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

of Paradise wherein he was placed : then touches the prime cause of his fall, the ferpent 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, fit liest calld 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 dire&s 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'It 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 justity the ways of God to men.
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didit inspire

Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view,
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen teed, Nor the deep tract of Hell, fay first what cause
In the beginning, how the heav'ns and earth Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy ftate,
Rose 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 tranfgress 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 hok Before all temples the upright heart and pure, Of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring Instru& me, for thou know'st; thou from the first | To set himself in glory above his peers, Wall 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 else, not to be overcome?
Hurld headlong flaming froni the ethereal lky, That glory never shall his wrath or might
With hideous ruin and combustion, down

Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace To bottomless 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; lince 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

We may with more successful hope resolve
*Forments 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 stedfa ate : 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 difinal situation waste and wild ;

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

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

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

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

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

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

That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
For those rebellious, here their priton ordain'd Hath lott ut heaven, and all this mighty host
In utter darkness, and their portion fet

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 tell! Invincible, and vigour loon returns,
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelın'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 fide But what if he our Conqu’ros (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 pam'd Than such could have o'erpow'r'dsuch force as ours)
Beelzebub. To whom th' arch-enemy,

Have left us thus our spirit and strength entire
And thence in heav'n callid 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 nightier service as his thralls
From him, who, in the happy realnis of light, By right of war, whate'er his business be,
Cloth'd with transcendent brightnefs didit out hine Here in the heart of hell to work in fire,
Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league, Or do his errands in the gloomy deep;
United thoughts and counsils, equil hope What can it then avail, though yet we feel
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

Strength undiminih d, or eternal being
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd To undergo eternal punithment?
In equal ruin : into what pit thou frest

Whereto with ipeedy words th'arch-fiund reply'd:
From what height fall'n, so much the stronger prov'd Fall'n Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
He with his thunder: and till then who knew Doing or suffering : but of this be sure,
7 he force of those dire arms. yet not for those,


To do ought good never will be our talk, Nor what the potent Vicior in his rage

But ever to do ill our fole delight, Can else 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 relist. 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 ftill to find means of evil; Innumerable force of spirits arin',

Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps 'That durft dislike his reign, and me preferring, Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His utmost pow'r with adverfipow'r oppof'd His inmost counsels from their destin'd aim. In dubious battle on the plains of Heav'n, But see the angry Victor hath recall'd sand took histhrone. Whaithough the field be best? His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

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 mate,
Of heav'n receiv'd us falling; and the thunder, Both glorying to have scap'd the Stygian food
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 foil, 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 Seeft thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, For that celestial light ? Be it fo, 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, Custs pale and dreadful ? thither let us tend Whom reason hath equallid, force hath made suFrom off the tolling 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 afflicted 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 loss 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' atlociates 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 lumb'ring on the Norway foam In this unhappy mansion, or once more, The pilot of some small night-founder'd ikiff, With rallied arms, to try what may be yet Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,

Regain'd in heav'n, or what inore lost 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 sea, and wished morn delays :

Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foil'd 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 assaults Left him at large to his own dark deligns, Their surelt lignal, 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 ceal'd, when the superior Fiend On Man by him seduc'd; but on himself

Was moving tow'rd the shore; his pond'rous shield, 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 ftature ; on each hand the flames Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orby Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views In billows, leave i' th' midst 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 dušky 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 lide

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 suff'rance for the trial of man,
Thick as autumnal leaves that Itrow the brooks By fallicies 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 arm'd Glory of him that made them to transform
Hath vex'd the Red-lea coast, whose waves o'er- Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
Bufiris 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 tbeir floating carcases

And various idols through the heathen world. And broken chariot wheels : fo thick beltrown Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who Abject and loft lay these, covering the flood,

last, Under amazement of their hideous change. Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery couch, He callid fo loud, that all the hollow deep

At their great Emp'ror's call, as next in worth Of hell refounded. Princes, Potcntates, [lost, Came fingly where he stood on the bare ftrand, 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 seat of God,
Your wearied virtue, for the case 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 durst abide
Or in this abject pofture have you sworn

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 fanctuary itself their shrines,
With scatter'd arms and enligns, 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 down And with their darkness durft afíront his light.
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts First 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, Necping found by whom they dread, Worthip'd in Rabba and her watry plain,
Rouse and bestir 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 wisest heart
Yet to their General's voice they foon 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, Tophet thence
Of locufts, warping on the eastern wind,

And black Gehenna calld, 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 numberleis were those bad angels seen,

Of southmost Abarim ; in Herebon
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' uplifted spear

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

Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Their courfe, in even balance down they light Urael in Sittim 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 luftful 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 ; luft hard by hate ;
Caine like a deluge on the South, and spread Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.

With these came they, who from the bord'ring
Forthwith from every squadron and each band Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts (flood
'The heads and leaders thither haste, 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 fat 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 ty'd 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 Eye

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

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Can execute their airy purposes,

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 thote the race of liracl oft forfook

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

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

Of Belial, flown with infolence and wine. Came Ahtoreth, whom the Phanicians callid Witness 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. Siłonian virgins paid their vows and longs; Thele were the prime in order and in might; In Sion also not uniung, 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 Ey that uxorious king, whose heart, though large, Gods, yet confeffed later than Heav'n and Earth, Beguild by fair idolatrefles, fell

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

By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove The Syrian damfets to lament his fate

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

So Jove ufurping reign'd: thefe tirtt in Cretc 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 W'hose wanton paflions in the facred porch Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old Ezekiel faw, when by the vision led

Fled over Adria to th' Hefperian fields, His eye furvey'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 Downicaft 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 gruntel edge,

chief Where he fell flat, and tham'd his worshippers : Not in despair, to 'ave found themselves not lost Dagon his name, sea-monfter, 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 coast 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 seat Then strait commands, that at the warlike found Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

Of trumpets loud and ciarions be uprear'd Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid ítreams.

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 loft, and gain'da king,

Who forthwith from the glittering staff unsurl'd Ahaz his fortifh conqu'ror, whom he drew Th' imperial ensign, which full high advanc'd God's altar to disparage and displace

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

With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz'd, His odious offerings, and adore the Gods

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

At which the universal holt up sent Ofiris, lsis, Orus and their train,

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

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

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

Appear'd, and ferried shields in thick array Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,

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, equall'd with one stroke To height of noblest 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 unmov'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 swage Or altar smok'd; yet who more oft than he With folemn couches troubled thoughts, and chase In temples and at altars, when the prict

Anguilh and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and paint,

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