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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, 1045
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; 1050
And fast by hanging in a golden chain
This pendent 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.
END OF THE SECOND BOOK.
Cod sitting on his throne, aces Satan flying towards thia world, then newly created; 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 Crte, and able enough to hare 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 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 bis 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. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb; where, wandering, he first finds a place, since called s The Limbo of Vanity;' what persons and things fly up thither; 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 behold the new creation, and Man whom God had placed here, enquires of him the place of his Iiahitatiou, and is directed; alights first on mount Niphates.
HAIL, holy Light, offspring of Heav'n first-bom!
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
Though hard and rare; thee I revisit safe,
Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt
Srnit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flow'ry brooks beneath, 30
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow.
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equall'd with me in fate,
So were I equall'd with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris and blind Masonides, 35
And Tiresias 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 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. 50
So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind thro' 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,
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight receiv'd
Of mankind, in th* happy garden plac'd,