HAIL holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born, Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee, Bright effluence of bright essence increate. Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream, Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun, Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest The rising world of waters dark and deep, Won from the void and formless infinite. Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing, Escap't the Stygian Pool, though long detain'd In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight Through utter and through middle darkness borne With other notes then to th' Orphean Lyre I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night, Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down The dark descent, and up to reascend, Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe, And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs, Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill, Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief Thee Sion and the flowrie Brooks beneath That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow, Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget Those other two equal'd with me in Fate, So were I equal'd with them in renown. Blind Thamyris and blind Maeonides, And Tiresias and Phineus Prophets old. Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie move Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful Bird Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men Cut off, and for the Book of knowledg fair Presented with a Universal blanc Of Natures works to mee expung'd and ras'd, And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out. So much the rather thou Celestial light Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight.