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With easy intercourse pass to and fro
1052 This pendent world] Verbatim from Shakespeare's Meas. for Meas. act. iii. scene i. 1054 mischievous]
• Thither full fraught, with hope of wished success.' Bentl. MS..
God sitting on his throne sees Satan flying towards this world, then newly created; shows 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 accepts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all names in heaven and earth ; commands all the Angels to adore him; they obey, and, hymning to their harps in full choir, celebrate the Father and the Son. Mean while 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 hath placed here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights first on mount Niphates.
Hail holy light! offspring of heav'n first-born; Or of th' eternal co-eternal 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,
of Chaos and eternal Night,
3 God is light] See Wakef. Lucret. 1, p. 320. “Per emphasin Deus sæpissime Sol audit. Ov. Met. xv. 192.
* Ipse Dei clypeus, terrà cum tollitur imà,
Mane rubetadeas notata nobis ad Virg. Georg. i. 6.'
8 fountain) see Lucret. 5. 282, - largus item liquidi fons luminis.'
17 other notes) See Bembo Sonnetti, p. 26, con altre voce.' Dante Il Parad. c. xxv. 7, Con altra voce omai, con altra vello Ritornero Poeta.'
And feel thy sov'reign vital lamp; but thou
25 quench'd] drench'd. Bentl. MS.
25 orbs] Val. Flacc. iv. 235. Sanguineosque rotat orbes.' See Burman's Note.
30 flowery brooks) flowing, silver, crystal, purling. Bentl. MS. 35 Thamyris] Stat. Theb. iv. 183.
• Mutos Thamyris damnatus in annos.' VOL. ).
Surrounds me, from the cheerful
from the cheerful ways of men Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair Presented with a universal blank Of nature's works to me expung'd and ras'd, And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. So much the rather thou celestial light Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight.
Now had the Almighty Father from above, From the pure empyrean where he sits High thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye, His own works and their works at once to view. About him all the sanctities of heaven Stood thick as stars, and from his sight receiv'd Beatitude past utterance; on his right The radiant image of his glory sat, His only Son : on earth he first beheld Our two first parents, yet the only two Of mankind, in the happy garden plac'd, Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love, Uninterrupted joy, unrival'd love, In blissful solitude: he then survey'd Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there Coasting the wall of heav'n on this side night In the dun air sublime, and ready now
49 Of ] Pearce proposes to read · All nature's works,' and Newton agrees with him, putting a stop after blank,' but I do not understand the force of their objection to the established text.