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Orin Franciscan think to pass disguis'd ;

480 They pass the Planets seven, and pass the fixt, And that Chrystalline Sphere whose ballance weighs The Trepidation talkt, and that first-mov’d: And now Saint Peter at Heav'ns Wicket seems To wait them with his Keys, and now at foot 485 Of Heav'ns ascent they lift their Feet, when loc A violent cross wind from either Coast Blows them transverse ten thousand Leagues awry Into the devious Air ; then might ye see Cowles, Hoods and Habits, with their wearers cost And Autter'dinto Rags, then Reliques, Beads,

491 Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls, The sport of winds: All thele upwhirl'd aloft Fly o’er the backside of the World far off Into a Limbo large and broad, since calls

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 gleame Of dawning light turn'd thither-ward in hafte

sog His travellid steps. Far diftant he descries 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

305 With Frontispiece of Diamond and Gold Imbellisht : thick with sparkling orient Gems The Portal hone, inimitable on Earth By Model, or by shading Pencil drawn. The Stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw

510 Angels ascending and descending, bands Of Guardians bright, when he from Esau fied To Pandan-Aram in the field of Luz, Dreaming by night under the open Sky, And waking cry'd, This is the Gate of Heav'n: 515 Each Stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood

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There always, but drawn up to Heav'n sometimes
Viewless, and underneath a bright Sea flow'd
Of Jasper, or of liquid Pearl, whercon
Who after came from Earth, fayling arriv’d, 320
Wafted by Angels, or fewo'er the Lake
Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds.
The Stairs were then let down, whether to dare
The Fiend by easie ascent, or aggravate
His fad exclufion from the doors of Bliss.

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Direct against which open'd from beneath,
Just o'er the blissful seat of Paradise,
A paffage down to th' Earth, a passage wide;
Wider by far than that of after-times
Over Mount Sion, and, (though that were large, ) 530
Over the Promis'd Land to God so dear,
By which, to visit oft those happy Tribés,
On high behests his Angels to and fro
Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard,
From Pancas the Fount of Jordan's floud

535 To Beersaba, where the Holy Land Borders on Ægypt and the Arabian shore; So wide the opening seem'd, were bounds were set To darkness, such as bound the Ocean wave, Satan from hence, now on the lower ftair

$40 That scaled by steps of Gold to Heav'n Gate Looks down with wonder at the sudden view Of all this World at once. As when a Scout Through dark and desart ways with peril gone All night ; at last by break of chearful dawne

545 Obtains the brow of fome high-clipbing Hill, Which to his Eyediscovers unaware The goodly prospećt of some foreign Land First seen, or some renown'd Metropolis, With glistering Spires and Pinnacles adorn'd

550 Which now the rising Sun gilds with his Beams. Such wonder feiz'd, though after Heaven seen, The Spirit maligne, but much more Envy seiz'd

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Through the pure marble Air his oblique way.

Atlight of all this world beheld so fair,
Round he surveys, and well might, where he stood
So high above the circling Canopie
Of Night's extended shade; from Eastern Point
Of Libra to the fleecie 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 firft Region throws
His flight precipitant, and wind's with ease

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Amongst innumerable Stars, that shone sós
Stars diftant, but nigh hand seem'd other Worlds;
Orother Worlds they seem'd, or happy Illes,
Like those Hesperian Gardens, fam'd of old,
Fortunate Fields, and Groves, and floury Vales,
Thrice happy illes, but who dwelt happy. there $70
Heftay'd not to enquire: Above them all
The golden Sun in fplendor likest Heav?n
Allur'd his eye: Thither his course he bends
Through the calm, Firmament; but up or down,
By center, or eccentric, hard to tell,

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Or Longitude, where the great Luminary,
Aloofthe vulgar Constellations thick,
That from his Lordly eye keep distance due,
Dispenfes light from far; they as they move
Their starry Dance in numbers that compute
Days, months and years, towards his all-chearing Lamp
Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd
By his Magnetic beams that gently warms
The Universe, and to each inward part
With gentle penetration, though unseen,

$85 Shoots invisible vittue even to the Deep; So wond'rously was fet his Štation bright. There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps Astronomer in the Sun's lucent Orb Through his glaz'd Optick Tube yet dever saw.

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The place he found beyond expression bright,
Compar’dwith aught 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 silver clear; 595
If Stone, Carbuncle most or Chrysolite,
Rubie or Topaz, to the Twelve that shone
In Aaron's Brest-plate, and a stone besides
Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere seen;
That stone, or like to that which here below

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Philosophers in vain so long have sought,
In vain, though by their powerful Art they bind
Volatil Hermes, and call up unbound
In various shapes old Proteus from the Sea,
Drain'd through a Limbec 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’Arch-chimic Sun, so far from us remote, Produces with Terrestrial Humour mixt

610 Here in the dark so many precious things, Of colour glorious and effect so rare ! Here matter new to gaze the Devil met Undazled, far and wide his eye commands, For light no obstacle found here, nor shade, But all Sun-shine, 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 the Air, No where so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray

620 To objects distant far; whereby he soon Saw within kenn a glorious Angel stand, The same whom John saw also in the Sun. His back was turn'd, but not his brightness hid; Of beaming sunnie Raies, a golden Tiar Circled his Head, nor less his Locks behind Illustrious on his Shoulders Aledge with wings

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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

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To find who might direct hís wand'ring Aight
To Paradise, the happy Séat of Man,
His journies end and our beginning woe.
But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Which else might work him
danger or-delay :

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And now a stripling Cherube he appears,
Not of the Prime, yer such as in his face
Youth smil'd Celestial, and to every Limb 5,?
Surable grace diffusd; so well he feign'a.
Under a Coronet his flowing hair

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In curles on either cheek plaid: wings he wore
Of many a colour'd plume sprinkl'd with Gold:
His Habit fit for speed fuccinct : and held
Before his decent fteps a Silver wand.
He drew not nigh unheard; the Angel bright, 645
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant vifage turn'd,
Admonisht by his ear, and strait was known
Th’Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the sev'n
Who in God's presence, near'st to his Throne,
Stand ready to command, and are his Eyes 650
That run thro' all the Heav'ns, or down to th' Earth
Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
O'er Sea and Land: him Satan thus accosts.

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Vriel, for thou of those sev’n Spirits that ftand
In light of God's high Throne, gloriously bright,
The firft are wont his great authentic will
Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring,
Where all his Sonsthy Embassie attend ;
And here art likeliest by supream decree
Like honour to obtain, and as his Eye
To visit oft this new Creation round:
Unspeakable desire to fee, and know
Allthese his wondrous works, but chiefly Man,

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