poet's God ? — 
Seldom (O, hide your heads in endlefs fhame, 
Monarchs and Bards !) the genuine \vreath of Fame 

Is on a JVIinftrel, or a King, beftow'd ! 

Si. vi. /. 4. Seldom f &C.3 Conquerors, who, for frivolous pretences, 
laid the World in blood ; and Poets, who have made Injuftice or 
Vice the fubjed of their Panegyric ; or, at lead, have palliated 
their deformity. 


Olympus triumphs, and the tuneful lyre 
Is wak'd to rapture, when the hallow'd fire 

Lights on the gifted Bard, and fires his Soul 
With love of genuine Fame ; a facred thirft. 
By Vifions pure and Contemplation nur^^d, 

Whofe heavenly Pageants thro' his Fancy roll* 


The Wood that waves upon the Mountain's Brow 
A fpark may fire ; my fmother'd embers glow 

With languid heat; and yet may wake a flame, 
Whofe waving Spires may Earth and Heav'n adorn. 
And fervours new beftow on Tribes unborn, 

Leflbn'd to Glory by my humbler Name. 


My ruftic pipe may wake a nobler found. 

Than Echo e'er returned from Cyrrha's bound ; 

St, viii.] Never was predidion more completely fulfilled by the 
imitations of our Bard, to which fucceeding ages were witnefs. 
In this refped, he may almofl be called the /Id^ii^r of modern 
Poetry ; the infbinces would fill an additional volume. Our own 
Chaucer, Spenser, and M1LTON9 were particularly indebted to 
him, as all who arc converfant with their Works can teftify. 

St, ix, X.] The Poet is ftill fuppofcd to be in the terrcftrial 
Paradife with Beatrice. Milton's lines, where he introduces 
Satan in the fame fcene with our Poet, are fomewhat like thefc : 

He look'd 

Sometimes tow -rd Heav'n, and the full blazing Sun, 
Which now fate high in his meridian Tower. 

Book iv. i/i;V»^ 

VoL-in. D 

t 34 1 

If fuch a theme as mine their breads infpire^ 
Clio, begin ! — ^Thc light that feems to veer 
To different ftations, with the circling year. 

In Aries flam'd with new collefted fire. 


Where, crof? the midmoft Zone, the Chariot bright 
Of Phoebus draws tranfverfe a line of Light, 

With burning wheels alike from either goal 
Diftant, where Ocean meets the bending Sky ; 
He look*d abroad with glory in his eye. 

Darting his fmiles afar to either Pole. 

His longer journey in a gentle figii 
He now began, with energy divine, 

Infpiring vigour thro' the torpid frame 
Of this dull beamlefs Orb. His rifmg Light 
SmilM in that clime, while Europe, cloth'd in IS^ght, 

Deplored the abfence of his genial flame. 


Sudden, I faw the holy Veftal turn, 

And, with a longing eye that feem'd to burn. 

Fixing her keen glance on the folar Car } 
No Eagle, foaring thro' the Concave blue. 
Ere fent fo fteadfafl and confirmed a view 

On the bright face of the diurnal Star. 


And, as the flanting beams reflefled rife 
From the clear Mirror to the vaulted Skies^ 

C 35 ] 

So caught from her the fervour glanc'd on me, 
And all my Fancy firM ; my vifual ray 
Now feem*d to meet the glorious fource of Day, 

From tranfient fhade or human weaknefs free. 


Nature herfelf in that high-favouiM Zone 
Her fundions fills with vigour all her own ; 

Our frailer Senfes here would ftart to find 
What miracles in that diftinguifh'd fpot 
She works, where Adam found his favoured lot 

Happy, 'till Hell againft his peace combined, 


This tide of glory long I had not borne. 
Till a new kindling Sun a fecond Morn 

Seem'd to difpenfe ^ while fcindllating round 
Its redd'ning fplendours firM the Concave blue, 
Beatrice ftill indulged her fteadfaft view 

Amid the fields of ^ther kindling bright* 


As if (he meant to watch in mufeful mood 
The mighty mundane wheel, abforpt (he (lood ; 

I watch'd her looks with imaverted eye. 
Still wondering, and ftill changing as I gaz'd ; 
Like Glaucus, by the magic herb amazed. 

When firft he long'd new elements to Qy. 

St. xvi. A 5. LUe Glaucus,] Defcribcdby Ovid, lib, xiv. as 
changed into a FUh, and leaping inftindlively into the Sea, on eat« 
ing a certain herb. To this he compares hit Transfgrnu^tiofi bj 
Light, (or Grace>) and his fubfequent flight to the Moon, 

Da • 

C 36 3 

Immortal change, on Eun6e*s happy fliore^ 
To tell thy wond'rous nature, words are poor ; 

They only know, who wing the fiery Zone 
To Glory's opening arms. Immortal Love, 
That lead'ft the triumphs of the Bleft above. 

Say, was I thine entire, or ftill mine own ? 


Thou know'ft ; for now, poffefling all my pow'rs. 
My Voyage to the Stars with fteady courfe 

Thou fteer'dft j nor did I know th* aftounding flight 
I took, 'till, echoing from the blue profound, 
That deep Song, which the Orbs revolving round 

Obey, my Scnfes fteep'd in ftrange delight. 

Not long I liften'd to the viewlefs Choir, 
When o'er Heav'n's cope a lake of lambent fire 

Si.xviu /.I. — on Eunoe's ha^y Jhore^ Sec Pu&GAToniOt' 
Canto xxxiii. lad Note. 

St. xviii, xix.] The Pythagorean notion of the mufic of the 
Spheres, is here alluded to ; thus finely introduced in a late PubKcOr 

When, feated like an youthful Queen, 
With meaner Beauties circled round, 
'Midfl heav'nly Choirs in ftate majeftic Ccfen, 
Thou com'll, with light imperial crown'd, 
The Spirits, that with guiding hand, 
Planets roll and Stars command, 
. Pour thy choral warblings wide, &c. 

Ode to the Moon, by Mr. Presto?i. See his Poem, 
vol.ii. p. 48. Dublin edit. ; and a Note on the paflage. 
Sec alfo Cow ley's Darideisi book i. line 34. Note. 

C 37 ] 

Inftant diffused its undulating flow ; 
Meanwhile th' JEolian defcant, loud and long. 
Hymning the glorious dawn, my bofom ftung. 

With painful eagemefs the caufe to know, 


My holy Guide, who what I felt beheld. 
Clear in the Mirror of the Mind reveal'd, 

• To 'fwage my Soul's emotion as it grew. 
Opened her rofy lips, and thua began : 
*' Falfe Forms deceive thy optics. Son of Man ! 
With fhadowy objefts which ecHpfe the true : 


•* You think yourfelf on Earth, a moving clod ! 
Ah !— not the red bolt from the arm of God, 

That fires the foreft, and to Heav'n returns ; 
Tho* quick as thought it feems to pierce the gloom. 
Thro* MthtY wing'd its way with fwifter plume ! 

See ! what a glorious profped round you bums 



What joys were mine ! my former doubts had pafs'd 
Like Morning clouds ; but others quickly caft 

Their fhadows o'er my Soul : " Q Virgin fay,'* 
I cry'd, " how could this cumbrous Body ikim 
Thro' air, and on the fiery deluge fwiro. 

That feems below thro' ihorelefs fpace to play ?** 


Inftant, with placid look and pitying figh. 
Oft me the Veflal turn'd her angel eye, 


C 38 3 

As Mother on her Son, with looks benign. 
And gently thus began : " All things that float 
In Being's womb, by Order's heav'nly note. 

Their motions tune, and range by Art divine* 


^' Conform*d to Order's ever-holy fource. 
By his firm mandate, an unfwerving courfe 

They keep, but reach the goal with various fpeed. 
From that prime habitude that erft imprefs'd. 
With different modes of flownefs and of hafte. 

Their firft career, and each his place decreed. 


•^ By inftinft thus yon* reftlefs flames afpire. 
Even earthly Forms are warm'd with hallowed fire ; 

Earth feeds its millions, and attrads its pow'r 
To fruftify her mould. The heav'nly boon 
To all beneath, and all above the Moon, 

Is giv'n, tho' join'd in fome with Reafon's lore, 


*' As boundlefs glory and tranfcendent joy 
Flow o'er the vaft empyreal World on high ; 

Thus the wide circulation rolls below. 
On whofe revolving wheel all Creatures move^ 
Borne to their final goal by fatal Love, 

True as the winged arrow from the bow. 


«< But as the rude materials oft withftand 
The fine imprellion of the Mailer's hand ; 

C 39 ] 

So, by the fetal bent of Paflion le4, 
^ The wicked Will a wayward motion takes ; 
Jts heav'nly model and its type forfakes, 
Whofe plaftic pow'r its bias firft obey'd* 


*' Nor wonder thou at thine aerial fpring, 
So many leagues aloft ; the rapid wing 

Of Lightening, featherM with inftindtive fire. 
To mount the welkin, with reverted ftroke 
Darts from the zenith thro* the blafted Oak : 

Wonder ijot, then, if Earth to Heav'n afpire. 


** Say, would you wonder at a torrent's fall 

From fome fteep rock ? At Heav'n's immediate call. 

When pure Luftration's breeze has blown away 
The deep Lethean fume that wrapt your Soul ; 
Why fhould you linger thus beneath the Pole, 

Heav*n-bom, heav*n-doom'd, an Heir of endlefs Day? 

St. xxvii. A 4. The nvtchd Will a way war Jy &c.] For the 
moral ufe, this refinance is fuppofed to be fubfervient, in promoting 
mental a^vity in rational Beings, fee Preliminary £fl*ay to the 
PuRGATORio, Se£l. ii. 

St. xxviii. /. I. Nor wonder thou^ — ] u e. If Fire defcends to 
Earth with fo much rapidity, contrary to its nature, do not be fur* 
prifed at the afcent oi Earth to Heaven, Mo log, in Milton, ob-* 
ferves of etherial Spirits on their Fall : 

With what compulflon and laborious flight 
We funk thus low : th' afcent is eafy then. Book ii. 
But Pante intends to point out how much the degeneracy of 
Man, made in the image of God| is againfl the dcfign of his Na* 


C 40 3 

" How would you wonder, if yon' rapid fires 
Would fink and roll along their lambent fpires. 

Or, like a limpid Lake, their Mirror fpr^d ? 
Such are the Souls that fix their hopes below. 
When meant to mount/' Then, with an angel's glow. 

She rais'd her eye where Heav'n its pomp difplay'd. 


C 41 ] 



The Pott, having arrived in the Lunar World, enquires of Bea- 
trice the Reafon of the Shadows that appear in the fiodj of 

the Moon* 

O YE, that 'tend my courfe with vent'rous fail. 
Where my bold Veffel fpooms before the gale, 

Lur'd by that melody, whofe diflant (brains 
Smoothly conduds her gliding Bark along 
The (horelefs Sea with inexprefEve Song, 

Turn ! while your native fhore in fight remains ! 


If in this Sea, where never fail before 
Shadow'd the wave, you dip the bending oar. 

My track you foon may lofe, and wander far : 
Minerva gives the gale, Apollo fleers, 
The Maids of Pmdus charm the lifl'ning Spheres, 

And point my eye-beam to the leading Start 

C 42 3 


But ye, feleded few, that long to join 
The hymeneal Choirs of Love divine. 

And ihare the feafl that Languor never knows^ 
The coming breeze invites ; your fails expand. 
Launch boldly in the deep, and leave the land. 

In my long track, before the waters clofe. 


To you thofe far-famM Voyagers of yore. 

Who ftemm*d the wild waves to the Phaiian fhore^ 

The palm of immortality muft yield ; 
Tho* by their Chief the Dragon feed was fown. 
With more exalted hopes from Zone to Zone 

You fped, when Heav'n the glorious prize reveal'd« 


Fix'd on the Stars the Virgin kept her eye. 
And I on her, as thro' the ample Sky 

Swift as an arrow from the founding yew 
I wing'd my flight : but foon, difclofmg wide, 
A wond*rous profpeft drew mine eyes afide ; 

Soft fmilM the Maid, for all my thoughts Ihc kncw^ 


Soft as the rifing Moon, an orient Light 

On her fine features (hone ferenely bright. [[Sphere 

** Blefs Heav'n,'* flie cry'd, " that on the lunar 
Has landed you at laft.** While thus fhe fpoke, 
It feem'd a Ihining Cloud around us broke. 

And o'er the welkin roITd in billows dear* 

C 43 3 


From the broad furge reflex the folar ray 
FlafhM round, but far within the fhafts of Day i 

Th' setherial lymph that formed the fubtle tide. 
With our dimenfions mingling, as we pafs'd. 
Our eflence enter'd, and our limbs embraced. 

As thro' the limpid wave we feem'd to glide, 


How bodies in each other can be loft, 

And the fame fpace by different Forms engrofs'd, 

Seem'd ftrange; but thefe perplexing doubts are 
By Faith, our fervent longing to inflame [giv'n 

For that blefs'd union, when, with wond'rous claim, 

Man forms alliance with the first in Heav*n. 


Great Myftery of Heav'n ! we here beheld 
Thy wond'rous emblem in the floating field. 

Which made thee to my inward fcnfe as bright 
As the firft elements of Truth defcry'd 
To the Mind's eye ; then, 'midft the lucid tide, 

I thus addrefs'd the Denizen of Light : 


^^ Such grateful fenfe as mortal Soul can fliow 
I feel for him, that from the World of Woe 

St» nil. L I. How lodiett &C.3 The Incarnation of the Son of 
God, emblematically reprefented (according to the Poet) by this 
incoiponttioii of the lu&ior Light with their grofs terrcftrial bodies^ 

C 44 3 

Wafted to this feir Star my wond'rous flight : 
But where are thofe deep Shades that mark her face. 
When fhe begins her long noftumal race. 

Where Cain is faid to roam in endlefc Night V* 


*• No wonder Reafon failM," the Guide rejoin'd, 
** When keeneft Senfe, the Harbinger of Mind, 

Her confines meets ; when, ev'n within her bound. 
Where fhe with Reafon fhares the whole domain. 
She with her Sifters labours on with pain. 

For ever baffled in her fearch profound." 


** But what you think, you boldly may declare," 
I quick returned 5 ** its fubftance, denfe or rare. 
Gives that appearance to her heavenly mien. 
Where joy feems dawning thro' the dim remains 
Of grief." — ^^ Strong error ftill your Soul enchains," 
' My Guide replyM, " the truth will foon be feen* 


** Yon' awful dome behold, that rounds the Pole, 
In which yon' twinkling Orbs by myriads roll, 

St. X. /. 6. U^h^re Cain — J Suppofcd by vtilgar Fabulifts to be 
confined to the Moon, and that the Shades on her face are occaiioned 
by his gigantic Figure. See Inferno, Canto xx. Notes. 

St* xi. /. I. No wonder Reafon^^'] u e. No wonder Reafon faila 
when (he gets beyond the bounds of our fenfible perceptions, when 
even vfUhin them (he is fo apt to go adray. 

$!• xii* /• 3* «— HER heavenly ni^,J vis. The Moon^ 

L 45 3 

Flaming intenfe, or, with a fainter light. 
Spangling the depth of Heaven : if ev'ry Star 
Its various light diffused, as denfe or rare. 

Small were the influence of thefe Squadrons bright. 


•• Their various energy, from many a caufe. 
Derives its fource by Heav*n*s primaeval laws } 

All thefe, but formlefs quantity alone. 
On your hypothcfis would fink to nought. 
All fubftance, blended by capricious lot. 

No other (lamp nor charader would own. 


*' If thro* its rarer parts the mimic ray 
PiJs*d on, while from the denfe a fainter Day 

Reflected came, and cheerM the face of Night ; 
Afpefts ftill various would the Planet fhow. 
Oft as it rofe upon the world below. 

As it returned, or loft its Brother's light." 


If thro* its rarer parts the radiance ran. 
When o'er the Sun, in faded fplendour wan, 

St. xiii. /. 3. — «r, with a fainter Hghty^ It is pity the Poet had 
not been acquainted with the difcoveries of the Tclefcope : he 
would then probably have given fomething amuiing to the Fancy, 
inilead of this juvenile reafoning : but the meaning of this and the 
following Stanzas (fuch as it is) is this; " If the Moon tranfmitted 
the light through her rarer parts, her phafes would be perpetually 
changing, i. e. every night, according to her different afpeds wit^ 
refpc6t to the Sun ; and, in a Solar Eclipfe, his light would ap- 
pter through the rare parts, even if the Eclipfe were total/' 

Z 46 1 

By Phoebe's dilk 2 dim eclipfe were fped ; 
Oft to our eyes th' unconquerable ray 
Thro' the thin mafk would force its glaring way. 

And fright the world with Gorgon looks of dread. 


** This notion Truth repels, nor lefs remote 
From hSt you foon will find your fecond thought. 

That where the Moon its ihadowy vales difplay'd^ 
Back from the gulphy trad the beam will flow : 
Yet the dark medium gives a fainter glow. 

Than where her polifh'd plain remits the rays* 


** Or, If her caves repel the radiance back. 
As lucid Mirrors give the tints they take ; 

You think that diftance gives the duiky hue 
To bright Hyperion's beam, refleded far 
From the dim vallies of the Cynthian Steir, 

And thence with twilight beam falutes the view* 


** Confult Experience, ftill the fober Guide 
Of Art ; his verdid will the caufe decide : 

Two Mirrors, at an equal diftance place 
In front, and more remote a third fufpend ; 
Behind you, let a lamp its radiance lend 

To the three lucid planes that meet its rays : 

Si. xviii. /.I. Oryi/her cavei^ ficc] 1. €, If you think the deep 
retiring parts of the Moon, becaufe they refled the light at a greater 
diiUnce from the Sun, appear darker than the rcfti you arc miftakea. 


C 47 3 

** The diftant glafs will throw upon the fight. 
With equal force, th« vivid ftream of light, 

(Altho* upon the vifual nerve it flings 
A leffer image,) as the Mirror nigh, 
Whofe broad effulgence ftrikes the gazer's eye 

And to the fight a double Image brings. 


^* Now, as when vernal Sol begins to glow, 
Down finks the wint'ry mafs of drifted fnow 

From Nature's face, before his burning gaze ; 
Thus from your Mind the darkfome veft fhall fall. 
That hides your intelleft in fombrous pall, 

When Truth divides the veil with piercing rays* 


*• Beneath thofe Climes where Peace eternal reigns. 
Runs that ftupendous Wheel, whofe Orb contains 

And puts in motion all the lower Spheres : 
That Orb, whofe ever-burning eyes furvey 
The pendent world, and pours a mingled day. 

Its deathlefs energy fuftams and fleers. 


" From the prime Mover, fent thro^'boundlefs fpace. 
Immortal ardour fUmuIates the Race 

^/.xziii. A I. From the rvLiMEMortK — ] The Primum Mobile; 
according to the Ptolemaic Syftem, the Meteors and heavenly 
So^^es are thus arranged : 


C 48 ] 

Of yon* bright Couriers, as around they mn 5 
With difF'rent pow'rs and energies they {bine, 
Supply'd for ever by the hand divine 

With the fame terror that it firft begun* 



" The nether Spheres, whofe planetary dance 
Illumes the Seafons with alternate glance. 

From this their various energy and name 
With each diftin£tive mark of eflence draw^ 
Circling their orbs as Nature's eldeft law 

In Chaos kindled firft the various flame. 


*' Thofe great machines of him that rules above^ 
In juft degrees and due proportion move. 

The Earth in the Centre» 

The Air, 

The Region of Fire, 

The Moon, 







The Eighth Sphere, where the fixed Stars are placed^ 

The Primum Mobile, , 

The Empyreal Hsatin. 

C 49 3 

And all their heav'n-fent energies employ. 
In various operations here below ; 
Thus by dedudtion to the fcope I go, 

Which dubious erft you laboured to defcry. 

** Thefe Orbs that wheel around, from heav'nly pow'r 
Take their due impulfe, as the molten ore 

From plaftic art ; yon' Squadrons of the Sky, 
Which move in pomp of light and fhade combined. 
Are wielded by infinitude of Mind, 

And give his image to Refleftion's eye. 


** And, as the Soul that moves your mortal clay 
Keeps up at once the complicated play 

Of Reafon, Paffion, and the plaftic force 
Of life organic, in each pliant limb ; 
So all thefe worlds their life derive from him, 

Whofe hand repels, or draws them to their fourcc. 


" This Pow'r divine with various luftre glows. 
As thro' each different medium ftill it flows. 

With which in vital league its eiTence joins. 
Here fparkling like the beam of dawning joy, 
. When firft it kindles in the raptured eye. 

With leflen'd fplendour there abforpt it (hines. 

5/- xxviii. A I. This Potv'r £/mW,'&c.] This Light is refleacd 
from its prime fource, according to the different materials of the 
heayenly bodies, and various degrees of infiueuee that it is intended 
they (hoiild produce. 


t so 3 

*• No difFVent texture here, of denfe or rare, 
Such various afpeft gives to every Star ; 

But He, whofe wifdom, joined with goodnefs, fliews 
His glory in majeflic (hade concealed. 
Or in the bright expanfe of Noon revealM, 

As bed his high perfections to difclofe." 


r 51 3 



The Poet finds, in the Region of the Moon, the Spirits of thofe 
who had been by Violence compelled to infringe their Monaftic 
Vows; and, among the reft, he meeu Picarda, the Sifter of 
FoRKSB, mentioned (Canto ri.) in the Purgatorio* 

Celestial Truth, that firft, by Love imprefs'd, 
Had ftamp'd his glorious femblance on my breaft, 

Expell'd my doubts, and all her light difplay'd : 
I rais'd my eyes with purpofe to declare 
My gratitude to that celeftial Fair, 

Whofe evidence my inmoft Soul obey'd. 


But now a fcdry Pageant crofs'd my view^ 
That to itfelf my whole attention drew, 

The faint excufe upon my lips was loft. 
As thro' the medium of a chryftal Sphere, 
Or in a wat'ry Mirror, broad and clear. 

Their Images my range of vifion crofs'd. 


[ 5^ 3 


Nor were they fhewn in fuch a fteady light. 
As when the limpid pool reflefts to fight. 

In full dimenfion, and in various hue. 
The correfponding form : but blending pale,' 
With the pure element they feem'd to fail, \ 

As twilight Ghofts their airy track purfue* \ 


Such Forms I faw, half vifible and wan. 
In paly cohorts thronging to the van. 

Not like the felf-enamour'd Boy : I thought 
The magic glafs a false impreffion gave ; 
What feem*d a genuine Form beneath the ♦ave, 

The Fancy of the haplefs Lover caught. 


I Sudden I turn'dy the living Shapes to view 
1 That 'crofs my fight thefe wond*rous Shadows threw, 
V... But nought appeared. Then to my faintly Guide 

With reverend awe my trembling eye I tumM ; 

In her fweet fmile immortal rapture bumM, 
As my new wonder at the fight fhe fpy'd. 

Si. iii. /. 5. fVsih the purt clement — ] i. e. The fhining atntb^ 
fphercy or vapour that is dcfcribed (Canto ii.) as furrounding the 
body of the Moon. 

^/. iv. 7.3. Not like the felf-enamour*d Boy — ] Narcissus, en- 
amoured of his fhadow, thought he faw a real Subftance in the 
Fountain. The Poet thought the Spirits he faw were Shadows, 
or rcficdiions iifim fome Forms behind bim. 

t 53 ] 

" Marvel pot, that your childifh thought cxdte 
My fmile, when, wilder'd by excefs of light, 

Your foot on Truth's clear furface feems to Aide, 
As erft in Error's maze. Thefe Forms that feem 
To you the coinage of a dawning dream. 

Were human Spirits ^rft to duft ally'd, 

" Hither exilM for broken vows they ftray. 
Pale Tenants of th^ Moon's reflefted day,J> 

Addrefs the Veftals-i-^You fhall learn full foon 
What emanations of celeftial Light, 
Still beaming invirard, cheers the mental fight, 

Tho' here confin'd within the. wand'ring Moon. 


Then a fair Shade, whom new defire to know 
My errand, feem'd to warm with deeper glow 

Than any other Soul, I thus addrefs'd, 
Tho' falt'ring, like a Man that fpeaks in fear : 
" Hail, happy Tenant of the Lipar Sphere, 

Fix'4 in the neareft Manfions of the Blefs'd 1 


•* O thou i that fit'ft in heav'nly Light enlhrin'd. 
Quaffing th' elixir pure Cff joys refin'd. 

Above all mortal fenfe, (for none can know 
3ut thofe that feel the blifs,) youchfafe to tell 
Your pedigree, and where, in mortal cell^ 

Your Spirit fojourn'd while you dwelt below." 


L 54 ] 

To me fhe tum'd her rapturc-fwimming eyes. 

And thus began : " That Love which warm$ the Skies 

Never permits the gate of Truth to dofe 
On him that mounts upon Devotion's flame. 
The knowledge of eternal things to claim ; 

Heav'n's Lord the heavenly boon on all bellows. 


^' When from yon* Earth I view*d the circling Sky, 
One of the holy Sifterhood was I ; 

Look well — and thro' the malk of heav'nly charms 
That dignify with more than mortal grace 
The long-remember'd looks you ftill may trace. 

Of young PiCARDA, favM from Sin's alarms. 


" Our paflions wing'd for Heav'n, the holy Dove 
Fans to a flame of everlafting Love, 

Here in the fuburbs of the Bleft we fing. 
And joy to feel the faint refle&ed beam. 
That warms us on t^e happy World's extreme, 

Coafting th' empyreal bound on tardy wing. 


" Here in the purlieus of difclofing Heav'n, 
Li Cynthia's Orb, a lower lot is giv'n, 

St. xi. /. 6. Of young Picarda,] A Nun of the £unily of Donati 
in Florence, taken from her Monaflery by her Brother, in order 
to have her married ; but (he was fuddenly ftruck by a frightful 
leprofy> and died in a few days. Rodolpho ds Trayignamo, 
Annali de Su Clarai quoted by Amgbllucci. 


C 55 ] 

Bccaufe we fullied Truth's eternal ray 
By flighted vows." — *'^ Yet in your looks,'* I faid, 
*' Such charafters of Glory are difplay'd, 

I fcarce recalled them, thro' th' eclipfe of Day/* • 


** But now I recognife that pleafing Form, 
Taught by your Voice, that us*d my heart to warm 

Struck by that heavenly note, the wakenM Soul 
Beams in my eye with recolleded powers. 
Traces thofe lineaments that once were yours. 

And Memory's hand th0 long paft fcene unrolls, 


" But tell me, do you never long to rife 
To loftier ftages in yon' opening Skies ? 

Say, do your Souls to larger draughts afpire, 
Of the deep fti^eam of life, or more to know ?" 
" Our wiflies," flie reply'd, " in even flow, 

Follow the Fiat of our heav'nly Sire^. 


" Love t\mes our longings with celeftial fldll. 
Still to the tenour of the heav'nly will; 

What we enjoy, we love, nor wifli for more : 
If we afpir'd to ftations more fublime. 
Our fervours would difliurb th' eternal chime 

That rules the IJniverfe with fapient lore. 

St,x^f L I. Love tunes our longings — ] The intellcAual and 
afUve powers of the Mind, now freed from the obflacles of PaifioB> 
follow, lender the guidance of Reafon and Grace, their firft delU- 
ogtiooy and conform themfelves to the Divine WilL 


C 56 3 


" This is the Pole-star of eternal Joy, 
Still with celeftial Wifdom to comply, 
• And by his great beheft our voyage fteer ; 
With harmonizing will, thro* eVry round 
Of this great Theatre's eternal bound. 
Mild Refignation's gen'ral fong we hear. 


** When to his great defign our will accords. 
This high communion to the Soul affords 

A fenfe of blifs, which in thofe qlimes on high 
Is only known ; yon* Orbs that never ftay. 
Shadow, as thro* yon* boundlefs fpacc they play. 

The mental harmony that fills the Sky. 


^' With fteady courfe, to that unbounded Deep 
All things their everlafting tenour keep. 

And hither fleet on Diffolution*s wing.** 
This clear*d my doubts at once, for hence I knew. 
That, tho* each Tribe a various portion drew. 

Each quaff *d fufficient of th* eternal Spring. 


As one invited to a various feaft 
Feels, as he feeds, his appetite increased 

For dainties yet untry*d, and calls for more. 
Even yet, while thankful for the former boon ; 
So from this charming Veftal of the Moon 

I long to learn what Tribe (he join*d of yore. 

C 57 3 


** Ah where," I cry'd, " was that celeftial twine 
Of life you drew, which glow'd with tints divine^ 

Marr'd by invidious Fate before its clofe." 
** To Clara," flie reply*d, " I gave my Name : 
Clara, whofe fainted Soul's inftindive flame 

Aloft in purer fields of JEther glows. 


" In dedication to her heavenly Spoufe, 
Her nightly vifions and her daily vows 

She gave, abftradted from terreftrial cares j 
Vows which, when heav'n-bom Charity infpires 
With fmile benignant from his fubjed Choirs, 

He fUll receives, and wafts them to the Stars, 


" By her example fir'd, with ardent mind 

I (ought the Shade, and left the World behind ; 

And thro' the Cloifters dim, with facred rage. 
The Veftars courfe purfu'd in faintly ftolc, 
Refolv'd to follow to th' eternal goal 

Her fpotlefs fteps o'er yon' fublunar ftage. 


** But wicked man, for ever ja-one to vice, 
Th' afylum forc'd, and broke the hallow'd tier 

That bound my Soul to Heav'n ; that HeaVn which 
With what regret my facred vows I broke, [knows 
What long atoning toils I undertook 

Heav'n to ^ppeafe^ before my final clofe. 

t 58 3 


•^ This Spirit which appears upon my right. 
Like Cynthia rifing in the van of Night, 

A moving Mirror to the folar ray. 
Like me, if ffie vouchfaf 'd to fpeak, could fhow 
The fame fad image of a broken vow. 

When from her brow they rent the veil away. 


" Tho' forc'd from Contemplation's holy fteep. 
Among the Pageants of the World to weep. 

Her heart ftill harboured with the Veftal Train, 
Ill-fated Constance ! an Imperial Spoufe, 
And Throne, but ill repaid thy broken vows, 

Altho* thy Son eclips'd the Suabian reign. 


She fpoke, and with a foft melodious Hymn 
Thro* the clear Medium feemM away to fkim, 

'Till Voice and Image both at once were loft; 
Quick as the parting waters feem to clofe. 
When the hcav'd plummet to the bottom goes, 

Seem'd the quick paffage of the parting Ghoft. 


5>.xxvi. 7.4. Hl'fateJCoH^TAHCEl'] Daughter to Roger, King of 
Apulia, and a profefTed Nun ; but taken from a Convent to many 
the Emperor Henry, Son to Frederic Barbarossa, bj whom 
ihe had Frederic, afterwards the fecond Emperor of that name. 
See Hift. Flor. Plat, vitae Bonifacii o&avi et Gregorii noni Pon* 

C 59 ] 


Long thro* the Moon-light fcene I fearch'd in vain. 
Then weary tum*d me to my Guide again. 

And met her eyes ; where, like the Morning Star 
Frefli ris'n, a keener glory feem*d to play : 
Scarce could I bear the Spirit-piercing ray. 

Nor dar'd I queftion yet the heav'nly Fair, 


I 6i 3 



Several Conferences held between the Poet and EEATnttEy oo tht 
Nature of mixed and free Will, and Monallic Vowa. 

SuSPENCE would" fink the famifliM Man to dixft 
Before he fed, if drawn by equal guft 

Between two lufcious banquets fix'd he flood ; 
A Lamb between two Wolves^ with equal fior 
Would ftand ; or Dog between two trembling Deer, 

When different ways they feek the fhelt'ring wood. 


Thus, in the dark dilemma of the Mind, 
Silent I flood, nor motive yet could find 

In either fcale my dubious Mind to fway: 
Faultlefs, yet wav'ring long, I wdgh'd them ilill, 
Tet in my ^ce, the veering of my will 

B^an my mental confli^ to difplay. 

L 62 2 

The heavenly Veftal, like the Hebrew Youth, 
Who found the means the Defpot's rage to foothe. 

My thoughts perceivM ; and, with the potent fpell 
Of vocal magic, fpoke my doubts away : 
*' 1 fee,'* {he cry'd, " how with alternate fway 

Still new perplexities your utterance quell. 


*' You alk, if my intention ftill remain 
(Tho* outward force compel) without a ftain. 

Why is my Blifs abridged, for others' fault ?*'— 
*' A fecond queftion rifes in your Soul, 
You wifh to know, if thefe forfake the Pole 

For duft, foredoomed to claim their andent lot. 


^^ Beneath th' alternate {hock your Reafon reels. 
But that whofe pregnant meaning mofi conceak 

St. iii. A I. — the Hebrew 7Wi&] Daniel, who hj fioding 
out Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as Beatrice difcorcred the 
doubts in the mind of the Poet, (Dan. ii, 8.) presented die 
effe&s of his Anger. 

St. iv. /. I. Tou q/it &€.] Two queiUons are comprized in this 
Stanza, viz. i. If a vow broken by compulfion impUes guilt? 
and, 2. Whether Souls are pre-exiftent to their (Ute in this world ? 

St. vr. L 4. A fecond qm/Hon^ &c.] f. i. Your opinion feemi to 
imply, that thefe Spirits were inhabitants of certain Fhnets, bcfort 
their immerfion into terreftrial bodies, to which Planets they muft 
afcend by a fort of inftind^ after they for&ke the Earth. 

St. y, vi, vii, viii.] Thefe are all dcfcribed as having their por- 
tion in the empyreal Heaven, though their different allotnients of 
happinefs are thus reprefented, 4U ^ they had their ftationt mlhe 
feveral Planets. 

t 63 ] 

Of mental polfon, firft we try to quell) 
The Sage, whofe faulchion drank the tyrant goi^ 
And he whofe mandate thinn'd the Mem phi an (hore, 

In the fame Heav'n with thefe delighted dwell. 


*' Saint John, and Ihe that heard the Seraph's voice. 
And all his flaming Brethren of the Skies, 

Tho' far above the Stars they dwell fublime. 
Drink from one common fource of joy, and raife 
A general Paean of harmonious praife. 

Not fhort of Blifs, nor circumfcrib'd by Time. 


*' In this wide Theatre of Life and Light, 
The pure primaeval beam falutes the fight. 

In all the bright diverfities of Day, 
Reflefted in this wide majeftic round. 
From ev*ry blifsful Stage thro' fpace profound. 

Far, far beyond the Sun and Milky Way. 


In various portions comes the vital gale. 
Breathing foft raptures thro' th' Elysian Vale ; 

Not in the wandering Stars thefe Spirits move. 
But thefe bright Squadrons of the iSkies that glow 
With various Lights, in myftic femblance fliew 

The diflf 'rent Stages of the Bleft above. 


** Thus to your Senfes, by the will of Heav'n, 
An awful profpe£t in the Skies is giv'n, 

C 64 ] 

Shadowing eternal things, beyond the ken 
Of mortal fight ; as in the Prophet's lore. 
To him, whom all thefe trembling Worlds adore. 

Are giv'n the organs and the limbs of Man. 

^^ Hence, too, the flaming ACnifters above. 
With ftarry plumes adom'd, and looks of Love, 

Our pidur'd walls and glowiiig tablets fhow $ 
Nor from the Stars, as Plato taught, defcends 
The Choir of Souls ; or, on the dull depends. 

For their material vefture here below. 


*' Thither, his words report, thro' iEther borne. 
They go in downward voyage, and return 

When Fate commands to drop the veft of clay : 
Perhaps the words another fenfe may bear. 
Perhaps he meant, that from the ftellar Sphere 

A various influence fpreads with various fway. 


** If fo, not wide of truth her fliaft might fall. 
But that fad error o'er yon' earthly ball 

5*/* iXf X.3 Heayen» by this reprefentationy condefccnds ta adapC 
itfdf to human concq)tion | as, in the revealed wordy by adapting 
to the Ahnighty human organs and paffions. 

St. xii,] Here he fuppofes, that PlatOi who often wrote al* 
legoricallyy meant, by defcribing the Stars as receptacles of pre- 
exiftent and departed Souls, only the fereral influences by which 
the Planets were foimeriy fuppofcd to govern terreftriai bodies, and 
which afterwards gave occafion to idolatry. 

C 65 ] 

Bad influence fow'd : when nlad'nlng Tribes ador'd 
Mars, Hermes, Bacchus, for their fancied aid, 
Wiih reverence low, and various rites obeyM, 

Rebels declared to Heav'n*s Almighty Lord. 


*' That other doubt, which darkens in your Mind^ 
Has lefs of Death, as not fo clofely joined 

With Infidelity, which leads aftray 
The Soul from God ; for, tho* the doom Appear 
(When Force impels the aftion) too fevere. 

Your doubts, by Faith difpellM, will melt away* 


*' But now my friendfhip fhall remove the veil, 
Whofe myftic folds the mighty truth conceal. 

And fully vindicate the ways of God: 
Force may excufe, when (till the Will remains 
Free, and unfettered by the Body's chains. 

Alike vi£torious over Force or Fraud. 

** It triumphs, if, like Flame's afplring forco^ 
Tho* buflfeted by tempefts, ftill it foars 

With native inftinft to its heavenly goal ; 
But if beneath the Tyrant's nod it bends. 
Or follows where he leads, its glory ends. 

Dependent now it owns his dark control* 

** Thefe lunar Veftals, from then* path compellM^ 
Strove not to rally, but refign'd the field, 
Vol. m. F 

C 66 ] 

Nor ftrugglcd to regain Emmanuel's Fold ; 
Not thus Lorenzo fcom'd the fatal brandy 
Nor MuTius, >vhen he rais'd his flaming hand ; 

But thofe their flighted vows for pleafure fold. 


** They might have ftill refumM their former poft. 
Free to regain the glories they had loft ; 

But fuch heroic Souls are thinly fown 
In yonder world. By this your doubts are cleared. 
If you have duly weighed what now you heard, 

Obfervant of the word of truth alone« 


*^ But other rifmg doubts within I fpy. 
That darkly hover o'er your mental eye ; 

FaUehood, you deem, thefe Souls could never ftain^ 
For here the Lamp of Truth ferenely fhines 
Above, and from her odious taint refines 

Each chofen Saint that owns her ludd reign* 


** Yet you have heard from that celeftial Fair, 
That Constance, in her heart, with pious care. 

Her firft affedion kept, tho' borne away 
From her prime Love ; and yet you heard finom Bue, 
That worldly love obtained the viftory 

O'er her loft heart, and kept her God at bay. 

St. xvL A 4, 5. Lorenzo— MuTius] SccroUu The firft, a 
celebrated Martyr } fee hit Legend. The hiftory of the fiDcondf 
is well known. 

r 67 3 


*' oft bends the heart before the coining ftorm, 
Ev*n when the Soul, with ftrong afFeftion wasm. 

Would (leer a diflf'rent courfe, if not compelled 
Againft this bias. Wrath's imperious force 
Ai-CM^oN provM, tho* fmit with deep remorfe. 

His noble Father's wrongs his bofom fteePd. 


*' His filial piety to one imprefs'd 

By Nature's hand, againft the other's breaft 

Pointed his cruel fteel : Colledt from hence. 
How outward force can mingle with the Will 
Her deadly bane, or mine with cruel (kill 

The fortrefs meant for Virtue's beft defence. 


** To broad and glaring crimes the ftartled Mind 
Falters at firft ; but foon, with Art refin'd. 

It palliates the offence, or fpies afar 
Some deeper danger ; if this venial vice 
It ihuns, fpontaneous then it (huts its eyes. 

And half its heav'n-bred horror melts in air. 

5*/. XX. A 5* Alcm£On»] Who revenged upon his Mother 
Eriphile, his Father's death. See PuROAToitlOy Canto xt« 

Paffion (as Revenge, in the inftance of Alcmjcon) may ac* 
quire fuch force, that it cannot be withftood ; yet it cannot ferve for 
a valid excufe for Vice, for then there would be no 6heck neeeffiuy 
againft its indulgence. The analyfis of motives will be confidtfct 
when we come to fpeak of the freedom of the WilL 


C 68 ^ 


^* PiCARDA meant the Will, when uncontroli'd 
By Vice^ it boldly mans the mental hold ; 

I fpoke of that which flumbers half fubdu*d. 
Yet, confcious of its duty, flill retains 
Its virtuous bias, tho' befet with chains. 

Or whelm*d beneath the gulph by tempefts rude/ 


So flow'd the fount of Truth, that fwept aWay 
My mifconceptions with a flood of Day, 

Fav'rite of Heav'n, unrivaird Maid," I cryM, 

Your words have plung'd me in a fea profound 
Of Wonder and of Love ! my Senfes, drown*d 

In blifs, yet feel the heart-reviving tide. 


** But little can my fhallow dream of Love 

Cope with that beauteous flood, which from above 

Abforbs my Soul, and overpowers my Mind : 
But that creative, that watchful Eye 
That guides and governs all, will foon fupply 

New vigour to my Love, that lags behind. 


** I feel, I feel the Mind's infatiate powers 
Never can reft, until the holy Source 

Of Light and Life irradiate all the Soul ; 
As fome wild Tenant of the lonely Wood 
Ranges, nor knows repofe, 'till fiU'd with food 

We reft not Ihort of that celeftial goal. 

C 69 ] 


** Nor fruitlefs is the hope, unlefs Defire, 
That fills the bofom with inftinftive fire 

And warms the Soul to fpurn fublunar things. 
Be giv'n in vain ; but as new tendrils grow 
From the lopp'd ftem, fo, from my wife to know. 

Another doubt with new-bom vigour fprings. 


*' As o*er the Alpine heights, with gradual rife, 
'Till the laft fummit feems to meet the Skies, 

Wq mount ; fo, climbing up the gradual fcale 
Of Truth, by many a long laborious ftage 
We mount the Steep ; — ^but thou haft giv*n the pledge. 

That heavenly Grace will all my doubts difpeU 


** Can Man by other duties pay the price 
Of broken vows and violated ties, 

St, xxviii.] See the Simile in Pope's Eflay on Criticifm : 

So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps we try, 
Mount o'er the Vales, and feem to tread the Sky j 
Th' eternal fnows appear already pail, 
And the &rft clouds and mountains feem the lafl j 
But, thefe attain'd, we tremble to furvey 
The growing labours of the length'ned way, 
Th' increafing profpeA tires our laboring eyes, 
Hills peep o'er Hills, and Alps on Alps arife, &c. 

It is remarkable that this is applied pretty nearly to the fame pur* 
pofe by both Poets ; nor is it unlikely that Pope might have bor* 
rowed it, either immediately from Dante, pr through fome obfcure 


[ 70 3 

So as his merits his defaults may weigh 
In Heav'n's impartial fcale ?'* Serenely bright. 
She tum*d her eyes with fuch a piercing light, 

I funk, o'ermafterM by the heav'nly ray. 


C 71 ] 



Beatrice folvesthc doubts of the Poet with regard to Vows.-— 
Their afcent to the Planet Mercury defcribed. 

** IF Love has kindled in this lunar Sphere 
A flame, that fcarce your mortal eyes can bear. 

Far, for beyond the dim and fiimy fire 
That bums beneath, let not your wonder grow j 
Clear Intuition gives that angel glow, 

Keen is our fight, and warmly we admire. 


" I fee (for nought can cheat at Spirit's fight) 
The fcintillations of eternal light 

Flafh from your Mind, tho' clad in earthly fhrowd : 
Bright emanation ! wherefoe'er it bums, 
Its keen reflex the filler Soul returns. 

If intercepted by no fenfual cloud, 



C 72 3 

This, by indubitable ilgns, is feen 
Warm from your heart enkindling all your mien j 

And oft, tho* phantoms of unreal good 
Awoke its fire of old, the reftlefs flame 
Showed from what godlike origin it came, 

Till from the low terreftrial fume fubdu'd. 


** You wilh to know, if for a flighted vow 
Good deeds can pay, and on the Mind befl:ow 

Security and Peace/* — ^The heav'nly Maid 
Thus read my thought, and with preamble fweet 
Again began my rifing doubts to meet. 

And heav'nly themes in heavenly words conveyed ; 


•' That gem above all price by wifdom giv'n. 
The moft diftinguifti'd boon of favoring Heav'n, 

The (lamp of Godhead on the human bread, 
By him moft prized, is Liberty of Choice j 
A gift by none beneath the ambient Skies 

But happy rationals alone poflTeft. 

** You thence, by cafy inference, may know 
Th' importance of a voluntary vow, 

Stamped by the fov*reign Fiat of the Skies : 
For then, by facred compad we reftore 
The precious gift, which Heav*n confign*d of yore, 

A free-will oflF^ring giv*n with heart and voice. 

St, vi. /. 6. j4 free-ivUl offering — ] The Image of God, in 
yrhichy we are taught, Man is made, mull coniiil in the freedom 


C 73 3 


•* For this, what compenfation can we pay ? 
Cah we the guilt of plunder purge away. 

By dedication of our pilfer'd gain 
To pious ufes ? but the heav'nly See 
Grants difpenfations to an urgent plea. 

And feems to render half my reafons vain. 


** And fince this Truth feems harder to digefl;, 
A while continue at the mental feaft ; 

The murky vapour will evanifli foon : 
Prepare your Mind the ftamp of Truth to feel^ 
Deep let it fink, like an impreffive feal, 

Elfe knowledge fades before the waning Moom 


^* Two qualities, the Compact and the Cause, 
The obligation give, and form the laws. 

That with a folemn tie the Confcience bind : 
The Compact's breach draws down the wrath of 
But to the Cause a laxer law is given j [Heav'n, 

The means may change, but not the Votary's Mind. 

of the Will ; emlnanter (as the fchool-men fay) : therefore the 
Will can be the only offering of any value we can make to the 

Si. vii, viii, ix.] Dante is evidently here under awe, either 
of the Holy See, or the Secular Arm ; the dodkrine of vows and 
of permutation, was fo Inactive to the Church during the middle 
ages, that (he was very jealous of any thing that encro9iche4 upon 



C 74 3 

A pious Hebrew, without guilt or fraud. 

Could change his viftim, yet appeafe his God, 

There permutation was a general right ; 
But let no human arrogance prefume 
By his own reafon to commute his doom— • 
Saint Peter's keys muft ope the gates qf Light*** 


" The Change is Sin, unlefs the oPring giv*n 
Will fiilly fatisfy offended Heav*n, 

And far exceeds the prefent you withhold 
In genuine worth ; the gifts that fer outweigh 
All price, what compenfation can repay ? 

Not Taprobana's gems, nor Ophir's gold. 

her privileges. It 19 however obfervable, that he fpeaks with 
due decorum of the Ecclefiailical Power of difpenfing with Vows ; 
he refers in the kft refort to the Script arcs, which will (hew u» 
that we are bound to keep them, if they do not ^interfere with fome 
higher obligation, as in the cafe of Jephthah's vow. But he 
feexns to have introduced the fubje6l for the fake of making fome 
important obfervations on the difference between abfolute com- 
piilfk>n» where the Will is not concerned, and that pretended ne-> 
ceffity, where it pleads the irrefiflible impulfe of the Paflions. 

Si, xi. /. 5. ^^tvbat compenfatton can repay ?] Nothing can pro- 
perly compenfate for the omiflion of dedicating the Will to God ; 
the pfii which in his eye far outweighs all price: therefore to 
compenfate for a continuance in Sin by pecuniary oblations, is an 
expedient that leads to ruin. 

Our improvement, not only in fcience, but in real virtue and 
goodnefs, depends upon the train of thought in which the Mind is 
nfuaHj employed, either in the vacant or fcrious hours: as far, 


C 75 ] 


** Mortals ! before your Soul you thus engage. 
Ponder ! but firmly pay the facred pledge. 

Nor in a dire dilemma bind your Soul 
As Jephtha did; he broke, when firft he fworc, 
Heav'n's law, and, had his hand abftain'd from gore, 

Lefs guilty had he reachM the final goaL 


" Far lefs remorfe Atrides too had felt. 
When Iphigenia try'd in vain to melt 

therefore, as the direction of our thoughts is in our power, (and 
that it is fo in a great meafure cannot be doubted,) it is of the laft 
importance to give them that direction which is moft fubfervient to 
thefe valuable purpofet. 

What employment can be be engaged in, worthy of a Man, whole 
imagination is alwayt occupied about objeAs low and bafe, and in 
the fame narrow circle ? How dififerent from him, whofe train of 
thought has led him to take \a% favourite range, through whatever 
is new or beautiful, grand or important ; through whatever is il- 
luftrious in the human chara£ier, or attra^ve in moral qualities ? 

While he views what is truly great and glorious in the human 
charader, his Soul catches the divine flame, and bums to emulate 

what it admires. Re id, on the Intelle&ual Powers of Man^ 

VoL iL Eflay 4. 

On thefe trains of ideas' the ftrength of the habits and pafiions 
depends, which often lays the Will under a fort of reftraintt from 
wfaidi Reafon ftrives to extricate il in vain ; we are led to commit 
anions, for which, while we do, we condenm ourfelves : but this 
impuUe is not invincible ; we can ftop ourfelves in the career, and 
enter OB acontiary courfc,.* ■■■ 8 c c Loc»&'s.£flky> L ii.c* 21* 


C 76 3 

His ftony heart with Pity's pearly dew : 
Tho' funk in grief, the thoughtlefs and the fage 
Wept the dire fcene upon the bloody ftage. 

And tears diftill'd where'er the rumour flew. 


** Blindly they trod in Fate's perplexing maze. 

Ere Heav'n's bright Day-ftar came to light their ways i 

But ye, that bafk in his meridian ray. 
Walk fteady on, obferve where danger lies ; 
Nor with each random current of the Skies, 

Like feathers float around in wanton play. 


** Think not, when Sin has dy'd in Stygian graiu 
Your Souls, that ev'ry pool will cleanfe the (lain : 

Confult the code of Salem, and the Sage 
That befl: his text explains, and then purfue 
The fl:eady path where Zion's towers in view. 

And for Salvation truft the facred Page, 

** Degenerate Souls ! refume your heav'nly guft. 
Nor like the fwinifti crew, to ev'ry luft 

Enthraird, in Circe's tafks confume your days : 
Let not the Scomer laugh to fee you Aide, 
Nor like the Lamb, forfake your Mother's fide. 

That hunts the fliade, and with the phantom plays.*' 

Thus fpoke the heav'nly Maid, and tum'd her fiice 
Where firfl the mounting Sun begins his race } 


t 77 3 

Her looks and words the rifmg queflion quell'd : 
The arrow fprings not from the twanging yew 
With half the fpeed that after her I flew, 

O'er the broad bofom of the heav'nly field. 


Nor finds the fhaft its diftant mark fo foon. 
As to the Son of Mai a from the Moon 

Soaring we came j but, kindling in her race. 
The Virgin's charms her former charms furpafs'd ; 
On her a glorious fmile the Planet caft, 

Which fhe retumM, commingling blaze with blaze. 

When Hermes, thro* his fcintillating round. 
The coming of the heav'nly ftranger own'd. 

Could I, refin'd by Heav'n, alive all o'er 
To each aetherial tranfmutation, own 
Lefs than this fparkling neighbour of the Sun ? 

What could 1 lefs than tremble and adore ! 


Then, as the Tenants of the limpid lake. 
Each deep recefs and fhadowy haunt forfake. 

When o'er the pool the fportive Image plays 
That Mures them with the hopes of fweet repaft. 
Spring up in ihoak : thus o'er the profpeft vaft 

A glitt'ring fquadron came, like dancing rays. 

St. xTiii. /. 2. — Son of Maia,] The Planet Mercury, next to 
the Moon in the Ptolemaic Syilem. 

St, xix. /. 4* $9 ^<^ ^0 '• '• l^c Planet (hewed figns of gratu« 
btion to Beatrice, and feemed to exhibit fymptoms of admiratioi 
at her improved charms ; and could I do lefs ? 

t 78 ] 


** At length we fee the happy Soul's releafe ; 
He comes, our holy fervours to increafe.*' 

They faid, and pafsM me with obeifance low : 
One more tranfported than the reft I view*d, 
A glory hung around him as he ftood. 

Bright as the colours of the {how*ry bow. 


** Think, mortal ! if your deareft hopes were crofsM, 
Or heavenly themes begun were fudden loft ; 

How would you grieve, or deem your lot fevere ! 
Then may you judge, with what intenfe defire 
I bumM, the fates and fortunes to enquire 

Of thofe bright Tenants of the radiant Sphere* 


** Fav'ritc of Heav'n ! thro' this celeftial zone 
Allow'd to range, and view the moving throne 

That leads the triumphs of the Saints on high^ 
While yet you combat with the bands of Death, 
Ere yet allowed to drop the fhield of Faith j 

Welcome, thrice welcome to your native Sky. 


^^ Fiird by that beam that lightens all the place. 
If you defire of our abundant grace 

To (hare, but fpeak the word, and fate your Soul/* 
Thus one of thefe illuftrious Spirits faid. 
** Anfwer yourfelf," exclaim'd the heav'nly Maid; 

<< Like Gods, they know the fecrets of the Pole. 


C 79 3 


^* O thou ! that *midft the uncreated beam, 
(Tranfmits her light in many a lucid ftream,) 

From the pure mirror of th* Eternal Mind, 
Thou read'ft my wifli, for in thy funny eyes 
Plainly we fee the Secrets of the Skies, 

Elfe for terreftrial vifion too refinM. 


** I long to know your fortune and your name j 
And why, a neighbour to the folar flame. 

You chufe to revel in the flood of Light, 
Sent from the Day-fpring of the Sky afar. 
That hides from mortal view this favour'd Star, 

To us eclipsM as by the veil of JKght/* 


The radiant heir of joy I thus addrefs'dj 
Then, as the Sun, from vapours dim released. 

Beams from the point of Noon with lordly eye ; 
With more of Heav'n he feem'd to look and move. 
All luminous with growing light and love. 

And thus I heard the viewlefs Saints reply. 

St. XXV. /. 5. Plainly we fee the Secrets — ] u e. The Secrets of 
the Skies are known to thee, as we can difcem by thy looks; which 
ihow usy by a moft engaging re&mblance, things otherwife bx too 
fublime for our conception. 


C 81 J 



The Poet meets with the Spirit of Justinian, who laments the 

fall of the Empire* 

** When Rome's Imperial Eagle foar'd away. 
Steering her flight againft the riling ray, 

WingM by great Constantine, to feek the foil 
From whence the Warrior loos'd his fatal prow. 
Who with Lavinia pledg'd his fecond vow. 

Near the dark Hellespont ihe clos'd his toil, 


" Two hundred circles of the Sun and more. 
Had feen his aiery on his native fhore, 

St. u L ^. -^0 feek the fiilt 5cc. ] CoMSTiLNTSNOPL9»fpuaded 
by CoNSTANTiNE, oppoiite to the coaft of Asia Minqr> frp^ 
which the firft colony that, under the condu^ of £n«as» were 
(iqypofed to be tbe rsfofil^ lbi|ndert of B^I^B, (oolc: thqr o^ri^ 

Vol. HI, G 

C S2 ] 

Safe in his mighty wings extended (hade. 
On feir EuROPA** verge : there many a hanrf. 
From year to year, the rod of Empire fpannM^ 

Ere time to me the fign of rule convey'd. 

** Justinian I was calPd — ^The legal code, 
Warm'd by humanity and love to God, 

My hand reformed ; with long afliduous care 
Its rigors I relaxed, or nerv'd anew 
Its too indulgent laws, till' Satan drew 

Around my hcedlefs fteps his fatal fnare^ 

** The clofe connexion of the Pow'r divine 
With frail humanity on David's line. 

Staggered my faith, till Agabitus came. 
And purg'd the film terrene that dimmed my fight r 
Now I behold in Heav'n's meridian light. 

Things hi beyond a mortal's feeble aim. 


** My heart I gave to Heav'n, kind Heav'h infpir'd 
Noble defigns, and all my bofom fir'd 

With hope to mitigate thofe ills that wait 
On fodal life ; while, with fagacious care. 
Great Belisarius kept the florm of war 

Aloof, and left me time to cure the State. 

Sl it. /. 3. Agabitus — ] A Saint, who is faid- to have con- 
▼ierted Justimian from the EurrcHiAN Htrefy. 

Si.v.L 5. Great Belis^arius — ] The famous conqueror of 
!RLFRtcA. See Gibbon's Hift. Decline and Fall of the Roman 
Empiref toL vii. 8to edit. 



C 83 3 

«* This your firft queftion folves ; but ere t tell 
The ftate of thofe that here in tranfport dwell, 

A fliort digreflion claims the foremoft place^ 
To fhew the guilt of thefe contending Bands 
That rend th' Imperial fign with bloody hands. 

Which GuELPHs oppofe, and GtHIBELLInes dif- 


" From that dread moment when yoiing Pallas fell. 
It feem'd Uke young Aurora to difpel 

The fhades of Night, and lift its facred head. 
Hovering above proud Alba's regal towers. 
Till full three hundred Suns had run their courfe^ 

Then, when the three bold brethren fell, it fled* 


From the rapt Sabine to Lucretia's woe ; 

While feven fucceflive Kings its flag unfurled 
Againft the neighb'ring tribes : and how the GauL 
And Greek beheld their bloody banner fall. 

Before the future Miftrefs of the world. 

St. tI. /. 4. — contending Bands'] See Hift. Flor. 

St. vii. /. i! Toung Pallas — ] The Ally of ^neas, daln by 


St. vii. /. 4. Alba — ] Founded, as it is fuppofed, by Asca- 

St. viii. /. 2. From the raft Sabine /oLucretia*s woe; — ] The 
Story of the Sabines and Lucretia are well known, 

G 2 

*• What glories in the field it won, you know 

[ 84 ] 



** ToRQUATus, QuiNTus, long on earth rcnownM ; 
The Fabian and the Decian name fliall found. 

In the full Paeans of the Blefl above : 
Under that dreadful enfign, waving high, 
Thro* the dark catives of a burning Sky 

They mowM their way^ where Po*s deep waters moTer 


•* When that proud ftandard led the long array. 
The bloody fields beneath the fetting day 

Planted with trophies, (howM the mighty hand 
Of SciPio, where it ragM : while funward led. 
Great Pompey's bands the fign of battle Ipread } 

A name yet mournful to thy native land. 



