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The dances [being] ended, the Spirit epilogniz's. Sp. To the ocean now I fly, And those happy climes that lie day never shuts his eye, Up in the broad fields of the sky: There I suck the liquid air All amidst the gardens fair Of Hesperus, and his daughters three That sing about the golden tree: Along the crisped shades and bowers Revels the spruce and jocund Spring; The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours, Thither all their bounties bring; There eternal Summer dwells, And west-winds, with musky wing, About the cedar'd alleys fling Nard and cassia's balmy smells. Iris there with humid bow Waters the odorous banks, that blow Flowers of more mingled hew Than her pursled scarf can show; And drenches with Elysian dew (List, mortals, if your ears be true) Beds of hyacinth and roses, Where young Adonis oft reposes, Waxing well of his deep wound In slumber soft, and on the ground Sadly sits the Assyrian queen: But far above in spangled sheen Celestial Cupid, her fam'd son, advanc'd, Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranc'd. After her wandering labours long, Th free consent the Gods among Make her his eternal bride, And from her fair unspotted side Two blissful twins are to be born, Youth and Joy: so Jove hath sworn. But now my task is smoothly done, I can fly, or I can run, Quickly to the green earth's end,

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And from thence can soar as soon
To the corners of the Moon.
Mortals that would follow me,
Love Virtue; she alone is free :
She can teach ye how to climb 1020

Higher than the sphery chime;
Or if Virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her.

PARADISE LOST.

Book I. The Argument.

| The 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 passed over, the poem hastens into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his angels now falling into Hell described here, not in the center (for Heaven and Earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed) but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos: here Satan with his angels lying on the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonished, after a certain space recovers, 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 same manner confounded. They rise; their numbers; array of battle; their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs 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 sit in council.

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Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings out-spread,
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine; what is low, raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men. -
Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell; say first, what cause
Mov'd our grand parents, in that happy state,
Favour'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Who first seduc’d them to that foul revolt?
The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
Of rebel angels; by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
If he oppos'd; and, with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Rais'd impious war in Heaven, and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty power,
Hurl’d headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition ; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath' for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him : round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate;
At once, as far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation, waste and wild;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace flam'd; yet from those flames
No light; but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell; hope never comes
That comes to all : but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place eternal Justice had prepar'd
For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far remov’d from God and light of Heaven,
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.
O, how unlike the place from whence they fell
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns; and weltering by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beelzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,
And thence in Heaven call'd Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.
“If thou beest he; but O, how fall'n' how
chang'd
From him, who in the happy realms of light.

Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myriads though bright ! If he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin: into what pit thou seest
From what height fall'n, so much the stronger prov’d
He with his thunder: and till then who kncw
The force of those dire arms ? Yet not for those,
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits arm'd,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be
lost 2
All is not lost; the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who from the terrour of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy, and shame beneath
This downfall: since by fate the strength of Gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.”
So spake the apostate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair:
And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.
“O prince, O chief of many throned powers,
That led the embattled seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate;
Too well I see, and rue the dire event,
That with sad overthrow, and foul defeat,
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as gods and heavenly essences
Can perish : for the mind and spirit remains
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if he our conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as ours)
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be,
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep;
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being

To undergo eternal punishment 7” Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend replied, “Fall’n cherub, to be weak is miserable Doing or suffering; but of this be sure, To do aught good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight, As being the contrary to his high will Whom we resist. If then his providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil, Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His innost counsels from their destin’d aim. But see, the angry victor hath recall’d His ministers of vengeance and pursuit Back to the gates of Heaven: the sulphurous hail, Shot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid The fiery surge, that from the precipice Of Heaven receiv'd us falling; and the thunder, Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now To bellow through the vast and boundless deep. Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn, Or satiate fury, yield it from our foe. Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, The seat of desolation, void of light, Save what the glimmering of these livid flames Casts pale and dreadful ? Thither let us tend From off the tossing of these fiery waves; There rest, if any rest can harbour there; And, re-assembling our afflicted powers, Consult how we may henceforth most offend Our enemy; our own loss how repair; How overcome this dire calamity; What reinforcement we may gain from hope; If not, what resolution from despair.” Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blaz'd; his other parts besides, Prone on the flood, extended long and large, Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as huge As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove; Briareos or Typhon, whom the den By ancient Tarsus held; or that sea-beast Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim the ocean stream : Him haply slumbering on the Norway foam The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff Deeming some island, oft, as sea-men tell, With fixed anchor in his scaly rind Moors by his side under the lee, while night Invests the sea, and wished morn delays: So stretch'd out huge in length the arch-fiend lay Chain'd on the burning lake: nor ever thence Had ris' n or heav'd his head; but that the will And high permission of all-ruling Heaven Left him at large to his own dark designs; That with reiterated crimes he might Heap on himself damnation, while he sought Evil to others; and, enrag'd, might see How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace and mercy, shown On Man by him seduc’d; but on himself Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd. Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool His mighty stature ; on each hand the flames, Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and

