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| OF Man's first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

Brought death into the world, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret top The first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

subject, Man's disobedience, and the loss there- | That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed, upon of Paradise wherein he was placed : then In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth touches the prime cause of his fall, the Ser Rose out of Chaos: Or, if Sion hill pent, or rather Satan in the serpent ; who, Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd revolting from God, and drawing to his side Fast by the oracle of God; I thence many legious of angels, was, by the command Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song, of God, driven out of Heaven, with all his That with no middle flight intends to soar crew, into the great deep. Which action pas- Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues sed over, the poem hastens into the midst of Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme. things, presenting Satan with his angels now And chiefly thou, o Spirit, that dost prefer falling into Hell described here, not in the cen- ) | Before all temples the upright heart and pure, ter (for Heaven and Earth may be supposed as Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the yet not made, certainly not yet accursed) but

first in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Wast present, and, with mighty wings out spread, Chaos: here Satan with his angels lying on Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss, the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonish- | And mad'st it pregnant : what in me is dark, ed, after a certain space recovers, as from con- | Numine; what is low, raise and support; fusion, calls up him who next in order and That to the heighth of this great argument dignity lay by him: they confer of their mi- | I may assert eternal Providence, serable fall; Satan awakens all his legions, | And justify the ways of God to men. who lay till then in the same manner cun Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy founded. They rise; their numbers ; array

view, of battle ; their chief leaders named, according Nor the deep tract of Hell; say first, what cause to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy state, the countries adjoining. To these Satan di- Favour'd of Hearen so highly, to fall off rects his speech, comforts them with hope yet From their Creator, and transgress his will of regaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of For one restraint, lords of the world besides a new world and new kind of creature to be Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt? created, according to an ancient prophecy, The infernal Serpent ; he it was, whose guile, or report in Heaven ; for, that angels were | Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd long before this visible creation, was the opi- | The mother of mankind, what time his pride nion of many ancient Fathers. To find out | Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his the truth of this prophecy, and what to deter

host mine. thereon, he refers to a full council. Of rebel angels; by whose aid, aspiring What his associates thence attempt. Pande- | To set himself in glory above his peers, monium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly He trusted to have equall'd the Most High, built out of the deep: the infernal peers there if he oppos'd; and, with ambitious aim ' sit in council.

Against the throne and monarchy of God,

Rais'd impious war in Heaven, and battle proud, And shook his throne. What though the field With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power, I

be lost ? Hurl'd headlong tiaming from the ethereal sky, All is not lost; the unconquerable will, With hideous ruin and coinbustion, down

And study of revenge, immortal bate, To bottomless perdition; there to dwell

And courage never to submit or yield, In adamantine chains and penal fire,

And what is else not to be overcome ; Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.

That glory never shall his wrath or might Nine times the space that measures day and Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace night

With suppliant knee, and deify his power To mortal men, he with his horrid crew

Who from the terrour of this arm so late Lay vanquish’d, rolling in the fiery gulf,

Doubted his empire; that were low indeed, Confounded, though inmortal: but his doom That were an ignominy, and shame beneath Reserv'd him to more wrath! for now the This downfall: since by fate the strength of gods thought

And this empyreal substance cannot fail, Both of lost happiness and lasting pain

Since through experience of this great event Torments him : round he throws his baleful eyes. In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd, That witness'd huge affliction and dismay, We may with more successful hope resolve Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate; To wage by force or guile eternal war, At once, as far as angels ken, he views

Irreconcileable to our grand foe, The dismal situation waste and wild ;

Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy A dungeon horrible on all sides round,

Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.” As one great furnace flam'd; yet from those So spake the apostate angel, though in pain, flames

Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair : No light; but rather darkness visible

And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer. Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,

“ O prince, O chief of many throned powers, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace That led the embattled seraphim to war And rest can never dwell; hope never comes Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds That comes to all : but torture without end Fearless, endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king, Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed

And put to proof his high supremacy, With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd :

Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate; Such place eternal Justice had prepard

Too well I see, and rue the dire event,
For those rebellious; bere their prison ordain'd That with sad overthrow, and foul defeat,
In utter darkness, and their portion set

Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host
As far remov'd from God and light of Heaven, In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. As far as gods and heavenly essences
O, how unlike the place from whence they fell ! Can perish : for the mind and spirit remains
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
He soon discerns; and weltering by his side Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
One next himself in power, and next in crime, But what if he our conqueror (wbom I now
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd Of furce believe almighty, since no less
Beelzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,

Thay such could have o'erpower'd such force as: And thence in Heaven callid Satan, with bold

ours) . words

Have left us this our spirit and strength entire Breaking the horrid silence, thus began. . Strongly to suffer and support our pains, If thou beest he; but O, how fall’n ! how | That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, chang'd

Or do him mightier service as his thralls From him, who, in the bappy realms of light, By right of war, whate'er his business be, Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst out. Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, shine

Or do his errands in the gloomy deep; Myriads though briglit! If he whom mutual What can it then avail, though yet we feel league,

Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being United thoughts and counsels, equal hope

To undergo eternal punishment ?" And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend reJoin'd with me once, now misery hath join'd

In equal ruin : into what pit thou seest sprov'd' " Fall’n cherub, to be weak is miserable
From what neighth fall'n, so much the stronger Doing or suffering ; but of this be sure,
He with his thunder : and till then who knew To do aught good never will be our task,
The force of those dire arms! Yet not for those, But ever to do ill our sole delight,
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage

As being the contrary to his high will
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,

Whom we resist. If then bis providence
Though chang'din outward lustre, that fix'd mind, Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit, Our labour must be to pervert that end,
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend, And out of good still to find means of evil;
And to the fierce contention brought along Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Innumerable force of spirits arm’d,

Skall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring, His inmost counsels from their destin'd aim.
His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd But see, the angry victor hath recall'd
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

Back to the gates of Heaven: the sulphurous with stench and smoke : such resting found hail,

the sole Shot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid Of urblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate : The fiery surge, that from the precipice

Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian food Of Heaven receiv'd us falling ; and the thunder, As gods, and by their own recover'd strength, Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, Not by the sufferance of supernal Power. Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now " Is this the region, this the soil, the clime," To bellow through the vast and boundless deep. Said then the lost arch-angel, “ this the seat Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn, That we must change for Heaven; this mornful Or satiate fury, yield it from our foe.

gloom Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, For that celestial light ? Be it so, since he, The seat of desolation, void of light,

Who now is Sovran, can dispose and bid Save what the glimmering of these livid flames What shall be right : farthest from him is best, Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend Whoin reason hath equall'd, force hath made From off the tossing of these fiery waves;

supreme There rest, if any rest can harbour there; Above his equals. Farewell happy fields, And, re-assembling our afflicted powers, Where joy for ever dwells. Hail horrours, hail: Consult how we may henceforth most offend Infernal world, and thou, profoundest Hell, Our enemy ; our own loss how repair;

Receive thy new possessor; one who brings How overcome this dire calamity;

A mind not to be chang'd by place or time: What reinforcement we may gain from hope; The mind is its own place, and in itself If not, what resolution from despair.”

Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, What matter where, if I be still the same, With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes And what I should be; all but less than he That sparkling blaz'd ; his other parts besides Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at Prone on the flood, extended long and large,

least Lay floating many a rood ; in bulk as huge We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove; Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice, Briareos or Typhon, whom the den

To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell : By ancient Tarsus heid; or that sea-beast Better to rain in Hell than serve in Heaven. Leviathan, which God of all his works

But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Created hugest that swim the ocean stream: The associates and copartners of our loss, Him haply slumbering on the Norway foam Lie thus astonish'd on the oblivious pool, The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff And call them not to share with us their part Deeming some island, oft, as sea-men tell, In this unhappy mansion; or once more With fixed anchor in his skaly rind

With rallied arms to try what may be yet Moors by his side under the lee, while night Regain'd in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell ?» Invest, the sea, and wished morn delays :

So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub So stretch'd out huge in length the arch-fiend | Thus answer'd. “ Leader of those arinies bright, lay

Which but the Omnipotent none could have foil'd, Chain'd on the burning lake : nor ever thence If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Had ris'n, or heav'd his head; but that the Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft And high permission of all-ruling Heaven swill In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge Left him at large to his own dark designs ; Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults That with reiterated crimes he might .

