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Above the Aönian mount, while it pursues

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Things unattempted yet in prose or rhymo.
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st, Tifou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread **
Dovelike sat'st/brooding on the vast abyss,
And madest it pregnant : What in me is dark,
Illumine; what is low, raise and support;
That in the height of this great argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,

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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
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,
Favour'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off.

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I'rom their Creator, and transgress his will
û í for one restraint, lords of the world besides ?

first seduced them to that foul rcvolt!
The infernal Serpent; he it was, wliose gvile,
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceivea; 35
The mother of mankind, what tiine liis 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,
lle trusted to have cqual'd the Most High,

If he opposed; and, with ambiticus aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heaven, and battle pr ud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
Ilurl'l headlong flaming froin the ethereal sky, 45
With lidecus ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition ; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,

Who'dursi defy the Omnipotent to arms.
de pe Nine times the space that measufes day and night 54

To mrtzl inen, iné kvith his Korrid
Lay vanquish'd rolling in the fiery gulf,

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Confulded, though immortal But his doum Reserved him to more wrath; for now tha thought Both of lost happiness, and lasting pain,

55 Torments hint round hé throws his baleful eyes, That witness', huge affliction and dismay Mix'd with obdurate pride and steadfast hate At once, as far as Angels ken, he views The dismal situacion waste and wild.

60 A dungeon horrible on all sides round As one great furnace flamed , yet from those flames Vo light ; but rather darkness visible Served 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 x but torture without end Still urges, and a fiery deluyc, fed With ever burning sulphur unconsumed Such place Eternal Justice had prepared

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For those rebellious there their prison ordain'd
În utter darkness, and their portion set
MLAs far .Lemoved from God and light of Heaven

As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.
O, how unlike the place from whence they fell! 75
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmi’d
With floods and whirluvinds of tempestuous fire,
Ho socn discerns, and weltering by his side
One next hiinseif in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named 80
Beelzebub xa. To whom the Archenemy,
And thence in Heaven call'd Satan, with nold words
Breahing the horrid silence, thus began.

[f thou be ho; but o, how fallen! how changed
From him, who, in the happy realmıs of light,
Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myriacis though bright Aif he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Join'd with me oni e, now misery tail join'd

In equal ruin X Into what pit thou seest,
From what height fallen; so much the stronger proved
He with his thunder · and till then who knew
The force of thosc dire arms. Yet not for thoso,
Nog what the potent victor in his rage
Can

elso inflict, du I repent or change,
Though changed in outward lustre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
T'hat with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along 100
fimumerable force of Spirits arm’d,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne! What though the field be lost :
All is not lost the unconquerable will,

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And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit ur yield,
And what is se not to be overcopie;
That glory never shall his wrath or might 110
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knce, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy, and shame beneath 115
This downfal : şinco, 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 advanced,
We may with more successful bone resolve
in

wage, by force or gule, ete nal war
Irreroncilable to our grand fioc,
Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy
Bole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.

So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain, 1 125
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair :
And hin thus answer'd soon his bold cumpeer.

O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers.

That lod 'he embattled Suraphim to war Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds 13 Fearless endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king, And put to proof his high supremacy, Whethér upheld by strength, or chance. or sate Too well I see and rue the dire event, That with sad overthrow, and foul defeat,

135 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,

140 Though all our glorý cxtinct, 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 146 Strongly to suffer and support our pains, That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, Or do him mightier service as his thralls con By right of war, whate'er his business be, 150 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 wo feel „Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being, To undergo eternal punishment ? Whereto with specdy words the Archfiend replied

Fallen 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 liis 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; 168 Wb ch ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps

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Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
Elis inmost counsels from their destined aim.
But sec! the angry victor hath recall'd
IIis ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back the

sulphurous hail,

Sack after as in storm, o'erblown, hath laid

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The fiery surge, that from the precipice
Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow tlırough 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 grimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thit!ıer let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves ;
There rest, if any rest can harbour there,
And, reassembling our afflicted Powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our Enemy; Hur 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 uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood ; in bulk as huge
As whom the fable3 name of monstrous sizo,
Titanian, or Earth ·born, that war'd on Jove
Briarcos or Typhen, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held; or that seabeast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean siream:
Him, haply, slumbering on the Norway foam
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff

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