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See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth :
Then Thou Thy regal sceptre fhalt lay by,
For regal fceptre then no more shall need;

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Gop Mall be All in All. But all ye Gods,
Adore Him, who to compass all this dies ;
Adore the Son, and honour him as Me.

No sooner had th' Almighty ceas’d, but all The multitude of Angels with a shout

345 (Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from bleft voices) utt'ring joy, heav'n rung With jubilee, and loud hosanna's fill'd Th' eternal legions. Lowly reverent Tow'rds either throne they bow, and to the ground With solemn adoration down they cast

351 Their crowns, inwove with amarant and gold, Mnmortal amarant! a flow'r which once 'In Paradise fast by the Tree of Life Began to bloom; but soon for man's offense

355 To heav'n remov'd, where first it grew,

there

grows,
And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of life ;
And where the river of bliss thro' midst of heav'n
Rowls o'er ELYSIAN flow'rs her amber stream:
With these that never fade the fpirits elect

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Bind their resplendent locks, inwreath'd with beams;
Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement, that like a fea of jasper shon,
Impurpled with cæleftial roses fmild.
Then crown'd again, their golden harps they took :
Harps ever tun'd, that glite'ring by their fide
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
Of charming symphony they introduce
Their sacred song, and waken raptures high,
No voice exempts no voice but well could join

370 Melodious part, such concord is in heav'n.

Thee Father first they sung, Omnipotent,
Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
Eternal King! Thee Author of all Being,

Four

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Fountein of Light, Thy self invisible
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou fit'rt
Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'it
The full blaze of thy beams, and thro' a cloud
Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear :
Yet dazle heav'n, that brightest Seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.
Thee next they sung of all creation first
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude !
In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud
Made visible, th’ Almighty Father shines,
Whom elfe no creature can behold: on Thee
Impress’d, th’ effulgence of his glory abides ;
Transfus'd on Thee his ample Spirit rests.
He heav'n of heav'ns, and all the pow'rs therein,
By Thee created : and by Thee threw down
Th' aspiring Dominations. Thou that day
Thy FATHER's dreadful thunder didst not spare ;
Nor stop thy flaming chariot wheels, that shook
Heav'n's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks
Thou drov'it of warring Angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy pow'rs with loud acclaim
Thee only extold, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on His foes.
Not so on Man: him thro' their malice fall'n,
FATHER of mercy and grace! Thou didît not doom
So strictly, but much more to pity incline.
No rooner did Thy dear and only Son,
Perceiv'd Thee purpos'd not to doom frail man
So strictly, but much more to pity inclin'd,
He to appease Thy wrath, and end the Arise
Of mercy and justice in Thy face discernd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he fat
Second to Thee, offer'd Himself to die
For Man's offence. O unexampled love!
Love no where to be found less than Divine !
Hail Son of God, Saviour of men ! Thy name
Shall be the copious matter of my song,
Henceforth, and never shall my harp Thy praise

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Forget, nor from Thy Father's praise disjoin. 415

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Thus they in heav'n, above the starry sphere, Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent. Mean while upon the firm opacous globe Of this round world, whose first convex divides The luminous inferior orbs, inclos'd From Chaos, and th’inroad of darkness old, Satan alighted walks. A globe far off It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent Dark, waite, and wild, under the frown of Night Starless expos'd, and ever threat'ning storms 425 Of Chaos bluftring round, inclement ky! Save on that side which from the wall of heav'n (Tho' Jiitant far), some small reflection gains Of glimm'ring air, less vex'd with tempest loud. Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field. As when a vulture on I MAUS bred, (Whoíe snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds) Dislodging from a region scarce of prey, To gorge the flesh of lambs, and weanling kids, 434 On hills where flocks are fed, flies tow'rds the springs Of Ganges, or HYDASPES, (INDIAN ftreams) But in his way lights on the barren plains Of ŞeriCANA, where CHINESES drive With fails and wind their cany waggons light: So on this windy sea of land, the fiend Walk'd and down alone, bent on his prey ; Alone, for other creature in this place Living, or liveless, to be found was none ; None yet, but store hereafter from the earth Up hither like aerial vapors flew,

445 Of all things transitory and vain, when fin With vanity had fill'd the works of men: Both all things vain, and all who in vain things Built their fond hopes of glory, or lasting fame, Or happiness in this or th' other life;

450 All who have their reward on earth, the fruits Of painful superstition, and blind zeal, Nought fceking but the praise of Men, here find

440

up

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Fit retribution, empty as their deeds: All th' unaccomplish'd works of nature's hand, 455 Abortive, monitrous, or unkindly mix'd, Diffolv'd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain, Till final dissolution, wander here ; Not in the neighb'ring moon, as some have dream'd : (Those argent fields more likely habitants, Translated faints, or middle spirits hold, Betwixt th’angelical and human kind) Hither, of ill-join'd sons and daughters born, First from the antient world those giants came, With many a vain exploit, tho' then renown'd: 465 The builders next of Babel on the plain Of Senaar, and still with vain design New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build : Others came fingle; he who to be deem'd A God, leap'd fondly into ÆTNA's flames,

470 EMPEDOCLES: and he who to enjoy Plato's ELYSIUM, leap'd into the sea, CLEOMBROTUS: and many more too long, Embryo's and idiots, eremits and friars

474 White, Black, and Grey, with all their trumpery: Here Pilgtims roam, that ftray'd so far to seek In GOLGOTHA Him dead, who lives in heav'n : And they who to be fure of Paradise, Dying put on the weeds of DOMINIC, Or in FRANCISCAN think to pass disguis'd; They pass the Planets sev'n, and pafs the Fix'd, And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs The Trepidation talk'd, and that First-mov'd; And now faint Peter at heav'ns wicket scems To wait them with his keys, and now at fooi

485. Of heav'n's afcent they lift their feet; when lo! A violent cross-wind from either coast Blows them transverse, ten thousand leagues awry Into the devious Air : then might ye fee Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost, And flutter'd into rags; then Reliques, Beads, 490 Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls, The sport of winds ! all these up-whirl'd aloft

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Fly

Fly o'er the backside of the world far off,
Into a Limbo large, and broad, since call'd 495
The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
Long after: now unpeopl'd, and untrod.
All this dark globe the fiend found as he pass'd;
And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam
Of dawning light turn'd thither-ward in hafte

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His travel'd steps : far distant he descries,
Ascending by degrees magnificent
Up to the wall of heav'n, a structure high ;
Ai top whereof, but far more rich, appear'd
The work as of a kingly palace-gate,

505 With frontispiece of diamond and gold, Imbellish'd ; thick with sparkling orient gems The portal shon, inimitable on earth, By model, or by shading pencil, drawn. The stairs were such as whereon JACOB faw

510 Angels ascending and defcending, bands Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled To Padan-Aram in the field of Luz, Dreaming by night under the open sky, And waking cry'd, This is the gate of heav'n. 575 Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood There always, but drawn up to heav'n sometimes Viewless, and underneath a bright sea flow'd Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon Who after came from earth, failing arriv'd,

520 Wafted by Angels, or few o'er the lake Rap'd in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds. The stairs were then let down, whether to dare 'The fiend by easy afcent, or aggravate His fad exclufion from the doors of bliss:

525 Direct against which open'd from beneath, Jutt o'er the blissful feat of Paradise, A passage down to th' earth, a passage wide, (Wider by far than that of after-times Over mount Sion, and, though that were large, Over the PROMIS'D LAND to God so dear,

531 By which, to visit oft those happy tribes,

On

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