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Th'eternal regions. Lowly reverent,
Tow'rds either-throne they bow, and to the ground
With solemn adoration down they cast
Their crowns, inwove with amarant and gold;
Immortal ainarant, a flow'r which once
In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,
Began to bloom; but soon for inan's offence
To heaven remov'd, where first it grew, there grows,
And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of life,
And where the river of bliss through midst of heay'n
Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream:
With these that never fade, the spirits elect
Bind their resplendent locks, inwreath'd with beams;
Now in looşe garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone,
Impurpled with celestial roses smild.
Then crown'd again, their golden harps they took,
Harps ever tun'd, that, glittring by their side,
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
Of charming symphony they introduce
Their sacred song, and waken raptures high;
No voice exempt, no voice but well could join
Melodious part, such concord is in heav'n.

Thee, Father, first they sung, omnipotent,
Immutable, immortal, infinite,
Eternal King; thee, author of all being,
Fountain of light, thyself invisible
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou.sitt'st
Thron'dinaccessible, but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud
Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,
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, th' almighty Father shives,
Whom else no creature can behold; on thee
Impressd th' effulgence of his glory abides,

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Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He heav'n of heav'ns, and all the pow'rs therein,
By thee created; and by thee threw down
Th’aspiring dominations: thou that day
Thy Father's dreadfui thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy faming chariot-wheels, that shook
Ileav'n's everlasting frame, while oʻer the necks
Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy pow'rs with loud acclain
Thee only extoll’d, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes.
Not so on man: him, through their malice fall'n,
Father of inercy and grace, thou didst not doom
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 incline,
He, to appease thy wrath, and end the strife
of mercy and justice in thy face discern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he sát
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 iny harp thy praise
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.

Thus they in heav'n, above the starry sphere,
Their happy hours in joy and hymniog spent.
Meanwhile 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 blust'ring round, inclement sky:
Save on that side which from the wall of heav'n,
Though distant far, some small reflection gains

of glimmering air, less vex'd with tempest loud:
Jlere walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field.
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 tlocks are fed, flies tow'rd 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;
Alune, 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 aerial vapours flew
of all things transitory and vain, when sin
With vanity had fill'd the works of men;
Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting faine,
Or happiness in this or th’ other life; .,
All who have their reward on earth, the fruits
of painful superstition and blind zeal,
Avught seeking but the praise of inen, here find
Fit retribution, empty as their deeds:
All th' unaccomplish'd works of Nature's hand,
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd,
Dissolv'd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
Till final dissolution, wander here,
Not in the neighböring moon, as some have drcam'd;
Those argent fields more likely habitants,
Translated saints, or middle spirits, hold,
Betwixt th' angelical and huinan kind.
Hither, of ill-join'd sons and daughters born,
First from the ancient world those giants came
With many a vain exploit, though ihen renown'd:
The builders next of Babel on the plain
of Sennaar, and still with vain design
New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build:

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Others came single; he who, to be deem'd
A God, leap'd fondly into Ætna flaines,
Empedocles; and he who, to enjoy
Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the sea,
Cleombrotus; and many more too long,
Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars,
White, black and grey, with all their trumpery.
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 fix'd,
And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs
The trepidation talk’d, and that first mov'd :
And now Saint Peter at heav'n's wicket seeins
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
Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost
And flutter'd'into rags; then reliques, beads,
Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
The sport of winds : all these, upwhirl'd aloft,
Fly o’er the backside of the world far off
Into a limbo large and broad, since call'd
The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
Long after, now unpeopled, and untrod.
All this dark globe the fiend found as he passid,
And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam
Of dawning light turn'd thitherward in haste
His travell’d steps; far distant be 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
Embellish’d: thick with sparkling orient gems
The portal shone, inimitable on earth

By 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 sky,
And waking cry'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 froin earth, sailing arriv'd,
Wafted by angels, or few o’er tire lake
Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.
The-siairs were then let down, whether to dare
The fiend by easy ascent, or aggravate
His sad exclusion from the doors of bliss :
Direct against which open'd from beneath,
Just o'er 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 flood,
To Beersaba, where the holy land
Borders on Egypt and th’ Arabian shore;
So wide the openiog seem’d, where bounds were set
To darkness, such as bound the ocean-wave.
Satan from hence, now on the lower stair,
That scal'd by steps of gold to heaven-gate,
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
Of all this world at once. As when a scout
Through dark and desert ways with peril gone
All nighi, at last by break of cheerful dawn
Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill,
Which to his eye discovers unaware


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