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Of heav'n were falling, and these elements
way, And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies. At length a universal hubbub wild Of stunning sounds and voices all confused, 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 Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread
! Gryphon, a fabulous creature; a lion with an eagle's head, said to guard gold mines.
3 The Arimaspians were a one-eyed
people of Scythia, who took gold, when they could get it, from the gryphons * who guarded it. See Pliny's Natural
History," lib. vii. c. 2.
Wide on the wasteful Deep: with him enthroned
th' ethereal King
Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,
1 Orchus, Pluto; Ados, a personification, any dark place.-RICHARDSON,
2 A fiend, whose very name the heathen feared to pronounce.
Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here
have not far; So much the nearer danger: go and speed; Havock, and spoil, and ruin are my gain.
He ceased; and Satan stay'd 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 Argol pass'd Through Bosphorus betwixt the justling rocks : Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned Charybdis, and by th’ other whirlpool steer'd, So he with difficulty and labour hard Moved on; with difficulty and labour he; But he' once past, soon after when man fell, Strange alteration ! Sin and Death amain Following his track, such was the will of Heav’n, Paved after him a broad and beaten way Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf Tamely endured a bridge of wond'rous length, From hell continued, reaching th' 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
1 The ship in which Jason and his companions sailed to fetch the golden fleece from Colchis, in the Black Sea.
Of light appears, and from the walls of heav'n
1 See Measure for Measure, Act iii. Sc. 1.
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, bymning to their harps in full choir, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satın 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 el; and pretending a zealous desire to behold the new creation, and Man whom God had placed here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights first on Mount Niphates.
Hail holy light, offspring of heav'n first-born
11 St. John i. 5. 1 Tim. vi. 16.
addressing her as “ Mother of gods and