*' But, ere the nations retted yet from bloody 
Ere heavenly Peace her radiant afped fhew*d. 

Si* ix« /. I. Tor(^;atus — ] Who ordered his Son to be be* 
headed for a breach of mihtary orders. 

QuiNTUs — ] Q^uiNTus CiNCiNNATus, Called from the 
Plough to the Di6tator(hip. Liv. Dec. i. lib. iii. 

Si. ix. /. 2. The Fabian and the Decian — ] The Fabii and 
Decii both devoted themfelves for their country, though ra a 
different way. Liv. Dec. i. lib. vii, viii, ix. 

Si. ix. /. 4. Under that dreadful Enfign — ] Wars with Haic- 
MiBALyin the North of Italy. 

Si. X. /• 4* SciPio — ] Scipio Africanus« 

And on the ranfomM clime ferenely fmil'd ; 
Great Julius by the vote of Rome arofe, 
The Var, the Rhine, his early triumphs knows. 

The Rhone, the Seine, and Esar's utmoft wild. 


" From fad Ravenna, thro* the Roman Sky 
So fwift his Eagles flew, the Poet's eye 

The lightning of their courfe could hardly fcan ; 
He (Iruck Massilia, and he conquered Spain, 
Then on his fmoking path retumM again. 

And back like thunder to Durazzo ran. 

" Thence, without refpite, on the foe he flew. 
And o'er the mountains of Thessalia drew 

His cohorts, like the flying rock of Heav*n 
When Pompey's angry clarion called afar- 
Old Nile ! you wept the vifUm of the war. 

By unrelenting fate to flaughter giv'a. 

^^ Soon to Antandros on the winds he pafs'd, 
Where Hector's tomb overlooks the wat*ry waile. 

And thence o'er Egypt his deftroying hand 
^tretchM, like an angry God ; his conquering hoft 
Vfith fiery.footed rage the Defart crofsM, 

And poured deflxudion on Numidia's band. 

St. &ii. /.6. Durazzo—] See Lucah* lib.Ti. 

Su xIt. /. 6. Jindp9Uf'd dejtruakn on Numidia's lauJ.'} Con< 
qoeft of Ph AUN ACfiSy King of Pontu s, ob wbick occafign 
lent thefamoiu difpatch — tehi, vidi, tici. 


C 86 3 


" Again the welkin rung with new alarms. 
The vengeful brood of Pompey calk to arms } 

Sad theme of forrow in the depths of Hell, 
Where fuUen Cassius, in alternate lay. 
With Brutus chants Octavian's mighty fway. 

And Demons liften while their doom they telL 


** His deeds Mutina with Perusia know. 
And Cleopatra's funk in deepeft woe. 

Who fled the venomM afpic's rage in vain j 
To the red Sea his conquering Eagle flew. 
Till Peace recalled the golden age anew. 

And Janus closM his jarring valves again. • 


** But all th' Imperial Enfign's fpreading fame 
(Paft and to come) had funk before the claim 

Of the third Owner of the fov*reign pow^r, 
Had he but feiz'd the fair occafion giv'n. 
To 'venge the flighted dignity of Heaven, 

When the Messiah bled on Jordan's fhore^ 


** But heavenly JufUce, tho* in torpor deep 
In dark Vespasian's breafl it feem'd to fleep. 

Si. xyi. /. I. Hu deeds — ] viz. Augustus. Sec Appiaii, 
Cicero, ad Atticum. Suetonius, in Aug. Velu Patbrc. 
St. xm. I. 3- Cf tic thirdOniiir—2 Tiberius ! ! I 


j^iKe lightning darted on the purer Mind 
Of Titus, when, by holy wrath infpir*d, . 
From Salem's faftious rebels he required 

The debt of vengeance by his God enjoin'd. 


** When with envenom'd tooth the Alpine fiiake. 
Stealing infidious from his native brake. 

The holy V^ftal on her flirine affaird ; 
My Eagle, roufing at the Gallic cry. 
With lightning on his pinions fwept the Sky, 

And the fell reptile to his den repell'd. 


" Hence may your judgment on the feuds decide. 
That wafte my old dominion far and wide ; 

But who can tell who moll: our^peace deftroys ? 
He who difplays the lilied flag afar, 
Or with th' Imperial Sign provokesi the war j 

My bleeding coxmtry each in turn deftroys. 


" Falfe Ghibelline ! the facred fymbol yield. 
That leads your legions to the bloody field j 

St. xviii. /• 6. The debt of vengeance — >] Deftru£^n of 
Jerusalem by Titus. Compare Matthew xxiv. with Jose* 

FHUS, DE BellO JuDAICOy lib. vii. 

Sl xix. /. 6. — When with envenom* d toothy &c.] A ftiangeana- 
phxpniipi*— |he defeat of Desioerius, King of Lombardy^ by 
Charlemagne^ was 300 years after the time of Justinian^— 
See Hift. Flor, 

St. xxi. /. I. Falfe Ghibelline ! — ] The Poet reprehends the 
(pnduft of the Ghiqellines, or Imperial Fadioni although he 

G 4 belonged 

[ 88 3 

Or with more noble arts adorn your name : 
Juft in the caufe in which you ihould difplay 
That facred Enfign in the eye of Day, 

Astrea's caufe and her's fhould be the fame. 


•* Shall Anjou's pride th' Imperial Eagle dare ?— 
A nobler Savage in a bloodier war 

Has felt his talons and forfook the field: 
The Son has often moum*d the Father^s crime j 
Heav'n will not circumvent his flight fublime. 

In partial favour to the lilied ihield. 


** This little world that kindles in the trace 
Of Phoebe's Ear, and wheels his burning race 

Nearer his throne, contains within its bound 
Thofe Souls refin'd, who, by the gen'ral flame 
Of honour, fir'd to win a deathlefs name, 

Fiird with inceflant toil their mortal round. 

belonged to it himfclf. He not only alludes here to the difputes 
between Boniface and Philip le Bel of France, but to that 
of Charles of ^njou, and the other branch of the Norman 
line, in the South of Italy ; a difpute originally fomented by tht 
Pope, who, continually involved in quarrels with the Siciliah 
Princes of the latter family, on account of inveftitures and homage, 
trtnsferred their Dommons to the Family of Valois, and by that 
means laid the foundation for a feries of wars Hirhich lafted for Ccn* 
turies. Sec Giamnonb, Hift. Nap. and Florentine Hiftory aiK 

t 89 3 


•* Their ardent eyes were fixM on Fame alone. 
With poor ambition to this lower zone, 

Their afpirations took their humble flight : 
Thrice happy ! if, to further Heaven's defign. 
Their days were fpent, and then a brighter Sign, 

Had giv'n a fairer lot of Love and Light. 


*' But to compare our virtues with our gains. 
Is one glad tafk of thefe Csrulean plains. 

So well adjufted by the heavenly fcale ; 
New tranfport from the contemplation flows, 
*T111 with intenfer flame the Spirit glows. 

O'er which nor doubt nor envy can prevail. 


" As diflTrent notes in harmony confpire. 
So in gradation due, our heavenly choir, 

A* general fymphony of tranfport fwell : 
See Romeo's Spirit where it moves along. 
And iheds new glory on the chofen throng ; 

He, for his gen'rous toils, untimely fell, ^ 


^ But foon Raimondo's province paid the fine. 
For his bafe treatment of the Man divine ; 

St, xxTii. L 2. — the Man drvfinr, j Romeo, a Man of great fimc- 
titj, who, on his return from a Pilgrimage £tom St. Jago di 
CampostellA) was entertained by Raymomd B'EALiNCHiERy 


C 90 3 

For their proud Lord the people much endur'd, 
111 feres the Man whom envy leads aftray ; 
His four feir Daughters (har'd Imperial fway : 

A poor and lonely Sage their crowns fecur'd. 


" Bafe fycophants employed their ufual art. 

And Raymond's Soul, by flander*s rankling dart 

Empoifon'd, found the baleful venom fpread : 
He called him to refund his hoarded gain j 
With calm integrity the hoary Swain 

The fpring-tidc of the public wealth difplay'd. 


" Thence worn with years and poverty he ftray'd. 
And thro' ungrateful nations begg'd his bread. 

Count of Proven CEy who found him fueh an able Financier^ that 
he made him his Minifter. By his negociations Berlinghiek 
found means to marry his four Daughters to four crowned Heads, 
Louis of France (afterwards St. Louis); Charles of Anjou, 
his Brother, King of Apulia and the two Sicilies; Henry 
Third, of England ; and Richard, his Brother, commonly called 
King of the Romans. By the envy of the Barons of Pro- 
vence, he was afterwards accufed to Raymond of Peculation; but 
he (howed, by his accounts, that during his Adminiilration the 
Revenues had been doubled. — He went into voluntary exile, and 
died a Mendicamt. — Under pretence that his Confort's dowry had 
not been paid, Charles of Anjou made war upon his Father-in^ 
law, drove him from his Country, and confifcated the eftates of his 
Barons, whom he alfo exiled,^— -Landing. Vellutello^ 


I 91 ] 

In deep tranquillity, to Heav'n refignM, 
O had the world but known that noble Soul, 
That o*er Earth's dim face benighted dole, 

New praife his former praife had left behind ! 


C 93 3 



Conference between Beatrice and Dantb on the Nature of 
Redemption, and the Immortality of the SouL 

** HOSANNA to the God ofHoJls on high / 
Hofanna to the Sov'* reign of the Sky ! 

In whofe tranfcendent fmile thofe living fires 
With tenfold lujlre beam^ intenfe and clear.** 
Such were the drains that trembled on my ear. 

As the blell Spirit join'd the heav'nly Choirs. 


With his aflbciates kindling in his courfe. 
Quick as a driving ftorm of fparkles foars. 

The fiery fquadron vanifli'd from my view : 
Tho' burning with defire their ftate to know. 
The embryon wiih was fpent in murmurs low ; 

Such deep refpe£t th' attendant Veftal drew. 

C 94 ] 


Soon fhe began the myft'ry to reveal. 
With fuch a fmile as tho* profoundeft Hell 

Had ftruck a paufe, and footh'd the Stygian bafldy 
Tho* plung'd in fierceft flames, " You doubt,'* (he 
" How a due aft of juftice can abide C^^^ 

The 'venging blow from Retribution's hand ! 


*' Soon will I folve the doubt ; attentive hear : 
TruthjHeav'n's prime bounty, foon flxall blefe your ear ; 

Created free to chufe the xmbom man, 
\Vhen to his lordly will the reins were giv'n, 
Tum*d a proud rebel in the fece of Heav'n, 

And led to Hades all the human clan. 

St. iii. /. 5. How a due aS^ &c. — ] i. e. How the Jews couU 
have been puni(hed for the crucifixion of our Savioar» which ^IntaB 
a6l neceffary for the Salvation of the World. 

St, iv. /. 6. jindledto Hades — ]] Here means in general the ftate 
of the Dead; though fuch is the degeneracy of mankind, that without 
the aid of Grace (which is purchafed for all by our Saviour, in fodi 
a fenfe as to leave them inexcufable that abufe it), we cannot ooojec* 
ture how they would be qualified for bleffednefii* 

Whatever is done, or fuffered, by an offending perfon, or hf 
another in his dead, fo as to fatisfy juflice, or fecure the hoooor of 
the divine Government, or beftowing upon the offender ptrdon tnd 
happinefs on the condition of certain qualifications^ may propeilj be 
called a fatisfadiion, or atonement, made to God for him. 

That Chrifl has made fuch a fatisfa£Uon for the Sins of thoCe who 
repent and turn to God, in the way of fincere though imperfed obe* 
dience, is plain to them who believe the Scriptures ; fee Kii* liiL 5. 
— Mat. xxvi. 38. That he did it fpontaneoufly, appears from 

6 Hd>. 

C 95 ] 


** Deeply they plung'd beneath the deadly fhade 
Of mental ^ight, that her broad wing difplayM 

Thro* many a dark age o'er the flumb'ringSouI j 
Till from difclofmg Heav'n th* omnific Word, 
With foul-renewing grace their ftrength reftor'd. 

And with hew light illum'd the dulky Pole. 

^' Loft Man, to Demon-guidance long refign'd. 
That left each charafter of Heav'n behind. 

He feiz'd, as, driving down the tide of Time^ 
He faird before the ftream, and form'd anew 
To that firft pattern which their Maker drew. 

When firft they breathed in Eden's happy Glmie. 

** Contemplate him as made by Heaven's defign ; 
His nature, form, and femblance feem divine : 

Heb. X. 7. 9. See alfo Ifa. liii. 5, 6. 10. Mat. xx. 28. Rom. ill. 
25. — V. 6. 8. 2Cor, V. 21. GaL iii. 13. Eph. v. 2. Heb. vii. 
27. — ^ix. 26, — X. 12. I Pet. ii. 24. — ^iii. 18. 

See Rap H EL. Annot. in Rom.v. 8. 

That they arc accepted in or through him by God j i. e, on ac- 
count of his vicarious fuffenngs ; fee John, iii. 14. 17. A6i8, x. 
35, 36. Rom. iv. 25. Col. i. 20, &c. 2 Cor. v. 18. zo. Eph. i. 
5. 7. Heb. i. 3. — ^ix. 14.— x. 4. 14. Rev. i. 5, 6. — ^v. 9, 10.— 
viiL 13, 14. 

That fincere though imperfe£^ obedience will be accepted^ fee 
FhiL iii. 13. James, iii. x John, i. 2 John, i. &:c. &c. 


C 96 2 

But when from Wifdom's path he chofe to ftray. 
He left the paths of Blifs, by righteous doom^ 
For mental darknefs and an early tomb ; 

Self-banifh'd from the new and living Day. 


** The cruel tortures of the rending fteel, 
Emmanuel's mortal nature chofe to feel ; 

That Nature, fufF'ring for the marks of Sin 
The hate of Heav*n, to human guilt might Ihow, 
Tho' nought the heav'nly habitant could owe. 

Who lodgM that earthly tenement within. 


^* Juft is Heav Vs purpofe, but in Man 's unjuft 
That dreadful doom that fprinkl'd in the duft, 

^/.viii. /. 3. That Naiure J fugr ring for the marks of Sin^ The 
remifHon of Sms, vi'ithout any fatisfa^lion at aH, would ^coniage 
118 to think too (lightly of the Divine iuflice ; whereas, by the fufc 
fcring and death of Chrift, great honour is done to it ; and God's 
abhorrence of Sin (as the Poet obfcrves) is difplayed in a Tcry ftriking 
light} and has the bell tendency to engage thofe who embrace the 
Gofpel to a life of holy obedience. 

It is the peculiar glory of the Gofpel that gives fuch an account 
of the method whereby Sin may be pardoned, as fecures the ho- 
nour of God's laws, and relieves the Mind from that anxiety which 
ignorance would occafion. Whitby on John, iii. 16. Tillot- 
ton's Works, vol. i. p. 477, foK Butllr's Analogy, part vl 
c. V, Clarke's Scrm. voL v. Serm. 9. 

St.ix.L I. JuJ h I/eav'n'j purpofe, kc. ] Heaven educed 
good, in its fovereign Mercy, from the malice of the Jews ; but this 
{S no apology for Sin, that God biings good out of evil ; for that 
would reft upon the prefumption tliat Providence had no other 

C 97 3 

His facred blood combined, by Heaven's decree, 
Celeftial mercy with Judsean rage ; 
Heav'n, op'ning, fignalizM the bloody Stage, 

That trembling fcarce could bear the fatal Tree. 

means to produce good, but through the medium of evil ; which 
would he a denial of his infinite wifdom, and making him a^ in 
fubferviency to the wickednefs of Man. But he has various means 
of bringing about his ends ; and when he chufcs, as we may fay^ to 
Ingraft them upon moral evil, it proves, among other ends, to give 
us a very affedling idea both of his wifdom and goodnefs.—— See 
Preliminary EfFay to the Puroatorio. 

Had the Jews been fuddenly and generally converted by our 
Saviour, and relinquiihed their bloody defign, they would probably 
have endeavoured to make hiiti a temporal King, and have, for that 
purpofe, rebelled againft the Romans ; and it would have been 
this day objeded againft the ChrifUans, by the enemies of Revela- 
tion, that it was a piece of ilate-policy. — Atterbury's Sermon 
on Matt, xxvii. 25. 

With refpeA to Chrift's dying for all Men, we are aifured in 
Scripture, that God is no refpefter of Perfons, but in every nation 
he that worketh righteoufnefs is accepted by him. The merits of 
his Death extend to thofe who never heard of his Name. St. Paul, 
in obferving that it is impoflible for a great part of mankind to be- 
lieve in the Gofpel, intimates that their unbelief (hall not be imputed 
to them as a fault (Rom. x. 14.) ; he alfo fays, that the Gentiles 
are a law to themfelves (Rom. ii. 14.) ; they all have a rule of con- 
du£l derived from God ; but the Salvation both of Jews and Gen- 
tiles is owing to the merits of Chrift, for " there is no other Name 
given under Heaven by which mankind can be faved." 

To real Chriftians, however, this is flill an invaluable privilege. 
The benefits which the virtuous Heathens will enjoy, cannot be in- 
ferred from this to be equal to what Chriilians who deferve the 
name (hall enjoy : different degrees of happinefs may well be con- 
ceived in another world, and all purchafed by the fatisfa6tion and 
mediation of Chrift^— -Biihop of Lingo LNy on the i8th Article of 
the Church. 

Vol. ffl. H 

C 98 1 


" Thus, tho' the heav'nly ftroke in juftice fell, 
Heav'n us'd the raguig denizens of Hell 

Her inftruments, who, by their malice, drew 
On them, and on their feed, the penal rod ; 
Self-doom'd, but engines in the hand of God 

To work his \iill, and fuffer vengeance due. 


*' But, wand'ring endlefs ftill from thought to thought, 
I fee your Mind by new dilemmas caught. 

And eager {till to loofe the mental tie : 
You wonder, tho* your former doubts be gone. 
Why Heav'n fhould will, that Heav'n's immortal Son 

For this ignoble doom fhould quit the Sky. 


*' Deep, deep concealed within th* abyfs of Light, 
The myftic reafon (huns created fight ; 

Except to them whom Love's eternal ray 
Irradiates all within, and bids extend 
Their eagle faculties, to comprehend 

The fecrets of the Sky, with broad furvey. 


•* But how this Truth that numbers vainly fcan. 
Exalted far beyond the ken of Man, 

Fulfils its glorious end, may thus appear : 
Love from its fource emits a cloudlefs ray. 
And fcatters round that pure meridian day. 

In which thofe glorious Orbs their voyage fleer. 

C 99 ] 

** What from its bounty, by eternal laws. 
Its eflence pure without a medium draws. 

Keeps flill the firft impreilion, bright and pure } 
Refpondent to the glorious ftamp above. 
Unaltered by the various Orbs that move 

In conftant change, it (lands for ever fure. 

** With more delight the heavenly glance furveys 
Thofe beings that return his brighteft rays. 

And in thofe holy mirrours fees with joy 
An image of himfelf, intenfely bright, 
Refleding on the avcrful Source of Light 

The living fplendours of th' inunortal Eye; 

" Of thefe, the Tribes of Rationals are firft 
DiftinguiftiM, Tribes by heavenly favour nurs'd ; 

Nor Man the leaft, while Man to God maintains 
Allegiance due ; but Sin diflblves the tie. 
And hurls him downward from his native Sky, 

When Sin's eclipfe the holy femblance ftains. 


•* There never (hall the banifh'd Mind return. 
Until once more, from that celefUal urn. 

His Mind new light imbibes, and fills again 
The deep and deadly vacancy within. 
Left by the defolating poVr of Sin, 

Schooled by long difcipline, and purg'd by pain. 

Si. xyii. L 3. Hk Mind new Ugk iwMet^ &c.] That die 
Deity has Tsuious means of accefs to the Minds thai he has made. 

Ha u 

» ^ 


C lOO ] 


Degenerate Man, of ev'ry good bereft. 
Since Eden firft, and happinefs, he left. 

Ne'er can return, unlefs a pafs he find. 
By his own merit, or by pity ihown 
By him that fills the fempiternal throne ; 

No other means by mercy are affignM. 


*' Altho' you could explore, with Angels* ken. 
In Heav'n's eternal doom, the fates of Men, 

Nought could be found for all his follies paft 
Due compenfation, but an upward flight. 
High as his fteepy fall from life and light. 

By virtue plum'd, to wing th* empyreal wafle* 

is agreeable both to Reafon and Scripture ; even National Revolu- 
tions are afcribed to this caufe» Ezra, i. i. viz. that his fecret in- 
fluence on the Mind gives a turn to many of the moft important 

events relating to particular Perfons and Societies. Religion of 

Nature, p, 105 — 107, 

It is probable that when a peribn has gone through the principal 
difficulties of Faith and Obedience, the powers of Reafon will re- 
fume their vigour, Grace will operate with more efficacy, and the 
Mind will receive more engaging views of the advantages and en- 
couragements attending a virtuous courfe, than another who a£b 
otherwife can do :— ^^ any one do my ttfillf be will know thai the 
Latv is from God, 

In fome inftances the divine Grace may be irrefiftible, as in the. 
cafe of St. Paul's Converiion \ but to fay that this is always the 
cafe, would deftroy the liberty of the Will in all thofe cafes, and 
would leave no room for the exercife of Jufticc in conferring re- 

C iOI I 

" Thus 'reft of purchased grace, the Son ff clay 
Could ne'er atttain, nor wipe the debt away ; 

Heav'n only can reftore his woeful plight. 
And light the Lamp of Holinefs within, 
(Day-fpring of Heav*n,) thro* pardon of his Sin, 

Yet keep for Juftice her undoubted right. 


** To (hew that goodnefs gives intrinfic worth 
To ev'ry deed, to teach the Sons of earth 

How He efteems the deep and heartfelt glow 
Of true benevolence ; with awful change 
He ddgn'd o'er this fublunar Stage to range^ 

A lonely Pilgrim, doomM to pain and woe. 


*^ Since radiant Phoebus, on his burning throne. 
Began to courfe around the radiant zone ; 

On the vafl mundane Stage was ne'er beheld 
A fcene like this, nor e'er will be difplay'd. 
Till defolation's fiery blaft fhall fpread 

Her flaming billows o'er creation's field. 


" What love, with wifdom join'd, oh heav'nly Sire ! 
Was thine ; to fhatch him from the penal fire !-^ 

Without condition, or a price, to pay. 
Were lefs benignity, than to beftow 
Godhead a ranfom for a race fo low, 

A God to marihal them to endlefs day. 


^^ Juflic6, }9f any other mode, had loft 
Her facred right, if he, who leads the Hod 

Of Heaven, had not, by his unequalled deed. 
Thus, for a time, from Paradife exilM 
His Son, and by his death her claims fulfUIM : 

Thus was our Race from condemnation freed* 


^' Now on a former theme I muft return ; 
I fee a fecond doubt your bofom bum : 

Soon fliall it clear, and you, like me, fhalT view 
Things as they are. Yon' elements around^ 
The flame that fprings aloft, the folid ground. 

Water and air, thy curious doubts renew. 


" You tfaink thefe Creatures, if the ftamp erf" Heav'n 
They wear, altho' in endleis circle driv'n 

And mingling as they meet, muft ever laft. 
By your allowance, uncorrupt and pure. 
From the annihilating ftroke fecure. 

And ftiU the prefent fliall be like the paft. 


*^ Cherubic fplendours and this pure domain. 
The deftinM range of Heaven's immortal Train, 

Are Heav'n's immediate work, quinteflence bright 
Eternal, incorrupt, with nought within 
To caufe decay, IHce yon' fublunar fcene. 

By fecondary means produced to lights 


C 103 3 

** Thefe were created, and the Pow'r that rolls 
Yon* radiant Orbs around the burning Poles, 

(Itfelf a Creature,) owns that primal Source ; 
Each Animal from its fubjefted fway 
Its vigour draws, each Plant that drinks the day 

Gains from this Spring its vegetative pow'rs. 

•* But Man's blefs'd Spirit, by th* immediate breath 
Of Heav'n, was rais'd beyond the reach of Death, 

&. xxYiii. /. 6. Gains from this Spring — ] He is here fuppofed to 
mean what Aristotle calls the Anima Mundi, better known to 
the Modems by the name of the Plaftic Power. See Cudworth's 
Intell. Syftem, pafiim. 

St. xxix. /.I. JBut Man's blefs'd Spirit^ &c.] That the Soul 
does not die with the Body, appears highly probable from the fol« 
lowing reafons : 

It muil be immaterial. All we know of matter is, that jt is 
inert, fenfelefs, and lifclefs. It may be urged, that matter may 
have powers we know not of. But to argue againft what we know, 
becaufe there may be fomething that we know not ; to weigh hypo- 
thetical probability againft acknowledged certainty ; is not rationaL 
If that which is known may be over-ruled by that which is un- 
known, no Being not omnifcient can arrive at certainty. 

Lnmateriality implies (as appears neceffanly) perpetual duration^ 
at a confequence of exemption from all caufes of decay. Whatever 
perifhes, is deiiroyed by the folution of its contexture, and fepara- 
tion of its parts ; nor can we conceive, that that which Iu^b no parts, 
and therefore is incapable of folution, can be naturally corrupted, 
or impaired. Rasselas, vol. ii. chap, xlvii. 

With regard to future retribution : As God is just, he will take 
care that the whole of his creatures (hall be more or lefs happy or 
Biiierable, according to the degree in which Virtue or Vice prevails 
in dfedr characters. No fuch diftribution is here made, correfpon- 

H 4 dent 

C 104 ] 

And warm'd by love of Heav'n's immortal Sire : 
Hence we conclude, that, from the bed of dull, 
Heav'n will exalt again each breathing Buft, 

Like the firft Pair, by Promethean fire/' 

dent to their charaftcrs ; but \nrtuou8 Men are often expofcd to 
the greateft diflrcfs, while the worll of Men live and die in a fciies of 
profperity. Reafon therefore infers a ftate of future Retribution. 
BefideSy the voice of Coiifcience perpetually fuggefts to us, that wc 
are accountable crectures. — Sec EfTay prefixed to the Infeilno. 

It is a great confirmation of this, that we find the human Mind 
capable of perpetual improvement. That fuch a Being (hould be 
formed for fo (hort a duration, feems not confonant to divine Wif- 
dom. We are alfo evidently made for a greater degree of happi- 
nefb than wc can enjoy in our prefexit Hate ; and there is a ftrong De- 
fire of immortality poflefling our Natures, which is ftrongcft in the 
mod virtuous Minds : and, indeed, the circumftances of fuch Men 
in particular, are fuch in this World, that we can hardly reconcile 
it to the Divine Goodnefs, without a future State of Retribution. 
In other cafes, the Defire implies at leaft a poffibility of enjoy- 

Berides,as the lives of Men are continually in the power of them- 
felves and others, if the Soul were mortal, a dcfperate Villain might 
immediately deprive the moft virtuous Man of his being, and with 
it, of all further rewards which his Virtue might have expe6led and 
received. And fuch a Perfon might alfo, on the fame fuppofition, 
put a period to all further punifhment intended for his own crimes 
and due to them, by laying violent hands upon himfelf. The Jufticc 
of God would be fruftrated, in a great meafure, if the Soul were 
mortal : but as he is omnifcicnt and juil, we have no reafon to con- 
clude that his Juftice can be frullrated ; therefore the Soul is im- 
mortal. — See Watts's Works, vol. iv. p. 594. 

That the faculties feem impaired fometimes by age and fickncfs, 
(which, however, is by no means always the cafe,) is no proof that 
the Soul is mortal ; when we confider how much it depends on the 
functions of the bi-ain, which mud be in. paired by ficknefs, &c. 


C 105 3 

The arguments cited above for the Soul's being immortal^ im- 
plies that its future (late will be eternal. Punifhment mmy harden 
Sinners, and caufe new crimes, which muft induce new punifhments, 
to an indefinite duration ; and a repetition of rewards may infpire 

ftill new exertions of Virtue. p-Taylorou Deifm, p. 149—167. 

Balguy's Sermons, vol. i. p. 409, cited in Doddridge's Lec- 


[ I07 3 



The Poet afcends from the Phmet Mercury to VenvSi where he 
meets with the Spirit of Charles Marteli King of Huhga- 
RiA, with whom he difcufFcs the Queftion, Why virtuous Pa- 
rents often have degenerate Children ? 

1 HE Pagan world, immers'd in Error's maze, 
Were wont to fancy that the jocund rays 

Of Cytherea beamed illicit love. 
In the third fphere enthroned : nor her aloUe 
Ador'd, but fair Dione, and her Son, 

Who had the art Eliza's Soul to move. 


Her Name they on that wand'ring fire beftoVd, 
That, circling round the bright celeftial road, 

Hyperion meets, or on his radiant hair 
Enraptur'd looks behind. Amidft its bla^e 
We found ourfelves o'erwhelm'd in lambent rays, 

Unconfdous lighting on the Cyprian Star. 

C io8 ] 


Sudden the fainted Maid, that led me on. 
With new-enkindled charms, celefBal (hone. 

Caught from the facred influence waving round ; 
Then foon I recogniz'd the hallow'd place^ 
Where dancing Vifions in a fidry maze 

New living fires illum'd the radiant bound. 

Diflinfl:, like Sparkles in the rifing Flamcj 
Or Meteors in the Sky, they went and came 

In various meafures, gliding quick or flow ; 
As by the beatific Vision fir*d. 
Its changing views their kindling Souls infpir'd^ 

Still varying in inceflant ebb or flow. 

But never does the Hurricanoe fweep. 
From black'ning Clouds condensM, the boiling deep 

With fuch a rapid whirl, as broke away 
In Squadrons from the Choir ; their eagle eyes 
Took from their elder Brethren of the Skies 

The welcome fignal, like the circling ray. 

The lucid Van of that Elysian Throng, 
From right to left, with loud Hosannas rung. 

Still feems the facred found my fenfe to thrill j 
When from the line advanced a jocund Sprite, 
And thus began : " Behold the Sons of Light, 

Happy your utmofl pleafure to fulfil. 

St. iv.] Sec Extrad from Malebranche, Pref. p. 2% 

[ I09 ] 


<^ Still harmomzing with the holy Choir 
Above, each rifing thought, each warm defire, 

With equal energy and kindred glow, 
Infpires the movements of the favoured Race, 
Still propagated thro' unbounded fpace. 

Our raptiu'es late your Fancy fpy'd below. 


** Do you remember when on Earth you fung. 
Holy Contemplatijisj immortal Throngy 

Tou who in beatific vifionjpy 
Tour duty J and perform your holy round 
With the third Heav^ny and watch thro* fpace profound 

The guiding glory of tV eternal Eye ? 


** A love fo warm the general bofom fires, 
*Tis fome relief to leave the heav'nly Choirs, 

With the redundancy of joy to fill 
And fumifh other Souls/' I tum'd afide. 
With reverend look, to my celeftial Guide, 

And in his eye perceiv'd th' accordant wilL 


Then turning to the Ghoft, that feemM to glow 
With new defire the blef&ng to beftow, 

£f. viii.] A Poem of Dante is here alluded tO| beginning with 
ielie words ; 

Voii che' intendendo il terzo ciel movete. 

With voice that fcarce my inward feelings fpoke, 
I afk'd his Name on Earth ; a rifing bloom 
SeemM his cherubic features to illume. 

And a new ftamp of Heav'n his features took* 


A ray of tranfport fparkled in his eye. 

As thus he fpoke : " Beyond yon* nether Sky 

Short fpace, I faw the Sun ; a longer fpan 
Had kept aloof the defolating ftorm 
Which o*er my Country fpread unbounded harm. 

Since my imhappy Brother's reign began. 


** This tide of blifs that thro* my bofom flows, 
A tint Empyreal o*er my features throws. 

That hides my old remembrance from your view : 
The glorious mafk that o*er my face is fpread. 
Makes you forget the years, for ever fled. 

When I, an earthly Man, was lov'd by you. 


** Had I furviv*d, my Love, whofe early bloom 
Fell immature upon my yawning tomb, 

£*/. xiii. /. I. Had Ifurvlv^df my Love — ] Charles Martil 
was ddcfl Son to Charles Il.f (or the Lame») King of Naples, 
of the Angevin Line. In his Father's Ufc-time he was called to 
the kingdom of Hungary on a vacancy, as he had a famSy- 
chum to that Crown. He died before his Father, who was fuc* 
ceeded in Naples and Sicily by his fecond Son Robert, to the 
exclufion of the Sons of Mart el, who, according to the rights of 
primogeniture^ ought to have inherited the Throoe. (See Villani, 


C "» 3 

With ripe ambrofial fruit your mufe had bkft ; 
Where Rhone and Soroia^s mingled waters glide 
I thought to rdgn, but Fate the boon deny'd : 

Provence another rulM j you know the reft !*^ 


^ Bari Gaeta, with Crotona's bound, 
Where winding Tronto meets the blue profound. 

lib. viii, ix« and x. and Hift. Flor.) Dante^ it is fuppofed, had 
met with Charles Martel in the Court of his Father* on an 
embafly he made to Naples. 

Robert, his SuccefTory the Mead of the Guelf Fa6tion> was 
long engaged in war ugainfl the GHiBELLiikES in Italy, as Well 
ss againft the houfe of Aragoni with various fortune. His Soft 
Charles, Duke of Calabria, died before his Fathe^^ and left 
two Daughters^ the eldeft was afterwards the famous Joan, Queen 
of Naples, who was betrothed, at nine years old, to her Coufin, 
Andrew of Hungary, the defcendant and heir of Charles 
Mart EL. He, however, proved the obje6k of her averfion. He 
was afTaflinated ahnofl in her prefence. His Brother, the King of 
Hungary, made war to revenge his death, and compelled the 
Queen to fly to Avignon, which belonged to her ia Heireft of 
Provence, and which (he fold to the Pope, to enable her to carry 
on the war. She married the Prince of Tarentum; who was 
fuppofed to have been her Paramour in her firft Husband's life- 
time. The King of Hungary being at bft tired of this long 
war, and exhaufled by its expence, made (bme overtures fer peace, 
on condition that Joan would clear herfelf, by public triid, of her 
Husband's murder ; which /he contrived to bring to efie^, by pro« 
curing Witneffes who depofed that (he was under the power of 
Magicf and, confequently, only a paffive inftrumentin the affiur. 1%is 
was about the year 1 350. — See GiAnm6N£, Hift. Nip. fab eod. ton. 
and Hift. Flor. 

C 112 ] 

And Verdi mingles with his kindred main. 
Kind hope ahready added to my fway ; 
Hungarians fceptre call'd me thence away. 

Where Danube leaves behind the German 


" Ah ! but for this, Sicilians haplefs (hore. 
Oft by Tartarean darknefs covered o'er 

By Mangibell's dark fume, (where Typhon lay 
In tortures deep, as fabling Poets fing,) 
Beneath my Carlo's and Rodolpho's wing. 

Long, long had blels'd our Line's more gentle^fway. 

" When he, that with an arm of fteel fubdu'd 
iETNA's indignant Tribes, had never view'd 

The rifmg tempeft, by Sedition blown, 
Almoft as loud as when Palermo flew 
To arms, and Vengeance on the Gallic Crew 
. Cry'd with a thund'ring voice, ** Fall on, £adl on I" 


** If my loft Brother had forefeen his fate. 
No Catalonian Plund'rer of the State 

51f. xvi./. 4. — when FAhEKWoJfew'] The famous Siciliak 
Vespers, when the Inhabitants of Messina and Palermo ia 
Sicily, in an infurre£lion, maflacred all the French on thelfland} 
provoked by fome recent injuries, and the general charafker of the 
Lieutenants of Charles of Anjouw— >Villani, lib. viL c. 6l* 
Vid. Hift. nor. 

^/. xvii. /. I. If my lofi Brother^ Charles the Second of 
Naplesi the Father of Martel and Robert, on a Peace made 


c "3 : 

His fandion had abus'd, but fled his wrath ; 
With better vigilance the Barque of State 
He fhould have watchM, nor let a double freight 

Sink the proud veffel in the waves beneath. 


'* Alas, the Day ! my Brother's niggard heart 
Needed fome confident, with gen'rous art. 

To melt his native penury of Soul, 
And loofe the rigour of his iron hands. 
Long felt fo heavy by Sicilians Bands, 

PrefEng from weary Swains the fcanty dole/"" 


** From you,*' I faid, " I feel the tranfport flow. 
From the prime Source reflefted here below, 

Where all coUeded joys commence and end ; 
Him you behold, as you by me are feen. 
Communicated glories in your mien 

Appear, and on my ravifli'd Soul defcend. 

with the King of A r agon, was obliged to fend his Son Robert 
as Hoflage, who was kept in a kind of honourable captivity in 
Catalonia. He contrafled fuch a friendfhip for fome of them, 
that when he came to the throne, he invited them to Naples^ 
His kindnefs to them being looked upon with an envious eye by the 
Natives, gave occafion to much obloquy ; poffibly not merited by 
the munificent Friend of Petrarch. — See his Memoirs. 

St. xviii. jllas, the Day! — ] We are to obfervc, that the 
Monarch and the Poet were of ,oppofitc Parties. 

Vol. m. I 

[ 114 ] 


*' This doubles ev'ry joy, and yet I feel 
Somewhat of pain, for ftill a cloudy veil 

Hang^ o'er your words ; for yet I want to know. 
How can a vile degenerate brood difgrace 
A noble Stem, and all its worth embafe/* 

I'hus I. The Shade reply*d, with placid brow 


*' If I one truth difclofe, the unfeen Light 
7'hat feems behind you now to fet in Night, 

Shall dawn all-glorious, and relume your Soul } 
That fovVeign Good that turns the rolling Sphere 
Thro' which you journey, makes his Pow*r appear 

In thefe proud Orbs that wheel around the Pole. 


" Their prefervation, and their future doom. 
Both in the paffing Day and that to come, 

^Vhere all appears arranged by Art divine, 
Chance then would manage ; which can ne'er befal 
Ttiis World, unlefs the Pow*r that governs all 

Should fail, and Angel-hands their charge refign. 


** Say, do you wifh to fee the truth more near.?'* 


No," I reply *d; " I fee diftinft and clear. 

St. xxi. /. 3. Shali dawn all-glorious^'] Here commencet tlie 
anfwer of Martel to Dante's quefUoiiy vix. How Tinuoiit 
Fathers could have degenerate Soos ? 

• C "5 3 

That Nature cannot ever mifs its aim." 
** Say, were it worfe,'* he cry'd, ** for Man to lead 
An independent life, if Fate decreed. 

Or mutual aid at once to give and claim." 


" This no difcuilion needs," I quick reply'd ; 
** How could his various wants be well fup^lyM, 

Unlefs, with difPrent talents each endowed. 
Each ftage of general life were taught to fill ? 
For this, and this alone, with plaftic ikill 

Man firft was made, as Plato's Rival ihow'd. 


" Your Reafon thence the fiadr conclufion draws. 
That various habitudes, by Nature's laws. 

To ev'ry dawning intelledt is giv'n : 
Hence Solon calmly plans the public good. 
And Xerxes dyes the billowy main with blood, 

And Salem's Prieft expkdn'd the Will of Heav'n. 


" Hence D-edalus explored th' aerial dome. 
And taught his Son on daring wing to roam 

The defart Sky, 'till Ocean caught his faU. 
'TIS thus that mighty Clotha fpins their doom. 
And (lamps their future bias in the womb, 

IndiflF'rent to the palace or the ftall. 

St. XXV. /. 6. Plato's RtvoT} Aristotle. Sec his Ethics 
^d Politics, as abridged by the Abbe Bartelemi. 


C 116 2 

^ xxvn. 

" Thence Jacob moum'd the difcord of his race. 
And young <^iRiNus from a ftem fo bafe 

Was bom, that Mars his Fatber*s name fupply'd : 
The Father, like the Son, would ftill be feen ; 
But here celeftial Wifdom fteps between. 

And to new moulds direds the living tide. 


" Thus (hines the truth like the meridian Sky, 
Which late receded from your mental eye, 

Faft vanifhing from fight ; but now the glow 
Of Charity impels me to improve 
Thofe moments granted, if eternal Love 

Prepare your Mind another truth to know. 

St, xxviii. /. I. Thusjk'ines the truth — ] The conoedion of the 
argument fecms to be, that as the heavenly Bodies, by their variouft 
powers, &c. have an influence on each other, and fuppoit the 
whole fyftem ; fo the various talents and charaAers of Men preferrc 
the harmony of Society. — The concluding apofbiophe (St. xxx.) 
relates to what has been a topic of declamation among Morabfts 
for many ages ; yet, probably, every clafs of Men requires fometimes 
a new infufion of energy from them, who at firll (ight appeared toCaUy 
unfit for the department into which they had entered ; dfc each 
clafs, condemned to the fame purfuits and habitudes, would probably 
degenerate, as is the cafe with the Indian Calls, where every one 
follows the profeilion of his Father : for inflance, if thofe fek6Ud for 
the clerical order were fuch only whofe talents were merely clerical 
the privileges and imnumities of the Church, and much of its re* 
fpe6tability, would not long fubfiil in the conteil with its open and 
fecret enemies. This obfervation will apply as well to the pnTatc 
concemf of each individual, as to the intereil of public bodies. 

C 117 ] 


** Nature, when Fortune thwarts her kind intcatp 
From her primaeval bias rudely bent. 

The fad difturbance in th* effeft difplays ; 
Were its own bias by each clafs purfu'd, 
(Often by Pride, by Folly oft withftood,) 

No ill-ftarr'd Man would e'er his rank difgrace. 


** The fiery Genius to the cowl you doom ; 
You tear the Student fi-om the cloyfter's gloom. 

In camps to fhudder at the clarion's found ; 
The Cleric Head you circle with a crown. 
Who with the Paftor's ftaff might gain renown. 

And tread in Error's maze an cndlefs round." 



[ "9 3 



The Poet flill continues in Venus, where he meets with feveral 
Spirits, and hears fome Predidions relative to Italy. 

When thy great Sire, fair Clementina, told 
The deep difafters of his line of old. 

Frauds to enfue, the Spirit next difplay'd : 
" Roll on, ye Orbs," he cryM ; " the Time will come 
To recompence their ills with equal doom. 

With deep complaints their lofles (hall be paid." 


He fpoke ; and, turning to the Source of Light, 
Bent thro' vacuity his ravifh'd fight. 

Drinking the rays of inexpreffive joy, 
From that eternal and redundant beam, 
Ever defcending in a lucid dream. 

Pervading all with ever-new fupply. 

St,u L I. —^^r Clementina] Daughter of Martkl, and 
tarried to Louis X. King of France. 


C I20 ] 


Deluded Souls ! what low degenerate guft 
Compels you thus to mingle with the duft. 

And, with prone intelleds, to feek in Night 
That good which (hines above ? another Soul 
Came on, like lightening glancing from the Pole, 

And fix'd on me his eyes ferenely bright. 

The Seraph's glowing vilage feem'd to melt 
With ardour, to difpenfe the joy he felt ; 

Calmly, with fteadfaft look, he cfd me ftill ; 
To the celeftial Fair, devoid of dread, 
I tum'd ; and in her gentle afpeft read 

The kind permiflion of the heav'nly 'Will. 

" O quench the longing thirft with which I bum, 
BlefsM Soul !" I cryM, " and let the Light return. 

That Ihows the inmoft fecrets of my Mind 
From me to thee." Th* abyfs of Light profound. 
In which he feem'd to glow in tranfport drown'd. 

He left, and came impelled by Love refm'd, 

** A breezy Hill its funny brow difplays, 
Where Brenta with Piava's liquid maze 

To the Ri alto's brine their way purfue ; 
There was I bom, and hence a fuUen flame. 
My Brother, to thefe (hores a dreadful name. 

Deep kindling, like a Stygian vapour drew. 

Si. vi. /. 4* Thfre was I horn — ] CuNizzA, Sifter to the £iu 
mous EzzELiNO, Tyrant of the Maria Trivegiana. Sec Iv«- 
FERNO> Canto xiL Notes. 

L 121 3 

^ Here^ from terreftrial mixture clear, I ihine ; 
My Paflions all abforbM in Love divine. 

To tranfient objects long, too long enur'd. 
This Planet tofe, afcendant at my birth. 
But now refinM above the fcenes of Earth, 

My happineis for ever is fecur'd. 


•* The dark remembrance of my fault no more 
Engenders pain on this delightful fhore, 

A tnGt from vulgar Souls fequefter'd far ; 
That fparkling Form upon my left furvey, 
•Ti8 Folio doomM to wear the Poets' bay. 

Five hundred circles of the folar Star. 


** Think what incitements call to purchafe Fam^ 
When like the Phoenix from her fun'ral flame, 

A fecond life, when yqur material bull. 
Sunk to the foil, (hall from the mould arife.—- 
But dumb are all the warnings of the Skies, 

To Padua's Sons, ftill proftrate in the duIL 


^ On the devoted Crew fhall fall in vain 
The fcourge of War, tho' winding to the main 

St. Tiii: L 5. *T$i Folio —3 A famous Troubadour. 

C "2 ] 

ViCENZA*s troubled flood with {laughter fwell j 
See where Cagnano joins with Sile's tide. 
Yon* Demon fills Ricardo's heart with pride — 

His brpther Demons fpread the net of Hell. 


** Sad Feltro's plains the perfidy ihall rue 
Of her vile Prieft ; for never captive Crew 

Were by fo felfe and faithlefs vows beguil'd ; 
Felons, for many a lefs enormous deed. 
For many a Moon to bondage were decreed. 

In Malta's gloomy hold from Ught esdl'd^ 


** Their blood will call to Heav'n, and there be weighed 
In her eternal fcale, and fhall be paid 

To the laft drop, which, with a lib'ral hand. 
This courteous Prelate on th' Apoftle's Heir 
Beftow'd : The Paduans ne'er are known to fpare. 

When Av'rice and Revenge fuch gifts demand. 


*' The dreadful Pageants of impending doom, 
Afcending retrograde from Times to come, 

Slx. L 3. Vicenza] Near which the Paduans matxrhing to 
furprife the city under the condu£l of Jacopo de CakrarA) were 
met and defeated by Cane de la Scala, Lord of Verona. 

St, xi. /. I . Sa^ Fe ltr o — ] The Bifhop of this place, when he had 
given an afylum to fomc Ghibelline Refugees of Ferra& a, then 
at variance with the Pope, refigned ihem to the Governor of Fer» 
RARA (who was of the Guulf or Papal Fa£tion), fbrafumof 
money. The Bifhop was a native of Padua.— -Landing. Vti.* 


Z "3 3 

Meet in the Mirror of eternal Right 
Above ; and, on our eyes reflefted, fall 
From the wide dome of yon' etherial Hall — 

You need not wonder at our inward Light/* 


Here ceas'd th' illumin'd Soul, and tum'd away. 
Where, in a running maze, the Sons of Day 

In inexprellive dance and fong combined ; 
Emerging fobn from that diftinguilh'd Crew, 
Another gliding glory met my view, 

Fiird with th' effulgence of th' eternal Mmd. 


The brighteft opal when it meets the Sim, 

And with keen glance returns the beam of Noon, 

Was dim and dufky to the fmile that play'd 
On his celeftial face. Thus Angels (how 
Incrcafe of tranfport, while the Sons of Woe 

Tell their deep tortures by another Shade. 


** Heaven's tranfcendent Light that all reveals 
You ftand, no envious Cloud the truth conceals." 

^ Why filent then, thou Son of Song,'* I cry'd ; 
" Thy voice might warble with the heav'nly flxain. 
For ever chanted in th* empyreal fane. 

Where flaming Seraphims the chorus guide. 


^ Could I the fecrets of thy Soul divine, 
^Widi e^ual eafe as thou can'fl fathom mine, 

C "4 ] 

My fuit were nccdlcfs/* Soon the Bard rq)Iy*d, 
" Thofe waves thou know'ft, that from th* Atlantic 
Till the low line that marks the rifing Sun []nm. 

His fiaming difk at Noon is feen to ride. 


'^ Upon its verge, where Macra meets the main^ 
And winding Ebro leads its liquid train. 

Parting Liguria from the Tuscan lands, 
I faw the Light. The Bugian Beach afar. 
At the fame moment fees the rifing Star 

Of Day, when he forfakes Hespbria's fband. , 


" Then, where the moony Squadrons won the Day* 
And Genoa's warlike Files in {laughter lay, 

I liv'd, by Folio's name-diflinguifhM fong } 
A lamp I feem'd by Cytherea fir*d. 
Her influence bland the kindling Mufe infpir^d. 

And mark'd me down the Slave of Love and Song« 


*' Not feir Eliza felt a fiercer flame, 
Falfe to SicH-ffius and the Trojan Dame, 

Than I, while fervid youth a fandion gave ; 
Nor lovely Phillis by the Greek beguil'd. 
Nor great Alcides, when the winged Child 

Left him to beauteous Iole a Slave. 

Si. xvH. /. 4. Tl)o/e waves — ] The MEDtTERRANEAN fcs, de^ 
fcribed here by aftronomical marks, it being Noon in Palsstime 
at its eaflern extremity , when it is Sun-rife at the Struts of Gi^ 
RALTAR ; the place here meant is the tenitory of Gsmoa* 

i: "5 3 

** Yet on the confines of this happy fliorc 
Gay Tranfport reighs ; Repentance is no more : 

Such is the joy in that fupemal fway. 
That heav'n-ward turns the wanderings of our Will; 
Here we admire, and love that heav'niy fkill. 

That all our Stygian dr€;gs refines away. 

" Our dark Defires, to earthly obje£ks prone. 
Here prune the wing, and to th' eternal Throne 

Soar like an Eagle thro* the flood of Day. 
Would you participate the glorious flame, 
Obferve that Angel ! her illuftrious Name 

Will meet you like the wave-refleded ray. 


** Rahab, in holy contemplation there. 
On Love's firft objeft in th* empyreal fphere, 

fixes her cherub eye : In years of yore. 
From yonder world, that fends her pointed (hade 
So far, in fiery pomp to Heav'n conveyM, 

She took her flation on the blifsful Ihore. 


** Well did the glorious lot her Faith reward. 
And juftly He who Hell's ftrong gates unbarr'd, 

St. xxiiL L I. Rahab,] See her Story, Joftiuay ii. The Poet 
feigDfl that (he was brought from the Limbus Patrum, and left 
ia the Planet Venus. The original word, tranHated Harlot^ 
fignifies an Hoftefsy or the Keeper of a Caravanfenu-^ee Eztraft 
fiom P|.ATo's Sympofiumy Pref. p. 2. 


Z 126 3 

Left fuch a witnefs of his conqueft here 
'Mongft our fele£ted Tribes : (he law the hand 
Of heav'nly Vengeance doom her native land^ 

And join'd the lacred Hoft with filial &ar. 


Thrice hallow'd fhores ! I mourn your wayward fioe; 
How he that rules the Apoftolic State 

Forgets your wrongs, let weeping Arno tell. 
Arno — ^for there the firft Apoftate drew. 
From climes below, his heav*n- abandon'd Crew, 

And coloniz'd her trembling fhores from Hell. 


Here Mammon built his forge, and thence around 
Scatters his min'ral plagues thro' holy ground. 

That makes the carelefs Paftor leave his Sheep . 
At random in the wild ; the facred Lore 
Of Jesus he forfakes for fordid ore. 

Taught by the Papal law to gain and keep. 



On this the holy Conclave bend their eyes. 
And the 'lorn Hills of Nazareth defpife j 

cSV. XXV. /. 3. Arno — ] The Florins, at that tunea cuirenC 
Coin through all Europe, which were firft ftruck at Florence^ 
are here introduced by the Poet as the geoeral Reprefeotatrre 
of Wealth, the caufe of Avarice, and the bane of FuUit 


C 127 ] 

Tho* fannM by Angel's wings ! majeftic Rome, 
Where Martyrs old, by holy Cephas led. 
With him yet flumber on thy ftony bedj 

Soon (hall you fee the rank Adulterer's doom.'* 

Sl xxvii. /. 4. — holy Cephas] Su Peter^ fuppofcd the firft 
Biihop of Rome. 

St. xxvii. /• 6. ^^ihe rani Adulterer^ Bom face the Eighth, 
according to moft of the Commentators. 


I >^9 ] 



Dclfcriptiop of the Order of the Univerfe. — Afcent to tlic Svm. 
Conference with the Spirit of Aquinas, 

Jl/TERNAL Wisdom and eternal Love, 
Joined with interminable Power above. 

Union ineffable, in blifs fupreme. 
Gave to Exiftence this ftupendous whole. 
Wherever the eye can reach, or foaring Soul 

Extends arpund its intellectual be^^ 

Unrivaled Order and celeftial Grace, 
Seen thro' the ftages of unbounded Space^ 

Whene^r the mental eye, with fteady view. 
Surveys its glory j^ to the heav'nly King 
^lifts the rapt Soul on Contemplation's wing, 

And ev'ry Pow'r expands with rapture ne^. 

You UI. K 

[ I30 J 


Now ye that hear the heavenly Mufe^s Toice, 
Purfue her journey thro* the op'mng Skies, 

Where the firft Motion wheels her mighty roundj^ 
And whirls the Planets with refiftlefs fway ; 
Then thinljL of Him whofe Power yon* Orbs obevj^ 

In felf-enjoyment wrapt, and blifs profound. 


Behold yon* (hining Path obliquely run. 
Where, with his glorious retinue, the S^n 

Marfhals the Seafons, and condu&s the Year ; 
What wifdom in the Pow*r that taught his ray * ^ 
To warm the fubjefl: World with tempered Day, 

Not coldly diftant, nor oppreffiye near. 


Had any other circuit been affign'd 
For this aetherial cavalcade to wind, 

In froft to flumber, or to fink in fire. 
Had been the lot of all fublunar things : 
Here Contemplation refls her weary wings^ 

And flops awhile to tremble and admire. 


Indulge this holy prelibation firft. 

That your ripe Mind, in holy habits nurs*d, 

St. iT- /. I. Behold yon* Jbtn'ms Patb^'] The Ecliptic, or Pktlii 
of the Sun, whofc obliquity or declination from the Emiator it 
the caufe of the change of Seafons. 

C '3J ] 

May fcom that earthy fume that damps the Scu., 
And brings it down from its setherial flight : 
For thy behoof I range the fields of Light, 

Culling the fruits of Heav'n from Pole to Pole, 


Nature's great Herald now, whofe eye afar 
Celeftial influence fheds from Star to Star, 

And meafures Time in his diurnal race. 
Had reached the welcome ftage, that calls the Light 
Of Phosphor fooneft from the womb of Night, 

To drive the vapours from Aurora's face, 


Bright Regent of the planetary Train, 
How I was wafted to thy high domain 

Is all myfterious as the fource of Thought ; 
For quick as Thought, from World to World I flew : 
There, oh ! what fplendours flafli'd upon my view. 

When my celeftial Guide my notice caughc. 

Transfiguration in a moment came, 
J)iftinQ: flie ftood within the Solar flame. 

Light within Light ! but more refplendent far : 
INo radiant change of lifted colours gay 
"Was th^re, no painting with illufive ray 

Her matchlefs Form that feeble aid could fpare, 


^ htellefl:. Experience, Art, combine. 

Vain were their pow'r to paint that fcene divine j 

C M^ ] 

Even Faith, with Angel ken, would fcarce fufBce : 
That Fancy's plumage fails to mount the height 
Is no furprize ; for who can bear the fight 

When Sol with double luftre fires the Skies ? 


Such was th' appearance of the heav'nly Band^ 
Who in the funny region took their (land. 

Wonders of Wifdom ! Miracles of Love ! 
For ever finging in alternate lays 
To Him, who cheers with ever-vital rays 

The glorious circle of the Saints above. 


** To this material Source of Life and Light, 

His powV,*' my Leader cry'd, ** has winged your flight: 

Never did Mortal feel fo deep a glow 
Of filial love, commix'd with filial fear : 
Heav'n's dome, the radiant Nymph, the Solar Sphere^ 

Seem'd all to vanifh, like a palling (how* 


But inly vex'd to fee my feeming fcom. 
She fnuTd benignant, like the rofy Mom ; 

Her fmile recalled me from my rapt'rous trance ; 
Sudden the cope of Heav'n falutes my fight. 
The glories darting round the Squadrons bright, 

Caird to exiftence by her magic glance. 


Di{banding foon, the Files, with fplendour crownM-, 
In one wide-waving glory henmi'd us round j 

[ 133 ] 

iTheir gen*ral chorus charm'd the lift'ning ear : 
Our optics lefs enjoyM the double Noon, 
Formed like an halo bending round the Moon, 

When a thin vapour veils her fliining fphere. 


tJnnumberM are the myftic wonders known 
On this high foot-ftool of the burning Throne ; 

No mortal ftrain the tenour can convey 
Of that loud hymn that found the Concave rung : 
The Man who wants to learn the lofty fong, 

Muft mount on wings of fire the Milky Way. 


As well might thoughtlefs Mortals hope to hear. 
From Mutes, the mufic of the Solar Sphere, 

Whofe long-drawn modulation feem'd to ring 
From the bright Squadrons in a triple round. 
As in full march they pac'd the Solar bound. 

Chanting the glories of their heav'nly King. 


like Stars that circle round the fteadfaft Pole, 
lor ever pointing to their radiant GoaL, 

Thefe living Suns, refle£ting blaze on blaze, 
'^ov*d on, or paused, as in a feftive hall 
<jay Nymphs, that tend the Mufic's dying fall, 
Sufpend their ftep, or thrid the fportive maze. 


""Xhen, as the heav'nly anthem fecm'd to reft, 
(till fmall Voice my ravifli'd ears addrefs'd : 


[ »34 :i 

** Since Grace, the gentle Nurfe of Love divme^ 
That knows its objeft, and expands its flame^ 
Infpires your Soul, the deep afcent to claim ; 

O, mortal Man ! immortal blifs is thinel . . 

** None here can to thy thirfty Soul deny 

Fan- Truth's ne£breous draught, a rich fupply; 

No more than to the main the wint'iy flood 
Can flop adown the flope his fwift career ; 
Then, if you wifli to know our fortunes here. 

You foon fhall fate your Rlind with mental food^ 


*' You long thefe Flowers of Paradife to know. 
Who yon* fair Nymph fbrround in vernal blow. 

Who prunes your wiftg-empyreal heights to foar : 
I, when on Earth, to fage Domingo's fold 
Belonged, in pure Religion's age of gold. 

Ere foul C(MTuption fpoiPd Emmanuel's lore. 


** This bright and Morning Star that (hines befide. 
Is great Alberto, erft my fapient Guide; 

Far-fem'd Aqitinum gave me birth and name: 
If you defire of other Names to hear. 
Follow my voice, and mingle in the rear. 

And as they pafs, accoft the Sons of Fame. 

^/*xx. L ^. — Domingo's /<?//] The celebrated Aqj7ina> 
was a Dominican Friar* 

Si. xxi. /. 2. // great Alberto — "] Albertus MaqkvSi ^ 
tolumioous School Divine ; the Tutor of A(^inas. 

C ^35 3 


•* That orient fmile, like Phosphor's rifmg ray, 
Marks where fam*d Gratian treads the walks of Day, 

The glory of the Bar, the Temple's pride : 
Nor lefs illuftrious is his rank above, 
Nor lefs confpicuous in the bands of Love, 

The fam*d Lombardo marches fide by fide. 


** He humbly, as the Widow's mite, was giv'n, 
Offer'd his trealures to the flores of Heav'n : 

But mark the fifth, how far he fheds around 
Uk funny rays, and kindles half the Skies ; 
*Tls David's Heir, the wifefl of the wife. 

Of whofe laft fbte fuch doubts on Earth abound. 


•* So wide, fo clear his intelledual view. 
None fecond to his £eune the Nations knew 

(If credit may be giv'n to ancient fawes). 
The (age Athenian next illumes the Train, 
Who fpy*d the fecrets of the heav'nly reign, 

Th' angelic ranks, their habitudes and laws. 

St, xxii. /. 2. ^-fanCd Gratian] The Compiler of the Dc- 

5/. xxii. /. 6. TA^ytfifi'^/ Lombardo— ] Petrus Lombar- 
ftusy a Divine ; commonly called '* the Master of the Sen- 
tences." The Mite that he ofFered, was an enormous FoUo^ 
now among the cobwebs of Duck Lane. 

St, xxiii. /. 5. *Tu David's ffeir — ] Solomon. 

St. xxiv. /. 4. Thtfage Athenian — ] Dionysius, the Arso- 
PAGiTE ; fuppofed to be the Author of a ^ook on the AgpgeKc 
Hierarchies^ ilill extant. 



[ t36 ] 


Behind the good Orosius twmkles for, 
As near a Planet, an inferior Star ; 

Yet he, no feeble Champion of the Faith, 
The weapons of his warfeire lent of yore 
To Austin, fam*d for Theologic lore ; 

Austin, who juftly earn'd a nobler wreath. 


** If you have mark'd my words, and caft your eyes 
Regardful on the Tenants of the Skies ; 

If you defire, by juft degrees, to climb 
In fearch of Sovereign Good, that Hero know. 
Who taught the World's attraftions to forego. 

And by Eternity to conquer Time. 


" CiEi.DAuico (aw him numbered with the Dead, 
When from his bloody corfe the Spirit fled. 

And from the ftorm below to endlefs peace 
Hither the tempeft-beaten Wanderer came. 
From his long exile call'd, on wheels of flame. 

Where palms for holy Martyrs Heav'n decrees* 

5/. XXV. /. I. — -^W Orosius] He wrote an hiftorical Woik in 
defence of revealed Religion ; which he dedicated to St. Auous* 
TINE, who was his contemporary. 

St. xxvi. /. 4. — that Hero'] Boethius» the Autkor of the 
Celebrated treatife De Confolatione PhilofopbU. He WM put to 
death by Theodoric, King of the Goths, for aa unfuccclflfiil 
attempt to aiTert the privileges of the Roman Senate^--GiBBOv'« 
HiiL voL vii. p. 46. odavo edit. 



** like three fair Stars, that gild the face of ^^ght, 
RiccARpo, Bede, and Isidore, unite: 

The firft a giant Spirit, far above 
The pitch of common men : The next, behold^ 
Is he who bum'd to join Emmanuel's Fold, 

And deem'd the flroke of Death a wound of Love« 


** Sigoiero next is feen, for depth of thought 
Renown'd : the reasoning art he nobly taught 

To Gallia's Youth, on fam'd Sequ ana's fhorc} 
He gave his treafures to a thanklefs Age, 
The World repaid with deep malignant rage 

The mighty Mafter of Zenonian lore." 


He ceas'd, like folemn chimes at noon of Night, 
That call the Spoufe of God her Faith to plight. 

And love for love, with fervent heart, return ; 
When found to found refponlive vibrates clear. 
And £dls fo fweetly on the Veftal's ear. 

She feels her heart with holy ardour bum. 

St. xxviiLA 2. RiccARDo] Di Santa Vittero, Brother to 
the celebrated Writer Hugo, of the fame name ; a great adept in 
myftical theology. — Natales Alexander Hid. Ecclef. cited by Am* 
GELLUciy fe6t. xi. & xii. 

Bede^ Known by the name of the venerable Beds, one of 
the firil Writers of English Ecclefiaftical Hiilory. 

Isidore] Bi(hop of Seville in Spain, a celebrated Att-"^ 
thor in the Middle Ages. 

St. XXX. /. 2. -^Spoufe of God} The Nuns called up to Matiui 
by the BeU. 

i: ^38 3 


Thus feemM the holy Jubilee to move. 

While, from the circling Train, the Song of Love, 

In many a fweet divifion, rung around 
Ineffable, beyond created (kill ; 
Save, where the fount of Infpiration ftill 

Gives mental vigour for the theme profound* 


• • 

t 139 1 



The spirit of St* Thomas pronounces the Panegyric of 

St. Francis* 

Insensate cares of Man ! what poor pretence 
Allures you downward to the vale of Senfe, 

To beat the wing around her meteor joys ? 
Some to the leches* toil, or noify bar ; 
Some to thie facerdotal ftole repair ; 

Or gain by force or fraud the Vigor's prize. 


^ Some gain by pillage, fome by civil ftrife. 
Some in voluptuous dream confume their life. 

And fome in formlefs iloth their beings fpend : 
O ! from this Dungeon of fublunar cares. 
Mom bled was I, amid the Hoft of Stars, 

With my cdeftial Pilot to afccxid r 



A general paufe enfuM, and ftopM the dance^ 
And all flood filent in extatic trance^ 

Like ftatidnary lamps ; that facred light 
t*rom which before 1 heard the (ilver foiind^ 
A gleam of double glory call sulound. 

And thus again began the Vifion bright : 


** Clanc'd from th* eternal Mirroiir on mjr cjre^ 
By Him, whofe mighty hand revolves the Sky, 

Each image, as it dawns within your ^Gnd9 
I read : you wifh to find my meaning clear. 
In language fuited to a mortal ear. 

Still for your apprehenfion too refin'd* 

St. iv. /. I. Glanced from th* eternal MlrrouTf Sec. 3 Diwtc 
is dcfcribed as having doubts on his Min4y how he could reconcBe 
what St. Thomas had aflcrted with regraid to ALBi&rtt 
Magnus, viz. that he taught the true Wifdom, with hit dedi- 
ration that Solomon was the wifefl Man. This queftiQii he 
does not immediately folve, but prepares for it, by pointing out the 
true way, (according to his conception of attaining Hemven hf 
Wifdom,) by following the example of St. Francis d'Assisi. It 
is eafily perceived what part of his Poem Dante wrote in s llo* 

That the Mendicant Orders in their firft inditution were of OCMK 
fiderable ufe in preferving the fpirit of Religion among the pcopk 
in thefe dark and difaftrous ages, is at lead highly probable % «ttd 
with regard to the 6ther Monaftic foundations, it is well known of 
what advantage thqr were to the caufe of leammgi by prebnriiig iU 
remains during this ungenial feafon. 

C 14^ ] 


^ I prais'd the influence of my Mafter's lore, 
^If not abus'd) due wifdom to reftore : 

Yet, when my word pourtray'd the fapient Man, 
Him peerlefe I pronounced thro' every clime ; 
Here Reafon muft revolve the truth fublime. 

And with diftinftion due the meamng fcan. 


?* The Mind that tries in Wifdom's fea profound. 
With mutilated line her depths to found, 

Feels its defeft. 'Tis this infpircs the Soul 
With apdent longing for her Spoufals high, 
To him who brought with agonizing cry 

pis bloody ranfom from the Stygian PooL 


^ In fiill fecurity to wing her way 
(Confiding in her help) to endlefs Day, 

An holy Guide he give^ on either hand, 
TTuTQ* yonder Stars to ft^r her lofty flight. 
Warm Charity, and Wifdom's heavenly light, 

|n mortal fhapes to lead the fkvout'cl Band. 


•* One I will paint at large— Let one fufl[ice ; 
For thefe twin Heralds of the bounteous Skies, 

(For fifter virtues claim an equal praife,) 
In heav'nly concord, with propitious gale, 
"^ey fteer'd to Heav*n with confentaneous fail, 

Thio' Sin's deep ihade, and Life's perplexing ma^e. 

> * 


** Between Tupino and Ubaldo's ftreaniji 
A riling Hill falutes the morning beam ; 

From this Perugia feels the Summer glow 
Refleded full, and hence the vapours fpr^ 
A dim tiara round his fmking head. 

When Winter hoards his magazine of ihow« 


*• Before, they feel the fierce folftitial gleam ; . 
Behind, Noiera vex*d with fierce extreme 

Of tyranny, and haplefs Gu aldo mourn ; 
Where this rich valley winds with fudden fweep^ 
Rifing, like Sol, from TAPRopANA'si deep^. 

llie luminary of our age was bom. 


** To mortals known, Assisi was its name; 
But well that celebrated vale may claim 

The title of the East, from whence the Sun 
Of Wisdom feem'd to fhed his light around j 
Ev'n his firft years, with blufhing honours crown*d| 

With auguries of deathlefs fame begun. 


•* While yet a child, his nafcent virtues flied 
Peculiar glories round his infant head, 

St. X. /• 2y 3. Noiera*^- Gualdo] Two towns near the YaDey 
of As SI Sly which have been uTurped and much opprefled by 
their neighbour^, the Perugians. 

St. xii. /. !• While yet a child — ] Francis was a noted Saint of 
the Romiib Church, an4 Founder of one of the Mendicant Orders. 


I »43 3 

And raiovated Nature feem'd to fed 
A fecond Spring, by his example warm'd ; 
Pale Poverty with dow'rlefs beauty charmM 

Jtlis fbanng foul, and fiU'd with facred zeal. 

. XDL 

^^ With joy he followed her imperious call, 
Tho% like the King of Terrors, {hun*d by all. 

And tho* forbidden by his angry Sire : 
The harbingers of Heav'n with holy awe. 
And the full courts above their Spoufals faw. 

While Hjrmeneals rung around the choir, 


^^ Still more and more, hi^ ardent pailion grew 
For Her, who, fmce the Naza&ene withdrew 


He was born at AiUTi, about the year ii8i. His Father was a 

Merchant, whofe profeflion he followed t31 the year i2o6j when, 

being (Irongly moved by the precepts of the Gofpel, he renounced 

the World, and gave himielf up to folitude and monification.-^ 

His Father imprifoned him, in order to cuit him of this frenzy, as 

he cfteemed it. He brought him before the Bilhop of As si si, 

vhex^ he renounced his paternal eflate. He drew up an Infti^ute 

for religious Perfoas, which the Pope approved. M. Ferranp 

&7Sy that his Father had defrauded liim of a confideiable Sum 

pt Money, and that he brought his Son before the Bifhop of 

Assist to induce him to renounce his Eftate ; but that his Son 

^Kceeded his expedatiops, for he adually ftripped off his clothes, and 

thtxz addreffed himfelf to iiis Father : ** Hitherto I have called yoii 

^ my Father on Earth^*^ but now I may certainly fay, " Our Father 

** ^uhichari in Heaven,** fmce I have put all my truft and confidence 

^ him. — Ferrand, Reponfe a I'Apologie poi^r la [(Reformation, 

^ayle Di6i. Art. Francis. 

^i. xiy. /• 2. " for Her — ] /. e. PovertTi 

[ 144 ] 

Without a fecond Spoufe, devoutly ftray*d. 
While nigh twelve centuries the weary Sun 
His annual journey thro* the Stars had run. 

Since Mary's Son efpous'd the wand'ring Maidn 



** Weak was her plea, that to Amycla's joined. 
True Freedoni fhe beftow*d, and Peace of Mind ; 

While the World's Sovereign wonder*d to behokl 
His Soul's calm funfhine none her charms defir'd ; 
Tho* fhe, when all Emmanuel's friends retir'd^ 

Was feen, reclining on his bofom cold^ 


^^ But that my thoughts no longer may be dreft 
In darkfome Allegory's figur'd veft. 

This wond'rous Man, to Poverty refign'd, 
Attrafted ev'ry eye, and Oied afar 
His holy influence, like a genial Star, 

And many a Soul to piety inclin'd.*^ 

St. XV. /. I. ITrji was her pka^ &c. ] The Poet fpeakt ftiB ^ 
Poverty, who, though (he conferred not only Freedom but 
of Mind) wa^ yet dr^ded suid (hunned by alL Am tolas 
fifherman, in whofe boat Julius Casar crofledthe Adrmtic m 
ftormy night, to haften over his forces from Italy, Sec hh 
ference with C^sar, (Lucani Pharf. lib. v. 527.) where CcsiU^-^ 
feeing his fecurity amid the tumults of war, exclaims-^ 

O vitx tuta facultas 
Pauperis, anguftiquc lares ! O munera nondom 
Intelledia Deiim! &c. 


C H5 ] 


** Pirft, holy Bernard, ftripp'd him for the racc^ 
Warm for the goal, defpifing dull delays : 

O bleft contagion ! O celeftial prize ! 
Egidius foon, and bleft Sylvester join, 
Fir'd by the beauties of the Nymph divine, 

And rivals in the courfe that gains the Skies. 


** Thus march'd the Chief before his fainted Band, 
With his celeftial Confort hand in hand ; 

Proud of the rigid cord, and facred cowl. 
Nought of his lowly origin afliam'd, 
From Peter's chair the holy Hermit claimM 

His chartered right, with dignity of foul. 


** So numVous foon became the humble Train 
Of him, whofe praife a lefs than heavenly ftrain 

Should ne'er attempt, the papal Chief beftow'd 
On him, who all his will 16 God refign'd, 
A fecond honour to the former join'd. 

The ghoftly undUon of the Sons of God. 


^ ImpellM by holy thirft to feal his Faith, 
In foreign realms by voluntary death, 

St. 17. /. f . 4. Bernard, Egidius, and Sylvester, three of 
the firft followers of St. Francis. 

Vol. m. L 

L h6 ] 

He and his followers, at the Soldan's chair. 
All unappaird, the Gofpcl trumpet blew ; 
But Heav'n deny'd him yet the Paynim crew, 

A tribe ungrateful to his pious care. 


** Thence to his native Strand he came once more. 
There *twixt Valdarno's vale and Tyber's (hore. 

His laft reward, his bleft Redeemer gave 
ITiat glorious (lamp, which long his limbs confeft 
He wore, till late the Pilgrim funk to reft. 

And to the realms of glory paft the grave. 


*' His poverty to his obfervant Train 

He laft bequeathed ; then to the heav'nly Train 

His Spirit foaring, left his humble duft ; 
No other obfequies the Hermit chofe. 
No decorations of his final clofe. 

No haughty monument, nor breathing buft. 


" Such was that Pilot once, who well could guide 
The Galilean barque thro* Ocean wide, 


Si, XX. /. 3. Hf and h'u followers — ] St. Francis took a jour- 
ney to Egypt, to propagate tlie Gofpel there, about the time of 
the unfortunate expedition of John de Brienne» king of Jeru- 
5ALEM, 1216. The king of Egypt, rather of the Mamelvcs* 
was Me LA DINE, who, according to contemporary authors, was not 
difinclined to Chriftianity. — Sec Fuller's Holy Waryb.iii* c. 27, 
^Sec alfo Flor, Hill. 

C ^ 147 ] 

Thro* ftorms and threatening rocks, and fwallowing 
He that by his example learns to fail, [fands : 

Will reach the haven with propitious gale, 

Where lafting treafures heap the blifsful Strand. 



** But now, fince his terreftrial toils are done. 
His flocks to unaccuftom'd forage run. 

And thro* forbidden fields at random rove ; 
And ftill, the farther from their home they ftray. 
Still lefs returns the Shepherd will repay 

For all his early care and veiled love. 


" Some ftill are found who dread the devious path. 
And near their Shepherd keep with conftant faith ; 

But few are thofe, and held in high difdain 
By the apoftate crew. — But mortal, hear ; 
If aught proclaimed in this fuperior Sphere 

Has weight, to warm to love the godlefs Train. 


^ If you my words with due attention weighed, 
fhewM the parent ftem, the noxious (hade. 

Which thofe vile Scions with degenerate boughs 
lave fpread around ; nor need I more explain 
fXj meaning, when I taxM th* apoftate Train, 

Inftrufted well, but faithlefs to their vows.*' 


L 2 

t 149 3 



TThe Spirit of St. Buonaventura relates the Life, and pronounces 
the Panegyric, of St. Dominic; and mentions fome other Spirits 
to be found in the Region of the Sun. 

i^OON as his awful charge th' illumin'd Soul 
Had ceas'd, the mighty Orb began to roll. 

And fcarce the long defiling Band had trac'd 
My lofty ftand, when many a living Star 
Round the horizon lightening from afar. 

With ample round th* internal Orb embrac'd. 


With meafur*d ftep, and correfpondent drain. 
The march and mufic of the midmoft Train 

They match'd harmonious, as they mov'd along ; 
Their hymns furpafs'd our low difcordant lay 
Far as the Summer Sun's meridian ray 

The darkeft Orb around his ftation hung. 


C 150 ] 

As Evening Iris prints her bended bow 
With fainter femblance on the fable brow 

Of fome dark cloud, with magic pencil drawn. 
Arch beyond arch ; or as the Voice returns. 
When her difaftrous paffion-EcHo mourns. 

Till fpent, like vapours at the rifmg dawn. 


The wondering World from that celeftial Sign 
Collefts the promife of the Voice divine. 

That Earth no more (hall fmk in deluge drownM ; 
Thus thefe concentral Orbs of endlefs joy 
Ran as a double garland round the Sky, 

And like befieging armies cIosM us round. 


In jocund meafure, long with feftive lays 

They mov'd, they caroird, mingling blaze with blaze, 

Purfuing or oppos'd ; the facred found 
Now faintly warbling in the diftant Skies ; 
Now loud and lofty feem*d the Song to rife, 

Roird to the centre from the utmoft bound. 


As the confenting eyes at once are clos'd, 
A fudden filence and a paufe composed 

The facred movement, and the double chime ; 
When a foft accent from th* abyfm of light 
Was heard, and thither tum'd my eager fight. 

When thus the Saint began his (train fublime : 


*' The glories of Seraphic love, which flied 
Such dazzling charms on mine elefted head. 

Impels me to exalt the holy Name 
Of him, whofe client fung in lofty lays 
A panegyric to my Founder's praife ; 

Their equal conflid merits equal fame. 


** The banded Soldiers of the Crofs, who coft 
Their Lord fo dear, for fuch a numerous hoft. 

To purchafe tempered mail to meet the foe. 
When their firft armour fail'd, had now begun, 
Tho* his red enfign glittered in the Sun, 

To fill their files with daftard ftep and flow. 


** When their great General, whofe Imperial fway 
Their cohorts governs, o'er the lax array 

Call his experienced eye, where heavenly Grace 
(Grace undefervM, unearned) was feen to fliine. 
Two Delegates he callM, with words divine. 

And deeds, their emulative z^l to raife. 


** In thefe delightful Climes where Zephyrs rife. 
And in their flight perfume the vgmal Skies, 

Si. viL /. 3. — the holy Name o/iimt'] The Spirit pf BuONA- 
▼ENTURA IB here introduced a« relating the praifes of St. Domi- 
mc, the patron of St. Thomas Ac^yiMAS, as th« latt^ had celc* 
brated St. FtANCiSy i^ patron. 


C '52 3 

Before in Tuscany*s gay bounds they flied 
The blooms of Spring, far eaftward of the Strand 
Where Phoebus fmks to light another land. 

The fecond Sage the beam of Heav'n furvey*d. 


" Where Calaroga boafts her Mailer's fhield 
Borne by Castilia's Monarch in the field, 

This Hero of the Faith, a dreadly foe 
To all its Foes, in happy time was bom ; 
The dawn of Virtue, like th' increafing mom, 

Seem'd in his cheek and youthful eye to glow. 


** Ordain'd a Prophet ere his deftin'd birth. 
When the due time had folemniz'd on earth 

The holy rite, that to his heav'nly Spoufe 
Bound him with links of love, the fainted Dame 
That held the Infant, faw his dawning fame, 

And all the glory of his future vows. 


** A Name, according to the will of Heaven, 
That ftamp'd his rifing charader was giv'n, 

^/. xi. /. I. — Calar<5ga,] a town m Old Castile, where 
Dominic was bom, the founder of the Inquifition $ the dreadful 
tyranny of which had already appeared againft the Albigcoisy nor, I 
fuppofe, was the Poet free from its terrors. He, howerer, might haTC 
avoided the praifes of Dominic, had his chaiader appeared to hifli 
in the fame light that it does to us. 

C 153 ] 

To him the Vineyard's Lord his taflc aiHgn'd^ 
That mark'd him chofen for his Sov'reign's aid ; 
His firft command the ready Slave obey'd. 

Still harmonizing with th' eternal Mind. 


*' Oft was he found, when all was lock*d in fleep^ 
At Night*s deep noon in meditation deep. 

As pondering the great tafk that lay before 
His eyes, and claimed his hands while yet a boy ; 
O, Father ! fiU'd with more than mortal joy ! 

O, happy Mother ! who this Infant bore ! 


** Not led to ftudy by the love of gold. 
Like Thaddeo's mercenary train of old. 

Or thofe that Oftia breeds, he lent his hours 
To Contemplation, from the World immurM, 
By the pure Manna of the Word allur'd. 

In fearch of Truth to ply his mental pow'rs^ 


** Soon was he call'd the facred mound to raife 
Round that great Vineyard, which fo foon decays^ 

When impious hands the facred plant profane j 
His influence o'er Saint Peter's Chair was feen, 
A refuge to the juft, when time Ijas been, 

Tho' now diflionour'd by a fordid reign. 


Not little to beftow, but much to hold. 
Not to difpofe for pelf the vacant fold, 

C 154 3 , 

Tile hallow'd portion of the Poor to fpend 
Was not his aim, but 'gainft the dang'rous tide 
Of rifing crimes the barque of Faith to guide. 

And for the hallow'd plant of Truth contends 


*^ For thefe celeftial laws the Hero fought. 
Of old by Patriarchs and Apoftles taught, 

Arm'd vnth the formidable pow*r to foil 
B€;ginning Herefy ; where'er it fpread. 
He fwept it down like a full torrent, fed 

By moony floods, and purg'd the tainted foil. 


'' And as the Flood with more refiftlefs fway 
All oppofition whelms, and fweeps away. 

So Herefy 's obftru£Hon felt his wrath 
Where'er it rais'd its head : his calmer wave 
Then foon began with filver ftream to lave 

The fpadous feed-ground of the public Faith. 


" When arm'd Religion on her rufliing Car 
Came like a fiery Amazon to war. 

Such were the wheels that bore his moving throne ; 
Nor with lefs formidable temped came 
The fecond axis with its orbs of flame, 

So late by fage Aquina's plaudits known. 

Si. XX. /. 3. — the wheels that bore Ins moving thrwm^'^ Siu 
Francis and Dominic are defcribed as the two axles of the Qmk 
riot of Rkligion. 

. C I5S 1 


** But now Its mad'ning wheels have leam*d to ftray 
Spontaneous from the heav'n-appointed way. 

While fome purfue, and fome difdainful turn 
From the falfe Guide ; but Harvefl is at hand. 
The tares expedt the heav'n-commiffion*d Band, 

Forbid the gran'ry, and condemned to bum. 


*' Whoe'er will fearch our Founder's facred fold. 
Some virtuous brethren there may ftill behold. 

Our regulations ftill remain the fame ; 
Not fo CosAL and Acquasparta's train. 
One held the brethren with too lax a rein. 

And tyranny difgrac'd the other's Name^ 


" Bagnarea's monaft'ry 1 rul'd of old, 
Never by fublunary views controU'd, 

But in my facred tafk confum'd my days j 
Sage Austin, with his holy Conuade here. 
Who firft with Francis chofe the lot fevere, 

Caft their eclipfe, and mix then: mutual rays. 

Sl xxii. /. 4. — CosAL anJAcQjJASTAKTAf ] Two Monafteries 
of Dominicans ; one famed for the laxity of its difcipline, and the 
other noted for unneceflary rigour. The authenticity of the Cha- 
raders in general given by the Poet, may be prefumed fix>m the 
Records of thefe Monafteries, cited by Luca Valdingo, edit* 
Angelucciy tom. iiL p. i88. 

Si. xxiii. A I. Bagnarea,] A Monaftcry in 0&?ieto, where 
BuoHAYENTURA was Abbot. 


t 156 1 


" Illufbrious Hugo follows clofe behind. 

And fage Cemester, with th' Iberian joinM, 

Far-fam'd below, and clothed with light above ; 
Becaufe from Zeno's magazine he drew, 
Thefe arms that foil th* milbelieving Crew ; 

And Nathan dreadful to licentious love* 


** Chrysostom, Anselm next, an holy Pair, 
Then he that the firft Science made his care. 

St, xxiii. /. 4. Sage Austin, 'wUh huholy Comrade ^-'l Austin^ 
Comrade was Father Illuminatus; they were both fome of the 
moft early followers of St. Francis. Illuminatus alfo took a 
journey to Egypt, to convert the Mamelucs. 

St, xxiv. /. I. Illujlriotu Hugo — ] Hugo de SanTa Vettorb, 
a native of Ipres, and a famous Theologian of the Times. 

St, xxiv. /. 2. Cemester,] Author of a Scholaftic Hiftory. 

Ibid. — with th^ Ibevliav joined,'] Petrus Hispanus, here 
called the Iberian ; he wrote twelve Books of Logic. 

St. xxiv. A 6. Nathan,] Nathan, the Prophet. 

St. XXV. /. I. Chrysostom, Anselm] Chrysostom, the 
celehrated Archbifhop of Constantinople. — Ansei.m, Arch- 
bifhop of Canterbury, who maintained a long and fierce difpute in 
fiavour of the Pope's rights of inveftiture in England, againft 
Henry I. ; he was a Prelate of confiderable learning. 

St. XXV. /. 2. Then he that thejirjl Science — ] Donatus» who 
wrote on Grammar, here called the First Art. 

C ^si ] 

Appear with him that fiU'd Moguntia*s fee. 
Near the Calabrian, of prophetic feme, 
Like the bright Stars that flied an evening flame, 

Hymning their God they come, an hallowM three.** 


The holy rapture of the Sage divine 
MovM me the praifes of his Lord to join ; 

With praife the heav'nly concave feemM to ring, 
Sent by th* aflembled Choirs, whofe general voice 
Sung PiEANs to the native of the Skies, 

In drains that only Angels knew to fmg. 

Si. XXV. /. ^. '^ him that JUP J MoGVUT I a' s fee,'} Rabanus 
Maurus» whofe authority is cited againft the Defenders of Tran- 
fubdantiation ; he was made Archbifhop of Mentz. 

Si, XXV. /. 4* Near the Calabrian,] Joachim, of Calabria, 
accounted a Prophet. 


C «59 3 



The Spirit of Saint Thomas Aquinas proceeds to folve the 
Doubts that arofe in the Mind of the Poet. 

Y E that defire with Fancy's kindling flight 
To view our profpefts in the Realms of Light, 

And keep the glorious Image ftill in view ; 
Mount on the Mufe*s wing, while I difplay 
Scenes never yet defcrib'd in Poets* lay, 

And thro' th* etherial fields my flight purfue. 


If thofe thrice five bright voyages of Heav'n, 
\Vhofe fiery afpefts gild the brow of Ev'n, 

And pierce with keener beams the robe of Night, 
Would mix thdr rays with that refplendent Car, 
That in the bofom of the Sky afar 

Whirl round the central Pole with ceafelefs flight* 

C i6o 3 

If thefe twin Stars that round the axle glide. 
And feem the Chariot of the North to guide. 

Would add their fplendours to the radiant Line ; 
Then, at a fignal giv'n, the ranks would part. 
Arid in a double file their glories dart 

Aloft, like Ariadne^s gemmy Sign. 


Then, if in countermarch the glorious maze 
Would flit along the Sky with thwarting ray^ 

Fancy a dufky femblance there would fpy. 
How one Seraphic Line was feen to run, 
Crofs'd by their brethren in the eye of Noon, 

Glancing in turns before my central eye. 


Soon we perceivM the heav'niy dance exceed 
The utmoft meafure of created fpeed. 

Far as the whirling Sphere, the languid Stream^ 
Which round Arezzo's wall is feen to glide ; 
Bacchus' nor P.(Eans* praife their fong fupplyMj^ 

But the pure Deity, exhauftlefs theme ! 


The fong was finifliM foon, and closed the dance ; 
Then turning all on us the fervent glance 

Of heavenly love, like opening Summer's fmile^ 
As if our happinefs their blifs increas'd. 
The fage Hiftorian of the Saints addrefs'd 

My tingling ears again, in heav'nly ftyle : 

C i6i ] 

•* One golden crop has felt the winnowing van, 
Another now is ready ; Son of Man, 

Love will affift you to fecure the grain. 
And clear your view : you dream that He, whofe fide 
Gave a new being to his beauteous bride, 

Exceird in wifdom all his filial train« . 


** He too, you think, who bought with ftreaming blood 
The race of haplefs Mortals loft to God, 

Whofe ranfom far the weight of Sin out-weigh'd, 
Took as a Man a more abundant draught. 
Than ever yet fublunar being quaflfd. 

Of that prime fapience which the world had made. 

" This bred your wonder at my fpeech before. 
That he who erft Judea's fceptre bore. 

The third, but here the fifth, celeftial place. 
In glory holds, in wifdom all excelled, 
Whoe'er on earth the light of Heav'n beheld, 

By the full bounty of celeftial grace. 


" Obferve my words ; belief will foon enfue, 
As the round circle to the centre true ; 

St, vii. /. I* One golden crop^ &c. ] Thefirft doubt which Aqui- 
nas had feen ariiing ia the mind of the Poet, viz. how fuch pufe 
infUtutions as he defcribed Canto x. St. 20. could be fo foon cor- 
rupted, having been abrady folved at large (Canto xi. and xii. ) in 
the hiftories of St. Francis and St. Dominic ; he proceeds to 
treat of the fecond, viz. tn what fenfe the charadler of unequalled 
wifdom was afcribed to Solomon ? 

Vol. m. M 

C 162 3 

The various beings that exift below 
Are but reflexions from th' eternal thought 
Of our great Sire, by love celeftial wrought, 

Embody'd love, to whom their birth they owe» 


" That Emanation, which for ever ftrealns^ 
As from the Sun, its wide diverging beams. 

Yet ftill fubfifts, another and the fame. 
With its primeval fource, in nature one, 
Irradiates firft from his eternal throne 

Thofe creatures which the primal order claim. 


" Then, downward, as the fcale of being goes. 
Still lefs and lefs the heav'nly fplendour glows. 

Till thofe terreftrial things that bloom and fade. 
In conflant change, i^ith faint and tranfient light. 
It calls to being from the womb of Night, 

As various as their caufe by Nature made. 


" The genuine ftamp of each created kind. 
Returns the Image of th' Almighty Mind, 

Obfcure, or vivid, to the curious eye ; 
This tree with nobler fruit its boughs adorns. 
And that beneath degenerate clufters mourns. 

As the materials vary their fupply. 

St/ii. L I. That Emanation — ] See Note at the end of thfa 


C 163. ] 

*^ Were matter always to perfection wrought^ 
The (acred effluence of the Maker's thought 

A bright refemblance over all would ihed ; 
But mediate caufes lefs and lefs difplay 
Their pow'r, like him whofe pow'rs no more obey 

The fapient didates of th' experienced head. 


^^ If love eternal, with immediate hand. 
Upon the mafs its genuine (lamp expand. 

The Image of Perfedion there is found ; 
Thus the primeval earth with vernal joy 
Retum'd the fmile of the benignant Sky, 

And heav'nly choirs the pregnant Maid renown'd« 


^' So hx you judg'd aright, that mortal Man 

Ne'er match'd this Pair, (ince firft the world b^an; 

But then you a(k. How then could Israel's Sage 
Excel the Sons of every age and clime ? 
To end th' enquiry, recoiled the tune 

When Heav'n vouchfaf 'd to give the peerle(s pledge. 


^ He was a king, and as a king implor'd 
To hold th' imperial balance and the fword. 

With wifdom fuch as regal cares required ; 
No myft'ries of Heav'n he wi(h'd to know. 
Nor how contingence can from prefdence flow. 

Nor e'er to motion's origin afpir'd. 


C i«4 1 


^ If, then, your Mind took in my full intenf, 
Imperiai. Wifdom there was only meant, 

When his I (hewM, fa great beyond cfompare r 
Above the few good kings that rul'd below, 
I only meant his eminence to (how, 

'Mongil earthly monisirchs, an example rare* 


** Tho*^ with the fecond Adam, or the firft. 
He cannot vie, amid corruption nursM, 

With this diftin^ion he may claim full wdi 
The character I gave : now learn, my Son, 
With tardy foot to make your Judgment run^ 

And Fancy^s wild excurfions to repeL 

^ Unhappy they, who, by her lure bctray'd. 
And, like lorn travellers, by meteors led. 

Their aflSrmation or denial give 
UnweighM, for Fancy leans to Falfehood's part. 
And foon to Paflion's rule betrays the hearty 

And her embruted Slaves in bondage live» 


** Tls worfe than folly far the Strand to leave^ 
And let the faithlefs flood our barque receive. 

Plunging in fearch of Truth, without the flull. 
Or Heaven's inf[nring Ught, the gem to find» 
Such are die fport of every wave and wind^ 

And lave the talk for others to fulfiL 

C 165 ] 


** Parmenides and proud Melissus try'd 
To fail that fea, and perifh'd in the tide. 

Or o*er the wat*ry world, without a Star, 
Wander'd unknowing where ; Sabellius too. 
And Arius, who the Demon's falchion drew, 

Againit a Chnftian code denouncing war. 


** Let none prefume to fix his final ftate. 
Or on fuch awful queflion hold debate ; 

Oft have I feen the vernal ftem beguile 
The reaper's hand : and oft the rigid thorn. 
That to the blaft of winter waves forlorn. 

In June with rofy wreath is feen to finile. 


** Oft-times the bark that feuds with profp'rous gale 
Thro* the dividing waves with flowing fail, 

Tet finks in view of port, the pious man 
May fail j the Penitent, altho' by fpoil 
He liv'd, may purchafe Heav'n by arduous toil 

Ere death : it is not our's their fate to fcan* 

St. xxii. /. I. Parmenides anJ prou J Melissvs — ^ Parme* 
viDESy a Philofophery who held that the Sun was compounded of 
heat and cold. — ^M e l i s s u s denied motion. 

Si. xxiL /. 4, 5. Sabellius — Arius, 3 Sabellius held that 
the diftin^ons in the Trinity were merely nomin^L—ARivs dciue4. 
the Diyinity of the Second Person. 


[ i66 ] 

0^ Some Extra6t8 from the Philosophical Principles of 
Natural and Revealed Religion, by the Chevalier Ram sat, will tend 
to illuflrate the Speech of Aquimas, Stanza xi. and fcvcral other 
Paflages in the Paradiso. 

His principles are laid down in a feries of propofitions, with their 
requifite corollaries and fcholia» a few of which, that can be con- 
nedicd together without the intermediate dedu^ons, will fcrve to 
give a general idea of his fubje^, as far as it relates to the opinions 
of Dante, which, we obferved before, were ftrongly tin^uzed with 

In the lift proportion he endeavours to prove, that ** God can 
create nothing but what he loves. He can love nothing but what 
refembles him in fome degree ; therefore the vifible creation is a re- 
prefentation of God by external Beings : for, when we afcend to the 
Firft Caufe, and confider his abfolute Eflence, we (hall find that the 
only reafon he had to /ally out of himfelf was, to impart pcrfcdioD 
and happinefs, by reprefenting himfelf in external Beings ; that is» 
in fubftances diftind from his own. He can love nothing, and fo 
wills nothing, but what refembles him in fome degree ; as nothii^ 
dfe can be perfe6^ or happy. He, therefore, after his other Ema* 
NATIONS, which are treated of here at large, and are caDed Co- 
ETERNAL, was determined to produce an infinite number of fiving 
Images and lively Pidiures, not by dividing his fubftance, but by 
creating real Beings diilin6l from himfelf, and reprefentjitive of hit 
all-beautiful Effence ; as firft the free communicative goodnefs of 
God flowed from the love of his confubftantial Image (the Som), 
fo all the creatures were in fome degree reprefentative of the Divine 
perfe^ons ; othcrwife God could not have loved them, nor confix 
quently willed their exiftence. This appears plain, when we confider 
the nature of infinite power and infinite goodnefs ; they cannot wBL 
feparately, nor independently of each other. God cannot prodiicc» 
without loving the effedts of his power ; though rationals may len* 
der this bve ineSeftual as to themfelves, for he cannot love them 


[ i67 ] 

unlefs they refemble him: thence it follows, that in the original crea- 
tion, all Beings, every thing that was created, were in fome degree 
feprefentativc of the Divine perfe6tion8. The prefent ftate of the 
creation indeed, in ihu (mall portion of the univerfe that we inhabit, 
is quite different from the primitive ftate of things, when they came 
pure out of the hands of God, 

** Hence, in a ftate of pure and exalted Nature, God could mani- 
feft his Divine perfe^ons to Intelledual Beings, in two manners ; 
either by admitting them to the inunediate vifion of his abfolute 
Effence, or by difplaying to them his power, wifdom, and goodnefs,^. 
in his created reprefentations. They may contemplate the Original* 
or the Pidure ; enter into comnierce with the pure Divinity, or into 
mutual Society with each other. ^ 

** Hence, to know the intimate eflences of things, we muft know 
that precife degree of perfe6Uon God intended to reprefent by them s 
therefore we now cannot know thefe intimate effences. 

** God never a£U in creation firom neceflity i it is equally a mat* 
ter of free choice in him to think of finite ideas, or to create finite 
fubftances, but the latter we might exped from his goodnefs. 

•* He can reprefent himfelf externally either by living Images, or 
by fimple Pidkures. Creation is a reprefentation of God by thingrg 
external ; an Original can be reprefented both by living Images and 
fimple Piduves ; therefore God may thus reprefent himfelf both 
by living Images and fimple Pi6tures. He may either be repre* 
(iented in a dire6t manner, by the attributes of Beings capable of 
Thought, Reafon, and Love; or in a remote and lefs perfed man- 
ner, by the acceffory forms conununicated to Beings that are abfo- 
lutely incapable of thinking, reafoning, and willing. For this reafon 
the Scriptures reprefent Spirits as the living Image of the Most 
High, and the Material Univerfe as his Shadow or Pidure. Thus 
MosEs &ys, that God created Man in his own Image and Like- 
nA : the Heavens (hew forth the glory of God ; the eternal Power 
and Godhead were underftood by the things that are made. Spirits 
are living Images and A6ton upon this great Theatre, that are 
capable of knowing, loving, and enjoying the original. By the fimple 
Figures, we mean the Worid ; and by living Images^ the iat;dle6hial 
Univerfe of Spirits. « * 

M 4 « Thofc 

C i68 3 

** Thefe living Images are eflentially adive* or capable of aidioii i 
as creation is a reprefentation of God, who is infinitely aftivc, fo rauft 
the living Images of the Deity be. They mud alfb be intelligent and 
reafonable ; for what is eficntially intelligent cannot be reprciented 
in a lively manner by what is unintelligent and infenfible. God 
knows himfelf and his works ; therefore Spiritual Beings muft be 
capable, in fomc meafure» of knowing him and his perfc^ioos. This 
is conception, or reafon ; and conception precedes or implies compart 
iDg and judgment, which is a£Uon in the higheft degree; it is an in* 
pate a^vity, confubflantial with the Mind. 

** The living Images of the Deity mud be capable of love ; for Gon 
loves himfelf neceflarily, and all that he has made* His effcnce is love; 
the living lively Images of a Being that is efiential love cimnot be 
abfolutely incapable of love ; tbereibre the living Image of the Deity 
muft be capable of love. 

** I do not (ay, that finite Beings love necef&uily as God k>vcSt whQ 
loves himfelf neceifarily, becaufe he is good; but they muft love 
ibmething neceflarily, either God, the creatures, or thcmfdveSi 
They may forget Goo, by falling into a degenerate ftate, and then^ 
as a puni(hment, they may lofe all gratifying feniations of, and com* 
munications with, the creatures ; but as they cannot be fepioratcd fraoi 
themfelves, they muft Ipye thcmfelves neceflarily if thev be truly felfn 
confcious. This confubftiintial love of Self is infeparabU from their 
nature ; they may lofe all other loves, but they cannot lofe this ; and 
as they love neceflarily their Being, they muft love their weS ^Raag^ 
There is nq ftate of perftdiion or imperfe^on, of elevation or dcgn* 
dation, of purity or corruption, in which, or by which, finite inleUiT 
gencea can extinguifli this natural and neceflary co-eflential loTt of 
felicity; unlefs we fuppofe them reduced to a natural ftate of utftiK 
fibility, both of their own exiftence, and that of all other Beingi. 

*^ Love, or rather the capacity of loving, is a neceflary Bropcitj 
of their natures ; it flows from their eflence and definition* is U^iw 
Images, and Imitations of Him who is aU love. 

^ Some fchoohnen fay, that the Soul 'nfa/fhtt unlelii moved by 
God ; but in thofe Hvely Images, even love muft be preceded b^con^ 
ception or intelligence : ik>w, as we laid before, conception is r^tJbm^ 


and reafon is comparing^ and comparing is a£Uon, and may be the 
cffe^ of our own a^vity» (as living Images of the Deity,) and in- 
dependent of all fupernatural light. All Betngrs capable of know- 
ing, comparing, and judg^ing, are capable of willing, defiring, and 
tending to what appears to them good or beatifying. The Soul by 
its cflential adtivity tends toithis, or to its appiorance. This fuffices to 
make it exert its natural fclf-moving ai^vity. As God, by his 
creating matter, made it neceffarily and eifentially moveable by the 
bme ad ; fo, by creating Spirit, he rendered it by the fame a6k nece£> 
farily and effentially afUve, or capable of volition. The idea of mo- 
bility is neceffarily included in that of the material Picture, and the 
idea of volition in that of the intelligent Image." ^'Reafon is adUon, 
and love is a6Uon ; therefore the lively, loving, intelligent Images of 
the Deity mud be eflentially adive. The Soul made for him who is 
infinite, has an unbounded capacity for knowledge, and an in&tiable 
thirll of felicity. The more it knows, the more it defires to know. Its 
capacity dilates proportionably as it receives. Made for the contem- 
plation and love of the abfohite Infinite, it can never find repofe till 
it returns to him, and lofes kfelfin Him *. It may miftake its objeft 
and attach itfelf to finites, but it will exhauft all their perfe£Uon, 
grow weary, and difgufted ; and yet, from long contra6ked habit, not 
be able to turn its attention to more noble objeds, and thence its 
intdligence and love mufl in that cafe be the caufe of its mifery.-^ 
This rcftlefs activity is the fource of all its pains and jdeafures, of all 
its mifery and happinefs, of all its paffions and natural virtues* This 
immenfe capacity of knowledge and love, is alfo that in¥rard audio- 
timate fiind, centre, and fanfluary of the Soul, which none but God 
can fill. If there were no other finite Spirits, this defire of know- 
ledge would be aa eternal fpring and fountain of a&ivity in the SouL 
An infinite obje^ cannot be found in itfelf, or the creatures ; there^ 
fore it muft go out of itfelf, rife above itfelf, and lofi itfelf ia the ira- 
menfe of Good, to be (atisfied. 

** But the fimple Pidares of the Deity confift aot of one fingk ia- 
4ind]ial indivifibk fubftance, but a compound of innumerahle dif- 

#Tlusi8 Ui« PlsUooic idea«f |li« S^ul'^ abiorpckm in tke Ti 'fli> 

* tina 

C »7o 3 

tin€t and divHible fubftancet. Matter cdAm by extenfion ordiffii&» 
of parts, and is therefore from difiiiiion (Hyifiblet not only ideaOy, 
but in reality. Whatfoever is divifible is compounded of innumerable 
diftin^ and divifible fubftances ; therefore fimple Pi&vret of the 
Deity are not one fingle individual fubftance, but a compound of in-* 
numeraUe diflind and divifible fubftances. Matter is capable o£ 
infinite forms, divifions, and motions, no one of which taken fcpA* 
rately, (as the points and lines of a Pidure reprefent the original,) 
but the MaBty taken together, is the reprefentative ; fo each individual 
fpecies of the material Figure does not reprefent the gpneat Ardie* 
type, but the totality together may reprefent his infinite powcr» 
wifdom, and goodnefs, by their imprefied forces, artfiii oompofi* 
tions, and beautiful forms : this then is one of the moft cSential dif^ 
ferences between the living Images and the fimple Pi£bnc8« £veiy 
Individual of the former is one uncompounded monadc, or fubftanoe^ 
reprefentative of the Divine perfe£Uons, by an efiential a c tivi ty , in-i 
telligence, or love : whereas every atom of the fimple Figure it not 
fo ; only the totality, fynunetry, and compofition of the wholcy that 
adumbrate the Divine wifdom and goodnefs. 

^ The Ideas, Senfations, and Perceptions which we have of cor« 
poreal and fenfible obje&, very often turn us away iirom the oonv 
templation of the Divine perfe^ons. 

*^ The defire to (hun fenfible Pain, and to enjoy CmfiUe 
fure, is the fource of all the crimes and errors of the World: 
can doubt this, but fuch as deny there is any fuch thing at Tmth 
•r Virtue. 

" God may comnninicate to his Hving Images the power of OEiiitv* 
ally a^ng on each other by a real adivity ; for God is a^ve» and 
cannot be reprefented by things external, but by giving them aftinty % 
therefore he can conununicate to his living Images a real a&rrity^ 
by which they can mutually operate on each other. 

*' Senfation and Refledion are the only two fourcet of our 
Ideas, fimple or compound. 

** Nature exalted, is Nature as it came out of the hand of God% 
Eternal Order is the conformity of the Images or Pidbiresto their 
uncreated Original. Beings that refemble one common THiao^ 


E 17' 3 

nttft ref4nnble each other. In a ftate of pure and exalted Nature^ the 
eternal) univerfal, and immutable law of all finite intelligences was 
that of the infinite intelligence. In a ftate of pure and exalted Na« 
taxtf all finite intelligences enjoyed a double happinefs ; one in the 
immediate contemplation of the Ditine eflence^ another in the know- 
ledge of his reprefentatives. God can manifcft himfelf two ways to 
finite intelligences ; either by the inunediate vifion of himfelf, or by 
difplaying his power, wifdom, and goodnefs, in his created repre- 
fentatives : therefore, in a ftate of pure and exalted Nature, all finite 
intelligences enjoyed a double happinefs, one in the immediate con- 
templation of the Divine eflence, another in the knowledge of his 
created reprefentatives. This may be called the effential and aeceffinj 
happinefs of created intelligences, in which, probably, infinite num- 
bers may have been from eternity employed ; fometimes lofing them- 
felves in the central Abyfm of the Divinity, fometimes entering into 
Society with each other, and adoring God in his works *. That this 
intermixture is neceflary, appears from this confideration, that if 
finite Spirits could contemplate the Divine eflence without inter- 
ruption, the creation of the material World would have heen ufeleft^ be- 
caufe they would have bad no time to enjoy this accidental accefTory 
happinefs ; they would never have turned from the Original to the 
PiSuref nor preferred an Inferior to a Superior blifs. But finite 
Minds, how exalted foever, would, it feems, be overpowered by the 
eonfbant irradiations of the abfolute Infinite, and probably over- 
whelmed with joys and raptures fo ftrong and vehement, that they 
could not fupport the immenfe weight of Glory. All finite intel- 
ligences, therefore, are obliged to have recourfe to the alternate re- 
tiuns of effential and acceffory happinefs. Inunerfed in the inunenfe 
Ocean of Light, admitted to the Beatific Vifion, there they re- 
main till they are no longer able to fuftain its radiant fplendours | 
then they veil their eyes, (ally out (fo to fpeak) &om the centre, 
retire to the circumference, and there contemplate the Original in 
the PiSurtSt and enter into Society with each other. And it is in thofe 
moments that they may become peccable. Could finite intelligences 
have for ever remained in the Divine prefence, they would have been 

* See the Paxadxso, paffim^ 


C »72 ] 

for erer impeccable ; they would ha^c had no reafbn for knowingp 
chuiing* or loTuig inferior good ; God would have been their only 
objed : but in thofe intenrals, wherein they are obliged, by the £»• 
tude of their nature, to iaily forth from the Dime preGaicc, aad to 
adore their infinite Creator in the creatures, they enter into com- 
merce with finite things, and exert their natural powers and a&in- 
ties ; they may judge, reafon, and compare, and therefore may or ni 
their judgment, make a falfe choice, and fo depart mftmfiif froni 
eternal order, aad that by a long continued (eries of imperceptible 
gradations, to be explained hereafter*. The World or Unnrerfe 
was therefore, probably, firft made for the accefibry happincfs of 
created Spirits of the moft exalted kind : and fitmi the neccffity of 
having recourfe to material Fi6bires, probably arofe the notioii that 
all finite Spirits are in fome manner united to material, etherial, or 
ccleftial yehides, by which they are in commerce with the gloriout 
ciorporeal World in the cekfUal, and were fome of them fuppoled to 
be the Intelligences of Stars." 


*' In a ftate of pure and exalted Nature, all finite inteOigencet, or 
the living Images, followed the eternal and immutable law of 
Order ; which is to love God for himfelf, and all other Beings pio- 
portionably as they refemble Him. 

*^ In the original integrity in which all were created, the ctenial 
law of all finite intelligences is, and ought to be, that of the infibnte 
Intdligence. God loves himfelf becaufe he is perfe^ and all Bciiiga 
ai they refemble Him. This law of Order, all Beings in an esaked 
ftate muft have followed. 

*' There is a moral fenfe, by which we difcover and approve nrtiu 
ous a&ions amd agents, independent of all felfifh views. This has been 
demonibated by experience f . The fenfible pleafure, or the hope of 
reward, is not always the motive of our efteem. The love of God lor 
himfelf, and of all other Beings as they refemble Him, is the law of 
eternal Order. Order is the conformity of the created Inures to 
the defign of the Creator. 1 hat the law of Order is a fuperior motife 
to mere pleafure appears fix>m this, that Virtue is often loved ooa* 

♦ See B. V. 

f Hutch xysoN*s Inquiry into Moral Good and Evil. 


C »73 3 

tnxj to the ftrong folicitations of terreftrial objeAs; which neftr 
would he the cafe if mere pleafure were the fupreme motiye. If 
that were the cafe, the vicious would be excufable» M they find no 
pleafure in Virtue. If pure reafonable pleafure a^s upon us more 
ftrongly than impure unreafonable pleafure, it is not becaufe it is 
more agreeahhj but becaufe it is more reafonable, and of fuperior 
dignity; confequently the ^ew of Truth or Virtue may wBt as 
forcibly on the Will as the fenfation of pleafure. God loves him« 
felf, not becaufe he is felfifh, but becaufe he is perfeft. Were there 
any other good different from him, he would go out of himfdf (& to 
fpeak) to contemplate it. It is the inmiutable relations of things, that 
determines our judgment and choice, and not the mere agreeable 
hnprcffions they make on us. This produces a conformity to the 
•bje^ of our love, a conftant obfervance of his laws, an inviolable 
attachment to juftice, and an imitation of all the Divine perfedBons* 
The a^ of love when fenfible is the greateft pkafure, but the aft is 
not the motive. This love of preference is often accompanied in us, 
as in our great Model, (our Saviour,) with inward aridities and out* 
ward defolation, fpiritual agonies and internal martyrdoms ; and yet 
the Mind adheres invincibly to the choice it has made, from the fole 
love of juftice. 

*^ Our Epicurean Seftaries have no idea of this. They want to go 
to Heaven on a bed of rofes. All their devotion is a pious drunken- 
nefs, and a fenfible delegation. So foon as they fed no inward joys in 
the paths of Virtue, they look upon this defeition, as they call it, as 
a mark of reprobation and want of Faith. They love and efteem no- 
thing in Piety but the melting tranfports of a mechanical Devotion. 
Thus, pleafure, mere pleafure, is the only fpring of their Will ; and 
thus the devout Fatalifts and rigid Predeftinanans, fincKn a latent, 
fdf-love, fancy themfelves the only eleft." 

But to return — *^ In all fuperior regions of pure and exalted Na- 
ture, all finite intelligences follow this eternal immutable law, the love 
of Order, and conformity to the Divine WilL From the obfervance 
of it flows naturally and nece&rily all their perfefHon and happi- 
nefs. This is not an arbitrary law, but flowmg from the nature of 
God and of them, according to the eternal Order of things. He 


C «74 ] 

cannot beatify them without it, and thej cannot be happy but by 
it. Fehcity is not an arbitrary recompence» but a neccfiary cook* 
quence of this pure h)ve. 

** He made them to love him» when they put no ftop to his Divine 
illapfes. They neceflarily flow into their MSnds, and ftill afford new 
difplays of onmipotence and goodneis. When they can no longer 
fupport the dired view of the Divine fplendour» they enter into fi>- 
qiety with each others admire the wonders of Nature^ and compare 
the beauties they fee in the Pidure with thofe they have feeain the 
Originals ; and in proportion as they fee new perfediont in the 
Divine archetype, they difcover alfo in the Piduret new maniidla* 
tions of Divine power, &c« 

*^ Hence, in all dates of rational Agents, fallen or nnfelVn^ aD 
finite intelligences, in order to enjoy their fupreme felicity» 
that is the fupematural knowledge and love of the Supreme In* 
finite, muft expofe their faculties to his fupreme iiTadiation» by a 
htc cenverlion of all their powers to the eternal Source of Light* 
Life, and Love. They have all but one eifential primitive law» in 
order to be continued in, or reftored to, their original happinels ; 
for if they have turned away from this Source of Life and Light* 
they mufk necef&rily become dead, dark, and miferable ; if they be 
exiled from the Beatific Vifion, it is only becaufe they have de» 
viated firom the eternal love of Order. 

** To love general, more than particular good, if a neccflary 
confequence of this natural law. Into this the laws of nationa, the 
focial duties, and all human virtues, refolve themfdves ; vm. into 
the love of Order. 

** No finite mtelligence can obey this eternal law of Order by its 
own inherent drength, without the afiiilance of Divine. Grace* The 
natural Love of God, as beatifying to us, is not loving him for 
himfelf. To lofc ourfelves in him, by a total preterition of fidf* to 
rife above ourfelves, we mud be enlightened, infpired, and animated^ 
by a continual force defcending upon us, and inveding us. Aa no 
one can love the Father, but through the Son ; fo no one can love 
the Father, but by the Holy Ghod, and a participation of that 
love by which he loves himfelf. 


I 175 3 

** By this great principle we came to know the true ditference 
betwixt Nature and Grace : the firft was eftabliihed^by God's all- 
fowerfvljimple a^k, whofe energy continues without interruption, 
and without repetition ; the other requires a conftant, immediate 
repetition of the Dirine ads, which are often interrupted and re- 
newed hy the alternate co-operation and refiftance of the (ree Will. 
To compare, reafon, know their being and will, their weU-being, 
are eflential properties of all finite intelligences, which they cannot 
entirely lofe while they have their being ; but fupematural Light 
and Love, their feeing God as he is, and loving him as he deferves, 
are imprefSons that come from the immediate operation of the eter- 
nal Word, and of the Holy Ghoft. Thus they who make all the 
natural powers and a£livities of the creature smmeJuUe cSc€ts of the 
Divine operation, confound Nature and Grace, and the a^ion of 
God with the a6Uon of the Creature. 

** A natural knowledge and love of God may be acquired, but 
not that fupematural knowledge and love we are here fpeaking of. 
If this were otherwife, the Soul might be its own perfedion, and 
its own happinefs. 

** Hence the Will may have two motives of a£Uon ; natural felf- 
love, and a fupematural love of God ; the defire of happinefsi, or 
the perception of truth ; perfe6lion known, or pleafure felt. The 
Soul may always turn away its intelle6lual eye from the view of 
Truth, folicited by fbong fenfation of pleafure; or may remain firm 
and unmoved in the love of truth, from a fentiment of juftice : a 
tendency to tiniverial good, or to private interefl, is the very efience 
of the Will. 

«* All finite intelligences may feparate the love of Order from 
the love of Pleafure, fince the view of the oMf or the fenfation of 
the oihery may equally ad upon, and influence the Will. This fepa^ 
ration is Sin, or moral evil. 

** There is an eflential difference betwixt the natural tendency 
of the Will towards God, as beatifying, and the a£Uon which 
makes us love God for himfelf. The one is conunon to us with the 
Devils and danmed, the other makes us refemble Angels and bea- 
tified Spirits. As we break the law of eternal Order, by loving God 


only for ourfdvei ; fo alfo we break it, by losing the Cneatoitt 
more than God. 

