Obrazy na stronie

"o, Father, gracious was that word which clos'd | The rigid satisfaction, death for death. Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find Say, heavenly powers, where shall we find such grace;

love ? For which buth Heaven and Earth shall high Which of ye will be mortal, to redeem extol

Man's mortal crime, and just the unjust to save Thy praises, with the innumerable sound

Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?” of hymns and sacred songs,wherewith thy throne He ask'd, but all the heavenly quire stood Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest.

For should man finally be lost, should man, And silence was in Heaven : on man's behalf
Thy creature late su lov'd, thy youngest son, Patron or intercessor none appeard,
Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though join'd Much less that durst upon his own head draw
With his own folly? That be from thee far, The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
That far be from thee, Father, who art judge And now without redemption all mankind
Of all things made, and judgest only right. Must have been lost, adjudg'd to Death and
Or shall the adversary thus obtain

His end, and frustrate thine ; shall be fulfil By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
His malice, and thy goodness bring to nought, In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,
Or proud return, though to his heavier doom, His dearest mediation thus renew'd.
Yet with revenge accomplish'd, and to Hell

“Father, thy word is past, Man shall find grace; Draw after him the whole race of mankind, And shall grace not find means, that finds her By bim corrupted ? or wilt thou thyself

way, Abolish thy creation, and unmake

The speediest of thy winged messengers, For him, what for thy glory thou hast made? To visit all thy creatures, and to all So should thy goodness and thy greatness both Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought? Be question'd and blasphem'd without defence." Happy for Mar, so coming; he her aid

To whom the great Creator thus replied. Can never seek, once dead in sins, and lost; " O Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight, Atonement for himself, or offering meet, Son of my bosom, Son who art alone

Indebted and undone, hath none to bring : My word, my wisdom, and effectual might, Behold me then ; me for him, life for life All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all I offer ; on me let thine anger fall ; As my eternal purpose hath decreed :

Account me Man; 1 for his sake will leave Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will; | Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee Yet not of will in him, but grace in me

Freely put off, and for him lastly die Freely vouchsafd; once more I will renew Well pleas'd; on me let Death wreak all his His lapsed powers, though forfeit, and enthrall'd

rage; By sin to fvul exorbitant desires ;

Under bis gloomy power I shall not long Opheld by me, yet once more he shall stand Lie vanquish'd; thou hast given me to possess On even ground against his mortal foe;

Life in myself for ever; by thee I live, By me upheld, that he may know how frail Though now to Death Í yield, and am his due His fall’n condition is, and to me owe

All that of me can die: yet, that debt paid, All his deliverance, and to none but me.

Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave Some I have chosen of peculiar grace,

His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul Elect above the rest ; so is my will:

For ever with corruption there to dwell; The rest shall hear me cail, and oft be warn'd But I shall rise victorious, and subdue Their sinful state, and to appease betimes My vanquisher, spoild of his tautted spoil; The incensed Deity, while offer'd grace

Death his death's wound shall then receive, and Invites; for I will clear their senses dark,

stoop What may suffice, and soften stony hearts Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm'd. To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. I through the ample air in triumph high To prayer, repentance, and obedience due, Shall lead Hell captive, taugre Hell, and show Though but endeavour'd with sincere intent, The powers of darkness bound. Thon, at the Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.

sight And I will place within them as a guide,

Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile, My umpire, Conscience; whom if they will hear, While, by thee rais'd, I ruin all my foes, Light after light, well us'd they shall attain, Death last, and with his carcass glut the grave : And to the end, persisting, safe arrive.

Then, with the multitude of my redeem'd, This my long sufferance, and my day of grace, Shall enter Heaven, long absent, and return, They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste; Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud But hard be harden'd, blind be blinded more. Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd That they may stumble on, and deeper fall; And reconcilement; wrath shall be no more And none but such from mercy I exclude.

Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire" But yet all is not done; Man disobeying,

His words herë ended, but his meek aspect Disloyal, breaks lois feälty, and sins

Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love Against the high supremacy of Heaven,

To mortal men, above which only shone
Affecting god-head, and, so losing all,

Filial obedience : as a sacrifice
To expiate his treason hath nought left, Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will
But to destruction sacred and devote,

Of his great Father. Admiration seiz'd
He, with his whole posterity, must die,

All Heaven, what this might mean, and whither Die he or justice must ; unless for him

tend, Sume other able, and as willing, pay

| Wondering; but soon the Almighty thus replied.

