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The goodly prospect of some foreign land
First seen, or some renown'd metropolis
With glistring spires and pinnacles adorn'd,
Which now the rising sun gilds with his beams:
Such wonder seiz'd, though after heaven seen,
The spirit malign, but much more envy seiz'd
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
Androineda far off Atlantic seas,
Beyond th' horizon; then from pole to pole
He views in breadth, and without longer pause
Down right into the world's first region throws
His Night precipitant, and winds with ease
Through the pure marble air his oblique way,
Amongst innumerable stars, that shone
Stars distant, but nigh hand seem'd other worlds;
Or other worlds they seein'd, or happy isles,
Like those Hesperian gardens fam'd of old,
Fortunate fields, and groves, and flow'ry vales,
'Thrice happy isles, but who dwelt happy there
He stay'd not to enquire: above them all
The golden sun, in splendour likest heav'n,
Allur'd his cye; thither his course he bends
Through the calın firinament, (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, tow'rds his all-cheeringlamp
Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd
By his magnetic beam, that gently warins
The universe, and to each inward part
With gentie penetration, though unseen,
Shoots invisible virtue ev'n to the deep;

So wondrously was set his station bright.
There lands the fiend, a spot like which perhaps
Astronomer in the sun's Jucent orb
Through his glaz'd optic tube yet never saw.
The place he found beyond expression bright,
Compar'd with ought on earth, metal or stone;
Not all parts like, but all alike inforin'd
With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire;
If metal, part seem'd gold, part silver clear;
If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite,
Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone
In Aaron's breast-plate, and a stone besides
Imagin'd 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
Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound
In various shapes old Proteus from the sea
Drain'd through a limbec 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
Th' arch-chemic sun, so far from us remote,
Produces, with terrestrial humour mix'd,
Here in the dark so many precious things
Of colour glorious, and effect so rare?
Here matter new to gaze the devil met
Undazzled; far and wide his eye commands;
For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
But all sun shine, as when his beams at noon
Culminate from thequator, as they now
Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
Shadow from body opaque can fall; and th' air
No where so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray
To objects distanit far, whereby he soon
Saw within ken a glorious angel stand,
The same whom John saw also in the sun:
His back was turn'd, but not his brightness hid:
Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar

Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Illustrious on his shoulders fledge with wings
Lay waving round; on some great charge employ'd
He seemd, 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,
Ilis journey's end, and our beginning woe.
But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Which else might work himn danger or delay:
And now a stripling Cherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Youth smil'd 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 pluie, 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,
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd,
Admonish'd by his ear, and strait was known
Th’ archangel Uriel, one of the seven
Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,
Stand ready at command, and are his eyes
That run through all the heav'ns, 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 sev'n spirits that stand
In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright,
The first art wont his great authentic will
Interpreter through highest heav'n 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 many
His chief delight and favour, him for whom

All these his works so wondrous he ordain'd, .
Hath brought me from the quires 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;
That I may find him, and with secret gaze,
Or open adiniration, him behold,
On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd
Worlds, and on who hath all these graces pour'd;
That both in him and all things, as is mcet,
The universal Maker we may praise;
Who justly hath driv'n out his rebel foes
To decpest hell, and to repair that loss,
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 mor angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to Gud alone
By his permissive will, through heav'n and earth :
And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, wliile goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems: which now for once beguild
Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held
The sbarpest-sighied spirit of all in heav'n;
Who to the fraudulent impostor 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 imperial mansion thus alone,
To witness with thine eyes what soine perhaps,
Contented with report, hear only in heav'n:
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 :
Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar
Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
Till at his second bidding darkness Aed,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung:
Swift to their sev'ral quarters hasted then
The cumb'rous elements, earth, flood, air, fire;
And this ethereal quintessence of heav'n
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That roll'd orbicular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
Each had his place appointed, each his course;
The rest in circuit wall 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 neighb'ring moon
(So call that opposite fair star) her aid
Timely interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing, through mid heav'ng
With borrow'd light her countenance triform
Hence fills, and einpties, 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 bow'r;
Thy way thou can’st not miss, me mine requires.

Thus said, he turn'd: and Satan bowing low,
As to superior spirits is wont in heaven,
Where honour due and rev'rence none neglects,
-Took leave, and tow'rd the coast of earth beneath,
Down from th' ecliptic, sped with hop'd success,
Throws his steep flight in many an airy wheel,
Nor stay'd, till on Niphates' top he lights.

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