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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 305
Equal to God, and equally enjoying
God-like 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

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I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee, as head supreme,
Thrones, princedoms, pow'rs, dominions I reduce:
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
in Heav'n, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
When thou, attended gloriously from Heaven,
Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
The summoning archangels 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 330
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 Heav'n 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,

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God shall be all in all. But, all ye Gods,
Adore him, who to compass all this dies;
Adore the Son, and honour him as me."

No 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 regions: lowly reverent

Tow'ards either throne they bow, and to the ground
With solemn adoration down they cast

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Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold;
Immortal amarant, a flow'r which once
In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,

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Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence
To Heav'n remov'd, where first it grew, there grows,
And flow'rs aloft, shading the fount of life,

And where the riv'er of bliss through midst of Heaven
Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream:

With these that never fade the spirits elect 360
Bind their resplendent locks enwreath'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, 365
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; the Author of all being,
Fountain of light, thyself invisible
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitt'st
Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st

The full blaze of thy beams, and, through a cloud
Drawn round thee like a radiant shrine,

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Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,
Yet dazzle Heav'n, that brightest seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.
Thee, next they sang, of all creation first,
Begotten Son, divine similitude,

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In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud 385
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, all the pow'rs therein, 390
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 shook
Heav'n's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 895
Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy pow'rs with loud acclaim
Thee only' extoll'd, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes.

Not so on man: him through their malice fall'n, 400
Father of mercy' and grace, thou didst not doom
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, and end the strife
Of mercy' and justice in thy face discern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he 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!
Hail. Son of God. Saviour of men! thy name
Shall be the copious matter of my song
Henceforth, and never shall my harp thy praise
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.

Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry sphere,
Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent.
Meanwhile upon the firm opacous globe

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Of this round world, whose first convex divides
The luminous inferior orbs inclos'd

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From Chaos and th' inroad of Darkness old,
Satan alighted walks: a globe far off
It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent,
Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night
Starless expos'd, and ever-threat'ning storms
Of Chaos blust'ring round, inclement sky;
Save on that side which from the wall of Heaven,
Though distant far, some small reflection gains
Of glimmering air, less vex'd with tempest loud:
Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field. 430
As when a vultur, on Imaus bred,

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-Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
Dislodging from a region scarce of prey
Το gorge the flesh of lambs or yeanling kids,
On hills where flocks are fed, flies tow'ard the springs
Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams;

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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 hither like aërial vapours flew

Of all things transitory' and vain, when sin
With vanity had fill'd the works of men;
Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
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 find
Fit retribution, empty as their deeds;

All th' unaccomplish'd works of Nature's hand, 455
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd,
Dissolv'd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,

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Till final dissolution, wander here,

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Not in the neighb'ring moon, as some have dream'd;
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 renown'd: 465
The builders next of Babel on the plain
Of Sennaar, and still with vain design

New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build :
Others came single; he who, to be deem'd
A God, leap'd fondly into Etna 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 trumpery. 475
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 weighs
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 awry
Into the devious air; then might ye see

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Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost 490
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

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