* Othou in Heaven and Earth the only peace | Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by, Pound out for mankind under wrath! O thou For regal sceptre then no more shall need, My sole complacence! well thou knowist how God shall be all in all. But, all ye gods, dear

Adore him, who to compass all this dies; To me are all my works, nor Man the least, Adore the Son, and honour him as me.” Though last created; that for him I spare No sooner had the almighty ceas'd, but all Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save, The multitude of angels, with a shout By losing thee awhile, the whole race lost. Loud as from numbers without number, sweet Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem, As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heaven rung Their nature also to thy nature join ;

With jubilee, and loud Hosannas fill'd And be thyself man among men on Earth, The eternal regions : lowly reverent Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed, Towards either throne they bow, and to the By wonderous birth: be thou in Adam's room

ground The head of all mankind, though Adam's son. With solemn adoration down they cast As in him perish all men, so in thee,

Their crowus inwove with amarant and gold ; As from a second root, shall be restor'd

Immortal amarant, a flower which once As many as are restor'd, without thee none. In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit, Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence Imputed, shall absolve them who renounce To Heaven remov'd where first it grew, there Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,

grows, And live in thee transplanted, and from thee And flowers aloft shading the fount of life, Receive new life. So man, as is most just, And where the river of bliss through midst of Shall satisfy for man, be judg'd and die,

Heaven And dying rise, and rising with him raise Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream: His brethren, ransom'd with his own dear life. With these that never fade the spirits elect So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate, Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with Giving to death, and dying to redeem,

beams; So dearly to redeem what hellish hate

Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the So easily destroy'd, and still destroys

bright In those who, when they may, accept not grace. Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume Impurpled with celestial roses smil'd. (took, Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own. Then, crown'd again, their golden harps they Because thou hast, though thron'd in highest bliss Ilarps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side Equal to God, and equally enjoying

Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet God-like fruition, quitted all, to save

Of charming symphony they introduce A world from utter loss, and bast been found Their sacred song, and waken raptures high; By merit more than birthright Son of God, No voice exempt, no voice but well could join Found worthiest to be so by being good, Melodious part, such concord is in Heaven. Far more than great or high ; because in thee Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent, Love bath abounded more

than glory abounds, Immutable, Immortal, Infinite, Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt

Eternal King; thee Author of all being, With thee thy manhood also to this throne; Fountain of light, thyself invisible Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitst Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man, Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st Anointed universal King ; all power

The full blaze of thy beams, and, through a cloud I give thee; reign for ever, and assume

Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine, Thy merits; under thee, as head supreme, Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear, Thrones, princedoms, powers, dominions, 1 Yet dazzle Heaven, that brightest seraphim reduce:

Approach not, but with both wings veil their All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide

eyes. In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell. Thee next they sang of all creation first, When thou, attended gloriously from Heaven, Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud The summoning arch-angels to proclaim Made visible, the Almighty Father shines, Thy dread tribunal : forthwith from all winds Whom else no creature can behold; on thee The living, and forthwith the cited dead

Impress'd the effulgence of his glory abides, Of all past ages, to the general doom

Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests. Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep. He Heaven of Heavens and all the powers therein Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge By thee created; and by thee threw down Bad men and angels; they, arraign'd, shall | The aspiring dominations: thou that day sink

Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst pot spare, Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full, Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while Heaven's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring Thou drow'st of warring angels disarray’d. New Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall Back from pursuit thy powers with loud acclaim dwell,

Thee only extoll'd, Son of thy Father's might, And, after all their tribulations long,

To execute fierce vengeance on his foes, See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, Not so on Man: him, through their malice fallo, With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth. Father of mercy and grace, thou didst nou doon

So strictly, but much more to pity incline : New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build: No sooner did thy dear and only Son

