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Raphael at the request of Adam relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declar'd his pleafure to create another world and other creatures to dwell therein; fends his Son with glory and attendence of Angels to perform the work of creation in fix days: the Angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his rea-fcenfion into Heaven.




ESCEND from Heav'n, Urania, by that name

If rightly thou art call'd, whose voice divine
Following, above th' Olympian hill I foar,
Above the flight of Pegaféan wing.

The meaning, not the name I call: for thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st; but heav'nly born,
Before the hills appear'd, or fountain flow'd,
Thou with eternal Wisdom didft converfe,
Wisdom thy fifter, and with her didst play,
In presence of th' almighty Father, pleas'd
With thy celestial fong. Up led by thee
Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy temp'ring; with like fafety guided down,
Return me to my native element:

Left, from this flying fteed unrein'd, (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime)
Difmounted, on th' Aleian field I fall,
Erroneous there to wander and forlorn.


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Half yet remains unfung, but narrower bound

Within the visible diurnal sphere;

Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole,
More fafe I fing with mortal voice, unchang'd
To hoarfe or mute, though fall'n on evil days,
On evil days though fall'n, and evil tongues;
In darkness, and with dangers compafs'd round,
And folitude; yet not alone, while thou
Vifit'ft my flumbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east: ftill govern thou my fong,
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barbarous diffonance
Of Bacchus and his revelers, the race

Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears
To rapture, till the favage clamor drown'd
Both harp and voice; nor could the Muse defend
Her fon. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art heav'nly, she an empty dream.

Say Goddess, what ensued when Raphaël,
The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn'd
Adam by dire example to beware
Apoftafy, by what befell in Heaven
To those apoftates; left the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,

Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,

If they tranfgrefs, and flight that fole command,

So easily obey'd,amid the choice

Of all tastes else to please their appetite,







Though wand'ring. He, with his conforted Eve, 50 The story heard attentive; and was fill'd

With admiration and deep muse, to hear

Of things fo high and strange; things to their thought So unimaginable as hate in Heaven,

And war,fo near the peace of God in blifs,


With fuch confusion: but the evil foon

Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those

From whom it fprung, impoffible to mix


With blessednefs. Whence Adam foon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose: and now
Led on, yet finless, with defire to know
What nearer might concern him; how this world,
Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous, first began,
When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within Eden,or without,was done
Before his memory, as one whose drouth,
Yet fcarce allay'd, ftill eyes the current stream,
Whofe liquid murmur heard new thirft excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heav'nly guest.


Great things, and full of wonder in our ears, 70 Far differing from this world, thou haft reveal'd, Divine interpreter, by favor fent

Down from the empyréan to forewarn

Us timely of what might else have been our loss, Unknown, which human knowledge could not reach: 75 For which to th' infinitely Good we owe

Immortal thanks, and his admonishment


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