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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK IN.

THE ARGUMENT.

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; foretels 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 temper; yet declares hispurpose 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 hisoffence, 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. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare convex of the world's outermost orb; where wan ering 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 finits there Uriel, the regent of that orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner angel : and, pretending a zealous ilesire to behold the new creation, and man whom God had placed here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed; alights first on Mount Niphates.

PARADISE LOST

BOOK III.

Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born, Or of the eternal co eternal beam, “May I express the unblamed ? sinre God is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee, Bright effluence of bright essence increate! Or heard'st thou rather, pure ethereal stream, Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the sun, Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice Or God as with a mantle, didst invest The rising world of waters dark and deep Won from the void and formless infinite. Thee I revisit now with bolder wing, Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight Through utter and through middle darkness borne, With other notes than to the Orphean lyre, I sung of Chaos and eternal Night; Taught by the heavenly muse to venture down The dark descent, and up to reascend, 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; To thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs, Or dim suffusion 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
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash'd thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equal’d with me in fate,
So were I equal'd with them in renown!
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides;
And Tiresias, and Phincus, prophets old :
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers: as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
Seasons return : but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sigh of vernal bloom, or summer's rose;
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and everduring dark
Surrounds me, 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 expunged and rased,
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 si sht.

Now had the Almighty Father from above,
From the pure empyrean where he sits
High throned above all heighth, bent down his eye
His own works and their works at once to view:
About him all the sanctitiesof Heaven
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received
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 placed,
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 the side night
In the dun air s'ablime, and ready now
To stoop with wearied wings and willing feet,
On the bare outside of this world, that seemed
Firm land imbosom’d, without firmament,
Uncertain which, in ocean or in air.
Him God beboding from his prospect high,
Wherein past, present, future he beholds,
Thus to his only Son forseeing spake :

"Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage
Transports our adversary ? whom no bounds
Prescribed, no bars at Hell, nor all the chains
Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss,
Wide interrupt, can hold; so bent he seems
On desperate revenge, that shall redound
Upon his own rebellious head. And now,
Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way
Not far off Heaven, in the precinct of light.
Directly towards the new created world,
And man there placed, with purpose to

essay
If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
For man will hearken to his glossing lies,
And easily transgress the sole command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall
He and his faithless progeny. Whose fault?
Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall,
Such I created all the ethereal Powers
And Spirits, bot“ them who stood, and them who fail'd;

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