Paradise Lost

by John Milton

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Book III

 Hail holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
  Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
  May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
  And never but in unapproached light
  Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee,
  Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
  Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream,
  Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun,
  Before the Heavens 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't 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 then to th' ORPHEAN Lyre
  I sung of CHAOS and ETERNAL NIGHT,
  Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
  The dark descent, and up to reascend,
  Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
  And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou
  Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain
  To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
  So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs,
  Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more
  Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
  Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill,
  Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
  Thee SION and the flowrie Brooks beneath
  That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow,
  Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget
  Those other two equal'd with me in Fate,
  So were I equal'd with them in renown,
  Blind THAMYRIS and blind MAEONIDES,
  And TIRESIAS and PHINEUS Prophets old.
  Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie 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 Summers Rose,
  Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
  But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark
  Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men
  Cut off, and for the book of knowledg fair
  Presented with a Universal blanc
  Of Natures works to mee expung'd and ras'd,
  And wisdome 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.
    Now had the Almighty Father from above,
  From the pure Empyrean where he sits
  High Thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye,
  His own works and their works at once to view:
  About him all the Sanctities of Heaven
  Stood thick as Starrs, and from his sight receiv'd
  Beatitude past utterance; on his right
  The radiant image of his Glory sat,
  His onely Son; On Earth he first beheld
  Our two first Parents, yet the onely two
  Of mankind, in the happie Garden plac't,
  Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,
  Uninterrupted joy, unrivald love
  In blissful solitude; he then survey'd
  Hell and the Gulf between, and SATAN there
  Coasting the wall of Heav'n on this side Night
  In the dun Air sublime, and ready now
  To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet
  On the bare outside of this World, that seem'd
  Firm land imbosom'd without Firmament,
  Uncertain which, in Ocean or in Air.
  Him God beholding from his prospect high,
  Wherein past, present, future he beholds,
  Thus to his onely Son foreseeing spake.
    Onely begotten Son, seest thou what rage
  Transports our adversarie, whom no bounds
  Prescrib'd, no barrs of Hell, nor all the chains
  Heapt on him there, nor yet the main Abyss
  Wide interrupt can hold; so bent he seems
  On desperat revenge, that shall redound
  Upon his own rebellious head. And now
  Through all restraint broke loose he wings his way
  Not farr off Heav'n, in the Precincts of light,
  Directly towards the new created World,
  And Man there plac't, with purpose to assay
  If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
  By som false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
  For man will heark'n to his glozing lyes,
  And easily transgress the sole Command,
  Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall
  Hee and his faithless Progenie: whose fault?
  Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
  All he could have; I made him just and right,
  Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
  Such I created all th' Ethereal Powers
  And Spirits, both them who stood & them who faild;
  Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
  Not free, what proof could they have givn sincere
  Of true allegiance, constant Faith or Love,
  Where onely what they needs must do, appeard,
  Not what they would? what praise could they receive?
  What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
  When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice)
  Useless and vain, of freedom both despoild,
  Made passive both, had servd necessitie,
  Not mee. They therefore as to right belongd,
  So were created, nor can justly accuse
  Thir maker, or thir making, or thir Fate;
  As if Predestination over-rul'd
  Thir will, dispos'd by absolute Decree
  Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
  Thir own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,
  Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
  Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.
  So without least impulse or shadow of Fate,
  Or aught by me immutablie foreseen,
  They trespass, Authors to themselves in all
  Both what they judge and what they choose; for so
  I formd them free, and free they must remain,
  Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
  Thir nature, and revoke the high Decree
  Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordain'd
  Thir freedom, they themselves ordain'd thir fall.
  The first sort by thir own suggestion fell,
  Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls deceiv'd
  By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
  The other none: in Mercy and Justice both,
  Through Heav'n and Earth, so shall my glorie excel,
  But Mercy first and last shall brightest shine.
    Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd
  All Heav'n, and in the blessed Spirits elect
  Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd:
  Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
  Most glorious, in him all his Father shon
  Substantially express'd, and in his face
  Divine compassion visibly appeerd,
  Love without end, and without measure Grace,
  Which uttering thus he to his Father spake.
    O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd
  Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find grace;
  For which both Heav'n and Earth shall high extoll
  Thy praises, with th' innumerable sound
  Of Hymns and sacred Songs, wherewith thy Throne
  Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest.
  For should Man finally be lost, should Man
  Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest Son
  Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joynd
  With his own folly? that be from thee farr,
  That farr be from thee, Father, who art Judge
  Of all things made, and judgest onely right.
  Or shall the Adversarie thus obtain
  His end, and frustrate thine, shall he fulfill
  His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught,
  Or proud return though to his heavier doom,
  Yet with revenge accomplish't and to Hell
  Draw after him the whole Race of mankind,
  By him corrupted? or wilt thou thy self
  Abolish thy Creation, and unmake,
  For him, what for thy glorie thou hast made?
  So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
  Be questiond and blaspheam'd without defence.
    To whom the great Creatour thus reply'd.
  O Son, in whom my Soul hath chief delight,
  Son of my bosom, Son who art alone
  My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
  All hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all
  As my Eternal purpose hath decreed:
  Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,
  Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
  Freely voutsaft; once more I will renew
  His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd
  By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
  Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
  On even ground against his mortal foe,
  By me upheld, that he may know how frail
  His fall'n condition is, and to me ow
  All his deliv'rance, and to none but me.
  Some I have chosen of peculiar grace
  Elect above the rest; so is my will:
  The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warnd
  Thir sinful state, and to appease betimes
  Th' incensed Deitie, while offerd grace
  Invites; for I will cleer thir senses dark,
  What may suffice, and soft'n stonie hearts
  To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
  To prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
  Though but endevord with sincere intent,
  Mine eare shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.
  And I will place within them as a guide
  My Umpire CONSCIENCE, whom if they will hear,
  Light after light well us'd they shall attain,
  And to the end persisting, safe arrive.
  This my long sufferance and my day of grace
  They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste;
  But hard be hard'nd, blind be blinded more,
  That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
  And none but such from mercy I exclude.
  But yet all is not don; Man disobeying,
  Disloyal breaks his fealtie, and sinns
  Against the high Supremacie of Heav'n,
  Affecting God-head, and so loosing all,
  To expiate his Treason hath naught left,
  But to destruction sacred and devote,
  He with his whole posteritie must die,
  Die hee or Justice must; unless for him
  Som other able, and as willing, pay
  The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
  Say Heav'nly Powers, where shall we find such love,
  Which of ye will be mortal to redeem
  Mans mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save,
  Dwels in all Heaven charitie so deare?
    He ask'd, but all the Heav'nly Quire stood mute,
  And silence was in Heav'n: on mans behalf
  Patron or Intercessor none appeerd,
  Much less that durst upon his own head draw
  The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
  And now without redemption all mankind
  Must have bin lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell
  By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
  In whom the fulness dwels of love divine,
  His dearest mediation thus renewd.
    Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace;
  And shall grace not find means, that finds her way,
  The speediest of thy winged messengers,
  To visit all thy creatures, and to all
  Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought,
  Happie for man, so coming; he her aide
  Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost;
  Attonement for himself or offering meet,
  Indebted and undon, hath none to bring:
  Behold mee then, mee for him, life for life
  I offer, on mee let thine anger fall;
  Account mee man; I for his sake will leave
  Thy bosom, and this glorie next to thee
  Freely put off, and for him lastly die
  Well pleas'd, on me let Death wreck all his rage;
  Under his gloomie power I shall not long
  Lie vanquisht; thou hast givn me to possess
  Life in my self for ever, by thee I live,
  Though now to Death I yeild, and am his due
  All that of me can die, yet that debt paid,
  Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsom grave
  His prey, nor suffer my unspotted Soule
  For ever with corruption there to dwell;
  But I shall rise Victorious, and subdue
  My Vanquisher, spoild of his vanted spoile;
  Death his deaths wound shall then receive, & stoop
  Inglorious, of his mortall sting disarm'd.