Their surest signal, they will soon resume Heap on himself damnation, while he sought New courage and revive; though now they lie Evil to others; and, enrag'd, might see

Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth As we ere while, astounded and amaz'd; Infinite goodness, grace and mercy, shown No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.” On Man by him seduc'd; but on himself

He scarce had ceas'd when the superior Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.

fiend Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool Was moving toward the shore : his ponderous His mighty stature; on each hand the flames,

shield, Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, Ethereal temper, massy, large and round, and, rolld .

Behind him cast; the broad circumference
In billows, leave i’ the midst a horrid vale. Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose orb
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air

At evening from the top of Fesolé,
That felt unusual weight; till on dry land Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire;

His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
And such appear'd in hue, as when the force Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of subterranean wind transports a hill

Of some great ammiral, were but a wand, Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side

He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible

Over the burning marle, not like those steps And fuell'd entrails thence conceiving fire, On Heaven's azure, and the torrid clime Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds, Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire : And leave a singed bottom all involv'd

Natbless he so endur'd, till on the beach


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Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call'd Through God's high sufferance for the trial of
His legions, angel forms, who lay intranc'd

Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks By falsities and lies the greatest part
In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades, Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
High over-arch'd, imbower; or scatter'd sed ge God their Creator, and the invisible
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd Glory of him that made them to transform
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, [o'ertbrew With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued And devils to adore for deities :
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld

Then were they known to men by various names, From the safe shore their floating carcasses And various idols through the Heathen world. And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrown, Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,

who last, Under amazement of their hideous change. Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery couch, He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep At their great emperor's call, as next in worth Of Hell resounded. “Princes, potentates, Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once yours, | While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof. now lost,

The chief were those, who, from the pit of Hell If such astonishment as this can seize

Roaming to seek their prey on Earth, durst Eternal spirits ; or have ye chos'n this place

fix After the toil of battle to repose

Their seats long after next the seat of God,
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find Their altars by his altar, gods ador'd
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven? | Among the nations round, and durst abide
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn

Jehovah thundering out of Sion, thron'd
To adore the Conqueror? who now beholds Between the cherubim; yea, often plac'd
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood

Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon Abominations; and with cursed things
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,
The advantage, and, descending, tread us down And with their darkness durst affront his light.
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts First Moloch, horrid king, besmeard with blood
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.

Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears; Awake, arise, or be for ever fall’n.”

| Though for the noise of drums and timbrels · They heard, and were abash'd, and up they loud sprung

Their childrens cries unheard that pass'd through Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch

On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. Worshipt in Rabba and her watery plain,
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd, Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
Innumerable. As when the potent rod

Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,

His temple right against the temple of God Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud On that opprobrious hill; and made his grove Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,

The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet theace That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung And black Gehenna call'd, the type of Hell. Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile : Next, Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's So numberless were those bad angels seen

sons, Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell, | From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires; Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon Till as a signal given, the up-lifted spear And Horona im, Seon's realm, beyond Of their great Sultan waving to direct

The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines, Their course, in even balance down they light And Eleäle to th’ Asphaltic pool. On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain: Peor his other name, when he entic'd A multitude, like which the populous North Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile, Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons | Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd Came like a deluge on the South, and spread Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands,

Of Moloch homicide ; lust hard by hate; Forthwith from every squadron and each band Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. The heads and leaders thither baste where stood, With these came they, who, from the bordering Their great commander; godlike shapes and Excelling human, princely dignities; (forms of old Eupbrates to the brook that parts And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names Though of their names in heavenly records now Of Baälim and Ashtaroth; those male, Be no memorial; blotted out and ras'd

These feminine : for spirits, wben they please By their rebellion from the books of life.