M Falfe felf4o?e is therefore the primhiire fource of moral evil ; 
a felf-idolatry that creAs the Creatures on the phce of God, that 
ufiurps upon all his rights, renders itfelf the centre of the citatioB 
and the end of all its adions.'* 


The Author proceeds to reprefeot, what he fiippo(et was the 
appearance of the material Piftures in this primitive exalted ftate« 
He imagines it reprefented the Deity» by being an immenfe ocean 
of aetherial matter, difUngruiflied into three conditions or principkt 
analogrous to the three Perfons ; viz. ^ a fiery adire principle," 
** an actherial luminous fluid,'' and, *' an elaftic aerial fluid.'' 
^ Thus fire, light, and air, the component parts of the pure fluid 
that fills the great expanfe, are types, emblems, or piduret of the 
Divine efTence, and its three confubftantial perfonalities*" 

He then returns to his fubjcd, and (hows ** that all finite intd- 
Kgences are peccable," as they may have two reafons of wilfing; 
the perception of truth, and the fcnfation of pleafure. Whatever ia 
free and finite muft be fallible and peccable ; till by long continuedt 
repeated a6l8, it be confirmed in the immutable habits of good. To 
prevent moral evil by an inftantaneous infufion of overpowering 
Grace, is contrary to the nature of a free intelligence, which can« 
not be confirmed in immutable habits of good, but by long repeat* 
ed ads, &c.; for this reafon, fallen Man muft pafs through m ftate 
of probation. Hence the origin of moral evil is, the feparation of 
the love of Self from the love of Order. The long repeated free €0« 
operation of the Creatures with the fupematural operation of God 
in them, can only effed this. Tlius deification is not Kke creatkniy 
a fimultaneous momentary ad of Divine Power, but an effeft of 
the Creature's free co-operation with the Divine transforming a&ion* 

** The Predeftinarians favour the monftrous atheiim of Van in I9 
when they fay, that God's graces are irrcfiftible, and that he re- 
Ibfies thefe irrefiftible graces to the moft of Men." 

He next (hows, that the prefent flate of Man is a flate of dege» 
wacy and corruption : ** The Soul, deprived of its true objed» 
flnds nothing within itfelf but a tumultuous ocean of incoherent 

6 uA 

t ^77 1 


and relUefs paflions, that deilroy each other fuccefliTely ; who can- 
cuprefs the terrible effedls of fclf-love which appear in the worlds 
and the inordinate love of pleafure which flows from this irregular 
love of Self ? They begot, at firft, luft, intemperance, hatred, de- 
baucheries, robberies, murders, poifons, perjury, treafon, forgery, 
sind all the monftrous fpawn of the bljickell crimes." 

After (hewing the marks of this degeneracy on camps, courts, 
and colleges, he goes on to defcant upon phyfical evil ; a no lefs 
copious fource of declamation. But he clearly proves, from the 
attributes of God, and the nature of Man, that no Creature can 
fuffer, but who hath merited punifhment. 

** The defedlion of all lapfed intelligences was gradual. As finite 
Bjrings cannot become perfcdUy good but by a long continued 
fcries of repeated a6ls, fo they cannot become perfedUy criminal 
but by a fucceilive gradation of irregular defires : they did not pafii 
inilantaneoufly from a (late of innocence, in which they were creat- 
ed, into a ilate of depravation. The degrees by which they fell 
were various. The different (hades of return and relapfe were im«^ 
perceptible, both on angelical Spirits and human Souls. 

** In regard to the mod exalted Spirits, in their firft creation^ 
we may fuppofe them oblige^ (o rife above themfelves continually, 
in their love of God and Order, on its own account. Their employ- 
ment therefore is communicating his bleilings to all inferior Be- 
ings * ; that fo the tranfmiflion of Light, Life, and Order, might 
meet no interruption through all the celeftial regions. The leaft 
felf-approbatipn, felf-complacency, or felf-attribution of God's 
graces and communications, is an ufurpation of his rights, and ai| 
infringement of the law of Order. Preterition, or felf-annihilation 
of the infinitely Little before the infinitely Great, is the great fa- 
crilice that created Beings owe to the abfolute Infinite. This fa»- 
crifice muH always bound and reitrain the felf4ove of fuch exalted 
Beings, till they be confirmed in the fupernatural habits of Divine 
Love. Yet, before they arrive at this defirable ftate, it is not at 
all unlikely that the exercife of pure difinterefted love, and felf-ob- 
}ivioa, might have been painful to them, becaufe of the natuiral iQve 

* See PAt ADI80, Canto xxx. 

Vow III. N of 

C »78 3 

of fclf infq>arab1e from our cflence. By Pain I only mean that fa« ' 
pematural effort, combat, and contention, to rife above felf, and 
correfpond to that divine attraction that draws them out of Self to 
unite them to the Divine Eifence, before the fupematuitd habit of 
Divine Love was formed. This cannot be underftood by thofe 
who are immerfed in matter, and ftrangers to all the pureft inteUeAual 
fundions of the SouL This is the firft fource of peccability in all 
finite Spirits on their firft creation. It arifes not from any defed 
of God, or refufal of his graces, but from the natural and neceCbry 
finitude and weaknefs of the Creature, how great foever its na- 
tural capacity is, till by a free and long correfpondence to God'i 
fupematural a6lion, it be truly transformed, divined, and confirmed 
in the habits of pure love. 

** It is not altogether inconceivable, hoW the moft elevated and 
luminous order of Spirits, that approached neareft to the throne, 
and that were immediate channels of conveyance to all other intel- 
ligences, might be dazzled by the view of their own excellency. 
The greater, the fublimer, the more exalted their natures were, the 
more eafy it is to conceive that they might be capable of fdf-attri- 
bution, felf-appropriation, and felf-complacency ; unlefs they con- 
ftantly turned off their views from felf, to refer all to their great 
Original, By the lead infidelity the facrifice of felf-annihilation muft 
have become more and more difHcuh, and felf-attribution more eafy* 
This might have been the fecond imperceptible fource of their declen* 

" In thefe moments, when the angelical Spirits went out of the 
immediate prefence of God, and entered into fociety with each 
other, they became fufceptible of error ; and fo, by degrees, might 
have flattered themfelves, that God's infinite goodnefs and fclf-fufi 
ficiency would engage him to relax the purity of his eternal laws, 
and difpenfe them from the duty of felf-denial. They might have 
begun then to love him only as beatifying, and to defire the Bcatt«« 
fie Vifion for no other purpofe but to gratify their natural and in- 
fatiable thirfl after happinefs. This fpiritual concupifcence, this dil^ 
giiifed and refined felf-love, by which they referred the Creator f 
the Creature, and the infinitely Great to the infinitely Littki inigL^ 
have been the third ilep of their apoflacy^ 

« They 

[ 179 ] 

** They did not, however, yet confummate their crime ; their de- 
fe^on was gradual. God employed, no doubt, all the efforts of hit 
power, without doing violence to their liberty. He opened (fo tO 
fpeak) all the treafures of his wifdom ; he difplayed all the treafures 
of his goodnefs to hinder their infidelity ; but the more abundant 
his luminous communications were, the more they ferved to augment, 
in thefe feraphic Spirits, the high opinion they had of their own 
excellency, which is the mofl delicate and the moft dangerous of 
all ddufions. God purfued them from error to error, till, at laft, 
there was no other remedy, no other way of curing their natural 
weaknefs, but by depriving them of the Beatific Vifion for a time, 
without degrading them altogether ; and this might be the fourth 
ftep of their declenfion. 

** During this interval, it is probable, that the firil and chief of 
the (eraphic Spirits, irritated by the privation of their effential hap- 
pineiiy though not yet deprived of the acceffory feHcity, which 
they enjoyed in their celeftial abodes, fell by degrees into open re- 
bellion, and declared war againft Heaveq, which was the fifth and 
laff ftep of their apoftacy,'' &c. 



C ^8i ] 



The Poet, irftcr having fomc Doubts refolved by BeatricEi 
afcends to the Planet Mars, in which he finds the Spirits of ri^ 
tieroesy Patriots, and Champions of the Faith* 

Struck from without, the wavy circles roll 
Back to the centre of the brimming bowl ; 

The undulations, from within repell'd. 
Beat on the verge ; the Tenant of the Sun, 
From the horizon of eternal Noon^ 

Thus the folution of my doubts reveal'd. 

But now within my Mind began to move 
Another doubt : the objedk of my love 

Perceiv'd the dawning thought, and fwift 33 light 
Took up the topic where Aquinas clos'd. 
And to the wing of that celeftial Hoft 

Conveyed it, where he ftood in robes of Jl4g^ 




Your aid the mufings of this mortal ne^d. 

Too modeft for himfelf his wants to plead. 

Not ev'n in thought ; tho* much he longs to know^ 
If thefe long lucid vefts that robe you round 
Fade, when you hear the trump of Judgment found. 
Calling the trembling World to blifs or woe. 


" But, if they ftill refleft, with cloudlefs ray. 
The living glories of that lafting Day 

That kes no fetting Sun ; can mortal eye 
Such emanations, uneclips'd, fuflain 
From cloudlefs Light, and from th* empyreal Traua, 

For ever flalhing round the ample Sky ?** 


As Ikilful Dancers leave the folemn round. 
And in a frolic meafure beat the ground 

In quicker cadence, by the mirthful mood 
Qf fprightly fong infpir'd, along the Choir 
A gleam of fudden tranfport ran like fire. 

And dance and fong with tenfold hafte renew'd. 


" He, that his exit from the world deplores. 
And dreads the pafs to thefe Elyfian Ihores, 

To raptures without end, above control. 
Or dreads th' oppreflion of eternal Light ; 
But little knows, what floods of frefli delight, 

With fweet refrigeration, charm the Soul I 


C 183 3 


That TRINE ETERNAL One that cvcr feigni^ 
And all, uncircumfcrib'd himfelf, contains 

In triple melody from ev'ry Soul, 
In holy exultation, rung around 
Each Mind fublunar ; for that hallow'd found 

Would barter every joy beneath the Pole. 


Thus chiming loud, the moony Squadron bright 
Came bending round us in an Orb of Light, 

And foon a Voice in foft Elysian tone 
Began, like that fweet Ave fung of old. 
When Gabriel to the Maid his meffage told. 

Thus gently fwelling round the radiant Zone: 


" Long as th* eternal Jubilee extends 

That Love, which lights a Flame that never ends. 

For each pure Spirit weaves that dazzling veft : 
*Tis (he, that from the bright empyreal ray 
Draws the long texture of eternal Day, 

The garb of Grace, the liv'ry of the Bleft. 


" Thofe garments brighten in a gradual fcale 
As the degrees of Charity prevail 

In ev'ry Soul ; and Love its vigour draws 
From contemplation of th' eternal Source 
Of Light and Joy, on which our mental Pow'rs 

And Sight are fix'd by Heav'n's eternal Laws. 


C i84 1 

** Nearer we view the glories of hig Faoe^ 
As our dark faculties, by heav'nly Grace 

SublimM, in different attitudes afcend ; 
And, as his Grace defcends like heav'niy dew^ 
Our charms, ftill more improved, falute tfie view. 

And o'er our limbs the woven glories blend. 

*' From Heaven's benignant Hand defcends the boon. 
Free as thefe fplendours of eternal Noon, 

And, as our Love afpires, our fliarpenM fight 
With more diftinflion fpics the thing above. 
To Angel's kin rcfin'd by fervent love. 

Till no created beam can blunt our fight« 

*' As kindled fuel glows with deeper hue. 
Like folid fire, confpicuous to the view, 

Thro' the pale cinture of the folding flame j 
So pale, fo faint thefe fplendours (hall be founds 
When our new Bodies from the teeming ground, 

A Phalanx bright, their former Tenants claim* 

" Nor (hall thofe rays our vifual organs tire, 
Nerv'd for the Vifion of th' empyreal Sire, 

When each corporeal Pow'r (hall be refin'd, 
Araongft the Inmates of an higher Sphere, 
The deep extreme of heav'nly blifs to bear. 

All that the Senfe enjoys, or charms the Mind# 

Si. xi. /. I. Nearer wc viffw, &c.] See Note at the end of tbe 

i 185 3 


*^ Amen f Amen !" with fucfa a fisrvcnt guft 
They cry*d, as fliow'd they lov'd in lindrod duft 

Again to mount the Sky, a living doud ^ 
And not for felfifli joy, but to behold 
TTieir Sires, their Sons, their Friends, bdov*d of old. 

Long ere they walk'd the Sky in iplendid ihx^wd* 


As the horizon glows beneath the Dawn, 
Or when the dews of Eve refrefli the lawn. 

When on the fldrts of Heav'n the Stars appear. 
When Twilight throws around a dobious gleam. 
So a new Squadron from the World*« extreme 

Came on, and clos'd upon the double Kesir^ 


Oh ! how mine eyes refus'd the profpeft bright. 
How dark they grew beneath excefs of Hgfat, 

That feal'd my finking lids ! But foon the face 
Of my fweet Guide, with vivid fmile ferene. 
Supported me amid the glorious fcenc ; 

Yet muft I leave untold her heavenly Graces 


Like one emerging from a whelming flood 
I felt, as if new wak*d, my fight renewed ; 

Thro' ^ther wafted to an higher Star, 
With my illuftrious Guide, my fudden change 
I blew, for all within my vifual range 

I law a crimfon Light reflected far. 

Inflant to Heav'n my heart's oblation flowed. 
For this new mark of Grace an me beftow*d. 

And fcarce had ceasM, when in my heart I fomid 
An inftantaneous anfwer from on high ; 
Such a deep rofy dawn, beneath the Sky [ground. 

Spread o'er the plain, and flufh'd the heav'nly 


Full in the centre, two long trains of Light, 
Crofling each other, met my dazzled fight : 

" Father supreme," I cry*d, " what Sights are 
They, like two radiant Galaxies, embraced 
The martial Star, that o'er the azure wafte 

Hung, threatening Difcord from his crimfon Sphere. 

But, nearer view*d, it ftiew'd the holy Sign, 
Blefs'd token to the World of Grace divine. 

Over mid Heav'n its mighty Arms were fpread ; 
Composed of living Lights, I feem'd to move. 
And ftill, where'er I tum'd, my Saviour's Love 

For our loft Souls, in wond'rous forms difplay'd. 

No image, feen beneath the Moon, can fhow 
The deep impreffion of that heav'nly glow. 

Which then I felt ; to that blefs'd Man alone. 
Who, like our Saviour, to his Crofs refign'd, 
Follows his Lord, tho' Earth and Heav'n combined 

Withftand his fteps, the fegret beft i$ known. 

C ^87 ] 

Careering Sylphs along the Rainbows ran, 
Or fh(5t from wing tp wing, from rear to van, 

And, brightening as they pafs'd, like meeting fires, 
Beam'd with eternal Love : the glancing ray 
Secm*d with a double light to fire the Day, 

At ev'ry movement of the heav'nly Choirs. 


Thus Atoms frolic in the lucid beam. 

That paints the dufky void with golden flream. 

Thro' gorgeous cafement, fhed, or humble cot, 
Man's various lot below ! nor lefs my ear 
Imbib'd new rapture in that happy Sphere, 

As the full breeze came on, with mufic fraught. 


The fong was myftic, but the lofty lay 
Rapt, with fweet violence, my fenfe away. 

Like the frill chorded harp or timbrel's fbain. 
When one, in'Mufic's elements unfkill'd. 
Hears it, he finds his heart with rapture thrillM, 

Altho' its laws in darknefs ftill remain. 


Yet, by the loud triumphant note, I found 

The fong was praife ; thofe words with dubious found 

I heard alone, " Arife^ and quell the Foe /'* 
Thofe thrilling accents, thro' the charmed air. 
Were all I caught, altho* I walk'd with care 

Still lift'ning to the fong's Elysian flow. 


Yet, myflic as it was, the heaT^nlj found 
My fpirits with a (acred rapture bound. 

And deep amazement never fek before. 
Perhaps extravagance my words may ieem^ 
As I late us'd all happinefs to deem 

In her compriz'd, that won my heart of yorei 


But he, who recolleds that joys increafe. 
From heavenly ftage to ftage, in due dqpnees. 

And that thcie eye-beams, whofe celeftial light 
So long on me had finil'd, were tum'd away. 
On thefe new F^eants of eternal Day, 

Will find no caufe my fickle Faith to fl^ht^ 


No chord of bHfs, ibat vibrates to the heart, 
Tun*d for enjoyment by celeftial artj 

Relaxes here, but gains a livelier tone; 
As higher f) ill we climb the ample Sky, 
Still more refin'd, as near the Source of Joy 

It verges, trembling to th' eternal throne^ 


i: 189 3 



The Poet meets with Cacciaquida his Anceftor, who enters into 
an Account of his Family^ and conclades with an Inventive againft 
the Manners of the Florentines. 

Love woke the harmony, and Love allay'd 
That Pow'r by which th' angelic World is fwayM ; 

As finful Man, by Paflion*s ftormy flaw; 
Mute was the Concert, mute the holy Pfalm, 
Heav'n o'er the Anthem breathM a fudden calm. 

Obedient to th' mighty Master's law. 

To human pray'rs how heedful muft they be. 
Who ftopp'd the melody of Heav*n for me. 

To tend my queftions and my doubts to clear ! 
Well he deferves in endlefs grief to dwell. 
Who this celefUal Inftind can repell. 

And fix his love on tranfient vifions here* 

5/. i. /. 2. That PowV— ] viz. Love ; as Man is fwayed by 

[ I90 J 


As Fires they IhewM, that glanc'd acrofs the Night, 
In an autumnal Eve, ferenely bright. 

Seeming like Planets that defert their poft. 
And o'er the Sky in conflagration fweep : 
But that the ftellar Fires their ftation keep. 

As Heav'n firft marfhaird their refplendent Hoft. 


Soon from the right of that extended line 
Came glancing o'er the dufk a Form divine, 

Flafh'd like an effluence from that beamy light ; 
Along the van of that harmonious Choir, 
Like a bright Warrior clad in arms of Rre, 

The Phantom ran, and gilt the gleam of Night. 


As in Elysian boVrs the facred Shade 
With pious love his warlike Son furve/d. 

And gave a welcome to th* World below j 
(If Virgil's deathlefs Mufe be Heav*n infpir*d). 
The Saint in heav'nly panoply attir'd. 

Met my advance with kind paternal glow. 


•* Defcendant of my blood ! what boundlefs grace 
Wing'd your afcent to this diflinguifh'd place ; 

To whom did Heav'n her beamy valves difplay 
Twice but to thee ?" I tum'd my wilder'd look 
To him and to my Guide, with wonder flruck. 

My Guide, who fweetly fmil'd, like orient day^ 

C 191 ] 

A glance, that thro' my Nerves in rapture ftolc. 
And open'd all Elysium in my Soul, 

She gave, which re-affur'd my anxious fprite ; 
Then with melodious voice and mien auguft. 
Of things he fpoke, to minds inclosed in duft 

Infcrutable, and wrapt in fhades of Night* 


Neceflity, not choice, infpir'd the Sage, 
Till taught the tide of eloquence to 'fwage 

By the ftrong impulfe which th' eternal flame 
Of love awoke within ; an humbler ftyle. 
Of old familiar in my native foil. 

He chofe, and thus difplay'd his ancient claim : 


^* For ever blefled be that trinal Pow'r 
That fuch a boon, fo rarely giv*n of yore. 

On one of my pofterity beftow'd !*' 
Thus, to the cope of Heav'n his ardent eyes 
Jlalfing, he thank'd the Ruler of the Skies, 

Then thus to me his grateful accents flow'd, 

•* Much have I long'd for this propitious Day 
'Which oft th' eternal rolls in bright difplay 


St. viii. /. I, KueJJity^ not choice^ infp'tr^d the Sage^ Caccia. 
c^iDA, the anceftor of Dante, is defcribed as tempering his celef* 
tial eloquence, and lowering it to the underftanding 0/ Us mprtal 
Ou^, by chufing the ancient Tuscan ftyle. 



' [ 191 ] 

DIfclosM ; at laft you bid my longing ceafe ; 
Tho' in this fplendid World arriving late^ 
Bleft be that hand that bore thy welcome vdght. 

And wing'd thy voyage to the port of Peace I 


*' In the clear mirror of th* eternal Mind, 

You deem each dawning thought of yours divin'd 

By me, from you to Heav'n, from Heav*n to me. 
In momentary fplendour from above, 
Quick glancing from the feat of life and love. 

Prime fource of Wifdom*s light in each degree^ 


** You afk not who I am, nor why I feem 
So joyful on this lucid World's extreme. 

At our firft meeting ; yet you gueflTd aright : 
Our rank and luftre here is foon difclos'd. 
And in that heavenly mirror ftill expos 'd. 

Where ev*n our thoughts are vifible to iigKt% 


*' But that the facred flame in which I bum, 
(A love that longs to meet a due return), 

St. xi, xii, xiii. In the clear mirror ^ &c.] f. e. You think I fee 
the thoughts in your Mind, and your ciirioiity to know who I am 
in the Beatific Villon, and that therefore you need not aik me iny 
^ueftions : you are right ; yet it is your duty to enquire and lem» 
iov fecial communication is the bond of amity. 


[ 193 ] 

May find the fuel which maintains it's fire. 
Freely permit the mental Stream' to flow. 
Truly reply to all I wifh to know. 

Freely from me my Name and ftate enquire, 


Again I tum'd me to my Virgin Guide ; 
Her thought my fecret meaning foon fupply'd. 

And quick as fight, the fweet permiflive fign 
Gave pinions to my will, and thus I faid : 
** That uncreated beam, to you conveyM, 

Irradiates all your bands with love Divine. 


** That heat and light of intelledlual love. 
In kindred emanation from above, 

Defcending, each to each, commutual aid, 
Above all calculation's reach, afford : 
But Men (your mem'ry may confirm the. word) 

With flagging plume that heavenly height invade. 


•* This mental Mirror ftill to me denies 
It's light, not yet an inmate of the Skies : 

St. xvi, A I. " Thh mental mtrrwr — ] Thii may be illuftrated 
by the extrad from Ram sat, (fee Note at the end of Canto xiii.,) 
fomewhat in this manner. As Men in this World can only contem- 
plate the Deity in his material Pictures, defaced by the.confequencet 
of the Fall, or in his living Images under the fame difad vantages, the 
affediion mud be languid, compared with the height to which they 
will arrive when infpired by the Beatific Viflon. 

Vol. in. O 

[ 194 ] 

Hence, my afiedlons flutter far behind 
Thofe Eagle foarings of celeftlal Love, 
CausM by th* immortal Objeft feen above ; 

Yet language fails to eafe my fwelling Mind* 


" Tell thou, whofe glory gilds that facred fign 
Of human joy and fhame with Light Divine, 

Thy fortunes and thy Name/' The Saint reply'd, 
** Diftinguifti'd bloflbm from my ancient ftem 
Deriv'd, with you a common blood I claim. 

And far with longing eye your coming fpy*d.'' 


^ Thus he continued : " He, from whom you claim 
- Your fecond title, tho* an honoured name, 

On-£anh below, Luflration's pang deplores ; . 
He was my Son, and, in the third degree. 
By female blood, is anceftor to thee ; 

Your pray'rs may bring him from th* unhappy (bores. 


•* Your City, then, no further fpreads its bound 
Than where the folemn bell, with iron found. 

Warns you of wafted hours. Her peaceful time 
Calmly (he fpent ; (he faw no gilded chain. 
Her gemmy crown adorns her female train. 

Her lofty fandals prop their march fublime. 

Si. xviii. /. 4. //'«• was my ^oiz,— ] Tliis was the ancdtor frao 
whom Dan TE acquired the furnamc of Alighieri. 


C 195 ] 

arly cindure then the veft fecur'd, 

^tridous ornaments allurM 

Nature's genuine charms the roving eye ; 

ighter's dower no anxious forrow bred, 

; for fumptuous portions then were fhed, 

mnkles (hould prevent the nuptial tie : 


iiel Faftion thinn'd our houfes then, 

ing Satyrs, in their dulky den, 

rce or fraud fecur'd the trembling Prey : 

1 with Rome our Tuscan fabrics vy'd— 

ier ruin fhall overwhelm their pride, 

e'er from Tyber (hook the Ostian Bay. 


[NCiON Berte wore a leathern veft, 
ifps of bone adom'd his manly breaft ; 
lodeft Matron from the Mirror came, 
with the tints alone that Nature lent ; 
RLi, with his Sylvan fport content, 
*d with Vecchio an untainted name. 

f. 6. Le/i tvrlnkUs — ] u e. Left their Daughtex^g (hould 
led. The contempt of marriage is a commoo effeft of 

/. I. Bellincion Berte — ] A noble Florentine, 
the celebrated Qualdrada (fee Inferno, Canto xvi. 
Fhe literal tranflation is, he wore a leathern frocki with 

/• 59 6. Nerli and Vecchio,] The headi of two noble 


C 196 3 

" Thofe, in their ftubbom coats, the Tuscan foil 
Subdued : their conforts, with afliduous toil. 

The twirling fpindle ply*d, and bufy loom. 
O happy times ! when all were fure to reft. 
Where the green fod their Fathers aflies preft. 

Whenever Time and Nature marked thdr doom* 


" None then, to diftant Gaul -by lucre led. 
His Confort left to fill a lonely bed ; 

The Mother pleas'd the Child with many a ftrain, 
(The genuine produdk of their native tongue,) 
The diftaff dancing to the fimple fong. 

While ancient tales amusM the ruftic traun : 


** Proud CiANGHELLA, or vain Lapo, then. 
Like prodigies among thefe ancient men. 

Had drawn the gen'ral gaze where'er they paft : 
As Cincinnatus and Cornelia, feen 
'Mongft their degenerate Sons with £untly mien. 

At their abandoned deeds would turn aghail. 


** Amid thefe tranquil fcenes, in golden times 
Unmark'd by vanity, unftain'd by crimes,. 

I {aw the light } and, in the facred vafe 
Of pure luftration cleans'd, the ftamp I bore 
Of Christ's Difciple on old Arno's fhore^ 

Nam'd Carciaguida by the Son of Grace. 

C 197 ] 


** Eliseo with MoRONTo fhar*d my blood. 
My Confort came from Padus' ancient flood ! 

You drew your fumame from her native plains ; 
'When Conrad's hand the flag of war unfurl'd. 
His fetes I foUow'd to the eaftem world. 

And fec'd the foe in Salim's fair domains. 


** His royal hand the Sword of Knighthood gave 
Tor many a valorous deed, by land and wave, 

Againft the Paynims, who ufurp'd the fhore 
WTiere yet your title undefec'd furvives ; 
But, with ignoble hand, your Paftor gives 

The foil to Macon, fteepM in Chriftian gore. 


" There, by a Syrian (haft transfixM, I fell, 
And bade the fublunary World farewell, 

Whofe painted fhadows 'lure the trembling Soul : 
Glad I refign'd my tenement of clay. 
And breath'd on Jordan's banks my Soul away. 

By Anoels wafted to th* empyreal Pole." 

Si. xxvii, /. 4. IVh^n Conrad's hand-^"] The Cnifade underthc 
fjnperor CoDRADt about the year 1 1431 



C '99 3 


The fame Subject continued. 

O PRIDE of blood ! you well your pow'r may 
Here, where afFedkion's energy is loft, [boaft. 

If in the realms of unperverted Mind, 
With double guft your glory is enjoy'd. 
Where Mars with crimfon glow the welkin dy'd, 

The warlike ftation to my Sires affign'd^ 


** The Sun and Wind impair the fplendid hue 
Of thy bright robe, unlefs with caution due 

Thy Sons the bright paternal tints repair.** 
Now, with that awful title us'd of yore, 
(Tho* now unknown,) on Tiber's hallow'd ihore, 

My Senior I addrefs'd with revVent pray'r : 


[ aoo ] 


Beatrice ftood apart, not diftant far. 
And foftly fmiling, like the Morning Star, 

Gave the approving fign. 1 thus began : 
** You are my Sire ; affur'd by you, I fed 
A new fupply within of holy zeal. 

And tread the fields of iEther more t]|}an Man. 


** I recognize the tide of tranfport roll 
Thro' all th' internal avenues of Soul ; 

It feems within a facred foimt of joy 
UncausM, which mortal mould could fcarce fuftain. 
Too potent far for human heart or brain, 

Unlefs I give abroad the rich fupply ! 


*' O you, from whom my anceftry I claim. 
Say, were your ancient Fathers known to Fame ? 

What year announc'd your birth on Arno's ftrand? 
Who rul'd, when firft you faw the light below?" — 
Like a reviving flame when Zephyrs blow. 

The brightening Spirit heard his Son's demand. 


Beams of meridian glory fiird his eye. 

Which would have funk me ; bqt his foft reply, 

5/. iii. /. 4. Tou are my Sire.^-''] The plural you inftead of the 
ancient ihov, a form of fpeech firfl introduced by the Roman Em* 

perors in common addrefles. 

[ 201 ] 

In that majeftic dialedl of yore 
By your Forefathers usM, reviv'd my heart. 
When he began his lineage to impart, 


And when his years began on Arno's fhore. 

** From that blefsM moment, when the Seraph's 
To Joseph's Spouse the hymeneal fong, [tongue 

This world of Warriors, thro* the wafte of Heav'n 
Sailing, two hundred times the bound had croft. 
Where the celeftial Lion keeps his port. 

Between the heavenly Maid and Cancer giv'n* 

^ Full fifty journeys ftill remained to run. 
And thrice again he circled round the Sun, 

Ere I was born : by Peter's holy fene 
Thy Parents liv'd ; your annual Pageant fees 
Their Tribe, the fifth that fills the gay degrees 

As the proceffion fweeps the feftive plain, 


^ Let this content you, of your Sires to know ; 
O'er all the reft let dark oblivion flow, 

ITiere let your boaft of Blood for ever lie ; 
Not thofe who fear'd the warrior God of old. 
Nor thofe who then had join'd Emmanuel's Fold, 

Would fcarce a fifth of Florence now fupply. 

St. viii, A 6. jIj the proce/ftoti-^'y Some of thefe proceflions arc dc- 
fcribcd in Mr. Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo di Medici, vol. i. p. 308. 
Sl ix. /. 4. Nor thofe *ufhofear^d^ &c.] /. r. Thofe who lived 
in the city of Idfula, or FlorinAi in Pagan times, when they 
worfhipped Mars ; and thofe who lived in Cacciagvida's age 
would fcarce make a fifth of the prefent number. 


** The multitude, which now difgrace Ae name 
Of Florentine, firom fair Certaldo came. 

From Campi^s Hills, and old Figghike's Mound -, 
Mechanics vile, but fadious, blind and bold : 
Would Heav'n, that now, as in the days rf old. 

Deep Trespian, with Galluzzo, marked your 


*' Thus better were your lot, than to fuftain 
The mad mifrule of bafe Aguglion's train. 

And Signals wolvifh band, that looks afkance 
On Mammon's fordid lure, and tracks for gold ; 
Truft, honour, duty, virtue, bought and fold. 

Whene'er the felfiih friends their claims advance. 


** But, ah ! this holy privilege was loft I 
Becaufe your haplefs Tribes, in faction toft, 

Preferr'd rebellion to the lineal few 
Of juft authority in C-«sar's Line ; 
For this, Nemesis doomM the Race malign 

On Arno's banks the endlefe feud to brew* 


** Becaufe degen'rate Rome her Infant caft 
Away, with Step-dame's fpite, and furious hafte ; 

St. xiii. /. 1. Bfcau/e degenerate Rome, &c.] While the fcudi be- 
twecn the Popes and the Emperors laid Italy wafte, many new file 
miliet took rcfngc at FtoaENCE; who bdnj^ noble themfebei^ 


[ 203 ] 

Her royal Son from her inhuman arms 
Was refcu'd by the Gods, and woke the flaw 
That drove the Foes of liberty and law 

In your cursM bounds to fofter new alarms. 


** From fuch materials rofe the Tuscan pride. 
Such muddy mixture fwells the living tide 

That crowns your walls, and fills your public ways 
The faftious Merchant then, whofe Sires of yore 
Near Simifonti begg'd from door to door. 

In guiltlefs poverty had clos'd his days, 


*' GuiDo in MoNTiMURLO then had ftay'd. 
Proud Cerchi had enjoy'd fair Agon's (hade. 

And BuoNDELMONTi fpent, devoid of blame. 
His days by Valdigreve's copfes green; 
Happy for him had Florence ne'er been feen. 

Or fair Donati woke the fetal flame* 

joined the ariflocratic fadliony and fomented the difturbances of the 
Republie by various means, and under various pretences. The 
fame was the tScA, and from a fimilar caufe, of the migration of 
numerous Plebeian families to that city. 

St. XV. A I. GuiDo in MoNT4MURLo — ] This Baron not being 
able to defend bis CafUe againft the Pistoians, fold it to the 
Florentines, and came to refide in Florence. — Montimurlo 
is not many leagues from Florence. 

St. XV. /. 3. BuoNDELMONTi — ] The Nobleman whofe infidelity 
to his betrothed Spoufe occafioncd his deaths and the tragical feuds 
which laid Florence wafte for fo many years. See Hift. flor. 
and Inferno, Canto xxviii. Notes. 

C 204 ] 


^* Since rank and (latlon in the world began. 
Whene'er ambition lifts the lower Clan 

To match their Lords, that State to ruin goes f 
As tainted viands hurt the vital tide. 
That haplefg Realm, by poifon thus fupply'd. 

Falls a fure Viflim to its deadly Foes. 


" Nor thmk that ftrength increased, while fa£Uons 
Can aught avail that ra(h mifguided Train ? C^£^» 

A furious Bull will into danger run. 
Much fooner than a Lambkin 'reft of fight ; 
And oft a pradis'd arm decides the fight ; 

When Cowards fly in crowds, the day is won* 


" Luna with Urbisaglia's bounds furvey j 
Their very ruins now have pafsM away : 

The thin remains of Sinigaglia foon. 
With Chiusi, will be lofl alike. Ah ! why 
Should high-vy'd Cities on their flrength rely. 

When nought is conflant underneath the Moon ? 


«* All things, like us, on DjfTolution's wing 
Mufl fleet away ; but foon the Seafons bring 

The doom of mortal Man ; whilft Realms endure * 
Longer the fhock of ages ere they die : 
Their fate is thus concealed from human eye. 

Seeming to cheated Fancy more fecure. 

C ao5 ] 

•* As yonder Pi-anet with the Virgm brow, 
Old Ocean rolls in conftant ebb and J9ow, 

Thus, to and fro, the Tuscan fortunes fleet : 
Wonder not then, if noble ftcms are loft, 
Of old confpicuous, on that ill-ftarr'd coaft. 

That led the War, or fiird the Judge's feat. 

High Catiline, with Hugo's race, I faw ; 
Thofe, who their Name from great Ormanno draw : 

Philippi, Greco, Alberigo's line. 
And Soldanier, and Arca's noble ftem ; 
Sannella, with Ardinghi's honoured name. 

Great in their rife, and great in their decline. 

** Ravigna's noble femily poflTefs'd 
That feat, where now, in that felonious neft, % 

Thofe Traitors lurk, whofe lucklefs guidance foon 
Will run the ill-ftarrM Veflel of the State 
On Ruin's Shoals ; yet o'er the Tuscan freight 

Sage Pressa rul'd for many a peaceful Moon« 


High-blooded Galioai could then unfold 
His fcutcheon'd poinard, with an hilt of gold ; 

St, xxii. /. I. Ravign a's noi/e family — ] Their Houfc, through 
many revolutions, at lait came into the pofTcilion of the Cerchi, 
the Heads of the Black Fadion, and mortal enemies to Dante. 
Sec Hill. Flor. 

St. xxiii. /. I. HigMiooJeJ Galigai — ] From this family the 
famous Marchionefs d' Ancrs was defcended; who was put to 


C 206 ] 

Epili's column then its ftation held ; 
Sacchetti, with Sifanti, great in fame; 
Galli, Barucco, with GiuocHi's name ; 

And he, whofe guilt the Meafure's fraud reveal'd. 


^ DoNATi's Stock was then of high renown. 
And to the martial fword and peaceful gown, 

Arrigo's Sire and Sizio's oft were call'd. 
How lofty was their look, how proud their place» 
Who now Abati's ancient name debafe. 

And Palador in honours new inftall'd? 


*^ Their Fathers alfo then in fame were high. 
Religious Friends ! tho' now the Junior fiy 

Batten at eafe upon the Church's ftore. 
Which their Forefathers gave ; for then unknown 
Was Ado mar, who frights with angry tone 

The trembling Lamb, but fhuns the Lion's roar. 

death in the reign of Louis XIII. Wlicn (he was a{ked» ** By 
what charnif (he had acquired fuch an afcendency over the Queen ?** 
Her anfwer ^-as* ** By the natural fuperiority of ftrong Minds over 
weak ones." 

Sl xxiii. /• 4. — /i^tf Mfofiir/i fraudf} The Family of CfiiAi.A- 
MONTI, whofe anceftors were accufed of faUifying a certain Mea- 
furcy called a Staid. 

St. xxiv. /. I. DoNATi*s Stock — ] For the chara6^er of the Fa* 
milies of Donati and Abatii fee Flor. HifL; and Infer ko» 
Canto XXX. and xxxii. Notes. 

C 207 J 

^* Alike by daftard dread and love of gold 
SubduM, their honour oft they bought and fold ; 

So ftigmatiz'd, that proud Donati fcorn'd 
That the great Father of his noble Spoufe 
Should bid his youngeft Daughter plight her vows 

To his vile Son, altho* by wealth adom'd. 


** But Capons AC CO then had left the height. 
And in the city claim'd patrician right. 

With GuiDO join'd, and Infangato grave ; 
Strange it may feem, but not lefs true than ftrange. 
Your native walls within their ancient range. 

To none but Patriots then a fhelter gave. 


•* That Family which Hugo's honours ihare, 
Whofe bounty ftill the holy Tribes declare. 

Still on that day that bears their Patron's name, 
(For on that day he fell,) were then renown'd ; 
But long fmce then have changed their former ground. 

And, with the rabble join'd, forgot their fame. 

5>. xxviii. /. I. Thai Family which Hugo's honour fjhare^ He 
means here, the Families of Pulce, Gangalandi, Ne^li, Giah- 
DO HAT I, and De Bella ; who had been ennobled by the Imperial 
Baron Hugo, VicaCr of the Empire to Or ho III., but had for- 
(aken the ariftocracy afterwards, and joined the Gvelf, or demo- 
cratical Party. Thefe Families all wore the arms of Hugo quartered 
with their own ; and annually, on St. Thomas's day, (the anniver- 
fary of his death,) attended a folemn conunemoration of him at the 
abbey of St. Settimo, where he had been interred. — Lamdivo, 


[ *o8 3 

" With Gaalterotti, Importune then 
Was fam'd ; tho' now^ like Lions in their den^ 

They ftun old Bergo with their fafUous roar. 
And Amidei, from whofe wrongs arofe 
Difcord and Death, and Arno's lading woes. 

When Florence yet laments in tears of gore. 

•* O BuoNDELMONTO ! faithlcfs to thy vows. 
How cbuld'fl thou thus forfake thy plighted Spoufes 

Led to the dagger by feduflive charms ! 
Joy now had hover'd o'er, with halcyon wings, 
Thofe plains where Fate her funeral defcant fings^ 

And £ma clafp'd thee in her liquid arms. 


** That mould'ring Arch was doom'd to fee thy fidi, 
Where Florence yet deplores, in fun'ral pall. 

Thy death, that faw her peaceful Evening clofe. 
Which never fmce has dawn'd ; — ^with fuch as thefe, 
On Arno's banks in honourable peace 

I liv'd, while Florence yet was. new to woes. 


" For juftice femM, but terrible in war, 
Theu: military glory fpread afer ; 

'5/. xxix, XXX.] For the Story of Amidei, and the flight pot 
on the Family by Buondelmonto, and its tragical confequcnce^ 
fee Hift. Flor. and Notes on Infeknoi Canto xxviii. 

C ao9 ] 

No Conqu'ror then their banner bore away 
l>'rom the loft field; the hours had not arrivM, 
When, in their fiiry, all the Rends contriv'd 

To ftain it's folds with blood in civil fray. 

CC^ in this declamation of Cacciaq^ida, there are many parti« 
culanthat elucidate the early hiftory of Florence, and the admif- 
fion of many new Families into the Republic, who exafperated its 
former diflenfions, or created new ones. As many of thefe were 
GHiBELLii^ESyor AHftoctats of the Imperial Fa^ion ; and many» 
GuELFs, or Democrats, in the Papal intereil ; it is eafy to con- 
ceive what would be the confequence of fuch infufions in a govern* 
ment, already, from its nature, fufficiently inclined to turbulence. 
As the Emperor encouraged the interefl of the Nobles, the Popes 
favoured the Democrats, though contrary to the principles of 
their own domeftic government. The difturbances which arofe 
from the fermentation of thefe noxious ingredients, increafed to fuch 
a degree, that it checked, in fome meafure, the national profperity 
of Florence. Even the fhare of affluence which it did acquire 
under that form of government, became pernicious to an extent 
that could not have enfued under a more regular Adminiftrationy 
where the public power is indivifible, and the executive and legif- 
lative properly diRributed : this, when it is knowny can be reftraift- 
ed ; where it is divided (as was the cafe in Florence) it becomes 
Eormidable from its uncertainty. On the other hand, the legiflative 
power, which ought to be divided, that one part may be a check 
to the other, (as is the cafe with us,) was there united, and con- 
ftantly obnoxious to the impulfe of fome factious demagogue, who* 
by means of that powerful engine, could, at any time, influence the 
counfels of the Republic, undermine the fabric of the State, and 
aflame the chara6ler of its Tyrant. The many changes in the con- 
Edtution of Florence, when traced to their caufes, give the fulled 
srvidence that this aifertion is well-founded. In fuch a Atuttion of 
pfublic affairs, profperity itfelf muft lukve had a baneful eSiefty as 

Vol. III. P the 

C 2IO ] 

the arrogance which accompanies wealth, when fuddenly attainef!, 
muil have conftantly infpired a fucceiBon of theorifU ready to fo- 
ment feditious practices againfl; fuch a government , to di^te new 
laws and fpecious innovations, and propofe to mend the conftitu- 
tion, by a conftant fucceifion of fanciful and mdigefted improTf 
ments. — See Macchiavel, HiiL Hon Villani, paffim. 


t ^i' 3 



Cacciaq^ida foretells the Banifhment of the Poet, and the 
Calamities he was doomed to fuffer.-^-^He dtre6ls him to leave a 
public Teftimony againft the Vices of the Age, in writing. 

^S Clymens' Son, intent his Sire to know. 
And the dark calumny to overthrow. 

The fatal fecret from his Mother drew 
That caus'd his doom, and fill'd with cautious fear 
Each Parent iince, intent with curb fevere. 

To guard their Sons from evil to enfue. 


Such a prefentiment my heart poiTefs'd : 
The fad prefage that laboured in my breail^ 

St, i. /. I. jfs Clymens' Son -«- ] Phaeton, who, requefting 
firom his Mother to know his true Father, prevailed upon him (the 
Sun ) to give him his Chariot §&r a day, and fet the Wcrid on firt»- 
See Ovid, b* ii. fab. 


[ 21* ] 

My vifage dimm'd, and mark'd my inward woeSy 
To my bleft Guide ! and that paternal light 
Which from his glorious ftation took his flight. 

Mine, and the Tuscan fortune to difclofe. 


** Explain your Will at large,'* the Vestal fidd ; 
" For tho' in Heav'n's bright mirror full difpla/d. 

All thoughts that from created Souls arife 
Shine when we look aloft ; yet, to infpire 
The deep religious glow of warm delire. 

Tour pray'rs you muft prefent with heart and voice*' 


** O heav'nly Soul ! thou view'ft with Angel ken. 
Plain as the cleared truths difclos'd to Men, 

Futurity's dread fcenes, in formlefs bands. 
By us dim feen ; but manifeft to thee 
In the deep vifions of eternity. 

Where God's own eye the birth of Time commanJt^ 


* ** In the dark Stage of Penitence below. 
And in the regions of eternal woe. 

My future fortunes were obfcurely told : 
When Maro led my fteps, yet Virtue's bafe. 
On which I ftand, no coming ftorm (hall nSe^ 

Whatever ills old Time may yet unfold J 



^^ Refiife not, then, my future doom to (how^ 
Prefdence may blunt the coming fhaft of woe»^ 


. Thus, at the Saint's command, my warm requeft 
I to the Warrior of the Skies preferred ; 
Mildly the Champion of Emmanuel heard. 
And in a foothing tone his Son addrefs'd, 


Not in ambiguous words he told my doom. 
As to the Nations funk in Pagan gloom 

The Demons told before the Sent of God, 
The Sons of Darknefs to the deep expell'd. 
And Heav'n's unrivaled clemency reveal'd. 

But in a feries clear my fate forefliew'd. 


" Eternal Providence your view confines 
To prefent things and pad, the Soul divines. 

Of future fcenes in vain, what Will decrees. 
As plain as we perceive the foamy trace 
Made by the pinnace in her liquid race^ 

Tl^^ uncreated eye diflindtly fees^ 


** Yet on HIS. fight the act nq mpr^ depends, 
Than on our eyes the Zephyr that extends 

The woven canvafs, and in^ls the weight 
Along the flood, from thence, diflind and dea^y 
As the loud organ to the raviih'd ear. 

Came the dread vifion of your future fate^ 


** As youthful Theseus, by his Stepdame's ci:inie. 
Of old was baniih'd from his native clime j 


C ^14 ] 

So Arno's banks no more (halt thou behold ; 
Thy fate the Furies weave in Stygian gloom. 
And He affifts the labours of the loom. 

Who oft his Saviour's blood profanely fold, 


** Your fame all darkened with imputed crimes. 
Sad exiles, you muft change your native climes 

For poverty and fhamc, for bonds and death ; 
But Vengeance, Vengeance will overtake your foes 5 
I fee the Magazine of God difclofe 

It's burning (lores of long coUedied wrath, 


** You then muft bid adieu to all delight. 
This is the firft keen fliaft that wings its flight 

From dire affliftion's bow, then foon thy tafte 
Shall learn the favour of the niggard dole. 
Thy tears fhall mix with the penurious bowl. 

On thy lean board by haughty Patrons plac'd, 

St. X. /. 5. He aJlfts—'] Boniface VIII. Sec Hift. Flor, 

St» xi. /. I. Tour fame all darkened — ] Theseus, his life w«| 
attempted, and himfclf banifhed by his Stepmother Mbdea. See 
Ovid Metam. b. viii. 

St. xi. /. 4. But Vengeance^ — ] He alludes to the Cafaonxty which 
happened 1304, a few years after his Banifhment; when a \ufgt 
Platform raifed over the Arno, for the purpofe of a public Exfai* 
bition, (it is faid of the Infernal Piinifhments,) broke down by acci- 
dent, by which means numbers loft their lives. A g^reat Fire con* 
fumed a large part of the City the very next year.— Lampiho, 
Vemturi, &c. 

C 215 ] 

** Then fhall you know what fteps of anxious care. 
The houfelefs Man that mounts a flranger's flair 

Muft count, but ftill more deadly ftings remain. 
The thanklefs hearts of thofe with whom you fled, 
Paftards, by you in vain to glory led, 

Shall cenfure thee as caufe of all their pain. 


** But foon the tint of fhame they drove to throw 
On thee, fhall dye tbeir cheeks with crimfon glow ; 

When thou, by felf-regard and honour driv'n, 
Shalt leave them to themfelves : applauding fame 
Shall flamp the a£tion, and aloud proclaim 

Thy vindication in the face of Heav'n. 


•* The Lord, whofe arms the golden fleps difplay, 
0*er which the warlike Eagle wings her way, 

Orx thee a kind afylum fhall beftow ; 
Unlike the reft, his hofpitable care 
Shall fave the torture of reluftant pray'r. 

Content with gratitude' fpontaneous glow. 

5*/. xiii. /• 4. The thanhlefs hearts — ] He is fuppofed here to 
nean the unfortunate attempt made by the Exiles of the White Fac- 
ion (to which he belonged) to take the City of Florence by fur- 
rize, contrary, as it was fuppofed, to his advice and direction. 
5*/. XV. /. I. The Lordy whofe arms'^'] Della Scala, Prince of 
'ROiiA, the generous Patron of Dante, is here meant ; the pro- 
ion of the Father was continued by the Son, Came Dslla 
LA* See Life of Dante. 


C ai6 1 


<• Htrt that diftinguifh'd Youth fliall meet your cyc» 
Whofc martial fpirit, kindling in the Sky, 

Flew downward, ^d informed a manly mould. 
An unfledg'd Warrior, kingdoms yet to come 
Shall mark bis glorious deeds, and tell the fum. 

Yet o'er hipi fcarce nine Summer Suns have roll'd. 


<^ Yet ere the Gascon (hall his Lord beguile. 
His dawn of glory on his native foil 

Shall glow, prefage full of the coming day } 
His fcom of danger, his contempt of gain. 
The brood of Envy fliall behold with pain. 

And with reludant praife his worth difplay« 


<^ Cleave to his fortimes, foon the day fliall rife 
That fees bis enlign waving in the Skies, 

And his ftrong arm the fate of thoufimds wield } 
Things yet behind, tho' in eternal light 
Beheld, mud for a time be wrapt in nighty 

Yet to a mortal's vifion unreveaPd, 


*^ Such is the commit on the fearful text. 
That in the Sh;ides below your Soul perpIexM } 

St. xvii. /.I. Tet er§the Gascon—} Clbmsnt tlie Fimi» % 
nioive of Gascony^ H^ was fixed in the P^paqf by tlie imiigiicsoC 
Philip le Bel, king of France, and afterwirdt oppoicd Ua^ 
6cc Hift. Flor. } and Inferno, Canto xxyii. Notes, 

Such is the ambufcade to fpring fo ibon. 
In other Worlds foretold ; but then beware, 
Let no vindi^ve thought thy Soul enfnare, 
« Thy foes iQiall £adl ere many a changmg Moon." 


When the l^left Saujit fp prompt a will betray'd. 
And thus the fecrets of my lot difplay'd. 

With hand fo ready, and with {kill profound. 
To one with will an4 pow^r profufely bleft, 
3oldly I ventured pn a new requeft. 

And thus bf gan the depth§ of &(e tp found ; 

" The coming boh, O Father ! well I fee. 
And all its voUy'd light'nings aimM at me. 

More terrible when aided by defpair ; 
Then, left fome hofpitable door 1 clofe 
Agsunft myfelf, FU let my pen repofe, 

JLeft foes more numerous join th* unequal war, 


•• Deep in the valgs of Tartarus profound 
I fojoum^d long, and climb'd the lofty Moimd, 

Where fad Repentance weeps her ftains away ; 
Then, from that lofty Hill's fublimeft height, 
Gradual I rofe with Cynthia's rifmg light. 

With my fair Pilot, to the realms of Day. 

Si* xxii. /• I. Deep In the vaZri— ] The Poet here gives a reafon. 
It hulk poetically plaufibky for the variety of cbaraders which b^ in- 
raduces in this Poenu 


C "8 ] 


Thus, as from Star to Star I joumcyM on, 
I leam'd feme fecrets in their radiant zone. 

Which if the clamorous trump of flying fame 
Should catch, and round yon* World the tidings found. 
There many an haughty heart would feel the wound^ 

And mourn the poifon of corroding fliame. 


*' And if a timid friend to Truth I feem. 
My fame ihall vanifli like an empty dream. 

Before fucceeding years my Name record j 
As when a golden mirror meets the Sun, 
With fuch a glance the heavenly Maid begun. 

And broke indignant on th* unfiniih'd wonL 


** A Confcience, loaded with the weight of crimes^ 
It's own, or others, well may dread your rhymes ; 

But let victorious Truth her Standard wave 
Thro' all the triple World, from zone to zone. 
Be all the wonders of your voyage known. 

And he that feels the lafh may loudly rave, 


** They who with patience from thy hand endure 
The bitter potion, foon may boaft a cure ; 

St, XX vi. /. 1. Thry who *wUh patience^ &c.] A good defence of 
fatire in general ; whether it will apply to perfonal fatire, ii not fo 
clear : but, to Pofterity, its moral efifedi will be nearly the (kine% 
It pofTefTes a great fuperiority over the vifions of PiSRS 

C 219 3 

Direfted well, its energy pervades 
The fprings of moral life, and bids them play 
With vigour new, as when the vernal ray 

With vital fpirit fills the op'ning glades* 


>* Your Song muft, like the ruffling Storm, affaii 
The tow'ring Hill, and fpare the lowly Vale, 

And deal forth honour or eternal fhame 
To Sinners, and to Saints of high degree ; 
Be like yourfelf, ingenuous, bold, and free, 

And lofty deeds in lofty notes proclaim, 


^* Ghofts of renown alone, thy Leader fhowM, 
In Hcav'n, on Earth, or by the Stygian flood ; 

For thofe are they who fpread th' example wide. 
And fliow what courfe to fliun, and what purine : 
With noble patterns from the namelefs crew. 

Ingenuous natures rarely are fupply'd." 

Plowman in every rcfpcft, particularly in this, that in the 
btter the perfonagcs are generally fome abftraft ideas perfonified 
under the name of Covetoufnefs, &c. which are not by any mean* 
(o mterefting as the real characters introduced by Dante, who by 
^8 means gives us, as in a Poetical Camera Obscura, a living 
]Pidurc of the Times in which he wrote. 
^/. xxviii. /. I. — tliy Leader,] Virgil. 


C "^ 1 



The Poet afcends to the Planet Jupiter, where he fees the 
Spirits of thofe who had adminiftered juftice on earth in a con- 
fpicuous manner, drawn up and marihalled in emblematical 
form, of a very lingular appearance* 

1 HE heavenly Champion flood, abforpt in thought. 
While pondering in my Mind the various lot 

Foretold, its evil with its good I weighM ; 
But She, who led me to the Seat of God, 
Exclaim'd, ^' Awake thee from this penfive mood. 

That Throne is near which wrong can ne'er invade^*' 


At her harmonious voice around I tumM i 
Heav'ns ! with what love intenfe her afped bumM. 

I faw, what I defpair on Earth to fliow ; 
Not lefs my ftyle the fubjeft ihould debafe. 
But mortal Mem'ry fails the fcene to trace, 

Unlefs fome heavenly Guide its help beflow. 



This, and this only, I remember well ; 
Difcontented Souls tempeftuous fwell. 

Sunk to a facred calm ; as when the fmile 
Of rifmg Hesper lulls the raging deep. 
Thus all my anxious cares were laid aileep^ 

Nor Paffion dar'd my bofom to embroil. 


The bright reflex of uncreated light. 

Such cheerful radiance glanc'd upon my fight. 

From her mild afped, (till my eyes could dweB 
On her bright charms, with looks of fparkling joy : 
" All Heav'n,** Ihe cryM, ** is not within my eye j 

Look up, where other fcenes the Saints reveaL* 


As oft in mortal maik of Day we fpy 
The kindling Soul, coUeded in the eye. 

If any domineering pailion wake 
The dormant pow'rs ; fo in the awful &cc 
Of the paternal Sage, I well could trace 

Th* unfated wifh my converfe to partake. 


« To this fifth ftage," he faid, *« of endlefs joy. 
Where the great Stem of Being, o*er the Sky 

Sees its interminable boughs extend. 
From Hades to th* eternal Throne difplay'd. 
With foliage clad, which ne'er is known to hdc^, 

The Souls of genuine Heroes ftiU afcend. 


^ t ^^3 3 


** Bright theme of many a mnfe ; they wmg their flight 
To this bright province of empyreal light. 

Wafted by Paeans of eternal praife : 
Now watch the wings of that extended Train, 
Which in crofs columns overfliade- the plain. 

And fpy the movements of the running maze. 


** When any radiant Chieftain hears his Name, 
Forth from his flation, like careering flame. 

His Spirit iiTues in a ftream of light, 
As bolted fire that vollies from a cloud*'' 
Joshua he call'd, and foon amid the crowd. 

The radiant Sun-ControUer flafh'd to fight. 


Soon as the Name of MACCAB-ffius rung 
Thro* the thick files, at once the facred Throng 

Difparting, fhow'd the Warrior in the van. 
Moving in meafure to the magic found ; 
As when the fportive Orb is whirl'd around^ 

The Champion in a fiery circle ran. 


As the fix'd eye purfues the Falcon's flight, 
Lanc'd like twin Meteors, o'er the fields of Lights 

St. viii* /. 6. TbenuSant Sun^Coniroller — ] JosHUA» who laud 
to the Sua, << Stand thou still on Gibson/' &c. Joihua, x. 

t *H 1 

Great PeI^in^s Son, and Roland, met my lievfi 
William, Rinoardo, kindling in their i^ourfe^* 
Purfu'd, and he that led his levy'd Pow'rs 

To Jordan's floods againft the Patnim Crew* 

The mighty Norman, like a gliding Star, 
Sprung from the tent^ wide o*er the field afaiv 

Whene'er the noble Tuscan gave the iign ; 
But foon the Chief, returning to his poft, 
Amongft his Comrades in the heav'nly Holt, 

Joia'd, in grave melody, the martial line. 


Then to the heav'nly Maid I tum'd, to know 
^Her next command, and faw her afpeft glow^ 

As fome new image of empyreal joy. 
Another Spirit to the Saint had giv'n. 
Like fome bright Inmate of an higher Heav'n 

She look'd, (he walk'd, (he fir'd me with her eye. 


As, with increaiing worth our joys increaie. 
And fome new eameft of eternal peace. 

Each day with purer beams illumes the Mind : 
Still bright'ning onward, like th' advancing Springs 
Thus rofe my Spirits on excurfive wing. 

And feem'd to foar in regions le(s confin'd. 

^ • 

SL X. /. 3. Grea/ Pepin's Son^ ami Roland,] Nephew of Cha&- 
LSMAGNE. The Hero of Boiendo and Ariosto. 

5/. X. /. 4. William, Rinoardo,] Counts of Auri&OKKi 
Father and Son, Adventurers in different Cnifades* 

St. x« A 5* be thai kd^^^ Godfrey de Bouillov. 

C "5 ] 

Quick as the rofes leave a Matron's face. 
When bloodlefs fear her pallid flag difplays. 

