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PARADISE LOST

BOOK III.

f God renders pra iowaris Man: But without the satisfa

lod, sitting on his throno, vees Satan flying towards this world

then newly created; shows him to the Son, who eat at his right band: foretels the success or Satun in pervertinginankind; clears kis own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having creat od Man free, and able enough to have withstood his tempter; wat declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell lot of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God renders praises to his Father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towariis Man: But God again declares,

bat grace cannot be extended towards Man without the satisfaclion of divine justice: Man hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and, therefore, with all his progeny, devoted so death, must die, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for Man: The Father ac. repts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all names in Heaven and Earth; commands all the Angels to adore him: They obey, and hymning to their harpy in full choir, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb; where wandering he first tinds 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 firmament that flow about it: His passage thrnco to the orb of the sun; he finds there Uriel, the regent of that orbe but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner Angel; and, pretending a zealous desire to behold the new creation, and Map whom God had placed here, inquires of him the place of his babi. lation, and is directed : Alights first on mount Niphates

Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beani,
May I express thee urblamed ? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity ; dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate !
Or hear'st thou rather, pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall lell ? Before the sun,
Lefore the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep
'Won from the void and formless infinite.

Chee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaps) the Stygian pool, though long detaiu'd
In that obscure sojourn, while in my fight 15
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
With other notes than to the Orphéan lyre,
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night;
Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
The dark des cent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and rare : thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sov'reign vital lamp ; but thon
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs, 28
Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
Cease 1 to wander where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song ; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath, 30
That wash'd thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flun,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equal'd with me in fate,
So were I equal'd with them in renown!
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mænnides ;
And Tiresias, and Phineus, prophets old :
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers, as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year 40
Seasons return: but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sigut of vernal bloom, or summer's rore,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ;
Blit cloud instead, and everduring dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fai
r'resented with a universal blank
Of natures works, to me expunged and rased,
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut gut.

Sc inuch the rather thou, celestiai Light,
Sline inward, and the mind through all he powers
Irradiate ; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.

Now had the Almighty Father from abovo,
From the pure empyrean where he sits
High throned above all height, bent down his eyo
His own works and thuir works at once to viow:
About hiin all the Sanctities of Heaven
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received
Beatitude past utterance : on his right
The radiant image of his glory sat,
His only Son; on Earth he first beheld
Our twc first parents, yet the only two
Of mankind in the happy garden placed,
Reaping inimortal fruits of joy and love,
Uninterrupted joy, unrival'd love,
In blissful solitude; he then survey'd
Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there
Coasting the wall of Heaven on this side Night
In the dun air sublime, and ready now
T'o stoop with wearied wings and willing feet,
On the bare outside of this world, that seemd
Firm land imbosom’d, without firmament,
Uncertain which, in ocean or in air.
Him God beholding from his prospect high,
Wherein past, present, future he beholds,
Thus to his only Son foreseeing spake :

Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage Transports our Adversary? whom no bounds Prescribed, no bars of Hell, nor all the chains lieap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss, W' le interrupt, can hold ; so bent he seems On desperate revenge, that shall redound Upon his own rebellious head. And now, Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way Sot far off Heaven, in the precincts of light,

Directly towards the new created world,
And man there placed, with purpose to essay 96
If him by force he can destroy, or, worse,
By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
For man will hearken to his glossing lies,
And easily transgress the sole command,
Sole pledge of his obedience : So will fall
He and his faithless progeny : Whose fault?
Whose but his own ? Ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Suficient to have stood, though free to fall.
Such I created all the ethereal Powers

100
And Spirits, both them who stood, and them who fail'd
Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
Not frec, what proof could they have given sincere
Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love,
Where only what they needs must do appear’d, 104
Not what they would? what praise could they receive
What pleasure I from such obedienco paid,
When will and reason (reasorf also is choico)
Useless and vain, of freedom both despoild,
Made passive both, had served necessity,
Not me? They therefore, as to right belong'd,
So were created, nor can justly accuse
Their Maker, or their making, or their fate,
As if predestination overruled.
Their will disposed by absolute decree

115 Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed Their own revolt, not I; if I foreknew, Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, Which had no less proved certain unforeknown. So without least impulse or shadow of fate, 120 Or aught by me immutably foreseen, They trespass, authors to themselves in all Both what they judge and what they choose ; for so I form’d them free; and frce they must remain, 77'l they enthral themselves; I else must change 1945 Their nature, and revoke the nigh decreo

Unchangeavle, eternal, which ordain'd
Their freedom ; they themselves ordain'd their fall.
The first sort by their own suggestion fell,
Self-tempted, self-depraved: Man falls, deceived 130
By the other first : Man therefore shall find grace,
The other none : In mercy and justice both,
Through Heaven and Earth, so shall my glory excel ·
But mercy, first and last, shall brightest shine.

Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fillid 130
All Heaven, and in the blessed Spirits elect
Sense of new joy ineffable diffused.
Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
Most glorious ; in him all his father shone
Substantially express'd, and in his face

140 Divine compassion visibly appear'd, Love without end, and without measure grace ; Which, uttering, thus he to his Father spake :

O Father, gracious was that word which closed 144 Thy sov'reign sentence, that man should find graco; For which both Heaven and Earth shall high extol Thy praises, with the innumerable sound Of hynms and sacred songs, wherewith thy throno Encompass'd shall resound thee ever bless'd. For should Man finally be lost ? should Man, 150 T'hy creature late so loved, thy youngest son, Fall circumvented thuş by fraud, though join'd With his own folly? That be from thee far, That far be from thee, Father, who art judge Of all things made, and judgest only right. Or shall the Adversary thus obtain flis end, and frustrate thine ? shall he fulfil His malice, and thy goodness bring to nought; Or proud return, though to his heavier doom, Yet with revenge accomplish'd, and to Hell 183 Draw after him the whole race of mankind, By him corrupted ? or wilt thou thyself Abolish thy creation, and unmake Por him, what for thy glory thou hast made

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