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F Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whofe mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With lofs of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heav'nly Mufe, that on the fecret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd, who firft taught the chofen feed,
In the beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rofe out of Chaos: Or if Sion hill

Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd
Faft by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous fong,
That with no middle flight intends to foar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in profe or rhyme.
And chiefly Thou, O Spi'rit, that doft prefer
Before all temples th' upright heart and pure,
Inftruct me, for Thou know'ft; Thou from the first
Waft prefent, and with mighty wings outfpread
Dove-like fatft brooding on the vast abyss,
And mad'ft it pregnant: what in me is dark
B 3






Illumin, what is low raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may affert eternal Providence,


And justify the ways of God to Men.

Say firft, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell, fay first what cause
Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy ftate,
Favor'd of Heav'n fo highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and tranfgrefs his will
For one restraint, lords of the world befides?
Who firft feduc'd them to that foul revolt?
Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had caft him out from Heav'n, with all his hoft
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
To fet himself in glory' above his peers,
He trusted to have equal'd the most High,
If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God
Rais'd impious war in Heav'n and battel proud
With vain attempt. Him the almighty Power
Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomlefs perdition, there to dwell

In adamantin chains and penal fire,
Who durft defy th' Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night 50

To mortal men, he with his horrid crew

Lay vanquish', rolling in the fiery gulf,






Confounded though immortal: But his doom
Referv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of loft happiness and lasting pain
Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and difmay
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
The difmal fituation waste and wild;

A dungeon horrible on all fides round
As one great furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible

Serv'd only to discover fights of woe,

Regions of forrow, doleful fhades, 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 fulphur unconfum'd:
Such place eternal Juftice had prepar'd
For those rebellious, here their pris'on ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set

As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n,
As from the center thrice to th' utmost pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempeftuous fire,
He foon difcerns, and welt'ring by his fide
One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beelzebub, To whom th' Arch-Enemy,
And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words









Breaking the horrid filence thus began.


If thou beeft he; but O thou fall'n! how chang'd From him, who in the happy realins of light Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst outshine Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league, United thoughts and counfels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ru'in: into what pit thou feest
From what highth fall'n, fo much the ftronger prov'd
He with his thunder: and till then who knew


The force of thofe dire arms? yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage
Can elfe inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward luftre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from fenfe of injur'd merit,
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd,
That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd

In dubious battel on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be loft ?
All is not loft; th' unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to fubmit or yield,
And what is elfe not to be overcome;
That glory never fhall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and fue for grace
With fuppliant knee, and deify his power,






Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy' and fhame beneath
This downfall; fince by fate the strength of Gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in forefight much advanc'd,
We may with more fuccessful hope refolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.

So fpake th' apoftate Angel, though in pain, 125
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair :
And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.

O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers,
That led th' imbattel'd Seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, indanger'd Heav'n's perpetual king,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by ftrength, or chance, or fate;
Too well I fee and rue the dire event,

That with fad overthrow and foul defeat
Hath loft us Heav'n, and all this mighty hoft
In horrible deftruction laid thus low,

As far as Gods and heav'nly effences
Can perish for the mind and fpi'rit remains
Invincible, and vigor foon returns,
Though all our glory' extinct, and happy state
Here fwallow'd up in endless mifery.






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