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To me alike, it deals eternal woe:
Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is hell; my self am hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue.
Th' Omnipotent. Ay 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 advanc'd
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 highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void;
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep;
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace.
All hope excluded thus, behold in stead
Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,
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.
Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envy, and despair, 115 Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld:
For heavenly minds from such distempers foul
Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware
Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm,
Artificer of fraud; and was the first
That practis'd falsehood under saintly show,
Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge.
Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive
Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursu'd him down 125
The way he went, and on th' Assyrian mount
Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befall
Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce
He mark'd and mad demeanour, then alone,
As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
As with a rural mound, the champain head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
Access deny'd; and over-head up-grew
Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene, and, as the ranks ascend
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
The verdurous wall of paradise up sprung;
Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighbouring round.
And higher than that wall a circling row
Of goodliest trees loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue
Appear'd, with gay enamel'd colours mixt:
On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams, 150
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
138 shade] 'shaft.' Bentl. MS. and again, ver. 141. 'Shaft above shaft.'
141 woody theatre] v. Senecæ Troades, ver. 1127.
'Erecta medium vallis includens locum,
Crescit theatri more.'
Virg. Æn. v. 288. and Solini Polyhist. c. xxxviii. v. Lycophr. Cassandra, ver. 600.
151 in] Hume, Bentley, and Warton would read on fair evening cloud.'
When God hath shower'd the earth; so lovely seem'd
That landscape: and of pure now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
All sadness but despair: now gentle gales
Fanning their odoriferous wings dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Arabie the blest, with such delay
Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a league
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles: 165
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the fiend
Who came their bane, though with them better pleas'd
"The Indian winds
That blow off from the coast, and cheer the sailor
With the sweet savour of their spices, want
The delight that flows in thee.'
162 Sabean odours] See Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xii. c. 42. 19. Magnique Alexandri classibus Arabiam odore primum nuntiatam in altum.' Compare a passage in Ovington's Voyage to Surat, p. 55 (1696). We were pleased with the prospect of this island, because we had been long strangers to such a sight; and it gratified us with the fragrant smells which were wafted from the shore, from whence, at three leagues distance, we scented the odours of flowers and fresh herbs; and what is very observable, when after a tedious stretch at sea, we have deemed ourselves to be near land by our observation and course, our smell in dark and misty weather has outdone the acuteness of our sight, and we have discovered land by the fresh smells. before we discovered it with our eyes.' See also Davenport's 'City Night-cap,' act v.
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume,
That drove him, though enamour'd, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Ægypt, there fast bound.
Now to th' ascent of that steep Savage hill
Satan had journied on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,
As one continu'd brake, the undergrowth
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd
All path of man or beast that past that way.
One gate there only was, and that look'd east
On th' other side: which when th' arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdain'd, and in contempt
At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve 185
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold:
Or as a thief bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault,
In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles:
183 wolf] Keen as the Evening wolf.'
Benlowe's Theophila, p. 44. 190 Cross-barr'd] Cross-barr'd and double lockt.' Heywood's Hierarchie, p. 510, folio, (1635). 191 In at the window] v. Spenser's Fairy Queen, lib. i. c. 3. ver. 17. 'He was to weet a stout and sturdy thief,
Then he by cunning slights in at the window crept.'