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The world's material mould, came to a heap :
Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar
Suod rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd ;
Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung:
Swift to their several quarters basted then
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire ;
And this ethereal quintessence of heaven
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That rollid orbicular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
Each had his place appointed, each his course ;
The rest in circuit walls this universe.
Look downward on that globe, whose hither side
With light from hence, though but reflected.
That place is earth, the seat of man ; that light
His day, which else, as the other hemisphere,
Night would invade ; but there the neighbouring
(So call that opposite fair star) her aid (moos
Timely interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing, through mid heaven,
With borrow'd light her countenance triform
Hence fills and empties to enlighten the earth,
And in her pale dominion checks the night.
That spot to which I point is Paradise,
Adam's abode ; those lofty shades, his bower.
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires."
Thus said, he turu'd ;. and Satan, bowing low
As to superior spiri.s is wont in heaven,
Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
Tuok leave, and towards the coast of earth be
neach, Down from the ecliptic, sped with hop'd success ; Throws his strep flight in many an aëry wheel, Nor stay'd, til on Niphates' top he lights.
THE ARGUMENT. Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where ne must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and man, falls into many doubts with him. sell, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair ; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose out ward prospect and situation is described ; overleaps the bounds ; sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about hiin. The garden described ; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, un. der penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temps tation, by seducing them to transgress; then leaves them a while to know farther of their state by some other means Meanwhile Uriel descending on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse. of going to their rest; their bower described ; their evening worship. Gabriel, drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping ; there they find him at the ear of Eve tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though anwilling, to Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scorofully
nswers; prepares resistance; but, Hindered by a sign frond meaven, flies out of Paradise O, for that warning voice, which he, who saw The Apocalypse, heard cry in heaven aloud, That when the Dragon, put to second rout, Came furious down to be reverig'd on men, 6 Woe to the inhabitants on earth !” that now, While time was, our First Parents had been wart The coming of their secret fue, and 'scap'd, Haply so 'scap'd his mortal snare : for now Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down The tempter ere the accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to h:all :
Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself ; horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The hell within him; for within him hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly,
By change of place : now conscience wakes despair
That slumber'a ; wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse ; of worse deeds worse sufferings must
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixed sad ;
Sometimes towards heaven, and the full-blazing
Which now sat high in his meridian tower: [sung
Then much revolving, thus in sighs began :
“O thon, that, with surpassing glory crown'd,
Look'st from thy soie dominion like the god
Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O sun ! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thiy sphere ;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless
Ah, wherefore ? he desert'd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay himn thanks,
How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in nie,
And wrought but malice ; lifted up so high
I 'sdain'd subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome still paying, still to owe:
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg'd; what burden then?
0, had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not ? some other power
As great might have aspir’d, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part ; but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadst thon the same free will and power to stand”
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what tt
But heaven's free love dealt equally to all ?
Be then his love accars'd, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thon ; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rnes,
Mé miserabile ! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I dy is hell; myself am hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
0, then, at last relent : is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left ?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain;
Under what torments inwardly I groall,
While they adore me on the throne of hell
With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery : such joy ambition finds.
I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state ; how soon
Would highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
Whit feign' submission swore! Ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep:
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall : so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart
This knows my punisher ; therefore as far
Srom granting he, as I from begging, peace
All hope excluded thus, behold, instead
Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,
Sankind created, and for him this world.
So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewell remorse : all good to me is losi;
Evil, be thou my good : by thee at least
Diviiled empire with heaven's King I hold,
By thee, and more thar, half perhaps will reigos
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know."
Thus while he spuke, each passion dimm'd hio
face Thrice chang'd with pale ire, envy, aud despair ; Which marr'd his borrowed visage, and betray'd Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld : For heavenly minds from such distempers foul Are ever clear,
Wherenf he soon aware, Kach perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, Artificer of fraud ; and was the first That practis d falsehood muder naintly show, Deep mal:ce to conceal, couch'd with revenge Yef not envugh had praetio'd to deceive