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Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook
Heaven's everlasting frame; while o'er the necks
Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy powers with loud acclaim
Thee only extollid, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes;
Not so on man; him, through their malice fallen,
Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom
So strictly; but much more to pity incline:
No sooner did thy dear and only Son
Perceive thee purposed not to doom frail man
So strictly, but much more to pity inclined,
He, to appease thy wrath, and end the strife
Of mercy and justice in thy face discern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat
Second to thee, offer'd himself to die
For man's offence. O unexampled love,
Lore no where to be found, less than Divine!
Hail, Son of God! Saviour of men! Thy name
Shall be the copious matter of my song
Henceforth; and never shall my harp thy praise
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.

Thus they in heaven, above the starry sphere,
Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent.
Meanwhile upon the firm opacous globe
Of this round world, whose first convex divides
The luminous inferior orbs, inclosed
From Chaos and the inroad of Darkness old;
Satan alighted walks: a globe far off
It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent,
Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of night
Starless, exposed, and ever-threatening storms
Of Chaos blustering round, inclement sky;
Save on that side, which from the wall of heaven,
Though distant far, some small reflection gains
Of glimmering air, less vex'd with tempest loud:
Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field.
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,

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106. Supply than or but before He calls it,) is very fitly compared to a vul

422. A globe far off. “Satan's walk ture flying, in quest of his prey, (tender upon the outside of the universe, which lambs or kids new-yeaned.) from the bar at a distance appeared to him of a globo ren roeks to the more fruitful hills and lar form. but upon his nearer approach streams of India, but lighting, in his looked like an unbounded plain, is natu-way, on the plains of Sericana, which ral and noble." --ADDISON.

were in a manner a sca of land, too, the 431. As when a rulture, &c. “This country being so smooth and open that simile is very apposite and lively, and carriages were driven as travellers recorresponds exactly in all the particulars. port) with sails and wind."--NEWTON. Satan coming from Hell to Earth, in The ridge of mountains known by the order to destroy mankind, but lighting ancients under the name of Imaus, cor. first on the bare convex of this world's responds to the Himalaya range, in the outermost orb, (a sea of land, as the poet region of Thibet.

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Dislodging from a region scarce of prey
To gorge the flesh of lambs or yeanling kids
On hills where flocks are fed, flies toward the springs
Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams;
But in his way lights on the barren plains
Of Sericana, where Chineses drive
With sails and wind their cany waggons light:
So on this windy sea of land the fiend
Walk'd up and down alone, bent on his prey;
Alone, for other creature in this place,
Living or lifeless, to be found was none;
None yet, but store hereafter from the earth
Up hither like aërial vapours flew
Of all things transitory and vain, when sin
With vanity had fill'd the works of men:
Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting fame,
Or happiness in this or the other life;
All who have their reward on earth, the fruits
Of painful superstition and blind zeal,
Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find
Fit retribution, empty as their deeds:
All the unaccomplish'd works of nature's hand,
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix’d,
Dissolved on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
Till final dissolution, wander here:
Not in the neighbouring moon, as some have dream'd;
Those argent fields more likely habitants,
Translated saints, or middle spirits hold
Betwixt the angelical and human kind:
Hither of ill-join'd sons and daughters born
First from the ancient world those giants came
With many a vain exploit, though then renown'd:
The builders next of Babel on the plain
Of Sennaar, and still with vain design
New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build:
Others came single; he, who to be deem'd
A god, leap'd fondly into Ætna flames,
Empedocles; and he who, to enjoy

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438. Sericana. Sericana, Serica, or the 1 463. In-join'd sons. Ile here alludes to country of the Seres, is mentioned by the Gen. vi. 4, where, by the “sons of God," eininent English geographer, Mr. Muris in ant the posterity of Seth, who, ray, to be identical with modern China; called thus as worshippers of the true while the French geographer, Malte- God, intermarried with the idolatrous Brun, considers it as including merely | posterity of wicked Cain. the western parts of Thibet, Serinagur, 167. Snaar, that is, Shinar, Cushmere, Little Thibet, and perhaps a 471. Empedocles, a poet and philoso small portion of Little Buckharia.

pher of Sicily. Cleombrotus, a youth of 459. Neighbouring moon. Pope has this Ambracia in Epirus, who, after realing iden in his "Rape of the Lock:" speaking Plato on the immortality of the soul, of the whereabouts of Lady Arabella Fermour's renowned lock of hair, he says of the happiness of the good in another Some thought it mounted to the lunar sphere. I life, that he jumped into the sea to enjoy Since all things lost on earth are treasured it at once. there.

Canto V. line 113.

