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The First Book proposes, first, in brief, the whole subject, Man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, wherein he was placed : then touches the prime cause of his fall, the serpent, or rath Satan in the serpent; who, revolt. ing from God, and drawing to his side many iegions of angels was, by the command of God, driven out of heaven, with all his crew, into the great deep. Which action passed over, the poem hastens into the midst of things, presenting Satan, with his angels, now fallen into hell, described here, not in the centre (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed,) but in a place of uiter darkness, fitliest called Chaos : here Satan, with his angeix, lying on the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonishi, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up hiin who next in order and dignity lay by him : they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded. They rise; their numbers; array of battle; their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterward in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world, and a new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy, or report, in heaven ; for, that angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep: the iusfernal peers there sit in council.

Dr Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woey
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heavenly muse, that on the secret ton
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning how the heavens and earth
Rose out of chaos; or, if Sion bill


Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd'
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke tlry aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues.
Things unattempted, yet in prose or rhyme.

And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
Dorcelike sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,
And madest, it pregnant :: what in me is.dark,
Illumine; what is low, raise and supports
That to the height of this great arguinent:
I may assert.eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

Say first, for: Heaven hides nothing from thy view,. Nor itre deep tract of hell; say first, what cause Moved our grand parents, in that happy state, Favour'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off" From their Creator, and transgress his will, For one restraint, lords of the world besides?. Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile, Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceived The mother of mankind, what time his pride Had cast him out from heaven, niith all his hostOf rebel angels;. hy. wlrose aid, aspiring: To set bimself in glory, 'bove his peers, He trusted to have equall'd the Most Higli If he oppos’d; and, with ambitious aim Against tire throne and monarchy of God, Rais'd impious war in heaven, and battle proud, With vain attempt. Him the Almighty PowerHuri'd headłong flaming from the ethereal sky, Withi hideous ruin avd combustion, down To bottomless perdition; there to dwell In adamantine chains and penal fire, Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms. Nine times the space that measures day and nigh To.mertal men, le with his horrid Crew,

Lay vanquisb’d, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Coufounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him : round he throws bis baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast bate :
At once, as far as angels' ken, he views.
Tbe dismal situation waste and wild ;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
No light ; but rather darkness 'visible
Served only to discover sights of woc,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell! hope never comes
That comes to all ! but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.!
Such place eternal justice had prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordaind
In utier darkness, and their portion set
As far removed from God and light of beaven,
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.
0, how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous tire,
He soon discerns; and weltering by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named
Beelzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,
And thence in heaven called Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began :

“If thou beest he; but , how fall’n! how changed
From him, who, in the happy realms of light,
Clothed with trancendant brightness didst ontshine .
Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league
United thoughts, and counsels, equal hope,
And hazard in the glorious enterprize,
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin : into what pit thou seest
From what height fall’n; so much the stronger proved

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