In billows, leave i' the midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air
That felt unusual weight; till on dry land
He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire;
And such appear'd in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fuell'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
With stench and smoke: such resting found the
sole
Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate.
Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recover'd strength,
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.
“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost arch-angel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven: this mournful
loom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he,
Who now is Sovran, can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equall'd, force hath made su-
preme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells. Hail horrours, hail
Infernal world, and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor, one who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by place or time:
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on the oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion ; or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regain'd in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?”
So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub
Thus answer'd; “Leader of those armies bright,
Which but the Omnipotent none could have foil'd,
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive; though now they lie
Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we ere while, astounded and amaz'd ;
No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.”
He scarce had ceas'd when the superior fiend
Was moving toward the shore : his ponderous
shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views

roll’d

At evening from the top of Fesolé,

Or in Waldarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal with the tallest pine
Hewn on/Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand,
He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On Heaven's azure, and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire :
Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call’d
His legions, angel forms, who lay intranc'd
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Wallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades,
High over-arch'd, imbower; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o'er-
threw
Busiris, and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcasses
And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrown,
Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded. “Princes, potentates,
Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once yours, now
lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
T'adore the Conqueror 2 who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern !
Th' advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf,
Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n.'' [sprung
They heard, and were abas'd, and up they
Upon the wing ; as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake;
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their general's voice they soon obey
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darkened all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,
Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires, |
Till, as a signal given, the up-lifted spear -
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain.
A multitude, like which the populous North
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.
Forthwith from ev'ry squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood

Their great commander; godlike shapes and forms
Excelling human, princely, dignities,
And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones,
Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no memorial; blotted out and ras'd
By their rebellion from the books of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till, wandering o'er the
Earth, -
Through God's high sufferance for the trial of
man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and th’ invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And devils to adore for deities:

t Then were they known to men by various names,

And various idols through the Heathen world.
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first,
who last,
Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery couch,
At their great emperor's call, as next in worth
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous cloud stood yet aloof.
The chief were those, who, from the pit of Hell
Roaming to seek their prey on Earth, durst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God.
Their altars by his altar, gods ador'd
Among the nations round, and durst abide
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron’d
Between the cherubim ; yea, often plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears;
Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud
Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through
fire
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipt in Rabba and her watry plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such

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Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd
Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Moloch homicide; lust hard by hate;
Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. . .
With these came they, who, from the bord'ring
flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts
Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names

! Of Baalim and Ashtaroth; those male,

These feminine: for spirits, when they please, Can either sex assume, or both; so soft And uncompounded is their essence pure; Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, Not founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose, Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure, Can execute their aery purposes, And works of love or enmity fulfil. For those the race of Israel oft forsook Their living strength, and unfrequented left His righteous altar, bowing lowly down To bestial gods; for which their heads as low Bow’d down in battle, sunk before the spear Of despicable foes. With these in troop Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call’d Astarte, queen of Heaven, with crescent horns; To whose bright image nightly by the Moon Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs; In Sion also not unsung, where stood Her temple on the offensive mountain, built By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large, Beguil’d by fair idolatresses, fell To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd The Syrian damsels to lament his fate In amorous ditties all a summer's day; While smooth Adonis from his native rock Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood Of Thammuz yearly wounded : the love-tale Infected Sion's daughters with like heat; Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led, His eye survey'd the dark idolatries Of alienated Judah. Next came one Who mourn’d in earnest, when the captive ark Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers: Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man And downward fish: yet had his temple high Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon, And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds. Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams. He also against the house of God was bold ! A leper once he lost, and gain’d a king; Ahaz his sottish conqueror, whom he drew God's altar to disparage and displace For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn His odious offerings, and adore the gods Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd A crew, who, under names of old renown, Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train, With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek Their wandering gods disguis'd in brutish forms Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape The infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan, Likening his Maker to the grazed ox; Jehovah, who in one night, when he pass'd From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke Both her first-born and all her bleating gods. Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love

Vice for itself: to him no temple stood Or altar smok'd ; yet who more oft than he In temples and at altars, when the priest Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd With lust and violence the house of God? In courts and palaces he also reigns, | And in luxurious cities, where the noise Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers, And injury and outrage; and when night Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night In Gibeah, when the hospitable door Expos'd a matron, to avoid worse rape. These were the prime in order and in might: The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,

The Ionian gods, of Javan's issue; held
Gods, yet confess'd later than Heaven and Earth,
Their boasted parents: Titan, Heaven's first-born,
With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd

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His own and Rhea's son, like measure"found;
So Jove usurping reign'd : these first in Crete
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
Of bold Olympus, rul’d the middle air,
Their highest Heaven; or on the Delphian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land : or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.
All these and more came flocking; but with
looks
Down-cast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd
Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their
chief
Not in despair, to 'ave found themselves not lost
In loss itself; which on his countenance cast
Like doubtful hue : but he, his wonted pride
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais d
Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their fears.
Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound
Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd
His mighty standard; that proud honour claim'd
Azazel as his right, a cherub tall;
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl’d
The imperial ensign; which, full high advanc'd,
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich imblaz'd,
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds:
At which the universal host up-sent
A shout, that tore Hell's concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.

All in a moment through the gloom were seen

Ten thousand banners rise into the air
With orient colours waving : with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable; anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd
To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage
Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat:
Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage

With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and
pain,
D

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