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The Argument. *This First Book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject, Man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon

of Paradise wherein he was placed : then touches the prime cause of his fall, the serpent or rather Satan in the serpent ; who, revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of angels, was, by the command of God, driven out of heaven, with all his crew, into the great deep. Which action pass’d over, the Poem haftes into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his angels now falling into hell, describ'd here, not in the centre (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accurs'd), but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest call’d Chaos : here Satan, with his angels lying on the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonish’d, after a certain space, recover as from confusion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him; they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the fame manner confounded : they rise; their numbers, array of battle, their chief leaders nam’d, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan direAs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining heaven, but tells them, lastly, of a new world, and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy or report in 'heaven; for that angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium the palace of Satan rises, suddenly built, out of the deep : the infernal peers there fit in council.

Or man's first disobedience, and the fruit Dove-like fatst brooding on the vast abyss,
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste And mad'st it pregnant : what in me is dark
Broughe death into the world, and all our woe, Illumine, what is low raise and support;
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

That to the height of this great argument
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

I may assert eternal providence,
Sing heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top And justify the ways of God to men.
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

Say firft, for Heav’n hides nothing from thy view,
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen feed, Nor the deep tract of Hell, say first what cause
In the beginning, how the heav'ns and earth Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy ftate,
Role out of chaos : or if Sion hill

Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd From their Creator, and transgress his will, Faft by the oracle of God; I thence

For one restraint, lords of the world besides? Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous song,

Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt ? That with no middle flight intends to foar Th'infernal serpent; he it was, whose guile, Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme. The mother of mankind, what time his pride And chiefly Thou, o Spirit, that dost prefer Had cast him out from heav'n, with all his hot Before all temples the upright heart and pure, Of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring Instruct me, for thou know'lt; thou from the first To set himself in glory above his peers, Wat present, and, with mighty wings outspread, | He trusted to have equall'd the Most High,


If he oppos'd; and, with ambitious aim,

All is not loft; th' unconquerable will, Against the throne and monarchy of God

And study of revenge, immortal hate, Rail'd impious war in heav'n and battle proud, And courage never to submit or yield, With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power And what is elfe, not to be overcome ? Hurld headlong flaming froni the ethereal sky, That glory never shall his wrath or might With hideous ruin and combustion, down

Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace To bottomlefs perdition, there to dwell

With suppliant knee, and deify his power, In adamantine chains and penal fire,

Who from the terror of this arm so late Who durft defy th' Omnipotent to arms.

Doubted his empire ; that were low indeed; Nine times the space that measures day and night That were an ignominy, and thame beneath *To mortal men, he with his horrid crew

This downfal; fince by fate the strength of gods Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf

And this empyreal substance cannot fail, Confounded, though immortal : but his doom Since through experience of this great event, Reforv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought in arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd, Both of loft happiness and lasting pain

may with more successful hope resolve
Torments him ; round he throws his baleful eyes, To wage by force or guile eternal war,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay, Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate : Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
At once, as far as angels' ken, he views

Sole reigning holds the tyrany of heav'n.
The difmal situation waste and wild ;

So spake the apostate angel, though in pain, A dungeon horrible on all tides round

Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despait; As one great furnace fiam’d, yet from those fiames And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer : No light, but rather darkness visible,

O Prince! O Chief of many throned powers, Serv'd only to discover fights of woe,

That led th' imbattl'd feraphim to war Regions of forrow, doleful Mades, where peace Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds And rest can never dwell, hope never comes Fearlefs, endanger'd heav'n's perpetual King, That comes to all; but torture without end And put to proof his high supremacy, Srill urges, and a fiery deluge, fed

Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate, With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd:

Too well I fee and rue the dire event, Such place eternal Justice had prepar'd

That with fad overthrow and foul defeat For those rebellious, here their prilon ordain'd Hath loit us heaven, and all this mighty host In utter darkness, and their portion set

In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far remov'd from God and light of heav'n As far as gods and heav'nly effences As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole. Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains O how unlike the place from whence they fell! Invincible, and vigour loon returns, There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelin'd Though all our glory's extinct, and happy state With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, Here swallow'd up in endless misery. He foon discerns, and welt'ring by his side

But what if he our Conqu'ror (whom I now One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime, Of force believe Almighty, since no less Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd Than such could have o’erpow'r'dsuchforce as ours) Beelzebub. To whom th' arch-enemy,

