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Not so on man; him through their malice fall’n,
Father of mercie and grace, thou didst not doome
So ftri&tly, but much more to pity encline :
No sooner did thy dear and onely-fon
Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail man
So ftri&tiy, but much more to pity enclin'd,
He to appease thy wrath, and end the strife
Of mercy and justice in thy face difcern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he fat
Second to thee, offer'd himself to die
For man's offence. O unexampld love,
Love no where to be found less than divine !
Hail son of God, faviour 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 heav'n, above the starry sphere,
Their happie 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, enclos'd
From Chaos and tl'inroad of darkness old,
Satan alighted walks : a globe far off
It seem'd, now feems a boundless continent
Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of night
Starless expos’d, and ever-threatning storms
Of Chaos bluftring round, inclement skie;
Save on that side which from the wall of heav'n
Though diftant far some fmall reflection gains
Of glimm'ring air less vext with tempeft loud :
Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field.

As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Whose snowie ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
Dinodging from a region scarce of prey
To gorge the flesh of lamb or yeanling kids
On hills where flocks are fed, fies toward the springs
Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams ;
But in his way lights on the barren plains
Of Sericana, where Chineses drive
With fails and wind their canie waggons light :
So on this windie sea of land, the fiend
Walk'd up and down alone bent on his prey,
Alone, for other creature in this place
Living or liveless to be found was none,
None yet, but store hereafter from the earth
Up hither like aerial vapours flew
Of all things transitory and vain, when fin
With vanity had fill'd the works of men :
Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
Built thoir fond hopes of glorie 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 the unaccomplisht works of nature's hand,
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixt,
Diffolv'd on earth, feet hither, and in vain,
Til final diffolution, wander here,
Not in the neighbouring 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 fons and daughters born
Firft 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 Sen naar, and still with vain design
New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build :
Others came fingle; he who to be deem'd
A god, leap'd fondly into Ætna Aames,
Empedocles, and he who to enjoy
Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the sea,
Cleombrotus, and many more too long,
Embryo's and idiots, eremites and friers
White, black and grey, with all their trumperier ,
Here pilgrims roam, that stray'd so far to seek
In Golgotha him dead, who lives in heav'n;
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 fixt,
And that crystalline sphere whose ballance weighs
The trepidation talkt, and that first mov'd ;
And now Saint Peter at heav'n's wicket seems
To wait them with his keys, and now at foot
Of heav'n'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

Cowles, hoods and habits with their wearers tost , And flutter'd into raggs, then reliques, beads, Indulgences, dispences, pardons, bulls,

The sport of winds : all these upwhirld alofe
Fly o're 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 unpeopl’d, and untrode :
All this dark globe the fiend found as he pass'd,
And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam
Of dawning light turn'd thither-ward in 'haste
His travell’d steps ; far diftant he descries
Ascending by degrees magnificent
Up to the wall of heav'n a structure high,
At top whereof, but far more rich appear'd
The work as of a kingly palace gate
With frontispiece of diamond and gold
Imbellisht, thick with sparkling orient gemmes
The portal Thone, inimitable on earth
Py model, or by shading pencil drawn. .
The stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw
Angels ascending and descending, bands
Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled
To Padan-Aram in the field of Luz,
Dreaming by night under the open skie,
And waking cri'd, This is the gate of heav'n.
Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
There always, but drawn up to heav'n sometimes
Viewless, and underneath a bright sea flow'd
Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon
Who after came from earth, sailing arriy'd,
Wafted by angels, or few o're the lake
Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.
The stairs were then let down, whether to dare
The fiendi byeasie ascent, or aggravate
His fad exclusion from the dores of bliss.
Direct againt which op’nd from beneath,
Just o're the blissful seat of Paradise,
A passage down to th’earth, a passage wide,
Wider by far than that of after-times
Over mount Sion, and, though that were large,
Over the Promis'd Land to God so dear,
By which, to visit oft those happy tribes,
On high behests his angels to and fro
Pass’d frequent, and his eye with choice regard
From Paneas the fount of Jordan's food
To Beersaba, where the Holy Land
Borders on Ægypt and the Arabian fhore;
So wide the op'ning seem'd, where bounds were set
To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave.
Satan from hence now on the lower ftair
That scal'd by steps of gold to heav'n gate
Looks down with wonder at the fudden view
Of all this world at once. As when a scout
Through dark and defart ways with peril gone
All night ; at iaft by break of chearful dawn
Obtains the brow of fome high climbing hill,
Which to his eye discovers unaware
The goodly prospect of some foreign land
First-seen, or some renown'd metropolis
With gliftering spires and pinnaeles adorn'd.
Which now the rising fun guilds with his beams,
Such wonder feiz'd, though after heaven seen,
The spirit maligne, but much more envy feiz'd
At ight of all this world beheld fo fair,

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