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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

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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
Brought death into the world and all

our woe,
With loss of Edex, till one Greater MAN
Restore us, and regain the blissful feat, 5
Sing heav'nly Muse! that on the fe-

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Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning how the heav'ns and earth
Rose.out of Chaos. Or if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloe's brook that flow'd
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous fong:
That with no middle fight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

And chiefly thou, O SPIRIT! that dost prefer
Before all temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st: thou from the first
Waft present, and with mighty wings out-Spread,
Dove-like fat'it brooding on the vast Abyss,
And mad'It it pregnant : what in me is dark
Illumine! what is low, raise and support!
That to the height of this great argument
may

affert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

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Say

Say first, (for heav'n hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of hell) fay first what cause
Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy state
Favour'd of heav'n so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgrefs His will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides ?
Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt?
Th'infernal ferpent! he it was, whose guile,
Stirr'd up with envy

and
revenge,
deceiv'd

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The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cait him out from heav'n, with all his host
Of rebel Angels: by whose aid afpiring
To set himself in glory above his Peers,
He trusted to have equall'd the Most High,

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

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That comes to all: but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning fulphur unconsum'd!
Such place eternal justice had prepar'd

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For those rebellious; here their prison ordaind,
In utter darkness; and their portion set
As far remov'd from God, and light of heav’n,
As from the centre thrice to th’utmost Pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell ! 75
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempeftuous fire,
He soon discerns : and welt'ring by his fide
One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,
Long after known in PALÆSTINE, and nam'd
BEELZEBUB :: To whom th' arch-enemy,
(And thence in heav'n callid SATAN) with bold words
Breaking the horrid filencc thus began.

If thou beest He--- But O how fall’n! how chang’d
From him, who in the happy realms of light
Cloath'd with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myriads tho' bright! If He, whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope,
And hazırd in the glorious enterprize,
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd

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In equal ruin! Into what pit thou feeft,
From what height fall’n ; so much the stronger prov'd
He with his thunder! and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage

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

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All is not loft ; th' unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate
And courage never to submit or yield ;
(And what is else not to be overcome ?)
That glory never shall His wrath or might
Extort from me, to bow and sue for

grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his pow'r,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted His empire. That were low indeed !
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfal! lince (by fate) the strength of Gods,
And this empyreal substance cannot fail ;
Since through experience of this great event,
(In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc’d)
We may, with more successful hope, resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe :
Who now triumphs, and in th’excess of joy.
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of heav'n.

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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.

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O Prince ! 'O chief of many throned Powers,
That led th’ imbatteld Seraphim to war
Under thy conduct! and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, indanger'd heav'ns perpetual King,'
And put to proof His high supremacy:
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate,
Too well I fee and rue the dire event,
That with fad overthrow and foul defeat
Hath lost us heav'n: and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as Gods, and heav'.ly essences,
Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains
Invincible, and vigour foon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy ftate,
Here swallow d up in endless misery !
But what if He our conqu’ror (whom I now

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