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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

1015
Environ'd wins his way; harder beset
And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd
Through Bosphorus betwixt thc justling rocks ;
Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunn'd
Charybdis, and by th’other whirlpool steerd. 1020
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 perversc 1030
With easy intercourse pass to and fro
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom

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God and good Angels guard by special grace.
But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and fron the walls of Heaven
Shoots far into the bosom of dint 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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1055

END OF THE SECOND BOOK.

BOOK THE THIRD.

THE ARGUMENT..

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 his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God renders 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 majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and therefore with all his progeny devoted 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 ransom for Man: the Father accepts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces 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 person's 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 bchold 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.

H all 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 effluence 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’O1 phéan 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 I 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 : nor sometimes forget
Those other two equal'd with me in fate,
So were I equáld with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris and blind Mæonides,
And Tiresas and Phineus prophets old :

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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 40
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.

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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 orce 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 iniage 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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