Have left us thus our spirit and itrength entire And thence in heav'n call’d Satan, with bold words Strongly to suffer and support our pains, Breaking the horrid filence, thus began :

That we may so fuffice his vengeful ire, If thou beeft he; but O how fall’n! how chang'd Or do him mightier service as his thralls From him, who, in the happy realms of light, By right of war, whate'er his business be, Cloth'd with transcendent brightnefs didit outshine Here in the heart of hell to work in tire, Myriar's though bright ! If he whom mutual league, Or do his errands in the gloomy deep; United thoughts and counsils, equal hope

What can it then avail, though yet we feel
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being
Jrin'd with me once, now misery hath join'd To undergo eternal punishment ?
In equal ruin : into what pit thou feeft

Whereto with ipeedy words th' arch-fiend reply'd:
From what heightfall’n, so much the stronger prov'd Fall'n Cherub, to be weak is miferable,
He wjih his thunder: and till then who knew Doing or suffering : but of this be sure,
'I he force of those dire arms? yet not for those, To do ought good never will be our talk,
Nýr what the potent Victor in his rage

But ever to do ill our fole delight, Can clíe inflict, do I repent or change,

As being the contrary to his high will Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind, whom we refift. If then his providence And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit, Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, That with the Mightiest rail'd me to contend, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And to the fierce contention brought along And out of good fill to find means of evil; Innumerable force of spirits arm',

Which oft-times may succeed, lo as perhaps 'That durft dislike his reign, and ne preferring, Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His utmost pow'r with adverie pow's oppor'd His inmolt counsels from their deftin'd aim. In dubious battle on the plains of Heav'n,

But see the angry Victor hath recallid sand look luisthrone. Whatthough the field be lo?? His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

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Back to the gates of heav'n : the sulph'rous hail And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
Shot after us in ftorm, o'erblown, hath laid With stench and smoke : such resting found the fole
The fiery surge, that from the precipice

Of unbleft feet. Him followed his next niate,
Of heav'n receiv'd us falling; and the thunder, Both glorying to have fcap'd the Stygian flood
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, As gods, and by their own recover'd strength,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now Not by the suff’rance of supernal Power.
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep. Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,
Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn, Said then the loft Arch-angel, this the seat
Or satiate fury yield it from our foe.

That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, For that celestial light ? Be it so, since he [gloom
The seat of desolation, void of light,

Who now is Sov'reign, 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 Whom reason hath equallid, force hath made su-
From off the tosling of these fiery waves;

Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields (preme
There reft, if any rest can harbour there,

Where joy forever dwells : Hail Horrors, hail And re-assembling our affided powers,

Internal World, and thou profoundert Hell Consult how we may henceforth most offend Receive thy new possessor; one who brings Our enemy, our own lofs how repair,

A mind not to be chang'd by place or time. How overcome this dire calamity,

The mind is its own place, and in itself What reinforcement we may gain from hope, Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n. If not what resolution from despair.

What matter where, if I be still the fame,
Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,

And what I should be, all but less than he
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at icaft
That sparkling blaz'd, his other parts besides We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
Prone on the flood, extended long and large, Here for his envy, will not drive us hence :
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
As whom the fables name of monstrous size, To reign is worth ambition though in Hell :
Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove, Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heav'n.
Briareus or Typhon, whom the den

But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast

Th'allociates and copartners of our loss,
Leviathan, which God of all his works

Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool,
Created hugest that swim th' occan stream: And call them not to share with us their part
Him haply Ilumb'ring on the Norway foam In this unhappy mansion, or once more,
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff, With rallied arms, to try what may be yet
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,

Regain'd in heav'n, or what inore loft in hell ?
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind

So Satan fpake, and him Beelzebub
Moors by his side under the lee, while night Thus answer'd: Leader of those armies bright,
Invests the fea, and wished morn delays :

Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foild
So ftretch'd out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
Had rif'n or heav'd his head, but that the will In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
And high permission of all-ruling Heaven

Of battle when it rag'd, in all affaults
Left him at large to his own dark deligns, Their surelt signal, they will soon resume
That with reiterated crimes he might

New courage, and revive; though now they lic Heap on himself damnation, while he fought Grovelling and proftrate on yon lake of fire, Evil to others, and enrag'd might see

