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his way,

As many miles aloft: that fury stay'd,
Quench’d in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,
Nor good dry land : nigi founder'd on he fares, 940
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half flying ; behoves him now both oar and sail.
As when a gryphon through the wilderness
With winged course, o’er hill or moory dale,
Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd
The guarded gold: So eageriy the Fiend
O'er bog, or steep, through straight, rough, dense,

or rare,
With head, hands, wings, or


pursues And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or fiies : 959 At length a universal hubbub wild Of stunning sounds and voices all confusod, Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his car With loudest vehemence : thither he plies, Undaunted to meet there whatever power Or Spirit of the nethermost abyss Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask

the nearest coast of darkness lies Bord'ring on light; when straight behold the throne Of Chaos, and his dark pavillion spread 960 Wide on the wasteful deep ; with him enthron d Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things, The consort of his reign ; and by thein stond Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name Of Demogorgon ; Rimour next and Chance, And Tumult and Confusion all embroil'd,

Which way

And Discord with a thousand various mouths.

I'wirom Satan turning boldly, thus. Ye Powers dud Spirits of this nethermost abyss, Chios and ancient Night, I come no spy,

970 With purpose to explore or to disturb The secrets of your realm, but by constraint Wand'ring this Jarksome desart, as my way Lies through your spacious empire up to light, Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds Confine with Heav'n; or if some other place, From your

dominion won, th' ethereal king Possesses lately, thither to arrive I travel this profound; direct my course;

980 Directed no mean recompence it brings To your behoof, if I that region lost, All usurpation thence expell d, reduce To her original darkness and your sway (Which is my present journey) and once more Erect the standard there of ancient Night; Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.

Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old, With falt’ring speech and visage incompos'd, Answer'd. I know thee, stranger, who thou art, That mighty leading Angel, who of late 991 Madehead against Heav'n's king, thoughoverthrown. I saw and heard, for such a numerous host Flei not in silence through the frighted deep With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, Confusion worse confounded; and Heav'n gates


Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands
Pursuing. I upon ny frontiers here
Keep residence; if all I can will serve
That little which is left so to defend,
Encroach'd on still through your intestine broiis,'
Weak’ning the sceptre of old Night: first Hell
Your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath ;
Now lately Heav'n and Earth, another world,
Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain
To that side Heav'n from whence your legions fell :
If that way be your walk, you have not far;
So much the nearer danger; go and speed;
Havoc and spoil and ruin are my gain.

He ceas'd; and Satan stay'd not to reply, 1010
But glad that now his sea should find a shore,
With fresh alacrity and force renew'd
Springs upward like a pyramid of fire
Into the wild expanse, and through the shock
Of fighting elements, on all sides round
Environ'd wins his way; harder besei
And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass’d
Through Bosporus betwixt the justling rocks:
Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunn'd
Charybdis, and by th’ other whirlpool steerd. 1020
So he with difficulty and labour hard
Mov’d on, with difficulty and labour lie;
But he once past, soon after when man fell,
Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain
Following his track, such was the will of Heaven,
Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way

pass to and fro

Over the dark abyss, whose boiling guif
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wond'rous length
From Hell continued reaching th' utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which the Spi'rits perverse
With easy

To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
God and good Angels guard by special grace.
But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and from the walls of Heaven
Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire
As froin her outmost works a broken foe
With tumult less and with less hostile din, 1049
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
Wafts on the calmer wave hy dubious light,
And like a weather-beaten vessel holds
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn;
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weiglis his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off th' empyreal Heav’n, extended wide
In circuit, undetermin'd square or round,
With opal tow'rs and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;

1050 And fast by hanging in a golien chain This pendant world, in bigness as a star Of smallest magnitude close by the moon. Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge, Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour he hies.



THE ARGUMENT. God sitting on his throne sees Satan flying towards this world, then Hewly created ; shews him to the Son who sat at his right hand; foretels the success of Satan in perverting mankind; clears his own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having created Man frec and able enough to have withstood bis tempter ; yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God renders praises to his Father for the manifesfation of his gracious purpose towards Man; but Gud again deciares, that Grace cannot be extended towards Man without the satisfacuon of divine justice; Man hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and therefore with all his progeny devoted to death must die, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, a'id undergo lis punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransoni for Man: the Father accepts him,ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all nanies in Heaven and Earth ; commands all the Angeis to adore liim; they obey, and hytining to their harps in full quire, celebrate the Father

Mean while Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outer post orb where wandering he first finds a place, since called the Limbo of Vanity ; what persons and things fly up thither ; thence comes to the gate of Heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above the armament that flow about it: His passage thence to the orb of the sun; he finds there Uriel the regent of that orb, but first changes him. self into the shape of a meaner Angel; and pretending a zealous desire to behold the new creation, and Man whom God liad placed here, enquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights first on mount

and the Son.

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HAIL holy Light, offspring of Heav'n first-born,
Or of th' Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee' unblam’d? Since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright eMuence of bright essence increate,

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