Page images
[blocks in formation]

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 wondrous 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

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

Equal to God, and equally enjoying
Godlike fruition, quitted all to save

Anointed Universal King; all power

I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee as head supreme
Thrones, Princedoms, Pow'rs, Dominions, I

Imputed shall absolve them who renounce
Their own both righteous and unrighteous

And live in thee transplanted, and from thee
Receive new life. 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 heav'nly 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


All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide


Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume
Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own.
Because thou hast, though thron'd in highest

In Heav'n, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
The 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

Then all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge
Bad men and angels; they arraign'd shall sink
Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full,
Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meau
The world shall burn, and from her ashes
New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall

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 hatb abounded more than glory abounds,
Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt

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 scepter shalt lay by,
For regal sceptre then no more shall nced,
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.

Nor sooner had th`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, Heav'n rung
With jubilee, and loud hosannas fill'd
Th'eternal regious: lowly reverent
Towards either throue they bow, and to the

With solemn adoration down they cast
Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold;
Iminortal amarant, a flow'r which once
In Paradise, fast by the tree of Life,
Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence
To Heav'n remov'd, where first it grew, there


And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of Life,
And where the river of Bliss through midst of

Rolis o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream;
With these that never fade the spirits elect
Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with
Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the

Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone,
Impurpled with celestial roses smail'd.
Then crown'd again, their golden harps they

Hail! Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy name
Shall he the copious matter of my Song
Henceforth, and never shall my harp thy

Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.
Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry

Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet,
Of charming symphony, they introduce
Their sacred soug, and waken raptures high;
No voice exempt, no voice but well could join
Melodious part, such concord is in Heav'n.

Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent,
Mean while, 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

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 Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of

It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent



Starless expos'd, and ever threat'uing storms
Of Chaos blust'ring round, inclement sky;
Save on that side which from the wall of
Though distant far, some small reflection
Of glimmering air less vex'd with tempest
Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,

In whose conspicuous count'nauce, without | Dislodging from a region scarce of prey

To gorge the flesh of lambs or yeanling kids
Ou hills where flocks are fed, flies toward the

Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and through a

Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,
Yet dazzle Heav'n, that brightest seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil their


Thee next they sang of all creation first,
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,


Made visible, th' almighty Father shines,
Whom else no creature can behold; on thee
Impress'd th' effulgence of his glory abides,
Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He Heav'n of Heav'ns, and all the pow'rs

By thee created, and by thee threw down
Th'aspiring Dominations: thou that day
Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy flaming chariot wheels, that



Heav'n's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks
Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy powers with loud ac-

Thee only extoll'd, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,
Not so on mau: hun through their malice

Father of mercy aud grace, thou didst not

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 inclin'd,
He to appease thy wrath, aud end the strife
Of Mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein be sat
Second to thee, offer'd himself to die
For Man's offence. O unexampled love,
Love no where to be found less than divine!


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;
Alone, for other creature in this place
Living or lifeless to be found was none;
None yet, but store hereafter from the earth
Up bither like aereal vapors flew

Of all things transitory and vain, when Sin
With vanity bad fill'd the works of men;
Both all things vain, and all who in vain

Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting fame,
Or happiness in this or th`other life;
All who have their reward on earth, the fruits
Of painful superstition and blind zeal,
Nought seeking but the praise of men, here

Fit retribution, empty as their deeds;
All th' unaccomplish'd works of Nature's

Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd,
Dissolv'd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
Till final dissolution, wander bere,
Not in the neighb'ring moon, as some have

Those argent fields more likely habitants,

Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold
Betwixt th' angelical and human kind.
Hither of ill join'd sons and daughters born
First from the ancient world those giants came
With many a vain exploit, though then re-

The builders next of Babel on the plain
Of Sennaar, and still with vain design
New Babels, had they wherewithal, would

Others came siugle; he who to be deem'd
A god, leap'd fondly into Ætna flames,
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

Here pilgrims roam, that stray'd so far to seek
In Golgotha him dead who lives in Heaven;
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 sev'n, and pass the fix'd,
And that crystalline sphere whose balance


The trepidation talk'd, and that first mov'd;
And now Saint Peter at Heav'n's wicket seems
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

To Padan-Aram, in the field of Luz,
Dreaming by night under the open sky,
And waking cry'd, This is the gate of Heaven.
Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
There always, but drawn up to Heav'n some-

Into the devious air; then might ye see
Cowls, hoods, and habits with their wearers

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

And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam
Of dawning light turn'd thither-ward in baste
His travel'd steps: far distant he 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

Viewless; and underneath a bright sea flow'd
Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon
Who after came from earth, sailing arriv'd,
Wafted by angels, or flew o'er the lake
Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.
The stairs 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

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


From Paneas the fount of Jordan's flood
To Beersaba, where the Holy Land
Borders on Egypt and th' Arabian shore;
So wide the opening 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 night; at last by break of cheerful dawn
Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill,
|| Which to his eye discovers unaware

The goodly prospect of some foreign land
First seen, or some renown'd metropolis
With glist'ring spires and pinnacles adorn'd,
Which now the rising sun gilds with his

Such wonder seiz'd, though after Heaven seen, The sp'rit malign, but much more envy seiz'd

At sight of all this world beheld so fair.
Round he surveys (and well might, where he

So high above the circling canopy

Of night's extended shade) from eastern point
Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears
Andromeda far off Atlantic seas
Beyond th' horizon; then from pole to pole
He views in breadth, and without longer pause
Down right into the world's first region

His flight precipitant, and winds with ease No. IV.-N. S. Continued from the Poetical Part of No. III.