Others came single ; he, who to be deem'd Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man A god, leap'd fondly into Ætna flames, So strictly, but much more to pity inclin'd, Empedocles; and he, who, to enjoy He to appease thy wrath, and end the strife Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the sea, Of mercy and justice in thy face discern'd, Cleombrotas; and many more too long, Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat

Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars Second to thee, offer'd himself to die

White, black, and gray, with all their trumpery. For Man's offence. O unexampled love, Here pilgrims roam, that stray'd so far to seek Love no where to be found less than Divine ! In Golgotha bim dead, who lives in Heaven; Hail, Son of God, Saviour of Men ! Thy name And they, who to be sure of Paradise, Shall be the copious matter of my song

Dying, put on the weeds of Dominic, Henceforth, and never shall my harp thy praise Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis'd; Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin. They pass the planets seren, and pass the fixed,

Thus they in Heaven, above the starry sphere, And that crystalline sphere whose balance Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent.

weighs Mean while upon the firm opacous globe The trepidation talk'a, and that first mord Of this round world, whose first convex divides And now Saint Peter at Heaven's wicket seems The luminous inferior orbs, enclos'd

To wait them with his keys, and now at fook From Chaos, and the inroad of Darkness old, Of Heaven's ascent they lift their feet, when lo Satan alighted walks : a globe far off

A violent cross wind from either coast It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent Blows them transverse, ten thousand leagues Dark, waste, and wild, under thu frown of

awry Night

Into the devious air: then might ye see Starless expos'd, and ever-threatening storms Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, test Of Chaos blustering round, inclement sky; And flutter'd into rags; then reliques, beads, Save on that side which from the wall of Heaven, Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls, Though distant far, some small reflection gains The sport of winds: all these, upwhitl'd aloft, Of glimmering air, less vex'd with tempest loud : Fly o'er the backside of the world far off, Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious Into a Limbo large and broad, since calPd As when a vulture on Imaus bred, [field. The Paradise of Fools, to few unkuown Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds, Long after, now unpeopled, and utrod. Dislodging from a region scarce of prey,

All this dark globe the fiend found as he pass'd, To gorge the flesh of lambs or yeanling kids, And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam On hills where flocks are fed, flies toward the Of dawning light turn'd thither-ward in haste springs

His travelP'd steps: far distant he descries Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams; Ascending by degrees magnificent But in his way lights on the barren plains Up to the wall of Heaven a structure bigh; Of Sericana, where Chineses drive

At top whereof, but far more rich, appeará With sails and wind their cany waggons light: The work as of a kingly palace-gate, So, on this windy sea of land, the fiend

With frontispiece of diamond and gold Walk'd up and down alone, bent on his prey.; Embellish'd, thick with sparkling orient gens Alone, for other creature in this place,

The portal shone, inimitable on Earth Living or lifeless, to be found was none, By model, or by shading pencil, drawn. None yet, bat store hereafter from the Earth The stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw Up hither like aëreal vapours flew

Angels ascending and descending, bands Of all things transitory and vain, when sin Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled With vanity had filPd the works of men; To Padan-Aram, in the field of Luz Both all things vain, and all who in vain things Dreaming by night under the open sky, Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting fame, And waking cried, “This is the gate of Heaven." Or happiness in this or th other life;

Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood All who have their reward on Earth, the fruits There always, but drawn up to Heaven someOf painful superstition and blind zeal,

times Nought seeking but the praise of men, here find Viewless; and underneath a bright sea flow'd Fit retribution, empty as their deeds;

Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon All the unaccomplish'd works of Nature's hand, Who after came from Earth, sailing arriv'd, Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd, Wafted by angels, or flew o'er the lake Dissolv'd on Earth, fleet hither, and in vain, Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds. 'Till final dissolution, wander here ;

The stairs were then let down, whether to dare Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have The fiend by easy ascent, or aggravate dream'd ;

His sad exclusion from the doors of bliss : Those argent fields more likely habitants, Direct against wbich open'd from beneath, Translated saints, or middle spirits hold

Just o'er the blissful seat of Paradise, Betwixt the angelical and human kind. A passage down to the Earth, a passage wide, Hither of ill-juin'd sons and daughters born Wider by far than that of after-times First from the ancient world those giants came Over mount Sion, and, though that were large, With many a vain exploit, though then renown'd: Over the Promis'd Land, to God so dear; The builders next of Babel on the plain

