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The firft book proposes, firft in brief, the whole fubjet, man's
disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradife wherein be was plac'd. Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the ferpent, or rather Satan in the serpent ; who revolting from God, and drawing to his fide mary tegions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action pafsid over, tle Poem haftes into the mid;t of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into kell, describ'd here, not into the centre (for heav'n and earth may be respos'd as get 12 € made, certainly not yet accurs'd) but in a place of utrer darkness, firliest callid Chaos: Here Satan with his Arge's Ising on the burning lake, thunderfruck and aftoniff d, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him whe next in order and dignity lay by him: they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all bis legians, who lay 'till then in the same manner confounded: they rie ; their num ters, array of battle, their chief leaders nam'd, according to
the idols known afterwards :in Canaan, and the countries adjoining. To these Satan direits bis speech, comforts them with hopes yet of regaining heaven; but tells them laftly of a new world, and a new kind of creature to be created, according to an antient prophefy or report in heaven: for thạt Angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion
of many antient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophefy, and what to determine thereon, be refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandæmonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep: the infernal Peers there fit in council.
F Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree,whose mortal taste
Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
And chiefly thou, O SPIRIT! that dost prefer
affert eternal Providence,
Say first, (for heav'n hides nothing from thy view,
40 If He oppos'd: and with ambitious aim, Against the throne and monarchy of God, Rais'd impious war in heav'n, and battle proud, With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Pow'r Hurld headlong Aaming from th'ethereal sky, -45 With hideous ruin and combustion, down To bottomless perdition: there to dwell In adamantine-chains and penal fire, Who' durft defy, th: Omnipotent to.arms. Nine times the space that measures day and night
50 To mortal men, he with his horrid crew Lay vanquish’d, rolling in the fiery gulf, Confounded though immortal ! But his doom Reserv'd him to more wrath: for now the thought Both of loft happiness, and lasting pain,
55 Torments him. Round he throws his baleful eyes, That witness'd huge affliction and dismay, Mix'd with obdurate pride, and stedfast hate. At once, as far as angels ken, he views. The dismal situation waste and wild :
бо: A dungeon horrible, on all fides round, As one great furnace, flam'd: yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible, Serv'd only to discover fights of woe: Regions of sorrow! doleful shades ! where peace
65 And rest can never dwell! hope never comes,
That comes to all: but torture without end
If thou beest He--- But O how fall’n! how chang’d
95 Can else inflict, do I repent, or change (Though chang'd in outward luftre) that fix'd mind And high disdain, from sense of injur'd merit, That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend: And to the fierce contention brought along
100 Innumerable force of fpirits arm'd, That durit dislike his reign; and me preferring, His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd, In dubious battle on the plains of heav'n, And shook his throne, What tho' che field be loft?
All is not loft ; th' unconquerable will,
So spake th' apostate Angel, though in pain ; Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair : And him thus answer'd foon his bold compeer.
O Prince ! 'O chief of many throned Powers,