[blocks in formation]

Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd
By his eagnetic beam, that gently warms
The universe, and to each inward part
With gentle penetration, though unseen,
Shoots invisible virtue ev'u to the deep;
So wondrously was set his station bright.
There lands the Fiend, a spot like which


Astronomer in the sun's lucent orb

Through his glaz'd optic tube yet never saw.
The place he found beyond expressiou bright,
Compar'd with aught on earth, metal or

Not all parts like, but all alike inform'd
With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire;
If metal, part seem'd gold, part silver clear;
If stone, uncle most or chrysolite,
Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shoue
In Aaron's breast-plate, and a stone besides
Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere seen,
That stone, or like to that which here below
Philosophers in vain so long have sought,
In vain, though by their pow'rful art they


Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound
Is various shapes old Proteus from the sea,
Drain'd through a limbec to his native form.
What wonder then if fields and regions here
Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers ruu
Portable gold, when with one virtuous touch
Th' arch-chemic sun, so far from us remote,
Produces, with terrestrial humour mix'd,
Here in the dark so many precious things
Of colour glorious and effect so rare?
Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
Indazzled; far and wide his eye commands;
To sight no obstacle found hire, uor shade,

[blocks in formation]

Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar
Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Illustrious on his shoulders fledge with wings
Lay waving round; on some great charge

He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep. Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope To find who might direct his wand'ring flight To Paradise, the happy seat of Man, His journey's end, and our beginning woe. But first he casts to change his proper shape, Which else might work him danger or delay: And now a stripling Cherub he appears, Not of the prime, yet such as in his face Youth smil'd celestial, and to every limb Suitable grace diffus'd, so well he feign'd: Under a coronet his flowing hair

lu curls on either cheek play'd; wings he wore Of many a colour'd plume sprinkled with gold,


His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
Before his decent steps a silver wand.
He drew not nigh unheard; the Angel bright,
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd,
Admonish'd by his car, and straight was

Th' Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the seven
Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,
Stand read at command, and are his eyes
That run through all the Heav'us, or down to
th' carth

Bear his swift errands over moist and dry, O'er sea and laud: bim Satan thus accosts. Uriel, for thou of those sev'n Spirits that stand [bright, In sight of God's high throne, gloriously The first art wout his great authentic will Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring, Where all his sons thy embassy attend; And here art likeliest by supreme decree Like honour to obtain, and as his eye To visit oft this new creation round; Unspeakable desire to see, and know All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man,

His chief delight and favour, him for whom All these bis works so woud'rous he ordain'd,


Hath brought me from the quires of Cherubim I saw when at his word the formless mass,
Alone thus wanding. Brightest Seraph,|| This world's material mould, came to a heap :
Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar
Stood ral'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
|| Light shone, and order from disorder sprung:
Swift to their several quarters hasted then
The cambrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire;
And this ethereal quintessence of Heaven
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That roll'd orbicular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou secst, and how they
Each had his place appointed,' each his
The rest in circuit walls this universe.
Look downward on that globe, whose hither
[shin s;
With light from hence, though but refle ted,
That place is Earth, the seat of Man,that light
His day, which else as th' other hemisphere
Night would invade ; but there the neighb’ring

In which of all these shining orbs hath Man
His fixed seat, or fixed scat hath none,
But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell;
That I may find him, and with secret gaze
Or open admiration him behold,
On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd
Worlds, and on whom bath all these graces

That both in him and all things, as is meet,
The universal Maker we may praise;
Who justly hath driv'n out his rebel foes
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 Mau nor Angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Juvisible, except to God alone,

By his permissive will, through Heav'n and

And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no
Where no ill seems: which now for once
Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held
The sharpest sighted Spirit of all in Heaven;
Who to the fraudulent impostor foul
In his uprightness answer thus return'd.

Fair Angel, thy desire which tends to know
The works of God, thereby to glorify
The great Work-master, leads to no excess
That reaches blame, but rather merits praise
The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
From thy empyreal mausion thus alone,
To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps
Contented with report hear only in Heav'n ;
For wonderful indeed are all his works,
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
Had in remembrance always with delight;
But what created mind can comprehend
Their number, or the wisdom infinite
That brought them forth, but hid their causes



(So call that opposite fair star) her aid
Timely interposes, and her mouthly round
Still ending, still renewing, through mid

With borrow'd light her countenance triform
Hence fills and empties to enilghten th'

And in her pale dominion checks the night.
That spot to which I point is Paradise,
Adam's abode, those lofty shades his bower.
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine re-
Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan bowing
As to superior Spirits is wont in Heaven,
Where honour due and reverence none ne-
Took leave, and toward the coast of earth
Down from th' ecliptic, sped with hop'd


success, Throws his steep flight in many an airy wheel, Nor stay'd, till on Niphates' top he lights.


E 2

« PreviousContinue »