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Over mount Sion, and tho' that were large, 530
Over the promis'd land to God so dear;
By which, to visit oft those happy tribes,
On high behests his angels to and fro
Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard
From Paneas, the fount of Jordan's flood, 535
To Beërsaba, where the Holy Land
Borders on Egypt and th’ Arabian shore ;
So wide the op’ning seem'd, where bounds were set
To darkness, such as bound the ocean-wave.
Satan from hence, now on the lower stair,

That scal'd by steps of gold to heaven-gate,
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
Of all this world at once. As when a scout
Through dark and desert ways with peril gone
All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn

545 Obtains the brow of some high climbing hill, Which to his


discovers unaware The goodly prospect of some foreign land First seen, or some renown'd metropolis With glist'ring spires and pinnacles adorn'd, 550 Which now the rising sun gilds with his beams : Such wonder seiz'd, tho' after heaven seen, The spi'rit malign, but much more envy seiz'd, At fight of all this world beheld so fair. Round he furveys (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 Andromeda far off Atlantic seas Beyond th' horizon; then from pole to pole He 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 thone

565 Stars



Stars distant, but nigh hand seem'd other worlds;
Or other worlds they feem'd, or happy ifles,
Like those Hefperian gardens fam'd of old,
Fortunate fields, and groves; and flow'ry vales;
Thrice happy isles, but who dwelt happy there 5701
He stay'd not to inquire. Above them all
The golden Sun, in fplendor likest heaven,
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
Aloof 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-cheering lamp
Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd
By his magnetic beam, that gently warms..
The universe, and to each inward part
With gentle penetration, though unseen,

383 Shoots invisible virtue ev'n to the deep ;: So wond'rously was set his station bright.There lands the fend, a spot like which perhaps Astronomer in the Sun's lucent orb Through his glaz'd optic tube yet never faw.

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: If metal, part seem'd gold, part filver clear;

595 If stone, carbuncle moltor chrysolite, Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone In Aaron's breastplate, and a stone besides Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere feen, That stone, or like to that, which here bedov 6co Philosophers-in vain so long have fought, G6




lo vain, tho' by their pow'rful art they bind
Volatile Hermes, and cull up unbound
In various shapes old Proteus-from the sea,
Drain'd thro' a limbec to his native form.
What wonder then if fields and regions here
Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run
Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch
Th’arch-chemic sun, so far from us remote,
Produces, with terrestrial humour mix'd, -

Here in the dark so many precious things -
Of colour glorious, and effect so rare ?
Here matter new to gaze the devil met
Undazzled ; far and wide his eye commands;
For fight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
But all sunshine, as when his beams at noon
Culminate from th’equator, as they now..
Shot upward ftill direct, whence no way round
Shadow from body' opaque can fall; and th' air,
No where so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray

620 To objects diftant far, whereby he foon Saw within ken a glorious angel stand, The same whom John saw also in the Sun ; Hlis back was turn'd, but not his brightness hid; Of beaming floay rays a golden tiar

625 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 fix'd in cogitation deep. Glad was the spi'rit impure, as now in hope 630 To find who might direct his wand'ring flight To Paradise, the happy seat of man, His journey's end, and our beginning woe. But first he calls to change his proper shape, Which else might work him danger or delay:' 635 And now a fripling cherub he appears, Not of the prime, yet such as in his face



Youth (mil'd celestial, and to every limb
Suitable grace diffus'd, 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 fuccinct, and held
Before his decent steps a filver wand.
He drew tot nigh unheard; the angel bright, 645,
Ere he drew nigh his radiant visage turn'd,
Admonith'd by his ear, and Itrait was known
Th’archangel Uriel, one of the seven
Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,
Stand ready at command, and are his eyes
That run thro’all the heavin's, or down to th' earth
Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
O'er sea and land : him Satan thus accosts. -

Uriel, for thou of those fer's fpi'rits that stand In fight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, 655 The first art wont his great authentic will Interpreter through highest heav'n to bring, Where all his sons thy embassy attend;'. And here art likeliest by fupreme decree Like honour to obtain, and as his eye.

660 To visit oft this new creation round; Unspeakable desire 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 wond'rous he ordain'd,

665 Hath brought me from the quires of cherubim Alone thus wand'ring. Brightest seraph, tell In which of all these shining orbs hath man His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none, But all thefe shining orbs his choice to dwell;

670 That I may find him, and with secret gaze Or open

admiration him behold,
On whom the great Creator hath beltow'd


Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces pour'd;
That both in him and all things, as is meet, 675
The universal Maker we may praise ;
Who justly hath driv'n out his rebel-foes
To deepest hell, and, to repair that loss,
Created this new happy race of men
To serve him better : wise are all his ways. 680

So spake the false diffembler unperceiv'd;.
For neither man nor angel can diseern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,
By his permiflive will, thro' heav'n and earth: 685
And oft tho' wisdom wake, fufpicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to fimplicity
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 sharpest-fighted fpirit 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

695 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 perhapsi 700 Contented with report, hear only' in heav'n: For wonderful indeed are alt bis works, Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all Had in remembrance always with delight; But what created mind can comprehend 705 Their number, or the wisdom infinite That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep? I saw when at his word the formless mass,

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