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Youth smild celestial, and to every limb


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 nigh unheard; the angel bright, E’er he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn’d, Admonish'd by his ear, and straight 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 That run through all the heavens, 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 spirits that stand In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, 655 The first art wont his great authentic 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 wondrous works, but chiefly man,



many a colour'd] · Versicoloribus alis.'

Virgilii Catalecta, vi. 9. 643 succinct] Orl. Fur. c. xvii. st. 52.

• In abito succinto era Marfisa.' Todd. VOL. I.





His chief delight and favour, him for whom
All these his works so wondrous he ordain'd,
Hath brought me from the choirs of cherubim
Alone thus wand'ring. Brightest seraph, tell
In which of all these shining orbs hath man
His fixed seat, or fixed scat 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 are 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:
And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems; which now for once beguild
Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held
The sharpest sighted spirit of all in heaven :



678 that] Tickell reads, “ their loss,' and is followed by Fenton and Bentley. Todd.



Who to the fraudulent imposter foul
In his uprightness answer thus return’d.

Fair angel, thy desire which tends to know
The works of God, thereby to glorify
The great Work-master, leads to no excess
That reaches blame, but rather merits praise
The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
From thy empyreal mansion thus alone,
To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps
Contented with report hear only in heaven:
For wonderful indeed are all his works,
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
Had in remembrance always with delight:
But what created mind can comprehend
Their number, or the wisdom infinite
That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep?
I when at his word the formless mass,
This world's material mould, came to a lieap:
Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar
Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confin’d;
Till at his second bidding darkness sled,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung.
Swift to their several quarters hasted then
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire,
And this ethereal quintessence of heaven
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That rollid orbicular, and turned to stars





710 heard] ‘Jussa Dei exsequitur Tellus.'

A. Ramsæi, P. Sacr. ed. Lauder, i. p. 4. 716 this] “the’ in Fenton's and Bentley's ed. Newton.




Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
Each had his place appointed, each his course ;
The rest in circuit walls this universe.
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
Night would invade, but there the neighbouring 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
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:
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires. 735

Thus said, he turn’d, and Satan bowing low,
As to superior spirits is wont in heaven,
Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
Took leave, and toward the coast of earth beneath,
Down from th’ ecliptic, sped with hop'd success, 740
Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel,
Nor stay'd, till on Niphates' top he lights.




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 himself, 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 the 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 awhile to know further of their state by some other means. Mean while Uriel descending on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charg 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 afterwards by his 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 nightwatch 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 her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hindered by a sign from heaven flies out of paradise.

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