  I through the ample Air in Triumph high
  Shall lead Hell Captive maugre Hell, and show
  The powers of darkness bound. Thou at the sight
  Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,
  While by thee rais'd I ruin all my Foes,
  Death last, and with his Carcass glut the Grave:
  Then with the multitude of my redeemd
  Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne,
  Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
  Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd,
  And reconcilement; wrauth shall be no more
  Thenceforth, but in thy presence Joy entire.
    His words here ended, but his meek aspect
  Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love
  To mortal men, above which only shon
  Filial obedience: as a sacrifice
  Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will
  Of his great Father. Admiration seis'd
  All Heav'n, what this might mean, & whither tend
  Wondring; but soon th' Almighty thus reply'd:
    O thou in Heav'n and Earth the only peace
  Found out for mankind under wrauth, O thou
  My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear,
  To me are all my works, nor Man the least
  Though last created, that for him I spare
  Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save,
  By loosing thee a while, the whole Race lost.
  Thou therefore whom thou only canst redeeme,
  Thir Nature also to thy Nature joyne;
  And be thy self Man among men on Earth,
  Made flesh, when time shall be, of Virgin seed,
  By wondrous birth: Be thou in ADAMS room
  The Head of all mankind, though ADAMS Son.
  As in him perish all men, so in thee
  As from a second root shall be restor'd,
  As many as are restor'd, without thee none.
  His crime makes guiltie all his Sons, thy merit
  Imputed shall absolve them who renounce
  Thir own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,
  And live in thee transplanted, and from thee
  Receive new life. So Man, as is most just,
  Shall satisfie for Man, be judg'd and die,
  And dying rise, and rising with him raise
  His Brethren, ransomd with his own dear life.
  So Heav'nly love shal outdoo Hellish hate,
  Giving to death, and dying to redeeme,
  So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate
  So easily destroy'd, and still destroyes
  In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
  Nor shalt thou by descending to assume
  Mans Nature, less'n or degrade thine owne.
  Because thou hast, though Thron'd in highest bliss
  Equal to God, and equally enjoying
  God-like fruition, quitted all to save
  A World from utter loss, and hast been found
  By Merit more then Birthright Son of God,
  Found worthiest to be so by being Good,
  Farr more then Great or High; because in thee
  Love hath abounded more then Glory abounds,
  Therefore thy Humiliation shall exalt
  With thee thy Manhood also to this Throne;
  Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt Reigne
  Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
  Anointed universal King; all Power
  I give thee, reign for ever, and assume
  Thy Merits; under thee as Head Supream
  Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce:
  All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
  In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell;
  When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
  Shalt in the Skie appeer, and from thee send
  The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaime
  Thy dread Tribunal: forthwith from all Windes
  The living, and forthwith the cited dead
  Of all past Ages to the general Doom
  Shall hast'n, such a peal shall rouse thir sleep.
  Then all thy Saints assembl'd, thou shalt judge
  Bad men and Angels, they arraignd shall sink
  Beneath thy Sentence; Hell, her numbers full,
  Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
  The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring
  New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell
  And after all thir tribulations long
  See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
  With Joy and Love triumphing, and fair Truth.
  Then thou thy regal Scepter shalt lay by,
  For regal Scepter then no more shall need,
  God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods,
  Adore him, who to compass all this dies,
  Adore the Son, and honour him as mee.
