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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, shines;
That place is earth the seat of man, that light
His day, which else as th' other hemisphere
Night would invade, but there the neighbouring moon,
(So call that opposite fair star,) her aid
Timely interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing, through mid heav'n,
With borrow'd light her countenance triform
Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' 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. 735
Thus said, he turn'd, and Satan bowing low,
As to superior spirits is wont in heaven,
Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
Took leave, and toward the coast of earth beneath,
Down from th' ecliptic, sped with hop'd success, 740
Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel,
Nor stay'd, till on Niphates' top he lights.
SATAN now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against GoD and man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described, overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a cormorant on the Tree of life, as the highest in the garden to look about him. 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, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them awhile to know further of their state by some other means. Mean while 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 afterwards 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 nightwatch 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 unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hindered by a sign from heaven flies out of paradise.
O FOR that warning voice, which he, who saw
Th' Apocalypse, heard cry in heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
Woe to the inhabitants on earth! that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warn'd
The coming of their secret foe, and scap'd,
Haply so scap'd his mortal snare; for now
Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
The tempter ere th' accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to hell:
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
17 devilish] 'Those devilish engines fierie fierce.'
Spenser's F. Qu. 1. 7. xiii.
Russell's Battles of Leipsic, 1634, 4to.
'As when that devilish iron engine, wrought in deepest hell.'
17 recoils] see Hamlet, act iii. scene iv.
'For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petar.'
And Ausonii Epigram, lxxii.
'Auctorem ut feriant tela retorta suum.'
and Beaumont's Fair Maid of the Inn, act ii.
Gave heat unto the injury, which returned
Like a petard ill lighted, into the bosom
Of him gave fire to't.'
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'd, wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be,
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards heav'n and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower:
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began.
O thou that, with surpassing glory crown'd,
Look'st from thy sole 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 thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heav'n against heaven's matchless King.
Ah, wherefore! he deserv'd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
21 nor from hell] v. Fairfax's Tasso, c. xii. st. 77. 'Swift from myself I run, myself I fear,
Yet still my hell within myself I bear.' Todd.
30 tower] Virg. Culex, ver. 41.
'Igneus æthercas jam sol penetrârat in arces.' Richardson.
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I'sdein'd subjection, and thought one step higher 50
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burthensome, 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?
O 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 thou the same free will and power to stand?
Thou hadst whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
But heaven's free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs'd, since love or hate,
50 sdein'd] Drayton's Moses birth, B. 1.
'Which though it sdaind the pleasdnesse to confesse.' and Fairfax's Tasso, ver. xx. 128. He sdeignful eies.' Todd. 53 still paying] Still paying, ne'er discharged.'
v. Benlowe's Theophila, p. 29.