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For one forbidden tree a multitude
Now ris'n, to work them further woe or shame; 555
Yet,parch'd with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
But on they roll'd in heaps, and up the trees
Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks
That curld Megæra: greedily they pluck'd 560
The fruitage, fair to fight, like that which grew. .
Near that bituminous lake where Sodom flam'd;
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceiv’d; they, fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit 565
Chew'd bitter ashes, which th’offended taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they assay’d,
Hunger and thirst constraining, drug'd as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish,writh'd their jaws
With foot and cinders fill’d; so oft they fell 570
Into the same illusion; not as Man (plagu'd
Whom they triumph'd once laps'd. Thus were they
And worn with famin, long and ceaseless hiss,
Till their loft shape, permitted, they resum’d;
Yearly injoin’d, some say, to undergo
575 · This annual humbling certain number'd days,
To dash their pride, and joy for Man seduc'd.
However some tradition they dispers'd
Among the Heathen of their purchase got,
And fabled how the Serpent, whom they call’d 580
Ophion, with Eurynome, the wide
Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule
Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driven
And Ops, ere yet Dictæan Jove was born.
Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair
Too soon arriv’d; Sin there in Pow'r before,
Once actual, now in body, and to dwell
Habitual habitant; behind her Death
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
On his pale horse: to whom Sin thus began.
Second of Satan sprung, all conqu’ring Death, What think's thou of our empire now, thoughear With travel difficult, not better far Than still at Hell's dark threshold to have fat wat Unnam’d, undreaded, and thyself half starv'd?
Whom thus the Sin-born monster answer'd so To me, who with eternal fạmin pine, Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven, There best, where most with ravin I may meet; Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems To stuff this maw, this vast unhide-bound corps.
To whom th’incesluous mother thus reply'd. Thou therefore on these herbs, and fruits, and for Feed first, on each beast next, and fish, and fow No homely morsels; and whatever thing The fithe of Time mowes down, devour unspar Till I,in Man residing, through the race, His, thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect And season him thy last and sweetest prey.
This said, they both betook them several ways, 610 Both to destroy, or unimmortal make All kinds, and for destruction to mature Sooner or later; which th’Almighty seeing, From his transcendent seat the Saints among, To those bright Orders utter'd thus his voice. 615
See with what heat these dogs of Hell advance To waste and havoc yonder world, which I So fair and good created; and had still Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man Let in these wasteful furies, who impute 620 Folly to me; so doth the prince of Hell And his adherents, that with so much ease I suffer them to enter and possess A place fo heav'nly, and conniving seem To gratify my scornful enemies; That laugh, as if transported with some fit Of passion, I to them had quitted all, At random yielded up to their misrule; And know not that I call’d-and drew them thither, My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth 630 Which Man's polluting sin with taint hath shed On what was pure; till cramm’dand gorg’d, nigh burst With suck'd and glutted offal, at one sling Of thy victorious arm, well-pleasing Son, Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave at last,635 Through Chaos hurl’d, obstruct the mouth of Hell For ever, and seal up his ravenous jaws.
Then Heav'n and Earth renew'd shall be made pure
To sanctity that shall receive no stain:
Till then the curse pronounc'd on both precedes.
He ended, and the heav'nly audience loud 64
Sung Halleluiah, as the sound of seas,
Through multitude that fung: Just are thy ways,
Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works;
Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,
Destin'd restorer of mankind, by whom
New Heav'n and Earth shall to the ages rise,
Or down from Heav'n descend. Such was their son
While the Creator calling forth by name:
His mighty Angels,gave them several charge, 65
As sorted best with present things. The sun
Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
As might affect the earth with cold and heat
Scarce tolerable; and from the north to call
Decrepit winter, from the south to bring
Solstitial summer's heat. To the blanc moon
Her office they prescrib’d; to th’other five
Their planetary motions and aspects, .
In sextile, square, and trine, and opposit,
Of noxious efficacy, and when to join
In fynod unbenign; and taught the fix'd
Their influence malignant when to shower,
Which of them rising with the sun, or falling,
Should prove tempestuous: To the winds they se
Their corners, when with bluster to confound
Sea, air, and shore; the thunder when to roll
With terror through the dark aereal hall.
Some say he bid his Angels turn ascanse
The poles of earth,twice ten degrees and more
From the sun's axle; they with labor push'd 670
Oblique the centric globe: Some say the sun
Was bid turn reins from th’equinoctial road
Like distant breadth to Taurus,with the seven
Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins,
Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amain 675
By Leo and the Virgin and the Scales,
As deep as Capricorn, to bring in change
Of seasons to each clime; else had the spring
Perpetual smild on earth, with vernant flowers,
Equal in days and nights, except to those 680
Beyond the polar circles; to them day
Had unbenighted shone; while the low fun,
To recompense his distance, in their sight
Had rounded still th'horizon, and not known
Or east or west; which had forbid the snow 685
From cold Estotiland, and south as far
Beneath Magellan. At that tasted fruit
The sun, as from Thyestean banquet, turn'd
His course intended; else how had the world
Inhabited, though sinless, more than now, 690
Avoided pinching cold andscorching heat?
These changes in the Heav'ns, though slow, produc'd
Like change on sea and land, sideral blast,