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Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'd the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy fphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou fun! of this great world both eye and foul,
Acknowledge him thy greater; found his praise
In thy eternal courfe, both when thou climb'ft,
And when high noon haft gain'd, and when thou fall'st
Moon, that now meets the orient fun, now fly'st
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wand'ring fires, that move
In myftic dance not without fong, refound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix,
And nourish all things: let your ceafeless change
Vary to our great Maker ftill new praise.
Ye mifts and exhalations, that now rife
From hill or ftreaming lake, dusky or grey, ́
Till the fun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling fhowers,
Rifing or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe foft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant, in fign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye, that warble as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praife.
Join voices all, ye living fouls; ye birds,
That finging up to heaven-gate afcend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and ftately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be filent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my fong, and taught his praise.
Hail, univerfal Lord! be bounteous ftill
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd ought of evil, or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light difpels the dark.
O THOU that, with furpaffing glory crown'd,
Look'ft from thy fole dominion like the god
Of this new world; at whofe fight all the ftars
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O fun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride, and worfe ambition threw me down,
Warring in heav'n against heav'n's matchlefs King.
Ah, wherefore! he deferv'd no fuch return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his fervice hard.
What could be lefs, than to afford him praise,
The cafieft recompenfe, and pay him thanks,
How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice: lifted up so high
I ’sdain’d subjection, and thought one ftep higher
Would fet me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immenfe of endless gratitude,
So burthenfome, ftill paying, ftill to owe;
Forgetful what from him I ftill receiv'd;
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what a burthen then ♬
O had his pow'rful destiny ordain'd
Me fome inferior angel, I had flood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not? fome other power
As great might have afpir'd, and me though mean
Drawn to his part; but other pow'rs as great
Fell not, but ftand unfhaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadft thou the fame free will and pow'r to stand?
Thou hadft. Whom haft thou then, or what t'accufe,
But Heav'n's free love, dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs'd, fince love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal wo.
Nay, curs'd be thou! fince against his thy will
Chofe freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miferable! which way fhall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell!
And, in the loweft deep, a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I fuffer seems a heav'n.
O then at laft relent: Is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by fubmiffion; and that word
Difdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the fpirits beneath, whom I feduc'd
With other promifes, and other vaunts,
Than to fubmit, boafting I could fubdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ah me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boaft fo vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell:
With diadem and fceptre high advanc'd,
The lower ftill I fall, only fupreme
In mifery: fuch joy Ambition finds.
But fay I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former ftate: how foon
Would height recall high thoughts, how foon unfay
What feign'd Submiffion fwore! Eafe would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void :
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd fo deep;
Which would but lead us to a worse relapse,
And heavier fall: fo fhould I purchase dear
Short intermiffion, bought with double fmart.
This knows my Punisher: therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus, behold instead
Of us outcaft, exil'd, his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewel Hope! and with Hope farewel Fear!
Farewel Remorfe! all good to me is loft;
Evil be thou my good: by thee at least
Divided empire with heav'n's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
JUBA AND SYPHAX.
JUB. SYPHAX, I joy to meet thee thus alone.
I have obferv'd of late thy looks are fall'n,
O'ercaft with gloomy cares and discontent;
Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee, tell me,
What are the thoughts that knit thy brow in frowns,
And turn thine eyes thus coldly on thy prince?
SYPH. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts
Or carry fmiles and funfhine in my face,
When difcontent fits heavy at my heart:
I have not yet so much the Roman in me.
JUB. Why dost thou cast out such ungen'rous terms
Against the lords and fov'reigns of the world?
Doft thou not fee mankind fall down before them,
And own the force of their fuperior virtue ?
Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric,
Amidft our barren rocks and burning fands,
That does not tremble at the Roman name?
SYPH. Gods! where's the worth that fets this people up Above you own Numidia's tawny fons ?
Do they with tougher finews bend the bow ?
Or flies the jav'lin fwifter to its mark,
Launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm?
Who like our active African inftructs
The fiery fteed, and trains him to his hand?
Or guides in troops th' embattled elephant,