And quells the tint of ihame, the ruddy glow 
Of Mars^ in tranfient glory paft away ; 
And Jove's pale circle fhed a milder day 

O'er the wide Sky, in foft Elysiak flow. 

Here new difplays of everlafting love 
I fpy'd, and burning words, that feem'd to move 

Round in the wond'rous dialed of Heav'n : 
Spontaneous glories wove immortal drains. 
O'er all the furface of th' etherial plains. 

Like meteoi^ glancing o'er the face of Even. 

As foaring from the Lake, the plumy Throng 
Applaud their feaft with many a tuneful fong, 

And now the liquid air in circles fkim. 
And 'mid the clouds in feried files combine. 
Or fcour the welkin in a lengthen'd line, 

So mov'd the Saints, and fuch their folemn hymn. 

St. XV. /. I. Here new difplays^ &c.] I took the liberty here of 
giving the ideas of the Poet in a general drefs, as in my opinion 
better adapted to modem tafte, than the Bizarre imagery in the 
original, where the Spirits are defcribed as delineating by their 
flight the feveral letters in the words diligite justitiaMi in a 
long profaic detail, 

» Jaccenfi 
or D her / her L in fua figura, &c. 
And pauiing at the end of each word and fentence, in fuch pro- 
portions as to afcertain the fenfe. All which is defcribed at length, 
and gravely expoundedj by Beatrice. 

Vol. m. Ct 



[ 226 ] 


Thus in mid air, by art celeftial taught. 
Some glowing image of each rifing thought 

They formM, and often pausM, to give the eye 
Of Mortals time the myftic fcene to fcan ; 
Then once again the harmony began. 

Again the Fidure floated o'er the Sky. 


Hear me, immortal Queen ! whofe godlike rage 
Catches the tranfient fcenes of ev'ry age, 

Recaird to being by the foul of Song j 
By thee. Imperial States and deeds of Fame, 
New life and never-dying honours claim. 

Kept by angelic drains for ever young. 


So let me call this high empyreal fcene 

To fecond life; and grant, celeftial Queen ! 

Thy deathlefs Spirit to my finking ftrain ; 
Evolving many a maze, the radiant Choir 
'Still fung, and ftill, in chara&ers of fire,* 

DefcribM the duties of the ruling Train. 


In contraft then oppos'd, like Light and Shade, 
Tyrannic and benignant deeds difplay'd 

Their pageants, and alternate fmil'd or frownM : 
There awful Juftice fate with look fevere. 
With one ftrong hand he ftruck the guilty Peer, 

The other rais'd the Suppliant from the ground. 

C ^27 3 


BusiRis and Aurelius met my eye. 
Two hoftile Names oppofing in the Sky, 

And many a fcene, that o'er the moony light 
Of thi$ fair Planet fhed a golden gleam : 
CMt paufing, they refumM the lofty theme. 

Singing the everlafting Source of right. 


Soon, from the welkin, in a lucid ring^ 
Another Band, defcending on the wing, 

I law, and mingling widi the Saints below ; 
Then, as a ftream of fparkles mounts the wind, 
A Party foarM, and left the reft behind. 

Some fwiftly failing, fome advancing flow. 


By various influence of th' eternal ray^ 
To different heights along th' aerial way 

They feem'd to foar ; then, banding on the gald^ 
Their lucid phalanx form'd before my eyes. 
Like Jove's gigantic Bird, that cleft the Skies, 

And bore the Trojak from th' Idean vale. 


Yet feem'd the fiery Phantom incomplete. 
But foon another Band was feen to fleet ; 

(That Band which in a mazy meafure rode. 
Circling in cadence to the hymn below ;) 
Upward they feem'd in airy ffaream to go. 

By the ftrong impulfe of the breath of God. 

Wife was the ruling hand that feem'd to guide 
This airy Cavalcade, the clouds to ride. 

And fwell, with new fupplies, the giant form; 
Mounting aloft, they pafs'd the fiery van. 
And, fpreading o*er the face of day, began 

To fhape the wings >\ith many a flying f\i'ann» 


** All hail, thou facrcd Light ! inflinftive flame ! 
Formed in the Sky by many a li\ing gem, 

Whofe influence here below illumes the Pole 
With facred love of right ; the means bcftow. 
To mark and fly the Stygian fume below. 

Which damp our flight to your etherial goal. 

** O, that the holy hand the fcourge would take. 
And lafti the caitiif Crew to Limbo's Lake, 

That, in her facred Temple, buy and fell 
Emmanuel's gift for gold ! Ye Sons of Day, 
That foar above, for thefe poor Sinners pray. 

Led blindfold down Perdition's flow'ry vale t 

** Well -tempered ftecl our Fathers us'd in fight. 
Our Priefts are peaceful, but with holy fpite 

Deny thofe hallowed cates, that heavenly food. 
Which Heav'n left free to all to feed the Soul ; 
But this bafe Tribe the gracious boon control. 

And ftrive to intercept the genVal good. 

St. xxviii. /. 2. Our Prirflty &c.] The denial of the Cup t« 
the Liity. 

C 229 ] 


*< But thou, unholy Prieft ! whofe craft abhorr'd 
Perverts the tenor of the facred word ; 

The faintly Pair that waterM with their gore 
That Vineyard, which your impious hands prefume 
To fpoil, are yet alive to feal your doom^ 

And fnatch you hence from your ill-purchas*d ftore.** 

' XXX. 

You well may fay, " I find no inward call » 
To fiih with Peter, or make tents with Paul ; 

Him I prefer, who, on the dancing Dame, 
His head beftow'd; that head is more to me 
Than all the reliques from th* Atlantic fea. 

To that where Sol refumes his morning flame/^ 

St. xxix. Lt. -i-Mbfy Prie/ll ] BoNiFACfi VIII. 




t n^ 1 



Dilicuffion of the Queftion, ** Whether they who hare not th^ 
Bei^efit of Revelation lean be faved V* 

The Pageant ftooping low, on cafy fail. 
Hung fiill in view : while to the Elysian gale 

The banded Choirs their heav'nly ditty thrill'd j 
Cloth'd in fuch fplendour as the ruby ihows. 
When Sol's coUeded light intenfely glows 

Within the ftone, with fanguine radiance fill'd. 


The fudden flafh my earthly eyes overcame, 
Whilft accents more than mortal feem'd to claim 

My ravifliM ear, as if by magic Pow'r, 
The ^ant Vifion which before me fpread. 
By wond'rous organ to my fenfe convey'd 

Sounds, by no human audience heard before. 



Like fome fweet plumy harmonifl on high, 
Whofe matin fong falutes the glowing Sky, 

From wing to wing the heav'nly Muiic ran. 
Aloft the tuneful periods TeemM to float 
Thro' the ftill air in many an heav'nly note. 

And thus, at laft, the wondVous Shape began : 


** For juft defigns, and many an holy deed. 
Thus plumM with heav'nly life aloft I lead 

This glorious ca\^lcade thro* fhow'rs of joy. 
That leave no wiih unfillM ; the tribes below, 
Tho* blind as moles, with awful rev'rence bow. 

Our worth acknowledge, bi\t our guidance fly. 


** As from unnumberM torches waving high. 
One dream of radiance floating o*er the Sky, 

Paints the dun clouds ; ev'n fo the tuneful drain 
Of many a (ingle Voice, dillind and fweet 
Composed, aloft in ^ther, feem*d to meet, 

Articulate and full, above the plain." 


" O ye !" I crj^M, " that like th' Elysian bloom 
Of endlefs tranfport ftied a foft perftime. 

In fuch a Zephyr as fore-runs the Mom 
Of bleft Eternity : O condefcend ! 
That famine of the Spirit to fufpend. 

Which in my Soul intenfely feems to bum. 

C ^33 3 


** For well I know, that, if the Worlds that nm 
Their circuit for beneath th' empyreal Sun, 

Hail the reflexion of eternal Light ; 
Tou that fo far within his noon-^tide ray 
Refide in blils, muflt drink a purer day 

Where no invidious vapour dims your fight. 


** You well can fee, with what attentive heed 
I ftand, and try with fharpen'd fight to read 

Above, the anfwer to my warm requeft/* 
As when the unhooded Falcon fees with joy 
Light, and with wing unfurl' d falutes the Sky, 

Its tranfport thus the ftarry Form exprefs*d: 

** With fuch clear P-caks, o'er the liquid fpace 
Sail'd the long triumph of eternal Grace, 

Of ranfom*d fouls composed, and fliowM afer 
Signs of augmented joy, refpondent Choirs, 
Such holy drains began, as Heav'n infpires. 

When to new Souls her beamy gates unbar, 


^ That Pow'r omnific,*' thus the Voice began, 
** Whofe golden compafs fuch a circuit ran. 

Thro* the wide boundaries of vacant fpace. 
And caird Creation from the womb of Night, 
Is bounteous ftill, or frugal of his light. 

As fits the purpofe of eternal Grace. 

I ^34 3 


^ Yet, tho* the Image of th' eternal Mind 
Gkive all its fov'reign ftamp, yet imconfin'dy 

And ever unempIoyM, beyond the bound 
Of matter and of fpace, a fimd remains. 
Still new, of energy in him that reigns. 

Hid in th' abyfs of Entity profomuL 


^ Portions of this to each created pow'r 
His bounty gives, if, on th' appointed hour. 

They wait, and rightly ufe what he beftows ; 
The firft that 'gainft his fov'reign Lord rd)elIM, 
Afpir'd, before his time, (by pride impelled,) 

To feize the boon, and funk to endlefs woes. 


** To no inferior Nature can be giv^n. 
To tafte the fiill munificence of Heaven ; 

Nor infinite in finite bounds is held. 
Sole meafure of itfelf ; our mortal fight 
(A cloudy ray of uncreated light) 

Is by this awfiil profped flill repell'd, 


^^ No farther can our mental optics pierce 
His eflcnce pure, who fram'd the univerfe. 

Than in the azure deep our glance can go, 
Tho* near the fhore, we foon defcry the fand. 
The bottom mocks our fight, when far from land, 

Tho' ftable as the mountain's breezy brow. 

* * < 

t ^35 ] 


•* No light can be, but from a fource ferene^ 
In vsun you look, if vapours intervene 

By paifion raisM, 'tis eafy hence to tell 
Prom whence fo many doubts are feen to rife 
In your dim Soul, like mifts that hide the Skies 

(ExhalM from dregs terrene) with cloudy veiL 


^ I fee what thoughts your working Mind divide. 
You wonder why the Soul by Ganges fide 

Is doom'd, altho' he never heard the name 
Of Christ, yet liftens to the God within, 
(Guide of his blamelefs fteps,) and flees from Sin, 

By Nature led, and Reafon's fov'reign claim. 


*^ Beyond the Christian pale he breathM his laft :-^ 
Why is his guiltlefs Soul to Hades caft ? 

Can fov'reign Juftice breathe fo hard a doom ? 
Why for inevitable mis-belief 
Is the pure Sage difmiIsM, and virtuous Chief, 

For ever more to wsul in Styoian gloom ? 


** But, who art thou,** it faid, " who dar'ft to climb 
The feat of judgment, and thro' fpace and time, 

Widi feeble eyes that only reach a fpan. 
To fearch ?— If Scripture light had ne'er been giv'n. 
Vain were it to explore the will of Heav'n, 

A privilege j^eyond the reach of Man. 


** O earthly Minds ! to darknefs ever prone ! 
Th* Al might)' Being in himfelf alone 

Complete, to fov'reign good attentive ftill. 
To that primaeval fcope for ever tends. 
And portioned blifs with fov'reign Juftice blend»,- 

In the pure effence of th* eternal Will. 


** Thither can no created thing afpire, 
Unlefs that influence of the plaftic Sire 

ITiat fills the Mind with vigour n^w, be giv'n,** 
As to the foft'ring Bird, her caRow brood • '-•' . 
Look up with grateful eye, when filPd 'with food. 

So I revered the Meffenger of Heav'n. 


Spangl'd with living gems, it feem'd to fpread 
The ample vans, and thus in Thunder faid : 

" The paths of Juftice, as my words to thee» 
Are far beyond thy depth." Then all around ■ I 
Begun from wing to mng a folemn found. 

In one loud chant of heav'nly harmony. 


ITie Vifion fpread, diftincl with many a Star, 
Like that fam*d Enfign, terrible in war, 

Which o'er the trembling world viclorious RoM^* 
Terrific hung ; and thus began again 
The fovVeign Voice : *^ To fee this bleft domain. 

None but the ranfom'd in all ages come. 


** Ere Mary's Son diftain'd the facred wood. 
And in all ages fince, his dreaming blood 

All Souls redeems, that genuine Faith difplay ; 
But many on his ^Jj^pwnvith boldnefs call. 
Who* underneath his righteous doom (hall fall. 

When virtuous Pagans foar to endlcfs day. 

** Such Hypocrites the Nabathean Band 
Shall fee with fcom, where rang*d on either hand 

The ghoftly Flocks for ever (hall divide^ 
Thofe to eternal joys in Heav*n's domain. 
And thefe to tenements of endlef§ pain. 

When the ftrong Fiat parts the living tide." 

' V XXV. 
The SoPHi then fha^ fcom the Sons of Rome, 
When that dread voLume ihall decide their doom, 

ITiat clear, as Summer's noon, their duty fhow'd ; 
Proud Albert then (hall fee the roll expand. 
And the dread movement of that awful hand 

That writes his fentence for Bohemian blood. 

. ^V. xxiii. /. !• Ere Mary's Son — ] Sec Mat. vii. That the 
merits of our Saviour's Death ^411 extend even to virtuous Hea- 
thens, appears from many texts of Scripture, particularly Romans, v. 
and from St. Paul's declaration, that they- alfo do the things of the 
law. See Pa r ad i so, Canto vii. Notes.* 

S/. xxiv. /. i. — the Nabathean Band"] The Pagans of 
Southern Africa. He prdbiably alludes to the text, " the Queen 
€>f the South (hall rife in judgment againfl this Generation." 

St. XXV. A 4. Proud Ale LtiT — ] Albert of Austria invaded^ 
Bohemia, and laid Prague in aflies, 1303, without any claim 
or fufiBcicQt caufe. See Pu&gatoiliOi Canto vi. Notes. 

t ^3» J 


PmLiP fhall then his coming fraud deplore^ 
In louder drains than when the tulky boar 

Stumbled his fteed ; Sequ ana's banks retumM^ 
The proud difcordant Britons then fliall know 
For what a prize they caus'd their fields to flow 

With hundreds' blood, fo oft* by Albion mourned* 

XX vn. 

^ Iberia^ then, her luxuries fhall weep ; 
Then the Bohemian, from his torpid fleep^ 

In horror fhall awake, and mourn his dayf 
Unvalued, mifemploy'd : and Salem's heir 
Shall fee one guiltlefs mark his wwth declare. 

While his foul crimes the facred page deface. 

Si. XXVI. /. I. Philip — ] Philip le Bel of Fkavcb, haag 
defeated by the Gb it mans at the great battle of CouftTKAV 
in Flanders, and obliged to reinforce his army at great cxpeDce^. 
caufed his troops to be paid with bafe money, to the great in» 
jury not only of tlie whole kingdom but of Foreigners. He wa» 
killed in hunting by a fall £rom his horfe«— Landino. Vellu- 


St. xxvi. /. 5. f*or what a prize^ &c.] Wart of Scotland and 
England, in the times of £.1 i>ard the First and Second oT 

St. xxvii. /. I. Iberia, then^ her luxuries^ &c.] Alphonso» kia^ 
of Spain, a Prince abandoned to lux ur)- ; as was afib Wenceslaus^ 
king of Bohemia, mentioned here. The in\'a(ion of Bohemia 6j 
Albert, noticed above, happened in his time. 

St. xxvii. /. 4. —Salem's hetr'\ Charles II.. of Sicilt» 4e- 
Ibcnded from the Kings of Jerusalem. See Pvrqatobjo^ 
Canto XX. See alfo Paradiso, Cauto viii. Notes* 

I ^39 3 


" That Cairiflf then, his avarice (hall rue. 
And all his vilenefs, whom Trinacria knew. 

Where old Anchises refts in hallowM mold^ 
Tho* jEtna flam'd at hand with vengeful ire. 
He fear'd not then her catarafts of Fire, 

So hot, within, he felt the thirft of gold. 


*^ A darker page his giant deeds (hall claim. 
Deep glowing, to exprefe the culprit's (hame. 

There, too, the brother Kings their fate (hall know. 
When Arragon and fad Majorca mourn. 
Two glorious crowns of old, now (lain'd with (com, 
^ Their thrones difgrace, their kingdoms overthrow. 


Norwegians Monarch, with the Tuscan King, 
Their lmother*d gueft (hall then feverely (ling j 

Si, zxWii. L 2. Trinacria^] Frederic of Arragom^ who 
ikcceeded his Father, Peter of Arragon, in Sicily, whofe in- 
habitants he grievoufly opprefTed. 

Si. xxix. A I. IVhen Arragon,—*] James, King of Arragon, 
Unde to the preceding Frederic, and James, King of Majorca, 
fait Brother, are here meant. His Son James II. King of Ma* 
joacA, was the third Hufband of the £unous Joan, Queen of Na« 
PLEs. SuMMOUNTiE Hifl. Neap. 

Si. XXX. /• I. Norwegians Monarcbf &c.] Norwegia, Lvpia, 
#r Portugal. The chara£kers of thefe kings are not given by 
any Commentator, nor of the King of Sol a von i a mentioned here; 
oalf that his crime was ifluing bale coin, in imitation of the Vene- 
tian Ducats.— Landing, &c. 

C 240 3 

ScLAVONiA toO) the burning ftamp fhall feel. 
With which he faifified Venetia's coin : 
O blefl HuNGARiA ! if your King refign 

His crown, and from the coming vengeance fteaL 


" Happy Navarre ! if proud Pi renews brow. 
With its deep frown could check the coming foe ; 

NicosEA too, and Famagosta's bands, 
Lament their lot ; they foon the lance muft wield. 
For their fierce Tyrant in the bloody field, 

Againil more blamelefs foes fix)m other lands/^ 

Si. XXX. /. 5. hleft HuNGAKiA ! — ] At that time govcned by 
a fucceflion of bad kingSd — Landino, VELLVTELto^ &c. 

St. xxxL L I. Hi^ Navarre ! — ] A pnmnce of Spain, o« 
the confines of France, and at that time opprefled by Philip lb 

St. xxxi. /. 3. NicosEA toOi and Famagosta^3 Hewkt XL 
King of Cyprus, was a Prince of very diflolute morals. Iftoria 
di Re Lufignani de Cipro, par Henrico Gibletj atata de Awgel- 



C 241 ] 



Praifcs of feveral virtuous Kings. — The Subje6l of the Title of 

Heathens to Salvation, refumed. 

W HEN he, that views the world with bright furvey. 
Over the vaft Atlantic rolls away. 

And Light's faint rear purfues his fetting beam 
In glimmering files ; foon, o'er the wafte domain 
Of Heav'n, old Night afferts her fhadowy reign. 

And Stars unnumberM round her axle gleam. 


Thus, changing like the World's majeflic fcene. 
Where varied Light and Darknefs intervene. 

Alternate Viftors, now, like dufky Night, 
The Vifion hung ; but from its fliadow foon. 
As from a pale Eclipfe the filver Moon, 

It feem'd new kindling with excurfive light. 

Vol. m. R 

C 24a 3 


Thick flafliing beam on beam, the heav'nly Hoft, 
That on long lines of Light its form compos'd, 

Began fo folemn and fo fweet a lay. 
And fuch deep myftic fenfe the fong conveyed. 
Which the perfeftions of their Lord difplay'd. 

That Memory's feeble fence was borne away. 


O {acred Love ! reward of earthly toils. 
Clothed in the deep ferene of heav'nly fmiles. 

Or in the glorious robe of kindling joy. 
What were thy triumphs here ! how brightly (hone 
Thy Pupils, hov'ring o'er the ample Zone 

Of Jove, in his majeftic march on high ! 


Now the loud Chorus of the Sky was ftill. 
When a foft found, as of a murm'ring rill, 

Tuning from fteep to fteep its gentle fall. 
As if it meant in liquid lapfe to fing 
The treafures of its clear, perennial fpring. 

And to the fong its lid'ning Naiads call. 


As where the chords upon the found-board meet. 
Or thro* the Flute's foft vent, in flow retreat, 

Collefl, and flit in tuneful ftrains away ; 
Thus from the Vifion, like a dying breeze, 
Whofe gentle motion waves the flumb'ring trees, 

A foft Ei^YsiAN whifper feem*d to play. 

[^3 3 


Tet, in diftinft and modulated note, 
Thofe accents feemM in middle air to float : 

" High-favour*d Man ! this wond'rous Form furvey : 
See, how its gemmy wings obfcure the Sky j 
See, how it lifts its regal head on high. 

And rolls its eyes, that fhed a brighter day, 


** That Light, which mortal Men the Pupil call. 
Full in the centre of the beamy ball. 

Is he, that to the holy Spirit fung 
Immortal paeans to the trembling lyre. 
And led, preceded by the hallow'd Choir, 

Thro' plaufive Tribes, the Ark of God along. 


•• His Song's immortal meed he learns above. 
Not by the laurel, but by heav'nly love. 

And tranfport in its full extent, repaid ; 
The hallowed Band you fee in circle bright. 
That feem a Guard to this diftinguifli'd Light; 

The First, the mourning Widow's wifli obey'd. 

St, viii. /. I, That Lights &c.] The principal Spirits of thofe 
that compofe the form of the Eagle reprefented here, aredefcribed 
as flationed round the Eye, of which David is the centre. 

St. ix. /. 6. The First,] Trajan rcfcued (as the Legends fay) 
from the Infernal Regions, by the prayers of Gregory the Great, 
on account of his patience under the Widow's reproof, and the im- 
partial juftice adminiflercd to her. See PuRCATORiOy Canto x. 


[ 244 ] 


** Now, well the Warrior knows how dear it coft, 
Heav'n to renounce, and join the Stygian hoft ; 

For long he fojoum'd with the fentenc'd Crew. 
The King that fhines befide, is he whofe prayer 
Held Death's uplifted arm fufpenfe in air. 

While rofy health retum'd with vigour, new. 


*' Here he too learns, that heav'nly judgment ftiH 
Obeys the mandate of th' eternal Will 

Unchangeable ; altho* a pious pray*r 
May feem a while to check the circling ray. 
And in its race fuf^nd the fatal day. 

To cheer the haggard eye of wan Defpair. 


*' That Saint, commingling beams with him, is he 
That made Imperial Rome the fervile fee 

Of haughty Prelates, and to Gr££C£ retir'd. 
Carrying the trophied palm of conquefl o'er 
From hallowM Tyber to the Pontic fhore. 

Long by miftaken piety infpir'd. 

^/. X. /. 4. The King — ] Hezekiah, whofe life was miracii* 
loufly prolonged. Sec 2 Kings, xx. 

Si, xii. /. I. That Saint — ] Const an time. — His preteiKlcd 
donation to the Church is here alluded to. See Paradiso, Canto ^ 
Note I. 

[ «45 ] 


** The Light that fliines below the hallow'd Four, 
Is he whom Sicily's loft Sons deplore ; 

They mourn his fate, nor lefs lament the life 
Of Frederick, and of Charlbs, inveterate foes, 
Whofe deadly feud the breath of Ate blows^ 

Staining her flow'ry fields with civil ftrife. 

*' See ! what a diadem the Monarch wears ! 
See what a radiant Train his worth reveres. 

Yet half eclipsed by his fuperior blaze ! 
And who, in yonder wandering world below. 
Would think a Pagan here could lift his brow, 

RiPHEUs, the juft, renowned in Marc's lays ? 

** He fees that fplendour of fupemal grace, 
"Which from the ancient world concealed its face ; 

Yet, tho' exalted on this 'vantage ground. 
The depth of bounty mocks his eagle fight. 
Dazzled and 'wilder'd in a flood of light. 

Or in the bright obfcure abforpt and drown'd." 

5/. xiii. /. I. The Light — ] William the Goody the fecond 
of that name in Sicily^ of the Norman Line. (See Hift. Flor.) 
After many revolutions, it became the fcene of war and oppreflion» 
during the conteft between the Houfesof Ahjou and Arragon ; 
particularly in the timesof Charles L and IL of Anjou» Peter 
of Arragoh, and Frederick his Son. 

St, xiv. A 6. RiPHEus] Defcribed by Virgil as the moft 
perfcd charaAer among the Trojans, -^. ii. 

— Juftiflimus unus 
Qui fuit in Teucris, et fervantiffimus aequi. 

R « 

C 246 ] 


Soon as a Lark that chants the rifing dawn. 
Then from her anthem on the dewy lawn 

Refts for a while, and feems with joy replete ; 
So feem'd the Image refting from its toil, 
Bafking it flood on Heav'n's eternal fmile, 

Whofe mighty mandate Chance can ne'er defeat. 


Tho' confcious that my inmoll Soul was known. 
Clear as the vivid tints thro* chryftal ihown, 

To this bright Band ; yet, could I not refrain; 
So much the queflion feem'd my Mind to prefs : 
** What things, O all ye Saints above, are thefe ?** 

When a new dawn of joy illum'd the Train. 


Then, 'midfl: a flame of kindling zeal, began 

The Voice to end my doubts : " High-favoured Man ! 

Your fleadfafl Faith I fee ; but ftill, to know 
The means by which thefe wonders are fulfilPd 
Inflames your wifh, in heav'nly things unfkill'd, 

Unlefs from empty Shadows feen below. 


^^ You feem like Children, who the names can leain 
Of things, but fail their nature to difcem 

Till difciplin'd ; but this you have been told : 
Love thro' the heav'nly Bar can force its way. 
And take by ftorm the citadel of Day ; 

Heav'n often feems by heav'nly Love controll'd. 

C 247 3 

** But not as Men to Men reluftant yield 

The day, for Heav'n fpontaneous gives the field, 

Becaufe it loves by Love to be o*er-come. 
You wonder much the First and Fifth to find 
In this fair Orb, for angel Choirs defign'd. 

But they were Converts, ere they met their doom. 


" Deep thro* th' abyfs of Time, the Foremoft view'd 
Th* incarnate Saviour, and his ftreaming blood : 

The other, with a backward glance, beheld 
The tragic fcene that on Moriah part, 
Caird by his Saviour from the Stygian wafte. 

Where ftubbom Men in penal bonds are held* 


** His Interceffor's words, with wing fublime. 
Made fuch an inroad in th' empyreal clime. 

That Heav'n fubmitted to a Mortal's prayV: 
Again the Spirit pafs'd the Stygia?j bound, 
Again on Earth a mortal body found, 

And breath'd thro* organs frail its native air. 

St. XX. /. 4. — i/je First anfl Fifth to Jind^ Trajan and 


The Poet here (hows the prevalence of Charity, or true Bene- 
volence, in procuring eternal happinefs, called by St. Paul, Faith 
that vjorheth by Love, 

St. xxii. /. 4. jigatn the Spirit^ &c.] The Soul of Trajan is 
here -fuppofed to have animated another Body, and to have been 
bom a fecond time of Chriftian Parents. 



[ 248 3 

The font baptifmal, and the holy rite. 

Tho' late return^, the Denizen of Night, 

Blefs'd with the knowledge of a Saviour's Name, 

Which in his bofom woke fo deep a glow. 

That he, late fentencM to eternal woe, 

Equaird the Martyr's heav'n-afpiring flame. 


The other Sage, on Ida's lofty hill. 

Found fuch an heav'nly ilream of grace diftil 

On his rapt Soul from that perennial Source, 
By Mortals never feen, that Virtue's form 
Flafh'd on his Mind with fuch setherial charm. 

As to an Angel rais'd a Mortal's pow'rs. 


" His eye, on Juftice and on Mercy bent. 
Saw in th' abyfs of Light the deep intent 

Of Heav'n, till all Redemption ftood difplay'd. 
His Spirit, rifing like the dawn of Day 
Spontaneous, purg'd the Stygian fume away. 

Emerging glorious from the murky Shade. 


** He ftrove to pour the beam of heav'nly Light 
On thofe ill-omen'd Souls enwrapt in Night, 

Bv thofe three Nymphs that, on the dexter fide, 
Ti^\ Iaw attend the facred Car, that wheel'd 
T^'WV ihc ANT o'er the flow'ry field, 
^ »:lk'ufjuul years before Emmanuel dy'd. 

[ 249 3 


«* O boundlefs view ! commanding things to come^ 
In Poffibility's capacious womb 

Each in it$ caufe involved ; how deep, how ftrange. 
Art thou ! as far beyond the mental ken 
Of the firft Seraph, as the laft of Men, 

Whofe thought, in vain, o*er all creation range. 


*' Yet is our ignorance a fource of joy ; 
For, to the will of Him who fits on high 

Our will with double tranfport we refignj 
By Faith conduced, not by mortal fight. 
And purify our will by heav'nly Light, 

That defecate the human to divine.*' 


Thus thrilling fweet, I heard the facred found, 
<juiding my mental fight thro* Heav*n*s profound. 

And breathing thro* my Soul a facred calm, 
nrhat cures all mental plagues ; and as the firing 
Refponfive vibrates to the Choirs that fing. 

My heart's deep meafure matched the hallow'd pfalm. 


Thus, in the progrefs of the heavenly Ode, 

Still, as their Names were heard, the Seraphs glow'd 

St, xxviii. /• 1 . 2>/ U our ignorance^ &c.] That we walk here 

^ Faith^ not by Sights gives fome degree of virtue to our obedience^ 

which, if we faw eternal things more clearly, would not be the cafe; 

under fuch an over-powering influence, the adUvity of the Mind 

'Would be deftroyed. See Prel. Difc. to the Purgatorio. 

C ^so ] 

Alternate with the tints of love and joy : 
So from their lucid ranks, I law advance. 
Like two bright eyes, with confentaneous glance. 

The Saint of Tyber, and the Sage of Troy. 

Sl XXX. /. 6. Tbi Saint of Tx^^K^andtkc Sage of T%or.'] Tk4« 
JAN and RiPKEUs. 


C ^5« 3 



PafTage to the Planet Saturn, where the Poet finds the Spirits of 
the Coptemplatiils.— -The Manner of afcending to the Eighth 
Sphere, or Starry Heaven, defcribecL 

JjENT were my eyes upon th* immortal face 
Of my Soul's Idol with a fteadfaft gaze ; 

The circling fplendour feem'd to fwim away 
As in a trance^ and not a finile was feen 
Benign, but grave appear'd the beauteous Queen, 

As when a folemn Ihade involves the Day. 


*' Wonder not at my fober cheer,'' fhe faid; 
** If now my inborn tranfport were difplay'd^ 

Kindling my raptur'd glance : oppreft with light, 
^like her, whom fable fings, belov'd by Jove) 
.Annihilated by excefs of love. 

Your clay would turn to cinders at the fight. 

Si. li. L ^ ^^lov* J fy Jorn'] Semslb. Ovid. Metam. iii. 

C 252 ] 


" At every fplendid ftage my charms increafe. 
Still as we mount aloft by due degrees, 

'Till Heaven's empyreal ITirone we reach at laft j 
Unlefs a welcome fhrowd involved my ray$. 
Your mortal effence in th' empyreal blaze p>la(l. 

Would fhrink, like leaves that feel the Lightning's 


** Now on the feventh revolving World we light^ 
Beneath the Lion's glance revolving bright. 

Their blended influence rules the winged hours* 
Look forward now, and in this Mirror try 
What new difcoveries, in an higher Sky, 

Call to a nobler tafk your mental pow'rs.** 


He, whofe enlight'ned Soul my joy can prove 
When with rapt glance I met her looks of love. 

Can judge what grateful favour wing*d my will 
Her orders to perform. Obedience, wdgh'd 
With love, fo fmoothly in the balance play'd. 

That each in turn was rapture to fulfil. 


Amid that fplendid houfe of God's, which bears 
The Name of him who bleft the golden years 

With happinefs that Envy could not fee 
And live, a range of golden fteps began ; 
But far beyond my fight its fummit ran 

Up the high Temple of Eternity. 

[ 253 ] 


Of light compaQ: appeared each lofty ftair, 
While far above, inflaming all the air. 

As if the wandering lights of Heaven combined 
Downward to point one overwhelming beam, 
Angels defcended in continuous ftream, 

And empty left the courts of Heav'n behind. 


As when Aurora's blufti adorns the Eaft, 
The plumy inmates of the callow nefl 

With fluttering wing their genial heat refl:ore ; 
Some from the pendent cradle foar away. 
Then fweep around their bed in wanton play. 

And venture onward, to return no more. 


Thus feem'd the fquadrons, clad in robes of light. 
When now, within the reach of mortal fight, 

Hov'ring along the fplendid fcale, they came ; 
The brightnefs in the van that glitter'd nigh 
With fuch tranfcendent radiance duU'd my eye. 

As fhow'd tranfcendent Love awoke the flame. 


But fhe, meanwhile, from whofe celeflial look 
The figh to aflc, or to refrain, I took. 

Yet veil'd her fmiles, and pond'ring ftill 1 fl:ood 
What fuch a filence meant ; but fhe, who faw 
In Heav'n's high Mirror what my rev'rend awe 

Conceal'd, the fignal gave in gentler mood. 

C ^54 ] 


Permitted now, my dazzled eyes I rak'd, 
i^nd to the brightnefs which before me blaz'd 

I thus began : ^^ Though nought of worth I plead 
To merit your regard, yet gently deign 
At Her requeft, that (hows the heavenly reign. 

To tell what triumphs of the bleft you lead. 


*^ And why, when other worlds refound a&r 
With loud HosANNAHs fent from Star to Star, 

With you the mufic of the Spheres is mute V* 
" Your fenfe of hearing, feeble as your fight. 
Could not fuch impulfe bear,'' the Son of Light 

ReplyM ; ^^ this, mortal,, folves the high difputc 


<^ The lightning of her fmile had fent your Soul 
Before its time to wander round the Pole ; 

The thunder of our Pfalms would burft the bar 
That guards the portals of your trembUng earj 
For your behoof, from a fuperior's Sphere 

Love brought us down to light a lower Star* 


" But that exalted Charity that glows 
Here over all, on each by lot beftows 

His miflion by the fov*reign Will defign'd. 
As here you fee." With rapture in my eye, 
^ Love," I returned, " and more than Lovb I fpy. 

Free, but obedient to th' Almighty Mind. 

C ^55 ] 


^ But this feems hard to folve, why thou alone 
Should be difpatch'd to this ittferior zone ?*' 

I fcarce had ended, when the living flame 
In fpiry circles feem*d aroimd to fpin. 
As on a viewlefs centre tum*d within. 

And fill'd with facred joy without a name. 


** When thus the Voice with accents fweet rejoin'd 
In this refplendent vefture of the Mind, 

Eternal life pervading all my Soul, 
Such a new influx gave of Love and Light, 
That the firft Being to my raptur'd fight 

His majefty difplay'd above the Pole. 


^^ To Him that fpans infinitude alone 
The final caufes of his a£ts are known; 

And tho* the Seraphim with fteadfaft eyes 
Upon his glories gaze, yet (till remain 
TTie wonders of his love, explored in vain 

By all the winged Sages of the Skies. 


^^ Deep lie his counfels in th* abyfs of light. 
Beyond the profped of created fight ; 

Your fellow mortals muft by you be taught 
^o curb their fuicies, and improve their faith : 
dear is our reafon here, but dim beneath. 

Where endlefs vapour clouds the feat of thought. 

C ^56 3 


" For even above it ftrains our mental view. 
The fecrets of our Sovereign to purfue ; 

Tho' God exalts our faculties as far 
As wide creation's bounds, yet flill we find 
The ftrongeft emanations of the Mind 

Oppos'd by fome infuperable bar.'* 


Thus on my curious thought he fliut the door ; 
I left the queftion as it flood before. 

Content his (lation and his name to know. 
He anfwer'd, " Thou hafl feen the brow fublime 
Of Appenine, that paft the Latian clime, 

And hears the muttering thunder roll below. 


" A rugged Cliff the parent mountain rears ; 
Beneath, an holy hermitage appears, 

Where many a fage contemplatift was known 
In vigilance and pray'r to fpend his days. 
Hymning the Sovereign Caufewith hallowed praife: 

Here long I liv'd, contented and alone. 

St. xxi. /. 6. I/ere long I liv'dy — ] The Speaker was Petei. 
Damian, firfta celebrated Reclufe inaMonaftery near RavennAi 
but before his death prevailed upon to put on a CardinaPs Cap* 
— Vellutellg. 

In this Monaflery Dante, after his banifhment, is faid to have 
finifhed his Poem, of which only the firfl feventecn Cantos of the 
Inferko were written before that event. — ^Angellucci. 



[ ^57 3 


Minerva's tree fupply'd my daily fere. 
When rugged Winter yok'd his frozen car. 

And gathered herbs, while Summer fmil*d ferene ; 
Yet thro' the fierce extreme of heat and cold 
Unmark'd, the mighty wheel of Nature roU'd, 

My Mind furvey'd a more majeftic fcenc. 


** Oft' fleering upwards to their happy lot. 
In many a freight from that fequefter'd fpot, 

Were feen, on Heav'n's eternal voyage bound. 
Whole caravans of Souls : but now no more 
On wings of flame from that unhappy fhore, 

Heav'n's Candidates o'er-pafs the heav'nly mound. 


^ But Justice foon, defcending from the Skies, 
Hie fpot profan'd by Sin will fignalize. 

Long by the life of Damian known to fame ; 
' from the taint of early crimes releas'd, 
3y pray'r my worldly habitudes reprefs'd. 

And temperance relum'd the facred flame. 


^ A little fpace of life remain'd to run, 
^^Then I again by worldly honours won. 

For prieflly purple chang'd my hairy gown, 
^nd wore that turban, which to ufe profane 
f s often doom'd amid that haughty train, 

Spotlefs at firfl, but now of black renown* 
Vol. m. S 

C ^58 3 


" The great Bar Jonas and th' eleS of God, 
Judea's rugged hills in fandals trod. 

Content with (imple fare wherever found; 
Thofe holy Gourmands, infolent and proud. 
In foft fedans fupported thro* the crowd. 

Will fcarcely deign to touch the humble ground. 


'* Leaning upon their Satellites they go. 
Propped up on either fide, a goodly (how : 

With one behind, to bear the trailing vcft ; 
Their fteeds, with coftly cloths all cover'd o'er. 
Proudly curvet on Tvber's trembling Ihore, 

And flowing mantles hide the double Beast. 


•* How long will this be borne ?" He fcarce had fpcd^e. 
When round a thoufand corufcations broke. 

And down the (lairs a bright proceflion came. 
And round in many a burning circle wheeled. 
While bright^iing all the wide Saturnian field, 

Defcending glories fpread a lambent flame. 


And ftill as o'er the Sky the Pageant flow'd. 
Its radiant (kirts with brighter colours glowed, 

St. xxvi. /. I. The great Bar Jonas — ] A name given by our 

Saviour to Peter. 

5/. xxvii. /. 6. -^ hide /i&r Double Beast.] The Horfe mud 
)iis Rider. 

t 259 3 

Then o'er the region fweird an hymn fo clear 
And loud, it feem*d to rack my ravilh'd brain j 
No mortal mufe could emulate the ftrain. 

That palfy'd ev*ry nerve with tone feverc. 



C 261 ] 



CoavcrfatioQ with the Spirit of Saint Benedict.— Afcent to the 

Stany Heavens. 

1 HE concert clos'd ; with paufing thought I ey*d. 
In mute aftonifhment, my heav'nly Guide, 

As to his Mother's eye the trembling Child 
With terror turns. But, with maternal glance^ 
The holy Nymph reliev'd me from my trance, 

'Swaging my caufelefs fear with accents mild. 


" Do you not feel with what a fudden flight 
Your Soul has mounted to the realms of Light ? 

No caufe for terror in thefe bounds is known. 
Nothing but ardent love and holy zeal. 
The facred Choirs communicate and feel. 

In the wide circuit of the ftellar Zone. 


[ 262 3 


** How would the fong of blifs have (hook your Soul^ 
Or my full glories darting round the Pole, 

When even the fainted echo ftruck a paufe 
Thro* all your mental powers ? You then had known. 
What vengeance kindles round th* Etemal^s Throne; 

Soon will it vindicate her broken laws/' 


*' Before your winged Soul (hall difengage 
From its low trammels, on yoiu* earthly ftage 

The thunder-bolt fhall fall ; but fooner far. 
Indignant Man the fiery lance had hurlM, 
In liafty zeal, to fcourge a finful world, Ppare. 

While guilt prefumes tliat Heav'n the ftroke may 


*^ But now to other wonders turn your eye. 
Soon other glories of the op'ning Sky 

Shall meet your view, if you direft it right.** 
1 look'd, and faw a thoufand Orbs defcend, 
And fcintillating round, their radiance blend 

In one wide waving canopy of Light. 


I ftood, like him who checks his warm defirc. 
When chilling Fear repels the rifing fire. 

And on his trembling tongue the queflion dies ; 
When from a burning globe, on wings of flame, 
A Spirit in my fphere of vifion came, 

And thus began the Inmate of the Skies : 


•* Had you but known the ardent flame of Love, 
ITiat lights thofe winged Bands of blifs above, 

y^o dread had closed your lips. But no delay 
From us (who know your longing) fhall be giv*n 
To folve your doubts; — your thoughts are feen in 

Clear as the fcenes difclos*d by opening Day. 


** Thofe fouthem Cliffs that o'er Casino frown. 
Are peopled by a Tribe of black renown ; 

Benighted Minds! eclips'd by demon guile. 
I firft divulged among the mole-ey'd Race 
The name of Jesus, and the dawn of Grace, 

Whofe noontide glories now reward my toil. 


•* Such clear reflexion from the Throne of Heav'n, 
To guide my fteps among thofe hills was giv'n. 

Enlightening, like the Sun's afcending ray. 
All eyes and hearts in every hamlet round ; 
Where'er I pafs'd, with rev'rend awe profound. 

They fled from darknefs, and ador'd the Day. 


" Thefe other living Stars that round me rife. 
Began their rapt'rous commerce with the Skies, 

5"/. viii. /. 4. Lfrjdlvulg'd^ St. Benedict, who founded the 
Monaftery of Casino, on a fcitc where formerly there had been a 
Temple of Apollo. — Lanoino. 


t «64 ] 

While yet on Earth, and felt the facred fire 
That feeds the germs of grace within the Soul, 
Impregns the mental foil from Pole to Pole, 

And bids the mounting thought to Heav'n afpiie. 


** Macario, here, and Romoald, grace my fide, 
Whofe Souls the hal9yon calm of hope enjoy'd. 

And, midft the driving ftorms that rag'd below. 
Anchored on Heav'n."-*-" Your love,'* I ftraight re- 
*^ And each warm emanation of your Mind,- pom^d. 

Their kindred ardour on my Soul beftow. 


*' My open'd heart the heav'nly beam inhales ; 
As blufliing rofes to the vernal gales 

Expofe the glowing breaft, and drink the Daj 
Thro' ev'ry purple vein : *tis thus I feel 
My Soul its unthought energies reveal. 

To meet your ardours more than half the way^ 


•* O then vouchfafe to fate my ftrong defire. 
And drop that dim eclipfe, immortal Sire ! • 

That clouds your glories from my mortal fight ! 
Let me enjoy your prefence, face to face." 
" Soon," he replyM, " but in a ioftier fpace. 

My features fliall be feen in open light. 

St, xi. /. I. Macario, htrcy ami Romoald^] Two indent BiCn 
of holy lives, both Hermits. 

C 265 ] 


** There all defires their proper objefts meet. 
There, all immoveable, and all complete, 

Each knows his place, and all their ftation keep 
Without the dread of change ; where time and place 
At once are loft, and Heaven's wide circling race 

Around the Poles is funk in endlefs ileep. 


** To that proud fummit yonder fcale afcends. 
Far, far among the burning Stars it ends. 

To human fenfe immeafurably tall : 
This Jacob, in the deep, noftumal noon, 
In radiant pomp, below the (ilver Moon, 

Defcending, faw from Heav'n's majeftic hall* 


** Then, down the vaft declivity he fpy'd 
Long files of Angels o'er the mighty void. 

In midnight march, an holy vifit pay 
To Israel's happy Strand. But now no more 
Its footftool refts on that devoted fhore ; 

The Sins of Man have clos'd the facred way. 

St. XV. /. 4. Thu Jacob, — J See his Vifion, Gen. xxviii. 
St, xvi. Thrn, down the vafi decRvltyy &c.] Milton feems to 
have imitated this. Par. Loft, b. iii. 1. ^tS- 

Each ftair myfterioufly was meant, nor ftood 

There always. 

Dire^, againft which open'd from beneath, 
Juft o'er the blifsful feat of Paradife, 
A paffage down to £arth> a paffage wide, &Ck 


C 266 ] 


*' The feet are fetter'd in unholy flimc 

That climbM, with wmged hade, the fcale fublime ; 

My chart, that fhew'd their voyage to the Stars, 
Lies a dead letter now : their hallow'd walls 
Are tum'd to robbers' dens, to beftial flails. 

And holy hoods are fiird with Stygian tare^. 


^ But ufury fliall fooner be forgiv'n. 

That deadly fin, that fmells fo rank to Hcav*n, 

Than the fou^l deeds of the monaftic fry. 
The heart's corruption, and the hand's offence. 
Hence ! ye polluted fins of Bejlial ! hence! 

Nor thus affront th* inevitable eyel 


'* Emmanuel's word no Magazine allows 
To fill the chambers of his facred houfe ; 

It is the poor Man's boon, he claims the whole I 
Levites ! your facrilegious hands reftrain. 
No Harlot here, nor Catamite profiuie, 

Mull fpoil the facred ranfom of the Soul. 


*^ Tis cafy firft to ipould the flexile heart ; 
But foon rebellious to the plaflic art. 

It lofes the fine ftamp, and turns away. 
You plant the acorn, but your labour fpare, 
Protefting Mounds, and Sun, and genial Air, 

The plant requires, to bid its boughs difplay. 

C 267 ] 


" With empty fcrip the Galilean fped. 
And with unfparing hand, the halIow*d bread 

Of Life difpens'd at large o'er hill and dale j 
Francis and I with pray'r and falling drove. 
Thro' many a flecplefs night, and mom of Love, 

To brace our Soldiers in their heav'nly mail. 


" But mark the limpid current where it flows. 
And fee how foul the muddy channel grows. 

When black pollutions, from a thoufand hills. 
And fleeping Stygian pools, infeft its wave. 
Jordan ! return to your paternal Cave ; 

Your parent Cave with pois'nous dew diflils. 


*^ But he that fmote the deep, and bade it roll 
In hoiTor from its bed, can ftrike the Soul ; 

I fee the lifted rod." He faid, and fled 
Back to his radiant poft : from rear to van 
The bending files in fiery circles ran. 

And with a whirlwind found thro' -^ther fped. 

Then, with a fign, the bright Elysian Fair 
Difmifs'd me after, thro' the depths of air. 

By that dread fcale that lean'd upon the Sky ; 
So much her native energy o'ercame 
My habitudes, that, like afcending flame, 

I climb'd, with vent'rous ftep and fteadfiift eye. 

St. xxi. /. I. — the Galilean] Pet£r> or any of the Apoftlcf. 

I 268 ] 


Not with fuch fpeed, thro* parting clouds bdow, 
Afcends the arrow from the twanging bow. 

Or darts again to Earth on whiftling wing. 
As up the long range of the pendent (lair. 
Like running light, I pierc'd the yielding air. 

Which feem'd around my dizzy head to fing. 


In fhorter fpace than I the flame could bear. 
With voluntary hafte along the fphere 

I fped, till Leda's Twins oppos*d my flight ; 
Elfe may I ne'er the holy triumph fee. 
Ne'er join the folemn fong of Jubilee, 

But mourn my Sins, as now, immersM in Night« 


" O glorious conftellation I heav'niy Source^ 
Pregnant with Light and Life, I felt your force 

From world to world, acrofs the annual Zone» 
Streaming on me ; I quicken'd on your ray. 
Which rofe, afcendent with the Lamp of Day, 

When Phoebus met you in his moving throne. 


*' When from the fliorten'd journey of the year 
I rofe aloft, to wing a wider fphere, 

5*/. xxvii. /. I. glorious ConfteUatton^ &C.3 Dante fuppofcd 
hiraftrlf born under the influence of the fign Geminis when the 
Sun was in that conilellation ; but the day is not marked* 

[ 269 ] 

And with the mighty mundane round to ride 
Among the Stars, a fympathy unknown. 
My upward flight to your refplendent throne. 

Thro* the fine element vouchfaTd to guide. 

** Bright Flame ! or rather thou whofe breath divine 

lUuminM Space, and gave yon* Stars to fhine ; 

O ! with thy buoyant Spirit wing my Soul, 
To this tremendous Voyage fpread before 
Her fail, thro* this dread fpace without a fhore, 

Whofe ftrong attraftion lifts me to the t^ole !*' 


** Your long excurfion foon will have an end. 
Full on Salvation*s verge you now afcend : 

Now for an Angel's beam your mortal fight 
Should be exchang'd ; but turn around, and try 
How far your eye can travel down the Sky, 

To the pale regions of refleded lighL 


•^ Let that proud Theatre your WBnd expand. 
With tranfport like itfelf, excmrfive, grand. 

Before that glorious veftibule you tread ; 
Left after fuch a flight, from Pole to Pole, 
Thdr tbund'ring Jubilee (hould whelm your Soul, 

And fend yo^ blafted down firom whence you fled. 


She fpoke : I look*d below, and inftant fpy*d 
The feven revolving Orbs in circuit wide. 

C ^70 ] 

Thro* the expanfe of -ZEther marching flow. 
Round within round ; and this dim Planet foon 
I faw, emerging with her neighboring Moon, 

And fmil'd contemptuous at the pigmy (how. 


Foul neft of countlefs crimes, you merit well 
More holy anger, more indignant s^eal. 

Than fuits the Mufe ; and he who fcoms you more, 
Yet more of true Divinity can boaft. 
Than he whofe conquefts ftretch around thy coaft. 

Yet ne'er is known an heav'n-ward flight to foar. 


Phoebe the fair was feen without her veil. 
That oft appears her beauty to conceal. 

And (tain the brightnefs of her filver Car ; 
And Sol his fiery diadem had loft ; 
Even Maia's Son unfeathM, his chariot crofs*d. 

And clofe behind purfu'd the Cyprian Star, 


Jove, I beheld between his frozen Sire 

And his proud Son, that flamed with mardal fire : 

St. zxxii. /. 4. — tlh Jim Planet foon'} The Tianflator 
taken the liberty of calling the Earth in this place a Planet, ^' 
cording to modern ideas. It is Globe, in the origiaal ; and, m-' 
cording to the Ptolemuic fyilem, which then yrevailedf waa 
upon as the centre of the Univerfe, and confequendy immoveab^' 

St, xxxiv. /. I. Phoehe t/jcfair — ] The Moon. 

5. Maia's Son'] Mercury. 

6. Cyprian Star] Venus, 
St.jLTXY. L I. --frozen Sire] Saturn. 

2. — his proud Son] Mars. 

C 271 ] 

There, 'mid the fierce extremes, his milder feat 
The Planet, like a lawful Monarch, took ; 
I faw how place and diftance chang'd their look. 

As now they feem'd to pan, and now to meet. 


Thdr wond'rous amplitude, their fwift career 
1 markM, high thron'd amid the ftellar Sphere, 

And how they knew their bounds, and tum'd again. 
When their faint glories feem'd to die away, 
Courfmg, with oblong fweep and kindling ray. 

O'er the broad bofom of th* ethereal plain. 


This Earth, fufpended in the hollow Sky, 

That makes poor Mortals proud, unknowing why^ 

From the celeftial Twins, where now I rode, 
1 meafur'd, hill and dale, and flood and field ; 
My eye the kindling figns of fcom reveal'd. 

And tum*d for refuge to the throne of God. 


C ^73 ] 



Our Satiour appears in Triumph, furrounded by an innumerable 

Company of the Bleft. 

As the fond Mother, neftling in the grove. 
Watches her flumb'ring family of Love, 

While fable Night invefts the face of things. 
And hinders her excurfions, to prepare 
The daily dole, that feeds her callow care. 

And fpreads above them her maternal wings. 


.As, anxious, waiting till the morning chill 
^Scatters the hoary dew o'er dale and hill. 

Her eager eye anticipates the day : 
tike her, thus longing for the Sun's uprife, 
^The Nymph was feen to point her kindling eyes 

Where Phoebus' fiery wheels at noon delay. % 

Vol. in. T 

[ 274 3 


As thus in rapt expeftanqr flie flood. 
Her eager aftion fir*d my kindling blood, 

Which caught her varying Pailions as they rofe : 
Scarce *twixt her Hope and mine a moment pafs'd. 
When other glories, dawning o'er the wafte 

Of iETHER, feem'd new wonders to difclofe. 


^* Behold !'* tranfported, fhe exclaimM, ** behold 
The banners of Redemption there unfold. 

And all the ranfom'd Trains, from all the Spheres, 
Attend their Saviour's jubilee above." 
She ceas'd, and lookM with fuch tranfcendent love. 

That to difplay her charms the Mufe forbears. 


And as pale Cynthia to the folar ray 

Her moving mirror holds, and meets the day 

With face dired, and o'er the tranquil fcene 
Delighted bends her eye, her Nymphs around 
People with mingling beams the blue profound, 

And view with fparkling eyes their fmiling (^een. 


Thus, 'midft a thoufand thoufand living ftars. 
Like Deities enthron'd in golden Cars, 

Half loft in the full blaze that flufh'd the Sky; 
A glorious Sun his radiance threw around. 
Like ours, when rifmg o'er the blue profound, 

A radiant Form that mock'd the mortal eye. 


C ^75 ] 


What fights are here ; immortal Maid !'* I cry'd, 
" I fink, I fell !*' " Be firm/' the Nymph reply'd j 

You fee the virtue of th* Eternal Word, 
That dooms the rebel, and the loyal faves ; 
A ftream of glory thro' the yawning graves 

From Heav'n he fent, and Hell his might deplorM. 


As lightening, darting from the heav'nly coaft, 
Flaflies expanfive, till in jSlther loft. 

Or glances on the ground, and dies aviray ; 
Thus, overcome by this celeftial feaft. 
My vagrant Soul, as from myfelf released, 

From ev'ry recoUedion feem'd to ftray. 


Again was heard my Guide's confoling voice : 
^' Since thofe interior fplendours of the Skies 

You now have feen, you well can bear to view 
Me as I am, and meet my heav'nly fmile." 
Sudden I feeni^d like one whofe fruitlefs toil 

Tries a forgotten vifion to renew. 


Then, oh ! what welcome met my ravifli'd ears ! 
Worthy that high degree above the Spheres ! 

That Tablet, which preferves th' ideal train, 
rill banifh'd by affeftion, pain, or time, 
Ji ev'ry chance, or change, or place, or clime, 

For evermore that Image fliall retain. 


C ^76 3 


But if an hundred tuneful tongues (hould tiy 
This topic new, and all the Mufes vie 

With all the jubilee of Heav'n in fong ; 
Still vainly would they ftrive to match my theme. 
When, rapt to Heav'n in tranfport's fweet extreme, 

. On that transfigur'd Form entranced I hung. 


Forbear, O Mufe ! altho* you tryM to foar 
O'er all the wonders of the World before. 

Here clofe your wing, and check your daring flight ; 
A chafm is here, which Clio ne'er eflay'd, 
A weight, by human balance yet unweigh'd. 

No wonder if fuch themes my foul affright ! 


No narrow frith is here for me to fail, , 
With mariners imfkiird, in pinnace frail : 

Weak pilot as I am, I dread to run 
On perils unperceiv'd, unfit to fway 
The guiding helm along an unknown way. 

Content the danger of the deep to fhun. 


^* Why do you dwell on thofe inferior charms, 
Tho* knidling in your Soul fuch foft alarms ? 

That Light, which long you wifliM to view, furvey ; 
Beneath whofe fmile Elysian flowerets fpring, • 
And all around immortal fragrance fling. 

And with ambrofial fruits his beam repay. 

C ^n 3 

** Here Sharon's rofe difpenfes foft perfumCy 
The type of Him who, by celeftial dooniy 

Departing from his glory, took breath 
A veft of clay ; and here the lilies blow, 
That (hed their fweetnefs o'er the world of woe. 

Attracting mortals up the heavenly Path.** 

llius fpoke the Guide ; and I, obfequious ftill 
To every motion of the Veftal's Will, 

Try*d for a paffing glimpfe, but half in vain : 
The Vifion look'd, as when the folar ray. 
In fcatter'd glances, fheds a dubious day 

Thro* curtain*d clouds on Flora*s fragrant reign. 

Thus, o*er my dazzled eyes, in tranfient gloom. 
Mortality's deep fliadows feem*d to roam ; 

Yet oft, a vifta of tranfcendent light. 
In long array, the paffing triumph fliow'd ; 
On their deep files a dream of glory flow*d 

From fome setherial fource above my fight. 


** Prime fount of Love ! on me you deign*d to flow, 
Tho* (hrowded from my fight, and left below 

Prints of thy glory, which a mortal's eye 
Could fuffer unfubdu'd ! that ftainlefs Flow'r, 
Whofe name I fing at mom and ev*ning hour, 

Rais'd me to bear the triumphs of the Sky. 

^/. xviii. 7.4. ^^haijiamleff Flow'r f'l The Poet meant here the 
Virgin Mary. 


r «78 ] 

As much her heavenly glance the charms excell*d 
Of thofe angelic bands that lin'd the field. 

As here below her beauty all furpafs'd : 
But long I looked not, when a lamp of Light 
Ran round her glorious head in circle bright^ 

And on her charms a double glory ca(L 


Then they began an holy hymn to breathe : 
The fweeteft concert in this vale of Death 

Seem'd harfh, as muttering thunder to the ear. 
With this celeftial (train compared, that rung 
Around, while overhead the garland hung. 

Brought by the Seraph from the op'ning Sphere. 


