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THE

FIRST BOOK

OF

PARADISE REGAIN'D.

B

40

Descry'd, divinely warn’d, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heav'nly cffice, nor was long,
His witneis unconfirm'd : on him baptiz'd
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a dove

30
The Spi'; it descended, while the Father's voice
From Heav'n pronounc'd him his beloved Son.
That heard the Adversary, who roving still
About the world, at that assembly famd
Would not be last, and with the veice divine

35 Nighi thunder-struck, th'exalted man, to whom Such high atteft was giv'n, a while survey'd With wonder, then with envy fraught and rage Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air To council fummons all his mighty peers, Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involvid, A gloomy consistory; and them amidst With looks aghast and lad he thus bespake.

O ancient Pow'rs of air and this wide world, For much more willingly I mention air, 45 This our old conquest, than remember flell, Our hated habitation;

well

ye

know
How many ages, as the years of men,
This univer:e we have possess'd, and rul'd
In manner at our will th'affairs of earth,

50
Since Adam and his facil consort Eve
Lost Paradise deceiv'd by me, though since
With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head : long the decrees of Heav'n

55 Delay, for longest time to him is short ; And now too foon for us the circling hours This dreaded time have compass'd, wherein we Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound, At least if so we can, and by the head

60 Broken

65

70

Broken be not intended all our power
To be infring’d, our freedom and our being,
In this fair empire won of earth and air ;
For this ill news I bring, the woman's feed
Destin'd to this, is late

of woman born :
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,
But his growth now to youth's full flow'r, displaying
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
Before him a great prophet, to proclame
His coming, is sent harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the consecrated stream
Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them so
Purified to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honor as their king ; all come, 75
And he himself among them was baptiz’d,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony of Heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt ; I saw
The prophet do him reverence, on him rising 80
Out of the water, Heav'n above the clouds
Unfold her crystal doors, thence on his head
A perfect dove descend, what-e'er it meant,
And out of Heav'n the fovran voice I heard,
This is my Son belov’d, in him am pleas'd.
His mother then is mortal, but his fire
He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven,
And what will he not do to advance his Son ?
His first-begot-we know, and fore have felt,
When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep ; 90
Who this is we must learn, for man he seems
In all his lineaments, though in his face
The glimpses of his Father's glory shine.
Ye see our danger on the utmost edge
Of hazard, which admits no long debate, 95

But

85

B 3

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