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Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung
With jubilee, and loud Hosanna’s fill'd
Th'eternal regions : lowly reverent .
Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground
With solemn adoration down they cast 351
Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold;
Immortal amarant, a flow'r which once

a fhout loud as &c. Heav'n rung, lasting amarant, which he has finely &c. where the first words are put set near the tree of life. Amaranin the ablative case absolutely. ' tus flos, symbolum eft immortali.

Pearce. tatis. Clem. Alexand. Hume. . 351. down they caft

357. the fount of life, ang Their crowns] So they are repre- river of bliss] The abunsented Rev. IV. 10. The four and dant happiness and immortal joys twenty elders fall down before him of Heaven are in Scripture gethat sat on the throne, and worship nerally express d by the fountain him that liveth for ever and ever, of life and rivers of pleasure: So, and caft their crowns before the Tbou falt make them drink of the throne.

river of thy pleasures, for with thee 353. Immortal amarant,] Ama, is the fountain of life, Psal. XXXVI. rant Auscarlo Greek, for un- 8, 9. For the Lamb which is in the fading, that decayeth not; a flower midst of the throne fall feed them, of a purple velvet color, which and small lead them unto living tho'gather’d, keeps its beauty, and fountains of waters, Rev. VII, 17. when all other flowers fade, reco. and Rev. XXII. 1. He showed me vers its lustre by being sprinkled a pure river of water of life. with a little water, as Pliny affirms,

Hume, Lib. 21. c. 11. Our author seems 359. Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs to have taken this hint from 1 Pet. ber amber ftream;] Dr. BentI. 4. To an inberitance incorruptible, ley reads Rolls o'er relucent gems undefiled, and that fadeth not away, &c. because (he says) it is not well aldeanlov: and i Pet. V. 4. Pe conceiv'd that flow'rs grow at the ball receive a crown of glory that bottom of a river. But (as Dr. Pearce fadeth not away, apdegi loo:: both replies) Milton's words don't necefrelating to the name of his ever- sarily imply so much; the river

In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, ..
Began to bloom; but soon for man's offense... 355
To Heav'n remov’d, where first it grew, there grows,
And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of life,
And where the riv'er of bliss through midst of Heaven
Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream;
With these that never fade the Spi'rits elect 360
Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams,

Now might only sometimes roll over Ran nectar, visiting each plant, them, to water them. And yet and fed (says Dr. Pearce) I am rather in- Flow'rs worthy of Paradise. cind to think, that the poet here by over means through or among.

And as there they are flow'rs worthy So Mr. Jortin understands Rolls o'er

of Paradise, so here they are worthy for rolls through or by; and observes of, Elyfum, the region of the Bleithat Horace uses the verb præterire

sed: and he makes use of the same in much the same manner, Od. IV.

anner. Sod. iv. expression in his poem callid L'ALVII. 3.

legro, et decrescentia ripas

From golden slumber on a bed Flumina prætereunt,

Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs. roll by and within their banks. But And then as to his calling it amber if we understand the passage as it stream, it is only on account of its is express'd, there is no kind of ab- clearness and transparency, and fardity in it; for we frequently see not at all on account of its color, grass and weeds and flowers grow. that he compares it to amber. The ing under water : and we may clearness of amber was proverbial therefore suppose the finest flowers among the Ancients; Callimachus to grow at the bottom of the river in his hymn to, Ceres, ver. 29. has of bliss, or rather the river to roll aasxlevrov u f'wp; and in like manover them sometimes, to water ner Virgil says of a river, Georg, them. The author seems to in- III. 522. tend much the same thing that he Purior electro campum petit amnis. has express'd in IV. 240. where speaking of the brooks in Paradise 360. With these that never fade) he fays they

Dr. Bentley reads with this that

Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone,
Impurpled with celestial roses smil'd. 364
Then crown'd again, their golden harps they took,
Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
Of charming symphony they introduce
Their sacred song, and waken raptures high;
No voice exempt, no voice but well could join 370
Melodious part, such concord is in Heaven.

