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What wonder then if fields and regions here
Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run
Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch
Th’arch-chemic sun, so far from us remote,
Produces, with terrestrial humour mix'd,
Here in the dark so many precious things
Of colour glorious, and effect so rare ?
Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
Undazzled ; far and wide his

eye

commands ;
For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
But all sunshine, as when his beams at noon
Culminate from th' equạtor, as they now
Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
Shadow from body opaque can fall; and th' air
No where so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray
To objects distant far, whereby he soon
Saw within ken a glorious angel stand,
The same whom John saw also in the sun :
His back was turn'd, but not his brightness hid;
Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar
Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Illustrious on his shoulders fledge with wings
Lay waving round; on some great charge employ'd
He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep.
Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope
To find who might direct his wandering flight
To Paradise the happy seat of man,
His journey's end and our beginning wo,
But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Which else might work him danger or delay;
And now a stripling cherub he appears,
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Youth smild celestial, and to every limb
Suitable grace diffus'd, so well be feign'd:
Under a coronet his flowing hair
In curls on either cheek play'd; wings he wore
Of many a colour'd plume sprinkled with gold,
His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
Before his decent steps a silver wand.

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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 neighb'ring moon
(So call that opposite fair star) her aid
Timely interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still tenewing, 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.

Thus said, he turn’d; and Satan bowing low,
As to superior spirits is wont in heav'n,
Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
Took leave, and tow'rd the coast of earth beneath,
Down from th' ecliptic, sped with lop'd success,
Throws his steep flight in many an airy wheel,
Nor stay'd till on Niphates top he lights.

END OF BOOK THIRD.

THE

FOURTH BOOK

OF

PARADISE LOST.

THE ARGUMENT.

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 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. Meanwhile 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 after 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 night-watch 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 Ere 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.

I

• PARADISE LOST.

BOOK IV.

O FOR that warning voice, which he who saw
Th' Apocalypse heard cry in heav'n aloud,
Then when the dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
Wo 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 wreck 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
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 concience wakes despair
That slumber'd, wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse suff'rings must ensue.

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