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Of beaming sunny rays, a golden tiar
Circld his head, nor less his locks behind
Illustrious on his shoulders fledge with wings
Lay waving round; on some great charge employ'd
He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep.
Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope
To find who might direct his wand'ring flight
To paradise the happy seat of man,

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His journey's end, and our beginning woe.
But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Which else might work him danger or delay: 636
And now a stripling cherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Youth smild celestial, and to every

limb Suitable grace 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

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many a colour'd] · Versicoloribus alis.'

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

'In arbito succinto era Marfisa.' Todd.

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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,
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, 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 seat hath none, But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell ; 670 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 driv'n out his rebel foes To deepest hell, and to repair that loss

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

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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:
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 700 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 saw, when at his word the formless mass,

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This world's material mould, came to a heap:
Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar
Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin’d;
Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
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 turn’d to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move ;
Each had his place appointed, each his course, 720
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
So call that opposite fair star, her aid [moon,
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

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710 heard] 'Jussa Dei exsequitur Tellus.

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

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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.

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