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More dreadful and deform. On the other side

Incens'd with indignation, Satan stood
Unterrified, and like a comet burn'd,
That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge 75
In th'arctic sky, and from his horrid hair
Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the

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
Those other two equall'd with me in fate,
So were I equall'd with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides,
And Tiresias, and Phineas, prophets old:
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest coverd hid,
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the

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.

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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,
So burdensome; still paying, still to owe:
Forgetful what from him I still received,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burden then?
O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Ambition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspired, and me, though

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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. Ah me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell.
With diadem and sceptre high advanced,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery: such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how

soon unsay


What feign'd submission swore! Ease would

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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.

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God hath pronounced it death to taste that tree,

The only sign of our obedience left
Among so many signs of power and rule
Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given 20
Over all other creatures that possess
Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think

One easy prohibition, who enjoy



Not distant far from thence a murmuring
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd, 45
Pure as the expanse of heaven; I thither


With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down


On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite
A shape within the watery gleam appear'd,
Bending to look on me: I started back,
It started back; but pleas'd I soon return'd,
Pleas'd it return'd as soon, with answering

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
Whose image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear
Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd
Mother of human race. What could I do,
But follow straight, invisibly thus led?
Till I espied thee, fair indeed, and tall,
Under a platain, yet methought less fair,


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;
But let us ever praise him, and extol
His bounty; following our delightful task,
To prune these growing plants, and tend
these flowers,

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 daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy 35
So far the happier lot, enjoying thee
Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou
Like consort to thyself canst no where find.
That day I oft remember, when from sleep
I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd, 40
Under a shade, on flowers, much wondering

And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.

His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
Substantial life, to have thee by my side 75
Henceforth an individual solace dear;
Part of my soul, I seek thee, and thee

My other half!" With that thy gentle hand
Seiz'd mine; I yielded; and from that time


How beauty is excell'd by manly grace, sẽ And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.'


V, 153-208.

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
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing, ye in heaven:
On earth join all ye creatures to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without

Fairest of stars! last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn, 15
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smil-
ing morn

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
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up

Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion (1)



Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
And nourish all things, let your ceaseless

Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with
In honour to the world's great Author, rise;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncolour'd

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 pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship, wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls: ye birds, 45
That, singing, up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his


Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his

Hail, Universal Lord! be bounteous still
To give us only good; and, if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd, 55
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.'

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.

XI, 238-292.

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

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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
That must be mortal to us both. O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
At even; which I bred up with tender

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
In me is no delay: with thee to go,
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Art all things under heaven, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
This further consolation yet secure
I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
(Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf'd,)
By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore.'
So spake our mother Eve; and Adam
Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now,
too nigh
Th'archangel stood; and from the other
To their fix'd station all in bright array,
The cherubim descended, on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
Risen from a river o'er the marish glides,
And gathers ground fast at the labourer's




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


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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

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