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Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear ; 380
Yet dazzle heaven, that brightest seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.
Thee next they sang of all creation first,
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud
Made visible, the Almighty Father shines,
Whom else no creature can behold : on thee
Impress’d th' effulgence of his glory abides ;
Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He heaven of heavens and all the powers therein 390
By thee created, and by thee threw down
Th' aspiring dominations. Thou that day
Thy father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy flaming chariot wheels, that shook
Heav'n's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 396
Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy powers with loud acclaim
Thee only extolld, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes :
Not so on man; him thro' their malice fall'n,
Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom



380 Dark]

• Caligine e lassù d'ombre lucenti
In cui s' involve Re ch' il ciel governa;
Quivi iddio pose en fulgide tenebre
E’n profondo silenzio, alte latebre.'

Tasso Gier. Lib. See Black's Life, ii. 489. 894 shook] v. Fairfax's Tasso, ii. 91.

· Againe to shake Heav'n's everlasting frame.' Todd.



So strictly; but much more to pity incline.
No sooner did thy dear and only Son
Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail man
So strictly, but much more to pity inclin’d,
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,
Love 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,
Mean while upon the firm opacous globe
Of this round world, whose first convex divides
The luminous inferior orbs, inclos'd
From Chaos and th' 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 expos’d, and ever-threat’ning storms
Of Chaos blustring round, inclement sky;
Save on that side which from the wall of heaven




406 He] Than' or 'but' is understood before 'He,' to complete the sense. Newton. 412 Hail] Virg. Æn. viii. 301.

Salve, vera Jovis proles, decus addite divis.' Newton.

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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. 430
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
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

Of all things transitory and vain, when sin
With vanity had filld 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 th’ 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 th' unaccomplish'd works of nature's hand, 455


450 460

488 Chineses) See Hudibras, iii. 1. 707.

* For though Chineses go to bed.

Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd,
Dissolv'd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
Till final dissolution, wander here,
Not in the neighb’ring moon, as some have dream'd;
Those argent fields more likely habitants,
Translated saints, or middle spirits hold
Betwixt th' 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
Plato's Elysium leap'd into the sea,
Cleombrotus, and many more too long,


459 moon] He means Ariosto Or. Fur. c. xxxiv. st. 70.

Newton. 478 too long] Bentley thinks that a line is here omitted; and Dr. Pearce agrees with him: but it does not appear to me necessary. I would read the verse

Cleombrotus, and many more (too long:) still I think the passage would read better thus transposed:

• Cleombrotus and many more, too long.'
Here Pilgrims roam that stray'd so far to seek

Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis’d:
Embryos, and idiots, eremites and friars,
White, black, and grey, with all their trumpery.'



Embryoes and idiots, eremits and friars,
White, black, and grey, with all their trumpery. 475
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 disguis'd
They pass the planets seven, and pass the fix'd,
And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs
The trepidation talk'd, and that first mov'd :
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 tost 490
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 calld
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



475 White] Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans. So Ariosto Orl. Fur. xiv. 68. "Frati, bianchi, neri, e bigi.' Ad. xliii. st. 175. Todd.

498 sport] Virg. Æn. vi. 75. Ludibria ventis.' Hume.

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