Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung
With jubilee, and loud Hosanna's fillid
Th' eternal regions : lowly reverent
Tow’ards 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 fout loud as &c. Heav’n rung, lasting amarant, which he has finely &c. where the first words are put in set near the tree of life. Amaranthe ablative case absolutely. tus flos, fymbolum eft immortali

Pearce. tatis. Clem. Alexand. Hume. 351.

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

river of thy pleasures, for with the 353. Immortal amarant,] Ama- is the fountain of life, Pfal. XXXVI. rant Aucparla. Greek, for un 8, 9. For the Lamb which is in the fading, that decayeth not; a fiower midst of the throne shall feed them, of a purple velvet color, which and ball 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 luttre by being sprinkled a pure river of water of life. with a little water, as Pliny affirms,

Hume. Lib. 21. c. U. Our author seems 359. Polls o’er Flyfan flow'rs her to have taken this hint from 1 Pet.

amber fiream ;] Dr. Bentley I. 4. To an inheritance incorruptible, reads Rolls o’er relucent gems &c. undefild, and that fadith not away, because (he says) it is not well con442cm:1::: and i Pet. V. 4. Pe ceiv'd that flow'rs grow at the botPall receive a crown of glory that tom of a river. But (as Dr. Pearce adith not aruar, apucat a low : both replies) Milton's words don't necelrelating to the name of his ever- farily imply lo 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


And flow'rs aloft Thading 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 350
Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams,


might only sometimes roll over Ran neêtır, visiting each plant,
then, to water them. And yet and fed
(Says Dr. Pearce) I am rather in.

Flow'rs worthy of Paradise,
clin'd to think, that the poet here
by over means through, or among. And as there they are flow'rs-port),
So Mr. Jortin understands Rolls o'er of Paradise, so here they are worthy
for rolls through or by; and observes of Elysium, the region of the Blei:
that Horace uses the verb præterire fed : and he makes use of the fame
in much the same manner, Od. IV. expression in his pocm callid L’Al-

legro, et deerescentia ripas From golden sumber 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 paffage as it is stream, it is only on account of its express'd, there is no kind of ab- clearness and transparency, and surdity in it; for we frequently fee 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 fowers 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 artxipivou idwp; 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 has express’d in IV. 240. where

Purior electro campiin petit amnis. speaking of the brooks in Paradise 360. With these that nevir fade] he says they

Dr. Bentley reads with this that

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Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, Impurpled with celestial roses smild.

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, fymphony 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.


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never fades, that is amarant. But liar with Spenser from the Italian
these is right, and refers to crowns imporporato. Faery Queen, B. 3.
spoken of in ver. 352. all the in- Cant. 7. St. 16.
termediate werses being in a paren-
thesis. Milton alludes here to i Pet.

Oft from the forest wildings he
V.4. Ye shall receive a crown of glory

did bring, that fadeth not away.


Whose fides impurpled were with
Or perhaps these may more pro-

smiling red
bably refer to Elysian flow'rs men- Mariano Ad. Cant. St.

tion'd in the verse preceding. It
is more natural and easy, and agrees

L'Ho.e spogliando de lor fregi i better with what follows, with their

prati being thrown off' in loose garlands,

Tutto di rose imporporare il Cielo. which it is better to undertland of

Thyer. flow'rs than of crowns, which are 372. Thee, Father, first they sung themselves garlands; but then there &c.] This hymn seems to be commust be no parenthesis, as there is posed somewhat in the spirit and none in Milton's own editions. manner of the hymn to Hercules

363. like a sea of jupper jkone,] in the 8th book of the Æneid; Jalper is a precious Itone of fe- but is as much superior as the subveral colors, but the green is most ject of the one transcends that of esteem'd, and bears soine fimilitude the other. and resemblance to the color of the

377. Thron'dinaccessible, but when fea.

thou jhad'] The word but 364. Impurpled with celefial roles here is the same as except, unless ; Jail'd.] A word very fami- inaccesible, but when thou shad's,


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

Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitst
Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud
Drawn round about the like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,

380 Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim


St. 57

that is then only accessible, when to be look'd on by the beings thou shad'It &c. Perhaps Milton nearest to God, but when doubly had in view what Ovid says of or trebly shaded by a cloud and Phæbus when his fon Phaeton both wings. What then is the full came to him, Met. II. 39.



In like manner Taslo describing -circum caput omne micantes the Almighty in Heaven, Cant. 9. Deposuit radios, propiusque accedere juffit. Pearce.

Quivi ei cosi nel suo splendor s'inI rather conclude that these ideas volve. were fuggested by the 33d chapter Che vi abbaglian la vida anco of Exodus, ver. 18. and the follow

più degni. ing passage which ends thus, Thou full lee my back parts, but my face The same thought in Spenser's jhall not be seen. Greenwood. Hymn of Heavenly Beauty, but 380. Dark with excelsive bright more languidly express’d,

thy skirts afpear, ] Milton has With the great glory of that wonthe same thought of darkness oc

drous light casion’d by glory, V. 599. Bright His throne is all incompassed aness bad made invisible. This also round, explains his meaning here; the ex And hid in his own brightness from cess of brightness had the effect of

the fight darkness, invisibility.

What an

Of all that look thereon &c. idea of glory! the skirts only not

Ibyer. 382. Approach


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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,

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
Th' aspiring Dominations: thou that day
Thy Father's dreadful thunder didft not spa: ,
Nor stop thy flaming chariot wheels, that ac's
Heav’n’s everlasting frame, while o’er wennis
Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarray'ü.


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II. 22.

382. Approach not, ] So Ovid Met. în Col. I. 15. the firft born of every

creature or of all creation, waong Confiftitque procul, neque


xl1csws; and Rev III. 14. tbe bepropiora ferebat

ginning of the creation of God. Lumina.

387. Whom else no creature can but eyes.

behold; ] No creature can So they are represented in Jaiah's otherwise behold the Father but in vision of the throne of God: and through the Son. No man hath above it ftcod the Seraphims ; each Jeen God at any time; the only begotone hed six wings; with twain he

ten Son which is in the bojom of the cover'd his face, &c. Ifa. VI. 2.

Father, he hath diclared him, John

I. 18. But He that hath jeen me, -- of all creation fir,] So hath jeen the Father, John XIV.9.



398. Thee

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