Can either sex assume, or both; so soft Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve And uncompounded is their essence pure; Got them new pames; till, wandering o'er the Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, Earth,

Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,



Like cumbmous flesh; but, in what shape they | In courts and palaces he also reigns; ... choose,

And in luxurious cities, where the noise ; Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure, Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers, ;.. Can execute their aery purposes,

And injury and outrage : and when night Aod works of love or eminity fulfil.

Darkens the streets, then wander forth the song For those the race of Israel oft forsook

Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. Their living strength, and unfrequented left Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night His righteous altar, bowing lowly down

In Gibeah, when the hospitable door To bestial gods; for which their heads as low Expos'd a matron, to avoid worse rape. Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spcar These were the prime in order and in might: . Of despicable foes. With these in troop

The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd, Came Astoreth, whom the Phænicians callid The lonian gods, of Japan's issue ; held : Astarte, queen of Heaven, with crescent horns; Gods, yet confess'd later than Heaven and Earth, To whose bright image nightly by the Moon Their boasted parents: Titan, Heaven's firstSidonian virgins paid their vows and songs; In Sion also not unsung, where stood

With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd Her temple on the offensive inountain, built By younger Saturn ; he from mightier Jove, By that uxorious king, whose heart, though His own and Rhea's son, like measure found; Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell [large, So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Crete To idols foul. Thaminuz came next behind, And Ida known, thence on the snowy top Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd

Of bold Olympus, rul'd the middle air, The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

Their highest Heaven ; or on the Delphian cliff, In amorous ditties all a summer's day;

Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
While smooth Adonis from his native rock Of Doric land: or who, with Saturn old,
Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat;

All these and more came flocking ; but with Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch

looks . es . Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,

Down-cast and damp ; yet such wherein appear'd His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found Of alienated Judah. Next came one

their chief Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark Not in despair, to’ave found themselves not Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt I


, In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, [off In loss itself; which on his countenance cast Where he fell fat, and sham'd his worshippers : Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man Soop recollecting, with high words, that bore And downward fish: yet had his temple high Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Reard in Azotus, dreaded through the coast Their fajnting courage, and dispelld their fears. Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,

Then straight commands, that at the warlike And Accaroy and Gaza's frontier bounds. .

sound i Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat Of trumpets loud and clarions be upreard Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.

Azazel as his right, a cherub tall; He also against the house of God was buld: Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king;

The imperial ensign; which, full high advanc'd, Ahaz his sottish conqueror, whom he drew Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, God's altar to disparage and displace

With gems and golden lustre rich imblaz’d, For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while His odious offerings, and adore the gods

Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds: Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd At which the unirersal host up-sent A crew, who, under names of old renown, A shout, that tore Hell's concave, and beyond Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,

Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd All in a moment through the gloom were seen Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek

Ten thousand banners rise into the air Their wandering gods disguis'd in brutish forms | With orient colours waving: with them rose Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape . A forest huge of spears; and thronging heims The infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king

Of depth immeasurable: anon they move Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,

In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood Likening his Maker to the grazed ox;

Of Autes and soft recorders, such as rais'd Jehovah, who in one night, when he pass'd. To highth of noblest temper heroes old From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke Arming to battle ; and instead of rage Both her first-born and all her bleating gods. Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd , Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd With dread of death to flight or font retreat: Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love Nor wanting power, to mitigate and swage ? Vice for itself: to him no temple stood

With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and Or altar smok'd; yet who more oft than he 1

chase , In temples and at altars, when the priest Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, wbu fill'd

pain, Y'ith lust and violence the house of God ? “From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they, YOL, TII.


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