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By his permissive will, through heav'n and earth: 685
And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity -
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems; which now for once beguild
Uriel, though regent of the sun, and held 690
The sharpest sighted spirit of all in heaven;
Who to the fraudulent impostor foul,
In his uprightness, answer thus return’d:

‘Fair angel, thy desire, which tends to know
The works of God, thereby to glorify 695
The great Work—master, leads to no excess
That reaches blame, but rather merits praise
The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
From thy empyreal mansion thus alone,
To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps, 700
Contented with report, hear only in heaven:
For wonderful indeed are all his works,
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
Had in remembrance always with delight;
But what created mind can comprehend 705
Their number, or the wisdom infinite
That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep?
I saw when at his word the formless mass,
The world's material mould, came to a heap :
Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar 710
Stood rul’d, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung:
Swift to their several quarters hasted then
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; 715
And this ethereal quintessence of heaven
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
That roll'd orbicular, and turn'd to stars
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
Each had his place appointed, each his course; 720
The rest in circuit walls this universe.
Look downward on that globe, whose hither side
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, 725
Night would invade; but there the neighb'ring moon
(So call that opposite fair star) her ai
Timely interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing, through mid heaven,
With borrow'd light her countenance triform 730
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. 735

Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan, bowing low,
As to superior spirits is wont in heaven,
Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
Took leave, and toward the coast of earth beneath,

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Down from th’ ecliptic, sped with hop'd success, 740
Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel,
Nor staid, till on Niphates' top he lights.

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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 so ect 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 earcellent 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 a j. to know further of their state by some other means. Meanwhile Uriel descending on a sun-beam 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 power describ; ed; 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 Eve 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.

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,
*Woe to th’ inhabitants on earth!” that now, 5
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, 10
To wreak 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 15
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 20
He brings, and round about him, nor from hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly,
Hy change of place: now conscience wakes despair,
That slumber'd ; wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be 25
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards heav'n, and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower: 30
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began:

*0 thou, that, with, surpassing glory crown'd,
Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish’d heads; to thee I call, 35
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
0 sun' to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, 40
Warring in heav'n against heav'n's matchless King:
Ah, wherefore he deserv'd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard. 45
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,
IHow due | yet all his good prov’d ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I silein'd subjection, and thought one step higher 50
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome still paying, still to owe,
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd,
And understood not that a grateful mind 55
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg’d; what burden then?
O had his pow'rful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd 60
Ambition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspir'd, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other pow'rs as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd. 65
Hadst thou the same free will and pow'r to stand?
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
But heav'n's free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs'd, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe. 70
Nay, curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?

Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; 75
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven,
0, then, at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left? 80
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I. seduc’d
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue 85
Th’ Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell.
With diadem and scepter high advanc'd, 90
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery: such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state; how soon
Would highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay 95
What feign'd submission swore Ease would recant
Wows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow,
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc’d so deep :
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse 100
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus, behold, instead 105
Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good: by thee at least 110
Divided empire with heav'n's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world shall know.”
Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face
Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envy, and despair; 115
Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd
Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld:
For heav'nly minds from such distempers foul
Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware,
Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, 120
Artificer of fraud; and was the first
That practis'd falsehood under saintly show,
Deep malice to conceal, couch'd, with revenge:
Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive
Uriel once warn'd: whose eye pursued him down 125
The way he went, and on th’ Assyrian mount
Saw him disfigurd, more than could befall
Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce
He mark'd, and mad demeanour, then alone, -

As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen. 130
So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
As with a rural mound, the champain head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides 135
With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
Access denied; and overhead up grew
Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene; and, as the ranks ascend 140
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
The verd’rous wall of Paradise up sprung :
Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighb'ring round: 145
And higher than that wall a circling row
Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue,
Appear'd, with gay enamell'd colours mix’d:
On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams 150
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
When God hath show’r'd the earth; so lovely seem'd
That landscape: and of pure, now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Wernal delight and joy, able to drive 155
All sadness but despair: now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 160
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the blest; with such delay
Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a league
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles ; 165
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the fiend,
Who came their bane: though with them better pleas'd
Than Asmodéus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamour'd, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent 170
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.
Now to th' ascent of that steep savage hill
Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,
As one continued brake, the undergrowth 175
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd
All path of man or beast that pass'd that way.
One gate there only was, and that look'd east
On th’ other side: which when th’ arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdain'd; and, in contempt, i. 180
At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,

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