By which, to visit oft those happy tribes, Of Sennaar, and still with rain design

On high behests his angels to and fro



Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard That stone, or like to that, which here below From Paneas, the fount of Jordan's flood, Philosophers in vain so long have sought, To Beërsaba, where the Holy Land

In vain, though by their powerful art they bind Borders on Egypt and the Arabian shore ; Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound So wide the opening seem'd, where bounds were In various shapes old Proteus from the sea,

Drain'd through a limbec to his native form. To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave. What wonder then if fields and regions here Satan from hence, now on the lower stair, Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run That scald by steps of gold to Heaven-gate, Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch Looks down with wonder at the sudden view | The arch-chymic Sun, so far from us remote, Of all this world at once. As when a scout, Produces, with terrestrial humour mix'd, Through dark and desert ways with peril gone Here in the dark so many precious things All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn Of colour glorious, and effect so rare? Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill, Here matter new to gaze the Devil met Which to his eye discovers unaware

Undazzled ; far and wide his eye cominands; The goodly prospect of some foreign land

For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade, First seen, or some renown'd metropolis

But all sun-shine, as when his beams at noon With glistering spires and pinnacles adorn'd, Culminate from th' equator, as they now Which now the rising Sun gilds with his beams : | Shot upward still direct, whence no way round Sach wonder seiz'd, though after Heaven seen, Shadow from body opaque can fall; and the The spirit malign, but much more envy seiz'd,

air, At sight of all this world beheld so fair.

No where so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray Round he surveys (and well might, where he To objects distant far, whereby he soon

Saw within ken a glorious angel stand, So high above the circling canopy

The salne whom John saw also in the Sun : Of night's extended shade) from eastern point His back was turn'd, but not his brightness bid ; Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears

Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar Andromeda far off Atlantic seas

Circled his head, nor less his locks behind Beyond the horizon ; then from pole to pole | Illustrious on his shoulders, Aledge with wings, He views in breadth, and without longer pause Lay waving round; on some great charge emDowp right into the world's first region throws

ploy'd His flight precipitant, and winds with ease He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep. Through the pure marble air his oblique way Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope Amongst innumerable stars, that shone

To find who might direct his wandering flight Stars distant, but pigh hand seem'd other worlds; | To Paradise, the happy seat of Man, Or other worlds they seem'd, or happy isles, His journey's end and our beginning woe. Like those Hesperian gardens fam'd of old, But first he casts to change his proper shape, Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales, Which else might work him danger or delay: Thrice happy isles; but who dwelt happy there And now a stripling cherub he appears, He staid not to inquire: above them all

Not of the prime, yet such as in his face The golden Sun, in splendour likest Heaven, Youth smil'd celestial, and to every limb Allar'd his eye; thither his course he bends Suitable grace diffus'd, so well he feign'd: Through the calm firmament, (but up or down, Under a coronet his flowing hair By centre, or eccentric, hard to tell,

In curls on either cheek play'd; wings he wore, Or longitude,) where the great luminary Of many a colour'd plume, sprinkled with gold; Aloof the vulgar constellations thick,

His habit fit for speed succinct, and held That from bis lordly eye keep distance due, Before his decent steps a silver wand. Dispenses light from far; they, as they move He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright, Their starry dance in numbers that compute Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd, Days, months and years, towards his all-cheering Admonish'd by his ear, and straight was known lamp

The arch-angel Uriel, one of the seven Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne, By his magnetic beam, that gently warms Stand ready at command, and are his eyes The universe, and to each inward part

That run through all the Heavens, or down to With gentle penetration, though unseen,

• the Earth Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep ;

Bear his swift errands over moist and dry, So wonderously was set his station bright.