Neighbouring mont, speaking Plato on the rural with his description

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Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the sea,
Cleombrotus, and many more too long,
Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars,
White, black, and gray, with all their trumpery.
Here pilgrims roam, that stray'd so far to seek
In Golgotha him dead, who lives in heaven;
And they, who to be sure of Paradise,
Dying put on the weeds of Dominic,
Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised;
They pass the planets seven, and pass the fix'd,
And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs
The trepidation talk'd, and that first moved:
And now Saint Peter at heaven's wicket seems
To wait them with his keys, and now at foot
Of heaven's ascent they lift their feet, when, lo!
A violent cross wind from either coast
Blows them transverse ten thousand leagues awry
Into the devious air: then might ye see
Cowls, hoods, and habits with their wearers toss'd
And flutter'd into rags; then reliques, beads,
Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
The sport of winds: all these, upwhirld aloft,
Fly o'er the backside of the world far off,
Into a limbo large and broad, since call'd
The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
Long after, now unpeopled, and untrod.
All this dark globe the fiend found as he pass'd;
And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam
Of dawning light turn'd thitherward in haste
His travellid steps: far distant he descries,
Ascending by degrees magnificent
Up to the wall of heaven, a structure high;
At top whereof, but far more rich, appear'd
The work as of a kingly palace gate,
With frontispiece of diamond and gold
Imbellish'd; thick with sparkling orient gems
The portal shone, inimitable on earth
By model or by shading pencil drawn.
The stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw
Angels ascending and descending, bands
Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled
To Padan-Aram in the field of Luz,
Dreaming by night under the open sky,
And waking cried, “This is the gate of heaven.
Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood

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478. It was thought that to be clothed a sort of baking. (the trepidation so much in a friar's babit at death was a sure road talked of,) to account for the irregularities to beaven.-451. Referring to the Ptole in the motion of the stars, and, beyond maic system. They pass the planets seren, this, that first moved, (the "rrimum moour solar system, and, beyond this, pass bile,") as well as first mover, communicatthe fized, or the fixed stars, and, beyonding its motion to the lower spheres. Be this, that crystalline sphere, the heaven yond this was the empyrean heavens, the clear as crystal, to which was attributed seat of God and the angels. See viii. 131. ness and brightness. So Shakspeare, | * Now by yon marble heaven."

There always, but drawn up to heaven sometimes
Viewless; and underneath a bright sea flow'd
Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon
Who after came from earth, sailing arrived,
Wafted by angels; or flew o'er the lake,
Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.
The stairs were then let down; whether to dare

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His sad exclusion from the doors of bliss :
Direct against which open'd from beneath,
Just o'er the blissful seat of Paradise,
A passage down to the earth, a passage wide;
Wider by far than that of after-times
Over Mount Sion, and, though that were large,
Over the promised land to God so dear;
By which, to visit oft those happy tribes,
On high behests his angels to and fro
Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard,
From Paneas, the fount of Jordan's flood,
To Beërsaba, where the Holy Land
Borders on Ægypt and the Arabian shore:
So wide the opening seem'd, where bounds were set
To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave.
Satan from hence, now on the lower stair,
That scaled by steps of gold to heaven gate,
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
Of all this world at once. As when a scout,
Through dark and desert ways with peril gone
All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn
Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill,
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 seized, though after heaven seen,
The spirit malign; but much more envy seized,
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 Atlantic seas
Beyond the horizon: then from pole to pole
He views in breadth; and without longer pause
Downright 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

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635. Puneas, originally called Dan; the 564. Marble air, so ealled from its clear. aorthernmost city of Palestine.

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Stars distant, but nigh hand seem'd other worlds.
Or other worlds they seem'd, or happy isles,
Like those IIesperian gardens, famed of old,
Fortunate fields, and groves and flowery vales,
Thrice happy isles; but who dwelt happy there

He stay'd not to inquire. Above them all,
The golden sun, in splendour likest heaven,
Allured his eye: thither his course he bends
Through the calm firmament: but up or down,
By centre or eccentric, 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
Their 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 magnetic beam, that gently warms
The universe, and to each inward part
With gentle penetration, though unseen,
Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep;
So wondrously was set his station bright.
There lands the fiend; a spot like which perhaps
Astronomer in the sun's lucent orb
Through his glazed optic tube yet never saw.
The place he found beyond expression bright,
Compared 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;

595 If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite, Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone In Aaron's breastplate; and a stone besides Imagined 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 Volatil 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-chemic sun, so far from us remote, Produces, with terrestrial humour mix'd, Here in the dark so many precious things,

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604. " Proteus, after he had turned various matter they work upon through himself into various amazing mutations, all its mutations, till, pursued through all was fabled by the poets to return at last its latest labyrinths, it assume, Proteus. to his proper shape, and to answer truly like, its first shape, and answer their ex. all questions put to him. Therefore Mill pectations: a simile well suitev to their ton tells us, that the chemists drain the ! uncertain search."--HUME.

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