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Your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath;
Now lately Heav'n and Earth, another world,
Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain 1005
To that side Heav'n from whence your legions fell :
If that way be your walk, you have not far;
So much the nearer danger; go and speed;
Havoc and spoil and ruin are my gain.

He ceas'd; and Satan stay'd not to reply,
But glad that now his sea should find a shore,
With fresh alacrity and force renew'd
Springs upward like a pyramid of fire
Into the wild expanse, and through the shock
Of fighting elements, on all sides round

Environ'd wins his way; harder beset
And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd
Through Bosphorus betwixt the justling rocks ;
Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunn'd
Charybdis, and by th'other whirlpool steer'd.
So he with difficulty and labour bard
Mov'd on, with difficulty and labour hc;
But he once past, soon after when man fell,
Strange alteration ! Sin and Death amain
Following his track, such was the will of Heaven, 1025
Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way
Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wondrous length
From Hell continued reaching th'utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which the Spi'rits perverse 1030
With easy intercourse pass to and fro
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom




God and good Angels guard by special grace.
But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and froni the walls of Heaven
Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire
As from her outmost works a broken foe
With tumult less, and with less hostile din,
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
And like a weather-beaten vessel holds
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn;
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off th’empyreal Heav'n, extended wide
In circuit, undetermin’d square or round,
With opal tow’rs and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
And fast by hanging in a golden chain
This pendant world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude close by the moon.
Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour he hies.





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God sitting on his throne sees Satan flying towards this world, then newly cre

ated ; shews him to the Son who sat at his right hand; foretels the success of Satan in perverting mankind; clears his own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having created Man free and able enough to have withstood his tempter ; yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of bis own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God ren. ders praises to his father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man ; but God again declares, that Grace cannot be extended towards Man without the satisfaction of divine justice ; Man hath offended the ma. jesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and therefore with all his progeny de. voted to death must die unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ran som for Man: the Father accepts him, ordains his incarnation, pro

ances his exaltation above all names in Heaven and Earth commands all the Angels to adore him ; they obey, and hymning to their harps in full quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Mean while Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb; where wandering he first finds a place, since called the Limbo of Vanity ; what persons and things fly up thi. ther ; thence comes to the gate of Heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it : His passage thence to the orb of the sun ; he finds there Uriel the regent of that orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner Angel; and pretending a zealous desire to behoid the new creation, and Man whom God had placed here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights first on mount Niphates.

Hall holy Light, offspring of Heav'n first born,
Cr of th’ Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee' unblam’d? Since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright efluence of bright essence increate.

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Or hear'st thou rather pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the sun,
Before the Heav'ns thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,
Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness borne
With other notes than to th’Orphéan lyre
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night,
Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to re-ascend,
Though hard and rare : thee 1 revisit safe,
And feel thy sov'reign vital lamp; but thou
Revisit’st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
Cease 1 to wander where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flow'ry brooks bencath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit : ner sometimes forget
Those other two equal'd with me in fate,
So were I equal'd with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris and blind Mæonides,
And Tiresas and Phineus prophets old :





Then feed on thoughts that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year

Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark

45 Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair Presented with an universal blank Of nature's works to me expung'd and ras'd, And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. So much the rather thou, celestial Light, Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight.

55 Now had th'almighty Father from above, From the pure empyréan where he sits High thron'd above all height, bent down his eye, His own works and their works at once to view : About him all the Sanctities of Heav'n

60 Stood thick as stars, and from his sight receiv’d Beatitude past utterance; on his right The radiant image of his glory sat, His only Son; on earth he first beheld Our two first parents, yet the only two Of mankind, in the happy garden plac'd,


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