As we e'er while, astounded and amaz'd, How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth No wonder, fall’n such a pernicious height. Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn

He scarce had ceai'd, when the superior Fiend
On Man by him seduc'd; but on himself

Was moving tow'rd the shore; his pondrous field,
Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd. Ethereal temper, mally, large and round,
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool Behind him cast; the broad circumference
His mighty Itature ; on each hand the flames Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
In billows, leave i'th' midit a horrid vale. (rolld At evening from the top of Fesole,
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Or in Valdarno, to defcry new lands,
Aloft, incumbent on the duiky air

Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
That felt unusual weight, till on dry land His spear, to equal which the tallest pine,
He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd

Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast With solid, as the lake with liquid fire ;

Of some great admiral, were but a wand, And such appear'd in hue, as when the force He walk'd with to support uneasy steps Of subterranean wind transports a hill

Over the burning marle, not like those steps Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side

On heaven's azure, and the torrid clime Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible

Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire; And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire, Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds, Of that inflamed fea he stood, and callid

His legions, angel forms, who lay entranc'd Through God's high fuff'rance for the trial of man,
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks By fallities and lies the greatest part
In Valambrosa, where th’ Etrurian shades

Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
High over-arch'd embow'r; or scatter'd fedge God their Creator, and th' invisible
Aflote, when with fierce winds Orien arn'd Glory of him that made them to transform
Hath vex'd the Red-fea coast, whose waves o'er- Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, "(threw With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued And devils to adore for deities :
The sojourners of Gothen, who beheld

Then were they known to men by various names, From the safe shore their floating carcases

And various idols through the heathen world. And broken chariot wheels : so thick betrown Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who Abject and lost lay there, covering the flood,

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 deup

At their great Emp'ror's call, as next in worth Of hell resounded. Princes, Potcntates, [loft, Came fingly where he stood on the bare strand, Warriors, th’ flow'r of heav'n, once yours, now While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. If such astonishment as this can seize

The chief were those who from the pit of Hell Eternal spirits; or have you chosen this place, Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix After the toil of battle, to repose

Their seats long after next the feat of God,
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find

Their altars by his altar, gods ador’d
To sumber here, as in the vales of Heav'n? Among the nations round, and durft abide
Or in this abject pofture have you (worn

Jehovah thund’ring 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 fcatter'd arms and cnfigns, till anon

Abominations; and with cursed things His swift pursuers from heav'n gates discern His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,

Th’advantage, and descending tread us dowo And with their darkness durít afiront his light. Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts Firit Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.

Of human facrifice, and parent's tears, Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen! [sprung Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud

They heard, and were abalh’d, and up they | Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite (fire On duty, seeping found by whom they dread, Worship'd in Rabba and her watry plain, Rouse and beftir themselves e'er well awake. In Argob and in Basan, to the streain Nor did they not perceive the evil plight

Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Audacious neighbourhood, the wiseft heart Yet to their General's voice they loon obey'd, Of Solomon he led by fraud to build Innumerable. As when the potent rod

His temple right against the temple of God Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,

On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove Wav'd round the coast, up call’d a pitchy cloud The pleasant valley of Himmon, Topher thence Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,

And black Gehenna call’d, the type of Hell.
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's fons,
Like night, and darken’d all the land of Nile : From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
So numberlels were those bad angels seen,

Of southmost Abarim; in Hefcbon
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell, And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
"Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires; The flow'ry dale of Sibma, clad with vines,
Till, at a fignal giv’n, th’ uplisted spear

And Eleale to th’ Asphaltic pool.
Of their grcat Sultan waving to direct

Peor his other name, when he entic'd Their courfe, in even balance down they light Ifrael in Sittiin on their narch from Nile On the firm brimitone, and fill all the plain ; To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. A multitude, like which the populous North Yet thence his luitful orgies he enlarg'd Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass Ev'n to that hill of scandal, by the grove Rhene or the Danaw, when her barb'rous fons Of Moloch homicide ; lust hard by hate ; Came like a deluge on the South, and spread Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian fands.

