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Direct against which opened from beneath, By his magnetic beam, that gently warms
Just o'er the blissful seat of Paradise,

The universe, and to each inward part
A passage down to th' earth, a passage wide, With gentle penetration, though unseen,
Wider by far than that of aftertimes

Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep ;
Over mount Sion, and, though that were large, So wondrously was set his station bright.
Over the promised land to God so dear:

There lands the fiend, a spot like which perhaps By which, to visit oft those happy tribes, Astronomer in the sun's lucent orb, On high behests his angels to and fro

Through his glazed optic tube, yet never saw. Passed frequent, and his eye with choice regard The place he found beyond expression bright, From Paneas, the fount of Jordan's flood, Compared with aught on earth, metal or stone; To Beërsaba, where the Holy Land

Not all parts like, but all alike informed Borders on Egypt and the Arabian shore; With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire; So wide the opening seemed, where bounds were If metal, part seemed gold, part silver clear; set

If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite, To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave. Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone Satan from hence, now on the lower stair, In Aaron's breastplate, and a stone besides That scaled by steps of gold to Heaven gate, Imagined rather oft than elsewhere seen, Looks down with wonder at the sudden view That stone, or like to that which here below Of all this world at once. As when a scout, Philosophers in vain so long have sought, Through dark and desert ways with peril gone In vain, though by their powerful art they bind All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn, Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill, In various shapes old Proteus from the sea, Which to his eye discovers unaware

Drained through a limbec to his native form. The goodly prospect of some foreign land. What wonder then if fields and regions here First seen, or some renowned metropolis Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run With glistering spires and pinnacles adorned, Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch Which now the rising sun gilds with his beams: The arch chymic sun, so far from us remote, Such wonder seized, though after Heaven seen, Produces, with terrestrial humour mixed, The spirit malign, but much more envy seized,

Here in the dark so many precious things At sight of all this world beheld so fair.

Of colour glorious, and effect so rare? Round he surveys, (and well might, where he stood Here matter new to gaze the Devil met So high above the circling canopy

Undazzled; far and wide his eye commands; Of night's extended shade) from eastern point For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade, Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears

But all sunshine, as when his beams at noon Andromeda far off Atlantic seas

Culminate from the equator, as they now Beyond the horizon; then from pole to pole Shot upward still direct, whence no way round He views in breadth, and without longer pause Shadow from body opaque can fall; and the air Downright into the world's first region throws No where so clear, sharpened his visual ray His flight precipitant, and winds with ease To objects distant far, whereby he soon

Through the pure marble air, his oblique way Saw within ken a glorious angel stand,
Amongst innumerable stars that shone,

The same whom John saw also in the sun:
Stars distant, but nigh hand seemed other worlds; His back was turned, but not his brightness hid;
Or other worlds they seemed, or happy isles, Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar
Like those Hesperean gardens famed of old, Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales, Illustrious on his shoulders fledged with wings
Thrice happy isles; but who dwelt happy there Lay waving round; on some great charge employed
He stayed not to inquire; above them all He seemed or fixed in cogitation deep.
The golden sun, in splendour likest Heaven, Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope
Allured his eye; thither his course he bends To find who might direct his wandering flight
Through the calm firmament (but up or down, To Paradise, the happy seat of man,
By centre, or eccentric, hard to tell,

His journey's end, and our beginning wo. Or longitude,) where the great luminary, But first he casts to change his proper shape, Aloof the vulgar constellations thick

Which else might work him danger or delay: That from his lordly eye keep distance due, And now a stripling cherub he appears, Dispenses light from far: they, as they move Not of the prime, yet such as in his face Their starry dance, in numbers that compute Youth smiled celestial, and to every limb Days, months, and years, towards his all-cheering Suitable grace diffused, so well he feigned: lamp

Under a coronet his flowing hair Turns swift their various motions, or are turned In curls on either cheek played; wings he wore

moon

Of many a coloured plume, sprinkled with gold; To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps His habit fit for speed succinct, and held Contented with report, hear only in Heaven: Before his decent steps a silver wand.

