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Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream,
Great things, and full of wonder in our ears, Far differing from this world, thou hast reveal'd, Divine interpreter, by favour sent
Down from the empyrean to forewarn
Us timely of what might else have been our loss,
'Age, si vacabit, (scire nam perfectius
Quæ facta fuerint, ante me factum, potes)
Narra petenti, quomodo, quoque ordine
Tam magna numeris machina impleta est suis.'
72 interpreter] So Mercury is called in Virgil. 'Interpres Divûm.' Æn. iv. 378. Newton.
84 relate] So in the Adamus Exul of Grotius, p. 16. Adam says to the angel:
Embracing round this florid earth; what cause
In chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Haste to thy audience, night with her will bring 105
Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought;
This also thy request with caution ask'd Obtain though to recount almighty works What words or tongue of seraph can suffice, Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
90 florid] Globous. Bentl. MS.
99 heav'n] In the first edition there was no comma after 'heaven;' Pearce altered the punctuation.
103 unapparent] dogaros. Bentl. MS.
108 End] for ending dismiss thee; so ii. 917, Stood, and look'd' for 'standing look'd.' Todd.
Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve 115
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain
Know then, that after Lucifer from heav'n,
123 night] Hor. Od. iii. 29. 29.
'Prudens futuri temporis exitum
Caliginosa nocte premit Deus.' Thyer. 129 surfeit] See Davenant's Gondibert, c. viii. st. 22. 'For though books serve as diet of the mind, If knowledge early got, self-value breeds, By false digestion it is turn'd to wind, And what should nourish on the eater feeds.'
Eternal Father from his throne beheld
Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake.
At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who thought All like himself rebellious, by whose aid This inaccessible high strength, the seat Of deity supreme, us dispossest,
He trusted to have seiz'd, and into fraud
Drew many, whom their place knows here no more:
And earth be chang'd to heav'n, and heav'n to earth,
139 least] Mr. Thyer saith, 'That I do not like taking liberties with the text, or I should read "at last."'
This I perform, speak thou, and be it done.
So spake th' Almighty, and to what he spake His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect. Immediate are the acts of God, more swift Than time or motion, but to human ears Cannot without process of speech be told, So told as earthly notion can receive. Great triumph and rejoicing was in heav'n, When such was heard declar'd the Almighty's will; Glory they sung to the Most High, good will To future men, and in their dwellings peace; Glory to him, whose just avenging ire Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight And th' habitations of the just; to him Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd Good out of evil to create, in stead
173 fate] Todd has quoted Plato's Timæus, ed. Serrani, vol. iii. p. 41. Bentley cites Lucan, v. ver. 91. Jortin, Statii Theb. i. 212. Thyer, Claud. de R. Pros. ii. 306. and Tasso Gier. Lib. iv. 17.
'Sia destin cio, ch' io voglio.'
182 the] Bentley reads 'to God most high,' which Newton approves.