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His journey's end and our beginning woe.
limb Suitable grace diffus’d, so well he feign’d: Under a coronet his flowing hair
640 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
So spake the false Dissembler unperceiv'd;
690 The sharpest sighted spi'rit of all in Hear'n;
Whọ to the fraudulent impostor foul
Fair angel, thy desire which tends to know
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 Still 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 toward 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.
The 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 outward prospect and situation is described,overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of Life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve ; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of Knowledge 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 mount. 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 ber ip a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, tó Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hindered by a sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise.
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,