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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.

BOOK III. AKGUMENT.

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.

ftetafcfee Host.

BOOK III.

HAIL, holy Light, offspring of Heav'n first-bom!
Or 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, 5

Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hcar'st thou rather, pure etherial 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 10

The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,
Kscap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight 15

Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
With other notes than 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 re-ascend 20

Though hard and rare; thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sov'reign vital lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To nod 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 26

Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny bill,

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,
From the pure empyrean 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 65

Of mankind, in th* happy garden plac'd,
Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,

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