    No sooner had th' Almighty ceas't, but all
  The multitude of Angels with a shout
  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, & to the ground
  With solemn adoration down they cast
  Thir Crowns inwove with Amarant and Gold,
  Immortal Amarant, a Flour which once
  In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life
  Began to bloom, but soon for mans offence
  To Heav'n remov'd where first it grew, there grows,
  And flours aloft shading the Fount of Life,
  And where the river of Bliss through midst of Heavn
  Rowls o're ELISIAN Flours her Amber stream;
  With these that never fade the Spirits Elect
  Bind thir resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams,
  Now in loose Garlands thick thrown off, the bright
  Pavement that like a Sea of Jasper shon
  Impurpl'd with Celestial Roses smil'd.
  Then Crown'd again thir gold'n Harps they took,
  Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side
  Like Quivers hung, and with Praeamble sweet
  Of charming symphonie they introduce
  Thir sacred Song, and waken raptures high;
  No voice exempt, no voice but well could joine
  Melodious part, such concord is in Heav'n.
    Thee Father first they sung Omnipotent,
  Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
  Eternal King; thee Author of all being,
  Fountain of Light, thy self invisible
  Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st
  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 Shrine,
  Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer,
  Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim
  Approach not, but with both wings veil thir 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
  Impresst the effulgence of his Glorie abides,
  Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
  Hee Heav'n of Heavens and all the Powers therein
  By thee created, and by thee threw down
  Th' aspiring Dominations: thou that day
  Thy Fathers dreadful Thunder didst not spare,
  Nor stop thy flaming Chariot wheels, that shook
  Heav'ns everlasting Frame, while o're the necks
  Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarraid.
  Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaime
  Thee only extold, Son of thy Fathers might,
  To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,
  Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n,
  Father of Mercie and Grace, thou didst not doome
  So strictly, but much more to pitie encline:
  No sooner did thy dear and onely Son
  Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man
  So strictly, but much more to pitie enclin'd,
  He to appease thy wrauth, and end the strife
  Of Mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd,
  Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat
  Second to thee, offerd himself to die
  For mans offence. O unexampl'd love,
  Love no where to be found less then Divine!
  Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy Name
  Shall be the copious matter of my Song
  Henceforth, and never shall my Harp thy praise
  Forget, nor from thy Fathers praise disjoine.
    Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry Sphear,
  Thir happie hours in joy and hymning spent.
  Mean while upon the firm opacous Globe
  Of this round World, whose first convex divides
  The luminous inferior Orbs, enclos'd
  From CHAOS and th' inroad of Darkness old,
  SATAN alighted walks: a Globe farr off
  It seem'd, now seems a boundless Continent
  Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night
  Starless expos'd, and ever-threatning storms
  Of CHAOS blustring round, inclement skie;
  Save on that side which from the wall of Heav'n
  Though distant farr som small reflection gaines
  Of glimmering air less vext with tempest loud:
  Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious field.
  As when a Vultur on IMAUS bred,
  Whose snowie ridge the roving TARTAR bounds,
  Dislodging from a Region scarce of prey
  To gorge the flesh of Lambs or yeanling Kids
  On Hills where Flocks are fed, flies toward the Springs
  But in his way lights on the barren plaines
  Of SERICANA, where CHINESES drive
  With Sails and Wind thir canie Waggons light:
  So on this windie Sea of Land, the Fiend
  Walk'd up and down alone bent on his prey,
  Alone, for other Creature in this place
  Living or liveless to be found was none,
  None yet, but store hereafter from the earth
  Up hither like Aereal vapours flew
  Of all things transitorie and vain, when Sin
  With vanity had filld the works of men:
  Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
  Built thir fond hopes of Glorie or lasting fame,
  Or happiness in this or th' other life;
  All who have thir reward on Earth, the fruits
  Of painful Superstition and blind Zeal,
  Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find
  Fit retribution, emptie as thir deeds;
  All th' unaccomplisht works of Natures hand,
  Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixt,
  Dissolvd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
  Till final dissolution, wander here,
  Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have dreamd;
  Those argent Fields more likely habitants,
  Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold
  Betwixt th' Angelical and Human kinde:
  Hither of ill-joynd Sons and Daughters born
  First from the ancient World those Giants came
  With many a vain exploit, though then renownd:
  The builders next of BABEL on the Plain
  Of SENNAAR, and still with vain designe
  New BABELS, had they wherewithall, would build:
  Others came single; hee who to be deemd
  A God, leap'd fondly into AETNA flames,
  EMPEDOCLES, and hee who to enjoy
  PLATO'S ELYSIUM, leap'd into the Sea,
  CLEOMBROTUS, and many more too long,
  Embryo's and Idiots, Eremits and Friers
  White, Black and Grey, with all thir trumperie.
