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Made head against heav'n's King, though overthrown
I saw and heard, for such a num'rous host
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded: and heav'n's gates
Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands
Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here
Keep residence, if all I can will serve
That little which is left so to defend,
Encroach'd on still through your intestine broils
Weak’ning the sceptre of old Night: first hell
Your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath ; -
Now lately heav'n and earth another world,
Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain
To that side heav'n from whence your legions fell .
If that way be your walk, you have not far ;
So much the nearer danger; go and speed;
Havoc 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, that when Argo pass'd
Through Bosporus betwixt the justling rocks :
Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunnid
Charybdis, and by th’ other whirlpool steer'd.
So he with difficulty and labour hard
Moved 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 heav'n;
Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way
Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wondrous length
From hell continu'd reaching th' utmost orb
of this frail world ; by which the spirits perverse
With easy intercourse pass to and fro.
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
God and good angels guard by special grace.
But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and from the walls of heav'n
Shoots far into the bosom of dim night
A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire
As from her outmost works a broken foe
With tumult less, and with less hostile din,
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
And like a weather-beaten vessel holds
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn :
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off th' empyreal heav'n, extended wide
In circuit, undetermin'd square or round,
With opal tow'rs and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
And fast by, hanging in a golden chain
This pendent world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude close by the moon.
Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour he hies.
THE END OF THE SECOND BOOK.
God sitting on his thronc sees Satan flying towards this world, then
newly created; shows hiin 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 with stood his templer; 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 Sun 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. Meanwhile 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 or sun; he finds there Uriel, the regent of that orb, but first chan. ges himself into the shape of a meaner Angel ; and pretending a zealous desire 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.
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,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? before the sun, .
Before the heav'ns thou wert, and at the voice
Of 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,
Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness borne
With other notes than to th’Orphean lyre
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night,
Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to re-ascend,
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;
So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more