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Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground
With folemn adoration down they cast
Their crowns, inwove with amarant and gold ;
Immortal amarant, a flower which once
In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,
Began to bloom ; but foon for man's offence

To heav'n remov'd, where first it grew, there grows,
And flowers aloft shading the fount of life,
And where the riv'r of bliss through midit of heav'n
Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber (tream:
With these, that never fade, the fpi'rits elect
Bind their resplendent locks, inwreath'd with beams,
Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement, that like a fea of jasper shone,
Impurpled with celestial roses (mil'd.
Then crown'd again, their golden harps they took :
Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their fide
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
Of charming symphony they introduce
Their facred song, and waken raptures high ;
No voice exempt, no voice but well could join 370°
Melodious part, such concord is in heaven,

Thee, Father, firit they sung omnipotent,
Immutable, immortal, infinite,
Eternal King; thee Author of all being,
Fountain of light, thy felf invisible

Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitt'st
Thron'd inaccellible; but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud
Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excelive bright thy skirts appear ;

385 Yet dazzle heaven, that brigbtelt feraphim Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes. Thee next they fang of all creation first, Begotten Son, divine fimilitude, In whose conspicuous.count'nance, without cloud 385

Made ·


Made vifible, th'almighty Father shines,
Whom else 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 beav'ns, and all the powers therein, 390
By thee created; and by thee threw down
Th’aspiring dominations : thou that day
Thy Father's dreadful thunder did not spare,
Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook
Heav'n's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 395
Thou drov'it of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy pow'rs with loud acclaim
Thee only' extolld, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes.
Not fo on man: him through their malice fall'n, 400
Father of mercy' and grace, thou did it not doom
So strictly, but much more to pity'incline:
No sooner did thy dear and only Son
Perceive 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 strife
Of mercy' and justice in thy face discern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he fat
Second to thee, offer'd himself to die
For inan's offence. O unexampled love! 410
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
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.

415 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

420 From Chaos, and th’inroad of darkness old.



Satan alighted walks : a globe far off
It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent
Dark, wafte, and wild, under the frown of night
Starless expos'd, and ever-threat’ning forms 425
Of Chaos blust'ring round, inclement sky;
Save on that side which from the wall of heav'n,
Though diftant far, some small reflection gains
Of glimm’ring air, Jefs vex'd with tempest loud.
Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field: 430
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Whose fnowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
Diflodging from a region scarce of prey,
To gorge the flesh of lambs or yeanling kids,
On hills where flocks are fed, fics toward the Springs
Of Ganges or Hydafpes, Indian Areams;
But in his way lights on the barren plains
Of Sericana, where Chineses drive
With fails and wind their cany wagons light.
So on this windy fea of land, the fiend

4402 Walk'd


and down alone, bent on his prey.;
Alone, for other creature in this place,
Living or lifeless, to be found was none;-
None yet, but flore bereafter from the earth
Up hither like aëriak vapours flew

Of all things transitory' and vain, when fin
With vanity. had fill’d the works of inen ;
Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
Built tbeir 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 fuperftition and blind zeal, Nought seeking but the praise of men, here find Fit retribution, empty as their deeds ; All th' unaccomplish'd works of Nature's hand, 455 Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd, Diffolv'd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,



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Till final diffolution, wander here ;
Not in the neighb'ring moon, as some have dream'd;.
Those argent fields inore likely habitants, 460
Translated saints, or middle fpirits hold
Betwixt th' angelical and human kind:
Hither of ill-join'd fons and daughters born
First from the ancient world those giants came
With many a, vain exploit, tho' then renown'd: 465
The builders next of Babel on the plain
Of Sennaar, and still with vain design
New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build:
Others caine single ; he who to be deem'd
A god, leap'd fondly into Ætna flames,

. 47.0
Empedocles; and he who to enjoy
Plato's Elyfium, leap'd into the sea,
Cleombrotus; and many more too long,
Embryos, and idiots, eremites, and friers
White, blnek, and gray, with all their trumpery. 475
Here pilgrims roam, that stray'd so far to seek
In Golgotha him dead, who lives in heav'n;
And they who, to be sure of Paradise,
Dying put on the weeds of Dominic;
Or in Franciscan think to pass difguis’d;. 480
They pass the planets seven, and pafs the fir'd,
And that crystalline fphere whose balance weighs
Thc trepidation talk'd, and that first mov'd;
And now Saint Peter at heav'n's wicket feems
To wait them with his keys, and now at foot 485
Of heav'n's ascent they lift their feet, when lo
A violent cross wind from either coast
Blows thein tranverse, ten thuasand leagues awry.
Into the devious air; tben might ye fee
Cowis, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost 490
And flutter'd into rags; then reliques, beads,
Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
The sport of winds: all these upwhirl'd aloft


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Fly o’er the backlide of the world far off
Into a limbo large and broad, fincę callid 495
The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
Long after, now unpeopled 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 thitherward in halte 500
His travellid fteps: far distant he defcries,
Ascending by degrees magnificent
Up to the wall of heav'n, a structure high;
At top whereof, but far more rich, appear'd
The work as of a kingly palace-gate,

With frontispiece of diamond and gold
Embellish'd ;' thick with sparkling orient gems
The portal shone, inimitable on earth
By model, or by fhading pencil drawn.
The stairs 'were such as whereón Jacob faw."
Angets afcending and defcending, bands
Of guardians bright, when he from Efau 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. 513
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,
Wafted by angels, or flew o'er the lake
Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.
The stairs were then let down, whether to dare
The fiend by easy'ascent, or aggravate
His fad exclusion from the doors of bliss ::

52$ Direet against which open'd from beneath, Just o'er the blissful feat of Paradise, A passage down to tho earth, a passage wide, Wider by far than that of after-times


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