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Since Uriel, regent of the fun, defcry'd

His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim


That kept their watch; thence full of anguifh driv'n,
The space of fev'n continu'd nights he rode.
With darkness, thrice the equinoctial line


He circled, four times crofs'd the car of night
From pole to pole, travérfing each colúre;
On th' eighth return'd, and, on the coaft averse
From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth
Found unfufpected way. There was a place,
Now not, though fin, not time, firft wrought the
Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise

Into a gulf fhot under ground, till part



Rofe up a fountain by the tree of life:
In with the river funk, and with it rofe
Satan, involv'd in rifing mift; then fought
Where to lie hid: fea he had fearch'd, and land,
From Eden over Pontus, and the pool
Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob;
Downward as far antarctic; and in length
Weft from Orontes to the ocean barr'd
At Darien, thence to the land where flows
Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd
With narrow fearch, and with inspection deep
Confider'd ev'ry creature, which of all



Most opportune might ferve his wiles, and found 85 The ferpent fubtlest beast of all the field.

Him after long debate, irrefolute

Of thoughts revolv'd, his final fentence chofe

Fit veffel, fitteft imp of fraud, in whom

To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
From sharpeft fight: for in the wily fnake,
Whatever fleights none would fufpicious mark,
As from his wit and native fubtlety

Proceeding, which in other beafts obferv'd



Doubt might beget of diabolic power
Active within beyond the fenfe of brute.
Thus he refolv'd, but first from inward grief
His burfling passion into plaints, thus pour'd.

O earth, how like to heav'n, if not preferr'd
More justly, feat worthier of gods, as built
With fecond thoughts, reforming what was old!
For what God after better worfe would build ?
Terreftrial heav'n, danc'd round by other heav'ns,
That fine, yet bear their bright officious lamps,
Light above light, for thee alone, as feems,
In thee concent'ring all their precious beams
Of facred influence! As God in heav'n

Is centre, yet extends to all; fo thou
Cent'ring receiv'ft from all thofe orbs: in thee,
Not in themselves, all their known virtue' appears
Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth
Of creatures animate with gradual life




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Of growth, fenfe, reafon, all fumm'd up in man. With what delight could I have walk'd thee round, If I could joy in ought, fweet interchange


Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains,
Now land, now fea, and fhores with foreft crown'd, '
Rocks, dens, and caves! But I in none of these
Find place or refuge; and the more I fee
Pleasures about me, fo much more I feel
Torment within me', as from the hateful fiege
Of contraries; all good to me becomes


Bane, and in heav'n much worse would be my state. But neither here feek I, no nor in heav'n

To dwell, unless by maft'ring heav'n's Supreme; 125
Nor hope to be myself lefs miferable

By what I feek, but others to make such
As I, though thereby worse to me redound:
For only in deftroying I find ease


To my relentless thoughts; and him deftroy'd, 130
Or won to what may work his utter lofs,
For whom all this was made; all this will foon
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe:

In woe then, that destruction wide may range:
To me fhall be the glory fole among

Th' infernal powers, in one day to have marr'd
What he Almighty ftyl'd, fix nights and days
Continu'd making, and who knows how long
Before had been contriving, though perhaps
Not longer than fince I in one night freed
From fervitude inglorious well nigh half
Th' angelic name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers: he, to be aveng'd,



And to repair his numbers thus impair'd,

Whether fuch virtue fpeut of old now fail'd
More angels to create,-if they at leaft


Are his created, or, to spite us more,
Determin'd to advance into our room

A creature form'd of earth, and him endow,

Exalted from fo bafe original,


With heav'nly fpoils, our fpoils: what he decreed,

He' effected; man he made, and for him built

Magnificent this world, and earth his seat,


Him Lord pronounc'd, and, O indignity!
Subjected to his fervice angel-wings,
And flaming minifters to watch and tend
Their earthly charge: Of these the vigilance
I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight-vapour glide obscure, and pry



every bush and brake, where hap may find The ferpent fleeping, in whofe mazy folds To hide me, and the dark intent I bring, O foul defcent! that I who erst contended With gods to fit the high'eft, am now constrain'd·

N 2


Into a beaft, and mix'd with beftial flime,
This effence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the height of deity afpir'd:



But what will not ambition and revenge
Defcend to? Who afpires, muft down as low
As high he foar'd, obnoxious, firft or laft,
To baseft things. Revenge, at firft though fweet,
Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils:
Let it I reck not, fo it light well aim'd,
Since higher I fall fhort, on him who next
Provokes my envy, this new favourite
Of heav'n, this man of clay, fon of defpite,
Whom us the more to fpite his Maker rais'd
From duft: spite then with fpite is beft repaid.
So faying, through each thicket, dank or dry,
Like a black mist low creeping, he held on



His mid-night fearch, where foonest he might find

The ferpent: him fast fleeping foon he found

In labyrinth of many a round felf-roll'd,

His head the midft, well ftor'd with fubtle wiles:
Nor yet in horrid fhade or difmal den,



Nor nocent yet, but on the graffy herb
Fearless unfear'd he slept in at his mouth
The Devil enter'd, and his brutal fense,
In heart or head, poffeffing, foon infpir'd
With act intelligential, but his fleep
Disturb'd not, waiting close th' approach of morn.
Now when as facred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flow'rs, that breath'd
Their morning incenfe, when all things that breathe,
From th' earth's great altar fend up filent praise 195
To the Creator, and his noftrils fill

With grateful fmell, forth came the human pair,
And join'd their vocal worship to the quire
Of creatures wanting voice; that done, partake

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The feason, prime for sweetest fcents and airs: 200
Then commune how that day they beft may ply
Their growing work; for much their work outgrew
The hands difpatch of two gard'ning fo wide.
And Eve first to her husband thus began.



Adam, well may we labour fill to dress
This garden, ftill to tend plant, herb, and flower,
Our pleasant task injoin'd; but till more hands
Aid us, the work under our labour grows
Luxurious by restraint; what we by day
Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,
One night or two with wanton growth derides,
Tending to wild. Thou therefore now advise,
Or bear what to my mind first thoughts present:
Let us divide our labours; thou where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind 215
The woodbine round this arbour, or direct

The clafping ivy where to climb; while I
In yonder fpring of rofes intermix'd
With myrtle, find what to redress till noon:
For while fo near each other thus all day
Our task we chufe, what wonder if fo near
Looks intervene, and fmiles, or object new
Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
Our day's work, brought to little, though begun
Early, and th' hour of fupper comes unearn'd.

To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd.
Sole Eve, affociate fole, to me beyond
Compare, above all living creatures dear,




Well haft thou motion'd, well thy thoughts employ'd,
How we might beft fulfil the work which here
God hath affign'd us; nor of me shalt pass
Unprais'd; for nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to ftudy household-good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
N 3.


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