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BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT. Satan now in prospe&t of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprize which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair ; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described, overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent for mi and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death ; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them awhile, to know further of their state by some other ineans. Mean while Uriel descending on a sun-beam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil Spirit had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good Angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest : their bower described; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong Angels to Adam's bewer, lest the evil Spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Cabriel; by whom questioner!, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hindered by a sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise.

O FOR that warning voice, which he who saw Th’ Apocalypse heard

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in Heav'n aloud, Then when the Dragon, put to second rout, Came furious down to be reveng'd on men, “ Woe to th’ inhabitants on earth!" that now, While time was, our first parents had been warn'd

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The coming of their secret foe, and scap'd,
Haply so scap'd his mortal snare: for now
Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
The tempter ere th' accuser of mankind,
To wreck on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell:
Yet not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birth
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The Hell within him; for within him Hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step no more than from himself can fly
By change of place: now conscience wakes despair
That slumber'd, wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse suffering must ensue,
Sometimes tow’ards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes sad;
Sornetimes tow’ards Heav'n and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower: 30
Then much revolving, thus in sighs began.

O thou that with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice, and add thy nane O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,

That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down 40 Warring in Heav'n against Heav'n's matchless king: Ah wherefore! he deserv'd no such return From me, whom he created what I was In that bright entinence, and with his good Upbraided none; nor was his service hard. What could be less than to afford him praise, The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks, How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me, And wrought but malice; lifted up so high I’sdein'd subjection, and thought one step higher 50 Would set me high’est, and in a moment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude, So burdensome still paying, still to owe, Forgetful what froin him I still receiv'd, And understood not that a grateful mind By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Indebted and discharg'd; what burden then? O had his pow'rful destiny ordain'd Me some inferior Angel, I liad stood Then happy ; no unbounded hope had rais'd' 6o Ambition. Yet why not? Some other Power As great might have aspir'd, and me though mear Drzwn to his part; but other Pow'rs as great Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within Or from without, to all temptations arm’d. Hadst thou the same free will and pow'r to stand ? Thou hads:: whom hast thou then or what to'accuse,

But Heav'n's free love dealt equally to all ?
Be then his love accurs’d, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.

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Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat’ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven,
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left ? 80
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the Spi'rits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th’ Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of Hell.
With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery ; such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent and could obtain
By act of grace my former state; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore! ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.

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For never can true reconcilement grow,
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep :
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smirt.
This knows my punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace :
All hope excluded thus, behold in stead
Of us out-cast, exii'd, his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewel hope, and with hope farewel fear,
Farewel remorse: all good to me is lost;
Evil be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with Heav'n's king I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As Man ere long, and this new world shall know.

Thus while he spake, each passion dimm d his face
Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envy, and despair ;
Which marr’d his borrow'd visage, and betray'd
Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld.
For heav'nly minds from such distempers foul
Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware,
Each perturbațion smooth'd with outward. calm, 120
Artificer of fraud; and was the first
That practis'd falsehood under saintly show,
Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge :
Yeț not enough had practis'd to deceive
Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down
The way he went, and on ti’ Assyrian mount
saw him disfiguru, more than could befall

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