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Perfect within, no outward aid require;
And all temptation to transgress repel.
So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
Go heav'nly guest, ethereal messenger,
Sent from whose sov'reign goodness I adore.
Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever
With grateful memory: thou to mankind
Be good and friendly still, and oft return.
So parted they, the Angel up to heav'n
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower







SATAN having compassed the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by night into Paradise, enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart : Adam consents not, alleging the danger, least that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her, found alone: Eve loath to be found not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields: the serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve wondering to hear the ser pent speak, asks how he attained to human speech, and such ur.. derstanding not till now; the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden, he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden: the ser pent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last bring him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof Adam at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves through vehemence of love to perish with her; and extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit; the effects thereof in them: both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.


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No more of talk where God or angel guest
With man, as with his friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Vonial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of man, revolt,

And disobedience; on the part of heav'n
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given
That brought into this world of wo,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery,
Death's harbinger sad task, yet argument
Not less but more heroic than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or "age
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd,
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's son.
If answerable style I can obtain

Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,
And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires

Easy my unpremeditated verse:

Since first this subject for heroic song

Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;
Not sedulous by nature to indite

Wars, hitherto the only argument

Heroic deem'd, chief mast'ry to dissect
With long and tedious havoc fabled knights
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, emblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds;
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshall'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with sewers, and seneschals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,

Not that which justly gives heroic name.
To person, or to poem. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains, sufficient of itself to raise

That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years damp my intended wing
Depress'd, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers who brings it nightly to my ear.

The sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter

"Twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night's hemisphere had veil'd the horizon round
When Satan who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd

In meditated fraud and malice, bent

On man's destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
By night he fled, and at midnight return'd.
From compassing the earth, cautious of days
Since Uriel regent of the sun descry'd
His entrance, and forwarn'd the cherubim
That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven
The space of sev'n continued nights he rode
With darkness, thrice the equinoctial line

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