For wonderful indeed are all his works, He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright, Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turned, Had in remembrance always with delight; Admonished by his ear, and straight was known But what created mind can comprehend The archangel Uriel, one of the seven Their number, or the wisdom infinite Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne, That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep? Stand ready at command, and are his eyes I saw when at his word the formless mass, That run through all the Heavens, or down to the This world's material mould, came to a heap: earth

Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar Bear his swift errands over moist and dry, Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confined; O'er sea and land: him Satan thus accosts. Till at his second bidding darkness fled,

“Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that stand Light shone, and order from disorder sprung: In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, Swift to their several quarters hasted then, The first art wont his great authentic will The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; Interpreter through highest Heaven to bring, And this ethereal quintessence of Heaven Where all his sons thy embassy attend; Flew upward, spirited with various forms, And here art likeliest by supreme decree That rolled orbicular, and turned to stars Like honour to obtain, and as his eye

Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; To visit oft this new creation round;

Each had his place appointed, each his course; Unspeakable desire to see and know

The rest in circuit walls this universe. All these his wondrous works, but chiefly man, Look downward on that globe, whose hither side His chief delight and favour, him for whom With light from hence, though but reflected, shines: All these his work so wondrous he ordained, That place is earth, the seat of man, that light Hath brought me from the choirs of cherubim His day, which else, as the other hemisphere, Alone thus wandering. Brightest seraph, tell Night would invade; but there the neighbouring In which of all these shining orbs hath man His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none, (So call that opposite fair star) her aid But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell; Timely interposes, and her monthly round That I may find him, and with secret gaze Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heaven, Or open admiration him behold,

With borrowed light her countenance triform On whom the great Creator hath bestowed Hence fills and empties to enlighten the earth, Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces poured; And in her pale dominion checks the night. That both in him and all things, as is meet, That spot to which I point is Paradise, The universal Maker we may praise;

Adam's abode; those lofty shades, his bower, Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes Thy way thou can'st not miss, me mine requires.” To deepest hell, and to repair that loss

Thus said, he turned ; and Satan, bowing low Created this new happy race of men

As to superior spirits is wont in Heaven, To serve him better: wise are all his ways." Where honour due and reverence none neglects,

So spake the false dissembler unperceived; Took leave, and toward the coast of earth beneath For neither man nor angel can discern

Down from th' ecliptic, sped with hoped success, Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks

Throws his steep flight in many an airy wheel; Invisible, except to God alone,

Nor stayed, till on Niphates' top he lights.
By his permissive will, through Heaven and earth:
Aud oft, though wisdom wake suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity

BOOK IV.
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems: which now for once beguiled

THE ARGUMENT.
Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held

Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in Heaven; he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook Who to the fraudulent impostor foul,

alone against God and man, falls into many doubts with him.

self, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length In his uprightness, answer thus returned.

confirms himself in evil; journeys on to Paradise, whose out. "Fair angel, thy desire, which tends to know ward prospect and situation is described; overleaps the bounds; The works of God, thereby to glorify

sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest The great Workmaster, leads to no excess

in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; That reaches blame, but rather merits praise

Satan's first sight of Adarn and Eve; his wonder at their ex.

cellent form and happy slate, but with resolution to work The more it seems excess, that led thee hither

their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the From thy empyreal mansion thus alone, tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty

of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by se-From me, whom he created what I was ducing them to transgress; then leaves them a while, to know In that bright eminence, and with his good further of their state by some other means descending on a sun-beam, warns Gabriel, who had in charge Upbraided none; nor was his service hard. the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the What could be less than to afford him praise, deep, and passed at noon by his sphere, in the shape of a good The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks, angel, down to Paradise, discovered after by luis furious ges. How due! yet all his good proved ill in me tures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morn. And wrought but malice; lifted up so high ing. Night comừng on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to I 'sdained subjection, and thought one step higher their reet; their bower described; their evening worship. Gabriel

, drawing forth his bands of night watch to walk the Would set me highest, and in a moment quit Poard of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's The debt immense of endless gratitude, boxer, lest the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to So burdensome still paying, still to owe, Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, Forgetful what from him I still received, tempring her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to And understood not that a grateful mind Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but, hindered by a sign from Heaven, dies By owing owes not, but still pays at once out of Paradise.

