Obrazy na stronie
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Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth
Befall'n us, unforeseen, unthought of; know,
I come no enemy, but to set free

Cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame.
Before their eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoary deep; a dark
Illimitable ocean, without bound,

Without dimension, where length, breadth, and
height,

And time, and place, are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise

Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.

For Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry, four champions

fierce,

From out this dark and dismal house of pain
Both him and thee, and all the heavenly host
Of spirits, that, in our just pretences arm'd,
Fell with us from on high: from them I go
This uncouth errand sole; and one for all
Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread
The unsounded deep, and through the void immense
To search with wondering quest a place foretold
Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now
Created vast and round, a place of bliss
In the purlieus of Heaven, and therein plac'd
A race of upstart creatures, to supply
Perhaps our vacant room; though more remov'd,
Lest Heaven, surcharg'd with potent multitude,
Might hap to move new broils. Be this or aught
Than this more secret now design'd, I haste
To know; and, this once known, shall soon return,
And bring ye to the place where thou and Death
Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
Wing silently the buxom air, imbalm'd
With odors: there ye shall be fed and fill'd
Immeasurably; all things shall be your prey."

He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleas'd, and
Death

Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile, to hear
His famine should be fill'd; and blest his maw
Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire.

"The key of this infernal pit by due,

Strive here for mastery, and to battle bring
Their embryon atoms; they around the flag
Of each his faction, in their several clans,
Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow
Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the sands
Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
Levied to side with warring winds, and poise
Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere
He rules a moment: Chaos umpire sits,
And by decision more embroils the fray
By which he reigns: next him high arbiter
Chance governs all. Into this wild abyss,
The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mix'd
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds;
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend

Pondering his voyage: for no narrow frith

He had to cross. Nor was his ear less peal'd
With noises loud and ruinous, (to compare

And by command of Heaven's all-powerful King, Stood on the brink of Hell, and look'd a while,
I keep, by him forbidden to unlock
These adamantine gates; against all force
Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
Fearless to be o'ermatch'd by living might.
But what owe I to his commands above
Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
To sit in hateful office here confin'd,
Inhabitant of Heaven, and heavenly-born,
Here in perpetual agony and pain,

With terrors and with clamors compass'd round
Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed?
Thou art my father, thou my author, thou
My being gav'st me; whom should I obey
But thee? whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon
To that new world of light and bliss, among
The gods who live at ease, where I shall reign
At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end."

Thus saying, from her side the fatal key,
Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
And, towards the gate rolling her bestial train,
Forthwith the huge portcullis high up-drew,
Which but herself, not all the Stygian powers
Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole

turns

The intricate wards, and every bolt and bar
Of massy iron or solid rock with ease
Unfastens. On a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut
Excell'd her power; the gates wide open stood,
That with extended wings a banner'd host,
Under spread ensigns marching, might pass through
With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array;

Great things with small,) that when Bellona storms
With all her battering engines bent to rase
Some capital city; or less than if this frame
Of Heaven were falling, and these elements
In mutiny had from her axle torn
The stedfast Earth. At last his sail-broad vans
He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
Uplifted spurns the ground; thence many a league,
As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides
Audacious; but, that seat soon failing, meets
A vast vacuity: all unawares
Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb down he drops
Ten thousand fathoms deep; and to this hour
Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud,
Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him
As many miles aloft: that fury stay'd,
Quench'd in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,
Nor good dry land: nigh founder'd on he fares,
Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
Half flying; behoves him now both oar and sail.
As when a gryphon, through the wilderness
With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale,
Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
Had from his wakeful custody purloin'd
The guarded gold: so eagerly the fiend
O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or

rare,

With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way,
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies;
At length a universal hubbub wild
Of stunning sounds, and voices all confus'd,
Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear
With loudest vehemence: thither he plies,

Undaunted to meet there whatever power
Or spirit of the nethermost abyss

Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies
Bordering on light; when straight behold the
throne

66

Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread
Wide on the wasteful deep: with him enthron'd
Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things,
The consort of his reign; and by them stood
Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name
Of Demogorgon! Rumor next and Chance,
And Tumult and Confusion all embroil'd,
And Discord with a thousand various mouths.
To whom Satan turning boldly, thus: Ye powers
And spirits of this nethermost abyss,
Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy,
With purpose to explore or to disturb
The secrets of your realm; but, by constraint
Wandering this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light,
Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek
What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds
Confine with Heaven; or if some other place,
From your dominion won, the ethereal King
Possesses lately, thither to arrive

I travel this profound: direct my course;
Directed, no mean recompense it brings
To your behoof, if I that region lost,
All usurpation thence expell'd, reduce
To her original darkness, and your sway,
(Which is my present journey) and once more
Erect the standard there of ancient Night:
Yours be the advantage all, mine the revenge."
Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,
With faltering speech and visage incompos'd,
Answer'd. "I know thee, stranger, who thou art,
That mighty leading angel, who of late
Made head against Heaven's King, though over-
thrown.