And thus he fung, refponfive to the chime 

Of golden lyres below : *' From heights fublime 

Down hither on the wings of Love I fail. 
The heav'nly Maid commiffion'd to attend ; 
With her again to glory I afcend. 

And Him whofe prowefs forc*d th* infernal jaiL . 


** When her bright charms the heav'nly courts adorn. 
She breaks upon them like a double mom, 

Th* eternal Temples more majeflic fliine.** 
Thus fung the circling Seraphim, and all 
The Hierarchies, refpondent to the call. 

Proclaimed the Mother of the Birth Divine. 

C 279 3 

The glowing concave of that hallowed dome 
Where all the circling worlds, that feem to roam. 

In boundlefs mazes, find their fated place, 
Fpr ever brightening in th* eternal beam. 
My (training eyes beheld in dubious gleam. 

Spanning all Nature in its wide embrace. 


Too foon the long van, to that awfiil Sky 
Thro* the vafl theatre afcending high. 

Was loft ; nor laft, with gemmy luftre crownM, 
The fainted Spouse of Joseph thro* the gate 
Of Heav*n purfued her Son's afcending ftate. 

And glimmering vanifh*d in the blue profound. 


Then, as an Infant for the lymph of life 
Extends its little hands in eager ftrife. 

And anxious longing for the tafted boon j 
So thofe who ftay*d behind, with eager eye 
Seem*d to purfue the triumph up the Sky, 

To the high fummit of th* eternal Noon. 


" Hail, Regent of the Stars !** I heard them fing j 
Still in my ears their tuneful accents ring ! 

O what an harveft of eternal joys 
Was theirs, whom heavenly wifdom taught to know 
'^rhe feafon, in this mortal foil to throw 

The facred feed that ripens in the Skies ! 


[ 28o ] 


Here the deliverM Saints enjoy the boon 

Of life, and what they foVd beneath the Moon 

In tears, at Babylon's unhallow'd ftream. 
Where long they moumM o'er Salem's facred fpoils. 
They reap above, the price of all their toils. 

And fing with grateful voice the noble theme. 


There He, whofe juft hands hold the golden key 
That opes the palace of Eternity, 

Enjoys, with Moses and Emmanuel's Choir, 
The vift'ries of the Faith ; and thofe who, led 
By holy Paul and Boanerges, bled. 

Are amply paid by Heav'n's eternal Sire. 

Si. xxviii. /. I. There He^"] St. Peter. 
St, xxviii, /. 5. Boanerges,] St. Johk. 


C asi 3 



C)nfcrcnce of Dante with the Spirit of Saint Peteri on the 

Nature of Faith. 

yJ heav'n-selected Band, for ever bleft ! 
Who fit inceflant at th' ambrofial feaft, 

Giv'n by the Lamb, that fates your longmg Souls 
With heav'nly cates, afford a Son of Clay, 
Yet ere he dies, his hunger to allay 

With blifs, that you can fpare above the Poles. 


" Let your celeftial bounty fympathize 
With his immortal third for endlefs joys. 

And from that heav'nly Spring one drop beftow. 
To quench his fervours." Thus the Maid began ; 
Quick light'nings round the Pole refponfive ran. 

And living Comets feem'd above to glow. 

C 282 3 


As in a horologe the circles play, 

Some running fpeedy round, while fome delay j 

So feem'd the glorious Orbs to mix above. 
In hafty meafiire, or majeftic dance, 
Crofling the view, with quick alternate glance. 

In ail the forms of hallow'd awe and love. 


Quick as the motion of careering flame. 
From the mod fplendid Orb a Spirit came. 

Enkindling in his courfe divinely bright : 
Around the Virgin, in a radiant fphere. 
He flew fo fwiftly, and he fung fo clear. 

As dull'd at once my hearing and my fight. 


Created Fancy knows no tints fo fine. 
To paint the wonders of this fcene divine, 

When to my Guide the Son of Glory taidp 
Sufpended in his fpeed : " O, Sifter ! fay. 
Why from yon' Jubilee you drew away 

My Soul ? Declare your will, celeftial Maid !*• 


Then fhe : " O fainted Soul, to whom was giv'n 
By our great Mafter's hand the Keys of Heav'n, 

St. iii. /.I. ^s in a horologe^ &c.] Dante, by the luminoitf 
vcfts, the fprightly meafures, and the harmony of the blefled Spiritfy 
feems to exprefs, allegorically, their intelle^ual and aftive powa^ 
and the happinefs which they enjoy, 


[ 283 ] 

Brought from th' empyreal Sky for you to keep. 
Behold this Candidate, and prove his Faith ; 
See if it matches thine, when far beneath 

Thou met*ft thy Saviour on the troubled deep. 


*^ If Faith and Hope be his, and Love divine. 
Thou know'ft, for that great privilege is thine. 

To view the Mirrors, where the deeds of Men, 
And ev*n their thoughts, in uncreated Light, 
In Heav*n*s dread colours, meet the wpnd'ring iight, 

Refle^ed full to Saints' and Angels' ken. 


** But, fmce the title to eternal joy 
Faith claims ; before yon' portals open fly. 

Give him the teft, and try his grounds of truft.** 
I heard the charge, and fummon'd all my might 
To hold high conference with the Son of Light, 

Invefted as I was with humble duf):. 


As arm'd by Reafon for the high difpute. 
The Pupil (lands before his Mafter mute ; 

Thus, ranging all my thoughts in long array. 
In the retentive (lores of Mem'ry laid. 
Light after Light I fummon'd to my aid. 

Prompt to fubmit them to his fage furvcy. 


^ Pupil of Jesus," thus the Saint began, 

" Say, what is Faith ? Refolve me. Son of Man ?" 

C 284 3 

I tum'd me to my Guide the Sign to fpy ; 
The Sign was giv'n, and inftant I reply'd : 
^' If Heav'n the Grace afford, illuftrious Guide ! 

With your beheft Til inftantly comply. 


'^ His words can bed: my inward thoughts exphdn, 
Whofe toils with yours difturb'd the Demon's rdga 

On Tyber*s fliore : from him I leam'd of old. 
Faith gives the proof that Hope afpires to find ; 
Subftantial proof, that fills the void of Mind, 

And unfeen things to mental light unfolds." 


" You anfwer right,'* the heav*nly Vifion laid ; 
'^ But tell me, why is this diftinftion made 

Between the fubftance and the proofs when known 
Then I : " The fcenes that in full fplendour glow 
Before my light, are hid to thofe below ; 

Their fubftance there confifts in Faith alone. 


^' Thus Faith th' imputed name of fubftance claimSj 
On this celeftial Hope her fabric frames. 

And Reafon, from the things above, begins 
To weave her proofs (as if the mortal eye 
Had feen the fecrets of the opening Sky), 

From the deep ftamp of thefe celeftial fcenesJ 



Soon he retum'd : " If Faith allow'd no Guide 
But Reafon, and upon her aid rely'd. 

No fophiftry could (hake Religion's bafe.'* 
Thus fpoke the Saint, and, paufing, thus rejoin'd : 
*' That notion of your Faith is well defin'd ; 

But does your heart its genuine pow'r confefs ?" 


** Yes," I replyM ; " I own that genuine coin, 
Imprefs'd with the celeflial ftamp divine." 

*' Whence was it gained ?" the Son of Jonas faid j 
•* From Heav'n's abundant Grace diffused of old 
By thofe," I quick reply'd, " who left enroU'd 

What wonders Heav'n, to prove their caufe, difplay'd: 


** On this my credence refts in full repofe." 
•* But how," he cryM, " if mifbelieving Foes 

Deny their truth, wilt thou their truth maint2^n ?" 
** Such wonders," I retum'd, " as they record. 
Such proofs as Nature's courfe could ne'er afford. 

On adamantine bafe their truth fuilain." 


•< Now art thou fure," he faid, " fuch works were done ? 
Now canft thou prove fuch wonders faw the Sun ?" 

St, XV. /• 3, — the Son 0/* Jon As,] Peter — Barjonas. 

St. xvii. 7. I. How art thou Jure^ &c.] This argument is ex- 
panded and enforced by Dr. Priestley, in his Letter to a phi- 
lofophical Unbeliever. In fadl, human nature mud have been not 
only different from what it is now, but Man muft have believed 
and a6led on oppofite principles to thofe which prevail at prefent, 
before we can believe that fuch precepts were received generally, 
without a fupematural interferer4ce ; precepts fo cootrary to the 
paffions aiid prejudices which then prevsuled. 

C 286 3 

" If Man were gathered to Emmanuel's fold 
Without a miracle/* I ftraight reply'd, 
** Then Man himfelf the miracle fupplyM, 

Beyond all prodigies renownM of old/* 


" That was a wonder, when the heav'nly feed. 
Sown by a lowly Swain, to want decreed. 

Grew a fair Vine, tho* marr'd by many a Thorn.'* 
This hearing, one by one the Ranks of Rre 
Sung one fole Deity with voice and lyre. 

And diftant Bands the tuneful tide return. 


Then the great Perfonage, at whofe beheft 
I thus from ftep to ftep my Faith confefl; 

To the lad Stage that reached Convidion's hdgfat, 
Reply'd : " O Man ! the Grace divine that warms 
Your willing Soul with her immortal charms, 

Dire&s your anfwers with celeftial Light. 


" Your Sage refponfe my approbation gains : 
A more important queftion yet remains. 

The fum of your belief at large to (hew. 
And whence the motive grew/' " O rev'rend Sire,** 
1 cry'd, " you found the heav'nly view infpire. 

When you outftripp'd the youthful Train below* 


" My Faith, whofe caufe you call me to rectte. 
In one fole Being, Source of Life, and lights 

i 287 ], 

And Motion, tho* himfelf unmov*d I found. 
Rather by facred Love than Reafon led. 
And by that Grace befides abundant fhed 

On Moses, Daniel, and the Saints renown'd. 


*' To you, however, and your Brethren, more 
I owe, when, on the fame great caufe, you bore 

The facred torch of Truth from clime to clime ; 
When that triumphant Spirit led the van. 
Who breathed fubmiffion thro' the Soul of Man, 

And opM benighted eyes to Truths fublime. 


** Three heav'nly Perfons I believe combined 
In one pure Effence, one eternal Mind, 

Infeparate, uncausM, that ne'er will end : 
This truth the Gofpel, with a beam of light. 
So clear difplays before my mental fight. 

That with unfading tints its colours blend. 


*' This is the fource from whence my Faith I claim. 
This is the fuel of that heav'nly flame 

That kindles upward as I mount the Sky, 
As an afcending Star by motion fir'd." 
Like one who gladly hears what he defir'd. 

The Vifion brightened with increafing joy. 


-And thrice around on fiery wing he faiPd, 
And thrice with tuneful benedidion hail'd. 

C 1188 ] 

And thrice the earned of Salvation prais'd. 
By me fo prompt in this confeffion giv'n : 
Then, failing upwards to the vault of Heav'n^ 

Amidft the radiant throng afcending blaz'd. 


C 289 J 



Conference with the Spirit of St. James on the Nature of Virtue, 
by whom fome Doubts of the Poet are folred. 

"IF Fate would ere allow the lofty lay, 
StoPn from the concerts of eternal Day, 

And fung beneath the Moon, the rage to quell. 
That chac*d me from my native field afer, 
Becaufe I ftrove to quench the brand of war. 

To loftier notes the mortal drain would fwell. 

'* Tho' now, deep plung*d in want and woe, I fing ; 
With other notes, and to a louder ftring. 

Then had I leam'd to build the lofty rhyme ; 
Then, where the pure baptifmal fount I fhar'd, 
I ftill would meet the Poet's due reward. 

The laurel-wreath that fcoms the fpoil of Time. 

St. ii. /. 4. '-'^where tie fure baptifmal fount Ijbar*di\ viz. at 

Vol. m. U 

[ ago ] 


" 'Twas there the rudiments of Faith I leamM, 
Which, from the awful voice of Cephas, eam'd 

Such high applaufes, when a wreath of fire, 
Th' approving fign, he drew around my head : 
But now another luminary fped 4 

From the bright cohorts of the radiant Choir. 

IV. * 

" Behold the Preacher whom Galicia heard, 
And in his voice the pow'r of God rever'd.** 

So fpoke the Veftal, while the heavenly Piir, 
Like two far-traveird Doves, when firft they meet. 
With plaufive wing and gentle murmurs greet, 

Hov'ring, and cooing, in the fields of air. 


Thus thefe twin Stars, whofe Evangelic glow 
From age to age illum'd the world below, 

Seem*d to my ravifh'd view their light to blend, 
Praifing the copious Source of endlefs joy, 
Diftilling ever from th' empyreal Sky, 

Whofe ftores Eternity can never fpend. 


But when the Saints, reflefldng blaze on blaze. 
Divided on mid-air their mingled rays, 

Down each at once defcends with pointed glance 
Eclipfing mortal eyes, with radiant look 
The Virgin thus the foremoft Saint befpoke. 

While, half abforpt, I ftood in filent trance. 

5/. iv. /. I. — the Preacher^'] St. James. 


[ 291 3 

O facred Sage! whofe daring hand difplayM 
The citadel of life in light arrayM, 

And fledg*d our fpirits with immortal plumes. 
To reach her height, with heavenly food again 
Indulge our hope, tho' near that bleft domain ^ 

Where (he the garb of Certainty affumes ! 


** Thy pencil trac'd her heav'nly Form with care 
In three bright Figures, each fupremely fair. 

Matching the numbers of the chofen Choir 
Who on the lofty brow of Tabor ftood. 
And Jesus in his robe of glory viewed. 

When Angels feem*d like mortals to admire." 


'* Look up," exclaim'd the heav*n-illumin*d Sage, 
" Created eyes, in this exalted ftage 

Of light and life, muft learn by juft degrees 
That mixture of fenfation to fuftain. 
That dulls the eye, and whirls around the brain." 

He fpoke : I found my inward ftrength increafe* 


— So mild a radiance from th' Apoftle ftole. 
Its gentle emanation cheer'd my Soul, 

Si. viii. /. 2. In three bright Figures — ] At the Transfigurationy 
when our Saviour was attended by Pet er, James, and John. 

The Apoille James, in the 5th Chapter, gives a defcription of 
Hope unde three examples, of an Hufbandman, the Prophetti and 
Job, all of patient Hope.— Vellutello. 


C ^9^ ] 

And inftant on my vifual nerves beftow'd 
New tenfion, to fupport the wond'rous fight ; 
For there the holy Twelve, in purple light. 

To my rapt eyes their revVend features (hcw*d. 


Their Figures, indiftinft in heav'nly day. 
Till now I marked not, when the milder ray 

Of great Iberia's Sage my fenfes cheerM: 
'* Since, by new miracles of mercy fliewn," 
He faid, *' the wonders of the lofty zone 

By you are feen, be Heaven's great name rever'd. 


" Attend ; that, taught by you, the Tuscan Train 
To fcan the vifion of the heav'nly reign. 

By you difplay'd, may find their bofoms fir'd 
With genuine hope ; its nature firft difclofe. 
Then tell me whence this heav'nly blefling flows. 

And how you feel your ravifh*d heart infpir'd." 


Thus fpoke the Sage ; and thus my faintly Guide, 
Who pinions to my heav'n-ward flight fupply'd: 

" No Soldier *mongfl the Warriors of the Faith, 
With Hope fo ftrongly plum'd, affefts the Skies ; 
As well you know, for your immortal eyes 

In Heaven's clear Mirror fpy his future wreath. 

Sf. xiii. /. I. — an J /bus my faintly Gui(/tf'] BpATRiCf. 

[ 293 ] 

" For this, kind Heav'n imparts the matchlefs boon. 
To vifit thofe fair climes above the Moon, 

From central darknefs, ere his mortal fenfe 
Be clos'd with duft, what you befides required, 
Not for yourfelf, but others, you defir'd 

To give him means the bleffing to difpenfe. 


^' Homeward you bid him bear the rich perfume. 
Exhaling here from Hope^s Elysian bloom^ 

To warm the nations with attractive pow'rs : 
The reft I leave to him ; no hard employ. 
Nor dare he boaft, tho* favoured by the Sky, 

If Heav'n on him unufual bounty Ihow'rs, 


Then, like a Pupil in his Mafter's lore 

Well IkilPd, and fumifli'd with abundant ftore 

From Saints and Sages old, I anfwer*d foon : 
" Hope is an ardent expeSation giv*n 
By Grace, thro* deeds of Love, to merit Heav'n ; 

Even on yon* earthly ftage a wond'rous boon. 


** From many a Luminant of Heav*n combined. 
This holy radiance flafli'd upon my Mind ; 

But chiefly he, who wav'd the flag of war 
With matchlefs hand before he ftruck the lyre. 
And fung of Heav'n with more than Pindar's fire. 

To my rapt Soul difclos'd the profpeft fiur. 


C ^94 ] 


^* They well may tru/i on thee^ that knew thy Name^ 
('Twas thus he fung with more than mortal flame,) 

And Faith like mine alone the knowledge gives : 
Thou, too, in apoftolic toils employed. 
New light in this important theme fupply'd. 

Which, giv'n by thee, thro* me the world derives.*' 

While thus I fpoke,.the Saint, with inborn joy, 
Shone forth like lightening darting thro* the Sky, 

And thus reply*d : " The lamp of Love that bums 
Within, enkindled by the fov*reign Good, 
Whofe light fuftain*d me thro* the field of blood. 

To thee its heav*nly beam fpontaneous turns. 

*' This prompts me to enquire,, on what relies 
Your Hope : what promife to your Mind fupplies 

Such confidence ?** " The heav*nly code,** I cry'd, 
" Give me the fhadow of this bright abode. 
Which now mine eyes behold, the feat of God ; 

Their infpiration ferv'd me for a Guide. 


" Isaiah firft the veil remov*d of old. 
When the twin-bleffings of th* Eleft he told. 

The Body*s glory and th* exalted Muul : 
Nor lefs thy Partner, when in lofty drain 
He fung the triumphs of the white ftol'd train. 

To iEther caird, from earthly dregs refin*d 

St. xviii. /. 1. They well may tnifl% &c.] Pfidm, ix. 


[ 295 3 


Before he well had ceasM, a fong divine, 
Rais'd in fweet chorus, feeiiiM his fong to join : 

On thofe delightful notes they feem*d to dwell, 
Before each paufe, " On theejhall they rely :" 
While, round the circuit of the ample Sky, 

Sweet Echo feem*d the genial fong to fwell. 


Then, 'midft the Apoftolic fquadron bright, 
Inftant emerged another Son of Light : 

If fuch a Star in Cancer's bounds fliould rife. 
When wintry Sol to Capricorn retires ; 
hs luftre would eclipfe Hyperion's fires. 

Till the receding Crab refign'd the Skies. 


As modeft Bride-maids to the nuptial fong 
The new-made Spoufe exulting lead along. 

And to the mufic form the feftive dance, 
Kot vainly bent their beauties to difplay, 
But their due homage to their Friend to pay. 

We faw the radiant Ti-ain in files advance. 


Scarce feem'd the glory from its place to move. 
When thofe twin Stars of Charity and Love, 

Each brightening each, received their hallow'd driicft : 
In triple chorus foon we heard them join. 
Chanting celeftial Hope with ftrains divine. 
While ev*ry glance the Veftal's joy increasM. 


C ^96 ] 

« This is die chofen Saint," at laft he fiddd, 
** Who his meek head upon the bofom laid 

Of Him, whofe blood redeemM the human race. 
Thus fpoke the Maid, but tum*d her ftead&ft eye 
Still on the moving Squadrons of the Sky, 

With ear attentive, and infatiate gaze. 


As he that gazes on the noontide Sun 
In fancy views a dim eclipfe begun. 

When the dark (hadow hovers o*er his fight, 
0*er-whelm*d and mattered by the potent ray. 
Thus ftill I viewM the Denizen of Day, 

Till my eyes darkened with excefs of light. 


Thus long I might have ftood, with tranced look. 
But thefe kind words at laft my flumber broke : 

*' Why weary thus your eyes to find above 
That breathing duft, that far, oh far below ! 
*Mongft others fl umbers in the Vale of Woe, 

One day to rife a family of Love ? 


" Two only, midft the retinue of Souls, 
Bore to the Zem'th their fublunar ftoles, 

And jSther pure with mortal organs drew.** 
At her laft words, in holy paufe {he ftood ; 
No more the heav'nly hoft their chant renewed. 

And filence reign*d around the welkin blue. 

C 297 ] 


As the tir'd Sailor refts upon his oar. 
When the fhrill fignal bids him toil no more, 

So paused the Saint, while to the Maid I turn'd ; 
But, Heav'ns ! how was I ftruck with pale aflfright ! 
My Guide (methought) had vanifhM from my fight. 

And long, with ftreaming eyes, her lofs I moum'd ! 


C «99 ] 



The Poet holds a Conference with the Spirit of St. John, and 

afterwards with Adam. 

W HILE yet on blank variety I gaz'd^ 
By the fair Veftars fudden flight amazM, 

The radiant Being, whofe o*er-whelming Light 
Eclips'd her Form in glory, thus began : 
•* Ere your dim eyes recover, Son of Man, 

To Truth a while diredt your mental fight. 


** Tell, on what objefts are your thoughts employed ; 
Or is your intelled a formlefs void. 

Like that on jvhich you bend your vifual ray ? 
She, whom you follow thus, thro' realms above» 
Like Ananias, can the cloud remove. 

That hides the dawn of uncreated Day.'* 


Let Heav'n difpenfe the time and means/' I faid. 
To purge thofe darkened optics, which conveyed 
Her Form at once, and Love's immortal glow. 
To my rapt Soul : upon the heav'nly fource 
And end of Love I fix my mental powers. 
And my full homage on his Name beftow." 


The tuneful Voice that chac'd away my fears 
Of blindnefs, like the mufic of the Spheres, 

Again began, and fummon'd up my Soul, 
With all her latent energies to meet 
The high debate ; • while thus, in accents fweet. 

Continued the blefs'd Tenant of the Pole. 


*^ Your mental objeft, with more certain aim. 
Your eye muft mark. — Say, what awoke your flame. 

And your affedtion, with a wing fo true. 
Sent like an arrow to a mark fo high ?** 
" Fair Athens firft illumM my mental eye. 

Then Zion's hallowed Hill enlargM my view. 


" Love, by its heav'nly objeft, warmM, refin'd. 
Acquired new vigour, as th' expanding Mind 

Seem'd to enlarge its comprehenfive powers 
To the dimenfions of the heav'nly boon 
Of all that glads the Soul, the central Sun, 

The fpring of blifs, and Love's immortal fource. 

[ 301 ] 


«* Love more intenfe depends on clearer views 
Of everlafting Truth, whofe force renews. 

With fiiel ever frefli, the dying flame : 
He firft the interpofmg veil removed 
From the bright afpeft of the First Belov'd, 

And gave me to partake the heav'nly claim. 


** I felt th' enlivening fomid, to Am ram's Son 
Sent from the centre of the burning Throne, 

My Goodnefs alljhall pafs before yourjight : 
Next the grand view difclos*d to mortal eyes. 
By you, the pride and wonder of the Skies, 

Then, when immortal Life was brought to light.*' 

Mild he reply'd : " Upon this double bafe. 
Enlightened Reafon and enUght*ning Grace, 

Truth builds the fabric of your Faith above : 
But frankly own, if aught befides you find. 
In Earth or Heav*n, congenial to your Mind, 

That draws you with the violence of Love.*' 


The mafter objeft of his eagle eye. 

That viewed fo near the myftic world on high. 

To which he meant his Pupil's fight to lead, 
I knew, and thus began : " The ties of Mind, 
That to creating Love its Vaflals bind, 

I feel, nor would I, ev'n in thought, recede ; 

St. vii. /. I . Love more intenfe — ] See Note on the thirteenth 
CantOy and Extrad from Plato's Symposium. 

L 30a ] 


** This wond*rous World's eziftence, and my ovn. 
His Love, that left for me the heav'nly Throne 

Above, from fecond Death my Soul' to (ave. 
By Faith a falutary Hope infpiresy 
Which drew me from the gulph of low defires. 

And nobler objefts to my P^ons gave. 


" Where'er I fee the heavenly boon beftowM, 
I hail the bleifing as the gift of God ; 

Proportioned to his gift, I feel the flame.'* 
I fcarce had ended, when the Squadron bright. 
In holy hymning, fpoke their deep delight ; 

Heav'n's golden vault returned the loud acclaim. 


As when Aurora's hand difrobes the Skies 
Of murky Night's invidious dim difguife. 

Piercing the fine receptacles of fight ; 
To the dark Senfory the heav'nly ray. 
With bright incurfion, brings the golden day. 

Scarce able yet to bear the flood of light : 


Thus, when the Veftal tum'd, with heav'nly Grace» 
Thofe radiant eyes, that pierc'd the gulph of Space 

Millions of leagues, on me ; the traniient gloom 
That hover*d o'er my eyes fpontaneous fled. 
And gliding down befide the heav'nly Maid, 

Another Vifion left th' xthereal dome. 

^ C 303 3 

J wonder'd, and, my wondor inftant ceasM, 
When thus my Guide, preventing my requeft : 

** In his firft Majefty you here behold. 
In his aethereal veft, the Sire of Man ; 
His bright diftinftion, ere the world began. 

Or Eden yet had loft her Age of Gold/* , 


As ftoops the tow'ring Beech before the bl^ifty 
Then gently rifes when the gale is paft. 

And fpreads its verdant fcreen with ufual grace ; 
So, wonder-ftruck, I for a moment ftood. 
Till Curiofity my pow*rs renewed. 

Thus to addrefs the Founder of our Race* 


" O thou, who never with iniantine eyes 
Beheld the glories of the op'ning Skies, 

And rofe, in limb robuft, mature in thought. 
Father and Hufband of the firft-bom Fair ! 
Unblam'd, your numerous Sons and Daughters (hare 

The joys of Love, and tie the happy knot. 


** Hear, gen'ral Father, if you need to hear 
Your Son's requeft, in this refplendent Sphere, 

Where ev'ry thought, by intuition known. 
Prom Heav'n's broad Mirror to each feivour'd IVCnd 
Its image fends, from vapours dim refin'd. 

Still ftreaming from the fupra-mundaqe Throne.^ 

C 304 ] 


As the mute animal its tranfport (hows. 
What warm fenfation in its bofom glows. 

And looks and geftures fpeak the raptur'd Soul ; 
Thus Eden's Heir, in ev'iy glance, exprefs'd 
The facred joy that glowed within the bread 

Of him, who firft from Hades climb*d the Pole. 

Thus he began : ** I faw, without thy aid. 
Thy wants, and ev'ry wifh at large difplay'd, 
(Like vapours that refled a golden Hght,) 
In that bright Mirror feen, a glorious (how. 
Which ev*ry thing above, around, below, 
. Refleds, above all mortal femblance bright. 


" You wifh to count the joumies of the Sun, 
Since Eden faw my vital courfe begun } 

That bower, from which, by yon* tremendous fiakf 
Hither conduced by the heav'nly Fair, 
You mounted up from yon* terreftrial Star, 

That glipimers in Creation's lowed vale. 


^^ You long to know what pleafures then were mine. 
What language gave my thoughts the vocal fign. 

And what employed my folitary hours ; 
And how the blifs I loft, too pure to laft. 
'Twas no material fruit allur'd my tafle. 

But difobedience to the heav'nly Pow'rs« 

C 305 3 

•* Four thoufand times the Sun in Aries rode. 
And thence an hundred times the chill abode 

Of dim Aquarius blanch'd his languid fire. 
Ere, *midft our lot obfcure, the Virgin led 
The Soul of Maro from the mighty dead. 

And heav'nly Grace fulfilled my long defire. 


*^ So long within the verge of ancient Night 
I ftrayM, fince firft the bounds of cheerful light 

I left ; but ere I breathed my Soul away, 
fline hundred Summers cloth*d the waving woods, 
Nine hundred Winters froze the chryftal floods. 

And Spring with tempefts dimm'd the cheerful day. 


" The pure primeval tongue was wholly loft. 
Ere NiMROD had begun on Tygris* coaft 

The fabric of confufion, tafk profane ! 
DoomM never to be clos*d; for human will. 
Created free to chufe, and changing ftill. 

In no unaltered tenour can remain. 


*^'Our thoughts fit founds muft find; the changing mode, 
Man, by the freedom of his choice beftow'd 

By Heaven, may alter words without a crime j 
By one myfterious Name the Lord of all 
Was known, before I heard the awful call 

That led me downward to th* accurfed clime. 
Vol. IU. X 

C 306 ] 

** To Eli then the Nations leam'd to pray: 
But human tongues, like falling leaves, decay. 

And, like the Summer liv'iy, fpring again. 
In that blefs'd moimt my life in joy begun. 
And fet in woe, before the circling Sun 

Had half-way meafur'd down his blue domain; 


C 307 3 



The Spirit of St. Peter gives a Chanter of wicked Fkfton.- 

The Afcent to the Ninth Sphere. 

1 O the great Father, the omnific Word, 
And holy Spirit, rofe in fweet accord 

Another peal of univerfal praife : 
0*er the wide concave of the peopled Sky, 
DawnM a foft and rofy fmile of general joy. 

And figns of tranfport fiird th* sethereal fpace. 


Loud Paeans, thund'ring down the heavenly fteep. 
Thro* my tranfported organs tingling deep. 

On the wide waves of ^ther roU'd away : 
What a foretafte of joys above the Pole, 
When wiih expanded pow'rs my foaring Soul 

Seem'd Heav'n's eternal treafures to furvey ! 

C 308 ] 

Rr*d by the moving fpe£lacle on high. 
The faintly Four beneath the kindling Sky 

New fplendour caught from the furrounding fcene 
But mighty Cephas, with fuperior fire, 
Out-beam*d his brethren of the raptur'd Choir, 

And holy indignation mark'd his mien. 


He feem*d as milder Jove's imperial Star 
Would look, if, in a ftem eclipfe of war. 

He caught from Mars his death-denouncing hue : 
A viewlefs Pow'r a fudden paufe impos'd 
On the loud anthems of the heav'nly hoft. 

And o'er their joy a folemn dimnefs drew. 


Then from the Apoftle, as I wond'ring flood, 
I heard thefe fudden founds in angry mood : 

** Wonder not thou to fee the facred glow 
Of rifmg zeal my alter'd features fire ; 
Soon as the caufe is heard, the gen'ral Choir 

The fame red fign of heav'nly wrath will fhew. 

" That hallow'd Pile that crowns the Coelian Hill, 
My throne, my facred throne, tho* vacant ftill 

By Heav'n's award, a vile Ufurper claims : 
My fepulchre a fink of fin is made ; 
A view fo grateful to the Stygian fhade. 

That Lucifer exults amid his flames." 

Si* iii. /• 4. Bui migbiy Cephas,] St. Petbr. 

[ 3^9 3 

Then, as the red flag of the rifing day, 
Or the deep crimfon of the fetting ray, 

I faw Refentment flafh along the field 
Of Heav'n ; as when a modeft Virgin hears 
A tale of fhame, it feems to taint her ear^ 

Her purity is in her blufh reveal'd, 

Thus, o'er the Sky a cope of difmal red. 
When Jesus breathed his Soul away, was fpread* 

Then he, that feem'd in zephyrean tune 
To fpeak before, infpir'd with fudden wrath. 
As if proud JEol lent his organs* breath. 

Loud like a full-mouth*d tempeft thus begun : 


" The Spoufe of Christ her garment never fhew'd 
Sprinkled with mine, and many a Martyr's blood. 

To fill her lap with gold ; for her to gain 
That happinefs you fee. Cali;xtus dy'd 
For this, and Sextus fwellM the purple tide. 

Urban and Pius join'd the flaughter'd Train* 


" Ne'er was it thought that, on the dexter hand 
Of that Ufurper's feat, a tainted Band 

Should fit, while, from the Tyrant's prefence driv'n. 
Their Brethren of the Crofs, on many a Shore, 
Their mifery and exile fhould deplore, 

Opprefs*d below, tho* Candidates of Heav'n. 

St. X. L I. — a tainted Band^ They, on the right hand» are the 
GuELFs ; thofe on the left, the Ghieellines, 


t 3^0 3 


** I ne'er expefted in that flag to fee 
The facred Symbol of the golden Key 

Difplay'd in combat with the baptiz'd Train ; 
Nor ever did 1 think my feal to know, 
Fix'd to the mandates of my deadly Foe, 

That oft my cheeks with honed bluflies ftain. 


** The prowling Wolf in ev*ry fold is feen. 
Dyeing with peaceful blood the confdous green ; 

Why in the fcabbard refts the angry fword. 
While Gascons riot in the Martyr's blood. 
And quaff without remorfe the purple flood ? 

What high commencements ! what an end abhorr'd ! 


** But that eternal vigilance, that woke 
Young SciPio*s Soul to fpum the Punic yoke. 

Will nerve fome patriotic hand to fave 
From the dread fall of this impending weight 
The mighty Fabric of Emmanuel's State, 

And fhatch his vidlims from the yawning grave. 


•^ But thou, permitted with thy cumb*rous load 
Of earth to mingle with the Hoft of God, 

St. id. L 2. ^-thegohkn Key] Of St. Peter, difplaycd igainft 
the Imperial party by the Guelfs, or Pope's adherents. 

St. xii. 7.4. While Gascons not — ] The partifans of Clement 
the Fifth, a native of that country, who fucceeded Boniface the 
F.ighth.^-See Hill. Flor. and Notes on the 27th Canto of the Iw- 


C 3" 3 

CoIle£t my words, and fcatter them afar 
With dauntlefs zeal ; nor let the daftard fear 
Of Fiend, or Man, fupprefs the truth fevere : 

Go J in my name denounce eternal War !** 


Soon, as around the fnowy whirlwind flies. 
And fills with blinding guft the lowering Skies^ 

When Sol defcending feeks the brumal go^ ; 
So, thick the fiery cohorts upward flew, 
Like kindling vapours to th* aftonifli'd view. 

Twinkling in myriads round the glowing Pole. 


My (training eyes purfu*d the fulgid cloud. 
Till, foaring far, the difembody*d crowd 

Evanifli'd from the Iphere of human fight : 
Still, gazing up, 1 ftood ; my heavenly Guide 
Caird my attention from the glimm'ring void. 

Red with the veftige of th* afcending flight. 


** Forget their progrefs, and attend your own ; 
See what a fpace of this Celeflial zone 

Si. xiv.] Milton feems to have had this notion of St. Peter's 
in view in his Lycidas : 

Laft came, and laft did go^ 

The Pilot of the Galil/can lake. 

He (hook his mitred locks, and thus befpoke : 

** How well could I have fpar'd for thee» young Swain^ 

Enow of thefe," &c. 


You mcafur'd, fince you left yon' Orb bdow." 
I look'd ; and, by the marks apparent there, 
I found my feet had traced the Primal Sphere 

Up to the Zenith from th* horizon low. 


This Earth, tho' worlds on worlds were rang'd between, 
Diftin£Uy, with its feas and fhores, was feen 

From Gaoes, where Ulysses drove in vain 
To pafs, to fair Phenicia's diftant ftrand. 
Where fad Europa left her native land 

Reludant, wafted o'er the foaming Main. 


More had I feen, but now the courfers fleet 
Of Sol had left their poft beneath my feet 

(Far, far below) a Sign's wide f^ce or more : 
My Soul dill burning for communion high 
With my bright Guide, I long'd to lift my eye 

To that bleil face which ftill my thoughts adore. 

Vain is the pendrd Form, the living Grace, 
To match the glories of that heavenly face ; 

No human tint, nor blended light and ihade 
In all their combinations, could compare 
With one bright fmile of that Celeftial Fair, 

Which namelefs tranfports to my Soul convey'd. 

St. xvii. LS' — Primal Sphere^ Or Ninth f the Pr'mttm Mob&f 
whichy according to the Ptolemaic Syllem, difpcnfcd motion to 
all the other Spheres which it enclofed. 

St. xvii. /. 6. Up to the Ztnitlh^'] L c. 90 degprees finoDi the Ho- 

[ 3^3 ] 


Not life alone, but energy was giv*n 

By that quick glance, as up the deep of Heav'n 

Along the prime revolving Sphere I pafs'd ; 
There, as aloft through concave Space I fteer'd, 
A dreadful uniformity appeared, 

Tho' fpinning round me with tremendous hafte. 


Here place and time to me alike were loft, 
Unconfcious where to take my fearful poft. 

Amid the dizzy whirl that turned my brain : 
The Virgin feem'd my terrors to enjoy. 
And fmird as fweet, as if th* Eternal Eye 

Itfelf had glanc'd along the blue domain. 


** Here is the place," fhe cryM, ** where firft begins 
The courfe of each revolving Orb that fpins. 

From the great Axle to the utmoft bound. 
With circling fpeed : no Heav'n remains behind 
But the dread Prefence of th* Almighty Mind, 

Nature's prime Lord, that fills the vaft profound. 


" Light forms his Robe, and everlafting Love, 
With boundlefs emanation from above, 

His Palace frames, and gives the Godhead room, 
Invefting all things that his eyes furvey. 
In all the various hues of Night and Day, 

And covering all with one refplendent dome. 

C 314 3 


" But He alone that fpread Eternal Space 
Can tell the Miracles of time and place 

Contained within. , Not fetting Moon or Star 
Alone, but every revolution here 
Its meafure finds in this fhipendous Sphere, 

To Nature's wond'rous bound extending fer. 


" Here ancient Time, within its caufes deep, 
SeemM in blank uniformity to fleep, 

Till fent from his dark jail to vifit Earth, 
And bound his joumies by the waning Moon, 
Till the laft trumpet fhall the Spheres untune. 

And drive him backwards to his place of birtli» 


*' His boafted regency you fee below, 

O proud Ambition ! what an empty fhow ; 

What time can meafure, and yon' bound contain I 
Yet, thro* the dark illufive medium view*d 
By Folly's eye, the dark CiRC-ffiAN brood 

Wear the foft fplendour of th' Ethereal Train* 


" Yet Man to Heav'n could mount on wings of firc^ 
But the crofs hurricanes of low defire 

Blow him tranfverfe, and Demons mar the mould 
In which the heav'nly Virtues found thdr forms: 
Now Faith and Innocence, primeval charms. 

In infant minds alone their fweets unfold. 

C 3^5 1 


** The lifpmg Infant now alone refirains 
From guilty joys indulgM, and guilty gains j 

And no more to the confecrated fpring 
Does Contemplation lead the fober Train, 
Who by fpare Faft their lawlefs Paffions rein j 

Even facred walls with lawlefs Orgies ring. 


** The tender Infant now alone reveres 
The Auth*refs of his life ; maturer years 

But give the wayward Paffions room to play 
Then, how he longs to look upon her Tomb [ 
Perhaps anticipates her lingering Doom, 

And haftens with a drug her fatal day ! 


" As Cynthia (hows at dawn a tranfient ray. 
But feems a dufky Orb when golden Day 

Streams from the Eaft ; thus that -Ethereal Light 
Which bounteous Heav*n beftows on nafcent Man, 
Soon loft, alas ! in faded fplendour wan, 

Th* illuftrious Infants leave a Son of Night. 


•* But wonder not, for difcipline is loft ; 
A.11 Government by wild mifrule is crofs'd, 

St, xxxii. /. I . But wonder noty 5cc.] The Commentators fay that 
[>ANT£ alludes here to his expectations from the Emperor, Henry 
he Seventh. It is probable that he might have in contemplation 
he judgments impending over the general corruptions of Church 
nd State. 

C 3»« 3 

And none the rugged path of right purfue : 
But Juftice foon (hall fcourge the lagging hours, 
Whofe thund'ring wheels fliall kindle in their courfe, 

And bring the doomfiil day that fome fhali rue. 


" Then the contending veffel to the gale 
Seaward fhall fleer, and trim the flowing fidl. 

And on her liquid track once more return ; 
A milder influence from the Stars will flow. 
And Autumn's hand the golden fruits beftow, 

Whofe bloflbms now perfume the Vernal monu** 


C 3^7 ] 



The Poet afcends to the Empyrcum, where he view* the Wooden 
of the Angelic World. — ^The Hierarchies defcrihed. 

As the fad profpeft of fublunar ftrife 
With the clear Vifion of eternal Life, 

The Guide, whofe words emparadis'd my Mind, 
Compared ; I faw, as in a Mirror bright. 
The quick reflex, as of a taper's light. 

On the clear optics, when it bums behind* 


And as the Gazer turns him round to view, 
Wliether the lucid Orb has told him true ; 

At the quick glances of the Veftal's eye, 
[Thefe heav'n-attrading Orbs,) I tum'd me round, 
dud foon the awful caufe inftin&ive found. 

That fpread another glory round the Sky. 

C 318 ] 

Yet had I not fuftain'd the wond'rous view. 
But from thefe founts of Light and Love I drew 

New energies, whene'er I tum'd to gaze 
On each love-darting eye, with fteady fight ; 
Since^ now accuftom'd to their cheering light. 

They ceasM to ftrike my fenfe with dark amaze. 


Far in the vaft of Heav'n, a Light was feen. 
With fuch a pointed ray intenfely keen. 

No mortal eye the fplendour could fuftain ; 
Tho* piercing thro' the brain it feem'd to glide. 
To it the fmalleft Star at ev'ning fpy'd, 

Seem'd large as Cynthia in her blue domain. 


High as the cloudy wreath that binds the brow 
Of Phoebus, when his beams reflefted glow. 

From the broad wat'ry umbrage floating round, 
A fiery whirlwind, thus, with ruddy blaze. 
Spun round the centre, in eternal race, 

Whofe fpeed furpafs'd the mighty Mundane roond. 

St. iii. /. I. TV/ had I not fuJlatrC dy &c.J A figurative defcriptioo 
of that Illumination and Energy conferred on the Mind by the 
ftudy of Theology. 

St. iv. /. I. — wz Light ^tvasfeen] By the fmallnefs of the Light 
the Poet meansto fignify the greatnefs of its diftance ; if he does not 
allude to the quaint and obfcure notions of fome of the Schoolmen, 
who maintain, that the Omniprefence of the Deity is as a Point, 
and his Eternity as an Instant. — See Clarke's Sermons on the 
Omniprefence and Eternity of God. Poft. Serm. vol. i. 

1^/. V, vi, vii.] Thefe nine concentrated Circles arc ddignedto 
reprcfent the nine Hierarchies of Angels* 

L 319 ] 


Nor fingly did it run, but clofe befide. 
Another flaming circle feemM to ride 

The racking clouds ; and foon a third began 
To wake ; a fourth, and fifth, in bright career, 
Sweird the deep triumphs of the burning Sphere, 

And round in wider revolutions ran. 


In brighter tints the feventh was feen to glow. 
And verge more ample than the fhow'ry bow 

By Juno painted, on the coming ftorm : 
So feem*d the eighth, and now the ninth app^u^d. 
But round the centre more fedately fteer'd. 

And took more time their voyage to perform^ 


Dim were their fplendours, when with thofe compar'd 
Who, circling round the central Glory, fhar'd 

The influence of its light, direft and clear. 
The Maid, who faw me mufmg at the fight. 
Began : *' You fee the Fount of Life and Light, 

Which Heav'n obeys, and each inferior Sphere. 


** Yon' inmoft Choir, that baflc beneath the eye 
Of Him whofe glance pervades Eternity, 

Their deeper joy in livelier tranfports tell." 
Then I : " Were all Creation's fcenes difpos'd 
Like thefe bright orders of the heav'nly Hoft, 

The view fome mental doubts would foon difpeL 

r 3*0 ] 


*• Below, the Spheres in ampler circuit fjrin. 
As more celeftial energy within. 

Wing their bold voyage thro* th* aethereal way : 
In this wide Theatre, where all, auguft 
And dreadful, are combin'd, fhall breathing dufl, 

Unblam'd, his wand'ring fantafies difplay. 


*' Why does the copy of the heav'niy AlGnd, 
With which this wide aethereal dome is lin'd. 

So diff'rent from its origin appear ?" 
** No wonder,** foon the heavenly Maid reply*d, 
** Such knots by Mortals rarely are unty'd ; 

Deep thought alone can make the darknefs clearJ 


She paus'd a while, and thus renew'd her theme : 
" Drink, if you can, of this celeftial ftream 

Of Light, which foon will clear your wond'ring ejei: 
With more aftivity yon' circles move. 
Or lefs, as more or lefs of heavenly Love 

His never-ceafmg energy fupplies. 

5*/. X. /. T. Belovt^ thf Spheres f &c.] Le. In the material worMt 
the Circles nearer the Centre move flower, and thofe more diftant 
comparatively fwifter ; it is here the reverfe. Davte's ideas are to 
be underftood by a reference to the Ptolemaic fyftem, where the 
Primum Mobile, or ninth Sphere, was fuppofed^ as it contakwd 
the other ei^htf fo to exceed them all in velocity. 

C 3^^ # 


*' Celeftial Love to higher joys invites ; 
If on a perfeft objeft it alights, 

Its amplitude to more abundant grace 
Gives more abundant room : yoji* ampler bound, 
That whirls the widely fcatter*d Orbs around. 

Runs with th' interior Choir an equal pace. 


** If to its inborn virtue you apply 
The jufter meafure of your mental eye. 

And not to forms alone, ye foon ftiall find 
That powers fcarce human fight 
Exert thro' Space incalculable might. 

While giant forms with feebler powers are joia'd." 


As when with gentler breath th* Elyfian gale 
Sweeps the grofs vapour from the blooming vale. 

The hills fliine out, and -Sther fmiles ferene j 
The Truth, thus beaming, like a rifing Star, 
Shone on my Soul, by that celeftial Fair 

Led on, and clearly fhow*d the myftic fcene. 


She fpoke : at once, the high-fufpended Choirs, 
Brightening like melted ore, in circling fires. 

With heav'nly glee, thro' all the fparkling maze. 
By twinkling legions ran, in number more 
Than human calculations could explore. 

Orb within Orb, reflefting blaze on blaze. 
Vol. in. Y 

1^ saa ] 

To Heaven's effcntial glory chim'd fo loud 
The fweet Hosannah from the living Cloud, 

In tranfport's Vhelming tide it plung'd my Soul. 
Thus fung the Hierarchies ; and ftill they fing. 
And thus for ever fpread the flaming wing, 

Inceflant circling round the fteadfaft Pole. 


Inftant the dubious movements of my Mind 
The Nymph perceived, and thus, in accents kind^ 

Began my ambiguities to clear : 
*' Thefe fiery Globes, of Seraphim composM 
And Cherubs, fwifteft of the hcav'niy Hoft, 

Wheel round the central beam in clofe career. 


•* Behold what energy of Mind they (how ! 
How Love, attradtive, from the world below 

Their Squadrons to the Throne converging draws ! 
Strongly the beatific Light infpires 
To climb, but veneration damps their fires ; 

Yet in the high defign they never paufe. 


" That other Circle, whofe exterior bound 
Yon* bright Contemplatifts of Heav*n furround. 

Are Thrones, the utmoft of the trinal Choir 
That hem the Seat of God : the more they know^ 
With deeper joy they feel their fpirits glow, 

iihiaff'd at that fpring that fatiates all defu^e. 

C 3^3 ^ 


•* The fprings of BHfs, from Contemplation's flow 
Abft rafted, holy, while Affeftion's glow 

The Soul regales with fecondary joy : 
The Virtues here enhance the gifts of Sight, 
While, deeper plung'd in Vifions of delight. 

In ev'ry glance it finds a frefh fupply. 


** That Train behold, in many a gorgeous robe. 
That circles next around the fiery globe. 

Like Heav'n*s primaeval fpring, confpicuous for : 
Primaeval Seafon ! never to decay ! 
Its bloom (hall flourifh in eternal Day, 

Nor dread fidereal blaft, nor windy war. 


** Have you not heard the Larks in early fpring. 
How to the Sky by turns they mount and fing ? 

Hark ! how the lively defcant rolls around 
From tuneful Choir to Choir in triple chime ^ 
Now near at hand they lift the note fublime. 

Then diftant echoes catch the dying found. 


** This Hierarchy within its verge contains 
Pow'rs, Dominations, in diflinguifh'd trains 

With Virtues mingled ; in the reft behind. 
Imperial Princedoms with Archangels meet ; 
The Choir moft diftant from the burning Seat 

Arc Angels, loweft of the heavenly kind. 



[ 324 ] - 


Thefc upward all dired their ardent eyes, 
And, foaring, beckon to the opening Skies, 

Th* inferior Tribes that wing another clime; 
Attrading and attra&ed, all combine. 
And mount aloft in many a burning line. 

Still verging to the lofty Seat fublime. 


•* The fage Athenian felt a ftrong defire 
Each rank to know that rife on wings of fire. 

And learn their Leaders and their fev'ral names. 
As I have told ; but Greg'ry, led ailray 
By vagrant fancy from the heav'nly way, 

Rank'd all amifs thefe ever-living Flames. 


*' Thence, when his Spirit, of its clay defpoird, 
Firft faw this fcene, the heav'nly Stranger fmil'd 

At his firft error : nor do thou admire 
That Mortals thefe immortal fcenes defin'd j 
Paul to his Pupil's hand the key confign'd. 

That op'd the fecrets of the heav'nly Choir.^ 


^/. xxvi./. I. The/a^e At H En I Av — ] Diomysius the Arcopa- 
fl^te, the Convert of St. Paul, fuppofed to have written a book 
(ftill extant) on the heavenly Hierarchies. His account* it feemfy 
differed from that of GnEGORYy fumamed the Great. 


C 3^5 3 



Beatrice obferves, in conteipplating the divine Mind in beatific 
Vif}on| the Doubts arifing in the Mind of Dante, and their 3o* 
lution$ ; then (he inveighs againil Clerical Corruptiofi. 

-As long as in calm Ev'ning's purple Zone, 
With mild and mutual fmile, the Sun and Moon 

Reft in the heav'nly fcale, and fleecy Star, 
Till by that hand which from the zenith guides 
The balance, one afcends, and one fubfides ; 

So long, contemplant, ftood the heav'nly Fair. 


Bending on that bright throne her ardent eye. 
She ftood, an Image of empyreal joy. 

Then thus began ; " Your doubts I can explain. 
Ere vefted yet in words, by yonder ray. 
Where, in the central beam of endlefs Day, 

All Images ^cend, a countlefs Train. 



** Not for himfelf he gave his glories room 
Thro' boundlefs Space, ere, by th' eternal doom. 

Time iflu'd forth on wing to run his romid 
With yon* refplendent Orbs, but to difpenfe 
Ethereal blefling to created Senfe; 

Hence thofe wing'd Meflengers their being found. 


** Nor did th' eternal Sire above the deep 
Ere Time began in foft Elysian fleep, 

Ina£tive reft, tho* not by circling hours 
His deeds were meafur'd, when, as fwift as Light, 
Form, and her Colleague, Matter, rofe to light. 

And joined with Motion their congen'rate pow*rfc 


" Not from the chryftal Orb the (hafts of Mom 
To the rapt eye with nimbler glance return. 

Than thefe ethereal Beings fprung to light : 
At firft a vaft, but undiftinguifh'd Hoft ; 
But foon th* Almighty energy difpos'd. 

Each in their Hierarchies, the Orders bright. 


** Pure intelleft the higheft rank retains ; 

Thence various Powers confpire in coimtlefs Trains, 

In ev*ry combination, each degree ; 
Where Matter weds with Mind, thro' boundlefs Space 
At large diflfus*d, till in the loweft place 

Dies the rude mafs, devoid of energy. 


** Yet ev'n this mafs, by heav'nly (kill refinM, 
Built yon' proud Temples for the Tribes of Mind, 

And all around thefe heav'n-defying Tow'rs 
Raised for the Gods, indifTolubly ftrong ; 
Whence thofe wide Vaults with Hallelujahs rung 

Long ere old Time awoke the flying hours. 


** Jerom, the Sage, fuppos'd th* angelic Choir 
Stretch'd o'er the mighty void their wings of fire. 

Long, long before the figured world arofe 
Magnificent ; but Reafon, joined with Light 
Reveal'd, againft the holy Father fight. 

And on th* attentive Mind their laws impofe. 


*' Why to the firft created Heirs of Heav'n 
Should thefe gigantic energies be giv'n. 

Without fome talk then: Virtues to employ ? 
Why fhould thefe fiery Sons of -ZEther fail. 
Still idle, over Defolation's Vale, 

Like flaming Meteors thro* a defert Sky ? 


*' Now you difcem, as far as Man can know. 
Why Angels were created, when, and how; 

Unmeafur'd was the Space, nor is it mine 
To fpan their fmlefs ftate, before the Fall 
Flung the firft Rebel from th* aethereal Hall, 

Thro* crafliing worlds purfu'd by Rage divine; 


[ 3^8 ] 


" Yet numbers flood, and, when celeflial art, 
Impell'd by Love divine, began to part 

The kindling feeds of elemental fbife. 
Then, with the eye of wonder, faw advance 
To their foft fong yon' planetary dance. 

And all the miracles of Light and Life. 


^* Pride was the caufe of that Apoftate's doom. 
Whom late you faw, deep-Vhelm'd in central gloom ; 

But thefe, that circle round in radiant Choir, 
To their humility their fplendours owe, 
Becaufe they always felt the facred glow 

Of gratitude, their fwelling ftrains infpire, 

** Heav'n's favour they bcfought, nor fought in vain ; 
Its mental beams inform'd the holy Train, 

And fix'd their Aiding will on firmeft bafe : 
This is their fole defert, to give the ray 
Of heav'nly Light an unrefilled way, 

And unreluftant meet the boon of Grace. 

" From the firft Leader of th* angelic Van, 
Down to the loweft rank of ranfom'd Man, 

The contrite Soul alone can claim a part 
In hcav'niy blifs. And now you may purfue 
Your way with eafc, if, like aethereal dew, ([heart. 

My words have cleared your fenfe, and warmM your 

St. xixu A I. Nfov^n^ I favour they he/ougbtf'} A fentimcnt worthy 
nf R^ ATKicKy as it is a precept of the foundeft Theology. 

I 3?§ 1 

^* Againft an human error he muft guard, 

Taught by your Schools, and many an earthly Bard, 

Of thofe who, by equivocation led, 
Confufion worfe than Babel fpread around. 
And with angelic faculties confound 

Your Tribes below, on cates material fed, 


^* Perception, Will, and Mem'ry, they bellow. 
Like thefe which lightlefs Mortals boaft below. 

And Fancy forms them with a dark allay. 
That flatters Men in Sin : But Son of Night 
Knows no dark medium checks their mental fight. 

Nor needs their Memory trace its darkfome way* 


** For ever on that Beatific View 

They look, and dwell with tranfport ever new 

On that bright profpeft, where, in Day reveard. 
The Present, Past, and Future, all are giv'n 
To light, reflefted on the eye of Heav'n, 

Quick glancing o'er the wide aethereal field. 

** But, worldly Sages oft with you behold 
This bleffed beam by error's mifls controlled. 

Or with fictitious light the world deceive, 
A crime more heinous ilill ; in error's maze. 
The felf-taught Sophifls lead a thoufand ways. 

Proud of the fe6t that Uften and believe. 

[ 330 ] 


*' But not fuch flames of anger bum above 
For this, as when the teftament of love. 

Interpreter of Heav'n, is taught to plead 
The impious caufe of the Tartarean thrones. 
Like a fweet organ with perverted tones. 

Which us'd the Paeans of the Bleft to lead. 


*' Ah ! little do they think, what blood it coft. 
What toils, what conflifts, to the martyred hoft. 

To fpread the heavenly boon from (bore to fliore I 
But all, on Pharifaic forms intent, 
Rejeft the Gofpel, for falvation meant. 

And ftun the nations with their empty lore, 


" One thinks, the foft-eyM Sifter of the Day 
Crofs'd with her fhadowy car the folar ray, 

I^ed from her adverfe poft, when on the Sun 
Of Righteousness, eclips'd, (he look'd aghaft ; 
iVnother fays, no gloom the day o'ercaft. 

But light fpontaneous left the eye of Noon* 


" As common as the moft Plebeian names. 

They mount the Roftrum, and difplay their fhames : 

The hungry Sheep look up, and nothing fed. 
Pine in the fold, from the rank mift they draw. 
Or, fwoln with wind, by Nature's flianding law 

Rot inwardly, and foul contagion fpread« 


C 331 ] 

^* Nor did the mighty Nazarene command 
Cephas with moon-bred themes to fill the land. 

And maze the fancies of the human race ; 
But gave a doftrine which fupports its weight. 
From Heav'n defcending down, and fix'd as Fate 

On everlafling Reafon's ftead&il bafe. 


** This unfophifUcated word alone 

The firfl Difciples fpread from zone to zone ; 

And, in celeftial panoply, defy'd 
The banded foes of Man, wherever found : 
But now, their vile fuccelTors deal around 

Contagious peftilence from fide to fide. 


•* Proud of the faintly cowl, with haughty mien 
They frown ; but if the Stygian Guide within 

Would fhow his vifage to the wond'ring crowd. 
Soon would they find how Souls are bought and fold. 
Where bartered pardons are exchanged for gold. 

And crimes, like locufls, fpread a living clouds 


** The crowd, by airy promifes beguil'd. 
Run to the fnare, with expedation wild ; 

But on no fairy cates their paftors feed : 
Battening with indolence and eafe they fhine. 
And pay their banquet in adulterate coin. 

Inferior to the herd of Circe's breed ! 


i: 332 1 

XX vn. 

*' Now turn we to the laft celefUal theme. 
And as we can the wafted time redeem ; 

So wide th' angelic Hoft extend their lines. 
The Heav'n of Heavens can fcarce their Hoft contain. 
Nor human calculation match the train, 

Tho' Daniel in his dream their fum afligns. 


*' But thefe determined numbers ftand for more 
Than ever human Reafon could explore ; 

But that prime Source of Light with vary'd beam 
Sheds on each rank a correfpondent ray. 
In ev'ry bright variety of day. 

Where'er his bleflings flow in boundleis ftream* 


^^ As thefe congenial bleflings ebb or flow» 

The bounty of the Godhead wakes bdow 


In ev^ry foul that lives, a various flame : 
Thefe countlefs Mirrors, like the dews of mom. 
Thro* Space the uncreated beams return 

Radiant or dim, but His remain the £une.'* 


C 333 ] 



The Poet arrives at the empyreal Heaven, whqre he fees the 
Triumph of Angels and beatified Spirits, in a fort of miracu- 
lous Medium, represented under the Image of a clear River. 

