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Which to his

eye

discovers unaware The goodly prospect of some foreign land First seen, or some renown'd metropolis With glistering spires and pinnacles adorn’d, Which now the rising sun gilds with his beams : Such wonder seis'd, though after Heaven seen, The Spirit malign, but much more envy seis'd, At sight of all this world beheld so fair. Round he surveys (and well might, where he stood So high above the circling canopy Of night's extended shade,) from eastern point Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears Andromeda far off Atlantick seas Beyond the horizon; then from pole to pole He views in breadth, and without longer pause Down right into the world's first region throws His flight precipitant, and winds with ease Through the pure marble air his oblique way Amongst innumerable stars, that shone Stars distant, but nigh hand seem'd other worlds; Or other worlds they seem'd, or happy isles, Like those Hesperian gardens fam’d of old Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales, Thrice happy isles; but who dwelt happy there He staid not to enquire : Above them all The golden sun, in splendour likest Heaven, Allur'd his

eye ; thither his course he bends Through the calm firmament, (but up or down,

VOL II.

H

By center, or eccentrick, hard to tell,
Or longitude,) where the great luminary
Aloof the vulgar constellations thick,
That from his lordly eye keep distance due,
Dispenses light from far; they, as they move
Theit starry dance in numbers that compute
Days, months and years, towards his all-cheering lamp
Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd
By his magnetick beam, that gently warms
The universe, and to each inward part
With gentle penetration, though unseen,
Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep;
So wonderously was set his station bright.
There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps
Astronomer in the sun's lucent orb
Through his glaz’d optick tube yet never saw.
The place he found beyond expression bright,
Compar'd with 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 ;
If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite,
Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone
In Aaron's breast-plate, and a stone besides
Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere seen,
That stone, or like to that which here below
Philosophers in vain so long have sought,
In vain, though by their powerful art they bind

Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound
In various shapes old Proteus from the sea,
Drain'd through a limbeck to his native form.
What wonder then if fields and regions here
Breathe forth Elixir pure, and rivers run
Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch
The arch-chemick sun, so far from us remote,
Produces, with terrestial humour mix'd,
Here in the dark so many precious things
Of colour glorious, and effect so rare ?
Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
Undazzled; far and wide his eye commands; ;
For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
But all sun-shine, as when his beams at noon
Culminate from the equator, as they now
Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
Shadow from body opaque can fall; and the air,
No where so clear, sharpen’d his visual ray
To objects distant far, whereby he soon
Saw within ken 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 sunny rays a golden tiar
Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Illustrious on his shoulders fledge with wings
Lay waving round; on some great charge employ'd
He seem's, or fix'd in cogitation deep.
Glad was the Spirit impure, as now in hope

To find who might direct his wandering flight
To Paradise, the happy seat of Man,
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 :
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 colour'd plume, sprinkled with gold;
His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
Before his decent steps a silver wand.
He drew not high unheard; the Angel bright,
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn’d,
Admonish'd by his car, and straight was known
The Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the seven
Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,
Stand ready at command, and are his eyes
That run through all the Heavens, or down to the Earth
Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
O’er sea and land : him Satan thus accosts.

Uriel, for thou of those seven Spirits that stand In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, The first art wont his great authentick will Interpreter through highest heaven to bring, Where all his sons thy embassy attend;

And here art likeliest by supreme decree
Like honour to obtain, and as his eye
To visit oft this new creation round

;
Unspeakable desire to see, and know
All these his wonderous works, but chiefly Man,
His chief delight and favour, him for whom
All these his works so wonderous he ordain'd,
Hath brought me from the quires of Cherubim
Alone thus wandering. 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 ;
That I may find him, and with secret gaze
Or open admiration him behold,
On whom the great Creator 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 driven out his rebel foes
To deepest Hell, and, to repair that loss,
Created this new happy race of Men
To serve him better : Wise all his ways.

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 Heaven and Earth :

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