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More dreadful and deform. On the other side
Incens'd with indignation, Satan stood
Levell'd his deadly aim; their fatal hands No second stroke intend; and such a frown Each cast at the other, as when two black clouds, 80 With heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on
Over the Caspian, then stand front to front, Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow To join their dark encounter in mid-air: So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell
Grew darker at their frown; so match'd they stood;
For never but once more was either like To meet so great a foe. And now great deeds Had been achiev'd, whereof all hell had rung, Had not the snaky sorceress, that sat 90 Fast by hell-gate, and kept the fatal key, Risen, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.
The gates are at length opened, and discover to Satan the great gulf between hell and heaven. Directed by Chaos, the power of that place, he passes through, to the sight of this new world which he sought.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing, Escap'd 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 than to th'Orphean lyre, I sung of Chaos, and eternal Night; Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to re-ascend, 20 Though hard and rare. Thee I revisit safe, And feel thy sovereign vital lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Book III. opens with an invocation to Light; and Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n, or
Milton touchingly bewails his own loss of sight.
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King! 10 Ah, wherefore? He deserv'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 him thanks? How due! yet all his good proved ill in me, 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 20
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
What feign'd submission swore! Ease would
This knows my punisher; therefore as far From granting he, as I from begging peace: All hope excluded thus, behold, (instead Of us, outcast, exiled,) his new delight, 75 Mankind, created, and for him this world. So farewell hope; and with hope farewell fear;
Farewell remorse! all good to me is lost; Evil, be thou my good! by thee at least Divided empire with heaven's King I hold, By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign,
As man ere long, and this new world shall know.'
The garden is described, Satan gets sight of Adam and Eve, and is struck with their excellent form and
happy state; he overhears their discourse and gathers
thence that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of.
God hath pronounced it death to taste that tree,
The only sign of our obedience left
One easy prohibition, who enjoy
Not distant far from thence a murmuring
With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Of sympathy and love: there I had fix'd 55 Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warn'd me: What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;
With thee it came and goes; but follow me, And I will bring thee where no shadow stays
Thy coming, and thy soft embraces; he
Free leave so large to all things else, and Less winning soft, less amiably mild, Than that smooth watery image: back I turn'd; Thou, following, cry'dst aloud, "Return. fair Eve! Whom fly'st thou? whom thou fly'st, of him thou art,
Unlimited of manifold delights;
Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.'
To whom thus Eve replied: 'O thou, for whom, And from whom I was form'd, flesh of thy flesh,
And without whom am to no end, my guide, And head! what thou hast said is just and right.
For we to him indeed all praises owe,
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
My other half!" With that thy gentle hand
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace, sẽ And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.'
MORNING-HYMN OF ADAM AND EVE.
These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair: Thyself how wondrous | Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops,
Unspeakable! who sitt'st above these heavens To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels: for ye behold him, and with songs
Fairest of stars! last in the train of night,
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou san, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fall'st.
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st,
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wandering fires, that
In mystic dance not without song, resound
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling show
Rising or falling, still advance his praise. His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
(1) The number four.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
Hail, Universal Lord! be bounteous still
Satan enters into the serpent sleeping; he induces Eve to taste of the tree of knowledge. Adam resolves to perish with her, and eats also of the fruit. Man's The son of God presents to his the transgressors. transgression is known. God sends his Son to judge Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting.
and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise: he sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispossess them.
The archangel soon drew nigh, Not in his shape celestial; but as man Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms A military vest of purple flow'd Livelier than Meliban, or the grain Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old In time of truce: Iris had dipt the woof; His starry helm unbuckled shew'd him prime In manhood where youth ended; by his side,
As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword, Satan's dire dread; and in his hand the spear.
Adam bow'd low; he, kingly, from his state Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd: 'Adam, Heaven's high behest no preface
He added not; for Adam, at the news Heart-struck, with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
That all his senses bound: Eve, who unseen, Yet all had heard, with audible lament Discover'd soon the place of her retire. 30 'O unexpected stroke, worse than of death!
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave Thee, native soil! these happy walks and shades
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day
From the first opening bud, and gave ye
Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress
Wearied I fell asleep; but now lead on; 5
Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd, 40 The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd,
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial
Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat, And vapour as the Lybian air adust, (1) Began to parch that temp'rate clime; whereat In either hand the hastening angel caught Our lingering parents, and to the eastern