  Here Pilgrims roam, that stray'd so farr to seek
  In GOLGOTHA him dead, who lives in Heav'n;
  And they who to be sure of Paradise
  Dying put on the weeds of DOMINIC,
  Or in FRANCISCAN think to pass disguis'd;
  They pass the Planets seven, and pass the fixt,
  And that Crystalline Sphear whose ballance weighs
  The Trepidation talkt, and that first mov'd;
  And now Saint PETER at Heav'ns Wicket seems
  To wait them with his Keys, and now at foot
  Of Heav'ns ascent they lift thir Feet, when loe
  A violent cross wind from either Coast
  Blows them transverse ten thousand Leagues awry
  Into the devious Air; then might ye see
  Cowles, Hoods and Habits with thir wearers tost
  And flutterd into Raggs, then Reliques, Beads,
  Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls,
  The sport of Winds: all these upwhirld aloft
  Fly o're the backside of the World farr off
  Into a LIMBO large and broad, since calld
  The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
  Long after, now unpeopl'd, and untrod;
  All this dark Globe the Fiend found as he pass'd,
  And long he wanderd, till at last a gleame
  Of dawning light turnd thither-ward in haste
  His travell'd steps; farr distant hee descries
  Ascending by degrees magnificent
  Up to the wall of Heaven a Structure high,
  At top whereof, but farr more rich appeerd
  The work as of a Kingly Palace Gate
  With Frontispice of Diamond and Gold
  Imbellisht, thick with sparkling orient Gemmes
  The Portal shon, inimitable on Earth
  By Model, or by shading Pencil drawn.
  The Stairs were such as whereon JACOB saw
  Angels ascending and descending, bands
  Of Guardians bright, when he from ESAU fled
  To PADAN-ARAM in the field of LUZ,
  Dreaming by night under the open Skie,
  And waking cri'd, This is the Gate of Heav'n.
  Each Stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
  There alwaies, but drawn up to Heav'n somtimes
  Viewless, and underneath a bright Sea flow'd
  Of Jasper, or of liquid Pearle, whereon
  Who after came from Earth, sayling arriv'd,
  Wafted by Angels, or flew o're the Lake
  Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds.
  The Stairs were then let down, whether to dare
  The Fiend by easie ascent, or aggravate
  His sad exclusion from the dores of Bliss.
  Direct against which op'nd from beneath,
  Just o're the blissful seat of Paradise,
  A passage down to th' Earth, a passage wide,
  Wider by farr then that of after-times
  Over Mount SION, and, though that were large,
  Over the PROMIS'D LAND to God so dear,
  By which, to visit oft those happy Tribes,
  On high behests his Angels to and fro
  Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard
  From PANEAS the fount of JORDANS flood
  To BEERSABA, where the HOLY LAND
  Borders on AEGYPT and the ARABIAN shoare;
  So wide the op'ning seemd, where bounds were set
  To darkness, such as bound the Ocean wave.
  SATAN from hence now on the lower stair
  That scal'd by steps of Gold to Heav'n Gate
  Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
  Of all this World at once. As when a Scout
  Through dark and desart wayes with peril gone
  All night; at last by break of chearful dawne
  Obtains the brow of some high-climbing Hill,
  Which to his eye discovers unaware
  The goodly prospect of some forein land
  First-seen, or some renownd Metropolis
  With glistering Spires and Pinnacles adornd,
  Which now the Rising Sun guilds with his beams.
