« PreviousContinue »
I saw and heard, for such a numerous host
have not far; So much the nearer danger; go and speed ; Havoc and spoil and ruin are my gain,
He ceas'd; and Satan stay'd not to reply, 1010 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 1015 Environ'd wins his way; harder beset And more indanger'd, than when Argo pass'd Through Bosporus betwixt the justling rocks: Or when Ulysses on the larbord shunnid Charybdis, and by the other whirlpool steer'd. So he with difficulty' and labor hard
If that way
Movid on, with difficulty' and labor he ;
But now at last the sacred influence Of light appears, and from the walls of Heav'n Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
1036 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, 1040 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,
1045 Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold Far off th' empyreal Heav'n, extended wide In circuit, undetermin’d square or round, With opal tow'rs and battlements adorn'd Of living saphir, once his native seat; 1050
And fast by hanging in a golden chain
The End of the Second Book,
The Argument. God sitting on his throne sees Satan fying towards this world, then newly created; shows hiin 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 bim, in regard he fell not of his own inalice, 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 ransome for Man: the Father accepts hiin, 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. Mean while 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 to the gate of Heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it: his passage thence to the orb of the sun; he finds there Uriel the regent of that orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner angel; and pretending a zealous desire to behold the new creation, and Man whom God had placed here, inquires of hin the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights tirst on Mount Niphates.
llau! holy. Light! offspring of Heav'n first-born,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
of Chaos and eternal Night,
30 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 Mæonides,