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And broken chariot-wheels : so thick bestrown,
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call’d so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of hell resounded :

Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the Flower of Heaven-once yours; now


If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Spirits ! Or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue,20 for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood,
With scattered arms and ensigns,21 till anon22
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern
The advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf ?
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!

They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung
Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch,
On duty sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel ;
Yet to their General's voice they soon obeyed

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20 virtue, manhood, strength. 21 ensigns, standards, banners.


Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day, 24
Waved round the coast, up called a pitchy cloud25
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharoah hung
Like Night, and darken'd all the land of Nile ;28
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hovering on wing under the copear of Hell,
"Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, at a signal given, the uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain :
A multitude, like which the populous North
Poured never from her frozen loins,28 to pass
Rhene or the Danaw,29 when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.30
Forthwith, from every squadron and each band
Their heads and leaders thither haste, where stood
Their great Commander; godlike Shapes and Forms
Excelling human ; princely Dignities,
And Powers, that erst31 in Heaven sat on thrones ;

23 The rod of Moses, who was the son

of Amram. 24 In the day of the Ten Plagues of

Egypt. 25 Locusts fly at times in clouds which

darken the sky. 26 Egypt. 27 cope, covering, roof, from same

root as cap. 28 An allusion to the inroads of the

northern "Barbarians," when

they burst on the Roman provinces of sunny Italy from the frozen regions of Germany and

Northern Europe. 29 The Rhine, or the Danube. 30 It was long thought that there was

a passage from Gibraltar to Africa -the Lybian sands-under the


al erst. See note, p. 49.

Though of their names in Heavenly records now
Be no memorial; blotted out and rased
By their rebellion from the Books of Life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till, wandering o’er the earth,
Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies, the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and the invisible
Glory of Him that made them, to transform
Oft to the image of a brute,32 adorn'd
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And devils to adore for deities :
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the Heathen World.33


“THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; Thyself how wondrous then,
Unspeakable !1 who sitt'st above these heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these Thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.

“Speak, ye who best can tell, ye Sons of Light, Angels—for ye behold Him, and with songs

And choral symphonies, day without night, 32 Many of the Egyptian idols espe- that the devils had got themselves cially were in brute form.

adored by the heathen. 33 Jn the middle ages it was believed 1 (Thou) unspeakable (One).

2 choral symphonies, harmonious songs in choirs.



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Circle His throne rejoicing :-ye, in Heaven ;3
On Earth, join, all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end.

" Fairest of Stars !4 last in the train of Night,
If better thou belong not to the Dawn,-
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling Morn
With thy bright circlet,--praise Him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.

“ Thou Sun, of this great World both eye and soul, Acknowledge Him thy greater ; sound His praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high noon hast gained, and when thou fall'st.

“Moon, that now meet'st the orient? Sun, now fliest, With the fixed Stars,-fixed in their orb that flies ;8


3 Ye, do 8o in heaven; on earth, let

all creatures, &c. 4 The planet Venus.

The words that follow refer to its being sometimes called Phosphorus, or the Morning Star: sometimes Hes

perus, or the Evening Star. sphere, the path through which it

second element; above water, came air, the third element. Then, above air, came fire, the fourth element. Beyond that, ether

notended indefinitely. Beyond, or in the other, were

eight heavens, each above the other, and each containing an immense crystalline sphere or circle. Inside the smallest of these, the earth was enclosed, and the others had each, one or more of the heavenly bodies ixed in it, and moving round with it “ fixed in their orb, that flies." The nearest sphere to that of the earth was that of the moon: then came, successively, spheres or orbs, in which, one beyond the other, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the fixed stars were fixed. These spheres all had a motion of

glides round the sun. 6 prime, an

ecclesiastical word, meaning the hour, at dawn, that succeeded to lauds. Or, hour of

dawn. ? orient, rising, or eastern. 8 Milton writes according to the old

or Ptolemaic idea of the structure of the heavens. Attentive knowledge of this will explain many

things in Paradise Lost. The earth was considered the great

contre, round which all things moved. Earth, the most stable of the elements, held the lowest place, and supported water, the

their own, round the earth.


ye five other wandering Fires !' that move In mysticio dance, not without song, resound His praise, who out of Darkness called up Light.

“Air, and ye Elements ! the eldest birth
Of Nature's womb, that in quarternion" run
Perpetual circle, multiform, 12 and mix
And nourish all things, let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.

6 Ye Mists and Exhalations, that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the Sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the World's great Author rise ;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling, still advance His praise.

"His praise, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines, With every Plant, in sign of worship, wave.

“ Fountains ! and ye that warble, as ye flow, Melodious murmurs, warbling, tune His praise.

“Join voices, all ye living Souls! Ye Birds,
That, singing, up to Heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings, and in your notes, His praise.

“ Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep,
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught His praise.

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