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النشر الإلكتروني

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, ind the flow'ry brooks beneath,
That wash .hy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow
Nightly I visit; nor sometimes forget
Shose other two equallid with me in fate,
So were I equall'd with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris and blind Mæonides,
And Tiresias and Phineus prophets old :
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
Hırmonious numbers; as the wakefil 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 morni,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair
Presented with a universal blank
Of nature's works, 10 me expung'd and raz'd,
And wisdom at one entrance quile shui O..
So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her pow'rs
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 th' almighty Father from above,
From the pure enipyrean where he sits
Iligh throneid above all height, bent down his eye,
Ilis own works and their works at once to view ;
About him all the Sanctities of heav'n
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
Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,
Uninterrupted joy, unrivalld love
In blissful soli ude; 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 seein'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 only Son foreseeing spake :

Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage
Transports our Adversary? whom no bounds
Prescrib’d, no bars of hell, nor all the chains
Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss
Wide interrupt can hold ; so bent he seems
On desperate revenge, that shall redound
Upon his own rebellious head.

And now Through all restraint broke loose he wings his way Not far off heav'n, in the precints of light, Directly tow'rds the new created world, And man there plac'd, with purpose to assay If him by force he can destroy, or worse, By some false guile pervert; and shall perveri, For man will hearken to his glozing lies, And easily transgress the sole coinmand, Sole pledge of his obedience : so will fall, lle arid his faithless progeny: Whose fault? Whose but his own ? Ingrate, he had of me All he could have; I made him just and right, Sufficieni to have stood, though free to fall. Such I created all th'ethereal pow'rs And spirits, both them who stood, and them who t'i pa Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell Not free, what proof could they have giv'n sincere Of true allegiance, constant faith or love,

Where only what they needs must do appear'd,
Not what they would what praise could they rnceiva!
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 serv'd necessity,
Not me? They therefore as to right belong'd,
So were created, nor can justly accuse
Their Maker, or their making, or their fate,
As if predestination overrul'd
Their will, dispos'd by absolute decree
Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
Their 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 ought by me immutably foreseen,
They trespass, authors to themselves in all
Both what they judge and what they choose ; for so
I form’d them free, and free they must remain,
Till they inthral themselves; I else must change
Their nature, and revoke the high decree
Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain'd
Their freedom, they themselves ordain'd their fail,
The first sort by their own suggestion fell,
Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls, deceiv'd
By th’ other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
The other none: in mercy and justice both,
Through heav'n and earth, so shall my glory exce.
Buit

mercy first and last shall brightest shine.
Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fil 'd
All heav'n, and in the bless'd Spirits elect
Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd :
Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
Most glorious; in him all his Father shone
Substantially express’d, and in his face
Divine compassion visibly appear’d,
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 sov’reign sentence, that Man should find grace ;
For which both heav'n and earth shall high extol
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 join'd
With his own folly ? that be from thee far,
That far be from thee, Father, who art judge
Of all things made, and judgest only right.
Or shall the Adversary thus obtain
His end, and frustrate thine ? shall he sulhil
His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught,
Or proud return, though to his heavier doom,
Yet with revenge accomplish'd, and to hell
Draw after him the whole race of mankind
By him corrupted ? or wilt thou thyself
Abolish thy creation, and unmake
For him what for iny olorv inou hast made?
So should thy goounicos and thy greatness both
Be question'd, and blasphem’d without defence.

To whom the great Creator 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,
Ali hast thou spoken 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 wiil in him, but grace in me
freely vouchsafd; once more I will renew
His lapsed pow'rs, though forfeit, and inthrallid
By sin, to foui 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 srail
His fall'n condition is, and to me owe
All his deliverance ; 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 warn'd
Their sinful state, and to appease betimes
Th’incensed Deity, while offer'd grace
.nvites; for I will clear their senses dark
What

may suffice, and soften stony hearts To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. To pray’r, repentance, and obed'ence due, Though but endeavour'd with sincere intent, Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut. And I will place within them as a guide My umpire, conscience, whom if they will heas, Light after light well us’d they shall attain, And to the erd persisting, safe arrive. This my long sufferance and my day of grace They who neglect and scorn, shall never tasie But hard be harden'd, blind be blinded more, That they may stumble on, and deeper fall; And none but such from mercy 1 exclude. But yet all is not done ; Man disobeying, *Disloyal breaks his fealty, and sins Against the high supremacy of heaven, Affecting godhead, and so losing all, To expiate his treason hath naught left, But to destruction sacred and devote, He with his whole posterity must die, Die he, or justice must; unless for him Some other able, and as willing, pay The rigid satisfaction, death for death. Say heav'nly Pow'rs where shall we find such love Which of ye will be mortal to redeem Ian's mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save ? Dwell's in all heaven charity so dear ?

He ask'd, but all the heav'niy choir stood mute, And silence was in heav'n; on man's behalf Patron or intercessor none appear’d, Much less that durst upon his own head draw The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set

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