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Of beaming sunny rays, a golden tiar
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
Virgilii Catalecta, vi. 9. 643 succinct] Orl. Fur. c. xvii. st. 52.
'In arbito succinto era Marfisa.' Todd.
That run through all the heavens, or down to th'earth
Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that stand
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
678 that] Tickell reads their loss,' and is followed by Fenton and Bentley. Todd.
Created this new happy race of men
So spake the false dissembler unperceiv'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,
This world's material mould, came to a heap:
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.
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.