  Such wonder seis'd, though after Heaven seen,
  The Spirit maligne, but much more envy seis'd
  At sight of all this World beheld so faire.
  Round he surveys, and well might, where he stood
  So high above the circling Canopie
  Of Nights extended shade; from Eastern Point
  Of LIBRA to the fleecie Starr that bears
  Beyond th' HORIZON; then from Pole to Pole
  He views in bredth, and without longer pause
  Down right into the Worlds first Region throws
  His flight precipitant, and windes with ease
  Through the pure marble Air his oblique way
  Amongst innumerable Starrs, that shon
  Stars distant, but nigh hand seemd other Worlds,
  Or other Worlds they seemd, or happy Iles,
  Like those HESPERIAN Gardens fam'd of old,
  Fortunate Fields, and Groves and flourie Vales,
  Thrice happy Iles, but who dwelt happy there
  He stayd not to enquire: above them all
  The golden Sun in splendor likest Heaven
  Allur'd his eye: Thither his course he bends
  Through the calm Firmament; but up or downe
  By center, or eccentric, hard to tell,
  Or Longitude, where the great Luminarie
  Alooff the vulgar Constellations thick,
  That from his Lordly eye keep distance due,
  Dispenses Light from farr; they as they move
  Thir Starry dance in numbers that compute
  Days, months, and years, towards his all-chearing Lamp
  Turn swift their various motions, or are turnd
  By his Magnetic beam, that gently warms
  The Univers, and to each inward part
  With gentle penetration, though unseen,
  Shoots invisible vertue even to the deep:
  So wondrously was set his Station bright.
  There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps
  Astronomer in the Sun's lucent Orbe
  Through his glaz'd Optic Tube yet never saw.
  The place he found beyond expression bright,
  Compar'd with aught on Earth, Medal or Stone;
  Not all parts like, but all alike informd
  With radiant light, as glowing Iron with fire;
  If mettal, part seemd Gold, part Silver cleer;
  If stone, Carbuncle most or Chrysolite,
  Rubie or Topaz, to the Twelve that shon
  In AARONS Brest-plate, and a stone besides
  Imagind rather oft then elsewhere seen,
  That stone, or like to that which here below
  Philosophers in vain so long have sought,
  In vain, though by thir powerful Art they binde
  Volatil HERMES, and call up unbound
  In various shapes old PROTEUS from the Sea,
  Draind through a Limbec to his Native forme.
  What wonder then if fields and regions here
  Breathe forth ELIXIR pure, and Rivers run
  Potable Gold, when with one vertuous touch
  Th' Arch-chimic Sun so farr from us remote
  Produces with Terrestrial Humor mixt
  Here in the dark so many precious things
  Of colour glorious and effect so rare?
  Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
  Undazl'd, farr and wide his eye commands,
  For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
  But all Sun-shine, as when his Beams at Noon
  Culminate from th' AEQUATOR, as they now
  Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
  Shadow from body opaque can fall, and the Aire,
  No where so cleer, sharp'nd his visual ray
  To objects distant farr, whereby he soon
  Saw within kenn a glorious Angel stand,
  The same whom JOHN saw also in the Sun:
  His back was turnd, but not his brightness hid;
  Of beaming sunnie Raies, a golden tiar
  Circl'd his Head, nor less his Locks behind
  Illustrious on his Shoulders fledge with wings
  Lay waving round; on som great charge imploy'd
  Hee seemd, or fixt in cogitation deep.
  Glad was the Spirit impure as now in hope
  To find who might direct his wandring flight
  To Paradise the happie seat of Man,
  His journies end and our beginning woe.
