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With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way, ,
the nearest coast of darkness lies,
purpose to explore or to disturb
949 With head] See Sidon. Apollinar. c. ii. 171. Antholog. Lat. ed. Burm. vol. 1, p. 403. Ep. cciii. for this manner of speech:
Pastor, Arator, Eques, pavi, colui, superavi,
Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek
th’ ethereal King
your behoof, if I that region lost,
Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,
Now lately heaven and earth, another world,
be your walk, you have not far; So much the nearer danger: go and speed; Havock, and spoil, and ruin are my gain.
He ceas’d; and Satan stay'd not to reply, But glad that now his sea should find a shore, With fresh alacrity and force renew'd Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, Into the wild expanse, and through the shock Of fighting elements, on all sides round Environ'd, wins his way; harder beset And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd Through Bosporus betwixt the justling rocks : Or when Ulysses on the larboard shund Charybdis, and by th’ other whirlpool steerd. So he with difficulty and labour hard Mov'd on, with difficulty and labour he; But he once past, soon after when man fell, Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain Following his track, such was the will of Heaven, Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf Tamely endur'd a bridge of wond'rous length, From hell continu'd, reaching th' utmost orb of this frail world; by which the spirits perverse
2013 a pyramid of fire] Drayton in his David and Goliah, 1630.
“He look't like to a piramid on fire.' Todd.
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 iy 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.