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hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and therefore with all his progeny devoted to death must die, un. less some one can be found fufficient to anfwer for his offense, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for Man: the Father accepts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all names in beaven and eartb; commands all the An. gels to adore him; they obey, and hymning to their harps in full choir, celebrate the Father and the Son. Mean while Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermoft orb; where wandring he first finds a place, since calld the Limbo of Vanity; what persons and things fly up thither; thence comes to the gate of heaven, describ'd ascending by stairs, and the wa. ters above the firmament that flow about it: his pasage thence to the orb of the fun: he finds there Uriel theregent of that orb; but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner Angel; and pretending a zea. lous desire to behold the new creation, and Man whom God hath plac'd here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed; alights first on mount Niphatęs.



Ail holy light, offspring of heav'n first-born!

Or of th' eternal co-eternal beam! May I express thee unblam’d? since God is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from eternity; dwelt then in thee, S Bright effluence of bright essence increate ! Or hear'ít 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 didft 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, tho' long detain'd In that obscure sojourn ; while in my fight IS Through utter and through middle darkness born, With other notes than to th' Orpbean 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, Tho' hard, and rare! Thee I re-visit safe, And feel thy sov'reign vital lamp: but thou Re-visit'st not these eyes, that rowl in vain To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; So thick a Drop Serene hath quench'd their orbs, Or dim fuffufion veil'd! Yet not the more 26 Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt Clear spring, or Thady grove, or sunny hill, Smit with the love of sacred song: but chief


Thee Sion, and the fow'ry brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equal'd with me in fate,
(So were I equal'd with them in renown!)
Blind Thamyris, and blind Meonides :

And Tirefias, and Pbineus, Prophets old.
Then 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 year 40
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine :
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark 45
Surrounds me! from the chearful ways of men
Cut off; and for the book of knowledge fair,
Presented with a 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, coeleftial light!
Shine inward, and the mind through all her pow'rs
Irradiate ; there plant eyes; all mist from thence
Purge, and disperse; that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal fight.

55 Now had th’Almighty Father from above, (From the pure empyrean where He fits High thron'd above all height) bent down His eye, His own works and their works at once to view:


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