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And here ait likeliest, by Supreme decree,
Like honour to obtain, and as his eye

660
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 664
All these his works so wondrous he ordain'd,
Hath brought me from the choirs of Cherubim
Alone thus wand'ring. Brightest Seraph, tell
In which of all these shining orbs hath Man
His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell,
That I may find him, and with secret gaze 671
Or open admiration him behold,
On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd
Worlds, andon whom hath all these graces pour’d;
That both in him and all things, as is meet, 675
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.

680 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,

684 By his permissive will, thro' Heav'n and Earth : And oft though Wisdom wake, Suspicion sleeps At Wisdom's gate, and to Simplicity Resigns her charge, while Goodness thinks no ill

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Where no ill seems : which now for once

beguil'd Uriel, though regent of the Sun, and held 690 The sharpest sighted Sp'rit of all in Heav'n ; 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 695 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 mansion thus alone, 699 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 705 Their number, or the wisdom infinite That brought them forth, but hid their causes

deep? I saw when at his word the formless mass, This world's material mould, came to a heap: Confusion heard his voice, and wild Uproar 710 Stood rul'd, stood vast Infinitude confin'd; Till at his second bidding Darkness fled, Light shone, and Order from Disorder

sprung: Swift to their sev'ral quarters hasted then The cumbrous elements, Earth, Flood, Air, Fire; And this ethereal quintessence of Heav'n 716

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Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That roll's orbicular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move:
Each had his place appointed, each his course;
The rest in circuit walls the universe.

721 Look downward on that globe, whose hither side With light from hence, tho’ but reflected, shines; That place is Earth, the seat of Man; that light His day, which else, as th’other hemisphere, 725 Night would invade; but there the neighb’ring

moon

(So call that opposite fair star) her aid
Timely' interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing, thro' mid Heav'n,
With borrow'd light her countenance triform 730
Hence fills and empties to enlighten th’Earth,
And in her pale dominion checks the night.
That spot to which I point is Paradise,
Adam's abode, those lofty shades his bow'r. 734
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires.

Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan bowing low,
As to superior Sp'rits is wont in Heav'n,
Where honour due and rev’rence none neglects,
Took leave, and tow'rd the coast of earth beneath,
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. 742

END OF THE THIRD BOOK.

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