I saw and heard: for such a numerous host
Fled not in silence through the frighted deep,
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded; and Heaven-gates
Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands
Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here
Keep sidence: if all I can will serve
That little which is left so to defend,
Encroach'd on still through your intestine broils
Weakening the sceptre of old Night: first Hell,
Your dungeon, stretching far and wide beneath;
Now lately Heaven and Earth, another world,
Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain
To that side Heaven from whence your legions
fell:

If that way be your walk, you have not far; So much the nearer danger; go, and speed; Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain."

He ceas'd; and Satan staid not to reply, But, glad that now his sea should find a shore, With fresh alacrity, and force renew'd, Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, Into the wild expanse, and, through the shock Of fighting elements, on all sides round Environ'd, wins his way; harder beset And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks! Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunn'd Charybdis, and by the other whirlpool steer'd. So he with difficulty and labor hard

Mov'd on, with difficulty and labor he;
But, he once past, soon after, when man fell,
Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain
Following his track, such was the will of Heaven,
Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way
Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wondrous length,
From Hell continued reaching the utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which the spirits perverse
With easy intercourse pass to and fro
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
God, and good angels, guard by special grace.
But now at last the sacred influence

Of light appears, and from the walls of Heaven
Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
A glimmering dawn: here Nature first begins
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire
As from her outmost works a broken foe
With tumult less, and with less hostile din,
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn;
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off the empyreal Heaven, extended wide
In circuit, undetermin'd square or round,
With opal towers and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
And fast by, hanging in a golden chain,
This pendent world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude close by the Moon.
Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour he hies.

BOOK III.

THE ARGUMENT.

God, sitting on his throne, sees Satan flying towards this world, then newly created; shows him to the Son, who sat at his right hand; foretells the success of Satan in perverting mankind; clears his own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having created Man free, and able enough to have withstood his tempter; yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God renders praises to his Father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man: but God again declares, that grace cannot be extended towards Man without the satisfaction of divine justice: Man hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to godhead, and therefore, with all his progeny, devoted to death, must die, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, 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 Heaven and Earth; commands all the angels to adore him: They obey, and hymning to their harps in full quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb; where wandering, he first finds a place, since called the Limbo of Vanity: what persons and things fly up thither: thence comes

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to the gate of Heaven, described ascending by About him all the sanctities of Heaven stairs, and the waters above the firmament that Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received flow about it: his passage thence to the orb of Beatitude past utterance; on his right the Sun; he finds there Uriel, the regent of that The radiant image of his glory sat, orb, but first changes himself into the shape of His only Son; on earth he first beheld a meaner angel; and, pretending a zealous desire Our two first parents, yet the only two to behold the new creation, and Man whom Of mankind, in the happy garden plac'd, God had placed here, inquires of him the place Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love, of his habitation, and is directed: alights first on Uninterrupted joy, unrivall'd love, mount Niphates. In blissful solitude; he then survey'd Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there Coasting the wall of Heaven on this side Night In the dun air sublime, and ready now

HAIL, holy Light, offspring of Heaven, first-born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou rather, pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the Sun,
Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
With other notes than to the Orphéan lyre,
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night;
Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovran vital lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equall'd with me in fate,
So were I equall'd with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris, and blind Moonides,
And Tiresias, and Phineus, 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
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even 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
Surrounds me, from the cheerful 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, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.

Now had the Almighty Father from above,
From the pure empyréan where he sits
High thron'd above all height, bent down his eye
His own works and their works at once to view:

To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet,
On the bare outside of this world, that seem'd
Firm land imbosom'd without firmament,
Uncertain which, in ocean or in air.
Him God beholding from his prospect high,
Wherein past, present, future, he beholds,
Thus to his only Son foreseeing spake.

"Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage
Transports our adversary? whom no bounds
Prescrib'd, no bars of Hell, nor all the chains
Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss
Wide interrupt, can hold; so bent he seems
On desperate revenge, that shall redound
Upon his own rebellious head.
And now,
Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way
Not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light,
Directly towards the new-created world,
And Man there plac'd, with purpose to essay
If him by force he can destroy, or, worse,
By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
For Man will hearken to his glozing lies
And easily transgress the sole command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: so will fall
He and his faithless progeny. Whose fault?
Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
Such I created all the ethereal powers

And spirits, both them who stood, and them who

fail'd;

Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
Not free, what proof could they have given sincere
Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love,
Where only what they needs must do appear'd,
Not what they would? what praise could they re-
ceive?

What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
When will and reason (reason also is choice)
Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil'd,
Made passive both, had serv'd necessity,
Not me? They therefore, as to right belong'd,
So were created, nor can justly accuse
Their maker, or their making, or their fate,
As if predestination over-rul'd
Their will, dispos'd by absolute decree

Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
Their own revolt, not I; if I foreknew,
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.
So without least impúlse or shadow of fate,
Or aught by me immutably foreseen,
They trespass, authors to themselves in all
Both what they judge, and what they choose;
for so

I form'd them free: and free they must remain, Till they enthral themselves; I else must change Their nature, and revoke the high decree

Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain'd
Their freedom; they themselves ordain'd their fall.
The first sort by their own suggestion fell,
Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls, deceiv'd
By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
The other none: in mercy and justice both,
Through Heaven and Earth, so shall my glory
excel:
But mercy, first and last, shall brightest shine."
Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance
fill'd

All Heaven, and in the blessed spirits elect
Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd.
Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
Most glorious in him all his Father shone
Substantially express'd; and in his face
Divine compassion visibly appear'd,
Love without end, and without measure grace,
Which uttering, thus he to his Father spake :

"O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd
Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find grace;
For which both Heaven and Earth shall high extol
Thy praises, with the innumerable sound
Of hymns and sacred songs, wherewith thy throne
Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest.
For should Man finally be lost, should Man,
Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest son,
Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though join'd
With his own folly? That be from thee far,
That far be from thee, Father, who art judge
Of all things made, and judgest only right.
Or shall the adversary thus obtain

My umpire, Conscience; whom if they will hear,
Light after light, well us'd they shall attain,
And to the end, persisting, safe arrive.
This my long sufferance, and my day of grace,
They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste
But hard be harden'd, blind be blinded more,
That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
And none but such from mercy I exclude.
But yet all is not done; Man disobeying,
Disloyal, breaks his fealty, and sins
Against the high supremacy of Heaven,
Affecting godhead, and, so losing all,
To expiate his treason hath nought left,
But to destruction sacred and devote,
He, with his whole posterity, must die,
Die he, or justice must; unless for him
Some other able, and as willing, pay
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say, heavenly powers, where shall we find such
love?
Which of ye will be mortal, to redeem
Man's mortal crime, and just the unjust to save?
Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?"

His end, and frustrate thine? shall he fulfil
His malice, and thy goodness bring to nought,
Or proud return though to his heavier doom,
Yet with revenge accomplish'd, and to Hell
Draw after him the whole race of mankind,
By him corrupted? or wilt thou thyself
Abolish thy creation, and unmake
For him, what for thy glory thou hast made?
So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
Be question'd and blasphem'd without defence."

To whom the great Creator thus replied.
"O Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all
As my eternal purpose hath decreed:
Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will;
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
Freely vouchsaf'd; once more I will renew
His lapsed powers, though forfeit, and enthrall'd
By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
On even ground against his mortal foe;
By me upheld, that he may know how frail
His fall'n condition is, and to me owe
All his deliverance, and to none but me.
Some I have chosen of peculiar grace,
Elect above the rest; so is my will:
The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warn'd
Their sinful state, and to appease betimes
The incensed Deity, while offer'd grace
Invites; for I will clear their senses dark,
What may suffice, and soften stony hearts
To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
To prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
Though but endeavor'd with sincere intent,
Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.
And I will place within them as a guide,

He ask'd, but all the heavenly quire stood mute, And silence was in Heaven: on Man's behalf Patron or intercessor none appear'd,

Much less that durst upon his own head draw
The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
And now without redemption all mankind
Must have been lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell
By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,
His dearest mediation thus renew'd.

