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with peril gone

On high behefts his Angels to and fro
Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard,
From PANEAS the fount of JORDAN's flood,

To BEERSABA where the Holy Land
Borders on Ægypt and th' ARABIAN shore)
So wide the opening seem'd, where bounds were set
To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave.
Satan from hence now on the lower stair,

That scald by Heps of gold to heaven-gate,
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
Of all this world at once. As when a scout,
Thro' dark and desert

All night, at last by break of chearful dawn

Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill,
Which to his eye discovers unaware
The goodly prospect of Tome foreign land,
First seen ; or some renown'd metropolis,
With gliftering spires and pinnacles adorn'd,

Which now the rising fun gilds with his beams :
Such wonder feiz'd, though after heaven seen,
The spirit malign ; but much more envy seiz'd
At sight of all this world beheld so fair.
Round he surveys (and well might, where he stood
So high above the circling canopy
Of night's extended shade) from eastern point
Of LIBRA, to the fleecy star that bears
Beyond th' horizon: then from Pole to Pole
Hé views in breadth ; and without longer pause
Down-right into the world's first region throws
His flight precipitant, and winds with ease
Through the pure marble air his

oblique way,
Amongst innumerable stars, that hon

Stars distant, but nigh hand seem'd other worlds :
Or other worlds they feem'd, or happy ifles,
Like those Hesperian gardens fam'd of old,
Fortunate fields, and groves, and how'ry vales ;
Thrice happy illes ! But who dwelt happy there
He staid not to inquire. Above them all

571 The golden sun, in splendor likest heav'n,





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Allur'd his eye: Thither his course he bends
Through the calm firmament: but up or down,
By centre or eccentric, hard to tell ;

Or longitude, where the great luminary
Aloft the vulgar constellations thick,
That from his lordly eye keep distance due,
Dispenses light from far; they as they move
Their starry dance in numbers that compute 580
Days, months and years, tow'rds his all-chearing Lamp
Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'a
By his magnetic beam, that gently warms
The universe, and to each inward part
With gentle penetration, though unseen,

585 Shoots invisible virtue even to the Deep; So wondrously was set his station bright! There lands the fiend, a spot like which perhaps Astronomer in the sun's lucent orb Through his glaz’d optic tube yet never saw.

590 'The place he found beyond expression bright, Compar'd with ought on earth, metal, or stone: Not all parts like, but all alike inform’d With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire ; I metal, part seem'd gold, part filver clear : 595 If ftone, carbuncle most or chrysolite, Ruby or topaz; or the twelve that thon In AARON's breast-plate: and a stone besides (Imagin'd rather of than elsewhere seen) That stone, or like to that which here below 600 Philosophers in vain so long have fought, In vain, though by their pow'rful art they bind Volatil Hermes, and call up unbound In various shapes old Proteus from the sea, Drain'd through a limbeck to his native form. 605 What wonder then if fields and regions here Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch Th'arc-chimic fun, so far from us remote, Produces, with terreitrial humour mix'd,

610 Here in the dark so many precious things Of colour glorious, and effect fo rare :



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Here matter new to gaze the devil met
Undazled ; far and wide his eye commands,
For fight no obitacle found here, nor shade,
But all sun-fhine ; as when his beams at noon
Culminate from th' Æquator ; as they now
Shot upward ftill direct, whence no way round
Shadow from body opaque can fall, and th' air,
(No where so clear,) Tharpen'd his visual ray
To objects distant far, whereby he foon
Saw within ken a glorious Angel stand,
The same whom John faw alio in the sun :
His back was turn’d, but not his brightness hid :
Of beaming funny rays a golden tiar
Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Illustrious on his shoulders, fledge with wings,
Lay waving round : on some great charge employ'd
He seem'd, or fixt in cogitation deep.
Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope
To find who might direct his wand'ring ilight
To Paradise the happy seat of man,
His journey's end, and our beginning woe.
But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Which elfe might work him danger or delay :
And now a stripling Cherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet fuch as in his face
Youth smil'd cæleftial, and to ev'ry limb
Suitable grace diffusd, so well he feign'd.
Under a coronet his flowing hair
In curls on either cheek play'd ; wings he wore
Of many a colour'd plume, sprinkled with gold :
His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
Before his decent steps a silver wand.
He drew not nigh unheard, the Angel bright,
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd,
Admonish'd by his ear; and straight was known
Th’ Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the fev'n
Who in God's presence, nearest to His throne,
Stand ready at command, and are his eyes
That run thro’ all the heav'ns, or down to th' earth
Bear his swift errands, over moist and dry,

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O‘er sea and land: him Satan thus accosts.




URIEL! for thou of those sev’n spirits that stand
In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright,
The first art wont His great authentic will
Interpreter through highest heav'n to bring,
Where all His fons thy embassy attend :
And here are likeliest by supreme decree
Like honour to obtain ; and as His eye,
To visit oft this new creation round :
Unspeakable defire to fee, and know
All these His wondrous works, but chiefly man,
His chief delight and favour ; him for whom
All these His works so wondrous He ordain'd,
Hath brought me from the choirs of Cherubim
Alone thus wandring: brightest Seraph! tell
In which of all these shining orbs hath man
His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell:
That I


find him, and with secret gaze,
Or open admiration, him behold
On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd
Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces pour’d:
That both in him, and all things, as is meet,
The universal Maker we may praise ;
Who justly hath driven out His rebel foes
To deepest hell ; and, to repair their loss,
Created this new happy race of men,
To serve Him better : wise are all His ways!





So fpake the false dissembler unperceiv'd ;
For neither man, nor Angel, can discern
Hypocrisy (the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,
By His permislive will, through heav'n and earth :
And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems) which now for once beguild
Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held

690 The


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The fharpest-fighted spirit of all in heav'n:
Who to the fraudulent impoftor foul,
In his uprightness answer thus return'd.

Fair Angel ! thy defire, which tends to know
The works of God, thereby to glorify
The great work-master, leads to no excess
That reaches blame, but rather merits praise
The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
From thy empyreal mansion thus alone,
To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps, 700
Contented with report, hear only in heav'n:
For wonderful indeed are all His works!
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
Had in remembrance always with delight.
But what created mind can comprehend

Their number, or the wisdom infinite
That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep?
I saw when at his word the formless mass
This world's material mold, came to a heap:
Confufion heard his voice, and wild uproar

Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd:
Till at His second bidding darkness fled,
Light shon, and order from disorder sprung.
Swift to their several quarters hafted then
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire,

And the ethereal quintessence of heav'n
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That rowld orbicular, and turnod to stars,
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move ;
Each had his place appointed, each his course ; 720
The rest in circuit walls this universe.
Look downward on that globe whose hither side
With light from hence, tho' but reflested, shines ;
That place is earth, the seat of man; that light
His day, which else, as th' other hemisphere, 725
Night would invade, but there the neighb'ring moon
(So call that opposite fair ftar) her aid
Timely interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing through mid heav'n,

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