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Without dimension, where length, breadth, Half Blying; behoves him now both oar and and height,


And time, and place are lost; where eldest As when a gryphon through the wilderness
With winged course, o`er hill or moory dale,
Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd
The guarded gold: So eagerly the Fiend
O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough,
dense, or rare,

With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues ba
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or
At length a universal hubbub wild
Of stunning sound and voices all confus'd,
Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his

And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise

Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.
For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four champions

Strive here for mast'ry, and to battle bring
Their embryon atoms; they around the flag
Of each his faction, in their several clans,
Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or

Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands
Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
Levied to side with warring winds, and poise
Their lighter wings. To whom these most

He rules a moment; Chaos umpire sits,
And by decision more embroils the fray
By which he reigus: next him high arbiter
Chance governs all. Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature, aud perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds:
Into this wild abyss the wary Fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
Pond'ring his voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd
With noises loud and ruinous (to compare
Great things with small) than when Bellona

With all her battering engines bent to raze
Some capital city; or less than if this frame
Of Heav'n were falling, and these elements
In mutiny had from her axle torn
The steadfast earth. At last his sail-broad

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And Spirits of this nethermost abyss,
Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy,
With purpose to explore or to disturb
The secrets of your realm, but by constraint
Wand ring this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to

Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek
What readiest path leads where your gloomy


He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a
As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides
Audacious; but that seat soon failing, meets
A vast vacuity: all unawares
Fluttering his pennous vain, plump down he

Ten thousand fathom deep, and to this hour
Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud,
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him
As many miles aloft: that fury stay'd,
Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,

Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,

Nor good dry land: nigh founder'd on he| With falt'ring speech and visage incompos'd, Answer'd. I know thee, stranger, who thou art,


Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,

Confine with Heav'n; or if some other place,
From your dominion won, th' etherial king
Possesses lately, thither to arrive
I travel this profound; direct my course;
Directed no mean recompence it brings
To your behoof, if I that region lost,
All usurpation thence expell'd, reduce
To her original darkness and your sway
(Which is my present journey) and once more
Erect the standard there of ancient Night;
Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.

That mighty leading Angel, who of late Made head against Heav'n's king, though overthrown.

I saw and heard, for such a numerous host
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded; and Heav'n

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

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

Mov'd 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

Of fighting elements, on all sides round
Environ'd wins his way; harder beset

And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd
Through Bosporus betwixt the justling

Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way
Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wond'rous length
From Hell continued reaching the utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which the Spirits

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

Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off th' empyreal Heav'n, extended wide

Into the wild expanse, and through the 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 pendant world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude close by the moon.
Thither full fraught with mischievous re

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 wall of Heaven
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



Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunn'd
Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool steer'd. Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour he bies.
So he with difficulty and labour hard






God sitting on his throne sees Satan flying towards this world, then newly created; shews him to the Son who sat at his right hand foretels 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 withstood his tempter; 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 Son of God ren. ders 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 Mau: 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 quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Mean while Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb; where wandering The 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 orb of the Sun; he finds there Uriel the regent of that orb, but first changes 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


Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equall'd with me in fate,
So were I equal'd with them in renown,

Or of th' Eternal coeternal beam


May I express thee unblam'd? Since God is Blind Thamyris and blind Mæonides,
And Tiresias and Phineus prophets old:
Theu feed on thoughts that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n or mora,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of Knowledge fair
Presented with au universal blank
Of Nature's works to me expung'd and ras'd
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her
Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from

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 re-visit now with bolder wing,
Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long des-

In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness


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: thec 1 revisit safe,
Aud 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

Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flow'ry brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,

Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.

Now had the almighty Father from above,
From the pure empyréan where he sits
High thron'd above all height, bent down his


His own works and their works at once to
About him all the sanctities of Heav'n
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight re

Beatitude past utterance; on his right The radiant image of his glory sat, His only Son; on earth he first beheld Our two first Parents, yet the only two Of mankind, in the happy garden plac'd, Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love, Uninterrupted joy, unrival'd love, In blissful solitude; he then survey'd Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there Coasting the wall of Ileav'u on this side Night In the dun air sublime, and ready now To stoop with wearied wings and willing feet On the bare outside of this world, that seem'd Firm land imbosom'd, without firmament, Uncertain which, in ocean or in air. Him God beholding from his prospect high, Wherein past, present, future, he beholds, Thus to his only Son foresceing spake :

Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage Transports our adversary? whom no bounds Prescrib'd, no bars of Hell, nor all the chains Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss' Wide interrupt can hold; so bent he seems On desperate revenge, that shall redound Upon his own rebellious head. And now Through all restraint broke loose he wings his way

Not far off Heav'n, in the precincts of light,
Directly tow'rds the new created world,
And man there plac'd, with purpose to assay
If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
By some false guile pervert; and shall per-

For Man will hearken to his glozing lies,
And easily transgress the sole command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: so will fall,
He and his faithless progeny: Whose fault?
Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
Such I created all th' eternal powers

And spirits, both them who stood and them who fail'd;

Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. Not free, what proof could they have giv'a sincere

Of true allegiance, constant faith or love, Where only what they needs must do appear'd, Not what they would? what praise could they receive?