"Father, thy word is past, Man shall find grace;
And shall grace not find means, that finds her way,
The speediest of thy winged messengers,
To visit all thy creatures, and to all
Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought?
Happy for Man, so coming; he her aid
Can never seek, once dead in sins, and lost;
Atonement for himself, or offering meet,
Indebted and undone, hath none to bring:
Behold me then; me for him, life for life
I offer; on me let thine anger fall;
Account me Man; I for his sake will leave
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die
Well pleas'd; on me let Death wreak all his rage
Under his gloomy power I shall not long
Lie vanquish'd; thou hast given me to possess
Life in myself for ever; by thee I live,
Though now to Death I yield, and am his due
All that of me can die: yet, that debt paid,
Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave
His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul
For ever with corruption there to dwell;
But I shall rise victorious, and subdue
My vanquisher, spoil'd of his vaunted spoil;
Death his death's wound shall then receive, and
stoop

Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm'd.
I through the ample air in triumph high
Shall lead Hell captive, maugre Hell, and show
The powers of darkness bound. Thou, at the
sight

Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,
While, by thee rais'd, I ruin all my foes,
Death last, and with his carcass glut the grave.
Then, with the multitude of my redeem'd,
Shall enter Heaven, long absent, and return,

Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd
And reconcilement; wrath shall be no more
Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire."

His words here ended, but his meek aspéct Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love To mortal men, above which only shone Filial obedience: as a sacrifice

Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will
Of his great Father. Admiration seiz'd
All Heaven, what this might mean, and whither
tend,
Wondering; but soon the Almighty thus replied.
"O thou in Heaven and Earth the only peace
Found out for mankind under wrath! O thou
My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear
To me are all my works, nor Man the least,
Though last created; that for him I spare
Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save,
By losing thee awhile, the whole race lost.
Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem,
Their nature also to thy nature join;
And be thyself man among men on Earth,
Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed,
By wonderous birth: be thou in Adam's room
The head of all mankind, though Adam's son.
As in him perish all men, so in thee,

As from a second root, shall be restor❜d
As many as are restor'd, without thee none.
His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy nerit,
Imputed, shall absolve them who renounce
Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,
And live in thee transplanted, and from thee
Receive new light. So man, as is most just,
Shall satisfy for man, be judg'd and die,
And dying rise, and rising with him raise
His brethren, ransom'd with his own dear life.
So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate,
Giving to death, and dying to redeem,
So dearly to redeem what hellish hate
So easily destroy'd, and still destroys
In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume
Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own.
Because thou hast, though thron'd in highest bliss
Equal to God, and equally enjoying
Godlike fruition, quitted all, to save

A world from utter loss, and hast been found
By merit more than birthright Son of God,
Found worthiest to be so by being good,
Far more than great or high; because in thee
Love hath abounded more than glory abounds,
Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt
With thee thy manhood also to this throne;
Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
Anointed universal King: all power

Bad men and angels; they, arraign'd, shall sink
Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full,
Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meanwhile
The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring
New Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall
dwell,

And after all their tribulations long,
See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth.
Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by,
For regal sceptre then no more shall need,
God shall be all in all. But, all ye gods,
Adore him, who to compass all this dies:
Adore the Son, and honor him as me."

I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee, as head supreme,
Thrones, princedoms, powers, dominions, I reduce:
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
When thou, attended gloriously from Heaven,
Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
Thy summoning arch-angels to proclaim
Thy dread tribunal: forthwith from all winds
The living, and forthwith the cited dead
Of all past ages, to the general doom
Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep.
Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge

No sooner had the Almighty ceas'd, but all The multitude of angels, with a shout Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heaven rung With jubilee, and loud Hosannas fill'd The eternal regions: lowly reverent Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground With solemn adoration down they cast Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold; Immortal amarant, a flower which once In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence To Heaven remov'd where first it grew, there grows, And flowers aloft shading the fount of life, And where the river of bliss through midst of Heaven

Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream:
With these that never fade the spirits elect
Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams
Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone,
Impurpled with celestial roses smil'd.
Then, crown'd again, their golden harps they took,
Harps ever tun'd, that glittering 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 Heaven.

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 sit'st
Thron'd inaccessible, 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 countenance, without cloud
Made visible, the Almighty Father shines,
Whom else no creature can behold; on thee
Impress'd the effulgence of his glory abides,
Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He Heaven of Heavens and all the powers therein
By thee created; and by thee threw down
The aspiring dominations: thou that day
Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook
Heaven's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks
Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy powers with loud acclaim
Thee only extoll'd, Son of thy Father's might,

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