תמונות בעמוד

His journey's end and our beginning woe.
But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Which else might work him danger or delay : 635
And now a stripling cherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Youth smil'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 color'd plume sprinkled with gold,
His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
Before his decent steps a silver wand.
He drew not nigh unheard ; the angel bright, 645
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn’d,
Admonish'd by his ear, and strait was known
Th’arch-angel Uriel, one of the seven
Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,
Stand ready at command, and are his eyes 650
That run through all the Heaven'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 seven spi'rits that stand In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, The first art wont his great authentic will 656 Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring, Where all his sons thy embassy attend ; And here art likeliest by supreme decree Like honor to obtain, and as his eye

660 To visit oft this new creation round;

Unspeakable desire to see, and know
All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man, ,
His chief delight and favor, him for whom
All these his works so wondrous he ordain'd, 665
Hath brought me from the quires of cherubim
Alone thus wandring. Brightest seraph, tell
In which of all these shining orbs hath Man
His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
But all these 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 Créator hath bestow'd
Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces pour'd;
That both in him and all things, as is meet,

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 Dissembler unperceiv’d;
For neither man nor angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only' evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,

By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth:
And oft though Wisdom wake, Suspicion sleeps,
At Wisdom's gate, and to Simplicity
Resigns her charge, while Goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems : which now for once beguilid
Uriel, though regent of the Sun, and held 690
The sharpest sighted spi'rit of all in Heav'n;

Who to the fraudulent impostor foul
In his uprightness answer thus return'd.

Fair angel, thy desire 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 perhaps 700
Contented with report hear only' in Heav'n:
For wonderful indeed are all his 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,
This world's material mould, came to a heap:
Confusion heard his voice, and wild Uproar 710
Stood rul'd, stood vast Infinitude confin'd;
Till at his second bidding Darkness fled,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung:
Swift to their several quarters hasted then
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; 715
And this ethereal quintessence of Heav'n
Flew upward, spirited with various forms
That rollid orbicular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
Each had his place appointed, each his course;
The rest in circuit walls this universe. 721

Look downward on that globe, whose hither side With light from hence, though but reflected,

shines; That place is Earth the seat of Man, that light His day, which else as th' other hemisphere 725 Night would invade ; but there the neighb'ring

Moon (So call that opposite fair star) her aid Timely' interposes, and her monthly round Sull ending, still renewing, through mid Heav'n, With borrow'd light her countenance triform 730 Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth, And in her pale dominion checks the night. That spot to which I point is Paradise, Adam's abode, those lofty shades his bower. 734 Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires.

Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan bowing low, As to superior spi'rits is wont in Heav'n, Where honor due and reverence none neglects, Took leave, and tow’ard the coast of Earth beneath, Down from th' ecliptic, sped with hop'd success, Throws his steep flight in many an aëry wheel, Nor stay'd, till on Niphates' top he lights. 712

The End of the Third Book.



Che Argument. Satan now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he

must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with him. self, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair : but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose oute ward prospect and situation is describeu,overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a cormorant on the iree of Life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; Satan's tirst sight of Adam and Eve ; his wonder at their excel. lent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knuwledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them a while, to know further of their state by some other means. Mean while Uriel descending on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the Deep, and passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good angel' down to Paradise, discovered after by bis furious gestures in the inount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning: Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest: their bower described; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, lest the evil Spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriei; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hindered by a sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise. 0

FOR that warning voice, which he who saw
Th’ Apocalyps heard cry in Heav'n aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,


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