start full-sail; the wind and tide always serve; there is never any fluttering of the canvas.
In this he offers a striking contrast with Wordsworth
, who has to go through with a great deal of yo-heave-ohing
before he gets under way. And though, in the didactic parts of ‘Paradise Lost
,’ the wind dies away sometimes, there is a long swell that will not let us forget it, and ever and anon some eminent verse lifts its long ridge above its tamer peers heaped with stormy memories.
And the poem never becomes incoherent; we feel all through it, as in the symphonies of Beethoven
, a great controlling reason in whose safe-conduct we trust implicitly.
's discussions of Milton
's English are, it seems to me, for the most part unsatisfactory.
He occupies some ten pages, for example, with a history of the genitival form its
, which adds nothing to our previous knowledge on the subject and which has no relation to Milton
except for its bearing on the authorship of some verses attributed to him against the most overwhelming internal evidence to the contrary.
is altogether too resolute to find traces of what he calls oddly enough ‘recollectiveness of Latin constructions’ in Milton
, and scents them sometimes in what would seem to the uninstructed reader very idiomatic English
More than once, at least, he has fancied them by misunderstanding the passage in which they seem to occur.
Thus, in ‘Paradise Lost
,’ XI. 520, 521,
Therefore so abject is their punishment,
Disfiguring not God's likeness but their own,
has no analogy with eorum deformantium
, for the context shows that it is the punishment
Indeed, Mr. Masson
so often finds constructions difficult, ellipses strange, and words needing annotation that are common to all poetry, nay, sometimes to all English
, that his