Thee,

never fades, that is amarant. But 364. Impurpled with celestial roles tbese is right, and refers to crowns "Smild.] A word very famiSpoken of in ver. 352. all the in- liar with Spenser from the Italian termediate verses being in a paren- imporporato. Fairy Queen, B. 3. thefis. Milton alludes here to Cant. 7. St. 16. 1 Pet. V. 4. Ye shall receive a crown Oft from the forest wildings he of glory that fadeth not away.

did bring,

Whose sides impurpled were with Or perhaps these may more probably refer to Elysian flow'rs men

smiling red tion'd in the verse preceding. It Marino Ad. Cant. 4. St. 291. is more natural and easy, and agrees L'Hore spogliando de lor fregi i better with what follows, with their

prati being thrown off in loose garlands, Turbo

Tutto di rose imporporare il Cielo. which it is better to understand of flow'rs than of crowns, which are

Thyer. themselves garlands: but then there 3 72. Thee, Father, first they fung must be no parenthesis, as there is &c.] This hymn seems to be comnone in Milton's own editions. “ pored somewhat in the spirit and

363. - like a sea of jafper mone,] manner of the hymn to Hercules Jasper is a precious stone of fe. in the 8th book of the Æneid ; veral colors, but the green is most but is as much superior as the fubesteem'd, and bears some similitude jeet of the one transcends that of and resembl nce to the sca.

the other,

377. Tbren'

Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
Eternal King; thee Author of all being,
Fountain of light, thyself invisible

375
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou fitst
Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud
Drawn round about thee like a radiant Thrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear, 380
Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim

Approach

377. Thron'd inaccesible, but when or trebly shaded by a cloud and

thou foadA] The word but both wings. What then is the full here is the same as except, unless; blaze!

Richardson inaccessible but when thou had f, In like manner Tasso describing that is then only accessible, when the Almighty in Heaven, Cant. 9. thou shad'ft &c. Perhaps Milton St. 57. had in view what Ovid says of Phoebus when his fon Phaeton Quivi ei cosi nel suo splendor s'incame to him, Met. II. 39.

volve,

Che v'abbaglian la vista anco i - circum caput omne micantes

più degni. Deposuit radios, propiusque accedere jussit. Pearce.

The same thought in Spenser's

Hymn of heavenly Beauty, but 280. Dark with exceffive bright more languidly express’d,

thy skirts appear,) Milton has the same thought of darkness oc With the great glory of that won. casion'd by glory, V. 599. Bright- drous light ness bad made invisible. This also His throne is all incompassed as explains his meaning here; the ex round, cess of brightness had the effect of Aird hid in his own brightness from darkness, invisibility. What an the sight idea of glory! the skirts only not Of all that look thereon &c. to be look'd on by the beings

Thyer. nearest to God, but when doubly

382. Approach

Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.
Thee next they sang of all creation first,
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud
Made visible, th’ almighty Father shines, 386
Whom else no creature can behold; on thee
Impress’d th’effulgence of his glory' abides,
Transfus’d on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He Heav'n of Heav'ns and all the Pow'rs therein
By thee created, and by thee threw down 391
Th’aspiring Dominations : thou that day
Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy flaming chariot wheels, that shook
Heav'n’s everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 395
Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarray’d.

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382. Approach not,] So Ovid Met. in Col. I. 15. the firf-borx of ery II. 22.

creature or of all creation, para Confiftitque procul, neque enim x115€ws; and Rev. III. 14. t?* propiora ferebat

ginning of the creation of God. Lumina.

387. Whom else ng creature in but with both wings veil their eyes. behold; ] No creature can So they are represented in Isaiah's otherwise behold the Father but in vision of the throne of God: and through the Son. No man bara

Above it food the Seraphims ; each fien God at any time; the only begins one had fix wings; with twain he ten Son which is in the bosom of cover'd his face, &c. Isa. VI. 2. Father, he hath declared bim, Joha

1. 18. But He that hath feen rely 383. — of all creation forff,] So hash seen the Father, John XIV..,

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398. Then

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