As when to Tuscan eyes the level (hade 
Full weftward points its cloudy cone, difplay'd 

Over the bofom of unbounded Space, 
Then, diftant full two thoufand leagues, the Sun 
On eaftem Ganges pours the flood of Noon, 

While on our Ocean's brim his car delays : 


Or, as in Heaven's sethereal dome around, 
The Stars, as in a purple deluge, drown'd. 

With glimmering lamplets one by one decay. 
Save one that fparkles thro' the parting gloom. 
While fweet Aurora comes in rofy bloom 

Before the bright*hair'd Meflenger of Day. 

C 334 1 


Thus the careering Squadrons of the Sky, 
Difporting wide beneath th* eternal Eye 

In all the varying tints of light and (hade. 
At firfl difclosM an huge and countlefs Hoft, 
In varying Orbs, enclofmg and enclosed ; 

And thus its tranfient glories feem to fiule. 


Like a light vapour in the pafling wind. 
It mov'd away, nor left a wreck behind : 

Full on the Maid my difappointed eye 
Fell hopelefs, tho' by old Attraction led. 
Where, oh ! what namelefs glories fhone inftead ! 

My Fancy foon forgot the changing Sky, 


If all the fervours of my former lays 
Were centered in one fmgle note of praife. 

Far, hr beneath her more than mortal charms 
The mortal fong would fink ; they blaz'd fo bright, 
None but the Source himfelf of Life and Light 

Can duly eftimate fuch radiant Forms. 


Never did they, who fock or bufldn wear. 
With equal dread begin their firft career. 

Or feel fuch overwhelming weight as I, 
Opprefs'd by fuch a foul-fubduing theme ; 
Not fuch, an impulfe from the folar Beam 

Dulls the weak fight beneath a Summer Sky. 

[ 335 ] 


Thro' all the Stages of our march divine. 
Since her celeftial eyes firfl: beam'd on mine. 

To her full glories in the world above, 
I try'd to fmg her charms ; but now muft ceafe : 
The Artift*s pencil now muft reft in peace, 

Hopelefs the laboured Model to improve. 


Some nobler Notes the lovely Maid muft found 
Than mine, which now upon the utmoft bound 

Prepare to fwell the confummating ftrain j 
As when a Chieftain gives the warning fign 
To march, once more began the Maid divine : 

" Leave the ninth Sphere, and feek th* empyreal reign, 


*' Here all the mental energies unite 

With Love divine, and mix, like heat and light ; 

The Hermit, fearching long in vain below. 
Here finds the Fount of everlafting Joy, 
Here drinks oblivion of his long annoy. 

And ev'ry {hadow of fublunar woe. 


•* Here, with his elder Brethren of the Sky, 
The ranfom'd Train fliall pafs before your eye, 

And in a double Line their Chief purfue. 
With equal pace, as when, in time to come. 
In dawning Glory from the Field of Doom, 

Transfigured, they ihall mount in vefture new.*' 

C 33« 1 


As when a vivid flafli of fudden light 

In midnight gloom involves the trembling light. 

Thus, a deep wave of drcumfiilgent Day 
Came o'er me as I flood, and to my view 
A deepening Veil of fudden darknefs drew 

O'er all the wonders of the wide Survey. 


*' Such is the charm that boundlefs Love emplojSy 
Toft the Soul to feel eternal Joys.** 

As torches feem the hov'ring flame to fdze^ 
So, at thefe magic words, a catching fire 
Upbore me on the wings of warm defire 

Far in the climes of everlafting Peace. 


No longer now the glories of the fcene 

* Whelm'd with o'er-pow'ring beams the light within ; 

The light within, to Angel ken refin'd, 
StrayM o'er the wond'rous Region far and wide. 
Where now a ilream of light was feen to glide. 

And round the plains with funny fui^ure wuuL 


Between two Banks that bloom'd eternal May 
The waves of limpid Glory feem'd to ftray ; 

And kindling Forms, meteorous, were feen 
To rife, quick glancing in the noontide beam. 
From the bright bofom of the lucid dream. 

And hover o'er the flow'r-enamell'd green. 

C Zil ] 


Thus round the fhores a while they feem'd to fly. 
Then, as inebriate with celeftial joy. 

Thick plunged, like fetting Stars, amid the flood; 
While other?, from the Lymph, like dawning light. 
Alternate on the Zephyrs wing*d their flight. 

And ev'ry hour the lively change renewed. 


'' Your wifh, the wonders of yon' deep to found. 
More pleafes, as it feems beyond the bound 

To fwell ; but yonder Lymph you firft muft fliare, 
(To grofs material Minds a bev'rage new,) 
Before you can fupport the fplendid view 

Meant to illuflrate yonder Vilion fair/* 


Thus fpoke the Maid, and paufmg, thus again 
Began : " That flood, and yonder feftive Train 

That wanton in the wave, yon' borders gay. 
O'er which the Wand'rers feem, in queft of joy. 
To roam around beneath a purple Sky, 

Scenes ftill more wond'rous far in Types convey. 


" Not that the things which yonder figns conceal 
Are in themfelves too awful to reveal ; 

But your infantine pow'rs, as yet confined 
By clay, are far too fcanty to contain 
Such Images, as foon would turn the brain. 

And loofen all the texture of the Mind/' 
Vol. m. Z 

C 538 3 


Ne'er did the Infant, ftarting from its reft. 
Turn with fuch longing to its Nurfe's breaft. 

As I, and downward ftoop'd mine eyes to lave i 
Scarce had I bent me o'er the brimming verge. 
Scarce had I time my optics to immerge. 

Ere the deep current fpread a wider wave. 

Now for a winding ftream, a lucid lake. 
Which no prefumptuous Zephyr daPd to wake, 

Seem'd to the wide retiring fhores to fpread ; 
At once, the Meteor forms and breathing flow'rs 
Vanifli'd, with all the fair Elysian bow'rs. 

And a majeftic Vifion rofe inftead. 


Soon the twin Squadrons of th' empyreal world 
Were feen, with all thdr banners broad unfurl'd. 

Doubling the glories of the wond'rous fight: 
O uncreated Beam ! difpenfe a ray 
From Heav'n, thofe lofty pageants to difplay. 

And all the miracles of Life and Light. 


The Sun of Righteoufnefs was feen above, 
Difpenfmg mingled beams of Light and Love : 

They look aloft, and drink the golden ibeam 
Of facred Peace and inexpreffive Joy, 
Unknown to all that view a nether Sky, 

And ne'er behold the beatific Beam ! 

[ 339 3 


The burning Circle feera'd to fpread afar. 
Beyond the dilk of yon' diurnal Star, 

A broad circumference, thick darting round 
Its influence o'er the wide revolving Sphere, 
Whofe motion guides the great celeftial Year, 

Thro' the unmeafur'd realms of Space profound. 


Each Creature thence, thro' all their countlefs Tribes, 
Some deep peculiar energy imbibes, 

From that prime Light difpens'd, riiat looks below. 
Where many a Mirror (hows its heav'nly charms 
In bright variety, in countlefs charms. 

And all the colours of the fhow'ry bow. 


A Mountain thus furveys its pendant height 
In the unruflSed flood, reflefting bright 

Its lawns, and forefls tremulous and tall : 
When fuch contracted bounds fuch Light contain. 
What floods of Glory veil th' aethereal plain, 

A boundlefs blaze, diverging over all ! 


Yet my corporeal organs rapt above 
All human energy, by heav'nly Love, 

Like Sol's bright glance in his meridian height. 
The whole aethereal profped could conunand. 
From wing to wing of that empyreal Band, 

Like the wide fphere of Archangelic Sight. 


C 340 3 

Thro' the dread walks of this eternal Bow'r, 
Where many a fragrant and un&ding flow'r 

More than Arabian incenfe breath'd around, 
0*er many a fcene unlight'ned by the Sun, 
In wonder mute I ftray'd ; yet oft begirn 

To fpeak, then paus'd, in fpeechlefs traofport drovnU 

** Look what a dazzling Multitude is here. 
See our fuperb Metropolis appear 

In wide extended pomp ; the countlefs Hoft, 
In candid doles, that line her ftreet, you fee 
Yonder enfhrinM, its glorious Family 

Wait for th' Eleft to fill each vacant pofL 


'' To that high Throne on which you fix your eye, 
A Soul (hall mount from yon* inferior Sky, 

And leave Imperial Henry's duft below j 
Before he fought the Feaft of Blifs to fhare. 
He ftrove to quench the flame of civil war. 

But flill the brand of Erebus fliall glow. 


f' O Latium, like a froward Child you ftood. 
And madly flung away the proflTerM good, 

Altho' by famine pin*d : But one fliall fill 
The hallow'd Chair, in each ungodly art 
Long vers'd, who well can aft a double part. 

And thwart with fecming love th* Imperial Will. 

^/. xxix . /. 3 . — Inprritil H i: n r y 's ffujl"] H E n R Y » t he Seventh 
Emperor of that name, furnamed of Luxemburg H, who died early 
while lie was endeavouring to Icitle the troubles of Italy* 


C 341 3 


" Nor long the Chair fliall feel his odious weight, 
Down, down, like lightening, to th' infernal ftate, 

Lanch'd by the Hand divine, the Guelf fliall goj 
There, *midft the Magians in the burning Lake, 
His place the Denizen of Hell fliall take. 

And fend his Predeceffor down below." 



C 343 ] 



Beatrice takes Her Place in the Empyreum, and fends the Spirit 
of St. Bernard to the Poety to defcribe to him the following 

IN circles verging from the central bow'r. 
Like the fair foliage of a fnow-white flow'r. 

Orb within Orb, the cohorts of the Bleft 
Delighted fate ; while round the point of Noon, 
Wide hov*ring warblers, with Favonian tune, 

O'er the feir fcene a purple umbrage caft. 


In holy hymns their heavenly Sire they fung. 
Then o*er th* Elysian fcene in tranfport hung, 

Bleffing and blefsM ; like Hybla's fwarms below. 
Thro* germinating joys a while they ftray'd. 
Then, rifing on the blaft with wings difplayM, 

Up to the welkin foar'd, a fplendid fhew. 


t 344 1 


With inexpreffive Love their afpeds glowM, 
A golden gleam their fpreading pinions fhow^d, 

And their white veftments floated on the breeze ; 
There, as in many a maze they fleet around. 
New joys, deep kindling o'er the deep profound, 

Breath'd the fweet calm of everlafting Peace. 


'ITiey fanned the kindling ardours of the Sky, 
And round diffusM a glow of general joy 

Over the fplendid courts and burning Sphere ; 
And, tho' a boundlefs profpeft interposed. 
My eye commanded all the winged Hoft, 

Still as they funk and foared, diilinft and clear. 


Such is the nature of Celeftial Light, 
It to the faithful gives angelic fight, 

Each dim terreftrial cloud difperfing fer ; 
ITiefe holy Squadrons, at whatever time 
They took their ftation in thefe Courts fublime. 

Of Light and Love an equal bounty fhare. 


Great trinal Pow'r, from whofe omnific beam 
New tranfports in thefe Bands for ever ftream, 

Si* iv. /. I. They fantCd the kindling ardours^ &C.3 The nature 
of aftivc Benevolence, and of ever)' fpecies of virtuous exertion, 
whether with regard to the fecial virtues, or thof^ which more 
immediately regard ourfelves, fcems to be reprefentcd in the alle- 
gory ; as the faculties of the Mind not only acquire new Tigoor 
by exercife, but fociety reaps the advanUige not only of the benefits 
conferred but of the example given. 

C 345 ] 

Look downward, and with holy calm allay 
The low-borae hurricane that beats fo fore, 
And wades fo wide the defolated fhore. 

Shedding thick darknefs o*er my wint'ry day. 


If thofe that roam o*er Scythia's fnowy bound. 
Where fair Calisto runs her lofty round 

With her bright Son about the Northern Star, 
WonderM to fee majeftic Rome of yore 
In her proud zenith of Imperial Pow*r ; 

Think with what eyes I viewed this profped feir, 


Judge my furprize, fo lately calPd from Earth, 
To view the fecrets of the Second Birth, 

From the Ihort glimpfes of the changing Moon 
To the bright dawn of everlafting Light, 
From Fi.oRENCE, plunged in crimes and Stygian Night, 

To finlefs climes beneath eternal Noon ! 


Between Surprize and Joy, my dubious Mind 

To paint the wond*rous fcene no words could find, 

Nor wifh'd to hear. As on a folemn Fane 
Intent, a Pilgrim's eyes are feen to dwell, 
Refolv'd her miracles of art to tell. 

In filence thus I viewed the heavenly Train, 


Wide wandering o*er the labyrinth of Light, 
Above, below, I tum'd my raptur'd fight 

[ 346 ] 

O'er the wide theatre, from ftage to ftage ; 
And now the whole circumference I view'd, [ftood, 
Where, cheer'd by Heav'n's broad fmile, the Ranfom'd 

Gathered from many a clime and various age. 


With afpe£t all benign, they blefs'd the view, 
Thofe joys returning which from Heav'n they drew^ 

And fpoke the foul of Love in ev'ry glance ; 
In ev*ry look celeftial Virtue glowed. 
Each gefture bland a faintly fpirit (howM, 

That rapt my faculties in holy trance. 


While in this wondVous poft, exalted high, 
I look'd on all the Holy Family, 

Fix'd in their glorious pofts, or moving round ; 
Then, with new-kindled wifh, that inly bum'd 
To learn the fccrets of their (late, I tum'd 

To Her, who led me thro' the facred bound. 


While I delayM to a(k the fainted Dame 
To clear my rifmg doubts, a Senior came ; 

Clad in the draper)^ of Heav'n he flood. 
His look, his gefture, ere he fpoke, confefs'd 
The warm paternal feelings of the Bleft, 

And all the virtues of the great and good. 


*' Where is my kind jelhereal Guide ?" 1 cry'd. 
Mildly he faid, " Let evVy thought fubfide 

C 347 ] 

That dwells on her ; to c aim your fearsi came. 
And chace your anxious doubts, at her requeft : 
In yon' third ftage, enthroned among the Bleft, 

You yet may fee the heav'n-tranflated Dame/' 


I look'd aloft, and faw her beamy Throne ; 
Clear rays converging from th' empyreal Zone, 

Falhion'd of woven beams, a bright Tiar, 
Decking with heav'nly gems the Virgin's brow, 
Far more refplendent than the fliow'ry bow. 

Full moon, or funjimer fun, or dawning ftar. 


Not from the centre to th' extremeft bound. 
Where forked light'nings dance the welkin round. 

So wide a diftance feem'd, as from my eye 
To her, who, crown'd with glory, fate above ; 
Yet, wing'd with ev'ry glance, the fliaft of Love 

Still reach'd my heart acrofs the boundlefs Sky. 


*' O thou, in whom my hopes for ever bloom. 
Who bore for me the deep Tartarean gloom. 

The fight of torture, and the Stygian yell. 
With heartfelt gratitude I recognize 
Thro' thee the matchlefs bounty of the Skies, 

And feel my heart with ftrong affeftion fwell ! 



" In each gradation from the Vale of Death 

To this bright Scene, where flow'rs celeftial breathe^ 

C 348 ] 

You loos'd a link of that enormous chain 
That bound me to the joys beneath the Moon ; 
In various modes, to me the heav'nly Boon 

You gave ; O may it ne'er be giv'n in vain ! 


*' That heav'nly Image glowing in my bread 
Preferve, in thefe Elysian tints, exprefs'd 

By thy celeftial art ; protect the Soul 
Which thou haft fav'd, from each contagious ftain. 
That, when released from this corporeal chain. 

Its fiery effence may afcend the Pole." 


Thus my oraifons flow'd : the fainted Maid 
Her approbation in a fmile conveyed. 

Soft as in Autumn's eve the rifmg Moon ; 
Then, gazing upward, met with ravifli'd fight 
New emanations from the fount of Light, 

Doubling the glories of th* empyreal Noon. 


Then thus her rev'rend Delegate began : 

*^ The end that crowns your journey, Son of Man^ 

I am decreed to Ihew, at her requeft : 
Nor lefs infpir'd by Love's aethereal flame, 
Tho' bofom'd in celeftial blifs, I came, 

A Guide immortal to a mortal gueft. 


" O'er this fair fcene of Paradife extend 
Thy fight J the beatific View will lend 

C 349 ] 

New vigour to thy mental pow'rs, decreed 
Yet for thro* yon* fuperior world to foar ; 
She, whom my inmoft faculties adore. 

Has fent her Bernard here thy (teps to lead. 


As when the rude Croatian Pilgrim fees 
The facred femblance of the Prince of Peace 

Stamp'd on the facred Veil by art divine, 
Tracing the lineaments with glad furprize, 
** Is this the image of my God ?** he cries. 

And with new tranfport views the hallow'd Sign^ 

At once, the fervor of the heavenly Sire 
Woke in my breaft a corrcfpondent fire. 

Like that, which, in the world of Woe beneath, 
Deep contemplation kindled in the dull. 
And gave his Soul that keen empyreal guft. 

Long ere the holy Man refign*d his breath. 


** By gazing on the Profpeft thus below. 
You ne*er its full magnificence can know ; 

St. xxiii. /. 2. Thf facred femhlanct — ] The Veronica, or holy 
handkerchief, on which our Saviour's features are faid to have been 
miraculoufly flamped, in his laft agony in the Garden : it is faid to 
be ftill preferved at Rome. 

St. HTL^.L \, By gaxing on the ProfpeQy &c.] It is not clear 
whether Dante means that he had hitherto looked on the fcenc 
in an horizontal view, or at leaft confined his profped^ within a few 
degrees of it ; or whether he is to be underftood as having, till 
now, perceived thefe fplendid exhibitions in a fort of miraculous 
adumbration refledlcd by the river defcribcd above. 

C 350 ] 

Lift up your eyes, and boldly view the bound 
Of yon' celeftial Arch ; behold the Queen 
Of Heav'n, how (he adorns the living Scene, 

And how yon' fuppliants bend with awe profound." 


I look'd aloft, and as the Orient glows 
With deeper tint when Sol his afpeft fhows. 

Than where his wheels defcend with fwift career. 
So a deep radiance to my wond'ring eyes 
Seem'd up th' aethereal amplitude to rife, 

Whofe glorious Lamp illum'd the utmoft Sphere. 


And as, when we expeft the golden Team, 
Whence Clymen's Son was caft in Padus* ftream. 

Before the glowing Eaft the Stars decay. 
So this fisur Enfign of a brighter Mom 
Seem'd with new light the region to adorn, 

And thus its rivals feem'd to Jlde away. 


Fanning with many a plume the limpid air. 
An heavenly Chorus round the Vifion fair 

Sung jubilee, like an ambrofial cloud 
Spreading its golden canopy afar ; 
The Virgin fmil'd, like Phosphor's rifing Star, 

And with new joy the mix'd Aflembly glowed. 

Could I a glorious drefs of words beftow 
On thofe rich fcenes, that in my fancy glow. 

C 351 ] 

The fainted (hade of that celeftial Scene 
I would not dare to paint ; the holy Sire 
And I, replete with fympathetic fire, 

Gaz*d on the glories of the Virgin Queen. 

S/. xxiz. L 6. — Virgin Queen.] Fiz, the Virgin Maht. 


C 353 3 


The Poet defcribes the Order of the Patriarchs, Prophets, and 
Evangelifts, in their feveral Stations; and relates a Solution 
given by the Spirit of St. Bernard to fome Doubts that arofe 
in his Mind. 

Stooping from Contemplation's lofty height. 
With humbler office pleas'd, the Heir of Light 

Thus dcign*d to (hew the fecrets of the Bleft, 
And their employments, to the Son of Man ; 
And thus again, with afpeft mild, began 

To paint the regions of eternal reft : 


" Behold that Beauty, whofe sethereal charms. 
Excelling human grace, the bofom warms ; 

At Mary's feet the lovely Stranger lies : 
See ! with what gratitude flie lifts her look 
To her, whofe Son th* Egyptian bondage broke. 

And gave for fin the balfam of the Skies ! 
Vol. IIL A a 

C 354 ] 


" 'Tis (he, whofe error barb'd the fetal dart 
Of Sin, and gave it paffage to the heart : 

Rebecca there with Rachel fit below. 
Your Guide with Sarah joins, an holy pair. 
And, ftation'd at her fide, Bethulia's Fair 

Difplays the civic garland on her brow. 

" Then flie, from whom the regal Poet fprung, 
"Who fteep'd in tears his penitential fong ; 

Then, in long order, all that lov'd to guide. 
In the dark regions of the world beneath. 
Their painful progrefs by the lamp of Faith, 

In various orders fill the Concave wide. 

" Follow my guiding hand, with watchful eyes ; 
Yon' fev'nfold range that feems to prop the Skies, 

The blooming Pride contains of Jacob's race, 
A bevy made for Heav'n in ranks difpos'd. 
As Faith below the portioned Light difclos'd 

To ev*ry beauteous Denizen of Grace. 


" As 'midft his blooms the fludious Florifl ftrays. 
And ev'ry flem thro' all the painted maze 

Si. iii. /. I. 'Tujbe—'] Eve. 

3. Rebecca,] Wife to Isaac. 

3. Rachel,] Wife to Jacob, 

4. Sarah,] Wife to Abraham ; dcfciibed is fitting 

with Beatrice. 

5. Bethulia's Fairyl Judith. 

C 355 3 

Diftinftly views, I mean your fearch to guide. 
Where yon* wide Hoft the full Affembly fliows 
(As when in Summer-pride the garden glows) 

Of all, who on the coming Christ relyM. 


*' Nearer the dulky fpace that lies between. 
And marks with fhadowy cone the fplendid Scene, 

Parting, with dim Eclipfe, the circling ray ; 
In radiant Files the happy Bands are found, 
• Who, on the lapfe of Time's revolving round. 

Already faw their Saviour's natal Day. 


** And as the female Camp is feen to fpread. 
From Mary's bright Imperial Throne difplay'd. 

Confronting her, the Baptist (its fublime. 
And counts an equal Hoft ; tho% far beneath, 
A few fad years he walk'd the fhades of Death, 

Before Emmanuel paid the Stygian gloom. 


" Beneath his glorious feet his Pupils lie, 
Repofing on the bofom of the Sky, 

Far as the eye can reach, in many a ftage 
Circling the mighty void ; Augustine there, 
Francis, and holy Benedict, appear. 

With many a Saint renown'd from age to age. 

Si. V, vi.] The Department of the Hebrew and Christ« 
IAN Women, difbinguifhed by Faith and Chanty. 

Aa 2 

[ 356 ] 


** Thus, either wing of this celeftial Hoft 
Its equal Legions of the Bled can boaft ; 

But in yon' fpace between, a vaft profound. 
The ranfom'd Souls poflefs a lower Sky, 
Who on another's virtue muft rely, 

Redeem'd, ere Reafon fill'd its tardy round. 


^^ Their fmiles, that like the infimt dawn appear^ 
Their gentle modulations, foft and clear, 

DiftinguiOi them from all the Bleft above: 
You feem to doubt, but foon, tike opening Day^ 
Your doubts, by Grace difpell'd, (hall melt away» 

When Heav'n difplays her Myfteries of Love« 


" Chance has no empire here, nor Want, nor Woe ; 
Whatever you fee, from Heav'n's appointment flow. 

True as the Image to the plaftic Mould ; 
'^Thofe Tribes, that mount to Heav'n on various plumCi 
As fov*reign Wifdom gives, each lot aifume 

Their various flations in the heav'nly Fold. 


" The Sov Veign of the Bleft, who ftill beftows 
Thofe joys that ev'ry happy Being knows, 

St. X. /. 4. The ranfoitCd Souls — ] i. e. Of thofe wlio die in in- 
fancy, and are redeemed (according to the Theology of the timet) 
by the merits of our Saviour, witliout performing the couditioDt. 

C 357 ] 

Nor lets a Creature here of Want complain. 
At Its Creation portions out his Grace, 
As fov'reign Reafon wills, in time and place. 

To ev'ry Order of his fubjefl; Train. 

*' This may fuffice ; let Scripture tell the reft : 
Esau rejefted, and his Brother blefs'd. 

Contended in the womb before their birth ; 
The kindred Love defcends where'er it jfinds 
Congenial fuel in regenerate Minds, 

Where Grace can breed the Plant of genuine worth. 

** Their Parent's Faith, with their innoxious ftate 
Combining, fix'd at once their happy fate : 

St, xiv, /. 2. Esau r^effgj,'] This is only (according to the bed 
CommentatorB) meant of the promulgation of the Mofaic Law by 
the defcendants of Jacob^ when thofe of Esau were left to the 
light of Nature, and of the Patriarchal traditions. (Sec Ramsay's 
Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion, part ii.) But it is 
not to be fuppofed that tifcy were therefore lefs favoured ; for the 
CentiUt^ that have not the law, yet do by nature the things of the 
law, are entitled to a (hare in the benefits of Redemption, as may 
be inferred from St, Paul's words : and our Saviour himfelf fays^ 
*« it will be more tolerable for Tyie and Si don," that is, even for 
the impenitent Sinners among the Heathen, than for impenitent 
Sinners under Revelation ; plainly implying, that the virtuous, in 
both fituations, ihall reap the fruits of their virtue. 

The prefent Bifhop of Lincoln has ably elucidated, in a few 
words, that remarkable text of St. Paul, Rom. viii. 29. " Whom 
he foreknew, them he alfo predeftinated ;" i. e. Thofe whofc 
voluntary obedience to the call of Grace and the voice of Con- 
Ccience he forefaw, them he prededinated to happinefs, aa being 
qualified for it. — Bifhop of Lincoln on the feventecnth Article. 


C 358 ] 

The Rite of Blood, in darker times, affur'd 
Their title to the Skies ; in days of Grace, 
The Fount that clears prime\^al fin had place. 

And their eternal Happinefs fecur*d. 


** But leave thefe doubts for Time to clear a\my. 
And learn from that fweet FacQ^to bear the ray 

Of full Divinity, which foon will fhine 
On your material Orbs." I rais'd my eye. 
And faw, defcending from a loftier Sky, 

O'er her tranfcendent charms, a Light divine. 


Half thro' the Glory feen, a fudden flight 

Of hov'ring Angels feem'd to watch the Light ; 

But fuch a glorious glimpfe its moving Beam 
In that aethereal Countenance reveal'd, 
That all my fenfes in oblivion held. 

Sunk down at once beneath the fweet extreme. 


The firft, that gliding down the Beam appear'd. 
With humble aft the holy Maid rever'd : 

** Hail fov'reign Dame! endowed with heav'nly 
I faw the umbrage of his wings difplay'd, 
I heard afar thofe hallow'd founds conveyM, 

By the full Chorus, o'er th* aethereal Space : 

Si. xvi. /. 6. "tranfcendent charms,'] i. e. Of the Virgin Mart. 


I 359 1 


" O Sage ! in pity leave the heav'nly Choir, 
A while to fatisfy a Man's defire ; 

Say, who is he that hails the facred Maid, 
With fuch peculiar fervour in his eye. 
As if from thence he drank celeftial Joy ?" 

I fpoke ; and thus, the reverend Senior faid : 


** Tranfport like his we all would wifh to know ; 
*Twas he that told, with triumph on his brow, ^ 

To that celeftial Fair, the facred Freight 
That foon fhould fill her Womb ; but view around. 
What throng'd Patricians hide the heav'nly ground. 

In all the fplendours of empyreal ftate. 


** Thofe two, that feem to lead the heav'nly Choir 
With equal ftep, are Man's primeval Sire 

With Cephas rank'd; the central Stems they feem 
Of that far fpreading fupra-mundane Rose : 
The left is his, whofe weakncfs caus'd our woes. 

The haplefs Fount of Sin's polluted Stream. 


** The right is his, to whom his Lord confign'd 
The Keys of Heav'n, with pow'r to loofe and bind ; 

St. XX. /. 2. ^Twai he that toldj — ] The Angel Gabriel. 
4S/. xxi. /. 2. — Mattel primeval Strey"] Adam. 
3. Cephas] Peter. 

A a 4 

C 360 ] 

Behind, the Prophet comes, in holy trance^ 
Who, thro' the long extent of times to come. 
Saw, with prefaging heart, the gathering Gloom 

Of future ftorms, o*er Salem's Hills advance. 


** He, that with Manna fed the moving Hoft, 
There ftands, with interchanging beam oppos'd 

To him ; and Anna, by th' Apoftle's fide. 
Beholds her Daughter with a Mother's joy. 
In yon' aethereal Conclave thron'd fo high. 

And in eternal Songs of praife employ'd. 


" There, to the Parent of the human Race 
Oppos'd, the gentle Lucia finds her place, - 

Who fent Beatrice to the world beneath. 
To drag you trembling from the gloomy fteep. 
Where late, fufpended o'er the raging Deep, * 

You feem'd juft plunging in the Vale of Death. 


" But fwift the moments fly, we hete mud paufe, 
Nor dare to trench upon th' eternal Laws, 

5/. xxii. /. 3. Behind, the Prophet — ] St. JoHM» who (aw die 

St. xxiii. /. I . He, — ] Moses. 

3. Anna,] Suppofed by the Authors of Tnditioimy 
Hiftory, the Mother of the Virgin Mary. The Akka in the firft 
of Luke is not meant. 

C 361 ] 

That bound our Voyage thro* the realms above ; 
One ta(k remains, and that a tafk of joy, 
Thro* his effulgent robe of Light to fpy 

(As far as Sight can reach) the Source of Love, 


** In that great Ocean, when you leave the Shore, 
Soon will you fink at once, to rife no more, 

Unlefs fupemal Grace your pinions plume : 
But let your heart with my orifons rife. 
Soon will the VeftaPs hand unbar the Skies, 

And beatific Views your Sight illume.** 


[ 363 ] 



After a Prayer by the Spirit of St. Bernard, the Poet is intro- 
doced to a nearer View of the beatific Vifion, and fees emble*' 
matically the Second Perfon of the Holy Trinity. 

« O VIRGIN ! who thy foft attradion drew 
From him, who ow*d his mortal Form to you, 

Whofe lowly Mind thofe Angel plumes admirM 
That raisM thee to the Stars ; the mighty Plan 
Of Man's Salvation, which in Heav*n began, 

Thro* thee derivM, new energy acquired. 


•* On thee the Majefty of Heav'n beftowM 
Such matchlefs honour, that the Son of God 

Came from the Skies, and chofe that humble Shrine 
Where, for a time, he deign'd his Light to (hrowd ; 
Then, like the Sun emerging from a Cloud, 

Cali'd forth to Light and Life thofe Germs divine. 

C 364 ] 

" Hence Charity derives her fervent glow. 
And Hope on heav'nly profpefts lives below ; 

The Souls, that to another Fount apply 
Than thy Firft-bom, a broken ciftem find. 
And, with judicial impotence of Mind, 

Try with a plumelefs wing to mount the Sky. 


" By thee preventing Grace each bold demand 
Heeds not, but oft beftows, \^ith lib'ral hand. 

Her choiceft Bleflings on the Heart contrite ; 
Tlie mingled bounties of the heav'nly Throne, 
And foft Companion's (lores, by thee were fhown. 

Which ranfom*d Nature fxlPd with new delight. 


" The Man, that from the Stygian world below 
Has found his way to this Olympian brow, • 

Climbing aloft by that ftupendous Vine, 
Vioin bough to bough, that o*er the ample Face 
Of this dread Univerfe its Shade difplays. 

To liis laft labour craves thy help divine. 


" Not for myfelf I long'd fo much of old. 
The BKATiFic Vision 10 behold, 

As now for him the hcav'uly Boon to gain ; 
O holy Virgin, purge his mental eye. 
From thy bright glance new energy fupply. 

Nor let they Suppliant's vows be breath'd in vain, 

[ 3^5 ] 


** O heav'nly Maid ! with matchlefs pow'r endow'd. 
As from his Mind you chace th* oppofing Cloud, 

So guard him from th' intolerable Beam, 
Which jBlfe would turn his ecftacy to pain. 
And quite deftroy the fabric of his brain, 

Far, for too weak to bear the fierce extreme. 


** O guard, celeftial Maid ! the facred Truft ! 
See thefe uplifted palms that once were dufl:. 

From ev'ry ftage of this Olympian Choir, 
All raisM to thee, with hers that fhoVd the Path, 
Thro' the tremendous haunts of Sin and Death ! 

Relent, fweet Maid, and grant their warm defire !** 


A facred fmile, that feem*d to melt the Sky, 
From the twin Stars of everlafting Joy, 

Accordance gave ; then to the Source of Light 
Mine eyes I raisM, that felt a fiercer gleam 
Than e'er from op'ning Heav'n was feen to ftream 

On rfie dim organs of terreftrial fight. 


But I, that now my ftrong defire beheld 

So near completion, found each wifli repell'd. 

And quench'd with the cold drops of holy fear : 
At length the Senior gave the awfiil fign, 
Ks looks infpir'd my Soul with force divine. 

That feem'd new wing'd to mount the heav'nly fphere. 

r 366 ] 


He fmil'd my kindling ardours to behold. 
For, with new life infpir*d, erefl: and bold, 

I met the Profpeft with untroubled gaze ; 
My vifual nerves, by uncreated Light 
SuftainM, ftill inward, like an Eagle's fight. 

Sent my keen eye-beam thro* th* empyreal Blaze. 


But there fuch Wonders on my fenfes broke. 
It {hakes my Soul like Heaven's aethereal (Iroke, 

No tongue can tell what profpeds met my eyes I 
Even the feir Pictures, tho* by Heav'n pourtray'd 
On the frail tablet of the Mem*ry, fade 

Like fetting fplendours in the Ev'ning Skies. 


As when the faculties, arous'd from fieep. 

Of fome wild dream the ftrong impreffion keep. 

Till o'er the awful fcene Oblivion holds 
Her cloudy palm, and blots the Vifion fair. 
Then gradual draws a veil of formlefs air. 

Which foon each evanefcent Shape enfolds. 


Such was my feeling, as the \lfion fled, 
A mingled thrilling fenfe of love and dread ; 

It vibrates in my heart, and bums my brain 
Ev'n now ; and, oh ! how quick it feem'd to go. 
As to an April Sun the drifted fnow. 

In vapours rifmg from the vernal plain. 

[ 36; ] 


The piftur'd Series thus of times to come. 
On leaves defign'd, within her lonely room. 

By Sybijll's hands, the wanton breeze deftroys : 
** O all-furpafling Source of raptures high, 
One fcintillation to my Mind fupply. 

One glimpfe, to fhew the Source of heav'nly joys ! 


** O tune my tongue to that feraphic ftrain. 
That bids the Image, duly prefsM, remain 

Upon the general Mind and on my own ! 
That fome faint trace, tho* by reflexion viewM, 
May give a Semblance of the Sov'reign Good, 

To the dark Souls confinM beneath the Moon." 


With Beam direft, I fac'd the vivid Light, 
By Inftinft led ; for had I tum'd my fight 

The leaft degree afkance, the blinding Beam 
In fudden Night had quench'd my vifual pow*rs j 
But this I met with more coUefted force. 

The noontide Glory in its fierce extreme. 


By uncreated energy refin'd, 

Boldly I dar*d to fcan th' eternal Mind : 

O heavenly Grace, that thus benignant bore 
A MortaFs daring eyes, that travellM isx 
Amid thy wonders, till th* eternal Bar, 

Upraised by Mercy, bade me look no more. 

C 368 3 


Yet I beheld, before the Vifion clos'd, 

Thefe awful PowVs that rule the heav'nly Hoft, 

And Nature's univerfal reign, conbin'd 
In one eternal a£t ; each fubftance there. 
Each accident and mode, diftinft and clear, 

I faw refle&ed in the heavenly Mind. 

Yet all thofe ftrange varieties in one 

Full on my eyes in cloudlefs fplendour flione^ 

Without a mixture, and without a (hade ; 
I bore the fight, 'twas no illufive fpell. 
For yet with tranfport on the thought I dwell, 

Tho' faintly to my inward eye convey'd. 


One moment of Oblivion fwept away 

More from the Mind, on that diflinguifh'd day. 

Than the whole courfe of Time's o'erbearing tide 
Could droun, from the firft dawn of opening Light, 
Till then, when Neptune faw, with new delight. 

Tall Argo's Shadow on his furges ride* 


The fplendid Scene, with ftrong attraction drew 
My pow'rs, all cent'red in the glorious view. 

And as I gaz'd, I kindled at the fight ; 
No Mortal from the glorious view could turn, 
Tho' Worlds Ihould dance and Planets round him bum. 

And ev'iy cl:ann to lure his eyes unite. 

St, xix, XX.] See Extract from Malebranchc, at the begin- 

ning of the Volume. 

C 369 ] 


All good that fills the univerfal Sphere, 

Thro' boundlefs time and fpace, is centred here ; 

And all perfeftions elfe, wherever found, 
Altho*, compared to that tranfcendent ray. 
Like gathering mills they feem, that cloud the day. 

When in their Orbs they light the mundane round. 


My imperfeftion fpoils the heav'nly theme } 
The Infiant thus, that quaffs the milky ftream, 

Mars her incipient words with wailing cry : 
Yet an unvary'd femblance here was feen ; 
What now it is, the Godhead (till has been, 

And Chance or Change mull ever more defy, 


Yet to fpiritual organs, far refinM 
Above material Senfe, th* eternal Mind, 

Tho* One itfelf, a changing afpeft wore; 
More glorious far, and more intenfely bright. 
The Vifion feem'd, as with a Iharper fight 

I try'd the glorious Profpedl to explore. 


Three Splendours feem*d their Glories to imite. 
And then diverge amid th* abyfs of Light, 

Each catching in their turn the running Blaze j 
As if three colours of the fhow'ry bow. 
With bright alternate hues, were feen to glow. 

For ever blending in a radiant maze. 
Vol. m. B b 

[ 370 ] 


The central Glory feemM a rifing Fire, 
Darting on either fide his flaming fpire! — 

Alas ! how poorly do my words exprefs 
Ev'n the faint Picture that my Fancy drew ! 
And that, how far beneath the wond*rous View ! 

It were abufe of words to call it lefs. 


Thou felf-exillent Beam, where all to come, 
Prefent and paft, within the ample womb 

Of deep Duration held, to being fpring 
At once, I faw you with unbounded joy. 
As if a fecond dawn illum'd the Sky, 

Soaring to catch thy fight with flaming wing. 


With fudden glance, the fun-bright Mirror fliow'd 
A radiant Form, that feem*d an human God ; 

His regal mien, and fweet Elysian glance. 
As with a fpell, my whole attention caught j 
On the fair Vifion ftill, abforpt in thought, 

I hung, like one in foft delicious trance* 


As the Geometer, with ftudious pain, 
To fquare the circle, plies his art in vain 

The reconciling principle to find ; 
So ponder'd I, on this ftrange problem fix'd. 
When Manhood fhone fo bright with Godhead mix'4^ 

Matter concrete with pure abfhra&ed MincU 

t 371 3 


But ill could mortal Senfe this fight explore. 
Until a lucid Hand, extended o*er 

My ftraining eyes, the Miracle difplay'd. 
Bright as empyreal Noon, which Heav'n denies 
To paint ] — O may his Will, that rules the Skies, 

In this and all, be evermore obey'd \ 



C 373 ] 

The Reader has here an Opportunity of comparing 
a Reprefentation of future Happinefs^ given by an 
English Poet of the feventeenth Century (Mr. G. 
Fletcher), with the Defcriptions in the Para- 
Diso of Dante. // U taken from a Poem of his 
called Christ's Triumph over Death. 

JN OR let the Prince of Peace his Beadfman blame. 
That with his Stewart dares his Lord compare. 
And heav'nly Peace with earthly Quiet fliame j 
So Pines to lowly Plants compared are. 
And lightening Phcebus to a little Star : 
And well I wot, my rhyme, albe unlmooth, 
Ne fays but what it means, ne means but footh, 
Ne harms the good, ne good to harmful Perfon doth. 


Gaze but upon the Houfe where Man embowers ; 
With flowers and rufhes paved is his way. 
Where all his creatures are his Servitours ; 
The Winds do fweep his chambers ev*ry day. 
And Clouds do wafh his rooms, the cieling gay. 
Starred aloft, the gilded Knobs embrave : 
If fuch a houfe God to another gave, [have ! 

How fhine thofe glittering courts, he for himfelf will 


[ 374 3 


And if a fullcn Cloud, as fad as IKght, 

In which the Sun may feem embodied, 

DepurM of all his drofs, we fee fo white. 

Burning in melted gold his wat'ry head. 

Or, round with iv*ry edges filvered ; 
What Luftre fuper-excellent will he 
Lighten on thofe that will his Sunfliine fee. 

In that all-glorious Court in which all Glories be I 


If but one Sun, with his diflfufive fires. 

Can paint the Stars, and the whole world with Light, 

And joy and life into each heart infpires. 

And ev'ry Saint fhall fhine in Heav'n as bright. 

As doth the Sun in his tranfcendent might, 

(As Faith may well believe what Truth once fays,) 
What fhall fo many Suns' imited rays. 
But dazzle all the eyes that now in Heav'n we praife ! 


Here let my Lord hjmg up his conquering lance. 
And bloody armour, with late {laughter warm. 
And, looking down on his weak Militants, 
Behold his Saints, 'midfl: of their hot alarm. 
Hang all their golden hopes upon his arm. 
And, in this lower field difpadng wide 
Thro' windy thoughts, that would their fails milguide,^ 
Anchor their fleihy fhips fail in his wounded fide. 

C 375 3 


Here may the Band, that now in triumph Ihlnes, 
And that (before they were invefted thus) 
In earthly Bodies carry'd heavenly Minds, 
Pitched round about, in order glorious. 
Their funny tents, and houfes luminous ; 
All their eternal Day in fongs employing. 
Joying their end, without end of their joying. 
While their Almighty Prince dcftruftion is deftroying. 


Full, yet without fatiety, of that 
Which whets and quiets greedy appetite. 
Where never Sun did rife, nor ever fat. 
But one eternal Day, and endlefs Light, 
Gives time to thofe, whofe time is infinite. 
Speaking with thought, obtaining without fee. 
Beholding him whom never eye could fee. 
And magnifying him that cannot greater be. 


How can fuch joy as this want words to fpeak ? 
And yet, what words can fpeak fuch joy as this ! 
Far from the world, that might their quiet break. 
Here the glad Souls the face of Beauty kifs, 
PourM out in pleafure on their beds of Blifs ; 
And, drunk with neftar ton:ents, ever hold 
Their eyes on him, whofe graces manifold 
The more they do behold, the more they wouM behold. 


C 376 ] 

Their fight drinks lovely fires in at their eyes. 
Their brain fweet incenfe with fine breath accloys. 
That on God's fweating altar burning lies ; 
Their hungry ears feed on their heav'nly noife. 
That Angels fing, to tell their untold joys ; 
Their underftanding naked Truth, ihdr wills 
The all and felf-fufficient Goodnefs fills. 
That nothing here is wanting but the want of ills. 


No forrow now hangs clouding on thdr brow. 
No bloodlefs malady empales their face. 
No age drops on their hairs his fiiver fiiow. 
No nakednefs their bodies doth embafe. 
No poverty themfelves and theirs difgrace. 
No fear of Death the joy of life devours. 
No unchafte fleep their precious time deflow'rs. 
No lofs, no grief, no change, wait on their winged hours, 


But now their naked bodies fcom the cold, 
And from their eyes Joy looks and laughs at Fain } 
The Infant wonders how he came fp old, 
And old Man how he came fo young again ; 
Still refting, though fi-om fleep they ftill reftrain : 
Where all are rich, and yet no gold they owe. 
And all are Kings, and yet no Subjects know. 
All full, and yet no time on food do they beftow^ 

C 377 ] 

For things that pafs are paft, and in this Field, 

The indeficient Spring no Winter fears ; 

The Trees together fruit and bloffom yield, 

Th' unfading Lily leaves of filver bears. 

And crimfon Rofe a fcarlet garment wears ; 
And all of thefe on the Saints* bodies grow. 
Not, as they wont, on bafer earth below ; 

Three Rivers here of milk, and wine, and honey flow. 


About the holy City rolls a flood 

Of molten cryftal, like a fea of glafs ; 

On which weak ftream a ftrong Foundation flood ; 

Of living Diamonds the Building was. 

That all things elfe befides itfelf did pafs ; 

Her ftreets, inftead of ftones, the Stars did pave. 
And little pearls for duft it feem to have. 

On which foft-ftreaming manna like pure fnow did wave* 


In midfl: of this City celeftial. 

Where the eternal Temple fliould have rofe, 

Lightened th' idea beatifical ; 

End and beginning of each thing that grows, 

Whofe felf no end nor yet beginning knows ; 
That hath no eyes to fee, nor ears to hear. 
Yet fees and hears, and is all eye and ear ; 

Jhat no where is contained, and yet is ev'ry where, 

C 378 3 


Changer of all things, yet immutable ; 

Before and after all, the firft and laft ; 

That moving all, is yet immoveable ; 

Great without quantity ; in whofe forecafl. 

Things pafl are prefent, things to come are pall } 
Swift without motion, to whofe open eye 
The hearts of wicked Men unbreafted lie. 

At once abfent and prefent, far and nigh« 


It IS no flaming luflre, made of Light j 

No fweet concert, or well-tim'd harmony, 

Ambrofia, for to feafl the appetite. 

Or flow'ry odour, mix'd with fpicery ; 

No foft embrace, or pleafure bodily ; 
And yet, it is a kind of inward feaft. 
As harmony that founds within the breafl ; 

An odour, light, embrace, in which the Soul dotb reft^ 


A heav'niy feaft no hungei* can confume„ 
A light unfeen, yet (hines in ev*ry place ; 
A found no time can fteal, a fweet perfume 
No winds can fcatter ; an entire embrace. 
That no fatiety can e'er unlace ; 

Ingrac'd into fo high a favour there, C^^c^Il 

The Saints, \^ith their Beau-peers, whole worlds out^ 

And things unfeen do fee, and things unheard do hear^ 

C 379 ] 


Ye bleffed Souls ! grown richer by your fpoO, 
Whofe lofs^ though great, is caufe of greater gains ; 
Here may your weary Spirits reft from toil. 
Spending your endlefs Evening that remains, 
Amongft thofe white Flocks, and celeftial Trains, 
That feed upon their Shepherd's eyes, and frame 
That heav'nly mufic, of fo wond'rous fame, 
Pfalming aloud the holy honours of his Name. 


Had I a voice of fteel to tune my fong. 
Were ev*ry verfe as fmooth as fmootheft glafs. 
And ev*ry member turned to a tongue. 
And ev*ry tongue were made of founding brafs ; 
Yet all that (kill, and all this ftrength, alas ! 
Should it prefume t* adorn (were mifadvisM) 
The place, where David hath new fongs devis'd. 
As in his burning throne he fits emparadisM. 

But now fuch lively colours did embeam 
His fparkling forehead, and fuch (hining rays 
Kindled his flaming locks, that down did ftream 
In curls along his neck ; where fweetly plays 
(Singing his wounds of love in facred lays) 

His deareft Spoufe, Spoufe of the deareft Lover, 
Knitting a thoufand knots over and over. 
And dying ftill for love, but they her ftill recover. 

C 380 D 


Faireft of Fairs ! that at his eyes doth drels 
Her glorious face, thofe eyes from whence are ihed 
Attradions infinite ; where, to exprefs 
His love, high God ! all Heav'n as captive leads. 
And all the banners of his Grace difpreads. 
And in thofe windows doth his arms englaze. 
And on thofe eyes the Angels all do gaze. 
And from thofe eyes the Lights of Heav'n obtain their 
blaze, &c. 


C 38' 3 



PARADISO, Canto VII. Stanza 18. 

IF we allow that the race of Mankind, according to the Scripture 
account, derived their being from an original Pair (a truth which 
the teflimony of Hiflory renders at leaft probable), it will follow, 
that Adam, on his creation, would have been reduced to great dif- 
ficulties on the choice of proper aliments at his firft creation, with- 
out fome diredlion from his Creator. He could not judge what 
food was proper for him, without knowledge fufficient to examine 
hit own conftitution, the nature of the feveral fruits before him, and 
the fuitablenefs of one to the other. Experiment muft have, in this 
cafe, been his only refource ; which might have been as fatal to him 
as to any of his poflerity, great numbers of whom have been de- 
firoyed by fruits apparently fair and inviting. In the wifdom of 
God, which required his prefervation, is implied the neceffity of 
fome intimation being given him of the means of preferving his 

If it be objeded, that poiHbly he was created in higher pcr- 
fe£Uon, and with fenfes more acute than any of his poflerity — ^thift 
being allowed, it fo hr eftablifhes the truth of Revelation ; if it be 
denied, it (hows the neceiiity of a Revelatiop, which in that cafe 
might naturally be expeded from the wifdom and goodocii of the 

C 38a 3 

This account being found confonant to unprejudiced Reafon, if 
confirmed by the Scriptural account. A permiflion wc find there 
was, accordingly, given to the firft Man to eat of all the fruits of the 
Garden, except onty under the penalty of his contra6ting fomc mor- 
tal infirmity on the infraftion of this command. When Reafon 
ihews that this diredion was neceilary, and Scripture informs us 
that it v:2LS given, it is a very ftrong argument of the truth of this 
Revelation ; for what can be a dearer demonftration of the truth of 
any hillorical Record, than demonftrating that it is perfe^y con- 
formible to the truth and nature of things ? 

That irregular appetites are often punifhed in their indulgence 
with very deplorable confequences, appears to be the cftabliflied 
order of things. Our firft Parents were punifhed, according to this 
account, for an irregular appetite for interdiAed knowledge ; which 
often, in the courfe of the prefent ftate of things, is attended with 
peculiar punifhment. Either the prefent eftabliAied order of things 
always prevailed, or it did not: if it did, Adam's punifhment is ac- 
counted for by general analogy — ^if not, how wOl the Deift or Lh 
fidel prove the inftance in which it was fufpended ? 

The penalty of the Jitji tranfgreflion fhould, in wifdom and jof' 
tice, be greater than that of any fubfequent tranfgreffion» becanfc 
all depended on the firft : or, (if this (hould be denied,) it was aC 
leaft confonant to Divine Wifdom, that the pnntfhment of the firft 
tranfgreifion fhouid be fuch as to have the greateft weight with 
pofterity ; and it muft have been highly conducive to this purpofe 
to have its confequences always before their eyes. 

As to the extraordinary nature of this frnit, it is now weD knows 
that there are feveral forts of fruits, which not only inflame the 
blood, fo as to produce many dreadful diftempers ; but there are 
alfo fome that have a deleterious effeA upon the mental powoit 
Might not the forbidden fruit have been of this latter kind ? WhU 
produces idiotifm in the brain of a common Man, may eafily be 
conceived as reducing the faculties of Adam to the common ftand« 
ard, which we now fee in either cafe. Whatever deftroys the do« 
minion of Reafon over the pailions and appetites, either by inflim* 
ing the latter, or impairing the ftrength of the former, muft of 
neceifity have dcftroyed the perfeAion of human nature. 


C 383 3 

That infirmities and imperfections, mental and bodily, are de- 
rived from Parents to their Children, we every day may perceive, 
(as in the cafe of the king's evil) : this often lafts as long as the 
race; and without proper remedies, we fee no reafon why it (hould 
not laft to the end of the world. 

It will appear by the fame mode of reafoning, that Adam muft have 
had dominion given him over the animal creation, and that power 
afcertained by an original grant ; elfe he muft have been liable, not 
only to moleftation, but abfolute deftruftion, before this fubordina- 
tion was firmly ellablifhed. 

If we allow the human intelleft to be in Adam and Eve in a 
higher ftate of perfeftion than in any of their pofterity, we fhaU 
perceive a reafon, why the arguments addreffed to Eve were not 
fo dilated and amplified as might be neceflary to convince Mankind 
in their prefent impaired ftate of the underftanding. Her intelle6kt 
(though fallible) were, probably, fo much fuperior to ours, that a 
fhort hint to her would have the fame effeA that a long dedudion 
would to us. The Serpent, therefore, on this fuppofition, had no 
reafon to fay more than he did upon the occafion ; nay, if he had 
fpoken more, he might have defeated his defign, by letting Eve 
fee he had not attained to all that fagacity he pretended to, by eat- 
ing the forbidden fmit ; which muft have (hewn him, that to an en- 
lightened perfon like her, a hint was only neceffary. 

In ftiort, this conference, as recorded, appears a fpecimen of that 
fhort, fagacious mode of reafoning which human nature was capa- 
ble of in its ftate of perfeftion. As, in this cafe, the Serpent wai 
under no neceflity of faying one word more to Eve on this occafion 
than is here mentioned, it affords a prefumptive proof that Moses, 
in relating no more than what was faid, has difcharged the part of a 
faithful Hiftorian ; which he could not have done, had he related 
one word more. 

If we refled, that what fo much diftinguiftied the abilities of Sir 
Isaac Newton above the generality of Mankind, was his percep- 
tion of new and remote truths from very fimplc principles, which many 
others could not comprehend (even when difcovered) without a long 
train of confequences \ the difference between the human intelled 


i: 384 3 

in its original perfection and its prefent general ftate, will be more 
apparent, and the reafoning above more condufive. 

The expreflion of the Woman's y^mi^ that it was good for food» 
and that it was defirable to make one wijcf implies* that (he had per- 
ceived its feeming wonderful effefis on the Serpent ; and confe* 
quently, that he had been before in the degraded condition of other 

This condufion illuftrates the argument of the Seipent more ef- 
fe^ually, and makes the whole conference between ier and the Ser- 
pent rational and intelligible. That this was Milton's opinion is 
evident from his detail of this tranfaCUon, as this obfervation ren- 
ders that part of his admirable Poem much more interefting. 

It may at firft fight appear rather ftrangrc to us, that Eve fliould 
have obferved this change in the Serpent without any of thofc 
marks of terror and furprize, as we fhould have felt on fuch an cz- 
traordinar}' occafion. But if we allow that human nature was then 
in fuch a degree of perfection, and that Reafon had fuch a dominion 
over the paflions that probably there was no room for thofc fudden 
ftarts of the imagination, nor thofe fudden tumults and ftagnations 
of the blood and animal fpirits, now incident to our conditioo^ it 
will eafily be feen, that £ve muft have been, to a great degree, in- 
capable of fear or furprize from fuch accidents as would difquietthe 
bcft of her pollerity. This, fo far from being an objecUon to the 
Mofaic hiftory, rather appears a prcfumption in its favour. We 
can at lead form a conception of a Mind pofleffing itfelf in the ut- 
mod fcrcnity on fimilar occafions, when we refledl upon the com- 
pofurc of Fabricius, when the Elephant's probofcis was fuddenly 
raifcd over his head, and, in turning about, he, for the firft time, 
beheld an animal of fuch magnitude. 

Let the wifell of Mankind at prcfent fuppofe themfelves in 
Eve's condition in every circumllance, and then, if they reBed, 
they will tind, that this ichcme of deception is fo far from being 
impoflible or abfurd, that it is the moll rational, and the bed fuited 
to attain its purpofe, that even the lubtlcll of created Spirits can 
be fuppofed capable of devifuig on the occafion. 

When we confider the dreadful fcntence pronounced againft 
Adam, compared with the feemingly inadequate denunciatioD 


C 38s 3 

qgiinft the Serpent, we (hall be led to conclude that an Hiftpiha 
of fuch abilities as Moses appears by all his condu^ to have been* 
muld not have recorded what relates to the Serpent, if fomething. 
of more hnportance than the mere verbal meaning had not been 
denoted by the expreffion ofbrmfing his bead. Adam and £tb alfo 
aiiift have underftood this in a fenfe calculated to afford them and 
their pofterity fome important confolation in their degraded condi- 
tion. He himfclf could have bruifed the reptile's head, or any of hit 
pofterity might hare done the fame, without fuch a punifhment 
being a fuitable compenfation for their lofs. They, to confirm this 
cxpedbition, fiiw an inunediate executien of vengeance on the Ser* 
pent* His cnrfe inflided upon him, above every beaft of the fieldy 
implies, that they alfo were curfed ; which St. Paul alfo afferts ia 
the eighth chapter of the Epiftle to the Romans. 

Had the Serpent been originally formed to go upon his belly» 
and to eat duft, it would have been no punifhment to have con- 
tinued him in the fimie condition. We Ihall perceive the gracious 
purpofe of this immediate degradation of the inftrument of Evil X» 
our firft Parents, when we recoiled that his conference with EtE 
plainly implies, that he had boafted to her of fome intelledual ad- 
vantages, derived from the fruit which the Tree of Knowledge pof- 
leffed, independent of the power of God. <* God knowetb^* laid he» 
^ thai in the day ye eat thereof ye Jhali he as Gods J* — Nothing could 
lb effeAually confute this vain boafl and wicked infinuation, as let* 
ting Adam and Eve fee that imperfedion and lofs of ezcellencet 
was the only certain confequence of his dduiion, and oppofition to 
the will of God. 

Befides, Adam and Eve (as many of their pofterity are apt to 
do at this day) would be apt to flatter themfelves, diat, for a 
tranfgreflion fo apparently flight, the Almighty would not inflid fo 
rigorous a punifhment ; not coniidering, that this guilt was mucfat 
aggravated by the gcntlcnefs of the rcftraint : but when they law 
this Agent of Mifchief punifhed upon the fpot, it muft have com 
▼inced them of the heinoufnefs of their crime, and the certainty of 
Divine retribution. It was natural for them to argue thus : ** If 
the mere Infirument of Evil is fwnjhed fo feverely^ vhat vfiU become of 
the real ASorsP* 

Vol. III. Cci Befides^ 

i: 3«6 3 

•BcSda, whtt thqr famd tfaanfdvet b nriliertliij ddodei Iff d^ 
CAitioiit KprefeaU tion of tbe Serpent, md botk tfcfCfh rg i 
Im tendered deplonbk moDiiiiiefitt of m ntBgnanl 
nnvc concloded in fodi citmiii iftancctf thifc this dffcrplioB w di^ 
contrivance of Some bctng, not oidy fi^aior to Ac Sftpept, hitftr 
fiiperior to themfetvea; the work of ibme SpiftiTt wli% htd uksm 
poffieflfiott of die Seipent^t body, and eScAcd tUt idxAm tkaoigl! 