O'er sea and land : bim Satan thus accosts.
There lands the fiend, a spot like which perhaps “Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that
Astronomer in the Sun's lucent orb
Through his glaz'd optic tube yet never saw. In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright,
The place he found beyond expression bright, The first art wont his great authentic will
Compar'd with aught on Earth, metal or stone; Interpreter through highest Heaven to bring,
Not all parts like, but all alike inform'd

Where all his sons thy embassy attend ;
With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire; And here art likeliest by supreme decree
If metal, part seem'd guld, part silver clear; Like honour to obtain, and as his eye
If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite,

To visit oft this new creation round;
Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone

Unspeakable desire to see, and know In Aaron's breast-plate, and a stone besides All these his wonderous works, but chiefly Man, Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere seen, His chief delight and favour, him for whom




All these his works so wonderous he ordain'd, With borrow'd light her countenance triform Hath brought me from the quires of cherubim Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth, Alone thus

wandering. Brightest seraph, tell And in her pale dominion checks the night. In which of all these shining orbs hath Man That spot, to which I point, is Paradise, His fixed seat, or fixed seat bath none,

Adam's abode; those lofty shades, his boser. But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell; Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires." That I may find him, and with secret gaze

Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan, bowing low, Or open admiration him bebold,

As to superior spirits is wont in Heaven, On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd Where honour due and reverence none neglects, Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth bepour'd;

neath, That both in him and all things, as is meet, Down from the ecliptic, sped with hop'd suce The universal Maker we may praise;

Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel; Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes Nor staid, till on Niphates' top he lights. To deepest Hell, and, to repair that loss, Created this new happy race of Men To serve him better; wise are all his ways."

So spake the false dissembler unperceiv'd ;
For neither man nor angel can discern

Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,


By his permissive will, through Heaven and
And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps

At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns ber charge, while goodness thinks no ill Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and migh the
Where no ill seems: which now for once be place where he must now attempt the bold en-

terprise which he undertook alone against God Uriel, though regent of the Sun, and held

and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in Heaven; and many passions, fear, envy, and despair ; Who to the fraudulent impostor foul,

but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys In his uprightness, answer thus return'd.

on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and si“Fair angel, thy desire, which tends to know

tuation is described ; overleaps the bounds; The works of God, thereby to glorify

sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of The great Work-master, leads to no excess

life, as highest in the garden, to look about That reaches blame, but rather merits praise him. The garden describedSatan's first The more it seems excess, that led thee hither

sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their From thy empyreal mansion thus alone,

excellent form and happy state, but with resTo witness with thine eyes what some perhaps,

lution to work their fall, overhears their disContented with report, hear only in Heaven :

course, thence gathers that the tree of knowFor wonderful indeed are all his works,

ledge was forbidden them to eat of, under pePleasant to know, and worthiest to be all

nalty of death; and thereon intends to found Had in remembrance always with delight;

bis temptation, by seducing them to transgress: But what created mind can comprehend

then leaves them a while to know further of Their number, or the wisdom infinite

their state by some other means. Meanwhile That brought them forth, but hid their causes

Uriel descending on a sunbeam warns Gabrid, deep?

who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that I saw when at his word the formless mass,

some evil spirit had escaped the deep, and This world's material mould, came to a heap:

passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar

good angel down to Paradise, discovered after Stood ruld, stood vast infinitude confin'd;

by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabrid Till at his second bidding Darkness fled,

promises to find him ere morning. Night Light shone, and order from disorder sprung :

coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going Swift to their several quarters hasted then

to their rest : their bower described ; their The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire;

evening worship. Gabriel, drawing forth his And this etherial quintessence of Heaven

bands of night-watch to walk the round of PaFlew upward, spirited with various forms,

radise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's That rollid orbicular, and turn'd to stars

bower, lest the evil spirit should be there doing Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;

some harm to Adam or Eve, sleeping; there Each had his place appointed, each his course; they find him at the ear of Eve tempting her a The rest in circuit walls this universe.

a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Look downward on that globe, whose hither side With light from hence, though but reflected,

Gabriel ; by whom questioned, he scornfully shines;


answers; prepares resistance ; but, hindered That place is Earth, the seat of Man, that

by a sign from Heaven, fies out of Para. His day, which else, as the other hemisphere,

dise. Night would invade ; but there the neighbouring (So call that opposite fair star) her aid [Moon O for that warning voice, which he, sig T'imely interposes, and her monthly round Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heaven, Th’ Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud,


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