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Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf
Tamely endured a bridge of wondrous. length,
From Hell continu’d, reaching the utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which the Spi'rits perverse 2030
With easy intercourse pass to and fro
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
God and good Angels guard with 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 from her outmost works a broken foè,
With tumult less and with less hostile din; -
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease,
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds
Gladly the port, thongh shrouds and tackle torn; Voul
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,

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Weighs 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 golden chain This pendent world, in higness as a star . Of smallest magnitude close by the moon. Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge, Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour, he bies. :*, 1055

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END OF THE SECOND BOOK.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK II.

ARGUMENT.

God, sitting on his throne, sees Satan flying towards this

world, then newly created; shews him to the Son who sat at his right hand; foretells the success of Satan in perverting mankind; clears his own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having created Man free, and able enough to have withstood his 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 manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man; but God again declares, that Grace cannot be extended towards Man without the 'satisfaction 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, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for Man. The Father ac · cepts him ; ordains his incarnation; pronounces his exaltation above all names in Heaven and Earth ; commands all the Angels to adore him: they obey, and, hymuing to their harps in full quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost 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 firmament 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 himself into the shape of a meaner Angel, and, pretending a zealous desire to behold the new creation, and Man whom God had placed here, enquires of him the place of his habitation, and is dir rected; alights first on mount Niphates.

BOOK III.

HAIL, holy Light, offspring of Heav'n first bom! 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 effluence of bright essence increate. Or hear'st thou rather, pure ethereal stream, Whose fountain who shall tell ? before the sun,' Before 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. 1914 Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing, Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight Through utter and through middle darkness borne, With other notes than to th’Orphéan lyre, I sung of Chảos and eternal Night, il Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down The dark descent, and up to re-ascend, Though hard and rare : thee I revisit safe, And feel thy sov'reign vital lamp; but thou Revisit’st not these eyes, that roll in vain To find thy piercing ray, and find' no dawn;' So thjck, , drop serene hath quench’d their orbs, Or dimbúffusion veil'd. Yet not the more Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt' Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief hann

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