Of high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed

Their own revolt, not I: if I foreknew Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.

What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
When will and reason (reason also is choice)
Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil'd,
Made passive both, had serv'd Necessity,
Not me? They, therefore, as to right belong'd,
So were created, nor can justly accuse
Their Maker, or their making, or their fate,
As if predestination over-rul'd
Their will, dispos'd by absolute decree

So without least impulse or shadow of fate,
Or ought by me immutably foreseen,
They trespass, authors to themselves in all
Both what they judge and what they chuse;

for so

I form'd them free, and free they must remain Till they inthrall themselves; I else must change

Their nature, and revoke the high decree
Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain'd
Their freedom, they themselves ordain'd their

The first sort by their own suggestion fell, Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls, deceiv'd [grace, By th' other first: Man, therefore, shall find The other none: in mercy and justice both, Through Heav'n and Earth, so shall my glory excel,

But mercy first and last shall brightest shine. Thus, while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd

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By him corrupted? or wilt thou thyself
Abolish thy creation, and unniake
For him, what for thy glory thou hast made?
So should thy goodness and thy greatness
Be question'd and blasphem'd without de-
To whom the Creator thus reply'd:

O Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all
As my eternal purpose hath decreed:
Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who

Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
Freely vouchsaf'd; once more I will renew
His lapsed powers, though forfeit and in-

By sin to foul exorbitant desire;

Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
On even ground against his mortal foe,
By me upheld, that he may know how frail
His fall'n coudition is, and to me owe
All his deliverance, and to none but me.
Some I have chosen of peculiar grace
Elect above the rest; so is my will:
The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warn'd
Their sinful state, and to appease betimes
Th' incensed Deity, while offer'd grace
Invites; for I will clear their senses dark
What may suffice, and soften stony hearts
To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
To pray'r, repentance, and obedience due,
Though but endeavour'd with sincere intent,
Mine ears shall not be slow, mine eyes not

And I will place within them as a guide, My umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear,

Light after light well ns'd they shall attain,
Aud to the end persisting, safe arrive.
This my long suffrance and my days of grace,
They who neglect and scorn, shall never

But hard be harden'd, blind be blinded more,
That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
And none but such from mercy I exclude.
But yet all is not done; Mau disobeying,
Disloyal breaks his fealty, aud sins
Against the high supremacy of Heav'n,
Affecting Godhead, and so losing all,
To expiate his treason hath nothing left,
But to destruction, sacred and devote,
He with his whole posterity must die;
Die he or Justice must; unless for bi
Some other able, and as willing, pay
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say, beav'nly Pow`rs, where shall we find such

Which of ye will be mortal to redeem

Man's mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save?

Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear ?

He ask'd, but all the heav'nly quire stood mute,


And silence was in Heav'n on Man's behalf
Patron or intercessor none appear'd,

Much less that durst upon his own bead draw
The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
And now without redemption all Mankind
Must have been lost, adjudg'd to Death and

By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,
His dearest meditation thus renew'd.

Father, thy word is past, Man shall find


And shall Grace not find means, that finds her
The speediest of the winged messengers,
To visit all thy creatures, and to all
Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought?
Happy for Man, so coming; he her aid
Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost;
Atonement for himself or offering meet,
Indebted and undone, hath none to bring :
Behold me then; me for him, life for life
I offer; on me let thine anger fall ;
Account me Man; I for his sake will leave
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die
Well pleas'd; on me let Death wreck all his

Under his gloomy power I shall not long
Lie vanquish'd; thou hast giv'n me to pos-


Life in myself for ever; for thee I live,
Though now to Death I yield, and am bis due
All that of me can die, yet that debt paid,
Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome


His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul
For ever with corruption there to dwell;
But I shall rise victorious, and subduc
My vanquisher, spoil'd of bis vaunted spoil;
Death his death's wound shall then receive,
and stoop

Inglorious of his mortal sting disarm'd. I through the ample air, in triumph bigb, Shall lead Hell captive maugre Hell, and show [the sight The powers of darkness bound. Thou, at Pleas'd, out of Heav'n shalt look down and smile,

While by thee rais'd I ruin all my foes,
Death last, and with his carcase glut the


Then with the multitude of my redeem'd Shall enter Heav'n long absent, and return

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