TkatApAU and £ti could have no idea, of ^irtiM»ii too ahfini 
to Ibppole^ if we dlow that itar intdledt were fnperior to oan* 
3f an eafy dedoAiony he m^t have ooncfadfedf that dM Scqiea^ 
%6jrcoald not have deceived EvB, and that the fisntonce pdEsi 
i^ion that animal, the pafibre tnSroment of a hpianat hUfffignnca^ 
muft have had fome feferenee to the a6h]adng cm^jh. He araft 
have conctiTed this as cleaiiy is that the pnneipk of peiccptiu a in 
himfclf was the fm/ obje^ of piini&nient» dumgh the fa itcn ac wnn 
Sttralfy proQOimccd againff his body* The vcrj woiA of die de» 
mmctatioo are phinly dircAed agatnft an intdfigent Bei^* TOa 
confideraeioH couM not but afcertain to Adaw the true obfoft ^ 
the Divine wrath and vengeance, which could be no other Ann the 
evi! Spint who committed the offience. 

When he was once fully pofifeficd of this leading idea, aD the isft 
was esfy. His next enquiry would naturally bct what waa flMSiir 
by hrwfitig the Serpents heaJL He could not but know, diat the Aead 
was the feat of his knowledge and dogiinion ; and therefore he night 
realbnably conclude, that by this cxprcffion, fome deadly Uow 
againft the power of that Spirit wko had fwayed die oi^gam of 
this creature t6 Us deftrofUon, was intended* Some hope he pro- 
bably conceived ;— fo much, at kaft, as to re^ve and contmoe ibme 
faife of RcEgion in his Mind. The conqueft of a Being fupcrior to 
himfelf, mnft imply much ftipcrior abilities m the Conqueror ; and 
if HIS SiED were once pofTefTed of re£Utude of wiH, with abiKtkt 
equal to fo arduous an adventure^ they muft atleaftbereftoredto the 
primitire pcrfedion of human nature ; not to mention die glorioua 
interference of him who is emphatically called the raowistD 
Skbd, which this predidion is thought by the beft interpretcm 

to imply. 


I 3«7 1 

To aflc» as fome hxrt dooe> why this inftanee of obedience wit 
tndcdof Adam aad Eve, and why temptation was .thtxswn hi 
ttkor way» when the Divine Being knew they wotild tranfgreff* 
1^ in eSe€tf to a(k| why God did not create Man independent , 
mt Us authoiity, or fn^erior to teittptation in any ^artieuhur in- 
ftanee i It is in reality to aflcy why he made hini a crcaturet ai;d 
why not an abfolutely perfed Being ^ u e. equal in all reQ>^£b to 
tlbiifelf f There could be no dependency without fomc maaifefiation 
^it» whidi could only be ihewn by obedience of fome kiad} add 
fardy no reilraint d>ald be more eafy than that which Adam was 
liibjeded to ; and what could be more confonant to the goodnefs and 
wi^om of God, than the prohibition of a fruit tbc u& o£ nrhich 
he knew wotild be pemicions ? 

** If a dependence on God was for AnaM'a inftereft^ a conftat 
lenie of that dependence was no lefs fib ; and for this parpofe, the 
yiopriety of a certain confpicuous memoriid of this dependent 
lieiBg akrays before his eyes, mnft be apparent on the fligkteftoon- 
fideraljoii. Nor was Adam fo hardly^ dealt with as fome are s^ to 
jKCtend : There it great SScttnce between the oorre6tioai, and the 
disinheritance of a Son ; the curfe upon Adak and the Earth was the 
effe6l of Mercy, in order to render a temporary life and a vexatious 
world lefs defirable to him. Though his happinefs was impaired, 
his inheritance was not cut off ; and obedience left him dill in a 
capacity of recovering more than he had loft by difobedience. 

The grievous penalties infli^cd on the Daughter of Eve, atten* 
dant on geftation and parturition, compared with the condition of 
other animals in thofe refpe^s, feem to indicate fome extraordinary 
reafon for the pectdiar infliflion ; a phenomenon which has never 
been accounted for, unlefs by the Scripture narrative. 

Many marks of Wifdom and Mercy are apparent under the 
feeming rigour of this difpenfation. It is agreeable to Juftice, and 
often to the common courfe of worldly affairs, that toil, drudgery^ 
and affi6lion fhould be the confcquence of departing from an eafy 
and rational obedience. It is no lefs a merciful difpenfadoo, that 
the Earth, which Man was obliged to leave in confequence of his 
guilt, fhould become lefs defirable. The Divine Wifdom is no lefs 
coalpicuous in keeping thofe paflions under, which bad broke looCe 

Qqm fcwa 

C 388 ] 

from the reftnintt of Reafon, vad fabduing their impetaofity hf 
hard labour; which, unfubdned, er fupported in luxury and idle- 
ficfs, would raife fuch a combuftion as would make himfelfi and all 
annxnd him, miferable. 

Hit ezpuUion out of Paradife waa» in thofe circumftances, highly 
proper ; as, in his prefent corruption, acccfs to the Tree of Life 
would only have ferved to perpetuate mifery. 

To thofe who deem it ftrange, that Adam and £ti (hoild be 
feduced to fuch an a£l of intemperance, when his Reafon was fup- 
pofed to be in fuch a ftate of perfection, it may be fufficicat to re- 
mark, that thdre was rather an intempenmce of knowledge, to 
which the nobleft creatures are probably moft liable, than a defire 
of any mere animal enjoyment, by which9 in their fituatioiiy they 
were not liable to be molefted. 

The remarkable enmity between the race of Men and Scrpem, 
feems to corroborate the account of that part of the fcntence ; and 
as to the concluding particular of its pfiniflunent, it it afleited by 
Flint, that it adlually feeds on duft ; which indeed muft be the 
cafe in thofe deferts, where no other fuftenance is to be found^^ 
,Sce Delany's Diflmations. 

C 389 3 



PARADISOi Cantos XI. and XII. 

I^NG before the thirteenth CeAtury, the monaftic orderSy in 
coaiequence of their ample revenues, had degenerated from their 
primitive aufterity, and were totally given up to luxury and indo* 
lence. Hence they became both imwilling and unable to execute 
the purpofcs of their eilablifbmcnts ; — to inftrud the people, to 
check the'gowth of herefies, or to promote, in any refpe6t, the true 
intereft of the Church. They forfook all their religious obligations* 
defpifed the authority of their Superiors, and were abandoned with* 
out ihame or remorfe to every fpecies of diffipation and licentiouf<« 
nefii. About the beginning of the thirteenth Century, the condi- 
tion and circumdances of the Church rendered it abfolutely necef« 
lary to remedy thefe evils, by introducing a new order of religion, 
who, being deftitute of fixed pofleflions, by the feverity of their 
manners, a profefled contempt of riches, and an unwearied perfeve* 
ranee in the duty of preaching and prayer, might reftore refped to 
the Monadic Inilitution, and recover the honour of the Church* 
Thefe were the four orders of mendicant and beggring Friarsg 
commonly denominated the Frandfcans, the Dominicans* the Car* 
meHtes, and the Auguftines. 

Thefe focieties foon fuxpaiTed all the reft, not only in the purilf 
of their lives, but in the number of their privileges. Not to men« 
lion the fucceiii which attends all novekiesi their repuUtion aroSs 


quickly to an amazing height. The Popes, among other nncon- 
mon immunities, allowed them the liberty of travelling whertrer 
they pleafedy of converfing with perfons of all ranks, of inftniding 
the youth and people in general, and of beanng confe£Bons with> 
out referve or reftri6Uon8 ; and on thefe cccafions, which garc then 
opportunities of appearing in public and confpicuous fituations* thcf 
exhibited more flriking marks of gravity and fan^tity than were 
obfervable in the deportment and conduA of the membcn of other 
Monafleries. They were regarded with the higheft eftecm and 
veneration throughout all the countries of EvaorE. In the mean 
time, they gained dill greater refpeA, by cultivating the litcxatut 
then in vogue with the greatcft afliduity and fuccefs. GiANom 
fays, that mod of the Theological Profeflbrs in the Univerfity of 
Naples, newly founded in the year T220, were chofcn firom the 
Mendicants. They were the principal Teachers of Theology at 
Paris, the School where this ficience firft had rec riv cd ks or^in. 

At Oxford and Cambridgi refpcdi¥dy, all the four ovdot 
had fiourifhing Monaftenes. The moft learned Scholars ia the 
Univerfity of Oxford, at the ck)ie of the thirteenth Century, were 
Franciican Friars; and long after this period* the Frandfcant appev 
to be the whole fupport and ornament of that Unmrfity. Hcnoc 
it was, that Bifhop Hugh di. Balsham, Founder of PiTia 
Hovsi at Camiridgx, orders^ in his ftatntet given about dtt 
year 1280, that fome of his Scholars fliouldannwally repair to Os- 
roRD, for i m pro ve ment in the fdcncet ;--that it, to ftndy onderthc 
Frandfcan Friars at Oxford ; and that the leaned Bifliop GaosT* 
H E AD, in the year 1 253, bequeathed all his books to that cddmtd 
Seminary. This was the houfe in which the lenoMScd Rooia 
Bacon was educated; who revived, in the midft of haribanfinp 
and brought to a conflderable degree of perfcftioii, the 
ledge of mathematics in England, and greatly ^nlitnttd 
modem difcoveries in experimental philofophy. The lame Fiatcr* 
nity is likewife faid to have ftored their valuable library witb a 
multitude of Hebrew Manufcripts, which they pnicbaCed- of. the 
Jews, on their bam(hment fit>m England. 

Richard ds BuKy, Bifliop of Durham, Author of Ffcikbik 
bn, and the Founder of a Library at OxroaD, b pvoiis m-bii 

. pni&i 

C 39« ] 

phMet of thtf Maidicantt for their eitimordinar^f^ dfligtece in cob' 
le&ing books. Indeed, it boanie diSc«It« in tbe begimiiDg of tho 
foirteei^ Ceovarff to find aoy tmsQk m the Aitt» Thiolol^ 
^rGaBonLirnri eomnk>id7ex]K>rcdtoijkfWtEof wcrevnirerfrilf 
IxMight up by the Fnan* Thii It neationcS hj Rici^AftB Trr»^ 
ftALtH) AveKbifto^ of ARMAGiTriB lu9 Difcooric before tkeFdpe 
at Arteimvy in^tKe year 1357. 

Their bitfter and pi^efied Antajg<onift, who sdds, witinmt any 
ntastion of ptyitog them a eoinplimeaty that aH the Mendicant 
Conrimtd were fwrhi(hed with a ** ^^-and^ ft nobilet librarian" Sir 
ftfcif Aao Wh<ttin<3Ton, bu3t the Library of tiie Grey Friara iir 
LoiTBON ; wluch 18 1 29 feet long, and 1 2 feet broad, wkh 28 deflttt 
About the year 1430^ one thoufand marks were paid for traniciibi* 
ing the profiound Njchqlas de Lyra, in two vols, to be chained 
in tbe library. 

Leland relates, that Johm VfAtDOHf a learned Carmdite, be^ 
^neathcd to the fame Library as many manufcripts of ^»pfovod 
Authors, written in capital Roman charadters, ju were then eftl« 
inated at move thaii two thoufand pieces of gold : he adds, that his 
L3>rary, even to his time, exceeded all others in London, for multi^ 
-fude of books^ and antiquity of copies.— Among many other in^ 
Aadces that might be given of the learning of the Mendicants^ there 
is die wUch greatly contributed to eflaiblifii then: literary charaAm 
In die eleventh Ceiitury; AaisrorLR's Writings had been oot»' 
^cmded in the Univerfity of Paris as hereticaL About aa hundred 
ytara afterwands^ thcfe prejudices began to fdbiide, and new tran^ 
lations of Aristotle's Writings were pubhfhed in Latin, by oijt 
coootryman Mi cm as l Scot us and others, with more attention 
to the original Greek ; at leaft, without the pompour and pei^ 
plexed circumlocutions which appeared in the A^rasxq fcrfiona 
hitherto ufed. In the mean time, the Mendicant Orders fpnmg 
op, who, happily availing themijelvCs of thefe new tranflations, and 
making them the conftant fubjed of their fchohiftic leAures, 
the firft' who received the do€tnat§ of this Phi^opher, and 
quired the merit of haying opened- a new fyilem of icienoe. Use 
Dominicans of Spain were accojnplifhed adepts in tbe learning and 
language of the Arabian $« and were employed by the Kings «f 

Cc4 Spain 

I 39* 3 

Spain in the inftrn£tion and cowrtAtm of nnmeroiit Tevf and 
Saracens who rcfided in their donuniont. 

The buildinga of the Mendicant Monafteriety efpcdaDy in Eao* 
LAND, were magnificent, and commonly mudi cicecded thofe e( 
the endowed Convents of the feicond magnitude. 

The Dominicans and Francifcani were* befoit the ItefiBrmatioOy 
cxa6Uy what the Jefuits have been fince. They difiegardcd thdr 
monaftic chancer and profeffion» and were employed^ not only ia 
fpiritnal matters, but in temporal affinrs of the grcateft confeqvence; 
in compofing the di£Ferences of Princes, condnding treatiea of peace, 
and concerting alliances ; they prefided in cabinet conncila, levied 
national fubfidics, influenced courts, and managed the ma^l^wiff of 
of every important operation and event, both in the cdigioos and 
political world *• 

From what has been here {aid, it is natural to fuppoTe, that the 
Mendicants at length became univer&Uy odious. The high cfteem 
in which they were held, and the tranfcendcnt degree of authority 
which they had aflumed, only ferved to render them obnodoua to 
the Qcrgy of every rank, to Monafteries of other Orders^ and to the 
Univerfities. It vras not firom ignorance, but bom a knowledge of 
Mankind, that they were a£Uve in propagating fuperftitioua 
tions, which they knew were calculated to captivate the 
and to ftrengthen the papal intereft | yet, at the (ame time» fiom 
the vanity of difplaying an uncommon iagacity of thought and (n- 
perior fkill in Theology, they affcAed novdtiea in do&rine, vAidi 
introduced dangerous errors, and tended to fliake the ]HlIars of Or^ 

Their ambition was unbounded, their arrogance iatbleiable. Their 
increafing numbers became, in nuiny States, an enormous and vs^ 
wieldy burthen to the commonwealth. They hadabufed the powcra 
and privileges which had been entruiled to them | and the comflMm 
fcnfe of Mankind could not long be blinded or deluded by |wlpabte 
frauds and artifices, which thofe rapacious Zealots fo notoriouflj 
pradifed lor enriching their Convents. In Ehglamd, many Theo* 
logiiU attacked the four Orders with great vehemence and fcfcritj. 

• Sec Pa HAP I to, Ciato tL the Story of R«Mta, 


C 393 3 

£xclu(ive of the jealoufiet and animofitiei which naturally fuBfifted 
between four rival Inftitiitiont, their vifionary refinements, and Iotc 
of diifipation, introduced among them the moft violent diflentions. 
The Dominicans aimed at popularity, by an obftinate denial of 
the immaculated conception ; but their pretended ian6kity at length 
became a term of reproacht and thdr learning a difcredit— As 
polite letters and general knowledge intreafed, their fpeculative 
and pedantic divinity gave way to a more Hberal turn of thinlungy 
and a more perfpicuous ihode of writing. 

Bale, who was himfelf a Carmelite Friar, fays, that his Order, 
which was eminently diftinguiihed for i^^ fchobftsc erudition, began 
to lofe their eftimation about the year 1460. Some of them were 
imprudent enough to engage openly in political controverfies, and 
the Auguilines deftroyed all their reputation and authority in Eng- 
land by feditious fermons, in which they laboured to fupplant 
the progeny of EnwAao the Fourth, and to eftablifli the title of the 
Ufnrper RiCHAao. About the year 1530, Leland vifited the 
Francifcan Friary at OxFoap, big with the hopes of finding, in 
their celebrated library, if not many valuable books, at leaft, thofe 
which had been bequeathed by the learned Biihop GaosTHEAD* 
The delays and difficulties with which he procured admittance into 
this venerable repofitory, heightened his curiofity and ezpe^ations. 
At length, after much ceremony, being permitted to enter, inftead 
ot an ineftimable treafure, he fiiw little more than empty ihelves» 
covered with cobwebs and dull !— See Warton's DifTertation oa 
the Introdudion of Learning into England, prefixed to the firft 
f olume of his Hiftory of Engliih Poetry. 

C 394 3 




On this long conteftcd controverfy, as it it fiill agitatedf tlioQ|^ 
probably it will never, in this world, be thoroughly dcdded, itwil 
be neccflary to fay a few words here. To enter at large into the 
fnbjedy would neither be proper nor neceflary in this phc^ al* 
though it is often adverted to by Dante. One particular in die 
hiftory of thofe opinions is fomewfaat remarkable. The Amamuu^ 
or thofe who held the freedom of the will> during die rdgni of 
Elizabeth and James* were zealous for the royal prcrogativei 
their Opponents, who fupported the do£bine of arintnry deereci^ 
had acquired this opinion through a popular medium at Gen eta ; 
they, on that account, 'were more favoured by the multitude» wIia 
now beginning to fufpefl the Court of countenancing popery, for 
the fake of arbitrary power, by an eafy aflbdation, fofpedcd every 
do6lrine which was well received at Court, as favouring the fyftem 
of the Romanifts, and the encroachments of regal authority. Thist 
during the reign of Ch aelbs the Firft, gave a degree of cireuktioa 
to the rigid CalviniiUcal dodrine, which it vTould not probably 
have attained under another afpe6l of political aSurs. But (n the 
reign of Charles the Second, when Hobbes began to build his 
fyftem of abfolute neceifity upon the bafis of Caiivin, ntional 
Divines took the alarfti i and, as the opinions of Calvin were now 


C 395 3 

to be tried by their own meritt, having loft that political fupport 
which originated from the apprehenfions of popery in the late 
reignty the opinions of Aa mini us began to be calmly iavefti- 
gatedi and became more generally acceptable. The difpute indeed 
has been revived from time to time^ and carried on with various 
fuceefs, but with great ingenuity on both fides. Both parties pro- 
fefs to make the honour of the Deity and his attributes the prin* 
cipal objedl in this difpute. The Followers of Austin and Cal- 
vin afiert) that to make the purpofes of the Almighty depend 
upon the contingent adions of his Creatures^ would derogate from 
his authority and independence ; that Creatures in his fight are as 
nothing, yea, lefs than nothing ; smd that his whole purpofe in 
dealing fome, and reprobating others^ according tp his own good 
pleafure, was to (how forth his glory ; that divine prefcience it 
not compatible with human hberty* as whatever is foreknown muft 
come to pafs ; and this they endeavour to fupport by feveral paf* 
(ages of Scripture^ interpreted fo as feemingly to favour their by* 

On the other hand, the Arminians infift alfo on the attributes of 
God, his holinefs, juftice* and goodnefs ; and| whereas their adver* 
hncs aflert that we are not to make our ideas of moral endowment 
the ftandard by which we eftimate the Divine perfc^ons, they af« 
firm, that the Almighty fpeaks in Scripture of thofe very perfec* 
dons according to human ideas,— aayy he appeals to Men on their 
condu6l, and calls them to rea/on with him. 

His Prophets often addrefs the Jewifh nation in confonance to 
this idea. Their overtures imply, that the Divine Being a6b in fuch 
a manner, that Men, according to the notions which they have of 
thefe attributes, may examine them, and will be compelled, by the 
force of Reaibn, to juftify and approve them. In thefe God pro* 
pofes himfelf to us as our pattern ; he ^fplays his attributes for our 
imitation, as perfedions of which we may form a juft, through not 
an adequate idea. We are required to be iolj and mercifulf as la 
is mercifuL But what ihall we conceive of a Juftice that ^ctees, 
that we ihall commit fin to juftify the previous decree of our re- 
probation ? If thofe decrees be thus originally defigned by the AL 
mighty Being, and are certainly accompliflied, then it is incon- 

1 ccivaUe 

C 39« 3 

ccivable how there (hould be a juftice in pnniOung that wUdi God 
himfelf appointed, by an antecedent and irreverfible decree. He 
declares repeatedly, that he defires no Man (hooU pcrifli» but 
have everlailing life, and that he has no pleafure in the death of a 

If the contrary be the cafe, if God has detennined all the 
adlions of Men by a previous decree, thofe adjurations to foriake 
fin, that fo often occur in Scripture, are lolenm founds of no mcin^ 
ing. This confequence cannot be aToided, if God intended, that 
the courfe of a^on fhould not be different, in any refped» ham 
what it is found to be. The chief foundation of this opinion is 
the following propofition, which, even to an impartial Theifl, mnlU 
one would think, appear felf-evident, vrs. That nothing can be be^ 
Heved, that contradids the jufUce, holinefs» the truth* and poritf 
of God ; that thofe attributes are in God according to our notions 
concerning them (only infinitely more perfed in degree)^ fince we 
are ordered to imitate them. Whereas the dodrine of abfohite de» 
crees does manifeftly condradid the deareft ideas we can fiDrm of 
Juftice, Holinefs, Truth, and Goodnefs. 

If we proceed from the nature of God to the nature of 
Man, freedom of will feems fo neceflary to the morality of his ac* 
tions, that, without it they neither would be good nor C¥il» neither 
the obje£is of reward or puniflunent. 

Perfons infane, or under the power of fleep, are not pnnifhedfir 
the adions they may have committed in fuch drcumftanoes. Fni& 
or blame imphes fome deg^ree, at leaft, of liberty* If Men think 
that they are under an inevitable decree, they will have littk le* 
morfe for any a£tion they may commit ; while they impute it to 
that inevitable fate that conftrains them, fo they wili natmaSy 
conclude, that it is to no purpofe to ftruggle with impoflDsiliticik 
All virtue and religion, nay, all difcipline and induftry depend upon 
this, — ^that there is a power in us to govern ot^r own thoughts and 
anions. So much as this is evident to every one's ezperiencet not* 
withftanding the acknowledged corruption and frailty of our na* 

It is found indeed, by woeful experience, that we are often hmw 
ried on by the violence of our inclinations, as if we were mere pa(]» 

C 397 3 

fiire machines ; yet, every one feels that he might have reftrained 
this impetuofity in the outfet ; he feels that he can divert his 
thoughts and govern himfelf in the great majority of hb purfuitt) 
if his efibrts be vigorous, and made with fincerity. He finds that 
knowledge and refle£iion, good campany and laudable employ* 
menty have a great influence on his difpolition and morals ; and 
that, on the contrary, roil communication corrupts good maunert* 

If we are unable to. ad till the impulfe comes, and then unable 
to withftand it, what occafion can there be for all thefe folemn di(^ 
courfes, when they can have no efFe£t oja us ? They cannot render 
us inexcufable, unlefs they were the means of moral improvement ; 
whereas, to imagine that God gave light and blefling to thofe^ 
whom he had refolved to confign to eternal mifery, only to render 
them inexcufable, when thofe admonitions could not be of any ufe, 
and could only aggravate their condemnation, gives fo ftrange an 
idea of infinite goodnefs, that it is not fit to ezprefs it by thofe 
terms that naturally arife upon it. 

It is hard to fuppofe two contrary ttnlls in God : one enjoining 
us our duty, and commanding us with the moft folemn exhorta- 
tion to do it ; and the other, putting a Certain bar in our way, by 
decreeing that we (hdl do the contrary. 

The Almighty, in this cafe, muft have two wiffi. In this cafe, 
the toill for our good would be ineffe6lual, whilft the will that 
makes us fin, is infallible. Thefe things feem very hard to be ap* 
prehended ; they give us ftrange notions of the Deity ; whereas, 
the bafis of true religion confifts in right and honourable ideas of thf 
Divine attributes. 

The making Mankind free, does not by any means diminifh the 
authority of God, who governs the world according to the various 
natures of the Beings which he has made. If therefore the adls of 
the Deity are, or feem to be, in fome refpe£l, dependent upon the 
will of Man, it is no derogation from the dignity or independence 
of the Creator, but arifes from the nature of the Beings which he 
has made. 

The Divine Omnipotence is not leifened, when we obferve fome 
of his works to be more beautiful and ufeftd than others are. The 
irregular produdllons of Nature do not derogate from the order in 

7 whidi^ 

C 398 ] 

which all things appear lovdy to the dhine Itfind* Thiit» i 
liberty ^h which he intended to endue thinking Bemgtt u inoom- 
patihle with fuch pofitive a6U andfb pofitite a prondcnce as that with 
which he governs natural things and this material world } this is ntf 
way derogatory to the fotereignty of his KCnd. This, in fime 
meafure, accounts for the evils which we fee. ia the worid^ both 
natural and moral, as it by no means accofes, cmt <ii«in^ftff the 
purity and holinefii of God» fince he only fuffers his Crestnres to 
go on in the free ufe of thofe powers whidi he hat givcB thciv 
with refped to which, however, he executes a fytdd provideacei 
making fbme Men's fins to be the immediate punifhmeot of their 
own, or of other Men's tnnfgreCBons, and reftndaiag them oftcii 
in a great deal of that evil which they defign, and bringing out of 
it much good, which they do not defign ; but aH is doae in away 
fuitable to their nature, without offering violence to that nature. 

The afliftance of divme Grace is not incompatible with the fits 
agency of Man. It may awaken and difpofe us to our dntyy but 
yet not in fuch a degree that we cannot withftaad its BiflMiice. 
Our own exertions, indeed, are necefiary, but Wttjmffidtmcj u ban 
God. God may, m mercy, diufe to countera& the depravity of 
our heart ; but ftill it remains with us to cfaufe whether w» wiB 
attend to his fuggeftions or not *• 

God is {aid, in Scripture, to pre-ordain the fidvatkm of the 
world by Jefus Chrifl before the creation of Bfankind, oa certaia 
terms ; and thofe, who he foreiaw would perform the oooditioQs re* 
quired by the Gofpel covenant, may be iai^ to be predeftiutted to 
lifif by him ; '< for whom he did foreknow he did alfo prcdeftiDale.*' 
This is the only fcnfe in which predeiUnation appears to our heft Di* 
vines to be rcconcilcable to the attributes of God and the free agency 
of Man. ** We are therefore to confider Man as ded, accor din g 
to the fore-knowledge of God }'' that is, as he forc&w that thcf 
would be obedient to his laws f . 

Thofe who have ingrafted the modem nccelitudinariaa fehene 
upon the old Calviniftic do£irine, have founded their opinioa upoa aa 
idea, that Mind is wholly paflive ia obeying the impuUe of ^ pffC» 

* Bvil4S£T. f Biihop of LlKCOLN. 


C 399 ) 

pooderartittg motive ; thus confounding phyfical with monl idem« 
Tlie balance in its own nature is paffivcy but that the Mmd is ac- 
tive in its deliberation every Man muft fed; though fome of the 
moft noted of the neceffitudtnaiian Writers detiy it, when they are 
iard prefledy which feems to me equivalent to giving up the caufe* 

Though we may not have an accurate idea how motives operate 
upon the Mind» nor the laws by which Tolition is produced, yet 
we fed that we are free to chnfe ; and if this be an iDufory fenfa* 
tioUf we can be fure of nothing, not even of our own eziftence t 
an the frightful confequences of fceptidfin would naturally be im« 
plied in fuch an opinion* 

There is (as Dr. KiawAN has juftly obferved) a great difference 
between an adion cerUunfy following the Divine prefcience, and 
Inch an adion being its ntcejfary confequence. God may forefee 
a^ons that feem to us contingent, becaufe they will be ; it is not 
Ucaufe he forefees them that they are, or will be ; in other wordsf 
his fore-knowledge has no influence on the volition of the Agent. 

Analogy (hews us (emething like this in the common couHe of 
worldly afiairs. A (agacious Man may, with a coniiderable deg^rec 
of probability, conjedure what wiU, in certain drcumftances, be 
the fine of condud purfued by people with whofe charaders he is 
wdl acquainted, though his fiigadty, or prcfciencey call it which 
you wMl, has no influence on the adion or a£tions under confidera- 
tion ; extend this in degree, and the idea becomes ftiU dear. But 
there is no analogy, no medium, by which we can reconcile the 
holinedi, the goodnefs, and juftice of God, with the idea of pre- 
deftiaation as commonly underilood. 


C 40. } 




Hail ! Father of the Tufcan Song ! 
Leader of the Shadowy Throng ! 
I fee thy fable ftandard furrd 
O'er the dark Plutonian world : 
I hear thee on the fatal verge 
Sound afar thy difmal charge : 
It feems the Trump of final Doom ! 
For fee ! afar what Spe&res come» 
Flocking from the ikirts of Heav^n^ 
At the awfiil fummons giv'n. 
By the lurid light, I fpy 
Scowling dread in ev'ry eye, 

* This Addrefs was defigned for the beginning of the Pirft 
Volumey but is inferted here as that Volume was printed before 
it was received. 

Vol. IIL D d 

t 40a 3 

Or frantic Paflion's angry glare, 

Or the wan look of chill Defpair : 

Still they darken as they gp 

Deeper in the Vale below- 

The do\i'nward path I feem to tread, 

ITiro* various Tribes of fentenc'd dead j 

And many a tragic tale I hear^ 

Too horrible for mortal ear, 

WTien the pale afcending Gfaoft 

Tells in groans, how Heav*n was loft ; 

There the various Plagues I view, 

SharM among the Stygian Crew ; 

Dread ftorms, and more tremendous calms, 
I fee ; I hear unholy pfalms 
Echoing thro* the vaft profound. 
Where fome, in iron llumbers bound. 
Recline, or fpeed thro' fiery {how'rs. 
Around thofe formidable boVrs, 
Where the Dragon of the deep. 
With burning eyes that never fleep. 
Watches when the tortures flake. 
And calls the Furies from their Lake* 
But see ! amid the ftony arches bending, 
0*er the dread vault of Phlegethon afor. 
Thro* horrors of eternal Night defcending. 
Meek Twilight gleams along the rocky /par. 
From the deep Tartarean vale, 
Wirh /ou again I mount the rugged fcalc 

In long laborious march, and fpy 
At lad the fplendours of the fouthem Iky, 

C 403 3 

Reflefted in the floods that roll ♦ 
tn blue expanfe beneath th' Antardi# Pole» 

And fee ! where yonder Veflel fleers 
Its courfe along! no golden fleece it bears. 

Nor wealth of Ormus nor of Ind, 
Conunitted to the waves and faithlefs wmd ; 

But wafts to port a ghoftiy Throng, 
That bear their earthly habitudes along : 
Tho' ftripp*d of cumbrous clay. 
They fldm the liquid way. 
Ah ! little did they dream, when late they fow*d 
Forbidden Pieafure's feeds with liberal hand 
tJpon the gale, that o'er the toiling flood. 
The delegated winds, by Heaven's command. 
Should bear them on their wings to yonder ftrand. 
And fow them on yon' cloud-encircled fteep ! 
There fliall the formidable Harveft fland. 
In many a thorny file, for them to reap. 
As in fucceflive Tribes they pafs the troubled deep. 
See the ghoftiy Sinners land. 
And range along, a mournful Band ! 
Now they wifli the taflc to try. 
But Fate's decrees the boon deny. 
And hold them there in long fufpenfe ft 
Ere the corredive rites commence. 
In dread vacuity they pine, 
'Twixt mortal joys and blifs divine, 
'Till fann'd by Grace, the Spirit wakes. 
And its heav'n-ward tenour takes. 

* See PuRGATORiOy Cantos ii| iii. 

t Id. Canto iii. to viii. and Cantos xvii, xriiL 


[ 404 J 

Others, that hopM in torpid eafe^ 

To gain the Prilfe of endlcfs Peace, 

Starting at Aiflidion^s rod. 

And wakened by the call of God, 

Feel the fiery-winged dart 

Of Confcience probe their callous heart ; 

Till, roufing at the frequent fting. 

The aftive Virtues fpread the wing. 

And urge them on to join the Crew, 

That Charity's behefts purfue. 

Others*, by Sin's enormous load. 

Feel their fiery effence prefsM, 
And found'ring on the ftony road, 

Ceafelefs toil, nor dare to reft. 
That weight of earth that feem*d fo light 

When this fublunar vale they trod. 
Now bends them low, in wretched plight, 

PrefsM downwards by the hand of God ; 

Till now, of all their fofter'd joys bereft, [left: 

They learn to prize the good, which late in fcom they 

While prone, and humbled in the duft, 

Thofe deplore their feeble truft. 

And mourn their lofs, involved in Night j 

Others t, with redundant light. 
Are punifh'd as they go. 
And view the figured fhow 
Of virtuous deeds, examples high 
Trac'd by the Artifts of the Sky 

Upon the fculptur*d wall, 

* See PuRGATORiOy Cantos x. and xix. 
f Idem, Canto XV. 

C 405 ] 

And feel the fting of inward fhame, 
Piercing deep their tortur'd frame ; 
For there, with adamantine frown. 
Appear the Sons of old Renown, 

While, in the fairy hall *, 
Afcend the Speftres of the Dead, 
And feem again the mundane Stage to tread. 
Showing, in images of air. 

Bright Virtue's favorite deeds in many a pageant fair. 
In vain the Sinners turn their eyes away. 
Still the dread contraft fwims before their vifual ray. 

And oft from airy lungs they hear 
Sharp reproofs, that pierce the ear. 
And thrill the inmoft foul 
With Cenfure's dread control. 

Others in Cimmerian gloom f. 
Forlorn and blind, each to himfelf a tomb. 
Their own detefted fpedres haunt, 
And with Gorgonian terrors daunt, 
While fome the fefter'd Snake behold J, 
(Whofe bumifli'4 fcales, bedropp'd with gold. 
Late they admired, nor found the latent fting,) 
Now mounted high on fiery wing. 
And round the ftony verge purfuing 
Their fteps ; while from the rocky ruin 
They ftretch their arms, and long in vain 
To cool them in the diftant main. 

♦ See PuRGATORio, Cantos xiv. and XV. 
f Idem, Cantos xiii. and xvi. 
X Idem, Cantos xxiv. and xxv. 


Thus in fucceffive toils they wind their vay^ 
To the bright confines of eternal* Day, 
And now the trump off Jubilee 

The note of Ranfom breathy. 
And her regenerate Family 

Glad Earth to Heav*n bequeaths, 
Open'd by archang^lic hands. 
The Temple of the Bled expands : 
Her lower courts, with filver light 
Sweet Phoebe vefts ! her golden roof 
The Sun adorns, apd views aloof 

His own refleded light. 
Around his throne the Planets bend their comfe. 
And each from him imbibes its energetic force. 

But down to Earth, a purer beam. 
From the wide dome converging round. 

On her dark &ce is feen to ftream, 
And lightens all her fullen bound j 
While fweet aerial Mufic fings 
Deep anthems of myfterious things. 
Soon from that diftinguifti'd Sphere, 
To meet the eye and charm the ear j 
And many a tale the Chorus tells 
Of Spirits, in terreftrial cells 
Confined, beneath to Tyrants yoke, 
*Till Aronger hands the bondage broke, 

• In the Preliminary Difcourfe to the Purgatorio, fomc argu- 
ments are aliigned, which induced the Tranflator to fuppofe^ that 
this part of the Poem was meant as an allegorical reprefentation 
of the moral difcipline to which Mankind are fubje^ed in tiu Life. 

f SeethePA&ADisOi Canto i. &c* 

C 407 ] 

And fent thofe Exiles of the Sky 
Again their upward flight to try. 
And fee ! in living clouds they come. 
And round its ample precinds roam, 
By heav'n-fent inftinft led, 
True Blifs to follow ftill, 
From clime to clime, from zone to zone. 

To the fupemal Throne, 
Led by the renovated will ; 
Like Scythia's Tribes*, that chafe the folar ray 
To Cancer's bounds, and where he fouthward goes. 
Thro' ftages green purfue the wheels of Day, 

And wait returning Spring in foft repofe. 
Thus they : nor long they wait. 
For now their high-diftinguifli*d fate 
Is fix'd beyond the pow'r of Chance or Change j 

And as the circles of the Bled they range, 
There each again his Guardian Genius meets. 
And with rapt eye the holy Vifion greets j 
Which oft by lonely ftreams 
Infpir'd their facred dreams. 
And round the pillow'd head 
Elyfian tranfports (hed : 
Or to the Spirit, lo^iely mufing, 
Heav'n-afpiring, Earth refiifing j 
When thq Pilgrim chanc'd to rove 
Thro' woodland fcenes, by moonlight pale. 
Thro' the deep bofom of the grove. 
Along the Villa feem'd to fail, 

* See St. Pierre's Studies of Nature, Study latlu 


C 408 ] 

Prompting the holy thought with viewlefs fpell. 
When the dumb tranfport feem*d the heart to fwell, 
Thofe, when the Tempter's art aflaird. 
Upheld them when their virtue fail'd. 
Now on the piftur*d walls of Glory, 
Each (hows his Pupil's wondVous ftory. 
The conflifts which he pafs'd beneath. 
And the long triumphs of the Faith. 
But now, a new Proceffion, from on high 
Defcending, fills the Temple's s^wful round. 
With inexpreffive raptures now they fpy. 
The wond'rous Man, who broke the dreary, moundj 
And led their legions from the Gorge profound 
Of Hades, where in durance long they lay : 
At his approach the filver trumpets found 
A loftier note, and op'ning valves difplay 
Scenes far furpalSng thought, difclos'd in brighter Day% 


t 409 3 




03r The Numerals refer to the Canto, and the Figures to the 

Inf. fignifies the Inferno. 


Par. the Pa&adiso. 


AbATI (Bocca), his crime and punifliment, Inferno^ xxxii. i6. 

Ac COR so, or Ac CURS I us, his charadler and punilhment, Inf. 

XV. 20. 
Adam, Paradifoy xxxii. 21. 

Ada MO (de Brefcio), his crime and puni(hment, Inf, xxx. 10. 
Aglauros, Purg, xiv. 3, 
Agnello (Brunellefchi), his crime and puni(hmcnt. Inf. xxv. 9, 

10, &c. Notes. 
Alberti (di Falterona), tragical cataftrophe of his Family, Inf 

xxxii. II. 
Alcm-son, Purg. xii. 8. 

Aldobrandesco, his tragical fate, Purg.-x.i, ii. 
Alexander PHER;EEus,hischara^erandpunifhment, /n/Ixii. i6* 

Alexio, his crime and punifhment, Inf xviii. 20« 
Amphiaraus, his allotment, Inf xjt. 6« 

C 410 3 

Ave EL employed to procure an entrance to Dante into tbe Infav 

nal Citadel, Inf. ix. 1 2, &c. 
Akgiollelo (di Fano), his tragical death. Inf. xxviii. 14. Notes, 
Ant^vs, Inf xxxi. 17. 

Ante NOR A, the department of State-Parricidei^ xxxii^ 17. Note, 
Ac^riNAS, Par. x, xi, xiu 
Akachne, Par. xii. 7. 

A&NAULD XDaniel), a famous Troubadour, Pwrg. xviu 20. 
AsDENTE, his crime and punifhment, Imf. zx. 19. 
Attila, his puniihment, Inf xii. 2i, 


Beltram (di Bourne), his crime and punifhment, Inf xzriu. 24^ 
Benincasa, his tragical death, Pwrg. vi. 3. Notes. 
BoNATTi, his crime and punifhment. Inf. xx. 19. 
Boniface (Pope) the Eighth, his puniihmcnt ft»ctold^ Inf. xix« 

14. His charader. Inf xxvii. 11, &c. Notes. 
BoNTURO (Dati), Inf xxi. 7. 
BoRsiERi (Guilelmo de), his charader and puniihment» Imf x«i* 

12. Notes. 
Briareus, his orerthrow reprefented among the fc ulpl u i c s in the 

ftage of Pride, Purg. xii. 5. 
Brunetto Latini, his charader and punifhment, InfTf. 4. NotCK 
Brutus, /n/l xxxii. 12. 
BuiAMONTE (a noble Florentine Ufurer), hispuniflunentt Ii^.xAs 

BuoNAGiuNTA, a noted Epicure, Purg. xxiv. 5. 

BUOKAVENTURA (St.), PoT. xii. I, &C. 

BuoNcoNTE (di Montefcltro), his death, Purg. t, 16, 17. 
Buoso (Abate), his iirange tranfxnutations, Inf xxv. 15, 


Caccianimico (a noble Venetian Pandar], his chaiifter and 

punifhment, Inf xviii. 8. 
Cacus, his punifhment, Inf zxv. 4* 
Caiaphas, his punifhment, /n/*. xxiii. 18, &c« 

t 4" 3 

CainA» the dq>artinent of Fratricides, defcribed^ Inf.xvvk. Jt km* 

Capaneus, his punidiment. Inf. xiv. i6. 

CapiiT (Hugh), Par.TX. lo. 

CapocchiOi his crime and puni{hment» Jnf, xxix* 21. 

Casalodi (Tyrant of Mantrap Inf. xx« 16. 

Casella, Purg.ii, 17* 

Cass I us, Inf. xxxiv, 12. 

Cat ALAND, /w/*. xxiii. 17. 

Cato, Purg. i. 5, &c. 

Cavalcanti, his crime and puniflimenty Inf xxv. 24* 

Cavalcante, a Painter, Purgs xL 19. 

Celestine (Pope) the Fifth, his charaAer and punifliment, Inf^ 

iii. 15. 
CiANFA, his charader and jdraoge puniflunent, Inf xxv. 7, &c« 

Cimabue, a Painter, i'tff;^ . xi. i<^ 
CiONE (di Tarlati), drowned in the Amo, Purg. vi, 3* 
CoNSTANTiA (the Nun), Mother to Frederic the Sccondi i\v& 

iii. 26. 
CoNSTANTiA, Wife to Peter of Aragon, Purg. vii^ 25. 
CuNizzA, her charadler, Par.ix, 6. 
C|, his crime and punifhment. Inf. xxviii, 18. 


David, King of Ifrael, Purg. %. 12. 

DiOMEDES, Inf. xxvi. 14. 

DiONYsius (of Syracufe), Inf. xii. 16 

DoLciN, an Heretic of the 13th Century, Inf zxviii. 11. Note. 

PuERA (a Sute-Parricide), his punifhment, Inf. zxxiL 2I. 


Ephialtes, Inf. xxs^i. 15. 
£picuRus, his punifhment, Inf.%. 3. 

faicTHO, a Sorcerefs, employs the Spirit of Vbgil in Nccrooiaiieyy 
Inf. ix. 4, &c« Note*^ 

C 41^ ] 

E^SZS^iNO (Lord pf the Marca Trivigiana), hit atrocious' cmdtiet 
and punifliment) Inf. xii. 17. Notes. 


Fall of Satan, and its confequenccs> defcribedy Inf. xxxir. 34. 
Fall of Angels accounted for, Par. xiii. Note at the end. 
Fa&inata (Uberti)* his charader and punifhrnent. Inf. x. 7, &c^ 

Fa&inata (di Pifa), his death, Purg. yi. 3. 
Feltro Monte (Biihop of), his perfidy, Par. ix. 11. 
Fortune, its office. Inf. yii. 15. 
France sc A, her tragical ftory, /it/l v. 15. Note. 
Fraud, her appearance and attributes. Inf. xvii. i. 
Frederic the Second (Emperor), his puniftunent and charadci^ 

Inf. x. 18. Notes. 
Fulcieri (di Calboli), his charader, Purg* xiv. 12 


Gang (di Maganza), his crime and puniihment, Inf. xxxH. 32^ 

Notes. ' 
Geography of the Infernal Regions defcnbed at large fix>m the 

entrance. Inf. iii. to the Metropolis, Inf. ix. A general viev^ 

given of the remainder from the Metropolis to the Region of 

Giudecca*, Inf. xi. 2, 3, 4, &c. which is detailed at length in the 

fucceeding Cantos. 
Geroneo, the Minifter of Fraud, Inf. xvii. 17. 
Ghino (di Tacco), a famous Robber, his remarkable ftory, Purg.. 

yi. 3. Notes. 
GianFiclia^zi (a noble Florentine), his puniihment. Inf. xvii. 

ii« Notes. 
GiAN Polo, his charadler and punifhment, Inf. xxii. 8. 
Giotto, a famous Painter, Purg. xi. 19. 
GoMiTA, Inf xxii. 13. 
Grifolin (di Arezzo), his crime and punifhment. Inf. xxix. i8. 


-* viz. The Lot of Judas particularly dcfcribed. Inferno, Canto xxxir. 

C 413 3 

GuALDRADA) a cckbratcd Beauty, Inf, xvi. Notes. 

GuERCHio, Inf. XXV. 15. 

GuiDo (di Cafentino), his charadter and punifhmenty Inf. xvi. 6, 

i.i (di Montefeltro), his crime and punifhment, Inf xxvii. 10. 


(di Fano), his tragical death, Inf xxviii. 14. Notes. 

GuiDO (di Brettinero), his fatirical geography of the Florentine 
Region, Purg, xiv. 6, &c. 

- I (di Arezzo), a Poet, Purg. xxiv. 13. 

(Guinicelli), a celebrated Poet, Purg, xxvi. 18. 


HolOfernes, Purg. xii. lo. 


Jacopo (di Caflera), aflalfinated by Azzo, Duke of Ferrara, Purg. 
V. 13. 

■ ' (di Santo Andrea), his death, charader, and puni(hment, 
Inf xlii. 21. ^ ' 

James (St.), his conference with Dante, Par. xxv. i, &c. 
Jason, his crime and puniftmient, Inf xviii. 13. 
IsCARiOT, Inf xxxiv. 12. 
Justinian (the Emperor), Par.f. i. 


Lais, her punifliment, /ii/I xviii. 21. 

Lano, of Siena, his death, charaAer, and pumflunent, Inf xiiL 

21. Note. 
Lode RING HO, his charader and punifhment, Inf xxiii. 17. 
Lombard© (Marco), a noble Venetian, Purg. xvi. 9. 


Magus (Simon), a department in the Infernal Regions named fiom 
bimi Inf xix. |. 

r 4u 3 

Mahom iTy If^, xxviii. 5* 

March ESEy a noted Epicure* Purg. xziv. 8» 

Marco Lombardo, Purg* xvL 9* 

Mart EL (Charles), King of Hungarian Par. viii* 13* 

Martin (Pope) the Fourth, his horrid epicurifniy Purg.jxrn ft 

Marzucco, his extraordinary converiiony Purg. vL 3* 

MoNTFORT (Gu7)9 afiaflmates Henry Flantagenet» /«/l siL i9« 

M0NTSBRRAT9 Purg, vii. 27. 

MoscA (Lambertucci), his crime and punifhment, Imf, xzviiL 19* 
Mozzi (Andrea di)* his chara6icr and punifhmenty Irf. xv. ae^ 

MyrrhA} her puniihment, In/, xxx. 7. 


Nicholas (Pope) the Third, his charafter and* puniflimenty Irf* 

xix. 9* 
NiMRODi Purg. xii. 6. 
N1OBX9 her ftory, Purg. xii. 6. 
Motella (Guido di)) his tragical deaths Pwg. vi. }• 


Obizo (Marquis of Ferrara), his charaAer and punifiuncnt^ Irf* 

xii. 17. 
Oderisi, a famous Painter, Purg. xi. 15. 
Origin of the Infernal Rivers, Inf. xiv. 24. 
Ottachero, Father of the Emperor Wedfoflaust Pmrg. vii. 8. 


Pedro (di Medicina), his crime and punifliment, Inf. xxviH. 14. 
Peter (the Apoftle), his conference with Dante, Par. xxiv. i«. 

■ (of Aragon), Purg. vii. 20. 

■ (de Vineis, or de la Vigne)» confidential Minifter to Fre* 
deric the Second; his tragical ftory and future &tei Irf* xiii* i <• 
lcc« Notes* 

C 4tS 1 

pMiLi? III. King of France, Purg. vii. 20. 

a..-*— le B^l, his Son, Purg. vii. 25. 

Philippo Argenti, his charafter and puniihmcnt, Inf. viii. 7, ict» 

Pi A, a noble Lady of Siena, afliatfiinaud by her Huiband, Puij. v. 

PtccARDA, Par. iiu ii, 

Plamtagimet (Henry III. King of England), Inf. xiu i%* 
pRisciAN, his charadlcr and punifhnsent, Inf, xv. 20. 
Puce 10 (Vanni), his charadlcr and puni(hmcnt. Inf. xxiv. 2a 
Pyrrhvs (King of Epirus), his punifhment, Inf, xii. 21* 


Rehoboam, or Roboam, Purg, xii. 8* 

RiNiERi, two Florentine Nobles, their chara&ert and punilhmentf 

Inf xii. 21. Notes. 
RiNiERi (de Calboli), Purg.i^v, i« 
RoDOLPH (Emperor), Purg. vii. i8« 

Romeo (the Hermit), his fingular hiftory. Par. v, 27. Notef. 
RusTicvccf (Jacopo di), his chara£^er and puniikment, Inf xn. 

7. Notes. 


Salvani (Provenzan), Prseter of Florence, Purg. xi. 22« 
Saul, Pi/r^. xii. 7. 

ScoTTo (Michale), his crime and puniihment, Inf xx. ig« 
ScROFiGNi (a noble Paduan), his punifluaent, Inf xviL I2« 

SfiNMACNERiB, P(/r^. Xii. 9. 

Sin ON, his crime and puniihment, Inf xxx. 19, &c. 

SoROELLO, a Mantuan Poet and Biographer, Purg. vi« i€b 

St ATI us (the Poet), fingular hillory of. his converfioni Pwrg* xxL 

16. Ihid, xxii. 17, &c. 
Stephen (St.), vifion of his martyrdom^ Purg. xf. 24* 


Tarq^in (Sextus), Inf xii. 2i. 

Tebaldo, or Thibaut, King of Navarre, /»/I xxiL 9. Note. 
Tbgghiaio (Aldobrandini), his charafter and puniflunenti L^. 
xtI. 6. Notes. 

I 416 ] 

Trajak (Emperor), Purg. x. 16. 

Tribaldello, his crime and puni(hment» luf, Hxu. 2t* 


Ubriaci (a noble Florentine), his punifhment, /r/I xtIi. ii. 
Ulysses, his crime and punifhment, Inf.Trn. 14. 
Ugolino (Count of Pifa), his tragical ftory, /n/I zxxiiL I, &c» 


Valdarbia, battle of, alluded to, Inf. x. 12. Its confequencesy 

Ibid, 13. 
Vallombrosa, his crime and puniflunent, Imf. xxxiL 21. 
Virgil, the Spirit of, meets Dante, Inf. iL il. 
Vita LI AN (a noble Paduan), his charader and punKhmenty Imf, 

xvii. 13. 


Zanche (Michael di Logodoro), his crime ind paniflunenty 
xxii. 14. 

C 417 ] 

c3- The Author hopes that his Dijiance from the Prefs^ will 
be allowed by his indulgent Readers^ as an Excufefor 
the following 





















28. for any\. cither 
*» <H4 niiiiui ti |liij f , ^ 

14. r, notion \ 
14. r. Life. Bulk 

8. tf^ai a ATo/cr, tnferao,xxv, xxvi. 

8. r. Ihe accounts \ 
7. /or with r. and s 

uttd foUatwing Fmgar paflnrr,r, 

"^ -Swabia 

r. Drogo 

ffdW inverted comnnas at'iaone 

for called in r. invited 

adii had after fagacity 

r. Gregory : when 
ult. for declined r. came 
24. r. Mainfroi 


17. /^»" the r. this 

21. r. Ceperano 
5, r. Benevento 
4. r. St. Valentine 

4. r. DONATI 

27. r. DoNATl 
17. r. heads 
ult. r. which it evid^tly has ob 


9. for touched r. (Kaded 
9. r. Alxghie 

15. r. MoNTEA(ifERTO 

4. r. FoLco 
20. r. Corsj 

22. r. fenfyrig thither Charles 
r. V*RciLio 
forJLetii r. Situ 


ndd a comma <?/if^ cokiere 
Note, for wafted r. wafted 
3. for wafted r. wafted 
3. Note, /or views r« viccf 
9. r. below? 
is. chff inverted commas at along 


17. r. Pow'rs 
I. Note. r. P^RO 

20. r, Acidepic 
ult. on'/ rt'Ay" it occurs, for %ntz\y 

r. ^efly 
10. delejkd they 

21. r.lfchold, O Bard ! 

4. ^te. r. Aroenti 
7.y. DoNATl 

flfr-Ze inverted commas olStansas 
xviii 0716^ xlx. 
'4. V. caitiff 

5. for Fre r. Till 
19 r ft in, ■ 










uh. r. Jailor 

4 r. Cavalcanti 

9. Note. r. Ubertx 

10. Note, /or his Life, and of Dan- 
r. Life of Dante 

6. Note. r. viftims of Frcuxy 

3. Note. r. Adioe 

5. r. O'er hanging 

4, Note. r. Trachinijb 
i4.''^ote. rfr/" the btfore Efte 

4. r. Libya's 

2. N6tc. r. Vineis 


ult. Note\ r. Landino 

6. Note. T. Rhodius 
19. r. or goWn 

2. rff/ifOr , 
18. for rifted n rifted 
8. r. Oavill6's 

11. r. fmould'ring 

10. Note. r. MEDkciNA 
6. Note. r. Amidei 

12. /or Nor r. Her ^ 

4. for chcefe r. chi fe* 

5. /or VifcQiTe r. Vi fotk 
4. /or hand r. breath \ 

penult, r. Antiani 

11. r. faiej 

[ 4i8 ] 


1 ^. 


^ ^ 

2 0. 


f. I. 



; c. /rr ihcfc vires r. tlcir views 

7. ■. u ini'.iit •T.i o 

I. N. ic. .'.i; Lr:dtit>s r. Laches 
pTiv (■: ii.ions o\ P\thagoras 

1 1 -. 

• JO. 

I ;:. 
1 . ;. 


I <4. 
r ; J . 
1 «■ ;. 
1 '. . 

. / • 


I - - - 1 - .,._-.,.- . » . . 

I :.n<i UriACi.iTis ou^ht to I 19S. 
J i.,:\« \'t «-.i : Uci.d at liic endot" iO". 

I ipr .Sovti -11, Aiitr tiieupinii'iis 
I oi" I Hii I PUS, with wi^ch il 
l^ ai pietViit conciadts. 
9. f'f li-'ow r. by 
5. r. r..\(n|.lur 
li. '."'I-' =.ili , oini '/ Vire 
I '. '/•!'? a colon tit \'-Au\{\in\cnt 
I r. :rr t > ot'icr r. in oi'u r 


• 1 




I. r. il'--' , 
I.,, ro.' v.i.i !<: r. \v'..t; c to 

1 . 

1 ". 



■•■'■■' s < 


I 240. 
tiii r^.:nr...i iiV rr: :vM ' -49* 

I'l J't i.- .t rioci crn.inas ».f quell'd 1 251. 
»..< i:i\cJic'd ( 'lum.'.-j ff/ tiw be- j 257 

^,,....,;..^r r;/v;.,i,z.i xii. 
^- ». ;... :« '■ 
L.:. Note. .' • Dawft r. Lav.-es 
1. Nv,:e. r. Lav. !.«; 
9. r. t!<.:.;!iicd Gi.c-ils in many a 

?. '/ />' <.'jn:^i;. . . \ou 
lO. ./' r ii«iic r. Uji- I 

IC. i.''*<i' comnn i:i fnr 

Ntii". Tiiis nu:e it'fcis a! fo to 
Sla:,7.: vii. 
11. r. ompliy". «; : 
;. /, iiii?ii-"ii, 


I !. j ■>•' \.:\\ I. LJ-arni 
i 5. _; .- riL-;;, r. iI:ou, 

9. '. ThoioL^h 
13. r. Lcv.nM i.:i 
II. i >r (.net red r. ( :ii-.;:.(l 

.1 • k I . •; 

I Ppge. Line. 
173. 5. r. begun 

14. frr ere r. an 
ult. Note, deie by 

14. r. toward 
2. r. lapt. 
6. r. Bard fuUimc, 

1 1 . Jor iky r. fpy 
iS. fnr at r. or 

15. Jor Phoebus drew r. Sol \ritb« 

1 2. /or w idc r. wild 
i'"'. r. poiTciTcd, it" 
20. r. Anothe/s 

4. till-' comma ai fong 

5. flrL' invLTied cumroas al Stansxs 
xvii, xviii, xix, xx. 

7. c/We comma a/ all 

4. for cale r. care 
14 r. heart 

b. t.'n.' comma at ilrove 
23- ff>r the double r. their royal 

10. for long r. kmg'd 

12. for t*ddy r. eddying 
7> f** th* injundiun 

2(i.-». a6. r. Jt)y .^ 

273. 17. r. ISMENI 

274. 21. for dole r. lk>Ie 

1 1, ttd'ti not /.//'-r allov'd 

4. r. ALA^fTEM 
4* r. Fo&ESE 

Notes 0/1 Stanias zsvi and 
xxvii //> 6.-' iranjfiqftd 
3* r. Opheltes' 
1 6 a* /-• comma d/ another 
Z- Jor At r. When 
4. r. blows, 

3. N':<». rj(/^r Weft, adrffignified 
by the ditFulionof paiadifaical 
iiifliienrc uvcr the m-oild, 
II. for And r. A 
I . N .'*.:■. r. Thrs and the foliuwing 
3. r. Thorough 

13. r. figh^, 
inverted at the 


•« • 



./• . A% r. O. 

r iM -.iic ;.in"..T ". 
.. t. f.,iJ':;-';4 tJ ''iirc: 
_'■■ ■ .1.'. i; »,..l '• l« ii -i''t 
r 0»cv 
tr*'<' ct-I;.-:! fit \\\ n./.-N 







^ ■ ."i 


^ b -h 
^ ixx. 

Jitnnm^ tf Stanxas Xixiz^ 


5. />r Juft r. Faft 

5. ^"r Trent r. tVonl 

9. aWr* That our Poet beliercd 

12. r. ambi.;iiity.