With thele came they, who from the bord'ring Forthwith from every squadron and each hand Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts (flood The heads and leaders thither hafte, where stood Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names Their great Commander; godlike shapes and forms Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male, Excelling human, princely dignities,

These feminine. For spirits, when they please, And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; Can either sex assume, or both; so soft Though of their names in heav'nly records now And uncompounded is their eflence pure, Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd

Not tyd or manacl'd with joint or limb, By their rebellion from the books of Life.

Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Nor had they yet among the fons of Eve

Like cumb'rous flesh; but in what shape they choose Got them new names, till wandring o'er the earth, Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,

Can execute their airy purpoles,

Turns Atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd And works of love or enmity fulfil.

With lust and violence the house of God? For thofe the race of liracl oft forfook

In courts and palaces he also reigns,
'l heir living strength, and unfrequented left And in luxurious cities, where the noise
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down

Of riot ascends above their loftieft towers,
To bettial Gods; for which their heads as low And injury and outrage : and when Night
Bow'd down in battle, funk before the spear Darkens the streets, then wander forth the fons
Of despicable foes. With these in troop

Of Belied, flown with infolence and wine.
Came Ashtorcth, whom the Phænicians callid Wiinels the streets of Sodom, and that night
Aitarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crefcent horns; In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
To whose bright image nightly by the moon Expos'd a matron to avoid worse rape.
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and fongs; There were the prime in order and in might;
In Sion also not uníung, where itood

The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built Th’ Ionian gods of Javan's iflue held
By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large, Gods, yet confuffed later than Heav'n and Earth,
Eeguil'd by fair idolatreflies, fell

Their boasted parents : Titan, Heav’n’s first-born, To idols foul. Thammuz came nest behind, With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd

By younger Suturn; he from mightier Jove 'The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

His own and Rhea's son like mcasure found; In amorcus dicties all a summer's day;

So Jove ufurping reign'd: these first in Crete
While smooth Adonis from his native rock

And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
Ran purple to the fea, suppos'd with blood Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle air,
Of Thammuz yearly wounded; the love-tale Their higheit heaven; or on the Delphian cliff,
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat,

Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Whole wanton paflions in the sacred porch Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Ezekiel law, when by the vilion led

Fled over Adria to th' Hefperian fields, His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost illes. Of alienated Judah. Next came one

All these and more came flocking; but with looks Who mourned in earneft, when the captive ark Downcast and dampt, yet such wherein appear'd Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off Obscure some glimpse of joy, to 'ave found their In his own temple, on the grundel edge,

Where he fell flat, and fam'd his worshippers : Not in defpair, to 'ave found themselves not lost
Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man In lofs itself; which on his countenance cast
And downward fish : yet had his temple high Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coalt Soon recollecting, with high words that bore
Of Palestine, in Gath and Alcalon,

Semblance of worth, not subftance, gently rais'd
And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.

Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their fears. Him follow'd Rimmon, whose deligtful feat Then strait commands, that at the warlike found Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.

His mighty standard ; that proud honour claim'd
He also against the house of God was bold : Azazel as his right, a cherub tall;
A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king,

Who forth with from the glittering staff unfurl'd
Ahaz his fortith conqu'ror, whom he drew

Th' imperial ensign, which full high advanc'd God's altar to disparage and displace

Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn

With gems and golden luftre rich emblaz'd, Hiis odious offerings, and adore the Gods

Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds : A crew, who, under names of old renown,

At which the univerfalhost


fent Ofiris, Isis, Orus and their train,

A shout that tore Hell's concave, and beyond
With monst'rous ihapes and forceries abus'd Frighted the rèign of Chaos and old Night.
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to leek

All in a moment through the gloom were seen
Their wand'ring gods disguis’d in brutish forms Ten thousand banners rise into the air
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape

With orient colours waving : with them rose
Th' infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd | A forest huge of Spears; and thronging helnis
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king

Appear'd, and ferried Thields in thick array Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Lan,

Of depth immeasurable : anon they move
Likening his Maker to the grazed ox,

In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
Jehovah, who in one night when he pass'd Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd
From Egypt marching, equallid with one stroke To height of nobleft temper heroes old
Both her first-born and all her bleating gods. Arming to battle ; and instead of rage
Belial came laft, than whom a sp’rit more lewd Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmoy'd
Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love With dread of death to fight or foul retreat ;
Vice for itself : to him no temple stood

Nor wanting pow'r to mitigate and fwage
Or altar smok'd; yet who more oft than he With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
In temples and at altars, when the priest

Anguilh and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain,

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