  But first he casts to change his proper shape,
  Which else might work him danger or delay:
  And now a stripling Cherube he appeers,
  Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
  Youth smil'd Celestial, and to every Limb
  Sutable grace diffus'd, so well he feignd;
  Under a Coronet his flowing haire
  In curles on either cheek plaid, wings he wore
  Of many a colourd plume sprinkl'd with Gold,
  His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
  Before his decent steps a Silver wand.
  He drew not nigh unheard, the Angel bright,
  Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turnd,
  Admonisht by his eare, and strait was known
  Th' Arch-Angel URIEL, one of the seav'n
  Who in Gods presence, neerest to his Throne
  Stand ready at command, and are his Eyes
  That run through all the Heav'ns, or down to th' Earth
  Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
  O're Sea and Land: him SATAN thus accostes;
    URIEL, for thou of those seav'n Spirits that stand
  In sight of God's high Throne, gloriously bright,
  The first art wont his great authentic will
  Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring,
  Where all his Sons thy Embassie attend;
  And here art likeliest by supream decree
  Like honour to obtain, and as his Eye
  To visit oft this new Creation round;
  Unspeakable desire to see, and know
  All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man,
  His chief delight and favour, him for whom
  All these his works so wondrous he ordaind,
  Hath brought me from the Quires of Cherubim
  Alone thus wandring. Brightest Seraph tell
  In which of all these shining Orbes hath Man
  His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
  But all these shining Orbes his choice to dwell;
  That I may find him, and with secret gaze,
  Or open admiration him behold
  On whom the great Creator hath bestowd
  Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces powrd;
  That both in him and all things, as is meet,
  The Universal Maker we may praise;
  Who justly hath drivn out his Rebell Foes
  To deepest Hell, and to repair that loss
  Created this new happie Race of Men
  To serve him better: wise are all his wayes.
    So spake the false dissembler unperceivd;
  For neither Man nor Angel can discern
  Hypocrisie, the only evil that walks
  Invisible, except to God alone,
  By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth:
  And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
  At wisdoms Gate, and to simplicitie
  Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
  Where no ill seems: Which now for once beguil'd
  URIEL, though Regent of the Sun, and held
  The sharpest sighted Spirit of all in Heav'n;
  Who to the fraudulent Impostor foule
  In his uprightness answer thus returnd.
  Faire Angel, thy desire which tends to know
  The works of God, thereby to glorifie
  The great Work-Maister, leads to no excess
  That reaches blame, but rather merits praise
  The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
  From thy Empyreal Mansion thus alone,
  To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps
  Contented with report heare onely in heav'n:
  For wonderful indeed are all his works,
  Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
  Had in remembrance alwayes with delight;
  But what created mind can comprehend
  Thir number, or the wisdom infinite
  That brought them forth, but hid thir causes deep.
  I saw when at his Word the formless Mass,
  This worlds material mould, came to a heap:
  Confusion heard his voice, and wilde uproar
  Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
  Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
  Light shon, and order from disorder sprung:
  Swift to thir several Quarters hasted then
  The cumbrous Elements, Earth, Flood, Aire, Fire,
  And this Ethereal quintessence of Heav'n
  Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
  That rowld orbicular, and turnd to Starrs
  Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
  Each had his place appointed, each his course,
  The rest in circuit walles this Universe.
  Look downward on that Globe whose hither side
  With light from hence, though but reflected, shines;
  That place is Earth the seat of Man, that light
  His day, which else as th' other Hemisphere
  Night would invade, but there the neighbouring Moon
  (So call that opposite fair Starr) her aide
  Timely interposes, and her monthly round
  Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heav'n;
  With borrowd light her countenance triform
  Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth,
  And in her pale dominion checks the night.
  That spot to which I point is PARADISE,
  ADAMS abode, those loftie shades his Bowre.
  Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires.
    Thus said, he turnd, and SATAN bowing low,
  As to superior Spirits is wont in Heaven,
  Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
  Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath,
  Down from th' Ecliptic, sped with hop'd success,
  Throws his steep flight with many an Aerie wheele,
  Nor staid, till on NIPHATES top he lights.

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