Indebted and discharged; what burden then ?

O had his powerful destiny ordained O FOR that warning voice, which he who saw Me some inferior angel, I had stood Th' Apocalypse heard cry in Heaven aloud, Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised Then when the dragon, put to second rout,

Ambition! Yet why not? some other power Came furious down to be revenged on men, As great might have aspired, and me, though mean, Wo to th' inhabitants on earth! that now, Drawn to his part; but other powers as great While time was, our first parents had been warned Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within The coming of their secret foe, and 'scaped. Or from without, to all temptations armed. Haply so 'scaped his mortal snare; for now Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ? Satan, now first inflamed with rage came down, Thou hadst: whom hadst thou then or what to The tempter ere the accuser of mankind,

accuse, To wreak on innocent frail man his loss But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all ? Of that first battle, and his flight to hell : Be then this love accused, since love or hate, Yet not rejoicing in his speed,

ough bold To me alike, it deals eternal wo. Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast, Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will Begins his dire attempt, which, nigh the birth, Chose freely what it now so justly rues Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast, Me miserable! which way shall I fly And like a devilish engine back recoils

Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ? Upon himself; horror and doubt distract Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep The hell within him; for within him hell Still threatening to devour me opens wide, He brings, and round about him, nor from hell To which the hell I suffer seems a Heaven. One step, no more than from himself, can fly O then at last relent: is there no place By change of place: now conscience wakes despair, Left for repentance, none for pardon left? That slumbered, wakes the bitter memory None left but by submission ; and that word Of what he was, what is, and what must be Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue. Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view With other promises and other vaunts Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixes sad; Than to submit, boasting I could subdue Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full blazing sun, Th’ Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know Which now sat high in his meridian tower : How dearly I abide that boast so vain, Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began Under what torments inwardly I groan,

“Othou, that with surpassing glory crowned, while they adore me on the throne of hell. Lookest from thy sole dominion like the God With diadem and sceptre high advanced, of this new world; at whose sight all the stars The lower still I fall, only supreme Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call, In misery; such joy ambition finds. Bat with no friendly voice, and add thy name, But say I could repent, and could obtain, O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, By act of grace, my former state; how soon That bring to my remembrance from what state Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; What feigned submission swore! ease would recant Till pride and worse ambition threw me down Vows made in pain, as violent and void : Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless For never can true reconcilement grow King;

Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep, Ah! wherefore! he deserved no such return Which would but lead me to a worse relapse

And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole Short intermission bought with double smart. Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail This knows my Punisher; therefore as far Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past From granting he, as I from begging peace :

Mozambic, off at sea northeast winds blow All hope excluded thus, behold, in stead

Sabean odours from the spicy shore Of us outcast, exiled, his new delight,

Of Araby the blest : with such delay Mankind created, and for him this world. Well pleased they slack their course, and many a So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,

league Farewell remorse! all good to me is lost; Cheered with the grateful smell, old Ocean smiles: Evil, be thou my good! by thee at least

So entertained those odorous sweets the fiend, Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold, Who came their bane, though with them better By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign; pleased As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.” Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume Thus while he spake, each passion dimmed his That drove him, though enamoured, from the face

spouse Thrice changed with pale, ire, envy, and despair; Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent Which marred his borrowed visage, and betrayed From Medea post to Egypt, there fast bound. Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld:

Now to th' ascent of that steep savage hill For heavenly minds from such distempers foul Satan had journeyed on, pensive and slow; Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware, But further way found none, so thick entwined, Each perturbation smoothed with outward calm, As one continued brake, the undergrowth Artificer of fraud; and was the first

Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplexed That practised falsehood under saintly show, All path of man or beast that passed that way: Deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge: One gate there only was, and that looked east Yet not enough had practised to deceive

On th' other side: which when th’arch-felon saw, Uriel once warned; whose eye pursued him down Due entrance he disdained, and, in contempt, The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount At one slight bound high overleaped all bound Saw him disfigured, more than could befal Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within Spirit of happy sort : his gestures fierce

Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf, He marked, and mad demeanour, then alone, Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey, As he supposed, all unobserved, unseen. Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at So on he fares, and to the border comes

eve, Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,

In hurdled cotes amid the field secure. Now nearer crowns with her inclosure green, Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold: As with rural mound, the champaign head Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors, With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild, Cross-barred and bolted fast, fear no assault, Access denied; and over head up grew

In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles: Insuperable height of loftiest shade,

So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold; Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm So since into his church lewd hirelings climb. A sylvan scene, and, as the ranks ascend Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life, Shade above shade, a woody theatre

The middle tree and highest there that grew, Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life The verdurous wall of Paradise upsprung: Thereby regained, but sat devising death Which to our general sire gave prospect large To them who lived; nor on the virtue thought Into his nether empire neighbouring round. Of that life-giving plant, but only used And higher than that wall a circling row For prospect, what, well used, had been the pledge Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit, Of immortality. So little knows Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue, Any, but God alone, to value right Appeared, with gay enamelled colours mixed: The good before him, but perverts best things On which the sun more glad impressed his beams To worst abuse, or to their meanest use. Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, Beneath him with new wonder now he views, When God hath showered the earth: so lovely To all delight of human sense exposed, seemed

In narrow room Nature's whole wealth, yea more, That landscape: and of pure now purer air A Heaven on earth; for blissful Paradise Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires Of God the garden was, by him in the east Vernal delight and joy, able to drive

Of Eden planted; Eden stretched her line All sadness but despair: now gentle gales, From Auran eastward to the royal towers Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,

Or where the sons of Eden long before Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soil Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis
His far more pleasant garden God ordained ; Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain
Out of the fertile ground he caused to grow To seek her through the world; nor that sweet
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste; grove
And all amid them stood the tree of life, Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,

Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle,
Our death, the tree of knowledge grew fast by, Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill. Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove,
Southward through Eden went a river large, Hid Amalthea, and her florid son,
Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy Young Bacchus, from her step-dame Rhea's eye;
hill

Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard, Passed underneath ingulphed; for God had thrown Mount Amara, though this by some supposed That mountain as his garden mould high raised True Paradise, under the Ethiop line Upon the rapid current, which, through veins By Nilus' head, enclosed with shining rock, Of porous earth, with kindly thirst updrawn, A whole day's journey high, but wide remote Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill From this Assyrian garden, where the fiend Watered the garden; thence united fell Saw undelighted all delight, all kind Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood. Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange. Which from his darksome passage now appears

Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall, And now, divided into four main streams, Godlike erect, with native honour clad, Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm In naked majesty seemed lords of all : And country, whereof here needs no account ; And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine But rather to tell how, if Art could tell, The image of their glorious Maker shone, How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold, (Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,) With mazy error under pendent shades Whence true authority in men; though both Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed; Flowers, worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art For contemplation he and valour formed, In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon For softness she and sweet attractive grace; Poured forth profuse on hill and dale and plain, He for God only, she for God in him: Both where the morning sun first warmly smote His fair large front and eye sublime declared The open field, and where the unpierced shade Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks Embrowned the noontide bowers: thus was this Round from his parted forelock manly hung place

Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad: A happy rural seat of various view;

She, as a veil, down to the slender waist Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and Her unadorned golden tresses wore balm,

Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind, As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,

Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste: And by her yielded, by him best received,
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
Grazing the tender herb, were interposed, And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap

Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed;
or some irriguous valley spread her store, Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose : Of nature's works, honour dishonourable,
Another side, umbrageous grols and caves Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine With shows instead, mere shows of seeming puro
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps And banished from man's life his happiest life,
Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall Simplicity and spotless innocence !
Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake, So passed they naked on, nor shunned the sight
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned Of God or angel, for they thought no ill:
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams. So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair
The birds their choir apply; airs, vernal airs, That ever since in love's embraces met;
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune Adam the godliest man of men since born
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan, His sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Knit with the Graces and the Hours, in dance Under a tuft of shade, that on a green
Led on the eternal spring. Not that fair field Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side,

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